sábado, 30 de agosto de 2014

The Mass has unique importance in our personal renewal and in the renewal of our culture

How Christians Can Rebuild Our Culture

Editor’s note: The following essay is adapted from an address delivered August 6 at the Archdiocese of Toronto’s “Faith in the Public Square” symposium.

In the beginning, Genesis tells us, “the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Gen 1:2). Creation begins in chaos. On each day of creation, God brings new things into being and orders them according to a plan. God makes things for a purpose. He creates the world out of love. As Aquinas teaches, God orders the universe as a whole, and that order reflects his glory.

The world works better when it follows God’s design. We see this in our own moral lives. God gives us the law and the beatitudes because they lead us to joy. Jesus shows us the plan God writes into human nature so that, by his help, we can flourish. Too often we think of rules as things that keep us from being happy. But rules, understood as God’s order, are good for us because they show us how to live in a way that shares in his glory. They lead us to embody what God intended human beings to be and do. This is one of the things Scripture means when it says Jesus came “so that we would have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10).

If creation has a moral order, then how should we think about our human laws?

Since we’re made in the image of God, human beings can order their actions and communities just as God orders his creation. The German political philosopher Eric Voegelin taught that the law is “the substance of order in all realms of being … The law is something that is essentially inherent in society,” but we give it practical force through the lawmaking process. Law binds us together. It reflects our society’s order, but it also secures that order. It shows who we are as a people, but it also forms us as a people. So if we want to thrive, we need to ensure that the laws we make—what we call “positive laws”—ground themselves in a right understanding of what it means to be human.

Some key points follow from this.
  1. Law, Virtue, and Culture: Three Key Points to Win Hearts and Minds
  2. The Modern Project: Trying to Change the World through Human Will
  3. How Christians Influence Culture: By Seeking Christ

It is unfortunate that the crises in Crimea and Ukraine have occurred.

What Would the Conversion of Russia
Look Like?

What we know is this. God writes straight with crooked lines and the devil hates such straightness. The devil rejoices in what divides us. Right now we are divided when we should be about His Father’s business, which includes the conversion of Russia and—while we’re at it—the conversion of America.

For much of the twentieth century, Catholics around the world prayed after every Low Mass for the conversion of Russia.

Called the Leonine Prayers, originally they were conceived as a protection of the sovereignty of the Papal States, which were then under attack. This intention ended with the Lateran Treaty of 1929 but the prayers continued from that time for the conversion of Russia that had become an atheistic state bent on destroying religion.

The prayers included 3 Ave Marias, a Salve Regina, a versicle and response, a prayer for the conversion of sinners and the “exaltation of Holy Mother Church,” ending with the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Pius X added the invocation “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us.”

Before the prayers were suppressed in 1965 just think of the billions of them offered for this intention? From little schoolgirls to Catholic heads of state to canonized saints, they all prayed for the conversion of Russia. Does any faithful Catholic think that the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 was not the result of these prayers?

The Cold War—World War III—ended bloodlessly. A murderous regime that had killed millions upon millions and enslaved many more and had tried to enchain the human spirit was toppled almost miraculously. There should have been a victorious parade up Fifth Avenue in New York.

But the work of the Spirit was not yet finished. Toppling the regime was only part of it. The other part was conversion. And what did we think that would look like?


Read more:

Ukraine: “reinforcing and resupplying separatist forces in a blatant attempt to change the momentum of the fighting”

Putin Storms Ukrai

Yesterday, Ukrainian President Petro O. Poroshenko declared that Russia had invaded his nation. Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian military, confirmed that two armored columns of Russian forces, replete with tanks and armored fighting vehicles, captured the town of Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov near the Russian border. Ukrainian troops were forced to retreat in the face of superior fighting power that included Grad missiles launched from Russian territory. “Our border servicemen and guardsmen retreated as they did not have heavy equipment,” Lysenko said in a statement.

NATO released a series of satellite images further confirming that at least 1,000 soldiers and Russian artillery units were operating in Ukraine. Captured in late August, the images show the artillery units moving through the Ukrainian countryside and establishing firing positions near Krasnodon, Ukraine. “Over the past two weeks we have noted a significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia’s military interference in Ukraine,” said Dutch Brigadier General Nico Tak, director of the Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Centre (CCOMC), Allied Command Operations. “The satellite images released today provide additional evidence that Russian combat soldiers, equipped with sophisticated heavy weaponry, are operating inside Ukraine’s sovereign territory.”

Tak further noted the overall scope of the invasion was much wider than the current effort. “We have also detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks, and armored personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine,” he explained. “The presence of these weapons along with substantial numbers of Russian combat troops inside Ukraine make the situation increasingly grave.”

The motive for doing so was also illuminated. “Russia is reinforcing and resupplying separatist forces in a blatant attempt to change the momentum of the fighting, which is currently favoring the Ukrainian military,” Tak added. “Russia’s ultimate aim is to alleviate pressure on separatist fighters in order to prolong this conflict indefinitely, which would result in further tragedy for the people of Eastern Ukraine.”


Lyon: premier congrès national sur le genre, du 3 au 5 septembre

Il suffit de jeter un coup d'oeil au programme du premier congrès national sur le genre. Organisé par l'Institut du genre, une émanation récente du CNRS, il se tiendra du 3 au 5 septembre dans les locaux de l'Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon, avec le soutien de Sciences Po Lyon. Un nombre conséquent d'universitaires venus de toute la France y participe. On notera que l'inénarable Irène Théry, chantre de la "désinstitutionnalisation de la famille", qui avait participé à l'élaboration de la loi Famille, fait partie du comité "scientifique". Ambition affichée des organisateurs, faire passer pour scientifique ce qui ne l'est pas, en poussant le bouchon toujours plus loin :
"Ce congrès entend faire la démonstration de l'importance scientifique, de la vitalité et de la diversité des études de genre en France et dans le monde francophone, en dressant le tableau le plus complet possible des recherches menées actuellement dans ce domaine. Le congrès accueille à la fois des ateliers portant sur des thématiques ou des objets de recherche déjà bien identifiés, et des ateliers portant sur des thématiques émergentes, fruits de croisements disciplinaires ou de questionnements nouveaux."
Exemples de conférences et d'ateliers ?

