Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Iraq, and politics

Sebastian Edwards (UCLA): Crises and Growth: A Latin American Perspective. From Open Democracy, an article on the deepening of Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution and why most people don’t get it: The radical project led by Hugo Chávez can’t be understood through the distorting lens of its inveterate opponents. This is a politics for the future with emancipation, participation – and popular support - at its heart. In Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela, leaders are seeking new sources of political legitimacy in which participation is at the heart. Gone, but not forgotten: Why Bolivians want the United States to extradite their exiled ex-president. Brazil's colonial dance with the resource curse: First there was a sugar rush. Then a gold rush. Both left unsightly scars on the history of Brazil. What will the ethanol rush bequeath?

A look at why land reform is so tricky: In South Africa, plenty of farms are for sale, but blacks still find it hard to buy. South Africa is booming. The economy is enjoying its biggest surge since the Second World War, and for once it is not just whites who are prospering. A review of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil. Joshua Kurlantzick on democracy's decline in Africa. Circumcision promotion divides AIDS activists: Should results of an African AIDS study be applied in the United States?

From Asia Times, an article on lessons from Kashmir and Xinjiang. A review of India, Pakistan and the Secret Jihad. Is Ahmedinejad’s star fading? Leading figures in Iran are openly criticizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about his handling of the economy and the country's nuclear program. An interview with Laura Rozen of War and Piece on Iran.

Iraq in the Balance: Fouad Ajami on why we should make our peace with Iraq's history. Francis Fukuyama on beating an orderly retreat: It is no longer a question of if or when the U.S. leaves Iraq, but how. Plan B? Let’s Give Plan A Some Time First: This is not the time to be rehashing strategies developed six months ago under very different conditions, or to be planning for the collapse of a strategy that has just begun.

Robert D. Kaplan on Munich versus Vietnam: At the moment, the Vietnam analogy has the upper-hand. But don't count Munich out. The key similarity between Vietnam and Iraq how they profoundly eroded the American people's trust in their government and leaders. A review of At the Center of the Strom: My Years at the CIA by George Tenet. With all the gloating over the ex-CIA head's kiss-and-tell, let's not forget who else screwed up American intelligence.

From The Weekly Standard, an article on The Mystery of Michael Bloomberg: Why does a popular but mediocre mayor think he should run for president? The Shadow Candidates: John Fund on the art of not running for president. Marvin Kalb on Nine Ways to Elect a President: After 9/11, with America’s role in the world more uncertain than ever, would it not make more sense to provide the voters with regular, predictable, serious access to their next president?

From Radar, an article on Jesus Christ's Superstars: America's holiest congressmen. A look at how sex isn't the only thing for sale in Washington. And the politicians who waste your money have a remorse deficit: One man’s pork is another’s tax bill