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Janerik Larsson

Janerik Larsson

 

Daily Telegraph konstaterar i en ledare att även om världen ser annorlunda ut idag än 1939 kvarstår hot mot civilisationen:

This week marked two anniversaries: the liberation of Auschwitz and the funeral of Winston Churchill. The first represents the sum of all evils. In the concentration camps, prejudice allied with industrial efficiency in an effort to destroy whole peoples. The result was something akin to Hell on Earth. The anniversary of Churchill’s funeral, on the other hand, evoked a sad occasion. But it also offered an opportunity to reflect upon the spirit that helped liberate those camps – the spirit of moral resistance. Long before others reached the same conclusion, Churchill recognised the threat that Nazism posed to civilisation and tried to persuade his countrymen to fight it. Like many a prophet, he was ignored. But he was eventually proven right.

The world is now very different to how it was in 1939: it is wealthier, more stable and, we hope, more enlightened. But threats to civilisation still exist. Radical Islamism, like Nazism before it, is making territorial demands. In the Middle East it controls significant parts of Iraq and the Levant. In West Africa, it has carved out a kingdom in north-eastern Nigeria. Like Nazism, it imposes its vile philosophy upon its conquered peoples. Women are second-class citizens, “heretics” forced to convert, hostages murdered, sexual minorities and other “sinners” executed. And, as with the Nazis, Western democracy is seen as an enemy – hence the jihadists’ efforts to undermine this country and others via terrorism and the propagation of hate. One result – and another unwelcome reminder of the Thirties – is the revival of anti-Semitism. 

Daily Telegraph

Om gästbloggen

Janerik Larsson är gästbloggare hos SvD Ledare. Han är skribent, författare och journalist, verksam i Stiftelsen Fritt Näringsliv och pr-byrån Prime. Bloggar om svensk politik och har en internationell utblick mot främst brittiska och amerikanska medier.
Åsikter är hans egna.
Janerik Larsson

Nyhetsbyrån Bloomberg berättade nyss att Hillary Clintons användning av privatjets under hennes tid som USAs utrikesminister kan bli en fråga för den sannolikt kommande presidentvalskampanj där hon strävar efter att bli det demokratiska partiets kandidat:

Hillary Clinton took more than 200 privately chartered flights at taxpayer expense during her eight years in the U.S. Senate, sometimes using the jets of corporations and major campaign donors as she racked up $225,756 in flight costs.

Clinton, 67, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, reported the travel in official filings with the Senate. The records were provided to Bloomberg News by a Republican operative.

Some of the companies whose planes she used included Coca-Cola Co., Citigroup Inc. and Saban Capital Group Inc. 

While the flights fell within congressional rules and were not out of the ordinary for senators at the time, they could play into the emerging Republican line of attack that Clinton’s wealth and years in government office have left her out of touch with the voters she’ll court on the campaign trail.

Bloomberg

FTs popkritiker Ludovic Hunter-Tilney tar i en krönika upp Industrivärdenskandalen och drar paralleller till popbands användning av privatjet.

FT

Janerik Larsson

Jag lyssnade nyss på dagens podcast från  The Spectator  The View from 22 och kunde där i kommentaren till det grekiska valet med glädje notera att man där inte bara pekade på eventuella konsekvenser i spansk politik av valresultatet (och kommande diskussioner om Greklands stora statsskuld) utan även lyfte fram Finland.

Finlands regering har en mycket negativ attityd – för att uttrycka saken försiktigt – till att avskriva grekiska skulder.

Hufvudstadsbladet:

Stubb: Vi efterskänker ingenting

Omvärlden måste respektera Greklands demokratiska valresultat, och Grekland måste respektera sina avtal med omvärlden, säger Finland statsminister Alexander Stubb.

Finlands regering är inte beredd att avskriva de grekiska skulderna. Däremot är det fullt möjligt att omförhandla stödprogrammet och lånevillkoren, och till exempel förlänga återbetalningstiden.

– Inga finländska skattebetalare kommer att förlora en cent, sade han.

– Vi håller oss till överenskommelsen. Det är inte rätt om finländska skattebetalare ska betala för grekisk stimulanspolitik. Vi kan ändå fortsätta förhandla om låneprogrammen, men vi ska minnas att villkoren redan är mycket flexibla. Det finns inte utrymme för att omförhandla villkoren radikalt.

