Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010 新年快樂

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Afghani -Saale Nao Mubbarak
Afrikaans - Gelukkige nuwe jaar
Albanian -Gezuar Vitin e Ri
Arabic -Antum salimoun
Armenian -Snorhavor Nor Tari
Assyrian -Sheta Brikhta
Azeri -Yeni Iliniz Mubarek!
Bengali - Shuvo Nabo Barsho
Cambodian -Soursdey Chhnam Tmei
Chinese - Chu Shen Tan / Xin Nian Kuai Le
Corsican -Language Pace e Salute
Croatian - Sretna Nova godina!
Cymraeg (Welsh) - Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Czechoslovakia -Scastny Novy Rok
Danish- Godt Nytår
Dhivehi -Ufaaveri Aa Aharakah Edhen
Eskimo- Kiortame pivdluaritlo
Esperanto - Felican Novan Jaron
Estonians - Head uut aastat!
Finnish - Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French - Bonne Annee
Gaelic - Bliadhna mhath ur
German - Prosit Neujahr
Greek - Kenourios Chronos
Gujarati - Nutan Varshbhinandan
Hawaiian - Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew- L'Shannah Tovah
Hindi - Nav varsh ka shubkamnayein
Hong Kong (Cantonese) - Sun Leen Fai Lok
Hungarian- Boldog Ooy Ayvet
Indonesian - Selamat Tahun Baru
Iranian -Saleh now mobarak
Iraqi - Sanah Jadidah
Irish -Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian- Felice anno nuovo
Japanese - Akimashite Omedetto Gozaimasu
Kabyle -Asegwas Amegaz
Kannada -Hosa Varushadha Shubhashayagalu
Khmer -Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Korea - Saehae Bock Mani ba deu sei yo!
Lithuanian - Laimingu Naujuju Metu
Laotian -dee pee mai
Macedonian - Srekjna Nova Godina
Malay -Selamat Tahun Baru
Marathi -Nveen Varshachy Shubhechcha
Malayalam - Puthuvatsara Aashamsakal
Maltese - Is-Sena t- Tajba
Nepal- Nawa Barsha ko Shuvakamana
Norwegian - Godt Nyttår
Papua New Guinea - Nupela yia i go long yu
Pashto -Nawai Kall Mo Mubarak Shah
Persian -Saleh now ra tabrik migouyam
Philippines - Manigong Bagong Taon
Polish -Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese - Feliz Ano Novo
Punjabi - Nave sal di mubarakan
Russian - S Novim Godom
Samoa - Manuia le Tausaga Fou
Serbo-Croatian - Sretna nova godina
Sindhi -Nayou Saal Mubbarak Hoje
Singhalese- Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Siraiki- Nawan Saal Shala Mubarak Theevay
Slovak - A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovenian - sreèno novo leto
Somali -Iyo Sanad Cusub Oo Fiican!
Spanish -Feliz Ano ~Nuevo
Swahili- Heri Za Mwaka Mpyaº
Swedish -GOTT NYTT ÅR! /Gott nytt år!
Sudanese -Warsa Enggal
Tamil - Eniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal
Telegu - Noothana samvatsara shubhakankshalu
Thai - Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish- Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian- Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku
Urdu- Naya Saal Mubbarak Ho
Vietnamese- Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Uzbek - Yangi Yil Bilan

The Copenhagen Deal 哥本哈根會議以失敗告終

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How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the roomAs recriminations fly post-Copenhagen, one writer offers a fly-on-the-wall account of how talks failed --- Guardian's Mark Lynas

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China's strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world's poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was "the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility", said Christian Aid. "Rich countries have bullied developing nations," fumed Friends of the Earth International.

All very predictable, but the complete opposite of the truth. Even George Monbiot, writing in yesterday's Guardian, made the mistake of singly blaming Obama. But I saw Obama fighting desperately to salvage a deal, and the Chinese delegate saying "no", over and over again. Monbiot even approvingly quoted the Sudanese delegate Lumumba Di-Aping, who denounced the Copenhagen accord as "a suicide pact, an incineration pact, in order to maintain the economic dominance of a few countries".

Sudan behaves at the talks as a puppet of China; one of a number of countries that relieves the Chinese delegation of having to fight its battles in open sessions. It was a perfect stitch-up. China gutted the deal behind the scenes, and then left its proxies to savage it in public.

Here's what actually went on late last Friday night, as heads of state from two dozen countries met behind closed doors. Obama was at the table for several hours, sitting between Gordon Brown and the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi. The Danish prime minister chaired, and on his right sat Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the UN. Probably only about 50 or 60 people, including the heads of state, were in the room. I was attached to one of the delegations, whose head of state was also present for most of the time.

What I saw was profoundly shocking. The Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, did not deign to attend the meetings personally, instead sending a second-tier official in the country's foreign ministry to sit opposite Obama himself. The diplomatic snub was obvious and brutal, as was the practical implication: several times during the session, the world's most powerful heads of state were forced to wait around as the Chinese delegate went off to make telephone calls to his "superiors".

Shifting the blame

To those who would blame Obama and rich countries in general, know this: it was China's representative who insisted that industrialised country targets, previously agreed as an 80% cut by 2050, be taken out of the deal. "Why can't we even mention our own targets?" demanded a furious Angela Merkel. Australia's prime minister, Kevin Rudd, was annoyed enough to bang his microphone. Brazil's representative too pointed out the illogicality of China's position. Why should rich countries not announce even this unilateral cut? The Chinese delegate said no, and I watched, aghast, as Merkel threw up her hands in despair and conceded the point. Now we know why – because China bet, correctly, that Obama would get the blame for the Copenhagen accord's lack of ambition.

China, backed at times by India, then proceeded to take out all the numbers that mattered. A 2020 peaking year in global emissions, essential to restrain temperatures to 2C, was removed and replaced by woolly language suggesting that emissions should peak "as soon as possible". The long-term target, of global 50% cuts by 2050, was also excised. No one else, perhaps with the exceptions of India and Saudi Arabia, wanted this to happen. I am certain that had the Chinese not been in the room, we would have left Copenhagen with a deal that had environmentalists popping champagne corks popping in every corner of the world.

Strong position

So how did China manage to pull off this coup? First, it was in an extremely strong negotiating position. China didn't need a deal. As one developing country foreign minister said to me: "The Athenians had nothing to offer to the Spartans." On the other hand, western leaders in particular – but also presidents Lula of Brazil, Zuma of South Africa, Calderón of Mexico and many others – were desperate for a positive outcome. Obama needed a strong deal perhaps more than anyone. The US had confirmed the offer of $100bn to developing countries for adaptation, put serious cuts on the table for the first time (17% below 2005 levels by 2020), and was obviously prepared to up its offer.

Above all, Obama needed to be able to demonstrate to the Senate that he could deliver China in any global climate regulation framework, so conservative senators could not argue that US carbon cuts would further advantage Chinese industry. With midterm elections looming, Obama and his staff also knew that Copenhagen would be probably their only opportunity to go to climate change talks with a strong mandate. This further strengthened China's negotiating hand, as did the complete lack of civil society political pressure on either China or India. Campaign groups never blame developing countries for failure; this is an iron rule that is never broken. The Indians, in particular, have become past masters at co-opting the language of equity ("equal rights to the atmosphere") in the service of planetary suicide – and leftish campaigners and commentators are hoist with their own petard.

With the deal gutted, the heads of state session concluded with a final battle as the Chinese delegate insisted on removing the 1.5C target so beloved of the small island states and low-lying nations who have most to lose from rising seas. President Nasheed of the Maldives, supported by Brown, fought valiantly to save this crucial number. "How can you ask my country to go extinct?" demanded Nasheed. The Chinese delegate feigned great offence – and the number stayed, but surrounded by language which makes it all but meaningless. The deed was done.

China's game

All this raises the question: what is China's game? Why did China, in the words of a UK-based analyst who also spent hours in heads of state meetings, "not only reject targets for itself, but also refuse to allow any other country to take on binding targets?" The analyst, who has attended climate conferences for more than 15 years, concludes that China wants to weaken the climate regulation regime now "in order to avoid the risk that it might be called on to be more ambitious in a few years' time".

This does not mean China is not serious about global warming. It is strong in both the wind and solar industries. But China's growth, and growing global political and economic dominance, is based largely on cheap coal. China knows it is becoming an uncontested superpower; indeed its newfound muscular confidence was on striking display in Copenhagen. Its coal-based economy doubles every decade, and its power increases commensurately. Its leadership will not alter this magic formula unless they absolutely have to.

Copenhagen was much worse than just another bad deal, because it illustrated a profound shift in global geopolitics. This is fast becoming China's century, yet its leadership has displayed that multilateral environmental governance is not only not a priority, but is viewed as a hindrance to the new superpower's freedom of action. I left Copenhagen more despondent than I have felt in a long time. After all the hope and all the hype, the mobilisation of thousands, a wave of optimism crashed against the rock of global power politics, fell back, and drained away. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Always on the side of the egg 永遠站在雞蛋的那一端

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村上春樹在今年獲頒耶路撒冷文學獎 Jersalem Prize,領獎地是當時剛剛出兵加沙,帶來戰火連天的以色列。



在二月十五號晚的頒獎禮上,他作了一個不卑不亢、有尊嚴的演講,用最積極的方法告訴所有人一個訊息:Always on the side of the egg。

Good evening. I have come to Jerusalem today as a novelist, which is to say as a professional spinner of lies.


Of course, novelists are not the only ones who tell lies. Politicians do it, too, as we all know. Diplomats and generals tell their own kinds of lies on occasion, as do used car salesmen, butchers and builders. The lies of novelists differ from others, however, in that no one criticizes the novelist as immoral for telling lies. Indeed, the bigger and better his lies and the more ingeniously he creates them, the more he is likely to be praised by the public and the critics. Why should that be?


My answer would be this: namely, that by telling skilful lies–which is to say, by making up fictions that appear to be true–the novelist can bring a truth out to a new place and shine a new light on it. In most cases, it is virtually impossible to grasp a truth in its original form and depict it accurately. This is why we try to grab its tail by luring the truth from its hiding place, transferring it to a fictional location, and replacing it with a fictional form. In order to accomplish this, however, we first have to clarify where the truth-lies within us, within ourselves. This is an important qualification for making up good lies.


Today, however, I have no intention of lying. I will try to be as honest as I can. There are only a few days in the year when I do not engage in telling lies, and today happens to be one of them.


So let me tell you the truth. In Japan a fair number of people advised me not to come here to accept the Jerusalem Prize. Some even warned me they would instigate a boycott of my books if I came. The reason for this, of course, was the fierce fighting that was raging in Gaza . The U.N. reported that more than a thousand people had lost their lives in the blockaded city of Gaza, many of them unarmed citizens–children and old people.


Any number of times after receiving notice of the award, I asked myself whether traveling to Israel at a time like this and accepting a literary prize was the proper thing to do, whether this would create the impression that I supported one side in the conflict, that I endorsed the policies of a nation that chose to unleash its overwhelming military power. Neither, of course, do I wish to see my books subjected to a boycott.


Finally, however, after careful consideration, I made up my mind to come here. One reason for my decision was that all too many people advised me not to do it. Perhaps, like many other novelists, I tend to do the exact opposite of what I am told. If people are telling me– and especially if they are warning me– “Don’t go there,” “Don’t do that,” I tend to want to “go there” and “do that”. It’s in my nature, you might say, as a novelist. Novelists are a special breed. They cannot genuinely trust anything they have not seen with their own eyes or touched with their own hands.


And that is why I am here. I chose to come here rather than stay away. I chose to see for myself rather than not to see. I chose to speak to you rather than to say nothing.


Please do allow me to deliver a message, one very personal message. It is something that I always keep in mind while I am writing fiction. I have never gone so far as to write it on a piece of paper and paste it to the wall: rather, it is carved into the wall of my mind, and it goes something like this:


“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.”


Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will do it. But if there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?


What is the meaning of this metaphor? In some cases, it is all too simple and clear. Bombers and tanks and rockets and white phosphorus shells are that high wall. The eggs are the unarmed civilians who are crushed and burned and shot by them. This is one meaning of the metaphor.


But this is not all. It carries a deeper meaning. Think of it this way. Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: it is “The System.” The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others–coldly, efficiently, systematically.


I have only one reason to write novels, and that is to bring the dignity of the individual soul to the surface and shine a light upon it. The purpose of a story is to sound an alarm, to keep a light trained on the System in order to prevent it from tangling our souls in its web and demeaning them. I truly believe it is the novelist’s job to keep trying to clarify the uniqueness of each individual soul by writing stories–stories of life and death, stories of love, stories that make people cry and quake with fear and shake with laughter. This is why we go on, day after day, concocting fictions with utter seriousness.


My father passed away last year at the age of ninety. He was a retired teacher and a part-time Buddhist priest. When he was in graduate school in Kyoto , he was drafted into the army and sent to fight in China . As a child born after the war, I used to see him every morning before breakfast offering up long, deeply-felt prayers at the small Buddhist altar in our house. One time I asked him why he did this, and he told me he was praying for the people who had died in the battlefield. He was praying for all the people who died, he said, both ally and enemy alike. Staring at his back as he knelt at the altar, I seemed to feel the shadow of death hovering around him.


My father died, and with him he took his memories, memories that I can never know. But the presence of death that lurked about him remains in my own memory. It is one of the few things I carry on from him, and one of the most important.


I have only one thing I hope to convey to you today. We are all human beings, individuals transcending nationality and race and religion, and we are all fragile eggs faced with a solid wall called The System. To all appearances, we have no hope of winning. The wall is too high, too strong–and too cold. If we have any hope of victory at all, it will have to come from our believing in the utter uniqueness and irreplaceability of our own and others’ souls and from our believing in the warmth we gain by joining souls together.


Take a moment to think about this. Each of us possesses a tangible, living soul. The System has no such thing. We must not allow the System to exploit us. We must not allow the System to take on a life of its own. The System did not make us: we made the System.


That is all I have to say to you.


I am grateful to have been awarded the Jerusalem Prize. I am grateful that my books are being read by people in many parts of the world. And I would like to express my gratitude to the readers in Israel . You are the biggest reason why I am here. And I hope we are sharing something, something very meaningful. And I am glad to have had the opportunity to speak to you here today.


Thank you very much.





Free Liu Xiaobo 釋放劉曉波

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中共當然知道重判劉曉波不得人心,徒增對台、港統戰困難,但為什麼一意孤行呢?筆者認為,這是國內形勢需要使然。今年是中國的「政治本命年」,但時介歲末,最後一個敏感日子(十一國慶)已過,當局理應可以放鬆對社會的政治監控;不過,監控並未放鬆。事實上,本月十八日,中共中央發出指示,認為明年的政治形勢不寬鬆,重點工作是「維穩」,監控還要加強,具體是在信息系統全面落實「金盾」二期工程,進一步鎖緊互聯網,同時還要大力強化公安隊伍建設(特別是要「加大『從優待警』力度,愛護民警、關心民警、健全民警心理危機預防、最大限度地激發公安隊伍的向心力」,即防止民警造反)。 ① 如此嚴陣以待,官方說是因為中國已進入「社會矛盾高危高發期」;此期間,「維穩」高於一切,其他工作讓路在所不惜,包括對台工作在內。中共關於「維穩」的邏輯是:若生動亂,黨垮台了,統一何用?

在大陸,「維穩」的對立面是「維權」。這很奇怪,在任何國家,一般而言,民權維護了,社會便穩定,「維權」即「維穩」。但是,在中國大陸,情況剛好相反,從黨中央到地方乾部,無不視「維權」為大敵。 ② 律師維權,抓;傳媒維權,封;上訪者自己維權,壓。劉曉波「炮製」的〈○八憲章〉,講的是維權,他的六篇「罪證」文章,要害是主張以非暴力方式改變社會以改變政權,而主要手段,便是在民間累積點滴維權。處於大陸社會主要矛盾的風口上,劉曉波焉能不判重刑?

面對社會矛盾高危,中共幾年前開始,從中央到縣級黨政機構裡,由上而下層層加設「維穩辦」;這種所謂的「常設臨時機構」,由中共「中央維穩領導小組」統率,縣以下的鄉和村,則有縣維穩辦派出的工作小組。在地方,維穩辦統領原有的防邪辦③ 、信訪辦、綜治辦、安委辦、公安局、司法局(即所謂「五辦兩局」)的工作,司法特別不能獨立。辦好維穩,靠的是「群眾路線」,具體指「大量發展『維穩信息督導員』,分佈在管轄區每一角落,專門負責收集影響穩定的各類情況;每位信息督導員還至少要發展五名『耳目』,在矛盾多發地,更要多物色這些『耳目』」。說得白一點,這辦法就是在全國滿佈線人(今年四月十三日廣州出版的《南風窗》雜誌,對「維穩辦」現象和組織有很詳盡報導)。黨原有的「戰鬥碉堡作用」已然不足,新近須再加上一張天羅地網去「維穩」。筆者認為,這也不是辦法。問題是,黨本身腐敗,是社會不穩因素的最大來源;黨員為一己私利,不能不腐,在此前提之下,為應付上頭的「維穩」指令而有所表現,更不得不向維權群眾施加高壓,嚴刑峻法由此而生,結果出現惡性循環,「維穩」遂與「維權」對立。當然,「維穩」的是強勢,是硬牆,是巨石;「維權」的是弱者,是卵。

今年二月,日本作家村上春樹到耶路撒冷接受以色列頒給他的文學獎;在授獎典禮上,他作了轟動文學世界的「雞蛋演說」,嚴詞指摘以色列虐待巴勒斯坦人。對不起,指摘是我作為作家的責任,村上不留情面地說。 「在一座高大堅實的牆和與之相撞的雞蛋之間,我永遠都站在雞蛋那邊。」④


注︰①詳見《新華網》刊載本月十八日中央公安部黨委副書記楊煥寧在全國政法工作電視電話會議上的講話;②內地雜誌《半月談》記者在基層調查,發現官員幹部認為「維權就是和政府過不去」,「維權者就是刁民」。這與中共高層的認識和「實踐」完全一致。詳見《新華網》今年六月二十九日文章〈維穩體制機制遭遇尷尬——權利時代呼喚「維穩」新思維〉;③「防邪辦」主要對付「圈圈功」,從省委一直到街道裡弄都設此辦,整個系統由江澤民一手創立;④這篇演詞筆者大力推薦,原文及很好的中譯見 on-


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Free Liu Xiaobo 釋放劉曉波

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(明報)2009年12月29日 星期二 05:05
【明報專訊】即使再有一千次煙花璀璨的奧運 ,即使再搞一萬次耀武揚威的閱兵,即使再花千萬在西方媒體大賣廣告,都不及重判劉曉波11年徒刑,更能令中華人民共和國 在國際舞台上揚名了。判決前,15個西方國家使領館人員要求集體旁聽,判決後,發表強烈譴責聲明。大賣中國形象廣告的西方傳媒,對劉曉波案,有詳盡細緻令人感動的報道。西方社會,除了對我國廉價產品血汗勞工稍有了解外,對中國以言入罪的中世紀治國模式,肯定印象深刻。

《零八憲章》簽署人北京 電影學院的崔衛平教授說得好:「這是一場宗教裁判所的審判。怎麼能判處一個人的思想是有罪的?」另一位簽署者香港著名文化評論人梁文道也說:「從此之後,『聖誕快樂』是中國人的一句暗語,它的意思是記住曉波。」

將異見者關在牢裏,殺雞儆猴,是中國統治者的慣技。三十年前固然無日無之,改革開放後也不知凡幾。即使胡溫新政,強調以人為本,把不同政見人士禁足失聲卻愈見瘋狂,胡佳 、譚作人、郭泉、王琦,一個一個判刑坐牢,連「腎石寶寶」爸爸趙連海也以莫須有罪名拘捕審訊,令人髮指!


內地大學生根本不知劉曉波是誰,對重判也毫無反應,但重慶西南政法大學念書的香港小子樊俊朗,在校園貼起聲援劉曉波的大字報,只一瞬間就被校方撕掉,樊同學也被公安帶走問話,但網絡廣泛流傳,轟動學界。事件也感染香港人傳統的遊行到中聯辦 示威請願外,直接行動的「80後」,插著「罪•簽署零八憲章」的籤牌,操向羅湖 橋,到內地投案,公安粗暴越境拉人,反響極大,也在內地網絡傳播開去。

七六年天安門 事件有詩寫道:「中國已不是過去的中國,人民也不是愚不可及……」30年過去了,現狀看似沒多大變化,但「秦皇的封建社會已一去不復返了」,劉曉波判刑後在內地引起的強烈反應,表明了「民不畏死,奈何以死懼之」,仍舊用關、殺、逐的老方法來處理不同政見,不但不能解決問題,只會激化矛盾,自吃苦果。

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Decade From Hell 世紀首10年

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21世紀元年是以千年蟲開始,在這10年來,全球仍籠罩著一股毫無人性的恐怖主義,無論這醜惡的一小撮人,怎樣去理性化這些所謂以神之名,去進行的聖戰行動,而受害人仍然是一般營營役役、不理政治、但求生活兩餐一宿的普通老百姓。難怪乎美國時代雜誌以“來自地獄的10年”,去形容這千僖年後的第一個10 年。歷史諷刺的是,其中的8年的地獄式生活,正正是發生在布殊總統掌政的期間。







Free Liu Xiaobo 釋放劉曉波

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然而,其他文明國家不是這樣搞法治的,筆者舉○五年加拿大一宗涉「挑動社群仇恨」及「危害國家安全」罪的審判過程為例。案中被判有罪、後被加國政府驅逐出境的德國人安宣道(Ernst Zündal),是個納粹主義者,一九五八年移民加國,一直未得該國國籍;七十年代,他開了一間出版社,向全球推銷納粹主義書刊如《六百萬猶太人真的被害嗎?》、《我們熱愛希特拉的理由》等。他的影響據說相當大,單是美國客戶便為數三萬。一九八三年,一名加籍猶太人向加國人權審議庭投訴安氏行徑,安大略省政府接受投訴,並以安氏出版《六百萬》一書干犯蓄意散播虛假消息罪為由起訴他,官司打了五年,安氏二勝一負,案件進了聯邦最高法院;九二年終審結果,認為之前的判決違憲,安氏遂得無罪獲釋,而他出版該書的行為,屬於言論自由,受加國憲法保護。長達九年的法律程序,爭論的便是安氏的憲法權益。同一議題,劉曉波在本月審判中向北京法院提出,判決書答辯部分也提及這點,但審判長根本不談這個問題。




東林書院 The Donglin Academy

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Free Liu Xiaobo 釋放劉曉波

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The First Decade of the 21st Century

Free Liu Xiaobo 釋放劉曉波

難道中國人只配接受「黨主民主」--- 劉曉波






於是,白皮書等於向全世界宣告:在人民主權的民主之上,還有中共黨權這個更高的權威,這個黨權才是至高無上,也就是「黨主人民」和「黨主民主」,人大是黨權的傀儡,政協是黨權的花瓶,司法是黨權的工具,人權和民主等詞彙是黨權的裝飾。像中共當局發布的人權白皮書一樣,這份民主白皮書也充滿了謊言,比如,白皮書說:「中華人民共和國的一切權力屬於人民。」但是, 13億國人是黨權驅趕下的羊群,根本無緣參與國家主席的選舉;再如:白皮書聲言「發展黨內民主」,但6800萬黨員中的絕大多數,也不過是黨奴而已,也與黨魁選舉無緣。

















Friday, December 25, 2009

Universal Health Care 全民醫保

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Senate approves health care reform bill
By Alan Silverleib, CNN
NEW: Obama hails "real, meaningful health insurance reform"
Chamber votes 60-39 along party lines to pass health care reform bill
Measure goes to conference committee to reconcile differences with House
Washington (CNN) -- The Senate passed a historic $871 billion health care reform bill Thursday morning, handing President Obama a Christmas Eve victory on his top domestic priority.

The bill passed in a 60-39 party line vote after months of heated partisan debate. Every member of the Democratic caucus backed the measure; every Republican opposed it.

Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky -- a staunch opponent of the bill -- was the lone senator to miss Thursday's vote.

Should it become law, the measure would constitute the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid more than four decades ago. It is expected to extend insurance coverage to 30 million additional Americans.

"We are now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real, meaningful health insurance reform that will bring additional security and stability to the American people," Obama said shortly after the vote.

"If passed, this will be the most important piece of social legislation since the Social Security Act passed in the 1930s."

The bill now must be merged with a $1 trillion plan approved by the House of Representatives in November. Democrats hope to have a bill ready for Obama's signature before the president's State of the Union address early next year.

Senate Republicans failed to stop the bill despite utilizing almost every weapon in their legislative arsenal. GOP leaders have repeatedly warned the measure will raise taxes while doing little to slow spiraling health costs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was forced to cut multiple deals in recent weeks to ensure the support of every member of his traditionally fractious caucus. Top Democrats needed the backing of all 60 members in three key procedural votes over the past four days to break a GOP filibuster.

Final passage of the measure, in contrast, only requires a bare majority in the 100-member chamber.

iReport: Share your thoughts on health care reform

An exhausted Senate adjourned for the holidays shortly after passing the measure.

The health care debate is "about life and death in America," Reid said shortly before Thursday's first vote. "It's a question of morality, of right and wrong. It's about human suffering. And given the chance to relieve this suffering, we must take this chance."

Reid ripped the Republicans for their unanimous opposition to the bill, saying he was "sorry to say that for the first time in American history, a political party has chosen to stand on the sidelines rather than participate in great -- and greatly needed -- social change."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, argued it is "clear that even many of the people who support this bill with their votes don't like it." Otherwise, he claimed, "they wouldn't be rushing it through Congress on Christmas Eve."

"There is widespread opposition to this monstrosity," he said. "This fight isn't over."

Passage of the Senate health care bill, which is projected to cut the federal deficit by $132 billion over the next decade, signaled majority agreement in both chambers of Congress on a broad range of changes affecting every American's coverage.

Among other things, the House and Senate have agreed to subsidize insurance for a family of four making up to roughly $88,000 annually, or 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

They also have agreed to create health insurance exchanges designed to make it easier for small businesses, the self-employed and the unemployed to pool resources and purchase less expensive coverage. Both the House plan and the Senate bill would eventually limit total out-of-pocket expenses and prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Insurers would also be barred from charging higher premiums based on a person's gender or medical history. However, both bills allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums for older customers.

Medicaid would be significantly expanded under both proposals. The House bill would extend coverage to individuals earning up to 150 percent of the poverty level, or roughly $33,000 for a family of four. The Senate plan ensures coverage to those earning up to 133 percent of the poverty level, or just over $29,000 for a family of four.

Major differences between the more liberal House bill and the more conservative Senate bill will now be the focus of the conference committee that will try to merge them.

Get help with reading through the bills

One of the biggest divides is over how to pay for the plans. The House package is financed through a combination of a tax surcharge on wealthy Americans and new Medicare spending reductions.

Specifically, individuals with annual incomes over $500,000 -- as well as families earning more than $1 million -- would face a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge.

The Senate bill also cuts Medicare by roughly $500 billion. But instead of an income tax surcharge on the wealthy, it would impose a 40 percent tax on insurance companies that provide what are called "Cadillac" health plans valued at more than $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for families.

Proponents of the tax on high-end plans argue it's one of the most effective ways to curb medical inflation. However, House Democrats oppose taxing such policies because it would hurt union members who traded higher salaries for more generous health benefits.

Asked in an NPR interview Wednesday if he prefers the income tax surcharge or the tax on high-end plans, Obama predicted the final bill will probably end up with "a little bit of both."

"Cadillac plans ... don't make people healthier, but just take more money out of their pockets," he said.

The Senate bill also would hike Medicare payroll taxes on families making over $250,000; the House bill does not.

Another key sticking point is the dispute over a public option. The House plan includes a public option; the more conservative Senate plan would instead create nonprofit private plans overseen by the federal government.

Given the reality of the 60-vote threshold in the Senate, however, there hasn't been much serious discussion among House leaders about pushing hard to keep the public option.

The Senate "tried to see if they had support for it. There isn't. That's the reality," a top House Democratic leadership aide told CNN. "I think a lot of people are coming to terms with that, and I don't know how productive it would be to bring it out again."

Individuals under both plans would be required to purchase coverage, but the House bill includes more stringent penalties for most of those who fail to comply. The House bill would impose a fine of up to 2.5 percent of an individual's income. The Senate plan would require individuals to purchase health insurance coverage or face a fine of up to $750 or 2 percent of his or her income, whichever is greater. Both versions include a hardship exemption for poorer Americans.

Employers face a much stricter mandate under the House legislation, which would require companies with a payroll of more than $500,000 to provide insurance or pay a penalty of up to 8 percent of their payroll.

The Senate bill would require companies with more than 50 employees to pay a fee of up to $750 per worker if any of its employees rely on government subsidies to purchase coverage.

Abortion also has been a sticking point for both chambers. A late compromise with Catholic and other conservatives in the House led to the adoption of an amendment banning most abortion coverage from the public option. It would also prohibit abortion coverage in private policies available in the exchange to people receiving federal subsidies.

Senate provisions, made more conservative than initially drafted in order to satisfy Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, would allow states to choose whether to ban abortion coverage in plans offered in the exchanges. Individuals purchasing plans through the exchanges would have to pay for abortion coverage out of their own funds.

Nelson said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that he would withdraw his support if the final bill gets changed too much from the Senate version.

Free Liu Xiaobo 釋放劉曉波

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Chinese court sentences dissident to 11 years in jail
By Cara Anna, Associated Press | December 25, 2009

BEIJING - A Chinese court sentenced a prominent dissident to 11 years in jail today on subversion charges after he called for sweeping political reforms and an end to Communist Party dominance.

The sentencing of Liu Xiaobo comes despite international appeals for his release, which China sternly rejected as interference in its internal affairs.

Liu was the co-author of an unusually direct appeal for political liberalization in China called Charter 08. He was detained just before it was released last December. More than 300 people, including some of China’s top intellectuals, signed it.

The verdict was issued at the No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing after a two-hour trial Wednesday where prosecutors accused Liu of “serious’’ crimes.

The vaguely worded charge of inciting to subvert state power is routinely used to jail dissidents. Liu could have been sentenced for up to 15 years in prison under the charge.

Liu is the only person to have been arrested for organizing the Charter 08 appeal, but others who signed it have reported being harassed.

