US state of Arizona passes controversial anti-immigration law

US Border Control © The Last DJ

Thousands of people marched peacefully on Sunday 25th in Phoenix, the capital of the US state of Arizona, to express their opposition to a controversial new anti-immigration law.

Opponents argue that the new law discriminates against Latino Americans. In a rare presidential intervention on a state matter, President Barack Obama described the law as “misguided” on Friday. Civil rights organisations have threatened with lawsuits.

The law was signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer last Friday. The state of Arizona borders with Mexico. Illegal immigrants smuggled over from the sparsely-populated Mexican desert region cause a lot of trouble, say Americans living in the frontier area. It’s a busy drug trafficking route and the Mexican drug barons regularly extend their wars across the border, killing their victims on US territory. Immigration control is the responsibility of the federal government, but a majority in Arizona feel that Washington has failed them.

So, Arizona has acted on its own behalf, passing a law aimed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the US border state. The law requires police officers to question and detain anyone they believe may be an illegal immigrant, even if they are not suspected of committing another crime. It would also require anyone in the state suspected of being an illegal immigrant to show a document proving their legal status.

Racial profiling
But, say critics, if police demand papers from people just because they look Mexican, and they turn out to be a US citizen, their constitutional rights will have been infringed as US citizens are not required to carry ID. Latinos are assuming that only people with an Hispanic appearance will be stopped by authorities, which constitutes an act of discrimination, says one demonstrator in Phoenix:

“That law legalises racial profiling which we fought so hard to end in this country…”

The first anti-immigration legislation demonstrations ahead of the governor’s announcement on Friday ended in clashes with authorities. Empty bottles and lunch leftovers were hurled at the police; supporters of the law were also harassed.

Indignation
Sunday’s organised march denouncing the legislation passed off more quietly. The law has ignited fury among the mayor of Phoenix, Democratic politicians and civil rights leaders who have announced further protests and legal action. Some police commissioners also spoke out against the legislation, arguing that it will widen the rift between police authorities and Hispanics, including the hundreds of thousands of illegal citizens. This in turn will undermine security at the border region, the very argument used by the governor for its introduction.

Illegal Latinos in the US are a bit like Muslim immigrants in Europe. They’re all thrown on the same heap and often the scapegoat for all the woes of society. The passing of the law – just as Democrats are considering launching a comprehensive immigration reform bid – has ensured that the immigration debate will be placed fully under the spotlight in the weeks ahead.

Haiti, Death of Pariah

The difference is not in nature but in the dark nature of money.

Injured children sit along Delmas road, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (AP Photo/Jorge Cruz)

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The historical premises.

A few days after the tragic earthquake that struck Haiti, we should remember the responsibilities from France but also the United States and Spain in the misery of this small Caribbean country.
Christopher Columbus landed on the shores of Hipaniola in 1492, and the native people there were all but wiped out by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In 1697, Spain ceded the western part of the island, now Haiti, to France, which made it into the wealthiest colony in the Caribbean due to thriving forestry and sugar industries, and the heavy importation of African slaves.
But in the late 18th century a slave rebellion under leader Toussaint Louverture was successful and after a long struggle, it became a republic on January 1, 1804.
Haiti is a country towards which France has a debt…  The country gained its independence heavily indebted to France…  Do you know that Haiti has spent the 19th century to pay its debt to the ancient metropolis?  They paid on the nail their independence to France.
Haiti has also experienced the beginnings of American imperialism which has repeatedly invaded this sorrowful country.
We, French, Americans, Spaniards have exploited this people, we destroyed this island…  the best evidence of this complicity is that France has hosted on its soil the fallen Haitian dictator Bébé Doc… Our assistance is a form of payment.  Help them is paying our debt.

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The enormous bearing of indifference.

