Right now, Greek citizens have to understand that it is not the time for
political experiments.
They have to understand that an experienced and
knowledgeable leadership is needed and that, besides his experience
and good will, George Papandreou has proven that he is not acting
for either his own or his narrow party interests. His decisiveness and
willingness in taking tough measures and steering the country through
the tough financial situation do not stem from a sense of masochism
and pleasure from the suffering of others, but from the same sense of
responsibility and courage of a captain steering a wreckage through
tough seas waiting to be rescued and trying to find a safe harbor when
none is visible in the horizon. A mutiny at this ultimate hour is perhaps
understandable, but, apart from an expression of exasperation and
public feeling, does not seem to offer a viable alternative to pulling
together, offering one's services and mutual support.

Gaddafi's son is right that free and fair elections are the only way out
of the crisis in Libya.
Since, however, his father had forgotten everything
about elections for 40 years and, since he has been taking advantage of
this parental forgetfulness himself for several years, it is only fair to
require that, at least the two of them, would not be eligible to run in
upcoming elections. Therefore, they have to relinquish power, agree
to leave the country, allow some alternative authority, perhaps the
U.N., to organize and monitor free and fair elections, and, if they
wish to do so, come back and stand on the same footing as every
other candidate to get elected from the second free elections in Lidya
onwards. I think that that might be the best they can negotiate and the
best that anyone else with minimal democratic sensitivities might be
willing to grant them under the political climate that has been developed
in Libya, primarily due to their family and its clinching to power without
any substantial proof of public support.

Today, there is widespread unrest in Greece over the new "intermediate"
term austerity measures that the Greek Government is supposed to pass
through parliament in order for the country to get additional funds to
meet its financial obligations and avoid defaulting on its debts. All these
phrases have been on the press for some time now, but they do not really
reflect the tough, honest reality. Greece may have not formally defaulted
on its debts, but its non-default status is artificially sustained day-in day-
out by new borrowing and, unless there is a turning point in its economic
output, this borrowing to pay debts on a rolling basis is unsustainable.
Moreover, Greece has already defaulted vis-a-vis the financial obligations
to its citizens. The Greek state has been imposing what it calls "social
solidarity" taxation, but this is nothing other than admittance that it
cannot fullfill
anymore its contractual obligations in terms of salaries
and pensions and, therefore, has to arbitrarily shave off a percentage to
keep paying what it can until it can no more.

The problem, however, even though it is tougher and more urgent for
Greece, is not a Greek problem alone. Ireland is semi-bankrupt, Portugal
is in rather dire financial straits and Spain will be knocking on the door
soon, unless the European and global financial climate and the merciless
speculatory behavior change soon enough to allow a dramatic come-back.
Europe has been split in the club of the strong, the club of the weak and
the club of the bystanding and waiting to discover their fate. And despite
this split, there does not appear to exist any Lincoln-esque political figure
who would be able to attain a compromise and consensus among the
strong and the weak and to lead the continent out of its immediate and
longer-term financial woes. This is partly a matter of bad luck and partly
a matter of insufficient and inefficient established governing structures
in the disunited and disfunctional "union".

The citizens of the south have a certain measure of admiration for the
organizational abilities of their fellow citizens and the efficiency of the
economies of their northern and central European neighbors. There are
even times when their own shortcomings have given hope that, under the
Union, there would be forthcoming aid, not just financial, but also,
and perhaps more importantly, organizational and logistic, that would
enable the poorly managed economies to drastically change for the
better and try to emulate some of the efficiencies of the north. Of course,
disillusionment settles in and hopes evaporate when the weak realize
through southern-style northern-inspired scandals (see Siemens, sale of
German submarines etc.) that the northerners' real interest is in their
own financial gains and not in any real convergence of economies or
in aiding their southern and weaker neighbors to become more efficient
and more competitive.

Finally, there is this historic sense of injustice and hopelessness that
comes from the last big war. The weak look at Germany and some other
countries. They realize that, despite the fact that they wreaked havoc
across the continent and the world and their actions led to humongous
human sacrifice, they were very generously assisted after the war, both
from the weak in terms of labor and from the strong in terms of financial
resources and, based on their own abilities and skills, were able to lead
once more. The weak economies now, despite the fact that they have not
caused any harm and that they are, perhaps, in not as unfortunate a
condition as the German state was after the war, do not see any similar
help forthcoming or any similar resources available. And this makes
their citizens wonder whether history is forgotten, question the
fairness and the humanity of their fellow citizens and disappointed
at the lack of solidarity shown by states that, not so long ago, were
themselves in need and taking advantage of the generosity, the help and
the support of others, even though they were perpetrators of great pain
and suffering.

European politicians have to realize that Europe has to stand together.
There is simply no other way, no alternative. Geography, combined
with modern transportation, historic, cultural and political heritage,
an open global economic competition that leads to intercontinental
opportunities and challenges, mere size of foreign economies and their
respective outputs, all these factors make it essential, a sine qua non,
for Europe to stand together, the strong side-by-side with the weak.
Logistical support, technology, governmental structures, organizational
skills etc., along with, at least temporarily, financial support have to be
tranferred from where they exist and are successfully employed so that
Europe as a continent and all its citizens progress in unison and
uniformly. All the resources of the continent from all four corners,
human, raw materials, technology, know-how, industrial, agricultural
have to be put to work for the benefit and well-being of all, not just
for the gain of the few, not just to the advantage of the strong and to
the detriment of the weak, not just for the further enrichment of the
rich to the endangerement of the welfare of the majority.

Why do Western countries never learn the right lessons and never
start abiding by their own ideological principles? The BBC reports
that Germany recognized the Libyan rebels as the sole legitimate
government in Libya.
Perhaps Germany has forgotten, as has
happened also with France, that the Libyan rebels are not an
elected authority in that country and, therefore, by any standards
or definition of "representation", they cannot be assumed to
represent a legitimate authority in Libya until the point when
free and fair elections are organized and an authority genuinely
representing the will of the majority of the Libyan citizens gets
the official democratic mandate to govern. I am sorry about the
hastiness and the failure of both the French and the German
foreign policies on this issue.

I guess all those who were expecting Blatter to "rejuvenate" the
sport can now feel utterly relieved. In keeping with his intentions
of bringing in new blood and encouraging the participation of
younger people with a stake in the sport, he has invited Kissinger
to advise him and help him hold the broom as he cleans his s**t
. I guess both are experienced enough in creating s**tloads of
mess and then trying to cover them up using committees of wise
men consisting of themeselves and close friends. So much for
accountability, expertise and fresh air...

When products from a European member state of the Union cause
the deaths of fellow European citizens in the same or in other states,
the member state responsible should stand with the family of the
victims, apologize to its fellow members and try to clean its act
Defiance and anger, even for understandable reasons, are needless,
counterproductive and, frankly speaking, lead absolutely nowhere.

If Blatter does not postpone the FIFA elections, does not heed the
call for an external independent investigation and does not adopt
recommendations for sanitizing FIFA, then the Football Association
and the other European associations should withdraw their teams
from next year's competitions. They MUST SEND HIM through
decisive action the STRONG MESSAGE that HE IS NOT a king and
absolute monarch, but that FOOTBALL AND THE FANS, from whom
these associations draw their powerbase are the rulers in the affairs of
the sport. This situation cannot draw any longer.

This is something that I was expecting to have happened often in other
Muslim countries, but I found shocking and surprising that it happened
in the Egypt of 2011
, a revolution - swept Egypt. Unfortunately, it shows
how primitive and uncivilized this country's military establishment can
be and reinforces the idea that, had it not been for the strong United
States influence on its actions, this military is unlikely to have done
many things right just for the sake of its people... And perhaps it shows
even more now that the exhilaration has passed, with the unjustifiably
slow pace of any significant reforms.

Why does Blatter care more about the "damage to FIFA's image" than
about the substance of the serious allegations against the corrupt stinking
bribing apparatus that has developed under his presidency?
Why does he
not step down effective immediately to give the chance to an independent
authority to come in and clean the stinking mess that he and his admini-
stration have allowed to develop over the last few years in this needlessly
and unjustifiably powerful body and its dinosaur-era autocrats?

Having visited Finland and having met some Finnish people, there was
no doubt in my mind that the country and its leadership would have
acted with good will and according to what their troubled and difficult
history has taught and dictated them to do
in these turbulent times of
trial for some of their European partners... BRAVO to Finland and
BRAVO to Jyrki Katainen's leadership. This decision is understandably
rather difficult, but, if such decisions cannot be taken courageously,
then what is the role of European leadership, cooperation and solidarity?

