Monthly Archives: April 2015

Hvordan Danmark blev en krigsførende nation

Trykt i tidsskriftet Ræson 4/14

I politisk forstand eksisterer det Danmark jeg voksede op i ikke mere. Det var et land hvor man i rimeligt omfang troede på humanisme, på retfærdighed, ligeberettigelse, velfærdsstat og på at snakke om tingene. Selvom vi var med i NATO så skulle konflikter løses i overensstemmelse med folkeretten og ved at snakke om tingene.

Idag er Danmark ledende på to områder, som mange i min generation dengang ville have forsværget at vi nogensinde ville røre med en ildtang: fremmedfjendtlighed og militarisme. Selvom der er en sammenhæng mellem disse to ting så skal jeg i det følgende i en slags listeform svare på det spørgsmål Ræson har stillet mig: Hvad er det for en udvikling der er sket i DK’s syn på verden og militær magtanvendelse de sidste 25 år?

Man kunne også spørge: Hvorfor er den aktivistiske udenrigspolitik i første række militær? Hvorfor er det moralske argument om at vi ”må da gøre noget når” kun relevant dér hvor F16 kan bruges men ikke dér hvor fattigdommens og fejludviklingens problemer tager tusinder af liv hver dag?

Punkterne, der dækker de nævnte 25 år – altså tiden siden den gamle kolde krigs afslutning i 1989 – er ikke prioriterede. Alting hænger sammen og den lineær tænkning samt enkel kausalitet af typen A forårsager B forårsager C er forældede begreber.

Det globale perspektiv. Alt uden for EU, altså sådan cirka 93 % af verden – er blevet nedprioriteret i medier og politisk debat. Jo mere globalisering, jo mere er Danmark (jeg véd godt det er en generalisering!) blevet selv/nationalt-orienteret og kombinerer hygge med fornægtelse af de store problemer menneskeheden står overfor.

Efterkrigsgenerationen. Politikere har ingen erfaring af krigen, mange var endog børn eller unge da Muren faldt. Hvis der findes en afsky eller frygt for krigens gru så er den tilstede via medier – og krigen finder sted på behagelig afstand i kulturer vi stort set ikke forstår men nok synes skal ændres af det mere civilisatorisk overlegne Vest. Og går dét så helt galt som i Irak så havde vi i hvert fald gode intentioner.

Socialdemokratiet. Det i en vis forstand historisk samfundsbærende parti i de nordiske lande har opgivet alt hvad der fandtes i bevægelsen af solidaritet, nedrustning, retfærdighed og engagement ude i den store verden. Det er som P. O. Engquist vist har formuleret det et parti, der ikke længere har en historie at berette.

Det radikale venstre. Traditionelt anti-militaristisk, nu pro. Når man ser på Danmarks krige er det gamle spørgsmål jo stadig relevant: Hvad skal det nytte? Det var S og R der, personificeret ved Nyrup Rasmussen og Niels Helveg Petersen, i 1999 gjorde to fundamentale ting: blæste på FN og bombede Jugoslavien og dermed åbne for alt, der siden er sket.

Kundskab blandt politikere. For et par årtier siden havde vi en række politikere på tinge, der havde den store verden og sikkerhedspolitik som specielt kundskabsområde Continue reading

Hvad skal Danmark med kampfly?

Der findes bedre argumenter imod end for. De officielle argumenter holder i hvert fald ikke. Og i det hele taget handler en informeret debat i et demokrati absolut ikke bare om hvilket kampfly, vi skal have.
“Opinionen. Magasinet med tværkulturel kant” har lavet et længere interview om disse ting og om hvad dansk udenrigspolitik også kunne være – med en lille smule krativitet. God læsning!

Burundi: Early warning and violence-prevention

May I point your attention to a small country in Africa with about 10 million people that is running out in a very serious crisis and could end in a civil war or genocide. This is TFF PressInfo 319.

Burundi – Early warning and violence prevention

Burundi is a country with very special characteristics. It’s always been in the shadow of Rwanda and relatively neglected by the international community.

A very very serious crisis is now unfolding because its president, Pierre Nkurunziza, is willing to risk everything to get elected for a third 5-year time which is very dubious according to the constitution. It’s a country with a GDP per capita of around US$ 300 and the Global Power Index places it as Number One in the world in terms of percentage of the population going hungry.

Nkurunziza’s first years were in many ways very positive but since about 2008 there is no evidence of real change or leadership. The only Burundians, it seems, who want him for a third term are his own ruling party and the poorest and illiterates in the countryside. Virtually all segments of society want him to step down.

The people are protesting and the ruling party’s response is now coming close to dictatorship – with killings, arrests, tear gas, water cannons, closing down of civil society organisations, cutting communication and closing down all non-state media.

I write a bit about this since I have worked on and off in Burundi between 1999 and 2012 with youth organisations and other civil society organisation, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a university and others. I fear very much what could happen the next weeks and months and sense how woefully inadequate the international community’s response is. Here is a clear case where a genuine humanitarian intervention would be appropriate – as it is likely that it could save lives before it is too late and put a break on Nkurunziza’s authoritarian manners. The international community must do more than lame standard appeals about respecting human rights and free elections – which this regime is know not to do.

I also discuss how the world community is better at running wars than preventing them and that early warning must be followed-up by early listening and early action. That is dearly needed in this little beautful country – and needed now.

Here is this and much more in TFF PressInfo # 318.

Behind every refugee stands an arms trader

It would be good if we could address the reasons why refugees come from Africa to Europe.

It’s difficult to do anything serious about the problems – and avoid terrible human suffering like those we have just witnessed – if nobody bothers to talk about root causes and believe that the solution is just to allocate more money to deal with symptoms and “repair” work.

We must also be very careful that the word “refugee” is not replaced – as is increasingly the case – with the word “migrant”. The two a very different and a refugee has a right to protection. He or she is fleeing from hell and not coming to Europe to “seek a better life”. Refugees are not happiness-seekers.

This is what I deal with in TFF PressInfo #318.

Yemen – the mainstream narrative is grossly misleading

TFF PressInfo # 317 – My introduction to four important articles by TFF Associates on the conflict and violence in Yemen.

The links between refugees and war

It’s our wars, stupid!
A short interview on Russia Today about Europe’s woefully inadequate understanding of why refugees come here.
Towards a solution: Deal with conflicts early and by peaceful means, criminalise arms trade and abolish war and you’ve solved most of the world’s refugee problems!
Interview on YouTube with RT International (700 million viewers worldwide and to be broadcast repeatedly on April 20, 2015).