A ascensão conservadora em São Paulo

Fala da professora Marilena Chaui, no debate A ascensão conservadora em São Paulo, realizado em 28 de agosto de 2012, na Faculdade de Filosofia Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH) da USP.  Apresenta crítica ao padrão cultural autoritário, comum na sociedade paulistana, seu caráter privatista e reacionário.

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Syrian intervention risks upsetting global order

By Henry A. Kissinger, Published: June 1

The Arab Spring is generally discussed in terms of the prospects for democracy. Equally significant is the increasing appeal — most recently in Syria — of outside intervention to bring about regime change, overturning prevalent notions of international order.

The modern concept of world order arose in 1648 from the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War. In that conflict, competing dynasties sent armies across political borders to impose their conflicting religious norms. This 17th-century version of regime change killed perhaps a third of the population of Central Europe.

To prevent a repetition of this carnage, the Treaty of Westphalia separated international from domestic politics. States, built on national and cultural units, were deemed sovereign within their borders; international politics was confined to their interaction across established boundaries. For the founders, the new concepts of national interest and balance of power amounted to a limitation, not an expansion, of the role of force; it substituted the preservation of equilibrium for the forced conversion of populations.

The Westphalian system was spread by European diplomacy around the world. Though strained by the two world wars and the advent of international communism, the sovereign nation-state survived, tenuously, as the basic unit of international order.

The Westphalian system never applied fully to the Middle East. Only three of the region’s Muslim states had a historical basis: Turkey, Egypt and Iran. The borders of the others reflected a division of the spoils of the defunct Ottoman Empire among the victors of World War I, with minimal regard for ethnic or sectarian divisions. These borders have since been subjected to repeated challenge, often military.

The diplomacy generated by the Arab Spring replaces Westphalian principles of equilibrium with a generalized doctrine of humanitarian intervention. In this context, civil conflicts are viewed internationally through prisms of democratic or sectarian concerns. Outside powers demand that the incumbent government negotiate with its opponents for the purpose of transferring power. But because, for both sides, the issue is generally survival, these appeals usually fall on deaf ears. Where the parties are of comparable strength, some degree of outside intervention, including military force, is then invoked to break the deadlock.

This form of humanitarian intervention distinguishes itself from traditional foreign policy by eschewing appeals to national interest or balance of power — rejected as lacking a moral dimension. It justifies itself not by overcoming a strategic threat but by removing conditions deemed a violation of universal principles of governance.

If adopted as a principle of foreign policy, this form of intervention raises broader questions for U.S. strategy. Does America consider itself obliged to support every popular uprising against any non-democratic government, including those heretofore considered important in sustaining the international system? Is, for example, Saudi Arabia an ally only until public demonstrations develop on its territory? Are we prepared to concede to other states the right to intervene elsewhere on behalf of coreligionists or ethnic kin?

At the same time, traditional strategic imperatives have not disappeared. Regime change, almost by definition, generates an imperative for nation-building. Failing that, the international order itself begins to disintegrate. Blank spaces denoting lawlessness may come to dominate the map, as has already occurred in Yemen, Somalia, northern Mali, Libya and northwestern Pakistan, and may yet happen in Syria. The collapse of the state may turn its territory into a base for terrorism or arms supply against neighbors who, in the absence of any central authority, will have no means to counteract them.

In Syria, calls for humanitarian and strategic intervention merge. At the heart of the Muslim world, Syria has, under Bashar al-Assad, assisted Iran’s strategy in the Levant and Mediterranean. It supported Hamas, which rejects the Israeli state, and Hezbollah, which undermines Lebanon’s cohesion. The United States has strategic as well as humanitarian reasons to favor the fall of Assad and to encourage international diplomacy to that end. On the other hand, not every strategic interest rises to a cause for war; were it otherwise, no room would be left for diplomacy.

As military force is considered, several underlying issues must be addressed: While the United States accelerates withdrawals from military interventions in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, how can a new military commitment in the same region be justified, particularly one likely to face similar challenges? Does the new approach — less explicitly strategic and military, and geared more toward diplomatic and moral issues — solve the dilemmas that plagued earlier efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan, which ended in withdrawal and a divided America? Or does it compound the difficulty by staking U.S. prestige and morale on domestic outcomes that America has even fewer means and less leverage to shape? Who replaces the ousted leadership, and what do we know about it? Will the outcome improve the human condition and the security situation? Or do we risk repeating the experience with the Taliban, armed by America to fight the Soviet invader but then turned into a security challenge to us?

The difference between strategic and humanitarian intervention becomes relevant. The world community defines humanitarian intervention by consensus, so difficult to achieve that it generally limits the effort. On the other hand, intervention that is unilateral or based on a coalition of the willing evokes the resistance of countries fearing the application of the policy to their territories (such as China and Russia). Hence it is more difficult to achieve domestic support for it. The doctrine of humanitarian intervention is in danger of being suspended between its maxims and the ability to implement them; unilateral intervention, by contrast, comes at the price of international and domestic support.

