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May 17, 2013

Greek Parliament Member Yells "Heil Hitler" During Debate

An MP for the ultra-right Golden Dawn party, Panayiotis Iliopoulos, was ejected from a session in Parliament on Friday after the deputy used derogatory language to revile fellow MPs, according to Ekathimerini. He reportedly shouted "Heil Hitler" while defaming fellow parliament members as "wretched sell-outs" and "goats."

May 9, 2013

This Is What Passes for Entertainment in China

In the Shanghai Wild Animal park, they race black bears and monkeys on bicycles (for some reason). It doesn't end well for the monkey.

April 24, 2013

Russian Joy Ride Ends in Gaping Head Wound

The use of dashboard cameras in Russia helped us see the amazing meteorite that exploded over Siberia in February. These dash cams have now brought us 'drug user' Sergei Kornev's joy ride in a stolen police car through the streets of Moscow.

The video ends with Kornev colliding into another car and then exiting the cruiser. What you don't see is that, seconds later, he was hit by an oncoming car. According to the Moscow Times, he was left with a "gaping head wound" and snarled traffic for four hours.

A cautionary tale if ever there was one.

April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher Arrives at Number 10 Downing Street

Via Uri Friedman. More commemorative videos here.

March 18, 2013

Greek Soccer Player Banned for Nazi Salute

katidisnazi.jpg

Giorgos Katidis got himself banned for life from the Greek football federation for making a Nazi salute after scoring a goal.

The 20-year-old pleaded ignorance, writing on Twitter that "I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant." He has also issued a public apology.

His coach (a German) also backed him, telling Reuters that Katidis "most likely saw such a salute on the internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means."

The video of Katidis' infamous shot is below. Judge for yourself.

Whatever Katidis' motivations, Greece has seen the rise of fascist-style parties, like Golden Dawn, as its economic crisis grinds on.

(AP Photo)

March 16, 2013

China's New Leader: Good for America?

The NewsHour conducted an interesting debate this between Kenneth Lieberthal of the Brookings Institution and Gordon Chang of Forbes about the Rise of Xi Jinping and the future of U.S.-China relations.

February 26, 2013

Top House Democrat Wants to Arm Syrian Rebels

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) thinks it's a good idea to dump weapons into Syria. Engel evidently believes the U.S. has a "choice" between brokering a peace deal with Russia and Assad, or precipitating the Assad regime's violent collapse.

Engel does not offer any evidence to support the proposition that arming the rebels will produce an outcome amenable to American interests -- this is now apparently simply assumed on faith.

In other Syrian news, the Saudis are reportedly funneling infantry weapons from Croatia into Syria. Not to worry though: they're only giving those weapons to "secular" and "nationalists" groups -- and not jihadists. According to an unnamed CIA official, the rebellion against Assad remains "fragmented" and "operationally incoherent."

Maybe someone should tell Rep. Engel.

February 25, 2013

Boris Johnson Proves He Is the Master of Jelly-Based Insults

London's voluble Mayor Boris Johnson made a bit of scene yesterday in an appearance before the London Assembly. After the assembly voted not to debate his budget amendment and requested that Johnson leave the hearing, he berated them as "great supine, protoplasmic invertebrate jellies."

This was the second time in a week that Johnson hurled a gelatinous insult at an opponent. At a campaign stop last week, Johnson branded the Liberal Democrats as "great big wobbling jellies."

February 23, 2013

Understanding the Sources of Japan-China Tensions

Watch China Looms as Main Concern in Obama and Abe Meeting on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Mike Mochizuki, associate dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, was on the NewsHour yesterday and gave an interesting overview of the rising tensions between China and Japan.

February 21, 2013

How Syria's Rebels Resupply Themselves

Al Jazeera's Casey Kauffman reports from rebel-controlled Syria on how smuggling lines in the mountains are keeping the rebellion against Assad alive.

February 19, 2013

Can a Facebook Game End the Global Sex Slave Trade?

The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof and author Shery WuDunn are attempting to raise awareness of the global trade in sex slaves through an unorthodox method: they've created a Facebook game about it.

