Wednesday, March 4, 2009

India & China in the News

Here are two good articles bannered by Slate today: Foreign Policy's profile on China's leadership, and Newsweek's trend piece on rising religious violence in India.

The trend piece seemed to be a good look into India's religious-political scene. Unfortunately, it failed to meet Jack Shafer's trend story standards. If there is indeed a rise in religious violence, perhaps that would be reflected in number of incidents. However, the author, Sumit Ganguly, failed to include any numbers in his analysis. He simply recounted three "adventures" of two bigoted groups over a two month period. He did not cite an increase in membership of these groups. No number of incidents beyond the three described. Nor a comparison to number of incidents in prior years. Thanks for your public service, Sumit.

The piece on Chinese leadership is interesting. It says that the Chinese leaders are balancing the two interest groups and seeking to expand the solution space. Let's hope they succeed in keeping social harmony.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mexico: DoD Leads the Way, Again

It is sad that the media has continued to spread the misconception that Mexico's ongoing civil war is all the fault of the American gun industry. Hello! Why aren't we taking the Mexican border police to task for not clamping down on the gun smuggling?! Is it America's fault that Mexican customs agents are slacking off?

In other news, Dr. Gates said, over the weekend, that the US military will start helping Mexico in fighting its civil war.

It is sad to see that the Obama administration has not learned anything about the post-Cold War world we live in. He spouted some rhetoric about using America's "soft power" to meet our challenges. Yet, with the Second most dangerous threat to American security, [first is Pakistan], Obama has reacted instinctively with the Defense Department, again. "Hope and Change" in the case of US foreign policy is now, "Hope the Military Can Change".

The only "soft power" Obama has done with regard to Mexico is a call to Congress to re-enact the Assault Weapon Ban, a cause for the Brady Campaign. Rahm Emanuel said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Indeed.

Hat tip to Galrahn for noting this.

PS: updated the tags to include Obama, 30APR2009