By Sebastian Mallaby (THE WASHINGTON POST, 06/08/07):
A decade ago, financial globalization seemed terrifying. Crises swept from East Asia to Russia and Brazil; the implosion of a globe-spanning hedge fund, Long-Term Capital Management, forced the Fed to orchestrate a bailout. But this decade may be remembered for the opposite lesson.
If the world comes through the current market turmoil relatively unscathed, it will be thanks to the globalization of finance. The demon will have turned into a hero.
Since 2001, pessimists have predicted that the United States would drown in financial self-indulgence. The Bush administration inherited a federal budget that virtuously saved money every year; it cut taxes recklessly and spent like a drunken sailor.… Seguir leyendo »
By Jackson Diehl (THE WASHINGTON POST, 06/08/07):
In a speech to a meeting of democratic freedom fighters in Prague on June 5, President Bush announced a concrete mission for his State Department. «I have asked Secretary Rice,» he said, «to send a directive to every U.S. ambassador in an unfree nation: Seek out and meet with activists for democracy. Seek out those who demand human rights.»
Nearly two months later, the cable had not been sent. (The State Department told me that it was dispatched late Friday — the day after I called the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor to inquire about it.) In contrast, Condoleezza Rice spent last week meeting with the Arab autocrats of the Middle East in pursuit of an entirely different agenda: «security and stability» for their unfree nations and support for a new Middle East peace process.… Seguir leyendo »
By Oliver Kamm, the author of Anti-Totalitarianism: the Left-Wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy (THE GUARDIAN, 06/08/07):
Today is Hiroshima day, the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. As the wartime generation passes on, our sense of gratitude is increasingly mixed with unease regarding one theatre of the second world war. There is a widespread conviction that, at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, America committed acts that were not only terrible but also wrong.Disarmament campaigners are not slow to advance further charges. Greenpeace maintains that a different American approach might have prevented the cold war, and argues that new research on the Hiroshima decision «should give us pause for thought about the wisdom of current US and UK nuclear weapons developments, strategies, operational policies and deployments».… Seguir leyendo »
By Peter Preston (THE GUARDIAN, 06/08/07):
She says he’s «naive» and can’t do «tough». So how does Barack Obama respond to Hillary Clinton’s scorn? With worldly-wise super-tough. Either Pakistan roots out foreign terrorist cells, cans the Taliban and seals its borders, or embryo President Obama will cut off aid to Musharraf’s army. And if his US has evidence of al-Qaida leaders lurking in some cave over the frontier from Afghanistan and Islamabad refuses to act? «Then we will.» He’ll send the marines in. Obama does ignorant and stupid too, it seems. Draw a deep breath and hope that, somewhere, somehow, calmer counsels prevail.… Seguir leyendo »
By Henning Mankell, a Swedish crime novelist and son-in-law of Ingmar Bergman (THE GUARDIAN, 06/08/07):
For those who lived close to him, Ingmar Bergman’s passing last week was no great surprise. He had just turned 89; he was a very old man. His tired heart stopped beating in the early hours of the morning, in this rainy summer season, at his home on the Swedish island of Faro. The rabbits that used to sit motionless on the beach and listen to him playing Mahler will now wonder where the old man has gone. But he is gone. The hourglass has run empty.… Seguir leyendo »