Archive for the ‘Sarkozy’ Category

France To Become Full Member of NATO

March 11, 2009

France’s arms length relationship with NATO is about to end as President Nicolas Sarkozy will announce that France will rejoin the North Atalantic Alliance.

I can recall participating in NATO working groups and having to do a torturous kabuki dance just to get French participation on issues and actions the French and the rest of NATO wanted France in on.

France’s long divorce from NATO, which began in De Gaulle’s time, is about to end: and that should be good for France, and all the rest of NATO.

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PARIS (Reuters) – France wants to become a full member of NATO, ending more than four decades of self-imposed exile from the alliance’s inner core, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said on Wednesday.

France is NATO’s fourth largest contributor of troops, but in an effort to mark its difference with the United States it has long snubbed the organization’s integrated military command, which plans, trains and conducts joint operations.

Morin told a Defense conference that times had changed and that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was keen for France to play a full role in the world’s biggest Defense alliance.

“The president and myself are convinced that France can renew its relations with NATO whilst being an independent ally and free partner of the United States,” he said.

France quit the NATO command in March 1966 and ordered the organization to close its headquarters in France, with the then President Charles De Gaulle saying Paris did not want to be dragged into a war that was not of its own choosing.

The decision, taken in the midst of the east-west Cold War, was the culmination of years of Franco-American rivalry over control of the alliance and of nuclear weapons.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090
311/wl_nm/us_nato_france_1

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/europe/03/11/france.sarkozy.nato/i
ndex.html

Obama has little reason to fall in with the G20

March 8, 2009

“REDUCED cost of government, adequate government income, and ability to service government debts are all so important to ultimate stability . . . The United States seeks the kind of dollar which a generation hence will have the same purchasing and debt-paying power . . . Our broad purpose is the permanent stabilisation of every nation’s currency.”

By Irwin Stelzer
The Times (UK)

So wired Franklin D Roosevelt to the representatives of the 66 nations attending the London Economic Conference on July 3, 1933. Sailing on his yacht at the time, the president decided to torpedo prime minister Ramsay MacDonald’s plan for international action to deal with war debts and currency stabilisation.

Gordon Brown is less concerned about maintaining the value of his currency than that old dissimulator FDR professed to be. He needs a successful, or at least big and glitzy international conference for other reasons, not least for the political uplift that a sprinkle of Obama stardust might provide. But enough cynicism. Equally important is the prime minister’s belief in the need for international co-ordination and a strong stand against protectionism.

So he is relieved to have avoided MacDonald’s fate: the American president will attend the April 2 London conference of the G20 nations.

The important question is whether the conference can achieve its goal of a co-ordinated response to the world recession. There are reasons to doubt it.

The first is that Brown’s plea to a joint session of Congress to avoid “a protectionism that . . . in the end protects no one” fell on deaf ears. The White House and the Congress have assured their trade-union funders that Doha is dead, and there will be no more trade-opening measures. Indeed, existing agreements are to be tightened. Washington has more in common with French president Nicolas Sarkozy than with Brown when it comes to trade.

The second obstacle to close co-operation was made clear by the president in a press conference with the prime minister. Brown talked of grand bargains, a global new deal. Obama spoke vaguely of better co-ordination of financial regulation, and expressed no enthusiasm for co-ordinating American recovery efforts with those of the EU, except to call on Britain and Europe to do more. The president faces a bailout-weary Congress, and one that wants any additional borrow-and-spend directed at the plight of America’s homeowners. Indeed, even when it comes to regulation, the White House and key congressional figures let it be known that America has no intention of ceding any of its powers to an international body.

Perhaps the only area of solid agreement was a distaste for “tax havens” — those places to which over-taxed individuals and companies can legally flee. Nothing appeals to the leaders of nations such as high-tax Britain and soon-to-be-high-tax America as the possibility of a cartel that can impose its policies by disciplining “cheaters”.

The third obstacle in the path of a Brown triumph at the conference is money. The prime minister wants a larger role to be assigned to international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. But that would mean a larger contribution from cash-strapped Obama, which is not on the cards, especially since America is already under-represented at the IMF and the administration is taken with the scathing criticism of the IMF from economists it respects, such as Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz.

Fourth, Obama has no sentimental attachment to Britain or to Europe. He has a broadly leftist ideology, but other than that he is a “whatever works” sort of guy, to borrow from Tony Blair. Which is why his primary attention is on Asia, where Japan and China must continue to purchase Treasury IOUs if the Obama domestic programme is to be financed.

It is no surprise that Japan’s prime minister Taro Aso beat Brown for the prize of first foreign leader to be granted access to the Obama Oval Office. Or that Hillary Clinton slid over the little matter of China’s human-rights violations when she visited the regime’s leaders.

Finally, Obama knows that his presidency is doomed if there is another attack on the homeland that George Bush kept safe for seven years. That is why he has felt it necessary to make the war in Afghanistan, home of plotters aiming to do harm to America, Obama’s War. So he wants more troops from his European allies. And troops that will fight, not merely “reconstruct”, or patrol peaceful areas, or remain in barracks at night. But the Europeans are having none of it, which Obama — who already knows this — will have officially confirmed to him at the Nato meetings to which he will fly after the G20 session.

Read the rest:
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busine
ss/columnists/article5864579.ece

France’s Sarkozy aims to defuse economic protests

February 15, 2009

French President Nicholas Sarkozy will try this week to defuse protests against his economic plans but talks with unions will be tough with unemployment rising, growth tumbling and Caribbean unrest threatening to spread.

More than a million people took to the streets across France two weeks ago in protest at Sarkozy’s policies, demanding pay rises and protection for jobs in the face of the downturn, and trade unions have penciled in another protest next month.

By Francois Murphy, Reuters

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) waves at spectators as ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) waves at spectators as he stands next to French former ski legend Jean Claude Killy after the women’s Slalom race at the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2009 in Val d’Isere February 14, 2009.(Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

Sarkozy’s 26 billion euro ($33.6 billion) stimulus plan has focused on public spending projects such as building roads and modernizing rail links rather than helping consumers directly. Unions and the political left have called on him to change tack.

A television appearance after the protests, intended to allay public fears, only weakened Sarkozy’s support further. He will head into a meeting with unions on Wednesday under pressure to address their concerns, but room for maneuver is limited.

“The outcome of my five-year term is at stake,” newspaper Le Figaro, which is close to Sarkozy, quoted him as telling advisers in its Saturday edition.

French gross domestic product fell 1.2 percent in the last three months of 2008, its biggest drop in 34 years, as exports fell and retailers reduced their stock, and unemployment in December was 11 percent higher than a year earlier.

Increasing the pressure on Sarkozy before Wednesday’s “social summit,” the opposition Socialists have called for a 1 percentage point cut in value-added tax and a 3 percent rise in the minimum wage to give a boost to consumer spending.

CARIBBEAN TROUBLE

“France is the only country not to act massively and immediately in the direction of purchasing power, while a consensus has been established by economists on the need for such measures alongside those in favor of investment,” prominent Socialist Dider Migaud said last week.

Britain has cut its value-added tax by 2 percentage points but Sarkozy lambasted the move in his television address, saying it “brought absolutely no progress,” angering Downing Street.

Sarkozy has also said it is only worth increasing France’s public debt for stimulus measures that amount to investments for the future rather than funding consumer spending, even though that is traditionally the main driver of French growth.

He is likely to cite one of the few bright spots in last week’s GDP figures in his defense — household consumption rose 0.5 percent in the last three months of 2008, suggesting that consumers did not need further encouragement to keep spending.

But that is unlikely to sway protesters in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique which have been crippled by strikers demanding pay rises and lower food prices.

Unions and associations began the protest in Guadeloupe on January 20 demanding a 200 euro monthly rise for low-wage workers. The protest has since spread to Martinique and, to a more limited extent, the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, and there are fears that it could spread to mainland France.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009021
5/wl_nm/us_france_sarkozy_1

Related:
http://www.uexpress.com/tedrall/

http://integralpsychosis.wordpress.com
/2009/02/15/france-it-couldnt-happe
n-here-could-it/

France Rejects “Obama Style” Stimulus

France Rejects “Obama Style Stimulus;” Turns Way Left

Palestinians Accuse Israel of Disrupting Peace — Makes No Mention of Rocket Attacks Into Israel

February 2, 2009

The Palestinian Authority today accused Israel of making the Gaza cease fire difficult on Monday.

He made no mention of the Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the situation in Gaza “remains fragile” – with “military operations” and “Israeli bombardments.”  He was speaking in Paris where he met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Israel has made no secret of the fact that it would hit Hamas in Gaza hard if it fired rockets into Israel.

The Israeli foreign minister pledged Monday to keep hitting Hamas as long as it attacks Israel, ruling out negotiations with the militant Islamic rulers of Gaza just eight days before national elections in which she is running for prime minister.

Related from Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=123330
4666472&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/02/01/
israel.rockets/index.html

Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090202/ap_
on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians_1020

Global Economy Sparks Protests; Governments Fear Greater “Social Unrest”

January 31, 2009

Americans just started a new presidency but in China, Russia, France, Iceland and Britain, some leaders already fear that the worsening global economy will result in calls for new governments with new leaders and ideas.

Protesters in Rusia’s eastern most industrial hub and seaport, Vladivostok, called this week for new government leaders because of the economic down turn.

Opposition groups led by Communists protested the economic policies of the Russian government in the eastern city of Vladivostok on Saturday.
James Hill for The New York Times

The protest was peaceful; but more protests are planned.  And previous protests like this one in Russia ended in violence and the police making dozens of arrests. 

The crowd called for the replacement of Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, Russia’s top leaders, for mismanaging the economy.

On Saturday protesters held demonstrations throughout Russia, offering largely subdued, but pointed criticism of the government’s economic policies as the country continues to sink deeper into an economic morass, the New York Times said.

In Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is under fire.  He is currently taking heat for a jobs and rights protest that stems from his pledge that “British jobs need to be British.”
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Thousands of workers across Britain have walked off their jobs following protests over the use of foreigners at a Lincolnshire oil refinery.

On Saturday, the number of strikers multiplied, with hundreds of energy workers across the UK protesting — and with lines of police around them.

And millions of Chinese have gone home for the Spring Festival or New Year and told not to return to their jobs.  China is so worried about domestic unrest that it has started its largest anti-democracy crackdown ever: specifically targeting the media and Internet.

“People have this psychology of crisis,” said Victor Yuan, chairman of Beijing-based consultant Horizon Research Consultancy Group, which does polling for the private sector and the government.

Horizon’s latest survey showed consumer confidence at its lowest since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in 2003.

“The real, real winter for the Chinese economy hasn’t come yet,” said Chen Jian, chairman of Hangzhou Hengwei Investment Co., which has business in restaurants, real estate and trading.

In France, President Sarkozy can’t get away from the jeers and shouts of protestors when he makes public appearances.  He has taken to firing public officials that  don’t keep protesters far away from the President’s ears.

A crowd of 300,000 protested in Paris this week in the largest protest in 10 years, some said.

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Paris this week

Countries such as France and Greece have been hit by riots and strikes as militant unions demand protectionist measures to keep out foreign rivals.

And both Germany and China expressed fears of American protectionism this week.  Angela Merkel of German told audiences at the economic conference in Davos that the U.S. auto bailout hurts the global economy and spells a new era of protectionism from the U.S.  China’s Hu Juntao told President Barack Obama that the “buy American” provision in the stimulus was rank protectionism and needed to be scuttled.

The economy has made the entire world more tense.

The French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said, “We’re facing two major risks: one is social unrest and the second is protectionism.”

“We need to restore confidence in the systems and confidence at large,” she added.

Christine Lagarde
Lagarde

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the world body needs to be reorganized in view of the economic crisis.

“The current architecture of managing global affairs is broken and needs to be fixed,” Annan said.

The worldwide economic recession has exposed a “crisis of global governance” that can only be addressed by the radical reform of the United Nations, said Mr. Annan.

And Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on world leaders to set about reforming international financial institutions to prevent a repeat of the circumstances that led to the current financial crisis.

“We’ve got to be far bolder and far more imaginative,” Brown said. “We want to create a global society. But we need to have global institutions that work and the problem is the institutions we built 60 years ago are out of date.”

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

The BBC on Russian Protests:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7862370.stm

Related:
Britain:
 Oil refinery strikes: Protests over foreign workers

France’s Sarkozy Getting Testy Amid Public Disapporval, Fires Public Servants

China, Germany Both Pressure Obama on Protectionism

Kofi Annan: Global Economy Tells Us, New forms of government needed

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/0
1/31/davos.wef.brown/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/0
1/30/britain.refinery.strikes/index.html

Paris:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/
world-news/300000-protest-in-paris-14
162666.html?r=RSS

France’s Sarkozy Getting Testy Amid Public Disapporval, Fires Public Servants

January 31, 2009

To jeer President Nicolas Sarkozy has become a serious offence, punishable by the sacking of any official who allows the boos to reach the presidential ears. The police chief and the most senior national government official in the Manche département (county) of lower Normandy have been fired in successive days, to the fury of local politicians, including members of M. Sarkozy’s own party.

By John Lichfield in Paris
The Independent (UK)

 

The officials’ offence was to fail to shield the President from the boos and whistles of protesters when he made a speech in the town of Saint-Lô earlier this month. Their dismissal has fuelled a debate about President Sarkozy’s increasingly autocratic behaviour. Two high-profile ministers from ethnic minorities, appointed by M. Sarkozy to much fanfare in 2007, have been placed in the political deep-freeze by the President in recent weeks. Last year he ordered the firing of a successful Corsican police chief after nationalist protesters had invaded the garden of his friend, the actor Christian Clavier.

The latest victims of presidential pique are two recently-appointed officials who had overall responsibility for public order when M. Sarkozy visited lower Normandy to speak on education reform on 12 January. About 3,000 demonstrators protested. M. Sarkozy was furious the demonstrators had been allowed to come so near that he could hear them faintly.

Read the rest:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/e
urope/officials-sacked-after-sarkozy-hears-
jeers-1521692.html

China Discovers Compensation for Pain, Agony; But Don’t Expect Much

January 26, 2009

Unemployed: China will help out.  Loved ones lost in the earthquake?  China will pay.  Kids killed by poisoned milk: not to worry.

China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao just visited survivors of last May’s earthquake which devastated large parts of Sichuan province last year to help them celebrate the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival.

Many Chinese lost family members, children and friends in the earthquake, along with their homes, jobs and towns.

Related:
China Premier’s gifts to Europe come with price-tags

Wen cooked spicey Chinese stew and handed out money to some earthquake victims.  The cooking was done in a government tent shelter.

Above: Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Sichuan Province, in a photo distributed by the official Chinese news agency. Yao Dawei/Xinhua, via Reuters

China’s state run media said about 75 million earthquake victims got the equivalent of $15.00 to help them celebrate the New Year.  Per family.

Isn’t this called “papering over” trouble?
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China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also announced on Monday that the government is to help train as many as one million jobless college graduates over the next three years.

Graduates will also be offered small loans to help them start their own businesses.

Let’s hope it’s more than fifteen bucks.

Experts say there are more than 20 million newly unemployed people in China, many of them migrants.  China is worried that unemployment will cause social unrest.

But analysts say the education and job-start programs show the government’s increasing concern with rising unemployment.

Tomorrow Mr. Wen travels to Europe to pass out goodies.

There hasn’t been an earthquake in Europe unless you count the global economic melt-down.

Lets hope fifteen U.S. dollars doesn’t buy China any loyalty in Paris, London and elsewhere.  Oh, excuse us, Paris is not on Mr. Wen’s itinerary….

President Sarkozy’s love of the Dalai Lama cost him at least $15.00….and China’s love….

Related from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7850726.stm

China celebrates New Year:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090126/ap_o
n_re_as/as_china_new_year_2

http://www.france24.com/en/20090125-
global-crisis-dampens-china-new-year-
celebrations

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The China Dairy Industry Association has claimed that 90 percent families of the victims in the country’s tainted milk scandal have been compensated.

Without disclosing the compensation amount, the association said that families of 262,662 children who were sickened after drinking the melamine-contaminated milk products had signed compensation agreements and accepted compensation, the chinaview.com reports.

Out of the families of six dead children and 891 other infants, all except two had accepted compensation, the association said. However, families of 23,651 sickened children have yet to be reached mainly because of wrong or untrue registration of names, it added.

There are only a handful of families of sickened children who want to realize their rights and interests by filing lawsuits and did not accept compensation, it said.

The Chinese Health Ministry has confirmed deaths of six infants who died after consuming contaminated milk products, whereas 296,000 infants suffered kidney stones and other urinary problems.

In a letter sent to victims last month, Sanlu Group which was at the center of the scandal along with 21 other dairy companies, offered 200,000 yuan for families whose children died and 30,000 yuan for serious cases such as kidney stones and acute kidney failure. The less severe case victims got 2,000 yuan as damage.

The dairy companies have also set up a fund to pay the medical liabilities of the sickened children until they reach the age of 18.Read the rest from ANI and New Karala:
http://www.newkerala.com/topstory-fu
llnews-81131.html

Related:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/sto
ry.php?storyId=99002599

International Effort “Guarantees” Gaza Cease Fire

January 17, 2009

On Tuesday, Israel was already looking for a way to end the fighting in Gaza.

But Hamas was pledging to fight to the last drop of blood.

And Hamas was supported and emboldened by allies such as Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and thousands of of protesting and angry anti-Israeli people.

So a group in the international community made a pledge, in the form of a question, to Israel: If we can help you achieve your goals will you end the fighting?

Israel agreed.  And as of today, Israel, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy and others are living up to that agreement.

Israel really needed two things: a halt to the rocket attacks into Israel and a way to assure that Hamas doesn’t rearm.

Today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters that France and Germany had joined Britain in a pledge to curtail the bloodshed in Gaza now, by offering long-term support in keeping Hamas from rearming.

 “The Israelis, Egyptians and Palestinian Authority know this offer is available,” he said. “I think this may make it easier for people to come to a cease-fire.”
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Brown said that if a cease-fire is reached, Britain has people ready to enter Gaza to provide humanitarian aid to help relieve the obvious suffering.

“Britain will not be found lacking in the support we can give,” he said.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office released a statement indicating that she, Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had sent letters to Israeli and Egyptian leaders expressing a willingness to take a series of concrete measures to combat arms smuggling.

She said they all expressed support for “the efforts of the Israeli and Egyptian governments to reach a lasting cease-fire in Gaza.”

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi also joined in the offer of help, his office said Saturday.

European diplomats are part of a global push to calm the situation in Gaza, where more than 1,100 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed since an Israeli offensive against Hamas terrorists began in late December.

Israel thought the U.S. so important to the international effort that prime Minister Ehud Olmert sent Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to Washington DC to sign an agreement with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The two-and-a-half page document outlines a framework under which the United States will provide military and intelligence assets, including detection and surveillance equipment, as well as logistical help and training to Israel, Egypt and other nations in the region. The equipment and training would be used for monitoring Gaza’s land and sea borders.

The document also calls for the U.S. to expand work with its NATO partners in the effort, particularly in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and eastern Africa, according to a text.

It also commits Washington to use relevant components of the U.S. military to assist Mideast governments in preventing weapons and explosives flows to Gaza that originate in or transit their territories.

“If this doesn’t satisfy the Israeli cabinet, what will?” a Western observer asked

Related from the Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232
100167091&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2
FShowFull

Related:
 Russia “Herding Squirrels” Iran, Syria, Hamas Toward Cease Fire

Israel: “Goal Today” Is Unilateral Cease Fire, No Matter What Hamas Says

January 17, 2009

“After three weeks of Operation Cast Lead, we are very close to reaching the goals and securing them through diplomatic agreements,” Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said during a visit to the south of the country, according to a statement from his office.

“The goal is to announce, subject to cabinet approval, a suspension of military activities because we believe our goals have been attained,” said an Israeli official, asking not to be named.

“There is no agreement with Hamas,” the Israeli official said, adding that Israel would reserve the right to act if Hamas continued firing or launched rockets across the border.

Read this to mean: we are the victors and can stop the fighting with dignity, honor and security.

Israel’s cabinet will vote on a cease fire late Saturday, says Mark Regev, Prime Minister Olmert’s press spokesman.

But what about Hamas, Israel’s partner in this battle?

“Hamas is not a nation. They are terrorists,” one Israeli official told us.  “They refuse to negotiate and swear an oath to destroy us.  How do we negotiate with them?”Hamas leaders are following the lead of President Ahmadinejad in Iran.  Leaders in Iran and Hamas refuse to say “Israel;” referring only to the “Zionist state.”

Related:
Gaza Day 22: Hamas Threatens “We Will Continue Battle,” Meanwhile Israel Talks “Unilateral Cease Fire”

Egypt is at the moment considering whether to organize a summit in the near future in Cairo between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA reported on Saturday that Mubarak has invited French President Nicholas Sarzoky and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for talks on how to end the Gaza offensive.

This is shaping up as a peace conference of sorts where one war participant doesn’t even get a seat at the table….

Israel’s Likud Party Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu said in interview, “We must prevent the firing of Hamas rockets and we must seal off the southern corridore so no future rockets can come in and be fired against Israel.”

Netanyahu video:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellit
e?pagename=JPost/Page/VideoPlayer
&cid=1194419829128&videoId=1231
950866043

Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/

Related from AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090117/a
p_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

Reuters:
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews
/idUSTRE5053R720090117?feedType=
RSS&feedName=topNews

In defense of Israel’s ‘disproportionate’ response in Gaza

January 9, 2009

It seems that whenever Israel responds to violent overtures from groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, leaders of the international community are quick to assign equal condemnation to Israelis and Palestinians regardless of whether one is legitimately acting in self-defense.

Whether it is due to a latent anti-Semitism, the desire to avoid inflaming fundamentalist Arab passions, or simply an unrealistic belief in equality, world leaders are focusing too much on buzzwords.

In the case of Israel, the buzzwords are the “disproportionate” and “excessive” use of force – terms used in the 2006 Lebanon war and most recently spoken by French President Nikolas Sarkozy and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in response to Israel’s Gaza offensive.

By Allan Richarz
Christian Science Monitor

This is a particularly puzzling criticism of Israel. Would the international community truly prefer a proportionate or equal response? If Hamas launches three crudely-fashioned rockets into Israel, should the Israeli government respond with three equally-crude rockets? If three Israeli Defense Forces are kidnapped by Hezbollah, should the IDF respond by kidnapping an equal number of Hezbollah foot-soldiers?

The notion of “proportional” response lacks both merit and logical support for several reasons. In war, there are winners and losers, and the only palatable means of victory come from a disproportionate use of force. Victors are inherently more skilled in combat, tactics, and in the effective deployment of (generally superior) technology.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090109/cm_csm/yricharz_1