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Executive Pay, Free Trade, and Sri Lanka's War

February 6, 2009

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Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

  • Tamil Tigers: In an editorial, the paper calls on the Sri Lankan government to be magnanimous as it stands on the brink of victory over the Tamil Tigers. It says the government could give international negotiators one last chance to go in and try to get the Tigers to surrender.

Australian

  • Rudd's Crusade: Columnist Michael Costa accuses the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of launching a divisive personal crusade against so-called "neo-liberalism." Rather than economic solutions, Rudd is seeking ideological retribution, he writes.

Boston Globe

  • Executive Pay: In an editorial, the paper explains why President Obama's move to cap the pay of executives receiving taxpayer bailouts to keep their companies afloat is more than just a populist gimmick.

Business Day (South Africa)

  • Obama's Pay Cap: In an editorial, the paper welcomes Barack Obama's capping of executive pay, saying it could not have come soon enough. It adds that the South African government could do worse than follow Obama's lead.

Business Standard (India)

  • Tigers' Losses: In an editorial on Sri Lanka, the paper says there should be no doubting the fact that the LTTE deserves the fate that it has met, with the loss of what is said to be its "capital" as well as one of its important operating bases.

Christian Science Monitor

  • Pick Romney: Frank Micciche of the New America Foundation writes that President Obama should appoint Mitt Romney, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination, as health secretary. Putting him forward would be extraordinary, controversial, and risky, he says, but then again, so would anything resembling meaningful healthcare reform.

Daily Nation (Kenya)

  • African Summit: In an editorial on the African Union summit, the paper wonders why the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi is so fixated on trying to bring together disparate geographical entities into a political union to be known as the United States of Africa.

Daily Beast

  • Pirate Negotiator: Writer Shaun Assael interviews Andrew Mwangura, an ex-journalist, now a lead negotiator with Somali pirates.

Daily Star (Lebanon)

  • Obama's Attitude: Media analyst Khader Khader is unimpressed by President Obama's attitude towards the Middle East. It is clear that he will follow his predecessors' lead on the peace process, he writes; this leaves Palestinians with at least another four years of suffering and humiliation under Israeli occupation.

Daily Telegraph (UK)

  • Special Relationship: Commentator Con Coughlin says that Britain's relationship with its greatest ally, the United States, is already showing signs of strain under Barack Obama, but it is vital for Britain's future.

Economist

  • Buy American: In an editorial, it considers the return of economic nationalism, and says President Obama should kill any "Buy American" provisions. If he doesn't, America and the rest of the world are in deep trouble, it judges.
  • Venezuela: In a further editorial, on the forthcoming referendum in Venezuela on removing political term limits, it says that even if Hugo Chavez wins, he will face growing discontent at home as the economy moves into recession and inflation rises.
  • Zimbabwe's Government: Also in an editorial, it warns that the putative new government in Zimbabwe could be even worse than the previous one was, providing a fig leaf of plausibility for Robert Mugabe to carry on his destructive rule.

Financial Times

  • Obama's Hope: The CFR's director of international economics, Benn Steil, writes that hope has enabled President Obama to raise the estimate for the number of jobs his stimulus plan will create from 2.5 million to 3 million and then to 4 million in the space of just a few short speeches. It is, he says, the ultimate faith-based initiative.
  • North Korea Nukes: In an editorial, the paper says Washington should talk to Pyongyang despite the suspicion that North Korea is not interested in a deal on its nuclear capability. But, says the FT, first, it should talk this over with Beijing.

Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • Free Trade: In an editorial, the paper welcomes Senator John McCain's unambiguous opposition to the "Buy American" clause in the U.S. stimulus package. This, it says, should impress upon Canadians the need to cultivate regard in Congress both for Canadian exports and for free-trade agreements and principles.
  • Canadian Dream: Columnist Rick Salutin wonders if it was just a dream that Canada had a free-trade deal with the United States giving Canadians secure access to their markets and their public procurement.

Guardian (UK)

  • Iran's Satellite: In an editorial noting Iran's recent launch of a satellite, the paper wonders if its name, Hope, might suggest an openness to possibilities other than the manufacture of nuclear weapons.  
  • Jewish Dissent: Antony Lerman, a former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, writes that out of the rubble of Gaza, global Jewish dissent could be emerging as a more potent force.

International Herald Tribune

  • Ukraine and NATO: Karl Kaiser of Harvard University writes that NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia is not a realistic possibility, and the West has to acknowledge this if it wants to regain Russia as a partner in global affairs.

New York Times

  • Stimulus Threatened: In an editorial, the paper calls on President Obama to get tough with short sighted Democrats who are threatening the stimulus and recovery bill.
  • Economic Abyss: Op-ed Columnist Paul Krugman writes that Washington has lost any sense of the reality that the United States may well be falling into an economic abyss, and that if it does, it will be very hard to get out again.
  • Executive Pay: Reed Hastings, chief executive of a publicly traded company, says President Obama should not try to cap his pay and that of his peers. Instead, he suggests, Obama should take half of our huge earnings in taxes, instead of the current one-third.

Times of London

  • No Torture: Charles Guthrie, a former UK chief of defense staff, applauds President Obama for honoring his promise and ordering an end to the United States' use of torture.
  • Iran's Isolation: In an editorial, the paper says negotiations remain the best way of coaxing Iran from its isolation, and soft power the best way of defeating the xenophobic extremism that has ruled the country for the past thirty years.

Wall Street Journal

  • Afghan Surges: Senator Joseph Lieberman writes that to win the war in Afghanistan, the United States must match the coming surge in troop strength with at least five other "surges" equally important to success.
  • Protectionists: In an editorial, the paper wonders if Barack Obama is prepared to stand up to his own party's protectionists.

Washington Post

  • Pay Restrictions: Op-ed Columnist Harold Meyerson writes that Obama's decision to put pay restrictions on the top executives of banks seeking a federal bailout is a classic instance of saving capitalism from the capitalists.
  • Banking Crisis: Anders Aslund of the Peterson Institute for International Economics says the United States is failing to handle the horrendous banking crisis, and offers five lessons he says the Obama administration should heed.
  • Stimulus Abomination: Op-ed Columnist Charles Krauthammer describes President Obama's stimulus package as not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.

Washington Times

  • International Court: In an editorial, the paper says American support for the International Criminal Court's activities must be counterbalanced with a prudent regard for the United States' unique needs as the world's preeminent power and defender of orthodox Western values.