dezembro 22, 2010
dezembro 21, 2010
Turkish authorities yesterday warned that a bilateral economic deal between Cyprus and Israel aimed at mutual prospecting for oil in the eastern Mediterranean could strain ongoing United Nations-mediated talks aimed at reunifying the divided island.
According to Turkey’s semiofficial Anatolia news agency, the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s undersecretary, Feridun Sinirlioglu, warned Gaby Levy, Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, that the deal would have a negative impact. Sinirlioglu argued that “such unilateral moves [on behalf of the Greek Cypriots] that ignore the will of the Turkish-Cypriot side will harm ongoing settlement talks on the island.”
Meanwhile, diplomatic sources told Kathimerini that Ankara aims to pressure Israel into breaking its pact with Cyprus. The sources said Ankara may use its ties with Lebanon and militant Shiite movement Hezbollah as a way of exerting pressure on Israel. Nicosia has made similar deals with Lebanon and Egypt, which Turkey also has urged the Arab nations to break.
Israel yesterday defended its decision. “This agreement is an issue between Israel and Cyprus and it in no way affects a third country,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. “We do not see how a third country would have anything to say about it,” he added. Another unidentified Israeli official accused Turkey of “monstrous chutzpah” for using “as an argument its occupation of the northern part of Cyprus to denounce the deal.”
The agreement defines the sea border between Cyprus and Israel and delineates an exclusive economic zone between the two countries, allowing them to prospect for oil together. Already the discovery of a huge gas deposit off the Israeli port of Haifa, and close to Cyprus, has fueled great interest in the region’s potential.
Ver notícia no Kathimerini
dezembro 17, 2010
Japan, which shares a maritime border with China, said Beijing's military build-up was of global concern.
Japan will also strengthen its missile defences against the threat from a nuclear-armed North Korea.
The policy document has been approved by the cabinet and will shape Japan's defence policy for the next 10 years.
Japan is changing its defence policy in response to the shifting balance of power in Asia, analysts say.
Defences will be scaled down in the north, where they have been deployed since the Cold War to counter an invasion from Russia.
The military focus will now be in the far-southern islands of Japan, closer to China.
Japan is concerned by China's growing naval might and increased assertiveness in the East China and South China seas.
"China is rapidly modernising its military force and expanding activities in its neighbouring waters," the new guidelines said.
"Together with the lack of transparency on China's military and security issues, the trend is a concern for the region and the international community."
Relations between Japan and China deteriorated sharply in September, after collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japanese patrol boats near a chain of disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Ver notícia na BBC [...]
dezembro 15, 2010
dezembro 12, 2010
At a Sunday morning press conference, Säpo said it had taken over the investigation into the nearly simultaneous bombings from the Stockholm police. The investigation will be overseen by chief prosecutor Tomas Linstrand.
"We are opening an investigation into a terrorist crime under Swedish laws," Anders Thornberg, head of Säpo's security department, told a press conference, a day after the explosions targeted shoppers in the Swedish capital.
Thornberg called the incident “very serious”, although he reiterated that Säpo had no plans to raise the threat level in Sweden as a result of the attack.
“We’re now working to assess whether similar events might take place. We can’t rule it out,” he said.
He added there is “no connection” to between Saturday's attack and a bomb threat investigation Gothenburg from early November, a probe which was subsequently dropped without any charges being filed.
Saturday's attack consisted of two explosions which occurred just minutes apart shortly before 5pm local time.
In the first blast, a car exploded, injuring two passers-by who were sent to hospital with minor injuries. Police say the vehicle was filled with cannisters of liquefied petroleum gas.
A second blast occurred just minutes later about 200 metres away, killing one man. An eye witness who arrived on the scene before police told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper it appeared something had exploded on the man's abdomen.
