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23/febr/2010 În această seară, o emisiune TV despre „fenomenul Radio Europa liberă”

astăzi, la ora 22.00, postul Tv Vox News propune o discuţie pe marginea „fenomenului Radio Europa liberă„, alături de Liviu Tofan şi prof. Adrian Cioroianu.

Cei interesaţi pot da curs şi invitaţiei studenţilor Facultăţii de Istorie din Bucureşti pentru o dezbatere cu acelaşi subiect, joi 25 februarie a.c.

23 februarie 2010 Posted by | avanpremieră, Intelo | , , , | Lasă un comentariu

23/febr/2010 Provocări inedite la adresa Americii – şi Occidentului (2/2)

Provocări inedite la adresa Americii – şi Occidentului

Adrian Cioroianu

2/2  (vezi prima parte, aici)

Cert este că în momentul de faţă superputerea ce întruchipează modul de viaţă occidental – mă refer la SUA – se află într-o situaţie inedită. În opinia mea, marile provocări la adresa Americii, în acest moment, nu se află numai în talibanii din Afganistan, în programul nuclear al Iranului sau în creşterea economică de neoprit a Chinei. America administraţiei Obama are, mai nou, greutăţi vizibile cu unii dintre aliaţii săi tradiţionali. Discut, în cele ce urmează, trei astfel de cazuri: Turcia, Israelul şi Japonia.

 i) Pentru intersele Americii în Europa de Sud-Est, în Estul Mediteranei, în Asia Mică şi în Orientul Mijlociu, Turcia este un partener indispensabil. La fel pentru soliditatea alianţei NATO la Marea Neagră. În acest moment, pur şi simplu Washingtonul nu-şi poate permite pierderea ca aliat a Ankarei. Şi totuşi, guvernul turc al lui Erdogan a dat în ultimii ani sesizabile semne de nervozitate la adresa lumii occidentale. Motivul: Uniunea Europeană rămâne indecisă în privinţa primirii ca membru a Turciei (Franţa sau Germania se opun deschis), iar aceasta din urmă reacţionează apropiindu-se de statele musulmane din aria culturală şi istorică a fostului Imperiu Otoman (precum Siria, Irak ş.a.). Erdogan şi preşedintele iranian Ahmadinejad şi-au zâmbit tandru şi s-au îmbrăţişat anul trecut, într-o mult-discutată întâlnire. În paralel, relaţiile dintre Turcia şi Israel au atins în 2009 un minimum istoric, ajungându-se recent la cvasi-scandaluri diplomatice. Pe cale de consecinţă, un curent de opinie încărcat de suspiciune la adresa Americii (şi Occidentului) îşi face loc în societatea turcă, pentru care SUA rămân pe mai departe (ca în ochii tuturor statelor musulmane) protectorul principal al Israelului.

ii) Dar, paradoxal, în acest moment relaţiile dintre SUA şi Israel pun ele însele probleme! Spre deosebire de lumea occidentală europeană, în care cota preşedintelui american este în continuare ridicată, în statul evreu Barack Obama este sub un semn al întrebării tot mai apăsat. La Tel Aviv, guvernul Natanyahu (de dreapta) se teme că Obama ar fi nemeritat de “diplomat” cu Iranul şi exagerat de concesiv cu palestinienii. Bineînţeles că adevărul este la mijloc, ca întotdeauna. Dar cert este că, la ora actuală, negocierile israelo-palestiniene par mai împotmolite decât erau în 2008, iar Iranul este mai ameninţător ca niciodată. Guvernul israelian şi administraţia americană au avut şi mai au reale neînţelegeri atunci când discută termenii prealabili ai negocierii cu partea arabă. Or, aici avem o veritabilă axiomă: dacă un preşedinte american nu dă un impuls negocierilor israeliano-arabe în prima parte a mandatului, atunci în partea finală îi va fi mult mai greu.

În fine, iii) poate că cea mai surprinzătoare cvasi-contestare la adresa Americii vine din Japonia. Sub noul guvern de stânga al premierului Hatoyama, Japonia pare a fi mai atentă şi mai amabilă la adresa Chinei decât este la adresa aliatului care-i garantează securitatea, SUA[i]. De fapt, Hatoyama a câştigat anul trecut alegerile promiţând că va pune în discuţie aspecte ale prezenţei militare americane în arhipelagul nipon. În momentul de faţă, Tokyo şi Washingtonul încă negociază mutarea unei baze a US Air Force pe insula Okinawa – dar populaţia de aici se opune cu îndârjire şi nici autorităţile nu par mai entuziasmate de idee. Repet: situaţia este cu atât mai surprinzătoare cu cât America a fost în ultimii 50 de ani şi rămâne şi azi principalul garant al securităţii Japoniei.

Aşadar, contestarea la adresa Americii, în acest moment, pare mai “multipolară” decât a fost oricând în ultimii 50 de ani şi cu mult mai accelerată şi deschisă decât oricând în ultimele două decenii. Detaliul care pentru noi contează este acela că, dacă America răceşte, democraţia, peste tot în lume, va tuşi puternic.


[i] “Japan’s love-bubbles for China”, în The Economist, 30 ianuarie a.c.

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– text publicat în revista Scrisul românesc, nr. 2 / februarie a.c.

23 februarie 2010 Posted by | Geopolitica, Intelo | , , , , , , | Lasă un comentariu

23/febr/2010 EURAST recomandă: Fareed Zakaria – Ar fi bine (sau nu) ca SUA să atace Iranul?

O analiză exemplară asupra unei ipoteze avansate de lideri ai Partidului Republican din SUA: ar fi bine (sau nu) ca Statele Unite să atace preventiv Iranul, mai înainte ca regimul Ahmadinejad să-şi ducă ţara în „clubul nuclear”?. Fareed Zakaria expune avantajele şi, mai ales, dezavantajele unei asemenea opţiuni – EURAST

Don’t Scramble the Jets. Why Iran’s dictators can be deterred

By Fareed Zakaria | NEWSWEEK
Published Feb 19, 2010; from the magazine issue dated Mar 1, 2010

Sarah Palin has a suggestion for how Barack Obama can save his presidency. „Say he decided to declare war on Iran,” she said on Fox News last week. „I think people would perhaps shift their thinking a little bit and decide, well, maybe he’s tougher than we think he is today.” Such talk is in the air again. Palin was picking up the idea from Daniel Pipes, a neoconservative Middle East expert who suggested a strike would reverse Obama’s political fortunes. (Actually, Palin attributed the idea to Patrick Buchanan, but obviously entirely misread Buchanan’s column, which opposed Pipes’s suggestion. It’s getting tiresome to keep pointing out these serial gaffes, but Palin does appear to be running for president.)

The International Atomic Energy Agency warned last week of its „concerns” that the Iranian regime was moving to acquire a nuclear-weapons capability, not just nuclear energy. But this does not change the powerful calculus against a military strike, which would most likely delay the Iranian program by only a few years. And then there are the political consequences. The regime will gain support as ordinary Iranians rally around the flag. The opposition would be forced to support a government under attack from abroad. The regime would foment and fund violence from Afghanistan to Iraq to the Gulf. The price of oil would skyrocket—which, ironically, would help Tehran pay for all these operations. (foto: Reuters – Newsweek)

It is important to recognize the magnitude of what people like Sarah Palin are advocating. The United States is being asked to launch a military invasion of a state that poses no imminent threat to America, without sanction from any international body, and with few governments willing to publicly endorse such an action. Al Qaeda and its ilk would present it as the third American invasion of a Muslim nation in a decade, proof positive that the United States is engaged in a war of civilizations. Moderate Arab states and Muslim governments everywhere would be on the defensive. As Washington has surely come to realize, wars unleash forces that cannot be predicted or controlled.

An Iran with nuclear weapons would be dangerous and destabilizing, though I am not as convinced as some that it would automatically force Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey to go nuclear as well. If Israel’s large nuclear arsenal has not made Egypt seek its own nukes—despite the fact that the country has fought and lost three wars with Israel—it is unclear to me why an Iranian bomb would.

The United States should use the latest IAEA report to bolster a robust containment strategy against Iran, bringing together the moderate Arab states and Israel in a tacit alliance, asking European states to go further in their actions, and pushing Russia and China to endorse sanctions. Former secretary of state James Baker suggested to me on CNN that the United States could extend its nuclear umbrella to Israel, Egypt, and the Gulf states—something that current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has hinted at as well.

At the same time, Washington should back the Green Movement, which ultimately holds out the greatest hope for a change in the basic orientation of Iran’s foreign policy. It remains unclear how broad or well organized this movement is, but as a matter of long-term strategy, we should support groups that want a more modern and open Iran.

Can we live with a nuclear Iran? Well, we’re living with a nuclear North Korea (boxed in and contained by its neighbors). And we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union and communist China.
Iran, we’re told, is different. The country cannot be deterred by America’s vast arsenal of nukes because it is run by a bunch of mystic mullahs who aren’t rational, embrace death, and have millenarian fantasies. This was never an accurate description of Iran’s canny (and ruthlessly pragmatic) clerical elite. But it’s even less so now.

The most significant development in Iran has been the displacement of the clerical elite by the Revolutionary Guards, a military organization that is now the center of power. Clinton confirmed what many of us have been pointing out over the last year and warned of an emerging „military dictatorship” there. I’m not sure which is worse for the Iranian people: rule by nasty mullahs or by thuggish soldiers. But one thing we know about military regimes is that they are calculating. They act in ways that keep themselves alive and in power. That instinct for self-preservation is what will make a containment strategy work.

