EDITORIAL: Around the world
Excerpts of editorial opinion from newspapers in the U.S. and abroad:
The Eagle, Bryan-College Station, Texas, on the DISCLOSE Act:
Got an extra $52 million in your petty cash slush fund? Want to buy an election? Well, you can and no one would be any the wiser unless Congress passes the badly needed DISCLOSE Act.
If passed, the act would require greater disclosure of who is spending how much on political advertising. The rich still will be allowed to give huge sums of money to so-called Super PACs, but the bill would ensure that the rest of us know just who is spending that money in an effort to influence elections.
Through Feb. 23, super PACs have spent $51.9 million trying to influence the November presidential election, most of it in support of the various candidates for the Republican nomination. A full 25 percent of that money came from just five extremely wealthy people.
The Supreme Court created this political monstrosity and Congress should work to overturn the court’s bizarre ruling. But that likely will take a lot of effort and time. Until then, Congress should pass the DISCLOSE Act so that we can at least know who is seeking to buy our elections.
The Washington Post on Afghanistan:
The latest crisis in Afghanistan strikes at the heart of the U.S. strategy for preventing the country from reverting to Taliban rule or becoming a base for al-Qaeda.
If those goals are to be achieved, the Afghan security forces that have been recruited, trained and equipped at enormous cost over the past several years must be sustained — something that will require continued training and advising by NATO, and heavy outside funding, for many years to come. That prospect seemed to be endangered recently when four U.S. soldiers were killed by Continued...
The probable trigger for the latest attacks was the mistaken but inexcusable burning of Korans at the U.S. air base in Bagram.
The popular backlash in Afghanistan nevertheless reflects deeper problems. There is understandable weariness with foreign troops after more than a decade of inconclusive war; resentment at the death of civilians in NATO operations; and frustration with the corruption and fecklessness of a U.S.-backed government.
The only secure and honorable means of exit is to finish the work of creating an Afghan army and police force capable of defending the country from the Taliban and other extremists, with backup from U.S. special forces and air power. If the Obama administration chooses to accelerate the timetable or significantly reduce the funding — and thus the size — of Afghan forces, it will become nearly impossible.
London Evening Standard on the U.S.-British extradition treaty:
The case of Christopher Tappin raises questions about this country’s extradition treaty with the U.S.
The retired businessman was extradited to Texas to face charges that he conspired in the sale of specialized batteries to Iran. U.S. authorities allege that Tappin knew the batteries were destined for use in Iranian surface-to-air missiles.
The treaty was agreed after 9/11 to expedite extradition of terror suspects. But other cases have raised concerns that it is biased toward U.S. interests. Both Conservatives and the Lib Dems promised reform in opposition, but a wide-ranging review last year by a senior judge concluded that the treaty was fair. Still, the recent case of Abu Qatada, whose extradition to Jordan on terrorist charges was blocked by the European Court, contrasts oddly with that of Tappin. The U.S. has a fair legal system while authoritarian Jordan does not. But Tappin’s case will add to the calls for a fresh review of our U.S. extradition treaty.
– Compiled by The Associated Press
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