Stubb betonade i omgångar att Finland inte kan tänka sig att Grekland skulle slippa betala tillbaka en del av lånet.

– Vi ska minnas att hela krisen började med att man inte höll sig till överenskommelser.

Stubb är också fullt övertygad om att följden av det grekiska valresultatet blir en valfråga i Finland – om inte annat så blåser Sannfinländarna upp europolitiken.

Stubb

Det är riksdagsval i Finland i april. Finland har mycket svåra ekonomiska problem och politisk turbulens ska verkligen inte uteslutas i synnerhet om bilden blir att finländska skattebetalare ska betala för grekiska synder.

 

Janerik Larsson

Jag har inte minst på senare år ofta funnit att amerikanska akademiker har ett mycket intressant perspektiv på EU/Europa. Det kan ju vara så att den geografiska distansen leder till en bättre förmåga att tydligt se de stora dragen.

Walter Russel Mead är professor i amerikansk utrikespolitik på Yale, en flitig skribent i The American Interest och en av grundarna av tankesmedjan New America Foundation.

I The American Interest skrev han tidigare i veckan att västvärlden inte förstår Putin/Ryssland vilket leder till att man inte förstår hur den problematiken ska hanteras:

Western analysts and political leaders don’t seem to be doing a good job of understanding Russia’s foreign policy these days. President Obama and his European colleagues utterly failed to predict the invasion of Ukraine, and have repeatedly underestimated both Putin’s determination and his ability to defy cherished Western norms on the road to his long-term project of rebuilding the Soviet Union at Western expense. From a Western point of view, Putin has been so weakened by the oil crash and western sanctions that the only thing that remains is to negotiate his surrender. The West keeps hinting that it will offer easy terms if asked, but Putin keeps blowing past every off-ramp that the Europeans and Americans can build. Until the West understand how the world looks to Vladimir Putin, it won’t understand the nature of the threat Russia poses or be able to think constructively about how to counter that. (—)

What the West doesn’t understand about Putin is that he doesn’t think the West is as strong as the West thinks that it is. Putin thinks the West has fallen in love with its own prejudices and illusions, and that the imposing structures of the Western world, both NATO and the EU in particular, are hollow facades. Because of this, Putin believes, the West continually embraces foolish foreign policy choices. It overreaches and underresources its foreign policy, and the result is to create a series of opportunities that a hungry power like Russia cannot afford to ignore.

From the Kremlin’s point of view, western power in Europe rests on two platforms. There is the global American hegemony, and then there is Germany, which has emerged as America’s sub-hegemon in Europe. Putin thinks that the Germans aren’t wise enough to rule Europe well, strong enough to rule it by force, or rich enough to rule it through economics and that Washington doesn’t understand that or, if it does, that Washington itself is too distracted or too weak to care. Either way, from Putin’s point of view, Germany’s position is much, much weaker than either Berlin or Washington understands.

At the same time, he believes that the American commitment to Europe is so weak that the United States will not react in a timely or effective fashion as Russia sets about the revision of the European order.

Putin sees Germany as the weaker, nearer, and, in the short term, more dangerous obstacle to his ambitions than the United States. His current policy is aimed incrementally at reducing American hegemony; it is directly aimed at disrupting what Putin sees as Germany’s attempt to create a new post-1990 order in its image and under its aegis.

Putin is no fool. He understands, much more clearly than Berlin does, just what a hammer blow the euro disaster has dealt to the entire structure of the enlarged, post-1990 European Union. He understands that Berlin’s leadership of the continent has lost legitimacy across the south, and further he believes that Berlin is too shortsighted and constrained to undertake the kind of policy that could still save the euro and the EU.

Putin also understands the fragility of the EU’s accomplishments beyond western Europe. EU bureaucrats and German diplomats don’t think culture matters as they build a multicultural and cosmopolitan New Europe from Dublin to Dubrovnik and from Sweden to Sicily. Putin thinks they are wrong, and when he looks at current conditions in Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and Spain he sees the full confirmation of his theory. Europe, he believes, is not a country–and even if it were, it is not a German country.

Germany, he believes, is trying to build a Europe in defiance of the facts–and Germany lacks both the resources and the will to push this project indefinitely as its difficulties grow. Germany will not, Putin may well believe, find a way to turn the euro disaster around. The south will continue to fester and stew under an increasingly hateful and damaging system. Germany will also not be able to turn the Balkans into an orderly and quiet garden of Nordic and Teutonic virtues.

