The Common Good

The New York Times

The New York Times Press Items
The potent campaign built by Granola Belt charities, flamboyant rock musicians and movie celebrities, number-crunching economists, conservative and liberal religious groups - not to mention the Dalai Lama - finally helped persuade the world's wealthiest nations to forgive the debt of some of the world's poorest.
The case has deeply embarrassed the United States, which on Thursday denied that the Bush administration was secretly helping Colombia's brutal paramilitary organization, the United Self-Defense Forces, in its fight against Marxist rebels.
For some time now the Air Force has been pressing the White House for a new national-security directive that would permit the deployment of space weaponry. A decision could come within weeks. Most space-to-ground weapons remain futuristic, but previous presidents and Congresses have chosen not to deploy anti-satellite weapons, fearing that doing so would set off an arms race and endanger the information systems the United States relies on. The new directive, if approved, would constitute a historic change in policy as radical as President Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive war.
Tell me, how is it that over 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody so far? Heart attacks? This is not just deeply immoral, it is strategically dangerous.
"The monologue of the religious right is over," Mr. Wallis said in an interview before Mr. Bush's appearance. "There is a progressive, moderate evangelical constituency that is huge."
Lengthy interviews with more than 30 survivors who fled to Kyrgyzstan, combined with accounts collected by opposition workers and human rights groups, consistently indicate that what happened was not as the official version would have it.
Five years and $3 billion into the most aggressive counternarcotics operation ever here, American and Colombian officials say they have eradicated a record-breaking million acres of coca plants, yet cocaine remains as available as ever on American streets, perhaps more so.
About 1,200 liberal Christians gathered at a rally at a Presbyterian church in Louisville to protest what one speaker, the left-leaning evangelical Jim Wallis, called a declaration of a religious war and an attempt to hijack religion.
Settlement construction is continuing on the West Bank, though more slowly than was the case two years ago, in apparent violation of Mr. Sharon's commitment in the first stage of the road map to freeze settlement growth.
The two very different systems - one based on Western notions of justice, the other on a deep African tradition of forgiveness - are clashing in their response to one of this continent's most bizarre and brutal guerrilla wars, a conflict that has raged for 18 years in the rugged terrain along Uganda's border with Sudan.