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This is where we excerpt articles from the media that take a historical approach to events in the news.
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (8-13-12)
Dr Giles Fraser is priest-in-charge at St Mary's Newington in south London and the former canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral.
When I was a teenager, my American girlfriend at the time gave me Ayn Rand's cult novel Atlas Shrugged to read. It changed her life, she said. It changed mine, too. She was not my girlfriend by the morning. It was the most unpleasant thing I'd ever had the misfortune to read.
As a work of literature, Atlas Shrugged is drivel, and not simply because it is so up itself with its own perceived radicalism; fundamentally, all propaganda is drivel, even if it is propaganda in a good cause. Rand's cause was to celebrate what she called "the virtue of selfishness", to denigrate the poor as scroungers and to celebrate the muscular individualism of the creative heroes of capitalism. Altruism, she contends, is "complete evil". The question she poses: what would happen if all the bankers and captains of industry went on strike? What would happen if these Atlas-like gods, who hold up the world, decided one day to shrug and refuse to support everyone else? Then the world would be buggered, she contends. Atlas Shrugged is cheap pornography for the nastiest side of capitalism.
"The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand," said Mitt Romney's now running mate Paul Ryan four years ago. He also admitted he made all his interns read Atlas Shrugged, dishing them out as Christmas presents.
But here's the political problem for Ryan...
SOURCE: The Atlantic (8-3-12)
Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees business coverage for the website.
How bad will Obama lose in November? Real bad. And people've got charts to prove it. There's this one, from Jim Pethokoukis, predicting a blood bath for incumbents based on a formula that incorporates both economic growth and military fatalities:
SOURCE: Daily Beast (8-9-12)
Melinda Liu is Bejiing bureau chief for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, a veteran foreign correspondent, and recipient of a number of awards, including the 2006 Shorenstein Journalism Award, acknowledging her reporting on Asia.
A petite, short-haired woman prone to mood swings, the defendant was charged with murder. Although her charismatic husband was nowhere nearby, the case reflected on the powerful leader whose communist rhetoric had won him a loyal following—but whose flaws had caused a key aide to turn against him.
Ah, you say, this must be Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai. Gu went on trial on Thursday, along with one of her husband’s employees, Zhang Xiaojun. The court adjourned Thursday afternoon after only a few hours to await verdict and sentencing, state-run media said, and Gu had raised no objections to the accusation that she murdered British businessman Neil Heywood, a family friend.
Yet the opening description fits another infamous female accused, whose court appearance was also touted as China’s "trial of the century." That defendant was Jiang Qing, widow of Great Helmsman Mao Zedong. Jiang went on trial in the winter of 1980 along with three cohorts. They were known as the "Gang of Four."And while their case involved murder too, it was also many other things. Jiang and the gang were found guilty of subversion, counter-revolutionary activity, treason, persecuting 727,420 people, and causing the deaths of 34,274.
Comparing these two "trials of the century" says something about what has changed in China—and about what has not changed...
SOURCE: Jerusalem Post (8-8-12)
Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for The Jerusalem Post.
Imagine a country with a long and proud history that is regularly vilified by the international press. It faces mounting pressure to concede its ancient heartland and turn its back on a central part of its cultural and spiritual heritage.
Surrounded by numerous foes, in a region where ancient hatreds run deep, this diminutive but intrepid people perseveres, standing firm on principle rather than selling out its age-old patrimony.
As familiar as this reality may sound to our Israeli ears, there is a country in the heart of Europe which would find it no less resonant: Serbia...
SOURCE: National Review (8-8-12)
Michael Kuz is an instructor at the political-science department of Louisiana State University. He was named Bernard Marcus Fellow by the Institute for Humane Studies in 2011–12 and is an active member of the Philadelphia Society.
Adding insult to injury has become a trademark of President’s Obama policies regarding Poland and other Central and Eastern European (CEE) states. After several political jabs and diplomatic mishaps, including referring to Nazi concentration camps as "Polish death camps," he has created considerable tension in relations between the U.S. and the region. Of course, the administration’s lack of commitment to strengthening ties with CEE in the short run is a far greater problem for CEE than for the U.S. Still, Obama’s policies regarding Russia and the CEE states seem to consist in eschewing some old, faithful allies without acquiring new ones. In the long run, the decline of American influence in the region and the failure of the Russian "reset" will undermine the U.S.’s strategic foreign-policy goals.
