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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.

Tibet's Anniversary, Stem Cell Research, and Criticism of the ICC

March 10, 2009


 Arab News

  • How international is the ICC?: Columnist Linda Heard argues that the International Criminal Court in The Hague cannot be considered a global institution, as it has only held Africans to account. She looks at the indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in this light, and cautions that the court must have the courage to take on human rights abusers from the West, or close its doors.


  • Morgan Tsvangirai: In an editorial, the Australian portrays the Zimbabwean prime minister as the suffering face of his country. The paper argues that he deserves to be honored, like Nelson Mandela, for all he has done on behalf of ordinary people in Zimbabwe.

 China Daily

  • ASEAN Summit: Zhai Kun of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations looks back on the fourteenth summit of the ASEAN group of countries. He says that the main issues were to draw up a road map to clear trade barriers among its members, and to search for a joint solution to the current economic crisis.

Christian Science Monitor

  • U.S.-Iran: Joshua Gross of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy calls for a fresh approach to Iran from President Obama. Pointing out the large Iranian community living in the United States, he urges the president to reach out to them and close the chapter on Iran as part of the 'axis of evil'.

Dar Al-Hayat (Lebanon)

  •  The ICC and Bashir: Writer Ghassan Charbel discusses the anger in the Arab world at the indictment of the Sudanese president. While he can understand the fury, he also says that the Sudanese president must accept that in the world of today, the international community has a right to make judgments on what is happening in Darfur.

Financial Times

  • Bad economics: As part of its series looking at the future of capitalism, the Financial Times  criticizes the lack of insight shown by the leaders of the affected countries into what the markets actually need to function properly. It describes the current crisis not as a failure of the markets, but the failure of leaders to create a proper market system.


  • Stem Cell Research: In its editorial, the Guardian applauds President Obama's move to allow public funding for stem cell research in the United States. The paper sees this as the president allowing his country to 'rejoin the 21st century' in terms of scientific research.

 Hindustan Times

  • Tibet: An editorial in the Hindustan Times looks back on the fiftieth anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in 1959. It urges the international community to adopt a tougher approach towards China in order to bring about change in Tibet today.

Independent (London)

  • The Korean Threat:  In an editorial, it notes that North Korea's confrontational stance towards the United States and the West presents perhaps a greater nuclear threat than Iran. The paper concludes that the present stalemate in talks is likely to continue, but that President Obama should not make any concessions.

Jordan Times

  • Clinton in the Middle East: Columnist James J. Zogby looks back on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to the region. He considers her contribution as 'significant and substantial,' setting down markers for both Israel and the Palestinians.

Los Angeles Times

  • Stem Cells and California: In an editorial, the paper calls for federal funding into stem cell research in California following President Obama's decision to lift the ban on public funding in the area. The Los Angeles Times considers California as the ideal place for this money to be spent.

New York Times

  • Stem Cells: An editorial applauds President Obama's decision to allow federal funding to go towards stem cell research. The paper argues that Congress should follow the president's lead, and abolish several amendments which also restrict public funding for this kind of scientific investigation.
  • Afghanistan: Arthur Keller, a former CIA case officer in Pakistan, considers President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. The author sees this as a mixed blessing, and looks back to the 1960s in Southeast Asia to counsel restraint and accurate targeting of objectives.

Telegraph (UK)

  • G20 Summit: The Telegraph in an editorial looks forward to April's meeting of the G20 nations in London. The paper urges the leaders present to show unity; to come up with practical measures to rekindle growth globally; and to speak out against protectionism.

Times of London

  • Commonwealth Blues: In an editorial, the paper deplores the lack of importance given by the British Labor government to the Commonwealth of nations, which celebrated its sixtieth anniversary on Monday. The paper celebrates the moral authority that the group can exercise, and regards the British government's neglect of it as a disgrace.

Globe and Mail

  • Iraq and Afghanistan: Columnist Jeffrey Simpson compares and contrasts the current military situation in the two countries. He suggests that while there is an exit strategy for the United States and its allies in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan is far less clear.

Wall Street Journal

  • Tibet: Thupten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama's translator, considers the fiftieth anniversary on the Tibetan uprising. His article is a plea for the Dalai Lama to be allowed back into the country, and for China to recognize that the Tibetan people are seeking autonomy rather than independence.
  • Stem Cell Research and Politics: Robert P. George of Princeton University and Eric Cohen of The New Atlantis criticize President Obama's move to allow federal funding for stem cell research. The authors see this as a further instance of the president adopting radical polices, which in this case will politicize scientific research.

 Washington Post

  • Talking to the Taliban: Columnist Richard Cohen sees the Obama administration's willingness to talk to some elements within the Taliban as a sign of a new realism in U.S. foreign policy. He argues that although this means abandoning the idea of 'doing good' throughout the world, it is more consistent with 21st century realities.
  • Trade is the answer: Former U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky writes that the United States needs a robust trade policy. As the Senate considers appointing a new trade representative, the writer argues that increasing trade with the rest of the world can help foster international cooperation and help the international security situation, as well as underpinning economic growth.