Posted on 02-12-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs, Economics, History) by Rashtrakut
  • Christopher Hitchens complains about how the saga of the party crashers overshadowed the visit of Manmohan Singh to the United States and vents about the state of media coverage.  This is hardly a new phenomenon, though it seems to have got worse in the last 20 years.  From my viewpoint the O. J. Simpson circus, I mean trial, was the start of this nonsense.  It showed when the media cut away from Clinton’s state of the union address to announce the civil verdict against OJ.
  • The Economist’s Banyan on how North Korea in the finest traditions of bankrupt regimes “revalued” its currency and robbed its citizens.
  • More Afghan perceptions on Obama’s speech.
  • A depressing read on how the Taliban is wrecking the rich Buddhist heritage of the region and threatening museums in Pakistan.
  • The Economist cites a Stephen Walt column on how German unifier Otto von Bismarck’s realism may be a guide on a realistic foreign policy to ease tensions in the world and tackle Iran.  It is an interesting theory, but historical analogies don’t always fit.  Bismarck’s concert of powers was ultimately doomed because Russia and Austria-Hungary’s ambitions (along with their proxies Serbia and Bulgaria) clashed in the Balkans and an over-powerful Germany clashed with the traditional British agenda since the Spanish Armada of preventing any one power from dominating the European continent.  These tensions were already evident by the time of Bismarck’s unceremonious dismissal.
  • How far will Dubai’s woes rein in Sheikh Makhtoum’s ambitious agenda?  It gives conservative Abu Dhabi a lot more leverage.

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