August 22, 2019 Dr. Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, yesterday spoke at SIPRI – the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. (At the moment of writing nothing comes up on its homepage when searching his name). I was asked by Iran’s PressTV to comment on a couple of selected points made by Zarif – which I gladly did:
August 21, 2019 I have long wanted to produce something like a magazine – a daily, diverse drumbeat – that is also easy and fast to curate and edit. Because… I’ve been grappling with this: The world is to rich and diverse: Why are mainstream media so predictable/boring, narrowly focused, uniform – I mean, buy your country’s five largest newspapers […]
“The Debate” with Jim Walsh, MIT and Jan Oberg, TFF Lund, Sweden – May 30, 2017 Last night “The Debate” on PressTV was devoted to the future of European-US relations in the wake of the NATO Summit, President Trump’s words and omissions and the – historic – words, in particular, of Chancellor Angela Merkel immediately after. Undoubtedly, we are at a turning point in these relations in general and for the NATO alliance in particular. To discuss these issues – past, present and future perspectives – were Jim Walsh, senior research associate at MIT’s Security Studies Program, Massachusetts, and Jan Oberg, director of TFF, Lund. Thanks to PressTV’s excellently structured program and interviewer we touched upon a series of aspects and dimensions around which we found both agreements and slight disagreements – all in a sober tone fit for public education and personal reflection. We hope this debate will stimulate your own thoughts about the future of war, security and peace. We’d be grateful for your sharing it to media people, students and other academics as well as to decision-makers in the field that you may know. See it here – The Debate
Commenting on PressTV after President Erdogan’s and Putin’s meeting on May 3, 2017
Just a thought…
I had the pleasure and honour to comment on the Iranian defence minister’s views on the nuclear deal, on a nuclear-free Middle East, terrorism and more.
“The Debate” of April 16, 2017 on Iran’s PressTV between Richard Millett and myself is important to me. I think it will be for you too in the sense of clarifying two approaches and positions on Syria. Its focus is on the difference in media coverage of the terrible events in Khan Seykhoun and al-Rashideen but there is much more […]
TFF Live April 12, 2017 The secretaries of state, Tillerson and Lavrov meet today. We seem to enter a stage of what must appropriately be perceived as a frosty new Cold War. In the worst of cases this can lead to a new Cuban Missile Crisis. God forbid!
Here my 6th photo series from Aleppo – hashtag #keepfocusonaleppo. Lund, Sweden – March 24, 2017 Can the almost total destruction of Eastern Aleppo be used constructively? Only if we are willing to ask and dialogue about this: • Why does the world go on investing US$ 2000 billion annually in warfare and US$ 30 in all the UN does […]
Videoinspelning av Jan Öbergs föredrag i Stockholm februari 2017 Inspelningen är uppdelad i två delar: Del 1: Vittnesrapport från Aleppo 60 min. Del 2: Debatt och vägar till fred i Syrien 45 min. Bakgrund 10-14:e december 2016 vistades Jan Öberg i Aleppo. Med sin unika erfarenhet från staden ifrågasätter han den gängse massmediarapporteringen, argumenterar för ett nytt sätt att se […]
TFF PressInfo # 405 Lund, Sweden – February 24, 2017 Failed conflict analysis To analyse a conflict is as necessary as the diagnosis for the doctor: You either get to a solution/treatment or you don’t. If the diagnosis is deficient, you don’t. You instead risk killing the patient. And it’s deficient of you stare only at “evil” cells and […]
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.
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 […]
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. I can only assume that it is all because of my visit […]
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.
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
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.
Last night I had the opportunity to discuss nuclear weapons with an experienced, high-ranking security analyst who has been both a military, a scholar, an assistant secretary of defence, presidential adviser, a corporate man and now a think tank member, Lawrence J. Korb. We were discussing the issues touched upon in this and this article. I would assume that the debate – facilitated by Iran’s PressTV in an excellent manner – is illustrative of the degree to which the world can be seen from different perspectives and how different we can perceive words such as law, legality, ethics, security, deterrence and peace. I assume also that the debate illustrates the difference between a systems-embedded interpretation of the world and an independent or free perception, including what can and must be changed and what doesn’t have to change to make the world a better place. Enjoy!