Archive for the ‘AA ARTICLES BY ASSOCIATES’ Category

TFF PressInfo # 439: New peace platform: The Transnational














Lund, Sweden – December 30, 2017

It’s tomorrow, at December 31, 2017 at 1200 noon CET, that we open The Transnational to the world.

It’s a homepage, an archive of some 7000 original research-based articles over more than 30 years.

It’s a blog by TFF Associates – the finest and most experienced community devoted to the UN Charter norm that peace shall be created by peaceful means.

It’s curated materials from around the world, in easy-to-find themes and menus. It’s links to global news, analyses and inspiration.


It’s texts, images, videos, music – culture and art too. Because peace is much much more than just no war.

Peace is the basis of the good society.


It’s an innovative, multi-dimensional platform for peace – research, analysis, education and policy.

It’s factual – in contrast to much else today – it’s critical and constructive.

It’s diagnosis, prognosis and solutions.

It’s interactive and adapted to your phone, tablet and screen.


There are already around 150 posts. But brand new as it is, there are themes not filled yet. They will be. Much to follow. So sign up.

You’ll immediately see this is something new and different.


It’s The Transnational opening tomorrow – also to take over some of the debate from social media. Because:

TFF does not accept to be a target of censorship so sadly practised now by Facebook, Google and Twitter. Just because we work for peace.


We can learn to conflict and to peace intelligently.

We can stop being victims of the violence of powers who suffer from conflict and illiteracy. You would not like to drive on roads where no one had had any instruction in road signs, traffic rules and care, would you?

But that’s our world in a nutshell.


The Transnational will become your gateway to those – the most controversial of all issues: anti-militarism and peace creation.

That struggle continues in the new year. Our best wishes to you and yours – and the world – in 2018!


More inequality, Mr. Trump?













By Jonathan Power

December 26th 2017

Every so often reports emerge that attempt to measure which are the best countries to live in. The Nordic countries plus New Zealand, Holland and Switzerland, usually come out top. Sweden is number one just for the sheer stability of life and security. Denmark is seen as the most agreeable place to live. The highest rate of longevity is found in Japan. The best schools are in Finland, New Zealand and Canada. Political and press freedom put the Nordics at the top of the league.

Last month, the Legatum Institute based in London published a report looking at inequality. Its timing could not be more perfect with the US Congress last week passing President Donald Trump’s tax bill which increases inequality by a substantial amount.

In 2013 the French economist, Thomas Piketty, published his blockbuster book, “Capital in the twenty-first century”, arguing that inequality was steadily increasing.  There was wide acclaim, and quite a bit of criticism. The debate over the book raged in the serious newspapers and journals for many months.

Earlier this year the Legatum Institute hired Picketty to answer the criticisms and to enlarge his findings. His new report, drawing on several years’ work, tries to answer four questions. First, where is inequality most pronounced? Second, is the world becoming more or less equal? Why are the experiences of Europe and the US so different? Fourth, have we returned to the levels of wealth inequality last seen a century ago?

Picketty and his collaborators fashioned a World Wealth and Income Database that positions every country in a league table.

The most unequal region in the world is the Middle East, where the top 10% receive 60% of all income. India, Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa are not far behind.

The most equal region is Europe, where the figure is 37%. China is the next most equal, with a top income share of 41%. This comes as a surprise considering the media often focuses on what it claims is the country’s widening inequality.

Read the rest of this entry »

The madness of missiles

By Jonathan Power

December 19th. 2017

The nuclear weapon missile business is contradictory, full of missteps, highly dangerous and prepared in its madness (Mutually Assured Destruction, aka MAD, they used to call it in Cold War days) to plunge the world into a nuclear war that will reduce most of the world to dust.

A new book, “The Doomsday Machine” by Daniel Ellsberg tells the whole nuclear bomb story in detail. No one has done it better. The only rival is the movie, “Dr Strangelove”, that got the essentials right without being privy to much of the Ellsberg’s knowledge.

Ellsberg is the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon papers, an expose of the US role in the Vietnam War. In this book he tells of his time in the 1960s as consultant to the Department of Defence and the White House.

He drafted Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war- McNamara was secretary of defence during the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy.

