Montag, 30. März 2009

Wort des Tages

„Es kommt der Moment, so selten dies auch in der Geschichte passiert, an dem wir aus dem Alten ins Neue steigen, an dem ein Zeitalter endet und die Seele einer Nation, die zuvor lange unterdrückt wurde, ihren Ausdruck findet.“
Jawarhalal Nehru, 1947
bei der Gründung der islamischen Republik Pakistan, einen Tag vor der Befreiung
Indiens aus britischer Herrschaft, am 15. August 1947

Dienstag, 24. März 2009

Offener Brief an die Staats- und Regierungschefs der G20-Staaten

Brief des LEAP 2020 an die Staats- und Regierungschefs der G 20 Staaten.


Sommet du G20 de Londres: la dernière chance avant la dislocation géopolitique mondiale
Lettre ouverte aux dirigeants du G20, publiée en anglais dans l'édition mondiale du Financial Times le 24/03/09

Mesdames, Messieurs,

Il vous reste moins d’un semestre pour éviter que la planète s’enfonce dans une crise dont elle mettra plus d’une décennie à sortir, avec un terrible cortège de malheurs et de souffrance. Cette lettre ouverte de LEAP/E2020, qui dès Février 2006 avait annoncé l’imminence d’une « crise systémique globale », veut tenter de vous indiquer brièvement pourquoi il en est ainsi, et comment éviter cela.

En effet, si vous avez commencé à soupçonner l’ampleur de la crise il y a moins d’un an, c’est dès Février 2006, dans la 2° édition de son « Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin » (GEAB), que LEAP/E2020 avait annoncé que le monde entrait dans la « phase de déclenchement » d’une crise d’ampleur historique. Et depuis cette date, LEAP/E2020 a continué, chaque mois, à anticiper d’une manière très fiable les évolutions de la crise dans laquelle le monde entier se débat désormais. Ce qui nous conduit à vous écrire cette lettre ouverte dont nous espérons qu’elle éclairera vos choix dans quelques jours.

Et cette crise s’aggrave dangereusement. Récemment, à l’occasion de la 32° édition de son bulletin, LEAP/E2020 a ainsi lancé une alerte très importante qui vous concerne directement, vous les dirigeants du G20 : si, réunis à Londres le 2 Avril prochain, vous n’êtes pas capables d’adopter des décisions audacieuses et innovantes en vous concentrant sur l’essentiel, et d’entamer leur mise en oeuvre d’ici l’été 2009, alors la crise entrera à la fin de cette année dans la phase de « dislocation géopolitique généralisée » qui affectera tout autant le système international que la structure même des grandes entités politiques comme les Etats-Unis, la Russie, la Chine ou l’UE. Et vous ne contrôlerez alors plus rien pour le malheur des six milliards d’habitants de notre planète.

Votre choix : une crise de 3 à 5 ans ou un crise de plus d’une décennie?

Hélas, comme rien ne vous a préparé à affronter une crise d’une telle ampleur historique, jusqu’à présent, vous ne vous êtes occupés que des symptômes ou des causes secondaires. Vous avez pensé qu’il suffisait d’ajouter de l’essence ou de l’huile au moteur mondial, sans vous rendre compte qu’il était tout simplement cassé, sans espoir de réparation. C’est un nouveau moteur qu’il faut construire. Et le temps presse car chaque mois qui passe détériore un peu plus l’ensemble du système international.

Comme dans toute crise majeure, il faut aller à l’essentiel. Comme dans toute crise de dimension historique, le seul choix est entre entreprendre au plus vite des changements radicaux et raccourcir considérablement la durée de la crise et ses conséquences tragiques; ou au contraire refuser les changements radicaux en tentant de sauvegarder l’existant, pour ne réussir qu’à prolonger durablement la crise et accroître toutes ses conséquences négatives. A Londres, le 2 Avril prochain, vous aurez ainsi le choix entre résoudre la crise en 3 à 5 ans d’une manière organisée; ou bien au contraire, entraîner la planète dans une décennie terrible.

Nous nous bornerons donc ici à mettre en avant trois conseils que nous considérons comme stratégiques, c’est-à-dire, que pour LEAP/E2020, s’ils ne sont pas mis en oeuvre d’ici l’été 2009, la dislocation géopolitique mondiale deviendra inévitable à partir de la fin de cette année.

LES 3 CONSEILS DE LEAP/E2020

1. La clé de la crise, c’est la création d’une nouvelle devise internationale de référence !

Le premier conseil se résume à une idée très simple : la clé de la crise actuelle se trouve dans la réforme du système monétaire international hérité de l’après-1945 afin de créer une nouvelle devise internationale de référence. Le Dollar américain et l’économie des Etats-Unis ne sont plus en mesure d’être les piliers de l’ordre économique, financier et monétaire mondial. Tant que ce problème stratégique n’est pas abordé directement, puis traité, la crise s’approfondira car il est au coeur des crises des produits financiers dérivés, des banques, des prix de l’énergie, … et de leurs conséquences en terme de chômage massif et de baisses des niveaux de vie. Il est donc vital que cette question soit l’objet principal du Sommet du G20 de Londres et que les premiers éléments de solution y soient lancés. La solution à ce problème est d’ailleurs bien connue : il s’agit de créer une devise de référence internationale (qu’on pourrait appeler le « Global ») fondée sur un panier de monnaies correspondant aux principales économies de la planète, à savoir le Dollar US, l’Euro, le Yen, le Yuan, le Khaleel (monnaie commune des etats pétroliers du Golfe qui sera lancée au 1° Janvier 2010), le Rouble, le Real, … . et de faire gérer cette devise par un « Institut Monétaire Mondial », dont le Conseil d’ Administration reflète les poids respectifs des monnaies composant le « Global ». Vous devez demander au FMI et aux banques centrales concernées de préparer un tel plan pour Juin 2009 avec objectif de mise en oeuvre au 1° Janvier 2010. C’est votre seul moyen de reprendre l’initiative sur le temps de déroulement de la crise. Et c’est le seul moyen de concrétiser la mise en oeuvre d’une globalisation partagée, en en partageant la monnaie qui est au coeur de toute activité économique et financière.

Selon LEAP/E2020, si une telle alternative au système actuel en plein effondrement n’a pas commencé à être préparée d’ici l’été 2009, démontrant qu’il existe une autre voie que le « chacun pour soi », le système monétaire international actuel ne passera pas l’été. Et si certains Etats du G20 pensent qu’il vaut mieux garder le plus longtemps les privilèges que leur procure le statu quo, ils devraient méditer sur le fait qu’aujourd’hui ils peuvent encore influencer de manière décisive la forme que prendra ce nouveau système monétaire mondial. Une fois la phase de dislocation géopolitique entamée, ils perdront au contraire toute aptitude à le faire.

2. Contrôlez l’ensemble des banques au plus vite!

Le second conseil est déjà largement évoqué dans les discussions préalables à votre réunion. Il devrait être donc aisé de l’adopter. Il s’agit de mettre en place d’ici la fin 2009 un système de contrôle des banques à l’échelle mondiale qui supprime tout « trou noir ». Plusieurs options vous sont déjà proposées par les experts. Tranchez dès maintenant. Nationalisez au plus vite quand il le faut ! C’est en tout cas le seul moyen de prévenir un nouvel endettement massif des établissements financiers comme celui qui a contribué à la crise actuelle; et de montrer aux opinions publiques que vous êtes crédibles face aux banquiers.

