Claudia Rosset, Marc Thiessen, Kevin Freeman, Jim Hanson

Claudia Rosett analyzes the UNESCO relationship with the United States Government. Rosett take us back to President Reagan’s decision to stop funding UNESCO due to the high corruption inside the organization, and why President Bush decided to support UNESCO in 2003. The U.S decided to withdraw their funding to the organization (22% percent of UNESCO’s core budget) after it voted last October to confer membership to the Palestinian Authority. What are the real reasons for UNESCO to seek United States funding? What would they use this money for?

Mark Thiessen examines the five real risks to the United States if it loses in Afghanistan. The drone war in Pakistan would stop, the Taliban would be free to reconstitute themselves and take control of the Pashtun area in Pakistan, Al-Qaeda will regain its sanctuary, Al-Qaeda and other groups would be embolden to strike against the United States, and finally it would send a sign of weakness to the enemies of the United States, especially Iran. Considering these disadvantages, should the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan or should they maintain presence in the region?

Kevin Freeman explains the economic war between Iran and the United states over the price of oil and the repercussions this have on the Iranian and American economies. Iran has the third-largest oil reserves in the world and pricing oil in currencies other than dollars is a provocative move aimed at Washington. If Iran switches to non-dollar terms for its oil payments, there could be a new oil price that would be denominated in euros, yens or even the yuan or rupee. Iran already started to talk to India over how they can “trade” oil for rupees.

Even more surprisingly, reports have suggested that India is even considering paying for its oil in gold bullion. However, it is more likely that the country will pay in rupees, a currency that is not freely convertible. The United States needs to find a solution to this economical warfare in order to avoid spending excessive amounts of money in a battle we could have won.

Jim Hanson assesses Vice President Biden’s recent comments about the air strike that killed Osama bin Laden. Vice President Biden at a fundraiser in New Jersey said “ the bin Laden raid was the ‘most Audacious’ plan in 500 years.” Hanson moves on to Afghanistan, and examines the drastic consequences of having to obtain advance notice (warrant) from Afghan judges to carry out night raids. How does this jeopardize the troops? Would this compromise our ability to capture terrorists?

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