The Gulf Today, December 18, 2010
The neoconservative magazine Commentary came up in its November 2010 issue with a cover story written by Wilfred M McClay, headlined “The report of our death was greatly exaggerated.” The subtitle read: “The Conservative resurgence.”
The subject has become in the USA a part of a large polemics in which some of the protagonists seem to enjoy the happy art of constructing bubbles. If the issue were about “killing off the intellectual opposition through the unilateral declaration of its demise” as McClay put it, then yes, it may be as “amusing” as “durable.” But the point is that people who announced the “symbolic” death of American conservatism were not so much interested in winning the elections than in researching the causes behind emptying up the intellectual debate from its substance. Continue reading Fundamental differences
The Gulf Today, December 11, 2010
While the US diplomacy is facing enormous challenges and — thanks to WikiLeaks — is suspected of duplicity, basic questions that normally would go unnoticed came back to the limelight, and clear answers are needed more than ever. But the challenges are not related only to the US diplomacy. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in a special issue of Foreign Policy (Dec.2010), challenges are “testing American leadership” on a global scale, from “violent extremism, to worldwide recession to climate change to poverty…” Yet, Clinton thinks America is still the nation that willingly accepts a political responsibility for “mobilising action.”
The question is: why? Why should America “volunteer” for such an action? As Two American diplomats (Harry W Kopp and Charles A Gillespie) put it in a recent book titled Career Diplomacy: “Why does the United States need its foreign service?” “Does the work they do need to be done?” “And if so, could others do it better or more efficiently?” Continue reading Diplomacy and risk society
The Gulf Today, December 4, 2010
As ironical and good-humoured as it may sound, the piece of Thomas Friedman “From WikiChina” (New York Times, Nov.30) offers an insightful, though imagined, vision about how the Chinese sees America today. The unbelievable Revolution of information that truly defines our age and of which WikiLeaks’ revelations were perhaps just glimpses is still in the making. The revolution is not over.
The funny point is that even China, with its paranoid nomenklatura and security construction, will not be able to resist the Revolution of the transparency age. We have already seen how Google reacted against the Chinese who hacked the email addresses of exiled opponents. One can also imagine that as the Pentagon and the State Department secrets have been unveiled, we may see next the Chinese and other nations cultivating secrecy being stripped off their clothes and exposed to the eyes of billions of people across the world. The Revolution being still in march there will be nothing to hide anymore. Continue reading Changes
The Gulf Today, November 27, 2010
In the last days of October 2010, the London-based Asharq Al Awsat ran a report saying that Israel and the US administration were holding secret negotiations and discussing a new peculiar option: Israel would lease land in East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley from the Palestinian state for 40-99 years, in exchange for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Although US and Israeli officials refused to comment the report, the Arab newspaper cited Palestinian and Egyptian sources confirming the story. Continue reading Confusion