TFF PressInfo # 414 (A): Trump in Riyadh – A Gulf NATO to gang up against Iran and Syria

By Jan Oberg

Today, I am proud to say that NATO has a new home in the Gulf region. And that we have opened a new chapter in our deepening partnership.

NATO S-G, Jens Stoltenberg, in Kuwait on January 24, 2017

The Secretary-General also said this new home’s “potential is enormous”.

President Trump arrived on his first trip abroad to Saudi Arabia on May 19, 2017 and big things are supposed to happen, including Saudi Arabia presenting itself as a innovative, visionary leader of the region.

His visit must be seen in the light of a number of events and trends, and in what follows we do like the military when it scans the horizon for enemies: we look for patterns – not the least Saudi Arabia’s “surprising new military goals” as Forbes’ Ellen Wald appropriately calls them.

Or, as they say – we connect some dots that, invariable, Western mainstream media have no capacity and probably also no interest in connecting.

This pattern consists of at least these events and long-term trends:

1. The broadening of NATO cooperation with Gulf countries – one may even see a Middle Eastern NATO branch emerge.

2. Saudi Arabia’s evident leadership in building a new multi-national army announced a couple of years ago and allegedly having 100.000 troops as a goal. This is an extension of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s and its old to-be-replaced military arm, the Peninsula Shield Force

3. The intensified image in the US under Trump of Iran as a threat and a ‘ganging up’ against it.

4. The war on Syria’s territory with hundreds of foreign conflict participants including NATO country Turkey and allies such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and NATO members such as England and France – all in support of anti-government/regime change and pro-terrorists.

5. The second Cold War – very different from the first – between NATO and Russia which also has a Middle East dimension in that Russia is a vital partner of the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army.

6. The conflict formation that has Israeli as it’s centre – Hezbollah, Iran, Syria (the Golan Heights), etc. If you want to know what Israel wants to use Trump’s visit for it’s clear from this analysis: More confrontation with Iran and cooperation with Saudi Arabia, also concerning Syria.

7. NATO’s obvious crisis – the new Cold War around Ukraine; its second largest military member, Turkey, working closely with arch enemy Russia, ongoing trans-Atlantic conflicts about burden sharing etc.

This will suffice as an illustration of the complex web of inter-connected issues. There are surely more and we can’t go through them all in this short article.

By way of introduction it should be mentioned that NATO has, as alliance, been engaged in the Middle East for a long time – through the Mediterranean Dialogue begun in 1994 and “elevated” to the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative ten years later in 2004.

What’s going on now is, however, on a quite different scale.

The US-Saudi Arabia arms deal

The US and Saudi Arabia are to sign a huge – yet another – arms deal, valued at US$ 110 billion and, over a ten-year period perhaps mounting to as much as US$ 300 billion. It’s been facilitated by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner in a rather unconventional way.

Given that Saudi Arabia is the world 3rd largest military spender – i.e. directly after the US and China and, thus, bigger than Russia – this project must be seen in the realm of irrational militarism outside any domain of policies for peace in the Middle East.

And it’s important to keep proportions and priorities clear in these affairs. OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) spent more than $135bn (£90bn) in 2015 – i.e. the world’s richest countries give about half of the value of this single arms deal to help poor countries manage and eradicate poverty.

It is a clear example of the vested interests of the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex (MIMAC) that threatens the very survival of humanity and is way beyond democratic control. Western mainstream media’s very subdued coverage of this – extreme – dimension of US foreign policy in general makes them complicit and justifies their inclusion in the MIMAC concept.

It goes without saying that this deal is marketed to the world as promoting stability, security and peace and as an important element in the global War On Terror. Given all the other weapons that have been pumped into the Middle East region the last 4-5 decades and all the countries that have been more or less turned into ruins – it’s quite obvious why, as usual, there is no intellectual connection between this deal and the said goals.

For NATO and the mantras, media and marketing is everything.

