Monthly Archives: July 2012

Articles you might want to take a look at today:

Gideon Rachman

An amusing little row has broken over the head of the Romney campaign, just as the candidate arrives in Britain for the Olympic opening ceremony. A Romney foreign-policy adviser has been quoted in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, saying that Romney will lay more emphasis on a Special Relationship with Britain because:

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr. Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

This quote has been condemned by some Obama supporters as implicitly racist and has even drawn condemnation from Vice-President Joe Biden. The Romney campaign has moved swiftly to distance itself from this rather maladroit statement.

So which Romney adviser aired these views? Suspicion swiftly fell on Nile Gardiner, a Brit who works at the Heritage Foundation and has been named as one of Romney’s foreign-policy advisory team. Gardiner blogs for the Telegraph and has admitted speaking to the Telegraph journalist who wrote the story – but, despite strong circumstantial evidence, denied being the source of the quote. Read more

James Blitz

Something is changing in the way the US and its allies are analysing the conflict in Syria. For the last sixteen months, it has largely been seen as an appalling and escalating civil war, one which sees the country’s various ethnic factions lining up against one another, and with some 18,000 people now killed.

But after the events of the last week – above all the assassination of four of President Bashar al-Assad’s top aides –  things are different. This is not only a civil war but a conflict that increasingly threatens the stability of Syria’s neighbours and therefore has serious security implications for western states. Read more

Articles piquing our interest today:

Here’s what got us talking this morning:

Rifles on display in a shop at Aurora, Colorado. (Getty)

A gunman killed at least 12 people and injured 59 more when he opened fire on a midnight screening of the new Batman film in Aurora, Colorado last week. The shooting — much like the 1999 attack on a school in nearby Columbine — has revived the debate over just why such massacres happen in the US and whether more needs to be done to crack down on gun ownership. Below are some pieces that examine these issues: Read more

Catch up on some weekend reading and our picks from today:  

Alan Beattie

No word left minced in this fairly fierce resignation letter (obtained by CNN) sent by Peter Doyle, who is quitting the European department of the IMF after 20 years at the Fund, attacking particularly its role in the eurozone crisis.

The money quotes:

After twenty years of service, I am ashamed to have had any association with the Fund at all…

This is not solely because of the incompetence that was partly chronicled by the OIA [Office of Internal Audit and Inspection, though he may be referring to this document by a different watchdog body] report into the global crisis and the TSR [Triennial Surveillance Review] report on surveillance ahead of the Euro Area crisis. More so, it is because the substantive difficulties in these crises, as with others, were identified well in advance but were suppressed here…

Further, the proximate factors which produced these failings of IMF surveillance – analytical risk aversion, bilateral priority, and European bias  - are, if anything, becoming more deeply entrenched, notwithstanding  initiatives which purport to address them.

 Read more

James Blitz

The inability of Russia and the US to forge a collective response to the Syria crisis at the United Nations is a significant moment in the 16-month-long uprising.

It makes it inevitable that the conflict between the Assad regime and rebels will develop into an even more bloody confrontation over the next few weeks, with a potentially significant impact on the wider region. The crisis now poses a range of security risks which will this weekend be much on the minds of policymakers in western states and in the Middle East. Read more

Here are our picks to take you into the weekend: