Κυριακή, 31 Μαΐου 2009

ZHTΩ H OIKOΛΟΓΙΑ TΩN SINGLE HULL!!


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Η ΟΙΚΟΛΟΓΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΘΕΑΜΑΤΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΘΕΑΜΑ ΤΗΣ ΟΙΚΟΛΟΓΙΑΣ”
Διανύουμε την πιο στείρα από άποψη πολιτικού προβληματισμού εκλογική περίοδο από την μεταπολίτευση και μετά. Τα υπερεθνικά διευθυντήρια σκηνοθετούν μια παράσταση επίφασης δημοκρατικότητας που έχει τόση σχέση με τα πραγματικά πολιτικά, κοινωνικά ή περιβαλλοντικά ζητήματα όσο σχέση είχε η Eurovision με την τέχνη της στιχουργικής. Η απαξίωση των αντιπροσωπευτικών θεσμών μέσα από την αναγωγή του θεάματος της αντιπαράθεσης (σκάνδαλα, προεκλογικά σπότς, απρέπειες και λάσπες) σε ουσία. Οι προβολείς δεν ανάβουν για να φωτίσουν αλλά για να κατασκευάσουν τις σκιές μέσα στις οποίες αποκρύπτονται με επιμέλεια η ένδεια οραμάτων και πολιτικών, η αμηχανία των ελίτ, τα αδιέξοδα του δυτικού πολιτισμικού υποδείγματος, η πληκτική ομοιότητα της συστράτευσης κάτω από φθαρμένες σημαίες επαγγελίας για αέναη ευημερία. Κι αν όλα αυτά ισχύουν σε επίπεδο Ε.Ε. η ελληνική ιδιοπροσωπία δίνει ένα παροξυσμικό τόνο, τα παπαγαλάκια έχουν γεμίσει το στερέωμα.Εξέχουσα θέση στο χολυγουντιανής έμπνευσης σκηνικό καταλαμβάνει και η “νέα” εκλογική απόπειρα των “οικολόγων πράσινων”. Πρόκειται για ένα αμοιβαία επωφελές συναπάντημα της “συστημικής” οικολογίας με τους συστηματικούς διαχειριστές της οικολογικής ευαισθησίας. Το πρόταγμα του παγκοσμιοποιημένου καπιταλισμού προχωράει εδώ και καιρό σε ένα πράσινο λίφτινγκ. Το εμπόρευμα ανακαλύπτει νέες αγορές, ο κύριος Σόρος μεταβάλλεται σε κήρυκα αυτών των επενδυτικών ευκαιριών, ο κύριος Γκόρ αφού κατέβηκε από το Στέλθ που έσπερνε το απεμπλουτισμένο ουράνιο στην Σερβία, άρχισε να μοιράζει flyers για το φαινόμενο του θερμοκηπίου. Η διακυβέρνηση Ομπάμα είναι μια μόνο έκφραση αυτής νέας επικοινωνιακής εποχής, είναι μια διαπίστωση ότι πράσινο είναι και το χρώμα του δολαρίου. Οι ημεδαποί αντιπρόσωποι δεν μπορούσαν να υστερήσουν. Οι πράσινες εκπομπές αυξάνονται με προεξάρχον το συγκρότημα του κυρίου Alexis.Μια ματιά στο τοπίο των ευρωεκλογών μπορεί να είναι διαφωτιστική: αν αθροίσει κάποιος τα δημοσκοπικά ποσοστά των κομμάτων που φέρουν την οικολογία στον τίτλο με αυτά των κομμάτων που προγραμματικά επικαλούνται το οικολογικό ζήτημα ή την “πράσινη ανάπτυξη”, θα διαπιστώσει ότι ήδη ζούμε σε μια οικολογική χώρα, καθώς η πλειοψηφία του κόσμου της πολιτικής εκπροσώπησης πίνει νερό (όχι βέβαια από τον Ασωπό) στο όνομα της οικολογίας.Το πώς ταυτόχρονα το περιβάλλον στην χώρα μας βρίσκεται στην κατάσταση που βλέπουμε όλοι, ή το πώς με τέτοια δημοφιλία της οικολογίας οι κινητοποιήσεις των πολιτών για τα αντίστοιχα θέματα είναι τόσο αναιμικές, αποτελεί ένα “μυστήριο” προς ερμηνεία. Αυτή η “οικολογία” χαρακτηρίζεται από τις καθόλου οικολογικές αρχές της καθήλωσης μπροστά σε μια οθόνη που περιγράφει τον τρόμο του αύριο παραλείποντας αυτά που είναι να γίνουν σήμερα, εκτός βέβαια από την εμπορευματική οικολογία, την πράσινη κατανάλωση. Η μεγάλη εικόνα των πάγων που λιώνουν κατακερματίζεται σε ψηφίδες: ένα πάζλ ατομικών συμπεριφορών αγοράς λαμπτήρων οικονομίας ή βιολογικών τροφίμων. Η υπαρκτή ατομική ευθύνη του πολίτη υπερτονίζεται, όχι για θέσει σε αμφισβήτηση το φετίχ του ευδαιμονισμού που τον διακρίνει αλλά για να επισκιάσει την μείζονα ευθύνη αυτών που εγκαθίδρυσαν και προάγουν το φετίχ αυτό. Αυτό είναι το πεδίο της νέας “συμμαχίας των προθύμων”. Ας δούμε και τους πρόθυμους της συμμαχίας: Στα ευρωπαϊκά σαλόνια που λανσάρουν το trendy κάποιες δεκαετίες πριν την Ψωροκώσταινα υπήρξαν αθρόες συμμετοχές, όχι μόνο από τον χώρο των “νέων φιλοσόφων” αλλά και από το πάλαι ποτέ ανατρεπτικό οικολογικό κίνημα. Οι “ρεάλος” συνειδητοποίησαν ότι το έσχατο στάδιο του ρεαλισμού είναι η μέθεξη στην εξουσία ως παραπλήρωμα, της σοσιαλδημοκρατίας αρχικά και στην συνέχεια των πραγματικών επικυρίαρχων, των αδιαφανών λόμπυ, επιτροπών συμβούλων, think tanks, λεσχών, MKO και άλλα πολλά καινοτόμα. Το τζάκετ του ακτιβιστή αντικαταστάθηκε από την συλλογή γραβατών του κυρίου Φίσερ με αντάλλαγμα την συστράτευση σε μια σειρά θέματα, ατλαντικού κατά κανόνα ενδιαφέροντος όπως η “ανθρωπιστική επιχείρηση” στην πρώην Γιουγκοσλαβία, τα κροκοδείλια δάκρυα πάνω από τα ερείπια των δίδυμων πύργων και την “οργή” της αμερικάνικης αντίδρασης, τον εξοστρακισμό της Ρωσίας, την αποενοχοποίηση του Σιωνισμού για την Τζενίν ή την Γάζα, την αποδήμηση της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης μέσω της διεύρυνσης της. Στην ημεδαπή οι πρόθυμοι βρέθηκαν ανάμεσα σε εκείνους που αφού πέρασαν την παιδική ασθένεια του ριζοσπαστισμού, αφού θήτευσαν με ευδόκιμο τρόπο στα τενάγη των “μη κερδοσκοπικών” ΜΚΟ, αφού βρέθηκαν στους προθαλάμους της εξουσίας μέσα από μια σειρά “σύμφωνα ελεύθερης συμβίωσης” με τον ΣΥΝ (που ακολουθήθηκαν από ισάριθμα συναινετικά ή κατ’ αντιδικία διαζύγια), αποφάσισαν ότι ήρθε η ώρα που μια ζωή περίμεναν. Βοήθησε σ’ αυτό και η έξωθεν βοήθεια, βοήθεια όχι μόνο επικοινωνιακή και οικονομική αλλά πάνω απ’ όλα οργανωτική (ας μην ξεχνάμε ότι η οργάνωση του νεοελληνικού κράτους αποτέλεσε ευγενική χορηγία των Βαυαρών). Για το timing υπήρξαν οξυδερκείς: Το πολιτικο-δημοσιογραφικό συγκρότημα εξουσίας χρειαζόταν επειγόντως ένα “σχέδιο Β΄” καθώς η επιλογή του Συνασπισμού κατέστη επισφαλής, τόσο από την αλαζονεία του να θεωρεί ότι αποτελεί αυτόφωτο σώμα στο πολιτικό στερέωμα και να δαγκώνει το χέρι που τον τάισε, όσο και από την στάση του τον Δεκέμβρη, που εξόργισε όχι μόνο την κοινωνική του βάση αλλά και τον κύριο Πρετεντέρη. Εξ άλλου οι διάδοχοι της δυναστείας των Βαυαρών θεωρούσαν πάντα ότι μπορούν να κάνουν και τον κηπουρό τους πρωθυπουργό αν ήθελαν.
Οι “οικολόγοι πράσινοι” αποδείχτηκαν οξυδερκείς και σε μια σειρά άλλα ζητήματα: Κατ’ αρχήν, από πολύ νωρίς ξεκαθάρισαν ότι είναι ανοιχτοί σε οποιαδήποτε πολιτική συνεργασία, βάζοντας την πινακίδα “δίδεται για αντιπαροχή” σε ένα οικόπεδο που δεν κατείχαν καν. Σε ένα σκηνικό όπου οι κυβερνητικές αυτοδυναμίες παίζονται στο νήμα μετέβαλλαν εαυτόν σε ποθητές νύφες αυξάνοντας γεωμετρικά την αναφορά στο σχήμα τους. Το δεύτερο ήταν η συστηματική και σκόπιμα αποσιώπηση των πολιτικών τους θέσεων με το αδιάσειστο επιχείρημα ότι αυτά που θέτουν στην κρίση των ψηφοφόρων είναι οι γενικολογίες που περιλαμβάνει το “πρόγραμμα” τους, κι αυτό για όσους κάνουν τον κόπο να το αναζητήσουν στο διαδίκτυο. Το επιχείρημα βέβαια θα πάψει να ισχύει αν η απόπειρα ευοδωθεί και κληθούν να πάρουν θέση στην ευρωβουλή για τα πολιτικά ζητήματα τα οποία τώρα κάνουν πως αντιπαρέρχονται, των ζητημάτων εθνικού ενδιαφέροντος συμπεριλαμβανόμενων. Τότε βέβαια το πρόταγμα θα είναι η προσωπική τους άποψη και όχι κάποια δέσμευση απέναντι σε όσους τους ψηφίσουν. Το τρίτο είναι ότι διάβασαν ορθά και έγκαιρα τις μετακινήσεις στις καταγραφές των δημοσκοπήσεων και διαπίστωσαν ότι έχουν εισροές μέχρι και από έναν μεγάλο αριθμό συντηρητικών ψηφοφόρων, που θεωρούν ότι μια ψήφος στους “οικολόγους πράσινους” δεν είναι παρά μια διαμαρτυρία, μια άρνηση του υπάρχοντος σκηνικού. Επιχειρώντας μια προβλητική ταύτιση στο επικοινωνιακό επίπεδο, προσαρμόζουν την δημόσια εικόνα τους στην εικόνα των πιθανών ψηφοφόρων, περιορίζοντας τον λόγο τους όχι στην προβολή κάποιων μίνιμουμ έστω θέσεων που θα μπορούσαν ενδεχομένως να αλλοιώσουν την εικόνα “αυτών που όλοι πρέπει να αγαπήσουν”, αλλά υποσχόμενοι όπως οι άλλοι συνάδελφοι τους με πείρα ό,τι μπορεί να ακούγεται ωραίο σε όλους, όπως θέσεις εργασίας (πράσινες παρακαλώ). Η κοινωνία μας μπορεί να περάσει ανώδυνα, χωρίς ανατροπές στον τρόπο που καταναλώνουμε τον πλανήτη, τους άλλους ή τον εαυτό μας, διατηρώντας την ευημερία μας μετρούμενη σε κατά κεφαλή ιπποδύναμη ΙΧ, κινητών τηλεφώνων ή ινστιτούτων αδυνατίσματος, σε έναν πράσινο παράδεισο όπου οι πάγοι δεν θα λιώνουν και τα πουλάκια θα κελαηδούν στις ανθισμένες κερασιές. Το ότι η ευημερία αυτής της παρασιτικής χώρας αποτελεί αποδοχή προϊόντος του διαρκούς εγκλήματος που συντελείται ενάντια στον πλανήτη και σε μεγάλο αριθμό του πληθυσμού του αποτελεί μια ενοχλητική και άρα όχι χρήσιμη αλήθεια. Το ότι η υποτιθέμενη “πράσινη διέξοδος” περιορίζεται γεωγραφικά και πολιτισμικά σε ένα κλάσμα της ανθρωπότητας δεν φαίνεται να αποτελεί πρόβλημα, καθώς το σύνθημα “σκέψου τοπικά δράσε συνολικά” μπορεί να αλλοιώνεται κατά το δοκούν ερμηνεύοντας κατά περίπτωση τους όρους τοπικό και συνολικό. Το ότι αυτή η υλική ευημερία έχει ένα αντάλλαγμα, την υπακοή σε προσωπικό και συλλογικό επίπεδο στις επιταγές των διαχειριστών της πιστοληπτικής μας ικανότητας και το τι σημαίνει αυτή η αφωνία για την ανθρώπινη υπόσταση και ταυτότητα δεν συζητείται, καθώς όλα αυτά αποτελούν μεταφυσικές κατηγορίες στον θαυμαστό καινούργιο κόσμο. Το ότι τα όρια των αλλαγών καθορίζονται από τους ίδιους τους κλειδοκράτορες, τις κοινωνικές ελίτ ξεπερνιέται με την απόπειρα εισόδου στα σαλόνια των ελίτ όπως μας διδάσκει η παγκόσμια αλλά και η εγχώρια ιστορία με κορυφαίο παράδειγμα την μεταπολιτευτική γενιά.
Ιδού λοιπόν το προφίλ του οικολόγου που προτείνεται: Ενημερώνεται από τον ΣΚΑΪ, ψωνίζει οικολογικά προϊόντα, αγοράζει κανένα κουπόνι για τα παιδιά του Νταρφούρ, ψηφίζει “οικολόγους πράσινους”. Κι αν ψάχνετε την σχέση της περιγραφής αυτής με την ενεργοποίηση των ανθρώπων σε οικολογικές διεκδικήσεις, σας πληροφορώ με λύπη ότι είναι μια σχέση ανταγωνιστική. Το θέαμα της οικολογίας προϋποθέτει και κατασκευάζει τον θεατή, την κουλτούρα του καναπέ, της εκπροσώπησης, της ετερονομίας. Δεν αποτελεί παράλειψη των “οικολόγων πράσινων” ένα εκλογικό εγχείρημα που δεν αναφέρεται, δεν επιχειρεί να αναδείξει και πολύ περισσότερο να πολλαπλασιάσει όσες εν πάση περιπτώσει ζωντανές αντιστάσεις υπάρχουν.Αντίθετα οι άνθρωποι έχουν κατανοήσει το μάθημα που πήραν στους Οικολόγους Εναλλακτικούς, ότι μια προσέγγιση μέσα από λογικές ανάπτυξης κινήματος δεν τους δίνει τον ζωτικό χώρο για να στήσουν τέτοιου είδους μαγαζιά, ότι οι συλλογικές διαδικασίες είναι ενίοτε απαγορευτικές. Γι’ αυτό εξ’ άλλου έκαναν ότι μπορούσαν για να καταλύσουν το εγχείρημα εκείνο. Τώρα θεωρούν ότι μπορούν να παίξουν μόνοι τους. Μπορεί και να πετύχουν τον στόχο τους ως την επόμενη μέρα, τότε που θα χρειαστεί να πάρουν πολιτικές θέσεις αναδεικνύοντας την γύμνια του βασιλιά. Τότε θα είναι ίσως η κατάλληλη ώρα να μιλήσουμε για πολιτική οικολογία. Μια πρόταση, για να παραφράσουμε τον Μαρξ, που δεν θέλει απλά να στολίσει την αλυσίδα με ψεύτικα λουλούδια, ούτε καν να τινάξει από την αλυσίδα τα ψεύτικα λουλούδια που κουβαλά ο άνθρωπος την αλυσίδα δίχως αυταπάτες, αλλά να σπάσει την αλυσίδα για να μυρίσει ο άνθρωπος το ζωντανό λουλούδι.
Θανάσης Τζιούμπας

