I found this post by CNN's Eason Jordan. He confesses the news he suppressed about the brutality of the Ba'athist/Saddam regime when CBN was negotiating for a bureau in the capital. Lots of bloggers have opined on the subject. My take: if a news organization can't do straight reporting in a country or is spied on or the local staff is intimidated, don't bother establishing a presence.
The supression distorts the reporting thus the perspective. Had CNN not had offices in Iraq, the news organization would've had less compunction to pull its punches. A few straight reporting of the facts of lving under Saddam might've hastened the regime's demise earlier. Journalists, like Jordon have just learnt a painful lesson about tyrannies, you can't reform them, you can't change them for the better, you can do nothing for them except to undermine them, as effectively and as early as possible.
Hier, le Figaro a publié les propos de Wolfowitz Selon le sous-sécretaire, la France devra payer un prix pour son opposition contre la guerre pusique son comportement a été néfatse pour l'OTAN. A oui? Et quoi du comportement de la Turquie pendant le conflit?
Le refus législatif turquois avait serieusement mis en péril le plan de guerre américain et aurait peut-être prolongé la guerre d'une semaine et plus sans compter les peurs de Turcs envers les Kurd irakiens et les giséments du pétrole dans Kirkuk. Mais selon Wolfowitz cet act honteux ne mérite pas des gaves sanctions puisqu'on excuses les législateurs turcs pour leur inexpériences, etc. Quelles bêtises!
Honnêtement je me demande encore que-ce-qu'ils ont en tête ces neo-conservateurs à châtir la France d'un côté mais de l'autre de la louer pour ses efforts en Afghanistan et même d'y permettre les survols des avions américans pendant la guerre- chose que la Turquie avait empêché en aumentant ses revenidactions pour les privilèges.
La sule chose qui vient à l'espirt c'est que les neo-conservateurs en veux de Chirac et donnent des signaux aux opposants au sien du droit français d'une 'lumière verte de soulèver une fronde. C'est à voir que les néo-conservateurs ont en tête en actualité.
Yesterday I passed by the Chicagoboyz blog and I came across 2 lengthy posts by Sylvain and Johnathon. They responded at length to some comments I wrote about their respective posts. I had an original handwritten draft in rebuttal to the the original posts but Sylvain's update compelled me to rewrite it extensively. I also want to elaborate a point that I wabnmted to make to Sylvain's original post that I botched in the comments box. Hopefully, my exposition will clear up any misunderstanding that we had.
I criticized Johnathon's proposal of simplying the green card procedure to get as many of the best and brightest from France as poaching. I, undoubtedly, struck a nerve as he wrote a very long post denouncing me at length.I found his characterization of my views of French- and Cubans- as state property to be disingenious. I endorse labour mobility and everyone's right to find employment opportunities even if they're in another country. Nonetheless, I found Johnathon's proposal smacked of unnecessarily antagonizing France for no other reason than a mischevious sense of glee while the French are dumb enough to be suckered. Further, why didn't he propose to extend the proposal of simplifying to the Germans, Turks, Russians and Chinese who also opposed the war as well? Shouldn't their best and bright take refuge in America from their own elites too?
Johnathon further contends that if enough of the best and brightest emigrate, the domestic governments will be held accountable during elections, simply isn't borne out by the Canadian experience. No government, federal or provincial, has ever lost an election due to the ongoing brain drain nor has the population agitated for far-reaching reforms to stem the trend. Moreover, brain drains are permanent; once people leave, they never come back. Indeed even if the countries suddenly adopted far-reaching reforms that addressed the causes of emigration, those that have left won't come back. So I sincerely doubt that the ordinary Frenchman will factor the brain drain when voting for the next legislature or president.
Implicitly, governments are probably glad to see them go. As best and the brightest, those emigrants would be 'troublemakers' always agitating for reforms and changes. It's too bad that too many governments have such an abysmal short-sightedness and don't realize their loss until it's too late.
So what does all this have to do with 'poaching?' It's one thing to encourage people to come to America, it's quite another to actively seek them out in their own countries with an attitude of: hey your country sucks why do you do it and yourselves a favour and leave? Not exactly a way to endear yourself with others nor a politic means to encourage reforms.
Sylvain's post I think is due to a mutual misunderstanding. I read his original post about how the French foreign legion would be an interesting institution for America to adopt as a way for loyal non-citizens to obtain citizenship. I wanted to make in passim cultural remark that given America's underlying, historical Protestantism, a foreign legion is alien to the country's understanding of itself and that such an armed institution would be contrary to the former's principles. Sylvain's subsequent post went off on a tangent about what was wrong with French views of America and how willfully mendacious French intellos are in their discussion of American society and politics (a view I share), before he finally came around in making a persuasive case that there are many other ways to grant citizenship to loyal non-citizens. The foreign legion model was but one idea. Others would be more appropriate to America's principles. I concur with the thesis and think the argument is an interesting one that Canada should look into.
I came across this post by Geitner. It's the last sentences that crystallized a growing concern of mine: the rise of the globocop foreign policy; or in more prosaic political science jargon: the adoption of a moralistic foreign policy to rid the world of rogue regimes.
The adoption of the globocop foreign policy will cause direct tensions with American self-perceptions as the lighthouse of democracy, tolerance, capitalism ,etc. Further, the policy will unnecessarily antagonize like-minded countries. Some Americans might insult them as cowardly, weak-willed, dastardly and other phrases of disrespect whenever the latter propose non-violent alternatives to a given international situation. The like-minded countries would soon regard America as an out of control sheriff who's the first to lock and load and organize a posse.
Indeed, if America and Britain's policy is to rid dictatorships; is Zimbabwe next? What of Cuba? North Korea? They're not facetious questions but raise troubling concerns about the implications of the globocop foreign policy. Do we really to affect a neo-colonial attitude in the 21st century? Have we really learnt anything about the wars of national liberation or have we just reverted to yet another demonstration of the white man's burden? What a dismally patronizing attitude: the darkies and wogs are genetically incompetent to establish stable polities; so we'll have rule for them. How is that any different than to France's current African policy?
I hope that everyone ponders the significance of the Iraqi war, the subsequent victory, when the application of violence is justified or not.
One last thought: I understand Geitner's reservations with respect to establishing a democratic polity with the concomitant social, political, ideological and yes, ethical characteristics. I don't share to the same extent Geitner's reservations, I'm somewhat more hopeful. The Iraqis are people and desire the same universal impulses as everyone else: the capacity to live their lives with dignity under peace and ordered tranquillity; a regime that respects them and they reciprocate, an economic system that permits them to participate in the production, distribution and maintenance of goods and services; and a hope that the future will be better for their kids.
I concede that I might have a too rosy view of Iraq and a distressingly naive perspective of the people. Yet in my defence, I'd simply plead that we have to encourage them to reorganize their polity so that it fulfils their aspirations. The rest of the world can help out; but in the end, it's the Iraqis that have to take responsibility for their country.
At the risk of provoking a firestorm among the bloggers, Blix's
I've been quite consistent at my blog that I was never persuaded by the secondary argument that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Of course, his behaviour and that of the regime's would certainly have led a reasonable person to conclude that Iraq had weapons of mass production in its possession. Unfortunately, after 20 days of war, there has as of yet been no smoking gun revelations of the al-Samoud, SCUDs missiles nor chemical precursors nor biological substances.
I'm quite aware that the country has not yet undergone a rigorous inspection regimen. we also still don't have any information on the role of the Special forces to neutralize the use of those weapons. So I concede that my skepticism could very well be refuted and Blair vindicated. Nonetheless, I always found the original argument to be more cogent: that Saddam's defiance of the U.N. resolutions and the organization's complicity by not obliging Iraq to comply threatened to destroy the international system that everyone's so enamoured with. Had Bush and Blair argued in that fashion, the world's skepticism would've been more muted.
I passed by Geitner's blog when I came across this post. Personally, I'm fed up with how insufferable some Americans have become. I'm irked at how many of the Americans- officials, commentators, bloggers and ordinary people- are practically rubbing their hand in glee and gloating of how they'll retribute against all those countries that opposed the war via economic boycotts and shutting them out of Iraqi reconstruction.
Canadian businesmen are understandly freaking out but I wouldn't worry to much. The Canadian and American economies are so closely integrated that if the Americans boycotted Canadian products, the effects would be immediately felt- by the next factory shifts. I'm not kidding. Many American and Canadian companies have adoptd just in time manufacturing processes. Just in time requires a tightly coordinated schedule of shipment. If for any reason there's a disruption, the American companies will immediately suffer.
Retibution would cause so much blowblack that it would blacken the practioner's faces. Case in point: softwood lumber. Most Americans are quite unaware that its government has imposed an 18,72% tarrifs on Canadian softwood lumber. Big deal some Americans might say. perhaps until they realize that's where the majority of their home building lumber comes from. In fact, some American senators from both parties is currently lobbying the executive to rescind the tarrifs. The senators fear a slowdown in housing starts will ripple throughout the economy and aggravate even more a weak economy
And the list goes on. Land transport, I include lake/waterway transport. Even movies. Many American companis film in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. The labour's less expensive thanks to the low Canadian dollar and some targeted subsidies, location is great- not too far from home and convenient- the equipment can be trucked instead of flown.
I find the desire to take revenge on those countries that opposed the war foolsih because the revenge will escalate from a tit for tat skirmish and end up with a full blown world recession. If it did come to pass that Americans boycott Canadian goods and services, it would merely confirm a latent suspecicion that the Bush Administration is insincere about its free trade position. Economic boycotts would only confiirm my suspicions that deep down Americans want the world to adopt free trade wholesle while they do so selectively. Anglo-American capitalism is so demanding that not even its practicioners totally abide by it.
Ce qui m'avait frappé du commentaire du Colby c'est que l'Anglosphère ne fera que antagonsier innécessairement le Québec. Je suis d'accord avec quelque reserves. Comment mes lecteur connaissent que je en suis un exemple d'un scéptique de l'Anglosphère. Si on l'entend comme un phenomène essentialiste et non pas comme une reseau d'histoire, institutions, langue et culture communs.
James Bennett, le orginateur de ce concept ne tombe pas dans ce piège et il a dénoncé cette tendence à confondre l'Anglospère comme reseau par phenomène essentialiste. Malheureuesement, beaucoup des commentateurs de blogues oublissent ce sage conseil et fustigent les Francophones comme des pourris, lâches, voyaux; bref de représenter tous les maux de l'humanité. C'est une attitude malheureuse en plus d'injustifiable car de présumer que l'Anglospère constitue la phare de l'humanité réveillera les anciennes rancunes entre les Anglophones et Francophones qui ne servent absoluemment rien outre que distraire les citoyens d'autres priorités plus présantes
I must say this posts by Dave Trowbridge- and I really feel remiss in not recommending before now to visit his blog. He's written, what to my mind, is a rather persuasive case for working with international institutions like the European Union, NATO and even the UN. I, myself, favour fundamental reforms in many of the various institutions (and no they don't involve expelling France; chastising it suffices; isolating doesn't) yet placing reasonable checks and balance on America's international power is as horrendous as some bloggers assume.
If like minded countries ally together due to common interests as well a shared outlook, what's so appalling of the junior allies sometimes the senior member to After all, if democratic/democratizing countries of the Willing coalition, like Poland and Spain, share similar goals and coalesce over common interest wouldn't America benefit from their insights, experiences, perspectives as well? Davis Hanson reminds us that one of the strengths of western society, as exemplified by its military, are debates, financial auditing, constitutional oversight of political decisions and informed consent by the population.
Consequently persuading or dissuading America from taking a course of action isn't necessarily a hostile towards America or its interests. Allies don't let allies undertake imprudent policies.
Hier Jeffery Simpson, journaliste chevronné de la BBC a rapporté avec de vidéo extraordinaire mais horripilante d'une incient d'un tir fracticide. Au nord d'Irak en route vers Kirkuk, il avait un convoi de combattants kurdes et des soldats américains de Forces spéciale. Ce convoi avait trouvé un char T 55 abandonné et ils decidèrent de l'incoporer dans leur convoi. Un officer américain appèle un avopin pour leurs donner de la couverture aérienne et pilonner les positions irakienne plus loin.
Malheureusement, l'avoin avait pris ce convoi comme irakien et a laché cses bombes.
Ce qui m'outre de cette incidente c'est que les tirs fracticides avait été déjà indentifées comme une grave problems lors de la première guerre du Golfe 12 années auparavant et rein d'a été faite. Pireje trouve que la Force aerienne américane incluque une agressivité insousante qui met en péril tous le monde y compris les alliés. Les Canadians et les Britanniques l'ont vécue et ils ont plus peurs des pilotes américains que de l'ennemi.
Un système d'indentification ami/enemi urge. Ça doit être la première priorité de la Coalition et les autres pays alliés. C'est inexcusable que le taux de fracticide soit si haute compte tenu de la technologie qu'existe présentement. Question de volonté sans doute.