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Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials

Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the US and abroad

Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad:


Sept. 16

The Kingsport (Tennessee) Times News on United States and Iran relations:

Even as sufficient Democratic senators supported a treaty giving Iran carte blanche to go nuclear, thereby forcing Israel to destroy this capability in self-defense, the supreme leader of Iran is ranting that America is worse than the devil and Iran will have nothing further to do with us. And, that Israel will be destroyed within 25 years.

It is difficult to see America come to this.

Ayatollah Khamenei is not as "disturbed" as Kim Jong-un of North Korea, but he's a close second. And we negotiated with these people? The world's greatest sponsor of terrorism?

We actually sat down at the same table with terrorists, contrary to long-standing American policy?

Sadly, we did. And it's not the first time under the Obama administration, i.e., the Bergdahl case where we traded five of the worst terrorists at Gitmo for a traitor.

But we believe it will be the last, given the consequences of this disgrace fomented by President Obama and carried out by Secretary of State Kerry -- notable among other things for trashing U.S. military medals.

That the American people object to this treaty didn't matter to Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

That it gives Iran tens of billions to pay for renewed acts of terror against the world, against the United States, didn't matter.

That it opens the door for Iran to develop nuclear weapons which Israel cannot tolerate because as Khamenei has said, Israel must be annihilated and will be within a quarter of a century, didn't matter.

What mattered, apparently, is that President Obama can say he struck a deal with Iran.

To President Obama, that's an accomplishment. And to 42 Democratic senators who supported this embarrassment, it's an accomplishment.

We're reminded of Section 3, Article III, of the U.S. Constitution which states that treason against the United States shall consist of giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Is Iran our enemy? That is beyond debate. Iran's supreme leader said as recently as May that the Islamic Republic's ideals include destroying America.

Does this treaty give Iran aid and comfort? That, too, is beyond debate. Iran will have all sanctions lifted in an agreement that will give them almost immediate access to $150 billion in frozen assets.

So where does that leave us?



Sept. 16

The Intelligencer/ Wheeling News-Register, Wheeling, West Virginia, on North Korea's bid for U.S. aid:

For decades, with both Democrats and Republicans in the White House, North Korea's supremely brutal family dictatorship was able to get away with military blackmail. The U.S. response to Pyongyang's saber rattling often was aid to the regime in the name of "engagement."

Now, North Korean officials are at it again, saying they plan to restart shuttered atomic fuel plants to make more and better nuclear weapons. At the same time, they note, they will test new missiles.

Some analysts say it is a ploy to wring more assistance from Washington and other nations.

In a way, one cannot blame North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He is watching closely as Iran reaps the fruit of President Barack Obama's appeasement-at-any-price policy, after all.

But time and time again, Pyongyang has breached disarmament pacts. Surely even the Obama White House recognizes playing Kim's game is certain to be a losing proposition.



Sept. 13

The Boston Herald on Queen Elizabeth II of Britain:

Queen Elizabeth II of Britain wanted no fanfare when she became the longest-serving monarch in the more than 1,000 years since the throne was established. Crowds turned out to cheer her anyway at the otherwise routine opening of a rail line.

The queen's great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, had held the record. Today's queen reportedly felt it would be disrespectful of her ancestor to celebrate a longer reign. She turned out for her ceremonial duty, as always, to represent the nation, absolutely neutral in politics, bound to follow the advice of the cabinet of the day no matter what the changes had been (immense) since her accession 63 years, seven months and two days before.

Most likely her country will never see again, and other countries no longer be able to profit by the example of, such cheerful, imperturbable devotion to duty.

She has never put a foot wrong, with the arguable exception of her absence from the wave of national mourning for the late Princess Diana. Elizabeth later took the advice of Prime Minister Tony Blair to join in, which proved to be the right move.

Essayist Walter Bagehot famously observed in 1867 that Britain's constitutional monarch had three rights: "the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn." Less famously, he began his next paragraph with the observation that a wise long-serving monarch "would acquire an experience with which few ministers could contend."

The 12 prime ministers who have thus far served during the reign of Elizabeth II would agree.

Elizabeth is 89. It's been years since she attended the "Trooping of the Color" military parade in June on horseback; she rides in a carriage now. The next two generations do more of the ribbon-cutting.

She shows no sign of quitting, which is awkward for her 66-year-old son and heir, Charles, prince of Wales. When he succeeds, Britain will have to hope for anything close to his mother's performance from a man who, according to reliable reports, talks to his plants.



Sept. 15

The Wall Street Journal on regulators crackdown on Chinese firms that potentially threaten free speech:

Regulators in Hong Kong have an odd way of soothing investor concerns. With global investors reeling over China's stock-market roller coaster and weakening economic data, Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is proceeding with unprecedented actions against the authors of two critical research reports. This crackdown threatens to chill free speech in China's leading financial center.

In the first case, which went before an appeals tribunal last week, the SFC fined Moody's Investors Service $3 million over a 2011 report raising "red flags" about dozens of mainland Chinese firms listed in Hong Kong. The regulator says Moody's work was "shoddy and unprofessional," with errors amounting to a failure of due diligence in preparing credit ratings.

But Moody's report didn't offer credit ratings, merely analysis of corporate-governance and accounting concerns common among Chinese firms. It didn't examine new information or change its debt ratings. So the SFC's claim to jurisdiction here, relying on its authority over credit ratings, is questionable.

Moody's has acknowledged some errors in the report. One red-flagged company disputed Moody's statement that it had changed auditors, saying it had created a new listed entity with a new auditor. But Moody's says the disputed facts "did not have a material impact on the overall accuracy of the report."

