“What a surreal minute in German history.” Roland Nelles argues that Horst Köhler should never have been president in the first place. It’s a very, very easy argument to make.
“Hamas, and no less, Iran and Hezbollah, learned early on that Israel’s own embargo against Hamas-ruled Gaza was the most sophisticated and powerful weapon they could have deployed against the Jewish state. Here in Israel, we have still yet to learn the lesson: We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege. The siege itself is becoming Israel’s Vietnam…. Keen to have the world focus on Iran and the threat it poses to the people of Israel, Netanyahu must recognize that the world is now focused on Israel and the threat it poses to the people of Gaza.”
Bradley Burston, Haaretz
The immediate reactions of the Guardian’s commentators to Gordon Brown’s announcement that he’ll fall on his sword for the sake of a possible Lab-Lib deal are respectful (this is, after all, the Guardian) and, to someone who knows as little about British politics as I do, informative. But for an elegy worthy of the moment and the man, Jason Farago’s for n+1 beats any other I’ve seen so far:
“A few months into the top job he witnessed a real-life bank run (they will queue for anything in Britain), followed of course by the near-collapse of much of the rest of the financial sector. At the height of the crisis, while Washington fretted ineffectually over TARP, he and his chancellor Alistair Darling quickly part-nationalized several major banks. It became the template for financial rescues the world over, leading Paul Krugman, on the day he won the Nobel Prize, to proclaim Brown the savior of the world. In the months that followed, culminating in the London G20 summit, he kept it up, leading the shotgun conversion of the world’s neoliberals into Keynesian big spenders… He wanted a Tobin tax, a new UN and World Bank, multilateral third-world development, a climate change deal. He didn’t get any of them, but who else tried?”
The BBC’s Paul Mason lays out a lot to chew on: “We are only beginning to get our heads around the detail of this deal but its geo-strategic and moral implications are clear. Big states have bailed out little states and will demand reforms that change the lifestyle of people in these states forever. Northern Europe has effectively seized control of southern Europe. The eurozone is on a path to becoming a supra-national state-like entity.”
I watched this unembeddable video in German a couple of days ago and found it be about the most arresting 8½ minutes of viewing I’ve seen in some time. Very glad Spiegel Online’s made an English version. The headline reads “How China and India Sabotaged the UN Climate Summit,” but notice how Sarkozy’s outburst turns the narrative.