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Showing posts from May, 2008

Sexism has nothing to do with Hillary's fate

Business Times - 30 May 2008

At the centre of her campaign's message is the notion that she is tough and aggressive

HEY, guys, I think that the time has come for us to take collective action and to resist the onslaught on our gender, on our rights and identity as Men. There is no place for anti-man(ism) in public life. And I'm not talking here about such issues as child custody and domestic violence where men in most Western societies are finding themselves now on the losing side (like who is going to believe that a Big Guy was beaten-up by his wife? Is he 'girlie' or something?).

No. My main concern has to do with 'sexism' that according to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has raised its 'ugly head' during the current presidential campaign.

'Hillary' (is it sexist to refer to her by her first name?) has been 'whining' (oops . . . again . . . does this sound sexist?) that the press (here she and her aides provide a long lis…

Americans can now debate: 'Who Lost the Middle East?'

Business Times - 27 May 2008

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

AFTER the Chinese communists led by Mao Zedong won the civil war in China in 1949 and forced Chiang Kai-shek and his pro-American Chinese Nationalists to flee to Taiwan, US Congress and the press started to debate the question: 'Who Lost China?'

Conservatives blamed the 'China Hands' in the US State Department, who were accused of exhibiting pro-communist sympathies, while liberal critics argued that Washington's long-time support for the corrupt Nationalists ended up producing an anti-American blowback in China.

Considering the continuing decline in US influence in the Middle East - from the Persian Gulf, through the Levant and to the Holy Land - is it possible that sometime during the first or second term of the next occupant of the White House, when Iran, perhaps armed with nuclear weapons and supported by its proxies in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, emerges as a dominant regional power, lawmakers …

Bush Visits His "New" Middle East

As he was drowning politically and personally in scandals that would lead eventually to a humiliating resignation from office, in June 1974 President Richard Nixon took a triumphant seven-day trip to four Arab states and Israel, where, as Time put it, “the huzzas and the hosannas fell like sweet rain.” The magazine suggested that, “coming out of the parched Watergate wasteland of Washington, the praise and the cheers of multitudes were welcome indeed, particularly since each stop, each spectacle, was beamed in living color back to the living rooms of the U.S.”

Following on the flight-route of another unpopular and disgraced Republican White House occupant, President George W. Bush decided that since it was raining in the Midwest, in the form of his falling approval ratings, it was time to seek the sunshine of the Middle East, hoping that the television images of his five-day excursion to the region would help salvage his personal and political legacy in the Midwest and the rest of the …

In the Movies

Please see my recent movie review ("Smart People" and "Redbelt")

On "appeasement" and other topics

The International Affairs Forum published several commentaries on the situation in the Middle East including yours truly.

Also checkout my deep thoughts on appeasement and tea, cyclones and sympathy.

Observations on...

Real mean politicking in US is about to begin

Business Times - 13 May 2008

Primaries have highlighted many issues that Republicans will try to use against Obama

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

A NOTE to all you political junkies out there: You thought that the presidential primaries were a lot of fun and you seemed to be enjoying the many televised debates between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and having great time watching all the nasty campaign commercials on television and YouTube ('It's 3:00am . . .'). And now that we are reaching the finish of the Hillary-Obama race, you feel a certain let-down, a post-primaries depression.

Well, not to worry, folks! The Main Event - Barack Obama vs John McCain is about to start, and it would make the primaries look like a campaign for the student government in first grade. Indeed, we still have to endure a few more Democratic primaries this month, but we can already get a sense of the shape of things to come.

After a Hamas spokesman suggested that his group 'loves…

films and politics

Read my review of The Visitor on Takimag.com and my post and post on @TAC.

Democratic presidential endgame is in sight

Business Times - 08 May 2008


Democratic presidential endgame is in sight

After a rock-solid victory in the North Carolina primary, Obama looks set to win

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

SENATOR Barack Obama, the frontrunner in the Democratic race for party's presidential nomination, is back in business, and after a rock-solid victory in the North Carolina primary and a narrow loss in Indiana, he could be on his way to winning the Big Prize.

'Tonight we stand less than 200 delegates away from winning the Democratic nomination for President of the United States,' Mr Obama told his supporters in North Carolina, promising to lead the Democrats towards victory against presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain in the general election on November.

During several weeks of gruelling election campaigning, Mr Obama, the son of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother, had suffered major electoral set-backs and public relations fiascos, and seemed to be…

Global economics hogs US election campaign

Business Times - 06 May 2008


Global economics hogs US election campaign

Clinton, Obama now portray themselves as protectionists and China bashers

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

THE recognition that American businesses had cut fewer jobs (20,000) than expected (about 90,000) in April and the perception that the US central bank seemed to be containing the threat of a financial meltdown may have helped boost the sense of mild optimism among investors in recent days.

Indeed, there seems to be a feeling in the financial community that things are starting to get better and that, perhaps, the financial crisis is coming to an end.

That sentiment has been reflected in the somewhat bullish mood in the stock markets and in growing expectations on Wall Street that the value of the various financial products will start climbing up soon.

At the same time, officials in the Bush Administration and Republican lawmakers are hoping, wishing and praying that the US$117 billion in federal tax rebat…

Politics and Wars

Two of my recent post on @TAC

Mouse Defeat McCain and Media Unaccmplished.

Need a Nuclear Umbrella?

May 1, 2008
Need a (Nuclear) Umbrella? Call Hillary

by Leon Hadar
One of the central tenets of the US containment strategy during the Cold War was the belief in Moscow as well as in the capitals of America's allies across the Atlantic and the Pacific that in a crisis with the Communist powers, Americans would risk New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for London and Bonn, Tokyo and Seoul.

Indeed, US strategy of "extended deterrence" – encapsulated in the metaphor of a "nuclear umbrella" – worked since the Soviet Union was presented with a credible threat of two-front war if they decided to launch nuclear attacks against America's allies whose security was considered to be a core US national interest.

The extension of America's nuclear umbrella into Western Europe and East Asia became an integral part of formal agreements with the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Japan and South Korea that had been approved by Congress following an exte…

George Bush Mission Not Accomplished

A reminder