Global News Journal

British royalty steps into Central Asia energy diplomacy

October 31, 2008

Britain’s Prince Andrew stepped into Central Asia energy diplomacy this week, touring the vast former Soviet region and holding top-level talks on gas supplies in remote Turkmenistan.

Euphoria at Saddam’s fall becomes a sigh

October 31, 2008

I still remember what my father-in-law told me that fateful day in 2003, as we sat riveted by the sight of American soldiers on television pulling down the iconic statue of Saddam Hussein from its pedestal in a Baghdad square.

Bailing out Russian oligarchs

October 30, 2008

Posted by Guy Faulconbridge

Not all of Russia’s rich businessmen are queuing up for a loan under a government rescue package offering billions of dollars in state funds to bail out oligarchs who have been badly hit by the global financial crisis.

Russia talks to foreign investors – in private

October 30, 2008

Posted by Gleb Bryanski

Foreign investors who filed into a Moscow hotel on Wednesday anxious to hear what Russia’s anti-crisis tsar First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov had to say about the future of the market were disappointed to find he had not shown up.

“Deja vu all over again” in struggling Hungary?

October 29, 2008


Hungary has negotiated a $25 billion economic rescue package with the IMF, the EU and the World Bank. What else is new? As that non-Hungarian philosopher of gamesmanship Yogi Berra put it, it’s ”like déjà vu all over again”.  

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Will the U.S. have to turn to Iran for help on Afghanistan?

October 28, 2008

Will the United States have to turn to its old nemesis Iran for help in Afghanistan? A couple of articles out this month suggest it will.

What really happened in the U.S. raid on Syria?

October 28, 2008

   So much of what passes for news in the Middle East is enveloped in shadow, with even seasoned observers reduced to weighing claim and counter-claim with little hard evidence to go on. Yet another example is the U.S. raid across the Syrian border on Sunday.
   Syria says the attack by U.S. forces inside Syria was a “terrorist aggression” which targeted a farm and killed eight civilians.
    A U.S. official said the raid by U.S. forces is believed to have killed a major al Qaeda operative, known as Abu Ghadiya, who helped smuggle foreign fighters into Iraq.
    But do we really know what happened?
    We do know that following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of  Iraq, Syria, which feared it was next on Washington’s list of rogue states for regime change, permitted the transit of Jihadi volunteers for the Iraqi insurgency fighting the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
    We also know that there have been similar attacks by U.S. forces near the Iraqi border, and also in Afghanistan and across the Afghan-Pakistan border. In at least two instances these operations have mistakenly hit a wedding party and civilian houses despite claims they were al Qaeda hideouts.
    We also know that the U.S. military has at least twice in the past carried out attacks across the Syrian border but this was the first time the obsessively secretive Syrian regime has gone public with it and allowed camera crews to reach the area and film the aftermath.
    Damascus is resentful because, as part of its attempt to improve its image internationally, it has clamped down on al Qaeda-inspired Islamist militants. It feels its efforts are not being recognised by Washington and that the Jihadis  are seeking reprisals.
   “I can tell you and explain that the terrorist explosion in Damacus in September happened because we tightened our border with Iraq. They (Jihadis) wanted revenge for what we are doing. Unfortunately they are not the only revenging party. Of course the Americans tried to ‘reward’ us by carrying out this (attack) ,” said Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.
    Given the credibility of all parties  in this affair it is going to be difficult to get to the the bottom of what happened.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

IMF bailout: the coming medicine for Pakistan?

October 27, 2008

Is the International Monetary Fund going to force Pakistan to swallow its classic bitter pill – which to some is worse than the disease – as a price of rescuing it from economic meltdown?

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India, Japan in security pact; a new architecture for Asia?

October 25, 2008

While much of the media attention during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan this week was focused on a free trade deal the two sides failed to agree on, another pact that could have even greater consequences for the region was quietly pushed through.

Was rightist Haider gay? Austria doesn’t care

October 24, 2008

 Now that Austrian far-right leader Joerg Haider is dead, the German, British and U.S. press are eagerly spilling the beans on his “secret double life”, saying that he had a male lover.