Nobody can predict natural tragedies, but one can live in a skyscraper in Japan and only have suffered a scratch. Or you can live in any corner of Haiti and die like thousands of fellow men. The difference is not in nature but in the dark nature of money and power, dividing the world between those who have an existence and those struggling to get a sham of living.  Some live, others survive, and if it has always been that way since man is dragged by this suffering planet, this is particularly glaring since science and technology intended to make possible the dream of Michelangelo. This arrogant man who brought his finger to God, and culminated with his daring, the wonder of the Sistine Chapel, was a man who civilized himself wherein through his individual process he civilized the environment. Centuries after these dreams, we know that we have not yet reach God, but rather our delusions of grandeur, and have done with the same clumsiness we stepped on Earth. We are in the 21st century, we enjoy a great technological development, we are surrounded by comfort, we have made progress in the fight against disease, but we have not advanced in the domain of our miseries. If in the 21st century there are countries like Haiti, stranded, with millions of people who do not matter to anyone, who live and die miserably, if that happens, it is not because the world is complicated – and surely it is — but simply because of our very indifference, arrogance and ambition. We do not mind anything.
True, we were shocked with the images on TV news and many countries (i.e. the democratic, because the tyrannical fail to do so) mobilize resources. For a few days, Haiti exists in the retina of the world. But it will take time, the news will be less noticeable, Haiti will no longer be a point of interest and we will forget that we have millions of people abandoned on an ruined island. At the end of the day, why should we change our indifference, if we have always cultivated it with zeal? Of course, this does not fit all, and there are people involved as Doctors Without Borders or religious organizations or volunteers of various kinds, trying to bring some calm to the corners of hell.
That said, I do not talk about solidarity but of collective, structural commitment. If the rich and powerful would do so, Haiti would turn its misfortune. Like many other countries. We have economic and technological capacity. Why do not we go ahead? Because we do not care of the pariah death, the death of those who do not have anything. It does not concern us. We did not make progress to achieve universal justice. We have just moved enough to ensure that the misery of many does not endanger the welfare of some few fellows. Misery is based on that.

The Impact of Economic Crisis on Poverty in Latin America

>> Haga clic aquí para la versión en castellano

The report “Social Panorama of Latin America 2009″, presented by the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), projected that about 9 million people fall into poverty, the 2009 product of the economic crisis, which means an increase of 1.1% over the 2008. This figure marks a reversal in the trend shown in the period 2002 to 2008, representing 25% of the total population that had escaped poverty.

The current global crisis will cause nine million people in the region to fall in poverty this year, according to the ECLAC report Social Panorama of Latin America 2009, released November 19.

Source: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), based on special tabulations of national household surveys.

a/ Estimates for 18 countries in the region plus Haiti. The numbers on the top part of the bars represent the percentage and total number of people living in poverty (poor and indigent).

In the study, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimates that poverty in the region will increase by 1.1% and indigence by 0.8% with regard to 2008. Thus, people living in poverty will reach 189 million by the end of 2009 (34.1% of the population), compared to 180 million in 2008. Also, indigence will reach 76 million (13.7% of the population), up from the 71 million last year.

These numbers depart from the trend towards poverty reduction until now prevalent in the region. The nine million poor and indigent represent almost a fourth of the population that had already overcome poverty between 2002 and 2008 (41 million people), due to greater economic growth, the expansion of social spending, the demographic bonus and better income distribution.

The study was presented today by ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena, who stressed the urgency that the region develop a new long-term social protection system.

“We can’t say that all that was attained between 2002 and 2008 has been lost. It is not a lost period. However, the rise in poverty calls us to action: we need to rethink social protection programmes with a long-term, strategic perspective and measures that make the most of human capital and protect the income of vulnerable families and groups,” she said.

The projected increase in poverty for 2009 will delay the compliance of the first Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015: the 85% of progress on this goal in the region in 2008 will drop to 78% by the end of 2009.

Some countries may experiment a greater increase in poverty than the regional average, such as Mexico, due to lower GDP and deteriorating employment and salaries.

