The Transnational W I R E

Links to Facts & Views, November 26, 1999


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.



Nonviolence - forgiveness

We must learn from touching human stories about the will to abandon hate.
The road to forgiveness
In South Africa's Western Cape there is a rapidly growing bakery with the unusual brand name: "Amy's bread - the bread of hope and peace." The local communities know its significance. Amy Biehl was a Fulbright Scholar who was murdered in the Western Cape in the run-up to the 1994 elections. The bakery, run by the Amy Biehl Foundation, exists because her parents, Peter and Linda Biehl, from California, decided to walk the road of forgiveness. By Michael Henderson.

How actually did the old Cold War end - and what does it tell about the new emerging Cold War now?
How We Ended the Cold War
John Tirman reflects in The Nation. "The dominant view of the right and center is that military intimidation was the root of victory, a dangerous axiom then and just as foolish today and tomorrow. Second, the history demonstrates the ability of popular movements to effect change, a lesson that sharply diverges from the habits of historians and news media alike, which generally give far more attention to the actions of elites."


Failed peacebuilding in Kosovo

Here is an article on why things are going so wrong for the UN, KFOR etc. in Kosovo. Chaos and Intolerance Now Reign in Kosovo Despite U.N.'s Efforts
The United Nations' special representative on human rights in the former Yugoslavia, Jiri Dienstbier, a former Czech dissident and foreign minister, reported this month that "the spring ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians accompanied by murders, torture, looting and burning of houses has been replaced by the fall ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Romas, Bosniaks and other non-Albanians accompanied by the same atrocities." "Our problem," he continued, "is that now this is happening in the presence of UNMIK, KFOR and the O.S.C.E." The organizations behind those missions here -- the United Nations, NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe -- represent nations that for years criticized President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia for his harsh repression of Kosovo's Albanians. (New York Times).

What you don't hear about Kosovo
The Real Kosovo
"As two of the principal achievements of his brief tenure, Gen. Jackson cited "the successful demilitarization" of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and "the establishment of law and order." Sadly, none of what the general said is true. Today, Kosovo is in a state of near anarchy, and that's exactly the way the KLA wants it" - an analysis from the Cato Institute. "The whole thing is a very bad joke," explains a candid intelligence officer with the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). (The CATO Institute)

TFF PressInfos have been skeptical about the international handling of Kosovo all the time. Here is an analysis from The Daily Telegraph in London - even more devastating
UN squanders Nato's victory
The United Nations mission in Kosovo, responsible for setting up and running the civil administration in the war-ravaged province, has become bogged down by bureaucracy and incompetence and almost all its major projects are far behind schedule.  

What is really happening in Orahovac?
Serbs and Gypsies feel trapped
They have a single idea on their minds -- to leave the province and seek shelter somewhere in Serbia. More than 3,000 Serbs and Gypsies, the remnants of some 12,000 who lived in the area alongside about 38,000 ethnic Albanians, say they "are prisoners in Orahovac," and that they are unable to flee.

So, why does the United States build the biggest military base since Vietnam in Kosovo?
Camp Bondsteel - Clinton's visit
The camp President Bill Clinton visited in Kosovo is Brobdingnagian in scale: It's the equivalent of 775 football fields or about 1,000 city blocks. Big enough to raise questions about its continuing strategic value in Balkan geopolitics There could be many reasons. Read some of them - and those which Western diplomats deny, too.

Here is another article on the failure-in-the-making of the international community's 'peace' efforts in Kosovo. They could win the war and finance it. It seems they can't win the peace - as they don't finance it:
Kosovo--and U.N.--Flail in the Dark
But the power failures are also symbolic of the United Nations' inability in the past five months to overcome some of the most basic problems that have beset Kosovo's citizens since the conflict broke out among Yugoslav government forces, ethnic Albanian rebels and NATO air power enforcing a Western demand that Yugoslavia withdraw its troops. Only a fraction of the estimated 125,000 homes damaged in the conflict have been rebuilt even partially by aid worker (Washington Post).

And here is a third article on the Kosovo peace quagmire. What nobody seems to want to say is this: if you ignore violence-prevention and destroy one side to make peace, peacebuilding on the ground afterwards will have no chance to succeed. What could be more pathetic than President Clinton appealing to the Albanians to forgive and practice co-existence when their more or less legal leaders - that the West have supported - have already seen to it that Kosovo/a is virtually ethnically homogenous?
Dreams fade as it gets cold in Kosovo
Could it be that there will be no real civil society? (Boston Globe).

