Leadership

A new dawn or more of the same for Zimbabwe?

Many Zimbabweans hope inauguration will usher in new era but critics raise concerns over Mnangagwa’s ties to old guard. Tendai Marima AlJazeera Harare, Zimbabwe – A loud and familiar chant rang out across the tightly-packed arena as Emmerson Mnangagwa took to the stage to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president. “ED Pfee! ED Pfee!” the crowds roared in unison, echoing the ruling ZANU-PF party’s election campaign slogan for Mnangagwa to “get in there” in the hope that Zimbabwe’s second president will deliver a new era of ... Read More »

Seafood diplomacy? Erdogan invites ‘dearest friend’ Putin to meet at fish restaurant

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan may soon be discussing the S-400 anti-air systems deal while eating fish or lobsters, as Putin has been reminded of an arrangement to meet at a… * RT An invitation from Erdogan, delivered to Putin by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu on Friday, said: “Your dearest friend, Mr. Erdogan, has asked to convene his greetings and best wishes, he is hoping for your visit to Istanbul in the near future. You have ... Read More »

Pope Francis in Ireland draws 600,000 people amid protests

Although his visit will draw vast crowds, Ireland is no longer the Catholic stronghold it once was. His visit will be marked by abuse protests that would have been unthinkable at Pope John Paul II’s visit. Ralf Sotscheck DW Pope Francis is coming to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, and the Emerald Isle has come down with Pope fever. A large part of central Dublin has been cordoned off, and 600,000 people are expected at the papal Mass ... Read More »

Pointless: Australian democracy is now an even bigger laughing stock

Of all the pointless convulsions in Australian politics in the last decade, this is surely the most pointless. Peter Hartcher The Canberra Times It achieved no benefit on any level but came at great cost to the government and to Australia. There was no great principle at stake. The only policies at issue could have been worked through with a bit of goodwill, as Malcolm Turnbull said. The new prime minister isn’t even as electable as… Only 54 per cent ... Read More »

Putin and Erdoğan Knock Again at Merkel’s Door

Sanctions force the two autocrats to negotiate with Germany over Syria. By Josué Michels theTrumpet Germany’s diplomatic relations with Turkey and Russia are warming up again. For several years, these relationships have been frosty. Reuters reported last week “But now, a diplomatic firework erupted” (Trumpet translation throughout). German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a three hour discussion on August 18. A meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planned for September. Ahead of the meeting ... Read More »

How This Will End

Sooner or later, tyrants are always abandoned by their followers. Eliot A. Cohen The Atlantic Michael Gerson, one of the most eloquent and principled critics of Donald Trump, insists that we are at June 1973, the moment when John Dean’s testimony broke the dam that a year later swept Richard Nixon off into disgrace. Others agree: This is an inflection point. And yet an equally well-informed friend insists, “I no longer believe in political inflection points and neither should you.” ... Read More »

The Ally That Isn’t

Almost two years ago, the American Presbyterian minister Andrew Brunson was taken hostage by the Turkish government. The Editors Weekly Standard The charges against him—“political or military espionage” and “support for a terrorist group”—are absurd. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen extradited from the United States—he holds a paranoid grudge against Gülen, whom he blames for a coup attempt in 2016—and erroneously thought the… President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both paid ... Read More »

America’s illegitimate president

Washington: Donald Trump probably would not have become president without his victory in seven of the 11 primaries held on Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Max Boot Brisbane Times Washington Post Now his presidency is in danger of being undone by Terrible Tuesday – August 21, 2018. This was the day when his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was convicted of eight felony counts in a Virginia courtroom and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight felony counts in ... Read More »

The Liberal Party is teetering on the brink of extinction

Mathias Cormann attempted to deliver the death blow. Without relish he wielded his blade, a distraught, reluctant Brutus to the Cassius from Queensland. Catherine McGregor The Sydney Morning Herald But in its current state the Liberal Party cannot even organise an assassination, let alone run the country. Although it is tempting to focus on the personalities, the betrayals and the poisonous personal feuds, there is much more at stake amid the current chaos within the federal Coalition. The government of ... Read More »

ISIL chief Baghdadi urges ‘jihad’ in purported new recording

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on Muslims to wage “jihad” in a purported new audio recording released on Aug. 22. BEIRUT – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet He also called for attacks in the West in the Telegram message on Eid al-Adha, which comes as ISIL has lost most of its territory in Iraq and Syria. It is the first purported recording of the ISIL leader to be released since September last year. “Those who forget their religion, patience, jihad against their enemies, and their certainty inthe creator’s promise lose… ISIL chief Baghdadi… Read More »

Former President Jimmy Carter lives in a $167,000 house and shops at the Dollar General

Former President Jimmy Carter might have once called the white mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue his home, but now, he lives in a much, much more modest abode. Sarah Berger CNBC Carter, the nation’s 39th president, lives a fairly normal — and frugal — life, according to The Washington Post. In fact, Carter, 93, still lives in the ranch house he built himself in 1961. The home, in rural Plains, Georgia (about a 2½-hour drive south of Atlanta) is a two-bedroom ... Read More »

Is Washington pushing Turkey and Europe toward each other?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking new allies to offset Ankara’s worsening ties with Washington, which have come to a breaking point over Turkey’s continued detention of American pastor… Semih Idiz Al-Monitor Erdogan’s remarks show that his heart is set on Russia and China. Ironic as it may seem, though, Turkey’s crisis with the United States is rekindling its ties with Europe, even though these ties had hit rock bottom not so long ago. Recent European statements of support for ... Read More »

Turkey-U.S. Tiff Shows How Deep NATO’s Problems Run

Europe can’t just blame Trump if everything falls apart. Hal Brands Bloomberg NATO is having a rough summer. Fresh off President Trump’s deliberately disruptive behavior at the alliance summit in July, NATO has suffered a high-stakes blowup between two key members: the U.S. and… That dispute crystallized over the fate of an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, being held in Turkey on spurious charges of supporting a failed coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. It has been punctuated by economic sanctions, ... Read More »

How China Controls Its Citizens

China is zombifying ostensibly regulatory-type international institutions in an effort to spread its pro-Party message. E. John Gregory The National Interest In the first two parts of this series, I explained the genesis and logic behind China’s discursive-construction of a truth-ambivalent China-wide safe space where the Communist Party would be unassailable and understood as indispensable to the nation. I also explained how the Party created a zombified version of what the West calls “civil society” in order to make the ... Read More »

The Most Damaging Thing That’s Happened to Trump

It wasn’t what Michael Cohen alleged in court, or the conviction of his campaign chair. Benjamin Wittes The Atlantic It is the morning after a devastating defeat. Smoke is still rising from the field. The rubble has not yet been cleared. And the commanders are having trouble facing just how hopeless their position has become. They no longer know on how many fronts they are fighting, how many separate enemies they face, or to what extent those enemies are cooperating—one ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results. Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »