Martes, 15 de agosto de 2006

By George F. Will (THE WASHINGTON POST, 15/08/06):

Five weeks have passed since the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers provoked Israel to launch its most unsatisfactory military operation in 58 years. What problem has been solved, or even ameliorated?

Hezbollah, often using World War II-vintage rockets, has demonstrated the inadequacy of Israel's policy of unilateral disengagement -- from Lebanon, Gaza, much of the West Bank -- behind a fence. Hezbollah has willingly suffered (temporary) military diminution in exchange for enormous political enlargement. Hitherto Hezbollah in Lebanon was a "state within a state." Henceforth, the Lebanese state may be an appendage of Hezbollah, as the collapsing Palestinian Authority is an appendage of the terrorist organization Hamas.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Richard Cohen (THE WASHINGTON POST, 15/08/06):

The "birth pangs" are over. This was the term used by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to describe the war between Israel (supported by the United States) and Hezbollah (supported by Iran). If she is right, let us see what has come out: a defeat for the good guys, a victory for the bad guys (the "Islamic fascists" of President Bush's formulation) and some clear lessons. This has been a very hard birth.

It has been particularly hard for the Lebanese, of course, but no fun for Israel, either. Although Hezbollah has, as they say, been downgraded, it has nonetheless emerged as the fighting force with the best reputation in the Middle East.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Teresa Villarino Valdivielso, Doctora en Ingeniería de Montes y miembro del Comité de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible del Instituto de Ingeniería de España (EL MUNDO, 15/08/06):

Care silva» («queridos bosques»), así comienza Haendel un aria de su preciosa ópera Atalanta. También muchos cuentos tradicionales empezaban con la célebre frase: «Érase una vez un bosque encantado...» y ese comienzo nos enganchaba e invitaba a proseguir con la lectura y nos hacía inmediatamente cómplices de la historia. En la pasada sociedad rural, al monte le debían, entre otras muchas cosas, el calor del invierno, el frescor del verano y el placer de los sentidos.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Eugene Robinson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 15/08/06):

Dressed not in his green fatigues but in a white Adidas track suit with red and blue stripes, Fidel Castro posed for photographs -- apparently over the weekend, though it's hard to be sure -- holding up a copy of the official newspaper Granma to prove he had survived to his 80th birthday. "Absolved by History," said the front-page headline, and it was hard to read the phrase as anything but the perfect, almost inevitable, exit line.

Castro's first attempt at revolution was a raid on Santiago's Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953. Bad planning and amateurish execution led to failure, and Castro was captured and put on trial.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Richard A. Posner, a U.S. appeals court judge and author most recently of "Uncertain Shield: The U.S. Intelligence System in the Throes of Reform." (THE WASHINGTON POST, 15/08/06):

What lessons can we draw from the recent foiled plot to bring down U.S.-bound airliners with liquid bombs?

The first concerns the shrewdness of al-Qaeda and its affiliates in continuing to focus their destructive efforts on civil aviation. Death in a plane crash is one of the "dreaded" forms of death that psychologists remind us arouse far more fear than others that are much more probable. The concern with air safety, coupled with the fact that protection against terrorist attacks on aviation can be strengthened only at great cost in convenience to travelers, makes the recently foiled plot merely a partial failure for the terrorists.…  Seguir leyendo »

By John Graham. He is dean of the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School and holds a chair in policy analysis at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. He previously served as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the regulatory activities of the federal government (THE WASHINGTON POST, 15/08/06):

Global trade is increasingly connecting the world, bringing consumers lower prices and a wider selection of goods, and creating jobs. But when government regulations vary enormously from one nation to the next, they become roadblocks to the smooth flow of international commerce, and hurt both consumers and workers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Jorge G. Castañeda fue secretario de Relaciones Exteriores de México desde 2000 a 2003. Actualmente es profesor de Estudios Latinoamericanos en la Universidad de Nueva York (EL PAÍS, 15/08/06):

La crisis de salud de Fidel Castro ha dado lugar a muchas especulaciones. Es evidente la analogía con otros líderes semejantes: Stalin, Mao o Brezhnev. Todo en Cuba desde hace 50 años depende de un hombre, y ese hombre depende de su salud.

Como es imposible saber qué pasará hasta que pase, toda especulación sobre el desenlace fatal es ociosa. En cambio, no lo es tanto tratar de discernir lo que puede suceder -siguiendo la frase de Marifeli Pérez-Stable- "después del velorio".…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Gema Martín Muñoz, directora de Casa Árabe y del Instituto Internacional de Estudios Árabes y del Mundo Musulmán (EL PAÍS, 15/08/06):

Líbano ha sido siempre el laboratorio donde se reflejan las tensiones demográficas y confesionales de Oriente Próximo y el pequeño escenario en el que se ponen en juego todas las rivalidades locales e internacionales de la región. El trágico peaje de este ingrato destino lo ha pagado siempre -¡y de qué manera!- su población civil.

El análisis de la guerra actual desvela una profundidad estratégica y unos métodos para conseguir los fines que van más allá del acontecimiento puntual que aparentemente la ha desencadenado (la captura de dos soldados israelíes por Hezbolá, circunstancia nada nueva y que en tres ocasiones anteriores Israel había negociado).…  Seguir leyendo »

By Barun Mitra, the director of Liberty Institute, a research organization that promotes free-market economics (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 15/08/06):

New Delhi

WHICH country is thinking about applying free-market principles to wildlife preservation and, in the process, improving the survival chances of a long-endangered species while giving its economy a boost?

Communist China, of course.

China joined the international effort to protect the tiger in 1993. But today there is a growing recognition among many Chinese officials that a policy of prohibition and trade restrictions has not benefited the tiger as much as it has helped poachers and smugglers of tigers and tiger parts.…  Seguir leyendo »

By George Monbiot (THE GUARDIAN, 15/08/06):

Last week I argued that Israel's attack on Lebanon was premeditated: Hizbullah's capture of two soldiers gave Israel's government the excuse to launch an assault it had been planning since 2004. Both Bush and Blair knew that it would happen and gave it their approval.I was, of course, denounced by supporters of Israel's government as an anti-semite and an apologist for terror. But on Sunday this hypothesis was confirmed by an article Seymour Hersh published in the New Yorker. Israel, his sources told him, "had devised a plan for attacking Hizbullah - and shared it with Bush administration officials - well before the July 12 kidnappings".…  Seguir leyendo »

By Mark Almond, a history lecturer at Oriel College, Oxford (THE GUARDIAN, 15/08/06):

A couple of years ago television, radio and print media in the west just couldn't get enough of "people power". In quick succession, from Georgia's rose revolution in November 2003, via Ukraine's orange revolution a year later, to the tulip revolution in Kyrgyzstan and the cedar revolution in Lebanon, 24-hour news channels kept us up to date with democracy on a roll.

Triggered by allegations of election fraud, the dominoes toppled. The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, was happy with the trend: "They're doing it in many different corners of the world, places as varied as Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan and, on the other hand, Lebanon ...…  Seguir leyendo »

By Polly Toynbee (THE GUARDIAN, 15/08/06):

The grand assemblage of Muslim MPs, peers and leaders of 38 key groups who signed an open letter to the prime minister last weekend are almost certainly right. British foreign policy has helped foment murderous extremism among British Muslims.The London bombings a year ago might not have happened had Labour taken the French stand. If Tony Blair and his cabinet had never hitched Britain to George Bush's war chariot, it is unlikely that al-Qaida-inspired terror cells would plan mass murder from British airports. Before, Islamist terror was focused on faraway countries - Indonesia, the Philippines, Algeria, Somalia, Russia - and the twin towers.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Anas Altikriti, a spokesman for the British Muslim Initiative (THE GUARDIAN, 15/08/06):

When Britain was put on critical security alert last Thursday, I was one of the hundreds of thousands caught up in the extraordinary process put in place at every UK airport. Travelling with my family, I witnessed the astonishing scene of travellers at Heathrow rendered almost helpless.Yet, given recent experience, it was hard to avoid some scepticism. I shared the feelings quietly expressed by the four businessmen and women ahead of me, hoping to get to Copenhagen, as to whether this operation, at a cost of billions to travellers, airports and business, was absolutely necessary.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Daoud Kuttab. Director del Instituto de Medios Modernos de la Universidad palestina Al-Quds de Jerusalén (ABC, 15/08/06):

LAS guerras no sólo se ganan en el campo de batalla, sino también en las mentes de la gente. Así, si bien Hizbolá no ha ganado decisivamente su actual guerra contra Israel, el hecho de que haya mantenido su capacidad de luchar cara a cara contra el poder del Ejército israelí ha cautivado la imaginación de los árabes y recuperado el orgullo perdido, del mismo modo que lo hizo el Ejército egipcio al cruzar el Canal de Suez en la guerra de 1973.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Pascal Boniface, director del Instituto de Relaciones Internacionales y Estratégicas de París. Traducción: Joan Parra (LA VANGUARDIA, 15/08/06):

George W. Bush y Ehud Olmert, cada uno por su lado, han presentado la actual guerra de Líbano como una parte de la guerra global contra el terrorismo. George W. Bush ha declarado que la crisis actual - no ha hablado de guerra- forma parte de un enfrentamiento más amplio entre las fuerzas de la libertad y las fuerzas del terror en Oriente Medio. Añadió que a medida que la democracia progrese en esa parte del mundo, las naciones de la región tendrán un mejor futuro y los terroristas perderán sus refugios.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jamie Glassman (THE TIMES, 15/08/06):

THERE’S NOTHING I like more than a Jewish joke. It’s the anti-Jewish ones I’m not so keen on.

Wandering through the streets of Edinburgh during the world’s largest arts festival, you never know what sight or sound you will be bombarded with next. Half-naked men on 6ft stilts meander by, half-naked girls rush to sell you their show, troops of Japanese acrobats tumble past. But I wasn’t prepared for the verbal assault I got when I wandered into a comedy gig this week.

There have always been anti- Semitic jokes. But you know times are changing when you go along to a stand-up show at the Pleasance Courtyard at the Edinburgh Fringe and you hear audience members shouting “Throw them in the oven” when the comic suggests kids should stop playing Cowboys and Indians and replace it with Nazis and Jews.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Martin Samuel (THE TIMES, 15/08/06):

"This is the busiest airport in the world at the busiest time of year," said Heathrow’s chief executive officer Tony Douglas. “To suggest we could continue as if nothing had happened is frankly ludicrous.” Except, actually, nothing had. Not at Heathrow, anyway. No suspected terrorists were apprehended at or on the way to the airport, no bomb-making material was found on airport land. It never is. Look at the clear plastic box on display at every security checkpoint. Nail files, scissors, corkscrews, pen knives. No guns or bombs. Shortly to be joined by paperback books, cuddly toys and a litre of Buxton’s finest.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Shalid Malik, Labour MP for Dewsbury (THE TIMES, 15/08/06):

ON FRIDAY last week I agreed to add my name to a letter to the Government from Oxfam, other non-governmental organisations and individuals to express, in the wake of the Middle East crisis, our commitment to the fundamental humanitarian principle that all innocent lives should be valued equally.

As has been made apparent to me over the past few days, the letter was open to several interpretations. It has never been my contention that the Government ought to change foreign policy because of terrorist threats within our borders. We must never be held to ransom by those who would deliberately shed innocent blood in the name of their cause.…  Seguir leyendo »