tirsdag den 30. november 2010

USAs bevæbning af Saudi-Arabien.

Samarbejdet mellem USA og Saudi-Arabien går tilbage til 1930erne og er fortsat idag en væsentlig komponent i den amerikanske sikkerhedspolitik, hvilket primært skyldes at Saudi-Arabien råder over verdens største oliereserver. Obama-administrationens samarbejde med Saudi-Arabien er således ikke noget nyt men blot en forlængelse af tidligere administrationers.

Det er almindeligt kendt, at Saudi-Arabien ikke just er en mønsterstat hvad styrets magtpraksis overfor civilbefolkningen angår, men det er ikke desto mindre værd at dvæle kortvarigt ved monarkiets jernnæve og menneskefjendske handlinger. Den korte version er iflg. Amnesty Internationals årsrapport fra 2009:

“Thousands of people continued to be detained without trial as terrorism suspects and hundreds more were arrested. In October, the government announced that more than 900 would be brought to trial. Human rights activists and peaceful critics of the government were detained or remained in prison, including prisoners of conscience. Freedom of expression, religion, association and assembly remained tightly restricted. Women continued to face severe discrimination in law and practice. Migrant workers suffered exploitation and abuse with little possibility of redress. Refugees and asylum-seekers were not adequately protected. The administration of justice remained shrouded in secrecy and was summary in nature. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees were widespread and systematic, and carried out with impunity. Flogging was used widely as a main and additional punishment. The death penalty continued to be used extensively and in a discriminatory manner against migrant workers from developing countries, women and poor people. At least 102 people were executed.”

Selvom dette måske burde vække bekymringer hos Obama-administrationen, hvor man som bekendt taler meget om menneskerettigheder og demokrati, synes det ikke at være tilfældet, da man for blot få dage siden gennemførte en rekordstor våbenhandel med Saudi-Arabien til en værdi af 60 milliarder dollars. Ifølge en bekendtgørelse fra det amerikanske udenrigsministerium består denne gigantiske våbenhandel af 84 F-15 kampfly og 70 opgraderinger af eksisterende F-15'ere til en mere advanceret konfiguration, 70 Apache helikoptere, 72 Blackhawk helikoptere, 36 lette angrebshelikoptere og 12 lette træningshellikoptere. I følge Defense Security Cooperation Agency inkluderer våbenhandelen endvidere hundredevis af missiler, tusindevis af bomber og meget andet.

Men hvad skyldes denne omfattende militarisering af et af verdens mest berygtede diktaturer? Viceudenrigsminister Andrew Shapiro's officielle begrundelse er, at handelen “vil sende en kraftig besked til lande i regionen om, at vi er forpligtet til at støtte sikkerheden hos vores afgørende partnere og allierede i den Arabiske Gulf og det bredere Mellemøsten. Og det vil styrke Saudi-Arabiens evne til at afskrække og forsvare sig imod trusler ved dets grænser og mod dets olie-infrastruktur, hvilket er kritisk for vores økonomiske interesser.”

Disse officielle rationaler bag våbenhandelen problematiseres imidlertid af våben- og sikkerhedsanalytikeren William Hartung fra tænketanken New America Foundation:

“As to the idea of sending a signal to potential adversaries (by which the administration can only mean Iran), the "signal" in question is unlikely to have the intended result. If anything, the Iranian regime is likely to use the Saudi deal as yet another excuse to pursue or accelerate its nuclear ambitions. After all, what could 72 F-15 combat aircraft possibly be used for? Iran has no air force worth the name, so the planes for the Saudis aren't likely to be used to defend against Iran. They could be used as part of a U.S.-led attack on Iran, assuming they were integrated into a well functioning air force with well-trained pilots; but that is also an unlikely outcome. So, the F-15s are either useless (and therefore a waste of money) or unnecessarily provocative (and therefore contrary to genuine U.S. and Saudi security interests).

Will planes, bombs, and attack helicopters be of use in protecting Saudi oil installations? Probably not. The most likely route of attack would be surreptitiously planting a bomb or bombs, not attacking in recognizable groups that could be deterred or counter-attacked by aerial bombing or firing guns or missiles from helicopters. In theory the armed helcopters that are part of the deal could be used to hover near key installations and keep an eye out for potential saboteurs, but that is likely to be futile effort (not to mention being hugely expensive and logistically challenging).

One place that the new weaponry might be used is on Saudi Arabia's border with Yemen, where Houthi rebels and Al Qaeda operatives are present. But bombing alleged Al Qaeda sanctuaries or Houthi forces in northern Yemen are more likely to inflame the local population against Saudi Arabia and its arms supplier -- the United States -- than they are to weaken Al Qaeda.

That leaves one major rationale for the sale: money. In exchange for giving a huge boost to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and other U.S. weapons contractors at a time when Pentagon spending is levelling off (although not being reduced in real terms), the Saudi government probably feels that sending boatloads of money to U.S. defense contractors will further cement its relationship with Washington so that the U.S. will come to their aid in a jam. But are large weapons deals the only way to forge strong relations?”

I USA hilser man da heller ikke overraskende våbenhandlen velkommen fra våbenindustriel side. Fred Downey, vicepræsident for interesseorganisationen Aerospace Industries Association udtaler at “The deal, which is expected to pay out over the next 15 to 20 years, will not single handedly save the military aircraft industrial base, but it may well help keep some aerospace companies alive” samt at “the Saudi sales will help keep workers with critical skills - from design engineers to production line workers - remain employed in the aerospace industry”.


mandag den 29. november 2010

Om USAs støtte til Mubaraks diktatur.

Da Barack Obama den 2. Oktober 2002 talte til en anti-krigsdemonstration i Chicago inkluderede talen hård kritik af USA's allierede i Ægypten og Saudi-Arabien. Han sagde:

"Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells."

Da Obama gav sit første interview til BBC i Juni 2009 havde piben imidlertid fået en anden lyd. Mubarak, som han altså tidligere havde omtalt som en ”såkaldt allieret”, blev nu karakteriseret som en ”stålsat allieret” og ”en stabiliserende kraft i regionen”. Til spørgsmålet ”anser du Mubarak for at være en autoritær leder?” svarede Obama ”nej” og tilføjede ”Jeg undlader at påklistre mærkater på folk”. Præsidentens udtalelser i interviewet stod således i skarp kontrast til hans udtalelser blot syv år tidligere, hvor han som bekendt beskrev Mubaraks regime som repressivt. Hvad var der sket? Var Mubarak kommet på bedre tanker i mellemtiden og havde derfor ændret sin magtpraksis på så fundamental vis, at der ikke længere var grund til kritik? Desværre ikke.

I Human Right Watch årsberetning fra 2010 kan man læse at Ægypten ”continued to suppress political dissent in 2009” og uddybende, at landets autoriteter ”harassed rights activists, and detained journalists, bloggers, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood (the banned organization that is the country's largest opposition group). Authorities used lethal force against migrants and refugees attempting to cross into Israel, and forcibly returned asylum seekers and refugees to countries where they could face torture.” Desuden kunne man i årsrapporten læse, at der foregår omfattende tortur i Ægypten: ”Police and security forces regularly engage in torture and brutality in police stations and detention centers, and at points of arrest.” Heller ikke religionsfriheden har gode vilkår i landet: ”Although Egypt's constitution provides for equal rights without regard to religion, discrimination against Egyptian Christians, and official intolerance of Baha'is, some Muslim sects, and Muslims who convert to Christianity continue.”

I det amerikanske udenrigsministeriums egen officielle ”Human Rights Report” fra 2009 gør man sig heller ikke nogle illusioner mht. Ægypten. Om tilstanden i landet i 2008 hedder det:

”The government's respect for human rights remained poor, and serious abuses continued in many areas ... Security forces used unwarranted lethal force and tortured and abused prisoners and detainees, in most cases with impunity. Prison and detention center conditions were poor. Security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained individuals, in some cases for political purposes, and kept them in prolonged pretrial detention. The executive branch exercised control over and pressured the judiciary. The government's respect for freedoms of association and religion remained poor during the year, and the government continued to restrict nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The government partially restricted freedom of expression.”

Til trods for ovenstående rapporter om menneskerettighedernes og frihedsrettighedernes svære vilkår i Ægypten er der imidlertid ikke noget der tyder på, at man fra amerikansk side har tænkt sig at begrænse eller eliminere den økonomiske og militære støtte til den ægyptiske diktaturstat. I en officiel rapport til Kongressen dateret 16. september 2010, får vi at vide, at den årlige støtte på cirka 3 milliarder dollars, som man hvert år har ydet til Ægypten siden 1979, var reduceret en smule i 2009, idet Ægypten i 2009 “kun” modtog $200 millioner i økonomisk støtte og $1.3 milliarder i militær støtte. Reduktionen i støtten skyldtes til dels, at man havde skåret den økonomiske støtte ned til det halve, og dermed fjernet den del af støtten som skulle gå til demokratifremmende formål. Om den militære støtte hedder det endvidere at: “..Although there are no verifiable figures on total Egyptian military spending, it is estimated that U.S. military aid covers as much as 80 % of the Defense Ministry’s weapons procurement costs.”

Om støtten til Ægypten skriver professor i international politik Stephen Zunes: ”... As long as the Mubarak regime knows that the U.S. aid will keep flowing regardless of its violations of internationally recognized human rights, there is little incentive for political liberalization. The growing anti-American sentiment in Egypt stems not as much from U.S. support for Israel as it does from U.S. support for Mubarak's dictatorial rule.” Den amerikanske militarisering af Ægypten og andre lande i Mellemøsten øger endvidere truslen mod USA iflg. Zunes: "..the more the United States has militarized the region, the less secure the American people have become. All the sophisticated weaponry, brave fighting men and women, and brilliant military leadership the United States may possess will do little good if there are hundreds of millions of people in the Middle East and beyond who hate us."

Tim Jackson on Prosperity Without Growth.

Every society clings to a myth by which it lives. Ours is the myth of economic growth. For the last five decades the pursuit of growth has been the single most important policy goal across the world. The global economy is almost five times the size it was half a century ago. If it continues to grow at the same rate the economy will be 80 times that size by the year 2100.

This extraordinary ramping up of global economic activity has no historical precedent. It’s totally at odds with our scientific knowledge of the finite resource base and the fragile ecology on which we depend for survival. And it has already been accompanied by the degradation of an estimated 60% of the world’s ecosystems. For the most part, we avoid the stark reality of these numbers. The default assumption is that – financial crises aside – growth will continue indefinitely. Not just for the poorest countries, where a better quality of life is undeniably needed, but even for the richest nations where the cornucopia of material wealth adds little to happiness and is beginning to threaten the foundations of our wellbeing.

The reasons for this collective blindness are easy enough to find. The modern economy is structurally reliant on economic growth for its stability. When growth falters – as it has done recently – politicians panic. Businesses struggle to survive. People lose their jobs and sometimes their homes. A spiral of recession looms. Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries. But question it we must. The myth of growth has failed us. It has failed the two billion people who still live on less than $2 a day. It has failed the fragile ecological systems on which we depend for survival. It has failed, spectacularly, in its own terms, to provide economic stability and secure people’s livelihoods.

Today we find ourselves faced with the imminent end of the era of cheap oil, the prospect (beyond the recent bubble) of steadily rising commodity prices,the degradation of forests, lakes and soils, conflicts over land use, water quality, fishing rights and the momentous challenge of stabilising concentrations of carbon in the global atmosphere. And we face these tasks with an economy that is fundamentally broken, in desperate need of renewal.

In these circumstances, a return to business as usual is not an option. Prosperity for the few founded on ecological destruction and persistent social injustice is no foundation for a civilised society. Economic recovery is vital. Protecting people’s jobs – and creating new ones – is absolutely essential. But we also stand in urgent need of a renewed sense of shared prosperity. A commitment to fairness and flourishing in a finite world.

Delivering these goals may seem an unfamiliar or even incongruous task to policy in the modern age. The role of government has been framed so narrowly by material aims, and hollowed out by a misguided vision of unbounded consumer freedoms. The concept of governance itself stands in urgent need of renewal.

But the current economic crisis presents us with a unique opportunity to invest in change. To sweep away the short-term thinking that has plagued society for decades. To replace it with considered policy capable of addressing the enormous challenge of delivering a lasting prosperity.

For at the end of the day, prosperity goes beyond material pleasures. It transcends material concerns. It resides in the quality of our lives and in the health and happiness of our families. It is present in the strength of our relationships and our trust in the community. It is evidenced by our satisfaction at work and our sense of shared meaning and purpose. It hangs on our potential to participate fully in the life of society.

Prosperity consists in our ability to flourish as human beings – within the ecological limits of a finite planet. The challenge for our society is to create the conditions under which this is possible. It is the most urgent task of our times.

From "Prosperity without Growth" by Tim Jackson, Economics Commissioner, Sustainable Development Commission, March 2009.

Herbert Schiller on Corporate Media.

“The media are mutually and continually reinforcing. Since they operate according to commercial rules, rely on advertising, and are tied tightly to the corporate economy, both in their own structure and in their relationships with sponsors, the media constitutes an industry, not an aggregation of independent, freewheeling informational entrepreneurs, each offering a highly individualistic product. By need and by design, the images and messages they purvey, are, with few exceptions, constructed to achieve similar objectives, which are, simply put, profitability and the affirmation and maintenance of the private-ownership consumer society.”

- Herbert Schiller: "The Mind Managers" p. 22. (Beacon Press 1973).

Videnskabsfolk vender ældningsprocessen om i mus.

"Scientists claim to be a step closer to reversing the ageing process after rejuvenating worn out organs in elderly mice. The experimental treatment developed by researchers at Harvard Medical School turned weak and feeble old mice into healthy animals by regenerating their aged bodies.

The surprise recovery of the animals has raised hopes among scientists that it may be possible to achieve a similar feat in humans – or at least to slow down the ageing process.

An anti-ageing therapy could have a dramatic impact on public health by reducing the burden of age-related health problems, such as dementia, stroke and heart disease, and prolonging the quality of life for an increasingly aged population."

The Guardian: Harvard scientists reverse the ageing process in mice – now for humans.

Amerikanske Diplomater Udspionerede FN-ledelse.

Citat fra den engelske avis The Guardians' Wikileaks dækning:

"Washington is running a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the leadership of the United Nations, including the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon and the permanent security council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

A classified directive which appears to blur the line between diplomacy and spying was issued to US diplomats under Hillary Clinton's name in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks for official communications.

It called for detailed biometric information "on key UN officials, to include undersecretaries, heads of specialised agencies and their chief advisers, top SYG [secretary general] aides, heads of peace operations and political field missions, including force commanders" as well as intelligence on Ban's "management and decision-making style and his influence on the secretariat". A parallel intelligence directive sent to diplomats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi said biometric data included DNA, fingerprints and iris scans.

Washington also wanted credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers for UN figures and "biographic and biometric information on UN Security Council permanent representatives".

The secret "national human intelligence collection directive" was sent to US missions at the UN in New York, Vienna and Rome; 33 embassies and consulates, including those in London, Paris and Moscow.

The operation targeted at the UN appears to have involved all of Washington's main intelligence agencies. The CIA's clandestine service, the US Secret Service and the FBI were included in the "reporting and collection needs" cable alongside the state department under the heading "collection requirements and tasking"...."

The Guardian: US diplomats spied on UN leadership.

søndag den 28. november 2010

Dokumentar: Psywar.

Professor Herman E. Daly on economic growth.

“Exactly what is growing? One thing is the GDP, the annual marketed flow of final goods and services. But there is also the throughput – the metabolic flow of useful matter and energy from environmental sources, through the economic subsystem (production and consumption), and back to environmental sinks as waste. Economists have focused on GDP and, until recently, neglected throughput. But throughput is the relevant magnitude for answering the question about how big the economy is – namely how big is the economy's metabolic flow relative to the natural cycles that regenerate the economy's ressource depletion and absorb its waste emissions, as well as providing countless other natural services? The answer is that the economic subsystem is now a very large relative to the ecosystem that sustains it. How big can the economy possibly be before it overwhelms and destroys the ecosystem in the short run? We have decided apparantly to do an experiment to answer this question empirically! How big should the economy be, what is its optimum scale relative to the ecosystem? If we were true economists we would stop the throughput growth before the extra environmental and social costs that it causes exceeds the extra production benefits that it produces.”

- Professor of economics Herman E. Daly.

[source: Tim Jackson: "Prosperity Without Growth", Earthscan 2009]

lørdag den 27. november 2010

David Korten: From Plutocracy to Deep Democracy.

Dokumentar: Human Resources.

I en ny dybdeborende dokumentar med titlen "Human Resources" foretager dokumentaristen Scott Noble en interessant og forstyrrende udforskning af mange forskellige emner som tilsammen udgør en skrækindjagende syntese og sønderlemmende kritik af moderne styreformer og former for kontrol. Hvis man kunne lide Adam Curtis "The Century of the Self" vil man også kunne lide "Human Resources".

torsdag den 25. november 2010

Preben Wilhjelm: Hvorfor danner S, SF og DF ikke bare regering?

Preben Wilhjelm er det tætteste man kommer på en dansk politiker som jeg respekterer men desværre er han en gammel mand som for længst har forladt Borgen. Dengang han var repræsentant for VS i Folketinget udtalte et socialdemokratisk folketingsmedlem, at Preben Wilhjelm udgjorde omtrent halvdelen af Folketingets hjernekapacitet. Om det skulle forstås som et kompliment til Preben Wilhjelm eller en kritik af Folketingets øvrige medlemmer, melder historien desværre ikke noget om, men hans skarpe hjerne - han er både licentiat i jura og atomfysiker - er stadig i glimrende form. Igår kunne man læse en veloplagt kronik af ham i politiken.

USA planlagde krig mod Afghanistan før 9-11 iflg. Pakistans tidligere udenrigsminister.

Den 18. september 2001, altså før Afghanistan-krigen påbegyndes i oktober måned, bringer BBC en artikel hvor den forhenværende pakistanske udenrigsminister Niaz Naik udtaler, at USA allerede havde planer om at angribe Afghanistan før den 11. september:

"Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.

Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin.

Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.

The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place - possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.

Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were already in place.

He was told that Uzbekistan would also participate in the operation and that 17,000 Russian troops were on standby.

Mr Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest."

David Korten: Den Nye Økonomi.

Hvad er økonomiens formål?

Vi begynder med et fundamentalt spørgsmål. Er mennesker til for at tjene økonomien? Eller eksisterer økonomien for at tjene mennesker? Hvis det er det sidste, er det så nok kun at tjene et begunstiget mindretal? Eller bør den tjene alle? Når man stiller det sådan op er svaret selvindlysende og råber på en genopfindelse af vores karakteristiske kultur og institutioner.

Det eksisterende pengedrevne økonomiske system er designet og forvaltet af Wall Street koncerner for at maksimere det finansielle afkast til deres største spillere. Dets indikatorer anser konverteringen af de manges reelle levende rigdom, til de fås fantomrigdom, som en nettofortjeneste for samfundet. Dets indbyggede dynamikker driver mod finansiel ustabilitet, koncentration af rigdom, et stresset miljø og politisk korruption og skaber derfor forøget risiko for økonomisk, socialt, miljømæssigt og politisk kollaps.

Den Gamle Økonomi arbejder for de få på kort sigt og for ingen på lang sigt. Vi har brug for en Ny Økonomi som tjener alle mennesker til alle tider.

Et Demokratisk Markedsbaseret Alternativ.

Selvom det finansielle kollaps i september 2008 skabte megen tragisk lidelse er det en velsignelse set i et større perspektiv. Billioner af dollars i finansiel fantomrigdom forsvandt på et øjeblik. Korruptionen i et økonomisk system som destruerer menneskeliv, fælleskab og miljø for at tjene penge til de allerede velstående, blev udstillet foran alles øjne.

Vi – folket, har midlerne og retten til at erstatte kulturen og institutionerne i dette korrupte system med en Ny Økonomis institutioner og kultur, som prioriterer menneskers, familiers, fælleskabers og naturens behov over grådige bankfolk på Wall Streets. De samme forholdsregler som er nødvendige for at sikre vores kollektive overlevelse vil give os den verden af fælles fred, velstand og sikkerhed som de fleste mennesker har drømt om i årtusinder.

Moderne Patrioter.

Millioner af mennesker verden over har sluttet sig sammen for at genopbygge deres lokale økonomier og fælleskaber. De støtter lokalejede virksomheder i menneskestørrelse og familielandbrug, udvikler lokale finansielle institutioner, genopretter landbrugs- og skovarealer og ændrer fremgangsmåderne for brug af land for at koncenterere befolkningen i kompakte samfund som mindsker afhængigheden af biler, ombygger deres bygninger for at spare på energien og arbejder på anden vis henimod lokal selvforsyning af fødevarer, energi og andre basale fornødenheder.

Ved at tage kontrol over deres liv og bygge modstandsdygtige lokale økonomier som bruger lokale resourcer og ansætter lokale folk for at møde lokale behov under lokal kontrol, erklærer de deres uafhængigheden fra Wall Street selskabernes koloniale dominans. De er den moderne ækvivalent til de tapre patrioter som i tidligere tider erklærede deres uafhængighed fra den britiske konge og hans royale selskaber og som påbegyndte en ny nation dedikeret til at opnå et modigt ideal kaldet demokrati.

Et levende Systemperspektiv.

De fleste diskussioner som har at gøre med miljøet, retfærdighed, fred, fattigdom, race, køn, immigration, kriminalitet, værdier, uddannelse, familieliv og meget andet, fokuserer på handlinger som i bunden af floden skal udbedre konsekvenserne af systemfejl længere oppe af strømmen. Ægte, vedvarende løsninger afhænger af transformationen af grundlæggende værdier og institutioner på måder som sjældent diskuteres i offentlige debatter. Vi kan ikke længere tolerere denne stilhed. Vores fremtid afhænger af transitionen til en Ny Økonomi som efterligner strukturerne og dynamikkerne i Jordens biosfære. Det begynder alt sammen med en samtale.

Oversættelse af Thomas Bonde November 2010.

Den engelske version og meget mere kan læses på David Kortens site.

Dokumentation: Carter-administrationens støtte til Suharto.

Året er 1978. De Indonesiske styrker fortsætter, i strid med det internationale samfunds bestemmelser, militæroperationerne man i 1975 påbegyndte da Indonesien invaderede og besatte Øst-Timor. Umiddelbart sammenfaldende med at man fra indonesiske side planlægger et massivt luftbombardament af Øst-Timor mhp. at nedkæmpe den væbnede separatistbevægelse, anmoder Jimmy Carters vicepræsident Walter Mondale den 26. April i et memorandum til præsidenten, om Carters tilladelse til at sælge en eskadrille A-4 kampfly til Suharto-styret. Walter Mondale begrunder anmodningen med, at det vil gavne amerikanske interesser: "Eftersom det underliggende formål med mit besøg er at bekræfte, at vi ønsker at samarbejde med Indonesien, mener jeg en positiv respons til Suharto vil være i vores interesse." Selvom Mondale i briefingen nævner, at der under besøget vil blive talt om menneskerettigheder med Suharto, er der ingen nævnelse af situationen på det besatte Øst-Timor i memoet.

onsdag den 24. november 2010

Jeremy Scahill Interview

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"We met with various factions of the Taleban when we were in Afghanistan. Some of them are loyal to [Mullah] Omar, others are members of the Haqqani network which is backed by Pakistan and the ISI spy agency there. Then you have people who are sort of freelancers. One of the most disturbing news we heard is that Omar, the Amir of the Taleban, the Afghan Taleban, sent an envoy to meet with a new Taleban commander and they hacked to death Omar's envoy..."

