31 oct. 2009

Città sudcoreana nel 1972.

Dimenticate l'articolo, questo è solo un omaggio a Michel Platini.

It is clear that Mr. Platini is prepared to run as far in office as he did on the field. Further, in fact, because at his peak, in the 1980s, he created an illusion of languid nonchalance. While others strained muscle and sinew, one pass from him, one shot, one flash of imagination could win the contest.
(Former Star on the Soccer Field, Now Trying to Level It)

30 oct. 2009

Migrant Mother.
Of all the many thousands of photographs that came out of this government-sponsored enterprise, none was more instantly affecting or has remained more famous than Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother. Taken in February 1936 at a pea pickers' camp near Nipomo, seventy miles northwest of Santa Barbara, it was published in the San Francisco News the following month, when it resulted in $200,000 in donations from appalled readers. In 1998, it became a 32¢ stamp in the Celebrate the Century series, with the caption "America Survives the Depression." For a long while now, I've tried to observe a self-imposed veto on the overworked words "icon" and "iconic," but in the exceptional case of Migrant Mother it's sorely tempting to lift it.
(American Pastoral)

Gli anni che verranno.

We hope party leaders seek solutions to China’s predicament by “breaking through monopoly” (破除垄断); by breaking through the monopolization of politics, leading China toward a process of normalized political competition, whereby power is checked and monitored in accordance with the constitution; by breaking through monopolization of the economy by the state; by breaking through the monopolization of civil affairs, allowing the healthy development of a civil society; by breaking through the monopolization of culture, allowing Chinese to think and speak freely in an atmosphere of tolerance and openness, and ensuring the unfettered flow of information.
(How the next ten years will decide China’s future)

For the first time in its history, users will be allowed to create full web and e-mail-addresses using non-Latin characters.
The change has been announced by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) at its board meeting taking place in Seoul, South Korea.
According to supporters of the change, it marks a huge technological shift in the way the web works with the potential to open up access to millions of new users.
Until now, anyone wanting to set up a website has been forced to include a few characters of Latin script in the address, or domain name, that they choose.
Other scripts, Arabic or Japanese for example, can be used in the first part, but whatever language is used, the address must end with a small but very important collection of Latin alphabet characters, .com, .gov, .co.uk, .cn and so on.
(Web to be truly worldwide at last)
La vita sotto i generali. Testimonianza rara, anche se privilegiata.

Che bell'anno.

(Pyongyang, 1972)

29 oct. 2009

Nello stesso pullman di Ansaldo.

La règle de ce voyage dans le pays le plus fermé de la planète - se fondre dans le paysage comme l'un des rares touristes le visitant - impose bien sûr une vision singulièrement tronquée d'une Corée du Nord où la propagande est érigée au rang de discipline artistique. On ne voit que ce que l'on vous montre, et ce que l'on peut glaner dans les interstices. Pyongyang, cette fois, donne plutôt l'impression d'un voyage à Sofia ou à Minsk dans les années 1950. Les bâtiments, le tramway, les boutiques en sous-sol des immeubles, tout sent les grandes heures de l'économie planifiée. Pour autant, ce n'est pas cette image caricaturale d'une ville où des hordes de citadins efflanqués et déprimés hantent de grises rues. Au contraire, il se dégage de la «ville des saules» une étonnante impression de calme, avec un air dont les rares voitures ne suffisent à altérer la pureté, de vastes avenues arborées et des rues où les seules agressions publicitaires sont les fresques à la gloire du régime. On y croise des cadres en costume, des femmes à la rassurante et universelle coquetterie, des couples qui flirtent dans les parcs ou le long des rives du fleuve Taedong. Bien sûr, Pyongyang est une vitrine, et les carreaux sont plus sales dans les bourgades de province, voire dans les rues excentrées de la capitale. Et il y a aussi ces longues files de citadins fatigués attendant des bus asthéniques, ces vieilles dames courbées sous le poids d'un sac de toile contenant tous leurs trésors.
(Voyage hors du temps en Corée du Nord)
Obama, più Carter che Truman.

Mr. Obama exhibits both the initial inexperience—and some of the naïveté—of Harry Truman when he took office. He has framed the challenge of radical Islam largely in terms of what a contrite America must do to apologize to the Muslim world, instead of addressing endemic religious intolerance, autocracy, statist economies, tribalism and gender apartheid that help fuel extremism.
The Obama administration reaches out to enemies such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al Assad, the Castro brothers and Hugo Chávez. It pays far less attention to British, Colombian, French, Israeli and Japanese allies. In unilateral fashion we withdrew promises of land-based antiballistic missile defense from Eastern Europe, giddy that we might appease the Russians into abrogating their patronage of Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Will an inexperienced Barack Obama, in the fashion of Harry Truman, learn quickly that the world is chaotic and unstable—best dealt with through strength and unabashed confidence in America's historic role galvanizing democratic allies to confront illiberal aggressors?
Or will a sermonizing Mr. Obama follow the aberrant Democratic path of the sanctimonious Jimmy Carter: finger-wagging at allies, appeasing enemies, publicly faulting his less than perfect predecessors, and hectoring the American people to evolve beyond their supposed prejudices?
America awaits the president's choice. The world's safety hinges upon it.
(Truman and the Principles of U.S. Foreign Policy)
Bancarelle a Pyongyang.

(Un album sulla Corea del Nord)
Non era Bush.

Militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan punctuated Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s arrival here with deadly attacks on Wednesday, underscoring their ability to cause chaos even in the face of offensives on both sides of the border.
In Pakistan, a devastating car bomb tore through a congested market in the northwest city of Peshawar, killing as many as 101 people, many of them women and children. Pakistani authorities said the attack was the country’s most serious in two years, and the deadliest ever in Peshawar, which has become a front line for Taliban efforts to destabilize the government through violence.
(Clinton Arrival in Pakistan Met by Fatal Attacks)

28 oct. 2009

Pare che a Pyongyang leggano Orwell (urge verifica)...

Biblioteca nazionale di Pyongyang, pomeriggio di un giorno qualsiasi di fine ottobre 2009. All'ombra di una grande statua di Kim Il Sung, "Presidente eterno", le cui mani posate in grembo sorreggono un quotidiano mentre lo sguardo domina paterno l'immensa sala centrale, chini su minuscoli banchi di legno stuoli di lettori compulsano, assieme a testi cari alla tradizione asiatica, una serie di volumi insoliti per questa latitudine: i capolavori della letteratura occidentale.
Il titolo "1984", romanzo di fantasia estremo e terribile, scritto nel 1948 ma di cui molti hanno intravisto la successiva materializzazione proprio nella società ipercontrollata della Corea del Nord, è - per quanto sembri incredibile - tra questi.
(Oltre la censura della Corea blindata)
L'oasi catalana.

El alcalde Bartomeu Muñoz y su concejal de urbanismo, Manuel Dobarco, el director gerente de servicios del ayuntamiento, Pascual Vela, el ex conseller de Economia y el ex secretario general de Presidència en gobiernos de Jordi Pujol, el ex diputado del PSC Luis García, y los dos empresarios del ramo de la construcción, Josep Singla y Luis Casamitjana están arrestados por los delitos de cohecho, tráfico de influencias y blanqueo de capitales.
(Los detenidos en la operación Pretoria)

27 oct. 2009

Chi ha paura dell'Orso nucleare?

Russia’s new military doctrine, which is to come into force in 2010, has provoked a heated debate, first of all because it stipulates preemptive nuclear strikes.
Moreover, it says that nuclear weapons may also be used in local conflicts in case of critical threats to Russia’s national security.

That war game showed that only nuclear weapons would save Russia in case of a Western aggression. The Russian government subsequently changed the schemes of using nuclear weapons, especially tactical ones.

Russia’s new military doctrine also has a clause on the use of military force to protect the lives and interests of Russian citizens abroad. This new addition to the Law On Defense was approved in the summer of 2009, and it will also be sealed in the new military doctrine.
(Who should fear Russia’s new military doctrine?)
Viaggio nel tempo.

