The future of U.S.-Europe relations

“The Debate” with Jim Walsh, MIT and Jan Oberg, TFF Lund, Sweden – May 30, 2017 Last night “The Debate” on PressTV was devoted to the future of European-US relations in the wake of the NATO Summit, President Trump’s words and omissions and the – historic – words, in particular, of Chancellor Angela Merkel immediately after. Undoubtedly, we are at a turning point in these relations in general and for the NATO alliance in particular. To discuss these issues – past, present and future perspectives – were Jim Walsh, senior research associate at MIT’s Security Studies Program, Massachusetts, and Jan Oberg, director of TFF, Lund. Thanks to PressTV’s excellently structured program and interviewer we touched upon a series of aspects and dimensions around which we found both agreements and slight disagreements – all in a sober tone fit for public education and personal reflection. We hope this debate will stimulate your own thoughts about the future of war, security and peace. We’d be grateful for your sharing it to media people, students and other academics as well as to decision-makers in the field that you may know. See it here – The Debate

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Imagine a Middle East with no weapons!

Here a few comments on Erdogan’s recent attack on the West for supplying arms to the Kurds. Funny that Turkey’s president should accuse someone else for weaponizing a conflict. At the same time as Turkey does it and is also involved in two wars outside itself – Iraq and Syria – and one inside against the Kurds. In this short interview I seek to raise the imagination: Since the weaponization of conflicts is a cancer on the world, imagine that a God-like magnetic force that could suck up each and every weapon in the Middle East, what would happen? They would be forces to sit down and talk! And one more point I did not get around to say: The world’s cancerous arms industry and criminal arms traders – governmental as well as private – would go out of business and many end up behind bars. In short, a much better world.

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Den nye verden

Blogartikel til Arbejderen, 23. oktober 2016 Den nuværende periode i menneskehedens historie vil blive svær at forklare for fremtidens historikere – hvis der da findes nogle. Hvordan kunne det gå så skridt så hurtigt og på alle fronter for dén Vestverden, der efter 2. verdenskrig stod med alle kortene på hånden? Hvordan kunne det amerikanske imperium, der byggede på frihed og demokrati, overhovedet styrte sammen dér tilbage i 2026? Den vestlige NATO-baserede verden kunne ånde lettet op da Sovjetunionen og Warszawapagten var blevet opløst i 1989. Den havde vundet ideologisk – ingen ville siden have sovjetkommunisme – og økonomisk – Rusland producerede ingen attraktive forbrugsvarer – og militært. Ruslands militærudgifter var bare 8% af NATOs mod Warszawapagtens 75% af NATO førhen. Den Kolde krig forsvandt lykkeligt nok uden Varm Krig eller atomvåbenbrug. En ny verden blev mulig. Ondskabens imperium, som præsident Reagan havde kaldt Kreml-systemet, var borte. Alle talte om fredens ”dividende”. Men kun godt 25 år senere var verden gennemsyret af angst, terror, konfrontation, had, racisme, miljøkatastrofer, flygtningestrømme, markeds-økonomisme, militarisme og ting som ufatteligt dybe indkomstkløfter, mindskende velfærd og en vigende tro på demokratiet – samt indskrænkelser hele vejen rundt af den frihed, som netop denne ’frie verden’ stod for.

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If the EU becomes a criminal Union some don’t want you to know

For instance EU and other Western mainstream media. But we are getting out! The European Union is about to sign an agreement with non-EU Turkey to get rid of a large part of its refugees – by paying around € 6 bn to Turkey. Amnesty International and many others have pointed out – in strong words – that this agreement violates basic provisions of international law and human rights norms. This is the text I wrote on March 16 in TFF PressInfo # 367. As far as I’ve been able to check, no mainstream Western media has made any use of this text, let alone contacted me for comments. Instead it has been circulated widely by social media, spread to the rest of the world by the excellent Human Wrongs Watch, by the largest alternative news agency, International Press Service (also in Spanish) and I had a chance to refer to it on Russia Today (see another post here on my site) with between 600 and 700 million viewers. The leading alternative Counterpunch in the U.S. featured it too. And if you google – “Will the EU become a criminal Union tomorrow – you’ll see it featured also in Equador, in Canada by Global Research, etc. The worldwide PressEnza Hongkong took it. So did the Other News. Information that markets eliminate. The WN – World News Network. There are many others, of course. And more to come, surely. Who is not using such […]

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“Congratulations and thank you, Iran!”

With the breaking news on the nuclear deal announced today – undoubtedly a piece of world history – I wrote up TFF PressInfo # 329 with the above title. It’s written, as others before it on this issue, with an emphasis on the characteristics of this conflict that is both obvious and never mentioned: the a-symmetry of it all, the de factor relations and the negotiation set-up. Therefore, it is a huge victory for the Iran negotiation team under its extremely able leader, Javad Zarif.

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Libya, “migrants” and EU military action

E.U. Seeks U.N. Backing for Military Action to Stop Wave of Migrants Fleeing Horrific Abuse in Libya | Democracy Now! I’ve been around for a long time but I can still get both surprised and angry when I see things like this and try to connect the dots: 1) NATO bombs the hell out of Libya and kills its head of state and many others. 2) Predictably the country falls apart – chaos and cruelty follow. 3) Then refugees – not “migrants”, Democracy Now! – flee and traffickers profit. 4) Now more money and more warfare to “solve” the problem. 5) They don’t even seem to see that this proposal would put refugees at the firing line between EU military/police and armed traffickers. Excuse me but what about learning just one little thing: War and “humanitarian” intervention only and repeatedly make things worse! What about arresting all arms traffickers – then you would have less problems with human traffickers. But the only thing these EU Nobel Peace Prize winners will never dare to do is to challenge and change their own perverse militarism.

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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.

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