Category Archives: Zeitgeist

Discussing Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia

Here I am with my friends Donald, Bibi, Sara and Melania…
And speak a little about the stupidity of scapegoating Iran for everything, of giving Saudi Arabia even more weapons – and being bribed by it – of creating the preconditions for more warfare and about the fact that NATO is setting up shop in Kuwait and there are plans to have a Gulf NATO – something you can read much more about in my analysis Trump in Riyadh – A Gulf NATO to gang up against Iran and Syria.
It’s a TFF PressInfo and you can subscribe to them too so they wing into your mailbox – very irregularly and not too often… write to – and they are free of course and many of the best things in life.

Svenska försvarsmaktens desinformation

Försvarsminister Peter Hultqvist och ÖB Micael Bydén skriver på DN Debatt om “Risk för desinformation om militärövningen Aurora”

Och det är då just vad de själva sysslar med.


Inte ett ord om att det krävs två till att konflikta med varandra.

Inte ett ord om NATO:s expansion stick i stäv med givna löften till Gorbachev.

Inte ett ord om den USA-drivna regimförändring i Kiev, relaterad till försöket att på sikt får in Ukraine i EU och i NATO.

Inte ett ord om NATO-länders upprepade brott på folkrätten – Jugoslavien, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libyen, Syrien – men ord om Rysslands “aggression” i Ukraina.

Inte ett ord om att Ryssland har 8% av NATO:s militära utgifter och är tekniskt underlägsen – eller att Warszawapakten hade 60-70% av NATO:s militära utgifter på 1970/80-talet. Eller att runt tio fd Warszawapaktstater nu är NATO-medlemmar.

Inte ett ord om att denna övning – oavsett andra avtal – måste betraktas som starkt kontroversiell för en alliansfri nation.

Inte ett ord om det omöjliga i att bli allt närmare bunden till USA/NATO och samtidigt bevara Rysslands förtroende.

Inte ett ord om att man med ständigt ökad NATO-integration ökar risken att Ryssland kommer att fokusera på Sverige i fall det blir krig – dvs. att den förda politiken minskar svenska folkets framtida säkerhet.

Inte ett ord om NATO:s många andra övningar och stationering av trupp längs Rysslands gränser, bara om Rysslands Zapad 17. Är det inte just “mönster” militärer går efter i sin bedömning av hot?

Inte ett ord om en annan filosofi – om gemensam säkerhet, civila tilltag, förtroendeskapande insatser, möjligheter till civil konflikthantering, dialog, medling, ickevåld – bara militär, militär och mer militär.

Inte ett ord om att man vill ha dialog med kritiker av Aurora.

Kritikerna är – implicit enligt försvarsministerns vanliga, taskigt antydande stil – på förhand agenter för desinformation, läs Ryssland.

Svenska folket bör kräva ordentlig, mångfaldig information i stället för marknadsföringstexter, propaganda och desinformation som denne – diskutera, protestera och mobilisera mot smyganslutningen till NATO.

Denna smyganslutning har pågått i decennier och har medvetet inte givits möjlighet till reel offentliga debatt, folkupplysning och förankring i folkhemmet Sverige.

Till och med Palme/Carlsson-epoken var en sådan – demokratisk – förankring en grundbult i svensk säkerhets- og försvarspolitik.

Ministern och ÖB saknar uppenbarligen moralisk och intellektuell styrka gränsande till ohederlighet.

Jag är freds- och framtidsforskare med längre erfarenhet av internationell politik och fredsbyggande i konfliktområden än dessa författare.

Jag är givetvis helt desinformerad men vill bara säga att mig ska ni inte “försvara”.

What foreign policy if the US had no weapons?

Just a thought…

Syria – two perspectives illustrated

“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 to it.

I’ll keep on struggling for the conflict and peace perspective against the violence perspective that sees black-and-white only and continues the seemingly eternal blame game – and thus legitimates more, rather than less, warfare.

Happy if you care to share and continue the – meta – debate!

Keep focus on Aleppo and global dimensions of Syria


Soldiers and volunteers from Aleppo University hand out food to IDPs having come in from Eastern Aleppo. December 14, 2016 © Jan Oberg 2016


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 blame the patient for a life style that has increased the risk that she would attract cancer.

That doesn’t bring healing.

A typical, deficient or irrelevant approach to international conflict is to a) focus on the violence but not the underlying conflicts its a symptom of; b) to apportion guilt and c) believe that we will solve the conflict if ‘good’ violence is used to defeat ‘evil’ violence.

After failed conflict analyses in Afghanistan, Serbia-Kosovo, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Iraq, Ukraine and Libya, Western politicians and subservient mainstream media have done it once again in Syria:

Contributed heavily to tremendous human suffering, made everything much worse than it was before and failed to achieve anything good.


Moral superiority lost

In terms of ethics, there exists no political goal whatsoever that can justify the killing of 300.000-400.000 people and the destruction of houses, livelihood, economy and milieus that has forced 7 million to flee inside the country and 5 million to leave the country – i.e. more than 50% of the population.

Yes, the “regime” and the “dictator” and Russia have participated in this destruction – very much so –  but it’s anyhow time to ask:

How does the West/NATO and its allies such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Gulf States and Israel morally justify their contribution this the largest humanitarian crisis on earth since 1945 with 13 millon people in desparate need of humanitarian assistance.

It’s not only untrue, it is morally unacceptable to keep on blaming everything – everything – on one person and one leadership with no self-reflection.

The self-assumed Western moral superiority fell with the liberation of Aleppo.

Aleppo’s liberation: A golden opportunity for a new policy

The liberation of Aleppo is a golden opportunity to do just that.

But instead that turning point has been deliberately forgotten and the victims of the occupation of Eastern Aleppo have been disappeared by media and politics.

The war and destruction will continue because such a biased approach leads only in direction: More war.

Very soon, presumably, we shall witness US boots on the grounds. Massively.

There is woefully little constructive-creative peace thinking the whole way around the political and geographical spectrum.

And without a better vision, continued killing will look to many as the optimal way ahead. 

However, for the millions of victims in Syria it just isn’t.

Aleppo should become a turning point toward peace instead of more war.



From the Jibrin Reception Center in Aleppo, December 14, 2016. Note the footwear © Jan Oberg 2016


Geneva negotiations

One must fear that the negotiations just started in Geneva will not yield any better results than before – because they don’t build on a comprehensive understanding of this – hugely complex – conflict.

Even the way the tables are arranged is counterproductive…

TFF PressInfo # 405 walks you through a few principles of professional conflict analysis and provokes you to reflect a bit on:

a) What is it “we” have done so wrong and:
b) How can we help Syria’s people to stop an even deeper descent into hell.


TFF PressInfo # 405
Keep focus on Aleppo and global dimensions of Syria

TFF PressInfo # 404:
Unique Aleppo photos seen by 100.000+ but not in the mainstream media

See also the PressInfo 398 and 397 below.

TFF PressInfo 398: Syria and Aleppo: Old news media falling

TFF PressInfo 397: Syria’s destruction – When everybody thinks power and no one thinks peace.

Discussing NATO with a former U.S. Ass. Sec. of Defence

A 30 min debate about NATO, Ukraine, Crimea, Yugoslavia, Syria the eternal enemy images and the – obsolete – philosophy on which NATO builds.

Time for something new, I argue in the debate with former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defence under Reagon, Mr. Lawrence J. Korb who at the time was in command of 70% of Pentagon’s budget.

Here in TFF PressInfo # 403  is a little longer text about this debate and there is also a little about my experience and policy vis-a-vis the media.

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.


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