  • "Le prêtre catholique, une masculinité subversive?"
  • "Introduire le genre en (sic) éducation : des outils pour agir"
  • "Sexe, genre, orientation sexuelle : des problématiques à l'école"
  • "Sexualités et identités queer"
  • "Masculinités et hégémonie"
  • "Pour une définition multidimensionnelle de l'orientation sexuelle"
  • "Eduquer à l'égalité : déconstruire le genre ? Premiers résultats du projet NoREVES (Normes de genre et réception de la valeur "égalité des sexes" par la jeunesse, les parents et les professionnel-les (sic) de l'éducation"
  • "De la famille à la classe de sexe, de la différence à l'inégalité : le genre à l'épreuse de la famille" : atelier tenu par Anne Verjus,qui souhaite la résidence alternée pour tous les enfants dès la naissance...


Programme (.pdf)ici:

Are the brutal beheadings done by ISIS fanatics connected with their religion?

Why Do Muslims Behead People?

Qu’ran (Arberry translation, OUP) - Chapter 8 
 ‘I shall cast into the unbelievers’ hearts terror; 
so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them.’
(‘The Spoils [of war]’). Verse 12

Douglas Murray, writing here at the Spectator discusses the reluctance of any of the intelligentsia to discuss the reason for the barbarism of radical Muslims. Murray was on a BBC discussion program with a group of intellectuals who were debating the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Murray tried to make the point that there was a real link between the Islamic religion and violence.
I was once again struck – in a discussion in what remains a free country with a right of free speech – by the desperate efforts to not explore, indeed to shut down, discussion heading in one particular direction.
Myriam, as ever, remained insistent on the oft-repeated line that the bad guys are ‘misinterpreting’ Islam. But it was Lord Winston’s attempt to stop any linkage between the actions of groups like ISIS and the religion of Islam which struck me far more. Lord Winston is a scientist. In any other sphere he would be eager to follow a trail of thought, evidence, discovery and logic. But not here. ‘It’s not to do with Islam’ he scolded Ann Leslie and then me. ‘This is not a British problem and it’s not an Islamic problem either.’ True, it’s not only any one of those things. But it is partly those things, isn’t it?
Towards the end I made the point I keep trying to make – which is that although the radicals like the murderer of James Foley have what is obviously the worst interpretation of Islam, it is nevertheless a plausible interpretation.
Yes, yes, we all agree that the majority of Muslims are nice, kind people who don’t cut people’s heads off. However, Murray makes the point that the be-headings are warranted by Islamic Scriptures and by the example of the prophet Mohammed himself. He admits that the problem is complex, but at least part of the reason Muslim fanatics behead their enemies is because the Koran tells them to.


Vladimir Poutine: «le peuple russe et le peuple ukrainien sont quasiment un seul et même peuple»

Poutine avance ses pions militaires
dans l'est de l'Ukraine

Alors que les nations occidentales accusent la Russied'invasion du territoire ukrainien, le président russe Vladimir Poutine apporte publiquement son soutien moral aux insurgés séparatistes dans l'est de l'Ukraine - et nie toujours avoir envoyé des troupes par-delà la frontière.

Dans un communiqué publié dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi, le chef du Kremlin a loué les «succès considérables» des combattants prorusses «contre l'opération militaire de Kiev [de reconquête du territoire]». 

Vendredi, lors d'un forum de la jeunesse russe, le chef d'État a déclaré qu'il fallait «forcer» Kiev à négocier avec les rebelles «sur le fond», c'est-à-dire sur la définition des «droits de la population du Donbass, de Louhansk, du sud-est du pays» (soit des zones revendiquées par les séparatistes). 

La péninsule de Crimée annexée par la Russie, a précisé Vladimir Poutine, ne saurait faire l'objet de compromis: «lieu sacré» pour les Russes, elle n'a pas vocation à retourner sous l'autorité de Kiev. 

Le chef du Kremlin est allé jusqu'à dire, lors de cette conférence, que «le peuple russe et le peuple ukrainien sont quasiment un seul et même peuple». 

En outre, Vladimir Poutine a une nouvelle fois affirmé l'absence de militaires russes sur le sol ukrainien: les dix soldats arrêtés par les forces loyales à Kiev lundi s'étaient «perdus», a-t-il assuré.

Le même jour, vendredi, le secrétaire général de l'Otan,Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a demandé à Moscou de cesser ses «actions militaires illégales» en Ukraine, à l'issue d'une réunion d'urgence des ambassadeurs à Bruxelles.

M. Rasmussen a également rappelé que l'Alliance atlantique gardait sa porte ouverte à une éventuelle intégration de Kiev, alors que le premier ministre ukrainien, Arseni Iatseniouk, a fait savoir que son gouvernement allait demander au Parlement de lancer les procédures d'adhésion de son pays à l'Otan.

Différents États membres de l'UE, par ailleurs, ont condamné vendredi l'interférence de la Russie dans les affaires ukrainiennes, à la veille d'un sommet européen où devraient être envisagées de nouvelles sanctions contre Moscou. Berlin, notamment, s'est indigné de l'«intervention militaire» menée par la Russie. Le ministre polonais des Affaires étrangères Radoslaw Sikorski s'est montré encore plus direct, écrivant sur son compte Twitter: «c'est une guerre». Laurent Fabius dénonce, pour sa part, une «intervention inacceptable».


Lirela suite:

Lybie: futur "Etat islamique d'Afrique du Nord"?

Libye: est-il encore possible d'empêcher la création d'un "Etat islamique d'Afrique du Nord" ?

"Au point de vue militaire la situation libyenne a considérablement évolué depuis mon précédent communiqué en date du 17 août dernier:

- A l'Est, en Cyrénaïque, l'offensive du général Haftar a été bloquée par les milices islamistes; le 22 juillet, à Benghazi, le quartier général de ses forces spéciales a même été pris d'assaut.

- A l'Ouest, en Tripolitaine, les milices de Misrata (Frères musulmans) et les salafistes de Tripoli surarmés par le Qatar et par la Turquie, paraissent prendre peu à peu le dessus sur les milices berbères de Zenten dans la région de l'aéroport principal de Tripoli. Le second aéroport de la capitale, celui de Maïtigua, est déjà contrôlé par les islamistes d'Abdelhakim Belhaj.


Schools Show New Interest in Traditional Curriculum

Classical Education Makes a Comeback

by Susan Klemond

Seeking to pass on the wisdom of Western civilization, which was founded on Christian principles, a grassroots movement of parents, educators and others is reviving classical education in the Catholic tradition.

Often developing their own curricula, classical education supporters across the country are opening new schools or transforming existing schools into independent and diocesan classical academies where students may read Plato and Aristotle, study Latin and examine the traditions of Western culture.

In some cases, the result has been higher test scores, growing enrollment and interest from other schools and groups who want to copy these models or use the curricula.
  • Centered on Christ
Supported by home-schooling parents and others concerned about the quality and direction of both public and Catholic education, classical education tries to form and develop students’ natural capacities for understanding and action and ground them in moral, intellectual and theological virtues. Classical education focuses on the trivium of grammar, logic and rhetoric and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. It also includes the study of the liberal arts (literature, poetry, drama, philosophy, history, art and languages).

It emphasizes teaching young people to think by studying the classics through a Christ-centered program, according to Andrew Seeley, executive director of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, in Ventura, Calif., which promotes authentic Catholic education.

“When I’ve spoken to groups around the country, there is a hunger for this,” said Dale Ahlquist, co-founder and board member of Chesterton Academy, a classical school in Edina, Minn., near Minneapolis.

“Parents really care about their kids’ education, as well they should, and when they see that we are teaching the faith in a really coherent and cohesive way — where it informs everything that we’re teaching and that we’re doing it in an affordable way — they get very excited. They say, ‘This is exactly what we’ve been looking for.’”

Classical education emphasizes what is true, good and beautiful — transcendentals used in the Catholic Church to describe God, Seeley said. Classical education aims to teach students to think and how to reason through reading, lecture and often the Socratic method of group discussion.

Starting in kindergarten, students at St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, Md., learn the principles of Western civilization, from ancient Egyptian history through American history, with Christ at the center.

“It’s coming to understand that it was the Church that has carried forward the good of those cultures, while Christianizing those things that were not so good,” said Mary Pat Donoghue, the school’s principal. “I think, for our kids, both as Americans and Catholics, this is their birthright.”

What classical schools in the Catholic tradition have in common is a Catholic identity that informs the whole curriculum and environment, Seeley said. “A Christ-illuminated understanding of what the human person is in all our capacities” is the goal, he said, plus, “how an encounter with Christ and Christian civilization fulfills and develops students in all those capacities.”

Chesterton Academy offers an integrated approach, said Tom Bengtson, another co-founder of the Minnesota school. “It isn’t as though everything is taught in silos, separate from each other. It truly is centered around one thing, which is the Incarnation, and it all works together.”

Christ-centered classical education prepares students to defend their faith, Ahlquist added.

“We want people to be able to stand up and defend the faith in a public way with confidence and with a certain artistic ability to articulate,” he said. “Everything we do at school directs them towards that. We want them to live happy lives, but we also want them to be (Catholic) warriors, defending the Catholic faith.”

  • Pioneering Coursework
  • Godly Aim
  • Diocesan Schools
  • Chesterton Model
  • Exciting Learning

Read more:

"Como yo no he notado a Dios en mi vida, en mi búsqueda o en mis circunstancias, pues ha de ser que no exista"

Hablar con un agnóstico (I)

por Manuel A. Serra

Parece querer decir "como yo no he notado a Dios en mi vida, en mi búsqueda o en mis circunstancias, pues ha de ser que no exista". 
Este argumento no tiene nada de filosófico

Si algo podemos compartir creyentes y agnósticos es, sin duda, la dificultad para acercarnos al misterio de Dios. Tal es su grandeza, su inmensidad, su inabarcabilidad, que hablar de dificultad puede, quizá, sonar hasta blasfemo a un creyente convencido; sin embargo, los años nos tienen que ayudar a ser comedidos con la realidad. Lo que para unos es motivo de alejamiento de Dios, para otros, en cambio, no es sino motivo de alabanza. Podría ayudarnos en este contexto la experiencia de San Pablo, o quizá la de San Agustín, por citar algunos casos tipo. ¿Quién se atrevería a sugerir siquiera que el acceso a Dios de almas tan inquietas como las citadas fue fácil? Sí, una vez hallado, bien pudieron decir “Tarde te amé, Hermosura tan antigua y tan nueva (…) te buscaba fuera de mí, cuando en realidad Tú estabas ahí, en lo más hondo de mi ser” (Libro de las Confesiones, I.).

El que pretende circunscribir a Dios en su fe, o en sus reflexiones no sólo yerra, sino que además se aleja de los verdaderos teólogos cristianos, a cuya cabeza hemos de poner a Santo Tomás de Aquino. Éste, como tantos otros anteriores y posteriores, han intentado mostrar, viabilizar el acceso del hombre a Dios. Si cabe, algo más importante aún: mostrar un camino de preparación del propio hombre para dejarse encontrar por Dios. Quizá aquí se encuentra una de las dificultades más importantes de la comunicación entre filosofía y fe.

Mientras que la primera estudia y medita la apertura del hombre al misterio de la realidad, en cuya cima está Dios, la segunda, en cambio, es la humildad del corazón que sabe acoger y escuchar la Palabra y la acción de Dios en nuestra historia. Quizá una línea interesante de estudio estaría en descubrir cómo la razón humana, abierta-hecha a lo real, recibe con la gracia de la fe el totum de aquella cima que ella sola no puede escalar. Además, no sólo eso, es que sin la fe, la razón encuentra una coherencia parcial, pues ya quedó atrás el famoso problema dialéctico “natural-sobrenatural”. El acto creador es producido por la misma Inteligencia amorosa que, al darnos la existencia, pensó amarnos infinitamente hasta convertir, este amor eterno, en un cielo. Dicho de otro modo. El acto creador y la voluntad salvífica de Dios son partes de una unidad conservada en la misma Voluntad divina.

Así, pues, por mucho que esté bien que pensemos a Dios con nuestra razón, hay que matizar; y esto lo digo –reconozco- con la boca pequeña, porque no sé si yo mismo me creo lo que estoy diciendo, pero en conjunto el panorama parece ser así. Antes que nada hay que dejar a Dios manifestarse, inclusive la razón. El error quizá ha estado en sectorializar más de lo debido y hacer pésimas separaciones. Nos hemos acostumbrado a poner en marcha la razón haciendo como con un zumo de naranja: exprimir al máximo hasta que dé todo el jugo que pueda.

Pero olvidamos que la esa misma razón humana es ya criatura de Dios y, por tanto, si bien autónoma sólo en Su Creador tiene sentido. Es posible que en este momento estemos pasando como un tractor por encima de la arena. Un agnóstico leerá con dificultad estas líneas. Pero es que no es justo hablar de una razón humana cuya verdad consista en una consistencia ontológica totalmente sí misma e independiente. Y ello porque no sería verdad.


Leer más aquí:

Francia: el nombramiento de Najat Vallaud-Belkacem como ministra de Educación es un escupitajo a la figura de las familias

Siempre que pensamos que hemos tocado fondo nos equivocamos. Después de Vincent Peillon [ministro de Educación entre 2012 y 2014] y su religión laica, después de Benoît Hamon [ministro de Educación entre abril y agosto de 2014] que fielmente ponía en marcha su programa revolucionario, he aquí a Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, nueva ministra de Educación. Es uno de los cargos más importantes de todo gobierno socialista, lugar estratégico de manipulación de los espíritus y de predicación capilar de los dogmas revolucionarios. Este nombramiento de la ex ministra de los Derechos de las Mujeres es una promoción importante, recompensa por una perfección ideológica.

Dejemos de lado su recorrido político, forzosamente socialista: cercana a Vincent Peillon y Arnaud Montebourg [también ministro socialista hasta la reciente crisis del Gobierno galo], esta joven mujer de origen marroquí se acerca desde hace tiempo a los centros de poder. O de lo que queda de ellos en una Francia prisionera de la Unión Europea, una Francia universalizada. Sabemos que los gobiernos cambian y que la política impuesta a Francia permanece: desde este punto de vista, el nombramiento de Najat Vallaud Belkacem podría dejar indiferente.

Pero ahí está. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem no está sólo al servicio de este pensamiento único, ella es una «pasionaria». Obsérvese que esto deja abierta la cuestión de saber si ella misma es una «pensadora» del pensamiento único. Sólo importa esto: ella lo difunde, lo promociona, lo impone. Ha hecho de la «igualdad» un absoluto que aplasta todo lo que encuentra a su paso (algo inherente en la naturaleza de la igualdad revolucionaria).


Leer más aquí:

"Pequeña historia": hace un siglo, al inicio de la Primera Guerra Mundial ...

Sucedió hace justo un siglo, el 29 de agosto de 1914, y constituye uno de los acontecimientos más célebres de la "pequeña historia" de la Primera Guerra Mundial.

Hay quien los considera una leyenda patriótica piadosa destinada a fomentar la "unión sagrada" de los franceses, conjurados para revertir la humillante derrota ante Prusia de 1870.

Pero lo cierto es que hay un testigo presencial de la muerte del rabino Abraham Bloch, y así lo dejó por escrito, en una carta al doctor A. Chauvin, de Lyon, el padre Jamin, SJ, capellán del 14º Cuerpo de Ejército:

"He aquí algunos detalles de la muerte del señor Bloch, cuya pérdida deploramos. Antes de abandonar la granja, un herido, creyendo que era un sacerdote católico, le pidió besar un crucifijo. El señor Bloch encontró el crucifijo pedido y se lo dio a besar al herido. Tras haber cumplido este acto de caridad, salió de la granja acompañando a otro herido hasta el transporte más próximo. El obús le alcanzó a pocos metros de la carreta donde acababa de subir el herido. El obús le arrancó la pierna y le dejó sin sentido en el camino, cerca de la granja donde acababa de ayudar a trasladar a los pobres heridos. Sobrevivió un cuarto de hora, creo que sin conocimiento y sin sufrimiento, y no dijo más que unas palabras: «Tengo sed»".

El escritor e hispanista Maurice Barrés, en su libro de 1916 sobre Las diversas familias espirituales de Francia (publicado en español dos años más tarde), sitúa el hecho en Taintrux, aldea cercana a Saint-Dié, en los Vosgos, uno de los lugares donde el desgaste de la guerra de trincheras produjo más víctimas durante buena parte de la contienda.

El lugar donde murió Bloch albergaba unos ciento cincuenta heridos, y el que solicitó tener cerca una Cruz en sus últimos momentos era un soldado moribundo y ya casi ciego.El rabino, cuenta Barrés, murió en brazos del padre Jamin.


El más entusiasmado por la extravagante aventura que Cristina ha emprendido es Axel Kicillof

Kirchnerismo radicalizado

por James Neilson

A juzgar por las encuestas de opinión, más del ochenta por ciento de la población quisiera que el país contara con un gobierno moderado encabezado por un centrista nato como Mauricio Macri, Sergio Massa, Daniel Scioli o Julio Cobos. Pero para Cristina tales detalles carecen de importancia. Es la jefa absoluta y le es dado hacer cuanto se le ocurra. Puesto que el orden político nacional es "verticalista", a una presidenta peronista todo le está permitido. Aunque perdió el apoyo de la mayoría hace tiempo, cuenta con algo que, pensándolo bien, le es mucho más valioso que aquel 54 por ciento de los votos que obtuvo en octubre de 2011: el temor a que el país sufra una crisis institucional equiparable con la que, a fines de 2001, acompañó el colapso de la convertibilidad, cuando media docena de personajes se entretuvieron jugando sillas musicales con la presidencia de la República y millones de personas se vieron expulsadas de lo que para ellas había sido la normalidad.

La vieja consigna "yo o el caos" ha conservado su vigencia. Sin excepciones significantes, los líderes de las diversas agrupaciones políticas que se han improvisado últimamente quieren que Cristina termine su mandato a la hora prevista por el calendario institucional. Si bien a menudo se siente "un poco nerviosa", la señora está más que dispuesta a aprovechar a pleno la libertad que le han concedido. Sin prestar atención a los gritos de alarma que están profiriendo empresarios asustados, sindicalistas desbordados por rivales que corean lemas izquierdistas y dirigentes no sólo opositores sino también, a su modo, los presuntamente leales, la presidentísima está librando una cruzada furiosa contra buena parte del resto del planeta.

¿Y por qué no? Además de caerle encima una y otra vez, el mundo, dominado como está por buitres inmundos, yanquis prepotentes, jueces foráneos que no le obedecen como corresponde y los nunca adecuadamente denostados neoliberales, la ha traicionado. En cuanto al país, desde hace mucho Cristina entiende que no está a la altura del relato heroico que le ha ofrecido.

El más entusiasmado por la extravagante aventura que Cristina ha emprendido es Axel Kicillof. Convencida de que el hombre que se niega a vestir corbata es "un genio", Cristina le ha regalado un laboratorio espléndido, la Argentina, en que poner a prueba las teorías decimonónicas que tanto le gustan. En la Unión Soviética y China, el marxismo-keynesianismo o lo que fuera fracasó de manera realmente espectacular, pero Axel sabe que en el fondo los camaradas tenían razón. Al fin y al cabo, hasta el Papa coincide en que el capitalismo liberal es un bodrio, de suerte que hay que reemplazarlo ya por una alternativa más humana, más inclusiva y menos exigente.

Cristina y los muchachos -algunos ya canosos- de La Cámpora aparte, pocos se sienten gratamente impresionados por las ideas de Axel. Antes bien, las toman por arbitrariedades típicas de un profesor un tanto chiflado cuyas teorías podrían sonar muy lindas cuando las expone en una aula llena de estudiantes contestatarios pero que, por desgracia, no tienen mucho que ver con lo que sucede fuera de los claustros académicos. Es lo que piensan virtualmente todos los empresarios, incluyendo a muchos que se habían acostumbrado a aplaudir como es debido los disparates presidenciales por entender que no les convendría figurar en la cada vez más extensa lista negra del oficialismo.

Con unanimidad sorprendente, los hombres de negocios creen que la resucitada Ley de Abastecimiento que tanto había contribuido a agravar las dificultades de la recordada etapa isabelina, no sólo les haga la vida imposible sino que provoque la muerte por estrangulación de la ya postrada economía nacional. Encontraron aún más intimidante, si cabe, la amenaza - producto de una "confusión"- de Cristina de tratar como terroristas a quienes siembren miedo cayendo en bancarrota.

Es verdad que el primer blanco de la ira presidencial ha sido una empresa de capitales yanquis, la imprenta Donnelley, pero no hay garantía alguna de que no acuse a otras de tener entre sus accionistas a personajes vinculados con los buitres. Sea como fuere, dadas las circunstancias en que se halla el país, ensañarse así con una empresa extranjera no ayudará a restaurar la confianza de los inversores. Por el contrario, al hacerlo Cristina se las arregló para cometer los presuntos delitos que, en un discurso enardecedor, atribuyó a la empresa gráfica de "atentar contra la economía" y generar "temor", pero tal vez resulte imposible aplicarle a la Presidenta la ley antiterrorista.


Leer más aquí:

“Lo Stato Islamico spiegato a mio figlio” - Vademecum per capire cosa sta succedendo in Iraq e Siria.

Stato islamico, jihad, califfato, islam. 
Tutto quel che c’è da sapere 
(senza reticenze)

 Le differenze tra Al Qaeda e Is, i silenzi dei musulmani moderati, le persecuzioni dei cristiani. «In Iraq è in atto un genocidio»

Articolo tratto da Oasis – “Lo Stato Islamico spiegato a mio figlio”. L’Islam, la violenza, la guerra santa e il califfato: una conversazione a tre voci per rispondere alle domande più frequenti che la cronaca degli ultimi mesi suscita in modo incalzante. Dialogo con Martino Diez e Michele Brignone, a cura di Maria Laura Conte. Il grafico che vedete qui sotto è stato pubblicato il 27 agosto sulle pagine del Corriere della Sera.

Che cosa sta succedendo in Iraq?

MD: In Iraq è in atto un genocidio, da parte delle milizie sunnite dello Stato islamico, ai danni delle minoranze religiose e di chiunque non si riconosca nella loro versione di Islam. La causa immediata di questo genocidio è la guerra in Siria che è cominciata nel 2011 per rovesciare Assad. Nelle file dell’opposizione siriana infatti hanno prevalso i gruppi più fondamentalisti, appoggiati anche da molti combattenti stranieri. Ma la guerra è potuta transitare dalla Siria all’Iraq con grande facilità perché questo Paese non si è mai veramente stabilizzato dopo il rovesciamento di Saddam Hussein da parte degli americani. Più in profondità, esiste nella regione una secolare rivalità tra sunniti e sciiti, due tipi diversi di Islam, che in Iraq sono numericamente quasi alla pari. E qui entrano in gioco anche gli interessi dei Paesi vicini, in particolare dell’Iran sciita e dei sunniti wahhabiti dell’Arabia Saudita, che cercano di sfruttare questa rivalità per fini politici. L’ideologia wahhabita-saudita, dal XVIII secolo in avanti, è un grave fattore di destabilizzazione, perché insegna un Islam duro e puro che si proclama come l’unico autentico.

All’inizio si definiva sui media Isil (Stato Islamico dell’Iraq e del Levante), poi Isis (Stato Islamico dell’Iraq e Siria), ora IS cioè Stato Islamico: cos’è questo califfato?

MB: Il califfato è un’istituzione classica dell’Islam. Letteralmente il termine califfo (khalîfa) indica colui che succede a Maometto nella guida della comunità islamica per “salvaguardare la religione e gestire gli affari terreni”. Dopo i primi califfi, definiti i “ben guidati”, il califfato ha assunto – prima con la dinastia omayyade (661-750), e soprattutto con quella abbaside (750- 1258) – i caratteri di un impero multietnico e multi-religioso a vocazione universale. In epoca moderna, dopo l’abolizione del califfato ottomano nel 1924, califfato è diventato sinonimo di “Stato islamico”. L’organizzazione dello Stato islamico incarna nel modo più radicale il mito della costruzione di un’entità politica fondata su un’interpretazione rigorista della Legge islamica, un’entità che probabilmente non è mai esistita nei termini in cui è proposta oggi.

Che rapporto c’è tra IS e al-Qaida di Bin Laden? Quali sono le principali differenze?

