While the economic contraction is apparently slowing in the advanced industrial countries and may reach bottom in the not-too-distant future, it’s only beginning to gain momentum in the developing world, which was spared the earliest effects of the global meltdown. Because the crisis was largely precipitated by a collapse of the housing market in the United States and the resulting disintegration of financial products derived from the “securitization” of questionable mortgages, most developing nations were unaffected by the early stages of the meltdown, for the simple reason that they possessed few such assets.
“We have to decide, as a nation, whether our need for Middle Eastern oil is more important to our future than our conduct as a moral and ethical people.” Which brave presidential candidate would lay it on the line so clearly? None yet. And that’s the problem with the national debate on the war in Iraq, and possibly, our foray into Iran as well.
With over 1400 local events, the April 14 National Day of Climate Action offered a national wakeup call, with citizens in every state raising their voices. But even as we build on this powerful day to move forward, we need to talk about why it’s been so hard for Americans to recognize the climate issue’s urgency.
Wayne Gilchrest is a Republican Congressman from Maryland. He chairs the House Climate Change Caucus and has co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship Act designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to 70% below 1990 levels. Because of his reluctance to deny human responsibility for climate change, Gilchrest was not chosen by Republican leader John Boehner to serve on the recently formed bipartisan Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. At the end of March, FPIF contributor Michael Shank interviewed Gilchrest in Washington, DC about Kyoto, the congressional tipping point for climate change legislation, and the challenges posed by India and China.
The transfer of current U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad from his job as the Great Wizard of Iraq’s embattled Emerald City in Baghdad’s Green Zone, to the quieter but no less complicated halls of the United Nations, may have several rationales.
The recent death of Turkmenistan’s president, Saparmurat Niyazov, leaves the country with an uncertain future. Acting President Berdymukhammedov has stepped into the president’s spot without apparent political disruption, and early indications suggest few changes from the repressive policies of the old regime.
It has been a year since the horror of the bloodshed in Sudan’s Darfur region–with over 200,000 dead in three years–began leaking across the border into Chad. It has also been a year since a simmering conflict boiled over into a full-scale confrontation between World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and Chadian President Idriss Deby. Are the two connected? In a word, yes. Here’s how.
Conjuring images of nuclear terrorism and the "annihilation" of the Jewish state, the spectre of an Iranian bomb readily haunts the Western imagination. But Tehran’s nuclear ambitions also pose a very different type of challenge to America. This challenge is not years from fruition, as a warhead still seems to be. It is instead already unfolding.
While the Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.