Religious freedom continues to decline around the world, and persecution is on the rise. In September, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reported that three-fourths of the global population—more than 5 billion people—live in countries with “high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion.” Across large portions of Asia, Africa [...]
Yahoo Finance reports that the French government has decided to go after American web giants Google and Amazon for billions of dollars in back taxes. This comes on the heels of a recently released report from the French government that proposed a new tax on data collected from the country’s users. The moves are part [...]
For years, the American right has been decrying the “War on Christmas.” Santa has replaced Jesus, many complain; nativities are an increasingly rare sight; public schools close for “winter break” now; and “Merry Christmas” is replaced with “Happy Holidays.” In response, American Christians respond with aphorisms, imploring the public to “keep ‘Christ’ in Christmas” and [...]
Asking government to involve itself with the individual freedom of religion is the touchy spot Indonesia has found itself in. The struggle seems to be somewhere between combating religious extremists and fighting government officials’ fears of expanding their efforts so much that it appears they are meddling in religious affairs. This conflict persists while “violence [...]
In the weeks following his victory over Mitt Romney, President Obama has stuck a more strident tone than the last time the Bush tax cuts were up for debate, saying at his first post-election press conference that he will not “extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent.” Some of his Democratic colleagues on [...]
What do Chinese prostitutes and Chinese Protestants have in common? Both are victims of China’s administrative justice system, which gives police virtually unchecked authority to accuse, judge and punish. The administrative justice system handles criminal acts considered too minor to be punished under the criminal code. And the decision about whether to prosecute an act [...]
SOKCHO, KOREA — Since the 1950s, Koreans have demonstrated amazing resilience and determination to overcome the aftermath of a devastating war and construct what has now become one of the largest economies in the world. Unfortunately, Korea’s competitive market plus the cultural pressures placed on students to succeed has created a toxic atmosphere for Korean [...]
This past summer I graduated from college, married the best girl in the world (she is so patient and will turn me into a human being eventually), and moved to Korea to teach English. I hardly feel qualified to write an article on Korean culture after such a short time. The thing is, though, I’ve [...]
Beijing may be reluctantly warming up to Christianity, if its recent overtures toward religious charities are any indication. Late last month, China held its first-ever Week of Religious Charity as a way to encourage believers’ philanthropic activities. A government news release praised religious charities for “gradually transform[ing] from simply meeting the material needs of service [...]
When talking about democracy in the Middle East, Turkey is typically held up as the shining example of how it can be done. On the surface, Turkey is that model. It has had a few relatively free and fair elections and, in 2010, a national referendum was designed to bring its constitution up-to-date and in [...]
Bibles in China have a history of intrigue. Under Mao, China attempted to extirpate religion altogether, and during the Cultural Revolution, hostile officials confiscated and destroyed Bibles—think Fahrenheit 451. Bible owners were thrown in prison camps or worse. And even after Mao’s death in 1976, Bibles remained scarce. Throughout the late 1970s and early ’80s, [...]
Is hindsight really 20/20? Only if you can identify your original mistake. Based on the United States’ response to yesterday’s anti-American violence in the Middle East, it would seem that our foreign policy experts have forgotten that all-important qualification. The Arab Spring—it needs a new name—is about to enter its third year. The only difference [...]
BEIJING — Minister Tian, 34, has never had a boyfriend, though she’s gone on a smattering of dates. Pretty, bespectacled and well-spoken, she sits in her office in a prominent Beijing church, describing her romantic dilemma. “From the world’s [perspective], it is hard, because I am older,” she says. “My relatives are worried about it. [...]
In the post-recession environment of high unemployment and slow growth, there has been a lot of talk about the need to protect American jobs and to rein in the trade policies of other countries (read: China) that are viewed as “unfair.” It’s an understandable outgrowth of domestic frustration and worry, but it betrays a misunderstanding [...]
President Obama has waffled for too long on Syria. It didn’t want to intervene but it was hesitant to do nothing. The middle ground it chose is bad for Syrians, bad for the region, and bad for American foreign policy. Obama has prioritized good politics above good policy long enough in Syria – he needs [...]
