Sunday, April 12, 2015

President Obama - Lame Duck Liberator



As President Obama enters the final stretch of his final term as a lame duck president he is burnishing his reputation as a liberator through his restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba and now the nuclear deal with Iran. Despite each country’s repressive governments, increased trade eventually leads to greater freedoms, initially economic for the citizenry. Although many European countries have been doing business with Cuba for years, there’s nothing remotely close to trade with the geographically Near Abroad U.S., as the gold standard of economic opportunity and psychologically legitimacy. For the Obama administration these agreements represent powerful political and economic achievements with Cuba in December 2014 followed by Iran in April 2015.

Historically it’s always been the regime change of the oppressing country that enables sanctions to be lifted. This liberation of millions of people from economic bondage through the lifting of sanctions is a result of regime change but not what we are accustomed to seeing.  It’s the American regime change under the Obama administration that has made this possible with Cuba and Iran who have maintained the same repressive governments for decades.

One can argue that particular geopolitical timing can be attributed to the success of this process. However there have been many opportunities over the decades under different US administrations particularly during economic boom times to initiate this opening. Additionally both Democratic and Republican administrations staunchly maintained sanctions far beyond the point that they were economically effective enough to force regime change.

These upcoming changes impact the younger generation of Cuba and Iran more than any other demographic.  The younger, highly educated adult generation in Cuba and Iran are biting at the bit to participate in a globalized society where opportunities can be achieved far beyond their borders without traveling overseas. The lifting of sanctions permits a freer flow of information and knowledge that enriches their citizenry. That’s not to say that there won’t be fits and starts or that their governments will still maintain repressive, non-democratic policies. However, even a slight crack in the door to trade with the lifting of is the economic crowbar to open up political expression and a form of representation.

Whichever party wins the US president elections in 2016 will certainly reap the benefits of new economic opportunities with Cuba and Iran, who will still be our political enemies, yet, as the saying goes, “Someone with whom we can do business.”


Copyright Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC 2015.  All rights reserved.

Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC is a NYC-based global advisory service and think tank with connections at the highest levels specializing in international investment, political and security risk assessments. International business is increasingly complex featuring a highly mobile professional class in all corners of the globe. We provide you the tools to successfully negotiate cross-culturally in your global business endeavors. Tell us about your challenges.  We'll get on the "Short List".

Available for speaking engagements and workshops. Contact us at:

http://www.indobrazilian.com



Psycho Copycat Aviator



The German co-pilot who flew the commercial aircraft into the mountains was certainly possessed by psychological demons throughout his life which eventually led him to meticulously plan a mass murder. This crash occurred just over a year since the Malaysia aircraft MH370 disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March 2014. What has not been openly discussed are the eerie parallels between the air disasters.


1.       Both aircraft, A320s, had reached cruising altitude.

2.      Both crashes took place in remote locations: the Indian Ocean, the least explored ocean on earth, and the sparsely populated Swiss Alps.

3.      Could one of the pilots aboard MH370 have locked the other pilot out of the cockpit and diverted the aircraft under civilian and military radar tracking systems to crash the aircraft without a trace? Without the black boxes, we’ll never know, but this theory is highly plausible.

Lufthansa and the European authorities have been more forthcoming with information on this German pilot than the Malaysian authorities on the pilots of MH370. The European authorities reviewed the pilot’s computer on-line inquiries and found numerous searches on the locking mechanisms of the A320 cockpit door.  Did the Malaysian authorities find similar information?

This leads one to broach the possibility of a copycat mass murder by a psycho pilot. If there are copycat criminals and wolf terrorists, why not pilots?

An intriguing question for mental health experts: why do pilots who decide to deliberately crash their aircraft, always do so in remote location?  These pilots (assuming one of the MH370 pilots decided to deliberately crash the aircraft) could have done more damage flying into a populated area. Why were their victims solely those passengers and crew on board?

Which begs the question: if a future suicidal pilot diverts from the scheduled flight path and heads directly towards a dense population area, who will decide to shoot down the aircraft even if it’s determined with a real-time system or cellphone calls from frantic passengers, that indeed it’s a mentally ill pilot at the controls and not a terrorist?

No test exists to determine who will “crack” with the intention of committing mass murder. And the least suspected mass murderer are those professionals with the ultimate public trust who are trained throughout their careers to safeguard lives such as pilots, medical professionals, rescuers, etc.

That’s why more stringent protocols and procedures are nothing more than a political panacea.  A determined crew member who knows the aircraft’s systems inside and out will find a way to over-ride them. With respect to pilots, it’s an ongoing friendly conflict between man and machine with aircraft systems becoming so sophisticated with the purpose to relieve the pilot’s burden and establish safety parameters but which are ironically more dangerous in an extreme situation in which the pilot must shutdown or over-ride the same systems designed to protect the crew and passengers.

Copyright Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC 2015.  All rights reserved.

Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC is a NYC-based global advisory service and think tank with connections at the highest levels specializing in international investment, political and security risk assessments. International business is increasingly complex featuring a highly mobile professional class in all corners of the globe. We provide you the tools to successfully negotiate cross-culturally in your global business endeavors. Tell us about your challenges.  We'll get on the "Short List".

Available for speaking engagements and workshops. Contact us at:

http://www.indobrazilian.com