Abolishing the law on inciting to subvert state power is among the reforms advocated in Charter 08. “We should end the practice of viewing words as crimes,’’ the petition says. The United States and European Union have urged Beijing to free Liu.

“We continue to call on the government of China to release him immediately,’’ Gregory May, first secretary with the US Embassy, told reporters outside the courthouse today. May was one of a dozen diplomats stopped by authorities from attending the trial and sentencing.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters this week that statements from embassies calling for Liu’s release were “a gross interference of China’s internal affairs.’’

Thursday, December 24, 2009

釋放劉曉波 Release Liu Xiaobo

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中國人權嚴冬 The Dark Ages of China's Human Rights

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中國人權寒冬 Xmas 09 Ecard


劉曉波的妻子劉霞因為被公訴方列為「證人」, 當天無法參加旁聽。劉曉波的弟弟劉曉暄與劉霞的弟弟則獲准進入法院聽審。





美國駐華大使館二等秘書梅儒瑞(Gregory May)在被拒絕進入法庭後在法院外宣讀聲明,促請中國當局公平、公開地審理劉曉波案。








資料來源:BBC中文網 (

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Message from the President 總統的話

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Early this morning, the Senate made history and health reform cleared its most important hurdle yet -- garnering the 60 votes needed to move toward a final vote in that chamber later this week.

This marks the first time in our nation's history that comprehensive health reform has come to this point. And it appears that the American people will soon realize the genuine reform that offers security to those who have health insurance and affordable options to those who do not.

I'm grateful to Senator Harry Reid and every senator who's been working around the clock to make this happen. And I'm grateful to you, and every member of the Organizing for America community, for all the work you have done to make this progress possible.

After a nearly century-long struggle, we are now on the cusp of making health insurance reform a reality in the United States of America.

As with any legislation, compromise is part of the process. But I'm pleased that recently added provisions have made this landmark bill even stronger. Between the time when the bill passes and the time when the insurance exchanges get up and running, insurance companies that try to jack up their rates do so at their own peril. Those who hike their prices may be barred from selling plans on the exchanges.

And while insurance companies will be prevented from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions once the exchanges are open, in the meantime there will be a high-risk pool where people with pre-existing conditions can purchase affordable coverage.

A recent amendment has made these protections even stronger. Insurance companies will now be prohibited from denying coverage to children immediately after this bill passes. There's also explicit language in this bill that will protect a patient's choice of doctor. And small businesses will get additional assistance as well.

These protections are in addition to the ones we've been talking about for some time. No longer will insurance companies be able to drop your coverage if you become sick and no longer will you have to pay unlimited amounts out of your own pocket for treatments that you need.

Under this bill families will save on their premiums; businesses that would see their costs rise if we don't act will save money now and in the future. This bill will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of the program. Because it's paid for and gets rid of waste and inefficiency in our health care system, this will be the largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade.

Finally, this reform will extend coverage to more than 30 million Americans who don't have it.

These are not small changes. These are big changes. They're fundamental reforms. They will save money. They will save lives.

And your passion, your work, your organizing helped make all of this possible. Now it's time to finish the job.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Derail the High-Speed Rail 反高鐵

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Do you hear the people sing


(Do you hear the People Sing)




Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes! 就在明日

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me? 一起來堅強地獻身
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see? 世界充滿了希望
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free! 爭取自己的自由權利

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!

When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes! 就在明日

Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France! 才是滋潤土地的清溪

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes! 就在明日

Friday, December 18, 2009

環球同此涼熱 Copenhagen 2009

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在74年前,毛澤東以無比的革命氣慨,步念奴嬌詞排,填了氣勢滂薄《崑崙 》這首詞﹕橫空出世,莽崑崙,閱盡人間春色。 飛起玉龍三百萬,攪得周天寒徹。 夏日消溶,江河橫溢,人或為魚鱉。 千秋功罪,誰人曾與評說? 而今我謂崑崙:不要這高,不要這多雪。 安得倚天抽寶劍,把汝裁為三截? 一截遺歐,一截贈美,一截還東國。 太平世界,環球同此涼熱。

詩人胸懷祖國河山,放眼人類世界。可是祖國河山大川,已不能容納奔騰的氣魄,勢必向外溢瀉,涵蓋環宇,淹沒八荒。在作者腦海中的主題思想,當然是反對帝國主義,這已不用多說了,而在全球發動無產階級革命、實現共產黨主義,就是最終的目標。可是事與願違,歷史的客觀現實,並沒有因詩人的主觀意志而轉移,在四份之三個世紀之後,帝國主義換了莊家,共產主義卻以新的形式出現,被人類普世核心價值所取代。 在全球氣候改變,工業染污,過份開發坎伐的今天,崑崙山上的林海早已消失,北國的雪原、冰川早已消溶,無論江河湖水氾濫成災或乾旱枯竭,人或魚鱉的生存已受威脅,遺禍延年。

在瑞典哥本哈根全球氣候會議中,成千上萬不同膚色、不同民族的示威者,垮越國界,保衛地球,在這國際舞台上,爭奪評說歷史的權利,無懼武裝警察的電棒及摧淚毒氣,就是要貪婪無厭的資本家、無良的政府,負擔起這千秋的罪孽,要他們向地球村民盡責,履行全世界義務。 “遺歐、贈美、還東國” 的不是中國革命經驗或毛澤東思想,而是對全人類的承擔。在抽出倚天寶劍,斬斷貧困窮根的同時,也得要砍掉全球暖化的絞龍。“風景這邊獨好”已不復再,全球同涼熱、共存亡,已成拯救全人類的普世大同理想。



出席聯合國國際氣候會議團長,中國外交部副部長何亞非在本月13日,接受倫敦《金融時報》訪問時說﹕中國減排不需要發達國家資助,來自富裕國家的資金,應該流向更貧窮的國家,對發展中國家(抗擊氣候變化)的努力,提供財力資源是一項法律義務,這並不意味著中國會拿走一部份——大概不會, 我們沒有期望來自美國、英國(和其他國家)的資金會流向中國。觀察家認為這是中國首次作出明顯讓步,十分得體。