OΛΟΙ ΑΠΟΧΗ - ΑΦΗΣΤΕ ΑΥΤΟΝ ΝΑ ΨΗΦΙΣΕΙ για μας !!!

paste clopy απο το Sybilla blogspot !!

South Ossetia goes to polls to elect new parliament

South Ossetia goes to polls to elect new parliament
TSKHINVAL, May 31 - South Ossetia is holding parliamentary elections on Sunday, with four parties competing for seats in the republic's legislature. The elections are the first in the former Georgian republic since Russia recognized its independence, following a five-day war with Georgia who launched an attack to try and regain control over the region in August. Four parties are taking part in the elections for the 34-seat parliament: the ruling Unity party, the Communist Party, the People's Party and the opposition Fatherland Party. More than 70 observers from Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Abkhazia, Nagorny-Karabakh and Russia are monitoring Sunday's poll.
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WASHINGTON, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Washington said it would not recognize last weekend's parliamentary polls in the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia, the U.S. State Department said in a statement. South Ossetia held on Sunday its first parliamentary elections since Russia recognized it as independent last August following a war with Georgia. The ruling Unity party garnered 46.38% of the vote, local election authorities said citing preliminary results after all the ballots had been counted. "The United States regrets the decision to hold so-called 'elections' in the South Ossetia region of Georgia on May 31, 2009, and recognizes neither the legality nor the results," the State Department said on Monday. Washington described the elections as "a step away from a peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflict," and reiterated its support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity said in an address to the nation on Monday that the elections were a test of the state's independence. "And we have proved it. We deserve to live in an independent state," he said. The European Union also signaled on Monday it would not accept the results of South Ossetia's "illegitimate" polls.

Σάββατο, 30 Μαΐου 2009

Russia and Canadians to bay OPEL !!!

Germany's Opel has been sold – with a joint-Russian-Canadian bid the winner in the race to buy one of Europe's oldest and most well-known car-makers.Russia's biggest lender Sberbank and automotive giant GAZ – along with Canadian car parts firm Magna – are to buy Opel from US motor giant General Motors, which is filing for bankruptcy. The rescue plan was approved by the German government early on Saturday. “Of course nobody can exclude the risks, but I think we have found a responsible solution with private investors and interim funding from the state,” said German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier. “It is a solution which preserves [Opel’s] locations in Germany and also preserves the highest possible numbers of jobs.”Experts believe that the deal is likely to revolutionize the Russian automotive industry.

New rules on road to Turkish citizenship

New rules on road to Turkish citizenship
ANKARA - New conditions to obtain Turkish citizenship were passed in Parliament late Thursday. The condition requiring foreigners to reside in Turkey for five years has remained, while advantages have been given to those involved in science or investing. Not doing military service and holding another country’s citizenship without permission are no longer among the reasons for being deprived of Turkish citizenship.
According to the law, a child born to foreign parents in Turkey can receive Turkish citizenship if the child is not able to obtain the citizenship of his or her foreign-born parents’ country.
A foreign child adopted by a Turk will now also be granted Turkish citizenship.
The law brings new conditions for foreigners to obtain Turkish citizenship. The consent of a competent authority is required for a foreigner to switch to Turkish citizenship. Foreigners can become Turkish citizens if they comply with the following conditions.The conditions are: - Foreigners must be of a mature age, have the ability to abide by their nation’s laws or Turkish laws if they are stateless.- Foreigners must five years of uninterrupted residency in Turkey. The time limitation had earlier been raised to five years from three, and with the new law the five-year compulsory residence remains in place.- Foreigners will have to confirm with their actions that they have made a decision to settle in Turkey.- Foreigners must be free of dangerous diseases. - Applicants must have good moral character, speak a reasonable level of Turkish, and earn enough to support themselves and their dependents, or have a good job.Authority approval Even if foreigners comply with all the conditions, they will not be able to earn citizenship if the Turkish authorities do not approve. But,
with the Interior Ministry’s proposal and the decision of the Cabinet, the law offers many new advantages to foreign investors and scientists.
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Aν συγκρίνουμε την Τουρκική διαδικασία με την δική μας "ευρωπαική - Sengen" θα αντιληφθούμε ότι:
1. η Τουρκία έχει αποφασίσει να γινει ενα μεγάλο έστω και πολυεθνικό κράτος ( υπάρχουν πολλά στοιχεία νεοοθομανισμου στην τελευταια ομιλία Ερρντογαν)
2. Η Ελλάδα αποφάσισε να παίξει το ρολο του Υποτελή και Χωροφύλακα της ΕΕ , θυσιάζοντας τα δικά της συμφέροντα στην Sengen με αποτέλεσμα οι σημερινοί μετανάστες που θα ζήσουν υποχρεωτικά εδω, να γίνουν το μελλοντικό της πρόβλημα , εφόσον τους κρατάει στο περιθώριο .. αντί να τους ενσωματώσει όπως κάνει η Τουρκία.

Iran hangs 3 for involvement in Thursday mosque bombing

Iran hangs 3 for involvement in Thursday mosque bombing
Iran executed in public three men convicted of involvement in Thursday's deadly mosque bombing in the southeast of the country, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday. "Three people convicted of being involved in the recent terrorist bombing in Zahedan were hanged in public on Saturday morning," IRNA said, adding that the execution took place near the mosque where the bombing took place. A provincial official said on Friday that the people behind the bombing were hired by the United States, an accusation Washington rejected. "It has been confirmed that those behind the terrorist act in Zahedan were hired by America...," Jalal Sayyah, a senior official at the governor's office in Sistan-Baluchestan province, told the Fars news agency. The explosion at a prominent Shi'ite Muslim mosque in the southeast Iranian city of Zahedan on Thursday killed at least 20 people, a senior official said on Friday.

Xωρίς σχόλια .....

βεβαίως και ο ΣΥΝ θα πρέπει το συντομότερο σε καποιο Συνεδριο του να επανεκτιμήσει την θεση του για το Μααστριχ και να αποδεχτεί δημοσίως και ευθαρσώς ότι η αρχική τοποθέτηση του ΗΤΑΝ ΛΑΘΟΣ..!!! (γιατι το ΚΚΕ σε αυτο το σημείο έχει δίκιο..!!)

Οπως και για την θεση του εκπροσώπου του στην ΕΕ του κ Παπαγιανακη σχετικά με την καταδίκη των γεγονοτων στο Ταλιν , που ο ΣΥΝ συντάχθηκε με τον Ευρωπακο μιλιταρισμό και δοσιλογισμό >> http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=en&article_id=743975 http://www.rferl.org/content/Article/1076165.html

εχουμε και λεμε λοιπόν ...


Παρασκευή, 29 Μαΐου 2009

Mπήκαν στην πόλη οι Οχτροί .. 29 Μαίου


Η τελική επίθεση
Ύστερα από την αποτυχημένη προσέγγιση, ο Μωάμεθ Β' κάλεσε πολεμικό συμβούλιο και κατόπιν έβγαλε λόγο προς τους στρατιώτες του, ζητώντας του θάρρος και σταθερότητα. Τόνισε ότι υπάρχουν τρεις προϋποθέσεις για έναν επιτυχή πόλεμο: η επιθυμία (για τη νίκη), η ντροπή (για την ήττα) και η υπακοή στους ηγέτες. Επίσης δήλωσε με όρκο πως ο ίδιος ήθελε μόνο τα τείχη και τα οικοδομήματα της πόλης και πως αφήνει στο στρατό του όλα τα άλλα. Υπογράμμισε πως υπάρχουν θησαυροί μέσα στα κτήρια και κυρίως στις εκκλησίες και πως θα επωφεληθούν από τον εξανδραποδισμό των κατοίκων, ανάμεσά τους υπήρχαν πολλές νέες γυναίκες. Τέλος διέταξε νηστεία και προσευχή. Η επίθεση ορίστηκε για την νύχτα της 29ης Μαΐου. Στις 28 Μαΐου, συντελέστηκε μεγάλη ακολουθία στην
Αγία Σοφία, η τελευταία χριστιανική ακολουθία που πραγματοποιήθηκε στην περίφημη εκκλησία της πόλης, την οποία παρακολούθησε πλήθος αξιωματούχων και πιστών. Ο Κωνσταντίνος ΙΑ' σε λόγο προς τον λαό του, όπως τον διασώζει ο Γ. Φραντζής, τον προέτρεψε να αντισταθεί γενναία, λέγοντας ότι οι Τούρκοι «υποστηρίζονται από όπλα, ιππικό, πυροβολικό και την αριθμητική τους υπεροχή, εμείς όμως στηριζόμεθα πρώτα στον Θεό και Σωτήρα μας και κατόπιν στα χέρια μας και στην δύναμή μας που μας έχει χαρίσει ο ίδιος ο Θεός». Ο Κωνσταντίνος ολοκλήρωσε την ομιλία του ως εξής: «Γνωρίσατε λοιπόν τούτο: Εάν ειλικρινά υπακούσετε ό,τι σας διέταξα, ελπίζω ότι, με τη βοήθεια του Θεού, θα αποφύγουμε τη δίκαιη τιμωρία Του, που κρέμεται επάνω μας». Την Τρίτη το βράδυ, 29 Μαΐου, μεταξύ 01.00 και 02.00, εκδηλώθηκε γενική τουρκική επίθεση. Μόλις δόθηκε το σύνθημα η πόλη υπέστη συνδυασμένη επίθεση από τρεις πλευρές συγχρόνως. Οι Βυζαντινοί κατάφεραν να αποκόψουν τις υπόγειες σήραγγες απ' όπου οι Τούρκοι προσπάθησαν να περάσουν κάτω από τα τείχη. Παρόλο που στις επιθέσεις ήταν περισσότεροι αριθμητικά, οι Βυζαντινοί τους απώθησαν αρκετές φορές προκαλώντας τους τρομερές απώλειες. Οι δύο πρώτες επιθέσεις αποκρούστηκαν. Όμως ο Μωάμεθ Β' οργάνωσε πολύ προσεκτικά την τρίτη και τελευταία επίθεση. Με ιδιαίτερη επιμονή οι Τούρκοι επιτέθηκαν κατά του μέρους των τειχών το οποίο ήταν κοντά στην πύλη του Αγίου Ρωμανού (Πέμπτον), όπου πολεμούσε και ο ίδιος ο Αυτοκράτορας. Ένας από τους κύριους υπερασπιστές της πόλης, ο Γενουάτης Ιουστινιάνη, τραυματίστηκε σοβαρά και αναγκάστηκε να εγκαταλείψει τον αγώνα. Αυτή η απώλεια υπήρξε ανεπανόρθωτη για τους Βυζαντινούς. Στα τείχη δημιουργούνταν συνεχώς ρήγματα και ο Αυτοκράτορας, πολεμώντας ως απλός στρατιώτης, έπεσε στην μάχη. Δεν υπάρχουν ακριβείς πληροφορίες για τον θάνατο του και για τον λόγο αυτό ο θάνατός του έγινε γρήγορα ...
Η Ισλαμοφοβία και ο επαρχιωτισμός της Ελληνικής πολιτείας οδηγεί σε γκετοποίηση των θρησκευτικών μειονοτήτων στην Ελλάδα και τους οδηγεί με μαθηματική ακρίβεια στην προστασία του Τουρκικού προξενείου. Με διώξεις, απανρωπιά και επιχειρήσεις σκούπα νομίζουν ότι θα λύσουν τοπρόβλημα. Η ίδια αυτοαπομονωτική πολιτική του Βυζαντίου στην 3η φάση της ιστοριας του , έριξε όλους του λαούς της Μ Ασίας στην Αγγαλία του Μωάμεθ του Β, ακόμα δε και των Ελληνόφωνων (όπως ήταν και η μητέρα του ίδιου του Σουλτάνου)
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Το Ελληνικό κράτος για να τον τιμήσει μετεφερε το άγαλμα του σε μια κόχη και γωνία στην άκρη της Πλατείας Μητροπόλεως , γιατί εκεί που ήταν πριν εμπόδιζε τα Τουριστικά μαγαζιά και καφετέριες από την έλευση των τουριστών..

