The Transnational W I R E
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August 4, 2000


Peace & nonviolence - positive thoughts and events


East and West - the reach of reason
Amartya Sen philsophizes in the recent issue of the New York Review of Books on the basis of Jonathan Glover's book "Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century."

Gandhi Research and Media Service - Gandhi.serve
A rich site with things to buy and sources for the study and spreading of Gandhi's thoughts.

The Great Turning
Joanna Macy, writer and Buddhist scholar, took time out from the WTO protests to speak with YES! editor Sarah Ruth van Gelder. Their conversation took place the day following the massive blockade of the WTO and the labor-led march through Seattle.

The World Peace Portal
Peace Portal is an interactive, multimedia Peace project dedicated to the construction of a global based social & economic platform developed "for the people...", and updated " the people..." Through a unique mix of New Media & Internet technologies, members will be empowered to share their causes, stories and products with a growing network of supporters and sponsors of World Peace. Our prayer is that this work results in a tangible global dialogue dedicated to personal and planetary Peace, supporting present global community building efforts.

"Pact against Violence" signed by Albanian and Serb leaders in Kosovo
Kosovo Serbs and ethnic Albanians ended with both sides declaring a "Pact against Violence," the US State Department and the private US Institute of Peace said Monday. The first intensive face-to-face discussions between ethnic Albanian and Serb Kosovars facilitated by the institute were aimed at getting the two sides working toward a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo, still torn by ethnic violence.

North & South Korea
Special reports and links by the Guardian.

This sounds like good news from Somalia..the 13th peace agreement, will it hold??
Hope is indeed growing that the chaos might soon come to an end. For the past three months, more than 2,000 Somalis have been meeting in neighboring Djibouti, trying to thrash out a deal that will put an end to the most miserable decade of Somalia's long history. In a rare spirit of unity and compromise, delegates agreed on a draft charter last month that allows for the establishment of a new 225-member Transitional National Assembly. As soon as the new charter was read aloud, the conference crowd erupted into jubilant cheers, belting out excited strains of the national anthem. But joyful optimism alone can't make an agreement stick.

Armament and the new Cold War



The Weekly Defense Monitor
- from Center for Defense Information (CDI). Short informative analyses of e.g. the Ballistic Missile debate, why the Feira EU meeting took EU militarization a further step and spells problems with NATO and the US, on child soldiers and on peacekeeping and rogue states. And read
all about the National Missile Defence there, too.

China Daily's special feature on Putin's visit to China
Full of interesting links, documents - and their agreement to oppose the US Star War project.

Britain still selling arms to violatros in world hotspots
Two of the biggest buyers of British arms are Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, both with poor human rights records. The two account for 25% of British arms sales. Meanwhile it emerged on Monday that the Government broke its own and the European Union's arms sales rules by granting seven licences for the sale of Hawk aircraft spares to Zimbabwe in February...

Vietnam wants Clinton but not his missile plans
Vietnam's foreign minister praised President Clinton Sunday and said he was welcome to make a historic visit to the country, but added that Hanoi opposed Washington's missile defense plans. Nguyen Dy Nien told a news conference after returning from meetings on regional security and other issues in Bangkok that Clinton had made ``great efforts'' toward normalization of relations between the former Vietnam War enemies.

Russia targets Norwegian radar allegedly being part of the US "Starwars" project
The controversial Vardo X-band radar site in Norway has been targeted by Russian nuclear missiles, Norwegian press reported this week, quoting Russian sources. Moscow has previously alleged that the radar is a part of the U.S.-proposed national missile defense (NMD) system, and as such violates the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. In response, Norway's Defense Minister Sigur Frisvold suggested that Norway be included in a U.S. missile defense program, ostensibly to protect against threats from "terrorist nations." However, the timing of the request a day after the Russian threat to target Vardo with nuclear missiles makes it abundantly clear that Norway desires protection from a possible Russian nuclear strike against the Vardo radar.

Globalization - imperialism

The debt trap
Billions of people in the world's poorest countries are held captive by debts that can never be repaid. Year after year their governments struggle to pay back millions of pounds - with little hope of ever clearing their debts. See what the world development movement does to help solve the debt problem.

The G8 Okuinawa Summit Watch
Last year, almost one million people took to the streets to demand debt cancellation. Their actions ranged from a massive rally in London, from human chains in Lima and Kampala, to church services and public meetings throughout Canada. This year those people are ready to show their anger at the failure of the G7 leaders to live up to their promises on debt. In the countdown to the summit of the G7 leaders in Okinawa on July 21-23, more people than ever around the world will be holding events to tell the world's leaders about their concern and anger that the richest nations are still taking money from the poorest people.

The Japan Times Summit Watch
All aspects, government and NGO, speeches etc - including President Clinton's in which he made no promises to reduce the extremely heavy military presence on Okinawa. Also many links that will give you the immensely interesting history of Okinawa.

Nigeria's leader Obasanjo frustrated with G8 inaction
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed frustration Thursday over the lack of concrete action by the Group of Eight major nations to cancel the debts of developing countries. "We are satisfied with the words that are coming from them (the G-8 leaders)," Obasanjo told a news conference in Tokyo after the first-ever meeting between the G-8 leaders and leaders from developing countries. "But . . . what we want to make sure happens is that those words are matched by action." Obasanjo was speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 nations, a U.N. lobbying group of 133 nations that he currently heads. Apart from Obasanjo, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and Algerian President Abdelaziz Boutef met with the G-8 leaders and their proxies.


The Balkans and Kosovo/a - and Corsica....

The US weighs strategy to get rid of Milosevic
US officials would consider supporting a shadow government in Serbia in one of the latest scenarios to oust Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. In theory, a shadow government could try to convene a legislative council and provide some public services. It could be funded by the West. But winning public support for the idea would hinge on the anti-Milosevic opposition doing well in coming elections.

Kosovo - NATO's occupation and reign of terror
"This "new" Kosovo is the face of what Noam Chomsky has termed the "new military humanism". Wasn't the world told by President Clinton that the bombing and occupation of Kosovo were about stopping ethnic cleansing? The terror there today is carried out not under the watch of Slobodan Milosevic, but that of the US and its European allies. Every child that is gunned down, every person that is expelled, every church that is blown up, is a cry for an end to NATO's "humanitarian interventions" - writes Jeremy Scahill is a reporter for Pacifica Radio's
Democracy Now!

Compare French policies in Corsica with Yugoslavia's in Kosovo
In a risky move to end nearly a quarter century of nationalist violence, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin announced an agreement that is already ricocheting through Europe's other independence-minded enclaves - further weakening European nation-states. Some, led by Interior Minister Mr. Chevènement, say the reforms will lead to the end of the French state as it now exists and say Corsica is about the worst place imaginable to carry out such an experiment. In short, the Corsicans are about to get what the Albanians got in 1974...

Voice of Russia on Kosovo
The Russian agency's stories and comments day by day since NATO's bombs started falling.

Justice - a foreign term in Kosovo
The day after one of Kosovo's first war-crimes trials has begun, Judge Christer Karphammar feels close to quitting, and not for the first time. Mr. Karphammar, a dapper Swede, is one of six foreign judges brought to Kosovo to help restore confidence in a judicial system that has floundered since the province of Serbia came under United Nations administration a year ago, following 11 weeks of NATO bombing.


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

Reporting the Peace Journalism War
How to cover the complexities of conflict better - by Jake Lynch. See also his much longer analysis on
TFF's website.

The media's own Kosovo crisis
The new possibilities suggested by the Internet point up the sclerosis of the old system. Even the most well-staffed newspapers seem unable to respond quickly enough to the regional crises that flare so often in the world today. The problem is not new. Back in the late seventies, for instance, when Central America erupted in revolution, few papers had correspondents in the region; most had to scramble even to find someone who spoke Spanish. Going back further, the war in Vietnam was initially entrusted to young, unseasoned correspondents plopped down in an alien and complex world. The Halberstams and Sheehans eventually became quite adept, but not before the Unite States had a massive ground force in the country.

Visit John Pilger's website
A fascinating site with texts and interactive materials on Vietnam, East Timor, Burma, Iraq, the media and forums. And you can talk to Pilger on July 31...


The US as a world order problem

The U.S. Military Online
A Directory for Internet Access to the Department of Defense
William Arkin's guide about which he says: The U.S. Military Online is not a how-to guide about accessing or using the Internet nor an exhaustive listing of its resources.  It is instead a decoding of the U.S. military and its information assets as represented by the websites of the hundreds of bases, commands and activities, presented, it is hoped, in easily accessible form--by organization, subject matter, and geographic location.  Because I believe that the Internet does not spell the end of the printed word, a variety of means are presented for contacting military establishments, whether by good old-fashioned telephone and postal service, or via E-mail.  The Guide is thus also a general directory of the U.S. military that will be useful to any scholarly researcher, journalist, librarian, or active citizen hoping to make heads or tails of America's most influential institution.

Drug Control Or Biowarfare Against Colombia?
President Clinton signed a $1.6 billion military aid bill for Colombia, allegedly to be used in the so called war on drugs. This aid package comes at a time when numerous massacres committed by forces linked to the U.S.-backed Colombian military, are being uncovered. It's interesting that The New York Times ran a front page article on one of these massacres that took place in February. The piece ran a day after Clinton signed the aid package.

Human rights and military aid for Columbia
The US government professes to struggle for human rights and practises its own version of humanitarian inteervention in Columbia. On Tuesday, June 20th, the U.S. Senate voted by a margin of 89 to 11 to reject an amendment from Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone that would have removed $225 million of military aid for Colombia and redirected that money toward drug treatment and prevention programs in the United States.  Later the Senate voted 79 to 19 to  reject an amendment from Washington Senator Slade Gorton that would have reduced the Colombia package from $1 billion to $200 million.  The lopsided votes against these amendments clearly demonstrated that the majority of Senators in both parties had decided to back massive military aid. 

Ever heard of Vieques?
Well, Okinawa hosts US military facilities. So does Vieques - and the locals don't like it.

The US Congress' unrequested spending for Pentagon: 3,7 billion US$ !!
As part of its work on the Fiscal Year 2001 budget, Congress funded a number of military programs not included in the Clinton Administration's request for the Pentagon. Here you find a partial list of programs added by either the House or Senate and approved by Congress as part of the Fiscal Year 2001 Appropriations Act for which the Pentagon had not requested funding.

Scott Ritter back in Baghdad - the US doesn't like THAT
Former U.N. arms inspector Scott Ritter, once accused by Iraq of spying for the United States, returned on Saturday to film a documentary about weapons sites and the impact of U.N. sanctions, an Iraqi official said. ``Ritter arrived in Iraq to film a documentary on the impact of the unjust embargo on the Iraqi people and (show) that Iraq has no more weapons of mass destruction,'' Hussam Mohammed Amin, head of the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate, told Reuters.

Bush's running mate, Cheney, is a hawk who believes in military solutions
Jonathan Steele's excellent analysis of the views, predictions and policies we can expect from Dick Cheney - a man behind the "Son of Star War," NATO's expansion and much else.

Time to see the truth about ourselves in Iraq
"All of us that live in the silent democracies are responsible for sustained genocide in Iraq. Today the prime minister, Tony Blair, is on the defensive on a range of largely domestic issues. He does not appear to be on the defensive over genocide. His unending endorsement of the Clinton/Albright programme for killing the children of Iraq is seldom mentioned. Have decision-makers learned nothing from the Pinochet humiliation? Or do they still feel immune under international law for crimes against humanity?" - asks Dennis Haliday in The Guardian.


Humanism, human rights and "humanitarian" intervention

The WHO World Health Report
- aims to stimulate a vigorous debate about better ways of measuring health system performance and thus finding a successful new direction for health systems to follow. By shedding new light on what makes health systems behave in certain ways, WHO also hopes to help policy-makers weigh the many complex issues involved, examine their options, and make wise choices.

Death Watch - the belated global response to AIDS in Africa
Ten years ago Interagency Intelligence Memorandum 91-10005, distributed in classified channels the following July, foretold one of the deadliest calamities in human experience. Titled simply, "The Global AIDS Disaster," the report projected 45 million infections by 2000--inexorably fatal, the great majority in Africa. The number beggared comparison. There were not that many combatants killed in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Read the document about the institution we ought to have instead of the Hague Tribunal.

Europe's gypises lobby for status as non-territorial nation
The main body representing Europe's 12m Gypsies wants the Roma people to be given recognition as a non-territorial nation, and says it will back this up with its own "floating" parliament and embassies in various countries. It is the first time that the International Union Romani has made such a demand for international recognition since it was founded in London three decades ago.

Gandhi Today reminds us about the plight of the Iraqi people the last 10 years
A fine site where you can also acquaint yourself with many aspects of the Iraqi situation and support IFOR's Campaign of Conscience for the Iraqi People.

What is the UN Secretary-General really saying?
Recent events in Sierra Leone's and the Congo, have persuaded him that ''the time has come for us to base our planning on worst-case scenarios: to be surprised by cooperation, if we get it. And to go in prepared for all eventualities, including full combat, if we don't.'' This would be a major philosophical turn for a political body built on good intentions, not on coercive power. But Mr. Annan says the UN peacekeeper will become an endangered species if the transformation does not come - weites Jim Hoagland in International Herald Tribune, August 3, 2000.


World future, sustainability and strategy


The communication initiative
A site to improve strategic communication thinking on development issues. Search for Programmes, Impact Data, Communication Trends, Interviews, Planning Models, Change Theories, Consultant Info, Strategic Thinking, etc. Search The Communication Initiative site or this site PLUS many other sites - all in one process!

Chomsky on unsustainable nondevelopment
"In fact, if you look across the board, what's being instituted is a regime which will prevent the kind of development that has taken place in the countries that today are rich, industrial countries&emdash;not the best kind of development we can imagine, to be sure, but at least development of a sort. If you go back from England to the United States, to Germany, France, Japan, Korea--every one of these countries developed by radically violating the principles that are now being built into the World Trade Organization. These principles are methods of undermining growth and development and ensuring concentration of power."

Digital divide deepens rich-poor gap
South Asia has emerged as the most promising region for sourcing information technology (IT) expertise, but this is an achievement that is of use only to the rich nations, say critics. The so-called digital divide between industrialised and developing nations is being replicated within the region, widening the already big gulf between the majority poor and an English language-speaking, Internet-savvy elite, they point out. On average, less than one out of every 10 of the 1.3 billion people in the subcontinent have access to computers and only a small fraction of these use the Internet.

Coalition says global compact threatens UN mission and integrity
An international coalition of human rights and environmental groups denounced a new UN-corporate collaboration as "threatening the mission and integrity of the United Nations." The coalition sent a letter to Secretary General Kofi Annan today urging him to re-evaluate his partnership with the private sector. The letter was released as the top executives of some of the world's most powerful (and destructive) corporations prepared to converge on the UN for the first Global Compact partners meeting.



WIRE Editor

Jan Oberg with TFF Associates


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