Jueves, 14 de junio de 2012

La crisis económica que padecemos brinda una magnífica oportunidad para borrar del lenguaje político e institucional algunos viejos tópicos, tan fáciles como falaces, sobre las conductas y las decisiones humanas ante determinadas situaciones. Frases como «lo que funciona, no hay que tocarlo» o «la mejor política industrial es la que no existe», son ejemplos claros -y no muy lejanos- de esa pasividad conformista más propia de quienes prefieren el inmovilismo a la toma de decisiones o de quienes priman el conformismo frente al riesgo que implica tomar la iniciativa.

Hoy en día, tenemos que distinguir entre países reformistas y países estancados.…  Seguir leyendo »

Conviene partir de un hecho que se oculta más de una vez. A partir de 2004 se practicó una política económica sin el menor atino. Como era lógico, sólo por eso, caminábamos hacia una realidad económica ciertamente mala. Se acabó sosteniendo, en buena parte, con una burbuja inmobiliaria y con un endeudamiento exterior de las economías domésticas y las empresas no financieras. Mientras tanto, aplaudíamos, por ejemplo, que íbamos maravillosamente a bordo de un buque europeo en el que, sin problemas, de modo alegre nos embarcábamos. Eran los tiempos de la estrategia de Lisboa. Conviene recordar que, como Ana Palacio, así se «prometió en el año 2000 hacer de Europa la mayor economía mundial competitiva en el 2010».…  Seguir leyendo »

The next episode in the long-running international attempt to curb Iran’s drive for nuclear-weapons capacity comes next week, when representatives of the so-called P5+1 nations (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France, plus Germany) meet with Iranian officials in Moscow. Two previous meetings, one in Istanbul and the other in Baghdad, accomplished little, as the Iranians bobbed and weaved, prevaricated and stalled while their nuclear program proceeded apace, as yet undeterred by increasingly punishing economic sanctions imposed to stop them

Optimists believe the Moscow talks may turn out better since Tehran faces the prospect of a European Union embargo on Iranian oil, to go fully into effect July 1.…  Seguir leyendo »

The 2008 battle for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination produced the memorable Hillary Clinton TV ad with a White House phone ringing in the wee hours. The ad implicitly questioned what would happen if there was an international crisis and a President Barack Obama answered the phone.

It's time for Secretary of State Clinton to make that 3 a.m. phone call herself. She should advise President Obama that it's time to change course on Syria. On Tuesday, she accused Russia of sending helicopter gunships to Syria and said the shipment "quite drastically" heightens the conflict.

And there is no hope for a United Nations-sponsored cease-fire.…  Seguir leyendo »

Despite yesterday's tumultuous events, millions of Egyptians will nevertheless head to the polls this weekend to pick their first post-revolution president. Egypt's constitutional court has invalidated the recent parliamentary election but has allowed Hosni Mubarak's former PM, Ahmed Shafiq, to continue to stand for president . As the only other remaining candidate, I alone represent an unequivocal departure from the old regime that was toppled by the revolution of 2011.

I was nominated and elected by constituents – parties, groups, and individuals – who marched the streets of Egypt calling for change. I was jailed by the old regime. I belong to the middle classes that were sold out by the old establishment.…  Seguir leyendo »

The United Kingdom turned out to be a good European by not joining the euro zone. In the 1990s, when a few of us argued strongly that our country was not cut out to be in the euro zone, keen advocates of European unity tried to write us off as skeptics. They said it would be only a matter of time before the British people asked to join.

Instead, the doubts and fears we had about the euro unfortunately turned out to be true, reinforcing our sense that we needed a more independent status than other countries as Europe tried to unify.…  Seguir leyendo »

The last round of nuclear negotiations with Iran ended in stalemate, and prospects appear dim for a breakthrough at next week’s meeting in Moscow.

Two central factors are driving Washington’s negotiation strategy at this point. The first is Congressional obstructionism and President Obama’s limited room to maneuver in an election year. The second is outsize expectations about what the current sanctions against Iran can achieve. Both must be abandoned if talks are to succeed.

Mr. Obama needs a continuing diplomatic process to calm the oil markets because of the coming election. Yet, precisely because of the election, he has limited ability to offer the Iranians relief from sanctions in return for nuclear concessions.…  Seguir leyendo »

“Dear Obama, when a U.S. drone missile kills a child in Yemen, the father will go to war with you, guaranteed. Nothing to do with Al Qaeda,” a Yemeni lawyer warned on Twitter last month. President Obama should keep this message in mind before ordering more drone strikes like Wednesday’s, which local officials say killed 27 people, or the May 15 strike that killed at least eight Yemeni civilians.

Drone strikes are causing more and more Yemenis to hate America and join radical militants; they are not driven by ideology but rather by a sense of revenge and despair. Robert Grenier, the former head of the C.I.A.’s…  Seguir leyendo »