Celebrate Festive Season safely
For over two decades I have been writing about the rise of Asia and the dynamic driving it. There is an extraordinary consensus among east Asian leaders that Asia needs to use this window of opportunity to focus on economic development and growth. War is the biggest obstacle to development. If Asians were truly stupid, they would engage in such wars and derail their enormous development promise. Most Asian leaders, barring North Korea, understand well the dangers of war. Hence, while there will be tensions and rivalries in the region, there will be no wars in the region, in 2014 or in 2015. As 2015 unfolds, I would like to encourage all western pundits to understand the underlying Asian dynamic on its own terms, and not on the basis of western preconceptions.
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The real Irving is named Mel Weinberg, and he and his mistress were in fact enlisted by the FBI to oust eight elected officials for taking bribes. Just like the film, Weinberg and the FBI developed an elaborate con to catch the corrupt politicians in the act. Weinberg did end up forming a friendship with one of the officials, although unlike in the film, his final immunity deal didn't protect the friend he helped implicate. Some things are just too far-fetched, even for a career criminal.