How comparable are Rwandan warlords and Bosnia’s killers to George Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan? The genocide debate …
- Genocide trial to be held in Rwanda for first time (dailystar.com.lb)
- Guatemala ex-dictator gets 2nd genocide charge (miamiherald.com)
- Rwanda Remembers Genocide 18 Years Later (voanews.com)
- Rwandan genocide suspect Leon Mugesera denied trial in French (vancouversun.com)
The spirit of the Congress of Vienna, where great powers assembled to effectively govern the world, has no place in the contemporary international community. The G20 is sorely lacking in legitimacy and must change.
A number of countries that have been central to international cooperation in the past, including Norway and the Nordic countries, are excluded from direct membership. Low-income countries and the continent of Africa are almost entirely without the needed representation.
As the response to the financial crisis showed, there is value in having an effective, smaller forum of nations, equipped to act quickly when necessary. But, within that framework, there are simple ways to make the G20 more representative of the world it influences. (via The G20 lacks legitimacy).
It is every man for himself
Caught in a vicious downward spiral, Europe is at a loss. Britain is moaning about the demise of its special relationship with the USA. Sarkozy is off to the US, to mend fences with the Americans. At Copenhagen, while the BASIC countries were negotiating a ‘deal’ with the USA, European countries were sitting out. Waiting for the Big Boys to finish their talks. Japan, China, Korea – along with the USA and India are meeting at Seoul in June to create a strategic oil reserve, against possible supply shocks. To be shuttered out like this, is an unfamiliar experience to Europe.
The Norwegian appeal for inclusion in G20 is to be seen in light of the above reality.
That man with a tan – Obama
Obama has been stressing that EU needs to get its act together and speak in a common voice. The days when 6-12 European countries walked onto centre-stage, are over, seemingly. And Norway is one such victim of the changed circumstances.
The Greek crisis is stressing the weak links between European States. A ‘suspected’ withdrawal by Germany from the EMU would devastate Europe – and EU. Should the EU collapse, the Nordic countries would be shut out from many global forum.
And it is this fear that fuels Norway’s plea for G20 membership!.
In the doghouse
But it was not Obama who put European principalities (Norway, ruled by a king, is too small to be called country) in the doghouse. It started when George Bush railroaded Europe into Iraq and Afghanistan. And excluded the habitual European attendees from G20 – like Norway.
“decided by a secretive five-strong committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament. All current members are former politicians drawn from Norway’s four biggest parties. It is chaired by Thorbjørn Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister.”
It was noted that,
“Worldwide astonishment greeted the decision yesterday to give Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. The U.S. President has been in office for less than nine months, has yet to score a major foreign policy success. He had not even known he was among the record 205 nominations. The deadline for submitting candidates had come just 12 days after he entered the White House.”
At the airport, he was welcomed by the ”Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Kaci Kullmann Five, deputy chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.” In his acceptance speech, Obama admitted that maybe there were “more deserving” candidates. Was the Nobel price in anticipation of a Nordic inclusion in G20? For turning a more benign American eye towards Europe?
Norway raised its claim for G20 membership, the Financial Times wrote
a month before Barack Obama, the US president, visits Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Jonas Gahr Store proposed that members of the Nordic Council – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – could share a rotating seat together with the Baltic states and possibly Poland.
Spain and the Netherlands have managed to secure invitations to all three summits since the financial crisis without being official members. But others such as Poland, Belgium and the Nordic countries have been excluded.
So much for Norway’s Nobel price.
The legitimacy of G20
Jonas Gahr Støre is stressing about the ‘legitimacy’ of the G20 group. If the G20 is indeed illegitimate, then in that case, Shri Støre, you should ask for disbanding the G20! Not make a desperate plea for inclusion into the G20. Will an illegitimate forum become legitimate by Nordic Norway’s inclusion?
That reminds me. Norway was one of the ‘moving’ spirits’ behind the Copenhagen Circus on climate change. This Copenhagen Circus sought to impose a rule of Western NGOs on poor countries of the world. Faceless NGOs, without accountability to anyone, were able to bring global political leadership, to the very brink of an agreement. How legitimate was that Shri Støre?
Støre’s logic somehow escapes me.