The Kim Il-Sung International Friendship Exhibition has a gift store. Walk up to a huge, windowless concrete complex in the middle of the woods. Put dingy surgical covers on your shoes. Leave all personal belongings at a security station. Walk through a single, structurally questionable metal detector manned by no fewer than six military personnel. [...]
Given the recent developments in the “Fast and Furious” controversy, Americans may be curious to know how the Mexican drug cartels came to be so powerful that U.S. officials went to such extreme lengths to track them. Part of the answer lies in the seven-decade period of Mexican history as a one-party state. The coming [...]
And I disagree with voices in my own party who argue we should not engage at all. Who warn we should heed the words of John Quincy Adams not to go “abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.” With these words, Tea Party darling Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., officially severed himself from anti-war allies in the [...]
On Monday, President Obama announced that the U.S. will allow sanctions on foreign nationals using technology to commit human rights abuses. Obama gave the speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The speech was primarily about efforts that the Obama administration will take to prevent atrocities like the Holocaust in the future. But a closer [...]
American declinists are wrong to see the unraveling of the British Empire as a roadmap for a “soft landing.” The stubborn idea of American decline is a complicated animal. President Obama has decried it, arguing in his latest State of the Union that declinists “don’t know what they’re talking about.” Robert Gates has a [...]
Conservatives should resist pressure from within to retreat from world affairs and embrace their diplomatic heritage.
This is the fourth in a series of four articles trying to come to terms with Obama’s foreign policy. Click here to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. It turns out that there is an Obama Effect—or at least there is one in France. After a particularly bleak couple of years, the approval [...]
This is the fourth in a series of four articles trying to come to terms with Obama’s foreign policy. Click here to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4. Few things have been more poorly understood about the Obama administration than its foreign policy. Partisan and ideological blinders have tended to obscure and distort [...]
The contrast between the “hardheadedness” of the Bush administration and the fresh look approach of Obama is predicated on the claim that the former twiddled its thumbs while Rome burned. But the world’s problems aren’t proving particularly amenable to the Obama approach either.
As NATO meets for its 60th anniversary in Strasbourg-Kehl this weekend, it has a lot on its plate: war-fighting, peacekeeping, piracy, and more. But the problem for today’s NATO lies not in taking on new missions; it lies in carrying them out effectively.
Europe will be closely watching as leaders of its two most important partners—Russia and America—meet for the first time on April 1. The meeting between President Obama and Russian President Medvedev is expected to be absent of points of tension, but Europeans will try to read between the lines to see if the Obama Administration’s “reset” rhetoric will translate into action or will be stonewalled by the Russians.
Whenever it seems as though something momentous and exciting is about to happen here, prepare to be disappointed. In spite of earlier signs of a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations, last week, Cuban president Raul Castro sacked several members of his cabinet, replacing two of the most well-known politicians in the country with military hard-liners.
In October of last year, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück was clucking about the financial crisis being “America’s problem”. Now, it turns out that Europe may be sliding into a hole wholly of its own devising.
While President Obama tries to wrap up Iraq and Afghanistan and soothe our alliances, the future of the U.S. alliance with Poland is uncertain. Poles fear that they will once again be sacrificed to the Russian machine. Just how much is the new president willing to bargain away?
In contrast to the extraordinary insight that Ronald Reagan demonstrated with regard to the Soviet Union, his assessments of Nicaragua and Iran rested on a perilous measure of wishful thinking. The challenge for us today is to reconcile how greatness can co-exist with profound flaws, as it did in so many of our Founding Fathers.
On the eve of what might be called “The Afghan Surge,” NATO is preparing to open new supply routes to support its increasingly precarious mission in Afghanistan. With the U.S. deploying up to 30,000 more troops into the war-torn country this year—and routes through Pakistan under attack—clearing these new supply arteries couldn’t come at a [...]
