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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy

Obama’s Letter to Medvedev – A New Diplomacy in Action

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the russian bear likes a good bargain.

the russian bear likes a good bargain.

President Obama’s not so secret letter to his counterpart in Russia, President Medvedev, seems like a strong beginning to a new, more robust and directed diplomacy. Applying an unspoken quid pro quo that the serious application of pressure by Russia on Iran to stem Tehran’s nuclear ambitions could mean the removal of the US nuclear shield in Eastern Europe draws a big lesson from history. During the missile crisis, Khruschev seriously overreached when he planted missiles in Cuba. Kennedy didn’t back down, but instead offered to give up some obsolete missiles in Turkey in order to save the world from Armageddon.

Okay, we’re not quite on the edge of the nuclear abyss just yet, but Obama’s clearly done his homework on dealing with the Russians. He shrewdly realizes how important ‘saving face’ is to in the machismo world of Moscow foreign policy, rightly regards the missile shield as an expensive boondoggle, and understands why Moscow is less than enamoured of Bush’s feeble remonstrations that the shield was primarily in place to protect against Iranian missiles headed for the US or Europe (about a thousand times less likely than a briefcase bomb which would bypass the shield altogether). Add to that the very strong likelihood that the shield won’t work even if challenged and the prospect of canning it isn’t exactly a stretch. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by coolrebel

March 3, 2009 at 8:00 pm

The Mumbai Massacre – An Opportunity For Clarity

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800px-taj_mahal_palace_hotel_at_night

peace will once again come to the taj

“Rogue Elements” is a big word du jour right now. The idea that within an organization there’s often a fifth column conjures up all sorts of conspiracy theories about CIA spooks with their own twisted agendas. Usually, this stuff is confined to fiction or the far reachs of the blogosphere. But what happens when the lunatics truly have taken over the asylum?

The strong suspicion that Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group of jihadists once nurtured by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, ISI, is behind the horrific massacre in Mumbai a few days ago has turned the simmering distrust between India and Pakistan into a potential supernova. Read the rest of this entry »

Time For A Change – China Policy

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tiananmen

has china really changed that much?

Sometimes it takes an aging rock band to make a great point. Take Guns n’ Roses new album, its first for seventeen years. The band’s insightful leader created a fabulous oxymoron, bringing together the words “Chinese” and “Democracy” for it’s title. Now that’s comedy.

The Chinese authorities did what they always do in these situations and censored everything about the album they could get away with at the same time as lashing out at the band for its insulting stance on the People’s Republic. How dare some old rock stars attack China’s non-democracy?

But does the vast plastic toy police state protesteth just a little too much? The irony seems completely lost on most of the world’s leaders, who are busy toadying to the Chinese to keep them buying the mountain of freshly issued Western debt. The British have backtracked on their decades-long fudge about Chinese control of Tibet to appease Beijing, and America, which has been pushing democracy like Avon pushes makeup is simply too scared to issue any kind of statement about censorship or human rights abuses in China. We allowed them into the World Trade Organization even though they brazenly broke its rules before and after they joined. Slowly but surely, we seem to be handing China superpower status on a plate. Another word for it is appeasement. And just like back in Munich in 1938, it strikes me as a very bad idea. Read the rest of this entry »

Lost Opportunities at State

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Sounds like her ladyship, Hilary Clinton is going to get the nod at the State Department. There are two far better choices out there, one of whom didn’t get a look-in, the other who was sold short. Read the rest of this entry »