THE BLOG

Weekend Roundup

This week as the Ukraine crisis flared further and the West was divided over sanctions against Russia, The WorldPost turned to America's leading strategic thinkers to comment. Henry Kissinger writes that Ukraine must not belong to either Russia or the West, but fulfill its historic role as a bridge. Zbigniew Brzezinski calls on the West to formally recognize the new government in Kiev and ready NATO troops in Central Europe in the event of war.

Jacques Attali, the founding president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, worries in his blog post about the trend, from Cairo to Kiev, of people in the street overthrowing elected governments.

The WorldPost editor Nathan Gardels argues that events in Ukraine are not so much a revival of the Cold War as the sharp edge of a clash of civilizations -- a new identity geopolitics that is rising across the world as the emerging economies assert themselves culturally, politically and militarily against the fading dominance of the U.S.-led West. He traces the influences of three thinkers of the Russian nationalist and spiritual renaissance on Vladimir Putin's worldview and ponders how that will mesh -- or not -- with the reality of interdependence.

Several contributions came from the Berggruen Institute's Council on the Future of Europe meeting in Madrid on Feb. 27 to 28. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struck out against the recent Swiss referendum and reaffirmed the free movement of people as one of Europe's key pillars. Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho argues that Europe cannot get past its economic crisis without the urgent completion of a banking union. Former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti argues that "France should be France again" and join Germany in moving European unity forward instead of settling for its evolving role as a marginal player.

Matteo Renzi, the new upstart Italian prime minister, talks in a video interview about his vision of transforming Italy by getting rid of "the same old faces in the same old places."

We returned to the theme of technological displacement of employment and the resulting demotion of the American middle class with a contribution from Laura Tyson, a former chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors. Amitai Etzioni takes a close look at what online learning means for higher education and teachers. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers argues that so much cash is piling up in corporations that the demand to borrow for investment is falling, and thus so will interest rates.

Finally, Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu congratulates his friend Alfonso Cuaron for being awarded an Oscar as Best Director for his film "Gravity" and chronicles Cuaron's struggles within the Hollywood film industry in getting that film made.

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