23/11/2012

Israel vs Hamas: The War of Words and Images

As we watch the horrifying pictures of the carnage in the recent Israel-Hamas confrontation, we should concentrate not only on the terrible loss of life and damage, we should also focus on the role of the media. This is not to minimize what we are watching and listening to. Rather, it is to realize that the media plays an important role as a projection of force for both sides.

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13/11/2012

The Eyes (and Guns?) of Texas Are Upon You

After the satisfying election of Barack Obama – no euphoria this time – and the rejection of the Republican Party’s unilateral platform, it is interesting to return to an article in the October 31 Tribune de Genève to review the obstacles facing a true U.S. internationalism, if not obstacles to a successful Swiss OSCE Presidency in 2014. Indeed, if there has been much publicity surrounding Swiss-U.S. tensions on fiscal matters, this incident points to the difference between the two countries in their understanding of the rule of law.

To review the facts: Hugues Hiltpold, a fellow Carougeois, Conseiller National with an American mother, was part of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observation team to monitor the recent presidential election under a mandate from the Confederation but at the invitation of the United States.

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08/11/2012

The Transformation President or the Presidency Transformed?

“A Second Chance for Obama” screams the post-election headline of the The International Herald Tribune – the global edition of the New York Times. Peter Baker’s lead article describes how the “Costly fight may return gridlock to Washington” because of a divided Congress. A second chance for Obama to do what? Gridlock among whom?

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05/11/2012

From Lenin to Lukoil via Tokyo and Pristina

New York is supposed to be the great melting pot, the city of immigrants. But I have a story that I think beats anything from the Big Apple. Every day at noon, Russian businessmen working for Lukoil in their Plainpalais office walk next door to dine on Japanese food at the restaurant Takumi. Geneva is known as a cosmopolitan city, but the story behind the Russians eating in this particular restaurant stretches any definition of the word cosmopolitan.

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