Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

G-8 & NATO MEETS, 3 YEARS AFTER

May 20, 2012
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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    

 

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AMERICA’S THANKSGIVING 2010

November 25, 2010
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“It isn’t necessary to have relatives in Kansas City in order to be unhappy.”

Groucho Marx

 

 

 

This 25th of November, 2010 is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America.

 

Having spent quite a few such memorable celebrations in my stints in the USA, I have asked myself – What has America to be thankful for today on this our 3rd year of crisis and a quite a few more since the Bush Administration engaged Americans in a disastrous adventure in Iraq and later Afghanistan?

 

The successive events both on the home front and the international scene are not precisely heartening.

 

Unemployment is still high for US standards and foreclosures have left a lot of citizens homeless. The America that scarcely trembled in the wake of wars, disasters and crises was left shaky well before President Obama took over; some tremors still persist from the past Administration’s errors. What really counts is that the nation has recently spoken with its votes and the President has now a tough ride ahead to get to where America should be. In danger are such important endeavours such as the new healthcare plan or the taxing of the wealthier. Now, America may again turn its back on the social equality levels the Obama Administration pretended to reach. The influential lobbies may win the day by curtailing green energies in lieu of petroleum or the causers of the still persistent economic crisis, back in the driver’s seat of powerful entities, may submerge the US economy anew in new global conflicts in the wake of their making their profits.

 

The world scene isn’t any better. While Guantanamo remains operative, the joint world resistance to terrorism has been weakened due to vested interests of other world powers. The Palestinian-Israel conflict is at a standstill but may burst into open conflict at any time. Iran has not been subdued in its intent to convert itself into a nuclear-armed state and may never give in whilst it has China’s blessings. Further east, the two Koreas are on the verge of a nuclear war, with a US aircraft carrier already on the scene. The end of the Cold War with the defunct USSR (now Russia) may have an Asian offspring that refuses to come to an end. America, as the world superpower, is deep into every single international conflict and will remain even more so after the new scenario for NATO was drawn up a few days ago in the Lisbon summit.

 

Happiness seems to elude Americans this 2010. What must Americans be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day?

 

 

 

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona

 

 

 

 


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

November 23, 2010
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“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


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


FROM BILDERBERG CLUB AT SITGES TO G-20 IN BUSAN

June 6, 2010
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version in Spanish –  http://wp.me/pRlnf-10

The tranquil Mediterranean sky over Sitges suddenly was a flurry of helicopter traffic last Thursday afternoon whilst security measures were tightened at the entrance of Can Girona.  The arrival of members and guests of the exclusive five-decade Club at Sitges’ Hotel Dolce coincided in time with the start of the Finance Ministers’ conference 10.000 kilometres in Busan, preparatory to the world leaders meet at the end of June in Canada.

A world in crisis with the elite of the wealthy and powerful in their annual get-together since its first session in the Bilderberg Hotel in Arnhem, the Netherlands in 1954 must talk much more than of the nice sunny weather and the pleasure of Sitges’ excellent golf course. In turn, the Finance Ministers of the developed and developing countries of the world must have sat down to decide which path to take at the June 25-26 leaders’ conference in Toronto.

Coinciding with these economic and political events thousands of miles apart were two Israeli blockade actions in international waters.

The Bilderberg Club, in spite of its discreet holdings and utmost secrecy, seemed to have been fortified its existence with NATO Secretary-Generals from as permanent members. More than a shear economic club, ever since Polish political advisor Jósef Retinger received Netherland’s Prince Bernhard’s backing to his idea, Bilderberg has acted more like a political one. In fact, its first meeting in 1954 was meant to establish closer ties between the leaders of Europe and the United States of America and avoid an anti-American wave in Western Europe. Although never mentioned, one of the issues that has always hovered the European scene since the end of World War II has been the moral and economic reparations of Jewish Nazism victims. At the turn of the tides, with Israel now as an established independent state, what does the club think about Israel’s arrogant stance in the world scene today?

