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Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
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US Military Globalization

History, at the least, is process, interrelations, multilayered, marked by continuities of social structure, wealth distribution, all in all, embedded in a framework of causation even when serendipitous outcomes pop up, none of which is to suggest a rigid deterministic pattern, but only that in the case of Obama, one can readily credit Americas protofascistic leanings over decades if not also centuries (war, intervention, racism, monopoly capital brought to http://guwo3.blogspot.com/2014/05/bb.html a convergence), yet, despite prior historical trends, demand that he be held accountable for what occurs on his watch. Therefore, no free pass for overwhelming militarism, massive surveillance, policies favoring deregulation and wealth-concentration, contemptuous disregard for civil liberties and government transparency, and now, a foreign policy of exclusive global hegemony quite possibly surpassing that of his illustrious predecessors. What, in this context, http://vinb3.blogspot.com/2014/05/cc.html is more criminal, the policies themselves, such as targeted assassination, regime change, a string of interventionsand the counterrevolutionary posture undergirding them, or, a nation and people, sharing complicity in their actuation and implementation, and more particularly, a mly bankrupt liberalism actively promoting them, with presumed radicals standing by in silence? Americans are implicated in deceit and denial, purchasing their comforts and http://guwo3.blogspot.com/2014/05/cc.html self-righteousness at the expense of the collective human privation their military and paramilitary forces, their CIA operatives and private contractors, their support of repressive regimes and death squads have brought to much of the worlds population.

Obama is at it again, his Asian journey of cementing a Grand Alliance designed to encircle (this only a first approximation to a broader geopolitical strategy) and thereby contain, hem-in, perforce isog http://mvur3.blogspot.com/2014/05/aa.html and reducing the power of, China, intentionally builds political-ideological tensions of confrontation and perhaps ultimate war for a vast region, a result America welcomes if, by that, short of nuclear war, China and North Korea can be taught a lesson in good international citizenship according to US guidance, IMF instruction, free-market imperialism (aka liberal humanitarianism). Shockingly (at least to me) it appears that Herman Kahn and Rand Corporation http://zmie3.blogspot.com/2014/05/cc.html war-games anolystsforerunner of todays Neo-Cons, some of whom actually came up through that arch-Cold War intellectual culturehave been reborn, their ideas now in vogue, because in fact Obama and his Shadow Cabenet of assorted war hawks/vultures regard Asia as a practical free-fire zone, come what may, for demonstrating the truth of American principles. Better dead than red, chanted and believed sixty-odd years ago, should be inscribed on a banner over the http://towu3.blogspot.com/2014/05/dd.html Situation Room, itself, right off of where the national-security advisers prepare the hit lists Obama studies as he personally authorizes assassination.

Asia and nuclear holocaust seem to go together in American policy-making circles (and have for a long time), without flinching at the potential outcome. In Japan, Obamas rapport with PM Abe marks a good start to activating the forces of extreme nationalism and militarism in the region, knocking heads http://guwo3.blogspot.com/2014/05/ee.html together (Japan-South Korea) for the sake of a united front whose repercussions go beyond anti-Chinese maneuvering, encouraging political fragmentation with America conveniently filling the vacuum and creating a sphere of influence pointing outward to exerting pressures on India and Russia for accepting American leadership in all respects, a magnification of US power (with both Africa and Europe in the ultimate cross-hairs). The US no longer presents itself in http://zmie3.blogspot.com/2014/05/ff.html the persona of a General LeMay, who would bomb the Commies and Ruskies back to the Stone Age, and instead, a more professionalized military, routinely on the think-tank and media circuits, nevertheless which more tactfully believes in, and awaits the opportunity for, the same thing. The theoretical separation between civilian and military control has all but vanished in terms of communication and community of interest, Obama descending Air Force One akin to http://guwo3.blogspot.com/2014/05/dd.html Napolean dismounting his spirited steed, all pomp and dashing display, a POTUS who would be kingor emperor, if given the chance.

