Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog


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



December 20, 2009
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Almost a year after taking oath of office and with the unexpected Nobel Peace Award to his brief presidential CV, President Obama must be evaluated as to his effective achievements in his first year in the White House.

Surely, media all over the world but more so the U.S. press will undertake a point by point fulfilment analysis of the President’s electoral promises. From a global point of view, one must get down to brass tacks to properly evaluate Obama’s first year in office.

At this point and time, the closing of the U.N. Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen could be the best indicator of the pressures the U.S. President must have been subjected to in the last twelve months since his historic election.

The U.S. stand on curtailing CO2 emissions showed signs of a shift away from the irresponsible disregard of the Bush Administrations (2000-2008) of the Kyoto Protocol; a new will to participate was expressed upon Obama’s takeover. However, after the Asian Presidential tour in November that ended with a China-US meet, thunder clouds again appeared in the December Copenhagen summit skies.

Obama’s charms lost force and the Chinese Government did not succumb to his persuasive speeches. Moreover, China has a firm grip on U.S. Government Bonds which are the funding source for the Obama’s anti-crisis strategy.

The Asian posture, mainly China and India, have remained unchanged in spite of the President’s efforts during his Beijing summit and at the first dignitary banquet at the White House in honour of India’s Prime Minister Singh. Without the United States and China accepting the European Union’s CO2 cutback proposal and financial scheme, any alternative agreement would be a whitewash that would fall short of all minimum expectations.

And this is exactly what has happened.

Obama’s four-hour negotiations resulted in a lame pronouncement initially only back by India and South Africa, to later add in China and Brazil. President Obama has sought a way out that has put his goodwill relations with the European bloc in jeopardy.

Obama has likewise had his hands pretty tied up at the home front to make any spectacular promises on the principle issues at stake at the Copenhagen meet.  How much of Obama’s climate change posture is due to a need to face up to global challenges for approval of vital bills into laws?

At the outset of the New Millennium’s second decade, the world’s most powerful man Barack Obama, as Head-of-State of a nation whose international supremacy is put to test, must set up a visionary list of priorities in his quest of long-term objectives. A clash of interests among main issues vital before the eyes of the average American such as healthcare, Afghanistan troops, Guantanamo, Iraq withdrawal, unemployment, climate change, sustainability, etc. have been cleverly manipulated to cast the shadow of a doubt as to Obama’s capacity to live up to his campaign promises.

Has Obama’s lukewarm speech before the Copenhagen climate change assembly anything to do with the upcoming voting of indispensible funding and bill approvals on the mentioned issues in the U.S. Senate?

Have potent lobbies influenced the Obama Administration to prevent signing a new protocol that could prejudice vested interests profits and multinational expansion strategies?

There are relevant lessons to learn from Copenhagen. One that cannot be missed is Obama’s failure to live up to expectations in Oslo earlier this month. He now has to double his efforts not only to turn his words into acts but also to end his so-called just wars.

Obama must admit he cannot walk alone towards a better world in peace. We, the people of the world, are watching.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra, Madrid


December 11, 2009

December 10th is the day assigned for the Nobel Awards ceremonies. In compliance with Alfred Nobel’s will, the Peace Award is handed over in Norway at Oslo’s Storting Hall whilst the other Nobel Awards including the Riksbanken Economic laureates, an award added in 1968, participate in a later ceremony the same day at Stockholm’s Concert Hall.

This year’s ceremony has followed the usual protocol where it not for the fact that the awards were for a majority of American citizens headed by no less than U.S. President Barack Obama. Without any intent of demerit for the other Nobel laureates, I must call the attention to this year’s Economic awardees, Olstrom & Williamson, who together with Obama form a solid indication of the Nobel Committee’s intention in the awards for 2009.

