The Global Village

 

Chaos theory for political order in the Arab world

Par Rouba al-Fattal le 10 juin 2011

Al-Fatal_Ruba.jpgAs a Board Member of the EuroArab Forum in Brussels and a “specialist” on the Arab world, I am asked daily of what I think is going to happen in the Middle East. Let me be frank, as much as I wish I could predict the future to my own satisfaction, nobody knows what the final outcomes will be. Political analysts and pundits may quench the public thirst for information by providing their sophisticated forecasts, but their chances of getting it right at this early stage are as good as playing the roulette.

Once Again-Burning Qu'rans

Par David T. Jones le 21 avril 2011

Washington, DC - So Florida-based pastor Terry Jones is back for another bite at the 15-minutes-of-fame apple.
This time, however, the consequences of his campaign against the Qur'an has had fatal effects.  His largely unremarked "trial" and "execution" by burning of a Qur'an occurred almost completely without notice in North America.  One assumes that this lack of media attention in the United States/Canada was deliberate (one 15 minutes of fame per eccentric claimant) with the appreciation that publicity could have invidious effect.

Montreal’s ‘Socratic’ dialogues City conference cites ‘Canadian Model’ as a working plan for a ‘post-crisis world’

Par P.A. Sévigny le 21 avril 2011

bandage_globe.jpgNinety nine years to the day after the R.M.S. Titanic hit an iceberg and sank while trying to break a trans-Atlantic speed record on its way to New York, Professor Kimon Valaskakis and his New School of Athens are determined to devise the means by which the world’s assorted economies can avoid similar disasters.
“We must face the facts,” said Valaskakis. “The recent financial earthquake caused a socio-political tsunami which has spread all the way from the Persian Gulf to Madison, Wisconsin.”

Creative Destruction in Japan

Par Robert Presser le 21 avril 2011

Some may recall the teachings of Joseph Schumpeter, the Austrian economist (1883-1950) who advocated the concept of creative destruction.  Schumpeter argued that old economic models or investments had to be destroyed in order to liberate the financial and human capital to undertake new, innovative and more profitable ventures.  For the first time since the end of WWII, a major developed economy has suffered an economic calamity of the scale deserving an analysis under Schumpeter’s model.  The question is whether Japan, as an economic and social society, is prepared to seize this moment to radically change its economic model, or if it will miss the moment and re-create what has not served it well over the past 20 years.

...THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM

Par Alan Hustak le 21 avril 2011

 

wall.jpgA trip to Jerusalem is an act of faith no matter what your convictions.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel but it is not by any stretch of the imagination, an exclusively Jewish city. It throbs with a brash energy, pulsates with Semitic and Slavic rhythms and resonates with a sense of shared history unequalled in any other place on earth.
In  the words of one writer, it remains “a golden object of desire,” a site for pleasure, prayer and pilgrimage.

 

The Montreal Dialogues: Solutions for the post-crisis world New School of Athens global initiative brings leaders to Montreal on April 14th at ICAO

Par Alan Hustak le 27 mars 2011

 

NSOA_02.jpgPoliticians, economists, political scientists and sociologists will be gathering in Montreal  on April 14th to examine the flaws in the world’s financial and social policies and at the same time consider why some countries, Canada in particular, have weathered the recent economic meltdown better than others.The Canadian Model: Strategic lessons for the post-crisis world,  is the second of nine global conferrences sponsored by the New School of Athens and is aimed at determining what about globalization works and what doesn’t.

 

New START Had It Easy

Par David T. Jones le 16 février 2011

On December 22, 2010, the Senate having spent much time wailing and gnashing teeth approved the New START Treaty with Russia.  From the language, one could have thought its advocates believed it to be the arms control's Second Coming (or at least a much accelerated new millennium) while its opponents characterized it as a cup of hemlock for the Republic.

