Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Het KVHV heeft gemeend te moeten reageren op de verklaring van de Antwepse Bisschop Johan Bonny ,waarin hij pleit voor een kerkelijke erkenning van holebirelaties.

Het zal niet lang meer duren tot  het KVHV pleit voor een nieuwe sluiting van de Schelde en de oprichting van een katholiek ISIS "reservaat" voor man/woman ONLY seksueel "verkeer".
Het is onvoorstelbaar dat een  "studenten"organisatie (  waarvan de representativiteit weliswaar  betwistbaar is ) zo grof afhaakt met pluralisme en tolerantie.
Het KVHV staat waarschijnlijk voor " Katholieken Voor Homofobie Verspreiding  ". Ja, de slimste mens is daar niet te vinden ! GET REAL !

Saturday, December 27, 2014

PAUVRE B (bis)

Dans des blogs anterieurs je me suis permis de critiquer l'indifference et l'hostilite des autorites "competentes" envers les quelques grands poles culturels qui existent encore en Belgique.
J'ai meme avance le concept de "laughing stock" international.
Je me suis trompe. L'international ne rit plus, il regrette et ne comprend plus...
Le New York Times du 27 decembre 2014 , page necrologie, en parle longuement, avec persuasion (" Dance Leaders deplore cuts in Belgium")
Bonne lecture pour les moineaux  qui se prennent pour des aigles ( non ceux de Marcel Broodthaerts, qui'ils ne connaissent probablement pas).

Friday, December 26, 2014


La mort de l'ancien premier ministre Belge est comme un adieu a une culture politique desormais depassee.
Cet homme dicret et integre, qui jouissait d'une popularite et d'une estime meritees, etait un solitaire.
Il etait l'otage de plusieurs contradictions qui ont fini par le marginaliser. Il souhaitait le meilleur pour le pays mais a ete oblige de reconnaitre que meme le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.

Sa loyaute l'obligeait a defendre un arrangement constitutionnel qu'il savait "bancal".
Ses opinions relatives a l'Europe ne correspondaient plus a une realite qui ,deja, avait abandonne toute ambition philosophique au vestiaire.
Il avait de l'ambition mais son temperament et le temps se sont averes incompatibles avec sa vision qui etait plus historique et ambitieuse que contemporaine et opportuniste.
Il est passe a l'oubli avant terme. 
Ce grand monsieur avait ses raisons pour se faire "rare".
Melancolique !

Thursday, December 25, 2014


...en verdiend.
Hoelang nog moet Belgie, Noord en Zuid, het gebrek aan enige culturele ambitie blijven aanvaarden ?
De overheid heeft geen smaak. De Belgen wel... t'huis. Zij komen niet buiten voor wat er trouwens niet is.
Rondom ons komen nieuwe musea en is de stadsvernieuwing (Rotterdam,Rijsel, Berlijn) adembenemend. In Belgie is de "frietkot" neurose nu bijna geofficialiseerd. De laatste besnoeiingen in de  culturele sector zijn een nieuw teken aan de wand voor de teleurgang van prestige en oorspronkelijkheid. 
De tragi komedie rond de verzameling "moderne kunst" in Brussel, is een aanwijzing voor de heersende politieke  mentaliteit en is ondertussen wereldwijd  de jongste "Belgian joke"geworden.
Brussel, Europa's hoofdstad ? What a laughingstock ! Noord en Zuid stations = Welcome to Belgium.


Professors Matthias Matthijs and R. Daniel Kelemen have written a piece regarding the EU's Commission recent "facelift." They sound as if they were inspired by "deranged" ghostwriters. Contradictions abound. Gossip is lifted to the rank of affirmation and a banal epilogue is the tombstone for a flippant, superficial "contribution."

They disparage the former president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, sounding like Nigel Farage, who specializes in inappropriate vocabulary. They praise Donald Tusk. I hope they will be proven right in having done so prematurely, ante bellum. EU leaders have to be judged by the way they behave and are able to overcome the perils of hidden agendas and constant fault-lines. It has to be hoped that Tusk will be as good as his predecessor. Here the authors have indirectly rescued the old cow from drowning and got us back to the "Old" versus "New" Europe neo-con mantra.  At the same time they are, rightly so, critical of Hungary's "Orban regime," which stands paradoxically at the heart of the "beloved" "New" Europe.

Juncker and the new Commission receive five Michelin stars. The political acumen of Juncker is certain, but no longer in tune with what are, unfortunately, non-Kantian imperatives. Besides, it is ironic that the Luxembourg "tax evasion enhancer-in-chief" is supposed to be Europe's "moral "steward!  The new Commission is considered by the authors to be more forceful, given that so many ex-ministers occupy the various posts. This looks like a page out of the French Fourth Republic history book, a recycling of "have-beens" rather than a risk-taking, creative grab for imagination and Delors-like initiatives. 

I personally think that the EU needs above all to reconnect with the citizen and to become again a clearing-house for ideas. This can only be achieved by a Commission and president who can be seen as game changers rather than bureaucrats, surviving on bad coffee and smoking cigarettes in the toilets.  After all, I worked in Brussels and saw the corridors (albeit in better times...)


Recent incidents in the United States have led to the shooting of black individuals, in circumstances which are unclear. Often police shootings create a backlash which is normal but undesirable whenever looting or added violence overtake grief.  All attention goes to a photo-op, while black-on-black crime continues unattended, as if the "selfie" now is more relevant than the continued spiral into the inferno elsewhere.

The reaction of many Americans, black and white alike, remains understandably emotional.
It is certain that while many black Americans occupy nowadays first-pole positions in all fields of society, many more feel disenfranchised. The same goes for white Americans who read daily about economic growth, lower unemployment and the energy boom, while being unable to measure the good news in terms of higher salaries, better education or improved infrastructure.

Unfortunately, the black population finds itself in a quandary. The ones that have "made it" remain often aloof, leaving a gap which is too often filled by demagoguery.  The main culprit in this negative, self-defeating strategy is the Reverend Al Sharpton.  Every incident is exploited shamelessly, parochially, dishonestly. Yesterday's dream is today's nightmare. He chooses to harangue over coffins pending on their color and foregoes the many which might distract from his unilateral, non-inspiring rhetoric.  He plays on frustrations and never comes forward with a therapy. The inner-cities are ghettos, the black lower-class family structure is broken, but he locks his flock up in the misery of prejudice and fatalism. The black elites are equally to blame for ignoring Sharpton's duplicity.  Likewise, his White House pass should expire.

The President needs to be congratulated for trying to elevate the debate and to reverse the curse of acrimony. The progress made by many should become a rallying point. Instead, there is a constant, deliberate narrative going on which locks hearts and minds up in a moral cul de sac. This is even more unacceptable when the preachers of doom and despair enjoy the better things of life without an once of embarrassment.


Who could ever have believed that the United States would become energy independent?
Remember the President Carters's"sweater" addresses, and the lanes at the pump? Thanks to fracking and renewable energies, America has become a net exporter of oil.

Oil prices have plummeted with dire consequences, mostly for Russia, Venezuela and Iran.
The unhappy OPEC family looks more and more like a dystopian grouping from the past.
To the chagrin of other members, the Saudis let it be known that OPEC will not cut output, even at $20 a barrel. The Saudis are not going to give up their market-share for the sake of solidarity with the "losers."

As in other fields, the proof was given that innovative free-enterprise works!  All this happens while the Keystone pipeline is awaiting a presidential decision.  The project has lost urgency, given the fact that the United States has become energy independent.  Nevertheless, a decision to go ahead would be welcome news, but I doubt that the President will give it a go. The pressure from the progressives and "greens" is not to be disregarded, and certain uncertainties remain, but one can also argue that a pipeline is more environmentally friendly than transport by rail or water.

The global world imbalances are too unpredictable to forgo an insurance policy. An alternative or safety complement to the existing "bonanza" should be considered, since the possible coming turmoil might be more of an apocalyptic nature than a predictable one.  America has won the energy "battle" but the "war" continues!

