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I asked a young French official at the Commission, a socialist, whose views I value, his reactions to my post of 4 October on Financial meltdown post-Congress. Here is his response: – I’m torn between radicalism (the system is rotten, let it die) and cynical pragmatism (that’s capitalism, you can try to tame it, you… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the US Administration and Congress have agreed a financial bail-out for the ravaged financial services industry. Whether or not it will succeed remains to be seen, but no deal would have been disastrous. This is so far the greatest of the “unknown unknowns” – a nearly… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The United States is leaderless.Europe is leaderless; the world is leaderless. Russia and China are not leaderless but their world roles are very limited – and a vacuum does not remain a vacuum. The conclusion is obvious. As Charlemagne wrote in this week’s Economist, “there is a place for Europe in the new world order.… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

President Bush “made explicit the goal of maintaining U.S. military superiority over any other nation or group of potential adversaries.” The pursuit of permanent military supremacy has been an ongoing objective of the current White House. Coupled with the country’s economic strength, the generally accepted view was that American hegemony was assured for the foreseeable… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

A lesson from the Maharal

There are two roads to peace, according to the Maharal (the famous Chief Rabbi of Prague in the 16th century): separation or active co-existence. Of these, only the latter is durable. Although there is no overall consensus, European thinking – whether about Russia, China, Iran or wherever, tends to favour integration. This is should not… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

An OSE ‘Niet’

It comes as no surprise that China has not supported Russia over its intervention in Georgia or its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. What is surprising is that Moscow either expected a different reaction or does not care. There were no crumbs of comfort for Putin and Medvedev at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

R2P understood

I recommend to you the lecture given by Gareth Evans, President of the International Crisis Group, in Singapore on 5 August which contains a clear explanation of the concept of the “responsibility to protect”, commonly referred to as “R2P”. The “responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”, which… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Georgia still on my mind

Kishore Mahbubani rightly points out (see post of 22 August) that, while the West sees Georgia as the underdog against Russia, others see Russia resisting the bullying West. The gap “between the western narrative and the rest of the world could not be greater.”The US would not tolerate Russia intruding into its geopolitical sphere in… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Does anyone believe in the effectiveness and usefulness of the United States missile defence system? Is it a scam, as Gwynne Dyer argues, an ‘emperor’s new clothes’ syndrome, or both? Since Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars project was launched in 1983, over $100bn has been spent. The ballistic missile defence system currently being considered is designed… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

At this time of US confrontation with Russia and failure in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, it is well worth reading the 34th President’s Farewell Address of January 1961. It is sad but obvious that the 43th President has not read it. The messages delivered are particularly pertinent coming from a Republican and a former general,… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick