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Yesterday’s post reported on the non-attendance of Premier Wen Jiabao at the small leaders’ meeting on 17 December. Wen’s explanation of what happened was the same as previously reported in the Chinese media, except that the latter said that the meeting was held by the US. Wen did not repeat this. It’s hard to understand… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The loss by the US Democrats of Senator Kennedy’s seat in the home of liberalism, could be a wake-up call for the West to take time out from preaching democracy to others, in order to take a good look at how democracy is faring in our own countries. In most of them, the government and… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Set out below is my contribution to the debate, organized by the Forum for American/Chinese exchange at Stanford, at Peking University in 19 November 2009 in China-EU-US trilateral relations. We have been asked to address six questions: But first, some broad remarks: I can’t resist commenting on Michael Chapman’s provocative and entertaining contribution. Until this… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Lyndon Johnson forfeited a second presidential term because of his decision to escalate the Vietnam war. I do hope that Barack Obama”s decision to send 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan will not have a similar consequence. The strategy is founded on the belief that al-Qaeda needs Afghanistan as a base. But does it? Terrorist… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Everyone is waiting for President Obama’s decision on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, and if so, how many. There is no acceptable and achievable way to ensure peace, stability, and reasonably prosperity in the whole of Afghanistan. What then does the West do, bearing in mind the huge negative contribution made to the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Obama must look to LBJ

Steven Hill of the New America Foundation wrote a brilliant piece in today’s Financial Times. Frequently likened to Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hill argues that, for the coming battle over healthcare reform, he needs to step into the shoes of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Obama is a fine orator, but has not so… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Remember Niebuhr!

Barack Obama, when leaving the Senate floor a couple of years ago, called Reinhold Niebuhr “one of [his] favourite philosophers” for his account of “compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world”. President Obama, when grappling with the problems of Afghanistan, should again study Niebuhr, regarded as the most influential American theologian of the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo University on 4 June, rivals the brilliance of John F Kennedy’s Ich bin ein Berliner 1963 speech in Berlin. Shrewdly, the event was hosted by Cairo University, founded in 1908, al-Azhar University, founded in 975. I could not resist watching its entire 54 minutes. Of course, words alone are… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Why, after the meeting between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu, do I see a glimmer of hope? On the face of it, what hope is there of real peace negotiations? The Israeli prime minister leads a coalition which includes right-wingers, religious extremists and xenophobes: his own his past record militates against peace. The Palestinians, on… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick