Burundi’s crisis: Complacency, inaction or racism – or all of it?

There is no end, it seems, to diplomats and government representatives who “express concern”, appeal, urge the parties to show restraint, warn, condemn etc. All words, no deeds. European leaders reaction is basically silence – while 16 Europeans killed in the office of Charlie Hebdo made them walk arms in arm in Paris. When I think of Burundi today, all these words by Martin Luther King, Jr on complacency and inaction fit the international so-called community. There never was a truly human concern behind all the interventions in oil-rich, or otherwise strategically important, countries. If the Responsibility to Protect meant anything but self-interested, geopolitical interventionism, governments and diplomats would stop talking and wringing their hands now and get their planning tools in place – with the aim to save every Burundian, the region and the world from yet another – preventable – catastrophe. If Burundi’s crisis had happened in or closer to Europe, would European leaders not have reacted? If your answer is “I think so” then we are talking about structural racism – whether intended or not, whether conscious or not. It means a system of thought, or a paradigm, embedded in our culture that builds on the tacit, collective assumption that black people are unworthy of the concern, compassion and solidarity that we automatically apply – indeed find natural to apply – to white people in crisis.

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Militarism, taxpayer money for war planning and lack of democracy

My deeply concerned wake-up call to YOU! Please share and spread further! NATO’s military leader is like a man given a scalpel to perform surgery without ever having opened a book on medicine. Taxpayers pay for getting less and less secure and risking war in Europe. These military elites have no democratic mandate – be it in the West, Russia, China or anywhere. My interview with RT International

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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 […]

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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!

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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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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).

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Behind every refugee stands an arms trader

This sunny Sunday morning, we wake up to yet another human catastrophe in the Mediterranean. The earlier ones have not caught much media attention – imagine if these had been luxury cruise ships with white Europeans and Americans. I listened carefully to the presenter at AlJazeera in this report Hundreds feared dead as boat capsizes off Libya coast He says that they come to seek a better life. NO! They run away to another continent without shoes, money or belongings because their lives are unbearable and hopeless. Normaly people seek a better life where they are, don’t we all? Here is a better explanation: “Behind almost every refugee stands an arm trader” – said once Swedish human rights advocate and humanist, Dr. Peter Nobel, former head of the Swedish Red Cross, when he was chairman of TFF’s Board. This formulation has been chiselled in my mind ever since. These people, all from warzones, are not on the run to happiness but run away from Hell. To solve, or at least reduce, the migration problem we should criminalise arms trade and abolish war as a socially acceptable institution.

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Valentina Lisitsa

Valentina Lisitsa – YouTube The world class pianist barred from playing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra because of her tweets about the Ukraine conflict. As if that had anything to do with her art. Shame on Toronto Phony! With suppression of such art by a Western cultural institution we are all doomed! And where are all the phony Paris marchers from Charlie Hebdo today – Netanyahu, Helle Thorning Schmidt, Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Poroshenko (oh no, she is critical of Ukraine’s government!)? Where did we hear “Je Suis Valentina”? Long live freedom of artistic expression!

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Længe leve gammeldagsen

Skal man tro Rune Lykkeberg i Politiken men det skal man jo ikke nødvendigvis så mistede Rifbjerg faktisk grebet…”Derfor blev opgøret med velfærdsstatens pædagogik og kultursyn også til et opgør med Klaus Rifbjerg, der fastholdt sine gamle standpunkter som svar til alle kritikere og insisterede på, at humoren, legen, kunsten og seksualiteten var argumenter for hans position.” Fy for den lede velfærdsstat, humor, leg, kunst og seksualitet. Sgugodt vi har lagt den slags og Rifbjerg bag os! Og så Lykkebergs afsluttende bøvs: “at han godt selv vidste, at han selv som antiautoritær var ved at blive en paradoksal og problematisk autoritet.” Paradoksal? Problematisk? Bestemt – nemlig når man kan blande autoritet og autoritær sammen uden at hverken forfatteren eller redaktionen opdager at den er rivende gal. Nej jeg foretrækker skam også det Danmark hvor vi alle står sammen og kan sige, skrive, tegne og mene lige hvad vi vil, føre krig og hade fremmede og se os selv som uskyldige ofre under Helle Thorning Schmidt køligt moderlige ledelse. I dét Danmark har Lykkeberg sikkert ret i at Ribjerg var gammeldags. Længe leve gammeldagsen!

