Index of International Politics

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Apr. 29, 2013 5:36 pm
Independence Day marked a major event in Israel’s history: A 65 th anniversary, a day of pomp, ceremony and remembrance. But it is also a day to take stock of Israel’s strategic position in the Middle East. Despite the relative calm, there are storm clouds on the horizon. The instability in Egypt and the chaotic situation in Syria lead inevitability to concern about pressure from the south and...  Read More
Apr. 3, 2013 5:44 pm
If one wants to understand what happens in world affairs when the U.S. sits on the sidelines unsure of its role and even its interest, Syria is an excellent case study. Now that a civil war has struck every corner of that country, Bashar Assad and his military force have killed at least 70,000 people, many rebels and may innocent bystanders. The nation has been splintered into dozens of war...  Read More
Dec. 20, 2012 4:38 pm
Although the truce between Gaza and Israel didn’t lead to an unequivocal result, Israeli officials said they destroyed most rocket launchers and Gazan leaders maintain the settlement means they resisted the Israeli offensive and have been emboldened by their relative success. Is there a victor in this struggle? Despite the ambiguity and competing claims, there is a victor: Iran. Admittedly...  Read More
Nov. 28, 2012 7:02 pm
It is astonishing to see Ban-ki-Moon and Hillary Clinton, among others, clamoring for a truce between Israel and Hams-led terrorists. One wonders where these diplomats were when more than a thousand missiles rained over Israel without retaliation. Clearly the pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the bloodshed is intense. But the fact is, there are interests that keenly wish to...  Read More
Nov. 21, 2012 5:24 pm
A more important, historically speaking, presidential election than America’s concluded last week … where Xi Jinping was entrusted with the leadership of China. The selection followed a process viewed as hermetic by us western barbarians. Yet there is an organic logic to it if viewed as part of a slow-motion, dramatic, transformation. This transformation has important implications for the United...  Read More
Oct. 4, 2012 12:23 pm
Tokyo policy makers have been engaged in diplomatic overdrive in an effort to resolve a territorial dispute with Russia over four southern islands in the Kuril Island chain. This dispute has stunted bilateral relations for six decades. The island chain was taken by the former Soviet Union during the final day of World War II and although isolated and rocky, it is believed mineral rights on the...  Read More
Sep. 26, 2012 11:50 am
“Sequestration” is a government word that - for those in the military - has a synonym: castration. When a bipartisan committee was established by the administration to motivate Democrats and Republicans to compromise on limits for federal spending, it was assumed some understanding could be accomplished. One provision of mutual disagreement and a stalemate is sequestration, or automatic budget...  Read More
Sep. 20, 2012 4:21 pm
As the winds of Islamism blow across North Africa, yielding unsettling horror, the American version of Neville Chamberlain sits in the White House, incapable of real action but immersed in rationalization. Yes, the president did repudiate State Department moral equivalence (i.e. “offensive” film equals justifiable homicide). But he is inert, a model of confusion. For months, Americans were told...  Read More
Sep. 13, 2012 3:30 pm
On Tuesday of this week we saw the anniversary of what I believe to be one of the most significant tragedies the American people have ever experienced. For a time it seemed that there were some positive outcomes from the tragedy. We came together as a country with significant resolve to move forward; not only to locate and take action against those who had perpetrated the act, but as Americans...  Read More
Aug. 20, 2012 11:05 am
Life is a series of contradictions. A big corporation can cut back on some things but expand into other things. Consistency is "the hobgoblin of small minds". Avoid ideologues left or right. I like to see Charles Murray in the Wall Street Journal supporting capitalism but denouncing the antics of some Wall Street guys like Sandy Weil as high priced con men. Or the New York Review of Books ...  Read More
May 23, 2012 12:29 pm
Based on the accumulation of recent reports, Europe is among the “walking dead.” The recent elections in Greece and France indicate that the respective populations are resistant to austerity measures. Despite insolvency, or in France’s case the prospect of insolvency, Europeans are so committed to their entitlements, they won’t give them up. Claims that a higher millionaire tax will offset the...  Read More
Apr. 6, 2012 12:27 pm
In testimony given to the Congress, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asserted that Congress’s war powers authority is irrelevant. As he described it, U.S. intervention in Libya, Syria or elsewhere would be justified by permission from “relevant” international tribunals, such as the U.N. Security Council and NATO. The approval of the congressional representatives being unnecessary. Presumably the...  Read More
Feb. 15, 2012 1:03 pm
The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out what it considers the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews worldwide. Calling Israel a danger to Islam, the website Alef, with ties to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamani, said the opportunity must not be lost to remove “this corrupting material.” There is a “jurisprudential...  Read More
Jan. 25, 2012 2:08 pm
While public opinion polls suggest a majority of Americans support President Obama’s foreign policy, it would seem most adherents are ignorant of the failures in almost every corner of the globe, from Iraq to Egypt, from the Hindu Kush to the Urals. One of the first blunders was to renounce the agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic on missile defense in order to satisfy Russian leaders....  Read More
Dec. 21, 2011 10:42 am
While the current administration has a stake in referring to the Muslim Brotherhood as “moderate” and largely secular, there is a reality very different from the view at Foggy Bottom. The Brotherhood is a popular movement of Islam founded in 1928 by Hasan al Banna, the most prominent representative of what is sometimes referred to as Islamism. For al Banna whatever ails the Muslim world – the...  Read More
