1 Supplemento al numero odierno de la Repubblica Sped. abb. postale art. 1 legge 46/04 del 27/02/2004 Roma MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010 Copyright 2010 The New York Times Out of The Loop in Silicon Valley THE NEW YORK TIMES By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER SAN FRANCISCO CANDACE FLEMING S RÉSUMÉ lists a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company. But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn t matter that she didn t have business cards, because all they would say was Mom. Another potential backer invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan. Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women. JIM WILSON/THE NEW YORK TIMES Poornima Vijayashanker, with employees of her start-up company, has had to navigate obstacles that many entrepreneurial women face. I didn t know things like this still happened, says Ms. Fleming, 37. But I know that, especially in risky times like the last couple years, some investors kind of retreat to investing via a template. A company owned by a woman, she adds, is just not the standard template. Though many people say that outright sexism is rare in the technology world these days, the barriers that Ms. Fleming encountered aren t unusual. Tech communities in Silicon Valley and in other hubs like New York, Austin, Texas, and Boston, where Ms. Fleming lives pride themselves on operating as raw meritocracies ready to embrace anyone with a good idea, regardless of education, age or station in life. For women, though, that narrative often unfolds differently. Women own 40 percent of the private businesses in the United States, according to the Center for Women s Business Research. But they create only 8 percent of the venture-backed tech start-ups, according to Astia, a nonprofit group that advises female entrepreneurs. That disparity reaches beyond entrepreneurs. Women account for just 6 per- Con tin ued on Page IV WORLD TRENDS Killings force Mexicans across the border. III V VIII Microloan profits Chronicling the attract big banks. world s chronicler. MONEY & BUSINESS ARTS & STYLES INTELLIGENCE: An ill wind from Iceland, Page II. The conservative Tea Party movement in the United States, marked by anger at what its members perceive as the Obama government s intrusion LENS into their private lives, is not the only rising political phenomenon of In Britain, there is Cleggmania. After Nick Clegg s strong performance in a televised debate on April 15 with the Conservative David Cameron and Labour s Gordon Brown, Robert Mackey wrote on The Times s Lede blog, there is a real possibility that the electorate might just abandon the two For comments, write to major parties for Mr. Clegg s Liberal Democrats in the May 6 election for prime minister. Labour and Conservative supporters first said Mr. Clegg s performance was irrelevant, since his chances of winning were slim. By April 19, though, one poll put his approval rating at 72 percent, more than 50 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival; another showed his party picking up 10 points; and a third suggested that the electorate was now split roughly in three. We are in uncharted territory, John Curtice, a professor of politics at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, told the International Herald Tribune. We have never had this kind of Uncharted Democracy polling during an election campaign. There has never been this kind of surge to the Liberal Democrats. Iraq, a nation with no history of democratic institutions, is also headed for uncharted territory. A hand recount of 2.5 million Baghdad ballots from the March 7 election was ordered on April 19. The results showed the largely secular party of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi winning 91 seats in Parliament, compared with 89 for the current prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-maliki. Mr. Allawi, a Shiite who won a majority of Sunni votes, has warned that violence could erupt if his victory is nullified. A winning candidate in his alliance, Haidar al-mullah, told The Times that if the results were changed, the country would find itself in a legitimate crisis. Perhaps Mr. Maliki needs to take some lessons in electoral politics from Egypt, where President Hosni Mubarak has ruled for 30 years and routinely captures close to 90 percent of the votes. But even Mr. Mubarak, who has not announced whether he will run for a sixth term as president in 2011, is facing a challenge, The Times reported. A group of academics and young activists have asked Mohamed El- Baradei, the former international nuclear nonproliferation enforcer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, to make a run for president. But the Egyptian Constitution prevents him or anyone else who is not a member of any party to run as an independent candidate. And in preparation for parliamentary elections in May, the Egyptian police arrested about 300 members of the government s only viable political threat, the Muslim Brotherhood, in March. The Brotherhood is officially outlawed but has always been tolerated; the arrests show the government s determination to limit a strong political opposition, human rights groups and analysts told The Times. The current regime has been in power for 30 years, rigging elections and doing what it wants to do without regard for any pressures or what anyone has to say, Salama Ahmed Salama, who is in charge of the editorial board of an independent newspaper, Shorouk, said. I am not at all optimistic. TOM BRADY
2 II MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010 OPINION & COMMENTARY Beijing s Currency Is a Global Problem We think President Obama made the right decision for now not to pick too public of a fight with China over its currency manipulation. The administration postponed a report to Congress due in mid-april on Chinese monetary policy. After Mr. Obama met with President Hu Jintao of China in Washington on April 12, the White House made a low-key statement that Mr. Obama had pressed Mr. Hu on the need to move toward a more market-oriented exchange rate and emphasized China s pledge of cooperation on sanctions for Iran. Beijing s aggressive undervaluation of the renminbi is a serious problem for the global economy. The best hope for persuading China to change its ways is with sustained pressure from many countries. It will certainly make it harder for Beijing to hide behind claims of sovereignty and accusations of big power bullying. That means that Mr. Obama will have to work hard to rally others to jointly press the issue. The best forum is coming in June when the leaders of the world s biggest economies gather at the Group of 20 meeting in Toronto. They need to use that occasion to tell China, in no uncertain terms, that it cannot keep building up its own economy by undercutting the rest of the world s exports. They need to leave no doubt in Beijing s mind, that its global standing will suffer if it does not listen. Few countries have benefited as much as China from the open trading system. Under sufficient pressure from its trading partners, Beijing would be likely to relent. It s still not clear how hard they will have to push. At the White House meeting, Mr. Hu reportedly told Mr. Obama that China planned to move away from its fixed currency peg to the dollar. He didn t say when. And according to remarks released by the Foreign Ministry, he EDITORIALS OF THE TIMES also stated that the objective of changing China s currency strategy won t be advanced by any foreign pressure. This is a global problem. The renminbi s fixed and artificially cheap exchange rate is undercutting exporters throughout the developing world. It also is seriously complicating economic policy-making among China s neighbors. So long as the Chinese currency remains so cheap, they cannot afford to combat burgeoning inflation by allowing their own currencies to rise because it could further undercut their exports. China would also benefit from shifting from exports to internal consumption as a source for growth. It would improve the living standards of its citizens. It would ease the job of its central bank in trying to keep inflation at bay. And it would establish China as a more responsible player on the global economic stage. The Chinese bureaucracy is clearly split. Central bank officials have been arguing for some time that a stronger currency would help them combat rising inflation. The Commerce Ministry is adamantly opposed. Ministry officials focused on the fact that China recorded its first monthly trade deficit in six years in March a one-time blip because of fast imports of raw materials for China s export industry to argue that their cheap currency is not the cause of global trade and financial imbalances. It is. China should not be allowed to forget it. Barring a change of exchange rate policy, China s trade surpluses are going to bloat again in the months to come. This is not a problem just between the United States and China. It is a problem between China and most of the world. The challenge for President Obama now is to get the rest of the world s leaders to deliver that message as clearly and urgently as they can. NEW YORK I received a note from a friend in England: The strangest weekend. Cloudless blue skies, no vapour trails, no noise of airplanes. I drove back past one of those illuminated signs. It read, Heathrow Airport Closed. Yes, we were living a moment of volcanic strangeness. The unpronounceable volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, did pronounced damage, marooning millions, costing billions. Ashed out was the phrase doing the rounds in New York to describe those caught by its cloud. That English silence, so striking, is not a bad metaphor for the six million or more lives abruptly stilled, the contracts put on hold, the goods stuck. An eruption caused a suspension. From Ethiopia, where I had one friend who was trying to get to Europe, to Frankfurt, where another was forced to spend several nights, lives were stuck in limbo. I know cots in airport-hostels are nobody s idea of fun. But respites stimulate. There must be a novel call it The Volcano Parenthesis to be written about the romances, the epiphanies, the discoveries that are the work of Iceland s Eyjafjallajokull (don t forget that the two double l s are pronounced t ). I know it was a disaster. There were fewer ripe avocados in London. Last time I was in Brussels I heard that the delectable little gray shrimp used to stuff tomatoes are air-freighted down to Morocco to be peeled by peasant women because removing the shells is so labor-intensive. Shed a tear: those globalized shrimp were stuck in some refrigerated warehouse. We live in a growing frenzy, one measure of which is the power of a single volcano to send up a giant guffaw at our restlessness. Go home, cultivate your garden, is the message from the northern glacier. Meanwhile, the Iceland dilemma festers. What the German question was to the 20th century, the Icelandic question is to the 21st. There s no doubt that this island INTELLIGENCE/ROGER COHEN Time to Invade Iceland of 307,000 inhabitants, or about oneeighth the population of Brooklyn, has done far more damage to the West than Iran over the past two years. The collapse of its banks in 2008 left Icelanders owing about $5.4 billion to British and Dutch depositors; its volcano cost airlines alone upward of $1 billion. The per-capita harm inflicted by Iceland is immense: pocketed cash compounded by dumped ash. In short, the argument for taking out Iceland is growing, although I know of no planning yet for such a mission at the Pentagon. (An invasion would be a simple operation. Iceland maintains no standing army, navy or air force. The chief complication is that Iceland is a NATO member and there is no precedent for one member of the alliance attacking another. But nor is there a precedent for a NATO member doing others so much damage.) Apart from fantasizing about punishment for Iceland thoughts no doubt shared by the 6 million marooned I ve been musing beneath the ash on my favorite novel, Malcolm Lowry s magnificent tale of love and ruin, Under the Volcano. LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS Between its banking crisis and its volcano, Iceland has much to answer for. Sometimes a drink is indeed the only answer. Certainly, it often was for Lowry s hero, the tormented alcoholic Consul in Mexico: Mescal, said the Consul. The main barroom of the Farolito was deserted. From a mirror behind the bar, that also reflected the door open to the square, his face silently stared at him, with stern, familiar foreboding. Yet the place was not silent. It was filled by that ticking: the ticking of his watch, his heart, his conscience, a clock somewhere. There was a remote sound too, from far below, of rushing water, of subterranean collapse; and moreover he could still hear them, the bitter wounding accusations he had flung at his own misery, the voices as in argument, his own louder than the rest, mingling now with those other voices that seemed to be wailing from a distance distressfully: Borracho, Borrachón, Borraaaacho! Interludes like those caused by Eyjafjallajokull, for as long as they last, can also be an excuse for that great novel unread or unwritten. THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Learning to Tap a World of Ideas ST. LOUIS You ve heard that saying: As General Motors goes, so goes America. Thank goodness that is no longer true. I mean, I wish the new G.M. well, but the United States s economic future is no longer tied to its fate. No, my new Direttore responsabile: Ezio Mauro Vicedirettori: Gregorio Botta, Dario Cresto-Dina, Massimo Giannini, Angelo Rinaldi Caporedattore centrale: Fabio Bogo Caporedattore vicario: Massimo Vincenzi Gruppo Editoriale l Espresso S.p.A. Presidente: Carlo De Benedetti Amministratore delegato: Monica Mondardini Divisione la Repubblica via Cristoforo Colombo Roma Direttore generale: Carlo Ottino Responsabile trattamento dati (d. lgs. 30/6/2003 n. 196): Ezio Mauro Reg. Trib. di Roma n del 13/10/1975 Tipografia: Rotocolor, v. C. Colombo 90 RM Stampa: Rotocolor, v. C. Cavallari 186/192 Roma; Rotocolor, v. N. Sauro 15 - Paderno Dugnano MI ; Finegil Editoriale c/o Citem Soc. Coop. arl, v. G.F. Lucchini - Mantova Pubblicità: A. Manzoni & C., via Nervesa 21 - Milano Supplemento a cura di: Alix Van Buren, Francesco Malgaroli motto is: As EndoStim goes, so goes America. EndoStim is a little start-up I was introduced to on a recent visit to St. Louis. The company is developing a proprietary implantable medical device to treat acid reflux. I have no idea if the product will succeed in the marketplace. It s still in testing. What really interests me about EndoStim is how the company was formed and is being run today. It is the epitome of the new kind of start-ups we need to propel our economy: a mix of new immigrants, using old money to innovate in a flat world. Here s the short version: EndoStim was inspired by Cuban and Indian immigrants to America and funded by St. Louis venture capitalists. Its prototype is being manufactured in Uruguay, with the help of Israeli engineers and constant feedback from doctors in India and Chile. Oh, and the C.E.O. is a South African, who was educated at the Sorbonne, but lives in Missouri and California, and his head office is basically a BlackBerry. Only by spawning thousands of EndoStims will America generate the kind of good new jobs to keep raising its standard