Much stronger than during the First Cold War: Why is NATO so irrational today?

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 […]

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The Western moral decay

The World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul, May 23-24, 2016 failed to achieve its fund-raising goals. No one from the richest countries – except Angela Merkel – or of the UN Security Council attended – writes eminent observer Baher Kamal for InterPress Service, IPS. The richest and most powerful, the most militarized and the most greedy on earth of course […]

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Sverige går före med att upphäva asylrätten

Just så. Sverige gör sig till huvudansvarig för en domino-effekt genom EU. Enligt Aftonbladet är även FN djupt bekymrad. Detta kan i praktiken bli början till slutet på asylrätten. Slutet på respekten för folkrättens grundkrav och för mänskliga rättigheter. Slut på den humanism som i årtionden har präglat Sverige och Norden som rika välfärdssamhällen. Ja, vi är rika – rika nog att ställa upp, inte minst när offren för Danmarks och Norges krig och den svenska vapenexporten flyr från helvetet. Lösningerna? 1. Omorganisera Migrationsverket, Migrationsdomstolen mm som är en skandal – men får lov att fortsätta vara en skandal därför att rättsröta (jag har sett ett konkret fall och det räcker) mm bara drabbar icke-svenskar. Hade det varit ett statligt verk som på samma sätt drabbade svenska folket hade man gjort något radikalt åt det för länge sedan. 2. Arbeta för gemensamma EU-lösningar i stället för att låta Svarta Per gå vidare med hjälp av nationalistiskt panikbeslut. De som inte kan ta sig in i Sverige kommer att försöka att ta sig in i annat land. Smärtan, faran, människosmugglingen kommer att öka. Och utan en gemensam politik kommer Schengen och Dublin att falla ihop – och vad finns då kvar av EU?

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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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Libya, “migrants” and EU military action

E.U. Seeks U.N. Backing for Military Action to Stop Wave of Migrants Fleeing Horrific Abuse in Libya | Democracy Now! I’ve been around for a long time but I can still get both surprised and angry when I see things like this and try to connect the dots: 1) NATO bombs the hell out of Libya and kills its head of state and many others. 2) Predictably the country falls apart – chaos and cruelty follow. 3) Then refugees – not “migrants”, Democracy Now! – flee and traffickers profit. 4) Now more money and more warfare to “solve” the problem. 5) They don’t even seem to see that this proposal would put refugees at the firing line between EU military/police and armed traffickers. Excuse me but what about learning just one little thing: War and “humanitarian” intervention only and repeatedly make things worse! What about arresting all arms traffickers – then you would have less problems with human traffickers. But the only thing these EU Nobel Peace Prize winners will never dare to do is to challenge and change their own perverse militarism.

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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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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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Comments to Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post

Today Charles Krauhammer – a well-known extreme rightist usually advocating war – writes in the Washington Post under the headline “The Iran deal: The anatomy of a disaster”. My comments under the article goes: The day Mr. Krauthammer will write about • sanctions on Israel for its nuclear weapons and international law violations; • anytime/anywhere inspections in all nuclear weapons countries including Israel (does he really believe that any country in the world would accept that?) • the relentless attempts at regional dominance by the U.S. and also look at Israel’s and Saudi-Arabia’s ambitions (i.e. apply a minimum of fairness), • how and why Iran’s status of non-nuclear country promotes a nuclear arms race more than the only nuclear weapons power in the region… – I for one would think Krauthammer was interesting to read. Now he repeats himself, doesn’t do analysis or real commentary but promotes Iranophobia (has he recently visited the country he has such negative views about?). It’s all sadly indicative of the real purpose – not nuclear issues but keeping Iran down forever. If we in the West are getting isolated, not Iran – perhaps he should ask what the reasons could be? It would be great and promote honest debate if Mr. Krauthammer could write about these issues and reveal a willingness and intellectual capability to connect dots and apply a comprehensive analysis of the issues and the region.

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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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16 years since NATO started its war on Yugoslavia – all criminals still at large

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 […]

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EU agrees on sanctions on Russia – but what about peace?

EU agrees Russia sanctions to stay until Ukraine peace terms met (Reuters). Exactly as expected. If the EU can make a conflict-resolution mistake, rest assured that it will! Minsk is not a peace agreement – but at Reuters they don’t know the difference between a ceasefire and a peace agreement. The looming catastrophe is exactly that there is no follow-up to Minsk II, no process for conflict-resolution, the future structure of Ukraine, nothing on UN peacekeeping, reconciliation, confidence-building and peace. These sanction are the only known follow-up and only signaling: We don’t trust you damn Russians! NATO knows only military saber-rattling, EU only sanctions – nobody knows peace. What a Europe! What a danger to all of us having to live with the long-term consequences of such peace illiteracy! I’ve written a longer piece on what I believe would be a much safer policy – with absolutely no indications of an interest from the local or international media.

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Syrien – hvad kunne være gjort og hvad kan stadig gøres?

Gad vide hvor mange mislykkede krige vi endnu skal igennem før især politikere og medier opdager det indlysende faktum, at der findes et temmeligt bredt spektrum af handlingsmuligheder mellem at gøre ingenting og at smadre et land når konflikter dukker op? Det spektrum hedder konflikthåndtering og tilhører et fagområde, der undervises i rundt om på verdens universiteter. Det kræver at FNs medlemsstater etablerer ”styrker” af uddannede konfliktanalytikere, facilitatorer, mæglere, områdeeksperter, forhandlere og forsoningsterapeuter, der kan rykke ud endnu hurtigere end de kan sende krydsermissiler og F-16 fly. For at dette spektrum kan blive inddraget forudsættes endvidere at regeringer ikke direkte ønsker krig under foregivende af at have gode og ofte humanitære motiver hvor de i virkeligheden har rå interesser. Med andre ord, man kan gøre noget ved den manifeste konfliktanalfabetisme, der først søger militære løsninger og – som en række danske politikere – hurtigt tilsidesætter folkeretten og FNs fornemste norm, nemlig den at fred skal skabes med fredelige midler og først når de alle har været prøvet og vist sig uden effekt kan man gribe til militære midler, vel at mærke i FN-regi. Eller anderledes udtrykt: fred kan læres. Når nu de fleste mennesker i verden – også 98% af de civile i konfliktzoner der ikke griber til vold men er dens ofre – ønsker fred skulle man kunne tage demokratiet alvorligt og gøre en kraftanstrengelse for at mindske (ikke afskaffe) militæret, der globalt koster 1700 milliarder dollar eller 30 […]

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