Table of Contents
This is the way
Message from the Editor
Message from the President of Earth Government, the Federation of Global Governments
History of the Global Community organization, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments
The Global Community days of celebration or remembering during the year
A reminder of her passing away. Virginie was a great global citizen, and we all owe her something that's forever.
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Global Dialogue 2010 Introduction
Global Dialogue 2010 Program
Global Dialogue 2010 OVERVIEW of the process
Global Dialogue 2010 Call for Papers
Addendum to the paper published in our January 2010 Newsletter
The worst kind of planarchists are NATO nations
by Germain Dufour
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
December 20, 2009
The above image titled "Obama’s world tepee (tea p.) and The Little Red Riding Hood
" is part of the addendum to the paper published in January 2010.
The paper itself gives a more detailed description of the imagery work.
Let us define further the different components of the imagery.
The Obama figure standing up
Obama is truly a representation of America today and NATO friends wanting to defend an old way of doing things, 20th century thinking, but knowing this will not get them anywhere. The people of those nations
have the stomach of a 'black hole' where everything on Earth is absorbed anb consumed without rules but those of the gun and fear. Obama is pointing out his own public face, a truly friendly face, a person able to
make believe 'change' is possible that would make everything right in the world. But that was shown to be a lie during the
Copenhagen Summit on Climat Change. Humanity itself was part of the lie. Humanity has lost track of what is the most practical thing to do to save life on our planet.
Several decades ago, similar self-destructive activities on the part of humanity gave rise to the Global Community, the Earth revolutionaries.
Obama wearing a NATO uniform
NATO wants to be the gun for the corporate wealthy but eventually will absorbe itself and died out in its own 'wasteland'.
The Little Red Riding Hood
People of most nations no longer trust America for anything. America is doomed to nothingness and will be absorbed by its own 'black hole', its 'wasteland'.
United Nations diplomatic suite
The United Nations (UN) is the global suite with no justice where everyone can go unpunished and get a Nobel Peace Prize. The more destruction you do the bigger the prize. America and its NATO friends got
the biggest prize of all. The UN should never be promoting war as a solution to
world problems. That alone is against global sustainability. Sustainability
means no war. War is the greatest act of destruction. There is no worst
action than war. The UN is promoting a culture of violence and war, and
certainly that goes against global sustainability and Global Peace. That
is the worst thing the UN could ever do to humanity. It is totally opposite
to the Vision that the Global Community is promoting. And it is
totally insane! The leadership of the UN has failed to enforce
disarmement. All weapons of mass destruction should have been phased out
a long time ago. Why are the USA still holding the world hostage with its
40,000 nuclear war heads, and biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction?
What has the UN ever done to help the phasing out of WMDs? Now several
nations, including North Korea and Iran feel threatened just like everyone
else and will refuse to be invaded. They would rather take on the US. Russia
and China will also refuse to be invaded.
The Global Community is very concerned about the state
of the world today and the causes that brought up so much frictions and
wars between nations. Ever since WWII, the world has seen the rise of an invading world
power, the USA. The United Nations has never done anything
to stop the invasion. The UN leadership has been one of
a 'watcher', an observer. The UN watch the world go by, on the brink of
self-destruction and of being invaded, environmentally and militarily,
and do nothing. The United Nations, US Administration, World Bank and IMF are corrupted organizations and never to be trusted of anything. The Global Community
will never go along with these organizations.
The entire planet is in a state of low intensity civil
war. The ruling elite profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world.
Over several decades now, and in several press releases, the Global Community has made everyone aware of this critical situation, and how dangerous the US military
and NATO allies were actually bringing the social fabric of the world to a complete breakdown. The October Press Release made that very clear
and has caused a domino effect that started with NATO
not wanting to take the blame for the global financial crisis and forced the collapse of the financial bubbles in the stock market, the Wall Street financial crisis.
Americans are too proud of their
military to throw away the blame of their bankrupted economy, in large part onto their astronomically high military expenditures, which truly bankrupted America long before the financial crisis.
The financial crisis reflected fundamentally bad financial principles.
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Federation of Global Governments
We seek more symbiotical relationships with people and organizations
Note concerning personal info sent to us by email
We have now streamlined the participation process in the Global Dialogue
Authors of research papers and articles on global issues for this month
, Frida Berrigan
, MARIE DAVID C
, Guy CREQUIE
, Radha D’Souza
, Marty Goodman
, Greenpeace International, Arun Gupta
, Pavan Sukhdev
Sarah Anderson, Time to Tax the Financial Speculators
Frida Berrigan, America’s Global Weapons Monopoly
MARIE DAVID C , Toi l'ami, l'étranger, le frère
Guy CREQUIE, DROITS CITOYENS …….ET DEVOIRS DES ETATS !
Radha D’Souza, The Economics, Politics, And Ethics Of Non-Violence
Marty Goodman, The World Bank’s Role In Haiti
Greenpeace International, GUILTY! Japan's justice system "breached human rights of Greenpeace anti-whaling activists"
Arun Gupta, More Pain for Devastated Haiti: Under the Pretense of Disaster Relief, U.S. Running a Military Occupation
Scott Ritter The End Of Obama’s Vision Of A Nuke-Free World
Pavan Sukhdev, Putting A Value On Nature Could Set Scene For True Green Economy
Research papers and articles on global issues for this month
| Date sent
|| Theme or issue
| February 10, 2010
The Economics, Politics, And Ethics Of Non-Violence
by Radha D’Souza, Countercurrents.org
The devil’s advocate?
It was a bizarre spectacle, Karan Thapar interviewing Dr. Binayak Sen on CNN-IBN on Maoist violence in India. The subject of Maoist violence, more than any other at present, agitates the powers that be, including the media. The choreography of the debate follows a similar pattern. Invite a respectable person(s) for a “debate” on the issue of violence, lure them into believing they are invited because the media wants to present a contrary point of view; once there, corner the person, prevent them from making their point of view, heckle them if necessary, and somehow wring a statement, even if by slip of tongue, that can be bandied about as endorsement for the military offensive against the Maoists, as a moral justification for the so called “war on terror”. This desperation for moral endorsement from respected citizens like Dr. Sen, is itself evidence of the moral bankruptcy of the powers that be.
Dr. Sen tried, heroically, to make the point that one third of the people of India suffer from chronic malnutrition, that over 50% of the Adivasis and 60% of Dalits are bordering on starvation (dear readers, put these numbers in perspective by bearing in mind that India is one-sixth of humanity), that over 50% of India (1/12th of world population) is undernourished, and that state policies that create and sustain the conditions for this mass starvation fall within the definition of “genocide” in international law. One would have thought that the enormity of what Dr. Sen was saying, and its implications for what we have become as a nation, made his point of view, at least, worth listening to. But no, Thapar had lured Dr. Sen into the platform to wring a public condemnation from him against Maoists, and he was determined to do that come what may. Half the nation may have turned into semi-starved ghosts, but we need to condemn Maoist violence, first and foremost, to feel morally good about ourselves; and it was Thapar’s job to make the nation feel they stood on high moral ground. Any competing ethics, or higher moral principle, would deflate the performance choreographed for the nation.
“I am not talking on behalf of the Maoists. I am talking from the point of view of a human rights worker”
Dr Sen said as he tried desperately to stand his ground. Again and again he tried to make the point about state violence.
“I will come to the state. I promise you and I will handle the state later but first I want to hear you clearly say that annihilation which is an acceptable and justified policy of the Maoists is one that you completely, totally condemn”
Karan Thapar persisted, literally putting words into Dr. Sen’s mouth. Note too his words “I”, Thapar, “want you to clearly say…” etc. Of course Thapar never came to the state as he promised, we knew he wouldn’t, there is only that much time allocated for a show, and that time was up. The show was never about hearing Dr. Sen’s point of view; it was a choreographed performance to corner a respected citizen into endorsing the moral justifications touted out for the state’s military offensive. Ironically the show was called the “Devil’s Advocate” –Karan Thapar, the Devil’s Advocate?
No, this is no time for humorous asides. Let’s turn to the moral outrage. Ethics is important, and moral awareness is the essence of being human. It is important we do not walk away from ethics, especially when there is a widespread perception among ordinary Indians that the nation has lost its moral compass. Thapar too is bound by ethics. Basic principles of media ethics require that an interviewee is given an opportunity to make his/her point of view clearly, that their views are not misrepresented, that there is no ulterior motive or collateral purpose, and to ensure that views of the interviewee are fairly represented. Thapar clearly breached rules of fairness and representation in media ethics. Paradoxically, there appears to be a correlation between the length of the code on media ethics in India and falling ethical standards in the media. When there were no codes we had a vibrant independent press. Over the years as scepticism about the media has grown so has the length of the code from one page in 1992 to 112 pages today (see Norms of Journalistic Conduct, Press Council of India, 1992, 1996, 2005, 2010). Let’s not judge this only through narrow legalistic lenses.
We are proud of the spiritual foundations of our society a tad bit more than others. In the Indian tradition, when we invite a guest we are required to show him/her due respect, and treat them with some indulgence. Amartaya Sen wrote about how we are an “argumentative society” and about how the ethos of public debate goes back a long time in our history. In a moving scene at the end of the Kurkshetra war (in the Mahabharata), the philosopher Charvaka publicly accused Krishna of bringing ruin upon the entire society by his actions. Everyone heard him out, including a subdued Krishna. Clearly Dr. Sen was Thapar’s athithi (guest). But Thapar was not going to let any Western legal principles of media ethics, any Indian codes of athithi dharma (codes of right conduct towards guests) or the glorious Indian cultural traditions of public debate to get in his way. Freedom of the press it appears is freedom from all constraints: legal, cultural, ethical. Are we surprised that so many ordinary Indians feel the nation has lost its moral anchor?
I have used this interview to exemplify how ethics gets confounded in the media and in public debate, but the point can be extended to all sorts of public debates in the Indian media today. If the job of the media is to inform and educate, that purpose is defeated either because viewers and readers are left bewildered as a result, or condemned to vitriolic mindlessness. The first is the basis for cynicism and the second, for fascism. This production of mindlessness requires closer scrutiny.
Institutional and individual violence
At the heart of the controversy over Maoist violence is an issue that is foundational to modern societies, an issue that Thapar went out of his way to ensure did not register in public minds: the difference between institutional and individual violence. Only human beings can make ethical judgments because only human beings have a psyche capable of moral differentiation. For that reason in criminal trials, for example, intention is decisive. Institutions are not human beings, they are literally “mindless”. Institutions are complexes of laws that structure society and allocate people their places within it. When an institutional system is founded on violence, violence becomes the necessary condition for the continued existence of those institutions, in other words, the institution cannot survive without violence, it becomes like the proverbial vampire that will die if it cannot suck blood. This type of violence is fundamentally different from individual and group violence. However brutal, or obnoxious, or vicious it may be, individual violence is still human violence, it involves the mind, rightly or wrongly, and it invariably invites contestation over ethics in society. Institutions founded on violence, on the other hand, will collapse if violence is taken away. Individuals in charge of institutions must, therefore, continue to engage in violence if they are to save the institution from collapse. Let me exemplify this.
