By Johan Galtung
Speech given in Oslo on January 27, 2012
Norway’s by any comparison greatest philosopher was born one hundred years ago today, and died close to the age of 97. A world philosopher, a human being with an incredible radiation. Nobody who came close to him remained the same.
What was his basic theme? In one word: nonviolence, but in a broader and deeper sense than most approaching demanding idea.
Arne Næss was very sensitive to verbal violence in debates; his answer was objectivity. He identified physical violence in political struggle; his answer was Gandhian nonviolence, strongly inspired as a student in Paris early 1930s by Indian students strongly convinced that nonviolence was the way. Read More »
Many of us doubt that Iran is on the way to build a nuclear bomb. Trying to find the truth is not easy. It was a bit of a one sided conversation since I don’t know the inner workings of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN body that monitors nuclear developments. But Robert Kelly, a nuclear energy engineer and ex-department director at the IAEA, has brought me up to speed.
According to him the evidence described in a widely quoted report issued in November 2011 by the Director General of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, is sketchy.Read More »
The Syrian pro-democracy struggle has been both an enormous tragedy and a powerful inspiration. Indeed, as someone who has studied mass nonviolent civil insurrections in dozens of countries in recent decades, I know of no people who have demonstrated such courage and tenacity in the face of such savage repression as have the people of Syria these past 10 months.Read More »
Finally, there is some argumentation in the West supportive of a nuclear free zone for the Middle East. Such thinking is still treated as politically marginal, and hardly audible above the beat of the war drums. It also tends to be defensively and pragmatically phrased as in the NY Times article by Shibley Telhami and Steven Kull (January 15, 2012) with full disclosure title, “Preventing a Nuclear Iran, Peacefully.”Read More »
By Daisaku Ikeda
President of Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
Every year Dr. Ikeda publishes his thoughts on what must be done to secure a better future for us all. He is a true contributor to the TFF pro-peace orientation that emphasizes how important it is to “imagine a better world”.
We are proud to have had this wise, visionary leader of what is probably the world’s largest peace movement, as TFF Associate over many years.
Much more about him here.
The economist Amartya Sen, a renowned advocate of the methods and approaches of human security, has emphasized “the dangers of sudden deprivation.” Such unanticipated threats can take the form of natural disaster and conflict, and can also arise from economic crises and rapid environmental degradation brought about by climate change. It is crucial that we respond vigorously to such threats, which can grievously undermine people’s lives, livelihoods and dignity.Read More »
The talk is talk. Or will it walk? Mitt Romney, the US Republican candidate for the presidency, says that on his watch Iran would not be allowed to build a nuclear weapon but that on his watch President Barack Obama will let it happen.Read More »
EU förbjuder all oljeimport från Iran, och Iran hotar med att som svar blockera all trafik av olja genom Hormuzsundet. Till TT uttrycker utrikesminister Carl Bildt viss skepsis inför beslutet, risken är att vi ”glider in i en konfrontation som ytterst kan sluta i krig – och dit vill ingen”.
På sin blogg Alla dessa dagar är Bildt ännu mera kritisk till sanktionerna, som han menar möjligen kan påverka Irans ekonomi men knappast landets politik.
At 25, TFF’s Board has decided to move the Foundation in a new direction which we call pro-peace: more imagination, proposal-making and healing, slightly less emphasis on diagnosis and prognosis.
In medicine and health it is well-known that the patient won’t recover no matter how much the doctor criticizes the disease or predicts the patient’s death within a year or two.
Only when some constructive action is taken to bring about recovery and health, will the patient get a chance to survive.
Here’s 3 minutes about TFF’s new, diversified Internet presence, a first step to move in the mentoned direction.
There is also an appeal to you because one thing will not change: that TFF is people-financed and all-volunteer. We need your help the Foundation to stay truly independent of government and the corporate world and remain experimental, and outspoken.
What are the three credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch – 95 percent of the rating “industry” – about? Not very transparent, yet “Standard & Poor’s: silent but deadly” (El País, 16 Jan 2012), stimulates some reflections.
The agencies are US, which goes well with the tendency of the USA to sit in judgment of other countries. It also goes well with something more dangerous: the tendency of other countries to take that judgment seriously. The new prime minister of Spain said he needed no lecturing (from the agencies) on the Spanish economy; but the downgrading shook Spain. Why does Europe not have its own agencies, rating all 50 US states, for instance, like US agencies rate EU members? Read More »
A critique of western policies vis-à-vis Iran and two pro-peace proposals
The public discussion in the West addressing Iran’s nuclear program has mainly relied on threat diplomacy, articulated most clearly by Israeli officials, but enjoying the strong direct and indirect backing of Washington and leading Gulf states. Israel has also engaged in covert warfare against Iran in recent years, somewhat supported by the United States, that has inflicted violent deaths on civilians in Iran.
Many members of the UN Security Council support escalating sanctions against Iran, and have not blinked when Tel Aviv and Washington talk menacingly about leaving all options on the table, which is ‘diplospeak’ for their readiness to launch a military attack. Read More »