Blog - Pagina 24 van 27 - Mark Blaisse
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Geen categorie / 07.02.2011

Since 9/11 Arabs have too often been categorized by those outside their region as incomprehensible and, of course, dangerous. Yet the eruption of the Arab street, from Tunis to Cairo, and from Amman to Sana'a, reveals another narrative. The antigovernment protesters are not expressing extremist rage but righteous anger. The enemy is not the West but authoritarianism at home.  The call is not for global jihad but for freedom, justice and dignity - the very 'universal values'  Barack Obama cites. Even if we know that democracy will not emerge anytime...

Geen categorie / 02.02.2011

Mr. Ahmedinedjad, I imagine that you are pleased with the riots in Egypt, the unrest in Tunesia, the movements in Jordan and the nervousness in Israel. Your dream to become the third most powerful leader in the world, after China and the US, is almost coming true. A few more lucky moments and Iran will stand at the gates of Cairo, Tunis and Amman. The tsunami of change will be felt in the palaces of Saudi Arabia. The Americans will have trouble staying at the side of the Saud...

Geen categorie / 20.01.2011

The Internet has brought countless benefits to mankind, but as we see now, it also creates incalculable potential for mischief: it amplifies the threats of schoolyard bullies, empowers terrorists and fringe groups, and opens up huge new spaces to technologically savvy criminals. Now that data can be shared, linked, and exploited with instantaneous ease, the risks entailed by publication of information mushroom out of all recognition; there is simply no way that an editor (of Der Spiegel, The New York Times, NRC Handelsblad), however well meaning, can make...

Geen categorie / 18.01.2011

Op 11 januari, verscheen de Nederlandse vertaling van Monsoon, the Indian Ocean and the Future of Power van de Amerikaanse publicist Robert Kaplan. Een opmerkelijk boek waarin de havik Kaplan de wereld ervan probeert te overtuigen dat China en de Verenigde Staten vrijwel op voet van oorlog staan. Dat komt volgens hem omdat China de kans krijgt links en rechts zijn militaire macht uit te breiden terwijl de Amerikaanse defensiebudgetten juist snel teruglopen. Hoewel Kaplan gerekend moet worden tot diegenen die het niet alleen goed voor hebben met...

Geen categorie / 05.01.2011

Flegmatiek, zeker, maar ik wist niet dat je zo relaxed zou vertrekken. Smile, je talent, overheerste altijd waar zoveel anders verborgen is gebleven. Er was nog zoveel te regelen en te (ver)geven.  Je grote hart is je grote valkuil gebleken. Je kon ook niet anders....

Geen categorie / 04.01.2011

One of my colleagues wondered if reflection always follows material setbacks. As if we stop thinking (and feeling) as long as money fills our time. As if reflection is for the poor, those who have lost, those who are disappointed. As if materialism and healthy thoughts are incompatible. As if greed blurs our intelligence, bank accounts cover up our philosophies, business beats our brains.  As if it takes a crisis to realize that life is more than a financial bonus. Maybe he is right. This morning I saw a picture in...

Geen categorie / 08.12.2010

We asked for it: everything has to be transparent and now that it is, the leaders in the global village are complaining. Hillary Clinton is ashamed of her civil servants in the field. Poor, naive gossipers, that's what they are. It is time for diplomats and strategic advisers to wake up. There are no more secrets, no more plots, no more plays. Only the truth counts. And you know who really don't care about what Wikileaks publish? The naughtiest boys in the class: Berlusconi, Putin, Sarkozy. For them there...

Geen categorie / 29.11.2010

The media have been wondering why the military rulers in Myanmar decided to give the Nobel Peace Prize laureate her freedom back. Why she was suddenly allowed to speak up, lead rally’s, show her son -whom she hadn’t seen for decades- around town and give interviews to the international press. Well here is the answer: Myanmar has discovered massive amounts of oil. That’ s nice. But the question is, who is going to offer the expertise needed to drill for the black gold? Which oil company can afford...

Geen categorie / 08.11.2010

Istanbul has 25 million people to feed, house, transport and keep happy. Imagine being the mayor of this great city on the Bosphorus. You are more powerful than, say, the prime ministers of  The Netherlands, Norway and Belgium combined! 25 million people will, all together flush their toilets over 100 million times a day, will use around 20 million loaves of bread, 5 million liters of olive oil, 1 million kilo of onions, half a million kilo of red pepper etc. every day. No wonder the streets are permanently constipated. It will...

Geen categorie / 02.11.2010

Er is al veel over gedebatteerd in de Nederlandse media. Er is al officieel geprotesteerd door Turkije. Maar zolang niemand de waarheid durft te vertellen over de manier waarop Ankara het mes op de keel zet van zijn in het buitenland wonende burgers gaan wij er niet uit komen. Waarom is het hebben van een tweede paspoort niet erg als het om Zweden, maar wel als het om Turkije gaat? Heel simpel: de Zweedse overheid zet zijn burgers in den vreemde niet onder druk om te rapporteren, te klikken...