Fareed Zakaria is editor of NEWSWEEK International and author of The Post-American World (Lumea postamericană, Ed. Polirom, Iaşi, 2009)

23 februarie 2010 Posted by | Geopolitica | , , , , , , | Lasă un comentariu

23/febr/2010 Sunt interesate Rusia şi China în stoparea ambiţiilor nucleare ale Iranului? – analiză TNR

O analiză neconvenţională din revista americană The New Republic despre politica Rusiei şi Chinei faţă de ambiţiile nucleare ale Iranului, în contextul încercării administraţiei americane Obama de a contura o poziţie comună în negocierile cu Teheranul – EURAST

Bombs Away. The real reason why Russia and China aren’t interested in stopping Iran’s nuclear program

Matthew Kroenig

The New Republic, February 9, 2010

As President Obama begins a push to impose harsher economic sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, his success will be determined largely by the answer to a single question: Will China and Russia get on board? In order to bite, sanctions must be enforced by the rest of the international community, but, so far, Beijing and Moscow have been reluctant to endorse the toughest penalties advocated by Washington.

Many analysts and policymakers wrongly assume that this reluctance is a function of these countries’ economic ties with Iran, or their failure to appreciate the proliferation threat. Last week, for example, Hillary Clinton bluntly challenged China’s approach to Tehran, saying, “[W]e understand that right now it seems counterproductive to you to sanction a country from which you get so much of the natural resources your growing economy needs. But think about the longer term implications.” The real reason for Beijing and Moscow’s obstinacy, however, is much more fundamental, and from Washington’s point of view, much more distressing: China and Russia are not particularly threatened by, and may even see a significant upside to, a nuclear-armed Iran.

To understand this point, we must first consider why the United States, China, and Russia–or any other country for that matter–should fear nuclear proliferation. Of course, there are the concerns of accidental nuclear detonation, nuclear terrorism, or even nuclear war. But these are all extremely low probability events. The primary threat of nuclear proliferation is that it constrains the freedom of powerful states to use or threaten to use force abroad.

The United States’ global power-projection capability provides Washington with a significant strategic advantage: It can protect, or threaten, Iran and any other country on the planet. An Iranian nuclear weapon, however, would greatly reduce the latitude of its armed forces in the Middle East. If the United States planned a military operation in the region, for example, and a nuclear-armed Iran objected that the operation threatened its vital interests, any U.S. president would be forced to rethink his decision. As then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained in 2001, nuclear weapons “could give rogue states the power to hold our people hostage to nuclear blackmail–in an effort to prevent us from projecting force to stop aggression.”

This line of thinking is not unique to the situation with Iran. In nearly every historical instance of proliferation, beginning with China in the 1960s, the United States opposed nuclear proliferation in large part because it wanted to preserve its military freedom of action. Indeed, the 2008 National Defense Strategy issued by the Pentagon explicitly states that the American military will achieve its objectives by “shaping the choices of key states, preventing adversaries from acquiring or using WMD, strengthening and expanding alliances and partnerships, securing U.S. strategic access and retaining freedom of action.”

Some analysts argue that we shouldn’t worry about proliferation in Iran because nuclear deterrence will work, much like it worked during the Cold War. But from Washington’s point of view, this is precisely the problem; it is more often than not the United States that will be deterred. Although Washington might not have immediate plans to use force in the Middle East, it would like to keep the option open.

China and Russia, on the other hand, lack the ability to project power in the region. China has recently been recognized as an economic superpower, but its military is still relatively weak. Indeed, military analysts doubt that China could successfully invade Taiwan, a small island roughly 100 miles off China’s coast. Major military operations in the Middle East, therefore, will be out of the question for decades to come. Similarly, Russia lacks a meaningful ability to project power in the region. The Soviet Union was a global superpower, but its military might collapsed along with the Iron Curtain. Russia’s clumsy invasion of Georgia in the summer of 2008 only served to reveal the limits of its military power. In fact, the state of Moscow’s conventional military has sunk so low that Russia’s most recent national security strategy relies heavily on nuclearforces simply to achieve basic defense goals.

An Iranian bomb, then, won’t disadvantage China or Russia. In fact, it might even help them. Neither country has hidden its desire to hem in America’s unilateral ability to project power, and a nuclear-armed Iran would certainly mean a more constrained U.S. military in the Middle East. Indeed, at times during the 1980s and 1990s, Beijing and Moscow aided Tehran with important aspects of its nuclear program. While we don’t have detailed information on the motives behind the assistance, we do know that governments don’t export sensitive nuclear technologies for economic reasons alone. Rather, as I show in my forthcoming book, they generally do so in an attempt to hinder their enemies. For example, France helped Israel acquire the bomb in the late 1950s and early 1960s in order to balance against Nasser’s Egypt, and China provided nuclear aid to Pakistan in the 1980s to impose strategic costs on its longtime rival India.It is likely that China and Russia’s nuclear assistance to Iran waspartly intended as a counterweight to American power in the Middle East. Although these countries no longer actively aid Iran’s nuclear program, they may still secretly welcome its development.

If any country fails to understand the strategic consequences of a nuclear Iran, then, it is not Russia or China, but the United States. Disproportionately threatened by proliferation, American officials will struggle to convince others to join their fight against the spread of nuclear weapons. They must prepare to live with a nuclear-armed Iran, or, if they cannot do that, they must stop Tehran’s nuclear program themselves.

Matthew Kroenig is an assistant professor of government at Georgetown University and the author of Exporting the Bomb: Technology Transfer and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons.

23 februarie 2010 Posted by | Geopolitica, Intelo | , , , , , , | Lasă un comentariu