The Transnational W I R E
# 14

February 15, 2000 

You want to find interesting analyses, reports, articles and papers on peace and conflict issues from around the world?

Now we do the job for you. This page provides links to a selection of the best critical and constructive materials - the essential stuff we benefit from ourselves and want to share.

Just click below at what catches your interest - read, download or send on to a friend.


Peace & nonviolence

The New Civilization Network
The New Civilization Network (NCN) is a global network of people visualizing a better world and working on building it. A world of increased quality of life, freedom, fun and inspiration for all. A world where the needs of all of humanity are met. We work independently or in teams on activities of our choice, and we coordinate and cooperate amongst ourselves when appropriate.

Practise random kindness and senseless acts of beauty
It's a crisp winter day in San Francisco. A woman in a red Honda, Christmas presents piled in the back, drives up to the Bay Bridge tollbooth. 'I'm paying for myself, and for the six cars behind me,' she says with a smile, handing over seven commuter tickets. One after another, the next six drivers arrive at the tollbooth, dollars in hand, only to be told, 'Some lady up ahead already paid your fare. Have a nice day.'

(Martin Luther) King Spin
He has been made a saint - and that's exactly the problem, explains a new book.


Armament and the new Cold War 

Russia increases its arms exports
Russia's deputy prime minister for military-industrial affairs said Jan. 31 that Russian arms manufacturers are expecting to export arms valued at more than $4 billion in 2000. This increase will reverse the stagnant trend of Russian arms exports throughout the 1990s, since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It will also fit well into Russian moves to boost its economic situation and expand its strategic relationships abroad.

Russia's - dangerous - response to Western expansion
Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union supported a number of weak, corrupt states &endash; from Angola to North Korea &endash; in order to offset the West. When the Cold War ended, Russia no longer needed or wanted to maintain its global confrontation with the West, and it cut these allies loose. Now, however, after a decade of diplomatic and economic silence between Moscow and its former client states, Russia is reactivating some of its old relationships. This will ultimately help rewrite the rules of relations with the West.

Chinese Army revises the art of war - with an eye to the West
'Asymmetrical' warfare &endash; terrorism, computer hacking, economic sabotage, assassination of U.S. citizens &endash; is the Chinese military's strategy to defeat the United States. Should U.S. financiers whose trading adversely affects Chinese "red-chip" companies be assassinated? China's People's Liberation Army, or PLA, is discussing the concept. Should Beijing covertly fund political-influence operations in the United States? A new PLA book openly asks the question.

Pentagon finds China preparing for war with the United States
Some 600 translations of internal Chinese writings by 200 authors reveal China's strategy to defeat a superior foe, using both military and nonmilitary means, such as propaganda, deception and covert action. They also reveal the extreme distrust of the United States by China's military and party leaders. Chinese generals state that the United States intentionally bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, last May as part of a long-term strategy to prompt an arms race that will cause China's collapse.

Clinton plans to increase the US military budget even further
President Bill Clinton's budget calls for new spending on a wide array of military and foreign affairs priorities, including military equipment, more pay for soldiers, and special funding for a controversial new missile defence programme. The new budget plan for 2000/2001 proposes to allocate $292.2bn to national defence, up $11.3bn from the 2000 level.

China: We are not Yugoslavia
The mouthpiece of the People's Liberation Army, furious over U.S. legislation to boost military ties with Taiwan, warned the United States on Friday not to mistake China for Yugoslavia. "China is not Yugoslavia. And Taiwan is not Kosovo," the Liberation Army Daily said in a commentary, referring to the U.S.-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia last year over atrocities against ethnic Albanians in the southern province of Kosovo.



NATO killed at least 500 civilians in Yugoslavia
The investigation concluded that NATO committed violations of international humanitarian law. Human Rights Watch called on NATO governments to establish an independent and impartial commission to investigate these violations and issue its findings publicly. NATO governments should also alter targeting and bombing doctrine to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said.

Galeano's moving essay on media, culture and globalization
Exaggerated though it may sound, I'm convinced the mercantile despotism of the mass-media entertainment industry is inflicting cultural damage on the world at least as devastating as the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo, invoked these days as justification for bombing Yugoslavia. From the Media Channel.



The U.S. in Kosovo: seeking an exit strategy
With no end in sight to the violence in Kosovo, the Pentagon has begun efforts to relieve the pressure on US peacekeepers in the breakaway province. Defense secretary Cohen: "This is a responsibility of the international community," Cohen said about maintaining law and order in Kosovo. "The Europeans must also bear a fair share of that responsibility and they have yet to do so."

NATO killed 500 civilians in Yugoslavia
The investigation concluded that NATO committed violations of international humanitarian law. Human Rights Watch called on NATO governments to establish an independent and impartial commission to investigate these violations and issue its findings publicly. NATO governments should also alter targeting and bombing doctrine to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said.

Anarchy & Madness in Kosovo
Timothy Garton Ash's report on the chaos in Kosovo/a tells the truth - and ends on a funny note about the liberal, Western paradise the locals long to be part of while forgetting that it was this order which did nothing between 1989 and 1999 to help them...But what do you do in a one-dimensional world where "there is no choice". From the New York Review of Books.

If the West's peace-making in Kosovo is a 'victory', how many can we afford in the future?
Internationals working there speak out - anonymously - to Jack kelly, the Post-Gazette. Here you always find the views of James Bissett, Canada's ambassador to Yugoslavia 1990-92.

Serbs struggle through the stand-off with the West
A report with a human touch by Washington Post's Edward Cody.


Human rights - humanism or imperialism?

Report detailing weapons exports to human rights abusers
The Council for a Livable World Education Fund released its new report detailing various weapons sold by the U.S. to selected abusive governments around the world. Entitled "Human Rights and Weapons: Records of Selected U.S. Arms Clients," this study not only describes the type, number, and dollar value of some of the weapons sold to these countries by the U.S., but also in what kinds of abusive practices the security forces of those nations engage.

Human rights imperialism
U.S. interests are not universal interests; its courts are not World Courts; its law is not international law. But there are indeed universal human rights that have emerged in the global struggle to acknowledge our common humanity. As Uwe-Jens Heuer and Gregor Schirmer argue, they are those rights set out in international law by the treaties and declarations that have obtained the concurrence of the states of the world. We must fight for the recognition in practice of these human rights worldwide.


What was the truth then? What is it today?

CIA and the Cold War on culture and deception
This book provides a detailed account of the ways in which the CIA penetrated and influenced a vast array of cultural organizations, through its front groups and via friendly philanthropic organizations like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. The author, Frances Stonor Saunders, details how and why the CIA ran cultural congresses, mounted exhibits, and organized concerts.
This piece took us by surprise! How much do you think CIA and similar organisations influence our understanding of today's wold news, culture and changes?


EU militarisation

If so, what's the difference between the EU and NATO?
European Commission President Romano Prodi surprised his Latvian audience Feb. 10 by declaring that "any attack or aggression against an EU [European Union] member nation would be an attack or aggression against the whole EU, this is the highest guarantee." If implemented as stated, this marks a quantum shift in EU policies, states Stratfor.


WIRE Editor

Jan Oberg with TFF Associates


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