[..Τό δέ τήν πόλιν σοι δούναι ουκ εμόν εστίν ούτ'άλλου των κατοικούντων ενταύθα, κοινή γάρ γνώμη πάντες αυτοπροαιρέτως αποθανούμεν μή φειδόμενοι της ζωής ημών...]
Τον Οκτώβριο του 1443 ανέλαβε δεσπότης του Μυστρά και αφιερώθηκε με ζήλο στη διοικητική και στρατιωτική αναδιοργάνωση τού δεσποτάτου, με απώτερο σκοπό την ενίσχυση της άμυνας της Πελοποννήσου έναντι της τουρκικής απειλής. Οικοδόμησε τα τείχη του Εξαμιλίου στον Ισθμό της Πελοποννήσου, και επέκτεινε το δεσποτάτο του κατακτώντας τη Βοιωτία και τη Φωκίδα. Όμως ο Μουράτ Β' οργάνωσε μια μεγάλη εκστρατεία εναντίον του. Κατέστρεψε το φρούριο στο Εξαμίλιο, την Κόρινθο και την Πάτρα. Ο Κωνσταντίνος αναγκάστηκε να ζητήσει ειρήνη και να γίνει φόρου υποτελής στον Τούρκο σουλτάνο... ..Οι εκκλήσεις τού Κωνσταντίνου προς τη Δύση για ενισχύσεις αντιμετωπίζονταν με περίεργη αδιαφορία. Ο Πελοποννήσιος καρδινάλιος και προηγουμένως μητροπολίτης Ρωσίας Ισίδωρος, που έφθασε στην Κωνσταντινούπολη με ελάχιστες δυνάμεις, δεν μπορούσε να προσφέρει ελπίδες. Οι 3.000 περίπου βυζαντινοί και οι 2.000 περίπου ξένοι, από τους οποίους 700 περίπου Γενουάτες με αρχηγό τον Ιουστινιάνη, ήταν πολύ λίγοι για να αποκρούσουν τις επιθέσεις του πολυάριθμου και αξιόμαχου τουρκικού στρατού... .. «Ο βασιλεύς ουν απαγορεύσας εαυτόν, ιστάμενος βαστάζων σπάθην και ασπίδα, είπε λόγον λύπης άξιον "ουκ έστι τις των χριστιανών του λαβείν την κεφαλήν μου απ΄ εμού;" ην γαρ μονώτατος απολειφθείς..
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Διαδέχθηκε τον πατέρα του Μουράτ Β' σε ηλικία 12 ετών το 1444. Όμως τα χριστιανικά κράτη της Ευρώπης, η Ουγγαρία, η Βλαχία, η Βενετία, βλέποντας την παρουσία ενός άπειρου σουλτάνου επικεφαλής των Οθωμανών δημιούργησαν στρατιωτικό συνασπισμό και ξεκίνησαν πολεμικές επιχειρήσεις εναντίον του. Ο Μεγάλος Βεζύρης Τσανταρλί Χαλίλ επεδίωξε και πέτυχε την επάνοδο του πατέρα του Μουράτ Β', ο οποίος και νίκησε το χριστιανικό στρατό. Όταν ο Μουράτ πέθανε το 1451, ανέβηκε και πάλι στο θρόνο ο Μωάμεθ. .. Ονειρο του νεαρού σουλτάνου ήταν η δημιουργία μιας αυτοκρατορίας παρόμοιας με εκείνη των Ρωμαίων. Αλλωστε το Οθωμανικό κράτος χρειαζόταν μια πρωτεύουσα αντάξια της έκτασης και της δύναμής της. Επίσης στην πόλη αυτή είχαν βρει καταφύγιο πολλοί διεκδικητές του οθωμανικού θρόνου. Ετσι έθεσε στόχο του την άλωση της Κωνσταντινούπολης. Εκλεισε συνθήκη με την Ουγγαρία και τη Βενετία και έχτισε οχυρό για τον έλεγχο του Βοσπόρου, το Ρούμελι Χισσάρ, ενώ έφερε στόλο και κανόνια. Η πολιορκία ξεκίνησε στις 6 Απριλίου 1453. Ο μεγάλος βεζύρης Τσανταρλί Χαλίλ ήταν αντίθετος στην άλωση της Πόλης. Η Κωνσταντινούπολη έπεσε στα χέρια των Οθωμανών στις 29 Μαίου 1453 ύστερα από γενική επίθεση και λεηλατήθηκε σκληρά. Ο σουλτάνος εισήλθε στην Πόλη την επόμενη ημέρα, πήρε τον τίτλο του Πορθητή (Fatih) και μετέτρεψε την Αγιά Σοφιά σε τζαμί. Προσπάθησε να ξαναδώσει στην Κωνσταντινούπολη (την οποία μετονόμασε σε Ισταμπούλ, από το ελληνικό "Εις την Πόλιν") την χαμένη της αίγλη κατασκευάζοντας παλάτια, τζαμιά, αγορές και εποικίζοντάς της με πληθυσμό από τις άλλες πόλεις που καταλάμβανε. Πρόσθεσε στους τίτλους του αυτόν του Ρωμαίου Καίσαρα. τα επόμενα χρόνια έκανε πολλούς πολέμους, κατέλαβε και τα τελευταία υπολείμματα της Βυζαντινής αυτοκρατορίας και πολλά εδάφη από τα γειτονικά κράτη. Αναδιοργάνωσε τη διοίκηση του κράτους τοποθετώντας δικούς του ανθρώπους σε όλες τις θέσεις κλειδιά. Ετσι όρισε Μεγάλο Βεζύρη τον Ζαγάνο Μεχμέτ πασά, υποστήριξε ως Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη τον ανθενωτικό Γεώργιο Σχολάριο -Γεννάδιο Β'-, εγκατέστησε Εβραίο μεγάλο ραβίνο και Αρμένιο πατριάρχη. Δεν διακρινόταν για την ευσέβειά του στην ισλαμική πίστη, αντίθετα θαύμαζε την τέχνη της δυτικής Ευρώπης και συγκέντρωσε στην αυλή του πλήθος Ευρωπαίων καλλιτεχνών. Δήμευσε πολλά εκκλησιαστικά κτήματα και τα έδωσε σε αξιωματικούς -τους σπαχήδες-. Επέβαλλε σειρά νέων φόρων στο εξωτερικό εμπόριο με αποτέλεσμα να περάσει το μεγαλύτερο μέρος του στα χέρια των Οθωμανών.
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Ο Μωάμεθ παραδίδει τα Προνόμια στον Σχολάριο (τα χρυσόβουλα αυτα επικαλείται σήμερα η εκκλησία για να κατοχυρώσει τα οικόπεδα της ..)
Γεννήθηκε στην Κωνσταντινούπολη γύρω στο 1398[1] με 1405 και ανήκε σε οικογένεια ευκατάστατη με θεσσαλική καταγωγή. Το όνομα Σχολάριος θεωρείται ότι προέρχεται από αξίωμα μέλους της οικογενείας του στο στρατό ή στα ανάκτορα.... Το γεγονός ότι η οικογένειά του ήταν εύπορη, του έδωσε τη δυνατότητα να αποκτήσει σπουδαία μόρφωση. Δεν έχουμε μαρτυρίες για το εάν σπούδασε σε κάποια σχολή. Σε επιστολή του ο ίδιος αναφέρει ότι υπήρξε αυτοδίδακτος. .. Τον βρήκε ο Σουλτάνος Μωάμεθ Β΄ ο Πορθητής και τον όρισε Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη, ενώ τυπικά εξελέγη από Σύνοδο που συνήλθε στο Ναό των Αγίων Αποστόλων στις 6 Ιανουαρίου 1454. Ο Σουλτάνος τού παραχώρησε το ναό αυτό, προκειμένου να εγκατασταθεί εκεί το Πατριαρχείο, στο οποίο παραχώρησε και προνόμια, ως θεσμού που εκπροσωπούσε πλέον τους υπόδουλους Χριστιανούς. Την άνοιξη του 1456 παραιτήθηκε για λόγους υγείας και υπό το βάρος των προβλημάτων. Αποσύρθηκε στη Μονή Βατοπεδίου !!!! του Αγίου Όρους και κατόπιν στη Μονή του Τιμίου Προδρόμου κοντά στις Σέρρες. Εκλήθη δύο ακόμη φορές στον Οικουμενικό Θρόνο, το 1462 και το 1464, χωρίς όμως να αποδειχθεί με βεβαιότητα ότι ξαναάσκησε τα καθήκοντα του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη.

Πέμπτη, 28 Μαΐου 2009

ΛΑΟΣ .. ειδικότης μας οι κωλοτούμπες...


