“Others judge us by our past deeds, we value ourselves on what we are capable of achieving, but it seems no one bothers to evaluate what we are doing here and now.”
- Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.
Spanish version: http://wp.me/pRlnf-7C
Year 2012 could have been the turning point for the crisis but it has ended being the consolidation of a disastrous style of world governance.
The replacement amongst elected and appointed posts in the countries relevant in planning global economy have barely contributed to substantial changes in the governance criteria.
A Barack Obama who defaulted on several of his electoral promises during his first term of office ended being reelected whilst the diplomatic incursions of his nation continued leaving dead in the streets of the Middle East. Today, he is still engaged in a tug-of-war with his political adversaries on the brink of the ‘fiscal cliff’, with the worldwide risks same represents for all other state economies.
The succession in China has not deterred the tight-fisted censorship that citizens suffer in their path towards global communications thru the new technologies. While they boast of bullet trains, they restrain human rights.
European leaders are incapable of reaching an agreement on how to manage a crisis baptized with a name (Euro Crisis) that has little to do with the real situation. I will not even bother to list down their individual weaknesses as it would turn out to be a never-ending string.
Latin America continues being a keg of gunpowder about to vlast depending on who has the lit match in his hand. To mention the extremes, these swing from the inflation down south to the northern assassinations in the hands of the drug mafias.
India bears the burden of its most negative traditions, unable to avail of the opportunity of the moment. Corruption, as in many other parts, contaminates the atmosphere just as much its outdated transport system.
Russia hardly will ever be a true democracy while people like Putin desire to perpetuate themselves in power. The shadow of the Kremlin hovers like a vulture over its former domains.
Japan has just elected a new prime minister of the old school in the hope of salvaging their stagnant economy just as it faces a territorial dispute with neighbouring China over a handful of islands in the China Sea.
The sad truth is that 2012 has been a year wasted by a bunch of leaders who not only did not fulfill but also lied, some rather shamelessly.
Who are the ones that control them and who are the true governors of the world?
Sitges – Barcelona, Spain
Post by Fernando Fuster-Fabra:
Tengo la vista cansada pero aun veo cosas que éstos con más visibilidad se niegan a ver o simplemente no tienen capacidad de ver. …. ¿Quién es el bobo que se puede creer que las cosas están mejor hoy en España que ayer? …. Un poco de seriedad, Sr. Draghi.
“If you are incapable of admitting the problem, how do you expect to solve it?”
- Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.
Spanish version: http://wp.me/pRlnf-7n
Every state has the right to defend its own interests but no single nation may exercise such right when it puts in peril the rights of all humanity. Such was the situation as talks drew to a close yesterday at the Climate Change Conference in Doha.
In December, 2010, I wrote: “Climate change? Who cares? …” http://fernandofusterfabra.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/kyoto-countdown-after-cancun/ just after the closure of the Cancun sessions that ended in a similar fiasco. Since then, 2 years have elapsed and world leaders have been incapable of reaching any agreement.
Meanwhile, the economic scene has worsened amongst those developed countries and/or zones that seem bent on blocking any solution to the dilemma of undeniable climate change all over the globe.
I again ask myself – Has the economic crisis anything to do with the powerful refusing to resolve the climate issue for their selfish benefit?
It brings us to the reflexion that the United Nations, as a body, is powerless before said superpowers in almost any issue these may veto. The result at the Doha event is the best proof of the U.N.’s uselessness at this time and date.
One problem after another in whatever sphere of action remains unresolved. Could it be that we are working with a wrong approach in our climate change problem-solving?
Ever since the Burdick & Lederer’s novel, The Ugly American, was published in 1958, American candidates to the White House and incumbent Presidents have had a chance to face numerous international problems as leaders who have to assume responsibilities attributed the world’s most powerful nation.
Nevertheless, time and time again, one President after another has committed quite a number of errors that have led to what the USA is today.
On the verge of next Tuesday’s presidential elections, incumbent President Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, have demonstrated that Americans have not wagged away the then Asian foreign vision of “the ugly American”.
