Spectacolul ideilor pe hartă

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

18/febr/2010 Marea lecţie a Istoriei (sau ce au în comun Fukuyama şi Miss Univers 2009?) (2/2)

Marea lecţie a trecutului este că Istoria merge mai departe

Adrian Cioroianu

(2/2; pentru prima parte, aici)

Cum stau lucrurile azi? La nici 150 de ani după ce Harriet B. Stowe publica romanul “Coliba unchiului Tom”, Barack Obama a devenit primul preşedinte de culoare al SUA. Zidul Berlinului nu mai este, dar s-au înmulţit alte ziduri (de beton sau de sârmă ghimpată) între evrei şi arabi în Cisiordania, între Egipt şi Fâşia Gaza, între texani şi mexicani etc. Marea Baltică şi Marea Neagră ar putea redeveni lacuri ruseşti dacă B. Obama se va dovedi slab şi dacă Moscova va convinge Parisul să-i vândă nave de luptă din clasa Mistral. Un procent de 10% din populaţia Greciei îl reprezintă imigranţi veniţi în ultimii 20 de ani. Temperaturi de -10 grade Celsius distrug în Florida recolte în valoare de sute de milioane de dolari, în timp ce topirea calotei nordice pare a împinge Rusia, Canada şi Norvegia spre o inevitabilă confruntare pentru bogăţiile din pământurile şi apele polare.

Din ce stat provine Miss Kosovo?

Cele mai “îmbătrânite” state din lume sunt Japonia, Italia şi Germania (cu vârsta medie peste 42 de ani), iar printre cele mai tinere se numără Yemen, Afganistan şi Angola (16 ani vârsta medie!). La polul tinereţii în Europa se află Kosovo (52% din populaţie sub 27 de ani) – singura problemă fiind că nu toată Europa vede acolo acelaşi lucru. În decembrie trecut, Miss Kosovo s-a clasat pe locul 3 la concursul Miss Universe 2009 – iar sutele de televiziuni din zecile de state (inclusiv România) care au transmis parada nu s-au întrebat dacă ţara brunetei Gona Dragusha este sau nu formal recunoscută la ONU.

Nici Fukuyama şi nici Huntington nu mai sunt în topul bibliotecilor: mai nou, Robert Kagan “demonstrează” de ce Fukuyama s-a înşelat[i], Fareed Zakaria ne spune că trăim într-o lume în care China, India, Indonezia sau Brazilia vor face regulile[ii], iar Christopher Caldwell ne avertizează că Europa catedralelor va deveni Eurabia, sub valuri de imigranţi musulmani[iii].

Evident, nici unul dintre aceşti autori nu va avea cu totul dreptate – tocmai pentru că fiecare propune propriul său “sfârşit al Istoriei”. În definitiv, Fukuyama şi Dragusha cunosc viitorul lumii la fel de bine precum se cunosc între ei – adică deloc. Din simplul motiv că marea lecţie a trecutului este că Istoria merge mai departe şi nu se dezvăluie în avans nimănui.

[i] The return of history and the end of dreams, Ed. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2008

[ii] Lumea postamericană, Ed. Polirom, Iaşi, 2009

[iii] Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Ed. Doubleday, New York, 2009

– text publicat în revista Historia, nr. 2 (98), februarie a.c.


by Adrian Raeside

18 februarie 2010 Posted by | Geopolitica, Intelo, Istorie | , , , , , | Lasă un comentariu