Mikhail Prokhorov, who became - together with a few others of his
countrymen - suddenly a billionaire due to the arbitrary rule of corrupt
officialdom in the 1990s, is being announced to hold the leadership of
Russia's Right Cause party, one of whose advertized aims is to end the
arbitrary rule of corrupt officialdom...

The Mubarak family has embezzled billions of dollars from the Egyptian
state, not to mention the incalculable damages due the Egyptian people
because of his 30-some years of illegal rule and authoritarian abuses of
power. The idea of letting his wife free in exchange of a villa and three
million dollars
is preposterous and enraging...

It is, to say the least, ironic that the person that is going around with a suit
and tie pretending to be the boss of bosses and telling Greece and Ireland
and Portugal and, sooner or later, Spain how to save a buck and revitilize
their economies is being flown around several times a month first class and
sleeping in $3,000-a night hotel suites (with probably US money) and, as if
all these are not enough, or perhaps because he cannot hire high-class hookers
on the same accounts, getting accused of grabbing the a** of a 30-year-his-
minor hotel custodian. Where are we heading to? What is wrong with our
world? What is wrong with this world and this society that has put on a
pedestal as a wise man a nobody, a nothing of a man, an alleged criminal?
I think that George Papandreou and the Greek Government and Jose
Socrates and the Portuguese Government and Barack Obama and the
American Government can steer their respective countries towards the
right paths for financial responsibility better without getting advice from
the sleaziest of human existences.

It is funny how the Swiss can be very conservative when it comes to live
foreigners on Swiss soil but very liberal when it comes to rich cadavers
leaving a buck to Swiss institutions. Some countries never learn a lesson
from their and other countries' histories...

I am looking forward to having Donald "the big joke" Trump explain
on a TV network how a progressive Kenyan found and exterminated
Osama, while all his arch-conservative American rivals either voluntarily
avoided the search and discovery to avoid vexing their Pakistani friends
or were simply and plainly incompetent in using the intelligence apparatus
to discover the location of the big fish... They should have been "fired".


Short-Term Management of the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis: The President took sufficient command of the situation, despite accusations to the contrary, and, under his direction, the Bush-style New Orleans FEMA fiasco was not repeated.
Medium-Term Management of the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis: People in the area have lots of compaints and have started feeling uneasy about the pace of clean-up and the medium- to long-term help in rebuilding their livelihoods and getting the entities responsible for the mess to pay. Unfortunately, it seems, based on the fact that the percentage of Libyan oil imported in the U.S. is negligible and on the current oil prices (allegedly due to the Libyan unrest), that BP, by colluding with other oil companies, is passing the cleaning bill  down to the working Americans. And the administration is only paying lip service about protecting the American consumer...

What kinds of beasts can possibly shoot at people that are burying
their dead? What kinds of animals are governing Syria?
What kinds
of psychopaths can deny humans their right to freedom of speech,
freedom of assembly and freedom of expression? Only the kinds of
animals that do not realize that you may restrict those freedoms,
but that the freedom of thought is so powerful that, no matter how
much you restrict those other freedoms, free and independent thought
will lead to liberation sooner or later and the fate of the beasts will be
extinction and oblivion.

The United States and the European Union should exercise the utmost
caution when they offer recognition and embrace new "representatives"
of the Libyan people.
While it is clear to everyone that Gaddafi and his
family cannot be thought of any longer as legitimate representatives of
the people of Libya, it would be a mistake to hasten to assign this role
to arbitrary alternatives and opportunistic "leaders", some of whom
had been dined and entertained by Gaddafi and his entourage until
The swiftness by which France recognized an alternative non-elected
authority as a legitimate representative of the Libyan people shows an
immaturity on behalf of the French Presidency and the French foreign
policy that has, unfortunately, become a hallmark of President Sarkozy's
tenure in office...

Reflexiones del Compañero Fidel (Article in Granma).

When I read news like these, they make me feel like I am a citizen of
a third world country, some of whose citizens are uncivilized beasts,
going around preying for destruction, and that indeed we have a long
long way to go to cross to the other side...

