Guide to this blog and other TFF materials

Welcome to this blog where you’ll find almost everything posted over the years by TFF Associates – a group of experts on international issues who are committed to the UN Charter norm that peace shall be established by peaceful means.

Together with the present homepage and older homepages (see menus) that means an estimated 7000-8000 articles. We believe it to be one of the largest reservoirs of research-based pro-peace writings published continuously between 1985 and today. In various ways the content here reflect a very significant period in the history of humanity and international affairs, albeit with a focus on some issues and places more than others.

In addition, there are articles, videos, analyses etc that we do not publish here, only elsewhere – namely on TFF Facebook and Jan Oberg Public Figure profile, on Jan Oberg Facebook profile, on the online magazine “Transnational Affairs”, on TFF YouTube, on TFF Vimeo and – closely related – on Jan Oberg’s blog. Google+ and Twitter carry the same materials as we post on Facebook.

We hope you’ll browse, follow and discuss wherever it suits you best and share links with friends, colleagues, students, media people etc.

Trump Trashes Iran Deal to Satisfy Netanyahu

By Gareth Porter

U.S-Iran policy is closer to Israel than it has been in years.

President Donald Trump’s new Iran policy clearly represents a dangerous rejection of diplomacy in favor of confrontation. But it’s more than that: It’s a major shift toward a much closer alignment of U.S. policy with that of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Whether explicitly or not, Trump’s vow to work with Congress to renegotiate the Iran nuclear agreement, and his explicit threat to withdraw from the deal if no renegotiation takes place, appear to be satisfying the hardline demands Netanyahu has made of Washington’s policy toward Tehran.

Specifically, Netanyahu has continued to demand…

Continue reading Porter’s article here.

Oberg Comments: The EU must co-operate intensely with Iran

October 19, 2017

Comments on EU leaders stating their support for the nuclear deal with Iran (JCPOA) and sending strong signals to Trump: But more is needed now. Oberg also asks: Where is the similar statement from NATO, the allegedly peace and security organisation when its leader, the U.S., is moving towards war with Iran?

Cambodia changes gear into reverse

By Jonathan Power

Cambodia is no longer going forward, it is slipping backwards, as it has many times before. Earlier this month the government asked the Supreme Court to dissolve the main opposition coalition. One opposition leader, Kem Sokha, was sent to prison last month and the other, Sam Rainsy, is in exile.

The English-language newspaper, The Cambodia Daily, has been closed and the relatively free radio stations leant on and a number closed. The decades-long prime minister, Hun Sen, talks about rebels in the capital, Phnom Penh, plotting to overthrow the government.

Good things still happen. The economic growth nearly touches 7% year after year. Land reform has worked. The health and education of the poor has markedly improved. In other countries, this might be a prelude to political liberalisation. But not in Cambodia. Hun Sen, who before has won many elections, some reasonably honest, some rigged, now fears defeat at the polls next year.

To understand why Cambodia is so we must go back 47 years before the genocidal movement, the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot, took over.

In 1970 a pro-American military junta led by Lon Nol deposed King Sihanouk, who had succeeded in keeping his country out of the Vietnam War. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flawed and Corrupted Genius of American Republicanism

By Richard Falk

Trump as President makes us think as never before about viability of the American version of constitutional democracy, that is, the ‘republic’ that Ben Franklin promised the people at the time of Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

We often forget that Franklin replied to the question by adding several words, “if you’ll keep it.”

With the election of Trump in 2016, these prophetic cautionary words have come home to haunt the country with a cruel vengeance.

Of course, arguably nuclear America had long abandoned the pretence of consensual government, and warmongering American had driven the point home with only a whimper of dissent from Congress, mainstream media, and the citizenry.

Imagine currently engaged in bombing six countries and combat operations in many more, and the loudest sound from the citizenry or media is an all-encompassing silence. Read the rest of this entry »

Europe Should Stop Trump from Starting Another War in the Middle East

By Farhang Jahanpour*

As was expected, President Trump has decertified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal or, to give it its full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite the fact that he certified it twice before. As recently as 14 September 2017, Trump also waived certain sanctions against Iran as required under the terms of the deal.

Yet, in an extremely belligerent and hostile speech, he put out his new policy towards Iran.

The certification of the deal is not part of the agreement, but as anti-Iranian hawks in both parties wanted to undermine President Barrack Obama and create obstacles on the path of the deal they required the president to recertify every 90 days that Iran was still in compliance with the provisions of the deal. That certification has no international validity.

Trump provided a long list of contentious issues about Iran’s alleged malign influences in the region and her presumed violation of the JCPOA, while totally ignoring America’s long record of unilateral wars and war crimes and initial support for terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and beyond.

By law, Congress has 60 days to reimpose sanctions on Iran, which would violate the provisions of the JCPOA, or leave matters as they are. Given the predominance of hawks in Congress, it is likely that they will follow Trump’s lead and will try to kill the deal.