MB: Lo Stato Islamico non è mai stato un affiliato di Al-Qaida anche se al momento della sua costituzione in Iraq (2006) al-Qaida ne ha sostenuto le attività. È stata la guerra in Siria a spezzare la loro alleanza, tanto che oggi sono due soggetti concorrenti. Lo Stato Islamico punta all’istituzione immediata di un’entità politica in cui si applichi la sharî’a e vengano eliminate tutte le forme di Islam che divergano dalla sua visione rigorista. I sostenitori di Al-Qaida pensano invece a un’istituzione più graduale del califfato. Inoltre, mentre Al-Qaida ha agito e agisce soprattutto a livello globale con operazioni terroristiche spettacolari anche in Occidente (tra tutte la distruzione delle torri gemelle) e la creazione di molti fronti locali, lo Stato Islamico punta invece a concentrare gli sforzi sull’istituzione di uno Stato dotato di una propria capacità di espansione.


Leggi tutto: /

«Finora comunità internazionale e cristiani non hanno fatto niente di pratico per noi»

«Lo Stato islamico viene dall’inferno, neanche i diavoli saprebbero trovare mezzi peggiori per far tanto male alla gente»

Leone Grotti

Al Meeting di Rimini abbiamo incontrato il vescovo ausiliare di Baghdad Shlemon Warduni: «Finora comunità internazionale e cristiani non hanno fatto niente di pratico per noi»

«Non sappiamo da dove viene questa gente, probabilmente dall’inferno perché neanche i diavoli saprebbero trovare modi più terribili per far tanto male alla gente». Non usa mezzi termini il vescovo ausiliare di Baghdad dei caldei, Shlemon Warduni, che al Meeting spiega a di essere molto preoccupato per la sorte degli iracheni e dei cristiani, cacciati dalle loro case di Mosul e della piana di Ninive dai terroristi dello Stato islamico. 

Inoltre, afferma, è deluso perché «finora la comunità internazionale e anche i cristiani non hanno fatto niente di pratico per aiutarci».

Eccellenza, qual è la situazione dei cristiani rifugiati in Kurdistan?

La sorte di tutti i cittadini iracheni è la stessa. Tutti sono inquieti, non solo i cristiani, perché mancano pace e sicurezza da tanti anni. Ma in questi ultimi mesi è successa una cosa che non avremmo mai potuto neanche immaginare: questi malviventi hanno costretto i cristiani e tutte le minoranze a scappare in massa. I cristiani vivevano a Mosul da duemila anni e ormai da oltre due mesi non si recita più una preghiera in città. Forse questa gente viene dall’inferno, sono peggio dei diavoli. Per questo noi abbiamo gridato ad alta voce per chiedere aiuto a tutto il mondo: ai cristiani, ai musulmani, agli atei, a tutta la gente di buona volontà. Perché il nostro popolo, i nostri fedeli, i nostri vecchi, i nostri bambini non vengano maltrattati in questo modo cattivo e terribile.


Leggi di Più:

jueves, 28 de agosto de 2014

State Ownership in the Arab World

The Dead Hand of Socialism

Read the Full Policy Analysis

Extensive government ownership in the economy is a source of inefficiency and a barrier to economic development. Although precise measures of government ownership across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are hard to come by, the governments of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen all operate sizeable segments of their economies—in some cases accounting for more than two-thirds of the GDP.

International experience suggests that private ownership tends to outperform public ownership. Yet MENA countries have made only modest progress toward reducing the share of government ownership in their economies and are seen as unlikely candidates for wholesale privatization in the near future.

MENA countries need to implement privatization in order to sustain their transitions toward more representative political systems and inclusive economic institutions. Three main lessons emerge from the experience of countries that have undergone large privatization programs in the past. First, the form of privatization matters for its economic outcomes and for popular acceptance of the reform. Transparent privatization, using open and competitive bidding, produces significantly better results than privatization by insiders, without public scrutiny. Second, private ownership and governance of the financial sector is crucial to the success of restructuring. Third, privatization needs to be a part of a broader reform package that would liberalize and open MENA economies to competition.


What perspectives churchgoing Christians actually express....

On the Sexual Attitudes of Christian
Same-Sex Marriage Supporters


As mainline Protestant denominations increasingly accept the ordination of gay clergy and publicly affirm same-sex unions, the sociologist in me wishes to understand what this development means for people in those denominations. I’m not talking about subtle linguistic shifts. While the difference between speaking of marriage as a “civil contract between a woman and a man” and as “a unique commitment between two people” is obvious to those who pay attention to church documents, the impact of such changes on congregants’ attitudes and internalized paradigms—their hearts, I suppose—is seldom considered.

What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages? Some questions naturally arise. Does adultery mean the same thing for both same-sex and opposite-sex unions? Does it make sense to speak of premarital sex in such a context? Historically, the fear of pregnancy was enough to scare many love-struck Christians into taking things slow, but same-sex pregnancies are an accomplishment, not an accident, and most Christians use contraception now anyway.

Integrating homosexual relationships into Christian moral systems is not simple, and the process has ramifications for how heterosexual relationships are understood, too. What exactly do pro-same-sex-marriage Christians think about sex and relationships in general?

I’m not asking what perspectives on sexual behavior people ought to hold. Instead, I’m trying to discover what perspectives churchgoing Christians who disagree over same-sex marriage actually express.

To be sure, the sexual and relational standards of many Christians have already shifted. I’m not so naïve as to think that affirming same-sex marriage is the first significant change to take hold in their sexual and relational norms. More likely, the sexual morality of many churchgoing Christians shifted years ago, and the acceptance of same-sex marriage as licit Christian action follows significant change rather than prompts it. An ideal test would have been to have successfully interviewed congregants in “shifting” denominations (like the Presbyterian Church USA and the Episcopalians) over time, mapping what happens to their personal attitudes and opinions as social change occurred around them. So far as I’m aware, no one has done that. Indeed, it would have been difficult to do, involving the successful anticipation of future changes that were far from certain at the time.

What I do here is far more circumscribed. I assess a set of sexual and relational attitudes of Christians who support—and Christians who oppose—same-sex marriage.


Read more:

L’activisme LGBT d’Obama ne résout pas les conflits internationaux mais il promeut l’homosexualisme politique.

L’activisme LGBT d’Obama

L’activisme LGBT d’Obama ne résout pas les conflits internationaux mais il promeut l’homosexualisme politique. Obama signa un décret interdisant la discrimination d’employés homosexuels et retirant la subvention aux organisations catholiques qui enseignent que les relations sexuelles sont réservées aux époux hétérosexuels.

