From China: America, keep your Internet in a box
“These new networks will allow opposition forces to circumvent government control of electronic communications in countries such as Iran and Libya."
"As usual, freedom of speech and democracy are the high-sounding rhetoric the U.S. uses when selling its suitcase project or ‘shadow Internet’."
"The U.S. State Department has carefully framed its support of such projects as promoting free speech and human rights, but it is clear that the policy is aimed at destabilizing national governments."
From Pakistan: Believe it or not, there’s more to the West than “indecency, materialism and dominance”
While the West may mean “indecency, materialism and an insatiable hunger for global political dominance” to many Pakistanis, such perceptions are based on prejudices that don’t always hold up, writes Syed Imad-ud-Din Asad in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.
Of course, Western culture differs from Pakistani culture in important ways, writes Asad. Westerners, after all, are “more focused on ensuring material security and advancement than we are; and some western governments regularly interfere, illogically and in a dictatorial fashion, in the Muslim world worsening the already existing political turmoil.”
Yet, “this is definitely not all that the West stands for,” explains Asad. “[I]s there any Muslim country that can outperform a western one in arts, science, technology?” Asad asks, “Is there any university in the Muslim world that can compete with the best western universities, like Harvard, Yale,Oxford, Cambridge and Heidelberg?”
“No,” he answers, adding “Too many non-Westerners blame the West “while driving western cars, enjoying western appliances and playing with western Blackberries and iPhones.”
Yet, Adad notes, “westernization, as some westerners and western-educated Muslims erroneously believe, is definitely not the answer” to the question of how the rest of the world should respond to this cultural dissonance with the West.
From Saudi Arabia: Does U.S. intervention help extremists?
“Every time the US intervenes in a Muslim country, it ends up helping the extremists expand their base and constituency,” explains an editorial in Saudi Arabia’s Arab News. Such a result, as has occurred in Pakistan, will also happen in Yemen should the U.S. continue to ramp up military operations there, the editorial asserts.
While drone and incursion attacks have been successful in targeting high-profile targets, including Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, “they have also ended up killing thousands of innocent people including women and children, which in turn has only fueled anti-U.S. sentiment in Pakistan and Afghanistan, destabilizing the whole region and providing ready recruits to Al-Qaeda and its allies.”
As Yemen roils in revolution, with the president having been shuttled into Saudi Arabia seeking treatment for wounds, the U.S. has sought to solidify the ability to launch operations against al-Qaeda in Yemen. “While there’s no denying the presence of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, the U.S. will only boost the extremists’ cause by sending in its fighter jets and men," writes the Arab News.
“Instead of fighting phantoms in the Middle East,” says the editorial, “Washington needs a reality check to see what and who is responsible for turning this ancient land into a battlefield.”
From India: Has the U.S. made Pakistan a Banana Republic?
“Pakistan has ceased to be a sovereign nation and has slipped into the status of a banana republic subservient in practically all respects to the U.S.,” writes Ashok Mitra in India’s Telegraph.
Like Latin America in the 1950s, Pakistan has been swept up in the economic largess of the U.S., a nation which “faces no competition or hindrance in pursuing its single-minded objective of establishing absolute hegemonic control over the globe.”
Pakistan’s path was predictable, writes Mitra: “Even as the magnitude of [U.S.] military and economic aid to Pakistan kept mounting, insistence on the part of U.S. officials to have a larger and larger say in the country’s foreign and domestic policies also grew.”
From the Philippines: Philippines must look beyond U.S. to an “increasingly aggressive China”
The Philippines should develop foreign policy independent of the U.S., writes and editorial in the Manila Times. While the U.S. may be an important counterbalance to an “increasingly aggressive China,” relying on American assurances is out of the question, as its “policies will shift according to their respective national interests.”
“Given the continuing economic problems and shifting political landscape in America, the Philippines should not assume that President Obama and future U.S. presidents will always give priority to this region, and if they could, sustain that policy over time,” writes the editorial.
“When push comes to shove, the U.S. will behave in pursuit of its own national interest,” says the editorial, “And so should the Philippines.”
From Taiwan: U.S. Needs a Retake on Taiwan
The United States needs to demonstrate a new vision on Taiwan, writes a former U.S. Ambassador and former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan in the Taipei Times.
The U.S. Congress, most recently with its 45-senator-signed letter to President Obama urging the sale of F-16C/D aircraft, has been a consistent advocate for Taiwan, writes Nat Bellocchi.
A new Congress-led course of action should unwind the policies that became tangled under President Clinton and have remained so to the present. “Muddling through along the lines of present policy is no option,” writes Bellocchi, adding, “The future of a democratic country is at stake.”