Dubbed Half the Sky, the game is backed by an A-list of corporate sponsors and philanthropic interests like the Ford Foundation and Zynga (the creators of Farmville). The more you play, the more charitable donations you unlock.

February 18, 2013

Cleric in Britain Lives on Benefits, or "Jihad Seeker's Allowance"

choudary-e1339636551149.jpg

Firebrand preacher Anjem Choudary was secretly filmed by the UK paper The Sun, urging his followers to get on Britain's welfare system or, as he dubbed it, claim their "jihad seeker's allowance."

As the Daily Telegraph noted, Choudary receives 25,000 pounds a year from the British government. But he's not grateful for the help:

Choudary, who has been banned twice from running organisations under the Terrorism Act, told an audience at a community centre in Bethnal Green, East London, that David Cameron, Barack Obama and the leaders of Pakistan and Egypt were the devil (shaitan) and should be killed.

“What ultimately do we want to happen to them?” asked Choudary. “Maybe I’m the only one who wants the shaitan to be killed. The shaitan should be finished. There should be no shaitan.

“Democracy, freedom, secularism, the parliament, all the MPs and the Presidents, all the kuffar’s ideas, everything the people worship, we have to believe that they are bad and we have got to reject them.”

He later insisted that he never urged anyone to kill people.

(AP Photo)

February 11, 2013

Vatican: The Pope Took Us By Surprise

The Pope's abrupt resignation took the Vatican "by surprise" according to Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, during a hastily arranged press conference.

You can read the full text of Pope Benedict's resignation here.

February 9, 2013

Obama vs. His Cabinet on Arming Syrian Rebels

Watch White House, Cabinet Split on Civil War in Syria on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Reports surfaced this week that the Obama White House rejected the advice of the CIA, State Department and Defense Department to arm the Syrian rebels. The NewsHour explores the internal debate.

February 8, 2013

This Is Iran's Internet

The Iranian Internet – An Infographic by Maral Pourkazemi from Gestalten on Vimeo.

Iran is no North Korea, hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world. But since the 2009 protests, the Iranian regime has been systematically censoring and spying on web users. There are now plans to create a distinct internet (dubbed "Halal web") where Iranians can browse in a regime-approved walled garden (the elite, of course, will suffer no such restrictions).

Maral Pourkazemi created the above video to highlight the plight of the Iranian internet.

(Via: Charles Pulliam-Moore)

February 5, 2013

North Korean Propaganda Video Shows an Attack on New York

This video above was distributed by North Korea's state-run media. It depicts a man dreaming of a rocket attack on New York -- to the tune of "We are the World."

The captions inform us that “[s]omewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing. It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze with the fire started by itself.” And “[d]espite all kinds of attempts by imperialists to isolate and crush us … never will anyone be able to stop the people marching toward a final victory.”

February 2, 2013

Are Settlements a Threat to Israel's Existence?

Intelligence Squared recently hosted a debate in London on the question of Israel's settlements. As you'd expect, it gets rather heated.

January 30, 2013

Gandhi's First Video Interview Now on YouTube

The Internets have brought forth an interesting historical moment: Mahatma Gandhi's first appearance on film. It occurred in 1931.

Via: Motherboard

Update: To honor the 85th anniversary of his death, The Hindu has republished their editorial on Gandhi's assassination:

The death of Mahatma Gandhi last evening at New Delhi at the hands of an insensate assassin in circumstances too tragic for reiteration has cast a deep gloom over the country from the effects of which it will not be easy for it to recover. For, as the Prime Minister of India has suggested in his broadcast, at no time in the long and chequered history of this great country were Gandhiji’s wise counsel, courageous guidance, unexcelled foresight and imperturbable patience in the face of events the most calamitous more necessary than to-day. It will be universally accepted that but for his steadying direction, unerring judgment, and a determination which accepted no defeat, the turmoil which befell us in the wake of the partition of the country would have continued to menace us in an ever-increasing measure.

January 23, 2013

NASA's Climate Data Condensed

NASA has compiled a short graphic with their climate change data dating back to 1950. It speaks for itself.

January 19, 2013

Understanding the Terror Threat in Africa

The NewsHour has a good primer on the brewing terrorist threat in Africa.