Ver notícia no The Local
dezembro 06, 2010
As recentes revelações do site WikiLeaks têm potencialmente várias implicações significativas para a diplomacia norte-americana e para os seus aliados (naturalmente também para os inimigos dos EUA – veja-se, por exemplo, os casos das revelações sobre os programas nucleares do Irão e da Coreia do Norte e dos receios que estes geram a nível do Médio Oriente e do Sudeste Asiático). Para uma parte significativa da opinião pública internacional provavelmente até reforçam a convicção da perfídia da política externa norte-americana. Esta será delineada nos bastidores, através de manobras mais ou menos obscuras e de espionagem, sendo largamente amoral, apesar do discurso oficial invocar cinicamente princípios e valores, como a democracia e os direitos humanos. Alguns encontrarão mesmo aí argumentos adicionais para sustentar teorias da conspiração sobre a actuação dos EUA em acontecimentos marcantes da história do século XX e início do século XXI (o ataque japonês a Pearl Harbour, o assassinato de John Kennedy, o 11 de Setembro...). Todavia, o pior impacto para os EUA nem é tanto o de potenciar essa imagem negativa na opinião publica internacional, o que em si mesmo já não é pouco. Também não decorre de terem vindo a público alguns comentários mais ácidos, ou até jocosos, de diplomatas norte-americanos sobre dirigentes políticos de países aliados europeus e não europeus, os quais se encontram em vários telegramas diplomáticos. Nem resulta da revelação de manobras de bastidores para obter informações, eticamente questionáveis, e que, agora, acabaram por se tornar públicas. Na verdade estas manobras já se imaginam existir nalgum tipo de diplomacia e de "jogos de poder", não sendo a sua revelação uma surpresa, a não ser para os que não têm qualquer ideia do que é a política internacional. Passado o furor revelações dos ficheiros WikiLeaks nos media, o impacto negativo mais duradouro e difícil de apagar, será, certamente, o que está associado, na percepção de amigos e aliados, a uma enorme falha de segurança. Esta não permitiu manter a confidencialidade sobre as informações recolhidas pelos seus meios diplomáticos e salvaguardar também os "informantes". (Curiosa é a forma relativamente simples como as informações reveladas pelo Wikileaks poderão ter sido obtidas por Julian Assange, o australiano que é o rosto desta organização e se afirma dedicado à missão da “transparência”. Embora a origem não seja oficialmente conhecida, os mais de 250.000 ficheiros agora revelados poderão ter sido também subtraídos pelo jovem militar, Bradley Manning, já anteriormente detido por suspeita de ter sido responsável pelas revelações de documentos feitas no site WikiLeaks, relativas ao Afeganistão e ao Iraque). Assim, pelo menos nos tempos mais próximos, este ”vazamento de informações” na praça pública irá dificultar muito o trabalho dos seus diplomatas no terreno. Face a esta quebra de confiança na capacidade de sigilo diplomático da principal potência mundial, a recolha de muitas informações fundamentais para o trabalho político-diplomático tornar-se-à particularmente difícil, se não mesmo impossível nalgumas situações. Este é um “dano colateral” que a administração Obama terá dificuldade em reparar e cujas consequências políticas e estratégicas podem ser grandes nos próximos anos.
dezembro 02, 2010
novembro 29, 2010
El País, en colaboración con otros diarios de Europa y Estados Unidos, revela el contenido de la mayor filtración de documentos secretos a la que jamás se haya tenido acceso en toda la historia. Se trata de una colección de más de 250.000 mensajes del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, obtenidos por la página digital Wikileaks, en los que se descubren episodios inéditos ocurridos en los puntos más conflictivos del mundo, así como otros muchos sucesos y datos de gran relevancia que desnudan por completo la política exterior norteamericana, sacan a la luz sus mecanismos y sus fuentes, dejan en evidencia sus debilidades y obsesiones, y en conjunto facilitan la comprensión por parte de los ciudadanos de las circunstancias en las que se desarrolla el lado oscuro de las relaciones internacionales. [...]
Ver notícia no El País
novembro 24, 2010
novembro 19, 2010
In 1979 Ezra Vogel, a Harvard academic, wrote a book entitled “Japan as Number One: Lessons for America” in which he portrayed Japan, with its strong economy and cohesive society, as the world’s most dynamic industrial nation. Three decades later, Japan holds lessons of a less encouraging sort. Economists in the stricken West have been poring over the data on the deflation that it has suffered since the bursting of the asset-price bubble in 1990. Yet deflation may be just one symptom of an even bigger problem that, as our special report this week argues, is squeezing the life out of the Japanese economy: ageing. Unless Japan takes dramatic steps to re-energise its shrinking, greying workforce, its economy will suffer.
Other countries face this dismal prospect too. Although Japanese society is growing older faster than anywhere else in the world, plenty of others are shuffling along behind it. Parts of Europe are ageing fast, and are unwilling to adapt, as recent protests against rising retirement ages in France and Greece attest. Other Confucian countries such as South Korea, China and Taiwan, have enjoyed a “demographic dividend”—a rapidly expanding workforce and falling birth rate—similar to Japan’s in the 1960s to 1980s. With fewer children and elderly to pay for, such countries could plough savings back into economic expansion. As in Japan, relatively few women work after becoming mothers and even fewer immigrants are let in. Such places will look to Japan for how to cope with the economic and social consequences when their manpower starts to dry up. So far, they will find, it is ducking the issue. [...]