3. Faites évaluer au plus vite par le FMI les systèmes financiers US, britannique et suisse !

Le troisième conseil touche à nouveau une question très sensible politiquement qui pourtant est incontournable. Il est indispensable que le FMI remette au G20, au plus tard, en Juillet 2009, une évaluation indépendante des trois systèmes financiers nationaux au coeur de la crise financière : ceux des Etats-Unis, du Royaume-Uni et de la Suisse. Aucune solution durable ne pourra en effet être efficacement mise en oeuvre tant que personne n’a la moindre idée des ravages causés par la crise dans ces trois piliers du système financier mondial. Et il n’est plus temps de « prendre des gants » avec des pays qui sont au coeur du chaos financier actuel.

Ecrivez un communiqué simple et bref!

Pour terminer, nous nous permettrons seulement de rappeler que vous avez désormais à restaurer la confiance chez 6 milliards de personnes, et des dizaines de millions d’institutions publiques et privées. Alors, n’oubliez pas de rédiger un communiqué court, qui ne fasse pas plus de deux pages, qui ne contienne pas plus de trois ou quatre idées centrales et qui soit lisible par des non-experts. Sinon, vous ne serez pas lu hors du cercle étroit des spécialistes et vous ne pourrez donc pas ressusciter la confiance du plus grand nombre condamnant ainsi la crise à s’aggraver. Si cette lettre ouverte vous aide à sentir que l’Histoire vous jugera pour ce que vous aurez réussi à faire ou pas lors de ce Sommet, alors elle n’aura pas été inutile. Sachez simplement, que selon LEAP/E2020, vos peuples respectifs n’attendront pas plus d’une année pour vous juger. Une chose est néanmoins certaine : cette fois-ci vous ne pourrez pas dire que vous n’avez pas été prévenu!

Franck Biancheri
Directeur des Etudes de LEAP/E2020
Président de Newropeans


En version PDF ci-après
Mardi 24 Mars 2009
*****
Gipfel der G20-Staaten: Letzte Chance, den Zerfall der öffentlichen Ordnung aufzuhalten
Offener Brief an die Staats- und Regierungschefs der G20-Staaten, veröffentlicht in englischer Sprache in der Welt-Ausgabe der Financial Times am 24/03/09
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

In wenigen Tagen treffen Sie sich in London zu einem weiteren Gipfeltreffen. Aber ist Ihnen eigentlich bewusst, dass Ihnen gerade noch sechs Monate bleiben zu verhindern, dass die Welt in eine tiefe Krise von mindest zehnjähriger Dauer abstürzt? Mit diesem offenen Brief möchte LEAP/E2020, das den Ausbruch der “umfassenden weltweiten Krise“ schon vor drei Jahren vorhersah, Ihnen in einigen Sätzen darlegen, warum es zu dieser Krise kam und wie es möglich ist, weiteren Schaden abzuwenden.

Ihnen ist die Krise erst vor knapp einem Jahr bewusst geworden. LEAP/E2020 hingegen hat schon in der 2. Ausgabe seines GlobalEuropa Antizipations-Bulletin vom Februar 2006 (2. GEAB)vorher gesagt, dass der Ausbruch einer Krise von historischer Bedeutung bevorstehe. Seitdem hat LEAP/E2020 Monat für Monat äußerst präzise Vorhersagen über den weiteren Ablauf der Krise vorgelegt, die gegenwärtig die Welt im Griff hat. Auf Grund dieser Bilanz erfolgreicher Vorhersagen fühlen wir uns berechtigt, Ihnen diesen offen Brief zu schreiben, mit dem wir hoffen, Ihnen Hilfestellung bei den schwierigen Entscheidungen zu geben, die sie in einigen Tagen treffen müssen.

Die Krise wird immer bedrohlicher. In seiner letzten, 32. Ausgabe des GEAB warnten wir vor ihrer weiteren verheerenden Entwicklung. Hier müssen die die Staats- und Regierungschefs der G20-Staaten unbedingt handeln. Wenn Sie auf Ihrem nächsten Gipfel am 2. April 2009 in London nicht geradezu revolutionäre, den Kern des Problems anpackende Entscheidungen treffen und diese Maßnahmen bis spätestens Sommer 2009 umsetzen, wird diese Krise bis zum Ende des Jahres sowohl zum Zerfall des internationalen Systems als auch der öffentlichen Ordnung in den USA, Russland, China und der EU führen. Wenn Sie hier versagen, verlieren Sie jede Möglichkeit der Kontrolle über die Krise und ihre Auswirkungen auf sechs Milliarden Menschen auf dieser Erde.

Sie haben die Wahl: Eine Krise von drei bis fünf Jahren – oder zumindest ein “schreckliches
Jahrzehnt”?


Bis heute haben Sie lediglich an den Symptomen and Nebenwirkungen der Krise herumgedoktert, denn unglücklicher Weise traf diese Krise Sie vollkommen unvorbereitet. Sie verfielen dem Irrglauben, dass es ausreichend wäre, mehr Benzin in den Weltmotor zu schütten, damit er wieder rund drehe; Sie
konnten nicht begreifen, dass der Motor nur noch Schrott war, ohne jegliche Reparaturmöglichkeit. Die Welt braucht einen neuen Motor. Um ihn zu bauen, bleibt immer weniger Zeit. Monat für Monat zerfällt das internationale System mehr.

In schweren Krisen muss das grundlegende Problem angegangen werden. Sie haben die Wahl: Entweder ergreifen Sie radikale Maßnahmen die ein neues internationales System schaffen, womit die Dauer der Krise verkürzt und ihre tragischen Folgen reduziert würden; oder Sie scheuen diesen Schritt und versuchen vielmehr, vom gegenwärtigen System zu retten, was noch rettbar scheint, womit Sie die Dauer der Krise verlängern und ihre verheerenden Folgen noch verstärken. Am 2. April in London können Sie entweder den Weg frei machen, damit die Krise geordnet in drei bis fünf Jahren überwunden werden kann; oder Sie lassen zu, dass die Welt ein schreckliches Jahrzehnt durchleben muss.

Wer werden uns darauf beschränken, Ihnen drei strategische Ratschläge zu geben, von denen wir glauben, dass mit ihnen die Weichen richtig gestellt werden könnten. Wenn die Weichen bis Sommer 2009 nicht entsprechend gestellt werden, wird der Zerfall des internationalen Systems und der öffentlichen Ordnung in wichtigsten Staaten nicht mehr aufzuhalten sein.


