The US and its allies knocked Russia off balance, Pleading for a de-escalation of the US-China trade war, The jailing of ‘Lula’ reveals unequal treatment of corrupt politicians, US postwar management of Iraq has been a disaster, Learn from life mistakes

A roundup of global commentary for the April 23, 2018-April 30, 2018 weekly magazine.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria at the UN headquarters in New York, April 9, 2018.

Deutsche Welle / Bonn, Germany

The US and its allies knocked Russia off balance

“It was anything but dull in the Security Council on [April 9], when Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya faced off with his US and UK counterparts, Nikki Haley and Karen Pierce, respectively...,” writes Konstantin Eggert. “The United States and its EU allies pummeled Nebenzya with ... rhetorical abandon.... The drama at the United Nations unfolded hours after the collapse of Moscow’s stock exchange.... This was the result of the US Department of Treasury’s decision on [April 7] to publish a new list of Russian individuals and companies to be punished under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.... The Kremlin has little with which to counter the massive diplomatic and economic offensive....”

Jamaica Observer / Kingston, Jamaica

Pleading for a de-escalation of the US-China trade war

“When two elephants fight, the grass is crushed. In the case of the looming trade war between giants China and the United States, tiny economies like Jamaica’s stand to be pulverised...,” states an editorial. “The US is Jamaica’s biggest trading partner and China is our biggest source of foreign direct investment. That means we have a vested interest in mutual beneficial relations between the two. We would urge the two parties to negotiate on the basis of the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which seek to lower trade barriers and discourage the erection of non-tariff barriers to trade.... The US and China need to put aside national pride and political posturing.... [A] trade war would be disastrous for the world.” 

Al Jazeera / Doha, Qatar

The jailing of Brazil’s ‘Lula’ reveals unequal treatment of corrupt politicians

“Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva, the most popular president in Brazil’s history, surrendered himself to federal authorities on April 7 to start serving a 12-year prison sentence,” write Mariana Prandini Assis and Pablo Holmes. “While Lula’s conviction is purportedly about fighting corruption and impunity, it, in fact, aims to teach the poor a lesson: the presidential legacy of a mixed-race worker, with little formal education, will be undone by the country’s elites.... Those who defend the legitimacy of Lula’s imprisonment argue that he has been convicted in a fair trial.... However, anyone who has closely followed the proceedings of [the ongoing corruption investigation] Operation Car Wash knows full well that not all politicians facing corruption charges were dealt with in the same fashion....” 

The Hindu / Chennai, India

US postwar management of Iraq has been a disaster 

“Fifteen years ago, on April 9, a few weeks into the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a 39-foot statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s al-Fardous Square was brought down under the watch of American troops...,” states an editorial. “Within a month, U.S. President George W. Bush had declared ‘mission accomplished’ in Iraq. But one and a half decades later, the country is still fighting the ghosts of the destructive war.... The U.S. did not have a UN mandate to use force against Iraq.... Iraq now has a functional government, but with deepening sectarian and ethnic fault lines.... The Iraq war will remain a reminder of ... a grave failure of the international system.” 

The Guardian / Lagos, Nigeria

Learn from, don’t rue, life mistakes

“During a conversation with friends about how they wish they had never made certain mistakes, and thus, had the perfect life, I got thinking,” writes Jemima Tumba. “ ‘Can you really live life in absolute perfection?’ I asked myself. Of course not.... I do remember sharing the mentality of my friends.... Fortunately for me, my mentality ... took a 360-degree turn [sic]. I had just recently got my academic report ... and to say I performed woefully is an understatement.... There was a switch within me.... I gave up on being perfect at everything.... Life is an adventure, an uncertain journey of self-discovery.... Maybe the plan you have for yourself isn’t half as good as the one life wants to give you.... What makes your life beautiful ... [is] how you were able to rise above your mistakes and imperfections.” 

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