Iranian director Asghar Farhadi with his Oscar for best foreign language film. (Photo: Reuters)
In once-quiet Jordan, air of unrest looms
Jordan may have escaped the turmoil that has swept through the rest of the region, writes Sarah Lynch in USA Today, but many - including the opposition Islamic Action Front - are agitating for change.
In a regional atmosphere of growing freedom, Jordanians have grown active in demanding their rights. Teachers went on strike for more than two weeks in early February insisting on higher salaries. The strike effectively shut down public schools across the nation. Outside Parliament on Thursday, a group of high school students protested their grades on recent exams that determine their standing for college.
Iran Claims an Oscar Win, Warily
Robert Mackey and J. David Goodman of the New York Times examine the Iranian regime’s curious response to an Oscar win by its countrymen.
While many Iranians with illegal satellite dishes reportedly managed to watch the Oscar telecast live, and the English speakers among them were able to parse Mr. Farhadi’s words for themselves, Iran’s state television cast the victory as, in part, a triumph over Israel, which had a film among the nominees.
Why China Will Have an Economic Crisis
Michael Schuman of Time believes that China will suffer if Beijing continues on its current course of fiscal policies.
I don’t doubt for a second that China will be a major economic superpower with an increasingly influential role in the global economy. In many respects, it already is a superpower. But that doesn’t mean the economy is free from problems, a good number of them created by the very statist system lauded by pundits in the U.S. and Europe. And in my opinion, if China doesn’t change course, and in a big way, the country will experience an economic crisis.
Saudi Arabia Is Arming the Syrian Opposition
History has shown that a Saudi decision to provide weapons to insurgents fighting Assad’s regime cannot end well, writes Jonathan Schanzer in Foreign Policy.
In the 1970s, the Saudis used their enormous oil wealth to inflict pain on the Soviets wherever they could. The Saudis fought communist governments and political movements with more than $7.5 billion in foreign and military aid to countries like Egypt, North Yemen, Pakistan, and Sudan… But the Saudis didn’t simply counter communism. They fueled a generation of zealous Islamist fighters who later caused bigger problems elsewhere.
Syria, the case for staying out
Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times takes a somber look at the price of intervention in Syria.
The key question for any outside intervention is not only whether it can stop the killing but also whether it can decisively tip the balance in favour of a peaceful and sustainable political solution. If that does not happen, foreign intervention can simply intensify a conflict.