Russia Today has done a rather decent piece of research on this (see below). Among other things, it makes clear that the deal includes weapons that have little, if anything, to do with fighting terrorism. One of them is the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system from Lockheed Martin that the US is also stuffing down the throat of South Korea.

To be able to win war, not to prevent them.

If for a moment one applies some kind of security political logics to this deal, it’s obvious that this build-up is directed – in the longer term perspective and with Israeli support, one must assume – against Iran and Syria. Israel’s official view is expressed here – official because otherwise this minister would have been fired for such statements.

The military expenditure “correlation of forces”

Military expenditures is not the only measure of military might. Neither is it an indicator of who would win a war; contemporary history is full of examples of big spenders losing wars when attacking countries with smaller military budgets.

That said, if you do a search on “world military expenditures” you’ll get a sense of who is willing and able to invest in the military and, also, a rough measure of both proportional allocation to the military sector and, above a certain level, an index of on dimension of militarism.

There are indexes by SIPRI and by the IISS and others – and here are the rough ‘correlation of forces’ pertaining to the countries we talk about here:

• Saudi Arabia is the 3rd or 4th largest military spender on earth after the US, China and perhaps Russia.

• Saudi Arabia spends about between US$ 64 and 82 billion annually (depending on source you consult), growing 20% per year and that is the extremely high 10 % of its GDP.Read More »

The US general in Europe is dishonest and beyond the rational

And a few words about Western mainstream media unwillingness to deal with NATO criticism

By Jan Oberg

It’s as amazing as it is frightening how the West – a group of countries allegedly fighting for truth against propaganda and fake news by others – leads exactly that game itself.

And so is the degree to which Western allegedly free media – meaning free also of political powers that be – continue to ask no questions and do no research. We are obviously living in the post-intellectual age, knowledge having been replaced by marketed and more or less invented, elite self-serving narratives. For instance…

Take a close look at what Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command, says when testifying before the US House Armed Service Committee. He is also SACEUR – Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the man whose views and actions will decide the fate of 500+ Europeans should there be a major war in this region of the world.

What is says is plain irresponsible. It’s beyond the rational. While it may not be fake news, it’s an example of ignored, omitted news.

He blows up beyond recognition the so-called Russian threat. There is no single evidence of it in his statement – why it would happen, how, where, with what motives the Moscow would have and – in particular – how likely it is to become reality. He merely asserts it – based upon a wildly exaggerated estimate of his own authority: Read More »

TFF PressInfo # 403: Discussing NATO with a former US Assistant Secretary of Defence

By Jan Oberg

On the occasion of NATO’s defence minister meeting on February 15-16 discussing NATO, Ukraine, Crimea, Syria and the eternal threat images which are fake – with former Assistant Secretary of Defence of the United States, Mr. Lawrence J. Korb.

I’m afraid he got some stuff wrong such as the establishment of NATO and whether or not Kosovo is part of the Balkans.

He also believed that NATO’s 1999 bombing of Serbia-Kosovo had a UN Security Council mandate.

Enjoy those small moment and the rest where I am trying to present some more general thourght on why the whole NATO philosophy is outdated – the only point where I agree with President Trump…

Media experience and policy

Lots of people in the debate seem to believe there is something strange about being in the “propaganda” media of “enemies of the West” – read the global Iran’s PressTV and Russia’s Russia Today.

What they don’t seem to have acknowledged is that tons of Westerners are being interviewed and do commenting (like myself for years) at these media. Here is Mr. Korb with me at Iran’s international TV channel.

What they also don’t know is something I am sorry to report: I’ve met attempts at manipulation and “editing” and censorship with a series of Western mainstream media, not the least in my native Denmark, but I have not experience any of that even once with Russia Today and PressTV. Very decent professionals!

So much for the free press and for the propaganda channels. My personal problems is, which is which?

About my policy vis-a-vis the media.

TFF PressInfo # 390 – Ten articles on the new Cold War and a reflection

By Jan Oberg

Lund, October 26, 2016

Over the last four month, ten articles about the new Cold War have been published on the TFF Associates blog. And on our social media you’ll find hundreds of brilliant, informative posts written by others.

While this new Cold War is certainly different from the first Cold war that ended in 1989, we are not in doubt that there is a new such tragic war and that the risk of military confrontation between Russia and NATO countries in Europe has increased.

We also happen to think it could have been avoided.

This Cold War has to do with, among many other things, NATO’s counterproductive expansion since 1994, the way Yugoslavia broke down and was broken up, with Ukraine and now Syria as well as – perhaps surprisingly to some – the rapidly diminishing political power and legitimacy of the West in the emerging world order.

A reflection on how security politics and media contribute to the closing of the open society

The increasing symbiosis between the political and the leading mainstream media of the Western world implies that, grosso modo, Russia is blamed for having caused this new situation. While Russia is certainly not innocent and it usually does take two to conflict this blame is rather a sign of diminishing capacity (knowledge) and will (economic and intellectual independence and courage) to ask critical questions that now characterise the corporate media.

Defence and security political news coverage, journalistic processing, editing and commentaries have sunk to an intellectual level that is considerably lower than during the first Cold War. The entire field is given low priority by editors. Domestic issues, sports, entertainment, lifestyle etc. have made it to the top.

Out of sync with the globalising world, most media do with 1-2 pages about global affairs out of, say, 40-50 pages and they base this material on the same handful of Western news bureaus.

The double checking of a variety of sources, versatility and multi-perspective coverage are things of the past and we see more uniformity and more subjectivity in the news media coverage than ever.

Add to this that both Russia and NATO countries engage in media management, or propaganda (tax payers footing the bills) which squeezes out comprehensive knowledge and unbiased analyses as well as critical angles on one’s own policies and actions.Read More »

TFF PressInfo # 384: The Clintons celebrated – but likely disastrous for the world

By Jan Oberg

Hillary Rodham Clinton was nominated last night by the Democratic Party as its candidate for the U.S. Presidency. She may well win on November 8.

What a tragedy for Western democracy that the leader of what is still called the free, democratic world cannot produce better candidates than Trump and Clinton through a disgustingly commercialized and corrupt political process where candidates like Jill Stein – did you ever hear of that candidate? – doesn’t have a chance because she cannot mobilize the funds.

As a European intellectual with a life-long commitment to peace and democracy, I find little reason to celebrate.

And why the total focus on a few individuals at the top but not the structures that will run them both, such as the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex (MIMAC); the cancer in many societies, including Russia, that President Eisenhower warned the world about in his farewell speech already in 1961?

How short the media memory! Hillary Clinton’s nomination celebrated all over the mainstream press as a victory for the party – preventing it from splitting – and for all women.

But how can people – women in particular – really believe in such genderism: that she will be a better president for the US and the world because she’s a woman? Hasn’t the world learnt anything from the inverse racism:that Obama would be a great president because he is black?

How blind the media to militarism, war and other violence: Not one media focuses on the Clinton’s well-documented fascination with violence and war.

It’s time to refresh the memory of the Clintons:

Bill Clinton’s record

From 1994 BC broke all promises made by his predecessors and other Western politician to Gorbachev about “not expanding NATO an inch”. He started out in Tblisi, Georgia. I happened to be there, spoke with the U.S. representative to the country and got a sense what was coming. Later too in Yugoslavia.

There is a straight line from that fatal arrogance to today’s Second Cold War in Europe, Ukraine having – predictably – to be the this-far-and-no-longer country of that mindless and reckless expansion that should never have happened.

BC’s interventionist record is also forgotten: He bombed in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia – the latter much much worse from any point of view than the Russian annexation of Crimea. It was based on the fake Rambouillet “talks” between Serbs and Kosovo-Albanians, his public lies about there being an ethnic cleansing of all Albanians in Kosovo coming from Slobodan Milosevic whom he called a new Hitler.