of living. It all started by accident. Dr. Raul Perez, an obstetrician and gynecologist, immigrated to America from Cuba in the 1960s and came to St. Louis, where he met Dan Burkhardt, a local investor. Raul was unique among doctors, recalled Burkhardt. He had a real nose for medical investing and what could be profitable in a clinical environment. So we started investing together. In 1997, they created a medical venture fund, Oakwood Medical A Missouri start-up with links to Uruguay, Chile, India and Israel. Investors. Perez had a problem with acid reflux and went for treatment to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, where he was helped by an Indian-American doctor, V. K. Sharma. During his follow-ups, Dr. Sharma mentioned those four words every venture capitalist loves to hear: I have an idea use a pacemakerlike device to control the muscle that would choke off acid reflux. Burkhardt, Perez and Sharma were joined by Bevil Hogg a South African and one of the early founders of the Trek Bicycle Corporation who became C.E.O. Together, they raised the initial funds to develop the technology. Two Israelis, Shai Pollicker, a medical engineer, and Dr. Edy Soffer, a prominent gastroenterologist, joined a Seattle-based engineering team (led by an Australian) to help with the design. A company in Uruguay specializing in pacemakers is building the prototype. This kind of very lean start-up, where the principals are rarely in the same office at the same time, and which takes advantage of all the tools of the flat world teleconferencing, , the Internet and faxes to access the best expertise and low-cost, high-quality manufacturing anywhere, is the latest in venture investing. You ve heard of cloud computing. I call this cloud manufacturing. In the aftermath of the banking crisis, access to public markets is offlimits to start-ups, explained Hogg, so start-ups now have to be much leaner, much more capital-efficient, much smarter in accessing worldwide talent and quicker to market in order to do more with less. He added, $20 million is the new $100 million. The clinical trials for EndoStim are being conducted in India and Chile. What they have in common, said Hogg, is superb surgeons with high levels of skill, enthusiasm for the project, an interest in research and reasonable costs. This is also part of the new model, said Hogg: Invented and financed in the West, further developed and tested in the East and rolled out in both markets. What s in it for America? As long as the venture money, core innovation and the key management comes from there a lot. If EndoStim works out, its tiny headquarters in St. Louis will grow much larger. St. Louis is where the best jobs top management, marketing, design and shareholders will be, said Hogg. Where innovation is sparked and capital is raised still matters. You don t hear much about companies like this. America s national debate today is dominated by the ignorant ramblings of Sarah Palin, talkshow lunatics, tea parties and politics as sports. Fortunately, though, we still have risk-takers who are not paying attention to any of this nonsense, who know what world they re living in. Thank goodness! THE NEW YORK TIMES IS PUBLISHED WEEKLY IN THE FOLLOWING NEWSPAPERS: CLARÍN, ARGENTINA DER STANDARD, AUSTRIA LARAZÓN, BOLIVIA FOLHA, BRAZIL LASEGUNDA, CHILE EL ESPECTADOR, COLOMBIA LISTIN DIARIO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC LE FIGARO, FRANCE 24 SAATI, GEORGIA SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, GERMANY ELEFTHEROTYPIA, GREECE PRENSA LIBRE, GUATEMALA THEASIAN AGE,INDIA LAREPUBBLICA, ITALY ASAHI SHIMBUN, JAPAN EL NORTE, MURAL AND REFORMA, MEXICO LA PRENSA, PANAMA MANILA BULLETIN, PHILIPPINES ROMANIA LIBERA, ROMANIA NOVAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA DELO, SLOVENIA EL PAÍS, SPAIN UNITED DAILY NEWS, TAIWAN SABAH, TURKEY THE OBSERVER, UNITED KINGDOM THE KOREA TIMES, UNITED STATES NOVOYE RUSSKOYE SLOVO, UNITED STATES EL OBSERVADOR, URUGUAY Repubblica NewYork
3 MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010 III WORLD TRENDS We should learn to oppose the regime, how to paralyze them, how to wear them out, but not to be killed, not to be arrested MOSHEN SAZEGARA Exiled Iranian opposition figure BRENDAN SMALOWSKI FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Challenging Ayatollahs, With YouTube Jeremiads By NEIL MacFARQUHAR VIENNA, Virginia Moshen Sazegara recognizes that nonviolent protest is a tough sell for most Iranians, given that bloodshed is a part of their history and faith. But Mr. Sazegara lists a couple points in its favor. First, the Islamic Republic has disenchanted a wide section of the population. Second, he believes that Iranians harbor a mystic tradition that could be channeled into the kind of nonviolent tide of dissent that bends history. This, by the way, comes from one of the architects of the Revolutionary Guards. In Shiism, we always talk about blood, about sacrificing your blood, he said over tea and sohan, a candy made of pistachios and saffron. Like most conversations with an Iranian intellectual, this one winds around to Rumi, a celebrated 13th century poet and theologian. The