Ver notícia no The Economist
novembro 15, 2010
Um espaço de reflexão sobre os principais assuntos da semana, a nível internacional.
Márcia Rodrigues conduz este programa sobre a actualidade internacional onde os principais assuntos da semana serão abordados num ângulo, em regra, diferente da informação diária, que implica uma lógica mais sintética das notícias.
novembro 11, 2010
In theory, the ownership of a business in a capitalist economy is irrelevant. In practice, it is often controversial. From Japanese firms’ wave of purchases in America in the 1980s and Vodafone’s takeover of Germany’s Mannesmann in 2000 to the more recent antics of private-equity firms, acquisitions have often prompted bouts of national angst.
Such concerns are likely to intensify over the next few years, for China’s state-owned firms are on a shopping spree. Chinese buyers—mostly opaque, often run by the Communist Party and sometimes driven by politics as well as profit—have accounted for a tenth of cross-border deals by value this year, bidding for everything from American gas and Brazilian electricity grids to a Swedish car company, Volvo.
There is, understandably, rising opposition to this trend. The notion that capitalists should allow communists to buy their companies is, some argue, taking economic liberalism to an absurd extreme. But that is just what they should do, for the spread of Chinese capital should bring benefits to its recipients, and the world as a whole. [...]
Ver notícia no The Economist
novembro 09, 2010
novembro 02, 2010
outubro 27, 2010
The real story in this election is not that America has no jobs, that the economy continues to falter or that the national debt continues to balloon. While all three are true and, more importantly, Obama has failed to fix them, it is also true that these conditions existed prior to Obama's election. Yet somehow his personal charisma and captivating charm elevated the electorate.
The real story of campaign 2010 is how boring Obama has become.Obama, who had never run anything except a campaign in his entire life, performed an almost unprecedented conjuring act in 2008, getting the electorate to embrace him regardless of the utter absence of managerial skills.
They believed not necessarily in Obama's capacity to fix America's transient problems but in his ability to focus us on more eternal, upbeat themes like hope, faith and the future. Yet, this time his very presence seems irritating. A man whose oratory lifted him to earth's highest office can't seem to deliver a single uplifting speech.
As a connoisseur of great oratory, I used to love hearing Obama's staccato delivery, perfect timing and mesmeric self-confidence -- the mark of any great speaker -- even as I disagreed with him on many of the issues. But Obama's speeches have now become insufferable, devoid of charisma and personal magnetism. [...]
Ver notícia na AOLNews
outubro 15, 2010
In recent weeks the world economy has been on a war footing, at least rhetorically. Ever since Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, declared on September 27th that an “international currency war” had broken out, the global economic debate has been recast in battlefield terms, not just by excitable headline-writers, but by officials themselves. Gone is the fuzzy rhetoric about co-operation to boost global growth. A more combative tone has taken hold. Countries blame each other for distorting global demand, with weapons that range from quantitative easing (printing money to buy bonds) to currency intervention and capital controls.
Behind all the smoke and fury, there are in fact three battles. The biggest one is over China’s unwillingness to allow the yuan to rise more quickly. American and European officials have sounded tougher about the “damaging dynamic” caused by China’s undervalued currency. Last month the House of Representatives passed a law allowing firms to seek tariff protection against countries with undervalued currencies, with a huge bipartisan majority. China’s “unfair” trade practices have become a hot topic in the mid-term elections.
A second flashpoint is the rich world’s monetary policy, particularly the prospect that central banks may soon restart printing money to buy government bonds. The dollar has fallen as financial markets expect the Federal Reserve to act fastest and most boldly. The euro has soared as officials at the European Central Bank show least enthusiasm for such a shift. In China’s eyes (and, sotto voce, those of many other emerging-market governments), quantitative easing creates a gross distortion in the world economy as investors rush elsewhere, especially into emerging economies, in search of higher yields. [...]
Ver artigo no The Economist
outubro 12, 2010
The remarks represent some of China's most substantive support for the euro zone amid the region's debt troubles, and reflect the Asian giant's growing willingness to wield its economic clout to obtain wider international influence. Mr. Wen's Athens visit kicks off a week of intensive Chinese-European diplomacy, with the premier heading to Italy and Turkey as well as to summit meetings with European Union leaders in Brussels. "We hope that by intensifying cooperation with you, we can be of some help in your endeavor to tide over difficulties at an early date," Mr. Wen said Sunday in a speech to the Greek parliament. "China will not reduce its euro-bond holdings and China supports a stable euro." China has long had economic interests in Greece, primarily in its shipping industry, and it runs a substantial trade surplus with the European country. China's relations with Greece have come into focus in recent months as Greek officials actively lobbied the Asian nation to support its economy. Athens is desperate for investment as the country claws its way out of a deep recession and a debt crisis that drove it to the brink of bankruptcy in May. [...]