In a controversial TV interview to 60 Minutes (5/12/96) Lesley Stahl the TV host, when questioning the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on U.S. sanctions against Iraq, asked her:
“We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Her reply was:
“I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”
This statement scandalised a large cross section of people in the United States and elsewhere. Imagine by some miracle if a total pacifist were to occupy the White House. It is estimated that sixty percent of the American economy is directly or indirectly dependent on defense. Corporate America: the Lockheeds, the Boeings, the Northrops, will collapse like a pack of cards, taking with them the thousands they employ. Most technological innovations of the West that invest their institutions with so much power and capabilities are the result of militarism. Even banal things like food packaging, gyms and exercise regimes, dietetics, aging research, are driven by militarism. The internet and the communication technologies were military innovations. The incorporation of civilian and military uses of technologies through dual-use policies makes the intermeshing of militarism and economy virtually inseparable. The entire society is organized in a “warlike way” to use Marx’s phrase. In such a military-industrial-finance-media complex waging war becomes a necessity for survival of those institutions. If Iraqi children die in their millions in the process, it is sad, but necessary. Albright was not wrong. She was speaking as Secretary of State for the US state and economy. Her only ethics, if there was one, was to save those institutions from collapse.
Our messiah of peace in the White House will have to reorganize life in America, bottoms-up, get people to plant potatoes and cabbages, run their own local communal power plants, dismantle the supermarkets and get them to preserve and cook their own food, and turn them into a community of people affiliated to land, instead of a community of interest groups affiliated to different types of market institutions. The messiah of peace will, without doubt, be branded a trouble maker, a revolutionary, a terrorist, even a Maoist perhaps, who knows. He will without doubt be liquidated before long. Only the people of America can undertake such a task, and that too only when they feel so committed to building a non-violent society that they are prepared for the sacrifices, and violence and bloodshed the task will necessarily invite.
The Indian armed forces are the fourth largest in the world. Unlike the United State, the Indian military has been used primarily against the Indian people: against Kashmiris, Nagas, Assamese, North-eastern peoples, Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, or… Maoists. This is a fundamental difference between capitalist nations like the US, and India. The Indian state must colonise its own people to remain affiliated to the military-industrial-finance-media complex that rules. Is the price worth it? The NDTVs and the CNN-IBN journalists are too terrified to pose this question to the ministers of the Indian state as Lesley Stahl did with Madlinene Albright. Understandably so. Colonising one’s own people is far more terrifying than colonising all those “out there” somewhere.
We in India are more fortunate, however, because our task of building a non-violent society is much less daunting. It is less daunting precisely because fifty percent of our people, at least, are already outside the formal, institutionalised, globalised, militarist political economy. Many more, such as the urban poor for example, are only marginally or loosely tied to it. Of course, that is also the reason why they are being slowly starved to death, or driven to commit suicide, as with the two hundred thousand farmers. Only a numerically small, but economically powerful section is tied to the political economy of violence, and they must defend it come what may.
The violence of individuals and political groups pales into insignificance in comparison. The nation faces its worst crisis ever as swathes of land is auctioned off to powers that be and people turned into cannon fodder for the military-industrial-finance-media complexes of vampire states. The Maoists are desperate to get the message across to a nation besotted with the vampire, and they do it using desperate means. Are we going to shoot the messenger because we do not like the message, or, ostrich-like, bury our heads in the sand because we do not want to know about the message?
The message will not go away because we do not like how the message is delivered. If anything it will feed the vampire institutions with more blood. This has nothing to do with our revulsions for the methods of the messengers. Remember, institutions do not feel? They have no psyche? The message and the desperate messengers are part of the same problem, the problem of the political economy of violence. Paradoxically, the institutions founded on violence, the military-industrial-finance-media complexes, are the ones that preach the ideology of non-violence in unequivocal terms; and those who advocate peace with justice end up advocating violence. How are we to understand this paradox? We cannot say it is because the institutions are hypocrites because, if institutions are mindless, they cannot be hypocrites.
Merchants, people of the land, and political violence
In his book The Great Transformation, written during the World Wars, a time when states and economic institutions were collapsing, as now, Karl Polanyi points out that during the hundred years between 1815-1914, for the first time in their histories, European powers did not go to war with one another (except minor forays) and he inquires into the reasons for this extraordinary century of non-violence. The reasons he argues was “haute finance” the emergence of financial institutions that
“functioned as the main link between the political and economic organization of the world”.
Let us not rush to the conclusion that there was global peace during that time. Polanyi adds:
“They were anything but pacifists; they made their fortune in the financing of wars; they were impervious to moral consideration; they had no objection to any number of minor, short, or localized wars. But their business would be impaired if a general war between the Great Powers should interfere with the monetary foundations of the system.”
For the merchants, just the right level of war is good because it allows for sale of weapons and provides access to markets; but too much war destroys trading systems. In the merchant’s world view non-violence is a way of limiting and containing wars. Modern capitalism projects the merchant’s world view as the human world view: violence in economy through usury, expropriation, whatever; and containment of violence in politics through ideology of non-violence. See how the UN writes PEACE in large bold letters in its Charter, but retains veto powers with the victorious Allies in the Security Council? When the Cold War ended the Euro-American states hailed it as new era of peace for the world. The Pentagon, however, spent many anxious hours trying to work out what a defence policy in the era of peace should look like. After much deliberation, it adopted the “two-wars” policy. If somehow wars to be limited to two at a time, America would just about manage to survive peace. We witnessed great euphoria about peace simultaneously with new forms of militarism. The Pentagon’s logic makes perfect sense, but only to those who subscribe to the merchants’ world view or “haute finance” as Polanyi calls it. The recipients of violence are not merchants however, they are “people-of-the-land”; and their ideas of violence and non-violence differ fundamentally from those of the merchants’.
The Maori word “whenua” means land/earth and umbilical cord, and whanau, derived from whenua, means biradri or extended family from common ancestry. For people of the land, land is the umbilical cord that ties them to this world. Cut it, and it is like a new born child thrown away from its mother; it means certain death. People-of-the-land have always defended their land, non-violently if possible, violently if necessary, because land is life itself. This is the case with indigenous peoples anywhere in the world, and our own Adivasis and Dalits are no exception. It is not surprising therefore that with the new round of aggressive “haute finance”, with liberalisation and globalisation, indigenous peoples everywhere have been at the forefront of defending the land. People-of-the-land throw the peace plans of merchants, the “two-war” strategies of “haute finance”, the “rights based approach to development” and such, into disarray. The Adivasis and Dalits tar the shine on “shining India”. See the fifth Afghan war? The mandated territories of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and many more that the League of Nations distributed to the Great Powers to keep the peace? Did the people-of-the-land quietly fade away with the years?
And what of our own people-of-the –land? First we said, don’t fight, after Independence you will be okay, then we said don’t fight we will give you special place in the Constitution, don’t fight we will give you land reforms, don’t fight we will give you jobs in the factories that we build on your land, and now we are saying, don’t fight, we will kill you non-violently, by slowly starving you to death. Are we prepared to be party to an economy founded on cheap labour and confiscated land? Are we going to allow our land and people to be auctioned in the global bazaars? Are we people-of-the land? Or, are we not?
Dear readers, I can see many of you pouncing on me at this point, wagging your fingers and saying to me: but the Maoists are not Adivasis and Dalits. I will concede the point to the sceptical reader; I will agree that we cannot conflate Maoists with Adivasis and Dalits. But I must insist that you answer my question: are you people-of-the-land? Are you a bystander who watches your people and land auctioned in global bazaars? Or, are you going to defend it by whatever means you are capable of? If India is auctioned off, all of us, without exception, lose the ground on which we stand rightfully. Are you going to leave the your fate to the Vedantas and Stanley Morgans, up today, down tomorrow; or the military-industrial-finance-media complexes always on the prowl hunting for “rogue states”, today Iraq, tomorrow Iran, the day after India?
Do you want to be counted as the people-of-the-land, or, are you happy to remain a citizen who wants to be allocated a place in the institutions of the political economy of violence? The urgency of this question drives many to take desperate steps. When we fail to answer this question unequivocally we create the political spaces for Maoism.
Is there a difference between citizens and people-of-the-land?
Civilisation, Nation-State, and Comprador State
The Indian subcontinent is home to an ancient civilisation, a fact that people of the subcontinent are conscious of. The problem with such an inheritance is that we have to live up to it. A civilisation defines its place in the world, provides the people with their conceptual resources, their languages, forms their relationship to their natural environments, and helps people to locate themselves in society and to make sense of the world they live in. Citizenship, in contrast, is a relationship of individuals to the state which is an institution, a constitutional order that oversees a range of economic and political institutions. Clearly, we have forfeited our claims to be a civilisation if we cannot create the conditions that sustain life for our people. Actually we are not even a nation-state properly speaking, because a nation state integrates all its citizens, even the poorest, and most discriminated, in its military-industrial-finance-media complexes, in its institutions, from dole queues to defence. Nation-states bludgeon other states to keep their “civil society” integrated into the state machine. Can you see Germany or Sweden launching Operation Green Hunt against their poor? The Indian state in contrast leaves out half if population from its institutions, it leaves them to fend for themselves, and it is on the prowl, always, to confiscate anything they may have: their land, resources, labour, and starves them to death. The other half, it leaves to the vagaries of global markets, pledges them to the military-industrial-financial-media complexes, the real nation states. Juridical recognition alone is not enough to be a state. We are a comprador state, a dalal state, which will collapse if we start getting fancy ideas about our place in the world.
This is the reason why we are unable to respond to the present crisis. The Maoist say: constitutionalism has failed our people, and we say, true it has failed, but what can we do, let us try once more. The Maoists say: India has become a violent society, forty percent of our parliamentarians have a track record of violence, our democratic political parties have their militias, we kill freely in the name of Ram, our army with its vast arsenal has waged war against our people for sixty-three years, and therefore, they say violence is the order of the day. We say: all this is true, but you Maoists should not be violent.
The Adivasis and the Dalits (see, I am not conflating them with Maoists) raise a more fundamental question about human life, one that touches a raw nerve in modern societies. They say land and labour can never become commodities. That human life can only be lived out on land in relation with nature; that land, labour and nature are necessary conditions for human life; that it is not possible to gouge out “The Economy” from society and cast it into different sets of institutions, insulate “The Economy” from people. Doing this is violence par excellence. Civil society displaces people from land, and promises them a place in market institutions: labour markets, consumer markets, property markets, whatever. That capitalism is made possible, and underpinned by colonisation of land and labour, nature and culture. What do we say to them? We say: all this is true but let us turn to the very colonial inheritances for our conceptual resources, for knowing our place in the world, for nurturing our land and people. We are unable to think beyond ideas of liberal democracy, economic and political rights, individualism and constitutionalism, and all the conceptual, philosophical, ethical, legal inheritances we have from our colonisers. Macaulay must be laughing in his grave.
India stands at historical crossroads at present. The challenge it faces is the task of real and actual decolonisation: of the mind, of the institutions, of the political economy for the first time since Columbus set sail on that unfortunate voyage five hundred years ago; a daunting task by any measure. India cannot meet this challenge by turning the clock back, for the cycle of time rotates without beginning or end.
The Cycle of Violence
Violence, no doubt, begets violence. We can all agree that the vicious cycle must be broken. But who should break the cycle? The case can be argued both ways: the state is violent therefore the Maoists are violent, or, the Maoists are violent therefore the state is violent.
To the best of my knowledge (and I am open to correction here) the Buddha was the first thinker to address this question directly. It is useful to recall the context in which he spoke about the cycle of violence and the onus of breaking it. He too lived in difficult times.
King Prasanjit, a follower of the Buddha, was attacked by Ajatasatru, a powerful king with expansionist ambitions. Ajatasatru mobilised a large army, defeated Prasanjit, confiscated his kingdom and took his people as slaves. Prasanjit fled and lived as a demoralised refugee, incognito. A merchant named Ananthapindika offered to finance Prasanjit and help him raise an army to regain his kingdom. Prasanjit took the merchant’s support, raised an army and defeated Ajatasatru. The defeated Ajatasatru pleaded with Prasanjit to end his life. Prasanjit took Ajatasatru, instead, to the Buddha instead and said: he attacked me, therefore I attacked him, but really I want nothing from him, I want to let him go. The Buddha agreed that Prasanjit was right in defeating Ajatasatru first, but equally, in wanting to free him, because the onus of breaking the cycle of violence is on the victor, the strong, and the more powerful. Note too, that Prasanjit does not see himself beholden to the merchant forever.
If we are to extend the analogy to our times, we must insist that the state, clearly the more powerful party, must cease its violence first, must stop displacement of people, stop forcible acquisition of land, stop unending suffering. Sadly, we live in a mindless modern state. If we could get the state to end violence we could stand on high moral ground and say to the Maoists what the Buddha said to Prasanjit and Ajatasatru: “Victory begets hatred; defeat begets suffering. They that are wise will forgo both victory and defeat. Insult is born of insult, anger of anger. They that are wise will forgo both victory and defeat. (The Life of Buddha, by A. Ferdinand Herold, tr. by Paul C Blum )
It is a hallmark of civilisation that the strong, the more powerful, the better armed are called upon to renounce it first. We are not a civilisation any longer, we cannot think for ourselves about the destiny of our people and society. We take our moral cues from heads of nation-states: “war on terror”, “axis of evil” and such. The Buddha said:
The Killer begets a killer;
One who conquers, a conqueror.
The abuser begets abuse,
The reviler, one who reviles.
Thus by the unfolding of karma,
The plunderer is plundered.
We witness before our eyes the “killer begetting a killer”, and the “unfolding” of the karma of the conquerors and abusers and revilers and plunderers. But we live in strange times of equality, liberal rights, and individual freedoms, and somehow these lenses do not help us to see the difference between abuser and abused, between plunderer and plundered, between cause and effect, the begetter and the begotten.
In 1873, when India faced famines, starvation deaths, disease, and political unrest, another medical professional someone we would call a human rights campaigner today was invited to speak on the situation in India. She told the gathering:
It is not, however, more enquiry that is most needed. Enquiry and investigation are the curse of India, as of any country where we do not act up to the light we have : where evils are investigated and re -investigated fifty times over, simply as an excuse for doing nothing. […]Under the permanent settlement the share of the produce of the soil left to the cultivator is often too little for health. A process of slow starvation may thus go on, which so enfeebles the great mass of the people, that when any epidemic sets in they are swept off wholesale. Land is let and sublet to a degree unknown anywhere else. […]Such is the relation between the State and the ‘ creatures of its own creation,’ the Zemindars.
What is the answer given by modern ‘financial policy ‘ or impolicy ? […] Is it not as though we said : It is ‘ unsound financial policy ‘ to live unless you have money in your stocking […]?Is it cheaper to let a man ‘ get dead ‘ than to feed him or house him, on borrowed capital ? […].But one must live in order to be a subject for sanitary considerations at all; and one must eat to live. If one is killed off by famine, one certainly need not fear fever or cholera. [ “Life Or Death In India” Paper read at the Meeting of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, Norwich, 1873 LONDON :Harrisons and Sons (1874)]
That health professional and campaigner was Florence Nightingale. Fortunately for Nightingale, there were no NDTVs and CNN-IBNs at that time and she was allowed to complete what she had come to say.
| February 11, 2010
The World Bank’s Role In Haiti
by Marty Goodman, Countercurrents.org
Beginning in the 1980s, the U.S.-led World Bank tightened its grip on Haitian economic policy. Essentially, it decided that the dysfunctional Haitian elite should encourage international investment in export-oriented assembly sweatshops. This was called a "structural adjustment program." Haiti’s trade tariffs on foreign goods were to be removed, public utilities privatized, and all state subsidies removed—including on essential items like gasoline, subject to sharp price fluctuations that can greatly increase transportation costs for workers and street vendors.
Assembling the goods, of course, would be the super-exploited Haitian worker, considered by World Bank experts to be Haiti’s greatest asset. The ideal was to make Haiti "the Taiwan of the Caribbean." Today, textile assembly plants produce 90% of exports.
There are about 20,000 assembly workers in Haiti. They make about 20 cents an hour, about 70 Haitian gourdes a day (40 gourdes equals around $1). A study by the Haitian government showed that a subsistence salary would be closer to 300-400g a day.
Despite heavy quake damage to assembly-plant buildings, Haitian workers in some plants have been ordered back to work. Said Laurance Merzy, 32, a worker at DKDR Haiti in Port au Prince, "The walls are still standing, but they are cracked. It is not safe in there." The New York Times reports that the Palm Apparel T-shirt factory in Carrefour, a few miles outside of the capital and at the epicenter of the quake, collapsed, killing at least 500 people.
An essential player in maintaining the plantation system in Haiti is Obama asset Bill Clinton, who, in addition to promoting tourism and sweatshops in Haiti, successfully campaigned for passage of the Hope I and Hope II trade bills. Hope I and II require yearly certification that Caribbean countries are complying with guidelines that mirror World Bank policies—that is, super-low wages that attract foreign investors.
Last summer, a struggle erupted for passage of a minimum-wage increase from 70g to 400g a day. Tens of thousands of workers took to the streets in August, but a massive deployment of UN troops blocked their entry to the assembly sector. In the end, Preval bowed to pressure from Bill Clinton to increase the minimum daily wage to 125g ($3) in 2009, which would rise to 200g ($5) in 2012. Assembly workers are exempt from the new wage levels and will only receive the 200 gourdes in 2012.
In reality, the initial 125 gourdes is worth less than half of the minimum wage that existed in 1980 under the U.S.-backed dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. Annual inflation in Haiti over the last decade was about 12-14%, although accurate figures are hard to come by.
Another key goal of the World Bank plan was to redirect food production away from satisfying the nutritional needs of Haitians to producing food for the export market. A 1982 document of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), a federal "aid" agency often linked to the CIA, proposed the "gradual but systematic removal" of domestic crops from 30% of all tilled land, whose products can then be exported.
The result was the massive migration of Haitian rural farmers and workers from the countryside, where most Haitians live, to already over-crowded urban centers like Port-au-Prince, where unemployment stood at 70-80% before the earthquake.
Rice, a staple of the Haitian diet, used to be produced in quantities that would satisfy domestic needs. However, World Bank economic policy meant dropping tariffs on imported goods. Within a few years, cheaper "Miami rice" flooded the Haitian market, resulting in the destruction of domestic rice farming.
In 2008, after a 45% jump in the price of Miami rice in two years, there were "food riots," as thousands poured into the streets in the capital shouting, "We’re hungry. Feed us!" Some described their hunger pains as "swallowing Clorox." UN troops killed about a dozen protesters throughout Haiti. The practice of eating mud laced with sugar is not uncommon in Haiti.
Keeping Haiti politically dependent on the World Bank and Western capital are loans from the World Bank and imperialist governments that come with political strings attached, as do the "structural adjustment" programs. Today, over 50% of the almost $1 billion Haitian budget originates from so-called foreign aid.
Foreign debt had multiplied 17.5 times between 1957 and 1986, the years of the Duvalier family dictatorship. In 2001, the yearly debt servicing alone was $321 million.
However, last June the WB, IMF, and Paris Club reduced the current debt by $1.2 billion out of $1.4 billion to make payments "bearable" as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative (HIPC), after years of delay. New loans will increase the debt again unless a genuine debt cancellation is enacted. In order to qualify for HIPC, however, Haiti had to be certified by imperialist institutions as being in compliance with World Bank/IMF policies of "structural adjustment," the privatization of public utilities, the elimination of tariffs on foreign goods, and the elimination of all price subsidies, etc.
A government study of the public phone company found that its annual revenues amounted to approximately $600 million, but as a result of privatization, this amount was lost to the Haitian people for schools, roads, and medical care—as well as debt repayment.
Although in the wake of the crisis there has been an international call to cancel Haiti’s debt, much of it having originated with dictatorships, Haiti is still on the hook for about $764 million to U.S.-dominated lending institutions, which constitute about 80% of all Haitian debt.
Activists in the Jubilee USA network and author Naomi Klein launched a campaign that pressured the World Bank’s International Monetary Fund into restructuring a recent $100 million loan into a no-interest loan, with the possibility that the IMF might decide that it does not have to be repaid at all.
What is needed is a powerful workers’ movement in Haiti that will challenge the entire system of vulture capitalism and imperialism and reconstruct Haiti under the democratic control of Haiti’s working masses. It would enforce the cancellation of all foreign debts. That would require building a revolutionary party and working for a socialist revolution in Haiti, and building a powerful solidarity movement in the U.S.
As the early 20th-century revolutionary leader Rosa Luxemburg put it, the choice faced by humanity is a choice between "socialism and barbarism."
(The author is a long-time Haiti solidarity activist and a member of the TWU in New York.)
| February 14, 2010
Putting A Value On Nature Could Set Scene For True Green Economy
by Pavan Sukhdev , Countercurrents.org
The living fabric of this planet - its ecosystems and biodiversity - are in rapid decline worldwide. This is visible and palpable and is variously due to commercial over-exploitation, or population pressures, or a raft of unhelpful policies, or some combination. At a very fundamental human level, however, it is due to the lack of awareness that there is a problem with human society being disconnected from nature.
Economics is blamed for much of our woes these days and credited with little so two questions need to be asked: is economics part of the problem of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss? And is it part of the solution?
The answer to the first question is a fairly obvious "yes". The economic invisibility of nature in our dominant economic model is both a symptom and a root cause of this problem. We value what we price, but nature's services - providing clean air, fresh water, soil fertility, flood prevention, drought control, climate stability, etc - are, mostly, not traded in any markets and not priced. These so-called "ecosystem services" are all "public goods" provided free. Our tendency to value private wealth creation over improving public wealth - creating a healthier natural world, for example - doesn't help.