DIE DREI STRATEGISCHEN RATSCHLÄGE VON LEAP

1. Der Schlüssel zur erfolgreichen Krisebekämpfung liegt in der Schaffung einer neuen internationalen Reservewährung

Die erste Empfehlung ist eigentlich von der Idee her recht simpel: Reformieren Sie das internationale Währungssystem, das noch ein Kind der Nachkriegszeit ist; schaffen Sie eine neue internationale Reservewährung. Der US- Dollar und die USA – Wirtschaft sind nicht mehr in der Lage, Dreh – und Angelpunkt des internationalen Wirtschafts- , Finanz – und Währungssystems zu sein. So lange dieses grundsätzliche Problem unbeachtet und ungelöst bleibt, wird sich die Krise verschärfen. Denn es ist ursächlich für die Krise der Finanzderivate, Banken, Energiepreise… und für deren Folgen der massiv ansteigenden Arbeitslosigkeit und abstürzenden Lebensstandards. Daher muss dieses Problem unbedingt Hauptgegenstand des G20-Gipfels in London sein; und schon dort die ersten entsprechenden Maßnahmen beschlossen werden. Die Lösung drängt sich auf: Die Schaffung einer internationalen Reservewährung (die man den “Global” nennen könnte) aus einem Korb der Währungen der größten Volkswirtschaften der Welt (Dollar, Euro, Yen, Yuan, Khaleeji -Einheitswährung der Erdöl produzierenden Staaten des Persischen Golf, die im Januar 2010 eingeführt werden soll- Rubel, Real…). Diese Währung wäre von einem “Weltwährungsinstitut” zu verwalten, mit einem Exekutivausschuss, der gewichtet nach der jeweiligen Bedeutung der einzelnen am Global beteiligten Volkswirtschaften zu besetzen wäre. Sie müssen den IWF und die betroffenen Zentralbanken anweisen, einen entsprechenden Vorschlag für Juni 2009 vorzulegen, der bis zum 1. Januar 2010 umzusetzen wäre. Dies ist die einzige Möglichkeit für Sie, ein gewisses Mindestmaß an Kontrolle über die Krisenereignisse wiederzuerlangen. Diese internationale Korbwährung ist die einzige Möglichkeit für Sie zu erreichen, dass das zukünftige internationale Währungssystem gemeinsam gemanagt wird.

Nach der Auffassung von LEAP/E2020 wird,, wenn nicht diese Alternative zum Status quo nicht bis Sommer 2009 auf den Weg ge - und damit der Beweis erbracht wurde, dass gemeinsames internationales Handeln gegen die Krise möglich ist, wird das gegenwärtige internationale Währungssystem wegen des dann einsetzenden nationalen Egoismus und Protektionnismus diesen Sommer nicht überleben. Sollten einige G20-Staaten sich der Illusion hingeben, dass es für sie besser wäre, ihre Privilegien im aktuellen System so lang wie möglich zu bewahren, so sollten sie bedenken, dass heute sie die zukünftige Form des neuen internationalen Währungssystems noch beeinflussen können; wenn erst der Zerfall des internationalen Systems und der öffentlichen Ordnung allgemein erkennbar eingesetzt haben wird, büßen sie ihre Einflussmöglichkeiten ein.

2. Schaffen Sie so schnell wie möglich ein globales Bankenaufsichtssystem

Der zweite Ratschlag ist schon häufig in den vorbereitenden Debatten zum Gipfeltreffen zur Sprache gekommen. Damit sollte er ohne Schwierigkeiten umsetzbar sein. Es geht darum, noch vor Ende dieses Jahres ein globales Bankenaufsichtssystem einzurichten, das alle Steuerparadise abschafft. Von Ihren Ratgebern wurden schon verschiedene Optionen vorgelegt. Seien Sie sich darüber bewusst: Es wird Fälle geben, in denen Sie nicht anders können als Banken zu verstaatlichen! Nur so kann verhindert werden, dass die Banken erneut eine riesige Kreditblase aufblasen werden wie die derzeitige, die ganz überwiegend zur aktuellen Krise beigetragen hat. Nur so können Sie der Öffentlichkeit gegenüber nachweisen, dass Sie sich gegenüber den Bankern durchsetzen können.

3. Weisen Sie den IWF an, die Finanzsysteme der USA, Großbritanniens und der Schweiz zu evaluieren!

Der dritte Ratschlag betrifft eine politisch sensible Angelegenheit, die aber nicht länger bei Seite geschoben werden kann. Es ist entscheidend, dass spätestens 2009 der IWF dem G20 eine unabhängige Evaluierung der drei hauptursächlich für die gegenwärtige Finanzkrise verantwortlichen nationalen Finanzsysteme vorlegt: USA, Großbritannien und Schweiz. Keine dauerhafte Lösung ist möglich, solange nicht klar ist, wie groß der Schaden in diesen drei Pfeilern des internationalen
Finanzsystems ist. Die Zeit für diplomatische Rücksichtnahme gegenüber den hauptsächlich für die Finanzkrise verantwortlichen Ländern ist vorbei.

Schreiben Sie kurtz und einfach Schlussfolgerungen!

Zum Schluss möchten wir Ihnen in Erinnerung rufen, dass Ihre Aufgabe darin besteht, bei sechs Milliarden Menschen und Millionen Unternehmen Vertrauen wiederherzustellen. Deshalb müssen Sie Ihre Schlussfolgerungen auf das Wesentliche beschränken – nicht mehr als zwei Seiten mit höchstens drei bis vier Hauptthesen, die auch ein Laie lesen und verstehen kann. Wenn Ihnen dies nicht gelingt, wird niemand, außer dem engen Kreis von Wirtschafts- und Bankenspezialisten, lesen, was Sie der Welt mitteilen wollen. Damit würde auch nicht das globale Vertrauen wiederhergestellt. Die Krise würde sich unweigerlich verschärfen.

Seien Sie sich bewusst: Die Geschichte wird die Teilnehmer des G20-Treffens nach dessen Erfolg oder Mißerfolg beurteilen. Wenn dieser offene Brief dazu beiträgt, Ihnen das verständlich zu machen, hat er seinen Zweck erreicht. Bis Ihre Wählerinnen und Wähler über Sie urteilen werden, wird höchstens noch ein Jahr vergehen. Dann bleibt Ihnen nicht erneut die Ausrede, das hätte wirklich niemand voraussehen können!

Franck Biancheri
Director of studies of LEAP/E2020
President of Newropeans


Anbei finden Sie die PDF-Version
Mardi 24 Mars 2009
*****
London G20 Summit: Last chance before global geopolitical dislocation
Open letter to the G20 leaders, published in the Financial Times' worldwide edition on 03/24/2009
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your next summit takes place in a few days in London; but are you aware that you have less than a semester to prevent the world from plunging into a crisis that will take at least a decade to resolve, accompanied by a whole series of tragedies and ferment? Therefore, this open letter by LEAP/E2020, who saw the arrival of a « global systemic crisis » as early as three years ago, intends to briefly explain why it happened and how to limit further damage.

If indeed you began to suspect the onset of a sizeable crisis less than a year ago, LEAP/E2020, in the second issue of their « Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin » (GEAB N°2), anticipated that the world was about to enter into the « trigger phase » of a crisis of historic proportions. Since then, month after month, LEAP/E2020 has relentlessly continued to produce highly accurate forecasts of the development of this crisis with which the world is now struggling. For this reason, we feel entitled to write you this open letter which we hope will aid you on the choices you will have to make in a few days.

This crisis is getting more and more dangerous. Recently, in the 32nd edition of its Bulletin, LEAP/E2020 raised an alarm of direct concern to you, the leaders of the G20. If, when gathered in London next April 2nd, you are not able to adopt a number of bold and innovative decisions, focused on the essential issues and problems, and to initiate them by summer 2009, then the crisis will entail a « general geopolitical dislocation » by the end of the year, affecting the international system as well as the very structure of large political entities such as the United States, Russia, China or the EU. Any chance for you to control the fate of the 6 billion inhabitants of the world will then be over.

