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Diplomats Discuss Bashar al-Assad’s Future as Syria Fights Rebels – NYTimes.com.

 

This is an important article on the stage we find ourselves in of the Syrian revolution. Russia’s defense to the last of the Assad regime is a significant political reality that points much more deeply to the problem and challenge of global, that is, Security Council consensus on matters of global governance when massive human rights abuses are occurring. We are still at a kind of Cold War impasse when it comes to the spheres of influence of the United States, Europe and Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and Russia and China on the other. The United States political narrative on such matters, and in such crunch times, runs something like this:

We the United States stand for human rights and democracy, and Russia and China only care about defending illiberal states and their sovereignty because …

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President Obama has signaled in recent days that he will be confronting China much more on its global policies. But China is on the rise as the premier economic global power, even as America is on the decline, and it remains to be seen what kind of confrontation could be effective. Will China’s rise actually be good news for the world? This will depend on how China rises, and it will be wise to challenge China on its humanitarian impact every bit as much as on its economic impact globally. Let’s look at one example.

Burma has one of the worst governments in the world, a place where citizens live in terror. The military junta seized power when Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won 392 of the 492 seats in Parliament. It does not fully control the Hill Country on the west and east sides of the country, inhabited by …

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I found this fascinating in this little noticed speech. The Chinese president repeatedly used the words harmonious, common, mutual. Everything was about one integrated world operating together. We all know the problem with Chinese repression of the Tibetan people, and of their own best writers and journalists. The flip side of an emphasis on the positive idea of harmony is the negative reality of tyranny. The flip side of freedom is chaos and anarchy. Nevertheless, I think it is interesting that there is a kind of outgoing new emphasis in the rhetoric, a conscious decision to at least rhetorically move beyond the Wall of China. This is good, and it provides an opening to discuss the ethics of harmony and mutuality, especially in Confucian terms, which always requires MUTUAL respect between governors and the governed. I hope there is more open debate as time goes on with Chinese leaders in …

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Nicholas Kristoff’s very revealing piece on the Dalai Lama’s latest offer to the Chinese, if it is true, raises many fundamental issues about the price for peace.

Kristoff’s piece raises important questions that face the Dalai Lama regarding the future of his people, and the compromises that may be necessary with the Chinese regime in order to forestall the cultural genocide that is underway in Tibet. Should he settle with the Chinese finally? What is he surrendering, what is he getting for his people?

Where does justice fit in? Well, I hardly can imagine where it fits in. This conflict is so asymmetric and one side is so powerful that it hardly seems possible to hold out for justice as the cultural genocide and displacement of Tibetans by Han Chinese continues apace.

It seems to me that at the Dalai Lama’s age, and given the frustration of the youth who …

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