We cannot manage what we do not measure and we are not measuring either the value of nature's benefits or the costs of their loss. We seem to be navigating the new and unfamiliar waters of ecological scarcities and climate risks with faulty instruments. Replacing our obsolete economic compass could help economics become part of the solution to reverse our declining ecosystems and biodiversity loss.
We need a new compass to set different policy directions, change incentive structures, reduce or phase out perverse subsidies, and engage business leaders in a vision for a new economy. Holistic economics – or economics that recognise the value of nature's services and the costs of their loss – is needed to set the stage for a new "green economy".
The crisis of biodiversity loss can only begin to be addressed in earnest if the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services are fully recognised and represented in decision-making. This may reveal the true nature of the trade-offs being made: between different ecosystem services (food provision or carbon storage), between different beneficiaries (private gain by some, public loss to many), at different scales (local costs, global benefits) and across different time horizons. When the value of ecosystem services are understood and included, what may have looked like an "acceptable" trade-off may appear quite unacceptable.
Conversely, benefits that were unrecognised become visible, and worth preserving. In Costa Rica, payments to farmers who conserve forests on their land rather than destroy them for low-earning pasture have become almost a national environment programme. Soil and water benefits flow to farmlands all around them. And this was funded by a small 3% tax on transport.
In India, ecological restoration and water harvesting is paid for by a national rural employment guarantee scheme, employing millions. In San Francisco and New York, ecological infrastructure is the reality: reservoirs and lake watersheds surrounded by well-managed forests provide cities with a freshwater supply. Meanwhile, biomimicry - using nature's methods to solve human problems, such as Velcro which was inspired by dog hair and burrs - is offering opportunities for innovative businesses across both developing and developed nations.
These are all examples of new economic models for government and business in which both private opportunity and "public goods" are being created and rewarded by a new partnership between business, citizens, and their government.
Teeb (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) has assembled a library of suggestions for policy-makers on how to use good economics to conserve wild nature (TEEB for Policy-Makers, November 2009). In June, TEEB will publish a parallel document on what role business can play in changing the rules of the game and herald a society that profits and progresses yet lives in harmony with nature.
• Pavan Sukhdev is a special adviser to the United Nations environment programme's green economy initiative and study leader for Teeb. He is speaking at the annual Earthwatch Oxford lecture tonight, co-hosted by environmental charity Earthwatch and strategy consultancy and thinktank SustainAbility
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
| February 17, 2010
The End Of Obama’s Vision Of A Nuke-Free World
by Scott Ritter, Countercurrents.org
As any student of foreign and national security policy well knows, the devil is in the details. Back in April 2009, in a speech delivered in Prague, the Czech Republic, President Barack Obama articulated his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. Since that time, however, the Obama administration has offered very little of substance to push this vision forward. When one looks past the grand statements of the president for policy implementation that supports the rhetoric, one is left empty-handed. No movement on ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). No extension of a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia (START). No freeze on the development of a new generation of American nuclear weapons. Without progress in these areas, any prospects of a new approach to global nuclear nonproliferation emerging from the May 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference are virtually zero.
Perhaps the most telling indicator of failed nonproliferation policy on the part of the Obama administration is the fact that there has been no progress on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, and in particular the ongoing controversy surrounding a proposed uranium exchange. The deal would have Iran swap a significant portion of its existing stock of 3.5 percent enriched uranium (the level needed to fuel Iran’s planned nuclear power reactors, as opposed to uranium enriched to 90 percent, which is needed for nuclear weapons) in exchange for nuclear fuel rods containing uranium enriched to 19.5 percent (the level needed to operate a U.S.-built research reactor in Tehran that produced nuclear isotopes for medical purposes). Iran is running out of fuel for this reactor, and needs a new source of fuel or else it will be forced to shut it down. As a signatory member of the NPT, Iran should have the right to acquire this fuel on the open market, subject of course to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, but the United States and Europe have held any such sale hostage to Iran’s agreeing to suspend its indigenous uranium enrichment program, which is the source of the 3.5 percent enriched uranium currently in Iran.
The crux of the U.S. and European concerns rests not with Iran’s possession of 3.5 percent enriched uranium, but rather that the enrichment technique employed by Iran to produce this low-enriched uranium could be used, with some significant modifications, to manufacture high-enriched uranium (90 percent) usable in a nuclear weapon. This reality, and the fears of a nuclear-armed Iran it produces, trumps the fact that the IAEA today is in a position to certify that it can account for the totality of Iran’s inventory of nuclear material, and that any diversion of nuclear material would be detected by the IAEA almost immediately. Furthermore, beyond its capacity to enrich uranium, there is no real evidence that Iran has engaged in a nuclear weapons program.
But the fear and hype that emanate from American and European policymakers, strongly influenced by the zero-tolerance policy of Israel when it comes to Iran and anything nuclear, peaceful or otherwise, have created an environment where common sense goes out the window and anything becomes possible. Take, for instance, Iran’s current stock of 3.5 percent enriched uranium. The IAEA certifies that Iran is in possession of approximately 1,800 kilograms of this material. Policy wonks and those in the intelligence community given to hypotheticals have postulated scenarios that have Iran using this stock of 3.5 percent enriched uranium as the feedstock for a breakout enrichment effort that, if left to its own devices, could produce enough high-enriched uranium (90 percent) for a single nuclear bomb. This breakout capability would require Iran to reconfigure thousands of the centrifuges it uses for low-level enrichment for use in the stepped-up process of follow-on enrichment. Ironically, one of the next steps required in such a scenario would be for Iran to reconfigure its centrifuges to enrich uranium up to 20 percent—roughly the level Iran needs for the nuclear fuel required to operate the Tehran research reactor.
Fears about a potential covert Iranian enrichment breakout capability reached feverish proportions when, in September 2009, Iran revealed the existence of (and U.S. intelligence proclaimed the discovery of) a prospective small underground centrifuge enrichment facility near the city of Qom. The fact that this facility was under construction, and consisted as of September 2009 of little more than a reinforced hole in the ground without any equipment installed, did nothing to allay the fears of those who saw an Iranian nuclear bomb behind every bush, or under every rock. Suddenly Iran was on the verge of having a nuclear bomb, and something had to be done to prevent this from happening.
The focus of attention shifted away from Iran’s ongoing enrichment capability, which the U.S. and Europe demanded be permanently suspended, to Iran’s 1,800 kilograms of 3.5 percent enriched uranium. This material represented Iran’s theoretical atomic bomb. If the material could be placed under international control, then Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions, at least for the immediate future, could be thwarted. Iran was not going to freely hand over this material. However, a deal was negotiated between the U.S. and Iran that would have Iran ship 1,600 kilograms of its 3.5 percent enriched uranium to Russia, which would then further enrich it to 19.5 percent before sending it to France, which would process the uranium into fuel rods unusable for nuclear weapons. This fuel swap appeared to provide an elegant solution to a vexing problem. Indeed, President Obama embraced it as his own initiative when it was announced in October 2009.
For Iran, the swap was always about acquiring the needed nuclear fuel rods, manufactured from 19.5 percent enriched uranium, in order to continue operation of its research reactor in Tehran, which produces much-needed nuclear isotopes for medical purposes. The main attraction for the Iranians for such a deal, beyond acquiring the fuel rods, was that they would not need to produce any 19.5 percent enriched uranium itself, and thus not have to reconfigure their current centrifuge-based enrichment infrastructure to operate beyond its 3.5 percent enrichment threshold. Iran has consistently maintained that it neither requires, nor desires, any capability to enrich uranium beyond the 3.5 percent level needed to manufacture nuclear fuel rods for its own nuclear power reactors. Having its uranium enrichment infrastructure locked in at 3.5 percent simplified not only Iran’s own operations, but also the safeguard monitoring and inspection requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency, charged with verifying Iran’s compliance with the terms of the NPT. Iran viewed the fuel swap as a means of facilitating international acceptance of its uranium enrichment program, a point of view that was in fundamental opposition to that of the United States and Europe.
No amount of finessing the specifics of a fuel swap, whether it be done in stages, managed by a neutral third party, or carried out over the course of several months or several years, could reconcile the Iranian position with that of the U.S. and Europe. At the center of this problem is the Iranian uranium enrichment program itself. Any fuel swap deal is little more than window dressing to the larger issue of whether or not Iran will be permitted by the international community to enrich uranium. To the U.S. and Europe, finer points such as whether such enrichment would be capped at 3.5 percent, or diversified to include 19.5 percent, remain irrelevant, since their unified policy approach is to suspend all uranium enrichment activities inside Iran.
The fatal flaw in the Obama fuel swap proposal, when it was broached in October 2009, was that it failed to explicitly state that any fuel swap had to be linked to Iran’s suspension of its uranium enrichment program. While policy wonks in and out of the Obama administration can argue that such a position was more than implied, given the existence of U.N. Security Council resolutions that explicitly call for suspension, any deal that introduces Iran’s stocks of low-enriched uranium as a legitimate commodity provides de facto legitimization of the processes that produced that commodity. Since Iran has consistently refused to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, it had every reason to treat the proposed fuel swap as a stand-alone deal that focused on a short-term problem, and not as part of the larger U.S.-driven demands for enrichment suspension.
The U.S. policy objective was never to provide Iran with 19.5 percent enriched uranium fuel rods, or to lock Iran in at a 3.5 percent enrichment threshold, but rather to get the majority of Iran’s existing stocks of 3.5 percent enriched uranium out of the country, thereby eliminating any scenario that had Iran using this low-enriched uranium as feedstock for any breakout nuclear weapons production capability, no matter how farfetched such a scenario might be. This is why the Obama administration never paid much attention to the details of such a swap, since these details simply didn’t matter. The U.S. approach was never about facilitating a swap so much as it was about facilitating a kidnapping. The policy objective was to get the majority of Iran’s enriched uranium stocks under international control. Once Iran no longer had access to 1,600 kilograms of its 1,800-kilogram stockpile of low-enriched uranium, the Obama administration could blunt the fear-driven concerns over the immediacy of any Iranian nuclear capability. It would take Iran several months to reconstitute its low-enriched uranium stocks to the level needed to produce its hypothetical nuclear bomb. During this period, the U.S. would redouble its demands for suspension of uranium enrichment and develop a comprehensive package of stringent economic sanctions that would be imposed on Iran should it fail to cooperate.
The fatal flaw in the U.S. approach was that it failed to recognize that such policy formulations may work on paper but in the real world things are far more complicated. The Obama administration had hoped for immediate Iranian agreement to the fuel swap. Once Iran’s enriched uranium was safely out of Iran, the U.S. would then redouble its diplomatic pressure to suspend enrichment activities while simultaneously pressing for international consensus on sanctions. U.S. policy formulators envisioned a seamless transition between these various stages of policy implementation. But Iran, by agreeing in principle to a fuel swap, but demanding closer scrutiny of the details inherent in any such deal, complicated implementation of the U.S. plan.