Lessons from Moscow and Tehran

Lessons from Moscow and Tehran
Following three decades of mutually hostile postures characterized by minimal communication and limited and sporadic cooperation, the United States and Iran may be about to reengage more constructively. Such a development, while important for us, would be of even greater significance for the greater Middle East and beyond. Its impact on a variety of relationships, including that between the United States and Israel, and those between Israel and its neighbors, would be transformative and positive. But much must happen by way of careful and persistent diplomacy to get the various moving parts in place. As Washington proceeds to restructure what is probably the key relationship in the region — namely, that between itself and Iran — it would do well to consider how another country has approached its own relations with Iran, in good times and bad. That country is Russia.John W. Parker, a State Department analyst who has devoted a lifetime to the study of the Soviet Union and its successor states, has written a work that offers valuable lessons for American policymakers as the U.S. seeks to engage the government of Iran. His recently published Persian Dreams: Moscow and Tehran Since the Fall of the Shah (Potomac Books) is a major contribution to our understanding of the contemporary relationship between Russia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The book provides insight into the Iranian psyche, Iranian politics, and how Iranian officials relate to the world beyond their country’s borders. It’s both broad in scope and dense with details of the diplomatic and other interactions that have shaped the Russian-Iranian relationship to the present day, and illustrates how a contentious relationship can exist at different apparently contradictory levels. Parker describes a calculating relationship characterized by mutual wariness and realistic expectations. Both Moscow and Tehran approach their relations with a sense of proportion, and an understanding that short-term advantages can easily be overwhelmed by longer-term changes and realities. For the most part, this is a relationship that proceeds in measured steps and is shaped by competing as well as shared interests and a variety of volatile external factors.Parker elucidates the qualitative differences between the U.S.-Iran relationship and the centuries-old interactions of Russia and Iran, which by virtue of geography and history have been far more intimate and textured. But he also highlights some similarities.As with the United States, Iran approaches Russia with a sense of historical grievance. Iranian resentment toward its near neighbor reaches back to early in the 19th century, when the Russian Empire began to encroach on previously Iranian-controlled lands in the Caucasus and Central Asia. It’s fed, for example, by Russia’s subsequent imposed dominion over the Caspian Sea, and by the Anglo-Russian agreement of 1907, through which the two colonial partners formalized their spheres of influence in the north and south of Iran.Likewise, Russia has memories of the 1829 murder by a Tehran mob of Russian ambassador and noted writer Alexander Griboyedov, the principal architect of the 1828 Treaty of Turkmanchai, which added the khanates of Nakichevan and Yerevan to the Russian Empire. More recently, within days of the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan on Christmas Eve 1979, Iranian mobs attacked the Soviet embassy in Tehran on several occasions, destroying the hall which commemorated the 1943 wartime summit among Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin.Given this past, both sides are careful not to overreach. They approach each other with the politeness and wariness that only proud neighbors can have with each other. The fundamental aim, Parker points out, isn’t to become good but just reasonable neighbors, aware of the imperative of keeping in close touch even at the lowest points in their relationship, and using their relations to increase leverage with other partners, such as the United States.
Playing for the Long-term
In the '60s and '70s, better relations with Moscow gave the Shah a freer hand in dealing with domestic opposition to his reforms. At the same time, they encouraged Washington to be even less restrained in its armaments and technical assistance to Iran.In the '80s, the Iran-Iraq War and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan strained relations. The USSR worried that an Iranian victory might stimulate increased Iranian activity in Afghanistan and the Muslim parts of the Soviet Caucasus; and Iran resented Soviet arms sales to Iraq and Soviet participation in the 1987 Kuwaiti tanker protection program. Yet Iran wasn't a major player in supporting anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and kept a low profile in that country after the Soviet withdrawal.The Russians were relieved when the end of the Iran-Iraq War removed a major complicating factor in its relations with Iran. And the USSR’s withdrawal from Afghanistan led to Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 letter to Gorbachev reiterating Iran’s interest in good-neighborly and reciprocal relations. As Iranian-Soviet relations improved, Iranian parliament speaker Akbhar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who visited Moscow in June 1989, defended dealing with the Soviet Union. He argued that Iran’s policies had not changed. Rather, Soviet policies had — as exemplified by the withdrawal from Afghanistan, diminished Soviet support for “leftist and Marxist trends” in Iran, and the beginning of greater religious freedom in the USSR.Moscow moved cautiously, out of concern for a possible negative reaction from Washington and continuing worry about Islamic fundamentalism. But relations clearly were on the upswing when Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze told Secretary of State James Baker that isolating Iran “would be the worst of all possible options” (in Baker's book,
The Politics of Diplomacy, 1996).
Multiple Tracks
The complex and confusing dealings between Moscow and Tehran in 1992, when they backed opposing sides in the Tajik civil war “yet nourished mutual interests on other issues,” according to Parker, illustrate the sides’ determination to cooperate wherever possible even while supporting different clients. As the U.S. began to deploy its “dual containment” policy, designed to further isolate Iran, and moved forward with NATO expansion, Moscow and Tehran found new reasons to cooperate more fully. They worked jointly to bring the sides in Tajikistan to the negotiations table and end the civil war. Economic and technological cooperation increased, and in 1995 Moscow concluded a deal which included building a reactor at the civilian nuclear power station at Bushehr. Nonetheless, increased pressure from Washington on Moscow to discourage Iranian interest in a nuclear program with military applications, as well as Moscow’s own proliferation concerns, led Moscow to slow completion of the reactor and delivery of dual-use technology.In 2002, Moscow and Iran finally agreed to the return of all spent fuel from Bushehr to Russia, and by the end of the year the sides seemed close to a deal. Then, says Parker, the news broke of “a vast nuclear enrichment complex under construction at Natanz,” and a year later it was revealed that Iran had been dealing as far back as 1987 with the network of nuclear black marketers led by A. Q. Khan of Pakistan. This marked the beginning of a deliberate slowdown in Russia’s nuclear cooperation with Iran.As Parker points out, aside from importuning from Washington, Moscow had its own reasons to be troubled by Iranian nuclear proliferation and its increasing military potential. These concerns were heightened by the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests in 1998, and Russia began to display a more critical attitude, suggesting “a desire to at least slow down [Iran’s] emergence into the nuclear club.” This tendency became more pronounced under President Vladimir Putin, who told the United States in 2002 that, despite Russia’s centuries-old tradition of good-neighborliness with Iran, Moscow had “full understanding with the United States” on the nonproliferation issue.Of course, Russia needed the money from its arms sales and its cooperation on the Bushehr facility. It also wished to retain some influence over Iranian decisions. So, despite its concerns, it never entirely shut down its cooperation. But it did slow it down considerably, and continued to push for Iranian acceptance of a plan whereby spent fuel from the reactor would be returned to Russia. Citing the U.S. effort to justify its invasion of Iraq without final UN Security Council approval, the Russians also adopted a go-slow approach to American pressure to take the Iranian nuclear issue to the Security Council and then to apply UNSC sanctions on Iran over the program.
Payoff
Russia’s policy of patient and persistent engagement produced results. Moscow continued to insist that Tehran return spent nuclear fuel to Russia, and that the Islamic Republic allow International Atomic Energy Agency overview of Iran’s nuclear program. In October 2003, Iran delivered what it called a full disclosure of its nuclear program to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); and in December of the same year it signed the additional IAEA protocol providing for additional inspections. In fact, Parker thinks that Russian leverage probably contributed to Tehran’s 2003 decision to disband its nuclear weaponization program. It was only after Iran committed to re-suspend its conversion and enrichment activities that Russia finally signed, in February 2005, the fuel return agreement that the head of Russia’s Atomic Energy Ministry (MinAtom) had declared was close to being finalized in December 2002.In the face of Iranian backtracking and reversal on its voluntary pledge to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities as a confidence-building measure, Russia joined the other Security Council members in approving UNSC Resolution 1696 in the summer of 2006, which called on Iran to freeze its nuclear enrichment-related activities or face sanctions. In December 2006 it supported Resolution 1737, which called for sanctions against Iran for not suspending its nuclear enrichment activities.Russia also supported UNSC 1747 in March 2007 and UNSC 1803 in March 2008, both of which broadened Resolution 1737’s sanctions against Iran’s nuclear-related activities. However, in light of Iran’s cutting back on cooperation with the IAEA and its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, along with signs of U.S. willingness to engage more directly with Iran on nuclear and other issues, Russia and China have resisted more recent efforts to adopt additional Security Council sanctions on Iran.An important fact for Russia, no doubt, was the release in early December 2007 of a portion of a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, which stated “with high confidence” that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Unwilling to be outflanked by Washington, Moscow reacted quickly after President Barack Obama issued a video message to Iran on March 20 on the occasion of the Persian New Year, in which he offered to open a new chapter in relations with the Islamic Republic. The next day, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said there is no proof that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon. He urged the West to respect and reach out to Tehran, adding that the IAEA is best placed to monitor Iran’s activities and establish whether it might try to develop a weapon covertly under the guise of a civilian program.
New Directions?
It’s too early to make firm predictions regarding the future direction of the U.S.-Iranian relationship. But it’s clear that the new administration in Washington has embarked on a course correction focused more on engagement than on sanctions and hectoring. In response, influential Iranians — including speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani, who
suggested in February that, rather than boxing with Iran, the United States should “play chess” with it — are sending many signals that they are prepared to engage as equals.Given Iran’s weight in the region, and its influence in key countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as with respect to the occupied Palestinian territories, constructive engagement with Iran could produce major dividends for both the U.S. and Iran as well as for our friends and allies in the region, including Israel. As we proceed, we will need to exercise both patience and persistence, keeping in mind the strong support across different sectors of Iranian society for a civilian nuclear program that would coincidentally bring the country closer to becoming a nuclear threshold state.
Benjamin Tua, a retired Foreign Service Officer, served in the USSR, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Russia and Israel. He currently is an independent analyst and a
Foreign Policy In Focus contributor.