During the campaign, Trump often criticized the deal as the worst agreement in history and promised that he would tear it up. In his inaugural address to the UN General Assembly, Trump proclaimed that the Iran deal “was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States had ever entered into,” even declaring it “an embarrassment to the United States.” He ominously warned that the world had not “heard the last of it, believe me.”

Now, by decertifying Iran’s compliance with the deal, Trump has lived up to his hyperbolic rhetoric about the agreement that was regarded as one of the most remarkable diplomatic achievements since the end of the Cold War. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 430 – Trump is moving towards war

By Jan Oberg


Lund, Sweden – October 13, 2017



With his speech today – half an hour ago – U.S. President Trump has taken a huge step into uncharted territories.

One that implies a 60-75% risk of leading to a US attack on Iran.

Behind him stands the hardline militarists whom he has himself appointed. 


Secondly, neo-conservative individuals and think tanks who have brought the world only a series of failed wars and unspeakable human misery since the invasion of Afghanistan.

Third, the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex, MIMAC, that is outside real democratic control and pushes relentlessly for ever-increasing armament and wars and serves the public all kinds of weird, fake images of what threatens the US. 

Further, pro-Israeli and pro-Saudi lobby organisations and extremely wealthy individuals who buy political influence and thereby destroy the very foundations of democracy and free opinion formation.


• 

Against these numerically tiny elites stand virtually the rest of the world, including NATO allies and the EU.

They’ve all communicated very clearly to the President how important it is for all involved that he re-certifies the immensely important and historically unique Iran nuclear deal of 2015, or the JCPOA.

As is usual for failed US foreign policy there is no comprehensive strategy and no exit strategy. Having no diplomatic relations with Iran for decades, Trump lacks appropriate channels of communication.

He also lacks basic knowledge of the country. (Whereas the Iranians know the West). His bizarre image of the country as presented in this speech bodes ill in every respect.

Seldom has a Presidential speech been so filled with psycho-political projections of one’s own dark sides on the adversary as this. Read the rest of this entry »

Would Trump use nuclear weapons?

By Jonathan Power

October 10th 2017

In the Cold War days, some of us used to say, “Better red than dead”- to rebuff those who believed in nuclear deterrence as a way of political life that gave them security. Now those of us who are frightened that Trump could start a nuclear war over Iran or North Korea should coin a new phrase. How about: “Better alive than going to the grave with Kim Jong-un”?

Admittedly that doesn’t have the same snappy ring, but you get my point?

At the UN recently, President Donald Trump (aka Fire and Fury) threatened to “totally” destroy North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself.

This past weekend Senator Bob Corker, the chair of the US Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, and at one time an important backer of Trump, the candidate, said that Trump could set the nation “on the path to World War 3”.

I would surmise, even though I have no polling evidence, that an overwhelming majority of the world would not accept the use by the US of nuclear weapons in any circumstances, even if they believe in what I think is the false notion of “deterrence”. In Europe, I doubt if more than 5% do.

But in America, it is another matter. According to a survey carried out in the US and analysed at length in Harvard University’s “International Security” some 50% of American adults believe that their use would be justified, especially if it saved the lives of 20,000 American soldiers. (Which is less than the 38,000 US soldiers stationed in South Korea today).* Read the rest of this entry »

Is the Nobel Committee Finally Abiding by Nobel’s Will?

By David Swanson

October 6, 2017

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) — listen to my radio show with one of ICAN’s leaders two years ago here.

It’s conceivable that some Americans will now learn, because of this award, about the new treaty that bans the possession of nuclear weapons.

This treaty has been years in the works. This past summer 122 nations agreed on the language of it, including these words…

Continue to the original here

On ICAN receiving the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

By Jan Oberg

Jan Oberg’s comments to Iran’s PressTV on this happy occasion.

Nobel Peace Prize 2017: Law and morality versus violent geopolitics

By Richard Falk
Professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and University of California, Santa Barbara, board member of The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and TFF Associate since 1985

Finally, the committee in Oslo that picks a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize each year selected in 2017 an awardee that is a true embodiment of the intended legacy of Alfred Nobel when he established the prize more than a century ago.

It is also a long overdue acknowledgement of the extraordinary dedication of anti-nuclear activists around the planet who for decades have done all in their power to rid the world of this infernal weaponry before it inflicts catastrophe upon all living beings even more unspeakable that what befell the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on two infamous days in August 1945.

Such a prize result was actually anticipated days before the announcement by Fredrik Heffermehl, a crusading Norwegian critic of past departures from Nobel’s vision by the prize committee.

In making the prediction that the 2017 prize would be given in recognition of anti-nuclear activism Heffermehl prophetically relied on the outlook of the current chair of the Nobel selection committee, a distinguished Norwegian lawyer, Berit Reiss-Andersen, who has publicly affirmed her belief in the correlation between adherence to international law and world peace.

The recipient of the prize is ICAN, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of more than 450 civil society groups around the world that is justly credited with spreading an awareness of the dire humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and of making the heroic effort to generate grassroots pressure sufficient to allow for the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by 122 UN members on 7 July 2017 (known as the ‘BAN Treaty’). Read the rest of this entry »

 

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