Propaganda: Kabuls børn lever i sikkerhed.

NATOs øverste civile repræsentant, britiske Mark Sedwill,udtalte for nylig, at børnene i den afghanske hovedstad Kabul nok lever i større sikkerhed end børn i London, Glasgow eller New York. Denne udtalelse står imidlertid i skarp kontrast til realiteterne.

Professor i mellemøsthistorie Juan Cole har følgende kommentar til udtalelsen på sin blog:

"Quite apart from the bombings in the Afghan capital, far beyond anything in Western capitals, some 1,795 children were killed or wounded in conflict-related violence from September 2008 to August 2010 (admittedly in the whole country and not just in Kabul). Moreover, there are powerful crime syndicates and kidnapping rings in the capital and drug addiction is spreading among even children and youth. He wasn’t speaking of infant mortality, so it isn’t fair to slam him on the grounds that a fifth of Afghan children die before reaching age five. But knowledge of the truly horrific health statistics of Afghan children might have instilled some caution about making Panglossian statements."

Var Irak-krigen ulovlig?

Et af de væsentligste i spørgsmål angående den danske deltagelse i Irak-krigen er om denne deltagelse var i strid med gældende international lov. Lad os se nærmere på det.

Nürnberg-tribunalet nævnes som regel i historiske udredninger om international lov idet tribunalet lagde grunden for det der idag kendes som Nürnberg-principperne hvor man definerede ‘forbrydelser mod freden’ således:

“(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).”

Under retssagerne i Nürnberg sagde dommer Ross H. Jackson:

“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

En anden juridisk konstruktion man typisk støder på i sammenhænge hvor der tales om international lov, er FN-chartret. Med udgangspunkt i chartret udtalte Kofi Annan - som på daværende tidspunkt var generalsekretær for FN - i 2004, at krigen var ulovlig:

“From our point of view and the UN Charter point of view, it [the war] was illegal.”

Det er ikke vanskeligt at fremhæve hans bevæggrund for denne dom idet der i FN Chartrets Artikel 2, paragraf 4 utvetydigt står:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Så er der Rom-statutten som Danmark indførte som en del af landets lovgivning i januar 2002. I statutten er angrebskrig ligeledes defineret som en forbrydelse. Problemet er så her, at der ikke hersker enighed om hvad der præcis karakteriserer en sådan, hvorfor ICC ikke kan føre retssager hvor angrebskrig behandles som en forbrydelse.

Summa summarum: Irak-krigen kan ikke retfærddigøres som en forvarskrig, da Irak ikke truede Danmark eller nogle af de andre krigsførende parter på daværende tidspunkt. Krigen var heller ikke sanktioneret af FNs sikkerhedsråd da resolution 1441 ikke gav hjemmel for krigsførelse. Krigen var altså en ikke-sanktioneret angrebskrig og en sådan er ulovlig i henhold til international lov.

tirsdag den 23. november 2010

Dokumentation: Nixons støtte til Suharto

I et dokument klassificeret som "Top Secret/Sensitive" lærer vi om et møde den 26. Maj 1970 der finder sted i Det Hvide Hus. Mødet er mellem Richard Nixon og den indonesiske præsident Suharto som er på sit første statsbesøg til USA. Til mødet, hvor også Henry Kissinger er tilstede, byder Richard Nixon den indonesiske leder velkommen og tilføjer, at han anser Suharto for en gammel ven. Nixon spørger ind til hvordan det forholder sig med landets revolutionære bevægelser, hvortil Suharto svarer at "their strength can be said to have been nullified ... Tens of thousands of these have been interrogated and placed in detention." Studenterbevægelsen i landet er nu iflg. Suharto "active participants in the New Order" hvilket man har opnået fordi "they have received indoctrination concerning the ideas of the New Order". Nixon spørger herefter ind til Suhartos tanker angående "U.S. programs in Indonesia" hvortil Suharto svarer: "Our achievement has been based upon the hard work of our government and people but the assistance which we have received from friendly countries has been particularly helpful. We are aware that the U.S. Government faces many problems and we are thankful for the increases in aid that have been possible in the past. " Til dette svarer Nixon: "As always we are interested in supporting your economic progress and in these efforts we do so without any strings attached and without interference in your internal affairs. When you became President in Indonesia it was a difficult and dangerous time in Indonesia. We wanted to help then and we continue on the same basis." Suharto takker Nixon for hans respekt for "our non-aligned status" og forklarer herefter Nixon, at Indonesiens militær er skrøbeligt, da det militære udstyr stammer fra Rusland og Kina, hvorfor man fra russisk og kinesisk side kender til landets militære svagheder, samt, at det er vanskeligt at skaffe reservedele nu hvor Indonesien har erklæret sig neutralt. Nixon lader til at forstå problematikken idet han siger: "To maintain your non-alignment, you must be strong enough to defend such neutrality. During your visit here I would like your Chief of Staff to meet appropiate people to determine the needs of Indonesia and the appropriate role of the U.S." og Nixon tilføjer "We know your intentions are only for the purposes of defense and that you have no intention of attacking others ... We will follow through. It is our desire to help but not hurt your position. We understand that the internal political situation in Indonesia is very complex and that your country is in a critical geographical position. Please feel free to speak ... with me concerning any aspect of our economic program, private investment, Export-Import Bank or military assistance. Our primary interest is a free and independent Indonesia." Suharto slutter mødet af med disse ord: "I am very happy with our cooperation in an atmosphere of mutual respect."

Interview med Susan George om årsagerne til fattigdom.

Speaking Freely - Susan George from Ice Goldberg on Vimeo.

RIP Chalmers Johnson.

Speaking Freely - Chalmers Johnson on American Hegemony from Ice Goldberg on Vimeo.

Statsminister Anders Fogh Rasmussens Krigstale.

Om Barack Obama's statsbesøg i Indonesien.

I November måned i år var Barack Obama, som led i en længere rundrejse i Asien, på statsbesøg i Indonesien. Under sit besøg holdt han en længere tale til det indonesiske folk i hvilken han blandt andet roste Indonesiens styreform: "Jeres demokrati er symboliseret ved jeres folkevalgte præsident og lovgivere. Jeres demokrati er vedholdende og sikret af dets checks and balances [og] et dynamisk civilsamfund; politiske partier og fagforeninger; spillevende medier og engagerede borgere som har sikret at – i Indonesien – vil man ikke vende tilbage [til tidligere tiders diktatur]." Han bekendtgjorde, at han mente en "tolerancens ånd" herskede i Indonesien hvilket udgjorde "fundamentet for Indonesiens eksempel for verden". Præsidenten fortalte endvidere indoneserne, at der "særligt i tider med forandring og økonomisk usikkerhed er nogle som vil sige at det er lettere at tage smutvejen til udvikling ved at bytte menneskers rettigheder ud med statslig magt … dette er ikke hvad jeg ser i Indonesien."[1]

Unægteligt fine ord men desværre også et skønmaleri af en indonesisk orden som ikke formår at leve op til præsidentens højstemte retorik. I menneskerettighedsorganisationen Human Rights Watch's årsrapport fra 2010, som dækker begivenheder der fandt sted i 2009, omtales en række indonesiske menneskerettighedsproblematikker herunder straffrihed for militærpersonnel der udfører menneskerettighedskrænkende handlinger mod civilbefolkningen. Specielt omtales situationen i provinserne Papua og West Papua:

"Indonesian authorities have responded to a longstanding, low-level armed separatist insurgency in the provinces of Papua and West Papua with a strong troop presence and often harsh and disproportionate responses to non-violent dissent or criticism. Human Rights Watch has long expressed concerns over anti-separatist sweeps by the police, which often result in individuals who peacefully express support for independence being arrested and detained on charges of treason or rebellion (makar).

