Weekend Roundup: A German Europe and a New Middle East


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

This week the geopolitical balance changed decisively. As Margaret Thatcher warned long ago, a German Europe, not a Europeanized Germany, would one day be the dominant reality on the continent. The tough terms of the latest Greek bailout and the relegation of France to a junior partner in those negotiations confirm her prescience.

As Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo writes in response to this week’s historic nuclear deal and opening with Iran, “from now on Iran will be a full partner in the big game in the Middle East and the world,” including through “intensified sectarian proxy wars” in the region.

The French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy makes the political case for Greece remaining in Europe. Mauro Guillén contrasts the French desperation for the political unity of Europe with Germany’s disciplined economic calculus. European Parliament President Martin Schulz and German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel write that, as Social Democrats, they continue to see France as the indispensable partner with Germany in moving Europe forward. Writing from Athens, HuffPost Greece Editor-in-Chief Nikos Agouros argues that the ideological notion of the political autonomy of the modern state within the global market economy has proven a disastrous illusion despite the radical efforts of Syriza. Colleague Pavlos Tsimas asks what would have happened if Greece had voted “yes.” Daniel Marans describes how Germany beat Greece at “Liar’s Poker.” Nobel laureate Ed Phelps doubts that even debt relief can save the Greek economy without uprooting clientelism and boosting productivity.

From another angle entirely, Sébastien Maillard reports on the pope’s embrace of grassroots movements of the poor and his sermons against “the globalization of exclusion” during his recent tour of Latin America. He also defines “Francisnomics” as a bottom up “Christian-inspired” approach to economics.

While the nuclear deal with Iran and a promised end to sanctions was celebrated on the streets of Tehran and in the White House, critics were quick to emerge. In an exclusive interview with The WorldPost, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, scores the Vienna accord as “a capitulation to outside powers by the regime of the ayatollahs that has brought this fate upon the Iranian people.” World editor Charlotte Alfred provides a guide to the terms of the deal, looks at how political cartoonists reacted and speaks with the International Crisis Group’s Ali Vaez about how the nuclear deal will affect Iran’s foreign policy. Richard Haass worries that even if Iran keeps to the Vienna accord, it will retain the capacity for a rapid “break out” to weapons-grade enrichment. Israel diplomat Josef Olmert examines the “unhappiness” in Tel Aviv in response to the agreement. MIT’s John Tirman calls the Iran nuclear deal “the most important ‘victory’ for global peace in the last three decades.” Former arms inspector Scott Ritter sees the nuclear agreement as a “sideshow” compared to the import of Iran’s emergence as a major regional power that must be dealt with.

In an interview, the outspoken American scholar of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Norman Finkelstein slams the recent Amnesty International report on the Gaza conflict as “Israeli propaganda.”

WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones and HuffPost reporters Akbar Ahmed and Ali Watkins report on why activists fear the U.S. is giving Egypt a new way to crack down on freedom.

Though scarcely covered in Western news media, the BRICS countries continued to build their geopolitical infrastructure at a summit hosted last week in Ufa, Russia by Vladimir Putin. Writing from New Delhi, Shashi Tharoor raises doubts about the cohesion of the emerging economies’ group, especially when it comes to issues like Internet freedom, but says the West should not resist its aim to build a more equal world. Sara Hsu advises the West not to see China’s key role in the BRICS as a threat to U.S. power. Curtis Chin sees the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as charting a path to a new Asian order. One of China’s most savvy investors, Fred Hu, explains how the herd mentality of China’s 100 million “stir fry investors,” who trade often, plays a key role in stock market volatility.

WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan reports on the sweeping crackdown on human rights lawyers across China. In a tribute to those arrested on “Black Friday,” we publish portrait sketches by the dissident artist Badiucao. Cobus van Staden and Eric Olander explain how China’s attitude toward wildlife in Africa is making a big difference for the better. From HuffPost India, we publish some stunning photographs of an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

In light of “El Chapo’s” escape, this week’s “Forgotten Fact” looks at the history of the Mexican drug lord and asks why no one predicted his escape given the fact that he’s been using tunnels for years. From Mexico City, Mary Speck writes how the “El Chapo” situation has undermined official assurances of security and the end to impunity in Mexico. And World editor Nick Robins-Early breaks down the five things you need to know about “El Chapo’s” prison break.

Fusion this week examines why today’s young adults are driving less than past generations. Our Singularity series looks at how the brain makes memories. Finally, our photo posts include a rare look at at London during the Blitz, a window into what life is like in Egypt’s Nubian society and images of the devastating refugee crisis on the Greek islands.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is the National Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s editorial coverage. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s Senior World Editor. Charlotte Alfred and Nick Robins-Early are Associate World Editors.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


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