Subsequent events support Moody's. Of the top five red-flagged firms, one went bankrupt last year, two have been suspended from trading amid investigations, another's share price is down about 50 percent since 2011 and the last is down more than 90 percent. Another flagged firm, Shenzhen-based developer Kaisa Group, defaulted on a bond this year and remains in tumult. The SFC's case against Moody's has raised suspicions that the Hong Kong authorities are trying to curb criticism of Chinese firms.

The regulator is also pursuing California-based short-seller Citron Research, which in 2012 published a report arguing that Hong Kong-listed Evergrande Real Estate Group was insolvent. The SFC hasn't disclosed the details of its allegations against Citron founder Andrew Left, who made money when Evergrande shares tumbled after his report. But the charge is market misconduct, defined as knowingly or recklessly circulating false or misleading information that affects stock prices. Hong Kong investor-rights activist David Webb argues that a short-seller's analysis of Evergrande's accounting is an opinion, not information, under the law.

The SFC isn't alone among regulators that like to shoot the messenger: Think of the U.S. Justice Department's 2013 suit against Standard & Poor's after the rating agency downgraded U.S. Treasury debt. But investors in Chinese companies face unique difficulties in obtaining reliable information in a notoriously opaque market.

That's all the more reason for the SFC to encourage the free exchange of views and information. Shielding troubled companies from scrutiny will undermine Hong Kong's foundations as a reputable financial center.



Sept. 15

The Los Angeles Times on European response to refugee crisis in North Africa and Mideast:

This is a humanitarian crisis of astounding breadth. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported this year that war and other upheavals have displaced more than 14 million people in North Africa and the Middle East (more than half of them from Syria) and an additional 15 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. Most remain in or near their home countries, but hundreds of thousands have fled in an effort to start new lives in Europe, where the crisis has now become political.

And there, the European Union is stumbling badly. Last week, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged the European Union's member states to permanently resettle 120,000 refugees now in Italy, Greece and Hungary under a binding quota system based on national population and economic vitality. On Monday, EU ministers agreed to an earlier recommendation that 40,000 refugees be scattered across Europe but rejected Juncker's new proposal, then put off any further discussion for a month.

Worse, according to the Guardian newspaper, the ministers also discussed creating refugee camps in Italy and Greece to hold these undocumented migrants, establish other camps in Africa to try to keep the refugees from moving on to Europe and then deny their right to seek asylum in Europe. Meanwhile, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands reestablished border controls to try to divert the flow to other countries, as Hungary continued to seal up its border with its non-EU neighbor Serbia, creating a bottleneck of migrants there. Hungary also instituted new laws criminalizing unauthorized entry into the country.

Beyond the improbability of European-funded refugee camps in Africa -- there is no indication that African nations would approve such a plan -- the inhumane impulse propelling the EU's lack of response is indefensible. It's true that the response has not been uniformly bad. Germany and Sweden, for instance, have met their moral responsibilities by taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees. But England, France and others have been much slower to respond. As has the United States. Last week, President Obama ordered his administration to resettle "at least 10,000" Syrian refugees in the coming year, while advocates reasonably argue, citing the United States' history as a leading recipient of refugees, that the U.S. should resettle 100,000 Syrian refugees in the next year.

Meanwhile, the human tide flows, overwhelming Greece and Italy first, then Hungary and now, potentially, Serbia. Winter is looming, and the EU's failure to craft an adequate and timely humanitarian response sets the stage for an even worse crisis. The UNHCR expressed "deep disappointment" at the lack of action. The word the agency was looking for is "outrage."



Sept. 16

The Telegraph (London) on Britain's Labour leader and workers:

When David Cameron attends the Commons to answer MPs' questions, he will face a new leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. The Prime Minister's exchanges with Jeremy Corbyn will be most interesting, not just much for what they tell us about the new Labour leader and his approach, but for what we learn about how the Conservatives will deal with Mr. Corbyn, who may be a trickier foe than some expect.

In stylistic terms, at least, Mr. Corbyn's unspun persona and disavowal of image management have a certain attraction. One does not have to agree with the Labour leader's woefully misguided policies to accept that some voters want a political class that is less homogenous, less dominated by 40-something Oxbridge graduates speaking from a script issued by party spindoctors.

Even though Mr. Corbyn's alternative to slickly professionalised politics is an operation that borders on the farcically disorganised, Mr. Cameron should not ignore the public appetite for authenticity, conviction and genuine political debate that Mr. Corbyn claims to satisfy.

Yet the notion that Mr. Corbyn is the man to connect with disaffected and disillusioned voters is laughable, as his conduct yesterday demonstrated. The working class voters who were once Labour's bedrock but have deserted in droves are proudly patriotic, fierce in their admiration for our Queen and her Armed Forces - not least since those forces are drawn largely from working-class homes.

Yet Labour, the party created to represent such people in Parliament, is now led by a man who cannot bring himself to sing the national anthem to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. His blanket opposition to welfare cuts and his dogmatic support of mass immigration show a similar disregard for the views of working Britain.

For all the revolutionary hyperbole around his election, Mr. Corbyn has no grasp of what moves the typical British worker. He represents a narrow Left-wing elite that talks about "the workers" as a theoretical ideal, not from direct experience. This, more than his nonsensical economic policies, his dubious foreign policy positions or his party's internal strife and indiscipline, is his greatest flaw.

Mr. Cameron must today begin a Conservative march into the yawning gap now opening up between Labour's leader and its traditional voters. Mr. Corbyn's arrival confirms that Labour has turned its back on the workers. The Conservatives can now be their champion.


Updated : 2021-09-19 08:03 GMT+08:00