Friday, 28 December 2007

Benazir Bhutto is gone - Pakistan on the way to be a failed state

Benazir Bhutto

The violent death of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi is one more sign of a country tribalized and out of control.

So much worries about Iran, when the real danger is next door in Pakistan: a "country" that has nuclear weapons, controls only half its territory, persecutes its minorities and has vast stretches of the population embracing radical Islam and on the path of Jihad and terrorism.

Any other ingredients required for a failed state?

Lets always keep in perspective that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, called the flag of his party, the Muslim League, the Flag of Islam, and had stated that it cannot be separated from Islam.

The US provided about $600 million in military aid to Pakistan in fiscal year 2006-2007. It would be interesting to see how much of this ended up in the hand of Jihadists. After all the Pakistanis are only continuing the American designed routines previously used to finance the Taliban against the USSR.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

The A380 enters commercial service

Champagne is in the air!

The Airbus A380 has entered service with Singapore Airlines!

Where is your 787 Dreamliner, Boeing?
Airbus A380 - Front View - on the runway
Airbus A380 - cockpit - intruments

Airbus A380 - Singapore Airlines

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Bombs of Ankara

These days Turks keep rattling sabres against the Kurds, shouldn't US aircraft be bombing Ankara?
After all ethnic cleansing in Kurdistan is a work in progress...
After the Armenian, Pontic Greek and Assyrian Genocides, can we stomach more from the Anatolian nation?

Toy for the boys

Jose Socrates on a Lego box - "porque nem todos podemos ser Engenheiros"

After all we can't all be engineers... or can we?
(pun on the strangely obtained civil engineering degree of Portuguese prime-minister Jose Socrates)

Monday, 26 March 2007

Salazar: elected the "Greatest Portuguese of all time"

Portuguese premier Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, close-up - 1960 - photo by Paul Schutzer for Life magazine

Portuguese television viewers have voted 20th century politician and professor of economics and political economy António de Oliveira Salazar as the greatest Portuguese of all time. It was a clear victory, Salazar received over twice the votes of the runner up.

It took Portugal 67 years to acknowledge the obvious, as already in its edition of July 29,1940, Life Magazine described premier Salazar as "By far the world's best dictator, he is the greatest Portuguese since Prince Henry the Navigator".

As early as 1962 Salazar applied for European Community membership for Portugal. A fervorous patriot, he was also a believer in Europe's values, shared mission in the world and in the inevitability of a united future.

Salazar with a signed Mussolini portrait on his desk - Life magazine 1940 - photo by Bernard Hoffman
Salazar receives US President Dwight D. Eisenhower - May 1960 - photo by Ed Clark for Life magazine

Salazar - cover of Time Magazine, July 22, 1946 - capa da revista Time
Salazar with Queen Elizabeth II (1957)
Salazar and the Galician leader of Spain, Francisco Franco
Salazar, the professor - statue in academic dress - replica of a 1937 work by the sculptor Francisco Franco - it used to stand in front of the Salazar high-school, in the capital of the province of Mozambique, Lourenço Marques  
Salazar with president Carmona - Roman / Fascist salute
Salazar looks at the Ocean - Portugal's only constant friend - Forte de Santo António do Estoril - photo by Rosa Casaco

Update (April 5, 2009):
According to a new book by Costa Pimenta the man was even a freemason! He was initiated in 1914 in Coimbra, by the lodge Revolta n.º 336, of the oldest Masonic Obedience in Portugal, the Grande Oriente Lusitano (GOL).
(see "Salazar, o maçon", Costa Pimenta, Bertrand Editora, Lisboa, 2009 - 972251914X, 9789722519144)

Not really a surprise: all the main pillars of the Estado Novo were freemasons. All the presidents of the Republic, all the presidents of the National Assembly, all military commanders, all the attorney generals, all the presidents of the Supreme Court, all the presidents of the Supreme Administrative Court, all the presidents of the Court of Appeal, all District Governors, all police chiefs, all directors of the public televison (RTP)... were Masons.

Salazar, the freemason (Salazar, o maçon) - book by Costa Pimenta, University of Lisbon researcher