How vulnerable is China to a trade war?, After Mosul falls, So-called experts need to stop fearmongering, Standing in solidarity with Muslims, The nauseating hypocrisy of Trump’s vilification

A roundup of global commentary for the Feb. 13, 2017 weekly magazine.

Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
A man reads the Koran before Friday prayers at the Hajj Diab al-Iraqi mosque in Mosul, Iraq.

The Nation / Bangkok, Thailand

How vulnerable is China to a trade war?

“In the Chinese media, business commentators are all talking about the same thing: The coming trade war with the United States...,” writes Ed Zhang. “The business commentators have been explaining to readers why a trade war won’t be a good thing. But they should do more than just talk. Business owners and the Chinese government can do many things to make the economy less vulnerable to outside influences and stronger to resist an imminent trade war.... [I]n the face of [President] Trump’s trade war, the best defence that China can have is not to get distracted by his attacks ... and to be steadfast in pursuing its own economic reform.”

Arab News / Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

After Mosul falls

“Some good news is finally coming from Iraq, with Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi announcing ... the full liberation of the eastern bank of the besieged city of Mosul, the country’s second-largest urban center and the main base of [Islamic State] militants...,” writes Osama Al Sharif. “As [IS fighters] withdrew to the western side of the city, they blew up all bridges across the Tigris, making the second phase of the battle more difficult.... Mosul will be retaken eventually, albeit at a high price, but what follows will be more challenging for Al-Abadi and the people of Iraq.... Al-Abadi and other political players must summon the strength and courage to launch a process of national reconciliation that ends ethno-confessional politics and salvages what remains of Iraq’s threatened unity.”

Balkan Insight / Belgrade, Serbia

So-called experts need to stop fearmongering

“They say that generals always fight previous wars,” writes Dejan Anastasijevic. “Balkan experts, on the other hand, always keep a keen eye on future ones, watching for that spark that would ignite the proverbial powderkeg. [These past few weeks] saw several articles, all published in respectable Western newspapers, predicting renewed bloodshed in the region.... [The] articles have some things in common: they’re so full of stereotypes, false analogies, and factual errors that one barely knows where to start.... It is true that the overall situation in the Balkans is far from rosy. There are tensions, and incidents, and the economic situation is dire.... The West should re-engage in a serious way, but the last thing the peoples of the Balkans need is a bunch of bloodthirsty ‘experts’, eager to [stoke] the flames of war for fun and profit.”

Ottawa Citizen / Ottawa

Standing in solidarity with Muslims

“The prime minister called it a ‘despicable act of terror’: six people dead, 19 injured in a spree of bullets at a Quebec City mosque...,” states an editorial. “It is ... tempting to link the attack to the xenophobia rearing its head south of the border. But Canadians need to focus inward. Threads of intolerance are woven through Canadian – and Quebec – society.... This is not simply fallout from the ‘Trump Effect.’ ... We do not saddle Canadians with collective guilt over the carnage at the mosque. Blame rests squarely with whoever held the gun.... [B]eliefs can be challenged and changed; dialogue and reasoned debate can take place. During this time of national mourning, we all should examine our assumptions about others.”

The Times / London

The nauseating hypocrisy of Trump’s vilification

“President Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from certain countries has taken the hysteria over his arrival in the White House to an unprecedented level...,” writes Melanie Phillips. “He is being accused of racism, anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination, described as ‘prejudiced’, ‘vicious’, ‘a tinpot dictator’, ‘a megalomaniac’, and likened to Hitler.... For sure, the way this was introduced was dreadful.... [But] Mr Trump is merely heeding urgent, vital and informed advice. Moreover, the hypocrisy and historical amnesia among those baying for his head are quite extraordinary. The seven-state list was actually drawn up by the Obama administration.... Can everyone please calm down now?”

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