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Meanwhile–Around the World
EDITORIAL, 3 October 2016
Nº 449 | Johan Galtung, 3 Oct 2016 - TRANSCEND Media Service
The Debate: Somebody said the problem is Trump possibility and Clinton probability. A very poor choice between an autistic person in his own bubble and a war criminal even privatizing her warfare?
The debate was short on concrete politics and long on ad hominem. But Trump favored no first nuclear strike, Clinton not. The rich will accept neither Clinton taxes nor Trump stopping trading to plug leaks. In the first half a “presidential” Trump had as good “facts” as Clinton–their facts-in the second Trump was babbling from his bubble. The best that can be said is that they complement each other and could make a good coalition, but the rule is either-or, not both-and. The worst is a landslide in favor of one or the other. The hope is for electorate participation below one third reducing the legitimacy of either ruler.
The media after-focus was on “who won”, not on any new policy.
An EU military headquarters and EU army: The Bratislava EU summit approved this founding members Germany-France-Belgium-Luxembourg idea of 2003 so that Europe is not ‘dragged into America’s wars’—“without Britain to veto, France and Germany won approval for a joint European military headquarters;-Britain vows-to play its full role in NATO”. (“EU weighs joint defense out of NATO”, INYT, 24-5 Sep 2016). A key intra-West rift, like Latin America vs Anglo-America, now Europe vs Anglo-America (+ evangelical Denmark-Norway-Sweden-Finland-Estonia?).
Josef Joffe, editor of Die Zeit (firstname.lastname@example.org 29 Aug 2016): “not European culture but convenience and Americanism hold Europe together–watch what Europeans eat, wear and listen to. The lingua franca is English with an American accent.” But scared by possible-probable US Presidents.
Norway: has voices for a Ministry of Peace, like ministries of the environment bringing key issues to the key table. Rejected in 1964 by the foreign minister who argued that his ministry worked for peace; recent warfare in Afghanistan and Libya now prove the opposite.
“The U.N.’s Record in urgent global issues” (INYT, 21 Sep 2016): takes the UN to task for being unable to handle major issues: a record 65 million displaced worldwide because of violent conflicts, wars left unsolved because veto powers favor one of the parties, unable to settle human rights issues in for instance Yemen and Sri Lanka, still unable to define terrorism–but championing lesbian and gay rights and gay couples and with the Paris climate agreement, with powerful USA and China, both veto powers, behind it, to its credit.
Mauritania: holds the world slavery record according to the Global Slavery Index at 4% of the population, followed by Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar, India, Pakistan–both at 1.1% adding 16.1 million slaves.
Washington: 14% of US teenagers believe USA had been ruled by France, and more than 20% did not know the declaration of independence from Britain in 1776. Well, France held on to a major part in the middle, but the teenagers are seen as ignorant of history.
Russia Far East–Amur, Khabarovsk, Primorsky–is under populated: in 2015, only 4.3 of the 143.5 million Russians–divided between 185 peoples, declining to 120.5 million by 2050–live in these 2.4 million square miles along the Chinese border and the Pacific coast.
On the Chinese side 26 million Chinese–or Manchurians rather?–fishing and farming in Russia, “reaching 10 million by 2050, making them the predominant group in the Far East”. Old Manchu territory; like Mexicans who move into the USA move into old Mexican territory.
“China Takes Its Place on the International Stage (Mahoud Hassan in The Daily Star, Bangladeshemail@example.com 23 Sep 1016): Xi Jinping used G20 to talk with USA (the South China Sea and the Paris Climate Agreement), with India (its “logistics” agreement with USA) “to work with India and further advance their cooperation,” with Britain (“closer economic and trading relations”), Brazil, Turkey &c. China talks with all sides of all conflicts, exploring mutual benefit?
Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) and $1.3 trillion “One Belt, one Road” (OBOR) make Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” yield to an Asian pivot to Asia, and a Chinese pivot to the world that China now seems to be joining. The West is choosy–the USA even more so–in honoring others by talking with them; China seems to brush that aside.
OXFAM: reminds us of the state of the world: 1% owning more than the other 99% is old news; the 62 richest persons owning more than half of the world poor, who suffered a decline of 41% 2010-2015 when the 62 added $500 trillion. Nothing is being done to reverse this.