The entire Greek public is following with great interest the actions of
the Minister of Health Andreas Loverdos. He seems to be one of these
very rare Greek public servants that is backing his words and, at least
some, of his promises with action.
Let us hope that today's developments,
cleaning the Athens General Hospital "Alexandra" from part of the
mafia of doctors that, instead of taking care of their patients, are firstly
and foremost looking after their own self-interests and, in the process,
literally embezzling the Greek Government and State and the Greek
public of millions of euros every year, is a very refreshing and welcome
starting point. Whoever wants to practice medicine to become wealthy
should do so in private practice, not on the backs of Greek taxpayers,
especially under current dire financial conditions.

The Nigerian people and their political leaders have to be extremely
careful when they debate the results of their presidential elections.

Disagreements and plurality of opinion are welcome and a sign
of a healthy and open political atmosphere. But resorting to violence
and denial of the official counts ad infinitum, particulalry in view
of the situation in the Côte d'Ivoire, would be especially harmful
and detrimental both for the well being of Nigerians themselves
(of all parties and political opinions) and for the image that Nigeria
is trying to project onto the world...

It is with a sense of relief and a positive feeling that I followed the
opening address of President Raul Castro in the 6th Congress of the
Partido Comunista de Cuba.
The Cuban leader announced cautious
reforms, among which is a proposal to limit the tenure of all top
political positions in the administration to two five-year terms.
Despite welcoming the changes and despite the opinion that I have
maintained for a long time that Fidel Castro has been a well-meaning
leader, who failed his countrymen in many ways during his political
career, I still am unable to explain why these changes were not announced
and implemented much sooner, when it was clear to everyone but the
most unwilling to see that they have been urgently needed for some
time now. And, unfortunately, despite my respect for the Castros,
due to the personal and other risks that they underwent in order to
place their homeland in a better and solid foundation in difficult
times and under dire political circumstances, my only explanation is
that, after ascending to power, the idealism of the brothers gave
way to calculated political manipulation with the utmost goal of
keeping themselves and their close entourage in power. And this
regardless of the general wishes of the Cuban people and in direct
contradiction with Fidel Castro's pre-revolution promises of democracy
and free and fair elections. I have been and I am still wondering whether
the political life on the island would have been fundamentally different,
had Ernesto Guevara remained on board and continued to have a
substantial influence on the Castro brothers with his idealism, which
seemed to be more unshakable and less tradable than that of the
Castro brothers...


Inspiring the Nation to Set Longer-Term Goals: The day-to-day business of running the government might have caused the President to lose sight of the big picture. On the contrary, the President has taken the initiative to motivate Americans to look further ahead, beyond the problems of the day. He is inspiring the nation to achieve the ambitious goal of producing 80% of our energy using renewable resources by 2035 and the, perhaps even more ambitious, goal of doubling our exports volume in the next five years.
Persistence in Developing and Deploying the Anti-Ballistic Missile Shield: In tough financial times, the unnecessary expenditures involved in developing and deploying the anti-ballistic missile system should be scrapped. It is scandalous, to say the least, to spend huge amounts of money in dubious defense systems that, most likely, will not make either Europeans or Americans feel safer, while at the same time asking people at home for substantial sacrifices to balance an ailing and derailing budget.

The U.S. national debt is approaching $15 trillion very fast. Today,
Barack is expected to make an announcement concerning his own
plans to curtail the national debt.
These plans are widely expected
to be in sharp contrast with the corresponding Republican proposals.
The main discrepancy, it is being reported, concerns the sources of
savings. Whereas the Republican proposal saves by cutting benefits
from the elder and the poor while at the same time incorporating
tax cuts for the wealthy, Barack's plan is going to be more lower
income friendly and suggest tax hikes for the very wealthy or, at
least, discontinuation of tax deductions. Both parties know very
well that the current level of the debt, distributed over the entire
U.S. population (not just the productive work force), will soon be
of the order of $50,000 per citizen. We are, therefore, discussing a
debt that would have made most Americans, at least average earners,
very uncomfortable. The truth is, no party has the luxury to stick to
its expenses or tax benefits and deductions. The starting negotiating
point should include both the Republicans' proposals for reigning on
federal expenses and Barack's proposals for tax increases, or repeals
of tax breaks, for the wealthy. Then, both parties should take a closer
and more careful look at the viability of these measures: Are there
any cuts in expenditures that are going to cause severe and undue
suffering to the weakest among the citizenry? Are there any tax
exemptions that will guarantee economic development and job
creation, thus benefiting the recovery and the job market and, as
a result the long term well-being of the American economy and the
citizens? In those cases where answers are clear, there might be a
justification for opting for a short-term economic loss for medium
term returns. Otherwise, all proposals for saving from expenses and
for gathering additional public income should prevail. This is a highly
unfortunate and extreme budgetary situation and extreme situations
call for harsh and extreme measures, and everyone that can, will have
to chip in... Let us all hope for suitable leadership.

Yesterday evening was the first day in France where the law banning
face coverings in public went into effect.
It is my personal opinion that
laws interfering with the personal freedom of the individual, when they
are not necessary to protect other individuals from harm, should not
be on the books. On the other hand, the Muslim world and the Muslim
citizens of France should take a look at the multiplicity of laws in the
Muslim countries that are enforcing needless rules and regulations,
unnecessarily restricting the freedom of the individual based on religious
and other traditions and customs, before they rash to condemn the
French Republic and its lawmakers. They should recall that there are
countries where women are forced to cover themselves in public
(unnecessary restriction), people are forbidden from consuming
alcohol (unnecessary restriction), women are forbidden from driving
or appearing without escort in public (unnecessary restriction). If those
citizens complaining about the French law revolted against all those
restictions in the Muslim world, they would be serving the interests,
the freedoms and the well-being of humanity in a much more
substantial way than they do by revolting against the veil regulations
in France. So, on the one hand, there is certainly no need for this
French Law, but, on the other, France, in general, is a progressive
society and, if we want to channel our concerns about reduction of the
freedom of choice of the individual by unnecessary laws and regulations
to the deserving oulets, we should focus our attention to other parts of
our globe first and foremost...

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable... One idiot accusing another idiot
and no idiot having the guts to assume any responsibility...

Mubarak says he does not have any assets in foreign countries.

Among other possible interpretations of the overwhelming rejection of the
Icelandic plan to reimburse the UK and the Netherlands
is the aversion
that people all over the globe have towards their being left in charge of
cleaning up the mess when big corporations, who pay their executives and
their shareholders huge amounts of salaries and profits, do not assume
responsibility for the consequences of their greed and accompanying
mismanagements. The sad thing is that the rest of us in this world had
to rely on the Icelanders to voice our opinions because in our democracies,
we were not asked to voice our opinions, we did not have a say, our govern-
ments and representatives did what they thought was right regardless
of the feelings of their constituents. And if we had to vote, I am not so
sure that there would be, here in America and elsewhere around the world,
a single penny authorized as reward for bad private corporate choices.
After all, it is common wisdom that to make a lot of money you have
to take high risks and high risks ought to be high risks, not guaranteed
return investments...


Handling of the North African and Middle-Eastern Uprisings: The United States under the guidance of the President and the Secretary of State stood consistently for principle, calling for freedom, democracy and prosperity and leaving the initiative to the people. It has been exercising a very discrete influence through its regional connections and its international partnerships.
America's continued embargo on Cuba and its failure to contribute to any meaningful progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The embargo on Cuba has had very limited impact on the regime and has not been helping the Cuban people. Recent developments attained through negotiations are showing the way to follow. The United States can accomplish great things by exercising discrete pressure whenever it can, as shown during the Egyptian uprising. But the United States, even under Barack Obama, has been unwilling and scared to apply any meaningful pressure whatsoever on the Israeli Government.

The people of Iceland are again voting today on the latest plan to repay
the UK and the Netherlands for costs incurred to these two countries when
the Icesave-Landsbanki collapsed. Icelanders are wise enough to decide for
the best whatever that might be. In the relevant article the BBC reported
that solving the dispute that is pending between Iceland, on the one hand,
and the UK and the Netherlands, on the other, that this referendum seeks
to accomplish, "is also seen as key to Iceland's chances of joining the EU".

The question is why Iceland, and for that matter any other country, would
be rashing or even wishing to join the EU under present circumstances.
Even though the European Union is a tremendous conceptual accomplish-
ment politically, too much attention has been focused on the finances and
the commercial aspects of the Union and too little attention is bestowed on
the political side and the partnership of states through the Union. Part of
the problem is that the big and powerful partners, Germany, France, poten-
tially Spain and Poland and eventually perhaps, Turkey, see the smaller
countries as cash cows and as tariff-free export territories for their own
goods, but do not appreciate either the fact that it is because of them that
they themselves have acquired significant political and economic power in
decision making, or the fact that smaller economies are small inherently,
partly because of size, and will never become as powerful or be able to
compete with the strongest no matter how well structured they become or
how much effort they invest towards that goal. There has to be, therefore,
a realization that some amount of aid will always have to flow from the
strong to the weak and that this is an inherent feature of a financial and
political union between non-uniform partners; a feature that benefits all
parties involved, not only the smaller countries, as the larger countries
would have the world believe.

The Syrians in Deraa are holding strong despite the intimidation and
brutality with which "their president" Bashar al-Assad has chosen to
confront the people that do not want him as "leader".
The irony is
that, by brutalizing the population of his own country, he is even
foregoing a distant possibility that may have existed of his remaining
in Syria as a figurhead president under a new free and democratic
parliamentary regime. How little foresight do all these deplorable
middle-eastern leaders seem to possess...

The Portuguese Government has repeated many times in the last few
months that Portugal could deal with its economic problems on its
own and that Portugal would not be following Greece and Ireland
in seeking EU assistance. The Portuguese are now asking for a similar
bail-out package. The Spanish Government has been and is still
denying that Spain is going to seek EU economic aid. Spain's Economy
Minister Elena Salgado said that "the financial markets were perfectly
able of distinguishing between the situations in Portugal and Spain."

The risk of contagion , she continued, is "absolutely ruled out" and
noted that Spain's economy is much more competitive than Portugal's.
Is it not very sad to realize how many lies an official spokesperson can
tell its international audience before he/she is forced finally to reveal
the unfortunate truth? The financial markets are perfectly able of
distinguishing between Portugal and Spain alright... They dealt the
lethal blow to the weakest first, and they are now ready to turn to
strongest, after their work is done. That is the only truth in Mrs.
Salgado's statements...

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is not an acceptable figure to assume leadership
and lead reforms in Libya.
No person with close ties to the crumbling
regime of Muammar Gaddafi has the credibility in the eyes of the
Libyan people or the international community to lead Libya towards
freedom and democracy. A man of such miniscule standing as the son
of the colonel, who, speaking a few days ago about the dreams of his
own countrymen, said that the dictatorship of his father would last
"until the last man standing", should be send in exile and not  enjoy
any privileges under the new political settlement in Libya.

On the occasion of the announcement of Barack's bid for reelection
in the 2012 Presidential Elections
, I will start a small series of personal
thumb-ups and thumb-downs for the work that he has been doing
while in office. They will just be based on positions of principle and
not on the details of each case. As with everything else in public life,
the situation is never black and white, all good or all bad; if it was
all good, there would not have been any opposition; if it was all
bad, the politician in question would
not have made those decisions
unless he had been dellusional and Barack does not fall in this category.
So, here we go:

Universal Health Care: After food and shelter, the next most pressing needs of citizens are education and health care. A country and government that cares enough about its citizens should provide both to the best of its ability before delving into other expenses.
America's continued involvement in Afghanistan and in particular the continued support (financial and otherwise) of the Karzai government, which is corrupt, inefficient and distinctly unenlightened. No country, especially one with strained financial resources, should provide huge amounts of financial backing to other countries, unless this happens on its own terms. The Karzai government, however, has repeatedly failed our expectations and, as a result, support should be withdrawn.

To ministers whose tongue runs faster than their brain one may give
only one answer: "Know thyself".

The U.N. represents our humanity, because the U.N. is the best that
this world has to offer as a political legacy; it represents an ideal
that, even though might seem obvious today, it took several wars,
attrocities and unjustifiable conflicts, suffering and killings to bring
into fruition and to successfully, albeit imperfectly, realize. In this
sense, violent acts against the U.N. and its personnel are crimes
against humanity. Pastors Jones and Sapp are morally responsible
for crimes against humanity and, in my eyes, they have lost any
moral authority that they may have ever had
. A more immediate
moral responsibility lies, however, with the Taliban, the Afghan
mullahs and the corrupt Karzai puppet Government, who are
keeping their subjects in the dark, in an uncivilized state of being,
and are encouraging backwardness, scarcity of education and an
unprecedented religious fanaticism that serves their interests well,
but makes potentially worthy human beings appear as pariahs and
outcasts in the eyes of the international community. Afghans,
A.D. The current year is 2011.