Friday, December 19, 2014


Sony was obliged to arrive at the conclusion that its latest movie could not be seen as planned.The viewing will be spread in smaller movie theaters. The larger  movie circuit feared the North Korean (?) threats and decided not to air the film. Hollywood blinked and Sony stood alone in spite of having been "cyber raided." The film in question "The Interview" is a non starter anyhow.  Both the scenario and the actors did not bode well for quality entertainment and the critics and viewers are turned off, . Obama, who apparently has received some testosterone shots lately, rightly condemned cencorship, wihout talking about the merits of the film. Self-censorship imposed by elsewhere creates a dangerous precedent. Fox is also rumored to have given up on a Steve Carell movie lampooning North Korea.

What happens when a company in a free trade, democratic society has to give in to creepy menaces ?
If the nuclear Kim dynasty were to be taken seriously we are in trouble. However, one should not reserve for a robotic regime, which is a bad copy of de Sade's Charenton (without the sex...but who knows?) ,the rank it doesn't have. By the way, it is also indicative for Putin's dire situation that he decided to invite Kim III to Russia. The dangerous leading the outrageous! The lonely meet the isolated!

The Sony "saga" has opened the door for an unforeseeable range of consequences: roll back of the first Amendment?  Intellectual property rights endangered?  President Obama aired his displeasure and let it be known that North Korea will be sanctioned "accordingly."  There is indeed more at stake than the lifetime of a mediocre movie. The cyber attack against Sony is an invasion of privacy. It is a direct hostile targeted move, such as even the NCSC would refrain from.  If proven, this would actually the first "official" rogue state parting shot in a luring long World War III, wherein cyber, terrorism, non-state and failed state rogue elements and the systematic disregard for conventions and civilization (look at the recent slaughter in Pakistan) will rule supreme. The gloves are off.  China let the genie out of the bottle in acting as North Korea's mentor in cyber technology.  Still the proof is in the Kim pudding... and cause remains unproven , yet.

Meanwhile copies of "The Interview" are probably already for sale in China's usual blind spots. Humor can be found in the most unusual places.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


The ruble is in free-fall.  The sanctions against Russia bite.  Some observers foresee a repeat of the events which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  They are wrong.

The end of a system is a different reality all together than the implosion of a "psyche."
George Kennan's containment and later events laid bare the negative fundamentals of a political formula which was behind the times of globalization.  Likewise, the French Revolution put an end to an anachronism but it did not stop France being France!  Whatever President Putin laments over historical wrongdoings, the reality is that Russia has lost a lot of "fat" in Central Europe and Asia, but at the same time has become more Russian, nationalistic, reactionary and expansionist wherever its "near abroad" exists or is under threat.

Putin's home is in St. Petersburg, window on the West, but his heart is in Muscovy.  He is more the heir of Tsar Alexander III than Lenin. He was able to co-opt the primal forces which still infuse the Russian character. Ideology is a thing of the past. Pride and reparations for perceived snubs play into the mindset of most Russians. The xenophobia and the support of the Orthodox church have created a "firewall" which plays into an "us versus the West" continuous barrage.  Putin stands because he has chosen to return to the Russians the imperial mantle which was lost for too long.

He can be dangerous insofar as he could mobilize the latent frustrations as well as call NATO's bluff since he knows very well that this tiger, contrary to his Siberian counterpart, has no teeth. He is also nefarious in creating a monosyllabic, anti-change, anti-gay undercurrent. The Russians no longer suffer a political system based on a faulty Utopia. The danger lies more in some overreach, above their heads, which might lead to miscalculation.  Putin, as Potemkin before him, continues to entertain with a Sotchi spectacle wherein War and Peace's Natasha and Prince Andrey rule over the hearts and minds. The irony is that in Tolstoy's novel some of the Russian nobles hardly knew a word of Russian, preferring to converse in French.

The days of Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn are bygones. Russian oligarchs make the world a more vulgar place, Russia a more schizophrenic one, and the world a less-safe one. Putin can do as he wishes, as long as his sleeping draught continues working.


