Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sunday's press clippings: China, Democracy in the Middle East and Hurricane Katrina

In the new issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, there are extensive, thought-provoking analyses on the rise of China and its new role in the world's current political equations. There are also commentaries on the Middle East and whether democracy in the Middle East can turn that region from the zone of terror to one of peace and stability:

China's Global Hunt for Energy:
Chinese foreign policy is now driven by China's unprecendented need for resources. In exchange for access to oil and other raw materials to fuel its booming economy, Beijing has boosted its bilateral relations with resource-rich states, sometimes striking deals with rogue governments or treading on U.S. turf. Beijing's hunger may worry some in Washington, but it also creates new grounds for cooperation.
Can Democracy Stop Terrorism?:
The Bush administration contends that the push for democracy in the Muslim world will improve U.S. security. But this premise is faulty: there is no evidence that democracy reduces terrorism. Indeed, a democratic Middle East would probably result in Islamist governments unwilling to cooperate with Washington.
Development and Democracy:
Conventional wisdom has long assumed that economic liberalization undermines repressive regimes. Recent events, however, suggest that savvy autocrats have learned how to cut the cord between growth and freedom, enjoying the benefits of the former without the risks of the latter. Washington and international lenders should take note.

And also this very inspiring piece in Saturday's Washington Post. Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s campaign manager during his run for the presidency; Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute and a CNN contributor, goes beyond political divide and explains how she is ready to rebuild her hometown New Orleans with alongside him:

New Orleans is my hometown. It is the place where I grew up, where my family still lives. For me, it is a place of comfort and memories. It is home. Now my home needs your help, and the help of every American. Much of my city is still underwater. Its historical buildings have been wrecked, its famous streets turned to rivers and, worst of all, so many of its wonderful people -- including members of my own family and my neighbors -- have lost everything.

On Thursday night President Bush spoke to the nation from my city. I am not a Republican. I did not vote for George W. Bush -- in fact, I worked pretty hard against him in 2000 and 2004. But on Thursday night, after watching him speak from the heart, I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything and to rebuild the Gulf Coast.

...Mr. President, I am ready for duty. I am ready to stir those old pots again. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work.