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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.




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.

Background
The Friholts and the Orust movement have a life-long commitment and multi-dimensional work for non-violence, global development, women rights, art and poetry. They represent the finest aspects of the Nordic civil society and public education tradition and peace work.
They are also behind what can be characterised as the most important annual series of public lectures, in the Henån Cultural Centre, held by researchers, journalists and authors – always with a humanistic, globalist, critical and constructive perspective.
It’s dialogue, not confrontation, it’s deep and it’s broad. High on intellectualism and integrity, low in terms of populism, political correctness and sectarianism. Free thinking for open minds.
In short, the most important peace movement in the Nordic countries with a larger following in local society than anywhere else, a local-global movement in the spirit of Gandhi and with a straight line back to Galtung’s first book, with philosopher Arne Næss, Gandhis Politiske EtikkGandhi’s Political Ethics – from 1955.

Significance
None whatsoever – if we are to believe Swedish and international media – which of course we should not.
But quite significant in terms of substance – for research, peace, free opinion-formation and the Nordic civil society movement traditions (democracy) – and as constructive comment on today’s Swedish/American security and foreign policy which, beyond doubt, Alfred Nobel would have deplored.
That is – for the ethics of resistance and alternatives. For hope beyond the militarist world and its increasingly destructive thinking.
A Nobel-Gandhi prize which is also in line with the poetic words of another great Norwegian, Nordahl Grieg: “The shells fly as one belt. Stop their drift towards death, stop them with spirit! Surrounded by enemies, engage in your times.” (”Stilt går granaternas glidende bånd. Stans deres drift mot död, stans dem med ånd. Kringsatt av fiender, gå in i din tid.”)

The ceremony
Saturday the 2nd of December 2017 at the old Svanvik School at Stocken, Orust 10 AM. Lectures by Johan Galtung (just arriving from Washington) and Jan Oberg (about Galtung), lunch music, torchlight procession and then at 7 PM the Nobel Banquet with the awarding ceremony.
Arranged with the support of the Orust Municipality and Sensus Association for public education and culture.

Contact
Ola and Erni Friholt ernifriholt@tele2.se, phone +46 (0)304-51215 or
Jan Oberg +46 (0)738 525200

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.

Priset
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.

Bakgrund
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”.

Betydelse
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.”

Ceremonin
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.

Kontakt
Ola och Erni Friholt på ernifriholt@tele2.se, tel +46 (0)304-51215 – eller
Jan Öberg på +46 (0)738 525200

PI 435 Likely: Nuclear Use Within Months (Part 2) – How to avoid it and build peace with Korea?

By Jan Oberg*

Part 1 about the risks here

Fact is that we are dealing here with a conflict that is the most threatening to humankind’s survival and it would be rather more easy to solve than most other conflicts.

This has recently been pointed out by TFF Board Member and former Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, IPPNW, 2004-2008, Gunnar Westberg, in a short analysis.
How?

• The West – the EU or NATO, if not the US itself – takes a serious mediation initiative. As long as people talk, they don’t start wars. That in itself would de-escalate the tensions and risks in sharp contrast to continued tit-for-tat sandbox thinking and reckless statements, last by defence secretary Mad Dog Mattis at the border between the North and South.

• The vastly superior side stops every military activity in the waters close to the North while South Korea’s leadership take up contact with the leadership of the North.

• The type of provisions of Jimmy Carter’s old deal with the North Koreans are dusted off and used as inspiration for more: Give the North Koreans all the economic assistance they believe they need and give them civilian energy technology too – as a quid-pro-quo for very tight IAEA inspections and a written guarantee that it will not acquire nuclear weapons as long as the West keeps its side of such a deal. (President George W. Bush just destroyed that deal and thought it appropriate to include North Korea in his Axis Of Evil speech).

• Sign a non-aggression or non-attack pact between North and South Korea and between North Korea and the US. That is, undermine any fears the North Koreans may have. The overwhelming superiority of the adversaries of the North implies that such a pact would be risk-free to write and sign.