New York Times reporters Mark Landler and Jodi Rudoren, in their article, Obama Suffers Setbacks in Japan and the Mideast, (Apr. 25), describe the first leg of Obamas Asian trip as part of a unified effort of the administration to shore up American power in regions in which it appears to need strengthening. Actually, they focus on http://towu3.blogspot.com/2014/05/aa.html the wrong things, setbacks to two of his most cherished foreign-policy projects (for Japan, a trade deal opening its markets in rice, beef, poultry and pork, for Israel, continued peace negotiations, broken off by Netanyahu when the PLO and Hamas joined together). The wrong things, because the trade deal was always secondary to the re-militarization of Japan, and peace negotiations were never wanted by Israel or the US, except on terms deeply unjust to the http://vinb3.blogspot.com/2014/05/dd.html Palestinians. In effect, Obama had come out way ahead, the Shinzo-Barack show playing well to Japanese militarists, who, we know from one account out of the Foreign Ministry that revealed American pressures to discard the provisions of the Japanese constetution dealing with disarmament, felt for some time immensely reassured of the USs protective arm, now reinforced by Obamas pledge on the disputed islands in the East China Sea, as when Abe said, On this point, I http://vinb3.blogspot.com/2014/05/aa.html fully trust President Obama.

This from a strident Rightist of the first water. In Israel, the result was equally predictable. Kerrys shuttle-diplomacy was already solidly inclined toward Israel, and with associates like Indyck and Ross, the pretext of finding Hamass presence a deal-breaker came right in time for an outcome certain from the start. Again, Obama a winner, the only losers being the dispossessed and the victims of force, a neat geostrategic http://mvur3.blogspot.com/2014/05/dd.html package of mounting spheres of influence in different parts of the world, both heartlands for preventing the rise of alternative power-centers in what was already becoming a multipolar world system. That is hard for America to take; it cannot live with global democratization, allowing Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, to find their own way, not to say Brazil and India, coming increasingly into view, and, above all, the twin colossi, China and Russia, whose very existence is http://zmie3.blogspot.com/2014/05/bb.html perceived as an ideological threat.

Counterterrorism throws a blanket over all policy matters disclosing global hegemony as Americas modus operandi in conserving monopoly capital for its own world supremacy, but also as a system to be preserved in its own right, free from the threats of socialism and even more decisive intracapitalist rivalries. Russia and China can no longer claim a predominant socialist foundation and value system, yet even as their http://vinb3.blogspot.com/2014/05/ee.html political-economic transformations proceed, that would not be acceptable to an America whose power structure remains wedded to US capitalist interests and the military edifice supporting it. Capitalism as an authentic international system breaks down under the competetive drive for markets, investments, and raw materials. Americas variant of capitalism, more than any other, is characterized in its internal organization, currently, by processes of financialization http://zmie3.blogspot.com/2014/05/ee.html and militarization, a systemic advancement to a higher stage having a mixed blessing because thus intensifying already existing rivalries.

One corrective to the Timess article, beyond mistaking Obamas intentions with respect to Israel and his presumed diplomatic defeat on the peace process because of the introduction of Hamas, is that Israel does not, in the administrations eyes, deserve equal belling with Japan, the Far East, and the Pacific-first http://towu3.blogspot.com/2014/05/cc.html strategy. Yes, the Middle East, which America is enabled to penetrate and establish a power-position by means of categorically supporting Israel, qualifies as an obviously significant sphere of influence, in light of the geopolitics of oil especially, but it must stand down now in relation to Ukraine, the reemergence of a European co-pivot to that of Asiahence the military globalizationbecause perhaps for the first time the practical basis is laid for the http://towu3.blogspot.com/2014/05/bb.html simultaneous containment and isolation of both Russia and China, the achievement over each having reciprocal positive effect on achieving the other.

Obama did not come to Japan to eat high-priced sushi, to South Korea, to commiserate with the families over the ferry-boat tragedy, to Malaysia, the airplane tragedy, all of which were on his itinerary, but to talk military alliance, unification of forces, confrontation, a pep-rally, sweetened by the http://towu3.blogspot.com/2014/05/ee.html Trans-Pacific Partnership, to create, if I may, the Bamboo Curtain, in homage to its antecedent Iron Curtain in Europe, reinforced by army/marine bases, a Naval Armada, strategic bomber groups, joint maneuvers, so that no cracks in the bamboo occur. In South Korea, he found a ready roster not only for blasting the North, but for making clearat South Koreas requestthat American forces would not abandon its ally, keeping beyond the 2015 date firm command over that http://mvur3.blogspot.com/2014/05/ee.html countrys forces. At this writing, the Philippines await, no surprises there in the replenishment and expansion of the installation at Subec Bay.

