( And what's the reason for this crisis? )
My conclusion is that the current identity crisis is caused by two things. One, NATO's inadequate structure which has become irrelevant to the changing global realities. And two, the deepening differences in the vision of NATO's functions, stemming from the different priorities and strategies of the US and the European 'core' (Old Europe). The most immediate example that comes to mind is Afghanistan. There's a striking lack of consensus about the goals of the Afghanistan mission; there are differences even in the assessment of the situation...
Obviously the new concept of the Alliance which will be adopted on its next summit in Lisbon at the end of this year, will define NATO's identity for many years ahead. As we know, every strategy includes setting a number of priorities and ranking them. And that could later tie the hands of those who adopt said strategy. The direction which NATO chooses in Lisbon will define how effectively the organization could address the 21st century challenges, how the situation in Afghanistan will develop and how exactly the Alliance will start to transform and reform.
I'm thinking that it's very important that NATO realizes that the US-centric concept of turning it into a 'global military league of democracies' and thus confronting it to Russia, China (and not only them) would be extremely counter-productive. I hope NATO will adopt the other concept, that of deepening the partnership and cooperation with Russia (which however includes stopping NATO's expansion further toward the Russian borders). Otherwise we're in for another Cold War, given the fact that the US is experiencing increasing geopolitical challenges from several sides, Russia is re-gaining its status, China is lurking around, etc. Those are the realities, and they're very dynamic. Our leaders will soon be standing at a choice - do we want another Cold War? This time maybe with more than 2 players, but still a Cold War. And this should answer the awesome underlankers post about the monopolar / bipolar / multipolar world. Ultimately the question might well be: Do we want another bi/tri-polar confrontation or not?
D.Zhavia claimed this in an interview with BBC.
“It was a mere food poisoning. The diagnose was determined yet on the first day, and every third person in the world often suffers from such poisonings. It is pancreatitis. On the day when he turned to doctors, all of them made this conclusion. I was present there. Later they decided that he must fly to Austria. I was opposed to that, as I was responsible for decisions, and I was one of the closest [to Yushchenko]. Because the proposed clinic had nothing in common with pancreatitis or anything similar. It was a cardiology center”, the lawmaker stressed.
He asserts that the version of Yushchenko’s poisoning was though out in his electoral headquarters.
This video examines the last 200 years of British colonialism; particularly in relation to Africa, Israel and Iraq. Don't mind the music, it's a bit melodramatic. Also, please be warned that this video contains images of deceased persons...
Courtesy of an article by Junaid Khan, here's some of the dialogue (more or less paraphrased) from the video:
( Some thoughts )
Santa Cruz, the wealthiest province in Bolivia, dominated by European settlers, post-colonial clans and gas monopolies, is staging a referendum for broad autonomy from the central government. The results expectedly brought victory to the pro-autonomy camp as Morales' urge to his supporters and the indigenous peoples to boycott the vote and thus sabotage it, had failed; and the result will now prompt further secession aspirations in 5 other provinces (out of 9) which have also scheduled referendums. This has been in direct defiance of Evo Morales' policies of centralised governance, and means that the poorest country in South America (which has been compared to a "donkey sitting on a treasure") will become even more fragmented (now not only socially, but also territorially, after so many failed wars which have cut its territory in half). And the silent revolution of the indigenous majority which peaked with Morales' election for president, is now threatened to be crushed by the counter-revolution of the big old business. The irony is that the people of Santa Cruz are those who'll suffer ultimately. Because their votes might be courted now, but later, when they demand to pick up the benefits from their autonomy, they'll awaken to the ugly reality that they've been tricked once again, and the corporatocracy is the sole beneficient from the changing political landscape of Bolivia.
Did anyone really believe that the silent social revolution which swept across all Latin America would remain unchallenged too long?
Chavez, you're next.
Top US diplomat Condoleezza Rice said Friday she was "very concerned" about a Russian decree to boost cooperation with two separatist Georgian regions, as her office urged Moscow to scrap it.
U.S. and EU urge Russia to back off Georgia
The United States and European Union urged Russia on Friday to reverse a strengthening of ties with separatist regions of Georgia that has alarmed the government of the former Soviet republic.
...But Kosovo was immediately recognized by the US & EU, why not Ajaria and South Ossetia? Where's the difference?
Oh yes, I got it! Russia hasn't bombed Georgia yet.
Sanctions eased in row with Georgia
President Putin has ordered a “normalising” of relations with Georgia and the lifting of economic sanctions two days after Russia angered the country by announcing closer ties with two breakaway Georgian regions —- Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The Australian government apologized Wednesday for years of "mistreatment" that inflicted "profound grief, suffering and loss" on the country's Aboriginal people.
New Prime Minister Kevin Rudd read the apology Wednesday to Aborigines and the "Stolen Generations" of children who were taken from their families... (link)
I'm trying to imagine a similar thing happening one day in America, the blessed Land of the Free... Still trying... almost got it... Uh! No, sorry... I sortof can't shape it out.
SA did it, the Aussies did it, so can the presumably most advanced chunk of civilization on Earth do it? Blah. I've always known I'm too utopian, but now this is too much.
Mr Slim has overtaken Bill Gates as the world's richest person
Mr Slim, 67, is estimated to have $59bn (£29bn), while Mr Gates is said to have $58bn, the magazine reported.
Mr Slim's wealth has grown by $12bn this year, based on the market value of the firms he owns.
The ranking echoes an earlier rich-list by Mexican financial website Sentido Comun, which also put Mr Slim first.
In early July, the Mexican website said Mr Slim's fortunes had grown significantly after a 27% surge in the share price of his largest company, America Movil, in which he has a 33% share.
According to Fortune magazine, Mr Slim's portfolio of firms represent a third of the Mexican stock market.
But the tycoon - the son of Lebanese immigrants - appeared unimpressed by the title.
"It's water off a duck's back to me. I don't know if I'm number one, number 20 or number 2,000. It doesn't matter," he said.
Earlier this year Mr Slim overtook US investor Warren Buffett as the number two richest person, according to Fortune magazine.
Mr Slim started his business life in property before investing in a stock brokerage, a bottling company, and, more recently, the telephone sector.
Mr Slim also owns the Inbursa financial group and the Grupo Carso industrial conglomerate, whose investments include retail stores and restaurants.