A military and political crisis in the Ivory Coast is threating to ignite
another very serious humanitarian catastrophy.
It is a shame that there
exist still countries on this planet where either free and fair elections
cannot be organized properly, or where the results of free and fair
elections are not respected by the politicians and/or warlords involved.
These are shameful events for the Ivory Coast and for both of its
political leaders, Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo, who seem
to have in mind everything but the well-being of their country and
the prosperity of its citizens. (Unfortunately, nothing new there for
Africa.) On the other hand, the crisis reveals a serious weakness of
the United Nations and the international community, which by now
should have had in place appropriate political crises intervention
structures and mechanisms to subdue undue behavior of shameful
candidates after elections and to facilitate political negotiations and
settlements acceptable by all parties and widely supported by local
populations. Recent events show that developing such structures and
mechanisms must be a primary goal of the U.N. and one supported
by as broad a coalition of developed nations as possible. If military
coalitions can be built and mobilized as swiftly as was done in the
case of Libya, then political coalitions exerting appropriate political
pressure to all parties involved before a serious political crisis erupts
should also be something doable in this second decade of the 21st century...

The U.S. should not be spending a single penny as assistance to a
country that has nurtured the Taliban and where utter lack of any
sign of civilization makes it acceptable to take a human life
worse, the lives of U.N. personnel) as revenge for burning a book
(any book; the fact that it was a religious book does not provide
a valid excuse for committing attrocities and harming humans).

Κατά την ομιλία του στη Βουλή ο πρωθυπουργός Γιώργος Παπανδρέου εγκάλεσε τον
αρχηγό της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης πως μένει προσκολλημένος στο παρελθόν και
στην υπεράσπιση του πρώην πρωθυπουργού, Κώστα Καραμανλή. 

Στη συνέχεια, ο κ. Σαμαράς απάντησε: «Για σας όλα πάνε καλά. Είπαμε να τιμήσετε την
Πρωταπριλιά, αλλά όχι κι έτσι. Χρόνια σας πολλά για την ημέρα, αλλά μιλήσατε για τον
προηγούμενο πρωθυπουργό. Εγώ σε σας βλέπω ήδη τον προηγούμενο πρωθυπουργό.
Έχετε χάσει πλήρως την επαφή με την πραγματικότητα

The Ghosts have also started following and pestering the Syrian dictator
Bashar al-Assad...
He has started seen internet monsters and plots against
"his" country and against his illegitimate authority. No "leader", no
matter how benevolent he might be, that does not conform to modern
democratic standards and does not respect his countrymen's basic rights
of freedom and self-determination is going to be left unscathed from these
"horrendous" ghosts awakening in the Middle East. Al-Assad ought to
assume a figurehead role and open his country's system for free and
fair elections for a representative government or risk leading Syria into
serious turmoil and unrest that will eventually lead to his family's long
overdue exile and obsolescence from public life...

This is the state of higher education is Michigan and these are the finances
or higher education in Michigan.


Unfortunately, the latest comments by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov on the United Nations sanctioned international military involvement
in Libya show a fundamental lack of understanding (or fundamental lack of

willingness to understand) on the part of the Russian Government that the
Libyan war is not what one would call a typical "civil war" between two factions
or tribes or religious sects that want to attain control of a government to get a
piece of the pie. It conforms much more to revolutionary standards, where a
large part of the population, lacking any form of self-government and any form
of representation in governmental bodies, is trying to assert its rights for self
determination. So, according to internationally established political rights,
such an uprising should be supported by the international community. Of
course, it is understandable why various governments, such as Russia's and
China's, would be scared s**tless in supporting the international community's
interference in enforcing these basic principles of freedom and self-government...

