Jueves, 4 de enero de 2007

By David S. Broder (THE WASHINGTON POST, 04/01/07):

An element of unreality has infected the speculation about President Bush’s decision on a new strategy for Iraq. In the weeks since the Iraq Study Group issued its report and the president said he was going to canvass a variety of other sources before making up his mind, the assumption has grown that he will declare the next steps himself.

In reality, Bush’s ability to act on his own is severely limited. His hands are tied both at home and abroad. At most, he can suggest what he would like to do, but he is dependent on others to actually do it.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jim Hoagland (THE WASHINGTON POST, 04/01/07):

This is a column I never expected to write.

I never expected to say that the Iraqis who put Saddam Hussein to death made the sadistic dictator look almost noble by their own depraved standards of behavior in that moment.

The mishandled execution carries a larger message that President Bush must absorb for the decisive address he plans to give on Iraq as early as next week: If Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his aides cannot control a gallows chamber containing 20 people, how can they hope to manage a country that is disintegrating under the weight of religious and ethnic hatreds?…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Andrés Montero Gómez, presidente de la Sociedad Española de Psicología de la Violencia (EL CORREO DIGITAL, 04/01/07):

El atentado de ETA en Madrid ha sorprendido a todos, menos a quienes lo cometieron. Cierto es que, unos en forma de desiderata y otros a la manera de una premonición, un número de voces venía advirtiendo sobre la eventual ruptura del proceso por parte de ETA. Los más, desde el Gobierno, desde la izquierda abertzale, desde los involucrados o desde quienes lo analizamos e incluso desde un sector de la propia ETA, estábamos en la convicción de que, aunque con sus momentos críticos, todavía era demasiado pronto para que esto se frustrara.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Oriol Bohigas, arquitecto (EL PERIÓDICO, 04/01/07):

Montserrat Guardiet acaba de publicar el libro El Teatre Líric de l’Eixample (Pòrtic) que complementa una tesis sobre los desaparecidos Camps Elisis, el parque de ocio y cultura más representativo de la vida burguesa de Barcelona en el siglo XIX. Contiene toda la información sobre la historia del teatro, fundado y mantenido por el banquero Evarist Arnús y sus descendientes desde 1881 hasta 1900, y ubicado en el último solar superviviente de ese parque, ya anulado entonces, a trozos, por la voracidad de las nuevas construcciones del Eixample.
La parte más densa del libro es la recensión del desaparecido edificio del Teatre Líric, obra del arquitecto J.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Pascal Boniface, director del Instituto de Relaciones Internacionales y Estratégicas de París. Traducción: José María Puig de la Bellacasa (LA VANGUARDIA, 04/01/07):

Los finales de año son propicios a los balances. En el caso del 2006, el concerniente a las cuestiones estratégicas es indiscutiblemente negativo y la situación mundial es peor a finales que a principios de año. Ahora bien, lo peor es que cabe temer que a finales del 2007 deban hacerse constataciones aún más sombrías.

La guerra de Líbano ha sido sin duda el acontecimiento estelar del año 2006. Es el último clavo hincado en el ataúd de la estrategia estadounidense del Gran Oriente Medio concebida por la Administración Bush, que se consideraba que llevaría la democracia y la estabilidad a la región.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Francesc de Carreras, catedrático de Derecho Constitucional de la UAB (La Vanguardia, 04/01/07):

El sábado pasado, en la nueva T4 del aeropuerto de Barajas, se consumó el fin de una ilusión. Porque, en efecto, ilusión había sido el denominado proceso de paz en el País Vasco que algunos siempre hemos denominado el mal llamado proceso de paz. ¿En qué consistía, en síntesis, ese proceso?

Según el Gobierno, el proceso consistía en dialogar con ETA, en una situación de ausencia de violencia y respetando la legalidad, con el fin de que ésta abandonara sus actividades violentas. Según ETA, el proceso consistía en negociar con el Gobierno, sin tener en cuenta la legalidad vigente, como vía para obtener sus dos objetivos irrenunciables, la autodeterminación y la territorialidad.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Seraín Fanjul, catedrático de la UAM (ABC, 04/01/07):

ES comprensible que marroquíes o argelinos, hambreados y oprimidos por sus oligarquías respectivas desde la Edad Media y con métodos medievales, traten de encontrar una forma de vida mejor: al ser humano que tal hace, como mínimo, hay que respetarlo. Pero no es menos lógico que los estados europeos intenten ordenar de manera razonable la entrada de extranjeros, mas otra cosa es que lo hagan, por ejemplo, España: ¿en qué país del mundo, incluidos Marruecos y Argelia y todos los africanos, se consiente que la gente entre sin documentación y por donde le dé la gana?…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Jean Daniel, director del semanario francés Le Nouvel Observateur. Traducción de María Luisa Rodríguez Tapia (EL PAÍS, 04/01/07):

Para hacer de Sadam Husein un mártir, para hacer del verdugo una víctima y del déspota un santo, hacía falta nada menos que la loca y torpe inconsciencia de los estadounidenses. Mejor dicho: de un Gobierno estadounidense al que por fin han vuelto la espalda sus ciudadanos.