On the contrary, today, American leaders are seen as “ugly” in continents other than Asia. In the last half century, one after another, the U.S. Presidents have blundered in international affairs in Vietnam & Cambodia, in the Caribbean, in the Middle East, in Africa and in Central & South America.
From Kennedy to Obama, all White House tenants have had their Achilles heel. Some succumbed to the temptation of playing God and ended causing civil wars or local ethnic cleansing.
At the crossroads of American supremacy, President Obama has not only failed to live up to expectations and to a moral commitment after being awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009, but also has selfishly closed himself into what he sensed was to be a battle for his continuance as President of the United States of America. He has, in many ways, taken as his own the very habits of what was described in the novel as “the ugly American”.
Regretfully, his adversary is no better off. Mitt Romney considers he is a self-made man who has amassed a fortune with his talents. Nevertheless, if he would look back, I’m sure he will have to admit to himself that he isn’t all that respectable a citizen as he wants to make voters believe. He too is “an ugly American” in the eyes of any foreign beholder.
At this stage of the 21st century with new technologies making communications go global with a click, U.S. leaders have seemed to remain stagnant in their 20th century ways of government and diplomacy; precisely those very same manners that worried John F. Kennedy when the novel was first published.
Neither Obama nor Romney gets even solid approval from their European allies. I feel, much less would they get it from the Muslim states that their policies have led into an irreversible permanent war.
The issue is that none of them have learned from their errors but worst still is that there being an opportunity to be once again the best, both Obama & Romney have decided to just make it to the White House next balloting day.
Who is the “uglier American” of the two?
“The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything
– or nothing.”
- Nancy Astor
On April 19, 2009 I published my first post in my English WordPress.com blog http://wp.me/pv6EY-1 among others things stating:
“As it stands today, European Union leaders seek proof that America has the willpower to continue occupying world supremacy in more than military alliances such as 60-year old NATO or world organisms as the United Nations, the IMF or the World Bank. In effect, there is a rather increasing incredulity emanating from the inefficiency of said organisations in bringing about peace and prosperity to all Mankind in this New Millennium.”
These very words are valid today. President Obama is more worried in ensuring his re-election than facing the hard facts of what has been dubbed as “the 21st. century depression”. After various G-8 summits, the last one at Camp David with Obama as host and the NATO Conference today in Chicago, world leaders will have met firstly wanting to change everything to finally end up doing nothing.
What’s the name of their game?
G-8 summits have lost their sense of being whilst the G-20 version has not even gotten a chance of being somewhat effective.
In Europe, the French-German axis that germinated in the Merkozy Connivance of Deauville is no more. France has elected a new socialist President in the person of Francoise Hollande and his strategy at these meets is yet to be seen. In the USA, no stand will be taken before the Obama-Romney presidential bout is over. Meanwhile the world is not at a standstill and the financial sharks are making one killing after another. The crisis goes on and quality of living where there was is eroding.
Then we have the military pulse at the NATO summit where issues will likewise remain unresolved due to the US-Pakistan estrangement.
As a new business week starts off tomorrow, the stock exchange markets will again speculate round and about the doubtful rating reports of the biased agencies and the partial media. The powerful shall become even richer and more dominant whilst the impoverished will have to find consolation on a daily wage of a couple of dollars.
In no way has deserved the Nobel Prize he was awarded just as in no way have today’s world leaders demonstrated that they have merits to manage the destiny of Mankind.
Honestly, I suspect that none of them, not even the all-powerful President of the United States governs in the name of democracy and for the people. I suspect they are mere puppets with their strings attached to vested interests in this sad vaudeville of the New Millennium.
“Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Versión español : http://wp.me/pRlnf-5I
Being against hastily drawing an opinion without the necessary facts for a good judgement, Angela Merkel as a public figure has always called my attention in her apparently accidental rise to power. She is part of that group of leaders that came about in the last 15 years not only in the European scenario but also worldwide, appearance that seemed to contribute to today’s chaos.
As I wish to centre my attention to the European continent, apparently immersed in its worst moments in its route towards a true merger of partners that once wished to be a common market, I shall only consider those who have had or continue to have power in what has been dubbed as “the Euro crisis”.