January 16, 2013

Pakistan Foreign Minister: bin Laden Was an "Intelligence Failure"

Amidst growing international frustration with Pakistan, Hina Rabbani Khar defends her country's policies. She describes the discovery of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan as a "huge intelligence failure" and "infuriating."

At least one of those descriptions is accurate...

December 21, 2012

Israeli Missiles vs. Palestinian Rockets

One of the themes from the recent war between Israel and Hamas was the performance of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system. In this video, Uzi Rubin, president of the defense consulting firm Rubicon, and founding director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization discusses how well it did.

December 17, 2012

Debating Iran: A Countdown to War?

The London School of Economics hosted an interesting panel discussion with, among others, RCW contributor Meir Javedanfar on the prospects for a military confrontation with Iran.

November 30, 2012

Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on European "Austerity"

Cato's Veronique de Rugy argues that far from biting spending cuts, Europe's so-called austerity hasn't been slicing away at state services.

November 28, 2012

Europe Isn't Crazy Enough to Give Syrian Rebels Missiles, Right?

The New York Times reports that the Syrian rebels have gotten their hands on surface-to-air rockets and have used them at least once to down a regime helicopter, as shown above. The question now becomes: how did they get them? According to the Times:

Debate has raged since the start of the insurgency over whether Western and Arab nations should provide Syria’s rebels with portable antiaircraft missiles, often called Manpads. Some fear that such weapons could be smuggled away from the conflict and later used by terrorists against civilian airliners.

Manpads funneled by the United States to Pakistan helped Afghan rebels turn the tide against the Soviet Union in the Afghan war of 1980s. But that example is full of ambivalence — often cited in the Syria debate — because it led to an extended buyback program and decades of worry after Islamist militias, which eventually collaborated with Al Qaeda, prevailed over the Soviet-backed government in Kabul.

“Once these weapons are outside of government control, it is often extremely difficult to track their movement and control who has access to them,” said Matthew Schroeder, an analyst who studies missile proliferation at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington.

The rebels have slowly been acquiring them nonetheless, including from Syrian military stock captured in battle, and according to the unconfirmed accounts of some rebel commanders, via smuggling from outside.

Tuesday’s helicopter downing occurred not far from a large military base outside Aleppo, which rebels overran last week. It comes after a monthlong string of rebel raids on air bases, followed by their ransacking for weapons.

Andrew J. Tabler, a Syria analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, called the use of the missile “a big deal, but not a surprising deal,” and said it appeared to confirm one of two things: weapons seized from bases are functional, or that there has been truth to the quiet talk that after the recent meeting in Doha, Qatar, to reorganize the Syrian opposition into a new coalition, outside countries would provide more sophisticated weapons to the rebels.

It would be one thing if the rebels raided regime stocks - that's unavoidable. But if any Western government thinks funneling surface-to-air missiles to Syrian rebels is a good idea, they need to have their heads examined. These weapons can be used to down passenger jets and there's no way that Western intelligence officials could stop a few of these weapons from leaking beyond Syria (it will be hard enough to stop Syria's own stockpiles from leaking).

Al-Qaeda has a long and ugly history of targeting Western aircraft. Literally handing over potent tools to Islamist rebels to do just that is insane.

November 21, 2012

Hamas' Rise and America's Failures

Watch Israel-Gaza Talks Face 'Complicating' Regional Realities on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

In a debate over the Israel-Gaza truce talks, Brookings' Khaled Elgindy makes an important point about Hamas:

Even since the attacks began, even since the assassination of their top military commander, their popularity, their stock, if you will, in the region has skyrocketed, while their rivals' in the West Bank has plummeted.

So, and even we're at a situation now where the exact opposite of the intended outcome is what we have. The policy has been for the last five years to support and build up the leadership in the West Bank...And to minimize and weaken through sanctions and diplomatic and other means to the government of the Hamas authority in the West Bank.

Today, we have the Qataris and Egyptians and other Egyptian leaders visiting Hamas, emboldening them and legitimizing them. And it's the American-backed Palestinian Authority that is on the verge of financial collapse.

So, essentially, you cannot have -- the definition of a failed policy is when it achieves the exact opposite of its intended outcome.