ideas of some mystic like Rumi is based on love, is based on loving everybody, to be kind with everybody, he said. Trying to supplant martyrdom with mysticism, and reducing the ideas into the 10-minute videos he beams into Iran nightly, has been Mr. Sazegara s quest since anti-government riots erupted in Tehran last June over the widespread sentiment that the presidential election had been rigged. Mr. Sazegara, 55, who makes frequent appearances on Voice of America s Persian language News Talk, is trying to bring down the system he helped create. When the protests first erupted, with demonstrators turning to him in droves for guidance on confronting the government on the streets of Tehran and other cities, it sometimes seemed as if he might inspire an entire new movement. Thirty-two years ago, he was studying physics at the Illinois In- stitute of Technology in Chicago when he got a call saying Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini needed him in Paris. He was there by 9 a.m. the next day, going to work as a press aide. It took another decade for him to swing around 180 degrees and agitate against the Islamic Republic, eventually founding several opposition newspapers. He chose exile in January 2004 with his wife and two grown sons. In the basement of his faux colonial town house here, Mr. Sazegara is updating a ploy from Ayatollah Khomeini s playbook on overthrowing the despotic Shah. The cleric dispatched jeremiads via cassette tape that spread throughout Iran. Mr. Sazegara lacks the same stature, but he records nightly videos about opposing the Iranian government that are flung out into cyberspace through YouTube, Facebook and his own Web site. He has broadcast every night since June 25, making the transition from a borrowed camera and a stiff manner to dashing off short versions with his laptop while traveling. Our strategy is nonviolence, so we should learn how to protest but not to be killed, he said. We should learn to oppose the regime, how to paralyze them, how to wear them out, but not to be killed, not to be arrested. Iran analysts said that in the beginning he fed a real hunger for basic lessons in protesting. But as the killings, arrests and torture mounted, a backlash developed. Our people are still in jail, a viewer inside Iran identified as Nahid Haddidi commented on one of his posts in March. They are being executed, they are being sacrificed. Why? How can they decide for us from outside the country, and what is going to happen to all these people in jail? Mexicans Flee Drug Violence By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr. FORT HANCOCK, Texas The giant rusty fence along the border here, built in recent years to keep illegal immigrants from crossing into the United States, has a new nickname among local residents: Jurassic Park Gate, a nod to the barrier in a 1993 movie that kept dangerous dinosaurs at bay in a theme park. On the other side, a brutal war between drug gangs has forced dozens of fearful families from the Mexican town of El Porvenir to come to the border seeking political asylum, and scores of other Mexicans have used special visas known as border-crossing cards to flee into the United States. They say drug gangs have laid waste to their town, burning down houses and killing people in the street. Americans are taking in their Mexican relatives, and the local schools have swelled with traumatized children, many of whom have witnessed gang violence, school officials say. It s very hard over there, said Vicente Burciaga, 23, who fled El Porvenir in March with his wife, Mayra, and their infant son after gang members burned down five homes in their neighborhood and killed a neighbor. They are killing people over there who have nothing to do with drug trafficking. They kill you just for having seen what they are doing. The story of Fort Hancock, about 90 kilometers southeast of El Paso on the Rio Grande, is echoed along the Texas border with Mexico, from Brownsville to El Paso. As the drug violence spirals out of control in Mexico, more Mexican citizens are seeking refuge in the United States. The influx has disrupted the peaceful rhythms of Fort Hancock, a town of about 2,000. These days, there are more police cars prowling the dusty streets, and fear runs high among residents. A few children among the refugees belong to families involved in the drug trade, and rival gang members have threatened them, bringing the specter of gang killings to the schools, officials say. Some of the families who are fleeing from Mexico are doing it because they were somehow participating in these acts, said Jose G. Franco, the school superintendent, and if you want to get at somebody, you get at their children. The Hudspeth County Sheriff s Department and the state police are keeping a close eye on unknown vehicles parked near the schools. The school district has hired a law enforcement officer to patrol its three campuses and has installed security cameras. Not everyone coming from El Por- PHOTOGRAPHS BY IVAN PIERRE AGUIRRE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Noemi and her daughter have fled Mexico s drug wars, entering the United States at a border gate, left. venir is seeking asylum. Many Mexicans in towns along the river have special border-crossing cards, which let them cross for up to 30 days to do business and shop near the border. But some have used the visas to relocate their families temporarily to the Texas side. Those who have temporary tourist visas or who can obtain business visas because they have enough money to start businesses in the United States are also moving across the border. In El Paso alone, the police estimate that at least 30,000 Mexicans have moved across the border in the past two years because of the violence. So many people have left El Porvenir and nearby Guadalupe Bravos that the two resemble ghost towns, former residents say. People without access to visas are seeking asylum, even at the risk of being detained for months. But few Mexicans are granted asylum. Over the last three federal fiscal years, immigration judges heard 9,317 requests across the country and granted only 183. In Fort Hancock, the influx grew after one drug gang placed a banner The Shaky Planet With yet another devastating earthquake, a 6.9-magnitude jolt in western China on April 14 that killed at least 700 people, many wondered if the earth was in an especially volatile phase. The answer, scientists say, is that there is nothing unusual, so far, about In fact, the planet generally is more volatile than you might think. There have been 66 earthquakes of a magnitude 6 or higher this year, as of midapril, and six of 7-plus magnitude more than strong enough to be catastrophic. Those include the disastrous quakes in Haiti, Chile and one centered in Baja California. The others were offshore tremors that did relatively little damage, which is the case for the great majority of quakes. They strike far from cities, or deep below the surface, or both. This year is roughly on track for an average number of 7-plus magnitude tremors, according to records going back to About 16 such quakes are detected annually, so expect 10 more. Scientists at the United States Geological Survey estimate that several million quakes occur yearly, most unnoticed. The survey does record more than 18,000, about 50 per day, or (depending on how fast you read) two or three in the time you spend with this newspaper. BILL MARSH in El Porvenir s central square threatening death for anyone left in the town on Easter. In response, the Mexican authorities flooded the town with federal police officers, and the promised mayhem was averted. A 23-year-old woman with five children, who asked to be identified only as Noemi because she feared reprisals, crossed the bridge over the Rio Grande the Thursday before Easter. The night before, drug cartel thugs had set fire to four houses. United States customs officers sent the family to El Paso, where, after a night in a jail, Noemi and her children were allowed to enter the country pending an asylum hearing. Her husband, a farm worker, is locked up while officials consider his claim to be in danger. Noemi is staying with her mother-in-law, who has legal residency, in a squalid trailer home. Her oldest son, a boy of 8, clung to her sleeve and refused to speak. Three girls, ages 4, 2 and 1, played at her feet or climbed on a rusted pickup. She held an infant boy of 7 months. All the children, the only thing they know how to play is sicarios, she said, using the Spanish word for hired killers. Magnitude of major 2010 quakes: 7 or greater 6 to 6.9 Near Okinawa: 7 Feb. 26 Baja California: 7.2 April 4 Haiti: 7 Jan. 12 Sumatra: 7.7 April 6 Solomon Is.: 7.1 Jan. 3 Chile: 8.8 Feb. 27 Source: United States Geological Survey THE NEW YORK TIMES Repubblica NewYork
4 IV MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010 WORLD TRENDS Loyalty of Iraqi Forces Is Uncertain By TIM ARANGO CAMP HABBANIYA, Iraq Iraq s security forces, once mocked for deserting firefights and feared as a sanctuary for rogue death squads, crossed a crucial line of competence during the recent parliamentary elections: With little American help, they kept the nation overwhelmingly safe for voting. But as recruits returned after the election to this dusty training outpost, the army and the police face new questions, not only about remaining gaps in ability, but also about loyalty in an uncertain period. More than a month after the election, there is still no new government, no certain leader that the security forces can look to and few precedents for a peaceful transfer of power. The problem is going to be in the struggle for a new government, said Anthony H. Cordesman, who holds the Arleigh A. Burke chair in strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which in 2007 prepared a report for an independent commission appointed by Congress to study Iraq s security forces. Who are the armed forces loyal to? Are they going to be loyal to the prime minister, or the Constitution, or what? These questions have taken on new urgency after a spate of violence that is reminiscent of the worst days of Iraq s sectarian and insurgent warfare. Nerves were set on edge here right after the March 7 elections when Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-maliki raised the specter of violence and