Category Archives: Peace proposals

On the Syria ceasefire talks in Astana

There are strong reasons to be sceptical; there has been no interest in peaceful solutions to Syria’s problems since the violence broke out in 2011.

Hard to see what a trilateral monitoring can do without a UN or similar presence on the ground. What if you monitor a ceasefire violation and can do nothing about it?

That said, this is a new constellation with Russia, Iran and Turkey as guarantors and the RIOTs – Rebels-Insurgency-Opposition-Terrorist – have lost Eastern Aleppo.

Don’t touch the Iran nuclear deal, Trump!

As we move into the new year – 2017

The old years went – in as little a time as it takes to turn around and see who is tapping you on your shoulder. And it is the new, the next year.

I hope it will pass too – in as little time as it takes for me to turn my head and look forward again – because the face of 2017 doesn’t look good or kind to me.

Neither do the next ten or so years.

Beyond that the world will become a better place. If, that is, if we survive and don’t destroy it all.

It is actually already becoming a better place!

The thing that has too pass – or pass away – is the United States Empire.

In a few years it will go the way Rome and all the rest plus the Ottoman, British and Soviet empires did. No empire lasts forever.

But before we go for it – a video from Beirut, December 2016:

 

Some indicators of Empire dissolution

The indicators, the cracks, in the Empire are there for all to see – the Americans and other Westernes will be the last and remain in denial for some time until the discrepancy between the self-image and the reality, the self-delusion, has grown too big. Like East Germany or Russia at in the early 1980s.

The rest of the world, the non-West sees some of these cracks quite clearly: Continue reading

Thanks for the friends’ and followers’ boom

During the last two weeks I have received almost 800 friend requests on Facebook and about 1000 new followers. It’s overwhelming and warms my heart beyond words.

Many many thanks for your trust and support – and for not only thinking it but taking time to tell it.

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I can only assume that it is all because of my visit to Damascus and Aleppo. Literally thousands have thanked me for my short texts and photos from there – and for taking the risk going there.

Lots of people go to difficult places, be they humanitarian workers, journalists, photographers, UN people, other diplomats or civil society organisations. But – regrettably, I would say – it is not often I’ve met other researchers in war zones.

Those of us who go, go because we feel we have a duty, because we are curious and must see for ourselves and because a visit opens doors to people, to the suffering and to natural human solidarity.

Media focus on all those with weapons in their hands – the warlords. I’ve always felt enriched and grateful to all the others one can meet, wonderful people who stand up and stand together, struggle, help their neighbours – and survive the other main type of people present, the murderers who get all the fame.

I’m no hero. Just that you know. Many (more) could do what I do.

But back to the social media boom, I’ve just experienced. Continue reading

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.

SIPRI – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – turns 50: Time for a name change?

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My congratulations to the institute at 50, a background – including my own working there as an intern many years ago – a bit about how a dream was never realised and why I suggest a new name, SIMSI.

Continue reading here – which is also TFF PressInfo # 391

NATO-Russia games

October 26, 2016

Yet another example of how tension build up in this New Cold War situation – instead of doing what we did during the first Cold War: trying confidence-building measures.

Today too BBC announced that the US will deploy – permanently – 300 US soldiers to norther Norway, a break with Norway’s policies since it became a NATO member. And Reuters brought the news that NATO will deploy thousands of new soldiers in the Baltic countries and in Poland and, next year, planes to Romania – on top of the reinforcements already made.

The above short interview contains comments on these dangerous steps too.