Daily Opinion Roundup

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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.

Pakistan's Debating Standards, Cuba's New Socialism, and The Georgian Crisis

Speaker: Stephen Sestanovich
Presider: Charles A. Kupchan
August 12, 2008


Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

  • Puppet Master: Who's pulling Georgia's strings, the paper wonders in an editorial, adding that it doubts the Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili's got into a war with Russia entirely by accident.


  • Walk, then Run: The paper's economics editor Michael Stutchbury argues that before starting to trade in carbon and water, Australians need to learn the lessons of the credit crunch.

Boston Globe

  • Stop Now: For the sake of all the people in that region of the Caucasus, and to avoid a calamitous new rift between Russia and the West, there must be an immediate cease-fire and negotiations to resolve the disputes that caused the current war.

Business Daily (Kenya)

  • One, Two, Three: Three centers of governance appear to have emerged in Kenya, writes USIU international relations professor Macharia Munene. These are the Office of the President, the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Office of the Donor-affiliates.

Christian Science Monitor

  • All Change: Luis Martínez-Fernández of the University of Central Florida writes that Raul Castro has redefined socialism in what amounts to the worst of both worlds: a state-controlled economy in which the government shirks its social responsibilities.
  • Stop: In an editorial, the paper calls for a stop in the rush to corn biofuel arguing that a recent EPA ruling only helps Congress pumping a fuel that's escalating food prices.

Daily Star (Lebanon)

  • Bad Idea: In a column, Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute argues that America will regret its reversal in deciding to meet wwith Iran's nuclear negotiator.

Daily Telegraph

  • Too Late: In an editorial, the paper takes the prime minister to task for taking four days to make a statement on Georgia, arguing that how the West responds will determine how far Russia is prepared to go.

Daily Times (Pakistan)

  • Enough: In an editorial the paper decries the new low in decency as the coalition government moves towards the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf.

Financial Times

  • Economic Despair: In an editorial, the paper says that in the quest for a more prosperous and stable Nigeria, there is no more important battle than the battle against corruption.
  • China Challenge: The news that China is poised to overtake the U.S. as the world's largest producer of manufactured goods should not cause alarm the paper says in an editorial.
  • Money Talks: Writing about Georgia, columnist Chrystia Freeland says that the West has been remarkably sanguine about this resurgence of authoritarianism, and one reason is that, this time, the comrades have money.


  • Russian Intentions: In an editorial, the paper writes that it would be a major strategic blunder for Russian tanks to rumble on into Tbilisi, because this would force international action.

Haaretz (Israel)

  • Strange Twins: Columnist Aluf Benn, says that Gaza has become the Middle East's Taiwan: an unrecognised rebellious province with meddling regional and international outsiders.

Independent (UK)

  • Leave It: Columnist Mary Dejevsky, warning that intervention may bring instability, argues that there may be times when big and small countries should be left to sort things out between themselves.

New York Times

  • Who, Me?: In an editorial the paper writes that no one is blameless in the dangerous game that has erupted into deadly war in the Caucasus but that there is no imaginable excuse for Russia's invasion of Georgia.
  • China Dreaming: Columnist David Brooks writes that China's rise is an example of how the ideal of a harmonious collective may turn out to be as attractive as the ideal of the American Dream.

Times of London

  • So Close: In an editorial, the paper says that a deal to end Robert Mugabe's rule is close but that Zimbabwe's future depends on one man and three vital principles.

Wall Street Journal

  • How to Help: Gary Schmitt and Mauro De Lorenzo of the American Enterprise Institute outline a policy for helping Georgia advocating rushing military and medical supplies to Tbilisi.
  • Vladimir Bonaparte: In an editorial, the paper writes that the farther Russia's tanks roll into Georgia, the more the world is beginning to see the reality of Vladimir Putin's Napoleonic ambitions.
  • Chinese Faith: In a further editorial, the paper notes that President Bush attended church in Beijing on Sunday but comments that what happened outside the church says more about the state of religion in China.

Washington Post

  • August Events: Columnist George F. Will writes that the crisis in Georgia illustrates the paralysis of the United Nations regarding major powers, hence regarding major events, and the fictitiousness of the European Union regarding foreign policy.
  • Actions Speak Louder: In an editorial the paper says that Russia's words have borne no connection to its actions; its actions are untethered to international norms.
  • Snake Oil: In an editorial, the paper debunks what it says are three myths about off-shore drilling for oil.

Washington Times

  • No Gain: Freelance writer,Tulin Daloglu argues in a column that Turkey has nothing to gain from an upcoming visit to the country by Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, adding that if anything, the visit will create trouble for Turkey.