Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

CLIMATE CHANGE FIASCO, 2012

December 8, 2012
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Tifón y muerte Filipinas

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? …” https://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.

Typhoon Bopha, 2012

Typhoon Bopha, 2012

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?

 

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona, Spain    

 

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THE WORLD IN A NUTSHELL: WHEN ALLIES CANNOT AGREE

November 29, 2011
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United we stand, divided we fall.

–       Aesop

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.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona, Spain    


CAPITALISM’S CASINO & ITS RIGGED ROULLETTE

October 31, 2011
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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

 

Versión Español:

http://wp.me/pRlnf-4v

 

I have come to wonder if the witty Bernard Shaw in saying what he said about the Nobel Prize was right, especially after the awards for 2009 (Barack Obama), passing thru 2010 (Liu Xiaobo) to come to 2011 where the award is shared by three women (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman) “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.

Whereas Barack Obama’s award was premature as time has demonstrated, Liu Xiaobo’s final compensation was a longer jail term in the wake of Western silence; and the three women from Liberia (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf & Leymah Gbowee) and Yemen (Tawakkul Karman) may well have to wait ages before women’s rights, or citizen’s rights for that matter, are respected and full participation given to these in Africa and the Middle East. Much less will it be possible to see peace-building in these parts of the world after the Western blunders in international affairs affecting the countries of those regions.

The world went into an economic descending spiral that commenced with the 2007 U.S. sub-prime crisis and continued with the 2008 Lehman Brothers scandal, dragging the world into an even deeper dilemma – the total absence of ethics in the search for a common solution to our woes.

The Arab Spring that commenced with a bonzo burning of the young Tunisian, Mohamed Bouazizi, in Sidi Bouzid on December 17, 2010, set off a series of protests all over Africa and the Middle East, causing the fall of a number of long-term dictators ruling the region with complacent U.S. and European support. Curiously enough, all the U.S.-E.U. friendly dictators (Ben Ali of Tunisia, Mubarak of Egypt) have saved their necks thus far whilst others (Saleh of Yemen, Algeria’s Bouteflika or Syria’s Assad) continue ruling their territories with uneven Western support. Only one leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi, was assassinated in the hands of the rising political leaders of the ‘liberated Libya’ with NATO bombing support and United Nations sanction, in the name of civilian protection.

Do leaders really think the world is so blind not to see that all of their actions are a mere farce to cover up the fact that this world is governed by vested interests pulling the strings from back-stage?

As in Iraq and Afghanistan, petroleum and other fuels have been in the bulls-eye of all conflicts. The Northern African and Middle East conflagrations are along the same line, with Qaddafi’s elimination vital to cut off any possible leadership against vested interest moves to control the regional energetic resources. Furthermore, tiny conflicts are profitable for large corporations engaged in armament & aircraft technologies; and likewise these are of interest to companies offering their security services in unstable situations all over the world.

The sixth G-20 Summit is scheduled in Cannes November 3 & 4, with French President Nicholas Sarkozy as host. Long past is the first 2008 summit in Washington D.C. where he clamoured for “the re-foundation of capitalism”. Also forgotten, it seems, are U.S. President Obama’s September 8, 2009 statement on the Pittsburgh summit, “… It’s important to note how far we have come in preventing a global economic catastrophe. A year ago, our economy was in a freefall. …. The steps that we have taken to jumpstart growth have also been coordinated with our partners around the world. …. As the leaders of the world’s largest economies, we have a responsibility to work together on behalf of sustained growth, while putting in place the rules of the road that can prevent this kind of crisis from happening again.”

At Cannes, not only has capitalism not been re-founded nor have the world leaders worked together on behalf of sustained growth but also, and most important of all, we have followed a path in the wrong direction that leads to, not prevents, a global socio-economic catastrophe.

Well and good to claim women’s rights for all those who may not still have them all over the world but better still would be to stop once and for all 25,000 daily deaths due to hunger and disease.

How can this be possible in a planet capable of feeding twice its population?

The only answer that comes up to my mind is that we, the anguished citizens of the world, are playing a lopsided betting game in capitalism’s casino, where our meagre resources are up against 1 to a million odds in a vested interests rigged roulette.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona, Spain     


CHINESE CHECKERS & WORLD ECONOMICS

February 7, 2011
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In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.Confucius

Chinese Checkers board

 

China is still a paradox for the Western developed nations even as it slowly sips capitalism, converting itself into the second world economic power. What China may not be willing to wholly swallow is the tint of democracy that inevitably goes with economic wealth and prosperity, as very recently demonstrated in relation to the Nobel Peace Award.