The key to Putin’s thinking is that he is betting less on Russian strength than on German and therefore Western weakness.

The American Interest

Onekligen ett perspektiv man inte sett mycket av på denna sidan av Atlanten. Har han rätt ? Tja inte vet jag…

Janerik Larsson

I Pakistan och Nigeria mördar talibaner sjukvårdspersonal som arbetar med att poliovaccinera barn.

I Kalifornien har en mässlingsepidemi spritts från Disneyland i Los Angeles vilket satt fokus på diskussionen om föräldrars rätt att förvägra sina barn vaccinationsskydd.

I dagens New York Times finns en intressant infallsvinkel på frågan.

Föräldrarna till ett cancersjukt och därför mycket infektionskänsligt barn kräver att alla barn i pojkens skola ska vara mässlingsvaccinerade.

In the latest salvo in the vaccination wars that have shaken California since a measles outbreak originated at Disneyland last month, the father of a 6-year-old boy with leukemia has asked the superintendent of his Marin County school district to keep unvaccinated children out of school.

“I respect people’s choices about what to do with their kids, but if someone’s kid gets sick and gets my kid sick, too, that’s a problem,” said the father, Carl Krawitt of Corte Madera, Calif., whose son, Rhett, was found to have leukemia in 2010. “What we need to do, for all our children, is increase the herd immunity.”

Rhett is in remission now, but four years of chemotherapy have left him vulnerable to infection and unable to be vaccinated. Until his immune system strengthens, his best protection from infectious diseases is the so-called herd immunity of a community where almost everyone has been vaccinated.

But he lives in a part of the Bay Area where an unusually high number of parents refuse vaccinations for their children. Over all, about 7 percent of the children at Rhett’s school, Reed Elementary, are unvaccinated — a rate that is higher than the statewide average but far lower than at some other schools in the county, where fully half of the students are not vaccinated, according to Dr. Matt Willis, the county health officer.

Till bilden hör att Marin County hör till Kaliforniens mest välbeställda kommuner så det är inte fattigdom som motiverar föräldrarna som förvägrar sina barn vaccination.

NYT

Janerik Larsson

SKLs tidning Dagens Samhälle gör ständigt viktiga insatser för folkupplysningen. DS har nu några år gett ut skriften Den offentliga marknaden som bland annat är en nyttig påminnelse om att skattebetalarnas pengar i huvudsak används till annat än ”vård/skola/omsorg”. Den är mycket läsvärd,

I dagarna har det kommit en ny liknande upplysningsskift från DS. Det är Måns Wikstrand som skrivit ”Politikernas ekonomibok” som är en pedagogisk och lättläst genomgång av kommunal ekonomi. Jag noterade särskilt hur elegant Wikstrand resonerar kring det i de senaste årens politiska debatt förgiftade begreppet ”vinst”.

Boken låt väl läsas också av de som inte är kommunalpolitiker !

Janerik Larsson

Jag har tillbringat huvuddelen av januari i USA. Man möter en del frågor kring hur det egentligen ska gå för Europa framöver. Idag läste jag en kommentar signerad George Friedman som är grundare av och chef för Stratfor, ett företag i Austin, Texas som arbetar med säkerhetspolitiska analyser och som fick sitt genombrott i samband med Kosovokriget.

To even speak of war in Europe would have been preposterous a few years ago, and to many, it is preposterous today. But Ukraine is very much a part of Europe, as was Yugoslavia. Europeans’ confidence that all this is behind them, the sense of European exceptionalism, may well be correct. But as Europe’s institutions disintegrate, it is not too early to ask what comes next. History rarely provides the answer you expect — and certainly not the answer you hope for.

Stratfor

Friedman har f ö precis i dagarna publicerat boken Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe

Förra året innebar en hel del läsning av böcker om första världskrigets utbrott. Åtskilliga kommentatorer resonerade om skillnader och likheter mellan 1914 och 2014. Ibland såg jag citat av den brittiske hovpoeten Robert Bridges hyllning av det förestående kriget:

THOU careless, awake!Thou peacemaker, fight!Stand, England, for honour,And God guard the Right! Thy mirth lay aside,They cavil and play,The foe is upon thee,And grave is the day. The monarch Ambition Hath harnessed his slaves; But the folk of the Ocean Are free as the waves. For Peace thou art armed Thy Freedom to hold: Thy Courage as iron,The Good-faith as gold. Through Fir, Air, and Water Thy trial must be: But they that love life best Die gladly for thee. The Love of their mothers Is strong to command; The fame of their fathers Is might to their hand.