• Let North and South Korea freely decide if they want to unify. They have a perfect human and international legal right to do so, it’s nobody’s business but the Korean people’s. The world should assist them in doing so if they want.

• The US and North Korea sign a peace treaty (what exists today is only the 1953 ceasefire agreement). Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 433: Balfour Declaration – 100 years today

Three articles reaching 9000+ recipients around the world on a day that has been mentioned by few Western mainstream media. And while sending, PMs May and Netanyahu celebrate the Anniversary in London.

Impact of European common values on the EU’s ability to solve conflicts in the countries of the Eastern Partnership

By Per Gahrton
Former Member of the European Parliament, Green Party of Sweden
PhD Sociology
Lund, Sweden, October 2017

A lecture at the XI Congress of Ukrainian European Studies Association, Kharkiv National University, October 20, 2017

Introduction: Sweden-Ukraine ties

A couple of days ago Swedish media reported that a wild boar, shot some 200 kilometres north of Stockholm, had been found to contain ten times more radioactivity than permitted by the health authorities. As you may guess, this radioactivity emanated from the Tjernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. This shows that we live in one globalized world and that my Sweden and your Ukraine are linked together.

Another example of Swedish-Ukrainian common experience might be the battle of Poltava in June 1709, which according to Wikipedia resulted in the “beginning of Sweden’s decline as a Great Power”. As belligerents, Wikipedia lists on one side Sweden and Ukraine, on the other Russia.

However, this military defeat against the Tsar may have been a blessing for the Swedes, because afterwards the Swedish people toppled the dictatorship of the king and introduced what is called The Times of Freedom (Frihetstiden), when a four-chamber parliament including peasants, ruled the country for half a century. Though it was not a full-fledged democracy (women and the poorest men were excluded) it was a starting point, well before the French Revolution.

About hundred years later Sweden suffered another defeat against Russia, which in 1809 conquered Finland, a country that until then had been an integral part of the Swedish kingdom.

Although many Swedes wanted to retake Finland, today most historians think that perhaps even this defeat was a blessing, for two reasons: First, the inevitable Finnish struggle for independence – which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year – was not conducted against Sweden but against Russia. And secondly, the political elite decided, as expressed by the famous poet Esaias Tegnér, to “reconquer Finland inside the borders of Sweden” which meant to build a peaceful and rich society and give up wars and dreams of territorial expansion and great power status.

Since then Sweden has been militarily non-aligned and has seen no war for more than 200 years.

Examples of Scandinavian conflict-resolution

However, earlier throughout history Scandinavia has been an arena for endless internal wars, mainly between the Danish and Swedish kingdoms. Like so often people have fought with those who should be their closest friends – their neighbours. Read the rest of this entry »

Main creator of terrorism is US war on terror, not terrorists

Jan Oberg Comment

A US war game/scenario being reported by The Intercept is pretty revealing for the lack of even the slightest re-thinking of what the Global War On Terror (GWOT) is really all about.

The US military’s game is about violence-for-violence, tit-for-tat.

The main result from this – anti-intellectual – attitude and policy is that there are about 80 times – yes, times – more people killed today than in the year 2000. Just consult the Global Terror Index and you’ll find that the figure is about 32,000 people, predominantly in the Middle East and not at all in the West.

Measure that against the roughly 400 killed and 700 wounded in the year 2000 (figures then available at the US State Department homepage, however, as it seems, later taken down).

I say a few things about that here on Russia Today.

The video is inside the article but can also be accessed here.

Why is the UN still so important – while it must also be reformed?

By Jan Oberg

Why is the UN still so important – in spite of having had its Charter violated repeatedly during the last 25 years?

Why should we not – cynically – side with the cynical and powerful countries that want to undermine and marginalise the world’s finest organisation with the most Gandhian-like document ever signed by governments?

What is the real UN and what does its Charter really say?

Jan Oberg tries to cover some of the answers in this 6 min video produced as Facebook Live on October 24, 2017.





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 »

 

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