 

To understand China and its strategy on international relations, one must either have lived in Asia amongst Chinese for some time or try to find a palpable example of how these perseverant people draw up their goals and lay out their strategy.

 

If one has ever had a chance to play Chinese Checkers, he/she would easily comprehend what the past weeks of international actions by Chinese dignitaries in several fronts represent. Decidedly, China has had to put its foot forward to seek recovery of its wavering prestige after the absence of Liu Xiaobo at the Oslo Nobel Peace Awards ceremony last December 10, 2010.

 

On the checkers board, China has come to realise the order of priorities of the other international powers seated at the games table. Its growing economic power is no longer doubted and even Japan has admitted that its Asian neighbour has surpassed Nippon economic might if not replaced it as Asia’s primary industrial nation. If there is an Asian trait where China outshines is in perseverance towards established goals; and the present-day Chinese regime has understood that whilst not having to relinquish its communist ideals, capitalism offers it the best launching pad towards economic prosperity. Kissinger’s role in the Ping-Pong Diplomacy with then China’s Prime Minister Chou En-lai led to the Communist regime taking over the UN seat the Nationalist Chinese had occupied since the organisation’s constitution in 1945.  Ever since the Nixon Administration acknowledged in 1972 the existence of a Communist government (People’s Republic of China) in Beijing in the now famous Shanghai Communiqué during President Nixon’s week-long state visit to China, the trail was set for the USA to formally break diplomatic relations with its natural ally, the Taiwan-based Republic of China and establish formal relations with the larger mainland Chinese government in 1979.

 

Once the supreme world leader, the United States of America, took that step, all other democratic nations have the go-signal to establish open trade relations with the PRC. A few of the so-called non-aligned had already recognised diplomatically and some others had submerged trade relations behind the USA’s back. Year 1979 marked the turning point to openly trade with the nation with the world’s largest (and still growing) population.

 

Precisely what seems to have attracted most other states, China’s immense population as a potential market, could very well be the Communist regime’s ‘Achilles’ heel’ as time goes by. True to say, China has imposed birth controls measures some time ago to put a stop to the exponential growth of its population, especially in the rural area. However, as time goes by, the tides may have changed, especially in the macro-urban area such as Beijing & Shanghai. The high cost of living in tentative consumer zones discourage Chinese couples to have off-springs, leading to the initial break of birth of toddlers who would later have to support the burden of aging generations.

 

If China would look into this problem now, it would be faced with the true dilemma of its accelerated blossoming into one of the world’s leading economies. The problem China has yet to face is that of unequal wealth between urban citizens and those Chinese residing in rural, industrial and mining zones. It is creating a serious breach in consumer habits as well as modes of living that could very well end in a cause of medium-term future conflict.

 

China is converging into a unique model with a strengthened economy based both on its cheap labour and consistent industrial development. However, in the process, it is retaining the worst part of its Communist heritage and adopting the less solvent portion of democratic developed nations’ growth model that of a global unsupervised market. In the short-term, this has permitted China to take an empowerment role in international economics to the point it possesses the world’s Nº 1 bank and PRC’s investments in other states’ bonds. It has acquired businesses and land both in Latin America and Africa, in a clear attempt to diversify risk.

 

It has however not considered that the true risk to its upcoming combo-type regime that fails to relinquish old ideological traits whilst it embraces economic habits of Western democracies lies in splitting up of its vast population and territory into nuclei where one or the other purist model may finally wish to prevail. China should comprehend that it would prove insufficient to have a leader educated in the UK to make 1.350 million (1.35 B for Americans) citizens toe the line towards a democratic regime.

 

Furthermore, it will take more than mere networking at conferences such as the recently-ended Davos World Economic Forum (where China’s delegation passed from 6 in 2001 to 66 in 2010) or the state visits by its premier and vice-premier to the USA and the stronger EU states to really convert China into a full-pledged democracy. Such time is both far and near, depending on which side of the fence one may see it from.

 

Revolutions are not writhe in a day, much less in a vast territory subdued during decades by the charm of Mao Tse Tung. Nevertheless, few would have expected the turmoil that now plagues Egypt but had its first spark in Tunisia. Global communications is changing social interaction habits for good.