"What on earth happened to Sikorski, why has he become so pro-German and pro-EU all of a sudden?" I was recently asked by a renowned British journalist and writer known for his skepticism toward the European Union and his support for the Anglosphere. "He thinks that Barack Obama may be reelected" was my immediate answer.
Indeed, until last year, Radek Sikorski, Poland’s minister of foreign affairs and Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s most trusted adviser on international matters, was known to be one of the most Atlantic-oriented politicians in Europe. He was educated at Oxford; he wrote for National Review; he was a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; and he is happily married to Anne Applebaum, a Pulitzer Prize–winning American writer. Formerly the Polish minister of defense, Sikorski has supported the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan and Poland’s participation in both operations.
This commitment to alliance with the U.S. was neither well understood nor welcomed in Western Europe (especially in Paris and Berlin), and it was not fully backed by the Polish public...
SOURCE: National Review (8-8-12)
Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.
Lately President Obama has done everything except seduce an intern in his attempt to morph into Bill Clinton. In virtually every speech, he invokes Clinton’s name, trying to link his policies with those of the popular former president. He has even called upon Clinton to place Obama’s name in nomination at the Democratic National Convention.
But, try as he might, Barack Obama, is no Bill Clinton.
President Obama says that he wants to raise taxes back to the level they were under Clinton, but that’s not quite true. Under President Obama’s proposal, the top tax bracket would be raised to 39.6 percent. The president has also called for phasing out high-income taxpayers’ itemized deductions, adding another 1.2 percentage points to the effective tax rate, bringing it to 40.8 percent. Add in the 2.9 percent Medicare tax and the top marginal rate would be 43.7 percent, roughly equal to what it was during the Clinton years. But Obamacare would increase the Medicare tax for high-wage earners to 3.8 percent, pushing the top marginal tax rate under the Obama plan to 44.6 percent, nearly a full point higher than it was under Clinton.
The same is true for capital-gains taxes, interest, and other investment income...
SOURCE: National Interest (8-8-12)
Robert W. Merry is editor of The National Interest and the author of books on American history and foreign policy. His most recent book is Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians (Simon & Schuster).
In early 1953, the newly inaugurated President Eisenhower nominated Charles E. ("Chip") Bohlen as ambassador to the Soviet Union. The man was eminently qualified—fluent in Russian and widely recognized as one of his country’s foremost Soviet experts. But he had been at the momentous Yalta summit conference of the Big Three Allied leaders—Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin—who carved up the European continent in ways that later proved controversial. Bohlen had been merely a young interpreter at Yalta, but it didn’t matter. He quickly became a marked man to right-wing senators who at the time were making considerable political hay with their crusade to root out communists and other presumed security risks from the government.
Wisconsin’s fiery Joseph McCarthy and New Hampshire’s Styles Bridges attacked Bohlen as being insufficiently anticommunist for such a post. It caused a stir, but Eisenhower’s popularity and Bohlen’s reputation seemed adequate to ensure the diplomat’s Senate confirmation. Then the brash Democratic senator from Nevada, Pat McCarran, threw a wrench into the proceedings. He accused the new secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, of concealing damaging FBI evidence against Bohlen. A whisper campaign followed, suggesting Bohlen was homosexual, in those days considered a point of blackmail vulnerability.
McCarran didn’t present any evidence that there were in fact any such allegations residing in secret FBI files. He was merely repeating what he had heard, he said. But, without any shred of authentication, McCarthy promptly called upon Bohlen to take a polygraph test to prove his "innocence.’"
In terms of his slashing temperament, McCarran of Nevada bears a striking resemblance to Nevada’s current senior senator, majority leader Harry Reid...
SOURCE: Daily Star (Lebanon) (8-7-12)
Ian Buruma is a professor of democracy and human rights at Bard College, and the author of Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents.