Your choice: a 3- to 5-year crisis or a decade-at-least long crisis?

Until now you have merely been concerned with the symptoms and secondary effects of this crisis because, unfortunately, nothing prepared you to face a crisis of such an historic scale. You thought that adding more oil to the global engine would be enough, unaware of the fact that the engine was broken, with no hope of repair. In fact, a new engine must be built, and time is running out, as the international system deteriorates further each month.

In the case of a major crisis, one must get to the heart of the matter. The only choice is between undertaking a number of radical changes, thus greatly shortening the duration of the crisis and diminishing its tragic outcome or, on the contrary, refusing to make any such changes in an attempt to save what is left of the present system, thus extending the crisis’ duration and increasing all the negative consequences. In London, next April 2nd, you can either pave the way for the crisis to be solved in an organised manner in 3 to 5 years, or drag the world through a terrible decade.

We will content ourselves with giving you three recommendations that we consider strategic ones in the sense that, according to LEAP/E2020, if they have not been initiated by this summer 2009, global geopolitical dislocation will become inevitable from the end of this year onward.

LEAP'S THREE STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS

1. The key to solving the crisis lies in creating a new international reserve currency!

The first recommendation is a very simple idea: reform the international monetary system inherited post-wwii and create a new international reserve currency. The US Dollar and economy are no longer capable of supporting the current global economic, financial and monetary order. As long as this strategic problem is not directly addressed and solved, the crisis will grow. Indeed it is at the heart of the crises of derivative financial products, banks, energy prices... and of their consequences in terms of mass unemployment and collapsing living standards. It is therefore of vital importance that this issue should be the main subject of the G20 summit, and that the first steps towards a solution are initiated. In fact, the solution to this problem is well-known, it is about creating an international reserve
currency (which could be called the « Global ») based on a basket of currencies corresponding to the world’s largest economies, i.e. US dollar, Euro, Yen, Yuan, Khaleeji (common currency of oil-producing Gulf states, to be launched in January 2010), Ruble, Real..., managed by a « World Monetary Institute » whose Board will reflect the respective weight of the economies whose currencies comprise the « Global ». You must ask the imf and concerned central banks to prepare this plan for June 2009, with an implementation date of January 1st, 2010. This is the only way for you to regain some control over currently unwinding events, and this is the only way for you to bring about shared global management, based on a shared currency located at the centre of economic and financial activity. According to LEAP/E2020, if this alternative to the currently collapsing system has not been initiated by this summer 2009, proving that there is another solution than the « every man for himself » approach, today’s international system will not survive this summer.

If some of the G20 states think that it is better to maintain the privileges related to the « status quo » as long as possible, they should meditate the fact that, if today they can still significantly influence the future shape of this new global monetary system, once the phase of global geopolitical dislocation has started they will lose any capacity to do so.

2. Set up bank control schemes as soon as possible!

The second recommendation has already been mentioned many times in the preliminary debates to your upcoming summit. It should therefore be easy to adopt. It is about creating, before the end of this year, a scheme of bank control on a global scale, suppressing all the system’s « black holes ». A number of options have already been suggested by your experts. Make up your mind now: nationalize financial institutions as soon as is necessary! It is the only way to prevent a new episode of massive indebtment by them (the kind of episode which significantly contributed to the current crisis), and to show to the general public that you have some credibility to deal with bankers.

3. Get the IMF to assess the US, UK and Swiss financial systems!

The third recommendation relates to a politically sensitive issue, which cannot be ignored. It is essential that, no later than July 2009, the imf presents to the G20 an independent assessment of the three national financial systems at the heart of the current financial crisis: US, UK and Switzerland. No sustainable recommendation can be efficiently implemented as long as no one has any clear understanding of the damage caused by the crisis inside these three pillars of the global financial system. It is no longer time to be polite with the countries located at the centre of the current financial chaos.

Write a simple and short statement!

Finally, please allow us to remind you that your task is to restore confidence among 6 billion people and among millions of public and private organisations. Therefore do not forget to write a short statement – no more than 2 pages, presenting a maximum of 3 to 4 key ideas that non-experts can read and understand. If you fail to do so, no one will read what you have to say apart from a narrow circle of specialists, therefore you will not revive confidence among the general public and the crisis will be doomed to get worse.

If this open letter helps you to feel that History will judge you according to the success or failure of this Summit, then it has been useful. According to LEAP/E2020, your citizens will not wait any longer than a year before they judge you. This time at least, you will not be able to say no one warned you!

Franck Biancheri
Director of studies of LEAP/E2020, www.leap2020.eu
President of Newropeans, www.newropeans.eu


Open PDF version below
Mardi 24 Mars 2009

Neues vom Tage

Israel paid high price for little achievements in Gaza

By Moshe Arens
Tue., March 24, 2009 Adar 28, 5769
Last update - 06:42 24/03/2009

The allegations that some of the Israel Defense Forces units that participated in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip deviated from the IDF's standard of ethics need, of course, to be investigated. But it is also high time to ask ourselves what was actually achieved during that operation, and whether there is any reasonable relationship between the costs incurred by Israel and those achievements.

At first sight, the Israeli public was relieved to see the IDF operating in Gaza, well trained and well equipped, unlike the way it appeared during the Second Lebanon War. Israelis were encouraged when the dire predictions that a ground operation in the Gaza Strip would lead to hundreds of casualties among our troops turned out to be groundless. A sign that the IDF had been well prepared for this operation.

But what was the result? The operation did not put an end to the rocketing of Israeli towns and villages in the south, nor did it bring about the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. However, the cost for Israel was not inconsiderable. Israel has paid and continues to pay a high price in the ledger of world opinion for the massive destruction left behind in the Strip and the resulting distress of the civilian population there. That is going to haunt Israel for some time and will, no doubt, lead to considerable hesitation when Israel will be required to respond to the Hamas terrorists' next provocations in the Gaza Strip.

In comparison, the achievements seem close to zero. The operation was halted while rockets were continuing to land in the south with the lame excuse that there was nothing further to be done, and the IDF was withdrawn after having accomplished next to nothing.

The fiasco of the Second Lebanon War is frequently blamed on Amir Peretz, who entered the Defense Ministry with little prior experience in military matters, and inherited a chief of staff, Dan Halutz, who was convinced that air power was the answer to everything. That theory was demolished during five weeks, while Israelis in the north were getting hit by Hezbollah rockets launched by the hundreds against Israel.

An almost audible sigh of relief could be heard from the Israeli public when Ehud Barak, a former IDF chief of staff with a previous tenure as defense minister under his belt, took over from Peretz. He inherited a chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, an experienced foot soldier of sterling reputation. Now matters of defense seemed to be in the best of hands. But we were to be disappointed.

Barak's handling of the Hamas rocket problem had a most inauspicious beginning. For months, while rockets were raining down on Israeli towns and villages, we were told that the correct thing would be done at the right time, and that every passing day was bringing a ground operation closer. The next step was the conclusion of a "cease-fire" with the Hamas terrorists that, according to Barak, was going to lead to intensive negotiations for Shalit's release. As should have been expected, Hamas utilized the "cease-fire" to introduce additional weapons, and especially longer-range rockets, into the Gaza Strip, while Gilad Shalit continued to languish in Hamas captivity.

When Hamas continued to launch rockets against Israel despite the "cease-fire," Operation Cast Lead was finally launched, based initially on heavy aerial bombardments with the attendant collateral damage to civilians and civilian property, and only then were ground troops hesitantly introduced. They were withdrawn before the objectives that should have defined their mission had been accomplished, amid a renewed call by the defense minister for a "cease-fire" with the Hamas terrorists.

Strangely enough, there were great similarities between the Second Lebanon War directed by Peretz and the Gaza operation directed by Barak. Common to both is the erroneous idee fixe that the IDF operation had in both cases succeeded in restoring Israel's deterrence posture. The fact of the matter is that Hezbollah is today much stronger than before the Second Lebanon War, occasional rockets continue to fall on northern Israel, and the threat in the north has not dissipated by any means. Hamas continues to rearm and threaten, while occasional rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The lesson that terrorists cannot be deterred but need to be disarmed has to be learned again and again.

Two successive military failures for Israel are more than enough. We need some new strategic thinking to deal with the serious dangers facing us.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1073485.html


*****

28 hurt in clashes over rightist march in Arab town

By Yoav Stern, Nadav Shragai and Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondents
Last update - 13:06 24/03/2009

28 people were wounded on Tuesday during clashes between police and demonstrators protesting a march by far-rightists near the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.

The far-rightists began the march at 10:00 A.M. and ended it about 45 minutes later. The clashes, however, continued for some two hours after the march had been concluded.

Deputy police commissioner Shahar Ayalon and fourteen other policemen were wounded by stone-throwing demonstrators; twelve Umm al-Fahm residents were hurt in scuffles with police, according to Magen David Adom emergency services. .......

more on: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1073507.html

*****

Time to believe Gaza war crimes allegations
By Amira Hass
Tue., March 24, 2009 Adar 28, 5769
Last update - 12:39 24/03/2009

Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has difficulty believing the soldiers' testimonies that they intentionally harmed Palestinian civilians, because the Israel Defense Forces is a moral army, he said on Sunday.

On the other hand, he believes the soldiers because they "have no reason to lie." Then again, Ashkenazi is convinced that if what they said is true, these are isolated incidents.

Ashkenazi reacted like most Israelis - as though the reports, including those in Haaretz and Maariv, were the first about the Gaza offensive that were issued by someone other than the military spokesman or the military reporters, who rely on him for their information.

But ample information was available from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports, based on statements collected from hundreds of people in the Gaza Strip in January and February. .....

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1073469.html


*****

Poll: 32% of U.S. Jews say Lieberman as FM will weaken link to Israel
By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent
Tue., March 24, 2009 Adar 28, 5769
Last update - 12:09 24/03/2009

32 percent of American Jews say that Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman's appointment as Foreign Minister would weaken their personal link to Israel, according to a poll whose results were released Monday.

The poll, commissioned by dovish Washington pro-Israel lobby J Street, said the respondents said this would happen because his positions "go against their core values." The proportion of respondents who said this under the age of 30 was even higher, standing at 40 percent.

In addition, the poll revealed that 41 percent of American Jews favor an attack on Iran if it acquires nuclear weapons, 40 percent oppose, and 16 percent chose neither.
The poll also showed the overwhelming majority of American Jews (76 percent) favor a two-state solution as the preferred way to end the Middle East conflict.

more on: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1073257.html


*****

New anti-terror strategy warns of chemical attack threat
Anti-terror document says changing technology makes prospect of chemical or biological attack more realistic
Alan Travis, home affairs editor
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 March 2009 11.38 GMT
Article history
Changing technology means the prospect of a chemical or biological terrorist attack in Britain is now more realistic, says the government's updated counter-terrorism strategy published today.
It also discloses that serious preparations are under way in the UK to protect against the use of roadside bombs and other "novel homemade explosives" imported from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The document confirms that the government intends to challenge radical views that "reject and undermine our shared values and jeopardise community cohesion" and it will do this by supporting groups and projects through the £70m-a-year Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) programme.
The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said the government had no intention of outlawing such views or criminalising those who hold them, but she added: "We will not hear these views in silence. We should all stand up for our shared values and not concede the floor to those who dismiss them."………..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/24/anti-terror-strategy-government


*****

US lawmaker: missile threat from Iran exaggerated

By Associated Press | Monday, March 23, 2009 | http://www.bostonherald.com | U.S. Politics
WASHINGTON — A candidate for a top nonproliferation post in the Obama administration played down today the threat from Iran’s long-range missile program as a reason to build a European missile defense system.
Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher is under consideration to be undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, a position that has involved shaping policy on U.S. missile defense plans in Poland and the Czech Republic. As chair of a congressional military appropriations panel, she has been a critic of U.S. long-range missile defense systems.
Her comments come as the Obama administration is reviewing the European missile defense plans and has signaled to Russia that it is willing to reconsider them, if the threat from Iran recedes. Russia has adamantly opposed the European plans, which it believes would undermine its nuclear deterrent and encroach on its interests……….

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view.bg?articleid=1160561

Neue Ausrichtung der US Politik

Roger Cohen: Obama’s Iran Address Will Bring ‘Painful But Necessary Redefinition of Relations with Israel’

March 23rd, 2009

The Israeli-Arab conflict is so murky, so fraught with confusion and distortion that one can only be thankful when a commentator manages to cut through the haze, allowing light to penetrate and illuminate essential truths. This is what Roger Cohen has done with his latest N.Y. Times column praising Pres. Obama’s address to the Iranian people.

Cohen visited Iran recently and spent time with Iranian Jews and is one of the few American Jews who has done so and written about it. Cohen’s trip and columns urging a transformation of U.S. policy toward Iran were perfectly timed with an Obama administration policy review happening roughly at the same time.

The N.Y. Times journalist notes that the speech–which recognized for the first time the Iranian revolution and current regime, and called for a peaceful, negotiated resolution of outstanding differences–was the fruit of the policy review. Gone was the former Bush approach calling Iran a member of the “axis of evil.” Gone were references to “mad mullahs” and Nazi appeasement circa 1938. In their place were carefully crafted notes of pragmatism. An acknowledgment of serious differences, but an accompanying acknowledgment that there should be means to resolve those differences short of war.

You can imagine how much this must rattle Israel’s intelligence agencies, military command, and members of the incoming rightist coalition headed by Bibi Netanyahu (one of those who has claimed that today’s Iran is “Munich, 1938″). The most telling passage in Cohen’s column and one of the wisest statements I’ve read in months on this subject is this:

>>[In his speech], President Obama achieved four things essential to any rapprochement.

>>He abandoned regime change as an American goal. He shelved the so-called military option. He buried a carrot-and-sticks >>approach viewed with contempt by Iranians as fit only for donkeys. And he placed Iran’s nuclear program within “the full >>range of issues before us.”

>>By doing so, Obama made it almost inevitable that one of the defining strategic issues of his presidency will be a painful >>but necessary redefinition of America’s relations with Israel as differences over Iran sharpen.

With this lucid, cogent and scalpel-like appraisal of the future of U.S.-Israel relations, Cohen has cut through layers of detritus laid down by Aipac and pro-Israel forces. It will earn him the enmity of the lobby and Israel’s new rightist leaders. It will earn him the admiration of those who really care about a peaceful future for Israel and its Arab neighbors.