 

China has played well its external economic moves on the checkers board; to the point that major other players sit agape in admiration whilst freedom is curtailed. What goes on within the walls of that other China is another story and few abroad are aware of the tensions that may be developing. How long before China either proves the solvency of its economic power or succumbs to its evident internal socio-economic disorganisation?

 

In the Year of the Metal Rabbit that has just started, China may well have to turn inwards in order to reach the true goals desired by its now open-eyed citizens immersed in the new pleasures of a semi-restrained global consumer economy.

 

 

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona

 

 


KYOTO COUNTDOWN AFTER CANCUN

December 18, 2010
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Earth in Peril

 

 

 

 

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.

–       Mark Twain

 

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Climate change? Who cares? …. This seems to be the generalised world attitude after a rather tepid Cancun meet that has been marred by Bolivia’s objections about the insufficient agreement reached.

Although the Cancun pact sets up a future billionaire “green” fund for developing countries and in some manner is an advance in greenhouse gas emissions reduction from industrial countries from 25 to 40 per cent in the next 10 years, debate on a much needed definite global pact has been postponed to the 2011 Durban Climate Conference, just a year before the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end.

True to say, China has tried to sell a softer image than its previous hard-line posture in the Copenhagen meet in 2009. Nevertheless, the deferment of the definite global pact may well permit this industrial giant to emit contaminating gases without supervision. Another Asian emerging giant, India, was nudged by the USA to accept emission limitations whilst China and the USA itself seem to skip a much desired supervision of their own emissions.

The Mexican conference president, Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa, had a rather relevant role to stop bickering and permit a consensus only Bolivia refused to accept. As she gavelled the end of the 193 countries’ meet, Espinosa breath in relief but was aware that a crack had been opened in the Latin American front.

What is worrying is that the so-called consensus pact reached last weekend has had little repercussion on citizenry comments over the globe. It seems that we, the citizens of the world, have lost not only faith in our leaders’ capability to resolve climate change nut also that we are less interested in this ever-growing problem.

As the clock ticks away the seconds to the finalisation of the Kyoto Protocol, we must admit that the $100 Billion Green Fund is no guarantee that emerging nations will apply same to curtail greenhouse gas emissions in their respective territories. Nor can we be sure that climate change will be channelled accordingly in other aspects of environmental protection, such as is the case of potable water facilities and ocean water protection.

As I see it, the real danger of a conflagration amongst nations in the next decades will revolve around water, its equitable distribution and the rights of all to avail of water resources towards quality of living.

This should make us consider seriously all that goes about around in the geo-political pacts on climate change and environmental resources global administration.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.

EU Environmental Consultant

Madrid-Barcelona


NOBEL’S EMPTY PEACE SEAT

December 11, 2010
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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

 

 

 

 

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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?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Independent Observer

Barcelona – Madrid

 


OBAMA’S METAMORPHOSIS: FROM PEACE AWARDEE TO MISSILE SHIELD PROMOTER

November 21, 2010
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“ …. Still, we are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill. Some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the cost of armed conflict – filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.  ……  The concept of a “just war” emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when it meets certain preconditions: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the forced used is proportional, and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.” Barack Obama (Oslo, Norway  December – 2009)


At the end of his term as 2009 Nobel Peace awardee, I come to understand better Obama’s rather contradictory speech at the Oslo Nobel ceremony last year.

Obama’s personal peace convictions have come up against the reality of the tasks of the man that took over the Oval Office from a belligerent predecessor who left him the bitter inheritance of a questionable invasion of Iraq and a rather shaky strategy to defeat Al Qaeda’s expansive terrorism at its Afghanistan roots. No less relevant was the status of international relations with the European allies across the Atlantic or the state of the thawing Cold War with defunct USSR’s successor, Russia.

The recently concluded NATO Summit celebrated this weekend in Lisbon has taken a gigantic leap towards a stronger military alliance that has declared Russia, at last, as an ally. The Cold War seems to have been finally buried for good, or least up till a new confrontation crops up between Russia and the USA.

Why my reluctance to accept Lisbon’s alliance declaration at face value?

First, Medvédev and Obama signed earlier this year a renewed START agreement that should conclude in a joint reduction of their missiles’ arsenals. Nevertheless, said agreement may never come into effect if and when the new Republican majority in the US Congress decide to reject same. Both Republicans and the White House are presently engaged in a bluff & counter-bluff game to put pressure upon each other prior to the constitution of the new Congress in January, 2011.

