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Terror Alerts in Europe

Asia Times: Corruption threatens Indonesia’s growth. WSJ: The Australian government breaks its campaign promises. FT: Don’t underestimate India.

Corruption threatens Indonesia’s growth

Stanley A Weiss, founding chairman of Business Executives for National Security, a non-partisan organization based in Washington, writes in the Asia Times that Indonesia’s economy continues to do well, but investors fear that a high level of corruption could impede gains.

QUOTE: Will the ASEAN spotlight help bring Indonesia's anti-corruption efforts back out of the shadows, or dance them back to where they started? Nobody knows for sure.

Japan must strengthen its alliance with the US

Hisahiko Okazaki, former ambassador to Thailand, writes in the Japan Times that given China’s rising military powers, Japan must put its full support behind the United States becoming more involved in Asian affairs.

QUOTE: It is high time that the DPJ government depart from its student activist-like fervor and return to the basics of assuring the security of the Japanese people and strengthening the alliance with the US.

Australian government breaks campaign promises

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal states that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her Labor party are veering away from their election promises now that they are in office. The piece argues that these moves are deceitful.

QUOTE: The Labor-led minority government has already broken campaign promises on climate change, made overtures to euthanasia advocates and agreed to a major debate regarding Australia's involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

The US economy needs further stimulus

George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC., writes in the Financial Times that in a time of such high unemployment, the United States needs another stimulus package. He argues that a fiscal stimulus would boost both employment and investment.

QUOTE: What stands in the way is not economics but misconceptions about budget deficits that are exploited for partisan and ideological purposes.

Terror warnings only benefit the officials who release them

Columnist Anne Applebaum writes in the Washington Post that the only people who benefit from vague warnings about terrorist activities, like the one issued by the US State Department this week concerning Europeans cities, are the officials who release them. They are covered if there is an attack, but ordinary people are still unable to protect themselves.

QUOTE: Over time, these kinds of enigmatic warnings do al-Qaeda's work for it, scaring people without cause. Without so much as lifting a finger, Osama bin Laden disrupts our sense of security and well-being.

Don’t underestimate India

Gerald Lyons, chief economist at Standard Chartered Bank, writes in the Financial Times that India’s emergence as an economic power should not be underestimated. He argues that despite its infrastructure and governance challenges, India has shown great promise in the growth of its economy and middle class.

QUOTE: Spending on consumer durables is an engine of growth. Mobile phone subscriptions have surged to more than 12m a month. India’s is a domestically driven economy, somewhat protected from the global turmoil.

Hope picks up for Congressional Democrats

John Dickerson writes in Slate that Congressional Democrats look to be doing better, and Republicans are now expected to pick up fewer seats in the November election. However, he argues that the situation still looks troubling for Democrats.

QUOTE: The math still looks bad for Democrats. The economy is still terrible, and people are still extremely glum about the country's future.

Judging democracy by Turkey and Japan

Michael Auslin, director of Japan studies at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in the National Review that the international community should look at how democracy is faring in Turkey and Japan, the so-called bookends of Asia. He argues that democracy might suffer globally if one nation shuns liberal norms and the other fails to improve its economy.

QUOTE: The result is a general skepticism of democracy and liberalism just at the moment when democratic nations must join together to repulse the challenges to their systems and the world order that has guided international development since the 1940s.

Returning to deep-water drilling, safely

An editorial in the New York Times argues that the United States should not lift the moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico without first ensuring that the government and oil industry will not repeat the mistakes that led to the recent disaster.

QUOTE: What the administration is doing is establishing the conditions under which exploration can proceed responsibly. We need to hear a lot more from industry about what it is doing to meet those conditions.

Strikes on Pakistan may be felt in Europe

Intelligence columnist Robert Baer, a former Middle East CIA field officer, writes in TIME that the terror alerts in Europe are likely linked to the recent attacks on a NATO convoy in Pakistan. He argues that when NATO forces pursue terrorists in Pakistan, they are fueling hatred of the United States and its allies.

QUOTE: Are we making more enemies than we are killing? And, yes, this is an intangible. But so are the motivations of Pakistani militants planning attacks in Europe. We have to fall back on common sense.