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.
In an open letter – hardly mentioned by the Western mainstream press, a group of high-level and rather “Realpolitik” US diplomats, scholars, military and politicians urge President Obama to take concrete steps to intensify the co-operation with Iran. There are obviously concerned that the U.S. shall be perceived as an obstacles for the implementation of the JCPOA, or the Iran Nuclear Deal […]
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.
Er public service og fri presse = frihed til at være så propagandistisk som man lyster? DR2 udsendte fredag den 26. februar 2016 kl 00:15 en time-langt fransk dokumentarfilm”Iran – “Iran – A-Bombe for enhver pris.” Fra 2011! Underteksten: “Et af Vestens vigtigste forsvarsmål lige nu er at sætte en stopper for Irans atomprogram, og…” Man må spørge i hvilken verden DR2’s programredaktører befinder sig. Et 5 år gammelt program, der naturligvis intet siger om den atomaftale, Iran indgik i 2015. Et program, der er tendentiøst, foreholder seerne visse vigtige fakta og farer med usandhed på flere punkter samt benytter tvivlsomme kilder; et program som er markant pro-vestligt, pro-israelsk (det afsluttes med en sekvens om det truede Israel) og i hvilket kun én iransk ekspert – i eksil i USA – kommer til orde. Ingen der så dette program kunne få andet indtryk end at Iran er et gennemkriminelt land, der som det hedder i den direkte løgnagtige filmtitel for enhver pris ville have et atomvåben. Intet om alt det, der kunne tale imod at dette var et våbenprogram. Ingen interview med en anerkendt ekspert og forfatter som f.eks. Gareth Porter – intet om andre landes atomvåben etc. Filmen igennem gøres der ikke forskel på atomprogram (til energiformål) og atomvåbenprogram. Og det er velkendt at Frankrig har modarbejdet Iran på dette område og repræsenterede Israels interesser ved de forhandlinger, der afsluttedes sidste år.
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’.
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
With the breaking news on the nuclear deal announced today – undoubtedly a piece of world history – I wrote up TFF PressInfo # 329 with the above title. It’s written, as others before it on this issue, with an emphasis on the characteristics of this conflict that is both obvious and never mentioned: the a-symmetry of it all, the de factor relations and the negotiation set-up. Therefore, it is a huge victory for the Iran negotiation team under its extremely able leader, Javad Zarif.
My comments to Iran’s PressTV in the morning of July 14, before the nuclear deal with Iran was announced. This is a taped interview with a summary text: “This is a triumph for talks, for diplomacy, for dialogue instead of warfare and it is an important movement for the world not only for Iran or for the Middle East, or for Europe, it is for the whole world, because a war with Iran would be a terrible thing for the people, for the Middle East, for the world,” Jan Oberg, director at Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, told Press TV on Tuesday. “This is a victory for civilization, for civilized manners,” he added.
This is how pressure is put on other countries and a rare glimpse by media into processes presumably meant to be semi-official and basically hidden to the public. And of course, it is up to sovereign Sweden to decide what to do – but, however, not joining NATO will have a price. See below the ambassador’s formulation and hint at Ukraine’s situation. The truth is that Sweden doesn’t need to join because it is strategically important enough where it is. Added February 18, 2016: And this is why the host nation support agreement between Sweden and NATO is so important. And should be refused mainly through broad popular debate and democratic pressure on the government. Here is a first a Google translation of the article in Svenska Dagbladet, April 28, 2014 – followed by the original text in Swedish: Monday April 28, 2014, Svenska Dagbladet ”Sweden should join NATO “ If Russia threatens Sweden , we can not count on any help from NATO or the United States. Should Sweden be defended , we should join NATO . In the midst of the Ukraine crisis , the U.S. has given this clear message to all Swedish parliamentary parties . Today there are only a realistic security actor in Europe who can provide you with a guarantee of security, says U.S. Stockholm Ambassador Mark Brzezinski in his arguments for Swedish NATO membership . PHOTOS: Jonas Ekströmer / TT April 27, 2014 […]