Ver notícia no WSJ
outubro 07, 2010
James Appathurai lembrou que este primeiro esboço é ainda somente "um ponto de partida", começando agora a ser discutido com os embaixadores dos países membros.
Em conferência de imprensa, no quartel-general da NATO, Appathurai acrescentou que o projeto do «novo conceito estratégico» da Aliança Atlântica vai ainda ser debatido pelos ministros da Defesa e dos Negócios Estrangeiros, a 14 de outubro, antes de ser adotado em novembro, na cimeira de Lisboa.
O porta-voz sublinhou que a forma “inclusiva e transparente” no processo de consulta para a elaboração do documento já “está a produzir resultados”, pois as primeiras reações foram positivas, destacando-se «muito mais pontos de convergência do que de divergência».
Escusando-se a avançar pormenores sobre o conteúdo do documento, que a NATO espera manter "privado" até à cimeira de Lisboa, Appathurai adiantou que o texto tem um cariz bastante político, é curto e claro – apenas 10 páginas (às quais se juntarão depois textos mais burocráticos, sobretudo sobre implantação) -, pois o desejo do secretário-geral, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, foi que o texto fosse “legível” também pelos cidadãos. [...]
Ver notícia do jornal i
outubro 01, 2010
setembro 27, 2010
No one familiar with the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 should relish the prospect of a trade war with China -- but that seems to be where we're headed and is probably where we should be headed. Although the Smoot-Hawley tariff did not cause the Great Depression, it contributed to its severity by provoking widespread retaliation. Confronting China's export subsidies risks a similar tit-for-tat cycle at a time when the global economic recovery is weak. This is a risk, unfortunately, we need to take.
In a decade, China has gone from a huge, poor nation to an economic colossus. Although its per capita income ($6,600 in 2009) is only one-seventh that of the United States ($46,400), the sheer size of its economy gives it a growing global influence. China passed Japan this year as the second-largest national economy. In 2009, it displaced Germany as the biggest exporter and also became the world's largest energy user.
The trouble is that China has never genuinely accepted the basic rules governing the world economy. China follows those rules when they suit its interests and rejects, modifies or ignores them when they don't. Every nation, including the United States, would like to do the same, and most have tried. What's different is that most other countries support the legitimacy of the rules -- often requiring the sacrifice of immediate economic self-interest -- and none is as big as China. Their departures from norms don't threaten the entire system.
China's worst abuse involves its undervalued currency and its promotion of export-led economic growth. The United States isn't the only victim. China's underpricing of exports and overpricing of imports hurt most trading nations, from Brazil to India. From 2006 to 2010, China's share of world exports jumped from 7 percent to 10 percent.
One remedy would be for China to revalue its currency, reducing the competitiveness of its exports. American presidents have urged this for years. The Chinese acknowledge that they need stronger domestic spending but seem willing to let the renminbi (RMB) appreciate only if it doesn't really hurt their exports. Thus, the appreciation of about 20 percent permitted from mid-2005 to mid-2008 was largely offset by higher productivity (aka, more efficiency) that lowered costs. China halted even this when the global economy crashed and has only recently permitted the currency to rise. In practice, the RMB has barely budged. [...]
Ver notícia no Rear Clear Politics
setembro 20, 2010
A far-right party that blames Muslim immigrants for social ills won seats in Sweden's parliament for the first time on Sunday, marking the latest advance of anti-immigrant populism in Europe.
With votes counted from 99% of Swedish districts, the Sweden Democrats had won 5.7%, clearing the 4% threshold needed to enter Parliament and resulting in 20 seats in the 349-seat legislature.
The result is a shock for Sweden's political elites and many ordinary Swedes, who have long prided themselves on being one of the Western world's most tolerant and open societies.
"Today we have together written political history," said Jimmie Akesson, the 31-year-old leader of the Sweden Democrats.
The Sweden Democrats' populist campaign against immigration, particularly of Muslims, has underscored the spread of a pan-European backlash against liberal immigration policies, which is increasingly rattling the region's political establishment.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt four-party Alliance won 172 seats, below the 175 needed to form a majority government and opening the possibility of minority rule after the left-leaning three-party Red-Green coalition won 157 seats. [...]
Ver notícia no Wall Street Journal
setembro 12, 2010
Nothing is as it used to be. In this season of public outrage, the case of Thilo Sarrazin has grown far bigger than Sarrazin. It's much bigger than the man or the Islam-critical book he wrote.