Five years ago, after he had finished the book, he tried 17 different publishers and it was rejected. Earlier this year he found a home with Bloomsbury, the publisher of Harry Potter, a book that was also rejected many times.

Why, at last? “The world got scarier”, he said in a long interview in the Financial Times last month. “The only silver lining to today’s world is that people now want to read my book”. Read the rest of this entry »

The Beloved Jerusalem is hijacked

By Jonathan Power

Poets as diverse as William Blake and Yehuda Amichai have sung the praises of the heavenly Jerusalem, a land without strife or rancour, war or bitterness, envy, acquisitiveness or hatred. Until last week and President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s de facto capital, Israel, Fatah, Hamas and their common interlocutor, the US, had the historic opportunity to take a giant step towards making the present day Jerusalem acquire, at least in some of its aspects, the earthly prototype of the heavenly Jerusalem. Some of us have long hoped to see whether the work over decades of many imams, rabbis, ministers and priests could bear fruit. The secular politicians may be the ones doing the negotiations and ordering the compromises but it is the teachers of the three great deistic religions who have been charged from above to exert their mandate to teach compassion, goodness, tolerance and brotherhood, and make a non-aligned Jerusalem the centre that brings the three Abrahamic religions into an embrace.

These traits of virtue, as common to them all as is their God, is being tested in the hottest of fires. Have their peoples imbibed the true message of their faith? The question for this Christmas month is can enough of them stand up against the new alliance of Trump and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 438: Aleppo’s Liberation one year ago – Anybody ashamed today?

By Jan Oberg

December 12, 2017, marks the anniversary of the liberation – the West called it fall – of Aleppo in Syria. What happened is conveniently forgotten today by the West.

Some of us can’t and won’t forget what was both world, regional and local history.

Important for Syria, for the West and for the future world order – for at least 5 reasons.

1. The Western mainstream media’s deceptive – constructed, ignorant, or both – narrative since 2011 was debunked.

Perspectives that media and political decision-makers deliberately omitted (remember omitted stuff is more important than fake):

• History and the colonialists’ role in Syria.
• The immense complexity of the Syrian society.
• Syria as a 7000 year-old civilisation and as end of the Silk Road.
• The decades-long conflicts underlying the violence, since CIA’s coup in 1949.
• The Western-driven regime change policies years since before 2011.
• Other causes of the conflicts than “Assad the dictator and his regime” such as environmental crisis, oil and gas, and its being partly occupied since 1967 by Israel.
• That nothing of the conflict complexity can de facto be reduced to a matter of one man’s role – like it couldn’t with Milosevic (now exonerated), Saddam, or Ghadafi;
• That this may have been a civil war for about a week but then almost 7 years of international aggression by thousands of foreign groups, Western governments/arm suppliers and their Saudi-led allies.
• Syria’s right under such circumstances to self-defence according to Article 51 of the UN Charter.
• The major role in the utter destruction of Syria played by NATO countries, Turkey particularly when it comes to Aleppo, and Western allies such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states; all was simply ”the dictator/regime killing his own people”…
• That Russia and Iran was the only foreign powers legitimately present according to international law.
• That the UN was sidelined – again – and tasked with the impossible role of making peace out of such member state policies.
• The media interest in Syria disappeared immediately after Aleppo’s liberation as if orchestrated by one conductor. Silence.
• And Facebook and Google Search changes algorithms…

The media coverage stopped there and then – like musicians under a conductor, obeying the tiniest move.

2. It marked the end of the West’s attempt at regime change since 2012

It had started formally on Dec 12, 2012 – on the day four years earlier, in Marrakesh. “Friends (!) of Syria” declared Assad’s government illegitimate and set up a Syrian National Council – without, of course, asking the Syrian people it was supposed to represent. Here’s AlJazeera’s/AFP’s coverage of that cruel decision.

Read the rest of this entry »

The West has most to lose in the media war with Russia

Jan Oberg comments on the tit-for-tat policies of the U.S. and Russia when they force each other to register their media as “foreign agents”.

It is a weak U.S. that cannot accept that it no longer has a virtual monopoly on shaping perceptions of the world. Just find your role and accept that there are other angles and priorities than those you’ve dominated the global information structure with fore decades.

As we have said before, censorship is not the way – educating people to sense the difference between real and fake news and look for omitted news, angles and facts – in contrast – is a solution.

