Ioannis Gatsiounis

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Obama Feeds Beijing’s Psychological Edge

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2009 at 12:32 am

November 20, 2009

During his recent China trip, President Barack Obama’s mention of human rights, Tibet and the undervalued yuan were obligatory and toothless. ( For instance: “[We urge China to] move towards a more market-oriented exchange rate over time.”) He avoided meeting with activists. And he secured few concessions. Not on these areas. Not on Iran and North Korea, or climate change. Read the rest of this entry »

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Washington’s Irrational Fear of Offending Beijing

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2009 at 10:22 pm

November 19, 2009

Following is an op-ed I penned in April. I’m posting it here in light of President Barack Obama’s visit to China this week, where he failed to press Beijing where it counts. The piece is arguably more relevant today than it was in April. I will comment on Obama’s visit more specifically in a later entry. Read the rest of this entry »

Making a Stink Over Durian

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2009 at 9:28 pm

November 19, 2009

Khalwat (close proximity between unmarried Muslims of the opposite sex) and durians are a steady presence in my new short story collection, Velvet and Cinder Blocks. In one story, a KL taxi driver recalls an overbearing father who threw durians at him as a form of punishment, or sometimes just for the heck of it. Elsewhere a chef-turned-journalist-turned-chef again invents a durian-based fish-head curry that wows the critics. In a draft of the closing novella, “The Guesthouse,” a young Malay woman and expat bond alone over a durian in the jungle.

Never, though, in extending my imagination to the 10 stories set about kampongs, KL and New York did I think to make durian a key ingredient of a khalwat raid, as happened recently at a Kuala Lumpur condo. Read the rest of this entry »

Muslim America’s Image Crisis

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2009 at 12:22 am

November 9, 2009

This week’s column was going to be about how the Obama Administration’s vigilance against domestic terror plots has further bruised Islam’s battered image among Americans, and what Muslims can do about it – when along came Fort Hood, where a Muslim-American army major reportedly gunned down 13 people on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »