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Category Archives: Posts in english

Academics and Policy

It is funny for me to make the parallel between what Mr. Nye is saying about the scholars/politics situation in USA and the same subject in Romania.

We had a group of people chosen by the Presidency as advisers. All of them of strong academic background. As Romanians have a problem with scholars (ivory tower, had to have connections with the Communist Party and the oppressive secret services before 1989, dreaming away from reality) most of them stepped back and some got involved directly in policy making as party members losing in this way their unbiased opinion. We had them and we scared them away. You do not have them but they do not come. Funny! And we both need them desperately.

Why we need them? For the technicalities. For they are more susceptible to stick to the truth of their field than to the winds of popular or political opinions. For most of the decisions both USA and Romania made lately are based more on “popular truths” than on scientifically proven theories. For it is better to act based on reason than on symbols and emotions.
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Posted by on April 14, 2009 in Posts in english

 

Bush and Future Historians


About loss of soft power, I just came back from a visit in Kurdistan. I had a nice surprise waiting for me there, a lot of open minded people in that country while I was expecting the standard side-taking mentality of Arab countries. Among other discussions, they frequently tried to open the Gaza subject. At first I was reluctant to give my position on the subject, as I always refrain from talking religion, sex or politics in those countries. But, when I finally acknowledged to fall into the trap, I found to my surprise that they were not on Hamas side. Actually, most of them were blaming Hamas, not Israel, for the huge number of killed, their suicidal decision to push innocent civilians into locations previously announced by the Israeli army as targets.

This was a good sign of an open mind (not that they had to agree with the Israeli action no matter what, but at least they gave some space to logical and moral thinking instead of taking sides). And the same people that took advantage from the fall of Saddam and had these ideas on the Gaza situation surprised me again: “It is Bush and the Americans the terrorists now, not al-Qaeda”.

I wonder, how much of your credibility and soft power you have to lose to be called a terrorist by somebody that overcame his traditions and profits from your actions (think about the emotional gradient in such a person).

Mr. Bush, you lost it. Big time.

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Posted by on January 18, 2009 in Posts in english

 

Why Vote for Obama?

I am looking at these elections from outside. I write from Romania and I am Romanian. I can tell you about the image America has abroad and the way your candidates look like.

I new nothing about them until 2 days ago. Since then I keep on updating myself. And I can tell you one thing. I can not see Mr. McCain doing a good job in front of Putin while I see Mr. Obama. In Mr. McCain I see the same face I am used to see in the last 20 years, the same representative of the most powerful people of America, the same false smile.

On the other hand, Mr. Obama has a sort of inflexibility, a kind of smile that gives me the feeling that he allows me to have opinions but he will call me back to facts when the time for a conclusion will come. Mr. Obama seems more interested in being truthful than in being right.

Again, I might be wrong. I am afraid I am wrong, specially now that he looks more and more like a winner. He can still be a socialist and a demagogue, as some are characterizing him in the Romanian newspapers . I would hate to find out that he is so when he will become the 44th president. But I hope he is not.

He gave me the feeling America will have a sense of direction under his presidency. And that the rest of us will follow that direction.

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Posted by on November 5, 2008 in Posts in english