Aznar, Berlusconi, Blair, Brown, Chirac, Prodi, Rodríguez Zapatero, Schröder, Sócrates, and an endless number have held government posts in their respective countries in the framework of the Union of 27. Although some have left office, they have left the inheritance of the tower of Babel that the EU is today. Some have relocated themselves after leaving their nation’s government as in the case of Durao Barroso or Van Rompuy, now occupying post of maximum relevance in the Brussels-based power structure. Others have moved on to the private sector lured by juicy fees whilst exercising all their influence.
Nevertheless, no one has marked as much the agenda as has Angela Dorothea Kasner, daughter of an Evangelist theologian who decided to migrate precisely to the GDR in those years of the German miracle of the FRG, when the flow was precisely in the opposite direction.
Truly, what do we know about this woman that today bosses Europe around?
Aside from the fact that she was sponsored by no less than Helmut Kohl in the ‘90s and that today she is presently Germany’s chancellor with power over all the EU, most people ignore that this woman, in spite of having been born in Hamburg, grew up and was educated (the family moved when she was a few weeks of age) in the ways of the Soviet-influenced Easter Germany or that her father was so well considered within the GDR regime he availed (a real privilege for those days) of an official car for family use and for his trips (unusual for the GDR) to the other Germany, or that she was a full-pledged member of the Communist German Free Youth movement, having even been responsible of propaganda. Her true surname isn’t Merkel but Kasner, adopting the surname Merkel when she married a GDR university colleague called Ulrich Merkel. It is somewhat strange that in spite of separating from her first husband in 1982 and after having married (1998) her former professor, Joachim Sauer, she didn’t renounce to her first husband’s surname.
With such track record and being an outsider to the power echelons in Western Germany, Angela Merkel conquered Helmut Kohl’s sympathy at which time, due to circumstances related to a illegal party-financing scandal, Merkel lashed out against her mentor, causing the downfall of the then CDU leader, now her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble.
After the criticism harvested at the end of the early December European meet and recently rounded about by the actual IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, I must ask again why European leaders (all except David Cameron) submissiveness towards the German chancellor in European and crisis issues.
Should we praise her with a round of applause and a ‘Heil Merkel!’ to reward her tenacity to get all to accept her thesis for the EU?
Or on the contrary, should we begin to question the legitimacy of that authority she wishes to impose without any guarantee of her capacity to govern in the manner that we the true democrats understand the exercise of liberty subject to the will of the citizenry?
Yesterday, Angela Kasner Merkel has again imposed her will upon in that ‘summit for two’ held in the German chancellery in Berlin. The increase of the rescue fund is speeded up while the application of the Tobin tax is again left sine die.
With the imposition that has lodged relevant unelected governing higher-ups, hand-picked by consensus to calm down the markets, we must be alert because we could very well be close to the seizure of our legitimate right to elect those we wish to govern us.
“Even the best theory is worthless while it isn’t tested and works.”
- Fernando Fuster-Fabra
Versión española: http://wp.me/pRlnf-5y
The recently concluded year should be considered a horrible year for this world in convulsion. We have not cleared through crisis nor has peace been attained the various live fronts nor were the promises made by the North American president each day more absorbed with his re-election bid been kept. On top of all, the developed and supposedly civilized world has permitted the savage hunt of the terrorist, Osama Bin Laden and the brutal beating of Muammar el Gaddafi, the dictator.
Could there be a worst year than last year?
I’m afraid yes. In the offing for 2012 is not only an economically difficult year but also a politically turbulent one.
World leaders insist on thinking in the same mode as when they created this problem; precisely what Albert Einstein advised against when he was forced to abandon his native Germany just before the outbreak of World War II.
Barack Obama no longer thinks about the rest of the world but only on how to hold on tight to his power seat at the White House Oval Office.
Nicholas Sarkozy is in a similar frame of mind, with his own dilemma of holding on to power in neighbouring France; so he may grow up his little daughter in the Élysée.
Angela Merkel has more time left till 2013 to manoeuvre. That is what she is precisely doing, plotting in the name of 27 states subjected to her whims and obsessions on the European public deficit to save the Euro.
For David Cameron, his tantrum at the last European Council did him very little good. Whilst in disagreement with the Merkozy tandem, he is condemned to remain in the EU fold if he does not wish to sail alone in the recession waters that threaten us today.
What can I say about the Brussels bureaucrats? Neither Durao Barroso nor Van Rompuy has sufficient power to challenge the water-downed German version of the “Iron Lady” of the ‘80s. In all probability, other un-elected top notches like Mario Draghi at the ECB or Mario Monti from Italia end up with more power. With Papademos, they form the ‘Goldman Sachs triumvirate’ in the power seats in the EU.
In Spain, in spite of Mariano Rajoy’s victory by majority, it seems evident that he who governs is far away from La Moncloa, instructions being dictated on what to do at each instant.
It is worth observing how the majority of those in power have decided rather theoretical actions, assuming these will be the panacea that will cure all world evil. Meanwhile, practice in the past century has demonstrated that they are rowing counter-current, and I would add, in the wrong direction of an unequivocal solution to the problem.
Not only is the effect of a recession being felt and announced without any qualms to what the market reactions may be but likewise we are forewarned from these seats of globalised power that “either the austerity sacrifices are accepted or watch out for the consequences”.
All in all, it sounds grisly but above all the situation lacks a democratic imprint.
Not even events such as the Olympic Games 2012 in London can make us think than we are in any year other than an annus horribilis.
- Fernando Fuster-Fabra
Versión en español: http://wp.me/pRlnf-5k
On December 17, 2007, 27 member states unanimously approved the Lisbon Treaty, thereby modifying the Treaty of the European Union, the constituent Treaty of the European Union and the constituent Treaty of the European Community of Atomic Energy. With said treaty, the process initiated with the Treaties of Amsterdam & Nice was completed; said process aimed at increasing the effectiveness and democratic legitimacy of the EU, and to improve the coherence of action amongst its member states.
Today, two of these 27 member states have carried out a coup d’etat against the Union status, in an attempt to impose their will over the rest, without even respecting the EU citizens’ will; those who approved through referenda or through their elected parliaments the mentioned Lisbon Treaty.
In lieu of heading towards the solution of an economic crisis that has hit the financial and economic foundations of the EU, these leaders in favour of a coup without arms pretend to rule the terms of surrender of the weaker members to the whims of the more powerful. Regretful enough, they have chosen a procedure contrary to the very essence of the Lisbon Treaty; the very treaty that pretended to increment the democratic effectiveness and legitimacy of the Union.
It seems we remain without learning from the nightmares that French-German politicking caused in the past. From Bismark’s Triple Alliance to Wilhelm II’s Welpolitik (1882-1914) countered by Entente Cordiale (1904) and Triple Entente (1907), in 1938 they reached the Pact of Munich whereby Germany and France jointly intervened to grab a piece of Checoslovaquia to cede to the German power. It all culminated in the two deadly world wars for Europe and the rest of the world.
The whimsical acts of politicians of these two European states have already brought us tragic moments in our recent History. Shall we live once more the consequences of their clumsy ambitions?
“To deserve being up front, one must first prove he knows how to do what he demands of others, in order to reach goals on time … Only then will he be accepted as the leader.”
- Fernando Fuster-Fabra
Versión Español: http://wp.me/pRlnf-5e
Scarcely three weeks have lapsed since my post on the G-20 summit in Cannes. Now, with the celebration of the European Council meet about to be held, same must decide if the EU stays or goes. In fact, the bulk of the issue to date goes beyond what some have dubbed as ‘the Euro crisis’.
The true dilemma is much deeper as it has to do with the imposition of a leadership that has neither been agreed upon nor elected amongst the partners and European citizens.
Why have two leaders self-acclaimed themselves as the only competent actors in a matter that corresponds all 27 leaders to resolve in the frame of their legitimate governance organism, the European Council?