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

戰爭與和平 War and Peace

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在挪威奧斯陸的國際舞台上,諾貝爾和平獎的桂冠,終於加在上任未到一年的美國總統奧巴馬,令這位青年的總統,在頭上增添了一度燦爛的光環。吊詭的是,就在這歷史時刻倒數前8 天,正正是奧巴馬在美國西點軍校,宣佈在阿富汗增兵3萬,對塔利班戰爭升級之時。在伊拉克戰爭撤軍已成定局,但持續了8年的阿富汗戰爭,卻遙遙無了期,一個戰時總統、美國3軍總司令,把這個世界和平榮譽接過來,雖然,這成了爭論的開始,但也希望能以和平告終。


若然說奧巴馬西點軍校的增兵演說,是承認美國已踏進“後帝國主義”的階段,由於國力所限,已無法對 “布殊主義” 加以延續,放棄了“先發制人”的軍事戰略,而維持美國實力的框架下,繼續承擔起捍衛世界和平的責任,並願與地區國家及盟友,去分擔這個國際警察的角色,這就是“奧巴馬主義”的精神所在了。






Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Linden Tree

Am Brunnen vor dem Tore
Da steht ein Lindenbaum
Ich träumt in seinem Schatten
So manchen süßen Traum
Ich schnitt in seine Rinde
So manches liebe Wort
Es zog in Freud und Leide
Zu ihm mich immer fort

Ich musst auch heute wandern
Vorbei in tiefer Nacht
Da hab ich noch im Dunkeln
Die Augen zugemacht
Und seine Zweige rauschten
Als riefen sie mir zu
Komm her zu mir Geselle
Hier find'st du deine Ruh

Die kalten Winde bliesen
Mir grad ins Angesicht
Der Hut flog mir vom Kopfe
Ich wendete mich nicht
Nun bin ich manche Stunde
Entfernt von jenem Ort
Und immer hör ich's rauschen
Du fändest Ruhe dort
Du fändest Ruhe dort

作詞:繆勒詩 作曲:舒伯特 
井旁邊大門前面 有一顆菩堤樹
我曾在樹蔭底下 做過甜夢無數
我曾在樹皮上面 刻過寵句無數
歡樂和痛苦時候 常常走近這樹
彷彿像今天一樣 我流浪到深更
我在黑暗中經過 什麼都看不清
依稀聽到那樹枝 對我簌簌作聲
朋友來到我這裡 你來找求安靜
冷風呼呼地吹來 正對著我的臉
頭上的帽被吹落 不忍轉身回看
遠離開了那地方 依舊念念不忘
我常聽見簌簌聲 你會找到安靜

By the fountain, near the gate,
There stands a linden tree;
I have dreamt in its shadows
So many sweet dreams.
I carved on its bark
So many loving words;
I was always drawn to it,
Whether in joy or in sorrow.

Today, too, I had to pass it
In the dead of night.
And even in the darkness
I had to close my eyes.
And its branches rustled
As if calling to me:
"Come here, to me, friend,
Here you will find your peace!"

The frigid wind blew
Straight in my face,
My hat flew from my head,
I did not turn back.

Now I am many hours
Away from that spot,
And still I hear the rustling:
There you would have found peace!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

