Asia Time Online - Daily News
Asia Times Chinese
AT Chinese

Marilyn Monroe and the invention of 'sex'



 Media Kit

 Write for ATol

 About ATol




    Front Page
Sinai attack reverberates across region

The ease with which militants overran an Egyptian border post and rode an armored personal carrier into Israel before the suicide-vest laden passengers were killed by an Israeli ground-and-air operation underlines the Sinai's increasingly fraught security situation. It also threatens delicate relations between both countries and Hamas in the Gaza Strip - but could prompt Egyptian and Israeli forces to work more closely than ever on security. - Victor Kotsev (Aug 7, '12)

Bomb Iran fever
Well-informed Israelis know striking Iran's nuclear program will only delay it by six months, while no solution exists to Israel's lack of fly-over rights, bunker-busters and intel. As the United States is also well aware of the risks, the only reasons behind the "bomb Iran" mantra seem to be Jerusalem's regional ambitions and Washington's desire to revive a Persian satrapy. - Pepe Escobar (Aug 7, '12)

A tale of a missed opportunity
A standout in the past decade of failed nuclear openings between Iran and the West is Tehran's decision in 2006 to cease applying the International Atomic Energy Association's Additional Protocol. By accepting the voluntary safeguards standard, Iran could wrong-foot its adversaries and secure compelling IAEA assurances. Its refusal to do so suggests the country has lost all faith in IAEA impartiality.
- Peter Jenkins (Aug 7, '12)

China bares claws in maritime dispute
In the past, though Beijing was determined to strengthen its claims in the South China Sea, it was just as serious about calming jangled nerves in Southeast Asia, insisting that its intentions were peaceful. Now Beijing is more aggressive on the issue, and Southeast Asian unity has suffered as a result.
- Ian Storey (Aug 7, '12)

Love-hate thy neighbor in Vietnam

While it needs to maintain strong trade relations with China, the Communist government in Hanoi also wants to shore up its political credibility at home by cashing in on anti-China sentiment fueled by Beijing's increasingly aggressive stance on the Spratly Islands dispute. The dilemma means the Vietnamese regime is all at sea over what to do with anti-China protesters.
- Simon Speakman Cordall (Aug 7, '12)

India extends Malacca Strait reach
India is keeping a beadier eye on the strategically important waters around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the commissioning of a naval air station, INS Baaz. As the southernmost base of the Indian armed forces and overlooking the world's busiest shipping lanes in the Malacca Strait, Baaz (meaning "hawk" in Hindi) and upgrades to other bases fit the policy of countering Chinese strategic moves on India's eastern flank.
- Sudha Ramachandran (Aug 7, '12)

The end of ASEAN centrality?
Cambodia's decision to relent to Chinese pressure and challenge Southeast Asian unity over maritime issues is ironic given the role diplomacy played in securing Cambodia's release from Vietnamese occupation. China also needs to remember that its soft power and influence in the region depends on it supporting, not undermining, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
- Amitav Acharya (Aug 7, '12)

To submit to Speaking Freely click here

China, Japan stretch peace pacts
Japanese threats that force could be used to defend contested East China Sea islands against Chinese aggression are a significant - and dangerous - departure from the terms of non-aggression pacts keeping the peace between the Asian giants. Boasting the world's second-strongest destroyer fleet and cutting-edge command and control systems, Tokyo's navy presents a much more formidable foe than Beijing's rivals in the South China Sea.
- Kosuke Takahashi (Aug 6, '12)

Politicking curbs Bo family punishment
Charges against Chinese lawyer Gu Kailai for her impending murder trial suggest her husband, disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai, will not later be accused of corruption-related offenses. That says a lot about Beijing's renewed determination to put stability and "harmony" ahead of political and legal reform as it strikes deals to preserve a facade of unity before the pivotal 18th Party Congress.
- Willy Lam (Aug 6, '12)

Patriots and protests in Hong Kong
A mandatory "national education" course scheduled for the upcoming primary-school curriculum is widely seen as Communist Party propaganda imposed by Beijing, which is increasingly impatient with the thousands of "disloyal" protesters regularly crowding Hong Kong's streets. Far from mollifying the city, the move has sparked even more protests.
- Kent Ewing (Aug 6, '12)

Pakistan says goodbye to Afghan refugees

Pakistan has incensed many of the three million long-term Afghans now living in refugee camps by saying they are a threat to law and order. It also risks angering the UN if it forcibly sends them back over the border. Yet when their refugee status expires at the end of the year, they will have to leave. Afghanistan is ill-prepared for the mass influx.
- Zofeen Ebrahim (Aug 6, '12)