Sarrazin isn't telegenic and he often gets tangled up in statistics. When it comes to styling, he's at a loss - he is unkempt when he appears on the myriad talkshows that keep our entertainment society going. He slips on one banana peel of political correctness after another, opening himself to attack with his statements about genetics. But his findings on the failed integration of Turkish and Arab immigrants are beyond any doubt.
Sarrazin has been forced out of the Bundesbank. The SPD wants to kick him out of the party, too. Invitations previously extended to Sarrazin are being withdrawn. The culture page editors at the German weekly Die Zeit are crying foul and the editors at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are damning Sarrazin for passages he didn't even write.
Technicians of Exclusion
But what all these technicians of exclusion fail to see is that you cannot cast away the very thing that Sarrazin embodies: the anger of people who are sick and tired - after putting a long and arduous process of Enlightenment behind them - of being confronted with pre-Enlightenment elements that are returning to the center of our society. They are sick of being cursed or laughed at when they offer assistance with integration. And they are tired about reading about Islamist associations that have one degree of separation from terrorism, of honor killings, of death threats against cartoonists and filmmakers. They are horrified that "you Christian" has now become an insult on some school playgrounds. And they are angry that Western leaders are now being forced to fight for a woman in an Islamic country because she has been accused of adultery and is being threatened with stoning.
Strangely enough, a good number of our fellow Turkish citizens are more outraged by Sarrazin's book than they are about those things.
Should those Turkish immigrants fortunate enough to have exemplary careers not start exerting a bit of influence over their fellow immigrants and their neighborhoods, so that the Koran shows its gentler, more charitable face? Isn't it time for them to stand up and show their backing for plurality and freedom of expression?
That certainly wasn't the case recently when the Migration Board, an umbrella group for immigrant organizations in Berlin, spoke out successfully against a reading by Sarrazin during the International Literature Festival in the German capital. Bernd Scherer, who heads the House of World Cultures, the venue of the festival, buckled under the pressure and cancelled the event. Now the reading is to be held at another venue on Friday - under police protection. [...]
Ver artigo no Der Spiegel
setembro 11, 2010
setembro 07, 2010
When George W. Bush referred to “rumours on the, uh, internets” during the 2004 presidential campaign, he was derided for his cluelessness—and “internets” became a shorthand for a lack of understanding of the online world. But what looked like ignorance then looks like prescience now. As divergent forces tug at the internet, it is in danger of losing its universality and splintering into separate digital domains. The internet is as much a trade pact as an invention. A network of networks, it has grown at an astonishing rate over the past 15 years because the bigger it got, the more it made sense for other networks to connect to it. Its open standards made such interconnections cheap and easy, dissolving boundaries between existing academic, corporate and consumer networks (remember CompuServe and AOL?). Just as a free-trade agreement between countries increases the size of the market and boosts gains from trade, so the internet led to greater gains from the exchange of data and allowed innovation to flourish. But now the internet is so large and so widely used that countries, companies and network operators want to wall bits of it off, or make parts of it work in a different way, to promote their own political or commercial interests.
Walled wide web
Three sets of walls are being built. The first is national. China’s “great firewall” already imposes tight controls on internet links with the rest of the world, monitoring traffic and making many sites or services unavailable. Other countries, including Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, have done similar things, and other governments are tightening controls on what people can see and do on the internet.
Second, companies are exerting greater control by building “walled gardens”—an approach that appeared to have died out a decade ago. Facebook has its own closed, internal e-mail system, for example. Google has built a suite of integrated web-based services. Users of Apple’s mobile devices access many internet services through small downloadable software applications, or apps, rather than a web browser. By dictating which apps are allowed on its devices, Apple has become a gatekeeper. As apps spread to other mobile devices, and even cars and televisions, other firms will do so too.
Third, there are concerns that network operators looking for new sources of revenue will strike deals with content providers that will favour those websites prepared to pay up. Al Franken, a Democratic senator, spelled out his nightmare scenario in a speech in July: right-wing news sites loading five times faster than left-wing blogs. He and other advocates of “net neutrality” want new laws to stop networks discriminating between different types of traffic. But network operators say that could hamper innovation, and those on the right see net neutrality as a socialist plot to regulate the internet. [...]
Ver artigo no Economist
agosto 21, 2010
agosto 14, 2010
agosto 09, 2010
Listen carefully, and you may detect a giant sucking sound across the rich world. In the 1990s this was the sound protectionists in the United States thought (wrongly) would accompany jobs disappearing to Mexico as a result of a free-trade deal. This time, too, there are big worries about jobs and growth, but the source of the noise is different, and real enough: it comes from the tentacles of the state, reaching into more and more areas of business in an effort to get the economy moving. It is the sound of Leviathan Inc.
