The Transnational W I R E
# 19

July 17, 2000 

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Peace & nonviolence

Greenpeace activists protest the Star Wars test
Greenpeace activists yesterday broke into a US air force base in California and sent a vessel into an off-limits military zone in the Pacific in an attempt to thwart a key test of a new missile defence system scheduled for early this morning. The environmental pressure group said the proposed $60bn national missile defence (NMD) scheme would undermine existing disarmament treaties and "provide additional justification to Russia and China to retain their existing nuclear arsenals...

Stop Star Wars - Greenpeace campaign
Five arguments and a letter you can sign!

Five and a half utopia - a challenging piece on desired worlds.
Steven Weinber who received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1979 writes about the technological utopia, the civilised egalitarian capitalist utopia, the free-market utopia, the best-and-the-brighest utopia, the religious utopia, the green utopia.

A people's initiative for peace between India and Pakistan
"The peace-makers believe that when Indians and Pakistanis unite to insist that their governments talk, find a way out of the Kashmir imbroglio, and allow their people to visit the other country without restrictions," writes Beena Sarwar, "the governments can no longer pretend that their people want war. Even now, many people clearly don't, as any Indian or Pakistani who has crossed the border will testify.

Plugged into Protest? E-activists rally on the Web, but can they build a movement?
"The movement exploding now is an amalgamation of many, many smaller groups and campaigns that are close to people's hearts that are building bridges to other groups," she explains. "The movement is strongest when people feel rooted in a community that is comfortable to them. And it is from that strong base that you can do the most effective alliance- and coalition-building."  

Armament and the new Cold War

China will counter US NBD 'Son of Star Wars' project
"China cannot sit idly by and watch its means for self-defence being weakened and even deprived of in any form," Beijing's top arms control official, Sha Zukang, told the Guardian, in a reference to America's national missile defence (NMD) project, which was being tested early today. The official People's Daily newspaper weighed in yesterday, denouncing the "hegemonic arrogance of the US".

Circles in the US want the missile test to fail - and it did
Senior officials in the state department, the Pentagon and the White House itself are opposed to a planned $60bn missile defence system and are privately hoping that a crucial test planned for late tonight will end in failure.

Missile flop boosts protests
The failure has provided useful ammunition for opponents of the scheme who see it as an unnecessary escalation of nuclear capabilities promoted for bogus reasons by the military-industrial complex. It has also been hinted that President Bill Clinton is far from displeased with the flop because it allows him room to defer support for a missile defence system about which he has always been lukewarm.

Why China sees the US as a military rival
Defense experts say that the US and China are likely to become rivals than allies in the coming years. The US sees itself as "the indispensable nation" as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright put it recently, guardian of stability in the Asia-Pacific region. But as Beijing begins transforming its remarkable economic growth into military might, the potential rises for clashes between the two on issues ranging from US alliances in Asia to global weapons sales. Chinese officials, for example, were indignant yesterday when Israel, prompted by the US, scrapped a $250 million radar sale to China.

Clinton's ballistic defence is false
Clinton's Missile Defense System Is Against A False Threat, Technologically Unfeasible, An Unwarranted Investment, And Could Spark A Nuclear Arms Race. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Sunday that President Clinton will consider four criteria -- "the threat, the technology, the cost and what it does to the overall American security" -- in deciding whether to move forward with development of a national missile defense system. If that were true, the president would have scrapped the plan long before now.

Globalization - imperialism

The Jubilee 2000 Coalition
A debt-free start for billions. The international campaign: 7 Million children die each year as a result of the debt crisis. 3702616 children have died since the start of the year 2000. Find out how you can break the deadly chains of debt.


The Balkans and Kosovo/a -

Who is going to clean up Serbia and the Danube?
A year later, the Serbian portion of the Danube, between Bulgaria and Hungary, remains impassable. Debris from a half-dozen shattered bridges continues to clog the waterway, crippling commerce in countries both up and downstream. More troubling--and potentially longer-lasting--are the toxic residues from NATO's high-altitude assault on Serbia's industrial infrastructure. Hidden in the Danube riverbed and lingering in its wetlands, these pollutants have the potential to affect the health and well-being of 85 million Europeans and their descendants in the Danube Basin for decades to come. By its nature war is destructive, but when the war is over the destruction should end.

