By Michael Gerson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 22/08/07):
The Bush administration correctly asserts that the entire Middle East, from royal palaces to terrorist camps, is watching the eventual outcome in Iraq to determine the state of American resolve. But the region is also taking a more immediate measure of America’s commitment to its friends: our response to the Iraqi refugee crisis. And this, too, is a matter of national credibility and honor.
About 2 million Iraqis have been displaced within Iraq by sectarian violence and contagious fear; another 2 million have fled the country for Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and beyond. According to the United Nations, a steady flow of new refugees continues at about 50,000 each month.… Seguir leyendo »
By Masha Lipman, editor of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Pro et Contra journal, writes a monthly column for The Post (THE WASHINGTON POST, 22/08/07):
This month marks 70 years since the drastic surge of Stalin’s terror: In 1937 the Kremlin butcher scrapped even the faintest appearance of court procedures. The infamous «troika trials» — a system of justice by rubber-stamped death sentences — killed more than 436,000 in one year. The anniversary observances were intended to honor the victims. But the ceremony held earlier this month at Butovo, the site of mass killings on the outskirts of Moscow, revealed the government’s desire to keep the public’s mind off reflections about terror and its perpetrators.… Seguir leyendo »
By Robert J. Samuelson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 22/08/07):
Just a few weeks ago, Fortune magazine pronounced the world to be in «the greatest economic boom ever.» This may be, but the turmoil in stock and bond markets poses some unnerving questions. Is the global economy stable? Or might its periodic crises someday lead to a calamity?
Go back a century, to when the world enjoyed another fabulous boom. From 1896 to 1913, trade roughly doubled. Declining steamship and telegraph costs were melding countries together. «There was something close to an integrated world market for most goods,» Harvard political scientist Jeffry Frieden writes in his book «Global Capitalism.» In 1870, wheat prices in Liverpool were about 60 percent higher than in Chicago; by 1913, the gap was 16 percent.… Seguir leyendo »
By Ross Terrill, an associate in research at Harvard’s Fairbank Center and the author of The New Chinese Empire: And What it Means for the United States (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 22/08/07):
In China, language has long been a test of political orthodoxy. In Mao Zedong’s era, to confuse evil “bourgeois” with virtuous “proletarian” was to face a prison cell. Write the Chinese character for a leader’s name at a wrong angle and you were a class enemy. Now, as Beijing begins the final year of its preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games, a mistake with an English word is taboo.… Seguir leyendo »
By Philip Bobbitt, a professor of law and the director of the Center for National Security at Columbia University, and a National Security Council senior director from 1998 to 1999 (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 22/08/07):
CONGRESS just passed, and President Bush hurriedly signed, a law that amends the legal framework for the electronic interception of various kinds of communication with foreign sources. Almost immediately, commentators concluded that the law was unnecessary, that it authorized a lawless and unprecedented expansion of presidential authority, and that Democrats in Congress cravenly accepted this White House initiative only for the basest political reasons. None of these widely broadcast conclusions are likely to be true.… Seguir leyendo »
By Václav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic; this article is co-signed by Prince Hassan Bin Talal, André Glucksmann, Vartan Gregorian, Mike Moore, Michael Novak, Mary Robinson, Yohei Sasakawa, Karel Schwarzenberg, George Soros, Desmond Mpilo Tutu and Richard von Weizsäcker (THE GUARDIAN, 22/08/07):
The critical conditions that prevail in Darfur are causing immense suffering. Both sides of the conflict – the government of Sudan and its allied forces, as well as all the opposition groups in Darfur – must understand that civilians should no longer fall victim to their political disputes.The Sudanese government’s consent to the deployment of the UN/African Union mission, which aims to keep peace in the region, is a welcome development.… Seguir leyendo »
By Bronwen Maddox (THE TIMES, 22/08/07):
The storm over India’s new nuclear pact with the US, which now threatens to bring down the Indian Government, illustrates the only good thing about the deal – it is an antidote to anti-Western reflexes in the country that still run deep.
Other than that, the deal is a worry, for all the reasons that the US Congress has asserted: it is an extravagant breach of the spirit of non-proliferation treaties, showering the benefits of US nuclear help on India even though it acquired nuclear weapons.
But the row is a reminder that Indian stability and prosperity are surprisingly fragile, given the country’s remarkable growth.… Seguir leyendo »