Politicians are reviving the notion that intervening in individual industries and companies can drive growth and create jobs (see article). It is not just the usual suspects—although it is true that France, the land of Colbert, is busy taking stakes in toy manufacturers, video-sharing websites and fallen national champions. Elsewhere in Europe, from Berlin to Brussels, demand for industrial policy is back. Japan’s new government is responding to what it sees as the increasingly aggressive policies of foreign competitors by deepening the links between business and the state. In America Barack Obama, the effective owner of General Motors and a chunk of Wall Street, has turned his back on the laissez-faire approach of the past: a strategic-industries initiative is under way.
Although an understandable panic over economic growth in the rich world explains much of the state’s new meddling in business, other forces are at work as well. After the finance and property bubbles some influential companies—such as EADS and Rolls-Royce in the aerospace industry—are pressing for policies that support manufacturing. Bail-outs and billions of stimulus spending, however justified at the time, got government back into the habit of intervention. The case of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America’s housing-finance giants, illustrates both the perils of state meddling (implicit state guarantees distorted the mortgage market with fatal consequences) and the difficulty of giving it up: having rescued the pair, the federal government lacks any plan to pull out.
Ver artigo no The Economist
agosto 04, 2010
julho 30, 2010
China’s rapid recent growth has made it increasingly likely that its gross domestic product, in US dollar terms, will be larger this year than Japan’s. However, the vagaries of international currency movements mean such a result is far from assured.
Observers eagerly awaiting what will be a symbol of shifting global economic power on Friday seized on a remark by Yi Gang, director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, about China’s growth prospects. [...]
Ver notícia no Financial Times
julho 26, 2010
julho 21, 2010
Barack Obama is caught in a Catch-22 situation: If America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq fail, they will overshadow any of his domestic achievements. The end game in the leadership role of the United States in the world began long ago. Can the Afghanistan conference deliver a breakthrough?
There is a name that is now being mentioned frequently in the debate over America's wars, a name that does not bode well for US President Barack Obama: Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States. Johnson, who, like Obama, was both a Democrat and an energetic reformer, ultimately failed because of an overseas war being fought by US troops. The Vietnam War prevented Johnson from being remembered as one of the most prominent US presidents in the history of the 20th century. [...]
Ver artigo no Der Spiegel
julho 16, 2010
julho 15, 2010
The voices in Washington calling for a military strike on Iranian nuclear plants are growing in number and strength. The cautious attitude of the Barack Obama administration itself in relation to such a course means that direct military action by the United States itself remains on balance unlikely (see Joe Klein, "An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table", Time, 15 July 2010). But current trends in the middle east suggest that the prospect of Israeli action against Iran in the next few months is coming closer (see "Israel vs Iran: the risk of war", 11 June 2010).
These include oft-repeated reports that Iran is rearming Hizbollah in southern Lebanon, and that Syria is supplying Hizbollah with some of its Iranian-made M-600 ballistic-missiles. The M-600 is a solid-fuel missile with a range stretching over much of Israel - a much more potent weapon than those fired in the Israel-Lebanon war of July-August 2006 (see Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, “The Hizbollah project: last war, next war”, 13 August 2009)
Israel’s current concern over a resumption of conflict with Hizbollah, however, is overshadowed by its analysis of the benefits, costs and consequences of an attempt to strike a decisive blow against Iran. Binyamin Netanyahu, concluding his visit to the United States with an interview on Fox News, described Iran as “the ultimate terrorist threat” and said that for Iran to think it can maintain its nuclear ambitions would be a mistake. [...]
Ver notícia no OpenDemocracy
julho 11, 2010
In 1889 the Spectator published an article, “The Intellectual Effects of Electricity,” intended to provoke its Victorian readers. Robert Cecil, the prime minister, had recently given a speech to the Institution of Electrical Engineers in which “he admitted that only the future could prove whether the effect of the discovery of electricity… would tell for good or evil.” The authors attacked him for being soft on electricity. Its material effects were welcome—“imagine the hundred million of ploughing oxen now toiling in Asia, with their labour superseded by electric accumulators!”—but its intellectual effects were not.
Electricity had led to the telegraph, which in turn saw “a vast diffusion of what is called ‘news,’ the recording of every event, and especially of every crime.” Foreshadowing Marshall McLuhan by almost a century, the magazine deplored a world that was “for purposes of ‘intelligence’ reduced to a village” in which “a catastrophe caused by a jerry-builder of New York wakes in two hours the sensation of pity throughout the civilised world.” And while “certainly it increases nimbleness of mind… it does this at a price. All men are compelled to think of all things, at the same time, on imperfect information, and with too little interval for reflection.”