By December 2009, a point at which the U.S. had hoped to have the Iranian uranium under its control and a sanctions campaign under way, Iran had yet to agree to the specifics of any fuel swap but at the same time publically remained committed to the concept. That approach paralyzed the U.S.-led effort to rally support behind sanctions since most nations did not want to do anything that would threaten the fuel swap negotiations. As 2010 rolled around, the Iranian delay tactics forced the U.S. to shed all pretenses around the fuel swap. While Iranian negotiators spoke of a potential swap formula that could unfold over the course of several months, the U.S. spoke of a swap timetable stretching out several years, making such a swap useless for the purpose it was ostensibly being instituted for—the Iranian nuclear research reactor and the manufacture of medical isotopes.
With the true U.S. policy objective thus exposed, Iran last week announced that it would carry out its own indigenous enrichment of uranium to the 19.5 percent needed to fuel the research reactor. Whether Iran has the technical or practical capabilities necessary to bring such a plan to fruition is debatable. While reconfiguring its existing centrifuge cascades to produce 19.5 percent enriched uranium is not impossible, Iran has never before attempted to process enriched uranium into nuclear fuel rods. Likewise, there is a question about the viability of Iran’s feedstock of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), the gaseous material that is fed into the centrifuges for the purpose of enriching uranium.
Iran’s stores of foreign-procured UF6 are nearly exhausted. So is the stock of UF6 that Iran produced using foreign supplies of natural uranium. What is left for Iran is UF6 produced from indigenous sources of natural uranium. However, these stocks are believed to be contaminated with molybdenum, a metallic substance the presence of which creates destructive mass-distribution problems when Iran’s centrifuges are spun up to the more than 60,000 revolutions per minute needed to extract enriched uranium from the UF6 feedstock. If Iran cannot come up with the means to extract the molybdenum from its indigenous UF6, then short of finding an outside supplier of natural uranium or clean UF6 (activities that would have to be declared to the IAEA), the Iranian enrichment program will halt.
This would not prevent Iran from using its existing stocks of 3.5 percent enriched uranium as the feedstock for any effort to produce 19.5 percent uranium. Reconfiguration of its centrifuges to conduct this higher level of enrichment is likewise well within the technical capability of Iran. The ultimate testament to the failure of U.S. nonproliferation policy when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program is the reality that, in an effort to retard any Iranian nuclear breakout scenario that saw Iran rapidly converting its low-enriched stocks to high-enriched fissile material, the United States has actually facilitated such a scheme. Had the U.S. sought to lock Iran’s enrichment infrastructure in at a 3.5 percent capacity, any deviation from that level would have been viewed with suspicion. However, by creating the conditions that have Iran now seeking to build enrichment facilities capable of 20 percent enrichment, the Obama administration has significantly reduced the threshold of detection and prevention which was in place when all Iran produced was 3.5 percent enriched uranium.
The number of centrifuges required to step up enrichment of 20 percent uranium to higher levels is significantly smaller than the number needed to step up from 3.5 percent to 20 percent. Furthermore, any Iranian breakout scenario that starts at 20 percent enriched feedstock will reach its end objective of 90 percent enrichment far quicker than a similar program that starts at 3.5 percent. The Obama administration has not only made it easier for Iran to hide a covert nuclear weapons enrichment capability, but also made it far more efficient. That there is no evidence of any such program in existence does not matter in the minds of those who had given Iran such a capability to begin with. When dealing in a universe driven by the theoretical, the U.S. fumbling of the nuclear fuel swap with Iran has simply made the breakout theory more viable. And since U.S. nonproliferation policy toward Iran is more driven by faith-based analysis than it is by fact-based analysis, one can all but guarantee that the U.S. response to this new fiction will be real, and measurable, and have nothing but negative results for the Middle East and the World.
The unfolding crisis concerning Iran’s nuclear program represents but one of several nonproliferation failures perpetrated by the United States that, in combination, bode poorly for the upcoming NPT Review Conference scheduled for May. In May of 2009, at the conclusion of the preparatory committee for the NPT Review Conference, there were high hopes for the possibility of progress in reaching international consensus on nonproliferation issues, and reshaping the NPT to capture this consensus. Much of these hopes were derived from the statements and rhetoric of the Obama administration about nuclear disarmament and arms control. Unfortunately, rhetoric never caught up with reality.
Not only has U.S. policy toward Iran been exposed as operating in total disregard to the provisions of the NPT (Iran, after all, is permitted to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under Article IV of that treaty), but the cornerstone commitments made by the Obama administration as a prerequisite for a successful NPT Review Conference in May 2010—movement toward ratification of the CTBT, agreement with the Russians to extend the verification mechanisms inherent in START while achieving even deeper cuts in their respective nuclear arsenals—have failed to materialize. There is almost no chance of the CTBT being submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification, let alone being actually ratified. The failure of the administration to extend START past its December 2009 expiration date has not only left the U.S. and Russia with no arms control verification vehicle, but has reignited dormant Cold War-era tendencies in both nations, with the Russians deploying a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missile and the U.S. talking about nuclear warhead modernization.
President Obama had hoped that the 2010 NPT Review Conference would pave the way to a global consensus on multilateral approaches toward nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Instead, its looming demise only accelerates the existing trend in the United States to reject international agreements and instead embrace a unilateralism sustained by the false premise that security can be achieved through nuclear supremacy. One only needs to examine the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the ongoing fiasco that is America’s global war on terrorism to understand the fallacy of that argument.
The policy of the U.S. toward Iran’s nuclear program is to blame for much, if not all, of this failure. Had the administration used the fuel swap agreement as an opportunity to bring Iran back into the fold of the international community—not by excluding its uranium enrichment efforts, but rather legitimizing them through enhanced IAEA inspections and Iran’s agreement to participate in closely controlled regional fuel bank programs that kept its enriched uranium stocks under stringent international controls—there would not have been the policy floundering which occurred in the fall of 2009.
Fears about a phantom Iranian nuclear weapon would have dissipated, and with it the illogical U.S. insistence on ballistic missile defense initiatives that have fatally undermined the current round of U.S.-Russian arms control negotiations. Had the Obama administration remained consistent with its September 2009 decision to terminate the controversial Bush-era missile defense plan involving the stationing of interceptor missiles and radar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, there would be a START treaty today. But the sleight-of-hand approach, in which one program was terminated only to be replaced by another, triggered concerns among Russian military leaders about the real policy objectives of the Obama administration.
The administration has demonstrated that, for all the noble intent and objectives in the arena of arms control and nonproliferation exhibited at its inception, it too is susceptible to the addiction to nuclear weapons that has plagued America since 1945. This addiction, which feeds the notion of the United States’ self-appointed status of global savior and policeman, prevents any policy formulation that is perceived to weaken or undermine America’s nuclear supremacy. At a time when the world needed American leadership in the field of disarmament and nonproliferation, it instead got nothing but a replay of past policy, wrapped in the paranoid delusions of a nation that is unable or unwilling to come to grips with reality. Genuine international security is derived not from any nation, even the United States, seeking to impose deterrence-based policies through nuclear supremacy. True security comes from a world free of nuclear weapons.
To secure America, a president must have the courage to dismantle what, in the past, has been proclaimed as the foundation of our survival, but in reality presents us with the seeds of our destruction—nuclear weapons. President Obama had articulated such a vision in his groundbreaking speech in Prague back in April 2009. Since that time the United States has embarked on arms control and nonproliferation policies that have not only failed to move America and the world further down the path of peace and security, but actually made matters worse.
Policies must be judged not by their intent but their results. In this, the Obama administration’s policies represent an abysmal failure. The administration seeks to place the blame for these failures elsewhere, on Iran, China, Russia and North Korea. But the root cause of such failure lies with the utter lack of courage and conviction on the part of Barack Obama. He claimed to possess a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, only to succumb to the same hubris and avarice that afflicted past U.S. presidents when tempted by the world supremacy that nuclear weapons promise.
Scott Ritter was U.S. weapons inspector in the Soviet Union (1988-1990) and chief inspector for the United Nations in Iraq (1991-1998) and is author of “Iraq Confidential” (2006), “Target Iran” (2007) and “Dangerous Ground: The Failure of U.S. Arms Control Policy From FDR to Obama,” to be published by Nation Books this year.
| February 17, 2010
America’s Global Weapons Monopoly
by Frida Berrigan, Countercurrents.org
On the relatively rare occasions when the media turns its attention to U.S. weapons sales abroad and shines its not-so-bright spotlight on the latest set of facts and figures, it invariably speaks of “the global arms trade.”
Let’s consider that label for a moment, word by word:
*It is global, since there are few places on the planet that lie beyond the reach of the weapons industry.
*Arms sounds so old-fashioned and anodyne when what we’re talking about is advanced technology designed to kill and maim.
*And trade suggests a give and take among many parties when, if we’re looking at the figures for that “trade” in a clear-eyed way, there is really just one seller and so many buyers.
How about updating it this way: “the global weapons monopoly.”
In 2008, according to an authoritative report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), $55.2 billion in weapons deals were concluded worldwide. Of that total, the United States was responsible for $37.8 billion in weapons sales agreements, or 68.4% of the total “trade.” Some of these agreements were long-term ones and did not result in 2008 deliveries of weapons systems, but these latest figures are a good gauge of the global appetite for weapons. It doesn’t take a PhD in economics to recognize that, when one nation accounts for nearly 70% of weapons sales, the term “global arms trade” doesn’t quite cut it.
Consider the “competition” and reality comes into focus. Take a guess on which country is the number two weapons exporter on the planet: China? Russia? No, Italy, with a relatively paltry $3.7 billion in agreements with other countries or just 9% of the U.S. market share. Russia, that former Cold War superpower in the “trade,” was close behind Italy, with only $3.5 billion in arms agreements.
U.S. weapons manufacturers have come a long way, baby, since those Cold War days when the United States really did have a major competitor. For instance, the Congressional Research Service’s data for 1990, the last year of the Soviet Union’s existence, shows global weapons sales totaling $32.7 billion, with the United States accounting for $12.1 billion of that or 37% of the market. For its part, the Soviet Union was responsible for a competitive $10.7 billion in deals inked that year. France, China, and the United Kingdom accounted for most of the rest.
Since then, the global appetite for weapons has only grown more voracious, while the number of purveyors has shrunk to the point where the Pentagon could hang out a sign: “We arm the world.” No kidding, it’s true.
Cambodia ($304,000), Comoros ($895,000), Colombia ($256 million), Guinea ($200,000), Greece ($225 million), Great Britain ($1.1 billion), the Philippines ($72.9 million), Poland ($79.8 million), and Peru ($16.4 million) all buy U.S. arms, as does almost every country not in that list. U.S. weapons, and only U.S. weapons, are coveted by presidents and prime ministers, generals and strongmen.