Norway- One Great Power
Shri Støre invokes the hoary spirit of the “Congress of Vienna, where great powers assembled to effectively govern the world” . Now, by what logic do ‘Great Powers’ derive legitimacy to govern the world? By Norway’s inclusion?
Shri Jonas Gahr Støre has sent out copies of the same PR material, to Malaysia (published in the New Straits Times), in Canada (published in the Ottawa Citizen), and in the (as per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway) in The Straits Times (Manila, the Philippines), 6 April 2010 – Al Hayat, 7 April 2010.
God has been kind to Norway! Instead of thanking God for His kindness, for underground wealth – and for natural beauty above the ground. Instead, Norway wants to be ‘recognized’ as a ‘Great Power’!
Norway’s claim to fame is oil. Some 12%-15% of Norway’s GDP is oil. A significant part of Norway’s wealth is “raw products mined and processed in Norway include iron ore, lead concentrates, titanium, iron pyrites, coal, zinc, and copper.” Is Norway’s claim to be a ‘Great Power” based on something buried underground!
15% of Norway’s GDP is Tourism! With more than 1,1oo hotels and nearly 1,000 registered campsites, with picturesque coastline and fjords plus a number of well-known ski resorts. By the way, Norway’s population is about 45 lakhs – 4.5 million.
Manufacturing accounts for an awesome, jaw-dropping 1 percent of Norway’s annual GDP.
The world must listen to
Norway’s population is lesser than Haiti! If there is one country that the world needs to hear clearly and audibly, it is Haiti. Compared to Norway, Haiti has a far superior claim to be a Great Power. Single-handedly responsible for forcing the West to abandon slavery, Haiti has been a victim of Western vindictiveness. It is time that the world listened to Haiti. And for Norway to keep quiet!
And be grateful to God!
post-reform the US will retain its de facto veto power with a 17 per cent share and the US, EU and Japan will together still control 53 per cent of IMF shares. Individually, the shares of US, Japan, UK and France will still be larger than China’s share of under 4 per cent. Impatient with these little handouts, China has launched a multi-pronged campaign to claim a seat at the head of the table.
Shortly before the G20 summit, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the Chinese central bank, suggested that the dollar should be replaced by SDRs as the new reserve currency. The huge dollar reserves held by central banks and other global investors would be severely eroded if the dollar were to suddenly depreciate. Yet, these investors cannot easily diversify away from the dollar since this itself would trigger dollar depreciation. The Chinese are particularly concerned: an estimated $1 trillion out of their total reserves of around $2 trillion are held in dollar assets. The SDR exchange rate is a weighted average of exchange rates of the major convertible currencies. Accordingly, under Zhou’s proposal, China and other countries could convert their reserves from dollars to SDRs at current exchange rates without any erosion in their value. via TOP ARTICLE | The China Syndrome – Editorial – Opinion – The Times of India).
Rather a good summary of the flux in global currency system – for someone who wants to understand the situation today. The last paragraph will be of interest to everyone – especially Indians.
The relative roles of different Asian currencies in this fund are yet to be determined, but clearly the Chinese yuan has arrived and the meltdown of the dollar as a reserve currency has begun. The US-led western alliance has two options before it. It can give China a leading role in the G7-dominated financial architecture or face an alternative architecture led by China. Heads i win, tails you lose. Meanwhile, India is yet to find a role for itself in this new great game.
For the fact is that officials in the Bush administration instituted torture as a policy, misled the nation into a war they wanted to fight and, probably, tortured people in the attempt to extract “confessions” that would justify that war. And during the march to war, most of the political and media establishment looked the other way.
It’s hard, then, not to be cynical when some of the people who should have spoken out against what was happening, but didn’t, now declare that we should forget the whole era — for the sake of the country, of course. (via Op-Ed Columnist – Reclaiming America’s Soul – NYTimes.com).
Paul Krugman in his true and real colours
I liked this Op-Ed peice by Paul Krugman. It shows him in his best colours – as a hypocrite, psuedo-moralist, with patently false concerns.
His concern is about the use of torture or 3rd degree methods, in a nation that “used to be, a nation of moral ideals”. He wants to do this “not just for the sake of our position in the world, but for the sake of our own national conscience”.
Much before the elections it was clear that all the three candidates were on the same side. Their wrangling was all a wrangling for the spoils of power.