Τετάρτη, 27 Μαΐου 2009

Lahore bombing death toll rises to 40


Lahore bombing death toll rises to 40
The death toll from a bomb attack targeting the police offices in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore rises to 40 as rescue teams find more bodies under the rubble. Earlier media reports said twenty-three people were killed in the bombing that destroyed a police building and damaged nearby offices of the Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the country's second-largest city. Later, city's top civil administrator, Sajjad Bhutta, said that 12 police officers were among the 40 bodies retrieved. The death toll may rise further as some of the 250 injured are said to be in a critical condition. Gunshots were heard immediately after the blast but it was not clear who was firing, a witness said. A big cloud of white smoke rose after the blast. Interior Ministry Chief Rehman Malik said that the bombing was the work of 'anti-state elements who wanted to destabilize the country.' The blast shocked the already insurgency-hit country and was strongly condemned by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Lahore has seen several bomb attacks over the past couple of years, but its citizens felt much safer than those residing in other parts of the country until March, when militants launched two brazen assaults. The latest development comes while the army battles militants in the volatile Swat Valley in the northwest of the country as part of efforts to push back a growing insurgency.
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Lahore - Pakistan's cultural capital - has faced its share of militant attacks, but it has not had to put up with the kind of sustained campaign it now appears to be facing.
Wednesday's suicide bombing of the police emergency response headquarters on a heavily guarded section of Lahore's Mall road underlines the fact that the cultural heart of Pakistan is a city under siege. It is a clear statement from the militants seen to be under siege in Swat and elsewhere - they are alive and can strike back. Whoever wants to destabilise the country or the government, would go after Lahore . A raid on the police training centre near the city in March - along with an attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in the same month - brought home the fact that the city is now in the frontline of Pakistan's struggle against militancy. According to security officials, part of the reason Lahore is now under threat may be because it has previously been seen as stable. "Lahore is the only city in Pakistan which has remained relatively peaceful since the 9/11 attacks," says a security official. "It has been Pakistan's saving grace, and whoever wants to destabilise the country or the government, would go after Lahore," the official says. Suspects There are a number of reasons why Lahore could be the centre of such attacks. Many people suspect Taliban militants in Pakistan's north-west. Almost all major attacks inside Pakistan in recent years have been traced back to the tribal areas near the Afghan border.
The siege of the police academy lasted eight hours
Taliban militants fighting the Pakistani army have openly admitted planning and carrying out many of the attacks. They recently issued a propaganda video which took responsibility for carrying out a number of suicide bombings on security forces over the last two years. At least two of them were carried out in Lahore. Fingers have also been pointed at the Lashkar-e-Taiba, as they were after the attack on the Sri Lanka team. Some experts say the attacks could be retaliation by elements within the group for the crackdown on it following the attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) last November. Others, like Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik, accuse another militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which the US believes has close ties with al-Qaeda. "Almost all the recent major terror attacks have either been claimed or traced back to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi," he told reporters in Lahore in March. India, too, is blamed by many Pakistani government and security officials, who suspect retaliation for the Mumbai attacks. This was also a view voiced after the attack on Sri Lanka's cricketers. Many analysts are quick to point out the change in tactics, and believe that the attacks are the handiwork of a new militant group.
'Assault tactics'
But what many seem to have forgotten is how it all began. Pakistani militants only started using suicide attacks in a co-ordinated manner in 2004. The first target was Karachi, where a series of bomb attack in May of that year left more than 100 people dead. We will eventually start using assault tactics again, when we have regained our strength in men

Τρίτη, 26 Μαΐου 2009

Georgian opposition warns of 'radical acts'

Georgian opposition warns of 'radical acts'
ΤBILISI, May 26 - Georgia's opposition, which has been demanding the president's resignation for around two months, said it planned to start "radical acts" on Tuesday."Today we will seal the railway, from today we will start the most radical acts," Eka Beselia of the Movement for United Georgia, said at a rally outside the Georgian parliament. Leader of the Georgia's Way party Salome Zurabishvili said: "We will shut central highways with cars and then will walk and close the railway track."Zviad Dzidziguri, who heads the Conservative Party, said: "We have plans to initially stage a peaceful rally at the railways and at airports." "Our actions will be peaceful but extremely radical," he said.
In a statement issued earlier on Tuesday Georgia's opposition called on the international community to help resolve the situation in the country and end the stalemate following around six weeks of protests. A total of 14 leading opposition parties and groups first took to the streets in Tbilisi on April 9 to call for President Mikheil Saakashvili to step down over his failure to carry out democratic reforms and last August's disastrous war with Russia.

YUAN - > The Next Reserve Currency?


The Next Reserve Currency?
Skeptics have dismissed Beijing's talk of de-emphasizing the US dollar, but China is making moves that could soon lead to a convertible yuan. Are the Chinese finally getting serious about loosening their ties to the dollar -- and even replacing the greenback with the yuan as the global economy's reserve currency? The evidence is mounting that they are For the last two months, China's leadership has been complaining about the country's dangerous dependence on the dollar.. Beijing holds $2 trillion (€1.43 trillion) in dollar assets, accumulated through years of exports to America and massive purchases of Treasuries by the Chinese government. If Washington can't rein in its mounting budget deficit, both Treasuries and the greenback could weaken considerably -- and the Chinese could be big losers as a result. The Chinese began generating attention on the issue in March, when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he was worried that the country's dollar assets could slide. Ten days later Chinese central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan suggested replacing the dollar as the international reserve currency. One idea, Zhou said, was to replace the dollar with a basket of currencies supervised by the International Monetary Fund.
Free Convertability for the Yuan?
Skeptics said the Chinese were merely talking. The dollar is too entrenched as the international currency of choice, with the US by far the world's largest economy, went the thinking. And in any case, the Chinese act so deliberately that, even if they did wish to elevate the yuan globally, they wouldn't do it in the short or medium term. Finally, if the Chinese were to bring the yuan into competition with the dollar as a medium of international trade, they would have to turn the yuan into a convertible currency whose value would be dictated by the market, with traders, investors, governments, and companies around the world freely buying and selling it. Such a loss of control, said many Western investors, would never be allowed by the authoritarian Chinese. It would mean lowering all kinds of financial trade barriers, allowing foreign access to Chinese securities markets and more. Now some observers are changing their tune. China's financial moves during the last two months have persuaded Western experts that the nation's leadership intends to make the yuan freely convertible into other currencies-the first big step toward open confrontation with the dollar -- within a few years. Why have perceptions started to change? Last month, Beijing completed the last of a series of so-called currency swaps -- providing yuan to other central banks for use in trade with China -- with Argentina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, and others. These arrangements theoretically removed any need for these trading partners to use the dollar as an intermediary currency in dealing with China. Last week, Beijing denominated a bilateral trade deal with Brazil in the two countries' currencies, rather than in dollars; the value of the agreement was not specified. The value of the other agreements comes to $95 billion (€68 billion). By way of comparison, US-Chinese trade amounted to $333 billion (€238 billion) in 2008.
Mind the Dollar's 'Safe Haven Aspect'
Big hurdles remain for the Chinese. Making the yuan freely convertible is one: Major central banks would be loath to hold any large sums of any currency -- the purest definition of a reserve currency -- if they could not sell or trade it without limitation. Another is the absence of a large market for yuan-denominated bonds. One key sign of acceptance as a reserve currency would be if Western countries such as the US purchased bonds denominated in yuan and sold at market rates. Until now, yuan-denominated bonds have been sold only by Chinese banks, along with multilateral banks such as the Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corporation, and the bonds have been sold only in China. Yet there was movement even on that aspect last week: HSBC Holdings and Bank of East Asia said they would become the first foreign banks to be authorized to sell yuan-denominated bonds in China. Doubts remain that the Chinese can challenge the greenback. Former Brazilian Central Bank chief Gustavo Franco poured cold water on the notion that Brazil and China would fully abandon trading in dollars, calling it "pure idle talk." Others agree. "For now, the
safe haven aspect of the dollar has overwhelmed other concerns. When people need liquidity, they go to the United States," says Morris Goldstein, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. Still, what is more or less a consensus among Western experts on China seems to have formed that the Chinese are on an unmistakable path toward challenging the dollar. What remains lacking is a political decision to shift from acting on the margins to making a decisive move, many experts say. That resolve may be forming. A Chinese official said on May 20 that the yuan could be a serious reserve currency by 2020. Zhang Guangping, vice-head of the Shanghai branch of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, told reporters that this date would coincide with the timetable of making Shanghai an international financial center like London and New York. Turning Shanghai into China's money capital would be meaningless if the yuan were not convertible.
A
Convertible Yuan by 2012?
That rough timeline -- a 10- or 15-year transition -- coincides with the projections of many Western experts. But among those predicting that the Chinese may move more rapidly is Nicholas Lardy, a China expert at the Peterson Institute. Lardy says the idea of making the yuan convertible is not new: The Chinese first raised the issue in the 1990s but were derailed by the 1997 Asian economic crisis. "They could do it in two or three years," Lardy said. "We tend to underestimate how far they've come in reforming various aspects of their financial system." Whatever the timing, such a move would be dramatic in terms of the Chinese economy. Until now, Beijing has maintained a tight grip on the value of the yuan -- many experts believe it is undervalued -- including limiting who can convert it to hard currency and how many dollars flow into the country. "China has maintained the currency at below the market clearing rate to help its exporters," said Brad Setser, a currency specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations, for whom he writes a blog, Follow the Money. In addition, there is the matter of China's massive reserve of dollar assets. "If the Chinese stop buying dollars, the value of their assets will fall," said Rachel Ziemba, a China analyst at RGE Monitor, a financial think tank. "So the change is not going to be tomorrow or next year." One way the Chinese can lessen their exposure to dollar assets over time is to shift their reserves from long-term Treasuries into shorter-term U.S. bonds. That shift would give the Chinese more flexibility in easing away from the dollar. The New York Times reported last week that the Chinese seem to be maintaining dollar-asset ownership levels, but shifting their holdings into maturities of a year or less -- something they have not previously done.

Δευτέρα, 25 Μαΐου 2009

τα καλά της οικολογίας


Επειδή η Ευρώπη φέρει το όνομα μιας μετανάστριας από τη Φοινίκη που έπεσε θύμα βιασμού ..

