Por medio del siguiente les aviso que la sesión programada para el miércoles 24 de noviembre NO se llevará a cabo. Se reagenda para el miércoles 1° de diciembre.
El fin de semana pasado les envié un correo al respecto, pero les dejo el aviso aquí por si no leyeron el mensaje.
Edgar A. Valenzuela.
lunes, 22 de noviembre de 2010
martes, 9 de noviembre de 2010
November 1, 2010 | 1253 GMT
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev (R) and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Ontario on June 26
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev paid a visit on Nov. 1 to the Southern Kuril Islands, administered by Russia but disputed with Japan since the Soviet Union seized them during World War II. This visit reveals another example of recent Russian-Chinese parallel action, in this case over territorial disputes with Japan, and will heighten Japan’s sense of vulnerability in foreign affairs.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev on Nov. 1 visited Kunashir/Kunashiri, one of the Southern Kuril Islands — the small islands just north of Japan in the Sea of Okhotsk that Japan claims as its own. The visit, apparently the first by a Russian leader to the islands, is inherently provocative given the territorial dispute and the lack of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan following World War II, when the Soviet Union seized the islands. The Japanese government has protested to the Russian ambassador, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called Japan’s response “unacceptable.”
(click here to enlarge image)
But the timing is also significant: Medvedev is scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Yokohama, Japan, from Nov. 13 to 14, where APEC leaders will gather and bilateral meetings will be held. The visit would put the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leadership in the position of having to host the Russian leader immediately after inflaming Japanese nationalism in a dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea in September, and APEC is hardly the forum for Japan to raise its concerns. Japan also cannot really depend on the United States for support, since U.S. President Barack Obama has more important matters to discuss in the U.S.-Russian relationship when he meets with Medvedev.
Despite the DPJ’s attempts to open discussions with the Russians over the long-standing island dispute after first rising to power in 2009, talks have gone nowhere. While the Japanese public harbors deep resentment over Russian administration of the islands, the islands are not a core concern to Moscow: They have limited economic value, their strategic value is minimal and they are not very important to the Russian public. In fact, for a high-enough price, Moscow would probably be willing to return the islands to Japan. But Moscow has not given clear demands, and Japan has not shown a willingness to pay any price set by Russia. If a deal were to take shape in the current context, it would likely depend on Russia seeking Japanese investment or technology to support its sweeping economic modernization and privatization plans — but so far, Japan has not been invited to cooperate, and there is little evidence that a deal on such terms is under negotiation.
Last time Medvedev was set to visit the disputed islands, in late September after meeting with China’s leadership, he canceled amid differing reports. (In Asia, reports said he canceled due to weather concerns, in Russia, after reconsideration due to the sensitivity of the visit.) Certainly the Kurils are not in a temperate zone or easy to get to, but there is nothing inherently preventing him from visiting the islands, since they are Russian-controlled, as emphasized by the current visit.
There are two significant factors to consider about his visit. First, it shows that Russia is continuing to act in coordination (however loose) with China. These two states have found a number of areas in foreign affairs lately where they can play off each other’s actions in a way that serves both their purposes — the handling of international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program and the international response to North Korea after the sinking of the South Korean naval corvette ChonAn are primary examples. Since both states have long-running territorial disputes with Japan, they have a mutual benefit in pressuring Japan so that its territorial claims appear to lose credibility and its inability to respond effectively is highlighted.
Second, the incident highlights Japan’s current vulnerability. China’s growing boldness in international matters, especially in territorial disputes, has alarmed Japan, as has Russia’s recent return to the Pacific region (which Medvedev’s visit to the Kurils demonstrates). Even relations with the United States have been relatively uncomfortable since the DPJ government came into power and called for greater independence from the United States, and this uneasiness has continued despite the fact that relations have improved since their nadir in May and June when the first DPJ administration collapsed and the party chose a new leader. China’s growing boldness in international matters, especially in territorial disputes, has alarmed Japan, as has Russia’s recent return to the Pacific region. Each of these threats strike at Japan’s core strategic needs, but Japan’s political and economic weaknesses leave it few options to respond, though it has attempted to reinvigorate its foreign policy recently. In such circumstances, the DPJ can be expected to experience more domestic pressure and criticism, Japanese nationalism can be expected to rise and Japan should be watched closely to see how it attempts to respond to rebuild some of its perceived lost prestige and power.
November 1, 2010
An intensifying currency dispute may disrupt the global economy but is unlikely to cause a full-blown trade war, Reuters reported Nov. 1, citing a statement on the Chinese Commerce Ministry website. The U.S. dollar will continue to weaken, and “gaming” between major currencies will escalate, increasing risks for businesses and affecting global trade development, the statement said. However, tensions will be eased as nations try to increase exports to beef up their economies and as entities like the World Trade Organization handle disputes, the statement said, adding that no country is willing to seriously stoke trade conflict. For its part, China will try to balance global trade flows by increasing imports of advanced technology and resources, the statement said.
WashPost: War with Iran would rescue economy
Washington Post political correspondent David Broder has kind words for President Barack Obama in in his opinion columnSunday, arguing that it isn't the president's fault the economy is stuck in reverse.
But the four-decade-plus veteran of Washington politics offers a startling solution to the president's political and economic woes: March off to war with Iran.
The president, who is "much smarter" and "more inspirational" than any of his opponents, could benefit from a confrontation with Iran because it would strike up a war machine that would pull the US out of economic stagnation, Broder argues.
He writes that there are "essentially" two ways that an economy can be grown: Through the natural economic cycle, and through war.
Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.Story continues below...Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.
"I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected," Broder qualifies. "But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century."
Broder's column has come in for almost instant criticism from economic and political policy experts. In a blog entry entitled "Has David Broder Lost His Mind?," Foreign Policy managing editor Blake Hounshell writes that Broder's proposal is "crazy for a number of reasons."
One is that markets don't like tensions, and certainly not the kind that jack up oil prices. Second, World War II brought the United States out of the Great Depression because it was a massive economic stimulus program that mobilized entire sectors of society. Today's American military has all the tools it needs to fight Iran, and there isn't going to be any sort of buildup. Hasn't Broder been reading his own newspaper? The Pentagon is looking to find billions in cuts as it confronts the coming world of budget austerity.
Writing at the same magazine, Marc Lynch argues that Broder's column is "an interesting study in how really dumb ideas bounce around Washington DC," and asserts that the Obama administration finds such an idea "ridiculous."
[I]t's not an idea which seems to have any support at all in the Obama White House. ... [T]he Obama team can see perfectly clearly that the American people have no appetite for a third major war in the Middle East and that launching a war with massive strategic consequences for short-term political gain would be epically irresponsible. ... Even if they were primarily interested in their electoral fortunes in designing Iran policy, they would quickly see that such [a strategy] would wipe out their support on the left and gain absolutely zero votes on the right.
Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research argues that Broder's idea for government-driven stimulus isn't wrong, but it doesn't need to be military in nature.
"If spending on war can provide jobs and lift the economy then so can spending on roads, weatherizing homes, or educating our kids. Yes, that's right, all the forms of stimulus spending that Broder derided so much because they add to the deficit will increase GDP and generate jobs just like the war that Broder is advocating (which will also add to the deficit)," Baker writes.
But the harshest criticism comes from Matt Duss at ThinkProgress.
"Especially in light of what has just occurred in Iraq, what kind of moral degenerate seriously suggests we get ready to do it again in neighboring Iran, just as a way to spur job growth?" he asks. "The kind who writes a regular column in the Washington Post, apparently."
Read Broder's full column here.