Cuba has haunted the United States in modern times since Theodore Roosevelt's days.  It is superfluous to try resuming the many aberrations and dramas which have occurred since Fidel Castro overthrew the corrupt Batista gang in 1959.  Unfortunately, Castro's impulsive magnetism got hold of the better persona in him and might well have pushed the world into a global conflict.  Now President Obama has taken the decision to "normalize" the bilateral relations. Cuba is to the United States what the United Kingdom is to continental Europe, an air carrier on its maritime borders.

Obama is right to put a halt to a prehistoric situation which no longer delivered any credible dividend to Washington.  On the contrary, Cuba became a reference for countries like Venezuela and Bolivia, and a convenient occasional partner for Russia and China.  By taking this action the United States has deprived Cuba of its historical exceptionalism, removing the sting from its raison d'etre. Cuba, by taking the bait, swaps ipso facto a legend for a story.
The American right and the elderly Cubans in Miami will scream. The younger generation of Cubans in the United States will applaud.

Cuba is not going to change overnight. Neither should the Americans try to get involved in murky plots, out of Godfather II. The Cubans will be happy to feel that change comes with benefits and investment, freedom and more tolerance. Those added values take time to be realized but, contrary to the opportunistic Chinese or Russian injections, they last and do change lives.

Monday, December 15, 2014


I have just watched a TV bio of Susan Sontag.  She was the last of a kind.  Being a United States resident now,  I am struck by the many paradoxes I encounter.  The bizarre "non place" which "intellectuals" occupy in America nowadays comes to mind.  The country is packed with the better universities, intellectuals or luminaries in all fields: science, politics, arts, and the list is endless, while on the other hand, the "conversation" is deadlocked in some hermetic negativism, only having time for debating negative's : race, torture, inequality, the steady Gotterdamerung of the American Dream.

The demagogues and amateurs of the Right and the Left rule, in the quasi-total absence of a creative input of intellectuals, who have chosen to abandon the Capitol for the Aventine. 
The likes of Sontag, Vidal, Hitchens are no longer. The space for intellectual debate has been hijacked. The same goes for Europe, by the way, with the exception of France and Germany, The former still feels the need to come to some Kantian "closure" since World War II. The latter revers intellectuals as it revers labels. The Sartrian writer in the cafe is depasseThe "poseur" has stolen the chair from under the thinker.  Bernard-Henri-Levi belongs more to a Moliere farce than to a serious symposium.

It is strange that the "official" United States has marginalized intellectual conversation. Excellent reviews, sophisticated TV debates and Academia no longer occupy the front-lines as was the case years ago. The overall political alienation has created a negative vortex. Unfortunately, President Obama has unwillingly played a part in this. His initial message was enlightening until people realized that they were led into Plato's cave, looking at a Utopia. President Kennedy may have been too cynical but also too clairvoyant to get lost in lofty speeches, but he ended up getting Pablo Casals and the moon, the Nobel Prize winners in and the Soviet missiles out.  It is less important to know if he believed in his show than it was for others to feel they were part of it.  Since then, the "Georgetown set" and the Eastern elites of the 60's appear to belong to the silent movie times. The ghost of McCarthy seems to be back under a different cloth.

Susan Sontag was one of the last "intellectuals" who confronted the American psyche and who reached a kind of supra-national status as did Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Berenson, Gore Vidal and many others.  She opened all closets--in Paris and New York--and was truly a commentator of the world avatars.  I met her in Sarajevo, which she inhabited like an existentially offended citizen, different from visiting voyeurs (the photo-op in the burned library was a must) and diplomats (myself included). 

Now we prefer to pass the baton in the creepy relay race of successive catastrophes, from Sudan to Bangladesh, to movie stars and other past political celebs who can cash in on what is left of their 25 minutes of Warholian celebrity.  True, there are Medecins sans Frontieres and others, who still have staying-power.  Sontag wrote the ultimate analyses about illness and camp. She was a great homosexual transformative personality, before being gay became as current as a sitcom character.  Gresham said it all:  Bad money drives out good.


Les greves se multiplient en Belgique.
Nul ne conteste le droit de greve.
Personne ne met en doute le role historique que les syndicats ont joue.
A contrario, il faut  aujourd'hui se rendre a l'evidence que le bilan positif passe a cede la place a un nihilisme pervers.
Les syndicats n'adherent a aucune doctrine socio-economique et defendent un statu quo qui ne reussit plus a integrer les nouvelles donnees.
Dans ces conditions ils sont reduits a prendre leurs adherents comme otages. Ces derniers deviennent les participants,  magre eux, a un autodafe ou l'emploi, l'investissement et le progres sont frappes de plein fouet.
Resultat : La Belgique risque de se retrouver comme la Grece, un terrain vague laisse a l'abandon, faute d'innovation R et D et de productivite.
Il est imperatif qu'un dialogue puisse redemarrer. Encore faut-il qu'il se developpe sur les defis de deman plutot que sur les slogans ringards d'avant-hier. L'economie a besoin d'un accelerateur deregule et non d'un corbillard.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


The US Senate Intelligence Committee report regarding CIA interrogation "techniques" makes for unpleasant reading.  This J'accuse raises many questions while providing few unqualified answers, as the "enhanced interrogation techniques" hardly fit into the Western human rights code as we know it.

The circumstances which led to the RID (Rendition, Detention and Interrogation) program were disproportionate to existing available counter-measures.  After 9/11, the United States and all branches of government--not to mention the population at large--suffered from PTSD (post- traumatic stress disorder).  Emergency trumped any other consideration and President George W. Bush signed into law a far-reaching set of guidelines previously authorized by Congress. One could hardly find one once of sympathy for the Twin Towers executioners or for the masterminds of the operation.  The unimaginable cold-blooded fury of the perpetrators could not remain unheeded.  The hunt for the beast was (and remains) unrelenting.  In an "eye for eye" mindset, the logic overtook the moral component. John Brennan, current CIA chief, admits today that some CIA agents were not psychologically ready for the situations they were to encounter and for which there was no precedent or readiness.  Hence abuses occurred given that the trauma inflicted ran deep.  However, the benefits of what amounted in some cases to torture remain sketchy.

Now that the information has appeared, many questions remain:

--Would it not have been advisable to limit the range of "publicity"of the report (a Democratic party exercise) and examine the follow-up in a bi-partisan fashion?

--The incriminated program, which was supported by all branches of the Bush administration, is presented as some widely supported or executed rogue "coup," which is false.

 --Abuses are certain. The reasons given for the psychological unraveling of a persona are plausible. A minimum respect for human integrity should likewise remain inbred in the psyche. 

--Sins need to be left on the doorstep of the sinner and not be plagiarized.

--The issue is trivialized when it becomes a political tool.  I don't think that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein ever meant her disapproval to become a tool for inter- party warfare. Together with Senator McCain she represents a view which favors American dignity over political expediency.

--The Republicans are acting in an awkward fashion.  It would be wrong to see in this report a personal attack against President Bush. The right-wing makes the usual absurd noise, crusading for the Constitution when convenient and forgetting all about it when embarrassing. Moderate Republicans should be able to take note of abuse, remain low-key and claim the high ground for having rallied America after 9/11.

--In the end, the lifespan of evil is more precarious than the staying-power of values worth living for which, therefore, should not be endangered by overreaction.

After all, the better part of valor is discretion (Henry IV).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


La saga de l'art contemporain continue en Belgique.  Bruxelles reste la capitale du replatrage.
Apres avoir exile la quasi totalite de la modeste collection d'art contemporain (releguee dans l'etage "mortuaire") il a ete decide de la reintegrer une nouvelle fois dans le Musee , quitte a exiler l'art "fin de siecle" ( qui venait a peine de s'y installer ) ailleurs....ou ?
Ce n'est pas du Kafka, c'est du Belge.
Le Musse d'art ancien est deja l'antichambre du chagrin... Faute de moyens et de vision, il est l'oppose de TOUT ce qu'un musee ambitionne aujourd'hui.

L'art pretendu contemporain s'y trouvait deja mal a l'aise. Il le sera encore davantage. Le " a peine passable " y cohabitera avec l'inacceptable.
Le projet Citroen presentait la valeur ajoutee du site ( sous condition d'une intevention type Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry...), d'une transparence et d'une destination. Il ne faut pas esperer que les ediles de la capitale aillent regarder ce qui se cree a Helsinki, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Milan, ...et j'en passe. Ne parlons pas de Paris, Londres ou Berlin....Ils ne connaissent pas. La pretendue capitale de l'UE reste le "desert des Tartares ", terrain de chasse de speculateurs immobiliers et notaires, dont on connait l'aversion envers la creativite.

Le gouvernement federal a d'autres priorites (?). Au demeurant cette decision de la secretaire d'Etat Elke Sleurs ( N-VA) est un nouvel avertissement pour ceux qui ne voient pas la strategie de demantelement quasi permanente visant a  effacer toute reference au "national".
Il est vrai que l'opinion publique reste generalement indifferente devant cette reedition du "petit pays, petites gens". 
Les collectionneurs prives Belges, portant tres connectes, ont raison de regarder ailleurs, des lors que les officilels regardent nulle part. 
Bref, le "fin de siecle" a peine installe demenage (ou ?) et laisse la place a une "fin de parcours"...ou "fin de regime" (?).

Friday, December 5, 2014


Le deces de la reine des Belges, veuve du roi Baudoin I, ferme la derniere page d'une "Histoire" de Belgique non sujette a repetition.  Certaines personnalites habitent un temps et un espace qu'elles emportent avec elles quand le rideau de l'Histoire se referme.

La reine Fabiola partageait avec le roi Baudouin I une ethique et un sens du devoir exceptionnels.  Cette attitude les rendait a la fois proches et distants, comme s'ils appartenaient deja a une mouvance en eclipse, hors de portee.  Son regne lui ressemblait. Avec le roi, elle preferait la discretion aux facilites, la classe a la publicite, l'engagement a l'opportunisme.

Je ne partageais pas ses convictions mais je respectais sa logique. La aussi, le roi et la reine se retrouvaient en communion. Sans doute n'appreciaient-ils pas toujours combien la Belgique, traditionnellement catholique, etait devenue laique.

La reine Fabiola ne faisait jamais allusion a ses chagrins personnels. Elle preferait ne pas laisser sa qualite d'ecoute envahie par son discours interieur.  Certains disent qu'elle etait la "derniere reine des Belges."  Cela est a la fois vrai et faux. Il faut se rendre a l'evidence que, quoi qu'en dise Marcel Proust, le temps n'est jamais "retrouve."  Cela est au demeurant positif car un certain type de temperament n'eclot que dans un environnement qui, de toute evidence, n'est plus. Les reines venues apres elle sont l'une et l'autre executrices des changements intervenus.

La reine Mathilde est l' heritiere legitime et parfaite pour veiller a ce que les "Contes merveilleux" de Fabiola de Mora y Aragon ne s'oublient pas... 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Two black men lost their lives in the American street.  Twice the police have been accused of brutality, and twice a Grand Jury decided there was no case for sanction.  In the first case the circumstances looked unclear. In the second Staten Island case the video leaves little room for doubt and it is difficult to deny what one sees.  Public opinion in the latter "incident" is almost unanimous in condemning what looks like the inexcusable taking of a person's life.

America has made extraordinary advances towards racial equality for many African-Americans who find themselves in a positive vortex. Their presence in the arts, entertainment, academia and liberal professions has grown exponentially.  Unfortunately, the ones who see their income stagnating or shrinking are stuck in a crime and drug infested hell. The "poor whites" are equally marginalized but seem to be able to maintain a more solid family structure and are less alienated from official or private assistance channels.

A lot is being said regarding race in America.  Some observations are to the point, but some "presentation" is immoral and unhelpful. Most of us, of all color, walking at night would prefer to avoid meeting a group of young blacks or whites coming in the opposite direction. Likewise in Europe the same happens when threatening whites or North Africans loom in the distance. It is unfortunately so that any grouping of well-dressed individuals of any race will seldom activate alarm bells. This might be regrettable but nevertheless it is sociologically normal. Racism and the chemistry of danger are different things.

It is equally undeniable that pockets of racism remain in the United States and elsewhere (I lived in China) and that a lot still needs to be done to heal bigotry and prejudice. American blacks find it often difficult to climb the social ladder in a society where inequality is growing and better education becomes unaffordable. The so-called Obama-effect has had no lasting power and the President is more often seen by black Americans as one of "the privileged", vacationing in the Vineyard, rather than one of them. The former have few role models to look up to and are too often manipulated by demagogues. 

The moral/intellectual voices are few.  Since the "difficult" message from Daniel Patrick Moynihan regarding situation statutes or social divide in the North, little has been said which could uplift the conversation. It is indeed time to consider one's own facts again rather than spin one's own opinion.

The President still has a unique opportunity to leave the trenches of the usual arguments and come forward with measures which go further than the former Great Society ambitions of President Johnson. They should open the path for individuals so that they can feel as being more on the participating end than on the receiving end. Those marginalized individuals need to feel wanted, besides being (hardly) fed. They should be convinced that trust, education and respect are achievable. Hence, new avenues must be provided with enough ramps for people to climb the distance. The black elite has a responsibility too. Instead of glamorizing a video game culture of short-term satisfaction, they could choose to make some room for dignity which  too seldom figures in considerations that are often exclusively mercenary.

Exploitation as we have seen in Ferguson (not yet in Staten Island, as of today) should not be repeated.  One victim stole cigars, the other sold cigarettes.  Smoking is not only bad for your life, it might lead to one's death, as soon as the brain of the policeman/woman starts its chemical race to the darker impulse.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Sweden has recognized the "Palestinian state." Belgium might be next in line.  Others in the EU will follow.

What do they recognize?  The West Bank? Where is Gaza in all this? What about Jerusalem, settlements, returnees, water?  What Government controls which "territory"?  I fail to understand how states can recognize unconditionally a hybrid with no borders, with no control and with a "sketchy" past and current record.  That a future outcome might be a two-state solution would be the best formula if proper agreements could be achieved regarding the well known sticking points. This is mostly a decision for both parties to be taken (with the assistance of a "midwife").  Besides, the Palestinians must finally revise a system (textbooks, education, rule of law) which remains basically nihilistic.  Obviously Israel will also have to consider difficult decisions, the more so that a quid pro quo looks uncertain.

Overall one can witness a general debilitation of formerly accepted conduct of international affairs. Western amateurism only accelerates the erosion of a mindset.

--One hears that a declaration of war (sic) should be considered against ISIL.  However, doing so would give a rogue organisation a "state" imprimatur ; such an action would set in motion a set of war rules and conventions which would be totally inappropriate, given the nature of the jihadists.

--President Putin is ignoring all the accepted rules of international relations by ignoring inter alia the Helsinki Agreement and the Budapest memorandum. Soon we might see a return of the Brezhnev doctrine of limited sovereignty.

--Legitimate states, from Africa to Asia, are unable to come to terms with the growing ungovernability in their midst. They become the "landlords" of their own nemesis. Their corruption and murky dealings only destabilize even further the imbalances between the virtual projections and the power on the ground.

--The West still has not been able to correct the aftermath of the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles.  Since the often brutal end of the British Empire and the defeat of the French expeditionary corps in Dien Bien Phu, one might have expected that the US would have gotten the message.  On the contrary, Vietnam was just the very sad prelude to the mistakes still made today. Swamps are more lethal than any form of COIN.

--Democracies are losing their grip on the "narrative." While they remain the hope of last resort for the many who risk their lives to reach the coastline of the non-believers, they get stuck in a masochistic tale wherein the occasional mistake overtakes the usual good. The recent events in Ferguson are a perfect example of an American apparatus (from the President to the media) in free-fall.

Dystopia rules and we seem to be drowning, as the less-desirable clutch at the Good Samaritan until both go under.  Sometimes distance may appear to be a sign of aloofness.  It can also become a form of "isolation" (in limited time and space), which can last until the danger of contagion has been dealt-with by appropriate means.  Epidemics however can only be fought out of a position of strength.  The former requires knowledge and understanding.  Therefore "isolationism" as such is a recipe for failure.  We had better know our enemies well, which is different than sharing a berth with them!