It could have been a powerful image – America’s first multicultural president promoting the benefits of an ethnically-diverse society to the Chinese – but during his trip to China this week, Barack Obama chose to steer clear of comments that could be perceived as lecturing the Chinese on their (poor) human rights record, and that included any reference to their treatment of their Tibetan and Uyghur ethnic minorities.
"We both stressed that to uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and to appropriately resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations is very important to stability in the Middle East and in the Gulf region" (Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, on the outcome of his talks with the U.S. President Barack Obama concerning Iran's nuclear program, November 17, 2009).
Hi everyone, I'm excited to be joining the talented team here at The Mantle. Lots of interesting stuff in the news these days, let's jump right in.
Word comes in from East Jerusalem that a group of Jewish settlers, wielding an Israeli court order, evicted a Palestinian family from their home, igniting a clash between human rights protesters and the settlers over the true rights to the property in question.
"The sum of my experience is that reaching a two-state solution, Palestine and Israel living side by side in security and peace, is still possible, despite the dangers that we face and whose severity has increased recently." (Excerpt from the speech delivered by the Palestinian Authority's President Mahmoud Abbas, announcing his decision not to seek re-election next year--Ramallah, November 5, 2009).
“It was Dr. Abdullah’s right to choose to withdraw from the runoff election. My future actions will all be guided by the Afghan Constitution and I will accept the decision made by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan.” (Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai on his rival’s decision to withdraw from presidential elections.)
On Friday, former Senator Bob Dole took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to sound the alarm over Bosnia. Without American intervention, Dole warns, Bosnia could again be torn apart by its own conflicting internal forces.
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As I wrote in a piece for the World Policy Journal's blog, "2009 is an auspicious year: it marks the ninetieth anniversary of the student-led protests that led to the establishment of the communist movement, the fiftieth anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising, and the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.
On May 21 Big Media and the Internet went bananas over the dueling rhetoric of President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Nevermind the nuances of their respective arguments on whether or not (or how) to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and keep our country safe from terrorists, news and information outlets were more interested in the heavy weight fight theme than anything.
"The United States pledged an additional $110 million in aid to Pakistan on Tuesday, reflecting both the deepening humanitarian crisis in the Swat Valley and what the administration says is its growing confidence in Pakistan's efforts to combat the Taliban."