The Transnational W I R E
# 21

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August 15, 2000


Peace & nonviolence & other good thoughts


The Millennium World Peace Summit at the UN
Visit the official website of this historical gathering of leaders from all religions coming together to strengthen the work for peace, and the United Nations' role in it.

Canada - a foreign policy with some hope for the future?
The diamonds issue is another sparkling example of Canadian diplomatic triumph in recent years as the end of the cold war has, in the words of one analyst, "opened a diplomatic space for Canada" to operate more independently of the United States. It's a trend that's been particularly apparent under the current minister of foreign affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, who has been willing to pursue global consensus on initiatives such as the land-mine ban, the International Criminal Court, and nuclear disarmament without having the US "on side." (Christian Science Monitor, Aug 7, 2000).


Armament and the new Cold War



Cluster bombs, the hidden toll
Landmine campaigners accuse Nato of suppressing evidence casting doubt on weapon's effectiveness. The number of civilians prey to unexploded cluster bombs is significantly higher than admitted by governments, including the British, which have consistently suppressed evidence about the weapon's military effectiveness, according to a devastating report published today. (The Guardian).

Missile warning to the United States
A decision by the United States to proceed with its controversial national missile defence system (NMD) could trigger a huge build-up of nuclear arms by China and Russia and increase nuclear proliferation on the Indian subcontinent, intelligence chiefs have warned President Clinton.A still-classified report reiterates that North Korea could threaten the US with a ballistic missile attack within a few years - the ostensible original reason for the development of NMD. But it paints a dramatic picture of the worldwide consequences as other nuclear and would-be nuclear powers respond to fresh US missile deployments. (The Guardian).


Globalization - imperialism


Paving the way to a new world order: let us globalize the struggle
Final resolution from the Geneva 2000 Alternative Summit. "We have adopted the following declaration, which we invite all social movements, trade unions, NGOs, groups and associations who are engaged in the strufggle against neo-liberal, sexist globalization to sign. In this way we aim to globalize our struggle and together pave the way to a New World." (Focusweb)

Special on debt
Debtspeak, the dictatorship of debts, the facts and the social consequences of debt worldwide. Also, read TFF associate, Michel Chossudovsky's short analysis of Vietnam's fate under globalization. The New Internationalists superb special issue from May 1999. What did the rich do since then?

Poverty & globalization
Vandana Shiva's Reith 2000 lecture (BBC).

The United Nations signs up with big business
The companies have agreed to join the U.N. Global Compact, vowing to eliminate child labor, to protect human rights and even to honor the ability of workers to unionize. Once a year on a special U.N. Web site, they must publicize how they have succeeded in applying the nine U.N. principles of good international behavior. Worried about free-market expansion trampling on human rights, especially in developing countries, Annan said he was spurred to act by the disturbances at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle. "What we must do instead is to ensure that the global market is embedded in broadly shared values and practices that reflect global social needs," Annan said. (CNN).

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

NATO in Kosovo - in bed with a scorpion
So NATO is left with only one realistic option -- it must militarily face down the KLA to stop the rearmament process and in turn shut down the drug trafficking that is not just affecting Kosovo, but all of Europe. NATO, the saviour, may be forced to become the oppressor in Kosovo - writes Sunil Ram in Globe & Mail.

"Democratic" elections in Kosovo instigate ever more violence among Albanians
While media attention has focused largely on violence between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo, UN police reports show most violence is committed by Albanians against other Albanians, who make up 90 percent of the population. The attacks and intimidation threaten to mar what Western officials hope will be the next big step toward democratic self-rule in Kosovo - writes the Christian Science Monitor.

Nigeria - a mediator between Yugoslavia and the West?
The government in Abuja now appears to be auditioning for another role: that of mediator. Opening ties with Milosevic can improve Nigeria's international standing and boost leverage with international and foreign lenders. In Yugoslavia, the United States finds itself in an uncompromising position. Unable to simply withdraw from the Balkans, the United States has begun to seek an acceptable exit strategy. Meanwhile, Washington's declared enemy, Milosevic, remains securely in power.

Montenegro, Milosevic - and the arrest of Westerners
According to reports in the British Sunday Times and Independent newspapers members of the British Special Air Service, SAS, were operating in the republic around six months ago to "protect and evacuate British citizens in case of unrest." An official who works for the Montenegro security services said, however, no SAS members were in the country at the moment. But he did not rule out the possibility such people had operated in the country in the past or could return in the future. (IWPR)

The New World Order
Rebecca Sumner summarizes the implications of NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia (London Daily).

Milosevic mocks NATO and reveals the West's utter confusion
Serbian opposition leaders failed to convince Montenegrin officials Aug. 2 to end their boycott of the upcoming Yugoslav presidential poll. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, by calling early &endash; and democratic &endash; elections, has challenged NATO and the United Nations on several levels, without deploying a single soldier. His goals &endash; to stress the already tense relationships among NATO members while publicly illustrating the failure of the Kosovo mission &endash; are not out of reach. (Stratfor).

Where are all the bodies buried?
Just before the end of the air campaign, British Foreign Office Minister Geoff Hoon said that "in more than 100 massacres" some 10,000 ethnic Albanians had been killed (averaging 100 victims per massacre). Though substantially reduced from the 100,000 to 500,000 bandied about by U.S. officials, this was still a considerable number. A day or two after the bombings stopped, the Associated Press, echoing Hoon, reported that 10,000 Albanians had been killed by the Serbs. No explanation was offered as to how this figure was arrived at... (Michael Parenti in Z Magazine).

Chomsky on Kosovo
Two articles by Noam Chomsky, from April and May - worth reading while the global media are silent on the whole issue...
Part 2 also from Z Magasine.

New presidential candidate in Yugoslavia
Fifteen Serbian opposition parties yesterday chose the nationalist leader of the Democratic party of Serbia as their candidate to run in September against the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic. (The Guardian).


What was the truth then, what is it today? The media...

The NATO-Media lie machine
NATO's "humanitarian" enterprise in Kosovo was built on a structure of lies, many of them flowing from NATO headquarters and officials of the NATO powers, and uncritically passed along by the mainstream media of the NATO countries. One of the great ironies of Operation Allied Force, NATO's brief 1999 war against Serbia, was that Yugoslavia's broadcasting facilities were bombed by NATO on the claim that they were a "lie machine" serving the Yugoslav apparatus of war. This was contrasted with the NATO media, which in the view of NATO officials, and in that of media personnel as well, were "objective" and provided what Richard Holbrooke described as "exemplary" coverage. (Writes Edward Herman & David Peterson in Z Magazine)..

A peacemaker who was in fact a peacewrecker - what about today's peacemakers?
On the eve of his election in 1968, Richard Nixon secretly conspired with the South Vietnamese government to wreck all-party Vietnam peace talks as part of a deliberate effort to prolong a conflict in which more than 20,000 Americans were still to die, along with tens of thousands of Vietnamese and Cambodians. (The Guardian)



The US as a world order problem


The Guardian's US presidential campaign special report
On money-money-money and the Buchanan and Nader campaigns.

Iraq under siege - book recommendation
In this groundbreaking new book, leading voices in the struggle to save Iraq show how the willful blindness of lawmakers in the world's most powerful country has led to the social and environmental devastation of an entire country (Plough).

UN Atomic Agency, IAEA, threatened by financial crisis - US not paying on time
The U.N. agency responsible for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons is facing a financial crisis and may soon have to cease key operations because the United States and other countries refuse to pay their bills on time, according to senior diplomats (Washington Post).

Lost nuclear bomb back to haunt Clinton on BMD
The story about the greenland bomb that has suddenly surfaced. The Guardian: "The US secretly stored about 12,000 nuclear weapons in 18 countries and nine territories at the height of the cold war, including several that forbade the practice, including Japan, Taiwan and Greenland." (The Guardian)


Humanism, human rights and "humanitarian" intervention


Soldiers in the name of human rights
Amnesty International's S-G, Pierre Sané's thoughtful analysis and arguments. It's the foreword in this year's Amnesty Report and one of the best articles written on the pros and cons of humanitarian intervention.

Interventionism reconsidered: reconciling military action with political stability
A very different approach from Sané's - but offers a "defensive" concept and a plea for the cretion of a UN Legion. By Lutz Unterseher.

World future, alternative economics and sustainability


General  Agreement on a New Economy (GANE)
"If you know that something is wrong with how the economy is working today but you don't hear politicians talking any sense about what should be done, we invite you to stay and browse our website. You may be asking some of the same questions we are and you may like some of our ideas. While we suggest some new directions, we believe the answers should come out of a broad public dialogue. We invite your thoughts."

Women's perspectives
Statement by Peggy Antrobus, DAWN (Development Alternatives of Women for a New Era) about the role and perceptions of women - women everywhere - vis-a-vis globalization. (Third World Network).

Inequality in Latin America worsens - but some have a better profile
According to a new study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 224 million people in the region are living in poverty. The study attributes increased social inequality in the region to disparate productivity and income levels between the minority large, modern companies and the informal sector which provides most of the employment. - The countries showing the greatest progress in reducing poverty are those that have managed to reconcile relatively fast growth rates over several years with reduced unemployment and high employment rates for people from poorer families. (South-North Developmetn Monitor).

- and next time you eat shrimps...
Environmental groups at an international gathering here have called for global action to halt the expansion of shrimp farming, blamed for the destruction of local mangrove ecosystems in tropical coastal regions. (Third World Network).



WIRE Editor

Jan Oberg with TFF Associates


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