Archive for July 2011

CHINA’S YOUTH CAN CAUSE ULTRANATIONALIST MELTDOWN

July 6, 2011

CHINA’S YOUTH CAN CAUSE ULTRANATIONALIST MELTDOWN

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang araw! Good day!

I have just discoursed on ultranationalist hegemony in domestic China and the repercussions of this extremism on foreign policy. China’s neighbors are now ‘crying wolf’ over Chinese military intrusions into their claimed island territories, which could be just but test-casing the extent and limits of the military option in China’s counter-claims over those islets.

China doesn’t possess the necessary ‘blue water’ navy yet that can aid in sustaining its military campaigns in case of long-drawn conflicts with potential adversaries. So its neighboring countries are unduly rendering China into a global threat of sorts, by over-estimating its strengths and by ‘cry wolf’ agitations.

Ultranationalism, an extremist form of nationalism that is in kinship with Japanese militarism, nazism, and fascism, is an anachronism in the emerging global context of increasing synergy among economies, cultures, and peoples. It is a scourge of any nation and isn’t easy to take down or diminish unless that other internal political developments will make them obsolete and powerless.

If there is any political force today that can effectively diminish ultranationalism in China, it is the youth of the Chinese nation itself. The globe is experiencing today a clash of generations, as the young generation just couldn’t resonate with the antiquated world views and ideologies of their elder generations.

The youth of China are very well in touch with the peoples of the outside world, and do not in any way share the fervor and enthusiasm for hegemonism by their ultranationalist elders. It will just take one cataclysmic event to rouse the youth, and before long the young ones will be shaking down the foundations of old ideologies and powers.

The same phenomenon is responsible today for the overthrow of old nationalists in Eqypt and Tunisia. It is also shaking down many other Arab states towards an overthrow of established order and replacement by a more pluralist, democratic governance and cultural ferment.

The same youth force strives to reach out in friendship, cooperation, and mutual respect with other youths and peoples of the world, contrasted to the ultranationalists who are intoxicated with dreams of expanding territories beyond established orders through military might and destruction.

I am very positive that the youth can be relied upon to further avert a breakdown of Chinese society into a new totalitarianism of ultranationalist mold. Fact is, if the Chinese youth will just speak out more strongly today about foreign policy, I guess the more moderate leaders of China may listen.

[Philippines, 17 June 2011]

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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
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UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

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PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

CHINA’S ULTRANATIONALISTS FAST-TRACKING BLUE WATER NAVY

July 5, 2011

CHINA’S ULTRANATIONALISTS FAST-TRACKING BLUE WATER NAVY

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day to you fellow global citizens!

In previous articles, this analyst articulated on Chinese bullying of its neighbors over disputed territories and the rise of the ultranationalists within the Chinese state and communist party. I will add the matter of ‘blue water’ navy to the discussions, as the ultranationalists are now working triple time to transform China into a naval power.

In order that an emerging economic power must be recognized as a world power—which includes politico-military power at its zeneath—it must be able to build a powerful military. Since the heydays of the maritime powers of Southeast Asia and Venice, which grew almost simultaneously though independently of one another, it was demonstrated that politico-military clout can be had by building a ‘blue water’ navy in order to be regarded as a world power.

Navies don’t make for world power alone, but they are decisive in bringing a country to that state. The challenge for any emerging economy is to build ‘blue water’ navies that can maneuver in the vast oceans outside of its territorial confines for long periods, thus enabling that country sustained military engagements in case of conflicts with competing powers or adversaries.

But before that can happen, the emerging economy must first build a navy that is strong enough to defend its territorial confines. ‘Brown water’ navy in present day parlance, that is where both China and India are situated today. Both countries have territorial disputes with their neighbors, and such disputes served as impetus for military build-up by India’s neighbors, a reaction that could spill over to Southeast Asians.

For now, China is able only to send teams of frigates and submarines to maritime zones to its east and southeast. It still doesn’t possess aircraft carriers, which could decisively enable the shift towards ‘blue water’ capabilities.

China is building an aircraft carrier right now, which is an open secret. But expert observers better not rely on open secrets, as China could be secretly building aircraft carriers and state-of-the-art WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in top secret sites.

What China and its love-hate nationalist partner Russia have perfected to date is the production of anti-aircraft carrier weaponry. This weapon is fearsome enough, which can disable even the USA’s military forces if applied to the max.

