Forget the premature obituaries. To its critics, globalization is the
cause of today's financial collapse, growing inequality, unfair trade,
and insecurity. To its boosters, it's the solution to these problems.
What's not debatable is that it is here to stay.
With a new president in the White House and a celebrated reformist shaking up Tehran, the time seems ripe for a diplomatic breakthrough 30 years in the waiting. But when it comes to dealing with the Islamic Republic, be forewarned: Washington's usual go-slow approach is doomed to fail.
Act now, we're told, if we want to save the planet from a climate
catastrophe. Trouble is, it might be too late. The science is settled,
and the damage has already begun. The only question now is whether we
will stop playing political games and embrace the few imperfect options
we have left.
From the outside, the Vatican appears resistant to change and tone-deaf
to scandal. But, in truth, the world's oldest religious institution
bears little resemblance to the mysterious church imagined by
conspiracy theorists. Today, Catholicism is attracting millions of new
and diverse followers who are embracing the church's traditions of
debate and independence as gospel.
He may be the most unpopular president in modern times: a reckless,
unilateralist cowboy. But history will be kinder to George W. Bush than
contemporary caricatures. After eight years, he leaves behind much more
than a defeated dictator in Iraq. Closer ties to India, a pragmatic
relationship with China, and the pressure he applied to Iran will pay
dividends for years to come.
The Olympic Games were founded to bridge cultural divides and promote
peace. Instead, they often mask human rights abuses, do little to spur
political change, and lend legitimacy to unsavory governments. Worse,
the Beijing Games could still be the most controversial of all.
Six decades after its founding, the Jewish state is neither as
vulnerable as its supporters claim nor as callous and calculating as
its critics imagine. But if it is to continue defying all expectations,
Israel must first confront its own mythology.
They help protect civilians and soldiers from the atrocities of war.
But these hard-won rules of battle are falling by the wayside:
Terrorists ignore them, and governments increasingly find them quaint
and outdated. With every violation, war only gets deadlier for
He has been called a despot, a menace, and even a murderer. But
Vladimir Putin's half-baked autocratic regime won't rule Russia
forever. After nearly a decade in power, Putin is more isolated than
ever. Will he step down, leaving behind a paralyzed political system
and a bootless economy? Or will he continue the charade of phony
democracy that has brought him this far?
It protects wealthy autocrats, poisons the environment, and fuels
international conflicts. Yet it won't be the false threat of scarcity
or the rise of an Asian energy axis that convinces the world to finally
kick the oil habit. An auto revolution courtesy of Silicon Valley and
Shanghai may deliver an end to the defining addiction of our age.
Prohibition has failed -- again. Instead of treating the demand for
illegal drugs as a market, and addicts as patients, policymakers the
world over have boosted the profits of drug lords and fostered
narcostates that would frighten Al Capone. Finally, a smarter drug
control regime that values reality over rhetoric is rising to replace
the "war" on drugs.
It likes to pretend it is a kinder, gentler alternative to the United
States. But stagnant economies, suffering immigrants, and elitist
rhetoric don't make a global powerhouse. With nothing less than the
future of the European project at stake, the countries of Europe must
now either unite behind much-needed reforms, or watch their differences
tear them apart.
She is considered the ultimate team player, a woman of intelligence and
poise whose loyalty to President George W. Bush is unwavering. But a
closer look reveals that Condi is less intellectual, politically
savvier, and far more formidable than people realize.
It's often said that China is walking a tightrope: Its economy depends
on foreign money, its leadership is set in its ways, and its military
expansion threatens the world. But the Middle Kingdom's immediate
dangers run deeper than you realize.
The CEO of News Corp. has been injecting his personal views into the
press and promoting provocative entertainment for nearly four decades.
But the tycoon is no tyrant. He's less powerful than you think and not
the evil genius you fear.
The recent war revealed neither a vulnerable Jewish state nor a
Lebanese militia carrying the hopes of the Arab world. In truth, Israel
could never have delivered the decisive victory its citizens expected,
and Hezbollah has been left weakened and resented. The conflict was
bloodier than anyone anticipated, but it just might set the stage for a
new order in the Middle East.
The attacks on the United States were neither a clash of civilizations
nor an unqualified success for al Qaeda. They were, however, a clash of
policy that continues to this day. As al Qaeda struggles to strike
again, the United States wrestles with a confused war on terror that
won't end until Americans are forced to choose between Medicare and
It is vilified as a propaganda machine and Osama bin Laden's
mouthpiece. In truth, though, Al Jazeera is as hated in the palaces of
Riyadh as it is in the White House. But, as millions of loyal viewers
already know, Al Jazeera promotes a level of free speech and dissent
rarely seen in the Arab world. With plans to go global, it might just
become your network of choice.
In only eight years, the darling of the Internet world has rocketed to
fame and fortune. Boasting users in every corner of the world, the
popular search engine is the quintessential American success story. Yet
it has begun to draw skepticism from Wall Street and the ire of human
rights groups. Is Google really as kind, ubiquitous, and omnipotent as
Criminal tribunals in places such as Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia
were supposed to bring justice to oppressed peoples. Instead, they have
squandered billions of dollars, failed to advance human rights, and
ignored the wishes of the victims they claim to represent. It's time to
abandon the false hope of international justice.
Bankruptcies, terrorism, and high oil prices have rocked the airline
industry. Customers complain about bad service and long lines. Are
airlines doomed? Not a chance. The global economy cannot function
without air travel. But the industry that emerges from the coming
shakeout will need a whole new set of wings.
High oil prices have everyone talking about energy independence again.
But a look at the numbers reveals the vaunted goal is an illusion. And
conservation isn't the answer, either. The sooner we realize it, the
sooner we can talk about real solutions to the energy crisis.
Judging by news headlines, human trafficking is a recent phenomenon. In fact,
the coerced movement of people across borders is as old as the laws of supply
and demand. What is new is the volume of the traffic -- and the realization
that we have done little to stem the tide. We must look beyond our raw emotions
if we are ever to stop those who trade in human lives.