Mladic’s conviction for mass murder delayed 22 years

By Jonathan Power

Timing is everything. Dear Reader you’re right. If I was going to write on the conviction in a UN court of General Ratko Mladic I should have done it last week when the court sentenced him to life imprisonment for the mass murder of a significant part of Bosnia’s Muslim population during the civil wars in ex-Yugoslavia.

But does a week here or a week there matter when it has taken the ridiculous time of 22 years from the horrific event in Srebrenica, when 7,000 Muslim men were rounded up and slaughtered, to conviction? It was 16 years from the end of the war and 6 years from the date of his capture. The trial in Nuremberg of ex-Nazi leaders took only a year and took place immediately after the end of the Second World War.

The Yugoslav civil wars began in 1991 and ended in 2001. At wars’ end all the fugitives sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia were in “hiding”, apart from the president of Serbia himself, Slobodan Milosevic. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 437 – Johan Galtung is awarded peace prize in Nobel’s spirit

By Jan Oberg

On Saturday, December 2 2017, Johan Galtung is awared the alternative peace prize, The People’s Peace Prize In Accordance With Nobel’s Will.

Who is Johan Galtung
Born in Norway 87 years ago. The most innovative and productive figure in international peace and cconflict research. Has taught at 50 universities around the world and received 50 honorary degrees and other prizes. Consultant to a series of international organisations, the UN in particular.
Author of about 160 books in fields such as peace and peace-making, security politics, violence, alternative defence, macro history, mathematics, peace journalism, future research, social science methodology, world order issues, economics and theory of science.
Has been a mediator and produced peace plans in around 100 conflicts – among them Palestine-Israel, the Middle East as a region, North and South Korea, Equador and Peru, former Yugoslavia, East and West.
Is the founder of Peace Research Institute, Oslo, PRIO, and the network and net university Transcend.
Still very active and operates globally, lives in Spain, Japan and the US. Married to Fumiko Nishimura.

The Prize
Has been created as a constructive alternative to the official Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo which, for years, has been awarded in defiance of Alfred Nobel’s will – however not this year when ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, will receive the prize on December 10.
The Prize is decided by and awarded by the Peace Movement of Orust, a small association at a small island on the West coast of Sweden – an organisation headed by two other pioneers of peace, Erni and Ola Friholt, who have also passed 80.
This prize comes with no money but love and honour.

Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 437 – Johan Galtung tilldelas fredspris i enlighet med Nobels testamente

Av Jan Öberg

På lördag den 2:a december 2017 tilldelas Johan Galtung det alternativa fredspriset, Folkets Fredspris i Enlighet med Nobels Testamente.

Vem är Johan Galtung?
Född i Norge för 87 år sedan. Fredsforskningens mest innovativa och produktiva gestalt. Har varit professor på 50 universitet världen runt och fått 50 hedersdoktorat och priser. Rådgivare för många internationella organisationer, speciellt FN. Författare till 160 böcker inom bl a fred, säkerhetspolitik, våld, alternativt försvar, makrohistoria, matematik, fredsjournalistik, framtidsforskning, socialvetenskaplig metod, världsordning, ekonomi, vetenskapsteori.
Har medlat i och skapat fredsförslag beträffande 100 internationella konflikter – bl a Israel-Palestina, Mellanöstern som region, Nord- och Sydkorea, Ecuador och Peru, fd. Jugoslavien, Öst och Väst.
Skapade PRIO, fredsforskningsinstitutet i Oslo, och nätverket/universitetet Transcend.
Fortfarande globalt operativ – lever i Spanien, Japan och USA. Gift med Fumiko Nishimura.

Skapat som konstruktivt alternativ till det officiella Nobel-priset i Oslo, som i åratal har ignorerat Alfred Nobels testamente – dock inte för 2017 där ICAN, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ska få ta emot priset den 10:e december.
Det bestäms och delas ut av Fredsrörelsen på Orust, en liten förening på en liten ö i Bohuslän, västra Sverige – en förening som leds av två andra pionjärer inom fred, Erni och Ola Friholt, bägge också 80 år fyllda.
Med priset följer inga pengar utan kärlek och heder.