Second, Afghanistan topped the NATO meet priority list and the conclusions reached of a gradual withdrawal to end in 2014 seemed to please not only Karzai but the NATO members as well. Not so, Medvédev, who doubts that such deadline is realistic.

Third, instead of heading towards peace, NATO expansion with a missile shield to protect Europe with Russian cooperation, may well be a means to combat international terrorism but likewise it is a sign that more wars and conflicts are expected from territories to the East of Europe.

Are we about to set new standards for ‘just war’ which may well surpass reasons of shear military logistics to enter other areas of international relations such as economics?

Are we assisting to a new distribution of geo-political power that will only move the demarcation line further towards the East of the Atlantic?

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?

So far, since I started my posts in this English blog in April, 2009, my humble views have made bulls-eye on major international issues. Those who have followed my Spanish blog  http://www.blogger.com/profile/06825435168558835379 since 2005, have seen that we have likewise pointed out certain flaws in US-EU relations which have led to this rather estranged situation, apparently cleared in a 90-minute meeting as an appendix of the NATO Summit. Unfortunately, time will prove that encounter insufficient to patch the tattered relations dating back to the clashes during the 8-year Bush Administration. Obama has not been too observant to realise that his problems back home in such vital issues such as the economic crisis, climate change and military alliances have only one possible firm ally – the European Union.

Obama has now reached his objective, the EU’s support and that of Russia for a missile shield. Likewise, the NATO partners have approved his proposal of a more powerful NATO military alliance. Nevertheless, Obama in his metamorphosis has left out his search for peace and a more balanced distribution of wealth to curtail the miseries of millions in underdeveloped nations around the world. He has become unworthy of the Nobel Peace Award granted him in 2009.

His true problems start now not only in the home front but before millions of citizens of different races, religions and cultures who had looked up to him as a symbol of democracy in peace.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.

Observer of Human Behaviour


OBAMA’S RETURN TO EUROPE: WHAT IS IN STORE AFTER THE G-20 FLOP?

November 19, 2010
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Sad to say but true, President Obama is not only a questioned leader in the USA but also as a world leader before the eyes of some of his staunch allies, particularly in Europe.

This weekend’s NATO Summit in Lisbon will be the first encounter after the disheartening G-20 performance by the cast of developed & developing nations’ leaders meeting in Seoul. Said summit will be followed by yet another bilateral one between the USA & the EU which may not count with Obama’s presence.

The disheartening results of an ineffective meet such as the one held in Seoul, whereby developed democracies on both sides of the Atlantic succumbed to a subtle Chinese strategy of political abstraction, cannot but have cooled even further already estranged EU-US postures in the economic field. China had its ways at the Seoul summit and as of today has further aggravated economic tensions with the latest communiqué from its central bank by raising its reserve ratio 50 basis points. Furthermore, the Communist Asian superpower has set its protectionist mechanism to curtail foreign investment in Chinese real estate and enterprise as a precautionary measure to avoid speculation.

True to say, the EU’s stance at the G-20 meet wasn’t all that unanimous, with Germany applying pressure on the USA in a similar manner as China but with different tactics. I keep asking myself why both superpowers – the USA on one side and the EU as a whole bloc of 27 state & 500 M population on the opposite side – haven’t yet decided to sit down to draw out a single strategic route for the economic crisis resolution.

The opportunity was missed when the EU-US bilateral summit scheduled in Spain in May was cancelled due to Obama’s overloaded agenda on the home front. Since then, six months have elapsed and the crisis has not only grown in intensity but rather new doubts have been raised as to the best common ground solutions no one seems to venture into.

The NATO encounter will have Afghanistan at the top of the priority list. The US seems more worried about ensuring military backing from the EU partners than solving other issues on hand. Indeed, probably the new common adversary encased in Al Qaeda’s terrorism requires a collective effort in lieu of a defunct ‘cold war’ with the extinct USSR now converted into an ally represented by Russia. Nevertheless, even in this new ‘war against terrorism’, I see a lack of realism in the world leaders’ analysis.

¿Can we forget that China, the emerging superpower with UN veto rights, not only is not a full-pledged democracy but likewise is a traditional sly manipulator of world political tensions in such vital issues as Iran & Korea?