The election of the next president of the United States is surely the most important contest in the democratic world. Yet the issues being contested can seem awfully trivial. Consider, for instance, the question of Winston Churchill’s bust.
A bronze sculpture of the British prime minister had been in the Oval Office of the White House since the 1960s. On becoming president, Barack Obama replaced it with a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Mitt Romney, his Republican opponent in November’s election, has vowed to restore it if he wins. Then a White House spokesman said that the bust was still on the premises, just in a different room, whereupon the story changed once more: There were apparently two busts of Churchill; one still in the White House, and one that Obama returned to the British Embassy.
Why would anyone care about this? One answer was provided by two of Romney’s advisers, who stated that their candidate particularly valued the "special relationship" with Britain because of the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage." This heritage, they claimed, was not sufficiently "appreciated" by the current president.
When this bizarre statement, with its racist undertones, threatened to become a scandal, Romney quickly distanced himself from it. He did not want to be seen as a racist. But how else is his peculiar nostalgia for Churchill’s bust to be understood?..
SOURCE: Atlantic Cities (8-2-12)
Edward J. Blakely is honorary professor of urban policy at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He served as the Executive Director of Recovery in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He is an international urban policy theorist and practitioner. His most recent book is "My Storm."
The city of Angkor Wat, Cambodia, was a vibrant, growing metropolis in the late 17th century. Angkor was the New York, Paris or Rome of its time. At its peak from the 9th to 17th centuries AD, no one could have imagined any threat to this Khmer city-state. Yet, Angkor collapsed almost totally in the 17th century, and the reasons behind its demise offer an important lesson for today’s cities.
Angkor was built on a vast transportation network: canals acted substantially like freeways. The metropolis grew by expanding its network of canals from the central city to form a vast complex of suburban satellites. As depicted below, this was a gigantic enterprise. Ankgor grew exponentially as internal wealth and power increased. The waterways allowed goods and people to move well beyond the central core of the city.
But as Angkor continued to grow, its waterways became more fragile and vulnerable. Rain and other small but severe weather changes occurred, and the system began to crumble. My colleague Roland Fletcher, a professor of architecture at the University of Sydney in Australia, describes this process as “low density metropolitan collapse.”...
SOURCE: TomDispatch (8-7-12)
The Great Drought of 2012 has yet to come to an end, but we already know that its consequences will be severe. With more than one-half of America’s counties designated as drought disaster areas, the 2012 harvest of corn, soybeans, and other food staples is guaranteed to fall far short of predictions. This, in turn, will boost food prices domestically and abroad, causing increased misery for farmers and low-income Americans and far greater hardship for poor people in countries that rely on imported U.S. grains.
This, however, is just the beginning of the likely consequences: if history is any guide, rising food prices of this sort will also lead to widespread social unrest and violent conflict.
Food -- affordable food -- is essential to human survival and well-being. Take that away, and people become anxious, desperate, and angry. In the United States, food represents only about 13% of the average household budget, a relatively small share, so a boost in food prices in 2013 will probably not prove overly taxing for most middle- and upper-income families. It could, however, produce considerable hardship for poor and unemployed Americans with limited resources. “You are talking about a real bite out of family budgets,” commented Ernie Gross, an agricultural economist at Omaha’s Creighton University. This could add to the discontent already evident in depressed and high-unemployment areas, perhaps prompting an intensified backlash against incumbent politicians and other forms of dissent and unrest.
It is in the international arena, however, that the Great Drought is likely to have its most devastating effects. Because so many nations depend on grain imports from the U.S. to supplement their own harvests, and because intense drought and floods are damaging crops elsewhere as well, food supplies are expected to shrink and prices to rise across the planet. “What happens to the U.S. supply has immense impact around the world,” says Robert Thompson, a food expert at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. As the crops most affected by the drought, corn and soybeans, disappear from world markets, he noted, the price of all grains, including wheat, is likely to soar, causing immense hardship to those who already have trouble affording enough food to feed their families.