China still lacks an effective anti-missile defense system and anti-submarine weaponry. For as long as these systems are not in yet, there is still time for China’s neighbors to maximize the resort to international institutions to drumbeat their complains and make China yield to international pressures to show civility and respect international law.

As for an unsolicited advise to China’s neighbors, please maximize on diplomacy to pursue your territorial claims. Stop the ‘cry wolf’ reaction to the ‘China syndrome’ of ultranationalist bullying. China is no world power yet as far as politico-military criteria are concerned, it doesn’t have a ‘blue water’ navy yet, so calm down and take the rational route to redress international grievances.

[Philippines, 16 June 2011]

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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:
ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:
@MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com
@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com
@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

CHINA’S ULTRANATIONALIST FACTION BEGINS DOMESTIC HEGEMONY

July 4, 2011

CHINA’S ULTRANATIONALIST FACTION BEGINS DOMESTIC HEGEMONY

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

China’s impressive ascent from a struggling, poor, 3rd world agrarian economy to the growing industrializing giant that is it today renders the country truly worth accolades the world over. China achieved development with nary an aid from external sources which makes the development challenge truly a daunting one.

Yet China was able to forge ahead with its development targets. With the growth of China’s economy also comes the growth of its military might, which is raising eyebrows in the entire Asian continent. For its neighbors that are now locked up in territorial disputes with the economic giant, the positive esteem has turned into a nightmare of sorts as China’s military began to flex muscles by intruding into those disputed islands.

I just hope that the foreign policy analysts of the affected Asian countries would get to know well the configuration of political forces inside China. Foreign policy and actuations by the giant state can be best explained precisely by identifying and assessing the strength of the most powerful political forces inside the Chinese state.

My thesis about the matter is that among all political factions vying for hegemony over the Chinese state, it is the Ultranationalists who are at the helm of that state today. These are not nationalists of the old Kuomintang mold, as the Kuomintang was largely expelled from the mainland in 1949 yet. The nationalists are Communist Party cadres who are only communist in name but nationalists in mold.

Remember that socialist China was first dominated by the Maoists, whose rule reached up to 1976, the last year of the chaotic Cultural Revolution era (1966-76) of the Gang of Four. It was the Maoists who tied down China to its agrarian state, and equalized poverty as a sort of Spartan virtue.

The Liberal faction of the Communist Party took over the reigns of power, by overthrowing the Maoists in a coup d’etat post-1976. The Liberals produced the leader Deng Shao Ping whose faction was pro-West. This faction began the market reforms in China that led to its present social market economy, which was made possible with the return to power of technocrats (who were purged by the Gang of Four).

During the latter phase of the Liberals’ hegemony, a new nationalist mold calcified inside the Party. While not allergic to market reforms, they strongly adhered to dirigist principles that were steeped in mercantilist doctrines. They resonated with the Liberals for a while, whom they served as core allies in building an industrializing China.

The past president Guang Zemin and premier Zu Rongji are examples of leaders who were nationalists of a moderate mold. Their economic policies strongly align with Roosevelt’s New Deal and John Meynard Keynes’ demand-side economics and interventionist tools. The present president Hu Jintao falls within this ideological frame, even as the top executives of the state are of the moderate mold.

There is another faction within the nationalists that is extremist though, which we will label as Ultranationalists for lack of a better term. They are now well positioned in the bureaucracy’s echelon including the military. Ultranationalists tend to be militarists, and under their leadership expect the Chinese state to scale up military budgets and heap up hysteria of a ‘state of siege’ by neighboring countries and traditional world powers.

Ultranationalism could well be the cementing force that will rally the young Chinese behind the 21st Chinese state, a possibility that is worth watching. Ultranationalism is dreaded by Taiwan, a dread that is now spilling over to the other neighbors of China.

[Philippines, 15 June 2011]

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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:
ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:
@MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com
@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com
@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

EMERGING MARKETS JOCKEY FOR IMF ECHELON, FRENCH OLIGARCHIC PUPPET GETS POST

July 3, 2011

EMERGING MARKETS JOCKEY FOR IMF ECHELON, FRENCH OLIGARCHIC PUPPET GETS POST

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Emerging markets are currently contesting for top posts in the Jurassic IMF. The downfall of Strauss-Khan, former managing director of the said bank, highlighted the deep crisis that has beset the bank lately, a crisis that threatens its very own legitimacy.