Much suffering shall cleanse thee; But thou through the flood Shalt win to Salvation,To Beauty through blood.

Så poetiskt uttrycker sig väl idag knappast de som inte tycks se något stort problem med ett nytt europeiskt storkrig….

 

Janerik Larsson

 

Gallup rapporterar att president Obamas State of the Union-tal påverkat bilden av honom positivt:

Less than a week after President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address to Congress, his job approval rating reached 50% in Gallup Daily tracking conducted Friday through Sunday. This is the first time the president’s rating has returned to that level in Gallup’s ongoing three-day rolling averages since June 2013.

Oavsett vad man tycker om innehållet i talet – där har jag åtskilliga frågetecken – så var det ett retoriskt lysande tal.

Maureen Dowd ställde diagnosen väl i söndagens NYT:

Our sleek, techie president, whose battery dies faster than an iPhone’s, was fully charged Tuesday night for the State of the Union.

He was so puffed up, with such a bristling sense of self, that it was hard to believe this was the same guy who spent the last year clenched like a fist, beset by ISIS, beheadings and Ebola, shunned by his own party and slammed by the other party in the fall election.

The murmur went up from grateful Democrats gathered at the Capitol: “Wow, he’s got a pulse.”

Proving once again that he is a different kind of cat, Barack Obama is oddly pumped by his party’s defeat. Even in the House chamber, surrounded by hundreds of people and watched by millions, he seemed to delight in his detachment as he laid down his own markers to drive up his own numbers.

He doesn’t mind splendid isolation. He really thinks it’s splendid.

NYT

Janerik Larsson

Det är möjligt att jag är den ende tidningsläsare som inte förstått den riktigt viktiga skillnaden mellan de båda grenarna av islam – sunni och shia – men här är ett klipp från The Economist som åtminstone för mig förklarade mycket:

The ability of Sunni Islamists to pick and choose religious concepts and take them out of context is partly down to the absence of respected religious authority in Sunni Islam. Nearly every Shia bows to one of a handful of Grand Ayatollahs, but Sunni institutions such as Cairo’s al-Azhar have limited authority. And the internet allows the masses of alienated youth to listen to the most radical preachers rather than the imam at their local mosque. State attempts to control preachers only increase mistrust of them. Scholars trying to set Islamic teachings in their historical or cultural context, whose work might inspire ways of better accommodating political Islam to the contemporary world, find themselves drowned out.

The relative prosperity, peace and democracy of Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia show that today’s Islam can be tolerant. And there may be positive signs amid the bloodshed in the Arab world—from the popular distrust signalled by Egypt’s rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that briefly ruled after the 2011 revolution, to the way that Ennahda, Tunisia’s Islamist party, relinquished power after recent elections.

But most scholars reckon that the factors behind jihadism will only abate when the region’s Muslim-majority societies become prosperous and politically and socially free. None of the Arab world’s leaders are making much progress towards that.

Economist

Janerik Larsson

Härom dagen firade den amerikanska politiska nättidningen Politico 8-års-jubileum. Politico började som en entreprenörssatsning i den amerikanska huvudstaden av journalister som tyckte att de traditionella medierna inte var tillräckligt intressanta.

Nu finns Politico också i New York och har nyss aviserat sin europeiska edition.

De som tror att all kvalificerad journalistik är slut med papperstidningarna har fel.

Washington Post övertog förra året sajten Monkey Cage som startats av några statsvetare som vill få spridning på sina analyser och funderingar.

Moneky Cage har fått namnet av den klassiske amerikanske politiske kommentatorn och satirikerns H L Menckens definition av politik: Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.

Hur snabb och vass Money Cage kan vara visar detta lilla klipp:

In reading the newspaper article about the arrest of New York State Assembly leader Sheldon Silver, I noticed this bit:

The investigation of Mr. Silver picked up speed after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission.

This reminds us of one of the benefits of our messy multipolar system of government: In this case, the state government dropped the ball and the Feds picked it up.

Jag tror att skandalen kring den för korruption häktade toppolitikern Sheldon Silver kommer att drabba guvernören Andrew Cuomo som tycks ha sökt skydda Silver. Så tolkar åtminstone jag denna kommentar signerad Andrew Gelman (professor på Columbia University).

Monkey Cage