The government continues to restrict access by foreign human rights monitors and journalists to Papua, exacerbating the existing climate of impunity and making investigations extremely difficult. Prior to being ordered to close its Jayapura office, the ICRC had been visiting detainees in Papua's Abepura prison, where prison guards continued to torture inmates, including political prisoners Buchtar Tabuni and Yusak Pakage."[2]

Den 11. marts i år sender Human Rights Watch et brev til USA's forsvars- og udenrigsministre Robert Gates og Hillary Clinton, i hvilket man ytrer bekymring omkring amerikanske planer om at genoptage støtten til den indonesiske hærs specialstyrke Kopassus. I brevet står der:

"In recent weeks, US officials have suggested that the Department of Defense may be seeking to resume US military training for members of Kopassus, and particularly in the area of counter-terrorism. This raises a number of serious questions about the US's commitment to withholding military assistance to foreign military forces that have committed serious violations of human rights. These questions stem from unique aspects of the Kopassus counter-terrorism component known as Unit 81, the entity whose members the Department of Defense presumably seeks to train."

The operational component of Unit 81 appears to have existed since 1982, when Kopassus established an elite counter-terrorism force known as "Detachment 81." That force has been reorganized once in 1995, when it was enlarged and renamed "Group 5," and again in 2001, when it was reduced in size and renamed "Unit 81."

Since its creation, Unit 81's activities have been largely shrouded in secrecy. Members of Unit 81 reportedly rotate through other Kopassus components and units, including Group 3 (which contains Kopassus' notorious "covert war" unit). In addition, members of what is now known as Unit 81 have accompanied Kopassus combat units or other military personnel in field operations, including in Aceh and East Timor, although they remained under the command of their superiors headquartered in Jakarta.

In several instances, members of what is now called Unit 81 have been credibly accused of serious human rights abuses or other improper conduct, for instance, in controlling abusive pro-Indonesia militias in East Timor between 1986 and 1999 and committing the enforced disappearance of student activists in 1997-1998 in Jakarta." [min fremhævning].[3]

Dette lod imidlertid ikke til at bekymre den amerikanske regering idet man i Juli måned indvilligede i at påbegynde et "gradvist og begrænset" engagement med Kopassus og dermed afslutte et ti år langt moratorium som forhindrede USA i at støtte specialstyrken. Dette udløste stor protest fra menneskerettighedsgruppen The West Papua Advocacy Team som erklærede:

"The U.S. Administration’s decision to resume cooperation with the most criminal and unreformed element of the Indonesian military removes critical international pressure for reform and professionalization of the broader Indonesian military … It signals to Indonesian human rights advocates who have born the brunt of security force intimidation that they stand alone in their fight for respect for human rights and genuine reform in Indonesia."[4]

Umiddelbart sammenfaldende med Obama's besøg kom en række interne dokumenter fra Kopassus frem i dagens lys. Ifølge rettighedsaktivisten Allan Niarn, som bragte dokumenterne på sin blog, inkluderer disse en liste over fjender ledet af den papuanske baptistpræst Socrates Sofyan Yoman og man kan i dokumenterne læse at specialstyrken gør sig i "mord og kidnapninger". Dokumenterne "beskriver et hemmeligt netværk som overvåger, infiltrerer og splitter papuanske institutioner." I Allan Nairns omtale af dokumenterne kan man læse at:

"The leaked cache of secret Kopassus documents includes operational, intelligence and field reports as well as personnel records which list the names and details of Kopassus "agents."

The documents are classified "SECRET" ("RAHASIA") and include extensive background reports on Kopassus civilian targets - reports that are apparently of uneven accuracy.

The authenticity of the documents has been verified by Kopassus personnel who have seen them and by external evidence regarding the authors and the internal characteristics of the documents.

A detailed 25-page secret report by a Kopassus task force in Kotaraja, Papua defines Kopassus' number-one "enemy" as unarmed civilians. It calls them the "separatist political movement" "GSP/P," lists what they say are the top 15 leaders and discusses the "enemy order of battle."

All of those listed are civilians, starting with the head of the Baptist Synod of Papua. The others include evangelical ministers, activists, traditional leaders, legislators, students and intellectuals as well as local establishment figures and the head of the Papua Muslim Youth organization.
[min fremhævning]

The secret Kopassus study says that in their 400,000 - person area of operations the civilians they target as being political are "much more dangerous than" any armed opposition since the armed groups "hardly do anything" but the civilians -- with popular support -- have "reached the outside world" with their "obsession" with "merdeka" (independence/ freedom) and persist in "propagating the issue of severe human rights violations in Papua," ie. "murders and abductions that are done by the security forces."[5]

Efter disse afsløringer var kommet frem i lyset behandles de i en artikel i Jakarta Globe hvor chefen for det indonesiske militær kommer med en længere udtalelse, i hvilken han forsvarer uhyrlighederne ved, at beskrive specialstyrkens operationer i West Papua som blotte indsamlinger af efterretninger:

"The Indonesian military chief has confirmed claims by a rights activist [Allan Nairn] that the armed forces are actively carrying out intelligence gathering in Papua, and defended the move as crucial for national security... On Thursday, Adm. Agus Suhartono, the recently appointed chief of the Indonesian Military, admitted that they were involved in intelligence gathering operations, but only to guard against threats to the nation’s sovereignty and to back up police operations there. He rejected the idea that gathering intelligence among civilians was wrong, saying all intelligence operations in Papua served to detect and prevent separatist threats. 'What we’re doing is maximizing the use of our intelligence unit for the sake of the military and the country,' Agus said." ( jvf. Markus Junianto Sialoho, "Indonesian Military Chief Defends Spying Operation in Papua," The Jakarta Globe, November 12, 2010).

Obama-administrationens påskud for at påbegynde støtten til Kopassus igen var, at der var tale om støtte til terrorbekæmpelse, men som de lækkede dokumenter tydeligt illustrerer er der tale om støtte til omfattende menneskerettighedskrænkelser mod civilbefolkningen på West Papua. Dette kan næppe undskyldes med, at man ikke var klar over at den slags fandt sted i Indonesien, da Human Rights Watch allerede i Marts måned havde gjort både forsvarsministeren og udenrigsministeren opmærksomme på det stærkt bekymrende ved Kopassus virksomhed og derfor ved USAs planer om at støtte specialstyrken. Obama talte altså derfor efter alt at dømme mod bedre vidende da han i sin tale sagde at der "særligt i tider med forandring og økonomisk usikkerhed er nogle som vil sige at det er lettere at tage smutvejen til udvikling ved at bytte menneskers rettigheder ud med statslig magt … dette er ikke hvad jeg ser i Indonesien." Desværre var der ingen blandt de danske trykte medier der valgte at bringe en kritisk dækning af Obamas statsbesøg. For en kritisk kommentar til dette tavshedens tyranni anbefales Uffe Kaels Aurings indlæg på medieoplysning.dk.

søndag den 21. november 2010

Lars Løkke: "Iran ér en trussel"

Statsminister Lars Løkke Rasmussen udtalte i forbindelse med NATO-topmødet, at "Iran ér en trussel" hvorfor "det afgørende er at få truffet nogle beslutninger om, at opbygge det missilskjold, som kan øge vores sikkerhed i forhold til de trusler, som vi er omgærdet af. I den sammenhæng er Iran et af de steder, man kan få øje på."[1]

Dette er han ikke alene om at mene. Udviklingsminister Søren Pind skrev i 2008, at Iran for alt i verden måtte forhindres i at udvikle en atomar våbenkapacitet, til trods for at der ikke var det store belæg for at formode, at Iran var i gang med dette. Han sagde: "Den vestlige verden kan ikke leve med, at Iran får atomvåben. Så hellere krigen. Mine børn skal ikke opleve den knugende skræk for det atomare ragnarok, jeg selv måtte vokse op under. Det skal, om nødvendigt, med vold og magt, forhindres."[2] Men hvordan forholder det sig egentlig med Iran? Er landet rent faktisk en trussel mod verdens største militære organisation og dens medlemslande eller er der tale om en opfundet trussel?

