Like we use Islamism – why not USism

War with Iran is probably our best option – The Washington Post By Joshua Muravchik – one of the extremist neo-cons influencing U.S. foreign policy. Hardly one argument backed up by facts here. The professor advocates a series of violations of international law. He thinks it is fine to kill people and cause regime change. Two simple points: Why does Washington Post publish such crap? Answer: Only because it is 100% politics and propaganda and 0 academic. Qaulity is no criteria anymore; it is politically correct within the narrow circles that edit this newspaper. Secondly, academics who support US foreign policy – domestically and around the world – these year should come out and say whether they support or distance themselves from semi-fascist views such as these. Like we use Islamism (which is a nasty term that links the religion to terrorism – and that is of course the intention – we should use USism about stuff like this. It has as little to do with the best traditions of American politics as Islamic State has to do with Islam.

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BBC’s non-professional reporting – and how it could also be written

NATO military exercises begin in Black Sea – BBC News Is this professional, impartial journalism? Let’s look at the words: NATO “reassures”, Russia “accuses” and “warns” and is – stated as an objective fact – “increasingly unpredictable”. Here is how this news story could also be written: “Simultaneous with a series of other military execises, NATO has begun one today in the Black Sea. Russia – which is seen by some NATO government as increasingly unpredictable – has stated that it considers these exercises close to its border provocative and that they will have a negative impact on the possibilities of finding a solution to the Ukraine conflict. BBC’s Gavin Lee spent a day on board NATO’s warship and will thereafter report the views of citizens ashore on how they think about Russia, NATO, Ukraine and the increasing tension in their region. At the moment there is a ceasefire agreement, Minsk 2, concerning Eastern Ukraine but no talks of peace and future confidence-building among the parties.”

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Gun in hand – less motivated to negotiate

Syrian Rebels in Aleppo Reject UN Peace Effort Perhaps understandable but tragic. When all this began in Syria some of us – a clear minority and without any media interest – suggested an arms embargo on all sides and involvement of the UN. But “Friends of Syria”, hot-headed politicians and media people knew that arming the opposition and never talk with Al-Assad was the only way. We he opposed it were considered ‘naive” and ‘unrealistic’. Today we see the results: Weapons embold people. Such people believe they can win – somebody else paying the price, but do they care? – and say no to each and every mediated solution. And, so, the killing, suffering, and displacement of innocent Syrian citizens – squeezed between the ruthless government and the ruthless rebels – will go on. When will the world norm change and arms traders be put on trial as the war criminals they are – civil as well as governmental arms traders who “weaponize” conflicts so they cannot possibly be solved?

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Olof Palme – murdered today 29 years

Olof Palme – murdered today 29 years ago • Wikipedia A politician who willed a better society, to whom politics was a calling – working for justice, international law, nuclear disarmament, against big countries bullying small countries, a person who made Sweden stand ut. Then. And it was the Palme Commission on Common Security that broke the ice towards the end of the Cold War with the idea that we can only be sure together with the other side, not against the other side. That was 1982. As relevant today as then – think Ukraine! I met him twice – the first time to criticise him for Swedish arms exports. The second for an hour-long lunch in which he constantly asked me questions about peace, nonviolence, peace research and alternative defence – and I did not get a chance to ask him a single of all the questions I had prepared… A rare combination of intellectualism and curiosity, vision and passion, self-confidence and humility – so sadly missed in today’s political world.

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Help Netanyahu to come to his senses

Mossad contradicted Netanyahu on Iran nuclear programme – Al Jazeera PM Netanyahu repeatedly speaks and acts in bad faith with the aim of getting some kind of war started on Iran. A leader of a nuclear weapons state suffering from obsession and having such bad aims and political judgement is a threat to us all. With a population roughly 10 times bigger than Israel’s, the two have about the same military expenditures. Israel spends 6,0 % of its GDP on the military, Iran 4,1. Israel can count on major militarist cuntries such as NATO – 60% of the worlds military – and Saudi Arabia for an attack on Iran. Iran has no nukes, has not occupied or invaded anybody for more than 200 years. The threat from Iran is Netanyahu’s own psychologial projections. Could the EU and/or Washington please help this man to come to his senses before it is too late. The war he has on his mind will be nothing less than a world catastrophe.

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“We Are All Charlie” – but is that story so simple?