Γιατί συμμετέχω στο ευρωψηφοδέλτιο του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ
Επιστολή Β. Αλεξάκη στον Αλέξη Τσίπρα
Ο συγγραφέας Βασίλης Αλεξάκης, υποψήφιος για την Ευρωβουλή με το ψηφοδέλτιο του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, έστειλε σήμερα στον Πρόεδρο του ΣΥΝ Αλ. Τσίπρα την ακόλουθη επιστολή:


Επειδή πιστεύω ότι ο πολιτισμός μιας κοινωνίας κρίνεται από τον τρόπο που συμπεριφέρεται στα ασθενέστερα μέλη της, επειδή τα κέρδη του κεφαλαίου δεν καταλήγουν ποτέ στις τσέπες των εργαζομένων,
Επειδή δεν δέχομαι να ονειρεύονται άλλοι για λογαριασμό μου,
Επειδή δεν θέλω να ζήσω σε μια καμένη γη που την περιβάλλει μια βρώμικη θάλασσα, ούτε σε μια κοινωνία όπου επιπλέουν οι απατεώνες σαν τους φελλούς,
Επειδή μια χώρα που περιθωριοποιεί τους ηλικιωμένους και τους νέους είναι μια χώρα χωρίς μέλλον και χωρίς παρελθόν,
Επειδή δεν καταλαβαίνω πώς γίνεται οι αδέσποτες σφαίρες να βρίσκουν πάντα τον στόχο τους,
Επειδή δεν μπορώ να πιστέψω ότι υπάρχουν γονείς που δεν θέλουν τα παιδιά τους να μάθουν να σκέφτονται ελεύθερα,
Επειδή απαραίτητη προϋπόθεση για την χειραφέτηση της παιδείας είναι ο διαχωρισμός Εκκλησίας και Κράτους,
Επειδή η θέση των εικονισμάτων είναι στις εκκλησίες και όχι στα σχολεία, τα δικαστήρια και τους στρατώνες,
Επειδή το Βυζάντιο δεν συνεχίζει την Αρχαιότητα αλλά την αναιρεί όπως η νύχτα αναιρεί τη μέρα,
Επειδή, όπως έλεγε ο Μανόλης Αναγνωστάκης, πρέπει να λέμε την αλήθεια στα παιδιά,
Επειδή κάποτε πρέπει να γίνουν γνωστά τα περιουσιακά στοιχεία της Εκκλησίας και των μοναστηριών,
Επειδή μια χώρα όπου έχουν ανθίσει τόσα τραγούδια για τη «μαύρη» ξενιτιά θα έπρεπε να συμπεριφέρεται διαφορετικά στους ξένους,
Επειδή η Ευρώπη φέρει το όνομα μιας μετανάστριας από τη Φοινίκη που έπεσε θύμα βιασμού,
Επειδή ευελπιστώ ότι θα ισχύσει κάποτε η δημοτική και για τα κύρια ονόματα,
Επειδή με ξαφνιάζει το γεγονός ότι το τόσο διαδεδομένο όνομα Γιάννης δεν εμφανίζεται σε κανένα δελτίο ταυτότητας,
Επειδή θεωρώ ότι η ωραιότερη λέξη που έδωσε η Ελλάδα στον κόσμο είναι η λέξη διάλογος,
Επειδή η λέξη μονόλογος είναι δυστυχώς κι αυτή ελληνική,
Επειδή κανένας λαός δεν δικαιούται να κομπάζει για τη γλώσσα του, γιατί καμιά δεν είναι δημιούργημα ενός μόνο λαού

North Korea Conducts 2nd Nuclear Weapons Test

North Korea Conducts Nuclear Weapons Test
http://news.antiwar.com/2009/05/24/north-korea-conducts-nuclear-weapons-test/
South Korea’s cabinet is holding an emergency meeting this morning after it detected an “artificial earthquake” in North Korea, a sign that the nation may have conducted a test explosion of an atomic weapon. Those fears were later confirmed by North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA), which confirmed that the nation conducted its second underground nuclear test at approximately 10:00 am Monday local time (roughly 9 pm Sunday EST). The seismic activity detected was similar to the October 2006 test. The South Korean stock exchange plummeted over the news. Yet the news was not entirely shocking, as South Korean officials said they had detected “brisk” activityat the nation’s nuclear test site earlier this month. US special envoy Stephen Bosworth has vowed that “there will be consequences.” North Korea pulled out of 6-party talks last month after the United Nations condemned them for what they claimed was a satellite launch but which the West dubbed a “missile test.” The nation ordered International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors out and said it was preparing new nuclear tests.
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North Korea says it has carried out a "successful" underground nuclear weapons test, according to the Korean Central News Agency. The North "successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defense in every way as requested by its scientists and technicians," the news agency said on Monday. "The current nuclear test was safely conducted on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control," it added. The test would "contribute to defending the sovereignty of the country and the nation and socialism and ensuring peace and security on the Korean peninsula and the region around it with the might of Songun (the North's army-first policy)." No details of the location of the test have been given yet. According to South Korean officials, a tremor was detected around the northeastern town of Kilju, near where the first test was conducted in October 2006. The US Geological Survey announced that it detected what it called a 4.7-magnitude earthquake in North Korea on Monday. The tremor struck at 9:54 am (0054 GMT), 375 kilometers (230 miles) northeast of Pyongyang at a depth of just 10 kilometers, it said.
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North Korea claims nuclear test
There was concern among South Koreans at the newsNorth Korea says it has carried out its first test of a nuclear weapon. It said the underground test, carried out in defiance of international warnings, was a success and had not resulted in any leak of radiation. The US said intelligence had detected a seismic event at a suspected test site and Russia said it was "100% certain" a nuclear test had occurred. The US said the reported test was a "provocative act", while China denounced it as "brazen". In an unusually strong statement against its ally, China expressed its "resolute opposition" to the claimed test and said it "defied the universal opposition of international society".
Την δεύτερη Πυρηνική δοκιμή της έκανε η Β Κορέα η οποία ισχυρίζεται ότι είναι μεγαλύτερης ισχύος από την πρώτη έκανε σήμερα 25 Μαίου και 10:00 πμ τοπική ωρα.

Σάββατο, 23 Μαΐου 2009

“War” for the Koran at the centre of Athens






War” for the Koran at the centre of Athens http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1034223
There was Fire again in central Athens yesterday afternoon because the police took the Koran from Afghan immigrants near the Omonia square and in front of the eyes of many Muslims tried to destroy it and step on it. Islamofovia is a very widely spread within the Greek Police. Some time later Around 1000 Muslims and members of anti-immigrant organizations demonstrated in the streets , tried to burn a police station and ended up to Constitution Square in front of Parliament. The demo was peaceful mostly but some of them collided with the Police forces causing extensive damage, burning cars and smashing windows of nearby shops. The scenes that unfolded in central Athens was unprecedented, it was the first of its kind and the demonstrators, fell on the shields of the police men, regardless of the danger of injury or arrest. Other, larger group, holding the Koran and prayer to Allah saying curses on the enemies of Islam. The Greek state and police force are following very inhumane anti immigrant policies and are very well known for their brutality against them.

Deadly battles in Somali capital


Deadly battles in Somali capital
At least 45 people have been killed after Somali government forces launched an attack in an attempt to drive opposition fighters from the capital, Mogadishu.Witnesses said at least four members of al-Shabab, an armed group, and a journalist from Shabelle Radio, a local independent station, were among the victims of Friday's clashes.Farhan Mahdi, a Somali military spokesman, said: "This is a large military offensive against violent people."The government will sweep them out of the capital and the fighting will continue until that happens."Dawn battlesThe government claims that it has regained control of three areas of Mogadishu - Tarbunka, Bakara and Howlwadag - since the battles began before dawn."We were surprised to see men in government uniforms fighting in Bakara," Halima Osman, a Mogadishu resident, told the Reuters news agency. "They have recaptured four police stations between here and the palace, and they are advancing further."
But al-Shabab rejected the claims of military success.
"The enemy of Allah attacked our positions this morning and our fighters are defending themselves," Sheikh Ali Mahmoud Rage, a spokesman for al-Shabab, said."They have not not taken any positions from us."Reporters confirmed that several bodies had been left on the ground and at least eight civilians were injured while trying to escape.Sources at two Mogadishu hospitals told Reuters that they received a total of 85 wounded civilians on Friday.Opposition forces Al-Shabab fighters, along with members of other armed opposition groups, have pledged to topple the government of Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the president. Hassan Mahdi, a spokesman for Hizbul Islam, one of the other groups battling the government, said that troops had struck at their positions too. Scores of people have died as the fighting has escalated in recent weeks [AFP]"Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam are counter-attacking ... we have pushed them back in some places. There are casualties, but I can't say how many. We are in the middle of fighting," he said.The government on Friday acknowledged that it was unlikely that negotiations with fighters would prove fruitful. "The opposition groups have been provoking us for the last three weeks," Mohamed Abdi Gandi, the Somali defence minister, said. "We shall continue fighting this opposition with foreign ideologies. They want to destroy our government by the use of violence but it will not be." In the past 10 days, more than 100 people have been killed and 46,000 have been displaced as the fighting has escalated. Earlier this week an East African group called on the UN to impose an aerial and maritime blockade on Somalia to prevent the opposition fighters from acquiring more weapons.
ALSO >>

Πέμπτη, 21 Μαΐου 2009

Nkunda to be tried in neutral country ?

Nkunda to be tried in neutral country ?
General Laurent Nkunda may be tried in a neutral country out of Democratic Republic of Congo or Rwanda. This follows the refusal of Rwanda to extradite Nkunda to DR Con go to be tried there. Rwanda said its law prevents it from handing him over to Congo while Kinshasa still favors the death penalty. The two countries are therefore considering a neutral country where he could be tried. The Democratic Republic of Congo wants Nkunda extradited for crimes committed during a brutal five-year rebellion in restive North Kivu province, during which he captured vast amounts of territory and threatened the regional capital Goma.However, pundits say DR Congo seems displeased with the neutral country agreement worked out with Kigali. Congolese justice minister was reportedly in Kigali to meet his counterpart in Rwanda in a discussion around the extradition of Nkunda to the DRC, but reports say Rwanda said it would be difficult for it to send Nkunda to DRC because he can be sentenced to deathRwanda is reported to have proposed a third country which does not favour the death penalty to handle the former rebel leader’s trial. Meanwhile, reports say both countries are yet to settle on the neutral country.Nkunda's former rebel movement is reportedly currently in peace talks with the government, but the discussions are said to have so far reached a stalemate.
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Iran's Elections & Next Leadership ..?

