Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Recommended Reading

End of the day links for your edification:

1. John Gray reviews Margaret Atwood's Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, in which Atwood takes something of a meta-view of debt. In essence our profligate ways with our own money reflect our attitudes towards the capital that is our planet, but that the Earth will not be so kind as the present crisis when it's time to pay it back.

2. U.S. officials accuse Pakistan's ISI of supporting Taliban attacks in Afghanistan in a very direct manner, with ISI agents going so far as to strategize with the Taliban about attacks on American forces. Meanwhile, former members of the Taliban say that talks with the Taliban are a possible route to peace, though one says of American forces: "They have a right to ensure that there is no danger to them from Afghanistan...[but] That is the limit of their rights in this country."

3. An aging Dalai Lama concedes that his strategy of engaging the Chinese leadership on Tibet has failed not only to gain traction for Tibetan autonomy, but to slow down the Chinese makeover of the country. China's response to any burgeoning demonstrations of Tibetan independence is met only with repression and violence, but alternative strategies are wanting.

4. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister-delegate, insists that Israel is a "partner for peace" while at the same time he's making backdoor deals to expand Israeli settlements in a particular part of the West Bank, a move that the U.S. government has long opposed as an impediment to peace.

5. In an op-ed for the WSJ, three former Presidents of Latin American countries argue that the "war on drugs" is a dismal failure, and it's time for a new course of action.

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