The current crisis will nevertheless have less impact on regional poverty than prior crises, such as the “Mexican crisis” in 1995, the “Asian crisis” in 1998-2000 and the Argentinean and “dot.com crisis” in 2001 and 2002. For now, the region has been able to maintain the purchasing power of salaries and low inflation.

Income distribution in the region improved significantly from 2002 to 2008. During that period, inequality improved in seven of the 18 countries included in the study and worsened in only three.

Governments in the region have made great efforts to increase social spending. Between 1990 and 2007, public social expenditures per capita rose from 43% to 60% of average total public expenditures in Latin America.

“This shows that it is possible to grow and redistribute, expand social spending and be fiscally prudent to significantly improve living conditions of the population. Latin America is not condemned to be poor or unjust,” stated Bárcena.

For the future, ECLAC suggests reforming social protection systems and adopting both urgent short-term measures as well as strategic long-term ones. In doing so, governments should avoid fiscal irresponsibility and rigid labour markets, increase taxes progressively, redistribute social spending and extend coverage of social services.

Likewise, ECLAC recommends strengthening government assistance transfer programmes, among them conditional transfer programmes (CTPs). There are CTPs in place in 17 countries in the region, encompassing over 100 million people; that is equivalent to more than half the population living in poverty in Latin America.

ECLAC proposes a set of measures as a guide for countries to offset these results:

Drug trafficking and imperialism

US imperial mentality in the fight against drug trafficking

>>Haga clic aquí para la versión en castellano

At a recent conference [1], the original and always rightly incisive Noam Chomsky, referred to US military bases installed in Colombia, with the official purpose of assisting the Government of Bogotá in the war on drugs.

Mexico's Federal Police officers escort suspects of working for a drug trafficking gang, as they are shown to the media in Mexico City

Mexico’s Federal Police officers escort suspects of working for a drug trafficking gang, as they are shown to the media in Mexico City

He called to consider a similar case but with different actors. Suppose, he said, that Colombia, China or any other country claim their right to establish military bases in Mexico, in order to fumigate and destroy US tobacco plantations in North Carolina or Kentucky, traditional breeders of this plant. The plan would be enhanced by blocking the production areas through the action of air and naval forces, while sending inspectors to verify the overall elimination of such plantations. All this would aim to prevent tobacco trafficking towards countries suffering its effects.

Chomsky points out that smoking has provided evidence to be more lethal than alcohol, which in turn is more harmful than the use of cocaine or heroin, and these are, in turn, more harmful than cannabis. If in addition to the number of deaths caused by harmful products inhaled by smokers, we take account of those caused to “passive” smokers – though their number is difficult to determine – it is quite sure that the overall lethal outcome of nicotiana tabacum will exceed that of the remaining drugs as a whole. It would be quite logical to pursue more actively tobacco growers than coca’s.

Clearly this assumption is not plausible in the reality of today, not only because tobacco in most countries is not a banned substance while many drugs are. However, when facing this relentless logic, what should be asked is why this happens. Why the US, who say they feel adversely affected by drugs that come from south of the Rio Grande, naturally attributed the right to deploy their armies in Colombia to combat coca growers in the area, and it is even conceivable that no other country could do likewise when its interests are affected similarly.

For Chomsky, the answer is simple and it has an unquestionable bottom: the imperial mentality that exists in the US, so deep-seated in North American minds that it pass unnoticed. Should we add here that this frame of mind also exists – on a smaller scale – in many Western countries.

However, the results so far obtained seem to justify the effort committed. The “war on drugs” has lasted more than four decades in Colombia and has intensified over the past ten years, neither the food nor drug trafficking have declined. The reasons offered by Chomsky leaves no doubts. Several studies show that well-funded prevention and treatment of drug addiction are much more effective than coercive measures used in this endless war. And the preventive or curative treatment of drug-consumers in this business-has a performance cost-effectiveness improved over 20 times to the attacks against growers supplier-side-in “chemical warfare” waged to destroy the fields of drugs.

According to Chomsky, only two scenarios would explain the current situation: Either the US leaders have been consistently fools for 40 years, or the purpose of the war on drugs is very different than what is proclaimed. If one excludes no further the hypothesis of insanity, then what may be the real reasons for this alleged war?

Inside the US two main facts are obvious: the cleaning of the socially less useful (which has led the US into the world’s first place on top of prison population rate) and, as with the “war on terror”, dependence and subjugation of a population terrorized by the danger of drugs, to stop showing its angry opposition to economic policies that have led to the largest social imbalance that the US has ever suffered.

Meanwhile, abroad, the war on drugs is a way of hiding in Colombia – and other countries –some of the most iniquitous antisubversive operations. Colombia is the second country in the world (after Sudan) with more population driven out their homes, while local oligarchies and multinationals occupy the land abandoned by farmers and transform them into mining, agro-industrial production, intensive livestock or infrastructure for industry – whose benefits hardly benefit to concerned populations.

Now it’s time to ask whether Obama will follow the winding road – yet partly covered by his predecessors but in opposition to which he has not revealed much indignation as he showed with e.g. Guantanamo – or on the contrary, he has enough support, resources and intentions to leave the swamped problem that Chomsky clearly presents and whose resolution is difficult and complex, since it not only depends on the White House decisions, although they can point the beginning of a new path.

[1] Noam Chomsky, Militarizing Latin America. In chomsky.info. August 30, 2009

Dark Memories of the Dirty War

Chronicle of a valient journalist during the painful emergence of the Argentine dictatorship

dirtysecretsdirtywar Dirty Secrets, Dirty War: The Exile of Robert J. Cox (Buenos Aires, Argentina: 1976-1983)” by David Cox, Evening Post Publishing, June 2009

 

David Cox is the Robert Cox’s son, former editor of the Buenos Aires Herald and one of the few journalists courageous enough to report on the many disappearances and horrific violence that took place during Argentina’s Dirty War. David, 13 years old when his father and the rest of the family finally fled Argentina after years of close scrapes and tears, here presents the memoir of his father, writing in the foreword, admits that he still finds too painful to author himself. Punctuating his historical narrative of the escalating conflict with affectionate anecdotes about his large, tight-knit, and literary family, Cox the son wavers between nostalgia for the Buenos Aires of his childhood and flashbacks of the terrifying episodes that ultimately pressed the family to leave. But this book’s true focus is Cox the father, who emerges as an emblem of journalistic courage, suffering anxiety and asthma with silent tenacity while reporting on human-rights violations (and in some cases, causing the disappeared to be freed). An important primary source for Latin American recent history and an inspiring account to prevent future opportunists to take over again.

Robert Cox has risked his life to chronicling the early years of the Dirty War in Argentina (1976-1983), which has caused thousands of deaths. A few decades later he still can not write his own history or describe how he experienced this deadly junta. Now his son David does so, revealing how an editor of a small English-daily in South America, the Buenos Aires Herald, has courageously covered the kidnapping and murder that took place there when most his colleagues were silent.

Evolved into the race leading to the military coup of 1976 and in the chaos that has reigned later in Argentina, the book tells what led David’s father to write about the atrocities that were rampant. “This is the book that I never managed to write,” says the man 75 years in the preface. “Wounds are too deep so that I can write on this dark period.”  A plan backed by the military junta indeed encouraged people to silence real or perceived enemies, and caused that thousands of people were left in clandestine torture centers. Official figures set to have 13 000 people disappeared; groups working for human rights relate more 30 000 people killed instead. “Our family lives with this story for years,” said David Cox, 42, who spent his childhood in Argentina. “We all want my father to write his story because it affected us all one way.”

