19 July 2011

News Bites

Today I'm looking over 2 news articles and offering my 2 cents.  There's not a whole lot else to explain, so let's get to it!

Turkey & Self-Censorship
I only bring up Turkey because it relates to CEE issues (e.g. Hungary).  This article is a brief summary of the issue, which was brought to light by Hillary Clinton's open letter.  I have to say that Clinton has been a solid Secretary of State.  Her appointment initially left me ambivalent, but after following her statements and state visits, I'm impressed.  Nearly 2 years in, I get what she's about.  While her predecessors have also been impressive, she has been vocal about a wide array of issues in disparate places.  I get the sense that Clinton wants to flex the soft power of the United States before resorting to coercion.  This nation exports the idealistic values of liberty, equality, and fraternity because it is such a firm part of American identity and history.  Her criticisms of countries falling short of their democratic standards brings attention, probably unwanted, to the leaders and perpetrators.  Hungary did not revel in the attention given to Fidesz's reforms and I'm sure Turkey won't either.

What's the point of meeting if you're not going to agree anyway?  That's what the EU thought.  I'm not sure if it was canceled because money is wasted through talks that do not reach agreement.  Perhaps the time away from endlessly discussing such matters will actually bring progress.  Serbia will probably hard line most issues because they refuse to recognize Kosovo's independence.  Will the time between now and September change a lot of those issues?  Maybe not.  That would explain the do "a bit of thinking" comment though.
**UPDATE: Kosovo isn't acting like a cool cucumber anymore.  They thought they might communicate in the language Serbia may be more familiar with: action.**