Here is my take on the July 15 coup in Turkey – why it happened the way it did and what is the least unlikely hypothesis – followed by some examples of regional and international consequences this coup is bound to have. And it ends: NATO comes across as a very tired alliance that should have been closed down or re-invented itself 25 years ago when its raison d’etre – the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact – disappeared. (That was always false because the Warsaw Pact was created 6 years after NATO had been established). And, then, now this coup too – and rapid decent into instability, extreme authoritarianism, chaos and possible violence or civil war in Turkey. One may wonder what the Western press and politicians would have made of such purges had they happened in Russia or Iran? Now we hear mainly vague ’worries’ or full endorsements of a dictator. Self-censorship because of Turkey’s NATO status, or what? Why? One crack in the Empire after the other. Indeed, we are living in interesting – and dangerous – times.
By Jan Oberg Published on July 8, 2016, the day of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. It’s the 5th in the TFF Series “The New Cold War” Russia and NATO have offensive capacities and MIMACs (Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex) but NATO’s is a much larger potential threat to Russia than the other way around Why does an alliance with such an overwhelming […]
By Jan Oberg The third article in the TFF series on The New Cold War We are witnessing a remarkable increase in tension between the US/NATO and Russia these years – and it can not only be explained by whatever we choose to think happened in Ukraine and Crimea. We find a totally new effort on both sides to use social and other media to tell how dangerous “they” are to “us”. There is a clear tendency to “fearology” – to instill fear in the citizens on both sides about the capabilities and intentions of the other side. We find deeply concerned articles about the possibility of war between the two parties – a quarter of a century after the Berlin Wall tumbled. Why is the new tension rising in Europe between US/NATO and Russia so manifestly dangerous and – with the exception of the Cuban Missile Crisis worse than during the First Cold War? On a series of indicators, the political Western world – US/NATO/EU and Christian (Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic with sects) – is becoming weak relative to other players in the global society. The West has engaged in a series of wars that turned into very costly fiascos – from what followed from Sykes-Picot which turned 100 in May 2016 over Vietnam to the destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. The West is still the largest economic bloc and the 28 NATO members cover about 70% of […]
The West leaves, a multi-polar world comes Jan Øberg – Video lecture – Part 1/3
On June 15, 2016 I participated in a discussion with Mike O’Hanlon from the Brookings Institution on CCTV America – China’s international TV station in the U.S. with up to 75 million viewers. The discussion was lead by Anand Naidoo. You can watch it here.
TFF PressInfo # 373: What Obama should do in Hiroshima tomorrow Articles by Jonathan Power & Richard Falk http://bit.ly/1U8PEq3 With an intro by Jan Oberg.
Politiko.dk fortæller torsdag den 21. april at det står sløjt til med befolkningens støtte til nye kampfly til en anslået indkøbspris på 30 milliarder kroner – eller 5,300 kroner per mand, kvinde og barn i vort land. Opinionsundersøgelsen, foretaget af Wilke for Jyllands-Posten, viser 53% imod, 31% for og 16%, der ikke véd hvad de skal mene. Selv med en antaget stor fejlmargen er der altså ingen tvivl om at danskerne i overvejende grad er imod at bruge pengene på disse fly – som for øvrigt anslås at ville koste yderligere 60-70 milliarder at bruge og vedligeholde i de cirka 30 år, de skal kunne fungere i. Det er da en meget positiv nyhed. Giver håb. Og hvis forsvarsministeren ikke kan komme med bedre argument end dem, han disker op med hér af intellektuelt slappeste type, så står vi ret godt “rustet.” Det er jo den traditionelle historie om at russerne er en trussel – til forskel fra da Sovjetunionen var faldet sammen og Warszawapagten blev opløst. Ja tænk! – russerne har rejst sig lidt siden da! Og hans andet argument er at vi må gøre som de andre – det vil sige USA i første række, nemlig at opruste og stå sammen. Men han glemmer at sige at Ruslands militære udgifter stadig er omkring 8% af NATOs! Selv om målingen ikke skulle vær helt præcis er der i hvert fald noget at bygge modstanden på. Flykøbet skal vi nu mobilisere en debat om overalt. Spred […]
Föredrag på Nordiskt Fredsmöte – 28:e februari 2016
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’.
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.
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
My comment to Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland’s visit to Kiev
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
Der findes bedre argumenter imod end for. De officielle argumenter holder i hvert fald ikke. Og i det hele taget handler en informeret debat i et demokrati absolut ikke bare om hvilket kampfly, vi skal have. “Opinionen. Magasinet med tværkulturel kant” har lavet et længere interview om disse ting og om hvad dansk udenrigspolitik også kunne være – med en lille smule krativitet. God læsning!