Iran's Next Leadership
On June 12, Iran's electorate will go to the polls to decide whether to keep Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as their president or replace him. If Ahmadinejad loses, as the latest polls suggest that he might, it will be the first time since 1981 that Iranians have denied a president a second term. As far as U.S. foreign policy is concerned, Iran's office of the president is a peculiar and ever so ambiguous institution in the country's maze of power centers. During Mohammad Khatami's tenure, the Bush administration discredited his reform policies at home and détente initiatives vis-à-vis the West on the grounds that the president wields no real power and were as such meaningless. Yet, ever since Ahmadinejad's firebrand rhetoric and penchant for defiance over diplomacy has marked Iran's foreign policy, the Iranian president has become, in Washington's eyes, the most dangerous man in the world. By and large, Obama's Nawruz address to the Iranian people marked a dramatic policy departure from his predecessor as well as previous U.S. administrations and may well herald the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington. Seemingly shedding "regime change rhetoric," the Obama administration wants to treat Iran just like any other country and as such, will eventually have to sit down with the Iranian government. Iranian elections are notoriously hard to predict, but a closer look at the highest-profile challengers gives some insight into the likely government the United States will soon face.
Conservatives for Ahmadinejad
Since the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, conservatives and reformists have largely determined the fault-lines in Iranian politics. After four years of Ahmadinejad, Iran's political leadership isn't only faced with popular resentment over the state of the economy and the level of political repression but also increasingly divided along new lines. During the course of the last year, a new split between the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the clergy at large has opened up. Under Ahmadinejad, the clout of the IRGC network increased significantly. IRGC firms have been awarded numerous lucrative gas and oil contacts, and former and current officers have taken on cabinet positions and other high-profile government posts. Iran's clerical establishment, on the other hand, is concerned that the IRGC may well jeopardize their own clerical crony capitalist networks and is outraged by Ahmadinejad's own interpretation of Shi'a eschatology and his claims to have personal contact with the Mahdi, the prophesized Messiah of Islam. As much as Ahmadinejad's authoritarian populism and notorious statesmanship has contributed to Iran's international isolation, so has it earned him resentment and alienation among the clergy, the technocratic elite, and the educated middle class. Eager to confront this new challenge — the growing role of Ahmadinejad's IRGC and Basij (paramilitary group) allies as well as the clergy's perceived marginalization — traditional conservatives initially seemed to support the ticket of a moderate conservative capable of undermining Ahmadinejad's reelection. Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, former Majlis Speaker Nateq Nouri, and Tehran's current popular mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf had all received support from a cross-partisan base and were initially thought to be leading an anti-Ahmadinejad coalition from the moderate conservative camp. Thus, with official backing from the Supreme Leader, Ahmadinejad has managed to woo away the more cautious conservatives. The threat to Ahmadinejad, however, has not been so much from his right, but from his left: former Prime Minister and reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
Reformist Comeback?
Mousavi, who was prime minister from 1981 to 1989 during the war with Iraq, has since kept out of the political limelight. He had already proved his revolutionary credentials in 1979, oversaw a war-torn economy throughout his entire premiership, introduced rationing and austerity measures, and largely favored a state-led economy. These moves earned him some criticism from those advocating free-market economics, including Ayatollah Khamenei himself. On the international diplomatic scene, Mousavi's government earned its stripes during the Algiers talks with the United States, which led to Washington's pledge not to interfere in Iran's internal affairs and the release of the U.S. hostages from Iran in January 1981. Mousavi was also involved in the secret "arms for US hostages in Lebanon" negotiations, sending Iranian envoys to meet with Reagan administration officials in the mid-1980s. These meetings, which congressional enquiries subsequently disclosed as part of the Iran-Contra affair are a chapter in U.S.-Iran relations that Republicans would like to forget as much as their Iranian counterparts. Mousavi's main credential remains his handling of the war economy in an efficient manner, which raises his appeal amongst Ahmadinejad's base, the poorer classes. However, Mousavi literally shunned public office since 1989. So he is unknown to the majority of the electorate. Almost half of the electorate is between 16 and 29, with some 6 million first-time voters. Mousavi's biggest electoral challenge will be to court the youth.
America's Candidate?
So far, Mousavi's
campaign has presented him as a crisis manager with a proven track record of integrity and obedience to the law. He has positioned himself as someone who wouldn't only end Ahmadinejad's erratic management style at home and revolutionary spirit abroad, but also engage in talks with the Obama administration. At his first press conference, Mousavi stressed his reformist credentials and pragmatist pedigree, stating that "extremism has damaged us greatly. We have to actively work to earn trust at the international level." On the prospect of talks with the United States, the presidential hopeful said "we are studying the change advocated by Obama...but actions must now follow. We will pay careful attention to what happens next. If his actions are in keeping with his words, why shouldn't we negotiate?" He made it also clear that a new bilateral framework between the United States and Iran is needed in order open channels of communication and eliminate mutual misperceptions. As far as the nuclear program is concerned, Mousavi's stance coincides with the current Iranian government policy. He, too, insists on Iran's right to nuclear technology, but also stresses the need for Iran to engage in international negotiations and the imperative to provide guarantees that would verify the non-diversion of the program into nuclear weapons. By and large, the election of Mousavi would change not the substance of the nuclear issue but rather the tone. Being a fundamental part of Iran's national security doctrine, the Supreme Leader's Office is in charge of all aspects pertaining to the nuclear talks. So although Mousavi will and cannot make concessions on enrichment activities, he's likely to engage in confidence-building measures vis-à-vis the United States and create a sustainable bilateral working relationship. Given his track record and that of his fellow reformists, Mousavi's cabinet would express Iranian security concerns more constructively as well as recognize U.S. security perceptions and demands. Eager to appeal to these key constituencies — reformists, conservatives who have been alienated by the incumbent president, and the undecided — Mousavi is playing the role of a political mediator and crisis manager. Criticizing the current government's appalling human rights record, the reformist candidate has already stated that he would abolish Ahmadinejad's stricter public morality enforcement policies by which the police have violently enforced the Islamic dress code. Mousavi has aimed this call at the young electorate as part of presenting himself as the savior of the alienated educated youth. Condemning the current government's level of corruption and nepotism, as well as its general failure to abide by the rule of law, Mousavi emphasizes human rights and made the right of freedom of expression and access to information a major tenet of his campaign. Most significantly, speaking at Ahwaz University, Mousavi called for the reform of the country's Guardian Council, a powerful 12-member constitutional body in charge of vetting candidates running for public office (including the presidency) and with the right to veto any parliamentary bill deemed contrary to Islamic values and revolutionary principles. Mousavi's bold call for a constitutional amendment to diminish the powers of the council indicates that, should the reformists regain Iran's executive, they may well use the momentum of a renewed popular mandate to challenge existing power structures. Should they in fact win the election, reformists certainly do not want to repeat Khatami's tenure, during which the Guardian Council thwarted most reformist initiatives and policies. However, given that the Guardian Council will oversee and potentially reject any new amendments regarding the limiting of its authority, any reformist call for constitutional change will be a rather difficult task.
Challenge within the Ranks
Perhaps the greatest challenge to Mousavi comes from the ranks of the reformists themselves — in the form of Mehdi Karrubi. Karrubi has been a member of parliament for 16 years and Majlis Speaker for two terms. He is currently the leader of the reformist National Trust Party. Advocating human rights and civil liberties at home and a more moderate foreign policy vis-à-vis the West, Karrubi largely follows Khatami's footsteps of implementing gradual reform. The 72-year-old cleric has yet to quit the race in favor of Mousavi and as such, may well split the reformist vote in the first round of the election. Despite the oil windfall of the last three years, Ahmadinejad hasn't succeeded in meeting his 2005 campaign promises "to bring the country's oil money to every family's dinner table." Far from introducing sustainable diversification and industrialization policies, Ahmadinejad engaged in a populist spending spree on pet projects and cash handouts to the urban disenfranchised, the conservative poorer strata, and the rural population. His bid for re-election counts on these constituents as well as his IRGC and paramilitary Basij allies. Reformists will undoubtedly exploit his poor economic track record. Even though the parliament's majority belongs to Ahmadinejad's "Principalist" faction, Speaker of the House Ali Larijani has been at odds with the president on numerous occasions and largely represents the mainstream conservatives — the clerical establishment in Qom — who are unhappy with the state of the country. Led by Larijani, for instance, the parliament didn't approve the government's budget proposal for the year ahead. Part of the budget would have reduced certain state subsidies and allocated $34 billion directly to the poor. The move would have largely catered to Ahmadinejad's constituents just weeks before the election. Nonetheless, the election remains close. A
recent poll by the website Parsineh, which surveyed 35,000 people across the country indicated that 24.8% would vote for Mir Hossein Mousavi, 23.6% for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 22.3 % for Mehdi Karrubi and 8.5% for Mohsen Rezai.
Impact on U.S. Foreign Policy
Ever since 1979, Iranian politics has become unpredictable. In the absence of multiple, unbiased, and scientifically accurate opinion polls, projecting a presidential winner is extremely difficult. For the United States, anyone but Ahmadinejad would be the obvious choice. When official campaigning begins on May 21, as stipulated by Iranian law, Washington will pin its hopes on the reformist contenders Mir-Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karroubi. There is a good chance that these reformers can use the momentum of sanctions, economic downturn, and political dissent against the current president. A reformist comeback would certainly substitute confrontational tactics and volatile rhetoric with moderation and reason. Although the nuclear position will not shift, the United States will likely be able to engage constructively with a reformist government in Iran. But such a government will also have to deal with a hostile conservative parliament, and may have trouble delivering on the key issues needed internally in order to secure and maintain dialogue with the United States. Ironically, it may actually be easier for a government like Ahmadinejad's to anchor engagement with the United States within the Iranian body politic. At the same time, the Obama administration would be hard-pressed to engage Ahmadinejad if he captures a new mandate from the electorate. Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election in Iran, the country will remain a diplomatic challenge for the Obama administration, perhaps its greatest one.