invoked his role as commander in chief in calling for a manual recount, a request a judge granted on April 19. Many opponents were already worried that he would use the security forces for his own ends, something he has denied doing. But Ayad Allawi, the former interim prime minister, whose Iraqiya coalition won the most seats, said that if he led the next government, he would overhaul the army and the police, contending they were still riddled with terrorists, despite continuing efforts to rid them of sectarianism. After eight years since the downfall of Saddam Hussein, the people say, We want to be safe, Mr. Allawi said in an interview. The law enforcement agencies are not available to make them safe. We need the coalition forces and the U.S. Army to work with us, especially in the coming days, because we are afraid that we will face inner loyalty problems among the armed forces, said Lieutenant Ahmed Abood, 36, an Iraqi Army officer in Baghdad. Although the Interior Ministry has purged the police force of more than 60,000 officers in recent years in its efforts to build a force loyal to Iraq and not to sectarian identity, the ranks of the police are often still the first place investigators turn after attacks. After pre-election bombings in Baquba, a restive city north of Baghdad, killed more than 30 people, a police officer was among those arrested. Colonel Darrell F. Halse of the Marine Corps, who is advising the Interior Ministry s head of internal affairs, said the ministry opened more than 125,000 cases over the last four years involving its officers. Most are for minor offenses, like being drunk on duty, but others are for terrorist activities. With United States combat troops scheduled to withdraw by the end of August, leaving 50,000 service members in Iraq in an advisory capacity until the end of 2011, much of the historical legacy of America s war here JOAO SILVA FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Iraqi soldiers, shown training recently in Habbaniya, kept Iraq relatively safe during the recent elections, but questions remain. will depend on whether Iraq s police and army can safeguard their country in the years to come. While the security forces have made steady progress, they are far from ready to do the job alone. Nowadays, the American military relies on the Iraqis for information about the levels of violence in the country. But Iraqi commanders advancement is based partly on the number of violent episodes in their areas of operation, so there is an incentive to underreport those events, said Lieutenant Colonel Jim Maxwell of the First Brigade, Third Infantry Division. Mr. Maliki s much-parsed statement did not go unnoticed within the Iraqi Army. The guys here are cautious, Colonel Maxwell said of his Iraqi counterparts. This is going to be the first successful change in power. They ve never seen it. There is a tendency to believe the guys who are saying, He s not going to give it up. Leaders of 47 nations recently gathered in Washington for a nuclear security meeting, one sign of President Obama s more assertive approach to foreign affairs. By PETER BAKER WASHINGTON When he took office last year, President Obama told his foreign policy advisers that he had two baskets of issues to deal with. The first would be the legacy issues left from his predecessor, like Iraq, Afghanistan and America s image in the world. The second would be his own agenda for the future. Mr. Obama is now aggressively advancing his own vision of foreign policy and defining himself more clearly on the world stage. The 47-nation conference on nuclear security he wrapped up recently represented a chance to assert leadership rather than simply showing that he is not George W. Bush. Now he s beginning to get back to the agenda that he came to office to do, said Nancy E. Soderberg, a former diplomat and now president of The Connect U.S. Fund, a nonprofit group that promotes international engagement. His legacy in domestic policy is likely to be health care. But his legacy in foreign policy is likely to be this nonproliferation agenda. The nuclear summit meeting came after weeks of a more assertive approach to international affairs, as Mr. Obama seeks to demonstrate strength in the face of assumptions overseas that he may be weak. He refused to give in to Russian demands for limits on missile defense and came away with an arms control treaty that, while modest, sets the stage for better relations. He got into high-profile scraps with the leaders of Israel and Afghanistan. And now he faces a critical test of whether he NEWS ANALYSIS Obama Puts His Own Mark on Foreign Policy A president with liberal roots shows his cold-blooded side. DOUG MILLS/THE NEW YORK TIMES can forge a coalition to impose new sanctions on Iran. During his news conference closing the nuclear meeting, Mr. Obama seemed to signal a renewed determination to reinsert himself into the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. By describing the long-running conflict as a threat to American security, he effectively adopted the argument of General David H. Petraeus, his Middle East commander, who recently warned that the region s troubles created