November 20, 2012

On the Ground with Civilians in Syria

Watch Syrian Civilians 'Feel Abandoned' by the West in Civil War on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

The NewsHour's Margaret Warner gives us a look at what Syria's civilian population is coping with.

November 17, 2012

Debating the Israel-Gaza War

Watch How Did Latest Escalation Between Israel and Hamas Begin? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.


The NewsHour hosted a good debate between Dan Schueftan and Hisham Melhem over the fighting in Gaza.

November 12, 2012

Debating Iranian Nuclear Negotiations

Inside Story convened several analysts for a look at the prospects of negotiating an end to the Iranian nuclear standoff.

November 8, 2012

Video: Debating Democracy Promotion

RT's CrossTalk hosted an interesting discussion with several U.S. analysts on the topic of U.S. democracy promotion.

October 15, 2012

The Future of Energy

The Atlantic Council hosted author and energy expert Daniel Yergin for an interesting discussion about energy and the impact of emerging energy trends on geopolitics in 2030.

September 29, 2012

Israel, Iran and Red Lines

Earlier this week, the News Hour hosted an interesting discussion between Robert Satloff and Paul Pillar on the Iranian nuclear program and Israel's "red lines." Enjoy.

September 6, 2012

See Putin Fly

The New York Times explains:

Vladimir V. Putin is the unquestioned supreme leader of Russia, known for his icy stare and steely ways. But now Mr. Putin has taken on a new, perhaps more tender, leadership role. He has guided a flock of birds — through the air.

Russia’s president piloted a motorized hang glider over an Arctic wilderness while leading six endangered Siberian cranes toward their winter habitat, as part of an operation called “The Flight of Hope,” his press office confirmed Wednesday.

July 16, 2012

Al-Qaeda in Yemen

Watch Al Qaeda in Yemen on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.


In May, Frontline ran a fascinating documentary on al-Qaeda in Yemen. It follows Iraqi reporter Abdul-Ahad as he travels into an al-Qaeda-held city and several strongholds throughout the country.

One interesting revelation to emerge in the footage is how sensitive al-Qaeda has become to tribal sensibilities following their rout in Iraq. Indeed, Ahad relates that even in Yemen, al-Qaeda ran afoul of a local tribe in the town of Lawdar and was quickly driven out. Meanwhile, Yemen's divided and dysfunctional army has largely failed to dislodge al-Qaeda.

July 9, 2012

Driving with NATO Through Pakistan

GlobalPost's Suzanna Koster interviews a NATO truck driver making the dangerous journey from Pakistan.

March 30, 2012

EVENT: Dealing With Iran


Cato is hosting an event today exploring options for dealing with Iran if diplomacy fails. The panel includes:

Jamie Fly, Foreign Policy Initiative

Matthew Kroenig, Georgetown University

Nuno Monteiro, Yale University

Joshua Rovner, U.S. Naval War College

It kicks off at 10:45 ET and is live-streaming above. Enjoy!

March 23, 2012

The Origin of 'Keep Calm and Carry On'

Via Open Culture, a short video documentary on the iconic British war posters.

January 6, 2012

The Global Power Shift



Here's an interesting talk from Paddy Ashdown on global shifts in power.

September 21, 2011

Niall Ferguson's Killer Apps










Historian Niall Ferguson gave an interesting TED talk about the "killer apps" of Western civilization.

A Saudi Joy Ride

We all know that women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, but after watching this video of a Saudi joy ride, you'll be left wondering why. They can't be any more crazy.

September 19, 2011

Your World, From Above

A neat time-lapse of the International Space Station as it flies around the world.

September 9, 2011

VP Cheney on 9/11 Lessons

AEI will be live-streaming a talk with former Vice President Dick Cheney on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 and the lessons learned. You can watch it above.

May 13, 2011

Our Growing World?

Via the Economist, a look at the world's growing population.

February 5, 2011

Understanding the Rise of China


If you need a respite from Egypt, here's Martin Jacques on China's rise.

January 28, 2011

Scenes from Suez

Al Jazeera, which the Times reported today is helping to fan the protest flames, is live-blogging the the protest.

December 2, 2010

Life Expectancy

A cool visualization of life expectancy and income growth in 200 countries over a 200 year period.

