Cheer Up, Everybody, in Three Capitals: Brussels, Washington and Oslo

Popa_Eng’s Message to The Economist: (July 23)

Cheer up everybody: Euro project is saved! The idea to have a kind of political and economic unity in Europe is a great idea, and nobody would assume it would be easy.

And the leaders are navigating this big and loosely binded raft through a gigantic storm. If we can focus our mind at the history time scale, EU project is very new and for that reason very fragile. So, if there was the will to do whatever was necessary now as to give EU project a chance, I can say that the Europe leaders have been at the top of their job.

Let’s bear in mind that successive Greek governments had concealed a poor fiscal situation for years. The 2008 financial meltdown has caught them off guard and…why to blame EU leaders for that? Right now they have done the right thing. Greece has now a chance. I wish them success!

Thomas Freedman in The New York Times (July 24)

Thanks to a quiet political start-up that is now ready to show its hand, a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012. I know it sounds gimmicky – an Internet convention – but an impressive group of frustrated Democrats, Republicans and independents, called Americans Elect, is really serious, and they have thought out this process well. In a few days, Americans Elect will formally submit the 1.6 million signatures it has gathered to get on the presidential ballot in California as part of its unfolding national effort to get on the ballots of all 50 states for 2012.

The goal of Americans Elect is to take a presidential nominating process now monopolized by the Republican and Democratic parties, which are beholden to their special interests, and blow it wide open – guaranteeing that a credible third choice, nominated independently, will not only be on the ballot in every state but be able to take part in every presidential debate and challenge both parties from the middle with the best ideas on how deal with the debt, education and jobs.

Ibrahim Hewitt on Al Jazeera, (July 24)

Education and media consultant Ibrahim Hewitt is the chair of trustees of the Palestinian Relief and Development fund and is Senior Editor of the Middle East Monitor.

In the context of the latest apparently far-right atrocities in Norway, it is ironic that the word in English for a traitor who collaborates with an enemy power stems from Major Vidkun Quisling, who ruled Norway on behalf of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

We dismiss this “madman” as a one-off “not linked to any international terrorist organizations” at our peril. If nothing else, history has shown us that such ideologies are trans-national across and beyond the West, with catastrophic effects on the rest of the world. We have been warned.

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2 responses to “Cheer Up, Everybody, in Three Capitals: Brussels, Washington and Oslo

  1. Thomas Freedman’s description of Americans Elect in the NYTimes is the only mention of it I have seen. Their website
    http://www.americanselect.org/
    is slick and full and arouses a lot of interest. But what’s the buzz? Is this ‘movement’ (if that’s what it is) being taken seriously? Is it having an impact on the current craziness in Washington? Is it making ripples, being discussed?

    • There no evidence, as far as I can tell, that the idea is being discussed seriously anyhere. Not so far.