Resolving favourably the Afghanistan issue is yet light years away, if ever a satisfactory solution is feasible on medium term. Yet, NATO members are attending the issue as ‘top priority’ with the presence of a no less insignificant and worthless Karzai. Instead, these nations should be discussing not only a common defence with Russia against ‘international terrorism’ (not only Al Qaeda), which goes from fanatic movements bent on destabilising democracies but also implies ‘economic terrorists’ who are capable of sinking the world into further long-term crises whilst bolstering their unscrupulous enrichment schemes.

While the powerful in economy and the military meet in Lisbon, the Nobel Peace Awards Committee has cancelled this year’s ceremony because China has not allowed the 2010 awardee, Liu Xiaobo, nor any family member, to travel to Oslo; Haiti is plagued by cholera and the population has uprisen in revolt against the UN Blue Helmets; Indonesia suffers from volcano eruptions with death toll rising; the Sahara territory under Moroccan dominion is isolated from the world whilst possible abuses are being committed; More than 30,000 children die each day due to hunger, and malnutrition shortens the life expectations of many thousand more; There are over a billion hungry people in the world today according to FAO’s malnutrition report, with almost 2/3 in Asia (where China & India have the largest populations) and 1/3 in Africa & Latin America.

I could go on to cite numerous such situations, not to mention that poverty has increased even in developed countries (15 M in 2009) the world over.

I wonder how our leaders can meet time and again to discuss economic & military issues and get nothing resolved to the world’s citizenry’s satisfaction in what really counts.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.

Observer of Human Behaviour


G-20, SEOUL: MEETING OF QUESTIONED LEADERS

November 12, 2010
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Versión en español:  http://wp.me/pRlnf-1I


A series of meetings commenced in Seoul on Thursday evening amongst the countries that are considered to command the developed and emerging economies of the world. In this their fifth meet after the burst of the financial crisis, the countries belonging to the so-called G-20 Group plus some invited nations (Spain amongst them), shall try to reach an agreement.

 

What agreement must they reach?

 

In previous sessions, measures were adopted but almost none have been carried forward to full extent. Amongst such agreements were: the ‘re-foundation of capitalism’ or ‘strict regulations to curtail banking abuses’, to mention but a few of the numerous good-will statements that have ended in nowhere.

 

Con June 23rd., I wrote that the G-20 meet of Toronto   http://wp.me/pv6EY-4T was the last chance the leaders had to see the crisis from another angle. I reaffirm my previous statement. In the almost six months that have elapsed, world leaders have suffered a loss which makes them less credible than when they commenced to be a group of twenty bent to convert themselves into the new impulsive force of the world economy.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama has long shed his buoyant Nobel Peace Award to suffer his first relevant electoral defeat in the last mid-term elections.

France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy is undergoing is lowest ebb in popularity after a flood of strikes against his retirement age reforms, just as he is about to take over the G-20 rotating presidency. Precisely, he is the leader that so arrogantly announced during the Washington, D.C. summit in December 2008 the ‘re-foundation of capitalism’.

 

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, virtual winner in the UE arenas with her imposition of part of her criteria on budget deficit cutbacks and regulation measures on EU members’ non-compliance, is not more credible after several electoral defeats and the doubts arisen from her change of views in political affairs such as tax cuts and nuclear power plants closures.

 

Novell British Prime Minister, David Cameron, after some protocol misstep in his visit to China on the way to Seoul, has suffered his first student revolt in absentia whereby the younger Britons acted in a manner not seen since the times of his venerated mentor, Margaret Thatcher.

 

Needless to say that the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is not only subjected to an ethical scrutiny of his sexual misdoings but likewise has been practically abandoned to his fate by his parliamentarian supporter to date, the ultra-conservative leader, Gianfranco Fini.

Russian President Dmitri Medvédev still has the shadow cast by his mentor and actual prime minister, Vladimir Putin; a shadow that chases him every step he takes, without knowing who will finally be Russia´s new czar of this millennium.

 

Naoto Kan, Japan’s Prime Minister, had hardly landed when the last G-20 meet was held and no relevant role can be accounted him thus far in the search of a solution of the international crisis. He has enough with trying to keep himself in office longer than his predecessor who resigned after 8 months.

 

The last G-20 host, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not obtain a definite final communiqué in the June G-20 summit; hence the widening breach in various fronts that have led to the so-called ‘currency war’ at present. The threat of a G-2 mentioned in June is now a currency war between two adversaries, the USA & china, which brings the world back to the brink of another profound crisis.

