US announced increased sanctions against North Korea. By now, the result of this kind of policies, in terms of efficiency, remains highly unclear - it was the case for Eastern Europe during communism, for Middle Eastern dictatorships or other rogue states. As it is also unclear what chances for a new beginning as long as the idea of a possible leadership is non-existent.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
A couple of links regarding the recent evolutions in Egypt:
As in other non-free country, the information regarding the health of the main leader is a matter of state secret. Mubarak is 81 ys. old and the rumours on his condition are persistent since the beginning of the year.
The issue of succession was raised repeatedly in the last years, in line with the Western opinions regarding more democratic reforms in the country.
In the same time, it is an important issue to be taken into account the reconfiguration of the whole area and the need for the Western leaders, for building new partnerships.
A special report on Egypt - The Economist
Thursday, July 8, 2010
While in US, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent one hour on Larry King live. Relaxed and extremely diplomatic facing a very much inside-the-box Larry King.
Nothing new in terms of foreign policy steps, but a welcomed intervention in the international media, vital given the very bad image of the state of Israel, in the light of the Mavi Marmara incident. But still:
- Outlining the continuity and the very good relations with the US and the coherence of the dialogue behind the close doors, including with the current administration.
- The need to continue the dialogue with Turkey, what have been done already. He mentioned a recent meeting between one of the representatives of the Israeli prime minister and the foreign minister of Turkey, as one of the opportunities seized by Israel "to stop this deterioration". He outlined the new foreign policy ambitions of Ankara, driving the country out of the West. In the same time, we want to outline, Israel itself is changing focusing on a foreign policy built around the idea of relying on itself and not on any foreign forces. Here it is an example in this respect, we will analyse in a next post soon.
- The generous and stereotypical idea of peace: The state of Israel is open, want this peace, but the answers by far from the side of the Palestinians are not answering this need. The freezing was presented as an extraordinary gesture from the part of the state of Israel, not answered accordingly. "We have the courage to have peace" is an understatement, when rockets are fired daily and you have a soldier captive for four years in the hands of Hamas.
- Very ironic - normal Israeli style - when asked about the relation with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, minimizing her by references to the dialogue he had with her husband.
A very casual encounter, anyway.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Again, a realistic piece of article about the Middle East, from a perspective outlining a dangerously denied side of the story. I am wondering how much ignorance or propagandistic messages - or both - in the sayings of all those who are lecturing about peace, restrain to the use of force, understanding and humanism. States are not intending to do good or wrong, in ethical terms, but to follow their objectives of survival, as much as possible in accordance with the international legislation. In order to have a dialogue, you need two - dia - persons/institutions/entitites respecting each other/recognizing their equal legitimacy to talk. This double life of some representatives of the Palestinians - preaching the victim the day, while sleeping in peace during the night being sure the rockets are continuing to harm people and the territory of Israel - is at least mentally damaging. For sure, it is hypocritical.
I think the syntagm "useful idiots" from Cohen's article, used during the Cold War to describe Soviet sympathizers in Western countries might be used very well for many of the "innocent" peace doves addressing the issues of the Middle East.