To read Part II of the blog, click here
“We Have No Eternal Allies”
Philip Alston was confronted with a special assignment. To write a report for the United Nations on poverty in the world’s fifth economic power in the world, a nation considered as a beacon of democracy, a Kingdom represented by a queen, not only adored by readers of glossy gossip magazines, but also by progressives and left wing intellectuals, even those who believe royalty is a waste of money, and their wealth a stark contrast to the unjust misery of its citizens. Elizabeth II is just part of our contemporary history and daily lives, a living painting, a touch of Monet, the intensity of Turner, 92 years old and still married to her Duke, who happened to reveal his age the other day, when his reflexes were obviously not on par with those of Formula One maestro, David Hamilton. The Royal driver, aged 97, crashed into another car, one woman injured, and the duke with some pain in the leg, reacted rather self-critical, “I am a fool, such as fool.” His Range Rover was replaced… One day later. 122,000 pounds certainly did not bother Philip, whose wife is probably the wealthiest Royal on earth, if we exclude the oil supplied Sultan of Brunei and the King of Saudi Arabia.
La conférence Atlantic Dialogues, organisée par le Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) à Marrakech, du 13 au 15 décembre 2018, a fait l’objet d’une couverture presse exceptionnelle, avec plus de 50 sujets traités au Maroc, en français et en arabe, ainsi qu’une dizaine de papiers à l’étranger.
“An Early Christmas Present to Our Adversaries”
“America retreats, chaos follows,” stated Mike Pompeo, Foreign Secretary of the United States, speaking in Egypt’s Cairo to a selected audience at the American university. “When we neglect our friends, resentment builds. And when we partner with enemies, they advance.” He knows, Pompeo was briefly in charge of the CIA. Less than twenty-four hours after the speech, including the line that “the age of self-inflicted American shame is over,” America’s troops started pulling out of Syria; in the middle of the night. Symbolism not intended (Wroughton & Masri, Reuters, 2019). Ten armored vehicles crossed the border towards Iraq, some trucks followed from a military base in Syria’s northeastern town of Rmelan. With the dust the vehicles hurled into the air, criticism followed towards Washington, praise reached the Oval Office, from Putin in Moscow, “Donald’s right,” and from another authoritarian leader in Ankara, who published his opinion in an article for the New York Times, Recep Tayyip Erdogan : “President Trump made the right call to withdraw from Syria.” Turkey, he reminded readers, has NATO’s second largest standing army, and “is the only country with the power and commitment to perform the task defeating the so called Islamic state and other terrorist groups in Syria.”
Un débat de haut niveau a porté sur le Brésil lors de la conférence internationale Atlantic Dialogues, organisée par Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), du 13 au 15 décembre 2018 à Marrakech. Lors de la session plénière intitulée “Brazil : What next ?”, les intervenants ont relativisé l’impact de l’élection du candidat populiste Jair Bolsonaro à la présidence du pays, le 28 octobre 2018.
Bénédicte Savoy, who documented her enthusiasm in Le Monde, was certainly biased —“they say that youth is the time of courage,” she wrote, because in two minutes and 35 seconds, on November 28th 2017, France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, swept aside several decades of official French museum policy. He did it publicly, in the crowded lecture theater of Ouagadougou University, in front of several hundred students, under the gaze of Burkina Faso’s president, Roch Kaboré, and the cameras of the news channel France 24. He did it in the name of youth, Madame Savoy insists (herself 46 years old, professor at the Collège de France, and chair of the department of modern art history at the Technical University in Berlin) since the president evoked youth seven times in his speech: “I am from a generation of the French people for whom the crimes of European colonialism are undeniable and make up part of our history.” In the next five years, Emmanuel Macron promised, “I want the conditions to be created for the temporary or permanent restitution of African patrimony to Africa.” In addition, the enthusiastic professor Bénédicte Savoy would have a role to play, faced with a historic challenge no one has ever dared before her. The time has come to write history, another chapter.
La 7ème édition de la conférence internationale Atlantic Dialogues, organisée par Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), à Marrakech du 13 au 15 décembre 2018, a été une nouvelle occasion de débattre de manière transatlantique des grandes questions économiques et géopolitiques du moment. Sous le thème « Dynamiques atlantiques : surmonter les points de rupture », il y a beaucoup été question de la politique étrangère des Etats-Unis, mais aussi de la montée du populisme, avec l’exemple du Brésil, ainsi que de la perspective d’une nouvelle crise financière internationale.
“ Il faut quitter le pouvoir quand la loi et les urnes l’imposent ”
Vétéran de la guerre de libération contre l’occupant portugais, et acteur majeur de la démocratisation de son pays, l’ancien Président capverdien fait partie des rares dirigeants africains qui ont quitté le pouvoir de manière démocratique. Dans l’entretien qui suit, il dresse le bilan des indépendances africaines, livre ses impressions sur la situation de la démocratie en Afrique, et analyse quelques grands évènements survenus ces dernières années sur le continent.
Entretien réalisé en marge de la 7ème édition des Atlantic Dialogues du Policy Center For The South, tenue à Marrakech du 13 au 15 décembre 2018.
“The most severe setback since the rise of Fascism in the 1930s”
The football players at the beach of Essaouira are moving barefoot through the sand, at times entangled in a clumsy ballet of bodies and legs, moving from a pas de deux to a pas de vingt deux, a movement neither choreograph, Balanchine, nor composer, Strawinski, ever created. These athletes, a few fishermen among them, are competing with the ghosts of Ronaldo, Neymar or Messi. The kids are not different from the Indian boys battling it out on a garbage dump near Calcutta, or the children of Novosibirsk in Siberia, where they kick the ball on a frozen lake and ignore the danger of concussions by heading the icy ball at temperatures of minus 33 degrees. Or the youth of Germany, survivors of a devastating war. Surrounded by ruins-- bombs shattered lives, fire consumed the future. We were poor and undernourished, forced by the Swedish Red Cross to swallow, daily, a metal cup of raw cod liver oil, which was supposed to give undernourished children’s strength. It tasted like biting into a raw fish, a kind of early sushi experience. Blood, partner of pain, was ignored, whenever a sliding tackle on the gravel-covered pitch was needed. Skin came off the knees and elbows. We played on, winning against tears and self-pity, developing into adolescents believing we were men.