1) Obama accumule les situations de conflit dans le monde et sa politique extérieure est inefficace. 

A la liste des conflits internationaux historiques qu’Obama n’a pas su résoudre, comme ceux de la Corée et de l’Afghanistan, s’ajoutent ceux dont il n’a pas pu freiner la violence. Nous citerons l’exemple de sa gestion de la situation en Ukraine, où les Etats Unis s’acharnèrent pour annihiler l’influence de la Russie dans ce territoire.

Si nous regardons l’actualité au Moyen Orient, la situation de guerre ouverte sans quartiers entre israéliens et palestiniens dans la Bande de Gaza affecte dramatiquement la population civile des deux côtés. « Rompre la spirale de la haine » serait la solution, mais Obama n’a pas précisément géré la crise avec succès.

La même chose se passe en Irak, où la situation vécue par les chrétiens alarme le Saint Siège. Tandis que le Pape François a insisté pour que les gouvernements interviennent dans ces conflits, le Président des Etats-Unis ne parvient pas à se positionner ; il s’est vu dans la nécessité de demander à l’Iran d’éviter toute mesure pouvant encourager les divisions sectaires et conduire à une guerre civile en Irak.

On ne peut pas dire non plus que l’administration d’Obama ait pu freiner le financement des groupes radicaux islamistes par les monarchies du Golfe, avec une Djihad qui répand son pouvoir sur le monde impunément.

Sans parler de l’incapacité d’Obama à éviter un bain de sang dans la guerre civile en Syrie, dont on ne parle quasiment plus dans les Médias : les forces du président Bassar Al Asad massacrent leurs opposants, et comme en Irak les chrétiens sont obligés de fuir pour ne pas être éliminés.

On ne peut pas dire non plus qu’il ait réussi à intervenir dans les conflits que connaît la Chine avec le Japon, la Corée ou les Philippines. De fait, les US sont restés à l’écart du contentieux, apportant un appui aux Japonais dans leur dispute territoriale pour les Iles Senkaku.

2) Pour en finir avec la discrimination, un décret injuste :

Avec tous ces échecs fracassants de politique internationale sur sa table, Obama a tout de même trouvé le temps de promouvoir l’homosexualisme politique. Avec en ligne de mire les élections législatives en novembre, Obama signa un ordre exécutif interdisant la discrimination professionnelle pour les lesbiennes, gays, transsexuels et bisexuels.

Cependant le Président a omis injustement la requête des organisations religieuses et associatives d’être prises en compte. En effet, suivant le décret, un organisme catholique par exemple, qui reçoit des subventions de l’Etat et qui rejette les pratiques sexuelles hors mariage hétérosexuel, perdrait le financement public si elle refusait d’engager un employé homosexuel.


The nation states created a century ago in the Middle East are now defunct.

Iraq and Syria follow Lebanon’s precedent

Lebanon was created out of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. 

This agreement between Britain and France reshaped the collapsed Ottoman Empire south of Turkey into the states we know today -- Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and to some extent the Arabian Peninsula as well. 

For nearly 100 years, Sykes-Picot defined the region. 

A strong case can be made that the nation-states Sykes-Picot created are now defunct, and that what is occurring in Syria and Iraq represents the emergence of post-British/French maps that will replace those the United States has been trying to maintain since the collapse of Franco-British power.

The Invention of Middle East Nation-States

Sykes-Picot, named for French diplomat Francois Georges-Picot and his British counterpart, Sir Mark Sykes, did two things. First, it created a British-dominated Iraq. Second, it divided the Ottoman province of Syria on a line from the Mediterranean Sea east through Mount Hermon. Everything north of this line was French. Everything south of this line was British. The French, who had been involved in the Levant since the 19th century, had allies among the region's Christians. They carved out part of Syria and created a country for them. Lacking a better name, they called it Lebanon, after the nearby mountain of the same name.

The British named the area to the west of the Jordan River after the Ottoman administrative district of Filistina, which turned into Palestine on the English tongue. However, the British had a problem. During World War I, while the British were fighting the Ottoman Turks, they had allied with a number of Arabian tribes seeking to expel the Turks. Two major tribes, hostile to each other, were the major British allies. The British had promised postwar power to both. It gave the victorious Sauds the right to rule Arabia -- hence Saudi Arabia. The other tribe, the Hashemites, had already been given the newly invented Iraqi monarchy and, outside of Arabia, a narrow strip of arable ground to the east of the Jordan River. For lack of a better name, it was called Trans-Jordan, or the other side of the Jordan. In due course the "trans" was dropped and it became Jordan.

And thus, along with Syria, five entities were created between the Mediterranean and Tigris, and between Turkey and the new nation of Saudi Arabia. This five became six after the United Nations voted to create Israel in 1947. The Sykes-Picot agreement suited European models and gave the Europeans a framework for managing the region that conformed to European administrative principles. The most important interest, the oil in Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula, was protected from the upheaval in their periphery as Turkey and Persia were undergoing upheaval. This gave the Europeans what they wanted.

What it did not do was create a framework that made a great deal of sense to the Arabs living in this region. The European model of individual rights expressed to the nation-states did not fit their cultural model. For the Arabs, the family -- not the individual -- was the fundamental unit of society. Families belonged to clans and clans to tribes, not nations. The Europeans used the concept of the nation-state to express divisions between "us" and "them." To the Arabs, this was an alien framework, which to this day still competes with religious and tribal identities.

The states the Europeans created were arbitrary, the inhabitants did not give their primary loyalty to them, and the tensions within states always went over the border to neighboring states.


Read more:

Carillo betrayed the Republican cause and was probably responsible for the worst atrocity committed by the Left during the Civil War

Stalin's Spanish bezzie

The Last Stalinist: The Life of Santiago Carrillo

During the Spanish civil war the single greatest atrocity perpetrated by the Republicans was known as ‘Paracuellos’. This was the village where an estimated 2,500 prisoners loyal to Franco were executed by leftish militiamen between November and December 1936.

Even though the facts of this massacre are now widely known, one question still remains: who ordered the killings? In his latest book The Last Stalinist,Paul Preston claims that it was Santiago Carrillo who played a crucial role in signing the death warrants. (Carrillo, who died in 2012, always denied any involvement in the incident).

