The National wanted to be the Times of the Middle East. It failed
In 2008, when a new government-owned newspaper debuted in the Persian Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi, it was greeted as the latest sign of the formerly sleepy oil town’s cosmopolitan ambitions. The island city of around 900,000 was in the process of making itself home to a series of prestigious Western institutions. Plans had been hatched for branches of the Guggenheim and the Louvre museums, as well as campuses of New York University and the Sorbonne.
The Brucennial Frieze New York Stanley WhitneyTeam Gallery Owen GrayBlue Mountain Gallery Jeff WallMarian Goodman IN RECENT MONTHS, people who are avidly engaged with contemporary art have been checking their pulses so often that I can only conclude they are worried about their vital signs, not to mention the health of the galleries, museums, auction houses, art fairs, and sundry publications that help to sustain them. These health checks have become global in nature, with frenzied reports arriving from galleries in Beijing, auctions in Hong Kong, an art fair in Abu Dhabi.
Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global PowerBy Zbigniew Brzezinski (Basic Books, 208 pp., $26) When it comes to offering a vision to guide American foreign policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s latest book, unlike so much other literature of this type, refuses to lament or exaggerate the alleged decline in American power and influence. Instead Strategic Vision offers a kind of blueprint—a path that Washington must take, in Brzezinski’s view, to ensure a secure international order, in which free markets and democratic principles can thrive.
I. A year has passed since liberal America and the liberal opinion class, in particular, went ecstatic over the Arab debut into the modern world. I know that my standing in that class is suspect. So, being a bit flummoxed myself by the not altogether dissimilar developments in the vast expanse from the Maghreb to Mesopotamia, I conquered my doubts and made a slight stab for hope. But I quickly realized that I was wrong and left the celebration.
We've been reading over the past year that Abu Dhabi and the other emirates are having financial difficulties. But troubles at the bank are always relative. These are not the worries of Spain or Greece and not even the worries of this emirate's poorer cousins, which are far less than that of the now nearly bankrupt European states.
What the Great Lakes region exports to the world now is, mostly, cars. But its rich network of universities and medical complexes may be one of the best bets for its export future. A recently released University Research Center report documents how Michigan’s leading universities are helping to move its manufacturing base to more diverse and higher end advanced products in energy components, pharmaceuticals, sensors, circuits and robotics.
--I have to admit, I’m not patriotic. It has partly to do with principle, but it is also a phobia/neurosis. When I hear people yelling, “USA, USA,” I begin to look for an exit through which I could slink away. Yet, my heart practically burst when I saw Shot Heard 'Round The World. Of course, my first thought was, “Kiss my ass, Glenn Beck.” --The Daily Show’s ‘coverage’ of the World Cup was superb! --Daniel wrote about Peru not making the tournament since 1982.
Everybody is aware of the drama now being played out in Dubai. And, frankly, the relief given by Abu Dhabi, its abutting oil-rich emirate in the confederation of self-indulgent and non-productive Arabs, will only buy time for Dubai, which will have to turn over to its cousins whatever assets remain under its robes. The New York Times published a Sunday editorial which seems to counsel aid to Dubai, as if any structural disaster would follow if there weren’t any.
I last wrote in this space about American universities in the Arab oil orbit on April 23, 2008. That Spine was called “The New Colonialism, Education Division,” and it focused on the exploits of New York University in Abu Dhabi. Now, in matters like these, N.Y.U. is really in the business of whoring. This is made clear in an intriguing article by Tamar Lewin in the New York Times. The report actually headlines: “University Branches in Dubai Are Struggling.” But it also covers Abu Dhabi, sort of harking back to its slightly breathless dispatch of nearly two years ago. N.Y.U.
The latest round of fretting in global debt markets is focused on Greece (WSJ; Greece). This is misplaced. To be sure, there will be a great deal of shouting before the matter is formally resolved, but the Abu Dhabi–Dubai affair shows you just where Greece is heading. The global funding environment (thanks to Mr.