Stories written by Emma Bonino
Emma Bonino is an Italian politician, who most recently served as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Previously she was a member of the European Parliament and a member of the Italian Senate. She served in the government of Italy as minister of international trade from 2006 to 2008. She is a leading member of the Italian Radicals, a political party which describes itself as a "liberale, liberista e libertario" (liberista means economic liberal or, better, libertarian in the American sense; libertario, here, denotes a form of cultural liberalism concerning moral issues, with some ideological connection with historical left-libertarianism). She graduated in modern languages and literature from Bocconi University in Milan in 1972. A veteran legislator in Italian politics and an activist for various reform policies, she was elected as one of four vice presidents of the Senate on 6 May 2008.

COCA PROHIBITION A MISERABLE FAILURE: END IT

Efforts to eradicate coca production through \'\'supply reduction\'\' and \'\'alternative development\'\' have failed miserably, writes Emma Bonino, Member of the European Parliament and founding member of the International Anti-prohibitionist League. In this analysis, Bonino writes that the situation in the Andes has become unbearable for local communities, threatening the general development of their countries while providing a source of easy and big money for all sorts of illegal groups, from the narcos to terrorist and paramilitary networks. Comprehensive alternative development projects should address the broader economic situation of farmers, who cultivate \'\'drug crops\'\' not only because of to \'\'rural poverty\'\', \'\'lack of access to markets for legal products\'\', and \'\'unsuitable soil for many other crops\'\' as the UN claims, but also because the plants are an integral part of the cultures, traditions, and religions of the indigenous peoples living in those regions. The Permanent Forum should look into the possibility of reflecting coca-related issues in its annual report, where it issues recommendations to the ECOSOC. Ending the prohibition on coca should become a priority for all those that genuinely struggle for freedom and human rights and that are working towards the establishment of a system that functions on the force of law and not the law of force, a law that does not prohibit, but facilitates, the cohabitation of peaceful peculiarities including, ultimately, indigenous issues.

THE REAL LESSON OF MARCH 11TH: EVERYONE TO IRAQ

With all due respect to the Spanish electorate and those citizens mourning their dead, I believe that socialist leader Jose Luis Zapatero\'s position on withdrawing his country\'s troops from Iraq constitutes a victory for Al Qaeda, writes Emma Bonino, deputy in the European Parliament and leader of the Transnational Radical Party. In this article Bonino writes that March 11th provided irrefutable proof that Al Qaeda represents a real threat to us all. Certain leaders of the European left have stated -- involuntarily, I am sure-- that they share the position of Zapatero. Perhaps they haven\'t grasped how this announcement might be read and acted upon by the terrorists themselves. In sharp contrast to Zapatero\'s position, the correct response to March 11th should be, \'\'We will all go to Baghdad,\'\' with the determination to assume a concrete role in the fight against terrorism. Only in this manner can the calls for UN and/or NATO involvement have real meaning and effect, as expressions of shared responsibility.

FOR A FREE AND DEMOCRATIC IRAQ

Certain that they had won the war in Iraq almost without fighting, the Americans now seem to be mired in a \'\'peace\'\' for which they clearly failed to devise a strategy or a plan, writes Emma Bonino, Emma Bonino, member of the Transnational Radical Party and deputy in the European Parliament. In this article Bonino writes asks, Is it really wrong to have gone in to and remain in Iraq? Today, to be \'\'pacifist\'\' is to pursue the cynical, wait-and-see policy of those who say, \'\'After all, the Americans got what they were looking for.\'\' Many have raised the spectre of the Vietnam syndrome, but today the greatest risk is not \'\'Vietnam syndrome\'\' but the \'\'get-out-of-Vietnam syndrome\'\'. We must do everything possible, whatever our past positions might have been, to make sure that the efforts now underway in Iraq are successful. If the current state of affairs is to be corrected, everyone, beginning with the European countries, must put aside the wait-and- see politics and do everything possible to make Arab countries participate in the reconstruction, whose populations, regardless of the rhetoric of the ruling class, are finally beginning to ask themselves the right questions about terrorism, particularly after the attacks in Riyadh, Casablanca, and Istanbul.

THE LAST DAYS OF THE DEATH PENALTY ?

In recent weeks a singular destiny has pushed the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assume the role of symbol of both the martyrdom of Africa and the continent\'s ability to resolve its conflicts and actively participate in international civil campaigns like the universal moratorium against the death penalty, writes Emma Bonino, member of the Transnational Radical Party and deputy in the European Parliament. In this article for IPS, Bonino writes, I approached the Congolese president Kabila after the radical movement to abolish the death penalty, Hands Off Cain, selected me to lead a mission to save the lives of his father\'s assassins. We asked him not to sign the warrant for their execution and to join the fight within the UN General Assembly to reintroduce a proposal for a universal moratorium against capital punishment. Kabila responded that a moratorium on the death penalty is an issue for the future parliament, adding that he would not call for the execution before it decided. UN followers estimate that this year the resolution could garner 95-100 \'yes\' votes, 21-26 abstentions, and 62-65 votes against. Thus the victory of the abolitionists is within reach. It will be paradoxical if the West, so generous with its ethics lessons to Africa, betrays the hopes of the 28 African nations that despite the horrors they witness daily have allied themselves against \'\'state homicide\'\'.

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