Eleven points as a reflection on the terror in Paris and – not the least – the reactions to it*: 1. What was this an attack on? Was that attack an attack on freedom of speech as such, on democracy, even on the whole Western culture and lifestyle, as was maintained throughout? Or was it, more limited, a revenge directed at one weekly magazine for what some perceive as blasphemy? 2. Is freedom of expression practised or curtailed for various reasons? How real is that freedom in the West? Just a couple of days before the Paris massacre PEN in the U.S. published a report – Global Chilling – finding that about 75% of writers report that they are influenced by the NSA listening and abstain from taking up certain subjects or perspectives? Self-censorship, in other words. Finally, most of the political leaders marching in Paris on Sunday January 11 have clamped down on media, such as Turkey and Egypt. I must admit that I have experienced limitations in the practise of that freedom in my work with Western media and it is decades ago I draw the conclusion that things like political correctness, ownership, commercial/market considerations and journalists’ need for good relations with power – e.g. to obtain interviews – play a role. I’ve been on the ground in conflict zones and returning home to see reports so biased to tell very little of what I’ve seen myself. And […]

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Depiction of the Spiral of Violence

Or, rather, of violence against violence + terrorism against terrorism. Among the marchers against terrorism and for freedom of expression we find leaders from France, Denmark, Egypt, Italy, Turkey, Russia, the U.S., Israel, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and Ukraine. What do they have in common? A deep belief in violence – violence of various types: 9-10 of them presently fighting […]

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Europe’s 9/11 moment ?

I believe this is going to be an iconic image of something that will be a turning point in Europe and, likely too, the generalised West. Is this the 9/11 moment for Europe? Whether intended or not, the government leaders marching in Paris today will tomorrow begin a special ‘war on terror’ in Europe – clamping down on all of […]

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Partilederdebatten om attentatet på Charlie Hebdo

En beslægtet version på engelsk hér: Blandt verdens mange voldelige handlinger, krige og terrorhandlinger vælger Danmarks Radio at afholde en partilederdebat om netop denne terroraktion, der – så tragisk og afskyelig som den er – kostede 12 mennesker livet på et lille ugeblad i Paris. Den skal, hedder det – og tages uden videre som udgangspunkt for hele debatten – handle om ytringsfrihed og demokrati. Her en video fra debatten. Spørgsmål 1: Hvad er kriterierne for hvornår der gøres så meget ud af en international begivenhed at der hasteindkaldes til en times partilederdebat direkte efter TV-Avisen? Jeg kan ikke huske det skete under f.eks. Jugoslavienkrigene, besættelsen af Irak, Libyen eller Israels angreb for nogle måneder siden på Gaza hvor over 2000 blev dræbt. Spørgsmål 2: Hvordan ser forbindelseskæden ud mellem drabene i Paris og det, der af DR og alle politikere forstås (uden diskussion) som et angreb, ikke på et bestemt medie men på hele “vores” demokrati og ytringsfrihed? Hvad der således tages for givet er altid interessant – og vigtigt for demokratiet og ytringsfriheden – at stille spørgsmålstegn ved. Det være hermed gjort fordi det er svært at tro at nogen fundamentalist eller forstyrret person skulle forestille sig at ét angreb på et lille ugeblad og 12 dræbte kan true hele den vestlige verden i sin grundvold. De 8 politkere er helt enige om – og det er rigtigt og vigtigt at få sagt til alle i Danmark – […]

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Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers

Just published by PEN in the US: Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers This is deeply disturbing: “Concern about surveillance is now nearly as high among writers living in democracies (75%) as among those living in non-democracies (80%). The levels of self-censorship reported by writers living in democratic countries are approaching the levels reported by writers living in authoritarian or semi-democratic countries. And writers around the world think that mass surveillance has significantly damaged U.S. credibility as a global champion of free expression for the long term.” A personal note: Neither TFF nor I myself will be the slightest intimidated by such surveillance but will continue to do and say what we believe must be done and said.” – Jan Oberg Lund, January 6, 2015

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Before Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wallström, gets too excited…

Before Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, gets too excited about the Russian Bear: Here is the story of NATO’s Iron Sword 2014 exercise! Wouldn’t it be great if, say, Svenska Dagbladet, DN, Politiken, Sydsvenskan, DR.dk., SVT.se., Göteborgs-Posten, Jyllands-Posten, Information, BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Frankfurter Allgemeine, The Guardian . . . had mentioned this exercise somewhere? Just as a matter of information and as an opportunity to understand how Russia may see things from its side? Only Chinese media carry the story. Quick conclusion: Read as many non-Western media you can. Check out things not based on Reuters, AP etc. Use the internet and stop wasting your time with one conflict party’s media only. The truth is always larger than you are told. And read Russia Today – without believing of course that that is also not politically correct. In short, make your own judgements based on broader information.

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