Iran eyes role as post-Arab Spring 'anchor'
Iran is pursuing "linkage diplomacy" in its foreign policy approach, viewing issues such as insecurity in Iraq, tensions in the Persian Gulf and chaos in Syria - as well as its own nuclear standoff with the West - as a series of connected crises that need to be dealt with in tandem, Dr Abbas Maleki, former deputy foreign minister of Iran, tells Asia Times Online.
- Kaveh L Afrasiabi (Aug 6, '12)

'Occupy' with Chinese characteristics
Thrilling demonstrations of people power in China create a new challenge for foreign observers who view protests through the prism of the Tiananmen Square uprising and of US-adoring and democracy-worshipping dissidents. As the heated battle last month in Qidong over alleged pollution shows, a new generation is embracing its own kind of "Occupy" activism, and the Communist Party hasn't quite figured out how to handle it. - Peter Lee (Aug 3, '12)

Outlook brighter
Microsoft has called it a day for Hotmail, in spite of its still strong user base, in the hope of recouping market share lost to Google's Gmail. The new service will prove popular if at least it can handle spam and the other evils of modern communications. (Aug 3, '12)
Martin J Young surveys the week's developments in computing, gaming and gizmos.

Obama does Syriana
As Western media finally confirm that the floodgates of US assistance to Syria's rebels have opened, the conflict is becoming a redux of the 1980s' Afghan jihad, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar playing the role of Pakistan, the Not Exactly Free Syrian Army as glorious mujahideen "freedom fighters" and US President Barack Obama as Ronald Reagan. Similarly disastrous blowback looms large. - Pepe Escobar (Aug 2, '12)

Where is Prince Bandar?
Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar "Bush", the presumptive orchestrator of "Damascus Volcano", the failed attempt to obliterate Bashar al-Assad's inner sanctum, has dropped off the radar. Has Syrian intelligence bumped him off? Or did the Iranians get their man in a tit-for-tat bombing in Riyadh, where the prince was newly crowned head of Saudi intel? As the rumor mills hit overdrive in Syria, the House of Saud is cloaked in silence. - Pepe Escobar (Aug 1, '12)

Rare earths bankroll North Korea's future
Signs of affluence in Pyongyang are remarkable given North Korea's economic isolation. The secret to its present and future wealth lies below the country's mountains, particularly in the form of increasingly pricy rare earth metals. - Leonid Petrov

Pyongyang serves itself
North Korea's latest led to resolve its two-decade-long food shortage appears foredoomed. While some of the reforms make sense, they are concentrated around the capital, Pyongyang, already a bubble of relative prosperity and development, while the provinces struggle for survival. - Yong Kwon

Value-added electioneering
Election-time economic posturing need not always be superficial, as the detailed plans of political opponents can at times set out a correct diagnosis of society's ills. If their solutions are misguided, one's own plans can at least address the ills they have identified. - Martin Hutchinson

Israel a role model for Japan
Japan's failure to rescue itself from years of stagnation is in marked contrast to the economic success of Israel since its own desolate period in the 1980s. The answer may be for Japan's would-be innovators to get out, get rich, and feed back. - Takahiro Miyao

Wacky and wackier
The euro crisis can still produce wacky moments, such as European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi warning against shorting the currency or the Bank of Estonia claiming its vote matches that of the Bundesbank. At least the German bank knows better.
Doug Noland looks at the previous week's events each Monday.

TONY ALLISON (1953-2012)
Asia Times Online's Editor-in-Chief Anthony Allison died on June 20 after a short illness. We extend our sympathy to Tony's family for their tragic and premature loss.



Chinese warships in the Mediterranean
With the Syrian situation hotting up, Beijing couldn’t have chosen a curiouser moment to show the flag in the Eastern Mediterranean...
- M K Bhadrakumar

If the average American were half has critical as the average Israeli, our country would be far better off.
Lester Ness
   Go to Letters to the Editor

1. China, Japan stretch peace pacts

2. Iran eyes role as post-Arab Spring 'anchor'

3. Indonesia saves ASEAN's face

4. Pakistan says goodbye to Afghan refugees

5. Obama does Syriana

6. Where is Prince Bandar?

7. Politicking curbs Bo family punishment

8. 'Occupy' with Chinese characteristics

9. Sacrificing Iran's queen

10. Patriots and protests in Hong Kong

(24 hours to 11:59pm ET, Aug 6, 2012)

Myanmar Forum


All material on this website is copyright and may not be republished in any form without written permission.
Copyright 1999 - 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings), Ltd.
Head Office: Unit B, 16/F, Li Dong Building, No. 9 Li Yuen Street East, Central, Hong Kong
Thailand Bureau: 11/13 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin, Prachuab Kirikhan, Thailand 77110