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Robert Amsterdam

Magnitsky and Russia's Opportunity Cost

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Lawlessness has been working out pretty well for Putin -- when courts don't work, and when the investigators are specialized in inventing cases rather than solving crimes, the Kremlin becomes the ultimate arbiter in the system.

Thailand Must Unclench its Fist

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

In the aftermath of the bloody repression of April and May 2010 which claimed the lives of close to 90 civilians, the Thai authorities cooed and purre...

Why the "Merchant of Death" Won't Ever See Trial

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

The recent decision by a Thai appeals court to extradite the alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout, touted as the "Merchant of Death" in popular books and m...

Thailand Sets a Poor Example to Burma

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Long a staunch US ally and once a reliable partner in the region, under the nose of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Thailand has morphed into a threat to regional peace and serial human rights abuser.

Emergency Powers and Thailand's Internal Colonization

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

The emergency decree is still in force in 10 regions in Thailand, and allows authorities shut down media, freeze bank accounts and arrest citizens with no charges.

Thailand's Legitimacy Deficit

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

The U.S. policy toward Thailand is an exercise in pragmatic preservation and avoidance of open disagreement. A true ally should make reasonable requests to bolster long-term relations with the Thai people.

A Hopeful Election in Guinea

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

At a moment in which the tide of global democracy is seemingly in reversal, it is heartening to note the enthusiasm with which many voters in Africa a...

Obama's Expensive Dinner at Prague Castle

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Central Europe has long been a place where empires from the East and West have come to settle their differences. It will be very important for Obama to use this trip to help unify Eastern and Western Europe against Moscow's efforts to sow divisions.

Xenophobic Nationalism Clouds Hungary's Elections

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Poised to win as much as 20% of Parliament's seats, Jobbik -- the increasingly popular far right party known for its militaristic rhetoric and hate speech -- is sending a shock through minority communities in Hungary.

The Rise of the Franco-Russo Axis

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

The three-day summit held this week in Paris has exceeded all expectations, marking a turning point in a deepening Franco-Russo military and economic alliance.

Open Season on Lawyers in Russia

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

In recent years, dozens of lawyers have been forced into prison, out of the country, or worse. Yet despite these outrages, and the fraud schemes they're associated with, not a thing is being done to stop this.

Ukrainology and Russia's Pyrric Victory

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 02.11.2010 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Russian political groups have just gained a tremendous amount of expertise in financing and managing election campaigns. This developed skill may one day be brought to use closer to home.

Chavez Confiscates Justice in Venezuela

Diane Francis | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Diane Francis

Anyone thinking of going to Venezuela or doing business there, think again. Here's the latest injustice.

How to Lose Nigeria and Alienate Africa

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Nigeria may have problems, but it is not the world's next hotbed of extremism. Muslims and Christians there have forged a mostly harmonious co-existence that is rare and desirable.

Lula's Red Carpet Welcome for Ahmadinejad

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Why, with so much going for him and his country, should the president of Brazil make such controversial choices in his friends? The logic of the relationship with Iran is perplexing.

Putin's Big Lie About Khodorkovsky

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Blood libel is Putin's Big Lie, and it is the ultimate mendacious recourse that the Kremlin falls back upon in times of desperation.

What Kind of Global Player Does Brazil Want to Be?

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Brazil is impressive to international observers for its economic growth, low inflation, and firmly established democratic institutions. But the question remains: what kind role in the world does Brazil want to play?

The Murder of Russian Rule of Law

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Late on Monday the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky suffered a rupture of the abdominal membrane causing death. How many more dead Russians will it take before the world takes notice?

Hunger Strikes Expose Hugo Chávez's Myths

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

The decision of Venezuelan authorities to send a 22-year-old university student to prison for trumped-up crimes has caused widespread public outrage, especially among students.

Clan Politics Unite Caracas, Moscow, and Tehran

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Nearly all analyses of important international relationships, whether internal or external, see the countries' systems through a prism that hides the power of clans and cabals.

Political Trials and Crimes Against Reality

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

It's a crime against reality for us to carry on pretending that countries like Kazakhstan can hold fair trials.

Kazakhstan's Human Rights Drop Through the Floor

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

I fear that we might just see exactly how many barrels of oil a given dictator needs to export in order to flaunt the law.

Chávez's Revolution Will Not Be Criticized

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

Brian A. Nelson's new book The Silence and the Scorpion is a must read for anyone seeking to get an unbiased and comprehensive account of the two most controversial days of the Chávez presidency.

Russia Huffs and Puffs as the House Comes Down

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

By creating manageable confrontations with Europe, the U.S, and former Soviet states, the Kremlin is attempting to govern outwardly, diminishing pressures for greater domestic accountability.

Are Russia's Arms Deals to Venezuela Destablizing Central America?

Robert Amsterdam | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Amsterdam

The grotesque level of corruption in both Russia and Venezuela should stimulate the discussion as to whether their predatory natures constitute not only an international crime, but also a breach of fundamental human rights.