Desmond Tutu, the South African archbishop who passed away in December, was both a great faith leader and a great human-rights campaigner. One of his famous statements was: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Tutu also knew that brutal repression may be forgiven, but must never be forgotten.
Western business papers have a stubborn, but misleading tendency of portraying India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a liberal reformer who unfortunately happens to have some authoritarian tendencies. It is actually the other way round. He is an authoritarian leader who has never shown much interest in market dynamics, but does have a tendency of pandering to powerful corporate interests.
The news from the US state of Virginia is bad. Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate, has been elected governor. The problem is he has neither disowned former president Donald Trump nor the insurgents who stormed the Capitol in Washington in January. His campaign, moreover, exploited racist sentiments. As I will explain, his triumph shows once more that US democracy is indeed in trouble - and that has harmful impacts on global governance.
Kristalina Georgieva is staying on as the top leader of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The executive board expressed confidence in her early this week. Because of a scandal dating back to her time at the World Bank, her tenure had been in doubt. In my eyes, she is at most guilty of minor sins and deserves to stay at the helm of the IMF.
As tensions between the US and China are growing, some people are beginning to ponder whether low-income countries can benefit from superpower competition. The idea is misleading. The plain truth is that humanity cannot afford another Cold War.
The western-led military intervention has suffered defeat. Opinion pieces in various German media keep reiterating that it was a mistake to try to build a modern democracy in a society which is, the authors state, marked by “mediaeval traditions” and “tribal attitudes”. This narrative is self-serving because it avoids even mentioning the serious flaws that marked western engagement in Afghanistan. It is also condescending because it blames failure on the victims, the Afghan people. As editor-in-chief, Hans Dembowski has been observing the conflict for two decades and he now concedes that two crucial issues are still not well understood in western countries.