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On Eve of Foreign Debate, Growing Pessimism about Arab Spring Aftermath | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

As next week’s third and final presidential debate on foreign policy approaches, a national survey by the Pew Research Center finds increasing public pessimism about developments in the Middle East and more support for tough policies to deal with Iran’s nuclear program and economic issues with China. However, there is no change in the consensus in support for ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

Doubts have spread about the political direction of countries swept up in the Arab Spring protests that began almost two years ago. Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) do not believe the changes in the Middle East will lead to lasting improvements for people living in the affected countries, up sharply from 43% in April 2011.

And a majority of Americans (54%) continue to say it is more important to have stable governments in the Middle East, even if there is less democracy in the region. Just 30% say democratic governments are more important, even if there is less stability.

via On Eve of Foreign Debate, Growing Pessimism about Arab Spring Aftermath | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Filed under: Africa, Arab Spring, Blogosphere, Death and Dying, Election 2012, geopolitical, Middle East Freedom, News, , ,

Beirut car bomb kills top security official | Reuters

A huge car bomb explosion in Beirut on Friday killed a top Lebanese security official whose investigations implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the assassination of former Lebanese prime …

More via Beirut car bomb kills top security official | Reuters.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Death and Dying, Election 2012, geopolitical, Middle East Freedom, News, political plots, Political Violence, , , , ,

Growing Concerns in China about Inequality, Corruption | Pew Global Attitudes Project

As China prepares for its once-in-a-decade change of leadership, the Chinese people believe their country faces serious and growing challenges. In particular, the side effects of rapid economic growth, including the gap between rich and poor, rising prices, pollution, and the loss of traditional culture are major concerns, and there are also increasing worries about political corruption. While the Chinese have consistently rated their national and personal economic situations positively over the last few years, they are now grappling with the concerns of a modern, increasingly wealthy society.

The Chinese public also increasingly expresses reservations about relations with the United States. Over the last two years, ratings for the U.S. and President Obama have declined significantly, and the percentage of Chinese who characterize their country’s relationship with the U.S. as one of cooperation has plummeted from 68% to 39%. Still, many Chinese embrace aspects of America’s soft power, including U.S. science and technology and American ideas about democracy.

via Growing Concerns in China about Inequality, Corruption | Pew Global Attitudes Project.

Filed under: Asian, Blogosphere, Culture Think, geopolitical, News,

Mitt Romney’s foreign policy: Wishful thinking | The Economist

IF MITT ROMNEY’S latest foreign-policy speech, delivered to the Virginia Military Institute on October 8th amid much build-up from campaign aides, was a barnburner, it would …

More via Mitt Romney’s foreign policy: Wishful thinking | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Election 2012, European Alliances, geopolitical, International Relations, Middle East Freedom, News, Political Economy, political plots, Political Violence, , ,

Libyan Government Struggles to Rein In Powerful Militias – NYTimes.com

A month after the killing of the American ambassador ignited a public outcry for civilian control of Libya’s fractious militias, that hope has been all but …

More via Libyan Government Struggles to Rein In Powerful Militias – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Africa, Blogosphere, Election 2012, geopolitical, Middle East Freedom, ,

Turkey Says Syrian Jet Carried Russian Arms – NYTimes.com

Turkey’s confrontation with Syria spread on Thursday to include Russia, Syria’s principal military ally, when Turkey’s prime minister said Russian munitions intended for Syria’s government had been impounded from a …

More via Turkey Says Syrian Jet Carried Russian Arms – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, geopolitical, International Relations, News, waging war, , ,

Turkish Leader Says Russian Munitions Found on Syrian Jetliner – NYTimes.com

Escalating a confrontation with Russia, Turkey’s prime minister said Thursday that Russian military equipment and ammunition bound for Syria’s Defense Ministry had been confiscated from a Syrian civilian jetliner on a …

More via Turkish Leader Says Russian Munitions Found on Syrian Jetliner – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, geopolitical, International Relations, Middle East Freedom, News, political plots, , , , ,

Venezuela’s presidential election: Here to stay | The Economist

HUGO CHÁVEZ has said he wants to remain in office as Venezuela’s president until 2031. He moved six years closer to that goal on October 7th, when voters re-elected him to a new term, by a margin of almost ten points over his centrist rival, Henrique Capriles of the Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition. With …

More via Venezuela’s presidential election: Here to stay | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Election 2012, geopolitical, ideology, Latin American Alliances, News, , ,

Iran’s nuclear programme: A red line and a reeling rial | The Economist

SIX YEARS ago, when America and Europe were putting in place the first raft of measures to press Iran to come clean over its nuclear ambitions, the talk was of “smart” sanctions. The West, it was stressed, had no quarrel with the Iranian people—only with a regime that seemed bent on …

More via Iran’s nuclear programme: A red line and a reeling rial | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Election 2012, geopolitical, International Relations, Middle East Freedom, News, political plots, propaganda and spin, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, waging war, WeSeeReason, ,

Cheap smart weapons: Rockets galore | The Economist

MONEY, as Cicero observed more than two millennia ago, is the sinews of war. That is still true today. But lately, from the American point of view, things have got ridiculous. Guided …

More via Cheap smart weapons: Rockets galore | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Death and Dying, drone attacks, ethics, geopolitical, International Relations, News, , , ,

Libya Attack Investigation Hobbled by Security Fears – NYTimes.com

Sixteen days after the death of four Americans in an attack on a United States diplomatic mission here, fears about the near-total lack of security have kept F.B.I. agents from visiting the scene of the killings and …

More via Libya Attack Investigation Hobbled by Security Fears – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Community Tragedy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Death and Dying, geopolitical, News,

Iran Close to Making a Bomb, Netanyahu Says – NYTimes.com

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told the United Nations on Thursday that he believes Iran’s ability to make an atomic weapon will be irreversible by next spring or …

MORE via Iran Close to Making a Bomb, Netanyahu Says – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Election 2012, geopolitical, International Relations, Middle East Freedom, News, , ,

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