From the Pentagon’s own data (which differs from that in the CRS report), here are the top ten nations which made Foreign Military Sales agreements with the Pentagon, and so with U.S. weapons makers, in 2008:
Saudi Arabia $6.06 billion
Iraq $2.50 billion
Morocco $2.41 billion
Egypt $2.31 billion
Israel $1.32 billion
Australia $1.13 billion
South Korea $1.12 billion
Great Britain $1.10 billion
India $1 billion
Japan $840 million
That’s more than $17 billion in weapons right there. Some of these countries are consistently eager buyers, and some are not. Morocco, for example, is only in that top-ten list because it was green-lighted to buy 24 of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter planes at $360 million (or so) for each aircraft, an expensive one-shot deal. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia (which inked $14.71 billion in weapons agreements between 2001 and 2008), Egypt ($13.25 billion) and Israel ($11.27 billion) are such regular customers that they should have the equivalent of one of those “buy 10, get the 11th free” punch cards doled out by your favorite coffee shop.
To sum up, the U.S. has a virtual global monopoly on exporting tools of force and destruction. Call it market saturation. Call it anything you like, just not the “global arms trade.”
Getting Even More Competitive?
It used to be that the United States exported goods, products, and machinery of all sorts in prodigious quantities: cars and trucks, steel and computers, and high-tech gizmos. But those days are largely over.
The Obama administration now wants to launch a green manufacturing revolution in the U.S., and in February, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a new “National Export Initiative” with the aim of doubling American exports, a move he said would support the creation of two million new jobs. The U.S. could, of course, lose the renewable-energy race to China and that new exports program may never get off the ground. In one area, however, the U.S. is manufacturing products that are distinctly wanted -- things that go boom in the night -- and there the Pentagon is working hard to increase market share.
Don’t for a second think that the American global monopoly on weapons sales is accidental or unintentional. The constant and lucrative growth of this market for U.S. weapons makers has been ensured by shrewd strategic planning. Washington is constantly thinking of new and inventive ways to flog its deadly wares throughout the world.
How do you improve on near perfection? In the interest of enhancing that “competitive” edge in weapons sales, the Obama administration is investigating the possibility of revising export laws to make it even easier to sell military technology abroad. As Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morell explained in January, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wants to see “wholesale changes to the rules and regulations on government technology exports” in the name of “competitiveness.”
When he says “government technology exports,” Morell of course means weapons and other military technologies. “Tinkering with our antiquated, bureaucratic, overly cumbersome system is not enough to maintain our competitiveness in the global economy and also help our friends and allies buy the equipment they need to contribute to global security,” he continued, “[Gates] strongly supports the administration’s efforts to completely reform our export control regime, starting ideally with a blank sheet of paper.”
The laws that regulate U.S. weapons exports are a jumbled mess, but in essence they delineate what the United States can sell to whom and through what bureaucratic mechanisms. According to U.S. law, for example, there are actually a few countries that cannot receive U.S. weapons. Myanmar under the military junta and Venezuela while led by Hugo Chavez are two examples. There are also some weapons systems that are not intended for export. Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor jet fighter was -- until the Pentagon recently stopped buying the plane -- deemed too sophisticated or sensitive to sell abroad. And there are reporting requirements that give members of Congress a window of opportunity within which they can question or oppose proposed weapons exports.
Given what’s being sold, these export controls are remarkably minimal in nature and are constantly under assault by the weapons industry. Bans on weapons sales to particular countries are regularly lifted through aggressive lobbying. (Indonesia, for example, was offered $50 million in weapons from 2006 to 2008 after an almost decade long congressional arms embargo.) The industry also works to relax controls on new technology exports to allies. Japan and Australia have mounted campaigns to win the ability to buy F-22 Raptors, potential sales that Lockheed Martin is now especially happy to entertain. The reporting window to Congress remains an important export control, but the time frame is shrinking as more countries are being “fast tracked,” making it harder for distracted representatives to react when a controversial sale comes up.
In addition to revising these export controls, the administration is looking at the issue of “dual-use” technologies. These are not weapons. They do not shoot or explode. Included are high-speed computer processors, surveillance and detection networks, and a host of other complex and evolving technologies that could have military as well as civilian applications. This category might also include intangible items like cyber-entities or access to controlled web environments.
Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and other major weapons manufacturers have invested billions of dollars from the Pentagon’s research and development budgets in exploring and perfecting such technologies, and now they are eager to sell them to foreign buyers along with the usual fighter planes, combat ships, and guided missiles. But the rules as they stand make this something less than a slam dunk. So the weapons industry and the Pentagon are arguing for “updating” the rules. If you translate updating as “loosening” the rules, then the United States would indeed be more “competitive,” but who exactly are we trying to beat?
Weapons Sales are Red Hot
“What’s Hot?” is the title of Vice Admiral Jeffrey Wieranga’s blog entry for January 4, 2010. Wieranga is the Director of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which is charged with overseeing weapons exports, and such pillow talk is evidently more than acceptable -- at least when it’s about weapons sales. In fact, Wieranga could barely restrain himself that day, adding: “Afghanistan is really HOT!” Admittedly, on that day the temperature in Kabul was just above freezing, but not at the Pentagon, where arms sales to Afghanistan evidently create a lot of heat.
As Wieranga went on to write, the Obama administration’s new 2010/2011 budget allocates $6 billion in weaponry for Afghan Security Forces. The Afghans will actually get those weapons for free, but U.S. weapons makers will make real money delivering them at taxpayers’ expense and, as the Vice Admiral pointed out, that “means there is a staggering amount of acquisition work to do.”
It’s not just Afghanistan that’s now in the torrid zone. Weapons sales all over the world will be smoking in 2010 and beyond.
The year began with a bang when Wieranga’s Agency announced that the Obama administration had decided to sell a nifty $6 billion in weapons to Taiwan. Even as the United States leans heavily on China for debt servicing, Washington is giving the Mainland a big raspberry by offering the island of 22 million off its coast (which Washington does not formally recognize as an independent nation), a lethal cocktail of weaponry that includes $3 billion in Black Hawk helicopters. This deal comes on top of more than $11 billion in U.S. weapons exports to Taiwan over the last decade, and is certain to set Chinese-U.S. relations back a step or two.
Other bonanzas on the horizon? Brazil wants new fighter planes and Boeing is battling a French company for the contract in a deal that could be worth a whopping $7 billion. India, once a major arms buyer from the Soviet Union, is now another big buy-American customer, with Boeing and Lockheed Martin vying to equip its air force with new fighter planes in deals that Boeing estimates may reach $11 billion.
Such deals are staggering. They contribute more bang and blast to a world already bristling with particularly lethal weaponry. They are a striking American success story in a time filled with failures. Put in the lurid but everyday terms of a nation weaned on reality television, the Pentagon is pimping for the U.S. weapons industry. The weapons industry, for its part, is a pusher for every kind of lethal technology. The two of them together are working to ensure that more of the same will flow out of the U.S. in ever easier and more lucrative ways.
Global arms trade? Send that one back to the Department of Euphemisms. Pimps and pushers with a lucrative global monopoly on a killing drug -- maybe that’s the language we need. And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to launch a “war on weapons.”
Frida Berrigan is a Senior Program Associate with the New America Foundation’s Arms and Security Initiative. “Weapons at War 2008,” a report she co-authored with William D. Hartung, goes into much more detail about the politics and pratfalls of weapons exports.
| February 20, 2010
DROITS CITOYENS …….ET DEVOIRS DES ETATS !
par Ambassadeur de la paix Guy CREQUIE
Poète, écrivain et chanteur français pour la paix et les droits humains.
Messager de la culture de la paix du Manifeste 2000 popularisé par l’UNESCO
Lauréat Européen et mondial des Académies de la culture et des arts.
Il y a crise et crises !
C’est le fondement du socle des valeurs, de la raison d’être de la vie en société, qui est en crise !
Les crises : économique, sociale, financière, les menaces contre la planète humaine, et sur la planète terre, ne peuvent masquer la vraie réalité :
« La crise majeure : est celle de la liberté de chacun et de chacune, menacée dans un vivre ensemble qui est altérée. »
Les droits citoyens, sont souvent amoindris par l’absence du rôle et de l’accomplissement des devoirs d’Etat !
Cette crise aussi morale, idéologique, peut nous amener à une vision de l’individualisme culturel et ethnique, celui du vivre les uns contre les autres !
Crise des valeurs : Ceci, car les seuls indicateurs dits fiables, sont ceux des valeurs de la production, de l’échange, bref du marché = le nouveau Dieu, non pas spirituel mais matériel !
Seules comptent : les richesses matérielles, financières, le pouvoir sur les autres. Or, la véritable richesse humaine, ce son l’accès à : la culture, l’art, à la santé, à tout ce qui rend l’humain digne d’humanité.
Prenons un exemple : celui de l’eau. J’ai une amie poétesse, messagère de la culture de la paix qui a créée une ambassade de l’eau. En effet, l’eau est déjà comme l’indiquaient Messieurs GORBATCHEV et STRONG, lors des dialogues pour la terre en 2002 à Lyon, l’un des enjeux de nouvelles guerres si nous ne faisons pas en sorte, qu’elle soit considérée comme un bien commun et non comme une marchandise.
Certains pays sont déjà conscients de ces enjeux. Ainsi, des bases américaines sont déjà installées prés o sur des nappes phréatiques de par le monde.
5% des dépenses d’armement en moins, et 5% de ces sommes mises au service du transfert des technologies pour l’eau et au partage, voici, ce qui pourrait être l’un des défis d’humanité.
Dans un pays comme la France, la gestion de l’eau est laissée à 80% à des entreprises privées. Ceci, alors que bien des maires de nos communes, veulent en faire une gestion en tant que bien social.
Madame Danielle MITTERRAND, de l’ONG France libertés, préconise la gestion de l’eau confiée à des entreprises régulées (mot à la mode) par l’Etat.
Il s’agirait, de petites entreprises, locales, pas des multinationales !
Le retour à des profits colossaux pour les banques, semble démontrer, au-delà des promesses et recommandations faites lors du G 20, que la régulation du capital pour consommer toujours plus et engraisser les mêmes, n’est pas une espérance d’avenir pour les peuples, mais plutôt une impasse !
C’est l’intelligence de la nécessité de l’usage des 4 éléments : l’eau, l’air, la terre, et la lumière (photosynthèse) qui reste décisive.
Le système occidental dit démocratique (mais il y aurait tant à dire mais ce n’est pas l’objet de cette contribution), je renvoie la lectrice et le lecteur à mon essai publié depuis le 15 février (1) et à celui à paraître ultérieurement (2).
Ce système paré de toutes les vertus, ne doit pas nus faire oublier, l’existence d’autres sociétés, telles : celles amérindiennes et africaines.
La démocratie, n’est pas née à Athènes. Des les sociétés dites tribales, il nous reste à apprendre ! Rappelons-nous : les chasseurs et les cueilleurs qui collectivement le faisaient pour le bien commun. Il y eut ensuite, des formes d’agriculture primitive collective. ….
La démocratie, ce n’es pas non plus la république des quotas ! Si la promotion sociale individuelle était réellement possible indépendamment du sexe, de l’ethnie…Elle le serait par une juste distribution des savoirs. Les quotas décidés par les élites dirigeantes ne sont qu’un artifice sans avenir.
Copyright Guy CREQUIE
Poète, écrivain et chanteur français pour la paix et les droits humains.
Messager de la culture de la paix du Manifeste 2000 popularisé par l’UNESCO
Lauréat Européen et mondial des Académies de la culture et des arts.