Much has been said after the surprise announcement of Obama’s Nobel Peace designation, to the point it belittled the announcement a few days earlier of the Riksbanken Economic Awards to Elinor Olstrom and Oliver E. Williamson. To the very moment the awards were delivered yesterday, a sector has remained adamant to accepting Obama’s merits and debate over said issue has missed entirely the relevance of the overwhelming American presence in the Nobel Committee’s decision for 2009. Moreover, it is the first time that women occupied the awards’ major limelight, with Elinor Olstrom being the first woman to become an economic laureate.

While Obama was handed his diploma in Oslo according to Nobel’s dictates, Olstrom & Williamson, as well as the other laureates, received theirs from the hands of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf at Stockholm’s Concert Hall. The strict protocol that these ceremonies have followed over the years may have been broken in few occasions, such as Mother Teresa’s request to cancel the banquet in lieu of donating the funds to charity. Obama has perhaps also done a similar act which few seem to have given due importance. The U. S. President has shortened his Oslo visit to less than 24 hours, just enough not to accept the regal protocol dinner offered in his honour. He has a lot of work back home. I make mention of this situation to back up my argument as to the reasons that may have warranted these outstandingly American Nobel Awards in 2009 with Obama in the key role.

In the aftermath of an unexpected financial crisis in the U.S.A. that has dragged global markets into the mire of a rather complicated economic international scenario, one must analyse Obama’s peace diploma in unison with the other awards, especially those in Economics to Elinor Olstrom & Oliver E. Williamson. It is well known that the crisis broke out at the closing of the previous U.S. Administration with President Bush at the helm. Never before had Washington been so neglectful of international trade & commerce and so bent on using its military force to maintain its world supremacy. The results of such international socio-economic policy have been the sad inheritance George W. Bush handed over to America´s first Afro-American President. Both Olstrom & Williamson have worked for decades in Social Economics whereby enterprise was given its just place and consumers justly valued in the development of international trade. Their theories were never in the mind of Republican U.S. Administrations and proof stands that today Obama has to fight it out to get a historic health bill approved.

Due to U.S. supremacy not only in military issues but likewise in worldwide Economics, this year’s Nobel Awards to Obama, Olstrom & Williamson pretend to call international attention to the need for “social peace in the United States of America” if the international community of democratic states is to resolve the socio-economic needs of the entire world.

Obama’s speech, in a humble tone for his still undeserved international merits, spoke of his role as U.S. Commander-in-Chief. It is fair to grant him a justification for his pseudo-military role as the world’s most powerful man in command of the best armed nation in current wars and skirmishes in different conflict zones. His decisions affect not only Americans but citizens of independent states with regimes of different nature. Whereas his predecessor justified all types of invasion as a defence action against terrorism, Obama has assumed a realistic stance to differentiate the causes of the various live warfronts today. This change of posture alone is worth taking into account as a merit for consideration in a peace award. Obama not only uses oratory to convince. He first is convinced himself of what he puts into words. He did not seek to justify any war nor wished to argue on theory of “just war”, for which reason I will not argue on his statement that some conflicts are necessary. Nevertheless, it is not Obama who is in doubt as a “man of peace”. It is The Establishment in America, with its vested interests and powerful lobbies that must be under surveillance.

Does America want to be known as a democracy for peace or of war? This is the question.

Obama, Olstrom & Williamson have acquired a commitment. With them, all other American citizens awarded Nobel prizes in their respective field of science. Not one of them can be considered in favour of anti-social actions defended by the most reactionary segments of American society. Without a support to these Nobel laureates, the world is in fact leaning towards conservative ways of managing world economics without any consideration for the poor of the world or environmental concern for future generations.

This is the essence of Obama’s peace award, in company of the recognition for Elinor Olstrom as a woman in the world of Economics and Williamson’s contributions towards better controls on enterprises’ model of acquiring benefits. The challenge of these awards now put America in the limelight. Will the United States of America live up to its mission of democracy, peace, climate & social changes in the forthcoming decade of this New Millennium?

Only time will tell.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra, Madrid

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