And a fourth...also from the American press. They all tell you that it is all the fault of the UN. How come that 234.000 non-Albanians, according to the UNHCR, could be forced out or chose to leave under the eyes of 45.000 heavily armed soldiers?
Kosovo still short of governance and human rights
Five months after the mission began, not one of the hundreds of criminals who have been arrested has been brought to trial, authorities concede. And Albanian analysts say that organized crime is on the rise and a mood of anarchy has fostered a rising tide of what they refer to as "Albanian fascism." A senior U.S. official back from a trip to the province last week said he was "extremely disappointed" with the inability of the U.N. mission to get a handle on its mandate to improve stability and protect minorities. A senior analyst for the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch went further, saying the United Nations' stated efforts to create a multiethnic Kosovo are already headed for complete failure. "The key moment was in the first months of the international mission, but that [opportunity] has passed," said Freddy Abrams, a Human Rights Watch official who is now visiting Pristina to assess the situation. (Washington Times).

And more...
Loose ends in Kosovo vex the United States
Experts question the whole operation in this analyses in the Christian Science Monitor
This newspaper also helps you to
Navigate through Kosovo's chaos
Five months after NATO air strikes halted Serbian "ethnic cleansing," the place is a mess. Still legally the southern province of Yugoslavia, it is now a UN protectorate. But it's wracked with violent crime, lawlessness, and revenge killings of Serbs, plagued with daily power and water outages, and saddled with 70 percent unemployment. A tour of the province also reveals a landscape scarred with mass graves and land mines, and littered with burned homes and businesses.

Refugees - a rapidly growing population: suffering through the winter because big powers ravage their region, destroy for billions but can't find the money to what is a real humanitarian need: helping them through the coming winter.
For 700,000 Europeans, Winter's Dreaded Misery Arrives
- a front pages heading on International Herald Tribune...a forgotten 'European' group is, of course, the refugees hosted by Yugoslavia, some 900.000, just mentioned at the end...

The Independent's Robert Fisk also returned recently to Kosovo
The Reckoning
Fisk studies the issue of killing and massacres in Kosovo. (The Independent)


Globalisation & WTO

Seattle - World Trade Organization - do you want to know a lot which you didn't see in your local newspaper?
Here are the Last Updates from the fantastic OneWorld megasite
All the links, all the critical analyses - and read TFF adviser Jonathan Power's columns under Forum on this site...


Turkey's increasing importance

Here is an innovative, thought-provoking analysis of Turkey's strategic role
Replotting the Eastern Hemisphere's Pivot  
Draw a circle with a thousand-mile radius around Ankara, Turkey. That circle is the pivot of the Eastern Hemisphere. It is the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, and the place where empires are made and broken. What would be minor elsewhere can be of enormous significance within this pivotal circle. During the 1980s, ancient feuds between tiny Lebanese clans had global significance. Today, hatreds in Kosovo trigger major powers to massive exertion. Following the retreat of the Russian empire, the area of significant instability has shifted to the west and north of Turkey. The Golan Heights has become globally insignificant. The futures of Grozny and Sarajevo have become vital. Understanding this is the key to policy making today. From Stratfor - again!

If the West is concerned about human rights in Turkey where the OSCE just met, who helped Turkey to get all the weapons?
US Arms for Turkey's Abuses of Human Rights
To date, Turkey's 15-year war against the PKK has claimed over 30,000 lives, displaced 2 million people, and destroyed 3,000 Kurdish villages - with the help of U.S. supplied armored personnel carriers, fighter planes, and attack helicopters, according to Human Rights Watch.
On his way to a major international summit in Istanbul this week, President Clinton stopped off on Monday to tut-tut the Turkish parliament over its country's dismal human rights record and ongoing repression of its Kurdish minority. Apparently, it slipped his mind that the number one source of weapons for Turkey's overzealous security forces is the U.S. itself. (Mother Jones).


Media in war and peace

These facts about the Global Media Moguls should make us ask: Who decides what we shall know and how - and what we shall NOT know...
The New Global Media, the ever increasing media concentration
Who are the media moguls? Who owns the news bureaus, who owns the movies and the music?

Kofi Annan advocates preventive journalism
U.N. explores how TV could further peace, development
The United Nations brought together hundreds of television and broadcast experts for a two-day conference starting yesterday to discuss ways that television can bring peace and development to the world, saying the media can be a galvanizing force for change.

The media aspects of the Kosovo crisis deserves attention
Serb ministry of truth study artful lies of war
Robert Fisk of The Independent, one of the hardest critics of NATO's bombing policy discusses the failure of Yugoslavia's media strategy. (The Independent)  


Militarism versus development

But they do have money for nuclear weapons, arms races and war...
India's malnutrition crisis
The World Bank report "Wasting Away - The Crisis of Malnutrition in India" blames poverty and low status of women for some of its most shocking statistics - half of all India's children under four are malnourished, it says, and 60% of women are anemic.



WIRE Editor

Jan Oberg with TFF Associates













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