¡DERECHOS CIUDADANOS ....... Y DEBERES DE LOS ESTADOS!
¡Hay crisis y crisis!
¡Es el fundamento del zócalo de los valores, de la razón de ser de la vida en sociedad, que está en crisis!
Las crisis: económico, social, financiero, las amenazas contra el planeta humano, y sobre el planeta tierra, no pueden encubrir la verdadera realidad:
“La crisis principal: es la de la libertad de cada uno y de cada una, amenazada en una comida juntos que se altera. ”
¡Los derechos ciudadanos, a menudo son reducidos por la ausencia del papel y la realización de los deberes de Estado!
¡Esta crisis tan moral, ideológica, puede conducirnos a una visión del individualismo cultural y étnico, el de la comida unos contra otros!
Crisis de los valores: ¡Y ello, ya que los únicos indicadores dichos fiables, son los de los valores de la producción, del intercambio, resumidamente del mercado = el nuevo Dios, no espiritual sino material!
Solas cuentan: las riquezas materiales, financieras, el poder sobre otros. Ahora bien, la verdadera riqueza humana, este sonido el acceso a: la cultura, el arte, a la salud, a todo lo que vuelve el humano digna de humanidad.
Toman un ejemplo: el del agua. Tengo una amiga poétesse, mensajera de la cultura de la paz que creó a una embajada del agua. En efecto, el agua ya es como lo indicaban Señores GORBACHOV y STRONG, en los diálogos para la tierra en 2002 a Lyon, uno de lo que está en juego de nuevas guerras si no hacemos salió, que esté considerada como un bien común y no como una mercancía.
Algunos países son ya conscientes de este lo que está en juego. Así pues, ya se instalan bases americanas prados o sobre capas freáticas en el mundo.
un 5% de los gastos de armamento de menos, y un 5% de estas sumas puestas al servicio de la transferencia de las tecnologías para el agua y a la división, ahí tienes, lo que podría ser uno de los retos de humanidad.
En un país como Francia, la gestión del agua se deja al 80% a empresas privadas. Y ello, mientras que muchos alcaldes de nuestros municipios, quieren hacer una gestión como bien social.
La Sra. Danielle MITTERRAND, de la ONG Francia libertades, preconiza la gestión del agua confiada a empresas controladas (palabra al método) por el Estado.
¡Se trataría, pequeñas empresas, local, no de las multinacionales!
¡La vuelta a beneficios colosales para los bancos, parece demostrar, más allá de las promesas y recomendaciones hechas en el G 20, que el reglamento del capital para consumir más siempre y cebar los mismos, no es una esperanza futuro para el pueblo, pero más bien un callejón sin salida!
Es la inteligencia de la necesidad del uso de los 4 elementos: el agua, el aire, la tierra, y la luz (fotosíntesis) que sigue siendo decisiva.
El sistema occidental dice democrático (pero habría tanto que decir pero no es el objeto de esta contribución), remito a la lectora y al lector a mi prueba publicada desde el 15 de febrero (1) y a el a parecer posteriormente (2).
Este sistema previsto de todas las virtudes, no debe desnudos hacer olvidar, la existencia de otras tales sociedades: aquéllas amerindias y africanas.
La democracia, no nació en Atenas. ¡Las sociedades dichas tribales, nos queda por aprender! Recuerdan: los cazadores y los cosechadores que colectivamente lo hacían para el bien común. Hubo a continuación, formas de agricultura primitiva colectiva. ….
¡La democracia, esto no son tampoco la República de las cuotas! Si la promoción social individual era realmente posible independientemente del sexo, de la etnia… lo estaría por una justa distribución de los conocimientos. Las cuotas decididas por las élites dirigentes no son más que una astucia sin futuro.
Copyright Guy CREQUIE
Poeta, escritor y cantante francés para la paz y los derechos humanos.
Mensajero de la cultura de la paz del Manifiesto 2000 popularizado por la UNESCO
Laureado Europeo y mundial de las Academias de la cultura y las artes.
RIGHTS CITIZENS ....... AND DUTIES OF THE STATES!
There are crisis and crises!
It is the base of the base of the values, of the raison d'être of the life in society, which is in crisis!
Crises: economic, social, financial, the threats against human planet, and on the planet ground, cannot mask true reality:
“The major crisis: is that of the freedom of each one and each one, threatened in a food together which is faded. ”
The rights citizens, are often reduced by the absence of the role and the achievement of the duties of State!
This so moral crisis, ideological, can bring us to a vision of cultural and ethnic individualism, that of the food the ones against the others!
Crisis of the values: This, because the only indicators known as reliable, are those of the values of the production, of the exchange, in short of the market = new God, not spiritual but material!
Only count: richnesses material, financial, capacity on the others. However, true human richness, this sound the access to: the culture, art, with health, to all that returns the human worthy one of humanity.
Let us take an example: that of water. I have a friend poetess, messenger of the culture of the peace which created an embassy of water. Indeed, water is already as Sirs GORBATCHEV and STRONG indicated it, during the dialogs for the ground in 2002 in Lyon, one of the stakes of new wars if we do not make left there, that she is regarded a community property and not as goods.
Certain countries are already conscious of these stakes. Thus, of the American bases meadows O on ground water are already installed all over the world.
5% of the expenditure of armament in less, and 5% of these sums put at the service of the transfer of technologies for water and at the division, here, which could be one of the challenges of humanity.
In a country like France, the management of water is left to 80% at private companies. This, whereas many mayors of our communes, want to make a management as a social good of it.
Mrs Danielle MITTERRAND, of ONG France freedoms, recommends the management of the water entrusted to companies controlled (buzzword) by the State.
It would act, of small companies, local, not of the multinationals!
The return to colossal profits for the banks, seems to show, beyond the promises and recommendations made at the time of G 20, that the regulation of the capital to consume always more and to fatten the same ones, is not a hope with a future for the people, but rather a dead end!
It is the intelligence of the need for the use of the 4 elements: water, air, ground, and the light (photosynthesis) which remains decisive.
The Western system known as democratic (but there would be to say so much but it is not the object of this contribution), I return the reader and the reader to my test published since February 15th (1) and to that to appear later on (2).
This avoided system of all the virtues, should not naked make forget, the existence of other companies, such: those Amerindian and African.
The democracy, was not born in Athens. Companies known as tribal, it remains us to learn! We recall: hunters and the gatherers who collectively did it for the community property. There was then, of the forms of collective primitive agriculture. ….
The democracy, it do not be either the republic of the quotas! If the individual social advancement were really possible independently of the sex, of the ethnos group… It would be it by a right distribution of the knowledge. The quotas decided by the leading elites are only one artifice without future.
Copyright Guy CREQUIE
Poet, writer and singer French for peace and the human rights.
Messenger of the culture of the peace of the Proclamation 2000 popularized by UNESCO
Prize winner European and world of the Academies of the culture and arts.
| February 20, 2010
Toi l'ami, l'étranger, le frère
par ambassadrice de la paix MARIE DAVID C "Marie Poésie" FRANCE
Toi l'ami, l'étranger, le frère
Mais que serai-je donc sans toi ?
Et que serait ma vie sur terre
Comment naîtrait l’instant de joie ?
Quel serait donc mon avenir
Empli d’heures et de jours sans fin ?
Que serait-il sans ton sourire ?
Vers quel bonheur irait ‘demain’ ?
Sans toi, pour qui battrait mon cœur ?
Et quel sens aurait donc l’amour ?
Et pourquoi battrait-il d’ailleurs
Sans personne à aimer toujours
Alors l’ami, l’étranger, le frère
Toi qui donne sens à ma vie
Peu importe où tu vis sur terre
Tu es la vie me donnant vie !
Et tout mon être te dit : Merci
You friend, foreigner, brother
But what will I be thus without you ?
And that would be my life on ground
How is born the moment from joy ?
Which would be thus my future 2
Filled up hours and days without end ?
What would it be without your smile ?
Towards which happiness would go `to morrow'?
Without you, for whom would beat my heart ?
And which direction would thus have the love ?
And why it would beat
besides Without anybody to always like
Then the friend, the foreigner, brother
You who gives direction to my life
It does not matter or you live on ground
You are the life giving me life !
And all my being says to you: Thank you
Ti amigo, extranjero, el hermano
¿Pero qué estará pues sin ti ?
Y que sería mi vida de tierra
¿Cómo nace el momento de alegría ?
Cuál sería pues mi futuro
¿Llenado de horas y días sin final ?
¿Qué estaría sin tu sonrisa ?
¿Hacia qué felicidad iría `manana'
¿Sin ti, para que pegaría mi corazón ?
¿Y qué sentido tendría pues el amor ?
Y porqué pegaba por otra parte
Sin persona que debe gustarse siempre
Entonces el amigo, el extranjero, el hermano
Ti que da sentido a mi vida
Qué más da o vive sobre tierra
¡Eres la vida que me da vida !
Y todo mi ser te dice: Gracias
Você amigo, estrangeiro, o irmão
Mas que estará por conseguinte sem você ?
E que seria a minha vida de terra
Como nasce o momento de alegria ?
Qual seria por conseguinte o meu futuro
Empli de horas e dias sem fim ?
Que estaria sem o teu sorriso ?
Para qual felicidade iria `amanha'?
Sem você, para que bateria o meu coração ?
E qual sentido teria por conseguinte o amo r?
E porque bateria de resto
Sem pessoa gostar de sempre
Então o amigo, o estrangeiro, o irmão
Você que dá sentidos à minha vida
Pouco importa ou vive sobre terra
És a vida que dá-me vida !
E qualquer meu ser diz-lhe: Obrigado
| February 12, 2010
Time to Tax the Financial Speculators
by Sarah Anderson, AlterNet
As we reel from the worst financial crisis in 80 years, the idea of rethinking the role of Wall Street is much more open.
For decades, international activists have been pushing the idea of a tax on financial transactions. Such a tax would give us a twofer: a drop in short-term speculation that serves no productive purpose and leads to dangerous bubbles, and 2) loads of money that could be used for good things, like health, climate, and jobs programs.
Today, we’re closer to achieving this two-for-one deal than we’ll probably ever be in our lifetimes. Reeling from the worst financial crisis in 80 years, policymakers are not only desperate for new sources of revenue, they’re more open to rethinking the role of Wall Street and making sure it serves real economic needs.
To take advantage of these new opportunities, a wide range of activists, including trade unionists, international health advocates, and climate justice groups, have come together to move this decades-old proposition into practice. Their efforts are gaining traction—and even some celebrity support.
The specific proposal is to tax trades of all types of financial assets, including stock, derivatives, and currencies. The tax rate would be so low that ordinary investors wouldn’t even notice it. Some U.S. legislative proposals would even exempt retirement funds and mutual funds, the primary middle class investment vehicles. The real target would be the hedge fund investors and other high fliers in the global casino, who make most of their money through high-frequency betting on short-term market movements that often have nothing to do with what’s going on in the real economy. Since the tax would apply to each of these transactions, it would make this type of speculative gambling much less profitable and encourage more long-term, patient investment.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research has analyzed the likely impact of a set of taxes, ranging from 0.01 percent on currency transactions to 0.25 percent on stock trades. Assuming that trading volumes dropped by 50 percent, these taxes could raise more than $175 billion per year in the United States alone.
