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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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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“People Of Islam” – Ny udstilling

► Lite om utställningen & praktisk info Människor och miljön från Islam, som västvärlden ständigt är i konflikt med. Jag gjorde fact-finding i Irak 2002 och 2003 och redan före kriget var människorna hårt drabbade av omänskliga ekonomiska sanktioner. Jag arbetar med fred och foto i Iran varje år sedan 2012. Somaliland besökte jag 2014 (och 1977-81) och Marrakech-bilderna är […]

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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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And who funded Sen Tom Cotton’s and 46 other Senators’ mean, condescending letter?

Senator Cotton – behind the Letter of 47 – has been promoted by pro-Israeli RJC’s Singer and Adelson • LobeLog Instructive reading for anyone who thinks – because they are manipulated by Western mainstream media – that economic corruption in politics and oligarchs are only found in Russia and China and not in the so-called democracy of the United States. It seems that not only was the – backfiring – speech of PM Netanyahu in the US Congress a Jewsih lobby-financed operation, so was this young Senator’s ignorant and counterproductive letter campaign. If you’ve seen him talk about Iran you’ll understand that he has no knowledge and less respect for other people – e.g. saying that all Iranians are extremists etc. It is very sad to witness the infighting and moral decay – and corruption – of the American political system. Even the best Constitution can be misused or circumvented if the intensions are malicious enough. Whether you like it, the whole affair is indicative of the weakening and eventual fall of the U.S. Empire. It’s demise will, I believe, be good for both the American republic and the world.

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The Saudi Arabia – Sweden row

Saudi Arabia recalled envoy to Sweden amid diplomatic row – YouTube video with Iranian PressTV. I comment on the Sweden-Saudi Aabia conflict, points out that it is good that Sweden introduces some ethical consideration but that it lacks a positive vision in Swedish foreign policy. Certainly Saudi Arabia – now the world’s largest arms importer – doesn’t need more weapons. It is wrong to cut dialogue opportunities as Saudi Arabia does – in the modern world, dialogue with respect is the name of the game: I would add that at last, a Western country stands up to Saudi Arabia on human rights. For once we can be a little proud of Sweden’s foreign policy. Germany has also stopped amrs exports to Saudi Arabia. Now, could the other EU countries – recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize – and the U.S. please do the same! Please see this appreciation of Sweden in the US. Ishaan Tharoor in The Washington Post •

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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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About the nuclear negotiations with Iran

Iran’s FM Zarif: “Any deal with P5 1 would cover all issues” I agree with the foreign minister and point out how a-symmetric this conflict is. I believe also that historic mistrust should have been dealt with before technicalitites. Then I ask how on earth it could be better for Israel if there is no deal than if there is one – as PM Netanyuahu argues and will say in the U.S. Congress in a couple of days. I finally point out that the U.S. position on sanctions is counterproductive.

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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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Who are the barbarians of our time?

When I watch this documentary, Iraq: Shattered Heritage, I cannot but ask myself: Who are the barbarians of our time? What is the mote and what is the beam in this world? Who tells Russia that “big countries shall not bully smaller countries”? Isn’t it time for the Western world to acknowledge its own dark sides and stop projecting them on everybody else? I am immensely grateful that I have been to the places in this documentary – Baghdad, Babylon, Basra, the border with Kuwait. In 2202 and 2003. I’ve seen the history, human artifacts and beauty, the museums and the documents of Iraq’s culture, central as it was to all the world. Most of it is gone now. Many of my friends dead or disappeared or refugees far away from their beloved land. It breaks my heart to watch what “we” have done. And of course this arrogant, insensitive “we” will never apologise for the harm it has done to Iraq and all the world – like “our” leaders lack the courage to ever apologise for for Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all th rest. When Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western civilisation he answered that it would be a good idea.

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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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