Pero, para el mundo suní, y no sólo -podemos estar seguros de ello-, son los estadounidenses los que han permitido e incluso organizado la ejecución de Sadam Husein, tras un proceso chapucero, sectario y, en la forma, completamente ilegal.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Albert Boadella, escritor teatral y fundador de la compañía Els Joglars (EL MUNDO, 04/01/07):

Señora ministra de Medio Ambiente,

Hace unos días, en estas páginas, escribió usted un artículo en el que se congratulaba del debate suscitado por sus anteriores declaraciones sobre la tauromaquia. Aprovechando la oportunidad, deseo manifestarle que siempre me place debatir sobre un tema tan controvertido como los toros, cuya polémica sigue viva a través de los siglos. No obstante, en este caso, lamento que el debate haya sido promovido precisamente por usted, pues no deja de ser sorprendente que sus criterios morales sobre la corrida, los anteponga a la defensa del medio ambiente.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Peter W. Klein, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 04/01/07):

THIS week the United States government will begin automatically declassifying hundreds of millions of documents from the cold war, under a law meant to streamline the cost and hassle of keeping secret files that are more than 25 years old. Among the dossiers bearing names like Alger Hiss, Theodore Hall and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg will be one labeled “Frigyes Klein”: my father, Fred Klein.

My father was never a spy, never a member of the Communist Party.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George H. W. Bush. He is now president of the Forum for International Policy (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 04/01/07):

THE Iraq Study Group report was released into a sea of unrealistic expectations. Inevitably, it disappointed hopes for a clear path through the morass of Iraq, because there is no “silver bullet” solution to the difficulties in which we find ourselves.

But the report accomplished a great deal. It brought together some of America’s best minds across party lines, and it outlined with clarity and precision the key factors at issue in Iraq.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Timothy Garton Ash (THE GUARDIAN, 04/01/07):

On New Year’s Day, the silent empire expanded again. Its new colonies celebrated their incorporation as a liberation – which, for most individual Romanians and Bulgarians, it will be. Twenty years ago, they were the impoverished subjects of dictatorships. (Remember Nicolae Ceausescu and his Securitate secret police?) Now they are citizens of the largest, most integrated community of liberal democracies in the world. For all the corruption, unemployment and other discontents of their current, very imperfect democracies, that is progress. Meanwhile, countries around the empire’s edge queue up crying: «Take us in, please!» Of what other empire in history has that been true?…  Seguir leyendo »

By Gordon Brown, the chancellor of the exchequer of United Kingdom (THE GUARDIAN, 04/01/07):

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Britain voting to end the slave trade. There could be no better commemoration than to abolish all child labour, and ensure that all young children go to school. I want every parent, student and school in Britain and the developed world to become campaigners, calling on every government to give every child access to schooling.Today Hilary Benn and I are publishing a pamphlet telling teachers and pupils about our «Education for every child» initiative. Ten million children will benefit as, for the first time, we bring together all the support British schools need to build links with developing countries – including teacher exchanges.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Haifa Zangana, an Iraqi-born novelist and former prisoner of Saddam’s regime (THE GUARDIAN, 04/01/07):

At 3.30am last Saturday, I was abruptly woken by the phone ringing. My heart sank. By the time I reached the phone, I was already imagining bodies of relatives and friends, killed and mutilated.It was 6.30am in Baghdad and I thought of the last time I spoke to my sister. She was on the roof of her house trying to get a better signal on her mobile phone, but had to end the call as an American helicopter started hovering above. Iraqis know it is within the US «rules of engagement» to shoot at them when using mobiles, and that US troops enjoy impunity whatever they do.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Sarfraz Manzoor (THE GUARDIAN, 04/01/07):

In 2006 the gloves came off in the fight to define what it means to be British. Whereas the dominant response to the London bombings was confusion over how anyone raised in this country could commit such atrocities, the veil debate detonated by Jack Straw and the teaching assistant Aisha Azmi was notable for its muscularity. Sentiments that might once have been considered too insensitive were openly expressed. «The right to be in a multicultural society,» argued the prime minister in a speech last month, «was always implicitly balanced by a duty to integrate, to be part of Britain.» Behind these remarks was an assumption that integration is a one-way street.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Anatole Kaletsky (THE TIMES, 04/01/07):

Most people think that the bungled invasion of Iraq, climaxing last week with the bungled execution-assassination of Saddam Hussein, will go down in history as the ultimate symbol of the Bush Administration’s hubris and incompetence. They should think again. With the dawning of a new year, the Bush-Blair partnership is working on an even more horrendous foreign policy disaster.

What now seems to be in preparation at the White House, with the usual unquestioning support from Downing Street, is a Middle Eastern equivalent of the Second World War. The trigger for this all-embracing war would be the formation of a previously unthinkable alliance between America, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain, to confront Iran and the rise of the power of Shia Islam.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Oliver Kamm (THE TIMES, 04/01/07):

The former mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek, who died this week, was the quintessential municipal leader. He cleared slums, built houses and made the city greener. So far as I know, he never gave unsolicited advice to the British Government on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. But if he had done something so presumptuous and futile, he would have been anticipating his present-day London counterpart, Ken Livingstone.

Mr Livingstone is the host of a conference this month entitled “A World Civilisation or a Clash of Civilisations”. His website states: “The view has been put forward that the world is going into an era of conflict and war driven by a clash of civilisations.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Rosemary Righter (THE TIMES, 04/01/07):

The peremptory ousting of the Islamic courts by Ethiopian forces is Somalia’s first piece of potentially good news in two devastating decades. Ethiopia acted out of national interest, to deny Islamic extremists a base in the troubled Horn of Africa from which they could disrupt the balance in Ethiopia itself, where almost equal-sized Christian and Muslim communities currently coexist in reasonable harmony.

Somalis, who fought two wars with Ethiopia over the Ogaden desert, will not readily see their old enemy as a saviour. Yet by acting when the UN and the African Union could come up with nothing but paper plans, the Ethiopians have given this wretched failed state a chance.…  Seguir leyendo »