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Tom's Take

April 8th, 2010
12:25 PM ET
Sr. Writer for Amanpour, Tom Evans, works on scripts   with Christiane

Sr. Writer for Amanpour, Tom Evans, works on scripts with Christiane

On Amanpour, we’ll find out if Obama’s Cairo speech has had any lasting impact on U.S. / Muslim relations.  Christiane is joined by controversial Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan, in his first U.S. television interview since the Obama administration lifted his six year travel ban, and James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute.  Ramadan is best known for his thoughts on Muslims in Europe and the compatibility of Islam with democracy.  How does the American Muslim experience differ and what are the unique issues America’s Muslim population faces? There is plenty of other news to tell you about today. Here are some perspectives.

– Tom Evans; Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.

RUSSIA/U.S. – Does new U.S./Russia arms control agreement signal an era of improved relations between Washington and Moscow?

–    Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in Prague in the Czech Republic sign an agreement to cut their strategic nuclear warheads by one-third, and delivery systems by more than a half
–    It’s the biggest arms control agreement between the two countries in a generation, and comes as the U.S. pushes for tough new measures to prevent nuclear proliferation
–    At news conference in Prague, Medvedev and Obama reaffirmed their commitment to pursue new sanctions against Iran if Tehran continues to refuse to suspend uranium enrichment

QUESTION:  Does apparent U.S./Russia unity on Iran sanctions make it easier to convince other countries such as China to support enhanced sanctions against Tehran?

KYRGYZSTAN – Does the overthrow of the government mark the end of violence in the Central Asian republic?

–    Opposition pledges to address citizens’ concerns as a former foreign minister announces that President Kurmanbek Bakiev has been forced out of office and she’s now in charge as interim leader
–    Wave of protests yesterday left at least 75 people dead and hundreds of others injured after clashes between demonstrators and security forces
–    Former president is believed to have fled to the south of the country with his entourage. Opposition wants to negotiate the terms of his resignation

QUESTION:  Will new government in Kyrgyzstan be any more successful over the long term in dealing with endemic corruption, nepotism, and the economic grievances of the nation’s population?

SRI LANKA – Do today’s parliamentary elections mark the beginning of a new peaceful era after the three decades long conflict with the Tamils?

–    Country holds its first parliamentary election since ruling party of President Mahinda Rajapaksa militarily defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year
–    Turnout at polling stations is reported to be low, despite heavy security and deployment of 75,000 police and soldiers
–    President’s party is expected to easily win the election. Many analysts believe political stability afterward would increase the pace of the country’s rapid economic recovery

QUESTION:  If the President’s party wins the election, will he loosen his vice-like grip on the nation, and lift measures that opposition groups say are designed to stifle dissent?


Filed under:  Tom's Take
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Sayan Majumdar

    Tom, United States President Barack Obama may face strong criticism for his recently declared nuclear weapons policy yet his policy is apparently based on cold calculations.

    It is very much prudent to restrict the number of strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 on each side (United States and Russia) if they are predominantly nuclear powered ballistic missile armed submarine (SSBN) based as the very stealthy nature of SSBN makes it largely immune from a “first strike”.

    Here United States incidentally enjoys a distinctive advantage as through years it has successfully relocated her strategic nuclear warheads to United States Navy (USN) SSBN platforms operating from Bangor, Washington State and Kings Bay, Georgia. More importantly at least ten of USN Ohio Class SSBN each carries twenty-four UGM-133A Trident D-5 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM) accurate enough to qualify as counter-force arsenal, capable of devastating enemy’s nuclear weapons infrastructure.

    Albeit being concentrated clusters of strategic capabilities the Ohio Class SSBN platforms are adequately guarded during operational patrols by USN Los Angels, Seawolf and Virginia Class nuclear powered attack submarines (SSN).

    With relations between United States and Russia having improved considerably in recent times United States remain blessed with the fact that the strategic nuclear arsenals of her potential adversaries remain predominantly land-based and thus highly vulnerable to her counter-force arsenals.

    However as already pointed out President Barack Obama appears to be limiting United States nuclear weapons options to an unacceptable level since up-gradations and development of new generations of nuclear weapons remain desirable for both safety and more importantly reliability of the strategic arsenal as also a nuclear retaliation against a horrific chemical or biological weapons attack stands quite justified.

    Sayan.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  2. Sab

    I thought President Obama since he came to office, he did delivered most of his promises. So, as per his speech in Cairo I thought that was encouraging for us as Muslims, and it is our step to prove that we also need to talk to all culture, last month in Dubai the Imam of Harm (Maka Big Muslim Mosque) Delivered speech for peace and he did too condemn the terrorist and he asked Qaida to step what there are doing. So I think there a hope that need us to work all together, media, scholars, to make a peaceful communications that between different cultures. Many thanks

    April 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Reply

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