En officiel men først for nylig deklassificeret amerikansk vurdering af Irans militære kapacitet lyder: "Iran har meget store militære styrker, men de ville være relativt ineffektive mod et direkte angreb fra et veluddannet, sofistikeret militær såsom USA's eller dets allierede. På nuværende tidspunkt er Irans styrker kun nok til at forhindre eller forsvare sig mod konventionelle trusler fra Irans svagere naboer... men mangler luftstøtte og logistisk evne til at projicere magtmidler længere væk fra Irans grænser eller til at konfrontere regionale stormagter som Tyrkiet eller Israel."[3]

Professor i mellemøsthistorie Juan Cole foretager følgende sammenligning: "Irans militære budget er på lidt over 6 milliarder dollars om året. Sverige, Singapore og Grækenland har alle større militære budgetter. Desuden er Iran et land med 70 mio. indbyggere, således at udgifter til forsvar per capita er lille i forhold til de andre, da de er meget mindre lande med hensyn til befolkning. Iran bruger mindre per indbygger på sit militær end noget andet land i Den Persiske Golf-region med undtagelse af De Forenede Arabiske Emirater."[4] Den amerikanske Harvard-professor i international politik Stephen Walt har endvidere en komparativ analyse af Irans og USAs militære kapaciteter på sin blog.

Ideen om at Iran skulle udgøre en militær trussel mod Vesten står altså i skarp kontrast til fakta omhandlende landets militære kapacitet og Iran har da heller ikke angrebet noget andet land i flere hundrede år. Landet er omringet på begge sider af USAs og NATOs styrker i Irak og Afghanistan og har været under konstante trusler om militær intervention fra israelsk side i årevis, men Iran har ikke fundet at dette udgør grund nok til voldshandlinger, hvilket da også er ganske forståeligt. Iranerne er efter alt dømme pragmatiske nok til at vide, at skulle man begynde på noget sådant ville det næppe falde ud til Irans fordel da man militært såvel som økonomisk er underlegen.

Manglende vilje til aggression er til gengæld ikke noget der karakteriserer Israel som pt. er den eneste atommagt i Mellemøsten og som har udviklet sin atomare våbenkapacitet i modstrid med gældende internationale aftaler, vel at mærke uden at dette har haft nogle nævneværdige konsekvenser for den enorme økonomiske, militære og politiske støtte som landet modtager fra USA. Iran er berettiget til at udvikle atomreaktorer til fredelige formål idet landet er underskriver af ikke-spredningsaftalen og der er pt. intet belæg for at hævde, at Irans atomprogram skulle have andre formål end fredelige. Israel har derimod aldrig underskrevet aftalen eller nogensinde bekymret sig stort om international lov og med den mangeårige aggressive Israelske udenrigspolitik in mente burde man måske bekymre sig mere om hvorvidt Israel udgør en trussel mod freden.

Noget kunne derfor tyde på, at NATO - og folk som Løkke og Pind - opfinder trusler i en verden efter Den Kolde Krig hvor NATOs fortsatte eksistensberettigelse kan drages i tvivl, hvilket betyder at NATO, fremfor at være garant for freden, selv er gået hen og blevet en stigende trussel i verden.

De danske oversættelser i ovenstående er lavet af Poyâ Pâkzâd.

Verdens ældste kobberalderlandsby fundet i Serbien.

Hindustan Times November 15, 2010: "A "sensational" discovery of 75-century-old copper tools in Serbia is compelling scientists to reconsider existing theories about where and when man began using metal. Belgrade - axes, hammers, hooks and needles - were found interspersed with other artefacts from a settlement that burned down some 7,000 years ago at Plocnik, near Prokuplje and 200 km south of Belgrade.

The village had been there for some eight centuries before its demise. After the big fire, its unknown inhabitants moved away. But what they left behind points to man's earliest known extraction and shaping of metal."

USA fortsætter sin undergravende virksomhed i Latin-Amerika.

USA har en lang historie hvad undergravende virksomhed i Latin-Amerika angår.

I Guatemala væltede man i 1953 Arbenz Guzman, den første demokratisk valgte præsident i Sydamerika. Han var ikke statskommunist, men en oprigtig demokrat, men han måtte fjernes da han udgjorde en trussel mod amerikanske forretningsinteresser, idet hans økonomiske reformer gik på tværs af United Fruit Company’s profitinteresser i landet.

I 1972 skabte man, gennem en årelang indsats fra CIAs side, grobunden for Augusto Pinochets militærkup i Chile og dermed grundlaget for omstyrtningen af den demokratisk valgte regering under ledelse af Salvador Allende som døde under kuppet.

I 1980erne støttede man under Reagan-administrationen en lang række fascistoide grupperinger i Latin-Amerika. Blandt andet støttede man de nicaraguanske Contraer med penge man havde tjent på at sælge våben til Iran, selvom Iran også på daværende tidspunkt var USAs officielle fjende. Støtten til Contraerne via våbenhandlen med Iran, gik hen og blev en national skandale - Iran-Contra affæren. Nicaragua lagde efterfølgende sag an mod USA ved International Cour de Justice og vandt sagen. Domsafsigelsen ved ICJ var hård. USA havde i landets handlinger mod Nicaragua brudt gældende international lovgivning i fire henseender, nærmere bestemt ved:

1) at intervenere i en andens stats affærer.
2) at have brugt magt mod en anden stat.
3) at krænke en andens stats suverænitet
4) at spærre for fredelig maritim handel.

Desværre tyder noget på, at historien om USAs undergravende rolle i Latin-Amerika langt fra er slut. I denne måned afholdt man i Washington et møde hvor højreorienterede nøglespillere i tidligere Latin-Amerikanske statskup mødtes med flere højtplacerede medlemmer af Kongressen, hvoraf flere bestrider vigtige udenrigspolitiske stillinger. Dette indikerer at USAs aggressive politik i regionen ikke blot er historisk og afsluttet, men derimod fortsat er aktuel. Læs mere her.

Om NATOs missilskjold.

Den udenrigspolitiske kommentator Poyâ Pâkzâd har skrevet nogle ret interessante blogindlæg om NATOs missilskjold som jeg hermed anbefaler.

Missilskjold! Et forsvar? pt. 1
Missilskjold! Et forsvar? pt. 2
Missilforsvaret skal muliggøre et angreb på Iran.

Afghanere ved ikke hvorfor deres land er besat.

Citat fra en artikel på MSNBC.com. den 19. Oktober.

"Few Afghans in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, Taliban strongholds where fighting remains fiercest, know why foreign troops are in Afghanistan, says the "Afghanistan Transition: Missing Variables" report to be released later on Friday.

The report by The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) policy think-tank showed 92 percent of 1,000 Afghan men surveyed in Helmand and Kandahar know nothing of the hijacked airliner attacks on U.S. targets in 2001."

torsdag den 18. november 2010

David Korten: "Building Community: An Economic Approach."

Watch the full episode. See more NOW on PBS.

Træk tropperne hjem.

