Dec 8, 2008

Mumbai and Kashmir: What goes around, comes around

We were all shocked, rightly, by the Islamist attacks in Mumbai. But how many or us were equally shocked by earlier reports about the discovery of unmarked graves in Kashmir? According to one account (World Socialist Web Site): “The Indian government is refusing to ...

Dec 1, 2008

Trusting in the fiscal pump

“Learn from Japan,” they said as the U.S., British and EU economies headed for their current downturns. Well, they may have learned something. But until very recently that something clearly was not enough. One thing they do seem to have learned early on was ...

Oct 27, 2008

West ganging up on Russia

Western reports say Russia is in deep trouble because foreigners are fleeing its stock market following the recent conflict in Georgia. Maybe so. But none of this was very visible to me on a recent Moscow visit. Shops cater to the newly rich on ...

Oct 6, 2008

Counterproductive antiterrorism

Buried deep in the U.S. Pentagon somewhere is an official in charge of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As he goes about his daily chores — organizing the floor shackles, bully guards, illegal confinements, arbitrary trials and occasional torture sessions — he ...

Sep 21, 2008

The Japanese knack for choking in a slump

Japan used to be held up in the United States as a model example, both of efficient economic management and efficient enterprise management. That economic management image disappeared with the “bubble” burst of the early 1990s. The claims to superior Japanese enterprise management then ...

Sep 4, 2008

Fukuda hounded out of office

Japan’s PR-vulnerable public and lightheaded media have done it again. Between them they have got rid of yet another of Japan’s better prime ministers. I have no brief for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s policies. On two key issues I think he was wrong. One ...

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 ...