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Volume 56, Number 4    September 8, 2008         

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Conflict for political gain
In a Sept. 4 editorial in the Asia Times Online, Professor of International Relations Andrei P Tsygankov suggested that American political candidates are presenting Russia as a threat for their own political gain. Tsygankov said Republican presidential nominee John McCain has long been involved in relations between Georgia and Russia. "Republican Senator John McCain is clearly thriving on the recent Georgia-Russia war. Escalation in the Caucasus has been lobbied by McCain since at least 2003, and he is now exploiting the conflict to his full advantage," Tsygankov wrote. He said Democratic nominee Barack Obama has also used the crisis in South Ossetia to score political points. "The crisis over South Ossetia has abundantly demonstrated that Russia demands to be a part of the security system in the Caucasus and it would be extremely provocative to ignore this demand. Yet Obama's statements on the crisis indicate that, just like McCain, he views the solution to the crisis as bringing Georgia into NATO, despite Russia's objections."

Fighting anti-Semitism
In a story about anti-Semitism on college campuses in B’nai B’rith Magazine, Marc Dollinger, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility, commended the University and President Robert A. Corrigan for their response to issues of racism on campus. "With an administration willing to speak publicly and honestly about the issues, there is no sweeping anything under the rug," Dollinger said. He also noted that the overarching mission of the University is central to Corrigan's approach. "This is always our most powerful argument," Dollinger said.    

Sizing up the GOP
In a Sept. 1 San Francisco Chronicle article about the Republican National Convention, Professor of Political Science Robert Smith predicted that John McCain would leave the Twin Cities with a bounce in the polls even though the convention had been scaled back for Hurricane Gustav. "Even if the first two days of the convention are canceled, it shouldn't hurt him too much," Smith said. "But if it goes beyond that, he could lose some momentum." Smith also noted that McCain's decision to limit air time for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney was a wise decision. "McCain had no choice," Smith said. "It didn't take too much courage to do this."


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Last modified Sept. 8, 2008 by University Communications.