a dangerous environment for American troops stationed in nearby Iraq and elsewhere in the area. It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, he said. And when conflicts break out, one way or another, we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure. Mr. Obama has learned hard lessons about the limits of his powers of persuasion. He has acknowledged that he underestimated just how hard it would be to bring Israelis and Palestinians together, and his engagement with Iran yielded no more cooperation than Mr. Bush s approach. If there is an Obama doctrine emerging, it is one focused on relations with traditional great powers and relegating issues like human rights to second-tier concerns. He has generated much more good will around the world after years of tension with Mr. Bush, and yet he does not seem to have strong personal friendships with many world leaders. Everybody always breaks it down between idealist and realist, said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff. If you had to put him in a category, he s probably more realpolitik, like Bush 41, the first President George Bush, Mr. Emanuel said. He added, He knows that personal relationships are important, but you ve got to be cold-blooded about the self-interests of your nation. With health care behind him, Mr. Obama has an opportunity to focus on translating his vision for foreign policy into reality. It s both strengthened and liberated him so he could deal with other things with wind in his sails, said Richard N. Haass, a former top official in George W. Bush s State Department who now leads the Council on Foreign Relations. The treaty with Russia, the nuclear meeting and other initiatives, he added, are the beginning for Mr. Obama. These are not transformational developments, he said, but in foreign policy it s important to keep the ball moving down the field in the right direction, and that s what s happening. Female Tech Entrepreneurs Face a Variety of Obstacles From Page I cent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and 22 percent of the software engineers at tech companies over all, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And among venture capitalists, the population of financiers who control the purse strings for a majority of tech start-ups, just 14 percent are women, the National Venture Capital Association says. That reality is even more complex when race is factored into the mix. Small percentages of workers in information technology are African-American, Asian or Hispanic, and that number is even smaller for women. It s not like people are making an effort to exclude people, but I see very little diversity in the candidate pool, says Aileen Lee, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the big venture capital firm. Research indicates that investing in women as tech entrepreneurs is good for the bottom line, according to a recent white paper by Cindy Padnos, a venture capitalist. When you have gender diversity in an organization, you have better innovation, and I don t know where innovation is more important than in the high-tech world, says Ms. Padnos, who recently founded Illuminate Ventures, which invests in start-ups led by women. Firms like hers, along with nonprofit organizations like Astia, are trying to raise awareness, mentor women and introduce them to investors. The good news is that Silicon Valley will see this change, says Monica Morse, a trustee at Astia. They will chase the person they think will make the money, regardless of whether they wear a skirt. Poornima Vijayashanker, 27, an Indian immigrant, said she was starting her company, BizeeBee, making software for small business, out of her apartment in Palo Alto, California, partly because she wants to have a family in a few years and says the tech start-up lifestyle isn t hospitable to child-rearing. That s why, she says, many young women prefer working at big companies to starting their own. Girls have certain family goals they want to accomplish, she says. Working 60 hours a week is difficult because it requires a life sacrifice. At the age of 27, Karen Watts became chief financial officer at a sports startup called Rivals.com. In that job, she realized the value in automating routine paperwork and dreamed up Corefino, which makes business accounting software. She didn t start it, though, until she had worked at four more companies. I have to know everything; I have to have it all figured out, she recalls thinking. Many analysts and entrepreneurs say that attitude rooted in a lack of confidence is the main reason that when women do pursue start-ups, they often do it later in life than men. Ms. Watts was also aware that the hurdles for financing were higher for women. Before she pitched venture capital firms, she made sure they had a woman as a partner and had backed companies led by women. If they re not used to women in a senior position, she says, you re going to be fighting a bunch of battles, and being an entrepreneur is hard enough. JIM WILSON/THE NEW YORK TIMES Karen Watts, far left, chief of Corefino, said before approaching a venture capital firm she made sure it had financed companies led by women.