As I have said in previous posts, it is not viable to resolve a problem with the same ideas that caused it nor can the same actors who created the problem or increased it be in the lead roles. Such is the case of the Merkel-Sarkozy tandem, responsible of the ‘Deauville conspiacy’.
One would have to go quite a time back when this unfortunate duo still wasn’t as powerful as today. The newly named Union, which was not much more than the EEC in its mature state, decided to take a giant step forward towards the convergence of all its member states. Nevertheless, in the mid-90’s, the financial pundits of said states ignored the recommendations of visionary Jacques Delors. The ECOFIN centred its actions in the creation of the Euro and sidetracked the physical union of the states to develop its competitivity as a single supplier to global markets. Furthermore, those of us engaged in Eruopean projects insisted then that the true union stemmed from the socio-political cohesion, wherein common economics was a mere driving force of growth with the Euro as a supporting element for those generating business in the member states.
It has required lots of effort to bring together the union of 15 members then, more so with the hasty incorporation of 12 others in only a decade without any realistic justification. The reasons behind the acceptance of such an expansion by other members, clearly beneficial to translate the axis of power towards Berlin as Europe’s capital, is something I have sensed but it is best not to discuss in this post.
The operational Euro was launched in 2002 as a two-speed system, an error in itself. Nonetheless, vested interests that pulled the power strings so decided. To claim now that we are in danger of a two-speed Euro is pure demagogy; we have always had two levels of centralised European power and two operational ranges amongst single currency operators. It would be a different matter if we ask what Germany and France plan to impose the other members at this stage. It consists in renouncing to a certain amount of state fiscal sovereignty without offering in turn any guarantee of corresponding decision-making competencies for those renouncing.
Do we know who will assume such ample powers so as to be authorised to impose state budgets or economic sanctions without any defined criteria on same?
Definitely not. What is obvious is that those who will wield power will not be persons elected by the citizenry who afterwards will have to foot the bill of said ceded sovereignty.
If the problem is so pressing today, just on the eve of a European summit, then why haven’t more European Council meetings been held this year or even in 2009 and 2010 to clarify the solutions proposed in relation to the European problem?
I will not stop insisting that – There is no such thing as a ‘Euro crisis’ nor is public expenditure the cause of the speculation against European economies. It is all a make-up with a single objetive, that of deviating the attention from the real global problem; a plot put together by vested interests with the blessings of some European leaders. Thus far, they have achieved to get rid of a couple of elected leaders that have been replaced by supposed experts that are not legitimated by their respective citizenry.
What’s really going on this this our Europe?
Who are apparently in command in the EU? Above all, who gives them orders?
Is the scenario being set up for another conflagration that would benefit large corporations involved in arms, military aviation, chemical & pharmaceutical industries, energetic suppliers and the leading bankins entities?
It may be worth recalling what Baron Rothschild, a Jewish-German banker said: – “ .. It’s time to buy when bloods flows in the streets, no matter id it is your own …”
Has someone decided that the time for this has come?
Versión en español: http://wp.me/pRlnf-59
The American-European summit in Washington D.C. coincided with the opening session of the Durban Climate Change Conference 2011.
The supposedly steadfast allies spoke of ways to circumvent the world crisis by means of joint efforts to prevent Europe’s debt dilemma to spread to the U.S. coasts across the Atlantic.
On the other front, the United States, jointly with China, maintains a firm stand against the European posture of complying with the soon defunct Kyoto Protocol.
How can problems be solved when there is double-talk amongst allies?
How can any solution be deemed in a global world issue when the players refuse to admit the cause of the problem?
How can the global world expect solutions to a crisis when no priorities are set other than those tending to apply oxygen to financial institutions that were the very epicentre of the economic earthquake?
How can the leaders of the United States and the European Union claim that their meeting was productive when the real relevant issue was left aside to avoid further misunderstandings?
I cannot but repeat myself saying:- “The real problem is not economic rather one of ethics.”
Our world leaders cannot see further than the tip of their noses in their stately myopia whilst 25.000 human beings die every day, forgotten in the speculators’ quest for fast earnings.