Search Results for ‘15’

15 – Two Takes on Obama’s Position, and a Third (13 Feb 09)

Martin Wolf writing in the Financial Times asked a couple of days ago whether Barack Obama’s presidency has already failed. He concedes that in normal times, such a question would be ludicrous. But by now most politically thoughtful people have concluded that these are times, as Wolf puts it, “of great danger”. “Today, the new US administration can disown responsibility for its inheritance; tomorrow, it will own it. Today, it can offer solutions; tomorrow it will have become the problem. Today, it is in control of events; tomorrow, events will take control of it.” Wolf, along with many other economists not mired in ideological or Republican Party received opinion, is afraid that Obama will do too little to stave off a worsening of the economic crisis. Norm Schreiber in The New Republic warns against hasty conclusions on this score, and goes into the manner in which the political maneuverer Obama appears to manage potential opponents very well, also in this case. He does not bring it up, but Obama’s history in Chicago is witness to that as well. There are few American places in which the political wheeler-dealing is more vicious and corrupt than in that city....

Total in this post : 15: 1

39 – The Disabling Pacific ‘Alliance’ (15 Oct 2012)

Amid news and pundit references about an alleged ‘tilt’ in American foreign policy toward Asia and the Pacific, it is useful to take a closer look at the badly under-reported story of Washington’s relations with what is habitually referred to as its number one ally in the Pacific. That focus furthermore sharpens the contours of the Sino-Japanese dispute over islands in the East China Sea. The label ‘ally’ is a misnomer. No Japanese government ever had a choice. Two further conditions before a bilateral relationships can be called an alliance are also absent: shared long-term objectives and consultation about how to achieve them. The same can be said, to at least some extent, with the post-Cold-War NATO alliance. But the US-Japan relationship represents an extreme case. In fact, since nothing quite like it has ever existed, we do not have commonly understood terminology ready to describe that relationship. Japan is not a colony, although a growing number of its exasperated thinkers like to use that term, and it is only very partially occupied territory. ‘Protectorate’ serves to some extent, except that Washington does not have the kind of leverage over Japanese domestic arrangements normally associated with that...

Total in this post : 15: 1