The Herald has been a pioneer in spreading the alarm. The military “issued him a warning to convince him to rally, but he continued to publish lists providing the names of the disappeared,” reminds F. Allen “Tex” Harris, an American diplomat who was in Argentina at that time. The Argentines went to the Herald when the authorities refused to provide information on their missing relatives, as the newspaper tried to lobby the government on them. There were very few people in the country who dared to speak. But the stories of Cox caught the world’s attention after he became a recognized journalist in the New York Times and The Washington Post.

For some time yet, the junta let Cox and The Herald go on practice their valiant journalism. “He printed a newspaper in English and as few Argentines knew that language, the military could not see him as someone threatening,” […] “If someone criticized the lack of press freedom, he could always point to Cox,” added Harris. Cox was finally shut up in prison for a day after writing editorials urging the government to release imprisoned journalists. In 1979 he found himself forced to leave Argentina because of death threats against his family. David Cox describes, among other things, that he took different ways to get the school and that his family was traveling in an old Peugeot to avoid attracting police attention. “The feeling of terror now seems remote, but it is still in me.”

Despite all the risks he was taking, Robert remained “a very humble man” who simply reported what was happening in Argentina when others have refused to do so. “In his right mind, he did his job as a journalist.”

A concise, objective and engaging report on a very dark period in Argentine history. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in understanding this very complex yet so attractive country. A first class journalistic job, and homage to Robert Cox, an unrelenting and solitary fighter for freedom and the rule of law when people most needed someone like him.

>>Click here to translate this page to Spanish
>>Click here for French version

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Obama’s Strategic Challenges Ahead

obama-administrationAfter the customary hundred days, President Obama would have signed 12 executive orders and 13 presidential decrees. He completed 13 official travel (including three abroad) and delivered ten messages to the nation, –three of them in prime time. That is, in a frenetic pace that would parallel the hyperactive Roosevelt. In addition, despite having lost almost 20 points in popularity since the investiture, he is yet one of the most popular presidents since the Kennedy era (62% approval roughly).

Foreign Policy

The first trial by fire with Russia will get on the START I Treaty renewal (Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction) which expires in December 2009. In spite of the promising preliminary contacts, the withdrawal of accreditation to two Russian diplomats to NATO accused of espionage (in a case linked to Hermann Simm, Estonian Alto officer sentenced to filter information from the Alliance for the Russian secret services), coupled with the planned NATO exercises in Georgia by May, (judged “provocative” by Mendeiev,) have strained Russian-American relations. With these preambles, it is foreseeable that the agreement truncates and the tension will increase with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Shield (NDM), regarded by Putin as a direct threat to Russia. NDM considers the installation of missile base interceptors in Poland, on the one hand; and one radar in the Czech Republic. It would come on stream in 2010. On the assumption that Obama will continue forward, Russia would presumably respond by the installation of Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad (Russian enclave situated between Poland and Lithuania) and the deployment of three regiments in Kozlesk.

Appeasement.

On the European stage, we could attend the end of the honeymoon period involving Obama and Sarkozy. Disagreement on matters as government making in Israel, shortly prone to the Palestinian argument that it would not be dischargeable in the medium term that the EU was forced to revise the preferential economic agreements with Israel. They could focus on the beginning of a new EU-US trade war, subsequent to imposition of protectionist measures in both countries. As for instance the import of agricultural products, (plague “miner tomato European” and “outbreak swine” in the USA). And finally, the Obama’s request for a substantial increase of allied troops in Afghanistan could lead to a postponed affirmation of French sovereignty that would result in the departure of French troops from Afghanistan (and in a parallel way of other European allies) before the French 2012 presidential vote. Obama will be forced to engage actively in an opening course of action for a new peace process in the Middle East.  After limited progress done by his special emissary (former senator Mitchell), the situation would have worsened consequently to Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet arrangements. An unlikely coalition government with the Palestinian, the ongoing the policy of expanding Jewish settlements and the completion of the West Bank Wall coupled with the failure of talks between Hamas and Abbas to form a Palestinian unity government: these are the controversial issues.  Obama would be therefore compelled to participate personally in the negotiation process. He is supposed to focus on the future Palestinian state set up.  At the end, the process would render the signing of a peace treaty between the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the new President of the Palestinian Authority –which would be the representative of the new unity government that would emerge after the inevitable approach of Hamas and Fatah. That agreement would get the political blessing of Egypt, Russia, Syria and Iran. Saudi Arabia, USA, EU, Japan and United Arab Emirates would follow as necessary partners in the economic reconstruction of Gaza, with an estimated cost of $ 2,000 million. It should be comprehensive and binding for all Middle East countries and would seriously contribute to the establishment of a new “status quo” in the area –it goes without saying, once the nuclear dispute with Iran is resolved and the restoration of diplomatic relations between both countries is done.

Gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq and transfer to Afghanistan.

Due to enlargement of the area of Taliban influence in Afghanistan, Pentagon considers transferring about 100,000 troops from Iraq by 2010 (where only about 50,000 remain until the final withdrawal in 2011). Taliban insurgents have gained a presence in 72% of the territory of Afghanistan, (increasing of 18% compared to November 2007) and are close to the capital Kabul. Taliban have established a kind of government de facto in some Afghan cities and towns. Regain of Russian military assistance (military advisers, logistics and information from spies, satellites) to the Taliban militia in their fight against the NATO forces deployed there, is a fact. In order to lengthen the conflict; along the deficient resolution of European allies to achieve gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan.  However, leaving U.S. alone could result in a dangerous Vietnamization of the conflict. Moreover, involving increasingly difficult to get approval on Budget from Congress, –embodied in the Obama’s petition for an additional $ 83,400 million to support military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009 (estimated costs of both wars would be of $ 8,000 million per month roughly).

Lifting the trade embargo on Cuba

Obama would pay special attention to its traditionally considered backyard, trying to halt the Russian influence in Latin America after the agreement signature for Friendship and Cooperation between Russia and Cuba (drawing on the political myopia of an administration obsessed with Busch Axis of Evil). Thus, after recent goodwill measures towards Cuba along with the start of informal talks, the lifting of trade embargo is essential. Just to help achieve the necessary empathy for the start of official bilateral round negotiations between both governments. Nevertheless, if no closer agreement is accomplish on those issues, the signing of a treaty on military cooperation between Russia in Cuba is predictable –getting specific military bases on Cuban territory with Iskander missiles and strategic aircraft with nuclear weapons. In addition, US-Pan American Alliance outset (led by Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina) could merge massive economic assistance and preferential agreements with countries open to trade boycott. Same governments are well disposed to isolate the progressive populist regimes of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia to achieve their destabilization.