The G-20 Finance Ministers closed their meet yesterday with not even a mention of the deadly effects of Israel’s boarding in international waters of a Gaza-bound six-vessel flotilla, supposedly bearing humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip; a second vessel, the Irish MV Rachel Corrie was likewise hijacked to prevent its arrival at Gaza. Not only did the ministers not decide a common stand on new banking regulations and control but neither did it evaluate the effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the world’s economy.

The Bilderberg Club seems to have agreed that the crisis is due to last at least another year and surely the G-20 ministers must have talked along the same line. What is indeed worrying is to observe that neither political nor economic world leaders seem to be concerned about the risks of another global conflagration in the crossroads between Sitges and Busan, in Gaza just where Israel is challenging all international authority in its arm-twisting strategy on the Palestinian issue.

How long will such inhuman actions go on in the name of a single state’s security? Can we honestly say that as developed and developing countries belonging to international organisations such as the United Nations all agree that Israel can have its ways in an eye-for-an-eye strategy against Hamas? Who then must speak out for all civilian victims of 20th. Century atrocities? Has Israel forgotten what its people suffered in the Nazi concentration camps? Is a similar action against all Palestinians justifiable and permissible?

Today, I for one, feel ashamed of belonging to our present-day inhuman race.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Sitges


OBAMA’S MISSILE SHIELD SCRAPPING, A WINK TO RUSSIA

September 19, 2009
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obamaWith the healthcare debate still smouldering in the home front and with the Pittsburgh G-20 summit around the corner, the White House announcement that scraps Bush’s missile shield scheme in Eastern Europe came both as a surprise and a relief for most Europeans.

Probably only Polish and Czech politicians could have been disappointed with the withdrawal of the multi-billion dollar scheme in their respective territories. However, it is known that Poles in border towns where said long-range missiles were to be installed breathe with relief with the announcement.

The prolonged study of the project and its final scrapping go far beyond the technical aspects reflected in the final report as yet not made public. Two important factors must have played prominently in President Obama’s decision. First, the economic crisis with its enormous pressure on public spending warrants cutbacks in all superfluous expenses; use of existing SM-3 interceptors is easily applicable to the sea-based Aegis system as early as 2011. Secondly, Russia’s permanent objection to Bush’s missile shield project has caused a tense ‘wait and see’ attitude since Obama assumed office.

It is this second reason which, on the verge of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, seems the main political card the Obama Administration wishes to include in the card pack to be played at the negotiations table on September 24-25.

anti-missileWithout really withdrawing the military menace to Iran, the USA can lure Russia into a more receptive stance towards NATO reinforcement in the Eastern European-Middle East front. Russia cannot forget that once before both Poland and the Czech Republic belonged to the extinct USSR military treaty and these former Soviet allies are now EU states and NATO members.

Furthermore, in spite of U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in the next few years, the Afghan warfront is a common ‘Achilles’ heel’ for both the USA and Russia. Where the Americans are now trapped in a frenzied battle to wipe out insurrection in Afghanistan, the extinct USSR Army (now mainly Russian) had already suffered heavy losses in the battlefields a decade ago. Russia cannot forget that then, Talibans and warlords alike, received underhanded U.S. military support.

shieldThis announcement comes at a time when President Obama must wade through deep waters both in the home front and in the international scenario. While the world watches how Obama plays his cards at the G-20 summit, American vested interests and The Establishment shall be observing how he construes his state policies affecting armament expenditures in the upcoming budget. No one can deny that the world conflicts and the arms race are a permanent source of revenue for American business groups. The Iraq and Afghanistan warfronts, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have enriched numerous entrepreneurs but mainly maintained alive multinational industries involved in aviation, armament, construction and allied services.

President Obama’s dilemma is how to push through this wink at Russia without neither bruising The Establishment’s sentiments nor upsetting vested interests back home. Needless to say, maintaining the see-saw balance may prove vital for the approval of a relatively decent healthcare law.  The USA can no longer decide at will, when the rest of the world with the EU states present at the G-20 summit, are there to have their say.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Madrid


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