[Hat tip: TPM]

November 15, 2010

10 Centuries of European History

In five minutes:

September 27, 2010

Zakaria: Israel Can't Afford a Rival Turkey

Zakaria, in his final column for Newsweek, elaborates on Turkey's new foreign policy.

September 17, 2010

Egypt's State-Run Media Fail

September 13, 2010

Zakaria: Stay the Course

Fareed Zakaria makes the case for slowing the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq:

September 9, 2010

Measuring a Nation's Happiness

Nic Marks on how we rank nations:

June 5, 2010

Remembering Neda Agha-Soltan

h/t the Dish:

June 3, 2010

Why Europe Is Broke

A hilariously succinct explanation of Europe's financial disaster:

[Hat tip: Massie]

April 26, 2010

Video of the Day

In international institutions, China scored big diplomatic points this weekend.

Interestingly enough, while this is ostensibly a move motivated by economics, Robert Zoellick uses words more closely associated with power politics, like "polarity," than with political economy.

For more videos on topics from around the world, check out the Real Clear World videos page.

April 13, 2010

Video of the Day

The election in Great Britain is shaping up to be an interesting contest:

To read about their policy prescriptions from the source you can see the Labour and Tory websites.

For more videos on topics from around the world, checkout the Real Clear World videos page.

April 8, 2010

Video of the Day

The Taliban have released a video apparently showing the captured Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier serving in Afghanistan.

For more videos on issues from around the world check out the Real Clear World videos page.

April 6, 2010

Video of the Day

At least yesterday, the bloodiest insurgency was not in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq, but in India:

The Naxalites have been around for a long time and it looks like they are still going strong. This hearkens back to the days not so long ago when insurgencies were generally looked at as domestic rather than foreign problems.

For more videos on issues from around the world, check out the RealClearWorld videos page.

March 30, 2010

Video of the Day

Our video of the day is an interview with NYU Professor Stephen Cohen on the Moscow bombings:

For a manipulatable data set on past suicide attacks you can look at the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism. There is also an old article on female suicide bombers, by Lindsey O'Rourke. (Full Disclosure: I am a fellow at CPOST, and an associate of Lindsay O'Rourke.)

For more videos on issues from around the world check out the Real Clear World videos page.

March 29, 2010

Video of the Day

Today's video of the day focuses on one of the few terrorist or insurgent organizations that claims to be Christian, the Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa:

To learn more about the Lord's Resistance Army, you can read a summary of the organization, a summary of the Ugandan Civil War, a summary of the Human Rights Watch Report, and the report itself.

For more videos on topics from around the world, check out the RealClearWorld videos page.

March 18, 2010

Video of the Day

For today, please enjoy a little intentional and unintentional humor at an international gathering, courtesy of Vice President Joe Biden:

There is so little humor in international politics, sometimes it is worth highlighting when it comes along.

For more videos on topics around the world, check out our Real Clear World Video Page.

March 15, 2010

Video of the Day

In today's video, we get to play "Spot the War Crime":

It goes without saying that Al Jazeera is often very critical of Israel, so they highlight one that implicates Israelis, but there is another war crime that the report describes and it goes completely unnoticed; or at least uncommented on.

For more videos on topics around the world check out the Real Clear World videos page.

March 8, 2010

Video of the Day

We thought we had this guy for a bit on Sunday:

As it turns out, we did not. I must confess that I was a little bit disappointed, because Adam Gadahn is the first person indicted for treason in years, and watching this video he is not helping his case.

For more videos on topics from around the world check out the Real Clear World videos page.

March 2, 2010

Video of the Day

Today's video of the day is in keeping with the question of American military decline:

While military expenditures are not perfect measures of military capability, the U.S. military budget is currently greater than the rest of the worlds military expenditures combined, meaning that there is no country, nor combination of countries that can muster the military capital to equal the U.S. That one third of the populace is confused about this is amazing.

For more videos on issues around the world, check out the Real Clear World videos page.