Haiti and the scandal of The Global Fund

Par Mischa Popoff le 16 février 2011

Your hard-earned tax dollars have been pouring into Haiti since the earthquake last year and things have only worsened. Here’s a thought... maybe money and aid aren’t the answer.It is now crystal clear that The Global Fund, although much ballyhooed, is totally corrupt. This is the high profile charity that pretends to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and which benefits from lucrative, high-profile support from the likes of U2 front-man Bono, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and France’s First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. The United States and Canada have pledged to give a whopping $10 billion to this fund for various third-world improvement projects, including Haiti. But if the fund can’t even keep its own affairs straight, we must demand that our politicians stop contributing to it immediately.

Democracy in the Arab world

Par The Hon. David Kilgour le 16 février 2011

As more and more Arab countries turn their backs on autocracy, Canada can be a key player in encouraging democratic governments to take hold.
In the 22 member states of the Arab League, many people now appear to be turning their backs on autocracy, declaring to themselves and the world that governance of, by, and for the people is a universal value.

Victory in November: Opportunities and Perils for Republicans

Par David T. Jones le 27 décembre 2010

Washington, DC - The Republican Party, having won a substantial victory in the November 2 election, is about to encounter that existential challenge.  Be careful of what you ask for; you may get it.

Five Reasons Why I'm Not Neutral

Par Lauryn Oates le 27 décembre 2010

five_reasons.jpgAs the Taliban now run shadow governments in all but one of Afghanistan’s provinces (the Panjshir) amounting to a government-in-waiting, and one by one NATO governments announce their withdrawal dates, there is a glum resolve here among many aid workers that one day very soon the government we may be dealing with in Kabul will be a Taliban one. And so some are starting to seek engagement with the Taliban now, hoping they might be more accommodating than the miserable years of 1996-2001, when the overwhelming majority of organizations fled, and those who stayed, worked within bizarre and frustrating restrictions, many of which barred aid to women and girls. Overall, the restrictions and the fickle and unpredictable behaviour of the host government then meant aid simply could not reach all of the most vulnerable, and many lives were lost as a result.

Des parlementaires du monde entier émettent une déclaration sur l'antisémitisme: Cotler mène la CILA à un accord historique

Par Beryl Wajsman le 27 décembre 2010

icca.jpgDes parlementaires de six continents étaient sur place pour émettre le Protocole d'Ottawa - un document qui représente la coopération globale dans la lutte contre l'antisémitisme à la fin de la deuxième conférence de la Coalition interparlementaire de lutte contre l’antisémitisme (CILA), cofondé par le député de Mont-Royal Irwin Cotler. La conférence était la plus grande de sa sorte, et a donné l'occasion pour que les délégués puissent explorer des données et échanger sur les meilleures manières de combattre l'antisémitisme autour du monde. La CILA rassemble 46 pays et plus de 250 parlementaires du  monde entier pour mener le combat contre la résurgence de l'antisémitisme global. 

Obama’s Recovery from Ahmadinejad’s Politics

Par Rouba al-Fattal le 27 décembre 2010

Two are not fit for a political office: the religious man, if he is sincere, and the true intellectual. The religious system is based on sacred constants, while the political system is chaotic based on constantly changing variables. No compromise can exist on religious dogmas, but politics is the art of negotiation and settlement. Policy maneuvers are not void of plots and deceptions, while bargaining is off-limits to the true religious, either you accept all of God’s commands or you exit the circle of the pure faithful. So, how could a dogmatic cleric turn into a professional politician?

OBAMA’S CRISIS: Aftermath - The "No Fun" Zone

Par David T. Jones le 4 novembre 2010

 

obama-hope-shelter.jpgThis is the time of "spin." The Democrats sound as if they were victims of an IED blast, delighted to have only lost an arm and a leg instead of two of each.  The Republicans sound like roosters believing that the sun rose because they crowed.
The reality check is more complex.  The Democrats were sharply defeated, losing the House of Representatives, but not as catastrophically as was predicted earlier in the summer.  And, they retained control of the Senate, saving their vulnerable majority leader Harry Reid.  Moreover, Democrats gained a great, oft unmentioned prize:  the governorship of California, which will assist them substantially in the 2012 presidential election.