South Asia: “Cross Country Differences in Income Inequality” by Selim Raihan, Dhaka (firstname.lastname@example.org 1 Sep 2016) compares the inequality in 1980 with 2015: of 207 countries, 18 experienced ‘no or very small’ changes in Gini indices, 109 experienced increases and 80 declines-in South Asia Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal. China increased from low to very high inequality, South Korea declined to low inequality.
But better than low Gini is to lift the bottom up if suffering.
Dag Hammarskjöld’s Death, Patrice Lumumba’s Death (Olof Palme?): The UN may reopen the investigation. The late Norwegian general Björn Egge headed military information in the UN peacekeeping operation in Congo in 1961 against Katanga and Union Minière. The plane with Hammarskjöld, staff and guards to Ndola for negotiation with Katanga stranded, and all 17 were killed. Egge saw the corpse with a hole in the forehead, later removed from photos, and the autopsy report was removed from the file (his article in Klassekampen 11 August 2005).
Lumumba: Larry Devlin, the CIA station chief in Leopoldville: “President Eisenhower said, indicated in one way or the other, ‘let’s get rid of this man'” (racandhiostory.com 21 Oct 2000). Palme?
“How artists change the world” (INYT, 3 Aug 2016): today artists are seen as making the world more transparent than clergy and lawyers, sociologists, politologists and military, as the new experts.
Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. Prof. Galtung has published 1669 articles and book chapters, over 400 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service, and 167 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.
Violence In and By Paris: Any Way Out?
EDITORIAL, 23 November 2015- TRANSCEND Media Service
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
The atrocity in Paris seems to trigger the word “terrorism” with a higher frequency than ever, in the media, from the politicians. Doing so, they sign their intellectual capitulation: trust me, I am not going to try to understand anything. Watching politicians on 56 US TV channels in Georgia there was not a single word analyzing why?; like underlying conflicts and traumas. Nor conciliation and solution. only a description of what?, the horrible violence. And what to do: more violence, war. With a question mark though: Will it work?
The whole Western world was living up to the old French sayingCet animal est très méchant, quand on le bat, il se defend. (That animal is very vicious, when you beat it, it defends itself). Look at centuries of French/Arab-Muslim relations and find one-way beating, killing, conquest, colonialism, exploitation, France using them in wars against Turkey and against Germany promising freedom and breaking their promises, raw post-colonial colonialism, no respect for their wishes to be the masters in their own house, like now in Mali.
Using them for menial jobs in France, if they speak French. At the bottom of society, shocked when the French school system treats them equally and they climb upwards, like African-Americans when they gained access to the US school system. And eventually to US society, after a century of Jim Crow and the civil rights movement.
France is now in that phase. Do not assume that 350 million Arabs-1,650 million Muslims will take more beating hands down. Read the most belligerent of national anthems, the horrible Marseillaise, admonishing the French to hate foreign intruders “coming into our midst to cut the throats of (y)our sons and consorts–March, march, let impure blood water our furrows”. Watch the French elite of “énarques”, difficult to match in patriotic self-righteousness.
And you get a France with a president declaring war.
Treat what happened as a war and for sure you get one. With the polarization in the term “terrorism”: you are evil with a project of more evil, to talk with you is useless; crush, beat, eliminate.
And with escalation, in, and by, Paris. But watch out: there is not only destructive power, D, involved, with France having more than the other sides. There is also vulnerability, V, with France, USA etc. being many times more vulnerable. Multiply the D of one side by the V of the other sides (in plural): who is stronger? Meaning: the more destructive power one side has and the more vulnerable the other–the stronger the former.
The other side shouts “Allah is Great”, making individuals small, those they kill, and those who kill themselves with suicide vests. But so does la grande France, calling the citizens “to war, to form their battalions” against those who “would make laws in our courts”. Not so easy to find verses in the Qur’an fully matching the Marseillaise.
Any way out? On 28 October, before Paris, Tony Blair apologized for the 2003 Iraq invasion he repeatedly had said he would do again.
Why, how did it happen? Maybe his left arm was twisted by his successor as leader of the Labour Party, and his right arm by the UK prime minister, Cameron. Why? Because they feared Paris in London, and swallowed the bitter pill of apologizing for a stupid and criminal war in Iraq thousands of times more atrocious than Paris.