Increased tension in Yugoslavia, where is Milosevic heading?
Despite the downward spiral in Milosevic's popularity since the NATO bombardment, the opposition appears to stand little chance of victory in a direct election against the president. Polls indicate Milosevic's rating is currently only 14 per cent. Serbian Renewal Movement leader Vuk Draskovic, however, scores only 6 per cent and Zoran Djindjic, leader of the Democratic Party, 3 per cent. The official believes Milosevic's triumph in direct presidential elections would persuade the United States' government to renew official contacts with Belgrade. He said the Milosevic government has information indicating opinion in Washington increasingly favours discreet, but direct links to the Yugoslav president.

Yugoslavia is dead, says Montenegro's president
Montenegro's pro-western president, Milo Djukanovic, took another step towards independence for his fledgling nation yesterday by claiming that Yugoslavia no longer exists because the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, has opted for its destruction to preserve power and avoid war crimes charges filed against him.

Voters' registration for Kosovo elections - absurd?
``If the international community succeeds in organizing the return of the Serbs, guaranteeing their safety, we will change our minds,'' Milovic added. ``For now, we have absolutely no security in Kosovo, nor are we able to move around. Under those conditions, any election would be absurd.''

A refreshing look at Montenegro and Serbia's conflict - and the international "community"'s role
It looks like NATO will soon be renewing its war against Serbia. Montenegro will provide the justification. NATO is playing the same game in Montenegro that it played in Kosovo. For at least two years now, the United States &endash; and to a lesser extent the European Union &endash; has been urging Montenegro's President Milo Djukanovic to secede from Yugoslavia. Money has poured in, along with promises of speedy integration into the institutions of the West. Montenegro got the D-Mark as its currency, while the Italians promised to look the other way at the smuggling that was going on.


Was NATO's bombing OK?

Civilian death in the NATO air campaign
The Human Rights Watch report from February 2000

Amnesty's report on NATO's bombings

The Hague Tribunal's argument for not undertaking an investigation of NATO's bombing

Perhaps NATO lost more during the bombing than we have been told?
In a story headlined "NATO Covering Up Own Losses," the Russian Agency of Political News (APN) reported on Apr. 29 that NATO had lost over 400 troops, and over 60 aircraft during its 79-day war with Serbia. The estimates reportedly based on Russian government figures, have been hushed up in the West by the New World Order lapdog media. These are the highest figures so far of NATO's human casualties to emerge from the post-war post-mortems. We may believe them or treat them as propaganda.


Kosovo/a - the forgotten background

Articles written about Kosovo when it was not famous 
A compilation of articles from Financial Times, Associated Press, BBC, New York Times, from 1981 onwards. Facts you didn't hear about when NATO started bombing...

The forgotten background to the Serb/Albanian conflict
Ananalysis, by FAIR - Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting - of early media coverage and including David Binder's article from 1982.


What was the truth then? What is it today? The role of the media

What the media made up of Kosovo and NATOs bombing
For instance, why did CBS never mention the Amnesty report on NATO war crimes? Or what the media knew about the Rambouillet but didn't tell...

CNN and Psychological Warfare Operations...
Military personnel from the Fourth Psychological Operations Group based at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, have until recently been working in CNN's hq in Atlanta. CNN is up in arms about our report in the last issue of CounterPunch concerning the findings of the Dutch journalist, Abe de Vries about the presence of US Army personnel at CNN, owned by Time-Warner. De Vries reported that a handful of military personnel from the Third Psychological Operations Battalion, part of the airmobile Fourth Psychological Operations Group based at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, had worked in CNN's hq in Atlanta.


Russia and the US as a world order problem

Putin's recipe for a strong Russia
When Vladimir Putin arrives at the annual summit of the Group of Eight leading industrial country in Okinawa next week, his silent agenda will be a plea for confidence in his sweeping vision of Russia's future, spelled out in a comprehensive State of the Nation address last Saturday. But it may not prove so easy to embrace Mr. Putin's blueprint. On one hand, it is the most decisively liberal economic plan to appear in Russia since the collapse of the USSR. On the other, it may be a thinly veiled recipe for authoritarian revival in a country that has known little else for a millennium.