As M.J. Rosenberg and others have pointed out, it’s no accident that Israeli president Shimon Peres delivered on the same day, a bellicose, chutzpahdik address to the Iranian people calling on them to put an end to their slavery to the crazy mullahs by rising up en masse to overthrow them. If you read the text of Peres’ remarks it seems like something out of the Kennedy administration’s disastrous attempts to overthrow Castro via the Bay of Pigs invasion. The address was a ham-handed, grotesque attempt at persuasion using a hammer and anvil instead of reasoned argument (which was what Obama’s speech represented).

I view the Peres address as almost an act of desperation: as if the Israeli hardliners are saying to the U.S. and rest of the world, “we don’t care what direction Obama takes, we’re going to lay down our own marker in this game and devil take the hindmost.” And it may be even worse, Peres and his handlers could be expressing their disgust at Obama’s abandonment of the former Bush administration informal pact with Israel by which both nations agreed that Iran was one of the greatest dangers to world peace. An Israel that expresses disgust with a U.S. president could be a very dangerous partner, one that could “go it alone” and take unilateral military action against Iran. It may take all of Obama’s persuasive rhetoric and even a bit of the stick to rein in Israel as Cohen writes here:

>>Obama’s new Middle Eastern diplomacy and engagement will involve reining in Israeli bellicosity and a probable cooling of >>U.S.-Israeli relations. It’s about time. America’s Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy has been disastrous, not least for Israel’s >>long-term security.

The pro-Israel crowd can cry and moan about Cohen being anti-Israel (and this statement is a very strong one in the context of the U.S.’ former relations with Israel under Bush), but this journalist is anything but a Chas. Freeman. There is no animus here. No shrillness. No railing against Israeli policy. There is just pure lucidity and pragmatism, something that has been missing from U.S. policy toward Israel and Iran for a LONG time.

Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2009/03/23/roger-cohen-obamas-iran-address-will-bring-painful-but-necessary-redefinition-of-relations-with-israel/



Sonntag, 22. März 2009

NATO-Generalsekretär.....

Die USA scheinen die Ernennung des dänischen Premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen als neuen Generalsekretär der NATO zu unterstützen.


U.S. Backs Denmark PM for Top NATO Post
By PASCAL MALLET, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Published: 21 Mar 14:30 EDT (18:30 GMT)
BRUSSELS - The United States has backed Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for next secretary general of NATO, a diplomat said March 21, setting him on track to take the alliance's top job in August.
"The United States has made up its mind. It will support Anders Fogh Rasmussen" as the candidate to take over from Dutch diplomat Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as NATO's top civilian official, the alliance diplomat said.
When asked about Washington's position, a senior U.S. official would only say: "A number of people at the alliance are looking at Rasmussen as a leading candidate but there's been no decision yet, and it takes a consensus."
The United States is the biggest and most powerful of the 26 allies that make up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and its backing for the Danish premier would certainly place him favorite for the post.
On Friday, Rasmussen, 56, declined to speak to reporters in Brussels about his possible candidature, but he has never officially ruled him himself out of the race. Scheffer's mandate ends at the end of July............

>>>more on: http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4000791&c=EUR&s=TOP

Samstag, 21. März 2009

Bald eine neue Währung?

Gibt es bald eine neue Reservewährung?
Schenkt man einer Reuters Meldung vom 18 März 2009 Glauben, könnte dies der Fall sein.

Gemäss Reuters soll eine UNO Experten Kommission, am 25 März, eine offizielle Empfehlung heraus geben.
Die Kommission empfiehlt den US-Dollar durch eine neue Rechnungseinheit als Reservewährung zu ersetzen.
Diese neue Rechnungseinheit soll aus eine Korb aus Währungen bestehen, ähnlich wie es der ECU in der EU war zwischen
1979 und 1998.



U.N. panel says world should ditch dollar

Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:16am EDT

By Jeremy Gaunt, European Investment Correspondent

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - A U.N. panel will next week recommend that the world ditch the dollar as its reserve currency in favor of a shared basket of currencies, a member of the panel said on Wednesday, adding to pressure on the dollar.

Currency specialist Avinash Persaud, a member of the panel of experts, told a Reuters Funds Summit in Luxembourg that the proposal was to create something like the old Ecu, or European currency unit, that was a hard-traded, weighted basket.

Persaud, chairman of consultants Intelligence Capital and a former currency chief at JPMorgan, said the recommendation would be one of a number delivered to the United Nations on March 25 by the U.N. Commission of Experts on International Financial Reform.

"It is a good moment to move to a shared reserve currency," he said.

Russia is also planning to propose the creation of a new reserve currency, to be issued by international financial institutions, at the April G20 meeting, according to the text of its proposals published on Monday.


>>>>>
more on : http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE52H2CY20090318


EGR / 2009-03-21

Donnerstag, 19. März 2009

Wort des Tages

Der letzte Beweis von Größe liegt darin,
Kritik ohne Groll zu ertragen.

Victor Hugo

Neues von der Krise

EU leaders to discuss response to economic crisis

ELITSA VUCHEVA

Today @ 09:24 CET
2009-03-19

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to discuss the best ways to get out of the economic crisis. But despite some calls to spend more to support the bloc's ailing economies, most of the attention is expected to be focused on the need for better regulation of the financial sector and on "fine-tuning" the existing European economic stimulus package.

The EU will aim to reach a strong common position ahead of a G20 meeting in April (Photo: Council of Europe)

The two-day summit comes just as the International Monetary Fund presented the outlines of a gloomy forecast for this year, saying the world economy would shrink by some 0.6 percent, instead of growing 0.5 percent as previously thought.

In the face of the persisting economic turmoil, France and Germany's leaders sent a letter to the Czech EU presidency and to the president of the European Commission on Tuesday reiterating what they see as an urgent need to reform the financial system.

More on: http://euobserver.com/9/27801

**********

Russia backs EU in pre-G20 stimulus debate

LEIGH PHILLIPS

18.03.2009 @ 17:42 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Russia is siding with the European Union ahead of the April G20 summit in London in opposing new stimulus measures and instead putting the focus on regulatory reform. But Moscow has warned against IMF meddling in the social affairs of its neighbours in eastern Europe.

On Tuesday (17 March), Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's economic advisor and negotiator or "sherpa" in diplomatic discussions leading into the London summit met with the head of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's cabinet in Brussels to discuss his country's perspective on the financial crisis.

More on: http://euobserver.com/9/27800

**********

Government borrowing soars to £75bn

Britain's budget deficit soared to a record high last month, threatening to leave the government's budget calculations in tatters, data released this morning showed.

The Office for National Statistics reported that public sector net borrowing (PSNB) reached £8.991bn last month, the highest February figure since records began in 1993.

This pushed the total PSNB figure for the current financial year, starting in April 2008, to £75.2bn – another record.

Economists said today's figures underlined the weak state of the UK public finances. "The fiscal outlook is pretty awful and it is going to take a long, long time to repair it," said Ross Walker of RBS Financial Markets.

More on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/mar/19/government-borrowing-financial-crisis

The Fight of his Life - Der Kampf seines Lebens, oder die Schlacht am Potomac

Gemäss einer Reuters Meldung vom 17 März 2009, wird Robert Gates, der US-Verteidigungssekretär, am 02 April dieses Jahres, nicht an dem NATO-Gipfel in Strassburg teilnehmen.

