Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

G-8 & NATO MEETS, 3 YEARS AFTER

May 20, 2012
Leave a Comment

Strolling together down the wrong path?

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.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona    

 

Advertisements

THE WORLD IN A NUTSHELL: WHEN ALLIES CANNOT AGREE

November 29, 2011
1 Comment

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    


EUROPE’S UNION IN THE CROSSROADS: DO OR DIE

November 15, 2011
5 Comments

Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

–       Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

Spanish version:  http://wp.me/pRlnf-4D

 

The G-20 Summit of world leaders was held in Cannes a few days ago. As expected, no decisions were taken to resolve the economic crisis that affects the stability of a great number of countries. Not a word was said about establishing restrictions to speculative abuses that crop up based on ratings of agencies prone to cause alarm with their presumptions. Assisting the summit were the principal European leaders representing the EU as well as Germany, France, Italy and United Kingdom as full-pledged members, with Spain and The Netherlands as guests.

Just a few miles away, in Brussels, the Greek crisis with a call for referendum warning and the forthcoming Italian tempest had been left unsolved. Today, the Greek crisis remains unsolved although Greece’s elected Prime Minister (Papandreou) has had to step down and a new one (Papademos) appointed in his place without any elections.  Something similar went on in Italy just a few hours ago, with the forced resignation of Berlusconi after the approval of the demanded reforms and the appointment of Monti to replace him.

Two new figures, not elected by their respective citizens, assume their respective tasks; technocrats, as they are called, but without analysing their close links to the financial structures that, in my opinion, have been the root of this entire regrettable situation. Lukas Papademos was Vice-President of the ECB from 2002 till 2008 when Jean Claude Trichet was President whilst Mario Monti not only was a European Commissioner but also a consultant of the notorious American bank, Goldman Sachs.

Furthermore, in November, the turnover at the ECB has also taken place, with an Italian, Mario Draghi, taking over the chair occupied by Trichet from 2003 till late October. He is another figure related to the bank (Goldman Sachs) that caused more than a single financial quake, amongst which it is worth mentioning its advisory role to the Greek Government in the times of the conservative, Kostas Karamanlis, precisely when the state accounts were falsified in the reports to Brussels.

The irony of this entire circus is that a legitimately elected Papandreou was forced out of office for calling a referendum to approve his proposals but no one has said a word about prosecuting neither Karamanlis nor Goldman Sachs por having intentionally lied, causing the domino effect on the weaker Eurozone economies.

Thus, not only has a chance been lost in Cannes to set up global regulating and supervisory measure of the larger banking entities as well as the rating agencies but also it has allowed a slow transfer of previous bank executives and personalities linked to these entities to occupy relevant posts in the hierarchical big-shots of the EU and in the government of its member states.

Likewise, the American stance has taken a 360 degree change from Pittsburgh to Cannes. With elections in 2012, Obama does not wish to risk any confrontation with potential donors for his campaign funds, amongst which we may mention the larger U.S. banks and the powerful Jewish lobby. He abandons Europe to its fate, above all because he does not share the curt German stance in some questions of procedure and timing. Not even the goodwill efforts of the French President and proud father of a baby girl served to ease the tense atmosphere. Furthermore, Obama is aware that in spite of the Euro crisis, the currency has a strong quotation, benefitting the U.S. Dollar and facilitating its exports to the Old Continent while decreasing European countries competitiveness in world trade.

What seems to have gone unnoticed in all this week of European tension after the Cannes summit is that Munich  prosecutors ordered a search in the Deutsche Bank offices in relation to the famous ‘Kirch affaire’. In spite of the death of communications magnate, Leo Kirch, the lawsuit against Deutsche Bank continues its course, with outgoing CEO, Josef Ackerman, in the midst of the storm. The matter must have been of such importance that Ackerman announced his decision not to seek the appointment to the bank’s presidency, a rather difficult manoeuvre after the German banking law reforms in 2009. Said reforms establish a two-year grace period before a former CEO can aspire to the presidential post of a bank, with the only exception that 25% of the stockholders so demanded.

Angela Merkel has covered many inside details of the decisions taken in relation with the German banking system between 2005 and 2011, as well as her personal pact with Gerhard Schröder, with regards such a vital issue as energy, disguised under the so-called ‘grand coalition’. Few are conscious of the of Merkel’s stubborn tenacity that has brought her from that membership in the communist youth movement in her younger years in the extinguished GDR to become ‘my girl’ for conservative, Helmut Kohl. Her rise to power came by pure chance after a scandal caused the downfall of Kohl’s chosen successor, Wolfgang Schäuble, actually the Economic Minister in Merkel’s cabinet.

Perhaps that is the reason that one has given due importance to the very recent announcement of the inauguration of start-up of Operation Nord Stream, the gas pipeline agreed upon between Russia and German, with the blessing of France, The Netherlands and United Kingdom. Said pipeline will go from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany in a submarine line across the Baltic Sea. In Russia’s behalf the participations is headed by state-owned Gazprom as natural gas supplier and Nord Stream AG, a German enterprise has been set up to handle constructions and operations. It is interesting to observe that former Prime Minister Schröeder has been involved in the Nord Stream project and with Gazprom since December, 2005, roughly a month after stepping down in favour of Angela Merkel.   

