Hunting for foreign investment, today’s struggles are not reminiscent of apartheid, where is the Sanders of the Emerald Isle?, the Syrian challenge and the US presidency, journalists’ responsibility to avoid hysteria

A roundup of global commentary for the Oct. 10, 2016 weekly magazine.

Mike Hutchings/Reuters
University of Cape Town (UCT) students sing during protests demanding free tertiary education in Cape Town, South Africa, October 3, 2016.

Buenos Aires Herald / Buenos Aires

Hunting for foreign investment

“ ‘Opening up to the world’ has been a consistent message for the government of Mauricio Macri,” writes Sybil Rhodes, director of the Master of International Studies program at Universidad del CEMA in Buenos Aires. “The recent so-called ‘Mini-Davos’ meeting is a key example. The main point of the Investment and Business Forum was to communicate to international business leaders that Argentina has a positive investment climate. Will the initiative to court foreign direct investment produce concrete results?... Environmentalism, to take one interesting and important example, these days is best presented as a market opportunity rather than a burden. Because of its natural resources, Argentina has the chance to be an important world player in the field of green energy.”

News24 / South Africa

Today’s struggles are not reminiscent of apartheid 

“ ‘Our forefathers were not heard until they went on strike, and retaliated by burning and demolishing stuff to get their voices heard ... Our fathers attained democracy by acting out, and we will get the #FeesToFall by acting out,’ ” writes Mary de Haas, an activist in KwaZulu-Natal. “These sentiments, expressed by [a] University of KwaZulu-Natal commerce student ... in a recent media opinion piece, are a sad indictment of the way in which using violence in protests against injustice and corruption has become the norm.... [T]he reference to previous generations attaining democracy by ‘acting out’ is a gross oversimplification, because the lives of black people under apartheid cannot be compared to the challenges university students are now facing, and trivialises the struggles the victims of apartheid engaged in.”

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland

Where is the Sanders of the Emerald Isle?

“Last year the [United Kingdom] Labour Party amazed itself by electing a mainstream left-wing leader with a ‘radical’ political agenda,” writes Colm O’Doherty, a lecturer in applied social studies at the Institute of Technology, Tralee in Ireland. “Jeremy Corbyn vowed to restore the traditional policy focus of the Labour Party.... In the US Bernie Sanders confounded the Democratic establishment by giving Hillary Clinton a serious run for her money. The 74-year-old Sanders appealed to young American voters because he campaigned for a new social contract. A social contract based on old values.... A politician with the integrity, vision and candour of a Corbyn or Sanders is badly needed to assist in the creation of a genuine new politics here in Ireland.”

Al Arabiya / United Arab Emirates

The Syrian challenge and the US presidency

“Although the US elections begin on Nov. 8, the elected president will not set foot in the White House before Jan. 20, when he or she performs the oath,” writes Abdulrahman al-Rashed. “During this relatively long period of time, the administration does not manage its work as usual, and the current president will be described as a lame duck.... The Syrian regime, fully supported by Russia and Iran, is expected to seize the opportunity to create a new reality on the ground so it becomes difficult for the next US president to change it. What we have recently seen in Syria is due to this vacuum, which has begun early.” 

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan

Journalists’ responsibility to avoid hysteria

“I have become an admirer of Pope Francis,” writes Jawed Naqvi. “In a world where Muslims are profiled and shunned as terrorists, he embraces them.... And now Pope Francis has said that journalism based on gossip or rumours is a form of ‘terrorism’. He says the media that profiles communities or foments fear of migrants is acting destructively.... In India and Pakistan the media comprise a mix of open-minded and peace-loving journalists on one hand and rabid warmongers on the other.... Nation-loving journalists on both sides duly fanned the current military spike between India and Pakistan. They ride the myth that national interest requires everyone to become a flag carrier....”

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