Friholtarna och Orust-rörelsen har ett livslångt engagemang för ickevåld, global utveckling, kvinnors rätt, konst och poesi. Rörelsen representerar det bästa inom nordisk folkrörelseverksamhet och fred och står bakom Sveriges förmodligen bästa föredragsserie, i Henåns Kulturhus, med forskare, journalister, författare – alltid med humanistisk, globalt, kritiskt och konstruktivt perspektiv.
Dialog, inte konfrontation. Högt på intellektualism och integritet, lågt på populism, politisk korrekthet och sekterism.
Kort sagt, Nordens viktigaste fredsrörelse, en lokal-global rörelse helt i Gandhis anda med en rak linje tillbaka till Galtungs första bok från 1955, med filosofen Arne Næss,”Gandhis Politiske Etikk”.

Ingen som helst – om man ska tro svenska och utländska medier, men det ska man som bekant inte.
Men nog så betydelsefull i substansen – för forskning, fred, fri opinionsbildning och folkhemstradition – och som konstruktiv kommentar till dagens svensk-amerikanska säkerhetspolitik, som Nobel skulle ha beklagat djupt.
Kort sagt, för motståndets och alternativens etik.
Ett Nobelsk-Gandhianskt pris som ligger helt i linje med en annan norrman, Nordahl Grieg’s, formulering att ”Stilt går granaternas glidende bånd. Stans deres drift mot död, stans dem med ånd. Kringsatt av fiender, gå in i din tid.”

Lördag den 2:a december på Svanviks gamla skola vid Stocken på Orust 10:00 med föredrag av Johan Galtung och Jan Öberg (om Galtung), musik, fackeltåg och 19:00 Nobel-bankett och utdelning av fredspriset.
Arrangeras med stöd av Orust Kommun och Sensus.

Ola och Erni Friholt på, tel +46 (0)304-51215 – eller
Jan Öberg på +46 (0)738 525200

TFF PressInfo # 436: The Prince of human rights got it all wrong and we are still waiting

By Jan Oberg

General Ratko Mladic has finally been sentenced – to life – for crimes committed in Bosnia during the Yugoslav dissolution wars in the 1990s.

That motivated Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to make a statement to the effect that “Mladic is the epitome of evil, and the prosecution of Mladic is the epitome of what international justice is all about.”

But that statement is, if anything, the epitome of exemplary nonsense, pro-Muslim bias and something the UN S-G ought to distance himself from since it is a purely political statement.

The media – in the West in particular – have of course lapped it up. Most media people today are too young to have any personal experience of the events some 25 years ago and would have to read thick books to understand some of it.

The verdict’s political effect – whether intended or not – is to justify the horrible way the so-called “international community” intervened in the Yugoslav complex of intertwined conflicts with an inverse proportion between its intellectual understanding and its brutality.

Now, if you think I am thereby defending Mr. Mladic, let me say that there are strong reasons to believe that he is guilty of much including some of the killings in the massacre of Srebrenica.

Essentially, the argument of this article is not about Mladic. It’s about the Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s unacceptably politicized – but hopefully well-intentioned – statement.

But the Jordanian prince – who was with UNPROFOR in Yugoslavia at the time and should know better – anyhow got it all wrong because:

• The human evil card is a cheap one to play that doesn’t explain anything. Any serious intellectual knows that there are very complex economic, political, historical and other factors associated with crimes of this type. What happened in Srebrenica can’t be reduced to one man’s evil as little as the Second World War can be reduced to the single person Hitler.

• What made Srebrenica happen was, among other things, that the six safe zones the UN Security Council had established was never made safe by the UN members. Then UNPROFOR top General Wahlgren of Sweden whom I knew very well had required around 30.000 more UN troops to make those zones safe for refugees to be in; the international community gave him only 1200 Turks with a Turkey firmly sympathising with the fundamentalist Muslim leadership in Bosnia under Alija Izetbegovic.

• Interestingly, the safe zones were not de-militarised. The international community – the US? – had permitted Izetbegovic’s government to place its ammunition depots and troops inside these zones – from which they could then make excursion out and fire into Serbian villages while Serbs obviously could not fire into safe zones filled with refugees.

• In addition, the UN as such was bankrupt at the time – member states such as the US having ignored to pay its dues to the organisation. Read the rest of this entry »


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