“I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.”
- George Bernard Shaw
I have come to wonder if the witty Bernard Shaw in saying what he said about the Nobel Prize was right, especially after the 2010 ceremonies.
The empty awardee’s seat at the Oslo Peace Award ceremony dampened the glittering reception of the Nobel Awards in Stockholm and once again demonstrated that this world is guided not by worthy principles intended to be rewarded by the Nobel Prize in its different categories but by vested interests and geo-political strategies.
China has again had its ways over those of the civilized Western world. Neither Liu Xiaobo nor any member of his family was allowed to assist the December 10 ceremony, much less accept the Peace Award from the Norwegian-based jury. In fact, China set up its own version of a so-called ‘peace prize’ awarded precisely the day before. The ‘hissing oriental dragon’ has launched another warning that it is not to be tamed into the fold of the democratic capitalist world so easily.
In a year where international events have not only been dominated by the pervading global economic crisis but likewise tinted with ominous signs of political tensions in various conflictive points around the globe, China has stoutly withstood pressures of the Western democracies for its aperture towards less restrictive policies in its territories.
It is not only its steadfast policy on the renminbi or yuan that confronts China with the USA and its Western allies but also its international support or consent of persistent conflicts with Iran and North Korea. However, some of said allies boycotted the Nobel Awards ceremony to satisfy China, each with different reasons for such support to the Chinese protest for Liu Xiaobo’s Peace Prize.
What is at stake in this rather repulsive situation is the way China can dictate its arrogant will upon some boot-licking trade partners or ideological sympathizers. Moreover, the passiveness of the other larger world powers may grant China a shift of attitude from a hissing dragon to a fire-throwing one.
On this very same weekend, the United Nations’ climate talks are to close at Cancun. There again China will probably be imposing its taciturn stance against anything that represents human rights, freedom or democratic principles.
How long is the free world going to stand for this daily repetition of the Tian’anmen episode of a now more powerful devil-dragon in the economic and geo-political world fronts?
Barcelona – Madrid
“It isn’t necessary to have relatives in Kansas City in order to be unhappy.”
This 25th of November, 2010 is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America.
Having spent quite a few such memorable celebrations in my stints in the USA, I have asked myself – What has America to be thankful for today on this our 3rd year of crisis and a quite a few more since the Bush Administration engaged Americans in a disastrous adventure in Iraq and later Afghanistan?
The successive events both on the home front and the international scene are not precisely heartening.
Unemployment is still high for US standards and foreclosures have left a lot of citizens homeless. The America that scarcely trembled in the wake of wars, disasters and crises was left shaky well before President Obama took over; some tremors still persist from the past Administration’s errors. What really counts is that the nation has recently spoken with its votes and the President has now a tough ride ahead to get to where America should be. In danger are such important endeavours such as the new healthcare plan or the taxing of the wealthier. Now, America may again turn its back on the social equality levels the Obama Administration pretended to reach. The influential lobbies may win the day by curtailing green energies in lieu of petroleum or the causers of the still persistent economic crisis, back in the driver’s seat of powerful entities, may submerge the US economy anew in new global conflicts in the wake of their making their profits.
The world scene isn’t any better. While Guantanamo remains operative, the joint world resistance to terrorism has been weakened due to vested interests of other world powers. The Palestinian-Israel conflict is at a standstill but may burst into open conflict at any time. Iran has not been subdued in its intent to convert itself into a nuclear-armed state and may never give in whilst it has China’s blessings. Further east, the two Koreas are on the verge of a nuclear war, with a US aircraft carrier already on the scene. The end of the Cold War with the defunct USSR (now Russia) may have an Asian offspring that refuses to come to an end. America, as the world superpower, is deep into every single international conflict and will remain even more so after the new scenario for NATO was drawn up a few days ago in the Lisbon summit.
Happiness seems to elude Americans this 2010. What must Americans be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day?
“Has President Obama’s brief stay in Lisbon been intended towards a Western-front pact with Russia included to curtail other world powers from the temptation of going beyond their economic ambitions?”
http://fernandofusterfabra.wordpress.com/ November 21, 2010
Less than 72 hours after the historic NATO Summit in Lisbon that put an official end to the Cold War, the world stands abashed to a new North Korean provocation of its neighbour at the same time life-long adversary.
One of the principles that both North & South Korea have resorted to is precisely that of ‘just war’ although not in the manner President Obama employed to justify US presence in Iraq & Afghanistan. Korea, in fact was one nation up till the victorious Allied troops (USA & USSR as main actors) decided to end Japan’s 35-year colonial permanence by jointly occupying Korea as trustees, with the 38th Parallel as the demarcated control zone. However, the reference to said demarcation line dates back to an 1896 dispute between Russia and Japan over Japan’s British-recognised rights over the Korean peninsula.
The latest tense developments between the two Koreas with the North bombing of a South Korean island in the Yellow Sea has brought to front-page new risks of war in the Asian scenario. Not to be taken lightly due to North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, the affair has gone beyond a mere skirmish in the frequent incidents provoked mainly by the last Stalin-cut Communist regime in the world. Although North Korea may be applying once more its calculated-risk provocation strategy to improve its position in forthcoming meetings to negotiate its nuclear development, the near end of Kim Jong Il’s regime with the succession entrusted to his youngest son may provoke a will of confrontation beyond usual limits.
What was in the NATO-Russia agreement that may have to do with this international incident?
Would an expanded NATO alliance have to intervene in case of an open conflict between the two Koreas?
The UN Security Council has been convoked to an emergency meeting. In said council seats China with its veto power. If Russia has now ended the Cold War and is an ally of the NATO allies, only China can block any resolution to condemn North Korea’s supposed attacked against its southern neighbour.
What is in store for us in the next few hours in the ever increasing risk of international nuclear conflict at the 38th Parallel?
Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.
Observer of Human Behaviour