Thursday, January 01, 2009

Japan as a bold policy-maker?

The editorial of the Asahi shimbun of January 1st often is a big piece expected to influence the year ahead. Here is an extract:

"Japanese people long for a bold policy vision that transcends simple short-term measures to stimulate job creation and economic growth. They also want strong political leadership that will realize the vision.

The age when economic growth was the top priority has ended. Japan should be rebuilt in line with a drastic change to our sense of values.

Such a grand vision could focus on the environment, education or welfare. It should be designed to concentrate resources on crafting a decent future for the nation and job creation. Again, strong political leadership is essential to realize this grand vision.

The unipolar world dominated by the United States is now being replaced by a multipolar world where countries like China and India are gaining increasing clout. Given the growing importance of international cooperation to overcome the crisis and protect the environment of the planet, political leadership has a crucial role to play...

... Will the upcoming Lower House election in Japan, which must be held this year, shape up as a similar sea change for the nation? The 20 years since the end of the Cold War have led the nation from the heyday of the bubble economy to this glum new year, a period of constant turmoil.

Voters must now be more critical of the nation's politics than ever before."

"C'est le premier matin du monde"

Guercino (1591-1666)

C'est le premier matin du monde.
Comme une fleur confuse exhalée de la nuit,
Au souffle nouveau qui se lève des ondes,
Un jardin bleu s'épanouit.

Tout s'y confond encore et tout s'y mêle,
Frissons de feuilles, chants d'oiseaux,
Glissements d'ailes,
Sources qui sourdent, voix des airs, voix des eaux,
Murmure immense,
Et qui pourtant est du silence.

Ouvrant à la clarté ses doux et vagues yeux,
La jeune et divine Ève
S'est éveillée de Dieu.
Et le monde à ses pieds s'étend comme un beau rêve.

Or Dieu lui dit : Va, fille humaine,
Et donne à tous les êtres
Que j'ai créés, une parole de tes lèvres,
Un son pour les connaître.

La chanson d'Eve
C. V Lerberghe

Belle année pour 2009 aux lecteurs d'Asian Gazette

Sunday, December 28, 2008

William Pfaff: "The Question of American Incompetence".

Ough, a tough guy this Mr. William Pfaff! Following the Gaza bloodshed, provoked or unprovoked between Middle-East Hamas and the harsh riposte of the Israelis armies, endorsed by Secretary Rice, I came to look at the current situation in Iraq* with this article I had in my recent files: From William Pfaff: The theme is about "The conclusions of the report on American reconstruction of Iraq" It included the following statement:

Five years after embarking on its largest foreign reconstruction project since the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II, the U.S. government has in place neither the policies and technical capacity nor the organizational structure that would be needed to undertake such a program.” I would think this should be written in fiery letters over the portal of the future president Barack Obama’s National Security Council. W. Pfaff writes.

Pfaff article describes the issue of "American official policy" under GW Bush. Beyond incompetence, some are raising concerns of Human Rights abuse and trial of US soon to be ex officials to avoid a complete loss of trust into the US policies, be political, economical or financial, or societal and human rights policies.

"A 513-page federal report on the American-led reconstruction of American-destroyed Iraq, which has proven to be a $100 billion disaster, incorporating ignorant assumptions, waste, organizational chaos, bureaucratic and personal rivalries, lies, and incompetence."

So much to do to the world most favorite new US president of Barack Obama, celebrated on the global scale as a remedy after the Bush disastrous "axis of incompetence."

The culture of war and the role of war in the US history and fascination for war and for 19th Century alike war mongers is a constant in American history according to Christophe Jaffrelot, Director of the CERI at Sciences Politiques school, Paris. Basically against minor States since WWII.

Other views are related to the questioning by Asian leaders of the reliability of the American leadership from now on. Well, hum... good luck Barack to say the least.

Click the title of this post to access to William Pfaff article "The Question of American Incompetence"

* Iraq is traversed by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, whose valley was the site of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia. It was conquered by Arabia in the 7th century and from 1534 formed part of the Ottoman Empire. After World War I, a kingdom was established, although the country was under British administration until 1932. Saddam Hussein came to power as president in 1979. From 1980 to 1988, the country was at war with Iran, its eastern neighbor. In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait; it was driven back by an international coalition of forces in the Gulf War of 1991. The U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and captured Saddam Hussein. Sovereignty was transferred to an interim government June 28, 2004, but U.S. forces remained in Iraq amid rising chaos.