Fast forward 120 years, and similar criticisms abound. Consider an anti-Twitter lament by the New Yorker writer George Packer in February, published, of all places, on his blog: “There’s no way for readers to be online, surfing, emailing, posting, tweeting, reading tweets, and soon enough doing the thing that will come after Twitter, without paying a high price in available time, attention span, reading comprehension, and experience of the immediately surrounding world.” In May, even the US president Barack Obama—a self-confessed BlackBerry addict—complained about a “24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter,” adding that: “With iPods and iPads… information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment.” Of course there is a price to pay for processing information. But the real question is: is the price too high? [...]
Ver artigo de Evgeny Morozov no Prospect
julho 08, 2010
The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.
The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.
Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million, said a person familiar with the project.
An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.
Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.
"The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government...feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security," said one internal Raytheon email, the text of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal. "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother." [...]
Ver notícia no Wall Street Journal
julho 07, 2010
"Inspire", le premier magazine de propagande d'Al-Qaida diffusé en anglais, devrait sortir dans les jours ou les semaines qui viennent. Mais l'organisation terroriste, rompue aux techniques modernes de communication, a déjà réussi à en faire le buzz du moment. Un premier aperçu du magazine au format PDF circule sur le Net depuis la semaine dernière. En dehors de la couverture et de la table des matières, l'essentiel des 67 pages est crypté.
Pour l'heure, seuls des djihadistes confirmés et quelques chercheurs ont eu accès au document en version intégrale sur des forums islamistes sécurisés. L'universitaire Mathieu Guidère fait partie de ceux-là. Selon lui, cette revue entièrement en anglais marque un véritable "tournant" dans la communication et la stratégie de recrutement d'Al-Qaida. [...]
Ver notícia no Le Monde
julho 04, 2010
Throughout history new technologies have revolutionised warfare, sometimes abruptly, sometimes only gradually: think of the chariot, gunpowder, aircraft, radar and nuclear fission. So it has been with information technology. Computers and the internet have transformed economies and given Western armies great advantages, such as the ability to send remotely piloted aircraft across the world to gather intelligence and attack targets. But the spread of digital technology comes at a cost: it exposes armies and societies to digital attack.
The threat is complex, multifaceted and potentially very dangerous. Modern societies are ever more reliant on computer systems linked to the internet, giving enemies more avenues of attack. If power stations, refineries, banks and air-traffic-control systems were brought down, people would lose their lives. Yet there are few, if any, rules in cyberspace of the kind that govern behaviour, even warfare, in other domains. As with nuclear- and conventional-arms control, big countries should start talking about how to reduce the threat from cyberwar, the aim being to restrict attacks before it is too late. [...]
Ver artigo em The Economist
julho 02, 2010
ÁSIA: SEGURANÇA E PODER
O Estado em reconstrução e a sua Constituição. A intervenção no Iraque
A Cooperação Militar Chinesa
A China na Cooperação Sul-Sul
Carmen Amado Mendes
O novo Ocidente Político
Carta de Islamabade
Não há duas sem três. A terceira tentativa paquistanesa para alcançar a democracia
Carta de Bisqueque
Da democracia na Ásia Central
Irão: uma juristocracia autoritária?
A trajectória de um movimento islamita na Somália (2006-2010)
Alexandra Magnólia Dias
A finança islâmica nas sociedades ocidentais
José Pedro Teixeira Fernandes
junho 28, 2010
The report is being launched to coincide with a 20 June 2010 rally on the issue of Sharia law.
Based on an 8 March 2010 Seminar on Sharia Law, research, interviews, and One Law for All case files, the report has identified a number of problem areas:
- Sharia law’s civil code is arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular. With the rise in the acceptance of Sharia courts, discrimination is being further institutionalised with some UK law firms additionally offering clients advice on Sharia law and the use of collaborative law.
- Sharia law is practiced in Britain primarily by Sharia Councils and Muslims Arbitration Tribunals. Both operate on religious principles and are harmful to women although Muslim Arbitration Tribunals are wrongly regarded as being of more concern because they operate as tribunals under the Arbitration Act 1996, making their rulings binding in law. [...]
