Feb 11, 2011

America's rhetorical gap riles the Arab street

WATERLOO, Ontario — Writing in The New York Times on Aug. 20, 2002, Jeffrey C. Goldfarb quoted an Asian activist’s conviction that “American democracy requires the repression of democracy in the rest of the world.” This explains why Washington finds itself both behind the ...

Nov 30, 2010

Recalcitrant Indian state turns a corner

WATERLOO, Ontario — Writing here on March 13, 2005 (“The deep end of Indian state democracy”), I noted descriptions of Bihar’s first city Patna as the capital of hell on earth, its Hobbesian quality of life with large-scale kidnappings for ransom as the only ...

Nov 5, 2010

South Korea uniquely suited to host G20

WATERLOO, Ontario — In Pittsburgh, Pa., a year ago, the leaders of the world’s 20 leading countries declared that the Group of 20 summit would henceforth be the world’s premier forum for international economic governance. The group meets again in Seoul on Nov. 11-12. ...

Oct 6, 2010

Japan's loss, America's gain?

WATERLOO, Ontario — At the inaugural Singapore Global Dialogue on Sept. 23-24, there was a sharp exchange between retired Chinese and Japanese officials. In response to a question after his opening keynote address, former Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan admonished Japan for its inexplicable ...

Apr 5, 2010

Governments have duty to aid citizens caught in a nightmare

WATERLOO, Canada — Australian businessman Stern Hu has been convicted of taking bribes and stealing state secrets and sentenced to 10 years jail in China. International standards of a free and fair trial do not seem to have been met. Did the Rudd government ...

Dec 18, 2009

Realities of disarmament

WATERLOO, Canada — The international commission on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, chaired by former foreign ministers Gareth Evans of Australia and Yoriko Kawaguchi of Japan, faced two hurdles even before its work was completed. First, both countries are long-standing allies that have sheltered under ...

Sep 8, 2009

Revisiting the folly of India's nuclear tests

WATERLOO, Ontario — Three recent events reopen the debate on the wisdom of India’s nuclear tests in 1998, as judged from within the narrow framework of its own interests. Or rather, they confirm the folly of the tests: • K. Santhanam, director of the ...

Aug 12, 2009

Seven global lessons from a teachable event

WATERLOO, Ontario — Apparently Sgt. James Crowley’s arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in Boston on July 17 was “a teachable moment.” Here are seven lessons relevant to world affairs. First, it is possible for intelligent, reasonable, good and honorable people to ...

Jul 31, 2009

Next word on intervention

WATERLOO, Ontario — The 1990s was a decade of conscience-shocking atrocities in Rwanda, the Balkans and East Timor. Unilateral actions by India and Vietnam to end atrocities in the 1970s had drawn international opprobrium and condemnation. The crises of the 1990s provoked agonized soul-searching ...

May 15, 2009

Nonoption in Afghanistan

KABUL — A five-day visit to Afghanistan left me profoundly pessimistic about the accomplishments to date to stem the drain on international blood and treasure, yet convinced of the importance of not losing Afghanistan to the other side. Kabul defined the pessimism: After more ...