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Geithner's Plan, Obama's Plea, and Turkey and Iraq

March 24, 2009

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Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

  • Iraq Visit: In an editorial, the paper describes the visit of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Iraq as something of a landmark. It adds that Turkey has to cooperate with Baghdad if the militants of the Kurdish Workers' Party, the PKK, are to be neutralized.

Australian

  • Obama's Leadership: The Australian's economics editor Michael Stutchbury challenges the view of the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that Barack Obama is providing global economic leadership. He says there's little evidence of this from the president or his new trade negotiator.

Business Day (South Africa)

  • Dalai Lama: In an editorial, the paper describes the South African government's refusal to allow the Dalai Lama a visa to visit the country as extraordinary. It says such cynicism in the face of pressure from the Chinese government is so obviously self-defeating.

Chicago Tribune

  • Geithner's Plan: In an editorial, the paper assesses the latest bank rescue plan, announced by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday. It says the stock market reacted positively to the Treasury's plan, a strong indication that Geithner is on the right track.

Christian Science Monitor

  • Mexican Ties: In an editorial, the Monitor welcomes what it sees as a sudden Congressional interest in Mexico's war on drug traffickers. President Calderon needs President Obama as a close partner just as Washington is starting to realize that it needs to help Calderon succeed on many fronts, it says.

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

  • Sri Lanka Fighting: Commentator Jehan Perera says the international community needs to make its position clear on whether or not it is going to intervene in northern Sri Lanka, where a civilian population is trapped between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger fighters.

Daily Star (Lebanon)

  • Iran Obstacle: The Daily Star says in an editorial that President Obama's effort to begin a dialogue with Iran has already hit a brick wall. It perceives the obstacle that stands in the way of rapprochement not as the mullahs in Tehran, but rather the U.S. media.

Daily Telegraph (UK)

  • Afghan Exit: Commentator Con Coughlin writes that Barack Obama's exit plan for Afghanistan is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Dawn (Pakistan)

  • Indo-Pak Relations: Anwar Syed, currently at the Lahore School of Economics, considers the state of relations between India and Pakistan since the attacks on Mumbai in November. He judges that these are likely to remain under some degree of stress.  

Financial Times

  • Geithner's Rescue: In an editorial, the FT comments on Timothy Geithner's latest rescue plan for U.S. banks. It says the paradox at the heart of this ostensibly clever and undoubtedly complex plan is its dependence on subsidies to private investors.
  • Fed's Decision: John Taylor of Stanford University expresses concern at what he calls last week's surprise decision by the Federal Reserve to increase sharply its holdings of mortgage-backed securities and to start purchasing longer term Treasury securities.

Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • Geithner's Progress: In an editorial on the Geithner plan, the paper says although it will not solve the ills of the U.S. financial sector, it is real progress at a time when the Congress will not authorize all that is necessary, especially after last week's AIG bonus fiasco.

Guardian (UK)

  • Gaza Assault: In an editorial, the Guardian says evidence that Israel committed war crimes in its twenty-three-day operation in Gaza mounts by the week, and sets out its reasons why it believes there should be an international inquiry into the Israeli assault.

Independent (UK)

  • U.S. Banks: In an editorial, the paper notes that Timothy Geithner's latest rescue plan is constructed on the premise that the major U.S. banks are in sound condition, while some economists believe they are essentially insolvent.

International Herald Tribune

  • Obama's Plea: President Obama, in an op-ed, calls on the leaders of the Group of 20 to take bold, comprehensive, and coordinated action that not only jump-starts recovery, but also launches a new era of economic engagement to prevent a crisis like the current one from ever happening again.

Jerusalem Post

  • U.S.-Iran Relations: In an editorial, the paper considers Iran's response to President Obama's offer of dialogue. It says in his heart of hearts, Obama surely knows that the supreme leader Ali Khamenei's "price" for good relations is America's total capitulation to Persian imperial design.

New York Times

  • Bank Rescue: In an editorial, the paper says President Obama's long-awaited plan to revive the banks could work if certain assumptions about the future are right. But there is not much, beyond faith, to believe those assumptions will pan out, it says, and even if there were, it is hard to see how the plan is the best way to go.
  • Afghan Strategy: Op-ed Columnist David Brooks, who's in Afghanistan, writes that when you put more boots on the ground, you not only augment your army's firing power, you give it the capacity to experiment.
  • Mexico Visit: Enrique Krauze of Letras Libres in Mexico considers the importance of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's trip to Mexico this week. He says it is a good time to examine the misconception that Mexico is, or is on the point of becoming, a "failed state."

Times of India

  • Obama and Iran: In an editorial, the paper says by saying that Iran should "take its rightful place in the community of nations," President Obama has initiated what could be a paradigm shift in relations between the two countries.

Wall Street Journal

  • Timothy Geithner: In an editorial, the paper says the best news about the new Treasury bad bank asset purchase plan is that Secretary Timothy Geithner has finally settled on a strategy. The uncertainty was getting almost as toxic as those securities, the Journal says.
  • Iranian Anniversary: Columnist Bret Stephens expresses skepticism about President Obama's overture to Iran, and, noting the recent death in prison of an Iranian blogger, describes this as a fitting emblem of everything the Islamic Revolution stands for on its thirtieth anniversary.

Washington Post

  • Geithner's Vision: Op-ed Columnist Eugene Robinson writes that while Timothy Geithner has not been impressive as a performer, he does have a vision of a reformed financial system, in which large institutions are required to run their businesses in a more conservative fashion.
  • Russian Friction: Op-ed Columnist Anne Applebaum expresses doubt that pressing the "reset" button will improve U.S. relations with Russia. The profound differences that have been the central source of friction between the U.S. and Russian governments for the past decade remain very much in place, she writes.
  • Obama Administration: Op-ed Columnist George Will presents a litany of complaints about the Obama administration - what he describes as lawlessness, situational constitutionalism, and institutional derangement.

Washington Times

  • France-NATO: In an editorial, the paper says France's decision to rejoin the NATO command structure after a forty-three-year absence is a welcome birthday present as the organization nears its 60th anniversary on April 4.
  • U.S.-Mexico: Also in an editorial, the paper says the current U.S. trade dispute with Mexico looks to just be the beginning of a long list of trade problems being created by the Obama administration.