War and Peace 戰爭與和平

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Full text of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize speech
Remarks of the U.S. president in Oslo
updated 9:15 a.m. ET, Thurs., Dec . 10, 2009
OSLO, Norway - Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world:
I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations - that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.
And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize - Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela - my accomplishments are slight. And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened of cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women - some known, some obscure to all but those they help - to be far more deserving of this honor than I.
But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by forty three other countries - including Norway - in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.
Still, we are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill. Some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the cost of armed conflict - filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.
These questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like drought or disease - the manner in which tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences.
Over time, as codes of law sought to control violence within groups, so did philosophers, clerics, and statesmen seek to regulate the destructive power of war. The concept of a "just war" emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when it meets certain preconditions: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the forced used is proportional, and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.
For most of history, this concept of just war was rarely observed. The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible, as did our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different God. Wars between armies gave way to wars between nations - total wars in which the distinction between combatant and civilian became blurred. In the span of thirty years, such carnage would twice engulf this continent. And while it is hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished.
In the wake of such destruction, and with the advent of the nuclear age, it became clear to victor and vanquished alike that the world needed institutions to prevent another World War. And so, a quarter century after the United States Senate rejected the League of Nations - an idea for which Woodrow Wilson received this Prize - America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace: a Marshall Plan and a United Nations, mechanisms to govern the waging of war, treaties to protect human rights, prevent genocide, and restrict the most dangerous weapons.
In many ways, these efforts succeeded. Yes, terrible wars have been fought, and atrocities committed. But there has been no Third World War. The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall. Commerce has stitched much of the world together. Billions have been lifted from poverty. The ideals of liberty, self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced. We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past, and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.
A decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats. The world may no longer shudder at the prospect of war between two nuclear superpowers, but proliferation may increase the risk of catastrophe. Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a horrific scale.
Moreover, wars between nations have increasingly given way to wars within nations. The resurgence of ethnic or sectarian conflicts; the growth of secessionist movements, insurgencies, and failed states; have increasingly trapped civilians in unending chaos. In today's wars, many more civilians are killed than soldiers; the seeds of future conflict are sewn, economies are wrecked, civil societies torn asunder, refugees amassed, and children scarred.
I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work, and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.
We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations - acting individually or in concert - will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.
I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King said in this same ceremony years ago - "Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life's work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there is nothing weak -nothing passive - nothing naïve - in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.
But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism - it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.
I raise this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter the cause. At times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower.
Yet the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions - not just treaties and declarations - that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest - because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.
So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another - that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause and to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such.
So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly irreconcilable truths - that war is sometimes necessary, and war is at some level an expression of human feelings. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. "Let us focus," he said, "on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions."
What might this evolution look like? What might these practical steps be?
To begin with, I believe that all nations - strong and weak alike - must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I - like any head of state - reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards strengthens those who do, and isolates - and weakens - those who don't.
The world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense. Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait - a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.
Furthermore, America cannot insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves. For when we don't, our action can appear arbitrary, and undercut the legitimacy of future intervention - no matter how justified.
This becomes particularly important when the purpose of military action extends beyond self defense or the defense of one nation against an aggressor. More and more, we all confront difficult questions about how to prevent the slaughter of civilians by their own government, or to stop a civil war whose violence and suffering can engulf an entire region.
I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That is why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace.
America's commitment to global security will never waiver. But in a world in which threats are more diffuse, and missions more complex, America cannot act alone. This is true in Afghanistan. This is true in failed states like Somalia, where terrorism and piracy is joined by famine and human suffering. And sadly, it will continue to be true in unstable regions for years to come.
The leaders and soldiers of NATO countries - and other friends and allies - demonstrate this truth through the capacity and courage they have shown in Afghanistan. But in many countries, there is a disconnect between the efforts of those who serve and the ambivalence of the broader public. I understand why war is not popular. But I also know this: the belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice. That is why NATO continues to be indispensable. That is why we must strengthen UN and regional peacekeeping, and not leave the task to a few countries. That is why we honor those who return home from peacekeeping and training abroad to Oslo and Rome; to Ottawa and Sydney; to Dhaka and Kigali - we honor them not as makers of war, but as wagers of peace.
Let me make one final point about the use of force. Even as we make difficult decisions about going to war, we must also think clearly about how we fight it. The Nobel Committee recognized this truth in awarding its first prize for peace to Henry Dunant - the founder of the Red Cross, and a driving force behind the Geneva Conventions.
Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe that the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. And we honor those ideals by upholding them not just when it is easy, but when it is hard.
I have spoken to the questions that must weigh on our minds and our hearts as we choose to wage war. But let me turn now to our effort to avoid such tragic choices, and speak of three ways that we can build a just and lasting peace.
First, in dealing with those nations that break rules and laws, I believe that we must develop alternatives to violence that are tough enough to change behavior - for if we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something. Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure - and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as one.
One urgent example is the effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and to seek a world without them. In the middle of the last century, nations agreed to be bound by a treaty whose bargain is clear: all will have access to peaceful nuclear power; those without nuclear weapons will forsake them; and those with nuclear weapons will work toward disarmament. I am committed to upholding this treaty. It is a centerpiece of my foreign policy. And I am working with President Medvedev to reduce America and Russia's nuclear stockpiles.
But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system. Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted. Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia. Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by as nations arm themselves for nuclear war.
The same principle applies to those who violate international law by brutalizing their own people. When there is genocide in Darfur; systematic rape in Congo; or repression in Burma - there must be consequences. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.
This brings me to a second point - the nature of the peace that we seek. For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based upon the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.
It was this insight that drove drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the Second World War. In the wake of devastation, they recognized that if human rights are not protected, peace is a hollow promise.
And yet all too often, these words are ignored. In some countries, the failure to uphold human rights is excused by the false suggestion that these are Western principles, foreign to local cultures or stages of a nation's development. And within America, there has long been a tension between those who describe themselves as realists or idealists - a tension that suggests a stark choice between the narrow pursuit of interests or an endless campaign to impose our values.
I reject this choice. I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. Pent up grievances fester, and the suppression of tribal and religious identity can lead to violence. We also know that the opposite is true. Only when Europe became free did it finally find peace. America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America's interests - nor the world's -are served by the denial of human aspirations.
So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal. We will bear witness to the quiet dignity of reformers like Aung Sang Suu Kyi; to the bravery of Zimbabweans who cast their ballots in the face of beatings; to the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran. It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation. And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear to these movements that hope and history are on their side
Let me also say this: the promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach - and condemnation without discussion - can carry forward a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.
In light of the Cultural Revolution's horrors, Nixon's meeting with Mao appeared inexcusable - and yet it surely helped set China on a path where millions of its citizens have been lifted from poverty, and connected to open societies. Pope John Paul's engagement with Poland created space not just for the Catholic Church, but for labor leaders like Lech Walesa. Ronald Reagan's efforts on arms control and embrace of perestroika not only improved relations with the Soviet Union, but empowered dissidents throughout Eastern Europe. There is no simple formula here. But we must try as best we can to balance isolation and engagement; pressure and incentives, so that human rights and dignity are advanced over time.
Third, a just peace includes not only civil and political rights - it must encompass economic security and opportunity. For true peace is not just freedom from fear, but freedom from want.
It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine they need to survive. It does not exist where children cannot aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.
And that is why helping farmers feed their own people - or nations educate their children and care for the sick - is not mere charity. It is also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, famine and mass displacement that will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and activists who call for swift and forceful action - it is military leaders in my country and others who understand that our common security hangs in the balance.
Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. All of these are vital ingredients in bringing about the evolution that President Kennedy spoke about. And yet, I do not believe that we will have the will, or the staying power, to complete this work without something more - and that is the continued expansion of our moral imagination; an insistence that there is something irreducible that we all share.
As the world grows smaller, you might think it would be easier for human beings to recognize how similar we are; to understand that we all basically want the same things; that we all hope for the chance to live out our lives with some measure of happiness and fulfillment for ourselves and our families.
And yet, given the dizzying pace of globalization, and the cultural leveling of modernity, it should come as no surprise that people fear the loss of what they cherish about their particular identities - their race, their tribe, and perhaps most powerfully their religion. In some places, this fear has led to conflict. At times, it even feels like we are moving backwards. We see it in Middle East, as the conflict between Arabs and Jews seems to harden. We see it in nations that are torn asunder by tribal lines.
Most dangerously, we see it in the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country from Afghanistan. These extremists are not the first to kill in the name of God; the cruelties of the Crusades are amply recorded. But they remind us that no Holy War can ever be a just war. For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint - no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or even a person of one's own faith. Such a warped view of religion is not just incompatible with the concept of peace, but the purpose of faith - for the one rule that lies at the heart of every major religion is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Adhering to this law of love has always been the core struggle of human nature. We are fallible. We make mistakes, and fall victim to the temptations of pride, and power, and sometimes evil. Even those of us with the best intentions will at times fail to right the wrongs before us.
But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached - their faith in human progress - must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.
For if we lose that faith - if we dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace - then we lose what is best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.
Like generations have before us, we must reject that future. As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago, "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him."
So let us reach for the world that ought to be - that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. Somewhere today, in the here and now, a soldier sees he's outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams.
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that - for that is the story of human progress; that is the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.
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