International Affairs

International Affairs

Are We All Still Georgians?

If we are all Georgians, which side do we take in the latest protests? Today’s protests are further evidence that Bush’s and McCain’s unconditional support for Mikheil Saakashvili’s government last year was unwise.

When John McCain declared that we were all Georgians he had little understanding for the ethnic politics in the region that were driving the conflict. Substantial reporting done since the Russian-Georgian war has revealed just how muddled the events were leading to the outbreak of war; both countries clearly acted provocatively.
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Guest Blog: Tom Friedman's Magical Mystery Tour

I know this is somewhat unorthodox, but Thomas Friedman couldn’t reach his editor at the Times in time to get his column in for today, so he asked if I would publish it for him in this space.

KHULISAL — This South Asian country, slightly smaller than Iowa, is quickly becoming one of the new Asian Tigers that might drive the world economy out of its recession. Long ignored by world investors, Khulisal is making China’s and India’s economies look downright sluggish and backward.

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Another Deadly Attack in Northern Ireland

This is really depressing news coming from County Armagh, Northern Ireland. For the second time in less than a week, a splinter IRA group is trying to upend a decade-long peace by targeting members of the police service (PSNI) and British army.

The groups are likely trying to take advantage of the weakening economy to provoke an overreaction by the police and security services, though it seems so absurdly warped and murderous that it will almost certainly fail. The Real IRA, the group that claimed responsibility for Saturday’s ambush of an army barracks, claimed that the gunned-down pizza deliveryman was a legitimate target, because he was “serving the occupational force.” This isn’t freedom fighting; this is the D.C. sniper set on anarchy.
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Some Things Never Change

The reactions of organized professional tennis to the United Arab Emirates’ refusal to enter an Israeli athlete in its Dubai tennis tournament says wonders about modern anti-Semitism.

Imagine if they didn’t accept James Blake or Serena Williams because they don’t like blacks: Would organized tennis accept that and continue participation, deploring the discrimination on its way to playing for money? Not likely.
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Hillary in China: The Bride with White Hair Awakens

Early in the last century, when he was lending the insurgents a hand up the Royal Way, Andre Malraux said to his wife, “The real question of the century is how the Chinese will adapt to individualism.”

That answer today might be found in Leslie T. Chang’s Factory Girls, a delightful narrative of the work and sudden independence of the 130 million migrant workers — mostly girls — who have found their way from country to city to work in the factories of the Pearl River delta. Twenty million of whom are this week unemployed and roaming.

The question Malraux might have asked today is this: How will the West adapt to the successful Chinese adaptation of individualism?
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Hamas and War Crimes

Note: Mr. Davis is a senior adviser and spokesman for The Israel Project, a nonprofit U.S. organization whose purpose is to get the facts out about Israel and its positions in the Middle East. — Ed.

Recently, there have been increasing instances in Europe of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demonstrations (they are not the same thing, and those who are too quick to accuse, in failing to make the distinction, do the cause of Israel and the Jewish community great harm).

There also appears to be more and more criticism of Israel after the Gaza operation, which was entirely in self-defense of Hamas — launched rockets intentionally aimed at Israeli civilians (the generally accepted definition of terrorism).
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Marty Nemko: What Would You Do?

(Note to readers: On Monday I posted a piece about Israel being subject to a double standard concerning criticism of its Gaza intervention. This is another post on the subject that I thought was worth bringing to the attention of readers of this blog.)

What Would YOU Do?

By Marty Nemko
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Israel, Gaza and the Double Standard

[Editor's note: Mr. Davis is an unpaid adviser and spokesman for the Israel Project, a group that advocates for a secure Israel in the media around the world. Mr. Davis's views are his own.]

The appointment by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of former Sen. George Mitchell as a special envoy to facilitate a successful Middle East peace process is good news. But to make progress, they will first have to declare war and win victory over the double standard that is hypocritically applied to Israel, as most recently seen during and after the Gaza intervention.
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Canada Should Fire the Queen

The queen of England has shut down the Canadian Parliament. It should be her last official act on Canada’s behalf. That she has the right to do so gives clear indication that Canada is not really a democracy or a self-governing republic. It is only a republic when the queen of England allows it to be a republic.

From the New York Times account:

With the approval of Canada’s formal head of state, Prime Minister Stephen Harper shut down Canada’s parliament until Jan. 26, seeking to forestall a no-confidence vote he was sure to lose.
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