The Transnational W I R E
# 15

May 5, 2000 

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Peace & nonviolence

Peace is the most powerful weapons that we posses, says Mandela
"There is danger in military actions such as we saw in the case of Iraq and Kosovo when powerful nations acted unilaterally and in defiance of international convention. To the extent that world peace depends on respect for the authority of our international institutions, such actions are indeed a danger to peace because they undermine that authority. They send a message that the powerful will police the world. From there it is only a step to chaos in world affairs, as power is substituted for the security of collective and democratic decision."

Browse this interesting site, with a new exciting CD about Gandhi.
Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal - a very comprehensive site. A Multimedia CD on Mahatma Gandhi: Interactive Multimedia, over 550 Photographs, 30 minutes of film footage, 15 minute of Gandhiji's voice, Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, more than 50,000 pages.

Militarism - a Facilitator for Globalization
A peace organization like WILPF has to renew its commitment to the principles of anti-militarism and at the same time develop further concrete proposals for the establishment of an international peace order. To get involved in the expansion of instruments of peaceful conflict resolution and collective security, so conflicts can be dealt with on an international level in a civil way. The search and demand for a constructive peace, as an integral structure of a sustainable international order, becomes more and more important. It is essential to think about the conditions for peaceful settlements of conflicts within states and on international level.

The 2000 Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty. A World Conference
On nuclear disarmament, at the UN in New York, April 24 - May 29. The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is working through this initiative to support and encourage effective preparation for and participation in the 2000 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty at the UN. This is a comprehensive, very professional site!

Women and a Culture of Peace
The Women and a Culture of Peace Homepage - with links also to many Culture of Peace sites, UN resolutions, Manifesto 2000, news and intercultural dialogues.

The Millennium Forum in New York, three weeks from now.
Official website of the "We the Peoples..." summit in New York, May 22-26, 2000. See also the UN Special Millennium website and the UN Secretary-General's report

Coalition for Global Solidarity - WSSD+5
For one week in Geneva, June 2000, the World Summit for Social Development+5 will bring together representatives of the UN and other international bodies, heads of state and government, and NGOs and citizens groups in a forum in which people from all levels of society, from all around the world, will come together to address the core challenges to social, cultural, political and economic development and human security at the dawn of the new millennium. Their goal, to work together to seek ways to overcome poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion, globally, and within each country of the world. The Norwegian People's Aid's (NPA) site.


Armament and the new Cold War 

The United States WANTS Russia to keep its nuclear warheads
Great talking points on the ABM Treaty and the National Missile Defense (NMD) system that Clinton insists on developing. From the highly respected Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists which says: "You would think that 10 years after the end of the Cold War, the United States would be doing everything it could to get Russia to reduce its bloated, aging, and dangerous arsenal of approximately 6,000 deployed strategic nuclear warheads. You would be wrong..."

India is not the most dangerous in the world
The Times of India takes a look at the annual report of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, IISS, in London. "The latest survey has lost some of the earlier optimism of the institute experts who were seeing a glimmer of light after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of one of the two superpowers. Thus if one goes by the assessment, the world as a whole is becoming a more dangerous place."

The Weekly Defense Monitor
The latest issue of this service from the Centre for Defense Information deals with what the objectives of U.S. foreign policy and military interventionism should be; with the price of a limited missile defence, and reflects on the parallels between the Korea and Vietnam wars.

Globalization - imperialism

Samir Amin's turn-of-the century analysis - a must read in the age of "globalization"
The ratio used to measure inequality in the capitalist world (1 to 20 toward 1900; 1 to 30 in 1954-48; 1 to 60 at the end of the post-war growth spurt) increased sharply: the wealthiest 20 per cent of humanity increased their share of the global product from 60 to 80 per cent during the two last decades of this century --globalization has been fortunate for some. For the vast majority --notably, for the peoples of the South, subjected to unilateral structural adjustment policies, and those of the East, locked into dramatic involutions --it has been a disaster. (Takes some time to access).

United Nations Development Programme, UNDP "Governance Tools"
An excellent gateway to capacity development, globalization and debt, gender in governance, human rights, conflict-resolution, reconciliation, accountability, global resources network, governance in post-conflict situations, etc.

Make you views known about globalization and poverty
A month-long electronic conference begins mediated by the Panos Institute and the World Bank.
It can only happen if you make your view known...

The Balkans and Kosovo/a -

Rugova, moderate Albanian leader, warns war and wants Greater Albania
Moderate Kosovar leader Ibrahim Rugova warned the Yugoslavian province could find itself again at war if it is not granted independence, in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine. The ethnic Albanian leader also backed the controversial notion of a "Greater Albania." But:

Balkans Contact Group backs "substantial autonomy" for Kosovo
The six-nations Balkans contact group gave its full backing Wednesday to UN Resolution 1244 which stipulates that Kosovo should have "substantial autonomy" within Yugoslavia.

International War Crimes Tribunal in Berlin in June
See its webpage with documentation, the complaint, international law aspects, etc.

British diplomats train elite-in-waiting to take over after Milosevic.
British diplomats are training a Yugoslav élite-in-waiting to oversee the country's transformation to a civil society after the Milosevic regime falls. Senior Serbian figures in professional fields such as the military, law enforcement and academia are being brought to Budapest in neighbouring Hungary to design a blueprint for post-Milosevic Serbia, and prepare for the country's re-integration into Europe. The New Serbia Forum, an initiative funded by the Foreign Office.

How it is done: Taking over the Trepca mines: Plans and Propaganda
Comparison of two documents, a November 1999 International Crisis Group (ICG) paper on the Trepca mining complex, and a February 2000 article in the Toronto Star by ICG consultant Susan Blaustein, provides an exceptionally clear glimpse into the workings of the "international community." By Diana Johnstone (2-28-00).

Doubts over UN 'blending zone' plan for Mitrovica
The United Nations hopes to create an "ethnic-blending zone" in the centre of the divided city of Mitrovica in the latest attempt to overcome the hostilities between Serbs and ethnic Albanians. Deep divisions: ethnic tensions run high in the city of Mitrovica The initiative is part of an ambitious plan that envisages returning ethnic Albanians to the Serb-held north and constructing a new footbridge across the front-line River Ibar.But leaders of the city's Serbs gave warning that there would be "war" if any Albanians returned, and a Nato officer said the plan was unworkable. By Julius Strauss in Mitrovica.

West abandons dream of unified Kosovo and coexistence
A year after Nato's intervention, the West's dream of Serbs and Albanians living together in Kosovo is dead. Diplomats openly concede that monoethnic cantons are the only solution to the province's intractable hatred.

Stratfor's eminent "Kosovo One Year Later" Analysis
Nine months after the war, the West faces a choice. It can increase its grip on Kosovo, committing more troops and confronting the KLA, or the alliance can resign itself to losing control of Kosovo.


What was the truth then? What is it today?

Media Channel's "Covering Vietnam" - the media's role then.
The a Channel has brought together an excellent selection of authors on "Vietnam: Perception, Revisited" - Philip Knightley, Danny Schechter, Edward Herman, Gilbert Manda, Peter Arrnett. How do they look back upon what happened and what we were told happened?
What is war reporting then and now? What do you think we will say 25 years ahead about what we were told about, say, the bombing of Yugoslavia?

Virtual lessons of the bombing of Yugoslavia
One year on, what are the lessons of Kosovo, asks Michael Ignatieff? If future wars are virtual wars, requiring not mobilization and sacrifice, but virtual consent in the name of virtual values, then increasingly democracies may be willing to fight. This is why we need proper checks and balances to ensure the legitimacy of such wars.

The US as a world order problem

Edward Said reflects on American injustice
It is the organized, legalized cruelty and injustice of the American system that many of the country's citizens actually cherish and, in this electoral season, want their candidates to defend and support, not just the cynical machismo of its random acts of violence like the gratuitous bombing of Sudan or last spring's sadistic offensive against Serbia. Consider the following: a recently released report reveals that, with five per cent of the world's population, the US at the same time contains 25 per cent of the world's population of prisoners. Two million Americans are held in jails, of whom well over 45 per cent are African American, a number that is disproportionately higher than the black population itself...

Oscar Arias' Harsh Words for the US
I tell my friends in Washington that it is time for the United States not only to be the military superpower it is, or the economic superpower it is, but also the moral superpower that it should be. . . . And it is not [a moral superpower] because its value system is wrong. That is for the U.S. to deal with: . . . so much greed, so much cynicism, so much hypocrisy, so much individualistic values. These values need to be replaced by more solidarity, by more compassion, by justice. . . . I don't think we can really enjoy a more peaceful 21st century with the value system of the 20th century. Certainly, if you want to be that city up on the hill for the rest of the world to look at you with admiration, you need to change your value system.

Humanism, human rights and "humanitarian" intervention

Compassionate killing. Can wars be fought for humanitarian reasons?
Somalia 1992 . . . Haiti 1994 . . . Bosnia 1996 . . . Kosovo 1999 . . . The "humanitarian" military campaign has become a distinctive feature of U.S. foreign policy in recent years. But is it really humanitarian? Not at all, writes Noam Chomsky in his new book, The New Military Humanism (Common Courage Press).

Sudan - The human price of oil
Massive human rights violations by Sudanese security forces, various government allied militias and armed opposition groups, are clearly linked to foreign companies' oil operations, Amnesty International stated as it released its report Sudan: The human price of oil today. "The civilian population living in oil fields and surrounding areas has been deliberately targeted for massive human rights abuses -- forced displacement, aerial bombardments, strafing villages from helicopter gunships, unlawful killings, torture including rape and abduction," said Maina Kiai, Amnesty International's Director for Africa. "Foreign companies* are turning a blind eye..."

It could soon affect the whole world...
Falling water tables in China May soon raise food prices everywhere. Alert from the Worldwatch Institute's director Lester R. Brown. Ask yourself how many more people around the world would NOT be able to buy more expensive food...




WIRE Editor

Jan Oberg with TFF Associates


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