March 1, 2010

Video of the Day

While there seems to be little danger of an actual coup in Turkey at this time, past coup attempts are in the news because of a recent crackdown in the country:

Turkey has an interesting history where coups are almost always pro-liberal events. The military overthrows the democratically elected government, because the government strays too far from principles of freedom, and so far the military has always willingly returned power to the people. Coups in Turkey are therefore often an illustration of how processes (democracy) is not the same as ideology (liberalism, in the classical sense). It is also an interesting case of the difficulty of democracy in the Middle East.

For more videos on topics from around the world, check out the Real Clear World video page.

February 26, 2010

"The Charisma of a Damp Rag"

South Carolina representative Joe Wilson got a bit of attention for shouting "you lie!" during President Obama's address to Congrees. But the UK's Nigel Farage gives EU President Herman Van Rompuy the tongue-lashing of a life time:

February 24, 2010

Video of the Day

If Hugo Chavez was not a virtual dictator of an important country in Latin America, I would say that he would be one of the funniest comedians in Latin America:

There is so much to chuckle about here, including addressing the Queen as if she controls British policy. Just in case you were wondering, though, the last time Argentina had any settlements in the Falklands was the 1830s. Now it is basically a huge sheep farm, with a population of about 3,000, all of whom speak English. So why care about the Falklands? You guessed it: Oil.

For more videos from around the world, check out the Real Clear World videos page.

February 22, 2010

Video of the Day

It seems universally true that a problematic few cause problems for all, and this is no more true than in Iran:

Iran has a long and justifiably proud history of scientific research, and it is impressive to see them pressing on in the face of sanctions and isolation. The saddest part is that there are probably many scientists caught in Iran who only want to advance their science, but are being inhibited because most of the world is concerned that their government is going to develop WMDs. It's possible that even some of the scientists working on the nuclear program feel that way.

For more videos on issues from around the world, check out the Real Clear World videos page.

February 17, 2010

Video of the Day

This is a topic that we have covered elsewhere on this blog, and yet a possible Mossad assassination is just too good to leave alone.

While there have always been conspiracy theories, the Internet has given them a home they never had. To be sure, there was a conspiracy here: to kill a Hamas commander. It succeeded, and maybe someday we will know who and why. In the mean time there will be a ton of speculation. Just for fun, kick in your conspiracy theory in the comments. I found it interesting that the conspirators apparently used the identities only of Europeans who speak Arabic.

For more videos on issues around the world, check out the Real Clear World Videos page.

February 16, 2010

Dubai Releases "Hit Squad" Video

Two weeks ago a Hamas commander was killed in his hotel room in Dubai. Now the authorities have released CCTV video showing the assassins tracing the man's movements:

The assassins had passports from a variety of European countries and now that their faces have been plastered all over Dubai, the awkward diplomacy begins. Here's the Daily Telegraph:

The Foreign Office was investigating how the identities of six innocent Britons — at least three of whom lived in Israel — came to be used by the alleged hit team...

As police in Dubai released CCTV footage of the suspects yesterday, some of the Britons whose identities were stolen voiced their anger after waking up to discover that they had been named in the plot.

"I have not left Israel for two years and I certainly have not been to Dubai recently," said Kent-born Paul Keeley, 42, a builder who has lived on a Kibbutz in northern Israel for the past 15 years.

"When I first heard about this I immediately looked to make sure my passport was still there and it was. It has not been stolen, so I don’t know what on earth has happened.


I'm obviously in no position to tell what's going on, but it does strike me as extremely problematic to steal an innocent person's identity to carry out an assassination. Of course, there's almost certainly a lot more to this story.

Video of the Day

If Secretary Clinton's portrayal of the administration's view of Iran is accurate, then it has a very peculiar view indeed:

This characterization is interesting, as it presents the current government in Iran - or in the recent past - as a legitimate one, just as the election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is being challenged.

For more videos on topics around the world, check out the Real Clear World Video Page.

February 12, 2010

Video of the Day

Sometimes people forget that China remains an authoritarian regime, but unfortunately, they cannot go long without reminding us:

It is strange to me that Liu Xiaobo has not received the attention that other causes celebres do. If there is any modern analog to Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, it is probably Liu Xiaobo. Poignantly, he is only accused of signing the Charter 2008.

For more news on issues from around the world check out the Real Clear World videos page.