Meldingerne omkring krigens forventede afslutning er meget forskellige. Førhen hed det sig, at man ville trække sig ud i 2011, nu tales der om 2014. Den britiske forsvarschef Gen. Sir David Richards udtaler imidlertid til den britiske avis, Daily Mail, at NATO bliver nødt til at fortsætte tilstedeværelsen i Afghanistan i mange årtier endnu: “Nato now needs to plan for a 30 or 40 year role to help the Afghan armed forces hold their country against the militants.” [1]

Den amerikanske befolknings opbakning til Afghanistan-krigen er imidlertid faldende. Nu er 50% procent iflg. den seneste undersøgelse imod krigen mens 44% er for.[2] At krigsmodstanden ikke er større, midt i en krisetid hvor fattigdommen er voksende, har nok at gøre med, at krigspropagandaen fra de højreorienterede medier flyder i en lind strøm, mens kritiske røster meget sjældent interviewes. Når der er kritik er den som regel af strategisk beskaffenhed, sjældent af doktrinær.

Krigen mod terror er sandsynligvis den dyreste krig USA nogensinde har befundet sig i. Professor i public finances v. Harvard University, Linda Bilmes, forfattede for to år siden “The Three Trillion Dollar War” sammen med Joseph Stieglitz, hvor de estimerede at de reelle omkostninger ved krigene løb op i flere billioner. Der var dog iflg. de to økonomiprofessorer tale om et konservativt estimat. Jeg anbefaler at læse Bilmes vidnesudsagn omkring krigsudgifterne foran House Comittee of Veterans’ Affairs tidligere i år.[3]

Krigen mod terror, som nu ikke længere kaldes dette officielt, har spredt sig. Den føres nu på mindst fire fronter, nemlig i Afghanistan og Irak samt i Pakistan og Yemen, og muligvis snart også i Iran. Samtidig påståes det, at der nu også strømmer en stor terrortrussel fra Somalia. Alligevel forsikres vi om, at vi er lige ved at være der. Krigen er måske ikke så stor en succes som håbet, men i det mindste en relativ succes. Dette er imidlertid usandt.

Karzais styre er gennemsyret af korruption og religionsfriheden i Afghanistan er aftagende under hans styre [4]. Blot fyrre kilometer fra hovedstaden hersker Taleban (dvs. en af de oprørgrupper uden fælles ledelse, vi i de vestlige medier kender under fællesbetegnelsen Taleban.)[5]

Der er ikke ret mange reelle fremskridt at spore for den civile og uskyldige afghaner, selv efter hele ni års krigsførelse. Den afghanske feminist Malalai Joya påpegede i et interview forleden, at koalitionsstyrkerne anses for at være endnu en fjende af store dele af den afghanske befolkning - de to andre er Nord-Alliancen og Taleban. Hun sagde:

“The only solution is the troops should withdraw because their presence is making the situation worse. Troops are daubed by Afghans as “enemies” rather than “friends”. Afghan people are squashed between three enemies: the Taliban, the fundamentalist warlords and foreign troops.

If the foreign enemy leaves Afghanistan, my people would only face two internal enemies and it would be easier to combat them. All the war criminals of the past 30 years should be put on trial and punished for their unforgivable crimes against the men, women and children of this nation. There are some that say the Taliban may get back to power, but my people, despite being wounded and tired of all the war, may lead a decisive combat against these dinosaurs with the extreme hatred that they have for them.

And then, a democratic, independent and secular government should be installed, free of all kinds of fundamentalist, mafia and criminal germs.” [6]

Vi må heller ikke glemme, at krigen i Afghanistan ikke har hjemmel i international lov. (jvf. juraprofessor Marjorie Cohns behandling af sagen.) [7]

Danmarks tilstedeværelse i Afghanistan er af forhenværende forsvarsminister, Søren Gade, gentagne gange blevet begrundet med, at vi er der for at forhindre terrorangreb på vestlige interesser, men hverken terrorangrebene i London eller Madrid havde deres rod i Afghanistan, hvorfor intet tyder på, at vores tilstedeværelse skulle kunne garantere at der ikke sker terrorangreb i Vesten.

Af alle disse grunde bør Danmark trække tropperne hjem.

onsdag den 17. november 2010

Søren Pind om den aktivistiske udenrigspolitik

I en kronik i Jyllands-Posten den. 20.07.08 med titlen "Dette moralske tomrums røst: Fortsat dialog." går Søren Pind til angreb på modstanderne af den aktivistiske udenrigspolitik. Pind lader os forstå, at modstanderne af state-building gennem krig mod verdens diktaturer, herunder modstanderne mod Irak-krigen, blot ønsker "fortsatte cocktailpartys med disse moderne svar på Hitler og Stalin." mens "Argumentet om, at en blodig diktator er fjernet" ikke bider på krigsmodstanderne.

Først og fremmest er det intet mindre end overordentlig interessant, at Pind karakteriserer begivenhederne som ledte op til den anden Golf-krig som et cocktailparty, idet det anslås at sanktionspolitikken har kostet op mod en halv million børn livet, mens opretholdelsen af No-Fly Zones bombardementerne forvoldte at Irak var under angreb fra luften fra august 1992 frem til den anden Irak-krigs begyndelse i marts 2003.

Når Pind fremhæver "at en blodig diktator er fjernet" uden at nævne krigens mange negative konsekvenser er det vanskeligt at undlade at se hans argumentation som et forsøg på hvidvaskning af krigen, idet de mange negative konsekvenser af krigsførelsen bekvemt udelades. Et kort men ufuldstændigt overblik over de negative konsekvenser lyder således: 1.9 millioner mennesker er flygtet ud af landet og bor nu i flygtningelejre i nabolandene; 2,6 millioner mennesker er ligeledes flygtet fra deres hjem men befinder sig fortsat indenfor landets grænser; det er fortsat uvist hvor mange omkomne der er tale om, men tabstallene er sekscifrede; de økonomiske omkostninger måles i mange hundreder milliarder dollars, hvis ikke i billioner; krigen har gjort Irak til et arnested for terrorisme og Al-Qaeda har nu en tilstedeværelse i landet; en stor dels af verdens kulturarv er forsvundet og landets infrastruktur ligger mange steder i ruiner.

Dette nævner Pind som sagt ikke med et eneste ord i sin kronik, men fortsætter i stedet med at beskylde krigsmodstanderne for at svigte den vestlige verdens værdier: "De, der befordrer løgnen, svigter dermed ikke kun de undertrykte i disse lande verden over. De svigter samtidig den verdensdel, der siden den amerikanske uafhængighedserklæring har stået fast på, og været en lysende fakkel for den afmægtigt bastede og bundne med påstanden om, at hvert enkelt menneske er en unik skabning og at denne skabning, har ret til liv, frihed og stræben efter lykke."

Når vi holder de negative konsekvenser for de mange irakere jeg ovenfor nævnte in mente, fremstår det netop citerede nærmest demagogisk. Pinds argumentation er endvidere igen mangelfuld, idet han bekvemt undlader at nævne, at det netop er en væsentlig del af den vestlige verdens juridiske og kulturelle arv, at man ikke begiver sig ud i krig med mindre der er tale om (selv)forsvar. Irak-krigen kan imidlertid ikke retfærddigøres som en forvarskrig, da Irak ikke truede Danmark eller nogle af de andre krigsførende parter på daværende tidspunkt. Krigen var heller ikke sanktioneret af FNs sikkerhedsråd som ikke gav hjemmel for krigsførelse. Krigen var altså en ikke-sanktioneret angrebskrig og en sådan er ulovlig i henhold til international lov, men ikke alene er angrebskrig ulovlig, det er intet mindre end den største internationale forbrydelse man kan begå iflg. dommer ved Nurnberg-processerne Ross H. Jackson. Da Søren Pind er cand.jur må vi antage at han er bekendt med gældende international lov.

tirsdag den 16. november 2010

[Iraq] No-Fly Zone War.

NYTimes (August 13, 1999): "With Little Notice, U.S. Planes Have Been Striking Iraq All Year."

The Guardian (December 4, 2002): "Britain and US step up bombing in Iraq."