 

The aforementioned leaders make up the original G-7 which with Russia added was converted to the G-8. Furthermore, the European Union was given a seat in the G-8 and likewise representation in the expanded G-20. These are the directors, up till the recognition of the G-20 as possible substitute forum, of the destiny of the world economy.

 

The G-20 has given more importance to the emerging powers, of which China, India & Brazil are worth emphasising. In fact, some of their objections to G-7 veteran member stances obliged these to reorient their postures in the last meets of this new economic forum. Furthermore, the emerging members have made their presence known in other forums, some of quite a bit of importance, such as the Doha Round con international trade & commerce and the summits on climate change & environment, the latest held in Copenhagen with a forthcoming event in the next few days at Cancun.

 

The world problem cannot be limited to economic issues and the policies in budget cutbacks but rather should be visualized from another angle based on globalised commercial interaction towards a more balanced distribution of wealth in the framework of sustainable development that doesn’t exterminate or planet nor put an end to its inhabitants’ liberties and social well-being.

 

And such lack of will to descend from their power-seats to see the problem from another angle is putting these questioned leaders at a stalemate, without any capacity to react much less to act correctly.

 

 

Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.

Observer of Human Behaviour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


U.S. MERRY-GO-ROUND AFTER MID-TERM ELECTIONS

November 8, 2010
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The great American nation has voted and Obama has been punished for seeking reforms favourable to the U.S. citizenry in the first two years of his presidential term. The overwhelming Republican victory in the House of Congress is definitely the start of an uphill climb for President Obama and his White House advisors. Not only will the new Republican majority question and try to repeal approved laws such as Medicare but also will block any new initiatives in relevant fields such as economic reforms or foreign policy.

For those who are not familiar with the USA in its varied regional cultures, it is much harder to understand how voters in supposedly the world’s most powerful nation can change its historic support for America’s first Afro-American President two years ago to this sonorous defeat in the mid-term elections. Americans need a binding factor to keep their country at the top.

George W. Bush used the 9-11 tragedy to whip up American patriotism to get re-elected but left such a trail of discontent with the mounting deaths of American soldiers at the Iraq warfront. A change was needed and thus, Obama was put into the power seat at the White House four years later. The lower middle-class American expected Barack Obama to be the miracle-man who would shoo away the evil spirits of crisis and war that the Bush Administration had brought about in its second term.

Obama was aware of the timing by which he had scarcely 2 years to get America back to economic recovery, if he was to offer the Democratic Party a serene mid-term campaign. Unfortunately, such time pressure has worked against him on the local front. Whilst his popularity abroad brought him honours such as the Nobel Peace Award, the average American in the Midwest plus the Latin &the Afro-American communities continued to suffer the economic crisis and unemployment. The binding factor in the Democrat’s defeat in the recent congressional elections has been the so-called ‘fear syndrome’ magnificently availed of by the most conservative wing of the Republican Party.

The denominated ‘Tea Party’ campaigners have made good use of the economic crisis to make the middle and lower classes of the nation fear all that comes from abroad, in particular from the emerging nations of Asia and the southern neighbours of America.

One must point out a rather curious statement made by no less than NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg while assisting the C40 Climate Change Group Forum held in Hong Kong last week. Bloomberg, a billionaire that was a Democrat till 2001, then ran for office as a Republican and finally has turned independent before seeking a third mandate in 2009, has probably defined best the worries about the average American voter and the new political scene when he said, “If you look at the U.S., you look at who we’re electing to Congress, to the Senate—they can’t read, …. I’ll bet you a bunch of these people don’t have passports. We’re about to start a trade war with China if we’re not careful here, only because nobody knows where China is. Nobody knows what China is.”

The U.S. 10-day presidential tour to Asia will not be enough to curtail fears about the new political scenario in Washington, D.C. nor solve the problems on hand.  Obama must fight such ignorance at the home front not only because the voters do not have interest in learning more about the globalised world but also because the new congressmen that will scrutinize his proposed laws are just unprepared for such an intensive intellectual task in a world wrapped up in a single napkin in all relevant issues from economic crises thru terrorism up to climate change.

As America’s political & economic merry-go-round is about to commence its mid-term ride, new inexperienced faces will appear in the U.S. Congress & Senate. With a much less than a thorough knowledge of international politics, they are to dictate laws which will not only affect the American citizenry but likewise the other nations of the world.

What’s in the ride for the rest of us?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona


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