Blog de Juan Fernández
De todo un poco, como en botica. Apuntes medioseculares, donde, por hablar, se habla hasta del gobierno. Este blog cuenta con la bendición de los siguientes santos: San Woody, San Humphrey, San Frank McCourt, Santa Almudena, Grande de España, patrona de los canadienses, y Santa Dorothy Parker. Borrachos y borrachas de sombra negra, abstenerse.
- Nombre: Juan Fernández Sánchez
- Lugar: Madrid, Spain
domingo, diciembre 31, 2006
lunes, diciembre 25, 2006
domingo, diciembre 24, 2006
Manuel Rivas, El País
sábado, diciembre 23, 2006
Cuento de navidad
Fadia Jemal is a gap-toothed 27-year-old with a weary, watery smile. "What would happen if the Virgin Mary came to Bethlehem today? She would endure what I have endured," she says.
Fadia clutches a set of keys tightly, digging hard into her skin as she describes in broken, jagged sentences what happened. "It was 5pm when I started to feel the contractions coming on," she says. She was already nervous about the birth - her first, and twins - so she told her husband to grab her hospital bag and get her straight into the car.
They stopped to collect her sister and mother and set out for the Hussein Hospital, 20 minutes away. But the road had been blocked by Israeli soldiers, who said nobody was allowed to pass until morning. "Obviously, we told them we couldn't wait until the morning. I was bleeding very heavily on the back seat. One of the soldiers looked down at the blood and laughed. I still wake up in the night hearing that laugh. It was such a shock to me. I couldn't understand."
Her family begged the soldiers to let them through, but they would not relent. So at 1am, on the back seat next to a chilly checkpoint with no doctors and no nurses, Fadia delivered a tiny boy called Mahmoud and a tiny girl called Mariam. "I don't remember anything else until I woke up in the hospital," she says now. For two days, her family hid it from her that Mahmoud had died, and doctors said they could "certainly" have saved his life by getting him to an incubator.
viernes, diciembre 22, 2006
Cada cual tiene su Arcadia particular, su paraíso accesible. El mío se llama Mouruso, una aldea de cuatro casas cerca de Luarca, Asturias. Hace muchos años que descubrí por casualidad la casa rural de Mari Luz, y aún recuerdo el impacto de su primera visión: una mujer rolliza de mofletes sonrosados con mandil y un móvil colgado del cinturón. Desde un primer momento me desarmó su mirada azul y su palabra blanca. Fue una amistad a primera vista. Hoy mismo recibo una postal de su hija, Azucena, firmada por también por Tino, Buli y, por delegación, los tres perros, Terry, Towny y Cochito. Echámoste, como tú dirías, de menos, Mari Luz.
martes, diciembre 19, 2006
domingo, diciembre 17, 2006
Así es aquí también
Far from being helpful to democracy this consensus in the middle ground is a drag on our political life. It bores the public and makes people - particularly the young - feel excluded. Those not linked by tribal ties to one of the three parties have come to see MPs as essentially a club of men and women in suits, who are all somehow on the make.Henry Porter, The Observer
sábado, diciembre 16, 2006
jueves, diciembre 14, 2006
miércoles, diciembre 13, 2006
martes, diciembre 12, 2006
domingo, diciembre 10, 2006
Chiles Albtraum und sein Modernisierer
viernes, diciembre 08, 2006
jueves, diciembre 07, 2006
Robert Fisk: The Roman Empire is falling
The Roman Empire is falling. That, in a phrase, is what the Baker report says. The legions cannot impose their rule on Mesopotamia. Just as Crassus lost his legions' banners in the deserts of Syria-Iraq, so has George W Bush. There is no Mark Antony to retrieve the honour of the empire. The policy "is not working". "Collapse" and "catastrophe" - words heard in the Roman senate many a time - were embedded in the text of the Baker report. Et tu, James?
The Roman Empire is falling. That, in a phrase, is what the Baker report says. The legions cannot impose their rule on Mesopotamia.
Just as Crassus lost his legions' banners in the deserts of Syria-Iraq, so has George W Bush. There is no Mark Antony to retrieve the honour of the empire. The policy "is not working". "Collapse" and "catastrophe" - words heard in the Roman senate many a time - were embedded in the text of the Baker report. Et tu, James?
This is also the language of the Arab world, always waiting for the collapse of empire, for the destruction of the safe Western world which has provided it with money, weapons, political support. First, the Arabs trusted the British Empire and Winston Churchill, and then they trusted the American Empire and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Truman and Eisenhower administrations and all the other men who would give guns to the Israelis and billions to the Arabs - Nixon, Carter, Clinton, Bush...
And now they are told that the Americans are not winning the war; that they are losing. If you were an Arab, what would you do?
Be sure, they are not asking this question in Washington. The Middle East - so all-important (supposedly) in the "war on terror" - in itself, a myth - doesn't really matter in the White House. It is a district, a map, a region, every bit as amorphous as the crescent of "crisis" which the Clinton administration invented when it wanted to land its troops in Somalia. How to get out, how to save face, that's the question. To hell with the people who live there: the Arabs, the Iraqis, the men, women and children whom we kill - and whom the Iraqis kill - every day.
Note how our "spokesmen" in Afghanistan now acknowledge the dead woman and children of Nato airstrikes as if it is quite in order to slaughter these innocents because we are at war with the horrid Taliban.
Some of the same mindset has arrived in Baghdad, where "coalition" spokesmen also - from time to time - jump in front of the video-tape evidence by accepting that they, too, kill women and children in their war against "terror". But it is the sentences of impotence that doom empires. "The ability of the United States to influence events within Iraq is diminishing." There is a risk of a "slide towards chaos [sic] [that] could trigger the collapse of Iraq's government and a humanitarian catastrophe."
But hasn't that already happened? "Collapse" and "catastrophe" are daily present in Iraq. America's ability "to influence events" has been absent for years. And let's just re-read the following sentence: "Violence is increasing in scope and lethality. It is fed by a Sunni Arab insurgency. Shiite [Shia] militias, death squads, al-Qa'ida and widespread criminality. Sectarian conflict is the principal challenge to stability."
Come again? Where was this "widespread criminality," this "sectarian conflict" when Saddam, our favourite war criminal, was in power? What do the Iraqis think about this? And how typical that the American media went at once to hear Bush's view of the Baker report - rather than the reaction of the Iraqis, those who are on the receiving end of our self-induced tragedy in Mesopotamia.
They will enjoy the idea that American troops should be "embedded" with Iraqi forces - not so long ago, it was the press that had to be "embedded" with the Americans! - as if the Romans were ready to put their legions amid the Goths, Ostrogoths and Visigoths to ensure their loyalty.
What the Romans did do, of course - and what the Americans would never do - is offer their subjects Roman citizenship. Every tribe - in Gaul or Bythinia or Mesopotamia - who fell under Roman rule became a citizen of Rome. What could Washington have done with Iraq if it had offered American citizenship to every Iraqi? There would have been no insurrection, no violence, no collapse or catastrophe, no Baker report. But no. We wanted to give these people the fruits of our civilisation - not the civilisation itself. From this, they were banned.
And the result? The nations we supposedly hated - Iran and Syria - are now expected to save us from ourselves. "Given the ability [sic] of Iran and Syria to influence events and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage [sic] them constructively."
I love those words. Especially "engage". Yes, the "influence of America" is diminishing. The influence of Syria and Iran is growing. That just about sums up the "war on terror". Any word yet, I wonder, from Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara?
The Baker panel considered four options, all of which it rejected:
Cut And Run
Baker believes it would cause a humanitarian disaster, while al-Qa'ida would expand further.
Stay The Course
Baker accepts that current US policy is not working. Nearly 100 Americans are dying every month. The US is spending $2bn (£1bn) a week and has lost public support.
Send In More Troops
Increases in US troop levels would not solve the cause of violence in Iraq. Violence would simply rekindle as soon as US forces moved.
If the country broke up into its Shia, Sunni and Kurd regions, it would lead to ethnic cleansing and mass population moves.
Baker outlines a fifth option - 'responsible transition' - in which the number of US forces could be increased to shore up the Iraqi army while it takes over primary responsibility for combat operations. US troops would then decrease slowly.
Ayer estuve viendo El perfume. No dudo en calificarla como la película más bochornosa de la historia. Las escenas de la cópula colectiva y la del asesino en plan Jesucristo Superstar, con el obispo entregado a sus pies, me perseguirán durante décadas. Después de todo, Almodóvar no es tan patético ni rococó e incluso Alatriste, con su memorable colofón , Muchas grasias, pero somos los tersios españoles, es una película digerible. Y es que hay perfumes que apestan.
martes, diciembre 05, 2006
Voz de Alvy: ...y me acordé de aquel viejo chiste, ya saben, el del tipo que va a ver al psiquiatra y le dice: «Doctor, mi hermano se ha vuelto loco. Se cree que es una gallina». Y el médico le contesta: «Bueno, ¿y por qué no hace que lo encierren?». Y el tipo le replica: «Lo haría pero es que necesito los huevos». En fin, yo creo que eso expresa muy bien lo que siento acerca de las relaciones entre las personas. ¿Saben? Son completamente irracionales, disparatadas, absurdas y... pero, ah, creo que las seguimos manteniendo porque, ah, la mayor parte de nosotros necesitamos los huevos.
(Del guión de la película Annie Hall, de Woody Allen)
lunes, diciembre 04, 2006
Defensa del matrimonio
domingo, diciembre 03, 2006
Pocas veces he visto en el cine un alarde de inteligencia como en esta película. La habilidad del director Stephen Frears para mostrar con benevolencia y sagacidad los dos lados de la moneda, sin maniqueísmos ni moralejas, me parece sencillamente genial. Y la caracterización de los personajes, especialmente los personajes de la reina y Blair, sublime. Un buena muestra de que el buen gusto no está reñido con el éxito comercial.