By Simon Jenkins (THE GUARDIAN, 08/08/07):
The British government is lining up Paddy Ashdown to rule Afghanistan. This is not a silly season story or a Gilbert and Sullivan spoof, merely a measure of the lunacy now polluting British foreign policy. Ashdown has time on his hands and Gordon Brown wants to show himself as firm a liberal interventionist as Tony Blair. He, too, wants to make Afghanistan a peaceful and prosperous democracy and may as well start now. So Paddy’s the man.
To the British left, Afghanistan was always the «good» war and Iraq the «bad» one. It is permitted for ministers to assert that they were «privately opposed» to Iraq so long as Afghanistan is seen as a worthy cause.… Seguir leyendo »
By Celia Richardson, the director of campaigns for the Mental Health Foundation (THE GUARDIAN, 08/08/07):
Your article on the escalating mental health problems among frontline veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars raises serious questions about how we repay the people who risk their lives for us (Iraq veterans suffer stress and alcoholism, August 3).You report a new study by the British Medical Journal online. But as long ago as February 2003 our charity warned that soldiers who were then being deployed in Iraq could suffer serious psychological trauma following conflict. We knew that more Falklands veterans had committed suicide than were killed during the conflict.… Seguir leyendo »
By Victor D. Cha, a professor at Georgetown University, and a White House Asia adviser from 2004 to 2007. He is the author of the forthcoming book «Sports Diplomacy in Asia and the Beijing Olympics.» (THE WASHINGTON POST, 08/08/07):
One year from today, Beijing will host the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics. For two weeks we will be treated to athletic performances that animate dreams and inspire the world, set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most ancient and celebrated civilizations. That, at least, is the way Beijing would like to sell the Games. For better or worse, they will mark a critical crossroads in China’s development as a responsible global player.… Seguir leyendo »
By Robert J. Samuelson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 08/08/07):
It’s no secret that the housing industry is in a deep downturn. In its heyday, the real estate boom added 30,000 housing-related jobs a month (construction workers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents). Now, the bust is subtracting 15,000 a month, says Moody’s Economy.com. In 2005, housing starts reached almost 2.1 million; Economy.com expects starts of 1.4 million this year. By mid-2008, it forecasts, median prices for existing homes will be down almost 9 percent from their peak.
But the housing bust is really a small part of a larger story. Call it the tyranny of capital markets — global markets for stocks, bonds and other financial instruments.… Seguir leyendo »
By Scott Borgerson, who teaches maritime studies at the Coast Guard Academy, is an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 08/08/07):
Aboard Training Vessel Arctic Tern, off Newport, R.I.
Russia’s flag-planting caper at the North Pole last week captured the world’s attention. Harking back to the heady days of colonial imperialism and perhaps the success of Sputnik, a resurgent Russia dispatched from Murmansk a nuclear-powered icebreaker and a research vessel armed with two mini-submarines to stake a symbolic claim to the Arctic Ocean’s riches. Russia hopes that leaving its flag encased in titanium more than 13,200 feet beneath the frozen surface bolsters its 2001 claim that the Lomonosov Ridge is a geological extension of its continental shelf and thus the 460,000 square miles of resource-rich Arctic waters stretching from the North Pole to Eurasia fall under the Kremlin’s jurisdiction.… Seguir leyendo »
By Wesley K. Clark, the former supreme commander of NATO and a fellow at the Burkle Center for International Relations at the University of California at Los Angeles and Kal Raustiala, a law professor and the director of the Burkle Center (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 08/08/07):
The line between soldier and civilian has long been central to the law of war. Today that line is being blurred in the struggle against transnational terrorists. Since 9/11 the Bush administration has sought to categorize members of Al Qaeda and other jihadists as “unlawful combatants” rather than treat them as criminals.
The federal courts are increasingly wary of this approach, and rightly so.… Seguir leyendo »
By Simon Tisdall (THE GUARDIAN, 08/08/07):
Rising tensions in the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia, combined with chronic instability in neighbouring Somalia, Eritrean enmity, and human rights concerns, are testing US support for the Addis Ababa government led by Clinton-era good governance pin-up Meles Zenawi.
The Bush administration welcomed the recent release of 38 opposition politicians detained after violent protests over the conduct of elections in 2005. But it has kept quiet over Ethiopia’s subsequent expulsion of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers from Ogaden’s Somali regional state, following claims they were aiding Ogaden National Liberation Front separatists (ONLF).… Seguir leyendo »