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Comments to Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post

Today Charles Krauhammer – a well-known extreme rightist usually advocating war – writes in the Washington Post under the headline “The Iran deal: The anatomy of a disaster”. My comments under the article goes: The day Mr. Krauthammer will write about • sanctions on Israel for its nuclear weapons and international law violations; • anytime/anywhere inspections in all nuclear weapons countries including Israel (does he really believe that any country in the world would accept that?) • the relentless attempts at regional dominance by the U.S. and also look at Israel’s and Saudi-Arabia’s ambitions (i.e. apply a minimum of fairness), • how and why Iran’s status of non-nuclear country promotes a nuclear arms race more than the only nuclear weapons power in the region… – I for one would think Krauthammer was interesting to read. Now he repeats himself, doesn’t do analysis or real commentary but promotes Iranophobia (has he recently visited the country he has such negative views about?). It’s all sadly indicative of the real purpose – not nuclear issues but keeping Iran down forever. If we in the West are getting isolated, not Iran – perhaps he should ask what the reasons could be? It would be great and promote honest debate if Mr. Krauthammer could write about these issues and reveal a willingness and intellectual capability to connect dots and apply a comprehensive analysis of the issues and the region.

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Comment to Israel’s defence minister in Washington Post

Israel’s defence minister Moshe Ya’alon writes in Washington Post under the headline “Current Iran framework will make war more likely” When I wrote my comment there were already more than 1100 comments – so here it is: “Israel’s defence minister is an echo of PM Netanyahu. Nothing new, Israel’s official views are well-known, beamed out a thousand times more effectively than Iran’s to the world, not the least thanks to leading U.S. free and plural media. What makes you, Mr. Ya’alon, think that this whole discussion can go on forever as if Israel was not the main problem because of its military/militarism and its nuclear weapons? Your military expenditures are about the same as Iran’s, a country with about 10 times more people to defend. While you continue to hold occupied territory and fight wars for it – and you are a military man who mentions what he has been forced to do during war – you omit mention of the fact that Iran has not invaded anyone for more than 200 years. Israel, sadly, pursues law-defying policies and decades long ethnic cleansing instead of taking one step in the direction of trying to live together in a democracy-for-all state. You’ve got more power to change Israel’s policies than most Israelis. Morally – and I take you to be a moral man – you cannot contribute to punishing 80 million people (sanction, bombing threats, agents, propaganda, etc) who have done […]

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Yet another attack by Zionists on academic freedom

Medialens tells us that the Zionist lobby does it again! Are we surprised? Oh yes, when was it last all Western leaders praised freedom of expression by walking through Paris? Will even one of them now stand up and demand that this conference be held anyhow? What is it the West’s academic community boats about in comparison with other cultures – isn’t it freedom of our universities, the free search for knowledge and the right to express differing opinions on analytical issues – in contrast to politically controlled academic work? Why is it that practically every derogatory terms can freely be used about, say, Russians, Serbs, Muslims, Iranians etc. and their countries without anyone raising an eyebrow? Why do Zionists again and again promote a censorship that undermines the finest principles (ideally speaking) of Western culture in order to stop debates about Israel? And how much anti-Semitism do Zionists risk/want to produce by actions such as forcing this conference to be cancelled?

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Isn’t it time to boycott pro-Zionist media?