 

OBAMA’S CRISIS: The political junkies meet

Par Dan Delmar le 4 novembre 2010

us_election_party.jpgA steady stream of beer, wine and fried snacks were being served to patrons crammed into the John Sleeman Pub on Peel St. as they watched U.S. election events unfold last week on big-screen TVs, cheering and jeering with every development. The atmosphere had all the markings of a major sporting event, but the crowd wasn’t watching the Canadiens losing to the Blue Jackets. They were watching the Democrats lose the House of Representatives to the Republicans and almost lose the Senate as well.



Confronter le grand mensonge - L'affaire Al-Durah: ACT for Canada hosts Karsenty

Par P.A. Sévigny le 4 novembre 2010

karsenty_1.jpgPour la majeure partie de la planète, ça fait plus d'une décennie que le monde entier a vu le vidéoclip où le jeune de 12 ans Mohammad Al-Durah a supposément été tué par une volée de balles israéliennes près du carrefour de Netzarim dans la Bande de Gaza. À l’intérieur de quelques heures après que le caméraman Talal Abu Rahma ait filmé le corps du garçon se trouvant à côté de son père blessé, le journaliste français Charles Enderlin a ajouté un commentaire audio où l'histoire entière a été réduite en un court reportage qui a par la suite été télévisé à la télévision française et plus tard diffusé au monde entier à travers l'Internet.


Take back the right to be offensive

Par David T. Jones le 4 novembre 2010

After nine years of carefully navigating between the Scylla of global revenge against the Muslim world for 9/11 and the Charybdis of insisting Islam is inherently peaceful with the 9/11 terrorists depicted as nonreligious miscreants, we have gone aground.  
Americans are now impaled on the Constitutional imperative of First Amendment "free speech"-- which we have made even more a national shibboleth than the right to bear arms.  Over the years, it has mattered not that many other countries have scuttled free speech and/or neutered it in practice (if it might be interpreted as "hate speech," it must be foregone or punished).  We have exulted in discord.

Burma’s Potemkin Election

Par l'Hon. Irwin Cotler le 4 novembre 2010

This week, Burma will hold its first election in two decades. In the last election – May, 1990 – the National League for Democracy, lead by Aung San Suu Kyi – now an honourary Canadian citizen -- won in a landslide. Rather than taking office as Prime Minister, Suu Kyi was promptly placed under house arrest where she has remained for fifteen of the last twenty years. The military junta, which had ruled the country continually since a coup d’état in 1962, continued its reign – as if an election never even occurred.

SORENSEN

Par Beryl Wajsman le 4 novembre 2010

JFK.jpgSo often today, throughout the free nations of the West, we seek leadership. Not simply the elected kind that confuses bookkeeping with boldness and social engineering with social progress. We seek the kind of leadership that with clarity, candour and courage gives us confidence in ourselves and realistic hope for our nation. The kind of leadership that dares to care, refuses to merely run between the raindrops and does not let focus groups and polls determine its vision and values. This week one of the last ties to one of the last such leaders died. Theodore Chaikin Sorensen passed away at the age of eighty-two from complications of a stroke.

While the Arab League Slept: The EU and cooperation

Par Rouba al-Fattal le 9 septembre 2010

There is no denying that the EU lacks a clear strategy when it comes to the Mediterranean in particular and the Arab world in general, as Abdullah Baabood posits. EU’s strategy has indeed oscillated over the past fifteen years between promoting free-trade and democracy multilaterally, to fostering bilateral cooperation with attached conditions, to lifting the conditionality all together and scraping the human rights and democracy questions off its wish-list in what can be described as a series of reactive policies in response to the oil crisis, EU’s own enlargement, and terrorism threats. It is also true that the EU’s policy towards the region was a factor in deepening divisions between the Mediterranean and the Gulf states, and that there is “much to gain by linking the EU’s various policy threads with different Arab countries”, even more in fostering a Euro-Arab agenda instead of the exclusive and divisive EU-Mediterranean vision. 

The Iranian threat: A clear and present danger

Par l'Hon. Irwin Cotler le 22 juillet 2010

Ahmadinejad’s Iran – a term used to distinguish the regime from the people and publics of Iran who are themselves the targets of massive domestic repression – has emerged as a clear and present danger to international peace and security, to regional and Mid-East stability, and increasingly – and alarmingly so – to its own people.
Simply put, we are witnessing in Ahmadinejad’s Iran the toxic convergence of four distinct – yet interrelated – dangers – the nuclear threat; the genocidal incitement threat; state-sponsored terrorism; and the systematic and widespread violations of the rights of the Iranian people.

