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 […]