Martes, 11 de abril de 2006

By David Aaronovitch (THE TIMES, 11/04/06):

SEYMOUR HERSH was on a roll — top of the news. “It’s ten past eight,” John Humphrys told a million or more BBC listeners yesterday morning. “President Bush is making plans for a military attack on Iran.” That made me look up from my porridge. Last set of Yanks I met were decidedly and encouragingly downbeat on the prospects for a military strike. Humphrys continued: “That is what the respected New Yorker magazine reports in this month’s edition. The report has been written by Hersh, who has a record going back 40 years of breaking stories at the top level of American politics .…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Rodrigo Córdoba García. Doctor en Medicina y presidente del Comité Nacional de Prevención del Tabaquismo (ABC, 11/04/06):

LA Agencia Internacional de Investigación del Cáncer y decenas de agencias y gobiernos de todo el mundo han declarado el humo de tabaco como un elemento cancerígeno para el cual no hay un umbral de exposición (cualquier cantidad es perjudicial para las personas expuestas) y el mayor contaminante de los espacios cerrados. Ese es el principal fundamento científico y médico de las regulaciones del consumo de tabaco. La ley 28/2005 está teniendo efectos muy favorables, visibles cada día por todos en los centros de trabajo y los espacios públicos y de convivencia, creando un entorno que ayuda a muchos fumadores a dejar de fumar.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Richard Cohen (THE WASHINGTON POST, 11/04/06):

Back when Hugh Shelton was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he sent all 17 of his four-star generals “Dereliction of Duty” by H.R. McMaster and asked them to a Pentagon breakfast to discuss the book with the author. The book charges that the U.S. military was derelict in its duty by meekly allowing duplicitous and inept civilians from the president on down to lead the nation into a war (Vietnam) that it then fought unsuccessfully. Shelton vowed that this would not happen again.

We all know the cliche about generals fighting the last war, but in Iraq it is not the tactics that were duplicated — certainly not compared to the Persian Gulf War — but the tendency of the military to do what it was told and keep its mouth shut.…  Seguir leyendo »

By John D. gartner, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and author of “The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America.” (THE WASHINGTON POST, 11/04/06):

If you’ve been following the big immigration debate, you might get the impression that the primary economic advantage of liberal economic immigration policies is that they supply America with low-wage workers willing to do grueling, unskilled jobs that native-born Americans won’t touch. Not true: They are the source of America’s success.

The secret to America’s wealth is that we were settled by restless, driven, overconfident, risk-taking dreamers.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Eugene Robinson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 11/04/06):

White Americans, and black Americans too, are going to have to get used to sharing this country — sharing it fully — with brown Americans. Things are going to be different. Deal with it.

The most important legacy of the histrionic debate over immigration reform will not be any piece of legislation, whether enlightened or medieval. It will be the big demonstrations held in cities throughout the country over the past few weeks — mass protests staged by and for a minority whose political ambition is finally catching up with its burgeoning size. In the metaphorical sense, Latinos have arrived.…  Seguir leyendo »

By E. J. Dionne Jr (THE WASHINGTON POST, 11/04/06):

What’s amazing about the defenses offered for President Bush in the Valerie Plame leak investigation is that they deal with absolutely everything except the central issue: Did Bush know a lot more about this case than he let on before the 2004 elections?

But first, let’s offer full credit to the Bush spin operation for working so hard and so effectively to change the subject.

The news was the court filing by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald reporting that Bush, through Vice President Cheney, had authorized I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to leak sensitive intelligence information in July 2003 to discredit claims made by former ambassador Joseph C.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Raymond J. Lawrence, an episcopal priest, is the director of pastoral care at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columibia University Medical Center (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 11/04/06):

Responsible religious leaders will breathe a sigh of relief at the news that so-called intercessory prayer is medically ineffective. In a large and much touted scientific study, one group of patients was told that strangers would pray for them, a second group was told strangers might or might not pray for them, and a third group was not prayed for at all. The $2.4 million study found that the strangers’ prayers did not help patients’ recovery.…  Seguir leyendo »

By John Farmer, a former attorney general of New Jersey, was a senior counsel to the 9/11 commission (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 11/04/06):

THE courtroom atmosphere was electric, the evidence of atrocity overwhelming. The prosecution presented first-hand accounts that victims “frequently remained in the burning buildings and jumped out of the windows only when the heat became unbearable.” Graphic images of mass slaughter were shown. Civic leaders attested to their helplessness as they watched the death throes of innocents. People who had escaped death, and family members of those who perished, recounted unspeakable horror, irretrievable loss.