«In the first months of the Obama administration, however, Gates has taken a lower profile and focused on the traditional terrain of a Pentagon chief, above all the nitty gritty of the defense budget, set at $534 billion for next year. The clearest sign of the switch in focus came at the end of last week when the Pentagon said Gates would take the unusual step of skipping NATO's 60th anniversary summit, jointly hosted next month by France and Germany, to work on the budget. Gates also stayed away from the Munich Security Conference last month. Vice President Joe Biden spoke for the new administration at the gathering, which is often the venue for a major speech by the U.S. defense secretary.» (Reuters)

Bemerkenswert!
Gates fernbleiben an diesen Gipfel ist eine bedeutende und signifikante Nachricht im Rahmen der Wichtigkeit dieses Gipfels, wenn man sich folgendes vergegenwärtigt:

1-) Die Bedeutung des Gipfels, insbesondere mit der Ankündigung der "Rückkehr" Frankreichs in die NATO, und natürlich, die Bedeutung der USA innerhalb der NATO.

2-) Die Bedeutung des US-Verteidigungsminister in der Regierung der Vereinigten Staaten im Allgemeinen und in der Organisation der NATO und bei der NATO. Seine Abwesenheit in diesem Zusammenhang ist ein wichtiges Ereignis.

3-) • Die Bedeutung des ersten NATO-Gipfel der Obama-Administration, nach acht Jahren anstrengende Bush-Administration, und die Bedeutung innerhalb der Verwaltung Obama, von Robert Gates (der einzigen Überlebenden der Bush-Administration)

Warum kommt Gates nicht nach Stassbourg? Aus Desinteresse an der Situation in Europa, oder der NATO kann es nicht sein.
Sein Fernbleiben ist eher mit der äusserst angespannte Lage im Pentagon zu erklären.
Seit einiger Zeit tobt im Pentagon eine bürokratische Schlacht, welche zu extremen Spannungen geführt hat.
Beamten in sensible Bereiche, z.B, in der Materialbeschaffung, werden vereidigt

«Senior Pentagon officials have had to promise they will keep the details of the US military budget secret as the Defense Department prepares to make tough cuts on weapons programs, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

»In an unprecedented move, Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked top military officers and civilian officials to sign non-disclosure forms in which they agree not to reveal deliberations about the politically charged budget. “Everybody who's participating in this process – these are the highest ranking people in this department ... were asked to sign an agreement in which they would agree not to speak to any of the matters that they are working on as part of this budget process,” press secretary Geoff Morrell told a news conference. “This is highly sensitive stuff involving programs costing tens of billions of dollars, employing hundreds of thousands of people and – and go to the heart of national security,” he said.

»Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were among those required to sign, and Gates himself signed the form, Morrell said “This is to reinforce the message that indeed this is classified material. These are highly secret discussions. And we should remember that, be mindful of it, and honor it,” Morrell said. [...]

»The non-disclosure forms may carry less legal weight than the strict security clearances already governing top officials and officers. But the defense secretary's step may have been designed more as a symbolic message to curb leaks about sensitive budget negotiations, analysts said. Gates is “trying to invoke personal loyalty,” said Michael O'Hanlon at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.» (AFP/Yahoo 25 Februar 2009)

Mehrere Vorzeichen hatten uns schon auf wichtige Ereignisse vorbereitet, wir vermuten, dass die entscheidenden Momente des Machtkampfes, um Kostenreduktionen (sprich: Verzicht auf gewisse Waffen-Programme) bevorstehen. Es bestätigt sich was seit längerem vermutet wird, dass nämlich eine grundlegende Reform der Pentagon-Bürokratie bevorsteht.
Und Robert Gates steht da im Mittelpunkt.
Diese Vorzeichen bestätigen, dass Robert Gates es ernst meint mit der Reform.
Der Militärisch-industrieller Komplex ist mit den geplanten Reformen ganz und gar nicht glücklich, sehen doch die Waffenproduzenten ihre Felle davon schwimmen.


Am 16 März 2009 schrieb William S. Lind in einer radikale Analyse:

“What would real reform of defense procurement entail? First, the U.S. government would reform what is being procured. Most current and projected major defense programs are buying weapons and other "systems" that are outdated or simply represent a false understanding of war.

The U.S. government spends tens of billions of dollars on computerized command and control systems that encourage more and more centralization of decision-making. But sound military doctrine calls for decentralized decision-making.

The U.S. Army's Future Contract System, the most expensive current Pentagon program, is a Rube Goldbergian, semi-portable Maginot Line that in combat would collapse of its own internal complexity. The Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter-bomber is another F-111, a flying piano that is useless for the one attack aviation function that really works, supporting ground troops.

Only a handful of the ships the U.S. Navy wants are useful in coastal waters, where future naval actions are likely to be fought. These and many similar "legacy" systems are military museum pieces, designed for wars with the armies, navies and air forces of other states. Serious defense procurement reform would start by canning all of them.”
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Pentagon_Set_To_Sucker_Yet_Another_President_Over_Procurement_Reform_Part_One_999.html


In einem am 17 März2009 im Boston Globe erschienen Artikel schreibt Winslow Wheeler über den Ernst des Reformwillens:

«Yet even some of the Pentagon's fiercest critics, such as Winslow Wheeler of the liberal Center for Defense Information, believe the Obama administration may have a unique opportunity with Gates at the helm. Wheeler, a former Capitol Hill defense aide, noted that Gates has shown a unique toughness, including removing the Army secretary and the civilian and military heads of the Air Force for lapses on their watch.
“That demonstrates there is a spine there,” said Wheeler.» (“Spine” signifiant autant “épine” que “résolution à vous glacer le sang”.)

«As the Bush administration was drawing to a close, Robert M. Gates, whose two years as defense secretary had been devoted to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, felt compelled to warn his successor of a crisis closer to home. The United States “cannot expect to eliminate national security risks through higher defense budgets, to do everything and buy everything,” Gates said. The next defense secretary, he warned, would have to eliminate some costly hardware and invest in new tools for fighting insurgents. What Gates didn't know was that he would be that successor.

»Now, as the only Bush Cabinet member to remain under President Obama, Gates is preparing the most far-reaching changes in the Pentagon's weapons portfolio since the end of the Cold War, according to aides.

»Two defense officials who were not authorized to speak publicly said Gates will announce up to a half-dozen major weapons cancellations later this month. Candidates include a new Navy destroyer, the Air Force's F-22 fighter jet, and Army ground-combat vehicles, the officials said. More cuts are planned for later this year after a review that could lead to reductions in programs such as aircraft carriers and nuclear arms, the officials said.»

Even his closest friends acknowledge Gates is in the bureaucratic fight of his life

«Girding for a showdown with Congress, Gates took the unusual step of making the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other participants in budget deliberations sign nondisclosure agreements to prevent leaks.

»But already lawmakers and defense contractors are preparing to fight back. Lockheed, maker of the F-22 jet, recently launched an ad campaign to protect its fighter. Northrop Grumman, which could face cutbacks to its ship-building programs, has hired consultants to write op-eds. Unions are raising alarms about job losses.