Ver notícia em One Law For All
junho 20, 2010
The English geographer Sir Halford Mackinder ended his famous 1904 article, "The Geographical Pivot of History," with a disturbing reference to China. After explaining why Eurasia was the geostrategic fulcrum of world power, he posited that the Chinese, should they expand their power well beyond their borders, "might constitute the yellow peril to the world's freedom just because they would add an oceanic frontage to the resources of the great continent, an advantage as yet denied to the Russian tenant of the pivot region." Leaving aside the sentiment's racism, which was common for the era, as well as the hysterics sparked by the rise of a non-Western power at any time, Mackinder had a point: whereas Russia, that other Eurasian giant, basically was, and is still, a land power with an oceanic front blocked by ice, China, owing to a 9,000-mile temperate coastline with many good natural harbors, is both a land power and a sea power. (Mackinder actually feared that China might one day conquer Russia.) China's virtual reach extends from Central Asia, with all its mineral and hydrocarbon wealth, to the main shipping lanes of the Pacific Ocean. Later, in Democratic Ideals and Reality, Mackinder predicted that along with the United States and the United Kingdom, China would eventually guide the world by "building for a quarter of humanity a new civilization, neither quite Eastern nor quite Western." [...]
Ver artigo na Foreign Affairs
junho 16, 2010
This unfolding human catastrophe has political roots in the crisis of the Kyrgyz state itself. The complex and multifaceted ingredients of the crisis cast a dark shadow over Kyrgyzstan’s future. In the context of poverty, insecurity and dysfunctional politics in the unsettled Ferghana valley - whose territory and population of 11 million is distributed between Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan - what is happening now in Kyrgyzstan has ominous implications for the wider region. For if Kyrgyzstan fails as a state, and inter-ethnic violence in the Ferghana valley is not contained, the resulting security vacuum in Kyrgyzstan could threaten the fragile stability of central Asia as a whole. [...]
Ver notícia no OpenDemocracy
junho 12, 2010
Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.
In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran. To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.
“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”
Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one. [...]
Ver notícia no Times
junho 08, 2010
junho 06, 2010
Turkey's highest circulating newspaper Hurriyet on Sunday released photos of Israeli navy commandos who had been embroiled in the clash aboard the Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara last week.
The Israel Defense Forces released a video depicting the activists aboard the ship attacking the navy commandos. The activists argued that they had been attacked first. Nine activists were killed in the melee, and dozens, including Israeli soldiers, were hurt.
The photos published by Hurriyet on Sunday, under the headline "tears of a commando", Israeli soldiers are seen beaten and bleeding, being carried below deck by Turkish activists.
In the accompanying article, the paper reported that the photos had been censored and deleted by Israeli fighters aiming to prevent embarrassment for Israel and the IDF, but the activists were able to restore them. The paper further reported that in some of the photos, activists belonging to the IHH organization are seen caring for the wounded soldiers. [...]
Ver notícia no Haaretz
junho 02, 2010
Deesde hace unos meses, el Gobierno de Ankara ha emprendido una lenta pero clara orientación hacia una nueva política exterior. De los dos componentes de la idiosincrasia turca, Oriente y Occidente, el jefe del Gobierno, el islamista Tayip Erdogan, ha escogido el primero y, mezclándolo con el fuerte espíritu nacionalista del país, está llevando a Turquía hacia posiciones no solo alejadas de la sintonía de la Unión Europea o Estados Unidos, sino en ocasiones claramente contrarias. El trágico episodio de la flotilla apresada por la Marina israelí es el último de estos ejemplos. No es posible pensar que una operación como la que han llevado a cabo las organizaciones pretendidamente humanitarias bajo bandera turca pudiera haberse gestado sin la connivencia de las autoridades de Ankara. La reacción popular que ha producido este hecho puede ser perfectamente comprensible, pero en los hechos ha destruido los lazos estratégicos que existían entre Turquía -miembro fundador de la OTAN- y el principal aliado de Occidente en Oriente Medio, Israel, ya maltrechos tras la furibunda espantada de Erdogan en el foro de Davos.
En este sentido, los esfuerzos de acercamiento hacia el régimen iraní -Turquía nunca puso ninguna pega a la fraudulenta elección de Ahmadineyad ni a la brutal represión que siguió a aquellos comicios- han sido contraproducentes para detener los planes nucleares del régimen teocrático. La fotografía de Ahmadineyad junto a Erdogán y el brasileño Lula alzando los brazos en señal de triunfo ha reducido, prácticamente a la nada, todo el trabajo para un reforzamiento de las sanciones en el Consejo de Seguridad.
Es cierto que Turquía es un gran país, con un pasado imperial que no puede ignorarse. Como nación independiente tiene todo el derecho a elegir sus prioridades en política exterior, pero como aspirante a unirse a la familia europea no debe ignorar que hay valores e intereses que no puede permitirse el lujo de omitir. Si su objetivo es convertirse en una potencia regional a la sombra de su pasado otomano, deberá elegir entre cuál de sus dos esencias prefiere: hacia Europa o hacia el pasado.