I am sending the following song out to the revolutionary democratic
fighters of North Africa and the Middle East: the brothers and sisters that
overthrew Ben Ali, the brothers and sisters that overthrew Mubarak, the
brothers and sisters that are fighting Gaddafi, the brothers and sisters that
are demonstrating and spilling their blood against the King and Sheikhs in
Bahrain, the uprisings that will bring down al-Assad and Abdullah and the
ones that will follow to get rid of the Sauds and that will smash the Iranian
mullahs. It is a song of Mikis Theodorakis, titled "The First Dead", that he
is singing with Maria Farantouri, both icons of our own Greek struggles for
independence, freedom and democracy. Greeks have fought, have had their
own dead, that this song honors, and have made it through: a small and rather
powerless, but, nevertheless, free, respectable member of the international
community and worthy partner in the European family. The Middle East
will be liberated too and will make it through and everyone is standing
by you and supporting your goals and aspirations for freedom, democracy
and prosperity.
Moreover, your blood and your sacrifices have an additional huge
impact in the well being and the rights for freedom and democracy
of future generations. This will result from the effect that your
massive uprisings will eventually have in the formulation of customary
international law concerning the legitimacy of governments. Instead
of governments being granted or denied "recognition" by particular
states at whim (e.g., United States, Britain, France, Soviet Union,
China, etc.) you are contributing in the establishment of a new universal
standard by which a government will only be considered legitimate
in the eyes of the entire international community if it is voted in by
the people over which it exercises power AND if it can be voted out by
the same people within a reasonable amount of time in free and fair

Bravo to Chancellor Angela Merkel that seems to understand, not
only the economic and financial dimensions of the Euro project but,
also its enormous symbolic and political significance for peace and
cooperation and stability in Europe.
At this difficult juncture in the
world financial situation and decisive testing point for the long
term functionality of both the common currency and the common
future of the European people, her stance is admirable and her own
courage in supporting the common policies remarkable.

Turkey is exhibiting a strange behavior in relation to the operation
imposing the no-fly zone over Libya.
Many countries in the NATO
alliance have various issues and reservations when it comes to certain
aspects of the operation. As members of the alliance, they have a
legitimate right and responsibility to raise those issues in the
appropriate alliance organs and take part in discussions that explore
solutions and corrective actions. Turkey's behavior, on the other
hand, in constantly and publicly issuing warnings against alliance
actions and finding causes for "hidden agendas" and "conspiracies"
in fellow NATO members actions, as if Turkey was not part of the
block, substantiates the suspicions of those in the Western block that
have maintained for quite a long time that, perhaps, culturally and
politically Turkey does not belong...

For France to have a credible voice in international affairs, it first needs
to fix and make credible its democracy at home. In the élections cantonales
2011, the abstention reached 56% of eligible voters. This is a bad sign for the
French democracy and an indication that the populace in France has lost
faith in its democratic institutions and is abandoning the democratic process.

The political system has to be fixed and reinvigorated before France can
assume again its rightful place as a beam of democratic ideals around the

Russia and the Arab League have to stop double talking. When Russia
abstained from voting for or against the United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1973
and when the Arab League supported the imposition of
the no-fly zone over Libya, they both knew very very well that that action
would involve a certain level of violence to ensure the safety of the allied
forces imposing the zone. (We, as citizens knew that very well because it
was publicly asserted by Secretary Gates; they must have known too.) A
posteriori pretending that they are the defenders or the Gaddafi regime or
that they are extermely concerned about these necessary strikes does not
serve either their own interests or the interests of the Libyan people. But,
after all, what else could we have expected form a bankrupt superpower
who still needs to assert that it has some role to play, but has had trouble
finding any essential one...

Gaddafi has misjudged the intentions of the international community of
civilized nations and has severely miscalculated the firepower that these
nations have available in their arsenals for every contingency
. The spread
of freedom and democracy and the eradication of corruption and oppression
have been given very high priority by the western nations under US leadership.
The eruption of local revolutions in the Middle East, therefore, was a chance
that these democracies did not have the luxury to leave without support.
Moreover, despite the fact that large amounts of western and United Nations
troops are engaged in Afghanistan and in Iraq and that these wars have been
at a stalemate and progress very arduous at best, the remaining firepower
is enough for any other moderately demanding contingency, such as Libya's.
The western resolve, backed by the United Nations, to protect civilian life has
never been more unshakable. Gaddafi, as a man of the past and a relic of past
ideologies and with a bankrupt absolutist mentality, of course failed to discern
these realities of the modern world of firm laws and principles...

The countdown for Gaddafi's family deposition has started. The
first planes of the international force have already flown reconnaissance
flights over Libyan territory
. One more leader has had his chances to
evacuate peacefully, but like so many others before him, has chosen
to be deposed by force and, hopefully to be exiled in disgrace, or,
perhaps, be executed...