The Hunger Games, 2007-2011
What happens next is, of course, impossible to predict, but if the recent past is any guide, it could turn ugly. In 2007-2008, when rice, corn, and wheat experienced prices hikes of 100% or more, sharply higher prices -- especially for bread -- sparked “food riots” in more than two dozen countries, including Bangladesh, Cameroon, Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia, Senegal, and Yemen. In Haiti, the rioting became so violent and public confidence in the government’s ability to address the problem dropped so precipitously that the Haitian Senate voted to oust the country’s prime minister, Jacques-Édouard Alexis. In other countries, angry protestors clashed with army and police forces, leaving scores dead.
Those price increases of 2007-2008 were largely attributed to the soaring cost of oil, which made food production more expensive. (Oil’s use is widespread in farming operations, irrigation, food delivery, and pesticide manufacture.) At the same time, increasing amounts of cropland worldwide were being diverted from food crops to the cultivation of plants used in making biofuels.
The next price spike in 2010-11 was, however, closely associated with climate change. An intense drought gripped much of eastern Russia during the summer of 2010, reducing the wheat harvest in that breadbasket region by one-fifth and prompting Moscow to ban all wheat exports. Drought also hurt China’s grain harvest, while intense flooding destroyed much of Australia’s wheat crop. Together with other extreme-weather-related effects, these disasters sent wheat prices soaring by more than 50% and the price of most food staples by 32%.
Once again, a surge in food prices resulted in widespread social unrest, this time concentrated in North Africa and the Middle East. The earliest protests arose over the cost of staples in Algeria and then Tunisia, where -- no coincidence -- the precipitating event was a young food vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, setting himself on fire to protest government harassment. Anger over rising food and fuel prices combined with long-simmering resentments about government repression and corruption sparked what became known as the Arab Spring. The rising cost of basic staples, especially a loaf of bread, was also a cause of unrest in Egypt, Jordan, and Sudan. Other factors, notably anger at entrenched autocratic regimes, may have proved more powerful in those places, but as the author of Tropic of Chaos, Christian Parenti, wrote, “The initial trouble was traceable, at least in part, to the price of that loaf of bread.”
As for the current drought, analysts are already warning of instability in Africa, where corn is a major staple, and of increased popular unrest in China, where food prices are expected to rise at a time of growing hardship for that country’s vast pool of low-income, migratory workers and poor peasants. Higher food prices in the U.S. and China could also lead to reduced consumer spending on other goods, further contributing to the slowdown in the global economy and producing yet more worldwide misery, with unpredictable social consequences.
The Hunger Games, 2012-??
If this was just one bad harvest, occurring in only one country, the world would undoubtedly absorb the ensuing hardship and expect to bounce back in the years to come. Unfortunately, it’s becoming evident that the Great Drought of 2012 is not a one-off event in a single heartland nation, but rather an inevitable consequence of global warming which is only going to intensify. As a result, we can expect not just more bad years of extreme heat, but worse years, hotter and more often, and not just in the United States, but globally for the indefinite future.
Until recently, most scientists were reluctant to blame particular storms or droughts on global warming. Now, however, a growing number of scientists believe that such links can be demonstrated in certain cases. In one recent study focused on extreme weather events in 2011, for instance, climate specialists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Great Britain’s National Weather Service concluded that human-induced climate change has made intense heat waves of the kind experienced in Texas in 2011 more likely than ever before. Published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, it reported that global warming had ensured that the incidence of that Texas heat wave was 20 times more likely than it would have been in 1960; similarly, abnormally warm temperatures like those experienced in Britain last November were said to be 62 times as likely because of global warming.
It is still too early to apply the methodology used by these scientists to calculating the effect of global warming on the heat waves of 2012, which are proving to be far more severe, but we can assume the level of correlation will be high. And what can we expect in the future, as the warming gains momentum?
When we think about climate change (if we think about it at all), we envision rising temperatures, prolonged droughts, freakish storms, hellish wildfires, and rising sea levels. Among other things, this will result in damaged infrastructure and diminished food supplies. These are, of course, manifestations of warming in the physical world, not the social world we all inhabit and rely on for so many aspects of our daily well-being and survival. The purely physical effects of climate change will, no doubt, prove catastrophic. But the social effects including, somewhere down the line, food riots, mass starvation, state collapse, mass migrations, and conflicts of every sort, up to and including full-scale war, could prove even more disruptive and deadly.
