Bangladesh must face the truth about the Rohingya exodus, Time for new thinking on North Korea, If the US and Russia settle, it will help the world, A fresh nuclear arms race?, How Kenya’s Supreme Court election recall became a reality

A roundup of global commentary for the Sept. 18, 2017 weekly magazine.

Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters
A large plume of smoke is seen on the Myanmar side of the border from Teknaf, Bangladesh September 15, 2017.

The Daily Star / Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bangladesh must face the truth about the Rohingya exodus

“What we have today in the Rakhine State of Myanmar [Burma] is a regime of ethnic cleansing,” writes retired Brig. Gen. Shahedul Anam Khan. “This latest round of pogrom of the Rohingyas is the result of the international community’s abject lack of action.... [Does Bangladesh] have a Rohingya or indeed a Myanmar policy?... We have resolutely refused to accept officially the persecuted Rohingyas as refugees and have tried to prevent their entry ... [or] pushed them back, into the fire.... Turning them back [is] ... dangerous.... The younger ones ... would be provoked to join the ranks of the extremists.... Its consequences on the region and certainly on Bangladesh, if allowed to simmer is imponderable.”

South China Morning Post / Hong Kong

Time for new thinking on North Korea

“North Korea’s sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test lays to rest doubts about the nation’s weapons capabilities...,” states an editorial. “[T]he world’s efforts to stop Pyongyang’s proliferation have failed and ... different thinking is needed.... [A]lthough the latest test should be viewed as a game-changer,... US President Donald Trump continued to hint that a military response was on the cards and talks were not an answer.... China, which has signed on to UN sanctions, has limits; to do more would risk regime collapse in the North, bringing unbearable humanitarian, security and strategic consequences for the Chinese.... The most practical approach for the US is a peace treaty, with a strictly monitored nuclear freeze....”

The Jordan Times / Amman, Jordan

If the US and Russia settle, it will help the world

“The expulsion of hundreds of US diplomats by Russia has all the marks of the Cold War era, but is it?...” asks an editorial. “[T]he differences between the US and Russia are actually multiplying, including over Crimea, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, NATO encroachments along Russia’s western border, Iraq and even the extent of control over the North Pole.... Still, after all the bromance between the leaders of the two countries, it is difficult to judge whether all that is going on between them is for show or for real.... It is hoped that when things get settled in Washington, normal bilateral relations ... are restored on [an] institutional basis. That should help the international order, in disarray now in several parts of the world....”

The News / Mexico City

A fresh nuclear arms race?

“The United States currently has 6,800 nuclear warheads, and is forging ahead with plans for an overhaul of its atomic force, including $1.8 billion for the development of a highly stealthy cruise missile and $700 million to begin replacing its 40-year-old Minuteman missiles,” writes Thérèse Margolis. “Russia has just over 7,000 warheads (the largest arsenal in the world).... [The leader of North Korea,] Kim Jong-un, has an estimated nine or 10 nuclear weapons.... Do we really need any more nuclear weapons?...  It would seem that 14,900 warheads would be enough of a deterrent to keep any nation from pressing the button ... but the daring competition to be able to outgun and out-nuke your enemy is still very much in play.”

Daily Monitor / Kampala, Uganda

How Kenya’s Supreme Court election recall became a reality

“While presidential results have been overturned in Africa before, they have been by military juntas or pro-government courts...,” writes Charles Onyango-Obbo. “Question then is, how did Kenya get to that point?... With the 2010 constitution that created and highly decentralised key functions to 47 counties and powerful governors, there is less of a political crisis and vacuum if the president in Nairobi is hobbled. Secondly,... the military, in Kenya is fairly professional and non-partisan.... Its roots go back to ... the [evolution of the] pro-democracy movement ... in Kenya during the Cold War and into the 1990s, heralding the end of one-party rule and a return to multiparty politics.”

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