Aug 21, 2008

World gives Russia an unfair rap

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is an intelligent woman. So how can she possibly want to tell the world that Russia’s response to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia resembled the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The comparisons should be the reverse. ...

Jul 21, 2008

Birth of a massacre myth

With the Beijing Olympics looming we see more attempts to remind the world about the alleged June 4, 1989, massacre of democracy-seeking students in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. The New York Times, which did so much to spread the original story of troops shooting student ...

Jul 2, 2008

Puzzle awaits G8 delegates

Spare a thought for the puzzle that will meet foreign delegations to the Group of Eight Summit in Hokkaido on July 7. On the one hand they will find a nation that organizes itself with clockwork perfection. Indeed, the summit organization will almost certainly ...

Jun 6, 2008

Japan sidelined on Taiwan

Arriving at Taipei international airport en route to a Taiwanese university conference on Russia, you are hit by the headline of a local magazine on display. In translation it reads: “The New Diplomacy Will Rescue Taiwan.” The new diplomacy, of course, is recently elected ...

May 12, 2008

Row that demonized China

So now we know, officially, that the U.S. military contemplated a nuclear attack on China during the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis. But what few realize is how this then led to a violent slanging match between Beijing and Moscow, which in turn was to ...

Apr 27, 2008

U.S. democracy's history of violence

DEMOCRACY WITH A GUN; America and the Policy of Force, by Fumio Matsuo, translated by David Reese. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press, 2007, 306 pp., $26 (cloth) As a child in wartime Japan, Fumio Matsuo, now a journalist, and his family were nearly wiped ...

Mar 21, 2008

Tibet and Olympic Games

Events in Tibet have turned ugly. Once again we see the harm caused by Beijing’s heavy-handed bureaucracy, and its panicky, untrained soldiers used for crowd control. But even when combined with all of Beijing’s other alleged sins — Darfur, pollution, human rights and other ...

Feb 21, 2008

Aussie personalist diplomacy

Australia is never short of surprises. One is the way it has produced a prime minister, Kevin Rudd, who can talk directly with the Chinese leadership in their language. Reports say his Mandarin Chinese is excellent. Yet only a generation ago anyone in Canberra ...

Jan 10, 2008

Mistaken economic policies

Another year, another budget. And yet another increase in public debt as tax revenues yet again fail to provide the funds needed even for the budget’s highly restricted outlays. And yet another prediction of miserable 1 to 2 percent growth rates, together with the ...

Nov 15, 2007

The fusillade against China

In some ways China is not my favorite country. I once went to some trouble to learn its language. I have often had to court rightwing hostility for trying to explain its foreign policies in less than demonic terms. Back in 1971 I even ...