August 14th, 2006
Nearly a month after my initial note, I was heartened to read reports this morning suggesting that, with the acceptance of the U.N. resolution, military escalation may be yielding to tenuous peace. I send my condolences to you and members of your chapters who have been affected by loss or displacement in the course of conflict, and share my hopes for a lasting cease-fire.
Since mid-July, as calls for peace were overwhelmed by reports of mounting devastation, the dedication and courage with which you and your colleagues at the Globalist Foundation have launched a parallel response have been nothing short of extraordinary. By establishing an online platform to connect the Beirut and Jerusalem chapters to each other and to the world, you have laid a unique "foundation" for student voices to shape perceptions and coverage of the conflict--and what will hopefully be an unfolding peace.
As part of the Globalist team back in its black-and-white, barely global days, I recall how our little Yale chapter liked to think big: a color cover, or perhaps an interview with a renowned scholar or two. I never imagined that it would one day connect chapters worldwide in a network that supports ongoing firsthand coverage of global issues as well as balanced responses to evolving conflicts. The coverage in this special online edition affirms that the Globalist Foundation is coming of age as a platform for inter-chapter exchange and, through its committment to professional, balanced and in-depth analysis, a catalyst of stronger international cooperation.
Again, a heartfelt congratulations to you and your colleagues at the Globalist Foundation. In the complex and ever-changing world our generation will inherit, your role is indispensible.
August 10th, 2006
The President of the United States of America has historically been a negotiator in Israeli-Arab affairs, an arbitrator for peace in a region charged with tension. However, the Bush administration has redirected the U.S.’s position in the Middle East from mediator to collaborator.
America’s move to invade Iraq proved devastating to the country, bringing political instability and violence to Iraq’s people. Yet more importantly, it brought resentment and even more reason to combat Western presence in the Middle East. Perhaps one of the most deleterious effects of invading Iraq is that the role of the U.S. has been transformed irrevocably. Instead of mediating the conflict, we have joined it. Now, as Israel and Lebanon clash, the U.S. believes that the best way to support Israel—and the country’s integrity—is to stand behind it. Instead, it would have been better to stand back and to be an honest broker for resolution. With unqualified support to Israel, the U.S. is discarding any potential to regain its status of a diplomatic negotiator. In reality, that is the best favor we could have given Israel—and the rest of the world.
August 9th, 2006
To the Editors,
Though obviously different in myriad ways, Hezbollah and the Globalist Foundation, as organizations, are both typical of the fruits of globalization: network-based, decentralized, non-governmental organizations that link people in different countries together to work for a common cause.
Hezbollah represents the “dark side” of this information-age phenomenon. It is a network-organized, non-state guerrilla army that engages in war and terrorism to serve its political goals within Lebanon and to promote a wider, Iranian-backed ideological and geopolitical agenda. That broader agenda includes fomenting chaos in Israel, Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq in order to advance the “Islamic” revolution, to keep the U.S. and Israel busy militarily, to discredit the idea that liberal democracies can ever be secure in the Middle East, and to keep the price of oil high in order to feed Iran’s weapons programs and sustain its economy.
In contrast, The Globalist – and particularly this impressive joint edition – illustrates the “bright side” of globalization, proving that the new forms of network organization and international collaboration enabled by globalization can also be used to promote peace, dialogue, and mutual understanding. Such constructive efforts by networks of journalists and social activists may be increasingly important to strengthening peace and democracy worldwide because state governments and existing international institutions alone have experienced great difficulty in dealing with the destructive dark side of globalization represented by advanced terrorist and criminal organizations.
The governments of Israel, Lebanon, and the United States, as well as the UN, appear to have been confused about how to handle the eruption of this conflict, and their initial reactions seem to have exacerbated it – with innocent civilians suffering the consequences. Hezbollah’s organizational structure makes it extremely difficult to defeat solely by force. Perhaps, for the future, those states that value an open and democratic society should focus on a long-term strategy of supporting and bolstering globalization’s positive forces to combat the negative forces, rather than relying so heavily on purely military solutions.
July 17th, 2006
I am writing you first with a message of regards and concern regarding the recent events that have transpired in your nation and in the region. Everyone in the Globalist Network has their thoughts with the safety and well being of yourself and your staff. Please feel free to call on us at any time for support or help if we can provide either.
Additionally, I wanted to write you because I believe that the current conflict between Lebanon and Israel has a very specific context in terms of the Globalist Foundation--one that I know you are already aware of, as we have chapters in both your country and in Jerusalem. I acknowledge the complexities that this raises and the dilemmas that both you and your colleague in Israel, Roy, face. However, I would like to suggest that the Globalist can and should be a channel of support rather than one of conflict.
Perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of The Globalist, in my experience, has been its ability to give political problems a human context. You find yourselves in the unique place of living in the news, and your positions as students and as journalists gives you a unique perspective. I believe that in this situation in particular, the positions of the Beruit Globalist staff and the Jerusalem Globalst staff are more similar than divergent. I hope that despite political difficulties, the Globalist network can become a source of common ground.
Once again, I send my continued support and regards. Please feel free to be in touch.
July 16th, 2006
I hope this finds you both safe and well despite increasingly grim reports of renewed conflict involving your countries. Along with my sincerest hopes for a swift and peaceful resolution, I write to offer my support for your efforts to provide balanced coverage and maintain close ties between your campuses. What can I, or we as a Foundation, do to help? Ideas that jump to mind include increasing coverage on our home campuses (perhaps as an insert in the next issue, informed by student reporters on your teams) or supporting student dialogues within or between your campuses, perhaps through an online forum. I'll defer to you and the other EICs for further suggestions, and look forward to talking more soon.