Could Hollande (be twisted to) do the same? Maybe not. But there might be a way out more palatable to French self-righteousness: an international commission acceptable to all sides to assess the relation, past, present and future–de-polarizing and de-escalating while waiting for its conclusions (which might take some time).
In law an illegal act is detached from its context, including history; in reality the context matters more and finds its willing executioners. Kill one, Belgian or not, related to ISIS or not, and the shadows of history will mobilize and hide dozens of others.
The problem is not to explain what happened, but why not earlier.
And that goes also for 9-11 in New York-Washington, for 07-07 in London, for 11M in Madrid. Millions had been victims of aggression by those present or former big powers. Why did they not “blow back” as CIA calls the “unintended consequences” of their unbelievably long list of aggressions? Could it be because they are less violent than the West, that frustration has to accumulate for a longer time and be at the level of Western state terrorism exceeding the needle-pricks of terrorism 99:1? And that the West, stupidly, assumed that their violence has had a preventive, pre-emptive, effect, that “it works”?
And then that whole badly constructed intellectual edifice collapses because non-Western victims have reached the tipping point, cannot take it any longer, and fall down on the violent side. And the West counts its victims–publishes their names and the perpetrators’ while keeping both anonymous when the West does the killing–stupidly concludes that what is needed is not less, but more violence. For individual and general prevention to work.
I have a dream. Like an American from Atlanta, Georgia, MLK Jr.
Imagine West and Islam focusing not on the worst, like Western violence for prevention and Islamic for retribution, but on the best. Like the capacity for innovation and freedom in the West, togetherness and sharing in Islam. Imagine them dialoguing publicly at a high level “how can we learn from each other”? How to get more diversity into Islam, more freedom for different interpretations? How to bring more togetherness into the West to overcome loneliness, and more sharing–of wealth, knowledge, any resource–to overcome inequality–both anomalies being rampant? How can we reconcile the Islamic utopia of a world ummah, the community of the believers, dotted with countless local authorities based on the mosque and the shariah court, with the Western utopia of a world government, dominated by the West?
Morale: start working. Do not waste time on stupid violence-war.
Dear Francois Hollande, You will never reach peace through security. You reach security through peace.
November 14, 2015, Johan Galtung
USA, What Next?
EDITORIAL, 21 March 2016
Nº 420 - Johan Galtung, 21 Mar 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service
Nobody knows. But under US presidentialism presidents matter; close to a dictatorship for one administration. That is where democracy–for, by if not of the delegates, it seems–enters; with a painstaking nomination process, like nothing in the rest of the world. And then the elections in November, after party conventions in July.
There are three parties in the USA: Democrats, Republicans; and Democrats in the South, loyal to the party leadership DNC and vice versa, Southern Baptist conservative, traditionally for blacks, women, working class, minorities (Southern Republicans are white Anglo men). Very different from Yankee democrats up in the North producing Bernie.
So we get a South-North gradient Hillary-Bernie, with exceptions. However, there is also an age gradient for both genders even if more for men: the older the more Hillary, the younger the more Bernie. If, likely, Hillary is nominated, Bernie will leave an imprint on US politics and many states in the North, and more so as time passes. But socialism, age and vague foreign policy rule him out as president.
Then, the Republican story, mainly the Donald Trump story. Again an outsider, a challenge to RNC like Bernie to DNC–Wasserman-Schultz. Whereas Bernie is about class-bankocracy-speculation-inequality, Trump is about race-religion-ethnicity, “demonizing anyone who is not white and Christian–flirting with Ku Klux Klan–stereotyping Mexicans and Muslims” (Washington Post, 17 Mar 2016). The class focus makes Bernie non-eligible, the race-ethnic focus makes Trump non-nominable. So it may be Hillary vs Cruz with Hillary status quo belligerence winning. Both are a disaster for the world; Trump only for the USA.
However, a suspicion: the bipartisan anti-Trumpism is also about his relation to a Putin-type foreign policy: less war, less enemies, “Cuba: fine with me”, “great mistake to bomb Serbs who were our allies in both world wars” (March 7). We will hear much more of that kind.
Whoever wins takes the reins of a failed state. Consider this list, not What Next? but What Now?, badly reflected in the campaigns.
The war against the blacks, killing young men on sight and making them, like slaves, again forced labor, now through incarceration.
The highest world incarceration rate (no. 2 Russia); privatized prisons on stock exchange, making more crimes pay for investors.
Like making more wars pay for investors in arms manufacturers; in the military-industrial-Congress-banking-intelligentsia complex.
More wars and killing around the world than ever; thoughtless killing of whatever moves, not winning, producing more resistance.
Suicide terrorism increased from 350 1989-2003, mainly by Tamil tigers, to 1,883 2004-2009, 92% anti-American, -foreign occupation.
“Revitalizing nuclear weaponry” (INYT, 29 Apr 2014); “mini-nukes” below Hiroshima for not unlikely use to “win”, getting desperate.
Resolutions against North Korea doing what the veto powers have been doing for years: using nuclear weapons to deter and threaten.
Since WWII “The Leading Terrorist State” (Chomsky) tried 55 times to overthrow foreign governments they did not like, half successfully, 18 in Latin America-Caribbean (Blum); but not Batista, Pinochet et al.
The 33 Latin America-Caribbean states Fourth summit of Heads of State in Quito in January welcomed the Caribbean Community Reparation Commission for the “atrocious crimes” of slave trade and slavery. Hardly mentioned in Western media. And USA continues supporting coups.
“Strategic Engineered Migration as Weapon of War” (Leonid Savin), “calls on Twitter to travel to Germany have mostly come from the US” may lead to reactions in Europe similar to Latin America-Caribbean.
Aggressive US policy in Ukraine supporting a corrupt and bankrupt Kiev regime against the Russian-Orthodox part mainly in the East has divided NATO on the issues, with USA far away from the arena.
China’s Belt and Road policies reach others but not far away USA.
The American Dream fails on three counts: children are not better off than their parents; working hard does not guarantee a decent life as the value produced goes elsewhere; house-car-college unaffordable.
The system is not even able to replace a deceased US Supreme Court justice; responsible for the disastrous Citizens United ruling that donating money for politics falls under freedom of expression.
Huge increases in inequality with the three government branches decreasingly able to do anything, also pitted against each other.
The Walton family owning Walmart where employees make $8 an hour makes $1.5 million an hour, having a net worth of 42% of US families combined (email@example.com 3 Dec 2014). The richest 1%, 115,000 households, each increases their wealth by an average $10 million per year while 138,000 children are homeless; as $30 trillion new wealth was created the number of kids on food stamps increases 70%; the food stamp program was cut $8.6 billion, paid to corporate agriculture (www.nationofchange.org 16 Mar 2015).
The US infrastructure, airports, rail, roads, metro, streets sink to former Third World levels, where the infrastructure now improves.
A staggering total US multi-trillion debt to be served at the expense of not serving the people and the infrastructure.
Inequality is also high in China, but “lifting the bottom 400 million up” 1991-2004 created a 58% domestic demand increase to meet the 2008 crisis; with no such US policy the economy gets worse.
One author’s conclusion: “After I lived in Norway, America felt backward. Here’s Why”, by Ann Jones (The Nation, 15 Feb 2016). Also Bernie’s conclusion, but not the DNC’s, nor the voters’.
Any president will have to come to grips with these 12 + 8 = 20 calamities and more. If not, What Next? Is not left or right. Down.
Unless there is a switch from a foreign policy of war to peace; and people are helped, locally and state-wise, to help themselves.
Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. He has published 164 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.
Fall of Empire, End to US Wars: Johan Galtung Predictions Taking Place
SHORT VIDEO CLIPS, 9 May 2016
Russia Today – TRANSCEND Media Service
From Feb 21, 2011
Some analysts say the US – bogged down in wars and pressed by emerging powers – will have to rethink its role in world affairs. Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung, a peace and conflict expert, goes further by predicting the fall of the “US Empire” by 2020. Military defeats in wars of choice will generate political loss of influence and irrelevance externally, what may trigger a soul-searching internally. The Vietnam War was but a prelude. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya follow the script. Israel may become a burden to the USA.
He suggests solutions based on 50 years of research in the areas of conflict transformation, mediation, peace studies, and related disciplines.
Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of theTRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environmentand rector of theTRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. Hehas published 164 books on peace and related issues,of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’published by theTRANSCEND University Press-TUP.