Another massacre in Columbia as its army prepares to receive US miliary aid package
"How many times do killings committed by the security forces or their paramilitary allies have to be denounced before the Colombian government brings the perpetrators to justice?" asked Amnesty International as six men were killed and 63 families of La Unión have began to flee their homes. See also the New York Times report of July 14.

30 countries have illegal spy stations - more on the Echelon system
France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Denmark have built eavesdropping networks, as have Russia and China. From Spain to northern Denmark, Europe is dotted with illegal satellite monitoring stations. France, where they launched their own legal inquiry into Echelon with great fanfare, possesses a global network of spy satellites and listening stations, dubbed "Frenchelon". Denmark's intelligence service has turned Aflandshage, a former Cold War spy base on beaches near Copenhagen, into a modern satellite spy station. A second base planned at a northern site would be larger than many in the British-American network. Sweden and Norway are talking about following suit.

The US takes steps to develop nuclear weapon for fighting, not for deterrence
- says the very respected Retired Navy Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll Jr., Vice President of the Center for Defense Information in Washington.

US expands its nuclear targettting worldwide
Even as it talks to Moscow about arms treaties new and old, Washington is accused of aiming warheads at 20% more foreign sites. Senior American military officers insist that current nuclear policy prevents them shrinking the US nuclear arsenal to fewer than 2,000 to 2,500 strategic weapons - and that going lower would threaten national security. Their calculations are buried in the nation's strategic war plan and ultimately linked to presidential guidance.

The secrets of more American nuclear madness
The world is supposed to be safer than it was. No big enemy, only one super-power, the capitalist conversion of Russia, the absorption of China into world trade, an overarching nuclear détente. Bestriding the globe unchallenged, the United States can surely be trusted with its peace. It should be so. Many people perhaps think it is so. But two glimpses of reality show us it isn't so. These exposures seem important to register.


Humanism, human rights and "humanitarian" intervention

Aids now kills two million a year in Africa alone
In Africa as a whole, Aids now kills 2m people a year - 10 times more than war. But 4m were newly infected with HIV last year alone and, without treatment, are expected to die within 10 to 15 years. Aids experts fear that what is happening in Africa may be only a rehearsal for what could follow in Asia. China and India between them account for 36% of the world's population. and large numbers of people there are already infected.

Aids: Welcome to the land of the dying
With rampant Aids and without western drugs, Africa has lost all hope: South Africa hosted a summit last weekend. Malita Maxwell has Aids. But so does just about everybody else in the women's ward of Chiradzulu hospital, with its busted air conditioner, smell of old, sweet urine and greasy mattresses covered in bright green plastic.

An insider's view of the Hague Tribunal
Witnesses are attacked on ideological grounds. Anyone who calls into question the policies of the leading NATO states (even, or especially, when they colluded with Milosevic's regime in the early 1990s) is denounced and hectored at as "extremist." Western academics appearing as expert witnesses have been subject to personal abuse as well as intrusive inquiries into their personal lives by the Prosecution's allies in the NATO intelligence services. The intention seems to be to intimidate anyone not sharing the Prosecution's purpose and to warn off others from giving evidence. The refusal to contemplate the idea that even individual NATO servicemen may have committed acts liable under the Tribunal's charter vitiates its impartial character.



World future, sustainability and strategy

Economic globalism has failed
The time has come to write the obituary of globalism as an economic doctrine that purports to bring progress and development to international society.It has failed. The special UN General Assembly session in Geneva last week concluded that poverty, inequality and insecurity have increased in the world since globalism was launched. The number of people living in absolute poverty has increased from a billion five years ago to 1.2 billion today. Word of this rise in poverty is not a claim put forward by globalism's critics. It is the conclusion of a collaborative report prepared by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations itself.

Cold facts about global warming
Those inclined to tout the potential benefits of global warming would do well to take a look at the news items about the frightening weather in southern Europe last week. It is possible -- not easy, but possible -- to mount an international effort to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases to an extent that would ward off a global catastrophe. It's possible. But there is not a lot of time left.

The World Disaster Report 2000
The death toll from infectious diseases (such as AIDS, malaria, respiratory diseases and diarrhoea) is 160 times greater than the number killed in last year's natural disasters including the massive earthquakes in Turkey, floods in Venezuela and cyclones in India. And the situation is getting worse.



WIRE Editor

Jan Oberg with TFF Associates


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