NATO outdated – Abolish war

Commenting on NATO S-G Jens Stoltenberg’s wish for dialogue with Russia – a bit odd after all the other provocative initiatives he has spearheaded the last good year or so. I felt like saying something more general about this outdated paradigm – and why it is dangerous for us all – referring also to the Russell-Einstein Manifesto of 1955. You may also see it as my statement countering the NATO Annual 2015 Report which lacks every intellectualism, theoretical/conceptual clarity, empathy, peace thinking and – naively – equates military  build-up with ‘security’.

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Sweden soon at war? Yes, perhaps, if in NATO

It was a few days ago when Swedish Army chief, Major-General Anders Brännström stated in a (leaked) internal document that ‘Sweden could be at war within a few years.’ This is, of course, nothing but ‘fearology’ and very bad judgement. He may be a great soldier but a victim of his own system’s bizarre threat perceptions – always pointing as they do to the Russians. As I explain here, this is part of a much larger picture – and it isn’t good. The statement – that is not and has not been backed up by any analysis – ought to be enough for general Brännström to be replaced. But that is something both mainstream media and scholars are too diplomatic to suggest. Had he stated something about Sweden being drawn into a war if it were a NATO member it would certainly have caused quite a media debate and discussions about his qualifications.

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North Korea’s bomb test hysteria

Here media hysteria goes again. This is BBC. It is very difficult to know what has happened. The media and many governments around the world immediately condemn this test. The EU says it is against UN Security Council resolutions – a council consisting exclusively of much stronger, nuclear powers. Before we get carried away, it should be pointed out that North […]

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We don’t want walls anywhere

  The UN Charter states clearly: • The equal rights of men and women • The equal rights of nations large and small • The norm to bring about peace by peaceful means The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states clearly: • The norm that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights without distinction of […]

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Don’t underestimate Donald Trump

Don’t underestimate him, count him out or think he is crazy. NBC’s “Meet the Press” half-hour interview with Donald Trump is interesting. He has passion and a very fast mind, he seems to have integrity in the sense that he cannot be bought for money by others and he doesn’t mind having standpoints that conservative republicans find odd or surprising. He is clearly eclectic and pragmatic rather than a theoretician, ideology-bent politician – and seems to build a lot on his entrepreneur experience and sense of reading people. His vision – “making America great again!” – may be frightening and wrong and it is based on strength, on military but even more on economic strength. The interesting thing is that he is much more realistic

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Nye kampfly – irrelevant og dyrt slag i luften

Utilstedeligt at vi endnu ikke har skyggen af en ordentlig, informeret debat om sikkerhedspolitikken og økonomien forud for beslutningen. Årsagen er at der ikke findes nogle for samfundet gode argumenter for dem. Alle partier med undtagelse af Enhedslisten mener at Danmark bør anskaffe nye kampfly – der i bedste fald vil være i funktion om 5 år. Dagens pris – afhængig af antallet fly – er på 30 milliarder kroner – godt 5000 kroner per mand, kvinde og barn i vort land – og mindst 100 milliarder kroner til brugsomkostninger frem til 2045. I dagens tal kostede Storebæltsbroen 37 milliarder. Debatten har hidtil ikke handlet om hvad i alverden vi skal med disse maskiner, kun om valget mellem tre typer. Fakta og problemer holdes helt bevidst i det dunkle og skal skydes ud til efter valget for derpå at træffe beslutningen hurtgit så ingen opdager gigantinvesteringen – i en tid hvor der skæres ned på alt andet. Hvorfor mon? Fordi der ikke findes nogle for samfundet gode argumenter for kampfly! En seriøs diskussion blandt politikere, medier og befolkning burde omfatte mindst disse punkter: Prisen Der findes ingen eksempler på at tilbudspris på den slags maskiner ligner slutprisen. Fordyrelser er indbygget i alle store militærindustrielle projekter – slag på tasken 25% fordyrelse mellem beslutning og leverance. Hvad skal de bruges til? Fly af denne type har intet med forsvar af dansk territorium at gøre. Dertil kræves defensive systemer som helikoptere, minering, […]

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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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Today’s V-Day as a lost opportunity for peace-making

This is TFF PressInfo # 321. It’s about the lack of wisdom and compassion of the Western leaders who are staying away from today’s commemoration/Celebration in Moscow of the victory over Nazi Germany. The different nationalities of the then Soviet Union lost between 20 and 27 million people. Why is it that all European countries remember their own sacrifies but ignore the largest sacrifice of all? In addition, this would have been a natura occasion to meet with the citizens (veterans), political and military leaders and, with the latter, have discussed how to calm down the Ukraine situation and avoid a New Cold War. Lost!

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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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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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The UN Yemen mediator resigns – conspicuously

UN Yemen envoy Jamal Benomar resigns amid crisis – Al Jazeera English How conspicuous that Benomar – whom I happen to know a little bit – is choosing this moment to resign. It’s only a two days after the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on the Houthis but coming out in de facto support of the Saudi-led coalition bombing of Yemen by not even mentioning it or its 1200 airstrikes till now. The resolution was drafted by Jordan – a member of the bombing coalition and thereby a party to the conflict. My nasty mind tells me that Benomar has recognised that there is no basis for his decent, all-inclusive mediation efforts under such circumstances and with such UN Security Council biases. A more UN-loyal Secretary-General would have called the Council immediately after the Saudi-coalition started its war and have prevented such biases in the name of the world organisation. He obviously takes order – which he shouldn’t according to the UN Charter.

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If so, let the U.S. isolate itself

Iran says nuclear deal depends on lifting of sanctions | Reuters This is a timely reminder to those who believe the Iran nuclear deal can be reduced to and hinges upon the deal between Congress and Obama. Says Iranian President Rouhani: “We are in talks with the major powers and not with the Congress,” Rouhani said. I draw three conclusions: 1. If there will be no deal, the main reason is the US and Israel. 2. The other 4P+1 countries should let the U.S. isolate itself and sign the deal with Iran. Everybody should then normalise relations with Iran and speed up all kinds of co-operation ASAP. 3. The punishment of the Iranian people has been unjustifiable from Day One and their suffering must end.

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