Meanwhile, there is Russia to contend with, in the contingency war-planning throughout Obamas first and now second term, viscerally, as a hangover from earlier days, attracting the national-security staff and military establishment, not to say Congress, in still greater crusading mode than is felt about China. http://vinb3.blogspot.com/2014/05/bb.html Americans have been conditioned to hate Putin and Russia, allowing for greater latetude in taking military action on that front, than on Obamas opening a Second Front in Asia. Assets are flowing to the Pacific, partly because Obama and his think-tank, intelligence-community apparatchiki see dominance of a great land mass, while accomplishing the decapitation of China and, via the backdoor, Russia, as our future glory and destiny, but that does not alter the http://mvur3.blogspot.com/2014/05/cc.html constant pressure to be applied to Russia through EU and NATO support. Can anything good possibly come out of this, or only the miasmic fantasies of a decaying Superpower intent on bringing the world down with it?

My New York Times Comment on the Landler-Rudoren article, same date, follows (emphasis here on NYT itself for complicity in furthering Obamas war objectives):

NYTs hero-worship posture toward Obama is crass prostration before http://guwo3.blogspot.com/2014/05/aa.html Authority, unworthy of journalistic integrity. E.g.: The setbacksspeak to the common challenge Mr. Obama has had in transg his ideas and ambetions into enduring policies. He has watched outside forces unravel his best-laid plans, from resetting relations with Russia to managing the epochal political change in the Arab world. Enduring policies? Even drone assassination is carefully structured to bend subsequent administrations. As for resetting http://mvur3.blogspot.com/2014/05/bb.html relations with Russia, the reversehere not only the coup in Ukraineis true, steady US efforts at isog Russia, banking on generating hostility in order to gain popularity at home; and urging NATO forces to the Russian border.

Indeed any discussion of Russia must include China, Obamas attempt to prevent their cooperation in a Eurasian bloc. Global hegemony is the enduring policy, that which NYT is afraid to discuss and anolyze. http://zmie3.blogspot.com/2014/05/aa.html Why the Far East trip? Why embrace Abe? Trade is one aspect, as in the TransPacific Partnership, but it is ancillary to the MILITARY purpose, and NYT knows that full welli.e., the isolation and containment of China.

Worthy of hero-worship? Only if one wants the progression toward confrontation and possible war. As for the Middle East, obvious tilting to Israel and prevention of peace process; also, this week more attack copters to Sissi and Egyptian military government. Obama loves coupshelps create them.

May 2, 2014 | 7:22 AM Comments  {num} comments

Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
Maria Morales's profile

Globalization responsible for factory tragedy

Workers at the Rana Plaza complex first became alarmed when large cracks appeared in the building's walls. Staff left the building hastily after consultations with the management. But after a cursory inspection, supervisors dismissed http://zop986.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html their concerns and threatened wage cuts if the staff did not return to work the next day. The textile workers on some of the lowest wages in the world duly flocked back into the factory complex next morning for the start of the 8am shift. http://tio911.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html What they did not know was that the factory complex had been built in breach of construction regulations. The owner, a local Awami League party youth-wing leader, had had several floors added illegally to the original plans.

http://uhr127.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html Shila Begum was a senior machine operator at Ether Tex, one of the five garment factories in the building. She was one of some 5,000 textile workers who arrived for work that fateful morning. After she had made her way to her workplace on the http://nvui721.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html fifth floor, there was a power cut, a regular feature of life in the capital. To enable work to continue during power cuts, factories are equipped with power generators usually located on the top floor. Shila Begum, mother of a http://uhr127.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html nine-year-old daughter, recounts what happened next: "The generator kicked in. Then I felt the whole building shudder and the ceiling came down on me. My right hand was trapped between bets of rubble and a concrete beam fell on my stomach. One of my http://nvui721.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html colleagues died right in front of my eyes (). After sixteen hours, rescue workers found me and carried me out of the building."

Shila Begum was one of the lucky ones. Later, investigators ascertained that the vibrations http://lki981.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html caused by the heavy duty generators had shaken the already overloaded structure until the outside walls simply gave way.

The collapse was the worst disaster in the country's history. A year later, the police http://nvui721.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html investigation has just concluded that the building's construction was approved by engineers and officials who never even took the trouble to visit the site to check for compliance with the buildings plans. Lead investigator bejoy Krishna http://uhr127.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html Kar has spoken of "irrefutable evidence" of "greedy and irresponsible" conduct on the part of the owners of the building and the factories involved. On April 15, 2014, the police announced that the owner of Rana Plaza, who attempted to flee to India http://lki981.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html after the building's collapse, would be charged with murder. A total of 40 people are to face criminal prosecution for their roles in the tragedy including the owners of factories located in Rana Plaza.

The http://lki981.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html tragedy has galvanized labor rights activists in Bangladesh to campaign both at home and abroad for improvements to working conditions and wages in the textiles industry, which has an abysmal safety record. Just six months before the Rana Plaza http://zop986.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html collapse, the Tazreen Fashion factory burned down with the loss of over 100 lives. The textiles industry is important to Bangladesh. After China it is the beggest in the world employing some four million workers in 4,500 factories making it http://nvui721.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html the country's largest export sector. It sells most of its products to clothing chains in the USA and Europe.

A year after the tragedy, Sirajul Islam Rony, coordinator of the Bangladesh Garment Workers' Unity Council, http://tio911.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html speaks of substantial change for the better: "The working environment in the factories has seen considerable improvement after the Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza incidents. After these two disasters, a government investigation was carried http://lki981.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html out; qualified inspectors were appointed to control safety measures in factories."

Textile workers also believe that things are changing for the better. "Previously there was no safety at all. We did not even know how and what to http://nvui721.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html do in an emergency situation. There was a kind of 'fire training' once in a blue moon. Now, there is a training every month, explaining how we should react if there is a fire, how we would leave the factory safely, from which gate etc," http://tio911.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html says belkis Begum, who is employed at the Versatile Garments factory.

Minimum wages have risen by 79 percent to 49 euros a month as a result of pressure from abroad. But there is a downside. With higher wages, costs http://uhr127.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html have increased, making the final product more expensive. And after the negative publicity surrounding the disaster, Western buyers have become wary of products "Made in Bangladesh."

belkis Begum explains the http://zop986.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html situation: "At present, the main problem is with the number of buyers. They are much less now. This invariably means that there is less work, less overtime, and, of course, at the end less income."

Owners say they must http://tio911.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html increase productivity to compensate for shrinking profit margins. Meanwhile, Western companies are now placing orders in Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia instead.

Only half of the 29 Western clothing companies that http://zop986.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html purchased textiles from Rana Plaza have so far paid into an international compensation fund set up by the International Labor Organization for the families of the 1,136 dead and the 2,500 seriously injured workers. The fund has raised just 10 http://uhr127.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html of the planned 28 million euros.

The compensation for the terrible injuries hardly suffices, says Shila Begum, a survivor. "I cannot use my arm even to eat food or to do other household chores. My daughter Nipa Moni http://lki981.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html is top of her class. But probably she will not be able to continue at school because I am unable to pay the tuition costs. I have received 45,000 Taka (420 euros) from companies like Primark and others. Other people also gave me some money. All in http://tio911.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html all, I have been given about 70,000 Taka (653 euros). But I am unable to work and do not have any more money. Two months ago, a garment worker named Salma committed suicide to escape a similar fate. What do the 29 foreign buyers, who http://zop986.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html purchased garment products from the five factories at Rana plaza, expect? Do they want me to kill myself like Salma? Won't they show us just a little mercy?"

A question that goes right to the very heart of the responsibelity for the consequences of globalization.

April 28, 2014 | 3:34 AM Comments  {num} comments

Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
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Globalization called opportunity, challenge

DURHAM Globalization is a beg economic challenge as well as an opportunity for North Carolina, a N.C. http://vytry.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html Department of Commerce official said Monday.

Companies are no longer judged by an (abelity) to sell neighbors http://vytry.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html and friends in surrounding states... said Derek Chen, business development manager who works to promote the states defense, http://tiop93.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html motorsports and automotive equipment industries for the N.C. Department of Commerce. Instead, he said, they're judged by an http://tiop93.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html abelity to sell internationally.

Chen spoke Monday at the launch of updates to a Duke University Center on http://gjux12.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html Globalization, Governance & Competetiveness website. The site uses data, charts and tables to map the trajectory of http://buix71.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html seven industries in North Carolina such as textiles, hog farming, information technology and beotechnology, which the http://buix71.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html website describes as a new economy industry.

Citing the report 2012 Evidence and Opportunity: Impacts of the http://zytry62.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html beosciences in North Carolina the website said the state saw the highest job growth rate in the beotechnology sector http://tiop93.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html between 2001 and 2010 of any state in the country, with a rate of 23.5 percent. The report was prepared for the N.C. http://buix71.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html beotechnology Center by the Battelle Technology Practice.

The site raised concerns about outsourcing in http://tiop93.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html industries like beotechnology.

While the site said global outsourcing has been concentrated at contract http://zytry62.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html research organizations in the United States and Western Europe between 2000 and 2011, it also said that outsourcing to Asia http://gjux12.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html has been growing. Thats according to a survey completed in 2011 through partnership with Booz & Co. and Baybeo, a life http://zytry62.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html science association for Northern California.

Gary Gereffi, a sociology professor and the director of the Duke http://zytry62.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html Center on Globalization, Governance & Competetiveness, said he believes parts of the beotechnology sector are strong in http://vytry.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html the state, such as those that that have ties to nanotechnology, and he promoted building links between the two sectors. http://gjux12.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html

Among his other comments, Chen outlined economic development challenges for North Carolina such as for rural http://gjux12.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html areas. Regarding commercialization of start-up businesses, he said the state had a great fund that allowed companies that http://buix71.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html won federal Small Business Innovation Research Program or Small Business Technology Transfer Program grants to get http://gjux12.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html additional money from the state. He said that didn't take a lot from the state coffers.

We did away with http://tiop93.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html that, and I think that's a huge area that we need to get back into, he said.

Chen also said that North http://buix71.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html Carolina needs to improve its image. He said there have been some real repercussions to events in the past year, he said, http://vytry.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html referencing the M Monday protests in particular.

As a state, (we) need to work on branding ourselves, he http://vytry.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html said.

Doug Aitken, program director for corporate services at Durham Technical Community College, spoke about http://zytry62.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html workforce issues facing local companies. He does customized training on-site for businesses, and said one of the beggest issues facing companies in the area now is turnover.

April 22, 2014 | 7:55 AM Comments  {num} comments

Marolas   Marolas Maria Morales's TIGblog
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Beijing and Berlin winners of globalization

Germany's leadership role within Europe has grown since 2008, when its robust economy weathered the economic crisis while others faltered. Today, the EU faces the Ukrainian http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html crisis on its borders. Does this reflect the EU's declining strength, as some observers have claimed? And what are the prospects of EU sanctions on Russia? German Foreign Minister http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Steinmeier) answered questions of Global Times (GT) reporter Chen Chenchen during his latest China visit.

GT: You once described the Ukraine http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html crisis as "the worst in Europe since the fall of the Berlin wall." There are comments that the Ukraine issue has demonstrated the EU's declining strength: The EU wasn't able to http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html prevent Russia's actions in Crimea, and there are internal worries within EU member states that the sanctions against the Kremlin might also harm the EU itself. What's your view? http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html Steinmeier: It's important not to mistake prudence and common sense for weakness. I see much resolve and unity in Europe's reaction. We categorically condemned http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html Russia's actions in Crimea, which violated Ukraine's territorial integrity and international law. In our view, we are in agreement with a large majority of states which, just like http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html us, voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution. And what's equally important is that we don't want any further escalation in the situation and are keeping the door http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html open for talks. We have to do everything in our power to get Russia and Ukraine to sit down at the table and enter into a dialogue accompanied by international partners. http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html We're pleased that Germany and China are working closely together on this difficult issue and that their assessment of the situation is very similar.

