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The Lighthouse is the weekly email newsletter of the Independent Institute.
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Volume 8, Issue 14: August 14, 2006

  1. Guantanamo Bay: The Next Hong Kong?
  2. Adding Group to Terrorism Watch List May Have Backfired, Eland Argues
  3. Adoption, Fathers' Rights Tangle Threatens Child
  4. The Future of U.S.-China Relations

1) Guantanamo Bay: The Next Hong Kong?

Could economic reform in southeastern Peru inspire the conversion of Guantanamo Bay, home of the U.S. military base in Cuba, into a free-enterprise zone? Turning Puno, Peru, and Guantanamo Bay into prosperous port cities like Hong Kong may not be as far fetched as it sounds.

President Alan Garcia of Peru said he supports plans to economically stimulate the Puno region of his country by slashing its taxes, allowing free trade, and reforming its legal system, explains Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Global Prosperity, in his latest syndicated column.

If Guatanamo Bay were similarly converted to a free-enterprise zone, the result could be the hastening of freedom in Cuba. "Guantanamo could erode Cuba's communism in the way West Berlin eroded East Berlin's communism if the U.S. authorities gave Cubans an opportunity to turn the controversial naval base into a new economic Hong Kong," writes Vargas Llosa. "Puno and Guantanamo could become the Hong Kongs of the Western Hemisphere in little time."

See "Could Puno and Guantanamo Be The Next Hong Kongs?" by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (8/9/06)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1786

"Puno y Guantánamo: ¿Los próximos Hong Kongs?"
http://www.elindependent.org/articulos/article.asp?id=1786

LIBERTY FOR LATIN AMERICA: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=55

THE CHE GUEVARA MYTH, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=61

Center on Global Prosperity (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director)
http://www.independent.org/research/cogp/

El Independent: El Blog del Centro Para la Prosperidad Global de The Independent Institute
http://independent.typepad.com/

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2) Adding Group to Terrorism Watch List May Have Backfired, Eland Argues

The possibility that the London airline bombing plotters received funding from Jamaat ud Dawa, an Islamic charity with ties to militant Kashmir separatists that the U.S. recently put on its official terrorism-watch list, should prompt the U.S. government to reconsider the way in which it labels groups as anti-American terrorists, according to Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty.

"Jamaat ud Dawa is the perfect example of the type of local and regional insurgent group the United States government continues to add to the U.S. terrorism list in the name of the 'global war on terror,'" writes Eland. "Yet, because these groups don't start out with an anti-U.S. focus, the U.S. government is endangering its own citizens by making new enemies needlessly. The United States cannot and should not -- for the security of its own people -- help every government put down threats from local insurgents and terrorists."

Concludes Eland: "The bomb plot should be a wake-up call to the Bush administration to disengage from needless meddling in other countries' wars and conflicts."

See "The Bush Administration Makes New Enemies Daily," by Ivan Eland (8/14/06)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1789

"La administración Bush hace nuevos enemigos a diario"
http://www.elindependent.org/articulos/article.asp?id=1789

THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=54

Center on Peace & Liberty (Ivan Eland, director)
http://www.independent.org/research/copal/

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3) Adoption, Fathers' Rights Tangle Threatens Child

A recent New Mexico court case involving a biological father's efforts to win custody of his 2-1/2 year old son from the boy's adoptive parents illustrates the tragedy that can result when adoption agencies can't -- or won't -- track down a biological father to inform him that his child has been put up for adoption, according to Independent Institute Research Fellow Wendy McElroy.

"The dilemma [in the New Mexico case] was created by an adoption agency that acted with no regard for the biological bonds that constitute family," writes McElroy in her latest column. "In doing so, it expressed society's general dismissal of a biological father's role in adoption."

To reduce the number of such cases, some call for promoting "father registries," where males who someday may want to file a custody claim can enter information about recent episodes of unprotected sex. Critics, however, argue that registry requirements would place an unequal burden upon the father, whose legal responsibilities to provide child support are automatic but whose parental rights are not. Although no policy can prevent all similar cases from arising, many agree that something must be done to improve child-custody practices. The prospect of a biological parent showing up on the door step may be one reason why adoptive American parents have increasingly turned to China to adopt babies, McElroy suggests.

See "Adoption, Fathers' Rights Tangle Threatens Child," by Wendy McElroy (8/8/06)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1788

LIBERTY FOR WOMEN: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-first Century, ed. by Wendy McElroy
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=43

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4) The Future of U.S.-China Relations

China leaders have recently sent strong signals that they wish their country to play a larger role on the world's stage. In recent years, the United States has increased its influence and presence in Asia. Are U.S.-China relations on a collision course? What exactly should the United States do about the world's most populous country? This question became the topic for the Independent Institute's May 17 forum in Washington, D.C.

Keeping a historical perspective on China and on U.S.-China relations is crucial. This will better enable us understand what China's leaders view as potential threats to their country, as well as to appreciate how foreign ideas introduced into China have developed in unusual ways, explained James Lilley, former U.S. ambassador to China and South Korea. Lilley also discussed how China's new outreach to other countries supports such national goals (e.g., Communist Party survival, continued economic growth, and preventing Taiwan from separating further). Next, Rear Admiral Eric McVadon discussed China's recent efforts to upgrade its military capability, and the implications of its defense priorities for U.S.-China relations.

Finally, Ivan Eland examined the assumptions of U.S. policy toward China. The current U.S. policy toward China has been one of containment coupled with economic integration. Rather than erect hurdles to China's having a growing sphere of interest (as Britain attempted to do with Germany before World War I), the U.S. should seek a mutually productive relationship that would tend to prevent conflicts from becoming too dangerous (as Britain did with the United States in the 19th century), Eland argued.

A transcript and audio file of "What Should the U.S. Do about China?" featuring Ivan Eland, James Lilley, and Eric McVadon (5/17/06), is available at
http://www.independent.org/events/detail.asp?eventID=117

THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=54

Center on Peace & Liberty (Ivan Eland, director)
http://www.independent.org/research/copal/

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