February 10, 2010

Paris Activists Paint Iran Embassy Green

[Hat tip: RFL/RE]

February 9, 2010

Video of the Day

It seems as though Iran really enjoys stirring up trouble with the west:

For those who are not familiar, 20% enriched uranium is called Highly Enriched Uranium, and is a higher grade that what you find just lying around, or than what is commonly used for experiments at universities and so forth. It is still well short of the 90% enriched uranium necessary for weapons, but getting to 20% is the hard part. Once a country can create HEU, it is a relatively small step to weapons grade. For a reference on uranium enrichment, check out the Federation of American Scientists page on enrichment.

For more videos on topics from around the world check out the RCW Video page.

February 8, 2010

Video of the Day

It looks like Sherman was right:

It is apparent to me that Al Jazeera is attempting to paint the U.S. in a negative light with this video. While U.S. soldiers are in vehicles, who do you suppose delivered (and secured) those supplies? Nevertheless, this video highlights the Catch-22 that many Afghans feel they are in now.

For more videos on issues around the world, check out the Real Clear World Video page.

February 5, 2010

Video of the Day

The wide world of weird nuclear politics raises its head again:

It is interesting that a system completely incapable of withstanding a concerted assault by Russia should be so important not only to Russia, but to states like Romania and Poland. In this case it is not because of the capabilities, but the symbolism of the system. Eastern European states view the missile system, and presumably the troops that comes with it, as a clear signal of U.S. commitment in the region. Based on the reaction from the Kremlin, the Russians apparently agree - and they do not like it.

For more videos on topics throughout the world, check out the Real Clear World video page.

February 3, 2010

Video of the Day

Gordon Chang is extremely well known for being bearish on China, and so represents only one side of the scholarly debate on China and Chinese policy. Nevertheless, he points out something that is very interesting, and is often overlooked when dealing with U.S. and Chinese relations. Often people seem to think that the U.S. needs China because China has a huge market, but the trade balance shows that really it is China which needs the U.S. market. The only thing China buys in large quantities is U.S. debt, which I think most Americans would happily quit exporting.

For more videos on world events, check out the Real Clear World Video page.

February 2, 2010

Video of the Day

Relations continue to sour between the United States and China:

This could be an interesting natural experiment on the power, or lack thereof, of sanctions. While it is possible that a wobbly company might be hurt by sanctions, it seems unlikely that the economic titans that are U.S. defense contracting companies are among them. If this squabble heightens, this may finally spell the end of "Chimerica."

For more videos on the events of the world, look at the Real Clear World Videos page.

January 29, 2010

Video of the Day

The plan to 'reintegrate' the Taliban with money may seem like a new idea, but some are skeptical of its potential effectiveness:

The logic behind aid for current Taliban fighters is roughly the same as that behind foreign aid: we give you money to meet your needs, and you do not support our enemies. Underlying this is the assumption that these groups are actually somewhat autonomous and independent. If it works, 300 million is actually a fairly cheap price to make Afghanistan calmer.

For more videos, be sure to check the RCW video page.

January 28, 2010

Video of the Day

Yemen has gotten a lot of attention since the 'Panty Bomber' set his nether regions aflame and admitted to receiving training there. However, some Yemeni's are not all that thrilled about it:

No one should be surprised that people do not like outsiders interfering in the national business. Nevertheless, powerful states will always protect their interests, often at the expense of weaker states sovereignty. Sometimes there is a causal relationship, such that weak states are the target for groups like Al Qaeda, and since Al Qaeda threatens powerful states, the weak state is subject to powerful state influence. Regardless, complaints about outside interference are almost always a hallmark of weakness in a given area. Nobody ever really interferes in internal U.S. matters because that is a good way to get a non-humanitarian visit from the U.S. military.

For more videos, be sure to check the RCW video page.

January 26, 2010

Video of the Day

Vice President Biden seems to think he knows something about Middle Eastern politics. Iraqi's apparently disagree:

Some will view this as another rejection of the Obama administration, but primarily it is a demonstration of the fierce independence that most Arabs and Iraqis have with regards to their own affairs. It is possible that this disagreement could devolve into violence, but there does not seem to be much that the U.S. could do to stop it. It's disingenuous however to represent the Iraqi government as currently divided with "pro-" and "anti-" U.S. branches. Clearly there are going to be factions within any democratic government, but since Iraq is a partial parliamentary system, the parliament chooses the president, and therefore minimizes the differences across branches.

