Tag Archive for China

The Lost Hope of Democracy

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Western nations are fond of using “democracy promotion” as a justification for interfering in other countries, including overthrowing elected leaders (as in Ukraine). But Western democracies themselves often fall short of democratic values, as John Chuckman explains.

Putting the Dollar in Jeopardy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., addresses the delegates to the Bretton Woods Conference, July 8, 1944. (Photo credit: World Bank)

For 70 years, a key element of American power has been the dollar’s standing as the world’s premier currency. But Washington’s repeated use of economic sanctions as a foreign policy weapon has encouraged China and other powers to consider financial alternatives, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Postponing Costs for Bad Decisions

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Politicians from Washington to Beijing to Tel Aviv like to put off the negative consequences of their decisions as long as possible, but that often adds to the eventual costs to their people and the world, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Israel and US Hit Self-Destruct

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (State Department photo)

Traditional U.S. policies – backing Israel whatever it does and assuming the dollar will remain king – are facing new challenges as Israel shocks the global conscience with its war on Gaza and emerging economic powers consider a new reserve currency, notes Danny Schechter.

Turning Japan Back toward Militarism

Shinzo Abe, leader of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The Obama administration’s much-touted “pivot” to Asia has a militaristic side that involves encouraging Japan to abandon its post-World War II pacifism and make its revamped military a U.S. ally in containing China, as Tim Shorrock explains to Dennis J Bernstein.

The World Still Splurges on War

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Amid continued splurging on war – with the U.S. government still far-and-away the world’s leader – there are a few hopeful signs as common citizens learn from the likes of Gandhi and become more suspicious of advocates for violent conflict, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.

Premature US Victory-Dancing on Ukraine

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: The post-coup election of a pro-Western politician as president of Ukraine – and the escalating slaughter of lightly armed anti-coup rebels in the east – have created a celebratory mood in Official Washington, but the victory dance may be premature, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Seeking a Dead-End in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

By insisting that “Assad must go,” the West has locked itself in to a losing and dangerous game in Syria. Rather than negotiate a political settlement with President Assad, the alternative has been to back Saudi-funded jihadis with ties to al-Qaeda, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

No War Over Rocks

Islands at the center of the territorial dispute between China and Japan. (Image credit: Jackopoid)

U.S. foreign policy remains captive to unipolar hubris, enforced by neocon pundits who demand military interventions to solve the world’s problems. But this kneejerk response is particularly crazy when applied to Asian disputes over rocks far at sea, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Pressing Japan on No-War Pledge

A residential section of Tokyo destroyed by U.S. firebombing near the end of World War II.

While reducing U.S. forces in the Mideast, President Obama has pivoted toward a more robust presence in the Pacific, including pushing allies like Japan to bolster their militaries, notes Ann Wright.