The Guardian reports that Western top leaders are going to snub the commemoration in Moscow of the 70th Anniversary of the Allied Victory over Hitler Germany – on May 9. That they don’t want to attend a huge military parade is quite understandable, neither would I. But remembering the more than 20 million Russians who died in World War 2 would be more than appropriate for Western leaders in light of both their own people and the Russian people. Thus Angela Merkel is doing the right thing. This would have been a good informal opportunity for dialogues between Russian, Eastern and Western leaders in this particularly tense situation – but the latter are so much better at escalation, pinpricking and self-righteous policies than at conflict-resolution and reconciliation. Short-sighted and utterly unhelpful, I must say.
Stubb and Tuomioja rush to reassure after Russian statement: “Nothing to worry about” | yle.fi To old-fashioned politics, security is still predominantly about weapons, military activities and “signalling”. It’s not about dialogue, human security and quickly opening up areas of co-operation which could help bring about mutual understanding. One way of interpreting this Nordic defence co-operation push is to see it as a way to politically provoke Russia to say something that sounds threatening and thereby get more Swedes and Finns to accept NATO membership. It is fundamentally not in any Nordic country’s interest to create more tension and confrontation than there already is due to the Ukraine conflict.
Valentina Lisitsa – YouTube The world class pianist barred from playing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra because of her tweets about the Ukraine conflict. As if that had anything to do with her art. Shame on Toronto Phony! With suppression of such art by a Western cultural institution we are all doomed! And where are all the phony Paris marchers from Charlie Hebdo today – Netanyahu, Helle Thorning Schmidt, Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Poroshenko (oh no, she is critical of Ukraine’s government!)? Where did we hear “Je Suis Valentina”? Long live freedom of artistic expression!
Deadline – DR om russisk propaganda – og kun dén. Indslaget er et glimrende eksempel på hvor statsmagten og formodede frie medier taler sammen på en helt indforstået måde. Der spørges ikke om hvad propaganda er i ministerens mund; det nævnes ikke at propganda også kan være fortielse. Det er helt indforstået at vi i vest siger sandheden og at vi nu skal bruge endnu flere millioner på at sige sandheden så russerne kan høre den. Der spørges ikke om USA og NATO eventuelt også bruger “propaganda”. Der stilles et spørgsmål vedr. den russiske ambassadørs artikel, der giver indtryk af at Rusland har truet Danmark med et atomangreb – hvad han ikke har. Kun ét spørgsmål, til sidst, om hvorfor Danmark er så langt fremme i skoene over for Rusland giver et lillebitte modspil – og giver udenrigsministeren anledning til at snakke om de baltiske lande, ikke om hvorfor vi pludselig har fået en slags ny kold krig. Derefter kommer så ikke kun én men to systematiske og forudsigelige Ruslands/Putin-kritiskere – Rachlin o Serebriakov – som Adam Holm selv kommer selv kommer for skade at sige er meget enige. Hvor var den uafhængige medieanalytiker/forsker? Hvor var tabellen over hvor meget Rusland og NATO-landene respektive anvender på “information”? Hvor var oplysninger om hvor stor del af mediebilledet i Rusland, der er direkte statsstyret og hvor meget der ikke er det? Forskellen på russiske statsligt styrede medier og danske frie medier svinder […]
Today – 16 years since NATO began to bomb Serbia and did so mercilessly for 78 days to carve out Kosovo as an independent state – still today a failed one. Remember that when you talk about Crimea today. Here is a link to “Yugoslavia – What Should Have Been Done?” – probably the world’s most comprehensive blog about the dissolution of Yugoslavia; it’s written since 1991 by three experts and published as they wrote it at the time. The people who masterminded this destruction without a UN mandate are all still at large – e.g. Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Javier Solana, Wesley Clark and Tony Blair – the latter, without an ounce of shame, today “adviser” to the government in… yes, oh yes, Belgrade! It was the largest ever NATO operation. It was conducted without a mandate from the UN Security Council. It was out-of-area and not in response to an attack on a member state according to Article 5 in NATO’s charter. It came in the wake of the – fraud – negotiations at the castle of Rambouillet outside Paris during which (the Serb and the the Albanian delegations never met face-to-face) the Serb side was forced to accept that NATO could roam around freely all over Serbia with no legal responsibility (and potentially arrest anyone, including President Milosevic) and without paying anything for it. That was when the Serbs said no – and NATO’s bombing started soon […]