Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

HEIL KASNER (ALIAS MERKEL) ???

January 10, 2012
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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.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona    

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2012: ANNUS HORRIBILIS?

January 2, 2012
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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

Barcelona    


EUROPEAN UNION: ¿POWER COUP D’ETAT OR DELIBERATE TREASON?

December 6, 2011
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More ideas and less ideology ….”

–       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?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona, Spain    


EUROPEAN UNION: WHO DECIDES WHETHER THE UNION PROJECT PROCEEDS OR CEASES?

December 5, 2011
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“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?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona, Spain    


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    


EUROPE’S UNION IN THE CROSSROADS: DO OR DIE

November 15, 2011
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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
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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     


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

August 18, 2011
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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

 


MALADIES OF THE UNETHICAL IN POWER

May 16, 2011
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Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

–       Leo Tolstoy

Spanish version :      http://wp.me/pRlnf-47


I have often asked myself if the exercise of power of any nature produces maladies unknown to common mortals. The latest front-page news on Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in New York has revived my quest for an answer to my doubt.

As the all-powerful Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn had raised himself to the Olympus in preparation for even greater glories to come in the forthcoming French presidential elections. No one seemed to spare oneself praise of the politician’s supposed achievements in re-conducting the entity’s policies towards a more effective IMF.

Forgotten in the midst of all such praise was a rather annoying unethical incident that by itself should have forced Dominique Strauss-Kahn to resign immediately. I am referring to his admittance of a love affair with a subordinate in the IMF in 2008, whereby he exercised abuse of authority to cover up his relationship and could have possibly benefited from his superiority in all the regretful issue. The IMF, after a rather ridiculous wash-up investigation, accepted the Managing Director’s apologies and buried the issue without more ado.

Last Saturday, Strauss-Kahn was arrested when he had hastily boarded a flight to Paris. Nothing would seem unusual for him to depart the USA towards Europe, much less when he had scheduled meetings with Angela Merkel in Germany and the Eurogroup in Brussels this week. What was surprising was that in his haste to catch the flight, he had left some of his personal effects in the hotel suite that included his cell phone. Since then, he has been charged with “a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and an unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault” on a chambermaid in a Manhattan hotel. What cannot be denied is that the NY police would hardly act with such haste, much less board a plane about to depart unless they had some solvent proof of the chambermaid’s accusation.

Allowing the margin that everyone has a right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, what cannot be forgotten is that the 2008 incident in the IMF organisation should have been sufficient for Strauss-Kahn to have been kicked out for unethical conduct in his Managing Director’s post. Not having been relieved then may now have lead to his further abuse of power in this lamentable sexual accusation filed by a chambermaid of a luxurious Manhattan hotel.

One must not forget that in 2007, the then President of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, abused his power by promoting his girlfriend and hiking her pay, causing his later resignation.

Recalling said incidents such as these at the World Bank and IMF, one must come to the conclusion that either the appointees to such relevant posts are not thoroughly screened as per minimum ethical standards or these men are engrossed in a raging spiral of power that change them.

Whichever the reason, these men do not deserve to occupy relevant posts unless they can exercise power with ethics.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona  


USA TURNS BIN LADEN’S ASSASSINATION INTO HIS LAST HURRAH

May 6, 2011
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Kingdoms without justice are mere robberies and robberies are like small kingdoms; but large empires are piracy writ large.

St. Augustine

 

White House top officials viewing the assassination live !

Firstly and above all, let me say that I shall never support nor be in favour of any act of terrorism that may have caused death and sorrow.

Having said that, I affirm that under no circumstance would I openly support any regime of whatever ideology to impose their will in clear violation of the principles of universal justice all men have a right to receive.

The assassination of Osama Bin Laden in the hands of a specially trained U.S. commando in an incursion into Pakistan without authorization of Pakistani authorities is not only a violation of Bin Laden’s right to be judged according to international laws but likewise a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty over its territory.

What may be a consolation for Americans for the death of thousands of citizens a decade ago in the cruel attack against the Twin Towers, popularly dubbed “9 11”, has turned to be an opportunity for Bin Laden’s last hurrah at the expense of the honourable proclamation of democracy through liberty and justice for all Mankind.

The issue is further aggravated by the fact that the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief of its armed forces, Barack Obama, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. No man supposedly meriting such award should ever be permitted to instruct the assassination of any human being, no matter whether this person was a condemned criminal or an innocent man. For such condemning, there are courts of justice who have the responsibility to sentence men as guilty or innocent; never can a world leader usurp such functions which are not innate in the role of executive functions such as those inherent to Obama’s post as President of the United States of America.

Much as we would like to support the call of freedom from the seat of world power at the White House, no decent man can ever support an action based on revenge and wrapped with the banner of patriotism. No one in his sane mind can admit the reasoning that Bin Laden was a threat to the USA and the world a decade after the regrettable “9 11” tragedy.

This type of actions in the 21st. century seems a remake of previous American geopolitical blunders that made the people of America earn the label of The Ugly American* in the Vietnam War.

Today, after Bin Laden’s supposed death at the hands of the U.S. commando, the USA has given wings to enshrine an international terrorist and lift him to the rank of martyr for his followers. What consequences will such action bring to the civilised world in the next decade?

Surely not peace, probably more terrorist attempts with deaths of innocent civilians the world over.     

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona     

*The Ugly American – Eugene Burdick & William Lederer


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