No such plan was ever found – and I know a bit about it because I was a goodwill adviser both to three governments in Belgrade and to the non-violent Kosovo-Albanian leadership under Ibrahim Rugova.

It was Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who masterminded much of it and is on record for saying that it was politically justifiable that the sanctions on Iraq had killed 500.000 innocent people. And they continued.

And she, having survived as a refugee child in Belgrade, Serbia, with her Czechoslovakian family during the Second World War and spoke Serbian is on record for hatred of the Serb people.

Conveniently, the West has forgotten it all. BC is such a charming man (who just told us at the reality show-like democratic convention how much he loves his wife).

His administration was one of the most militarist.

Hillary Clinton’s record

There is no excuse for having forgotten her record. GFrom 2009 to 2013, she served as Secretary of State under Obama, the US president who has been engaged in warfare during more days than any other US President according to the New York Times.

HC has supported all the wars she could and she was a mastermind of the war in Libya. One remembers the film clip showing her happiness at Khadafi’s death.

She is a Cold Warrior, anti-Russia, anti-Putin Russians will be great for fighting Putin.

Her war-promoting record is as long as it is well-documented.

The most solid documentation is that of professor Stephen Zunes. Read More »

TFF PressInfo # 385: Turkey’s coup – another example of the West’s disintegration

By Jan Oberg

Was it just a group of amateurish military people who believed that they knew how to make a coup? Was the brain behind it a 75 year old Islamic leader or ’guru’ Fatullah Gülen sitting in Pennsylvania and remote controlling the whole affair through his followers in Turkey? Was it perhaps the U.S.? State Department and CIA – who were tired of President Erdogan’s unpredictability and policies vis-a-vis Russia and ISIS?

Many more or less realistic and conspiracy-like theories have emerged since it happened about a week ago. I have no particular expertise on Turkey and no access to intelligence data but I guess it is reasonable to think of this coup having been master-minded by Erdogan and the people around him and/or that he had early warnings about it but let it happen – which fits with his words that it was a gift from God.

It’s the least unlikely hypothesis. Why?

1. In a half-hour long interview, Erdogan tells Aljazeera how it all happened that night. It is a remarkably distancing, blurred recollection without cohesion and with little credibility coming from a man who was the centre or it all and allegedly the object not only of a coup d’etat but an attempt too on his life. (See it at (). It is as if he was really not present, shocked or surprised.


2. The attempted coup seems too amateurish to have been a US/ CIA thing.


3. It is rather unlikely, given the security apparatus and Erdogan’s top control, that this coup had not been on the radar at an earlier stage.


4. Even if the dialogue-oriented, moderate Fatullah Gülen should be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I don’t find it particularly credible that he should exercise such power and mastermind the whole thing from that far away. It requires extremely detailed knowledge of an insider kind to make a successful coup.


5. Very strangely, those who took over power for a few hours never appear on the radio stations and TV screens they controlled. We didn’t see a coup leader at all. To speak to the people is what any coup-maker does first.
Read More »

TFF PressInfo #381: Much stronger than during the First Cold War. Why is NATO so irrational?

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 world’s mind-boggling US $ 1700 billion military expenditures. Africa as a continent, BRICS countries – China in particular – are making progress, also in fields where the West has failed; for instance, China has lifted 400 million Chinese out of poverty in a couple of decades. The wealthy West has done nothing of the sort over centuries but produced a grotesquely, perversely unequal income distribution.

Take a look at the graphs linked to this summary page from SIPRI. They will tell you how world military expenditures in constant prices have risen since 1996 even though the Warsaw Pact had been dissolved. In 2015, the US alone stands for 36% of the world’s military expenditures, China for 13% and Russia for4%.

President Obama stated recently that the US military is stronger than the next 8 – here is what he said in his State of the Union Address on January 12th, 2016:

“I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker,” Obama said in his last annual State of the Union address Jan. 12, 2016. “Let me tell you something: The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. Period. It’s not even close. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined.”

In spite of these fact that prove the overwhelming and increasing superiority of today’s NATO, we see a constantly increasing propaganda coming out of NATO circles to the effect that NATO is getting weaker and that Russia a formidable, unreliable power just waiting for the next opportunity to invade some country in the West.

Let’s take a look back in time.Read More »

TFF 30th Anniversary Benefit Event

Lund, Sweden, September 5, 2015
Updated September 5 and our apologies if you’ve received this before.
We want to catch all and miss no one over all these years.

Dear friend!

We are happy to invite you to the TFF 30th Anniversary Benefit Event !
September 11-12, 2015

Live Lectures by videostream
Exciting lectures on world affairs and peace over two days – See program below.

This is not an invitation to visit the foundation in person.
It is an online, live video streamed event that you will be able to follow from anywhere in the world
Here is the link and it’ll also be shown via Facebook, Twitter and on our website.
And all the lectures will be available later as videos on our own video channels.

Open House at the foundation
Saturday September 12 at 14:00-17:00
It’s at Vegagatan 25 in Lund, Sweden – deadline for your registration September 7.

1. Lectures on-site with live streaming

We’ll shortly tell you the links where you may see it all and where videos will later be available.

Lecture program

Friday September 11

Live, video streamed:

16:00
September 11: Alternatives to the devastating War On Terror – Jan Oberg

17:00
TFF 30 Perspectives – TFF Associates and Board on the better world we dream of – And cheers!

Saturday September 12

Live, video-streamed 10:00-18:00

10:00
Iran And the Nuclear Issues – Gunnar Westberg

11:00
Integration – Why and how? Example: Afghan Youth In Sweden – Christina Spännar, Sweden

12:00
Nuclear abolition is necessary and possible – Gunnar Westberg, Sweden

13:00
West and East: Ukraine and New Cold War? – Jan Oberg

14:00
Human Rights And War Crimes – Jonathan Power, UK/Sweden

15:00
Women, Self-Esteem and Violence – Annette Schiffmann, Germany

16:00
Yugoslavia – What Should Have Been Done? – Jan Oberg (in Memoriam Håkan Wiberg), DK/Sweden

17:00
Media and Peace – Sören Sommelius, Sweden

18:00
Burundi’s Crisis And Possible Ways Out – Burundi expert

2. Open House hours 14-17
Buffet, drinks, coffee and tea, cakes and other sweets.
You must register your visit by September 7 at the latest at TFF30@transnational.org or call 0046 738 525200.

3. Peace with peaceful means
The day is devoted to the – ongoing – struggle for ”peace by peaceful means“ as the UN Charter puts it. Gandhi said that the “means are goals in-the-making”. To realize that noble goal remains the mission of TFF. Today we show you how and promote all related activites with the help of social media and new video technologies.

4. This is a Benefit Event – Your support to TFF please!

TFF is unique in being totally independent of government and corporate funds. It’s people-financed. No one related to TFF has a salary; we’re all-volunteer.
This provides for truly free research and permit us to be critical and constructive and practise our freedom of expression. Not everyone can boast that today!
Wars, nuclear and conventional arms, bombing raids and occupations etc. are financed by your tax money. Sadly and unfairly, no tax funds go to realise the UN norm above.

We think that people who believe that peace is better than violence should also pay something to the research, education and activism in favour of that UN norm.
If you can come to Lund on our big day or sit somewhere following our rich lecture program, we urge you strongly to make a donation. Every day over 30 years, TFF has given the world something useful.

You can do it right in the middle of our homepage – click the “Give” button or under the headline “Support” in the right-hand column where many options exist, including PayPal. It easy, fast and secure!
Cash – but no cheques – can also be donated at the event.* *

Thank you so much!