Military intervention, humanitarian or strategic, has two prerequisites: First, a consensus on governance after the overthrow of the status quo is critical. If the objective is confined to deposing a specific ruler, a new civil war could follow in the resulting vacuum, as armed groups contest the succession, and outside countries choose different sides. Second, the political objective must be explicit and achievable in a domestically sustainable time period. I doubt that the Syrian issue meets these tests. We cannot afford to be driven from expedient to expedient into undefined military involvement in a conflict taking on an increasingly sectarian character. In reacting to one human tragedy, we must be careful not to facilitate another. In the absence of a clearly articulated strategic concept, a world order that erodes borders and merges international and civil wars can never catch its breath. A sense of nuance is needed to give perspective to the proclamation of absolutes. This is a nonpartisan issue, and it should be treated in that manner in the national debate we are entering.

2012 Tribune Media Services

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/syrian-intervention-risks-upsetting-global-order/2012/06/01/gJQA9fGr7U_print.html

Being Strong – Why Russia needs to rebuild its military.

BY VLADIMIR PUTIN | FEBRUARY 21, 2012

In a world of upheaval there is always the temptation to resolve one’s problems at another’s expense, through pressure and force.

It is no surprise that some are calling for resources of global significance to be freed from the exclusive sovereignty of a single nation. This cannot happen to Russia, not even hypothetically.

In other words, we should not tempt anyone by allowing ourselves to be weak. We will, under no circumstances, surrender our strategic deterrent capability. Indeed, we will strengthen it.

We will not be able to strengthen our international position or develop our economy or our democratic institutions if we are unable to protect Russia.

We see ever new regional and local wars breaking out. We see new areas of instability and deliberately managed chaos. There also are attempts to provoke such conflicts even close to Russia’s and its allies’ borders. The basic principles of international law are being degraded and eroded, especially in terms of international security.

Under these circumstances, Russia cannot rely on diplomatic and economic methods alone to resolve conflicts. Our country faces the task of sufficiently developing its military potential as part of a deterrence strategy. This is an indispensable condition for Russia to feel secure and for our partners to listen to our country’s arguments.

We have adopted and are implementing unprecedented programs to develop our armed forces and modernize Russia’s defense industry. We will allocate around 23 trillion rubles for these purposes over the next decade. This is not a militarization of the Russian budget, however.

Our goal should be to build a fully professional army. Servicemen must have a full package of social benefits adequate to their enormous social responsibility.

It’s clear there have been plenty of discussions over the amount and timing of this large-scale financing. The goal of creating modern armed forces and of comprehensively strengthening our defensive potential cannot be put off.

In fact, our defense centers and enterprises have missed several modernization cycles in the last 30 years. Yet we have made great strides in reforming the army. High-readiness forces manned with contract soldiers have been formed in all strategic areas. Self-sufficient units have been created. A unit of this type carried out the peace enforcement operation in Georgia in 2008 and defended the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Our navy has resumed its presence in strategic areas of the world’s oceans, including the Mediterranean.

So what does the future have in store for us? The probability of a global war between nuclear powers is not high, because that would mean the end of civilization. Nobody will dare launch a large-scale aggression against us.

High-precision, long-range conventional weapons will become increasingly common. An important, if not decisive, role in determining the nature of armed conflict will be played by the military capability of a country to counter space or information-related threats, especially in cyberspace.

We must also take resolute steps to strengthen our aerospace defenses. We are being pushed into action by the U.S. and NATO missile defense policies. A global balance of forces can be guaranteed either by building our own missile defense shield — an expensive and to date largely ineffective undertaking — or by developing the ability to overcome any missile defense system and protect Russia’s retaliation potential, which is far more effective. Russia’s military and technical response to the U.S. global missile defense system and its European section will be effective and asymmetrical.

Similarly, the activities that the world’s leading military powers have initiated around the Arctic are forcing Russia to secure our interests in that region.

Some people argue that rebuilding our military-industrial complex will saddle the economy with a heavy burden, the same burden that bankrupted the Soviet Union. I am sure this is profoundly delusionary.

The USSR collapsed due to the suppression of natural market forces in the economy and long-running disregard for the interests of the people. We cannot repeat the errors of the past.

The huge resources invested in modernizing our military-industrial complex and re-equipping the army must serve as fuel to feed the engines of modernization in our economy, creating real growth and a situation where government expenditure funds new jobs, supports market demand, and facilitates scientific research.

We will be resolute in eliminating corruption from the defense industry and the armed forces, ensuring that punishment for those who fall foul of the law is inevitable. Corruption in the national security sector is essentially treason.

We must rely on the very latest developments in the art of war. Falling behind means becoming vulnerable. It means putting our country and the lives of our soldiers and officers at risk.