My position about the IMF was clear since the middle of last decade yet: abolish the bank, and let the member nations concur a new global financial architecture. The IMF was used by Western financier oligarchs to bleed the 3rd world to bone dry misery, it is a thug bank that clobbered member nations in order to fatten the purse of select financier families, and it continues to make members such as Greece suffer via forced austerity programs.

At any rate, just recently the French finance minister, Madame Legard, was selected to replace Strauss-Khan. What do we expect, that the evil Western financiers will permit the ‘Mandingo nations’ to get that juicy post?

Below is an update from the DevEx regarding the debates and actions by member nations regarding the Jurassic thug bank.

[Philippines, 03 July 2011]

From: DevEx – http://www.devex.com
In IMF Leadership Debate, Emerging Countries Renew Push for Greater Representation in International Forums
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the world’s top emerging economies, released on Wednesday (May 25) a joint statement where they dismissed as obsolete the existing convention of naming a European to the top job at the International Monetary Fund. The IMF directors from these countries stressed that the next IMF managing director should be the best candidate chosen through a merit-based and transparent process, not on the basis of nationality.
The joint statement is the latest, and perhaps most concrete and concerted, effort by emerging countries to assert their voice at IMF. Emerging and developing countries, particularly the so-called BRICS countries, have been pushing for more representation at IMF and a chance to have a candidate from their ranks lead the organization.
This push by emerging nations for a bigger say in IMF appears to be part of a broader campaign of middle-income countries for a more prominent role in the international community. China, for instance, continues to expand its assistance program in Africa, while India, Brazil and South Africa are also positioning themselves as “alternative” sources of development finance.
This campaign is not going unnoticed. The “traditional” donors, in particular, are beginning to recognize the changing global political and financial landscape: The United Kingdom recently indicated its intention to engage with emerging nations, while the United States has already entered into several partnerships with Brazil.
In IMF itself, emerging nations have been “victorious” in having European countries agree to cede some of their seats in the fund’s executive board in their favor. This deal, sealed in October 2010, increased the emerging countries’ influence and voting power in the board, but they are still less influential than industrial countries, particularly the United States. Whether this increased clout will contribute to their campaign to end Europe’s dominance of IMF remains to be seen.

HEALTH REPORT UPDATE/REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH REFLECTION

July 1, 2011

HEALTH REPORT UPDATE/REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH REFLECTION

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day from the boondocks west of Manila!

Below are update studies and reports done regarding health. The greater focus on the materials is reproductive health. This has great relevance for the Philippines in particular, where reproductive health has been a raging public policy issue for some time now.

There is so much mis-understanding about reproductive health on the side of church players and conservative groups who now manifestly equate reproductive health with killing babies. It is best that those stakeholders should get exposed to the research & development updates about reproductive health, and they should desist from using reproductive health to heap up hysteria aimed at a new Inquisition that will see millions of ‘heathen burnt at stake’.

[Philippines, 26 June 2011]

Source: http://www.eldis.org

Maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health

Produced by: The Global Health Council (2010)

This position paper on maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health contains detailed information about each health area, the key interventions that are needed and the Global Health Council’s positions and recommendations for making progress in these areas.

Key conclusions from this paper are:
• improved maternal, newborn and child health can enable families to break out of a cycle of ill health and poverty that may otherwise continue for generations.
• smaller family size and appropriately spaced births allow families and governments to invest more in each child’s education and health, which raises productivity and economic growth.
• poor health adversely affects family income, caregiving, and productivity.
• illness and death contribute to the impoverishment of families through medical expenditures they can ill afford, reducing funds for necessities, such as food and education.
The paper also makes the following recommendations:
• promote integrated programmes.
• focus on health systems.
• establish standard metrics and methodologies.
• conduct epidemiological assessments.
• deliver health systems in an equitable manner.
• promote national authority.
• hold stakeholders accountable for results.
• increase resources to maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health.
• increase support to country-led efforts.
• harmonise funding from all sources.
• hold governements to their international agreement commitments.
• encourage partnerships and evidence- based programming.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58177

Champions for children: state of the world’s mothers 2011

Produced by: Save the Children Fund, USA (2011)

This State of the World’s Mothers report ranks 164 countries on women’s access to health care, education and opportunities. Whereas millions of children are alive today because of past investments in lifesaving programs, the authors note that 22,000 children still perish per day, mostly from preventable or treatable causes.