(Un album sulla Corea del Nord)
La stagnazione del centrodestra.

Se il centrodestra vuole garantirsi un orizzonte di governo che superi la vita, biologica o politica, del suo leader è giunto il momento di copiare dagli odiati nemici almeno il metodo. La democrazia, si sa, è un sistema pessimo e pieno di insidie. Ma è ancora l’unico che garantisce ricambio, competizione leale e merito. Su questi valori abbiamo fondato anni di battaglie sociali, economiche, politiche. Al centrosinistra che accusavamo di volere una società immobile ed uguale per statuto, opponevamo la forza dirompente della meritocrazia, il valore di chi, a parità di condizioni di partenza, vince. Il nostro partito, invece, è diventato il simbolo della fissità, dell’incapacità di innovare e di innovarsi, del rifiuto di ogni regola di mercato. E’ ora di aprire una riflessione. Senza isterismi, ma con serietà.
(PdL, la lezione delle primarie)

26 oct. 2009

Democrazia controllata o autocrazia mascherata?

Il sistema Putin è quello che ha portato la Russia protagonista sulla scena internazionale e soprattutto dato una svolta decisa a un paese che sotto Eltsin era finito al collasso (default 1998). È la reazione al sistema caotico, oligarchico e pseudo democratico di Eltsin. È il sistema che la stragrande maggioranza dei russi condivide perché ha portato ordine, stabilità e grandi miglioramenti. Nessuno dice che sia un sistema perfetto, tutt’altro, visto che i problemi russi sono ancora enormi, ma Vladimir Putin ha dato una nuova prospettiva al Paese.
(Il sistema Putin e l’Europa. Intervista a Stefano Grazioli)
Il ritorno di Henry Kissinger.

There is no bottom-line conclusion here: in a presidency that is so young, one cannot know whether the soft line taken toward China, Sudan, Russia, and other violators of human liberties will in the end dominate Mr. Obama's foreign policy decisions. But neither can the early signs be ignored. For the moment, it appears, Henry Kissinger is back.
(Obama's Inner Kissinger)

24 oct. 2009

Formidabile quell'anno/3. Per ovvi motivi, questo è il libro da leggere da qui al 9 novembre prossimo.

Diffidare di tutti. Il ricatto della delazione nella Romania comunista.

The fact that I was now considered a spy because I had refused to become one was worse than the attempt to recruit me and the death threat. I was being slandered by precisely the people that I was protecting by refusing to spy on them. Jenny and a handful of colleagues could see the games that were being played with me. But those who knew me less well could not. How could I have explained to them what was going on, how could I have proved the opposite. It was completely impossible, as the Securitate knew only too well, and that is exactly why they did it to me. They knew, too, that such perfidy would be far more destructive than any blackmail. You can even get used to death threats. They are part and parcel of this one life we have. You can defy anxiety to the depths of your soul. But slander steals your soul. You just feel surrounded by horror.
(Herta Müller on Securitate Spies and Friends)

23 oct. 2009

Tigri Tamil e rifugiati: problemi diversi per lo Sri Lanka.

Measures have been taken to rehabilitate some 10,000 LTTE fighters – many of whom were forcibly conscripted by the separatist rebels. On 20 September the Justice and Law Reforms ministry announced a $23m programme called Reintegrating ex-LTTE Cadres into Civilian Life, in association with the International Organisation for Migration. The United States, Japan, Britain and India have promised financial assistance to the programme; Unicef and INGOs will be helping; and many big Sri Lankan companies have offered their support.

Conditions in the camps were highlighted by an incident in the Menik Farm camp on 26 September when, according to the UNHCR, “several people are said to have been injured, including a child who was hit by a stray bullet and is now paralysed.”
Col R Hariharan, head of intelligence of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka from 1987-1990, believes the EU cannot ignore strong public opinion about Sri Lanka’s conduct. He says the government “has to come out with a list of LTTE cadres and camp followers in custody so that there is a record of who is where, lest further accusations of executions in custody pile up. These are basic norms of good governance and Sri Lanka is expected to adhere to them. These issues are gathering adverse international momentum and nothing convinces international community as much as visible results.”
(Rehabilitating the Tigers)
I primi quattro.

Chinese authorities have carried out their first executions of Tibetans in connection with the deadly riots that swept Lhasa last year, according to exile groups.

It identified three of the executed Tibetans as two men – Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak – and a woman named Penkyi. The fourth victim was not named.
(China executes Tibetan protesters)

The posters are a matter of some concern to the local party apparatus, in part because Kim Jong Il’s name was used without any honorific title (Great General, Grand Kleagle, Most Omnipotent Plenipotentiary, His Previously Porcine Majesty). How concerned are they? Apparently, the security forces have plans to haul in 80,000 people for handwriting samples.
(Anti-Kim Jong Il Posters Trigger Massive Dragnet in Small Farming Town)
(N Korea food shortage 'desperate')

20 oct. 2009

Il grande imbonitore (già alle corde).

The White House trying to dictate who's a news organization. Democrats out to gut a business group. Obama media allies damning Americans as racist, unpatriotic and treasonous. Is this the America Obama promised when he campaigned to end the cynical and divisive politics of the past?
(Excuses wearing thin for Obama, media pals)
Tutti pazzi per Kim.

He showed a lot of enthusiasm. He said he hopes the North and South Korean government can talk things through so to have a lot of South Korean companies enter the North, and he also said that since they have the natural resources and the South has the skills to sell, if both sides work together he expects the North and South to prosper.
(Doing business in North Korea)

17 oct. 2009

Ci siamo giocati anche il Darfur.

The Obama administration has formulated a new policy for Sudan that proposes working with that country’s government, rather than isolating it as President Obama had pledged to do during his campaign.
In an interview on Friday, President Obama’s special envoy to Sudan, Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, retired, said the policy, to be announced Monday by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, would make use of a mix of “incentives and pressure” to seek an end to the human rights abuses that have left millions of people dead or displaced while burning Darfur into the American conscience.
(Obama Drops Plan to Isolate Sudan Leaders)

16 oct. 2009

Storie di eroi (senza Nobel).

But first, Vaclav Havel had a question.
Was it true that President Obama had refused to meet the Dalai Lama in Washington?

Told that Mr. Obama had made clear he would receive the Dalai Lama after his first presidential visit to China in November, Mr. Havel reached out to touch a magnificent glass dish, inscribed with the preamble to the United States Constitution — a gift from Mr. Obama, who visited in April.
“It is only a minor compromise,” Mr. Havel said of the nonreception of the Tibetan leader. “But exactly with these minor compromises start the big and dangerous ones, the real problems”.
(Havel, Still a Man of Morals and Mischief)

15 oct. 2009

11 oct. 2009

Realismo e pallone. Fa sempre un certo effetto vedere determinate immagini... Videla e il suo cappotto, tutti quei coriandoli, Kissinger che tifa Argentina, l'America e i militari... Storie del passato, no?

P.S. Che sofferenza ieri.
Anna. Ci sono i Nobel, e poi le cose serie.

(Three Years - No Killer, No Justice)

10 oct. 2009

First in, first out. Per un increscioso errore ho ordinato due volte ad Amazon il libro di James Fallows

Se qualcuno fosse interessato alla copia in eccesso me lo faccia sapere all'indirizzo e-mail qui a fianco e vedrò di inviarglielo. Consideratelo un premio fedeltà per chi è rimasto. Il notaio certifica che il primo che lo richiede se lo porta a casa.
Che qualcosa non torni? Chissà che anche agli osannanti Obama-boys sorga qualche dubbio ogni tanto...

 (Fidel Castro lauds Nobel prize for Obama)
21768 pallottole alla nuca. Un film necessario.

 (Katyn massacre)

9 oct. 2009

Scambiamoci un segno di Pace.

(Obama's self-defeating "realism" in Asia)