For more video on Iraq check out the RCW Videos page.

January 25, 2010

Video of the Day

That China and Google are still in the news tells you that this story is more significant than perhaps originally thought:

Part of the reason this story may have such long legs could be the fact that Google is such a powerful corporation. However, more tellingly, instead of backing off and denying everything, the Chinese Communist Party has decided to double down on their control of the internet. This is potentially significant for two reasons: 1. the party views its control of the internet as critical to its survival, meaning that China may not be as stable as many currently perceive, or 2. China now believes that its power vis-à-vis the United States is great enough that it can forge its own path in the international community,meaning that China's heretofore peaceful rise may have been ephemeral.

For more videos on international subjects check out the RCW Videos page.

January 22, 2010

Video of the Day

Russia has a new reason to feel insecure; at least it thinks so:

If there were ever a country that embodies the security dilemma as described by John Mearsheimer, it is Russia. Every increase in capabilities by near or not-so-near countries causes them to feel threatened. It is worth noting that the Patriot Missile system is primarily defensive, and Russian airspace is well out of range when deployed 100km from the border. Nevertheless, the tension in the U.S.-Russian relationship highlights the strange dynamic of nuclear politics where increases in defensive capabilities also increase first strike incentives.

For more videos on subjects from around the world, check out the RCW Video page.

January 21, 2010

Video of the Day

On the RCW video page we will periodically host interviews and speeches. Today we have Joseph Stiglitz:

Regardless of how many Nobel's someone has, one should never accept what they say uncritically. Nevertheless, Joseph Stiglitz is probably the most important critic of unchecked free markets in the west today. In academic circles, one would likely describe him as an opponent of the Chicago School, however in popular parlance, both Stiglitz and the Chicago School often devolve to parodies of themselves. One can see in this interview that Stiglitz may favor a second stimulus, but he is also concerned about deficit spending.

January 19, 2010

Video of the Day

Haiti is having the same problems that occur in the wake of many natural disasters.

Most people may remember that there were significant problems in the wake of Hurricane Katrina with the rule of law. Even without the problems of natural disaster, Haiti has had problems. Of course, many of these looters are probably just doing what it takes to stay alive, but as the rebuilding of the infrastructure drags on it would be unsurprising if we see many more casualties from lack of supplies and violence. Of course, there are always those, who wish to ignore that reality.

For more videos on subjects from around the world, check out the RCW Video page.

January 18, 2010

RCW Video of the Day

It seems that the Taliban may be hoping for their own Walter Cronkite moment.

While in retrospect we know that the Tet Offensive was a complete disaster for the Viet-Cong, it was a turning point in the Vietnam war, in no small part because it led to Walter Cronkite's famous editorial, declaring the war unwinnable. The political success of Tet led many who oppose the U.S. to believe that all that was needed was a well timed coup de grace to win. If this is what the Taliban were trying to do, it failed, in part because they seem to have failed to hold any area, and in part because the soldiers fighting them are Afghans.

(For more videos, check out the RCW Video page.)

January 14, 2010

RCW Video of the Day

In a day dominated by grim news out of Haiti, we bring you an interesting interview from Al Jazeera with a form CIA officer.

For more videos on the latest issues from around the world check out the RCW video page.

January 12, 2010

RCW Video of the Day

News that probably will not get a lot of play but may have far reaching consequences:

It is worth noting that Bangladesh is a primarily Muslim country, which actually used to be known as Eastern Pakistan. It was able to break away from that country as a result of Indian intervention which was part of the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. It may be significant that India is able to warm ties to an Islamic country in South Asia.

For more videos on the latest issues from around the world check out the RCW video page.

January 6, 2010

RCW Video of the Day

On Monday, the United States joined South Korea in allowing HIV-positive people to visit and immigrate to their countries:

While this story has been up against a lot of domestic and international issues in the news cycle, I am surprised that outside of a few AIDS advocacy groups and the United Nations, almost nothing has been said on the topic. The closest we got was this report by ABC.

For more videos on the latest issues from around the world check out the RCW video page.