What makes this affair even uglier is the fact that the powerful EU members will share the spoils of Russian gas without sharing a bit with other Baltic member states, namely – Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – nor seem to have offered a gas link to the Scandinavian states for the moment. Nevertheless, said gas will indeed go across the English Channel to the United Kingdom.

This project is contrary to the interest of the pan-European Nabucco project which had set the goal of constructing a gas pipeline from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten in Austria, precisely with the intention of breaking EU dependence on Russian gas supply. The problems generated with Gazprom gas supply through Ukraine have left Central Europe and Italy without a reliable supply in more than one occasion whilst Turkey had offered its facilities in a sign of goodwill in its bid to join the EU. Germany has again vetoed a state that has been accumulating more merits to join the EU than some who already are in.

With partners who demand from the south sacrifices but will not share the favourable agreements with other non-EU states, it is no wonder that the Union of 27, each day, is turning into a more difficult endeavour.  In addition, those who impose the terms & conditions interpret the Stability & Growth Pact in such a manner as to oblige members to apply solutions thought out in conventional terms, in precisely the same line as those that created the problem.

Whilst our present-century ‘Medea’ is bossing around in Europe, the route travelled will be the wrong one and the estrangement amongst members each day larger.  How much must we wait before Merkel is sent into exile?     

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona, Spain     


CAPITALISM’S CASINO & ITS RIGGED ROULLETTE

October 31, 2011
Leave a Comment

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     


20 YEARS AFTER, FROM THE USSR TO PRESENT-DAY RUSSIA

August 18, 2011
Leave a Comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish version :-    http://wp.me/pRlnf-4m

 

After a failed coup, USSR Premier Mijail Gorvachov handed over the power of the disintegrating empire to Boris Yeltsin. In no time, the USSR was no more.

Even today, we must ask ourselves what would have been of this world if the process would have remained in the hands of Gorvachov instead of Yeltsin.

In spite of the supposed end of the Cold War, at that stage, the Russia Yeltsin is supposed to have constructed is no different from the USSR that Gorvachov tried to change with his Perestroika. A convinced Leninist, this world leader was less understood at home than abroad. Nevertheless, the Western World failed to give him the support he needed. Yeltsin took over but really no change occurred than a change of name and the celebration of apparently tutored democratic elections.

Today, 20 years after, Russia has not advanced sufficiently towards democracy nor has eradicated the corrupt ways of the defunct USSR. Power is still concentrated in the hands of a few with a strongman at the helm of its destiny. As one of the emerging states that form the so-called BRIC bloc, Russia is expected to propel world economy. How is that to take place when its leaders remain adamant to democratic change in the course of its economic advances?

 

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona, Spain

 


TAHRIR SQUARE TURNED INTO THE ARAB’S WORLD SUCCESSFUL TIAN’AMEM

February 11, 2011
Leave a Comment

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.

Omar Khayyam

 

Tahrir Square, Cairo

Cairo’s small ‘liberation plot’ – Tahrir Square – has taught the world a great moral lesson on how to peacefully overthrow a decadent long-term dictator, something not achieved more than two decades ago in the world’s largest square in Beijing.

Fears that the wave of protests that started off in Tunisia and culminated with the resignation of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak would be used by Muslim radicals to cause serious incidents in the Arab world seem baseless. The Egyptian population has resisted at ‘Liberation Square’ and elsewhere in the capital even as the army took out its tanks to the streets. Not even the military support of resigned President Mubarak thwarted their persistent insistence on his abandoning his post.

The Western world should closely observe this exemplary event which did not take place because of developed nations’ support of the Egyptian dissidents. The slow reaction of Western powers to the demonstrations in Tunisia against now deposed Ben Ali and rather mild reproaches to Mubarak as he held on to his post in the last hours, will mine Western developed nations’ credibility and weaken its weight in world affairs.

The USA should now carefully consider its stance as one must not forget that Mubarak’s Egypt was the platform chosen by no less than President Barack Obama to launch his ‘message to the Arab world’. The European Union must do likewise at this stage when it has slipped below the desirable level of power previously only second to the USA, with the ineffective role of High Representative for International Affairs, Lady Ashton.

Furthermore, China should take note of tiny Tahrir Square with not more than a couple of hundred thousand at the most. In 2011, Tian’anmen may wish to recover its revolution in the image of the changing Arab world.

Is the balance of power undergoing a new distribution or has the time come for global world affairs to be handled in a different manner?

I salute the people of Egypt and their intelligent stand on liberty. It is a clear proof that revolution needs no bloodshed nor traumatic changes but rather an orderly transformation of existing organisations into adequate ones for this challenging millennium. The world may be awakening towards justice and liberty, after all.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona

 


CHINESE CHECKERS & WORLD ECONOMICS

February 7, 2011
Leave a Comment

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
5 Comments

Earth in Peril

 

 

 

 

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

–       Mark Twain

 

*******************************************

 

 

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
2 Comments

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?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Independent Observer

Barcelona – Madrid

 


KOREA IN THE LIMELIGHT: THE NEVER-ENDING STORY OF THE 38th PARALLEL

November 23, 2010
1 Comment

“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?”

https://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


Next Page »

    PRUEBA GRATIS: Google Apps for Work