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Politics abroad

Submitted by Guest Contributor on August 14, 2006 - 12:08am.
The Rules for Reconstruction after War

"Lebanon’s reconstruction, so painstakingly carried out in the 1990’s, is now at risk of being undone. But Lebanon is not alone in that respect: according to the UN and several independent studies, countries in transition from war to peace face roughly a 50% chance of sliding back into warfare. ... Any transition to peace may well prove ephemeral unless policymakers make political reconciliation and integration – not optimal economic policies – the bedrock priority. Despite its failures, the UN is probably still the best-placed organization to oversee such efforts.": Graciana del Castillo

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Submitted by Melody Kemp on August 11, 2006 - 7:31am.
Children into ash

"Some days ago I received a photo of a young Israeli loading a DU shell into a tank, somewhere near the Lebanese border. To be exact it was a M829A3 120 mm APFSDS-T (High Explosive Anti Tank Multipurpose Shell with Tracer). While it looked as if it had been modified in Israel, it is one listed by ATK, with 10kg of DU as the warhead. ATK used to be known as Honeywell. The shells are fired from tanks, for instance the American supplied Abrams M1, usually against other armour plated vehicles. But interestingly neither Hamas nor Hezbollah have tanks ... the shells are being used to blast buildings like those in Qana - of which Beiruti artist and musician Mazen Kerbaj sighed: 'Qana was where Jesus turned water into wine. Now they are turning children into ash.'": Melody Kemp

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on August 6, 2006 - 8:30am.
The Rape of Freedom in Burma

"Burma is failing miserably to live up to the standards of decency that the Southeast Asian region is setting for itself. The military remains firmly in control, the rule of law is absent, and the government refuses to admit to the systematic sexual violence committed by its soldiers as they terrorize the population. All of Burma’s people deserve security, and refugee women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence need the world’s solidarity and support. ": Teresa Kok Suh Sim, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana and Eva K. Sundari

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on August 2, 2006 - 11:31am.
If these were silent the Stones would shout out

A Statement on the Middle East by Canberra’s Church leaders

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Submitted by Jeffrey Sachs on July 28, 2006 - 7:21am.
The Middle East's Military Delusions

"The problem lies not in seeing the solution, but in getting to it, because powerful and often violent minorities on both sides oppose it."

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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on July 14, 2006 - 9:35am.
Scott Parkin and Halliburton - Update

"The banner reading Mission Accomplished across the top of the Halliburton Watch site might almost be enough to help Scott forgive the Australian Government's aggressive stance in protecting the company that the Pentagon has now rejected. His case, however, is expected to resume in the Federal Court within several weeks." Richard Tonkin

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Submitted by Ralf Dahrendorf on July 13, 2006 - 2:26pm.
Elections Without Winners

"When football matches – at least those that must produce a winner – end in a draw, a penalty shoot-out must resolve the matter, as this World Cup has demonstrated so dramatically. The shoot-out’s individual competition for heroism or misery is really alien to such a team game as football, but it is accepted as a necessary way to resolve the stalemate. But when it comes to elections – which ideally should always produce a winner – there is no such device." Ralf Dahrendorf

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on July 10, 2006 - 8:08am.
India's Illiterate Revolution

"Any Indian able to read this article should consider himself lucky, because India’s politicians have succeeded in keeping a majority of the country’s population thoroughly illiterate (as well as poor and unhealthy). Instead of providing quality elementary education for all, our policymakers are more concerned with enacting caste-based measures aimed at short-term political gains.": Arindam Chaudhuri

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Submitted by Kenneth Rogoff on July 6, 2006 - 7:51am.
G-8 Movie Night

"Many people rightly regard the annual G-8 (Group of Eight) presidential summit as the closest thing we have to a functioning world government. So it is a shame that these meetings tend to be so scripted and dull, with so little room for the informality needed to make genuine progress on tough issues involving world peace and prosperity.": Kenneth Rogoff

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Submitted by Chris Saliba on June 22, 2006 - 1:23pm.
Enemy Combatant

"After spending three years incarcerated at various locations by the US Army, you’d expect this book to be one long vituperative tirade. Despite Moazzam Begg’s hardships, the former Guantanamo prisoner comes across more an impatient rather than angry man.": Chris Saliba

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on June 16, 2006 - 9:10am.
Will China's Capitalist Revolution Turn Democratic?

