Archive for August, 2012

Soul searching and common sense after Oak Creek

By Richard Falk

President Obama has responded to the killing of six members of the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin this last Sunday with these words:

“All of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity. It is time for soul searching and we need to think of ways to reduce violence.”

What is most noticeable here, as it was in Obama’s tepid message of consolation to the families of the victims of the Auror a movie theater shooting of two week ago, is this reality: party politics trumps moral principle and even common sense in the aftermath of these extreme challenges to civic peace in America.

To fail to mention the grotesque absurdity of legally allowing almost everyone in the United States to buy assault weapons and large quantities of ammunition online or at neighborhood shops can only be explained by the intimidating influence of the gun lobby, and its accompanying gun culture, in this country as currently heightened by an ongoing, nasty presidential election campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing ever happens in Sweden!

By Jonathan Power

If all the world were like Sweden there would be no news to report. The last time that Sweden hit the front page was when its foreign minister, Anna Lindh, was knifed to death by a madman nine years ago on the eve of a referendum on Swedish entry into the Euro zone. The time before that was in the distant past.

But news and truth, as Walter Lippmann observed, should never be confused. The truth is, as a report by the United Nations showed, that Sweden is probably the most successful country in the world – that is if you factor in not just national income, but the longevity of its people, low infant mortality and high levels of education. Moreover, a new study by Professor Richard Florida of Carnegie Mellon university which measures the kind of creativity most useful to business – talent, technology and tolerance – puts Sweden number one in Europe and ahead of the US. In the future, Florida argues, this means that Sweden will become a “talent magnet” for the world’s most purposeful workers. Read the rest of this entry »

Reforming global finance: Don’t leave it to the economists!

By Kamran Mofid

The chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority argues that in the decades before the collapse of Western financial markets in 2007, too many economists were practicing a wrong-headed kind of economics. Their obsession with designing intricate mathematical models pushed moral, ethical and practical considerations too far into the background. It is high time for that to change.

In a short article in “The Globalist” Lord Turner discusses some of these issues. Due to its significance to our understanding of what has gone wrong, I have reprinted it below for your keen interest.

Before you begin to read Lord Turner’s wise words, I want to share something coming from my heart with you. It saddens me that when about 15 years ago, I began to say very similar things to what Lord Turner is saying now, my so-called fellow academic colleagues accused me of having gone mad. They told me, if I carry on like this, talking about ethics, morality, philosophy, theology, spirituality, love, sympathy, empathy, trust, sustainability, love for Mother Earth and the common good, I better consider leaving the economics profession and perhaps become a priest or social worker, or joining the Salvation Army. Read the rest of this entry »

Humanitarian military intervention in Syria – and who is behind the atrocities?

By Michel Chossudovsky, TFF Associate
August 8, 2012

We choose in this case to publish just the link to Chossudovsky’s article in which there are plenty of notes to valuable sources; we want to ensure that you can get the benefit of them all.

Jan Oberg
TFF Blog Editor

Beyond words: Poet’s lament

By Richard Falk

Poetry at its finest stretches the expressiveness of language beyond its prior limits, not necessarily by its choice of words, but through the magical invocation of feelings embedded deeply within consciousness. Yes even poetry has its own frontiers that if crossed lead to a word-less terrain littered with corpses of atrocity, what Thomas Merton and James Douglass have soulfully identified for us as the realm of ‘the unspeakable,’ and then are brave enough to explore forbidden terrain.

When we do not respect the unspeakable by our silence we domesticate the criminality of the horror that human beings are capable of inflicting on one another, and give way to the eventual emergence of normalcy as has happened with nuclear weapons detached from the happenings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Read the rest of this entry »

The Nordic countries in a world in crisis

By Johan Galtung

Talk at the Nordic Peoples’ Parliament in Jondal, Norway

Let us start with the crisis.

It is not a world crisis but a Western crisis. The root is simple: the Rest is catching up, and partly overtaking the West; China is catching up, and partly overtaking the USA–recovering from the blow received around 1500 from the Portuguese and the English destroying 1,000 years of buddhist-muslim trade from East China to Somalia via the rest of Asia; ending in Macao-Hong Kong (there are no Chinese enclaves in Portugal-England).

The West is outcompeted. The crisis is partly economic and partly a desperate Western effort, indeed Obama’s effort, to cling to hegemony. Read the rest of this entry »

Western Sahara – Divesting from all occupations

By Stephen Zunes

In response to ongoing violations of international law and basic human rights by the rightist Israeli government of Benyamin Netanyahu in the occupied West Bank and elsewhere, there has been a growing call for divestment of stocks in corporations supporting the occupation.

Modeled after the largely successful divestment campaign in the 1980s against corporations doing business in apartheid South Africa, the movement targets companies that support the Israeli occupation by providing weapons or other instruments of repression to Israeli occupation forces, investing in or trading with enterprises in illegal Israeli settlements, and in other ways. Read the rest of this entry »

More and more nukes: Why Waltz is wrong

By David Krieger

The lead article in the July/August 2012 issue of Foreign Affairs is titled “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb.” The author, Kenneth Waltz, a former president of the American Political Science Association, argues that the world should stop worrying about Iran getting the bomb. He sums up his basic argument this way: “If Iran goes nuclear, Israel and Iran will deter each other, as nuclear powers always have. There has never been a full-scale war between two nuclear-armed states. Once Iran crosses the nuclear threshold, deterrence will apply, even if the Iranian arsenal is relatively small.”

In essence, Waltz puts his faith in nuclear deterrence and justifies this in historical terms. But the history is short and there have been many close calls. Read the rest of this entry »


Subscribe to
TFF PressInfo
and Newsletter