Auschwitz- Birkenau and Confronting Contemporary Antisemitism

Par The Hon. David Kilgour le 22 juillet 2010

demonstration-downtown.jpgRecently, my wife Laura and I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau before attending a conference on democratic governance in nearby Krakow. The two large camps, about four kilometres apart and preserved by the Polish Parliament in 1947 as monuments to the Holocaust/Shoah, are undoubtedly the most inhuman scenes we visitors from around the world had ever seen.     
Our guide told us many things, including the fact that last year alone the two sites received about 1.2 million visitors. If only many more people of all ages from everywhere, including Canada, would come, some of the world's Holocaust deniers might mute at least this feature of their antisemitism.

Chinese money

Par Prof. Thomas Velk le 22 juillet 2010

On June 19th China’s central bank, called The People’s Bank of China, announced that it will “increase the renminbi’s “exchange-rate flexibility”, meaning that the U.S. dollar cost of buying Chinese money (also termed “Yuan”) might go up.  And so everything that the West buys from China, ranging from computer parts, TVs, heavy machinery and plastic toys to edamame (the Chinese supplied “Japanese” soy beans you eat in Asian restaurants) and London Cabs (the firm is owned by China’s Geeley company) may cost a bit more.

Ben and Barry: Just a few New Flavors

Par David Solway le 22 juillet 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu can count himself lucky. The press has made much of the humiliation he suffered at the hands of Barry (aka Barack) Obama who, during their recent encounter, left him to stew for an hour in the White House reception room while the president enjoyed a leisurely dinner “with Michelle and the girls.” This was plainly no way to treat a visiting head of government, but let’s face it, it could have been much worse.

La place du Québec dans le monde: Les liens existants et non-utilisés!

Par Alain-Michel de Perlicroix le 10 juin 2010

 « Le Québec est et sera une Nation à jamais »! Si ma mémoire ne me trahit pas, ce sont les paroles de feu Robert Bourassa à la suite de l’échec des pourparlers du Lac Meech. Loin de toute politique politicienne et me considérant cet immigrant, né dans un pays tiers, élevé en Europe et installé au Canada depuis plus de vingt ans, je ne peux que considérer cette phrase réaliste et vraie. Oui, le Québec est une Nation à part entière. Quant au choix de rester au sein du Canada ou de prendre son indépendance, ce sera aux Québécois et aux Canadiens de le décider ensembles. En ce qui me concerne, je me tiendrai dans cet article d’opinion à expliciter ma vision du Québec que j’aime et les efforts additionnels qu’il devrait entreprendre pour le rendre plus solide sur la scène internationale comme le voulait Paul Gérin-Lajoie.

Fifty years later: A View from Washington

Par David T. Jones le 10 juin 2010

As a truth in writing caveat, one must admit up front that Washington is paying no attention to Quebec.  It barely pays attention to Canada (except during this time of year as a possible destination for a vacation/fishing trip); it notices Quebec only when the province is in extremis:  in the throes of a "tear the country apart" referendum or, perhaps, with a dramatic winter storm with great media visuals of marching files of ice-toppled hydroelectric towers.

How to Respond to Free Gaza Flotillas

Par David Solway le 10 juin 2010

So much has already been written in the wake of the Free Gaza flotilla fiasco of May 31 that little remains to be said, other than to repeat the obvious: that Israel was set up, that the world’s chancelleries and the United Nations would collaborate in the usual bacchanal of condemnation, that Israel’s enemies would be gloating over yet another propaganda victory, and that Jew-haters and anti-Zionists everywhere would cite the trap into which Israel blindly stumbled as incontrovertible proof of the Jewish state’s innate savagery.

How soccer might save the world

Par Anthony Philbin le 10 juin 2010

soccer_player.jpgFIFA, the body governing the sport of soccer globally, counts some 207 countries as members. As Kofi Anan humbly admitted in a recent World Cup press release, the UN has only 191 members. This, and a number of other observations on what has become The World’s Game, were at the heart of Mr. Anan’s obvious soccer-envy in his latest message.