IraqJournal.org (December 10, 2002): "No-Fly Zones Over Iraq: Washington's Undeclared War on "Saddam's Victims".

Washington Post (December 22, 2002): "Casualties of an 'Undeclared War': Civilians Killed and Injured as U.S. Airstrikes Escalate in Southern Iraq."

The Independent (23 February 2003): "US and Britain Pound Iraqi Defenses in Massive Escalation of Airstrikes."

NYTimes (July 19 2003): "U.S. Attacked Iraqi Defenses Starting in 2002."

Links omhandlende USAs uddannelsessektor.

The Guardian: The corporate takeover of American schools.

Extraordinary Renditions.

BBC: Amnesty says EU 'failing' over CIA renditions.

BBC: What happened in Europe's secret CIA prisons?

BBC: CIA 'tortured suspects' in secret prison in Poland.

Huffington Post: Breaking the Conspiracy of Silence: Europe and Extraordinary Rendition.

The Guardian: The necessary reckoning on rendition and waterboarding.

mandag den 15. november 2010

Obama og Indonesiens specialstyrker.

Tidligere i år valgte man fra Obama-administrationens side at genoptage støtten til Kopassus, Indonesiens specialstyrker, som ellers var faldet i unåde grundet specialstyrkens centrale rolle i folkemordet i Øst-Timor, der estimeres at have kostet op mod en sjettedel af Øst-Timors befolkning livet.

Umiddelbart samtidig med Obamas besøg i Indonesien kom det imidlertid frem, grundet et lækket internt dokument fra Kopassus, at specialstyrken fortsat idag gør sig i uhyrligheder, idet dokumentet omtaler, at specialstyrken begår mord og foretager bortførelser samt generelt betragter civile kritikere i den besatte West Papua region som fjenden. Obama nævnte imidlertid ikke dette med et eneste ord under sit besøg.


The Guardian: West Papua deserves Barack Obama's attention.

AllainNairn.com: Secret Files Show Kopassus, Indonesia's Special Forces, Targets Papuan Churches, Civilians. Documents Leak from Notorious US-Backed Unit as Obama Lands in Indonesia.

The Guardian: Obama's missed opportunity in Jakarta.

The Constitution and National Security: The First Amendment Under Attack

Irak-krigens konsekvenser.

Den amerikanske tænketank Center for American Progress om Irak-krigens menneskelige, strategiske og økonomiske omkostninger.



The Lancet, one of the oldest scientific medical journals in the world, published two peer-reviewed studies on the effect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation on the Iraqi mortality rate. The first was published in 2004; the second (by many of the same authors) in 2006. The studies estimate the number of excess deaths caused by the occupation, both direct (combatants plus non-combatants) and indirect (due to increased lawlessness, degraded infrastructure, poor healthcare, etc.).

The first survey published on 29 October 2004, estimated 98,000 excess Iraqi deaths (with a range of 8,000 to 194,000, using a 95% confidence interval (CI)) from the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq to that time, or about 50% higher than the death rate prior to the invasion. The authors described this as a conservative estimate, because it excluded the extreme statistical outlier data from Falluja. If the Falluja cluster were included, the mortality estimate would increase to 150% over pre-invasion rates (95% CI: 1.6 to 4.2).

The second survey published on 11 October 2006, estimated 654,965 excess deaths related to the war, or 2.5% of the population, through the end of June 2006. The new study applied similar methods and involved surveys between May 20 and July 10, 2006.[4] More households were surveyed, allowing for a 95% confidence interval of 392,979 to 942,636 excess Iraqi deaths. 601,027 deaths (range of 426,369 to 793,663 using a 95% confidence interval) were due to violence. 31% (186,318) of those were attributed to the Coalition, 24% (144,246) to others, and 46% (276,472) unknown. The causes of violent deaths were gunshot (56% or 336,575), car bomb (13% or 78,133), other explosion/ordnance (14%), air strike (13% or 78,133), accident (2% or 12,020), and unknown (2%).
Link til Wikipedia artikel om undersøgelsen.


Think Progress: Confronting The Iraqi Nakba.

between 2003 and 2009, in addition to the more than 100,000 Iraqis killed and many more wounded and maimed, more than 4.5 million Iraqis were expelled and displaced amid Iraq’s sectarian civil war — new, grim details of which are contained in the WikiLeaks trove. Around 2.6 million remain internally displaced in Iraq, unable to return to their homes. Another 1.9 million remain refugees, mostly in neighboring Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. It has utterly changed the face not only of Iraq, but of the region. If Americans are going to learn the right lessons from Iraq, and satisfy the huge moral debt we’ve incurred, we’ve simply got to regain our sense of shock about the enormity of what we have done there: Through a combination of hubris, idealism, incompetence, and plain ignorance, the United States facilitated, sponsored, and oversaw Iraq’s Nakba.

[Afghanistan-krigen] Økonomiske aspekter.


Wireds Dangerroom-skribent Spencer Ackerman om manglende fnansielt tilsyn med millioner af dollars som lander i lommerne på afghanske embedsmænd og regeringsrådgivere:

"According to a new report from the U.S.’ independent Afghanistan-reconstruction auditor, Arnold Fields, American agencies spent at least three years paying Afghan government officials and “technical advisers” off the books — outside official channels and without “collecting any information” on who they paid and how much they doled out. From 2005 to 2008, and in some cases into 2010, both agencies declined to “centrally manage” their record keeping, allowing an untold amount of aid money to disappear into the pockets of their favored Afghans.

And that went into a lot of pockets. The Afghan Ministry of Finance estimates that U.S. and international donors pay $45 million annually to support 6,600 government employees and advisers, but that’s an undercount, reliant on “incomplete data.” Just this year, after the Ministry demanded the U.S. start a tally of who it pays, at least 900 government officials received U.S. cash, totaling $1 million each month."


fredag den 12. november 2010

Reagan's udenrigspoliitk.

Støtten til Saddam Hussein:

Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984.

Dawoody: "Reagan & Saddam: The Unholy Alliance."


Støtten til Muhammed Zia ul-Haq, Pakistansk fundamentalistiske muslimske diktator:

“Zia’s longevity as a ruler was made possible by the unstinting support he received from President Ronald Reagan and the U.S. administration after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979.”

“General Zia’s eleven-year rule was to have the most long-lasting and damaging effect on Pakistani society, one still prevalent today. Zia, who seized power from Bhutto in a coup in 1977, dealt with Pakistan’s identity crisis by imposing an ideological Islamic state upon the population. Many of today’s problems—the militancy of the religious parties, the mushrooming of madrassas and extremist groups, the spread of drug and Kalashnikov culture, and the increase in sectarian violence took place during the Zia era.”

“Between 1982 and 1990 the CIA, working with the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence; det pakistanske efterretningsvæsen, som USA var med til at opbygge] and Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service, funded the training, arrival, and arming of some thirty-five thousand Islamic militants from forty-three Muslim countries in Pakistani madrassas to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. This global jihad launched by Zia and Reagan was to sow the seeds of al Qaeda and turn Pakistan into the world center of jihadism for the next two decades.”

Kilde - Ahmed Rashid: ”Descent into Chaos: The U.S. And the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.”

History Commons: Context of 'April 1981: Reagan Administration Says It Can Turn a Blind Eye to Pakistani Nuclear Program'

The Guardian: "The man who knew too much."



Robert Parry: "Guatemala: A Test Tube of Repression."


Washington Post: Former Salvadoran Foes Share Doubts on War.

Dennis Hans. "From Afghanistan to El Salvador: Reagan's Dark Global Legacy".


Wiki-article on the Salvadoran Civil War:







the lost chapter.

Perception Management.

Lost History: CIA's Perception Management

The October Surprise.

Key October Surprise Evidence Hidden.

The Tricky October Surprise Report.

Richard Allen's Notes on Bush 'October Surprise' Call.

How Two Elections Changed America.

The Russian Report.