Constitutional Showdown in Argentina

Mary Anastasia O'Grady, The Wall Street Journal

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner's firing of the country's central bank president last Wednesday has provoked a constitutional crisis, not unlike the one that rocked Honduras last summer. As with then-Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, Mrs. Kirchner has tried to run roughshod over her nation's laws. She blithely ignored legal protections of bank independence.

Not surprisingly, central banker Martín Redrado refused to go and challenged her reason for sacking him: his refusal to hand over to her $6.6 billion in bank reserves.

In response, Mrs. Kirchner issued a decree to amend the bank's charter

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A Cold-Blooded Foreign Policy

Fouad Ajami, The Wall Street Journal


With year one drawing to a close, the truth of the Obama presidency is laid bare: retrenchment abroad, and redistribution and the intrusive regulatory state at home. This is the genuine calling of Barack Obama, and of the "progressives" holding him to account. The false dichotomy has taken hold—either we care for our own, or we go abroad in search of monsters to destroy or of broken nations to build. The decision to withdraw missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic was of a piece with that retreat in American power.

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The West's Betrayal of Iran

Saba Farzan, The Wall Street Journal


This Sunday, Iran's freedom movement has reached a new dimension. At demonstrations throughout the country, the brave people of Iran chanted: "Yazid will be overthrown, this will be the month of blood," referring to the caliph who killed the founder of Shiite belief, Imam Hossein. Yazid is of course a thinly-veiled code for the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The Iranian people know that liberty has its price and they are willing to pay it to make a free and democratic Iran possible. The response of the "international community," though, has been shameful.

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Another Test for the Chilean Model

Mary Anastasia O'Grady

Chile's center-left Concertación coalition has controlled La Moneda presidential palace for 20 years. Naturally, then, fatigue is one explanation for the first-round victory of center-right presidential candidate Sebastián Piñera in Chile's Dec. 13 election.

It also may explain why the former senator and billionaire tycoon is favored to win the Jan. 17 run-off against former president and Concertación candidate Eduardo Frei.

Yet lurking just beneath the surface there may be other more powerful factors at work, not the least of which is Chile's declining productivity under four successive Concertación governments, and a growing sense that for the

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In Obama Speech, War and Peace

Elizabeth Williamson

U.S. President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech Thursday will focus on the discordant note struck by a war president receiving the world's highest honor for peacemaking, senior administration officials say.

Mr. Obama has drafted the speech himself, beginning the day after he announced an escalating of the Afghanistan war last week. He will address the juxtaposition of the two very different events, as well as critics who say a president newly in office and pursuing two wars doesn't deserve the prize.

"It is a very compelling context: When do you commit men and women to war?"

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A Good Use for Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Emanuele Ottolenghi

When, back in October, the Nobel Prize Committee announced that U.S. President Barack Obama was their 2009 laureate, the president responded that he was 'surprised and deeply humbled' by the decision to bestow the prize on him, despite having accomplished little, so far, in the pursuit of peace. Calling it "a call to action to confront the common challenges of the 21st century," Mr. Obama went on to say that "I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize." Many felt the President

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The Arabs Have Stopped Applauding Obama

Fouad Ajami

'He talks too much," a Saudi academic in Jeddah, who had once been smitten with Barack Obama, recently observed to me of America's 44th president. He has wearied of Mr. Obama and now does not bother with the Obama oratory.

He is hardly alone, this academic. In the endless chatter of this region, and in the commentaries offered by the press, the theme is one of disappointment. In the Arab-Islamic world, Barack Obama has come down to earth.

He has not made the world anew, history did not bend to his will, the Indians and Pakistanis have been

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