May 20, 2011

Folly of official obfuscation

Politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen never seem to have learned that they will not be trusted if they repeatedly lie. On May 6 a meeting of eurozone finance ministers was held in Luxembourg to discuss measures to stabilize the system in the light of continuing ...

May 11, 2011

Justified, but we're no safer

U.S. President Barack Obama was justified in ordering the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida group of jihadists and terrorists, who have caused such widespread suffering and mayhem not only in Western countries but also in Muslim states. But his ...

May 2, 2011

Limits to blocking tyranny

When and how far should the rest of the world interfere in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries? Can we and should we try to stop repression by tyrannical rulers? And what are the implications of unrest in the Arab world for autocracies such ...

Apr 17, 2011

The confidence to look out again

The tragic events in Japan continue to attract general sympathy here, and contributions toward relief of the sufferers are still pouring in. But even the problems at the Fukushima nuclear reactors have ceased to be front-page news. Attention in Britain has focused on Libya, ...

Mar 24, 2011

Japan's moment of crisis

LONDON — Harrowing pictures of the sufferings of the Japanese people and the devastation of towns and villages along the northeast coast of Honshu as a result of the record-breaking earthquake and the unprecedented tsunami March 11 have dominated the British media for nearly ...

Mar 10, 2011

What to do about Gadhafi?

LONDON — There ought to be many more red faces among the world leaders who used to kowtow and suck up to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, an insane megalomaniac bully. But only a minority will ever admit that they were wrong. Sir Howard Davies, ...

Mar 2, 2011

Dawn of Arab democracy?

LONDON — The revolution in Tunisia was set off by the self-immolation of a poor vendor persecuted by an autocratic and corrupt regime. The consequent toppling of the Tunisian dictator inspired revolts in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya and led to unrest in the Yemen, ...

Feb 17, 2011

What became of the Meiji spirit?

LONDON — The number of Japanese studying at top universities abroad has been declining while the number of outstanding Chinese students has been increasing. Numbers are not everything, but it is disturbing to see reports that Japanese students are less willing than Chinese to ...

Jan 28, 2011

China, charmer and bully

LONDON — Hu Jintao, given a head-of-state welcome in Washington, tried to show a friendly face toward America. He brought gifts in the form of contracts to buy American products, although most of these contracts had been closed earlier and some at least involve ...

Dec 6, 2010

Frankly, says the diplomat

LONDON — There is not much in the latest batch of Wikileaks that should come as a surprise to most well-informed people. It is surely common knowledge that the present Russian government has close connections with Mafia-style criminals. No one could have been surprised ...