Listen very carefully to the eloquent PM Netanyahu here again giving it full blast thanks to CNN in an interview in which he (again) says nothing new. Why – just why – is his views given coverage again and again and again in Western media? Does the Iranian or other P5+1 get anywhere near the same media coverage (I can’t remember every having seen a Chinese diplomat talk about the Iran deal). And why does this happen with nobody mentioning the nuclear weapons – 200+ – that this state leader commands on the basis of political paranoia and autism? Why is nobody stopping him when he questions the legality of Iran’s nuclear civilian program and talks about terrorism while he as Israel’s leader is responsible for series of violations of international law and state terrorism? If this is the free press it is either knowingly or unknowingly pro-Zionist and Iranophobic or influenced – “bought” in money or other terms – by Israeli billionaires or agents. You can boycott commodites from countries you do not sympathize with – to send a signal. I wonder whether it isn’t time to boycott media that continue to disseminate pro-Zionist propaganda without covering relevant other angles and countries’ views – and do so again and again. If you anyhow watch it, write to the editor and protest the bias. Or stop using the media and let them rcognize that their viewer and visitor figures are […]

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Iran nuclear deal – a road to peace

Jan Oberg commenting on Iranian President Rouhani: “Tehran abides by commitments, if P5 1 fulfills promises” – YouTube/PressTV http://ow.ly/LbX3d In spite of the deal’s negative sides, Iran has chosen peace to the benefit of the world. In that perspective it is much more than a nuclear deal, it’s – potentially – a road to peace.

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Russisk og dansk propaganda – statslige og statslige medier…

Deadline – DR om russisk propaganda – og kun dén. Indslaget er et glimrende eksempel på hvor statsmagten og formodede frie medier taler sammen på en helt indforstået måde. Der spørges ikke om hvad propaganda er i ministerens mund; det nævnes ikke at propganda også kan være fortielse. Det er helt indforstået at vi i vest siger sandheden og at vi nu skal bruge endnu flere millioner på at sige sandheden så russerne kan høre den. Der spørges ikke om USA og NATO eventuelt også bruger “propaganda”. Der stilles et spørgsmål vedr. den russiske ambassadørs artikel, der giver indtryk af at Rusland har truet Danmark med et atomangreb – hvad han ikke har. Kun ét spørgsmål, til sidst, om hvorfor Danmark er så langt fremme i skoene over for Rusland giver et lillebitte modspil – og giver udenrigsministeren anledning til at snakke om de baltiske lande, ikke om hvorfor vi pludselig har fået en slags ny kold krig. Derefter kommer så ikke kun én men to systematiske og forudsigelige Ruslands/Putin-kritiskere – Rachlin o Serebriakov – som Adam Holm selv kommer selv kommer for skade at sige er meget enige. Hvor var den uafhængige medieanalytiker/forsker? Hvor var tabellen over hvor meget Rusland og NATO-landene respektive anvender på “information”? Hvor var oplysninger om hvor stor del af mediebilledet i Rusland, der er direkte statsstyret og hvor meget der ikke er det? Forskellen på russiske statsligt styrede medier og danske frie medier svinder […]

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16 years since NATO started its war on Yugoslavia – all criminals still at large

Today – 16 years since NATO began to bomb Serbia and did so mercilessly for 78 days to carve out Kosovo as an independent state – still today a failed one. Remember that when you talk about Crimea today. Here is a link to “Yugoslavia – What Should Have Been Done?” – probably the world’s most comprehensive blog about the dissolution of Yugoslavia; it’s written since 1991 by three experts and published as they wrote it at the time. The people who masterminded this destruction without a UN mandate are all still at large – e.g. Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Javier Solana, Wesley Clark and Tony Blair – the latter, without an ounce of shame, today “adviser” to the government in… yes, oh yes, Belgrade! It was the largest ever NATO operation. It was conducted without a mandate from the UN Security Council. It was out-of-area and not in response to an attack on a member state according to Article 5 in NATO’s charter. It came in the wake of the – fraud – negotiations at the castle of Rambouillet outside Paris during which (the Serb and the the Albanian delegations never met face-to-face) the Serb side was forced to accept that NATO could roam around freely all over Serbia with no legal responsibility (and potentially arrest anyone, including President Milosevic) and without paying anything for it. That was when the Serbs said no – and NATO’s bombing started soon […]

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P1 Debats politiske tilrettelæggelse omkring missilforsvaret

