Lunes, 2 de abril de 2007

Por Nicolás Sartorius, vicepresidente ejecutivo de la Fundación Alternativas, e Ignacio Molina, coordinador de Unión Europea de Opex / Fundación Alternativas (EL PAÍS, 02/04/07):

Como ha quedado demostrado en el escaso ardor con que se ha vivido la reciente celebración, el cincuenta aniversario del Tratado de Roma ha llegado en un momento poco propicio. No se trata sólo de la incertidumbre concreta, como consecuencia del no francés y holandés, sino de un trasfondo más difuso de prolongado desencanto. Es verdad que la integración europea nunca ha suscitado grandes entusiasmos en la población, pero en este momento resulta difícil para el ciudadano apreciar la importancia del proceso y, sobre todo, la dirección del mismo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Fernando Savater, catedrático de Filosofía de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid (EL PAÍS, 02/04/07):

Parece que hoy, en nuestro país, los ciudadanos sólo estamos de acuerdo en dos cosas: una, que hay un exceso alarmante de crispación y enfrentamiento maniqueo en la vida pública; dos, que esta situación es mala para la convivencia y para el funcionamiento de la democracia. A partir del diagnóstico compartido, los doctores difieren en cuanto al reparto de culpas y sobre todo en el tratamiento a seguir para sanar esta dolencia. En este tipo de polarizaciones, lo realista es admitir que los adversarios contribuyen cada cual por su lado a echar leña al fuego, provocando uno con su exceso la reacción desmesurada del otro y así en lo sucesivo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Marco Vicenzino, director del Global Strategy Project con sede en Washington. (EL MUNDO, 02/04/07):

Se ha convertido en un lugar común dentro de los círculos de la política exterior examinar los problemas en Oriente Próximo simplemente a través del prisma de los Estados Unidos e Irán, especialmente a la luz de una sensación cada vez más acentuada de ambigüedad y falta de rumbo en el terreno diplomático.

No se agota en esto la larga lista de problemas de esa zona sino que hay que incluir además Irak, el Líbano, Israel y Palestina, la creciente división entre suníes y chiíes y la condición nuclear de Irán y su influencia en la zona, cada vez mayor.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Olegario González de Cardedal, de la Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Políticas (ABC, 02/04/07):

DESDE el 22 de octubre de 1978 hasta el día 2 de abril de 2005 Juan Pablo II ocupó la sede de Pedro, llenando casi un cuarto de siglo de la vida de la Iglesia. Llegaba en joven y plena madurez, con una larga experiencia de pensamiento y de acción en lucha por la libertad del hombre, del creyente y de la iglesia, frente a un régimen dictatorial, que negaba nuestra dimensión trascendente y la fe en Dios.

Asumía la suprema responsabilidad de guiar, sostener y regir la Iglesia en un momento de especial tensión interior, cuando aún se debatían dos acentuaciones del Concilio Vaticano II: como un nuevo comienzo del cristianismo en ruptura con lo anterior o como una reforma en continuidad con la tradición y sus fuentes originarias.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Fred Halliday, profesor visitante del Institut Barcelona d´Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) y profesor de la London School of Economics. Autor de Revolución y política mundial: auge y caída de la sexta gran potencia (Palgrave, 1999). Traducción: Juan Gabriel López Guix  (LA VANGUARDIA, 02/04/07):

Ningún conflicto del mundo moderno, ni siquiera la disputa árabeisraelí, ha suscitado tantas controversias, polémicas, poses públicas, palabras vacías e ideas equivocadas como la cuestión irlandesa;un término que remite al conflicto armado que estalló en Irlanda del Norte a finales de la década de 1960 y, de modo más general, a los conflictos políticos y militares que han enfrentado a los irlandeses entre sí y al nacionalismo irlandés contra el dominio británico en los últimos siglos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Carlos Jiménez, ex fiscal anticorrupción (EL PERIÓDICO, 02/04/07):

El Congreso aprobó hace unos días una resolución instando al Gobierno a que "defienda una solución urgente, justa y definitiva al conflicto del Sáhara Occidental", conflicto que dura ya más de 30 años ante la pasividad de la comunidad internacional. Es una ocasión óptima para recordar lo que significó y sigue significando la tragedia del pueblo saharaui. El territorio conocido como Sáhara Occidental fue colonia española desde el reparto del continente africano efectuado por las potencias coloniales europeas (1884), pero desde que Marruecos, en 1956, accedió a la independencia ya expresó sus pretensiones anexionistas sobre el territorio administrado por España.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Tim Hames (THE TIMES, 02/04/07):

