The Kremlin Two-Step

“Westerners often see Russian politics in terms of a high-level struggle between liberals and conservatives,” observes Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, writing for The Moscow Times. For instance, under President Boris Yeltsin, reformers fought nationalists while under Vladimir Putin, economic liberals opposed the siloviki — a class of politicians that originally served […]

The Government of Whim

“We want our money back,” cried President Obama yesterday, “and we’re going to get it!” Announcing a Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee — a tax perfectly named for an era in which banks are held responsible for a recession that was beyond their control — the president promised American taxpayers that they would get “every single […]

Chávez Shuts Down Shops

Until a few years ago, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez was sometimes described as the benevolent kind but in recent years, his reign has grown ever more authoritarian. He abolished presidential term limits, withdrew Venezuela from both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 2007, nationalized the oil industry and built relations with countries […]

The Palin Brief

She overwhelmed the country as vice presidential candidate in 2008. The Left found plenty of reason to resent her and while initially hailed by Republicans as the hockey-mom voice of folksy America, conservatives soon found that underneath the no-nonsense layer of toughness that Palin exhaled, the then-governor of Alaska really had no intellectual depth at […]

Japan’s New Finance Minister

While Japan continues to linger in economic trouble with little hope for imminent recovery, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama forced his 77 year-old finance minister Hirohisa Fujii to resign last week and had him replaced with Naoto Kan, a former civic campaigner against government corruption with virtually no experience in economics. Behind the screens Ichirō Ozawa, […]

Mitchell: Peace in Two Years

Where last month the European Council decreed that there can only be a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Jerusalem as capital of both nations, American envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell is more nuanced, stating that Israel “annexed” East Jerusalem so that “for the Israelis, what they’re building in, is in part […]

Deregulate the Banks!

Regulatory failure instead of a lax monetary policy bears the responsibility for the American housing bubble that produced the financial crisis of 2008, said Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke this Sunday. Bernanke rejected accusations that the Fed contributed to the fostering of the recession and argued that the interest rates set by the bank between […]

Yemen, Not So Quiet Anymore

The war in Yemen is suddenly not so quiet anymore after an Islamic terrorist who was trained in the country tried to blow up an American airliner headed for Detroit this Christmas. Some forward-looking analysts recently identified the Yemen problem as probably President Obama’s greatest challenge ahead. Considering the regional dynamics involved, that assessment may […]

Japan Must Get the F-35

Not too long ago, Richard D. Fisher Jr. writing for The Washington Times, argued in favor of letting Japan in on the groundbreaking F-22 fighter aircraft. Current American law prohibits Lockheed-Martin from selling the plane overseas. According to Fisher there were two good reasons for letting Japan have the Raptor. “First,” he wrote, “the F-22 […]

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran?

Had we had another man for president this year, Iran’s nuclear facilities might well have been carpet bombed already. Certainly the United States would not have discouraged Israel from undertaking such a venture. But would it have been the smart thing to do? When even The New York Times advocates military action it must seem […]

Obama’s Real Test Year

Year’s end is near so journalists like to look back and beyond to what’s coming especially, it seems, for the Obama Administration. The president has had his fair share of “litmus tests” already: the overanalyzed “first hundred days” in office; his first foreign visits as head of state; the new Afghan war strategy; his Nobel […]