Israel is fighting for gains it’s unlikely to realize, and Hamas is fighting to reestablish the terms of the previous ceasefire, which the U.S. and the rest of the international community are likely to impose on Israel regardless.
A possible model for the imposition of a fair compromise on Israel and the Palestinians might be the 1999 Rambouillet negotiations to resolve the Kosovo dispute. Less important than the actual compromise offered was the method of compulsion, involving a threat against both sides.
Change was the touchstone of President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign, and his promise to make a clean break from the Bush administration fueled his success in the Democratic primaries. But if history is any guide, Democrats, the world and Obama himself are likely to be disappointed by the gap between what Washington wants to do and what it has to do.
Late last month, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took a beating at the ballot box, where his party lost gubernatorial races in five states and the mayorship of the capital city, Caracas. These states account for 45% of Venezuela’s population and 70% of its economic activity, making the opposition victory pivotal. Buoyed by historically high revenues at the state oil company, Chavez has spent the last few years exporting his “Socialism of the 21st Century” to Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, among others, but with oil prices now at a four-year low, his leadership is in a precarious position.
If President Obama is to make any progress achieving a durable peace in the Middle East, he needs to understand a central truth of the conflict: The Hamas-Fatah civil war has arguably damaged the Palestinian people much more than it has their sworn enemy, the Israelis. Jonathan Schanzer’s new book, Hamas vs. Fatah, should be Obama’s primer.
For someone who inadvertently triggered a clash of civilizations, Flemming Rose doesn’t look much like a provocateur. With his salt-and-pepper hair, college sweatshirt, and jeans over sneakers, the cultural editor of the largest Danish daily, Jyllands-Posten, seems disarmingly casual, a far cry from the frothing “Islamophobe” and “far-right” reactionary that some of his more intemperate detractors imagine him to be. But such is the reputation that has shadowed the mild-mannered Rose since September 30, 2005, when he published the 12 now-famous (or infamous) cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that took the world by storm.
With wars, famines, plagues and even pirates besetting Africa, the continent desperately needs the world’s help. Although it hasn’t gotten much attention—or praise—for its efforts, the U.S. has been providing lots of help in recent years. In fact, for all its flaws, the beleaguered Bush administration deserves credit for elevating Africa to more than a foreign policy footnote.
There seems to be no dirtier word in the English lexicon today than “neocon”. To the Left, neoconservatism is tantamount to fascism or Nazism; to the traditional Right, it is pure heresy. But the recent glut of obituaries is premature. The neoconservative school of thought still has a lot to teach us.
The Georgians are building themselves up as a new city on a hill, a beacon of economic liberty in a region that’s rarely known it. They have high hopes to become an example to the world of the power of free markets, a breathtaking example of Friedmanite thinking in the post-communist sphere.
Sometimes we educators in America worry that our universities are becoming too “professional” – that all the old notions of what constitutes a broad liberal education have fallen prey to students’ (and parents’) desire to get a major, get a job, build a career. So it’s a matter of some curiosity when a new university dedicated to liberal as well as professional education gets itself started, and started in so remarkable a place as Iraq.
Moscow has sent a message: Russia will do what it wants, when it wants, to the unfortunate countries on its borderlands. Here are several options for avoiding mixed signals while sending them a message of our own.
After the Georgian debacle, the road forward looks to be fraught with difficulty. An intelligent and wily foreign policy, one which profoundly internalizes the limits of our reach, is the only way we’ll avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is behind bars at the Hague. But given the luxurious accommodations, can it really be said that justice is being served?
Many in the West are thrilled at the capture and extradition of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. But for Serbia to fully transcend its dark past and join the Western community, there is much work to be done.
By voting against the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the Irish have taken a stand for sovereignty and democracy.
Bribery rules in Ukraine, even as the country is in the midst of reform.
London needs a new mayor, and what better than a credential-carrying conservative?
The bombings in London have refocused Britains attention — but how will the new Prime Minister respond?
A long line of conservative Italian political thought goes ignored when we get caught up looking at Italy’s current state.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire