Periscope – World in Focus

October, 2013

  • 31 October

    The End of an Era in Georgia

    The presidential election in Georgia on Oct. 27 ended a decade of pro-Western Mikheil Saakashvili’s tenure. According to the Georgian constitution, presidents can serve only two terms. Saakashvili had been in office since 2004 and was forced to transfer his powers. Although he earlier toyed with the Putin-Medvedev model, creating an all-powerful prime minister, his chances of staging a comeback to the …

  • 30 October

    Indigenous Communication Gains Strength in Ecuador

    In Latacunga, capital of Ecuador’s Cotopaxi province, the antenna for Tv MICC stands beside the one for state television. It’s a symbolic victory for the country’s first Kichwa-language television station, which started operating in 2009 following an initiative by the Cotopaxi Indigenous and Campesino Movement (MICC). After four years, the station is second in ratings in this central province of …

  • 29 October

    Iran: New Emerging Geopolitics in the Middle East

    While many Americans’ eyes were glued to the TV regarding the dysfunction of government in Washington, eyes elsewhere in the world were observing the current geopolitical and potential geo-strategic changes taking place in the Middle East. The news from Washington diverted attention from the horrible civil war in Syria and the renewal of negotiations among the five permanent members — …

  • 27 October

    How to Get the Whole World Mad

    “GENTLEMEN do not read other gentlemen’s mail” sniffed US Secretary of State Henry Stimson in 1929 when told that American cryptographers had broken Japan’s naval and diplomatic codes. Stimson, who later headed the War Department, ordered code-breaking shut down. Alas, there are not any old-school gentlemen left in Washington these days. Revelations of US electronic spying by whistleblower Edward Snowden have …

  • 27 October

    Middle East’s Forgotten Conflict

    In the commotion created by the Arab Spring and following disturbances, the focus of international politics moved away from Iraq. The especially brutal civil war in Syria, the coup d’état and subsequent turbulence in Egypt, the tensions in Lebanon, Libya, and Yemen and the elections in Iran, have all diverted international attention away from Iraq. However, Iraq is still located at the …

  • 26 October

    Central Asia’s New Silk Road, Paved by China

    Over the past decade, Central Asia has grown from a marginal position in Beijing’s strategic calculus to the top of its diplomatic priorities: China is fast emerging as a vital economic and political player in this strategically located and resource-rich region. In early September Chinese President Xi Jinping visited several Central Asian countries bringing billions in investment — a trip that …

  • 24 October

    Why Saudi Arabia Rejected Seat on UN Security Council?

    Saudi Arabia has grabbed the limelight by refusing its non-permanent membership at the Security Council to protest the U.N.’s inability to do anything against Bashar al-Assad. It has also let its displeasure with the U.S. over Syria and Iran be known and is reportedly on the verge of making a “major shift,” to use the words of the Saudi intelligence chief Prince …

  • 22 October

    Bosnia’s Ten Years Without Alija

    This October 19 marked the 10th anniversary of the death of independent Bosnia’s first democratically elected president, Alija Izetbegović. Elected to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in late 1990, Izetbegović remained a member of the Presidency until 2000. During the aggression on Bosnia from 1992 until 1995, Izetbegović was the president of the Presidency and the undisputed leader of …

  • 22 October

    Backlash Fears After ‘Islamist’ Attacks in Eastern DRC

    “Eight months ago no one had heard of Al-Shabab,” said Henri Ladyi, a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) expert and director of the Conflict Resolution Centre (CRC) in Beni, a town and territory in North Kivu Province in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ladyi is concerned that rumours about the influence of Somalia-based Islamists in Beni, whether true or …

  • 20 October

    Why Central Asia Abnormally Silent on Syria

    The US and Russia have enacted a political compromise to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control and destroy them. However, the political crisis in Syria is not limited by this Washington-Moscow deal. The solution of the “chemical weapons” issue is useless for the resolving of ethno-political and sectarian conflicts that split this Middle Eastern country. It is also not …