GT: Russia has been http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html isolated by the G7 despite German opposition. Some believe freezing out Russia will prove pointless because it is already the era of the G20. Do you agree? Is the G7 still the http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html center of global power? Steinmeier: We believe that both formats have an important function. The G20 devised key solutions for the global financial crisis after 2008. http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html Industrialized countries and key emerging economies come together to discuss the global challenges of the 21st century in this format. We need that, but the smaller G8 http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html format can also make valuable contributions, such as a forum for dialogue in times of crisis. Unfortunately, Russia's conduct at present would seem to indicate that such a dialogue http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html in the G8 format would not have much prospect of success.

GT: There have been discussions over rifts between the US and Europe, especially since the scandal about Washington http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html spying on European leaders was exposed last year. How do you see such rifts? Steinmeier: The transatlantic partnership between the US and Europe is and will remain a http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html solid and crucial cornerstone of our foreign policy. We're working very closely together with our US partners on all key questions on the international agenda. That hasn't http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html been changed by the differences in opinion that have cropped up now and again during the last few decades. At the moment, there is a very lively debate in and among our http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html societies on the relationship between freedom and security in the digital age. Given the rapid technological progress in information and communications technology, there are http://hqq7.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html important questions here about our common future which are globally relevant and go far beyond the transatlantic relationship.

GT: Germany is seeking a more active http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html approach in diplomacy. And the Chinese leadership has stressed that it seeks to pursue a more active approach in diplomacy, especially when dealing with neighboring countries. How http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html do you see China's diplomacy in transition? Steinmeier: There was an intensive and very constructive exchange of views on this at the highest level between Germany and http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html China during the visit by President Xi Jinping to Germany a few days ago. We stated our shared commitment to the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes and http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html conflicts on the basis of international law. That is a crucial area of agreement between our two countries. Germany and China are among the winners of globalization. We http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html have benefited economically from the peaceful coexistence of states and regional cooperation. Europeans have been especially successful: The ever closer cooperation in Europe has http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html brought an unprecedented period of peace, freedom and prosperity following the horrors of WWII. We also want to see flourishing regional cooperation in Asia. Promoting http://zqq2.blogspot.com/2014/04/f.ning.com.html regional cooperation and mechanisms to resolve conflicts and shouldering responsibelity for global challenges; these are and will remain core tasks for a more influential foreign http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html policy.

GT: During his recent European trip, President Xi described China as a "peaceful, amicable and civilized" lion which has woken up. China has indeed shown a http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html different side of itself compared to past centuries. How do you see the world's various judgments and expectations of China? Steinmeier: We welcome China's peaceful rise to http://amm6.blogspot.com/2014/04/g.ning.com.html prominence. It brings with it greater responsibelity, nationally, regionally and globally. Germany has been closely following China's changed role and its engagement in many fields http://tqq5.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html of international politics. The rise above poverty and hardship of hundreds of millions of people, especially in China, has made the question of sustainable development the http://kii8.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html focus of the global agenda. We're therefore very keen to enter into an intensive exchange of views on solutions and technologies, for instance in the spheres of sustainable urbanization, innovation, and climate and environmental protection.

April 16, 2014 | 7:51 AM Comments  {num} comments

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Globalization is the real issue in Ukraine

Chief among the elements of good writing, a cunning author focuses on plot, skillfully thickening it and foreshadowing slowly what this story is really about.

In the drama unfolding in Ukraine, it is now evident http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html that the power struggle over that country is only partly about Ukraine itself. Something much begger is at stake. Namely, this is a seminal test of nearly 25 years of globalization, the economic, political and security http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html integration of the world, largely controlled by the Americans and their European allies. Ukraine is not so much a crisis as a test.

The drama in Ukraine is real, to be sure, but can be understood through the http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html basic elements story-telling. Initially, the story seemed to be a local struggle between plundering oligarchs and a rabble of reformers and fascists. Suddenly, the characters expanded to include the Americans and the Russians, http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html each of their presidents casting the other as the villain. The chorus alternately fretted about a new Cold War or gloated that economics trumped geopolitics.