"Communist China has experienced a monumental capitalist revolution in the last two decades, with an economy that is now six times bigger than it was 20 years ago. A minor player in the global economy in the 1980’s, China today is the world’s third largest trading power. But if these stunning economic statistics make you think that so much capitalist development must also have brought more democracy to China, think again.": Minxin Pei

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Submitted by Ralf Dahrendorf on June 14, 2006 - 6:54pm.
Universities: Renaissance or Decay?

" 'Europe’s universities, taken as a group, are failing to provide the intellectual and creative energy that is required to improve the continent’s poor economic performance.' This dramatic statement introduces a new pamphlet whose subtitle, “Renaissance or Decay,” I have borrowed for this reflection. What they say about Europe probably applies to most other parts of the world as well, though not to the United States." Ralf Dahrendorf

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on June 13, 2006 - 10:56am.
How would you spend $50billion?

"The list of urgent challenges facing humanity is depressingly long. AIDS, hunger, armed conflict, and global warming compete for attention alongside government failure, malaria, and the latest natural disaster. While our compassion is great, our resources are limited. So who should be helped first?": Bjørn Lomborg

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on June 9, 2006 - 8:35am.
The problem with "China bashing"

"Pressure on China today to push up the value of the yuan against the dollar is eerily similar to the pressure on Japan 30 years ago to make the yen appreciate. Back then, “Japan bashing” came to mean the threat of US trade sanctions unless Japan softened competitive pressure on American industries. By 1995, the Japanese economy had become so depressed by the overvalued yen (endaka fukyo) that the Americans relented and an­nounced a new “strong dollar” policy. Now “China bashing” has taken over, and the result could be just as bad, if not worse." Ronald McKinnon

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on June 8, 2006 - 8:49am.
Southeast Asia's Arms Race

"Southeast Asia’s return to prosperity since the financial crisis of 1997 has brought a region-wide splurge on new weapons. Most Southeast Asian countries are, indeed, now busily modernizing their armed forces. So far, most have done so without compromising their autonomy in security matters. But, with China’s military build-up causing nervousness everywhere, many governments in the region are starting to work with outside powers.": Hideaki Kaneda

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Submitted by Kenneth Rogoff on June 7, 2006 - 7:41pm.
Taking Russia Seriously

"Poor oil-rich Russia. It is trying so hard to have its turn as chair of the elite Group of Eight countries taken seriously. Of, course, people who really want to be unkind will point out the absurdity of Russia’s membership in a club that includes the giant economies of US, Germany, Japan, England, France, Italy, and (less so) Canada. Why wasn’t Chinese president Hu Jintao, whose country’s economy is the world’s second largest (when measured at world prices), given a seat at the table instead of Putin? After all, even with all its energy resources, and even with today’s sky-high oil and gas prices, Russia’s national income is only about the size of Greater Los Angeles. ": Kenneth Rogoff

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on May 29, 2006 - 11:34am.
The Euston Manifesto

There is much debate in the UK around the declaration by a group of bloggers and journos that calls for (yet another?) re-alignment of progressive forces under the heading of The Euston Manifesto. Life being what it is, the debate has been more around the "Elaborations" than around the "Statement of principles" - but are even the principles the right ones? To help you consider that question, here is the full text.

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on May 27, 2006 - 8:35am.
The Cultural Revolution at 40

"As long as the Cultural Revolution remains unaccounted for, it will not have ended. If historical truth is not restored, the lessons cannot be learned. No amount of material prosperity can make China a healthy society without this necessary reckoning with the past": Liu Xiaobo

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on May 24, 2006 - 5:14pm.
Amy Goodman interviews Arundhati Roy

AMY GOODMAN: Today, we spend the hour with acclaimed author and activist Arundhati Roy. Her first novel, The God of Small Things, was awarded the Booker Prize in 1997. It’s sold over six million copies, has been translated in over 20 languages around the world. Since then, Roy has devoted herself to political writing and activism.