»Even his closest friends acknowledge Gates is in the bureaucratic fight of his life.»
http://www.commondreams.org/print/39574



»Even his closest friends acknowledge Gates is in the bureaucratic fight of his life.»
Dieser Satz verweist natürlich auf die Rede von Donald Rumsfeld am 10 September 2001. Und damit befindet sich Robert Gates in einer Paradoxe Situation.
Als Nachfolger des in Ungnade gefallenen D. Rumsfeld musste er die katastrophalen Zustände der damaligen gescheiterten Reformversuche aufräumen.
Gleichzeitig befindet sich Gates jetzt in der Schlacht seines Lebens gegen Moby Dick, gegen den Militärisch-industrieller Komplex, dieses Monströse System welches sich als Staat im Staat längst sehr Tief eingenistet hat.

Mittwoch, 18. März 2009

Das Grosse Spiel


Ein neues Great Game um Zentralasien?

Im frühen 20. Jahrhundert prägten Rudyard Kipling und Halford Mackinder den Begriff „Great Game“ für die britisch-russische Konkurrenz um Zentralasien. Seit dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion mehrt sich die Zahl derjenigen, die von einem neuen Great Game sprechen. Durch die US-amerikanische Intervention in Afghanistan, den Konflikt um Irans Atomprogramm, Russlands militärisches Vorgehen gegen Georgien und den Run auf die zentralasiatischen Erdgas- und Erdölvorkommen wird diese These gestützt.

Von Sören Scholvin

EM 03-09 • 01.03.2009

Zwei Faktoren erklären die Instabilität Zentralasiens: Erstens sind die Staaten der Region autoritär, korrupt und von einer boomenden Schattenökonomie geprägt. Zweitens konkurrieren dort verschiedene externe Mächte um Einfluss. Hieraus ergeben sich Spannungen, die enormes Konfliktpotenzial bergen.
• Die EU und die USA sind an den zentralasiatischen Ressourcen interessiert, um ihre Abhängigkeit vom russischen Erdgas und vom Erdöl der OPEC zu verringern. Sicherheitspolitisch streben sie danach, durch Demokratisierung und marktwirtschaftliche Entwicklung Rückzugsräume für Terroristen aufzulösen.
• Russland zählt die fünf postsowjetischen Republiken zu seiner Einflusssphäre und versucht, sie sicherheits- und wirtschaftspolitisch über intergouvernementale Organisationen, Pipelines und den Kauf von Förderrechten eng an sich zu binden.
• China hofft, seine Ressourcenversorgung über Zentralasien zu diversifizieren, Entwicklungsimpulse für seine westlichen Provinzen zu erzeugen und so dort separatistischen Bestrebungen entgegenzuwirken.
• Auch Indien, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi-Arabien und die Türkei haben Interesse an Zentralasien. Sie sind jedoch deutlich weniger einflussreich als China, die EU, Russland und die USA.

>>>>>>
more on: http://www.eurasischesmagazin.de/artikel/?artikelID=20090307

Dienstag, 17. März 2009

Chas Freeman hat das Wort

A statement by Chas Freeman
The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency

By Chas Freeman, Middle East Policy Council, March 10, 2009

To all who supported me or gave me words of encouragement during the controversy of the past two weeks, you have my gratitude and respect.
You will by now have seen the statement by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair reporting that I have withdrawn my previous acceptance of his invitation to chair the National Intelligence Council.
I have concluded that the barrage of libelous distortions of my record would not cease upon my entry into office. The effort to smear me and to destroy my credibility would instead continue. I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country. I agreed to chair the NIC to strengthen it and protect it against politicization, not to introduce it to efforts by a special interest group to assert control over it through a protracted political campaign.........

>>>>>more oe: http://warincontext.org/2009/03/10/a-statement-by-chas-freeman/

Aufrüstung im Osten

Russland stellt neuste RS-24-Rakete in Dienst

Gemäss eine Meldung von Ria Novosti von heute 17 März 2009 wird Russland ab dem 05 Dezember 2009 neuen Strategische Raketen in Dienst nehmen.
Die RS-24-Rakete sollen die veralteten RS-18 und RS-20 ersetzen und künftig gemeinsam mit Topol-M (Einfachsprengkopf) die Grundlage der Offensivwaffen der Strategischen Raketentruppen bilden.

>> RIA Novosti: http://de.rian.ru/safety/20090317/120604799.html

Montag, 16. März 2009

The Lobby und die Affäre Freeman, ein Paar Ansichten

March 13 / 15, 2009

The State That Tolerates No Criticism

How Israel Gives Jews a Bad Name

By SAUL LANDAU

Most Jews I know get little pleasure from the existence of Israel; just the opposite. They feel disgusted by the behavior of their tribal kin toward Palestinians. This antipathy doesn’t concern Israel’s right to exist, a phony argument still maintained by hard line Zionists. Israel exists, period. Most of the world recognizes that. Anyone wanting to eliminate it belongs in the loony bin or prison.

Israelis have just elected a right wing majority. The number three vote-getting party, Yisrael Beytenu led by Avigdor Lieberman, will occupy a strong place in the new government. Lieberman will become a Minister in the Netanyahu Cabinet. Last year, Lieberman rammed through Israel’s Central Election Committee a ban on Arab political parties. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled the ban unconstitutional before the recent election. Lieberman also demanded the Knesset expel Arab Members. He went further. If Arab citizens of Israel don’t sign oaths of loyalty to Israel, they should have their citizenship revoked. Disloyalty for Arabs included students wearing kefiyahs to school; Muslim Israelis collecting medicine and aid for Gaza relief also falls into the non-trustworthy category. >>>>>>>>>>>>

>>>>more on: http://www.counterpunch.org/landau03132009.html

**********

March 12 , 2009

Full-Spectrum Penetration

Israeli Spying in the United States

By CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM

Scratch a counterintelligence officer in the U.S. government and they'll tell you that Israel is not a friend to the United States.
This is because Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the U.S..

The fact of Israeli penetration into the country is not a subject oft-discussed in the media or in the circles of governance, due to the extreme sensitivity of the U.S.-Israel relationship coupled with the burden of the Israel lobby, which punishes legislators who dare to criticize the Jewish state. The void where the facts should sit is filled instead with the hallucinations of conspiracy theory -- the kind in which, for example, agents of the Mossad, Israel’s top intelligence agency, engineer the 9/11 attacks, while 4,000 Israelis in the Twin Towers somehow all get word to escape before the planes hit. The effect, as disturbing as it is ironic, is that the less the truth is addressed, the more noxious the falsity that spreads.>>>>>>>>

>>>> more on: http://www.counterpunch.org/ketcham03122009.html

**********


March 16, 2009

The Freeman Affair

by Robert Dreyfuss and Tom Engelhardt


TomDispatch

Because one man, conceding defeat, didn't issue the typical statement indicating that he preferred to spend more time with his family, and instead launched a frontal attack on those who had attacked him, the foreign policy equation in Washington might have changed in discernible ways last week. On withdrawing from his nomination as director of the National Intelligence Council, Charles Freeman, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a rare provocative thinker in Washington, let loose with a broadside against his enemies. Of accusations from the generally right-wing groups and individuals who claim to represent the Jewish community in official Washington, he wrote:

"There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. … This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.".......................

>>>>>>more on: http://www.antiwar.com/engelhardt/?articleid=14408