The authors contend that Norway is the world’s best place to be a mother. Also, eight of the 10 top-ranked countries are in Western Europe, and the remaining two are in the southern hemisphere, with Australia ranking second and New Zealand eighth. On the other hand, eight of the world’s 10 worst countries to be a mother are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The worst place in the world to be a mother, according to the authors, is Afghanistan. The authors argue that despite ongoing conflict and rising civilian casualties, expecting mothers in Afghanistan are at least 200 times more likely to die during childbirth than from bombs or bullets. A case in point is the fact that one in 11 Afghan women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications in her lifetime and only 14 percent of mothers in the country give birth with help from any kind of skilled health worker. In Norway, by comparison, the risk of maternal mortality is only 1 in 7,600 and nearly all births are attended by skilled help.

The report notes that in many countries, vaccines, antibiotics, and care during pregnancy are hard to reach and as a result child and maternal death rates are very high.

In light of this, the authors conclude that while many countries are making progress, many are still lagging behind and thus in need of support. Finally, the authors argue that effective solutions to this challenge are affordable – even in the world’s poorest countries.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58077

Good practice guide: community mobilisation through women’s groups to improve the health of mothers and babies

Produced by: Women and Children First (UK) (2011)

This good practice guide, based on the experience of a project in India and Bangladesh called Saving Mothers and Children, describes an approach that has the potential to reduce maternal and newborn deaths, and to address other health problems. The project worked through women’s groups, using a participatory learning and action cycle, to mobilise community action to improve the health of mothers and babies.

The aim of the guide is to provide a case study of good practice in working with women’s groups to address maternal and newborn health and to share lessons learned from this experience. While the guide describes an approach used in rural communities in India and Bangladesh, this can be successfully adapted to different contexts.

In India, the project resulted in a 45 per cent reduction in newborn deaths and a reduction in maternal deaths, as well as a 57 per cent reduction in moderate maternal depression. In Bangladesh, the project resulted in an increase in uptake of health services. In both India and Bangladesh, the project resulted in a significant improvement in hygienic delivery practices, including use of delivery kits, and an increase in exclusive breastfeeding.

The project was implemented by an NGO, Ekjut, in India and the PerinatalCare Project of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS) in Bangladesh, together with the University College London Centre for International Health and Development and Women and Children First, an international NGO based in the UK.

In India, Ekjut worked in tribal communities in West Singhbhum and Saraikela Kharswan districts of Jharkhand State and the Keonjhar district of Orissa State. In Bangladesh, BADAS worked with three rural districts, Bogra, Faridpur and Moulavibazar.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58074

Saving new born lives in Nigeria: new born health in the context of the integrated maternal, newborn and child health strategy

Produced by: Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria (2011)

This report contains new data that shows that as the death toll in Nigeria is falling, the percentage of deaths that happen in the first month of life is increasing. The authors report that newborn deaths now make up 28% of all deaths under five years compared to 24% two years ago. Also, six out of 10 mothers give birth at home without access to skilled care during childbirth and it is in the first few days of life when both women and newborns are most at risk. The authors argue that, since 241,000 babies die in the first month of life in Nigeria every year, Nigeria is the African country with the highest newborn death toll.

Key findings from the report:
• Nigeria’s mothers, newborns and children are dying in large numbers – nearly 3,000 each day.
• most of these young lives could be saved with existing interventions.
• the key interventions to save newborn lives are mostly possible through the existing health system and will prevent the deaths of mothers and older children– but coverage remains very low.
• more than a third of children’s deaths are attributed to maternal and child undernutrition.
• the policies needed to reduce newborn mortality are mostly in place and the cost is affordable.
• inadequate funding and stewardship of resources at all levels hampers the performance of the Nigerian health care system.
• the Nigerian health system is relatively rich in human resources comparedto many other African countries. However, there is inequitable distribution of staff to offer maternal, newborn and child health services.

The report calls for an increased focus on reducing newborn deaths, the vast majority of which are avoidable. The authors contend that thousands of newborn lives can be saved via simple methods, such as teaching mothers about danger signs, encouraging them to seek help early and making sure there is enough medicine and enough healthcare workers at community health centres. Whereas the policies are mostly in place and the cost is affordable, the authors argue that priority must be given to implementing these policies and making sure all families receive essential care.

Recommended actions for healthcare decision makers:
• ensure leadership, appropriate funding and accountability.
• orient policies, guidelines and services to include newborn care.
• effectively plan for and implement policies, including human resources, equipment and supplies.
• track progress and use the data to improve programmes.
• inform and communicate.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=57803

See our Health Resource Guide for a complete list of new additions at: http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resource-guides/health