After the customary hundred days, President Obama would have signed 12 executive orders and 13 presidential decrees. He completed 13 official travel (including three abroad) and delivered ten messages to the nation, –three of them in prime time. That is, in a frenetic pace that would parallel the hyperactive Roosevelt. In addition, despite having lost almost 20 points in popularity since the investiture, he is yet one of the most popular presidents since the Kennedy era (62% approval roughly).
Foreign Policy
The first trial by fire with Russia will get on the START I Treaty renewal (Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction) which expires in December 2009. In spite of the promising preliminary contacts, the withdrawal of accreditation to two Russian diplomats to NATO accused of espionage (in a case linked to Hermann Simm, Estonian Alto officer sentenced to filter information from the Alliance for the Russian secret services), coupled with the planned NATO exercises in Georgia by May, (judged “provocative” by Mendeiev,) have strained Russian-American relations.
With these preambles, it is foreseeable that the agreement truncates and the tension will increase with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Shield (NDM), regarded by Putin as a direct threat to Russia. NDM considers the installation of missile base interceptors in Poland, on the one hand; and one radar in the Czech Republic. It would come on stream in 201. On the assumption that Obama will continue forward, Russia would presumably respond by the installation of Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad (Russian enclave situated between Poland and Lithuania) and the deployment of three regiments in Kozlesk.
Dissension between Sarkozy and Obama.
On the European stage, we could attend the end of the honeymoon period involving Obama and Sarkozy. Disagreement on matters as government making in Israel, shortly prone to the Palestinian argument that it would not be dischargeable in the medium term that the EU was forced to revise the preferential economic agreements with Israel.
They could focus on the beginning of a new EU-US trade war, subsequent to imposition of protectionist measures in both countries. As for instance the import of agricultural products, (plague “miner tomato European” and “outbreak swine “in the USA). And finally, the Obama’s request for a substantial increase of allied troops in Afghanistan could lead to a postponed affirmation of French sovereignty that would result in the departure of French troops from Afghanistan (and in a parallel way of other European allies) before the French 2012 presidential vote.
Obama will be forced to engage actively in an opening course of action for a new peace process in the Middle East.  After limited progress done by his special emissary (former senator Mitchell), the situation would have worsened consequently to Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet arrangements. An unlikely coalition government with the Palestinian, the ongoing the policy of expanding Jewish settlements and the completion of the West Bank Wall coupled with the failure of talks between Hamas and Abbas to form a Palestinian unity government: these are the controversial issues.
Obama would be therefore compelled to participate personally in the negotiation process. He is supposed to focus on the future Palestinian state set up.  At the end, the process would render the signing of a peace treaty between the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the new President of the Palestinian Authority –which would be the representative of the new unity government that would emerge after the inevitable approach of Hamas and Fatah.
That agreement would get the political blessing of Egypt, Russia, Syria and Iran. Saudi Arabia, USA, EU, Japan and United Arab Emirates would follow as necessary partners in the economic reconstruction of Gaza, with an estimated cost of $ 2,000 million. It should be comprehensive and binding for all Middle East countries and would seriously contribute to the establishment of a new “status quo” in the area –it goes without saying, once the nuclear dispute with Iran is resolved and the restoration of diplomatic relations between both countries is done.
Gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq and transfer to Afghanistan.
Due to enlargement of the area of Taliban influence in Afghanistan, Pentagon considers transferring about 100,000 troops from Iraq by 2010 (where only about 50,000 remain until the final withdrawal in 2011). Taliban insurgents have gained a presence in 72% of the territory of Afghanistan, (increasing of 18% compared to November 2007) and are close to the capital Kabul. Taliban have established a kind of government de facto in some Afghan cities and towns.
Regain of Russian military assistance (military advisers, logistics and information from spies, satellites) to the Taliban militia in their fight against the NATO forces deployed there, is a fact. In order to lengthen the conflict; along the deficient resolution of European allies to achieve gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan.  However, leaving U.S. alone could result in a dangerous Vietnamization of the conflict. Moreover, involving increasingly difficult to get approval on Budget from Congress, –embodied in the Obama’s petition for an additional $ 83,400 million to support military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009 (estimated costs of both wars would be of $ 8,000 million per month roughly).
Lifting the trade embargo on Cuba
Obama would pay special attention to its traditionally considered backyard, trying to halt the Russian influence in Latin America after the agreement signature for Friendship and Cooperation between Russia and Cuba (drawing on the political myopia of an administration obsessed with Busch Axis of Evil).
Thus, after recent goodwill measures towards Cuba along with the start of informal talks, the lifting of trade embargo is essential. Just to help achieve the necessary empathy for the start of official bilateral round negotiations between both governments.
Nevertheless, if no closer agreement is accomplish on those issues, the signing of a treaty on military cooperation between Russia in Cuba is predictable –getting specific military bases on Cuban territory with Iskander missiles and strategic aircraft with nuclear weapons. In addition, US-Pan American Alliance outset (led by Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina) could merge massive economic assistance and preferential agreements with countries open to trade boycott. Same governments are well disposed to isolate the progressive populist regimes of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia to achieve their destabilization.