October 2008 Archives

Guest Voice  |  October 1, 2008 9:52 AM

The Palin Doctrine

By Jeffrey Stacey

Ever since Sarah Palin struggled to define "the Bush Doctrine" in her ABC News quiz, campaign managers, bloggers, and lots of average Americans have been in search of the meaning of the term. But when she and Joseph Biden step up to the microphones in tomorrow's debate, moderator Gwen Ifill should be asking about the Palin Doctrine.

Or should I say "a" Palin Doctrine, because it does not currently exist. Were it to be created, however, it could end up eclipsing the Bush Doctrine. A Palin Doctrine would be further to the right not only of President Bush's policies, but even of John McCain's.

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Guest Voice  |  October 6, 2008 1:38 PM

U.S.-Muslim Ties in '08

By Ghassan Michel Rubeiz

Following a week of devastating economic news, the latest presidential and vice-presidential televised debates have put concerns of foreign affairs back on the campaign agenda - particularly issues of importance to Muslim-U.S. relations. Coupled with earlier campaign spin about Barack Obama's alleged Muslim roots, Sarah Palin's reference to "God's work" in Iraq, John McCain's repetitive reference to "radical Islam" and other examples of media mania about Islam, one may have the impression that the future of American relations with the Muslim world depends on the outcome of the 2008 elections.

This is not the case.

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Guest Voice  |  October 15, 2008 11:58 AM

Gordon Brown's About-Face

There is a supreme sense of irony in Gordon Brown turning up to the meeting of Eurozone leaders on Sunday to convince them to intervene in their banking systems and save the world from financial collapse. Britain's prime minister has spent almost 10 years lecturing the Europeans on the benefits of markets and the need to de-regulate their economies. He has constantly harangued skeptical politicians from continental Europe that the U.S. Anglo-Saxon model of liberalized markets was the right one to follow.

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Guest Voice  |  October 31, 2008 4:25 PM

Beijing's Ballot

HONG KONG - Despite a recent arms deal with Taiwan and nuclear agreement with India, China is still in a comfortable spot with Bush. They saw those moves coming. They appreciate that his international focus is and has consistently been on the Middle East, save the Six-party talks. (But even that initiative--the administration's greatest in the region--actually provides Beijing with leverage over Washington.) After eight years in office, his goals are well-understood and his actions generally predictable. He's a known quantity.

But Bush turns into a pumpkin in a week. So is Beijing rooting for McCain or Obama?

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Guest Voice  |  October 31, 2008 10:12 AM

Reeling In Russia

By Lincoln A. Mitchell

PostGlobal asks: Nearly 20 years after becoming a democratic regime, Russia still faces many challenges. Domestically, this includes ensuring civil rights and civil liberties such as freedom of the press, freedom of enterprise and the freedom of religion. While internationally it has reasserted itself as a major player, it has been shunned by both Western Europe and America.

Will Russia be forced to acquiesce to the American status quo both domestically and internationally or will it be able to pursue its own goals?

Russia is not, at this time, a democracy, nor is it likely to become one anytime soon. The restriction on individual, associational and media freedoms, the close relationships between business and the government and the weakness of the rule of law are just some of the things that preclude Russia from being called a democracy. Moreover, it is inaccurate to continue to view Russia as a country in transition. The regime seems quite stable; with little real movement towards democracy. Russia is a largely consolidated illiberal semi-authoritarian regime.

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Guest Voice  |  October 30, 2008 10:13 AM

America's Re-emerging Democracy

By Daniel Brumberg

Next week's election has me thinking about democracy both at home and abroad. How, I wonder, can the U.S. promote political reform overseas unless it puts its own house in order? One of our chief problems is widespread political apathy, a long-standing ailment compounded by a congressional redistricting system that encourages political disengagement. Yes indeed, people are "free" to vote or stay at home. But their choices are shaped by the perception that voting does (or does not) advance their interests. As political scientists would put it, the culture of apathy is politically "structured."

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.