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A selection of op-eds and editorials from the U.S. and around the world. Sign up for the email alert or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Liberal Intervention, Darfur's Genocide, and the Other Guantanamo

November 24, 2008


Age (Australia)

  • The Other Guantanamo: Azadeh Dastyari of Georgetown University considers the plight of the "forgotten refugees" from Cuba and Haiti being held in a separate facility in Guantanamo. There is no indication that President-elect Obama has any intention of closing this down, he says.  


  • Rudd's Anniversary: In an editorial, the paper marks the first anniversary of the election of Kevin Rudd as prime minister, and says it has proved neither cathartic nor convulsive; Australia remains the tolerant, fair, and moderate place it was as the sun rose on November 24 last year.

Boston Globe

  • Somali Piracy: Columnist James Carroll writes that Somali piracy is a sign of the need for a reform of the globalized economy. The gross inequity that simply writes off a majority of the world's population flows back on the affluent minority, like an offshore tide carrying the raider flotilla, with grappling hooks and grenades, he says.

Christian Science Monitor

  • Darfur Genocide: Eric Reeves, author of a book on Darfur, says that of all the issues President-elect Barack Obama faces before he takes office, none is of greater moral urgency than changing the tenor of the U.S. response to what he has repeatedly described as "genocide in Darfur."

Daily Star (Lebanon)

  • Egyptian Reform: Journalist Mohamed Abdel Baky considers the future of the Egyptian presidency after 2011 when Hosni Mubarak's current term runs out, and says the Obama administration should finally abandon the fear that democratic reform in Egypt will result in the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power.

Daily Telegraph

  • Economic Crisis: In an editorial, the paper criticises the British government, saying the pre-Budget report to be presented on Monday by the chancellor of the exchequer should be a reminder that ministers resolutely refused to see coming the crisis now enveloping us, even though many others did.

Financial Times

  • Obama's Choices: In an editorial, the paper praises Barack Obama's choice of key economic officials, but is less sure about offering Hillary Clinton the post of secretary of state. With many far better qualified candidates available, that is a risk there is no need to take, it says.
  • Fiscal Policy: Nigel Lawson, a former British chancellor of the exchequer, writes that given that Britain is facing the worst recession since the war, it might be thought that the bigger the fiscal boost, the better. That, he says would be a serious mistake; the truth is that the smaller the fiscal boost, the better.

Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • Russia's Plight: The paper comments, in an editorial, on Russia's economic difficulties, and says a happy byproduct of the financial anxiety would be a weakening of Vladimir Putin's grip on the country and an opening for his opponents.


  • Middle East: In an editorial, the paper says if he has learned anything from the mistakes of his predecessor, Barack Obama should be engaged from day one in the search for peace in the Middle East.
  • American Contrasts: Columnist Gary Younge notes the warm glow Americans are still feeling three weeks after the election of Barack Obama, but says it is difficult to think of a moment when they felt more depressed about the state of their country or were less able to enforce their will on the world.

Independent (UK)

  • Liberal Interventionism: The paper prints an excerpt from a recent lecture by Britain's Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, where he discusses the importance of restoring belief in the efficacy of liberal interventionism. We have a moral duty as well as a national interest to help establish the authority of states where it is absent, says Miliband.

International Herald Tribune

  • Rumsfeld's View: Donald Rumsfeld, the former U.S. secretary of defense, says the surge in Iraq has been so successful that the emerging consensus is that what may now be needed in Afghanistan is a similar surge of American forces. However, a surge, if it is to be successful, will need to be an Afghan surge, he argues.
  • Democratic Iraq: Ahmad Chalabi, chairman of the Iraqi National Congress, writes that President Bush's democratic approach to Iraq has, in many ways, succeeded. Iraq, he says, has the strongest constitution, the fairest elections, and the most democratic government in the Islamic Middle East.
  • Multilateral Obama: Daniel Serwer and Megan Chabalowski of the United States Institute of Peace write that the new U.S. president will be open to a more multilateral approach to foreign policy, and it is time for Europe to consider a more substantial effort - in exchange for a greater decision-making role.

Jerusalem Post

  • Israel-Palestine: Aaron David Miller, who has worked for six U.S. secretaries of state, writes that a conflict-ending agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that resolves conclusively the four core issues (borders, Jerusalem, refugees, and security) may no longer be possible.

New York Times

  • Zimbabwe: In an editorial, the paper expresses the hope that the withholding by South Africa of farm aid to Zimbabwe means that Pretoria has finally lost patience with Robert Mugabe.  
  • Restore FEMA: In a further editorial, the paper says as the new administration ponders how to grapple with the dysfunctional homeland security mega-agency, one fast fix for public confidence would be to restore the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a separate cabinet-level arm of government.
  • Auto Industry: Spencer Abraham, a former U.S. energy secretary, writing on the U.S. car industry, says that if we let any of the "big three" go bankrupt, we will set in motion a chain of events that will cause us, in six months, to ask again: How did we let this happen?

Times of India

  • Obama And Europe: In an editorial on reaction in Europe to the election victory of Barack Obama, the paper comments on what it calls the peculiar situation where Europeans may applaud Obama's victory but are unlikely to elect a similar candidate of their own.

Times of London

  • Pakistan Pleased: In an editorial on U.S. attacks inside Pakistani territory, the paper says it is clear that, despite public protests, privately, President Zardari and his government are pleased with this swift elimination of many in al-Qaeda's top command.  

Wall Street Journal

  • Darfur Slaughter: Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, writes that his organization rarely lauds the Bush administration. But, he says, when it comes to supporting international efforts to prosecute Sudanese leaders for their slaughter in Darfur, the administration so far has it right.
  • Obamas' School Choice: In an editorial, the paper comments on the choice of a private school by Barack and Michelle Obama for their children, and attacks Democrats in Congress who want to kill a scholarship program that would provide the means for others to attend private schools.
  • Nicaragua: Columnist Mary Anastasia O'Grady accuses the Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega of trying to steal an election while much of the world is focused on the financial upheaval threatening the global economy.

Washington Post

  • Economic Crisis: CFR Senior Fellow Sebastian Mallaby wonders if Barack Obama's economic team can catch up with the economic crisis. Obama is in danger of seeing his presidency wrecked before he even takes office, he writes.
  • China's Role: Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, writes that China has become the key to America getting through the worsening economic crisis.  
  • Supporting Freedom: In an editorial, the paper says President Bush was right to see freedom as integral to all other foreign policy objectives, and abandoning the promotion and support of democracy as core American goals would be a terrible mistake.

Washington Times

  • Paulson Prepares: Columnist Terence Jeffrey writes that President Bush's trusted treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, is setting the stage for the all-Democratic government that comes to power in January to vastly increase government control over our economy.

More on This Topic


A Killer Forces A Choice in Darfur

Author: Michael J. Gerson
Washington Post

Michael Gerson argues that in light of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur's refugee camps, the international community faces  a difficult...