Monthly Archives: August 2012

Popular Dissent: Why Pussy Riot and Ai Weiwei Are Only the Beginning

Free Ai Weiwei 艾未未

Free Ai Weiwei (Photo credit: jasonbchen)

By Alice WangWorld Policy Institute, August 31, 2012

The line for the public reading of Pussy Riot’s closing statements in New York stretched around the block of the Ace Hotel on the night before the women’s sentencing. Even after the doors were locked, the crowd waited on the off chance of catching the tail-end of the event, whose star-studded line-up included Chloe Sevigny and members of the American feminist punk rock band Le Tigre. Near the front, supporters exchanged views about the case with event personnel to pass the time. The banter grew heated when one disgruntled supporter evoked Madonna’s endorsement of Pussy Riot to make an impassioned argument that the cause was more important than the venue’s petty fires safety codes… (more)

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Filed under Russia, Think Tank, World Policy Institute (WPI)

A Conversation on Iran with Israeli Brigadier Gen. Eliezer Hemeli

(en) Locator map that shows both Israel and Ir...

Locator map that shows both Israel and Iran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By , Foreign Policy Association, August 31, 2012

(The following was taken by FPA from  The article was written by Jspace Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Rob Lattin, who also blogs about Israeli and Middle Eastern foreign policy for Foreign Policy Blogs.)

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Israeli Brigadier General (res.) Eliezer Hemeli, who spent a large portion of his life on the battlefield in Lebanon and Syria. I asked him a few questions on his views toward the Iranian nuclear dilemma. Over the last year Israeli leadership, both political and military, have been divided on how best to handle Iran. Major figures such as the previous military chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former defense minister and military chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, and the previous head of Mossad Meir Dagan have all expressed concern over the way the current Israeli administration is handling things. General Hemeli generally agrees with the aforementioned leaders, and told me that while war might be necessary, there are other non-violent ways at this point to force Iran to comply… (more)

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European Union Commissioner for Energy to visit Azerbaijan

Günther H. Oettinger, former (until 2010-02-10...

Günther H. Oettinger, former (until 2010-02-10) Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

E. Kosolapova  (Trend), European Geopolitical Forum, August 31, 2012

European Union Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger will travel to Azerbaijan on 1-2 September, EU office in Baku reported on Friday.

“In Baku he will hold meetings with President Ilham Aliyev, Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Energy and Industry Natig Aliyev and other officials. After the visit to Azerbaijan, the Commissioner will travel to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan,” the EU office said… (more)


Filed under Caucasus, European Foreign Policy, European Geopolitical Forum (gpf-Europe), European Union, Think Tank

International Security Advisory Board and Its Misplaced Focus

North Korea and weapons of mass destruction

North Korea and weapons of mass destruction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By  and Heritage Foundation, August 31, 2012

The U.S. and its allies face many grave dangers today, including the spread of ballistic missiles and nuclear know-how. The International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), designed to provide independent analysis and advisement regarding such issues for the Secretary of State, recently published a report titled “Mutual Assured Stability: Essential Components and Near Term Actions.” The report’s recommendations, however, are almost exclusively focused on improving relations with Russia and largely ignore the risks associated with a nuclear North Korea and Iran… (more)

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Sweden’s Other Rape Suspects

A sexual assault awareness poster.

A sexual assault awareness poster. (Photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery)

Naomi WolfProject Syndicate, August 31, 2012

It is difficult for me, as an advocate against rape and other forms of violence against women, to fathom the laziness and willful ignorance that characterize so much of the media coverage of the sexual-assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. To report that we are simply witnessing Swedish justice at work, one must be committed to doing no research – not even the bare minimum of picking up a phone. In fact, we are witnessing a bizarre aberration in the context of Sweden’s treatment of sex crime – a case that exposes the grim reality of indifference, or worse, that victims there and elsewhere face… (more)

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Germany’s Pivot to China

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Elizabeth Pond, World Policy Institute, August 31, 2012

Six decades after post-Hitler Germany outsourced its foreign policy to its Western allies, Berlin is again a diplomatic powerhouse. This week Chinese leaders and Syrian rebels alike are attesting to Berlin’s clout… (more)

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Filed under European Foreign Policy, Germany, Think Tank, World Policy Institute (WPI)

Federalism or Bust for Europe?

Council of Europe's definition of Europe

Council of Europe’s definition of Europe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jean Pisani-FerryProject Syndicate, August 31, 2012

Is Europe inventing a new governance model, or has it only taken a detour from the inevitable choice?

August was quieter than feared on the European bond markets. So, while resting on Europe’s beaches and mountains, policymakers could take a step back from the sound and fury of the last few months and think about the future. Is the eurozone sleepwalking into becoming a United States of Europe? Is it exploring uncharted territory? Or are its constituent nation-states drifting apart? (more)

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Filed under European Foreign Policy, European Union, Project Syndicate (ProSyn), Think Tank

The Ukrainian Language: Losing its Voice

English: Native language in Ukraine. Legend: U...

Native language in Ukraine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By: Olga Shumylo-Tapiola, Carnegie Europe, August 31, 2012

For a long time, I refused to write about the language issue in Ukraine. I simply did not see the point. For a Ukrainian born in a Russian-speaking family in Kyiv, the line was clear. I lived in Ukraine where the only official language was Ukrainian. For years, I enjoyed my society’s tolerance—I could use Russian with my friends and family. However, from kindergarten to the workplace I spoke Ukrainian… (more)

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Filed under Blogger, Carnegie Institute, Judy Dempsey, Think Tank, Ukraine

ECB President Draghi Determined to Save the Euro


English: Kemal Dervis, Administrator, United N...

English: Kemal Dervis, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), during the Annual Meeting 2006 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kemal Derviş, Brookings, August 30, 2012 

August has been a dangerous month in European history, but this year it could be the turning point for the eurozone – and perhaps for the world economy. On July 26, Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, declared that his institution would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro, and added: “Believe me, it will be enough.”… (more)

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Filed under Brookings Institute, European Foreign Policy, European Union, Financial Crisis, Think Tank

Immigration Policy (in US and Europe) Needs Penalties and Incentives

A Helicopter and two boats of the U.S. Customs...

A Helicopter and two boats of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Border Patrol, Office of CBP Air and Marine) :Original caption: CBP Air and Marine Intrepid and SafeBoat vessels accompanied on patrol by a UH-1 Huey near San Diego, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Council on Foreign Relations:

By Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow,

It is certainly too soon to say that the problem of illegal migration has been resolved in the United States and Europe. But over the past decade, it has been reduced from a major challenge to governmental authority to a manageable problem, largely as a consequence of weakening economies and expanded enforcement measures. The challenge for the near future will be to maintain that control as economies recover, and to do so in a fashion that is more in keeping with the values and economic interests of Europe and the United States…(more)

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