CZYTANIE 4 EN [#13]

TASK 1
Read each of the texts below and then complete the sentence which comes under the text, using no more than five words to show that you have understood the text.
Nearly 80% of UK chief executives and heads of finance fear that the recession has increased businesses’ risks, a survey by BDO, the accountant, found. They think more use of subcontractors to cut costs has left their reputations at risk from poor performance.
1. UK chief executives fear ... poor performance.
It says much about Britain’s rapidly disappearing ‘special relationship’ with America that when I happened to mention to some of our senior military officers that I was visiting Washington, they begged me to find out what the Obama administration was thinking about Afghanistan. It is not just that the transatlantic lines of communication, so strong just a few years ago, have fallen into disuse. There is now a feeling that, even if we reached the Oval Office, there would be no one willing to take Britain’s call.
2. One example of worse UK-US relationship is that the Oval Office ... Afghan strategy.
I yield to none in my love of T.S. Eliot’s work, and have even managed to defend to myself the iffy passages about Jews in his poetry. But the letters that Craig Raine quotes in his review are so blatantly, even honestly, anti-Semitic that they leave no room for doubt; except, it seems, at Faber & Faber. Mr. Raine’s attempts to argue the anti-Semitism away present a hilarious and painful spectacle. For example, Eliot writes that Jews are inclined to Bolshevism – a classic Nazi belief. Mr. Raine asserts, desperately, that this is a tribute to Jewish iconoclasm. It isn’t; it’s racism. The question is, why does Mr. Raine go through such contortions to protect his hero when the evidence is so plain? Eliot was a great man with rotten prejudice. We may not like it, but we have to admit it or risk its shadow falling on us.
3. According to the writer, Mr. Raine is trying to ... that Eliot was anti-Semitic.
Well, it’s official. The Army’s new capstone field manual, FM3-0 Operations, assigns stability operations - the military buzzword for constabulary (or, as some would have it, nationbuilding) duties – a priority equal to combat operations. If doctrine is the formal expression of an army’s understanding of its obligations, today’s may be said, finally, to have caught up with reality.
4. The previous field manual did not ... the Army.
Authorities in Iran said they would investigate claims by Mehdi Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament who was a candidate in the disputed presidential election in June, that security forces had raped and tortured protesting demonstrators. The implication was that Mr. Karroubi could be punished if, as seems likely, his claims are dismissed.
5. The text implies that, according to Iranian authorities, security forces acted ... during demonstrations.
“Decontextualisation” is a word I have noticed in a few pretentious slabs of art criticism lately. The more minimal and impoverished the art, the more clotted the jargon to describe it. Why can’t a few brave critics, when they see the Emperor is nude, simply use the expressive old Aussie epithet “shithouse”? E.g., ‘Went to Tate Modern and saw the new installations by Motoko Mgabwe. Absolutely shithouse!’
6. According to the author, critics use words like decontextualisation instead of ... a piece of art
Ask some west Europeans why they disliked George Bush’s America, and you will receive complaints about values and talk of American militarism and nationalism. You may hear Mr. Bush accused of calling the European Union an ally but working to divide the block into friends and foes. Or you may get grumbles about anti-terrorist work undermining the rule of law. Foot-dragging on climate change might come up, or the power of Big Oil. So might social values: the religiosity of the Bushes, even their hostility to gay rights or their macho love of hunting. Yet here is an odd thing. Those same “un-European” values can be observed in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, but do not cause similar offence, at least in the chancelleries of western Europe. The EU leaders who clashed most with Mr. Bush swoon over Mr. Putin.
7. The text implies Europe has ... America and Russia.
I saw the BBC’s Crimewatch programme last night and was, as ever, sickened. As usual they had some dapper copper pointing to a board of miscreants whom the police cannot find, presumably because they are overwhelmed with paperwork or sorting out imaginary hate crimes; the public is requested to dob them in. Of the ten faces on this rogue’s gallery, accused largely of violent crimes, eight were non-white. It is the same every time this programme is broadcast, a deliberate attempt to suggest that non-white Britons are overwhelmingly more likely to commit crime than the whites. Clearly, this cannot be true. The real proportion of non-white rogues in the gallery should be about ten per cent, i.e. equivalent to the population of non-white Britons. And yet week after week, it’s about 80 per cent instead. How can they get away with this? Who is editing Crimewatch these days, Nick Griffin, or Julius Streicher? And the thing is, it sits so awkwardly with the rest of the corporation’s broadcasting, which is impeccably fair-minded, as I know you will agree.
8. According to the author, Crimewatch is ... the rest of the corporation.
TASK 2
Match the statements below with the paragraphs they refer to. Each statement matches one and only one paragraph.
9. shows how a US ally contradicted the official story
10. contrasts the outcomes of the implemented strategy in past conflicts
11. presents unknown facts preceding a great act of terror
12. talks of solutions tested by an ally ‘expert’
13. explains how a politician cynically twists the meaning of an important notion
14. mentions an underestimated factor that led to failures
15. reveals the true intentions behind a military doctrine
(A)
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate, Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that ‘passed into history and became truth.’ ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.
(B)
Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that "extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan" to "disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies". He called this "global security" and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which the US has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: "We have no interest in occupying your country."
(C)
In Oceania, truth and lies are indivisible. According to Obama, the American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was authorised by the United Nations Security Council. There was no UN authority. He said that "the world" supported the invasion in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks. In truth, all but three of 37 countries surveyed by Gallup expressed overwhelming opposition. He said that America invaded Afghanistan "only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama Bin Laden". In 2001, the Taliban tried three times to hand over Bin Laden for trial, Pakistan's military regime reported, and they were ignored.
(D)
Even Obama's mystification of the 9/11 attacks as justification for his war is false. More than two months before the twin towers were attacked, the former Pakistani diplomat Niaz Naik was told by the Bush administration that a US military assault would take place by mid-October. The Taliban regime in Kabul, which the Clinton administration had secretly supported, was no longer regarded as "stable" enough to ensure US control over oil and gas pipelines to the Caspian Sea. It had to go.
(E)
Obama's most audacious lie is that Afghanistan today is a "safe haven" for al-Qaeda's attacks on the west. His own national security adviser, James Jones, said in October that there were "fewer than 100" al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. According to US intelligence, 90 per cent of the Taliban are hardly Taliban at all, but "a tribal localised insurgency [who] see themselves as opposing the US because it is an occupying power". The war is a fraud. Only the terminally gormless remain true to the Obama brand of "world peace".
(F)
Beneath the surface, however, there is serious purpose. Under the disturbing General McChrystal, who gained distinction for his assassination squads in Iraq and followed by more human General Petraeus, the occupation of Afghanistan is a model for those "disorderly regions" of the world still beyond Oceania's reach. This is known as Coin (counter-insurgency), and draws together the military, aid organisations, psychologists, anthropologists, the media and public relations hirelings. Covered in jargon about winning hearts and minds, it aims to incite civil war: Tajiks and Uzbeks against Pashtuns.
(G)
The Americans did this in Iraq and destroyed a multi-ethnic society. They built walls between communities which had once intermarried, ethnically cleansing the Sunnis and driving millions out of the country. Embedded media reported this as "peace"; American academics bought by Washington and "security experts" briefed by the Pentagon appeared on the BBC to spread the good news. As in Nineteen Eighty-Four, the opposite was true.
(H)
Something similar is planned for Afghanistan. People are to be forced into "target areas" controlled by warlords, bankrolled by the CIA and the opium trade. That these warlords are barbaric is irrelevant. "We can live with that," a Clinton-era diplomat once said of the return of oppressive sharia law in a "stable", Taliban-run Afghanistan. Favoured western relief agencies, engineers and agricultural specialists will attend to the "humanitarian crisis" and so "secure" the subjugated tribal lands.
(I)
That is the theory. It worked after a fashion in Yugoslavia, where ethnic-sectarian partition wiped out a once-peaceful society, but it failed in Vietnam, where the CIA's "Strategic Hamlet Program" was designed to corral and divide the southern population and so defeat the Vietcong - the Americans' catch-all term for the resistance, similar to "Taliban".
(J)
Behind much of this are the Israelis, who have long advised the Americans in both the Iraq and the Afghanistan adventures. Ethnic cleansing, wall-building, checkpoints, collective punishment and constant surveillance - these are claimed as Israeli innovations that have succeeded in stealing most of Palestine from its native people. And yet, for all their suffering, the Palestinians have not been divided irrevocably and they endure as a nation against all odds.
(K)
The most telling forerunners of the Obama Plan, which the Nobel Peace Prize-winner and his generals and his PR men prefer we forget, are those that failed in Afghanistan itself. The British in the 19th century and the Soviets in the 20th century attempted to conquer that wild country by ethnic cleansing and were seen off, though after terrible bloodshed. Imperial cemeteries are their memorials. People power, sometimes baffling, often heroic, remains the seed beneath the snow, and invaders fear it.
(L)
“It was curious," wrote Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four, "to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same - everywhere, all over the world . . . people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same - people who . . . were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world."
TASK 3
You are going to read a newspaper article. For questions 16 - 20, choose answer A, B, C or D.
Rebonjour, Monsieur Colbert!
Having read in one of the papers that the American government had assumed control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, I thought I must have woken up in France. The ghost jumping triumphantly from his grave was a French bureaucrat, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who brought industrial policy to the court of Louis XIV, rebuilding the economy around national champions. In the months since, America’s government has given its carmakers $25 billion in loans. Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, has floated the idea of a group of European sovereign-wealth funds taking stakes in the continent’s most important firms. And Western governments have spent hundreds of billions of dollars buying up the banking system. Much fuss has been made about the return of economic intervention policy, which is anything but a sensible solution.

Patchy as their knowledge about it seems to be, every politician now has ideas about how to run a business. Thus Congressman Henry Waxman lambasted the rescued American International Group for spending $440,000 on a junket for life-insurance agents (no matter that the reps were self-employed). Not only do Britain’s Tories want to rescind bonuses in the banks their government has just bought (clever idea: driving away good staff just when you need them) but they also want banks to be free with their credit, which is not normally the route to profits. What a bunch of amateurs. Never will these new dirigistes be able to find out how to use their new toys unless they all go to France. With three rounds of nationalization, business has long been the business of the French state with two-thirds of the country’s 20 biggest companies having had experience of state ownership. Here surely is a blueprint.

Sadly the main lesson from modern Colbertism is simple: return companies to the private sector, irrespective of all repercussions. A few industries, such as nuclear power and high-speed trains, have certainly benefited from “the planners’ vision”, and Mr Sarkozy is also proud of the state’s rescue of Alstom, an engineering giant. However, most went the other way: Groupe Bull turned out to be an apter name for France’s answer to IBM than could ever have been intended. It was re-privatized in 1994, having undergone many reforms after its imprudent nationalization. And banks seem especially vulnerable to dreams of glory. Credit Lyonnais set out to be the banking champion of Europe. In 1991 it even took over MGM studios (would you go to a film made by a bank, even a French one?). The state’s use as a shareholder in the bank, a government inquiry found, had been close to nil. The Credit Lyonnais' collapse, which the extensive media coverage certainly did a bad turn, would have been staved off had it not been for state ownership. Its other costs, albeit harder to spot, are equally disquieting. Putting civil servants with no experience of business at the top of large companies was not a shrewd strategy. In some groups, several ministries would each appoint board directors, prompting, which was not unforeseeable, turf battles. And what proved to be by far most unpropitious was that protecting old champions hindered the emergence of new ones. Of the largest 25 listed French companies, none was founded in the past 50 years.

France has been unwinding state ownership for the past two decades, but in 2003 the then finance minister, Francis Mer, set up an agency to reform the government’s unprofitable shareholdings. Colbert may well be back; yet his solutions have long since become feeble.
16. We learn from the first paragraph that the author …
17. The author criticizes the British politicians because …
18. The author criticizes the British politicians because …
19. The author suggests that Credit Lyonnaise would have had a chance to overcome its difficulties if …
20. The author thinks in France the biggest after-effect of the Colbertism revival is that …