Archive for February, 2012

Help End the Hunger Strike of Khader Adnan

By Richard Falk, writing from Cairo

I am publishing here my press release of today (February 15) expressing urgent concern about the fate of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian activist, who is near death resulting from his continuing hunger strike that expresses his refusal to accept the humiliating conditions of imprisonment without charges and accompanied by an Israeli court approved denial of visitation rights to his wife. Read the rest of this entry »

Israel-USA vs Iran: Talk Peace!

By Johan Galtung

The state system at its worst: trading insults and threats, sanctions, readiness to use extreme violence, forward deployment of US troops in Israel as hostages to guarantee US involvement, disregard for common people and the effects of warfare in the Middle East and the world. The options are harder sanctions, or war. The far better option, sitting down, with mediators, talking and searching for solutions, is absent. Polarization, escalation, the material of which wars are made fill the media. What a shame. Read the rest of this entry »

The Menace of Present & Future Drone Warfare

By Richard Falk

After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the colossal scale of devastation disclosed, there was a momentary embrace of sanity and rationality by world leaders and cultural commentators. There was a realization that living with such weaponry was at best a precarious journey into the future, and far more likely, an appointment with unprecedented human catastrophe if not apocalypse.

What to learn from the ongoing existence of nuclear weaponry

This dark mood of foreboding did produce some gestures toward nuclear disarmament tabled initially by the U.S. Government, but in a form that reasonably struck others at the time, especially the Soviet Union, as a bad bargain — the U.S. was proposing getting rid of the weapons for the present, but retaining the materials, the technology, and the experience needed to win handily any nuclear rearmament race. Read the rest of this entry »

Turkey’s Foreign Policy: Zero Problems with Neighbors Revisited

By Richard Falk

Pundits in Europe and North America in recent months have delighted in citing with a literary smirk ‘zero problems with neighbors,’ which has been the centerpiece of Ahmet Davutoglu’s foreign policy agenda since he became Foreign Minister on May 1, 2009. Mr. Davutoglu had previously served as Chief Advisor to both the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister ever since the AKP came to power in 2002, and was known in those years as the ‘architect’ behind the scenes.

Critics of the zero problems approach point to the heightened Turkish tensions with Syria and Iraq, the persisting inability of Ankara to overcome the hostile fallout from Mavi Marmara incident with Israel, and even the revived salience of the long unresolved dispute with the Armenian diaspora sparked by a new French law that makes the denial of genocide associated with the 1915 massacres a crime and has led to a dramatic worsening of Turkish-French relations.

Troubles to be sure, but should these be interpreted as ‘failures,’ and more precisely as ‘Turkish failures’? Read the rest of this entry »

Syrian Repression, the Chinese-Russian Veto, and U.S. Hypocrisy

By Stephen Zunes

As the Syrian regime continues to slaughter unarmed civilians, the major powers at the United Nations continue to put their narrow geopolitical agenda ahead of international humanitarian law. Just as France shields Morocco from accountability for its ongoing occupation and repression in Western Sahara and just as the United States shields Israel from having to live up to its obligations under international humanitarian law, Russia and China have used their permanent seats on the UN Security Council to protect the Syrian regime from accountability for its savage repression against its own citizens. Read the rest of this entry »

Om King hade levt idag

- och om likheterna mellan stater och människor i fängelse

Av Martin Smedjeback
Tal på Helsingborgs stadsbibliotek på King-dagen 17 januari 2011

21 år gammal åkte jag till USA för att jobba som au pair. Väl på plats flyttade jag in hos en rik familj i New Jersey för att under ett år ta hand om deras barn. I denna familj med två vuxna och tre barn hade de fyra bilar och sju TV-apparater. De hade ett materiellt överflöd men brist på kärlek. Elaka ord om varandra utdelades ofta i familjen, väldigt sällan ömhetsbetygelser.

“Vi måste snabbt börja gå från ett tingorienterat samhälle till ett personorienterat samhälle” sa Martin Luther King i ett tal. ”När maskiner och datorer, vinstmotiv och äganderättigheter, anses vara viktigare än människor då kan vi inte övervinna de tre enorma problemen: rasism, materialism och militarism.” Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Right? What’s Left?

By Jonathan Power

It goes back to the French revolution of 1789. At the Revolutionary Convention the most radical of the insurgents decided to seat themselves on the left side. Read the rest of this entry »

Mourad Dhina, a light in the Algerian darkness, arrested

By Johan Galtung

Galtung here focuses on a human rights case which – like the terrible mass slaughter in Algeria in the 1990s – have attracted little attention in the West. Please circulate the letter to the French prime minister below.

Syria is horrible. Assad should step down immediately, a coalition government should come into being, and a thousand mediators should talk with the many parties, maybe with a federation in view. But Algeria is even worse. Read the rest of this entry »

What the Arab League report on Syria also stated – but you hardly knew from the media

By Michel Chossudovsky

We publish this post right after China and Russia have vetoed the UN SC Resolution draft. Perhaps the situation in Syria is a bit more complex than you are generally told?

I’d like to bring to the attention of our readers the Observers’ Mission Report of the League of Arab States (AL = Arab League) to Syria.

The report acknowledges the existence of “an armed entity” involved in the killings of civilians and police as well as the conduct of terrorist acts, which in turn have contributed to triggering actions by government forces. Read the rest of this entry »

Iran, the EU and what we should have learned by now*

By Jan Oberg

On Monday the 23rd of January 2012, the EU’s 27 members unanimously decided to stop their oil import from Iran on July 1 this year. That sort of policy is considered benign in comparison with warfare. It won’t be when seen in the long run.

Sanctions usually have the opposite consequences of those “intended”. Secondly, as we know from the Iraq case, they are part and parcel of a build-up to war and will have, in the longer run, devastating, cruel consequences for innocent civilians whose lives are already hard.

How come EU leaders seem not to see the counterproductivity of their decisions? Do they not know that they contribute to a build up to a war that will be much more catastrophic than that on Iraq both for the region, for themselves and for the economy they otherwise try to keep from even deeper crisis?

Virtually everyone speaking on behalf of their country or the EU as a whole point out the risks of escalating the conflict; it may eventually lead to a spiral, one or more counter measures by Iran and a tit-for-tat dynamics that could – could – go out of hand. The next they therefore say, as if to soothe their own fears, is that war must be avoided and that, rather, sanctions and other types of pressures serve only one purpose: to get the Iranians to the negotiation table.

Don’t they know the basics of psychology?

This is pathetic and militates against everything one knows about psychology. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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