Tag Archives: history

The unanswered question about 9-11

Robert Fisk is such a rewarding historian of international policy because his contacts are so broad and his experience is so long and because he writes so clearly, passionately and thoughtfully about the persistent failures of Western policy—and humanity—in the Middle East. There, the UK, France and the United States directly or through their occasional […]

The absence of Obama

A long, angry article by Robert Fisk—the most experienced historian of the contemporary Middle East—on how the United States’ has ensured its irrelevance to the future of the region.Obama’s failure to support the Arab revolutions until they were all but over lost the US most of its surviving credit in the region. Obama was silent […]

The evidence for ‘stolen generations’

The so-called ‘history wars‘ are disputes about research, historical data and the interpretation of events. As such they should be approached like any other discussion of evidence; with an open mind, a sceptical attitude and a respect for verifiable evidence.

Thailand’s spiral

Sad, brief economic history:

“One of the reasons Thailand has failed to flourish as once predicted is that its growth was built on weaker foundations than supposed.” Extract from David Pilling in the Financial Times (subscription)

But is there such a thing as ‘weak’ or ‘strong’ foundations for macroeconomic growth?

The astonishing Julio Lacarte and 60 years of GATT

click for a larger image

No one better represents the fun, dedication or optimism of the people who created the multilateral trading system than Ambassador Julio Lacarte Muró. This recent video interview with him, recalling his particpation in the Havana Conference (1947) that by it’s ‘failure’ gave birth to the GATT, is a reminder that the goals and principles of that long-ago era still shape our world and promise us a better one. They could have no better ambassador than the eternally smooth Julio Lacarte.

I love his remark about Havana having been a ‘lively town’ in 1947. I bet it was: the Conference lasted 4 months!

Ten observations about the WTO’s first decade

As of Saturday 16, there was little consensus inside the Hong Kong Conference Center as you can read from the press coverage, except that the European Community’s negotiating position is unacceptable to everyone else. The atmosphere is poisonous and the discussions, even in the smallest and most senior informal groups (the ‘green room’ meetings organized […]