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AIG's Rescue, Pakistan's Judges, and Annan's Plea

March 17, 2009


Age (Australia)

  • Annan's Plea: The former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan writes that potential impact of the economic crisis on the least developed countries has received insufficient attention. He says supporting them could contribute to global recovery.

Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

  • Iraqi Poll: In an editorial, the paper wonders whether there's light at the end of the tunnel in Iraq. It says that despite a recent spate of suicide bombs a recent opinion poll shows jobs and rising prices as more important issues for Iraqis than security.


  • Iraq Success: In an editorial, the paper uses the visit of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to Australia to attack critics of the invasion of that country in 2003. Compared with what the critics warned would happen, Iraq's is a tragic but increasingly successful story, it judges.

Business Day (South Africa)

  • G20 Agenda: In an editorial, the paper considers what kind of response to the global economic crisis by the G20 heads of state and government next month would most benefit South Africa.

Christian Science Monitor

  • Afghan Surge: Eric T. Olson, a former operational commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, writes that while the despatch of extra United States troops to Afghanistan has been fuelled by the belief that the successful surge in Iraq can be replicated in that country, in reality it can't.

Daily Star (Lebanon)

  • Dubai's Economy: In an editorial on Dubai's economic future, the paper writes that despite much of the doom and gloom that's been written, there is good reason to believe the emirate will recover from the current slump and will remain an economic inspiration for decades to come.

Daily Nation (Kenya)

  • Madagascar: In an editorial, the paper calls for African Union military intervention in Madagascar, where an armed power struggle is under way. Without such intervention, we will end up with another totally failed state on this continent, the paper judges.

Daily Telegraph

  • Obama's Recovery: Columnist Janet Daley writes that President Obama has developed a gift for reinventing himself with remarkable alacrity. She is perplexed by what she sees as Congressional Democratic leaders in effect running the recovery plan.

Daily Times (Pakistan)

  • Pakistani Justice: In an editorial, the paper welcomes the reinstatement of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry. Now the Zardari government should have space to move forward and address other pressing issues, it says.

Dawn (Pakistan)

  • Pakistan Power: Commentator Tariq Rahman writes that Mr Chaudhry's reinstatement has proved that dictatorships can be resisted by public power.

Financial Times

  • AIG Rescue: In an editorial, the FT considers the contradictions of the AIG bailout. Although the paper supports the bailout, it also describes as grossly unfair and distortionary. It calls for greater transparency, saying the public deserves to know who will benefit from such public largesse.
  • Africa's Crisis: In a further editorial, the paper calls on the developed world to help the economies of Africa through the current crisis. The potential cost of the crisis in Africa is not just unemployment; it is starvation, civil war, and the closing of an escape route from poverty, it says.
  • Regulation: South Africa's finance minister Trevor Manuel bemoans the historic lack of regulation of the free market in an op-ed. The calculus of financial gain has overwhelmed the discipline of public purpose and accountability, he writes: pursuit of corporate advantage has dominated promotion of competitive fairness.

Globe and Mail

  • Pakistan's Judiciary: In an editorial, the paper says the reinstatement of Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry as chief justice of Pakistan is a step forward, although recent history shows that the country's prospects of sustaining an independent judiciary remain fragile.


  • Pakistan's Crisis: In an editorial, the paper says Pakistan needs a political leader who can unite it. Benazir Bhutto was, in the eyes of many, the last national figure capable of doing this, it adds, saying perhaps that is why she was killed.
  • Obama Blow: Mohsin Hamid, a novelist, writes that the restoration of the chief justice in Pakistan is a blow for President Obama, who, he says, appears intent on escalating American military involvement in Afghanistan. The United States, he argues, needs a Pakistani state that is unrepresentative of the people because most are against the war.

International Herald Tribune

  • Credit Risk: Jerome Fons, formerly of Moody's, and Frank Partnoy of the University of San Diego wonder why credit ratings agencies are still given so much credence, and say regulators and investors should revert to relying on judgment to assess credit risk.

Jordan Times

  • Israeli Settlements: Columnist James Zogby writes that if those who want to see a two-state solution in the Middle East are serious, it is time to call not for a new freeze of Israeli settlements, but their removal.

New York Times

  • AIG Bonuses: In an editorial, the paper says taxpayers in the U.S. are right to be outraged at the bonuses being paid to AIG executives, and that President Obama was right to acknowledge that outrage on Monday.
  • Pakistan Threatened: In a further editorial, the Times says that while President Zardari made the right choice in reinstating the chief justice of Pakistan, he will have to do a lot more to calm the political turmoil and confront the extremists who threaten the country's survival.

Sydney Morning Herald

  • China's Loans: The paper's international editor, Peter Hartcher, believes the expression of concern by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao at the security of its loans to the U.S. marks a threshold moment in relations between the current superpower and the potential one.

Times of India

  • Pakistan's Victory: In an editorial, the Times of India says the reinstatement of Supreme Court judges, who had been removed during President Pervez Musharraf's quasi-dictatorial rule, is a victory for constitutionality in Pakistan.

Times of London

  • Afghan Strategy: Rory Stewart of Harvard University, who has spent time in both Iraq and Afghanistan, writes of the need to reduce our investment in money and troops and develop a lighter, more affordable, and ultimately more sustainable relationship with Afghanistan.

Wall Street Journal

  • AIG Outrage: In an editorial, the paper says President Obama's outrage at the bonuses paid to AIG executives has neatly deflected attention from the larger outrage, which is the five-month Beltway cover-up over who benefited most from the AIG bailout.
  • Afghan War Opposition: Columnist Bret Stephens writes that the speed with which the American left has turned against the war in Afghanistan is breathtaking.

Washington Post

  • AIG Policy: In an editorial, the paper expresses the hope that President Obama is setting the stage to do whatever it takes to answer legitimate protests about AIG without adding to the existing dangers or jeopardizing the necessary rescues of the banking sector still to come.
  • Karzai Partnership: Thomas Schweich, special ambassador to Afghanistan under President Bush says a new partnership between the United States and President Karzai is necessary. Pulling this off will also require all of President Obama's diplomatic skills and patience, he concludes.
  • American Torture: Op-ed Columnist Anne Applebaum writes that sooner or later we will have to hold accountable the American leaders who ordered American citizens to torture prisoners who were captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere.