Dec 6, 2009

Disgusting surfeit of anti-Obama remarks

LOS ANGELES — Some necessary context for President Barack Obama’s long-awaited Afghanistan policy speech: Foreign policy performance is anything but the total measure of a president’s worth. America’s domestic politics, not to mention its elections, are more often than not driven by the forces, ...

Nov 23, 2009

Two smart guys trying to figure it all out

LOS ANGELES — The two looked over the precipice and gasped at the steepness of the drop. They looked down at a desert of dashed hopes and old skeletons, scraping the bottom of the canyon. Yes, this is where a failed U.S.-China relationship might ...

Oct 26, 2009

Paranoids feast on China's 'peaceful rising'

LOS ANGELES — Paranoid people tend to live longer, goes the old joke. And so it is in this spirit only — not out of a desire to engage in Cold War China-bashing — that we raise concerns about China. So here’s the paranoid’s ...

Oct 21, 2009

Another twist and shout from North Korea

LOS ANGELES — Like the baby that hurls its rattle out of the crib to grab attention, North Korea has never been known for a subtle diplomatic style. Right now, though, it appears to have abandoned, temporarily at least, the crude infantile approach for ...

Sep 10, 2009

Words of wisdom from Hatoyama

It was just this side of comical. The leader of the new ruling party of Japan barely finishes acknowledging his Democratic Party of Japan’s landslide win and a public relations disaster strikes. The result: an ignominious international climb-down. What happened was not an ideal ...

Aug 23, 2009

Scrutinizing the Chinese threat to Taiwan

LOS ANGELES — In the United States we refer to it as the Powell Doctrine. And it helps unravel a bit of mystery about what China is up to these days. Remember Colin Powell? Before Barack Obama rode into the U.S. scene on his ...

Aug 9, 2009

North Korea's way of trying to break the ice

LOS ANGELES — You will never get anything of significance done with North Korea unless you go right to the top. The essence of its political culture is a feral fusion of Asian family values (“father knows best”) with rigid communist hierarchy. At international ...

Jul 30, 2009

Japan reaches a crossroad

With all eyes on a rising India, an awakened China and a roiling Islam, we tend to take good old solid Japan (still the world’s second-largest economy, please don’t forget) as a given. But that is a mistake: These are the times that try ...

Jul 19, 2009

Like it or not, China is not about to go away

KUALA LUMPUR — There was never the slightest doubt in the mind of a single reputable expert anywhere in the world that China was a caldron of ethnic unrest ready to boil over. Nor was there the slightest possibility that the masters of the ...

Jul 5, 2009

Old killer press still admired if not emulated

SINGAPORE — Everyone knows the American news media is proud as papa of its reputation as the storied giant-killer of politicians and as the watchdog of government. Aggressive journalism decades ago by The Washington Post and other major media institutions actually dethroned an elected ...