It is worth mentioning this mass murder because history tends to catch up with power-hungry leaders devoid of moral integrity. With Carrillo, however, this hasn’t been the case. It is even proposed that a street in Madrid be named after him, for his contribution to the restoration of democracy in Spain.

Santiago Carrillo was the leader of the Spanish Communist Party (Partido Comunista de España) for two decades, and his politics — with a penchant for authoritarianism, doublespeak, supreme self-confidence, irresponsibility and Soviet-style interrogation methods — was driven by an unquenchable thirst for power. And while he may have always been the number one enemy of Spain’s far right, he shared with Franco, according to Preston, ‘a dedication to the constant rewriting and improving of his own life story’.


Read more:

Forget Piketty ...

How Sweden combined wealth and equality through capitalism

SWEDEN continues to be one of the countries others look to for an answer to this fundamental question of our times: how can a country successfully combine increasing prosperity with a relatively egalitarian distribution?

The French economist Thomas Piketty provided part of an answer in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in which he argues for a global, progressive tax on capital. The book has had a tremendous impact on the public debate in Sweden, especially among leftist intellectuals. Yet Piketty’s Swedish popularity is surprising, as his solutions are fundamentally different from those evoked by Sweden’s experience. They are also different from the pragmatic view of capitalism typically held by Swedish social democrats.

Before we look at why, it’s important to understand where Piketty has gone wrong. His research has made three major contributions: first, lots of empirical data documenting trends in income and wealth concentration; a theoretical reasoning in which he shows that, under certain assumptions, capitalism increases inequality; finally, a concluding policy discussion, where Piketty advocates a global tax on capital.

There are objections to Piketty’s reasoning. The empirical part, for instance, contains graphs that show how wealth and income inequality declined sharply between 1910 and 1970. So remarkably, during the period of industrialisation, when capitalism blossomed in most western states, inequality fell sharply. While most curves tend to rise somewhat in the most recent decades, we are still well below the highly unequal circumstances prevailing 150 years ago. In other words, a book that argues that capitalism by default generates inequality in fact shows that inequality fell sharply during the capitalist era, when prosperity increased rapidly.

Piketty acknowledges falling inequality in the twentieth century, but claims it to be an exception. He predicts increasing inequality in the future (several graphs end in 2100). To show that capitalism is prone to generate inequality, Piketty uses a simple theoretical model. This is not unusual for an economist. But most intellectuals that are not economists are smart enough to avoid being impressed by theoretical models that produce controversial conclusions using stylised maths and debatable, implicit assumptions, some of which seem strange when compared to reality. Yet Piketty’s conclusion that capitalism is by default prone to increase inequality comes from exactly that kind of model.


Read more:

A course for the 21st century that avoids the mistakes of the past.

A Realist’s Guide to Grand Strategy

Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, Barry R. Posen, Cornell University Press, 256 pages

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has long been considered one of the finest institutions of scientific learning in the world. But few outside of academia know that MIT’s political science department, and especially its international relations (IR) program, is one of the best around. Neither are many aware that its IR faculty has been ironically old-fashioned—some would wrongly say “unscientific”—in stressing history along with the more technical aspects of defense policy.

Some of the most exciting work in IR has been pursued at MIT over the last few decades. The school has excelled in the study of grand strategy, defined by MIT professor and Restraint author Barry Posen as a state’s “theory about how to produce security for itself.” When the Soviet Union fell, Harvey Sapolsky, longtime director of the university’s security studies program, began to think about what type of grand strategy would be appropriate for the U.S. in the new post-Cold War world. He was joined by two of his graduate students, Eugene Gholz (now a professor at the University of Texas) and Daryl Press (currently a professor at Dartmouth College).

They were not buying the consensus view that the “unipolar moment” meant that the U.S. should double down on its Cold War activist foreign policy. Instead, in their seminal article “Come Home, America,” these three argued that the country needed a grand strategy of “restraint” that harkened back to America’s traditional and Washingtonian approach of noninterventionism.

What the “MIT School” of grand strategy—if you will—lacked was a book-length treatment to do battle with rival approaches. Not until Posen joined the cause with Restraint did the restrainers get a defining treatise.

Posen depicts the current grand strategy debate as pitted between two main rivals: liberal hegemony and restraint. Liberal hegemony is an activist grand strategy that aims to assertively maintain U.S. dominance and the “unipolar moment” in the service of liberalism and national security. Posen explains that it has been the reigning U.S. grand strategy since the end of the Cold War and remains the consensus view of the foreign-policy establishment of both major parties—of liberal internationalists and neoconservatives alike. Yet he believes it is “unnecessary, counterproductive, costly, and wasteful,” and ultimately “self-defeating.” Posen therefore spends the first half of the book explaining in detail what liberal hegemony is and why it so imperils America. In the book’s second, meatier half, he lays out his overarching restraint strategy and describes the specific military approach required to support it.


Read more:

Asymmetrical war requires a new kind of response....

Russia’s new tactics of war
shouldn’t fool anyone

By Editorial Board 

After an inconclusive summit with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko this week in Minsk, Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Moscow would do “everything” it could to encourage a peace plan for eastern Ukraine and “create an atmosphere of trust.” But within hours of uttering those words, a new front in the conflict opened at the port of Novoazovsk, where Russia appeared to be backing a stealthy but concerted invasion with tanks and artillery, a counteroffensive to help Russia’s besieged separatist fighters near Donetsk.

This is “trust”?

Mr. Putin’s blithe denials that Russia is supporting separatists in Ukraine are already stale. When he says “this is not our business,” as he did in Minsk, he is lying. But the bald untruths and military thrusts into eastern Ukraine provide a revealing glimpse of Russia’s new approach to throwing its weight around. Mr. Putin is engaged in subversion and feint, perhaps not surprising for a onetime lieutenant colonel in the Soviet KGB.

Some have called the new approach “hybrid war,” a conflict waged by commandos without insignia, armored columns slipping across the international border at night, volleys of misleading propaganda, floods of disinformation and sneaky invasions like the one into Crimea. In this hybrid war, a civilian airliner was shot down by surface-to-air missiles, but the triggerman or supplier of the missile was never identified; artillery shells are fired but no one can say from where; Russian military material and equipment appears suddenly in the villages and fields of eastern Ukraine. While people are being killed, as in any war, and while Ukraine has mustered its forces admirably to push back, this hybrid war features an aggressor whose moves are shrouded in ­deception.