The leaking begging bowl

Par Jessica Murphy le 23 avril 2010

Ottawa spends some $5 billion on foreign aid every year. Countless numbers of people also give millions in personal donations to global relief efforts. It's no wonder generous Canadians want to know where their money goes. A spate of recent news stories has cast doubt on the accountability and transparency of humanitarian aid.

Israel under siege—again. The dilemma of mutually assured discomfort

Par David T. Jones le 23 avril 2010

Washington, DC - Having just returned from a Middle East trip that included travel in Israel, I am prompted to muse over the current imbroglio roiling U.S.-Israeli relations.  Over the past several weeks, there has been renewed incentive to fault find Israel for offenses that sometimes more in the mind of the beholder than in reality.  Indeed, it is far easier to find unloving critics than uncritical lovers in the current environment.  For example, the tour group with which I traveled had two briefers:  An articulate representative of the Palestinian Authority who (predictably) found fault with all elements of Israeli policy and an Israeli from a local NGO who was also critical of the GOI.  But the absence of "balance" went unremarked.

Enlevons les «ombrages» du gouvernement

Par Beryl Wajsman le 23 avril 2010

Il y a un contrat social entre les gouverneurs et les gouvernés. Nous le peuple acceptons d'abandonner une partie de nos libertés et de notre trésor en échange de prestation de services qui rendent nos vies meilleures. Des services que même le plus fort parmi nous ne pourrait pas se fournir à soi-même. Quand nous sommes sortis des jungles et des forêts et avons créé des habitats, nous nous sommes rendus compte qu’en repoussant les loups ensemble, nous aurions le time de vivre. Pour grandir. Pour aimer. Pour engager nos passions et nos poésies et réaliser la pleine capacité de notre individualité. 

Israël n’a pas le choix

Par Germain Belzile le 25 mars 2010

Quelque 7000 obus de mortiers et roquettes tirés sur le territoire d'Israël depuis 2001. Des dizaines de milliers de civils israéliens ciblés par des attaques quotidiennes. Les alertes plus que quotidiennes qui terrorisent les enfants dans leurs écoles et leurs garderies. Quel gouvernement peut tolérer cela ? Depuis sept ans, les brigades d'Al-Aqsa (branche du Fatah), le Djihad islamique et le Hamas se sont armés pour atteindre leur but : détruire l'État d'Israël. 

Les vraies vérités sur Israël

Par Beryl Wajsman le 25 mars 2010

israel-flag.jpgOver the past month – from that annual hatefest called Israel Apartheid Week to the needless row over the Jerusalem buildings – we have witnessed a viral and venal campaign of disinformation about our one democratic ally in a a sea of theocratic tyranny. We want to devote this front page to setting the record straight. To fight the teachings of contempt. Here’s the real deal on Israel.
During IAW we saw the usual collection of Islamist apologists and their fellow-travelers in academic, political and diplomatic circles seeking to portray Israel as an apartheid-era South Africa in relation to its Arab citizens.


We must not abandon Afghanistan

Par Lauryn Oates le 25 mars 2010

In the recent speech from the throne on March 3, Afghanistan was mentioned in only two instances, and not mentioned at all in the budget speech the following day, strangely sidestepping the subject of the country in which we have engaged with so closely for the last seven years.
This is perhaps not surprising, given the inability of any of the three political parties to take any leadership on what a Canadian contribution to Afghanistan after 2011 might look like, and the Afghanistan fatigue that sadly characterizes Canadian public opinion.

Canada can help imprisoned Chinese hero Gao Zhisheng

Par The Hon. David Kilgour le 25 mars 2010

Members of Gao Zhisheng's international legal team, on which I am privileged to work, have submitted a petition to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, urging the UN to declare that the Chinese government's detention of Gao violates international law. Our team hopes that the UN will decide accordingly, but also that the Harper government and opposition party leaders will speak out on behalf of this extraordinary human rights lawyer, who 'was disappeared' by the Chinese party-state over a year ago.


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