The self-appointed Inter Action Council, IAC, chaired by German ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (of US missile stationing fame) had its 27th Annual Meeting in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia 10-13 May, with 20 other former prime ministers and presidents, many right wing social democrats, attending.
الكاتب: Johan Galtung
The slogan was coined by the famous German nuclear physicist, philosopher and peace researcher, Carl Friedrich von Weizscäcker, who passed on in 2007 at the age of 94. The term Weltinnenpolitik caught on, with GDP as translation into English; in search of one appealing word. But that is but a word. What does it stand for? What are the implications?
A key hypothesis in the recent The Fall of the US Empire – And Then What? (www.transcend.org/tup) is that the successor system to the US Empire will be neither a hegemony run by one big actor like China or the EU, nor globalization run by the TNCs, but a world of regions with regional currencies. A global common currency may come. But the regions will dominate, the state system is fading and real globalization at a distance.
Of course Turkey will become a member of the European Union, with French and German support. It will take some time, but they need each other. The marriage is written in the stars. When, it is more difficult to say. Probably by 2015, for sure by 2020; it may also come much sooner for reasons to be explored.
We find it all over, right now in the streets of Tegucigalpa, Tehran, Urumqi; as massive killing in connection with US-Allies attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, and elsewhere. There will probably be much more, looking at the world conflict maps.
Officials from the Ministry of Defense, Officers from the Army, Ladies and Gentlemen, Power comes in hard and soft varieties, be that as economic power, exploitation vs equity; military power, offensive vs defensive; or political power (dictatorship vs democracy). Or as cultural power, legitimizing the three hard forms vs legitimizing the soft ones. That makes cultural awareness essential in all human interaction, including conquest by killing bodies, or by conquering hearts and minds. Whether uniformed people can combine the two, with guns in one hand and spades, water canisters in the other, delivering pain and pleasure, is another and dubious…
Ladies and gentlemen, My approach to this topic is based on 50 years experience with how women and men relate to peace and security issues; in formal and informal politics, in mediation and mediation training, in peace- keeping operations and peace-building, and in meetings like this one.
European Commission Making the Difference: Strengthening the Capacities to Respond to Crises and Security Threats Brussels, 4 June 2009 Concluding Remarks: Wrapping Up, the Road Ahead
“I feel uneasy. I love him, but how do I know how he is?” The councilor said, “Watch how his father treats his mother. This is his key model. Unless challenged to the contrary this is what he takes for normal, natural. If you have problems with that as his model, rather challenge it now. When you are bound by the marital contract it may be too late”. Wise words.
The idea of Truth is as relevant for the arts as for the sciences. Truth is an attribute of a symbolic articulation – a thesis, a text, a painting-sculpture, a piece of music – when held up against reality: does it reflect, agree with what we consider “reality”? Some deny the existence of any reality outside articulations. Submit that to the Buddhist test for sentient life; does it impact on you with dukkha-suffering, and-or sukha-fulfillment? You may critique – and you should – any discourse about HIV-AIDS, but those letters may also spell death and it is not obvious that…
“Too handsome that president” was the conclusion of the French women’s magazine Voici (27/12/08) “le président plus sexy jamais élu”, the most sexy president ever elected, “attendu comme le Messie”, awaited like the Messiah”. In the swimming trunks, also appearing in an IHT column 16/05/09 calling Michelle’s remark about being “proud about her country for the first time” a blunder. Oh no. Honesty.
To start with the conclusion: the piracy issue–in 2008 40 of 100; in 2009 so far 25, attacks succeeded, 18 vessels with about 310 sailors captive, ransom average $2-3 million–can be solved but only if treated as part of the whole Somalia complex. But USA and EU detach piracy as a crime to be fought, deterred and prevented by the EU “NAVFOR Atalanta operation”, killing, bringing them to court, hoping for individual and general prevention will stop “banditry” (there is also that element). Navies of 24 countries police 2 million km2.
The white, tall, Anglo-American, Wall Street defenders in London won; but Lula was wrong about blue eye color, and one was black. No "turning point" (Obama) in the 29 points, but:
Iraq, from being "a brutal dictatorship, is now an Arab democracy", he said, W, after having set the USA back more than his eight years. And Iraq? Let us try an evaluation.
Beyond the immense human tragedy unfolding in the Gaza atrocity a question takes shape: have the Israeli leaders, politicians and military alike, totally lost their senses? A sledgehammer for a toothache, those tiny needle-pricks of missiles fired in anger, 8 killed–and then killing 800? Where is the sophistication of the attack on Egypt, timed to coincide with the military leadership caught in the morning traffic jam in the streets of Cairo? Or the bombing of Beirut in 1982, positioning planes between the sun and anti-aircraft artillery?
Let’s assume that. Then, what follows? Let’s have a look. Money is needed, for production of goods and services by existing enterprises, and for creating new ones–investment–to produce more goods and services. Money is also sometimes needed to buy and consume those goods and services by existing, and by new consumers as net population increase. First, to buy necessities for all, to satisfy basic needs for security and wellness, food, clothes and housing, health and education, transportation and communication. Second, to buy "normalities", normal consumer goods, today including a car for transportation and a cell-phone/computer for communication. Third, for luxuries,…
We are back again to the basics. Atrocities are committed along the Somali coast and in Mumbai, and our thoughts are with the victims and the bereaved. "Life as normal" is a casualty. And yet we have that burning question, why, why, why!?
The crisis in the US economy would also have happened even without the empire. The crisis is an outcome of US hyper-capitalism, capitalism at maximum pressure, with no constraints or "regulation" as the market forces say. And more particularly of the pumping, sucking up of wealth from below, placing 90 million US citizens in misery, and in addition reducing their buying power, contributing to a sluggish real economy, or else to an escalating debt. And even more particularly due to the accumulation of wealth, liquidity at the top of this, finding an outlet in an even more unconstrained finance economy…
Israel and Palestine met for peace this weekend, or so did positive parts of their civil societies, under the good auspices not of Italy’s government but of the Regione Toscana, in Pisa, where a tower is leaning, but still standing. The theme was European Union as a mediator. With the Israeli government in permanent coma, the Palestinian house split against itself, the US and Israel sharing the bad karma of being built on stolen land, pushing the inhabitants into bantustans or worse, with Annapolis, that naval base, of course failing to navigate the waters. That Washington voice was absent in…
Should the world have the right to vote in US presidential elections given their importance for world affairs? Formally speaking, a better solution would be a UN Peoples’ Assembly. But the second best would be a US president with the interests of the world, all nations, humans and nature on top of his mind and deep in his heart. Is Barack Obama that person?
There is much talk about energy and its conversion these days. Actually, as the sum of energy is constant, it is about conversion from one form to the other, like thermal energy stored in oil-gas-coal, or kinetic energy from moving water and wind to electric energy, bio-mass energy to thermal energy, etc.