What will the future bring?

John Aglionby, Financial Times, January 30: But there is a deeper problem, says Mr Fajrul [Rahman]. “Last year the [Indonesian] government ordered that tens of thousands of schoolbooks be burnt because they dared to suggest that the official version of events surrounding Suharto’s rise to power in 1965 [that he defeated a communist-led coup] should…

Rupert embraces the inner terrorist in us all

Rupert Murdoch’s Australian website, news.com.au, conducts an “investigative report” into “the hidden war on Australia” – the stories are titled “online jihad” – and discovers these startling facts: A special investigation by NEWS.com.au infiltrating these global networks has identified jihadi references to the “embarrassing collapse” of the Howard government and cites Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s…

Let the corrupt fall

Israel’s Winograd Commission has reported on the 2006 Lebanon war and concluded “we are all guilty.” The fact that the Israeli leadership is likely to survive the report reflects the dysfunctionality of the Jewish state. Clearly launching an immoral and futile war and massacring innocent civilians is all in a good day’s work for Ehud…

Spread only good propaganda

Keep a blogger locked up at home long enough with nothing but Chinese state TV and an internet connection to keep them occupied and they’re bound to subvert something eventually. The case of imprisoned Chinese blogger Hu Jia is symtematic of the Chinese government’s fear of the online medium. After all: Chinese President Hu Jintao…

Welcome to Beijing

This is China, 2008: Any attempt to use the Beijing Olympics to discredit China or force it to change policy is doomed to failure, the leading Communist party newspaper insisted in a commentary piece yesterday. Let nobody believe that human rights will improve before the August Olympic Games. Tragically, the opposite is occurring.

Let them dress freely

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan explaining why it is a positive development that the country’s ban on women wearing headscarves at universities has been lifted: “What do they say — only citizens without head scarves can be secular? They are making a mistake falling into such segregation. This is a society of those, with…

The narrowing circle

Yet another example of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taking his country in the wrong direction: Iran’s most important women’s magazine, Zanan, (Women) has been forced to close after 16 years of publication, after being accused of painting a “dark picture” of Iran. Zanan’s founder Shahla Sherkat is considered a prime example of Islamic Iranian feminism. She…

Understanding the other

Daniel Barenboim, International Herald Tribune, January 29: I have often made the statement that the destinies of the Israeli and Palestinian people are inextricably linked and that there is no military solution to the conflict. My recent acceptance of Palestinian nationality has given me the opportunity to demonstrate this more tangibly. When my family moved…

Irans turns a corner

George Bush, in his annual state of the union address, highlighted so-called Iranian-backed extremism in the Middle East. The reality in Iran, however, is rarely examined by the mainstream media. Noted Iranian writer Nasrin Alavi, now based in London, argues that Ahmadinejad’s regime is decreasing in popularity due to its economic failures and overblown rhetoric:…