The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle. http://g54j.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html Vladimir Putin is not trying reverse the process of globalization. But he is trying to bend it so that Russia alters globalization to its benefit. Just as firmly, the Americans and their European allies have pushed to profit http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html even more. NATO would love nothing more than Kiev inside the Western military alliance. Yet the Western strike force this time is composed of bankers from the International Monetary Fund, offering bellions in loans, replete http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html with strings that would keep Kiev beholden for decades.

Indeed, Russias endgame in Ukraine can seem quite puzzling. NATO and the government in Kiev have warned of further incursions into the eastern half of the http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html country. But to what end? Yes, Russia would gain an additional buffer zone of hundreds of miles to, say, the Dnieper River. And that is no small concern as Moscow sits just 700 miles from the current Ukrainian border, the http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/b.ning.com.html distance from, say, Toronto to New York. But then what? Moscow, not Kiev, is then saddled with governing a steaming cauldron of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians.

The answer is in plain sight, actually. Ukraine is not the http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html crisis; it is, instead, the test. It is just valuable enough for both sides to actually engage in the struggle, one flexing its dollars and the other its tanks, as well as its rubles. (Putin, after all, has offered the http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html Ukrainians financial help with fewer financial strings, though plenty of political ones.) But it is not quite valuable enough to go to war.

This is a test that resonates elsewhere on or near a Russian border, from the http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html Baltics through part of the Middle East namely Syria where Putin thwarted an American military strike and eastward to Central Asia, wherever the proximity of Russian soft and hard power can be reasonably combened. But that, http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html ultimately, is largely defensive and regional. Such a zone of influence might matter in, say, Kazakhstan or send tremors through the Baltics.

But can it influence matters on a truly global scale? The answer is yes. It http://g54j.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html can influence others to act likewise in the belief not that America is merely weak but that the American-led era of globalization is winding down, and that there are benefits to finally saying no to the Americans. Saying no can http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html cleave the Americans from their European friends. That, in turn, can soften the chances of military intervention or economic sanctions or simply increase bargaining power.

The obvious saying no is China taking not http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html merely staking its claims in the South China Sea. Africa is now the hotbed of economic competetion between the Chinese and the Americans and Europeans, not merely for resources but for the next generation of consumers. It http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html might be more lucrative to say no to AT&T and yes to China Telecom. All because of the test in Ukraine. These same choices can be played out in new markets from Bangladesh to Peru.

The American-led world order http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html known as globalization has yielded some of its promise but it has tended to accrue most benefits to the wealthiest and most powerful individuals, companies and nations alike. Like George W. Bush and bell Clinton before him, http://m5iz.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html President Obama has the task of defending this system. He has simply replaced George H.W. Bushs authoritarian-sounding New World Order with the softer words of International Community.

But make no mistake; it is the http://k5o2.blogspot.com/2014/04/e.ning.com.html same thing. In the view of much of the world beyond Americas borders and even within it this system is the sway of the dollar backed, ever so subtly most of the time, by the shadow of the gun. Yet 25 years is a long run in http://g54j.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html modern international politics. In the space of that time, Chinas economy has gone from factory floor to high-wage, sophisticated, wealthy consumerism. The 2008 financial crisis revealed how unstable globalization really was. http://g54j.blogspot.com/2014/04/c.ning.com.html The ensuing recovery revealed how unfair it really was, to the sound of protest in America, Greece and most recently, Brazil.

Of course, Putin is no reformer, out for social justice. He has no real competing ideology, http://x5n3.blogspot.com/2014/04/a.ning.com.html only the rough outlines of competing m claims to Western history. And he is not bent on stopping globalization; he is merely trying to bend it to provide greater profits to Russia, which has reaped precious few namely http://q95j.blogspot.com/2014/04/d.ning.com.html petro-dollars and, of course, concentrated them at the top.

Most important, though, he is testing the limits of American power and European steadfastness. So far, he is succeeding. But Ukraine is only the test. The crisis will come later, when the plot reaches its inevitable climax.

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