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Submitted by Will Howard on May 24, 2006 - 12:00pm.
The Repeal of Israel

"On few other issues is the battle over history so intense as on the Israel-Palestine conflict. On few other issues has history been so turned from an academic discipline to a weapon of war. ... One tactic is to muse about how much nicer the world would be if the illegitimate state of Israel had never existed. Let’s go with this premise for a bit: Israel should never have existed. How would we shove the historical toothpaste back in the tube?" Will Howard

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on May 24, 2006 - 9:05am.
Do War Crimes Tribunals Help or Hinder Reconciliation?

"Do international tribunals of the sort Milosevic faced before his death promote or postpone serious self-reflection and reconciliation in damaged societies? Do they strengthen or undermine the political stability needed to rebuild wrecked communities and shattered economies?" Jiří Dienstbier, Special Rapporteur of the UNHRC in the Balkans.

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Submitted by Jeffrey Sachs on May 19, 2006 - 12:18pm.
The Haitian miracle?

"This spring’s presidential election in Haiti sadly re-enforced the country’s blighted reputation. The paradox is that today Haiti has a chance, perhaps the best in its modern history, to escape from its long history of extreme poverty and turmoil." Jeffrey D Sachs

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Submitted by Ralf Dahrendorf on May 17, 2006 - 11:29am.
Twilight of our political gods

"For some time I thought that the Twenty-Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was probably the best way to ensure that political leaders do not overstay their welcome, and, just as importantly, wear out their effectiveness. This Amendment bars US Presidents from holding office for more than two four-year terms." Ralf Dahrendorf

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Submitted by Roslyn Ross on May 15, 2006 - 10:30am.
We can live in truth or lie in death

"During the 1948-49 war and throughout the 1950’s some 500 Arab villages and cities were destroyed and almost all were razed to the ground by the Israeli Army. One of the worst massacres of Arabs took place at Deir Yasin in April 1948 and it is on this land that the official State of Israel holocaust memorial, Yad va-Shem, now stands as well as the City of Jerusalem cemetery. There’s something seriously tasteless, or sublimely arrogant, about building a memorial to the suffering of your own people on land where you have committed a war crime!" Roslyn Ross

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on May 11, 2006 - 5:06pm.
Letter to President Bush from Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadi-Nejad

"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, Mr George Bush, President of the United States of America, for some time now I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena - which are being constantly debated, especially in political forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hope that it might bring about an opportunity to redress them." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Submitted by Joseph Nye on April 26, 2006 - 8:43am.
Donald Rumsfeld and smart power

"Rumsfeld’s mistrust of the European approach contains a grain of truth. Europe has used the attractiveness of its Union to obtain outcomes it wants, just as the US has acted as though its military pre-eminence could solve all problems. But it is a mistake to count too much on hard or soft power alone. The ability to combine them effectively is 'smart power'." Joseph S Nye

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Submitted by Ralf Dahrendorf on April 18, 2006 - 11:27am.
The nation state revisited

"It has become fashionable to claim that the nation state has lost its place. Globalisation, it is said, means that nations can no longer control their own affairs. They must join with others, as in the European Union or ASEAN or Mercosur, and they must increasingly rely on global institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation." Ralf Dahrendorf

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on April 17, 2006 - 8:05am.
Hu's chance

"Chinese President Hu Jintao’s upcoming visit to the United States, postponed following hurricane Katrina, will be different from previous bilateral meetings. This time, the countries’ presidents will meet at a time of intensive American attention to the US-China trade balance and other economic issues, such as protection of intellectual property rights." Dingli Shen

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on April 11, 2006 - 9:45am.
The hothouse of US-China relations

"The increasing climate-change danger is mainly due to developments in China. The country derives almost 76% of its energy needs from coal, burning almost 2.2 billion tons of it in 2005, with consumption set to rise to 2.6 billion tons by 2010. Moreover, car production soared from only 640,000 in 2000 to 3.1 million by 2005, and annual growth is expected to continue rising by 80%. Petroleum independent until 1993, China now consumes more and more imported petroleum every year, and power consumption is predicted to double by 2025, requiring an average of one new coal-fired plant to come on line each week." Orville Schell

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Submitted by Joseph Stiglitz on April 7, 2006 - 10:37am.
China's roadmap

"China is about to adopt its 11th five-year plan, setting the stage for the continuation of probably the most remarkable economic transformation in history, while improving the well-being of almost a quarter of the world’s population. Never before has the world seen such sustained growth; never before has there been so much poverty reduction." Joseph E Stiglitz

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