Showing posts from January, 2011

Another crack in American hegemony

Business Times - 01 Feb 2011 THE BOTTOM LINE Another crack in American hegemony EVEN if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak succeeds in clinging to power, that is not going to change the writing on the wall - and on Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia. Thanks to these networking services, the whole world now knows the days of Middle East autocrats - allied with the US and open to some sort of co-existence with Israel - may be numbered. In fact, the entire American hegemonic project in the Middle East may be coming unstuck. Since 1945 - and, in particular, after the end of the Cold War - successive US administrations have been trying to establish American hegemony in the region, including through two major military interventions, strategic alliances with Israel, Turkey and Arab states with ties with Israel, led by Egypt. But whether it comes to promoting its values or to securing strategic interests, US clout in the Middle East is shrinking now to its lowest point: the Israeli-Palestine 'p

America's new 'Sputnik moment'

Business Times - 27 Jan 2011 America's new 'Sputnik moment' Obama calls for unleashing of another wave of innovation for economic renewal and to meet globalisation challenges By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT THE results of a poll of American opinion that was published on the eve of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington found that a large majority of Americans regard China and the other rising economic powers of Asia as the most important challenge facing the US in coming years. In fact, according to the nationwide poll by the Pew Research Center, 47 per cent of Americans see China - incorrectly - as the world's leading economic power. Addressing the US Congress and the American people on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama tried to respond to these rising concerns that the US is losing its global economic competitive edge to China, India and other emerging markets. 'This is our generation's Sputnik moment,' President Obama declared du

my review of "Return to Haifa" Return to Haifa: Whose Narrative Is It Anyway? It sometimes gets confusing in the global village, where technology, finance, cross-cultural interactions, and expanding ethnic diasporas are tearing apart the relationship between borders and making multiple identities possible. Hence, Ang Lee is a Taiwanese artist who directs American films, but he is also an American film director of Chinese movies. As a member of the Sinosphere, enlarged by fifty million overseas Chinese, Ang is not only a creative individual who makes our world more interesting and prosperous. He also helps to bridge between nations and cultures and to produce a Sino-American synergy that is more conducive to peace than a contingency of Chinese and U.S. diplomats. So how about the following bi- or tri-national cultural synergy? How about an Arab-language novella by a Palestinian author who was affiliated with a Palestinian guerrilla gro

New column on the Huff-Po: When Obama Meets Hu: "Normalizing" Sino-American Relationship? Leon T. Hadar Journalist and foreign affairs analyst Posted: January 17, 2011 05:36 PM When Obama Meets Hu: "Normalizing" Sino-American Relationship? President Barack Obama will be hosting Hu Jintao, President of China, on January 19 as part of a visit that will be complete with a State arrival ceremony, a joint press conference, and a glitzy State dinner. In addition to highlighting the importance of the relationship between the world's two largest economic powers that have become so central to growth of the global economy and the stability of the international system, President Hu's meetings with President Obama will provide an opportunity to press the reset button on the Sino-American ties. The relationship has been straining since President Obama's visit to China in November 2009: the tensions during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and in the aftermath of Obama

feel free to attend this event

Jan 23 2011 - Cameri Theatre Production of RETURN TO HAIFA at Theatre J, Washington DC Adapted by Boaz Gaon from the novella by Ghassan Kanafani, directed by Sinai Peter. This heart-rending saga tells the story of Sa'id and Saffiyah, who return to the home they fled and learn the fate of the baby they left behind in 1948. Now a young soldier, Dov meets his birth parents while cleaving to the Holocaust survivors who raised him. Performed in Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles. Panel Discussion Follows Performance Moderated by Ron Kampeas (Washington, D.C. bureau chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Yaniv Sagee (Israel Representative from Givat Haviva, advancing Jewish-Arab relations in Israel) Paul Scham (Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park) Leon Hadar (Research Fellow at the Cato Institute, author of Quagmire: America in the Middle East) Performance at 3:00 p.m., discussion at 4:30 p.m. Purchase tickets online at: www.theatrej.or

Will Hu's visit make a difference?

Business Times - 18 Jan 2011 Will Hu's visit make a difference? Each leader needs to come out of it showing that the US-China relationship advances his own nation's economic interests By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT PRESIDENT Barack Obama will host China's President Hu Jintao tomorrow, as part of a state visit that will be complete with an arrival ceremony, a joint press conference - with the two leaders appearing side-by- side - and even a glitzy state dinner to which anybody who is somebody hopes to be invited. (The dinner's guest list has yet to be released.) The last state visit by a Chinese leader to Washington was in 1997, when Bill Clinton hosted Jiang Zemin. President Obama extended the invitation to President Hu during the G-20 summit in Toronto last June, perhaps in the hope that in addition to highlighting the importance of the relationship between the world's two largest economic powers that have become so central to the stability of the internati

When the Cuckoo has no nest

Business Times - 15 Jan 2011 When the Cuckoo has no nest The effort to protect the rights of the mentally ill has reached a point where an attempt to cure a problem ends up creating unintended costly consequences By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT IN 2007, Georgia's Valdosta State University (VSU) expelled a student for posting a Microsoft Paint collage in Facebook mocking a parking garage that the school president had referred to as part of his 'legacy'. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonprofit organisation dedicated to protecting the rights of students and faculty, VSU claimed that the collage's reference to the 'President Zacari Memorial Parking Garage', was an actionable threat upon the president's life. The student, a decorated medical technician and a Buddhist, was expelled via a note slipped under his room door. I recalled these and other incidents detailed by FIRE that involve the expulsion of students ac

Can Obama Repeat Clinton's Success?

Business Times - 12 Jan 2011 Can Obama repeat Clinton's success? He faces heavy odds as global and national economic environment now is very different from the prosperous 1990s By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT AMERICAN business leaders and centrist Democratic Party figures have been applauding US President Barack Obama's appointment of banking executive William Daley as the new White House chief of staff and of economist Gene Sperling as the new director of National Economic Council. Both Mr Daley, an executive at JPMorgan Chase, and Mr Sperling, an adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, had served in the administration of former president Bill Clinton, and are expected to assist the Obama administration in pursuing a more pro-business strategy aimed at accelerating the sluggish economic recovery, and in the process, help Mr Obama win re-election. Hailed by critic Indeed, the appointment of Mr Daley, a secretary of commerce under Mr Clinton who had been a central

Will US Fed change direction soon?

Business Times - 06 Jan 2011 Will US Fed change direction soon? Pressure from the new Congress and the changing composition of the Fed could put paid to loose monetary policy By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT THE Republican electoral wins in last year's midterm congressional elections and the new appointments to the US Federal Reserve's policy-making body, the Federal Open Market Committee - coupled with signs of accelerated economic recovery - have ignited speculation that Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will be forced to reassess the central bank's loose monetary policy. It is being said that he will bring to an end its earlier decision to purchase billions more in Treasury bonds - otherwise known as quantitative easing (QE). In a way, in response to the financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has been pursuing what some consider to be the most relaxed monetary policy in its history. In fact, the Fed is currently managing a balance sheet in ex