De fleste mennesker, der lytter til radio eller ser TV, tænker næppe så meget over hvad der også kunne være foregået og med hvilke deltagere. De ser et færdigt produkt, ikke processen – og de tager, nok så forståeligt, stilling til det de ser og hører snarere end til noget andet, de i en forestillingsverden kunne have set eller hørt. Med de sociale medier kan man nu formidle informationer i rollen som mediemenneske og fortælle hvordan det også går til sådan bag kulisserne. Måske lyttede du til P1 Debat på Danmarks Radio nu idag kl 12:15-13:00 om missilskjoldet og den russiske ambassadørs åbne brev? I så fald kan kopien herunder af min korrespondence med P1 Debats redaktør Anne Henderson måske have din interesse. Den dokumenterer at jeg skriftligt blev inviteret til at deltage per telefon, at jeg sagde ja tak men under forudsætning af visse rammebetingelser kunne opfyldes gennem videre samtale – herunder a) at der blev mulighed for at forklare at missilforsvaret kan ses som en del af en større amerikansk atomkrigs-strategi og b) at der må være fair play med mig siddende udenfor studiet specielt når programmet efter min opfattelse allerede da er planlagt med en holdningsmæssig slagside. Den viser endvidere at der gik næsten et døgn inden Hendersons svarer og så pludselig mener at det dér med at sidde på en telefon medførte at man har besluttet at jeg alligevel ikke skal deltage. Vel, læs selv nedenfor.

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Politikere og medier savner aabenbart enhver ekspertise om missilskjoldet til at modstaa Washingtons salgsteknikker

Åbent brev sendt til 2200 mennesker i Norden herunder 325 danske medieadresser. Af Jan Øberg Dr.hc., forskningschef TFF 21. marts 2015 Missilskjoldet tjener til at gøre det muligt at udkæmpe og vinde en atomkrig – ikke at afskrække fra den Den russiske ambassadørs artikel i Jyllands-Posten kan maaske siges at være bombastisk formuleret men i grunden har han – og ikke udenrigsminister Lidegaard – ret. Ledende medier som f.eks. Danmarks Radio, Ritzaus og Politiken giver baggrund til missilforsvaret som vidner om total mangel paa fagkundskab om strategi og atomdoktriner. I stærk kontrast til hvad vi hører om missilskjoldet – som Danmark nu tilsyneladende skal bidrage til – er det det mest de-stabiliserende indslag i atompolitikken siden 1945. Det kan kun opfattes af Rusland og andre som en provokation. Her er den forklaring som beslutningstagerne næppe har modtaget fra Washington, ministerier eller militære kredse. Den gælder for atomvaaben saavel som for konventionelle: Den klassiske terrorbalance fra 1950-erne handler om at hvis A har kastet sine raketter – inkl atomare – paa B, saa vil B altid have tilstrækkeligt at gengælde med nemlig atomvaaben paa sine fly, ubaade og i siloer, som A ikke har mulighed for at slaa ud i sit første angreb. Det hed “gensidigt sikret ødelæggelse”- MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. Den afskrækkende værdi laa i at begge parter vidste at hvis de startede en atomkrig ville deres egne befolkninger dø i millionvis som følge af modpartens gengældelse. Hvad indebærer […]

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EU agrees on sanctions on Russia – but what about peace?

EU agrees Russia sanctions to stay until Ukraine peace terms met (Reuters). Exactly as expected. If the EU can make a conflict-resolution mistake, rest assured that it will! Minsk is not a peace agreement – but at Reuters they don’t know the difference between a ceasefire and a peace agreement. The looming catastrophe is exactly that there is no follow-up to Minsk II, no process for conflict-resolution, the future structure of Ukraine, nothing on UN peacekeeping, reconciliation, confidence-building and peace. These sanction are the only known follow-up and only signaling: We don’t trust you damn Russians! NATO knows only military saber-rattling, EU only sanctions – nobody knows peace. What a Europe! What a danger to all of us having to live with the long-term consequences of such peace illiteracy! I’ve written a longer piece on what I believe would be a much safer policy – with absolutely no indications of an interest from the local or international media.

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