Dec. 18, 2011 11:58 pm
Corazon Aquino’s ascent to the presidency of the Philippines reads like something out of Shakespeare where heroines “have greatness thrust upon ’em.” The convent educated mother of five and wife of Benigno Aquino, the brilliant Philippine senator and leader of the opposition Liberal Party, went from a minor character in the drama to the leading lady in the tragic flash of a bullet. After an...  Read More
Dec. 9, 2011 11:19 am
“I said before coming to Brussels that if I couldn’t get adequate safeguards for Britain in a new European treaty, then I wouldn’t agree to it. What is on offer isn’t in Britain’s interests, so I didn’t agree to it.” David Cameron, MP UK Prime Minister “David Cameron's isolation is a sign of weakness not of strength ... It is not in Britain's national interest for decisions to be taken...  Read More
Dec. 4, 2011 10:03 pm
I like to say that, like the British Empire, the sun never sets on Fleishman Hillard. Evidence of that fact was clear tonight as FHers' gathered from every corner of the globe for 3 days of meetings. It is an extraordinary experience to wade through the crowd at the reception and encounter friends from Dublin, Tokyo, Berlin, London, St. Louis, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Chicago, Milan, New York,...  Read More
Nov. 29, 2011 10:29 am
With riots and demonstrations unfolding in Egypt yet again, it appears that the Arab Spring has morphed into Grim Winter. Several thousand Syrians have been killed by an Assad regime willing to apply murderous policies against dissidents. Even the post-conflict situation in Libya – heralded as the emergence of an open government – remains uncertain. How these roiling conditions in the Middle...  Read More
Nov. 23, 2011 1:30 pm
At a 1999 conference sponsored by the Hudson Institute at Weston Park in England, Lady Margaret Thatcher was asked her opinion of the European Union. She replied, “it begins with false assumptions and will die of illusions.” Lady Thatcher as one of the advocates of Euro skepticism, hit the nail on the proverbial head. We are witnessing the unfolding, the dismemberment of a grand experiment...  Read More
Nov. 15, 2011 2:21 pm
For a variety of reasons, including a misguided infatuation with soft power, neither the United States nor Israel has exercised the legitimate right of anticipatory self defense against Iran. As a result, Iran’s entry into the nuclear club is a virtual fait accompli . In Israel, a nation already targeted for annihilation, self defense is limited to contingency plans, active defense and...  Read More
Oct. 25, 2011 12:08 pm
President Obama announced that the United States would pull the remaining troops out of Iraq by year end. As he noted, "after nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over." This claim has a nice political ring to it, but if parsed, it really means the U.S. participation in Iraq's war is over, but the war goes on. In fact, U.S. withdrawal may exacerbate the violence on the ground. "The...  Read More
Oct. 24, 2011 8:08 pm
In the previous post , Simon Benson of Fleishman Hillard London speculates on whether David Cameron will be able to keep the rebellion in the Conservative Party to less than 60 members. In his latest dispatch , he reports that there were more than 80 anti-Europe defections. Britain’s position in Europe is once again a burning political issue after up to 81 Tory MPs voted against David...  Read More
Oct. 24, 2011 2:41 pm
There is great drama in the British Parliament today. A rebel group of Conservatives has proposed a vote that would encourage the UK to withdraw from the EU. Sounds familiar, a British version of the Tea Party in the U.S. (a kind of oxymoron). See the lively account below from my colleague in London (be sure to follows him on Twitter): Back to the Future for Cameron’s Party? By...  Read More
Oct. 22, 2011 11:39 pm
Shock and Awe versus Aw Shucks: Taking Out the Bad Guys John Peeler On the same day (October 21, 2011), President Obama was able to remark upon the killing of Moammar Qaddafi in Libya and to announce the final withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by the end of this year. This fortuitous conjuncture invites a comparison of how presidents Bush and Obama dealt with the tyrants in those...  Read More
Oct. 6, 2011 11:12 am
Following is a guest post from my colleagues Nomathemba Thobani Malinga in F leishman Hillard's Johannesburg office and Mildred Kaunda from Fleishman Hillard affiliate, Cutting Edge PR . ZAMBIA'S 2011 TRIPARTITE ELECTIONS Zambia held its 5 th democratic tripartite elections on the 20 th September 2011 to elect the President, Members of Parliament and Local Government...  Read More
Oct. 4, 2011 12:01 pm
There is little doubt that Israel looks to the United States for support. It is somewhat like the picked on younger brother eager to have his sibling come to his aid. In the case of the U.S. and Israel that has usually been the case, albeit the 1956 war in the Suez was an exception. Now something has gone sour. For reasons somewhat elusive President Obama has arrived at the dubious conclusion...  Read More
Oct. 3, 2011 12:08 pm
Listed Chinese companies in the U.S. are seeing their stock prices plunges due to factors somewhat beyond their control. A rash of accounting scandals on some Chinese companies are affecting all Chinese companies. The Wall Street Journal has a story describing the ripple effect of these scandals, which are now being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department. Here's the problem: "If the whole...  Read More
Oct. 1, 2011 10:30 am
Ten years ago, the Government of China launched its "Going Out" strategy, a program to encourage Chinese companies to go global. At the time, Chinese outbound investment was $1 billion. In 2010, it was $70 billion, an increase of 700%. By the standards of most countries, that an amazing accomplishment. By the standards China has set in the last 30 years, it's pretty routine. What is remarkable...  Read More
Sep. 20, 2011 12:53 pm
With a vote at the UN this week on Palestinian statehood, it is appropriate to ask if the United States will save Israel or will Israel save the United States? Having spent ten days visiting defense installations in Israel and talking to members of the general staff, my confidence about Israel’s ability to defend itself has soared. This tiny nation of seven million is a miracle of technical...  Read More

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