This description is not of the penalty phase trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, although it certainly could be.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Isabel Hilton (THE GUARDIAN, 11/04/06):

Tens of thousands of protesters in Nepal have defied curfews and lethal force on the streets of Kathmandu and other cities to show their rejection of King Gyanendra’s rule. At least three people have died, scores have been injured and dozens more arrested.The general strike against the king, due to end yesterday, has been extended by an alliance of Nepal’s seven most important political parties, supported by the Maoist insurgents. The protests, which have been growing bigger each day, are reminiscent of pro-democracy demonstrations of the early 90s, which forced the king’s predecessor, Birendra, to make concessions.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Oliver Letwin, the Conservative party’s head of policy (THE GUARDIAN, 11/04/06):

A few months ago, I caused eyebrows to rise when I said that David Cameron’s Conservatives were committed to narrowing the gap between the poor and the rest of us. Some weeks later, the same eyebrows went up when the Conservative party announced that the test for its policies would be their effect on the least advantaged. But, instead of withdrawing in the face of hostile fire, the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, rammed home the message to the party’s spring conference that modern compassionate conservatism means focusing on the least advantaged.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Martin Samuel (THE TIMES, 11/04/06):

KEN LIVINGSTONE would like to install a countdown clock for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but is uncertain where to put it. I know, I know, but try to keep it clean, will you? Ken’s suggestion is Trafalgar Square. His fear is that it will be opposed by the conservatism of Westminster council, a body he bravely denounced on a fact-finding trip to the host city for the 2008 Games, Beijing. If only all leaders could be as enlightened as the Chinese, eh, Ken? If only the men and women of Westminster could be as foursquarely behind progress as our dear friend Wen Jiabao.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Anwar Ibrahim, ex ministro de Finanzas y ex viceprimer ministro de Malaisia. Es catedrático invitado en la Escuela Diplomática de la Universidad de Georgetown, en Washington (EL PAÍS, 11/04/06):

Desde el 11-S, Estados Unidos ha seguido lo que la Casa Blanca denomina una “estrategia avanzada de libertad”, predicada con la creencia de que la falta de democracia en los países musulmanes ha provocado la difusión de una variedad mortal de extremismo islámico. Envalentonado por una victoria ideológica obtenida con esfuerzo sobre los regímenes de Europa del Este durante la guerra fría, EE UU pretende fomentar de nuevo la democracia en el extranjero para garantizar la seguridad en casa.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Pedro Ugarte, periodista y escritor. Es autor, entre otros libros, de Casi inocentes (Premio Lengua de Trapo, 2004) y Mañana será otro día (EL PAÍS, 11/04/06):

Los datos de esta historia son conocidos por todos. A fines de los años cincuenta del siglo XX nace una organización nacionalista vasca denominada ETA. En 1961 comete el primer atentado, y siete años después, su primer asesinato. La curva de la muerte tiene su cenit en 1980, cuando ETA llega a asesinar a una persona cada tres o cuatro días, y los cadáveres se van acumulando, con la misma regularidad, sobre la conciencia colectiva de los vascos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Salvador Pániker, filósofo, ingeniero y escritor (EL PAÍS, 11/04/06):

Leo que Joan Estelrich, en su diario, critica a Carles Riba, “siempre tan raquítico, tan incapaz de elogio, tan incapaz de gratitud, negando el pan y la sal a sus maestros y a sus compañeros…”. En fin, que Estelrich considera que Riba, a pesar de su categoría intelectual, era mezquino y envidioso. Y yo digo que vaya usted a saber. Es un asunto sumamente delicado ese de la demolición de algunos mitos. Por ejemplo, el señor Paul Johnson escribió hace algún tiempo un libro, titulado Intelectuales, en el que analizaba la vida, la obra y las mentiras de Rousseau, Ibsen, Marx, Tolstoi, Sartre, Bertrand Russell, entre otros.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por M. Hauser, director del Laboratorio de Neurociencias de la Universidad de Harvard (EE. UU.) y P. Singer, profesor de Bioética en la Universidad de Princeton (EE. UU.). Traducción: C. Manzano (LA VANGUARDIA, 11/04/06):

¿Es necesaria la religión para la moralidad? Muchas personas consideran escandaloso, blasfemo incluso, negar el origen divino de la moralidad. O bien un ser divino creó nuestro sentido moral o bien lo adquirimos a partir de las enseñanzas de la religión organizada. En cualquiera de los dos casos, necesitamos la religión para poner coto a los vicios de la naturaleza. Parafraseando a Katherine Hepburn en la película La reina de África,la religión nos permite elevarnos por encima de la perversa madre naturaleza, al brindarnos una moral.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Rami G. Khouri. Director general del Daily Star, periódico con sede en Beirut. Traducción de Toni Tobella (EL PERIÓDICO, 11/04/06):

La línea común de partidos políticos islamistas que ganan elecciones por todo Oriente Próximo y Asia es tenida con frecuencia por una peligrosa amenaza en Occidente e Israel. Tampoco es que todos los árabes y asiáticos estén muy felices con esos islamistas victoriosos. Pero es importante interpretar correctamente por qué ganan los islamistas y qué representan en realidad. Porque los analistas foráneos enseguida se hacen un embrollo tremendo.
Muchos explican las victorias islamistas con argumentos como la esperanza en la restauración del califato islámico, terroristas suicidas motivados por unas vírgenes que les esperan en el cielo, el islamo-fascismo, la necesidad de una reforma y modernización en el islam, la urgencia de abrazar la secularización en la sociedad araboislámica, problemas con las madrasas (y en general con la educación), la tendencia a la incitación antiamericana y antiisraelí de los medios árabes…
Estas opiniones adolecen de dos restricciones fundamentales.…  Seguir leyendo »