A simple question?
Who exactly did the US of A use torture against? Reading Krugman, you cannot ever make-out that the victims were NOT American citizens.
Squeamish, or evasive? Or just a plain affliction of false delicacy? Krugman, you are not being escapist, are you? No “I” word at all. God forbid, but Krugman does not mention, not once – Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Islam, Muslim. Not even once. Good fer ya, Paul!
Krugman signing off …
what we really should do for the sake of the country is have investigations both of torture and of the march to war. These investigations should, where appropriate, be followed by prosecutions — not out of vindictiveness, but because this is a nation of laws. We need to do this for the sake of our future. For this isn’t about looking backward, it’s about looking forward — because it’s about reclaiming America’s soul.
I dont know much about ‘investigations,’ ‘America’s Soul,’ or ‘the nations of laws’ – but what I know is that the Rest of the World should do something about a rampant American gone horribly wrong.
And the answers are simple
Just do two things.
Go out and buy gold. If all the readers of this blog bought one kg of gold, the US dollar (and all other paper currency systems) will crash. Phoooos! Yes that the sound of escaping air from the punctured dollar.
Just stop drinking Pepsi and Coke – and dont step into a McDonald’s. If Coke and Pepsi sales in China, India, Brazil and Russia collapsed, it will start a domino effect.
A trial balloon …?
Conversion of Western political leaders to Catholicism …
- Lessons of History (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
Brazil’s state-run oil company signed an agreement Friday to explore for oil in deep Caribbean waters north of Cuba that officials in Havana say could contain 20 billion barrels of crude.
Under the deal, Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA would spend seven years on exploration and _ if the reserves are confirmed _ 25 more producing oil and natural gas recovered at a site north of the world-famous beach resort of Varadero, 80 miles from Havana. (via Washington Times – Brazil inks deal to hunt for, produce oil in Cuba).
Brazil takes the first step
On October 14, 2008, 2ndlook had proposed a BRICS-Caribbean accord for oil exploration in the Carribean. Brazil has taken the first step.
Reeling under the curse of history, a past replete with slavery, Western intervention and poverty, the Caribbean islands have been dealt a bad hand. Third World countries are paying through their nose to the OPEC cartel and for a dollar hegemony. This oil deal can break this vicious cycle.
“I don’t understand why it took so long to sign this agreement,” said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who presided over a signing ceremony for the deal with Cuban President Raul Castro.
That makes two of us, Mr.President!
European Commissioner Louis Michel said the accord he signed with Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque was “a turning point for EU-Cuban relations”.
Mr Perez Roque welcomed its respect for the island’s political independence.
It will now receive 2m euros ($2.6m) of emergency hurricane recovery aid, with 30m euros ($38.9m) available next year.
An EU delegation will return to Cuba in November to determine the needs and priorities for the financing to be made available in 2009.
Is this another step in the European offensive to take advantage of the current US financial crisis – to gain alliances or neutrality from anti-US countries. The crisis at home in Europe is bad enough – and they have time to give aid to Cuba.
Tell me another story!
The 2ndlook model for a Third currency Bloc is ready. Join in to review, participate, critique and develop the First Cut. While the need for a new global reserve currency has been evident, there is very little in the public sphere. The speed of events has clearly caught the BRICS and Third World napping – and unprepared. But, not 2ndlook – who, from the very beginning, proposed that the world should stop clinging to the Dollar-Euro skirts.
“While many of the things they do are too draconian for us to implement, there are other things that are interesting that we may have to look at, considering that there has been no attack on the US after 2001,” said an official familiar with the interaction between India’s NSA and Charles Allen, undersecretary, office of national intelligence and analysis under the Department of Homeland Security.(Tackling terror: India takes lessons from US-India-The Times of India).
There has been no terror incidents within the USA, my dear Mr.Narayanan, because they off-shored it. To Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan – and of course, India.
It is not a coincidence that all nation which are significant sources of terror were or are significant allies of the USA.
“I look at U.S. support as a blessing. I look at the world support as a blessing to Pakistan,” Zardari said.
And a few days ago Zardari decided to ‘thank President Bush’ for democracy in Pakistan. And our own Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Manubhai for readers of this column) informed President Bush that the “people of India love him”
And our leaders are thanking President Bush for this!