5. Videos
We’re proud to present the first two short videos – 3 more to come – in which the founders talk about various aspects of 30 years in the service of peace on the basis of questions asked by board member Annette Schiffmann. Watch, comment and subscribe!

The First

The Second

6. Brand new Online Magazine
The announced online magazine launched to mark our Anniversary is now here!

“Transnational Affairs – TFF Magazine for conflict-resolution, non-violence and peace-building”

Excited as we are, we’ll be back to you soon with more details!

Yours truly

Christina & Jan
Founders

* If you are able to come in person, you must register to TFF30@transnational.org or call 0046 738 525200 by Tuesday September 8 at the latest.

* * This does not apply to you if you have already made a donation in 2015.

TFF PressInfo # 333 – Look at nuclear weapons in new ways!

By Jan Oberg

It’s absolutely necessary to remember what happened 70 years ago in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, see the movies from then, listen to the survivors, the hibakusa. But it isn’t enough for us to rid the world of these crimes-against-humanity weapons. And that we must.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki is history and it is also the essence of the age you and I live in – the nuclear age. If the hypothesis is that by showing these films, we create opinion against nuclear weapons, 70 years of every more nuclearism should be enough to conclude that that hypothesis is plain wrong.

There is a need for a frontal attack on not only the weapons but on the nuclearism – the thinking/ideology on which they are based and made to look ‘necessary’ for security and peace.

Nuclear weapons – only for terrorists

At its core, terrorism is about harming or killing innocent people and not only combatants. Any country that possesses nukes is aware that nukes can’t be used without killing millions of innocent people – infinitely more lethal than Al-Qaeda, ISIS etc. Since 9/11 governments and media have conveniently promoted the idea that terrorism is only about small non-governmental groups and thus tried to make us forget that the nuclear ‘haves’ themselves practise state terrorism and hold the humanity hostage to potential civilizational genocide (omnicide).

Dictatorship

No nuclear state has ever dared to hold a referendum and ask its citizens: Do you or do you not accept to be defended by a nuclear arsenal? Nuclear weapons with the omnicidal -kill all and everything – characteristics is pure dictatorship, incompatible with both parliamentary and direct democracy. And freedom.

Citizens generally have more, or better, morals than governments and do not wish to see themselves, their neighbours or fellow human beings around the world burn up in a process that would make the Holocaust look like a cozy afternoon tea party. In short, nuclear weapons states either arrange referendums or must accept the label dictatorship.

The idea that a few hundred politicians and military people in the world’s nuclear states have a self-appointed right to play God and decide whether project humankind shall continue or not belongs to the realm of the civilisational perverse or the Theatre of the Absurd. Such people must run on the assumption, deep down, that they are Chosen People with a higher mission. Gandhi rightly called Western civilisation diluted fascism.

Unethical

Why? Because – simply – there can be no political or other goal that justifies the use of this doomsday weapon and the killing of millions of people, or making the earth uninhabitable.

Possession versus proliferation

The trick played on us all since 1945 is that there are some ‘responsible’ – predominantly Christian, Western – countries that can, should, or must, have nuclear weapons and then there are some irresponsible governments/leaders elsewhere that must be prevented by all means from acquiring them. In other words, that proliferation rather than possession is the problem. However, it is built into the Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, that those who don’t have nuclear weapons shall abstain from acquiring them as a quid pro quo for the nuclear-haves to disarm theirs completely.

That is, the whole world shall become a nuclear-weapons-free zone (NWFZ).

Those who have nuclear weapons provoke others to get them too. Possession leads to proliferation.

The recent negotiations with Iran is a good example of this bizarre world view: the five nuclear terrorist states, sitting on enough nukes to blow up the world several times over and who have systematically violated international law in general and the NPT in particular, tell Iran – which abides by the NPT and doesn’t want nuclear weapons – that it must never obtain nuclear weapons. Simultaneously, they turn a blind eye to nuclear terrorist state, Israel’s 50+ years old nuclear arsenals.