In her immensely successful young-adult novel The Hunger Games (and the movie that followed), Suzanne Collins riveted millions with a portrait of a dystopian, resource-scarce, post-apocalyptic future where once-rebellious “districts” in an impoverished North America must supply two teenagers each year for a series of televised gladiatorial games that end in death for all but one of the youthful contestants. These “hunger games” are intended as recompense for the damage inflicted on the victorious capitol of Panem by the rebellious districts during an insurrection. Without specifically mentioning global warming, Collins makes it clear that climate change was significantly responsible for the hunger that shadows the North American continent in this future era. Hence, as the gladiatorial contestants are about to be selected, the mayor of District 12’s principal city describes “the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching seas that swallowed up so much of the land [and] the brutal war for what little sustenance remained.”
In this, Collins was prescient, even if her specific vision of the violence on which such a world might be organized is fantasy. While we may never see her version of those hunger games, do not doubt that some version of them will come into existence -- that, in fact, hunger wars of many sorts will fill our future. These could include any combination or permutation of the deadly riots that led to the 2008 collapse of Haiti’s government, the pitched battles between massed protesters and security forces that engulfed parts of Cairo as the Arab Spring developed, the ethnic struggles over disputed croplands and water sources that have made Darfur a recurring headline of horror in our world, or the inequitable distribution of agricultural land that continues to fuel the insurgency of the Maoist-inspired Naxalites of India.
Combine such conflicts with another likelihood: that persistent drought and hunger will force millions of people to abandon their traditional lands and flee to the squalor of shantytowns and expanding slums surrounding large cities, sparking hostility from those already living there. One such eruption, with grisly results, occurred in Johannesburg’s shantytowns in 2008 when desperately poor and hungry migrants from Malawi and Zimbabwe were set upon, beaten, and in some cases burned to death by poor South Africans. One terrified Zimbabwean, cowering in a police station from the raging mobs, said she fled her country because “there is no work and no food.” And count on something else: millions more in the coming decades, pressed by disasters ranging from drought and flood to rising sea levels, will try to migrate to other countries, provoking even greater hostility. And that hardly begins to exhaust the possibilities that lie in our hunger-games future.
At this point, the focus is understandably on the immediate consequences of the still ongoing Great Drought: dying crops, shrunken harvests, and rising food prices. But keep an eye out for the social and political effects that undoubtedly won’t begin to show up here or globally until later this year or 2013. Better than any academic study, these will offer us a hint of what we can expect in the coming decades from a hunger-games world of rising temperatures, persistent droughts, recurring food shortages, and billions of famished, desperate people.
SOURCE: Irish Times (8-4-12)
Patrick Smyth is Foreign Editor at The Irish Times.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-6-12)
Shashank Joshi is a research fellow of the Royal United Services Institute.
SOURCE: Globe & Mail (Canada) (8-5-12)
Doug Saunders is a Canadian-British author and journalist.
SOURCE: New York Magazine (7-22-12)
The wave of nostalgia for Andy Griffith’s Mayberry and for the vanished halcyon America it supposedly enshrined says more about the frazzled state of America in 2012 and our congenital historical amnesia than it does about the reality of America in 1960. The eulogists’ sentimental juxtapositions of then and now were foreordained. If there’s one battle cry that unites our divided populace, it’s that the country has gone to hell and that almost any modern era, with the possible exception of the Great Depression, is superior in civic grace, selfless patriotism, and can-do capitalistic spunk to our present nadir. For nearly four years now—since the crash of ’08 and the accompanying ascent of Barack Obama—America has been in full decline panic. Books by public intellectuals, pundits, and politicians heralding our imminent collapse have been one of the few reliable growth industries in hard times.