Oscar Wilde insisted that “life imitates art far more than art imitates art”. What would he have made of the present hostage crisis? Twenty-four hours before Iran seized 15 Britons its mission to the UN issued a statement expressing outrage at 300, a movie based on the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC. In this epic struggle between a small band of Spartans and a massive army of Persians, the ancestors of modern Iran have been painted, the protest ran, as the “embodiment of evil, moral corruption”. They have a point. According to Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History at Cambridge University, Persia was “not a one-dimensional barbaric despotism” but, then again, it was “by no means well disposed to Greek-style democracy” either.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Tom Stoppard (THE TIMES, 02/04/07):

What does this remind you of? “X was charged under Article 339, part 2, with hooliganism, and with the organisation of group activities (Article 342, part 1), and was sentenced to five and a half years imprisonment.”

The clue is the combination of the oddly unlegalistic “hooliganism” and the catch-all unmeaning of “group activities” punctiliously proscribed under article-this and article-that.

Remember it now? This was the language of Soviet-style justice in the USSR and wherever ran the Kremlin’s writ in Eastern Europe. It was where George Orwell met Lewis Carroll (“ ‘When I use a word’, said Humpty Dumpty in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean.’…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jackson Diehl (THE WASHINGTON POST, 02/04/07):

For months it's looked like the genocide in Darfur has fallen off the agenda of a White House desperately fighting fires in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Yet last Monday President Bush's anger rocked the Oval Office when aides presented him with a plan for sanctions against the Sudanese government. Raising his voice, he demanded that his special envoy for Darfur, Andrew Natsios, and national security adviser Stephen Hadley come up with something stronger.

Or so I'm told. The result, according to several sources, is that the United States and Britain may finally make an effort, beginning this month, to push for serious punishment of the regime of Omar Hassan al-Bashir at the U.N.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Amr Hamzawy, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (THE WASHINGTON POST, 02/04/07):

On March 19, Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party used its majority in the People's Assembly to approve amendments to the constitution, the effect of which will be to further discourage meaningful political reform in Egypt.

The amendments were subsequently approved in a national referendum on March 26, which the opposition boycotted, and was characterized by a low voter turnout (less than five percent according to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights).

The Mubarak regime has several key motives for introducing the amendments. First, it is intent on politically restraining the Muslim Brotherhood, whose unexpected gains (20 percent of the seats in the People's Assembly) in the 2005 parliamentary elections set off alarm bells.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Kathleen McGowan, a fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. She was the special assistant to the American ambassador in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2004 (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 02/04/07):

IF consecutive suicide bombings aimed at the vice president of the United States and the American ambassador to Afghanistan weren’t dramatic enough illustration of the Taliban’s resurgence, President Hamid Karzai’s decision two weeks ago to swap five Taliban captives for a kidnapped Italian reporter, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, should make perfectly clear the disaster unfolding in Afghanistan.

The precedent that this trade establishes is as obvious as it is staggering in its implications.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Kevin Watkins, director of the UN's Human Development (THE GUARDIAN, 02/04/07):

As the threat posed by global warming intensifies, northern governments are building up their climate change fortifications. From lower Manhattan to the Thames estuary, flood defences are being strengthened to protect people from rising sea levels. Meanwhile, millions of the world's poorest people facing the prospect of more droughts, storms and floods are being left to sink or swim with their own resources.Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meets in Brussels to draw up its findings on climate change impacts. It's a document that makes for grim reading.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Priyamvada Gopal, who teaches in the English faculty at Cambridge University and is the author of Literary Radicalism in India (THE GUARDIAN, 02/04/07):

Why, demanded Jeremy Paxman recently, should he feel "guilty" about the slave trade, given that he wasn't alive then and that his "ancestors were peasants"? He is not alone in asking this question. Many Britons wonder, not unreasonably, why and how they should "apologise" for a crime they did not physically perpetrate.Though driven by an honourable impulse, campaigners dressed up in instruments of bondage are in danger of reducing the complicated project of reckoning with history into a facile confessional moment.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Simon Tisdall (THE GUARDIAN, 02/04/07):

Uzi Arad, former director of intelligence at Israel's spy agency, Mossad, has made a lifetime's study of revolutionary Iran. If international sanctions and diplomatic arm-twisting fail to halt its suspect nuclear activities, he is clear what the west must do: bomb Tehran.Israel's official policy, like Britain and the US, stresses peaceful pressure to secure Iran's compliance with its nuclear obligations. The so-called military option has been assiduously talked down ever since President George Bush appeared to talk it up in January. In any case, military experts say, air strikes would have limited success.

Mr Arad has no such inhibitions: "A military strike may be easier than you think.…  Seguir leyendo »