And it is all actively assisted by mainstram media who seem to lack the knowledge and/or intellectual capacity to challenge this whole set-up – including the racist belief structure that “we have a God-given right and are more responsible than everybody else – particularly non-Christians…”

But what about deterrence?

You’ve heard the philosophical nonsense repatedly over 70 years: Nuclear weapons are good to deter everyone from starting the ‘third world war’. That nukes are here to never be used. That no one would start that war because he/she would know that there would be a mass murder on one’s own population in a second strike, retaliation. But think! Two small, simple counterarguments:

a) You cannot deter anyone from doing something unless you are willing to implement your threat, your deterrent. If A knows that B would never use his nukes, A would not be afraid of the retaliation. Thus, every nuclear weapons state is ready to use nukes under some defined circumstance; if not there is no deterrence whatsoever.

b) The United States has long ago done two things (as the only one on earth): 1) decided on a doctrine in which the use of small nukes in a conventional role is fundamental, thus blurring the distinction between conventional and nuclear weapons; 2) its missile defence (that it also wants in Europe) is about preventing a second strike back – shooting down retaliatory missiles – so it can start, fight and win a nuclear war without being harmed itself. Or so it can hope.

There are many other aspects – but let’s mention just one more:

Nuclear weapons have already caused wars

The war on Iraq is a good example. If Iran will be bombed – which can’t be excluded at all – it’s about nuclear weapons. Ukraine is about expanding nuclear-based NATO and nuclear-based EU right up to the border of Russia. The enemy image of North Korea – where war can also not be excluded in the future – is mainly about it being a nuclear weapons state. The conflicts surrounding Israel are intimately connected with its nuclear weapons threatening everyone – non-nuclear – around it.

Hope

No, let’s rid the world of this civilisational mistake. Nuclearism and nuclear deterrence is the world most dangerous ideology comparable to slavery, absolute monarchy and cannibalism that we have decided – because we are humans and civilised and can think and feel – to put behind us.

There is no co-existence possible between nuclear weapons on the one hand and democracy, peace and civilisation on the other.

It’s time to regai hope by looking at all the – civilised – non-nuclear countries and follow their example. Thus, 99% of the southern hemisphere landmass is nuclear weapons free. 60% of the 193 states, with 33% of the world population, are included in this free zone.

And here are the countries which have contemplated to obtain – but decided to abstain from – nuclear weapons (including those who have had them and gotten rid of them): Sweden, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Libya, Austria, Mongolia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Japan, Antartica, the Seabed, Outer Space. Finally, dozens of countries have the technical capacity but would not dream of joining the nuclear club.

The West, the U.S. in particular, that started the terrible Nuclear Age should now follow the far majority of humanity, apologise for its nuclearism and move to zero.

TFF PressInfo 321 – Today’s V-Day as a lost opportunity for peace-making

Jan Oberg

By Jan Oberg

Today, May 9, the citizens and government of Russia commemorate V-Day – that it is 70 years ago they won over Nazi Germany. The price they paid were 20-26 million human beings of which 9 million soldiers. – in other European countries the victory has been celebrated this past week. The total casualties of the Second World War was at least 60 million, depending on how you count.

People and governments care about our own history and sacrifices. The implicit message of course is: Pay respect to those who sacrificed their lives and may it never ever happen again. And the world knows everything about the Holocaust/Shoah that cost the lives of 6 million Jews.

However, the world knows much less about the huge concentration camp in Jasenovac, Croatia, where at least 100.000 Serbs, Jews and Romas was exterminated. Serb suffering didn’t fit the Western narrative during the Yugoslav dissolution wars in which Crotia was only a historically innocent victim and Serbs the cause of it all.

The almost incomprehensible suffering of the Russian and other peoples in the Soviet Union also doesn’t fit the present Western narrative about Ukraine and the new Cold War-like period we are in Read More »