The outpouring traverses the political spectrum, from the apocalyptic hard right (Patrick Buchanan’sSuicide of a Superpower, Mark Levin’s Ameritopia) to the conservative Establishment (Charles Murray’sComing Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010) to the centrist Washington Establishment (Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann’s It’s Even Worse Than It Looks) to centrist liberalism (Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum’s That Used to Be Us) to the classically progressive (Timothy Noah’sThe Great Divergence). Depending on the political coloring of the authors, the books have different villains: the tea party, coddled Wall Street plutocrats, coddled welfare-state entitlement junkies, the yapping and trivializing news media, broken schools, a polarized and broken Congress, a politicized Supreme Court, a socialist president. And China Über Alles (with an occasional cameo by India). The books’ pet issues also vary, from the collapse of the family to the debasement of cultural values, the demise of political compromise, the extinction of the “vital center,” the president’s feckless “leading from behind” in foreign affairs, the rise of income inequality, the ballooning of the national debt, and unchecked federal spending. But the bottom line is nothing if not consistent, and is most concisely summed up in a tirade delivered to a hall of college students by Aaron Sorkin’s alter ego, a television anchor played by Jeff Daniels, in the HBO series The Newsroom: “When you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Yosemite?”
SOURCE: Daily Star (Lebanon) (8-2-12)
Timothy William Waters, a professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, worked at the ICTY on Slobodan Milosevic’s trial.
Rarely does one read such hopeful news: In late June, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia acquitted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide. That might sound like a bad thing: Karadzic, who once warned Bosnia’s Muslims that war would lead them down the road to hell, surely deserved to be sentenced for the acts of which he was just acquitted – murder, siege and slaughter almost beyond naming. But for genocide? Better not.
In fact, we would be better off getting rid of genocide as a crime altogether. The legal concept of genocide is so incoherent, so harmful to the purposes that international law serves, that it would be better if we had never invented it. Karadzic’s acquittal – precisely because he is still on trial on other counts related to the same atrocities – is an opportunity to move toward the sensible goal of retiring it.
This was not just any acquittal. The ICTY decided that, after a two-year trial, the prosecution had not presented enough evidence for any judge to find Karadzic guilty of genocide early in the Bosnian War (he faces a separate count for the July 1995 massacre at Srebrenica, and the prosecution is appealing the acquittal). The court has been consistent: With just a few trials left, it has issued no convictions for genocide apart from Srebrenica...
SOURCE: Human Events (8-1-12)
David Harsanyi is a senior reporter at Human Events.
Former President Bill Clinton is slated to deliver a prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention. No doubt, he’s going to give one hell of a talk. The man is on his game, enjoying the highest favorable ratings he’s seen since 1993; a robust 66 percent of Americans think highly of the former president.
It’s a politically astute choice by Barack Obama, as "there isn’t anybody on the planet who has a greater perspective on not just the last four years, but the last two decades, than Bill Clinton," David Axelrod explained to The New York Times. "He can really articulate the choice that is before people."
He sure can. Or, rather, he sure could, if he felt like it. Problem is that if Clinton actually used his perspective, he’d be giving a rousing convention speech on the benefits of free trade and free markets at the Republican convention. After all, if the man from Hope has taught America one thing, it’s that even a power-abusing letch can be great for prosperity if he just leaves the economy alone...
SOURCE: Foreign Policy (8-1-12)
Daron Acemoglu is the Elizabeth and James Killian professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and James A. Robinson is the David Florence professor of government at Harvard University.
"Culture makes all the difference," Mitt Romney told an intimate gathering of Israeli businessmen at Jerusalem's posh King David Hotel. "And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things."
The U.S. Republican presidential hopeful, whose own net worth is estimated at roughly $250 million, went on to compare Israelis' economically comfortable existence with the more straitened circumstances in Palestinian areas. The comment predictably drew the ire of Palestinian leaders, with one senior official deriding it as "racist."
Despite the controversy, Romney then doubled down on his argument in a short op-ed for the National Review, asking, "But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture?"
Unfortunately for Romney, the answer is: quite a lot...
SOURCE: LA Times (7-30-12)
Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis is former chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and is now on the faculty of the Howard University School of Law.
SOURCE: National Review (7-30-12)
Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.
SOURCE: Financial Times (UK) (7-30-12)
Gideon Rachman is chief foreign-affairs commentator for the Financial Times.