The objective is to strengthen, not weaken, our national economy and create an army and military industry that will secure Russia’s sovereignty, the respect of our partners, and lasting peace.

Vladimir Putin is prime minister of Russia and served as president from 2000 to 2008.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/21/being_strong?page=0,0

A longer version of this article appeared in the Russian newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

International Terrorism Does Not Exist.

General Leonid Ivashov
As the current international situation shows, terrorism emerges where contradiction aggravate, where there is a change of social relations or a change of regime, where there is political, economic or social instability, where there is moral decadence, where cynicism and nihilism triumph, where vice is legalized and where crime spreads.
 
It is globalization what creates the conditions for the emergence of these extremely dangerous phenomena. It is in this context that the new world geo-strategic map is being designed, that the resources of the planet are being re-distributed, that borders are disappearing, that international law is being torn into pieces, that cultural identities are being erased, that spiritual life becomes impoverished…
 
The analysis of the essence of the globalization process, the military and political doctrines of the United States and other countries, shows that terrorism contributes to a world dominance and the submissiveness of states to a global oligarchy. This means that terrorism is not something independent of world politics but simply an instrument, a means to install a unipolar world with a sole world headquarters, a pretext to erase national borders and to establish the rule of a new world elite. It is precisely this elite that constitutes the key element of world terrorism, its ideologist and its “godfather”. The main target of the world elite is the historical, cultural, traditional and natural reality; the existing system of relations among states; the world national and state order of human civilization and national identity.
 
Today’s international terrorism is a phenomenon that combines the use of terror by state and non-state political structures as a means to attain their political objectives through people’s intimidation, psychological and social destabilization, the elimination of resistance from power organizations and the creation of appropriate conditions for the manipulation of the countries’ policies and the behavior of people.
 
Terrorism is the weapon used in a new type of war. At the same time, international terrorism, in complicity with the media, becomes the manager of global processes. It is precisely the symbiosis between media and terror, which allows modifying international politics and the exiting reality.
 
In this context, if we analyze what happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States, we can arrive at the following conclusions: 1. The organizers of those attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the world order and who had the means necessary to finance the operation. The political conception of this action matured there where tensions emerged in the administration of financial and other types of resources. We have to look for the reasons of the attacks in the coincidence of interests of the big capital at global and transnational levels, in the circles that were not satisfied with the rhythm of the globalization process or its direction.
Unlike traditional wars, whose conception is determined by generals and politicians, the oligarchs and politicians submitted to the former were the ones who did it this time.
 
2. Only secret services and their current chiefs ­ or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations ­ have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude. Generally, secret services create, finance and control extremist organizations. Without the support of secret services, these organizations cannot exist ­ let alone carry out operations of such magnitude inside countries so well protected. Planning and carrying out an operation on this scale is extremely complex.
 
3. Osama bin Laden and “Al Qaeda” cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders. Thus, a team of professionals had to be created and the Arab kamikazes are just extras to mask the operation.
The September 11 operation modified the course of events in the world in the direction chosen by transnational mafias and international oligarchs; that is, those who hope to control the planet’s natural resources, the world information network and the financial flows. This operation also favored the US economic and political elite that also seeks world dominance.
 
The use of the term “international terrorism” has the following goals:
 
 Hiding the real objectives of the forces deployed all over the world in the struggle for dominance and control;
 
 Turning the people’s demands to a struggle of undefined goals against an invisible enemy;
 
 Destroying basic international norms and changing concepts such as: aggression, state terror, dictatorship or movement of national liberation;
 
 Depriving peoples of their legitimate right to fight against aggressions and to reject the work of foreign intelligence services;
 
 Establishing the principle of renunciation to national interests, transforming objectives in the military field by giving priority to the war on terror, violating the logic of military alliances to the detriment of a joint defense and to favor the anti-terrorist coalition;
 
 Solving economic problems through a tough military rule using the war on terror as a pretext. In order to fight in an efficient way against international terrorism it is necessary to take the following steps:
 
 To confirm before the UN General Assembly the principles of the UN Charter and international law as principles that all states are obliged to respect;
 
 To create a geo-strategic organization (perhaps inspired in the Cooperation Organization of Shanghai comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) with a set of values different to that of the Atlantists; to design a strategy of development of states, a system of international security, another financial and economic model (which would mean that the world would again rest on two pillars);
 
 To associate (under the United Nations) the scientific elites in the design and promotion of the philosophical concepts of the Human Being of the 21st Century.
 
 To organize the interaction of all religious denominations in the world, on behalf of the stability of humanity’s development, security and mutual support.
 
 
General Leonid Ivashov is the vice-president of the Academy on geopolitical affairs. He was the chief of the department for General affairs in the Soviet Union’s ministry of Defense, secretary of the Council of defense ministers of the Community of independant states (CIS), chief of the Military cooperation department at the Russian federation’s Ministry of defense and Joint chief of staff of the Russian armies.

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