The call for such taxes has been particularly loud in Europe, where activists have managed to win promises of support from leaders of the three largest economies—the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. But more pressure is needed to make speculation taxes a reality.
In the UK, activists have teamed up with filmmaker Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary) to put some star power behind the cause. Through a creative media campaign being launched today, they aim to secure commitments from candidates vying for votes in the upcoming general election.
One of the campaign tools Curtis has produced is this video, starring British actor Bill Nighy (who you'll recognize from his roles as Davy Jones in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies or as the ribald aging pop singer in Love Actually) as a haughty banking executive whose arguments against the tax completely unravel in the course of three minutes. The UK groups kicked off their campaign by projecting a giant image of ordinary people wearing Robin Hood masks and the slogan “Be Part of the World’s Greatest Bank Job” on the side of the Bank of England.
In the United States, we may not yet have Hollywood spokespeople, but we do have prominent business leaders on our side, including John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund. We also have bills to create financial speculation taxes in both the House and the Senate, introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).
President Obama is not yet on board. Recently, he did call for a new fee on the top 50 banks. This is a positive, but far more modest, approach—it wouldn’t directly affect speculation, would leave hedge funds off the hook, and would generate far less revenue.
U.S. activists are hoping to see a shift in the administration’s position by the time Obama travels to Toronto in June for a summit with the leaders of the other G20 big economies. Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), a coalition of more than 200 labor unions, consumer groups, and other activist organizations, has been working to raise the profile of the issue in the media and on Capitol Hill and recently sent this letter to the president, urging his support. AFR is also working with other U.S. and international activists to coordinate pressure on key governments and the International Monetary Fund, which is carrying out a feasibility study of the issue at the G20’s request.
Taxing financial speculation won’t single-handedly prevent another crisis or solve the world’s climate and jobs crises. But for those of us who want the financial industry to serve people and the planet rather than dominate them, this is the most exciting reform under serious consideration on the world stage. And it is an idea whose time has come.
| February 12, 2010
More Pain for Devastated Haiti: Under the Pretense of Disaster Relief, U.S. Running a Military Occupation
by Arun Gupta, AlterNet
The rapid mobilization of U.S troops in Haiti was not primarily done for humanitarian reasons; we're likely to see a neoliberal economic plan imposed, at gunpoint if necessary.
Official denials aside, the United States has embarked on a new military occupation of Haiti thinly cloaked as disaster relief. While both the Pentagon and the United Nations claimed more troops were needed to provide "security and stability" to bring in aid, according to nearly all independent observers in the field, violence was never an issue. in
Instead, there appears to be cruder motives for the military response. With Haiti’s government "all but invisible" and its repressive security forces collapsed, popular organizations were starting to fill the void. But the Western powers rushing in envision sweatshops and tourism as the foundation of a rebuilt Haiti. This is opposed by the popular organizations, which draw their strength from Haiti’s overwhelmingly poor majority. Thus, if a neoliberal plan is going to be imposed on a devastated Haiti it will be done at gunpoint.
The rapid mobilization of thousands of U.S troops was not for humanitarian reasons; in fact it crowded out much of the arriving aid into the Port-au-Prince airport, forcing lengthy delays. Doctors Without Borders said five of its cargo flights carrying 85 tons of medical and relief supplies were turned away during the first week while flights from the World Food Program were delayed up to two days. One WFP official said of the 200 flights going in and out of Haiti daily “most … are for the U.S. military.” Nineteen days into the crisis, only 32 percent of Haitians in need had received any food (even if just a single meal), three-quarters were without clean water, the government had received only two percent of the tents it had requested and hospitals in the capital reported they were running "dangerously low" on basic medical supplies like antibiotics and painkillers. On Feb. 9, the Washington Post reported that food aid was little more than rice, and “Every day, tens of thousands of Haitians face a grueling quest to find food, any food. A nutritious diet is out of the question.”
At the same time, the United States had assumed control of Haiti’s airspace, landed 6,500 soldiers on the ground, with another 15,000 troops offshore at one point, dispatched an armada of naval vessels and nine coast guard cutters to patrol the waters, and the U.S. embassy was issuing orders on behalf of the Haitian government. In a telling account, the New York Times described a press conference in Haiti at which “the American ambassador and the American general in charge of the United States troops deployed here” were “seated at center stage,” while Haitian President René Préval stood in the back “half-listening” and eventually “wandered away without a word."
In the first week, the U.S. commander, Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, said the presence of the Haitian police was “limited” because they had been “devastated" by the earthquake. The real powers in Haiti right now are Keen, U.S. ambassador Louis Lucke, Bill Clinton (who has been tapped by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to lead recovery efforts) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. When asked at the press conference how long U.S. forces were planning to stay, Keen said, “I’m not going to put a time frame on it" while Lucke added, “We’re not really planning in terms of weeks or months or years. We’re planning basically to see this job through to the end.”
While much of the corporate media fixated on "looters,” virtually every independent observer in Haiti after the earthquake noted the lack of violence. Even Lt. Gen. Keen described the security situation as "relatively calm." One aid worker in Haiti, Leisa Faulkner, said, “There is no security threat from the Haitian people. Aid workers do not need to fear them. I would really like for the guys with the rifles to put them down and pick up shovels to help find people still buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings and homes. It just makes me furious to see multiple truckloads of fellows with automatic rifles."
Veteran Haiti reporter Kim Ives concurred, explaining to “Democracy Now!”: “Security is not the issue. We see throughout Haiti the population themselves organizing themselves into popular committees to clean up, to pull out the bodies from the rubble, to build refugee camps, to set up their security for the refugee camps. This is a population which is self-sufficient, and it has been self-sufficient for all these years.”
| February 8, 2010
GUILTY! Japan's justice system "breached human rights of Greenpeace anti-whaling activists"
by Greenpeace International, email@example.com
Beginning February 15th two Greenpeace activists - Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, known as the 'Tokyo Two' - will be on trial in Japan for their role in exposing major corruption in the government funded Japanese whaling industry.
Recently, a division of the United Nations Human Rights Council has ruled that the Tokyo Two's human rights have been breached by the Japanese justice system. This is the first ever such ruling of its kind for Japan.
Junichi and Toru have put their freedom and rights on the line to defend whales - please pledge your support for them. Tell the Japanese government that it is whaling that should be on trial - not those who oppose it.
We will ensure that your pledge is communicated to the government of Japan as we show the strong level of support behind Junichi and Toru during their trial.
[You can follow updates from the trial on our Facebook page
, or by following the Twitter
list @Greenpeace/whaletrial or hashtag #whaletrial.]
Much heartfelt thanks,
Things you can do now! http://www.greenpeace.org/international/getinvolved
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This Media is a way to communicate workable sound solutions to problems arising in the
world. Let us share our problems and workable sound solutions. Sharing information is a necessity to all life and humanity's
survival. Our world is changing fast before our eyes, and we must react quickly and hard to protect all life on Earth. No hesitation! Right now and no waiting! Life on the planet is our first priority. We must protect it at all costs. We, global
citizens, fight to protect life on Earth for this generation and the next ones. We are the defenders of the environment and the global life-support systems. We know who the beasts are, and how they destroy the living on our planet.
We have rallied together all over the world to protect our home, Earth. But this time we are not alone. We know it all! We know how everything works. And we will do whatever it takes to protect life on Earth.
"We the Peoples
", the Global Community, are the Earth revolutionaries, and we will protect life on Earth at all costs.
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GIM was organized with more than sixty sections. Each section allows everyone to participate in the Global Dialogue. You pick an issue, and you participate. All sections may contain any
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Just so you all know we don't pay anyone, and we don't pay expenses. We do volunteer work for humanity. We expect volunteers to be
responsible and accountable of all their actions. We do soft activism work. The Global Constitution shows us how to operate our organization. We follow Global Law as
shown in the Global Constitution. All those who do volunteer
work for us must become familliar with it and become 'global citizens'. We want our volunteers to be completely loyal to the Global Community and to the values and principles we
The world is in a state of perpetual turmoil. We are worlds within worlds orbiting in and through each other’s space.
Our interactions with one another can be planned and executed in a caring, considerate manner so that all may exist and not destroy the other.
A good place to start this day would be to see the people living in far away places as we see our neighbors. Neighbors are people we should see as people very much like ourselves. Love your neighbors as yourself.
Many scientists have shown that our genetic make-up as human beings are not that much different than that of many other life-forms. The reality is that we as people are not that
much different from one another. Our education and upbringings are different and created cultural and religious differences. Conflicts originate often because of these cultural and religious differences.
My teaching for the day is to make the effort to understand what make us different from one another and find a way to appreciate those differences.
We also have to make the effort of understanding other life-forms in Nature and appreciate the differences.
Because of brain capacity, we dont expect other life-forms of understanding us, but we do have a moral responsibility of understanding them and appreciate the differences.
God loves diversity in Nature and in Souls. God loves good Souls from all cultures and religions, and from all life. Yes there is a Soul in every living life-form and God
loves them too.
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
You may use the following short description of myself and the history of the organization.
Short description and history of the Global Community, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Govewrnments
The Global Community organization, Earth Government and the
Federation of Global Governments were founded in 1985 in Calgary, Canada by
Germain Dufour, Prophete of God, Spiritual Leader and President, and further developed
through Global Parliament meetings.
Later on in 1990s he was joined by his wife, Virginie, in the developing of many global concepts.
Symbiotical relationships were defined to show the path for a better world.
The Federation was formed to replace the United Nations. Its basic
proposal is a de-centralized global government. A Global
Government offers essential services to the people where it operates and
the Federation main function is to serve all people and help in this process
with the formation of Global Ministries to protect all life on our planet.
Essential services to the people of each member nation are now the most
important global rights on the Scale of Global Rights and are protected by the
Global Protection Agency (GPA) of each member nation whose function is
to enforce Global Law as defined in the Global Constitution. The Scale
is the fundamental guide to Global Law which itself includes
legislation covering all essential aspects of human activities. That is how we will bring
about the event of Peace amongst us all and give security to all people, all life on Earth.
As a first step to getting help, all nations can and should approve those first three sections on the Scale of Global Rights.
The approval would supersede the political and physical borders of participating member nations.
The Global Protection Agency (GPA) would have the approval from all member nations to give immediate help, bypassing normal government protocols.
Somewhat like an emergency unit but at the global level. That is what those first three sections mean. They represent an efficient and immediate emergency response to help.
First, participating member nations need to give their approval to the Global Protection Agency
The GPA is a global organization much like the World Trade Organization (WTO) for trade between nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) for health,
or the European Union, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), South American Community of Nations (SACON) for trade and economics.
The GPA offers an efficient emergency response to help.
The GPA is a short term solution, an immediate and efficient response to help.
There are also long term solutions. As with the short term solution, the most significant long term solution is also related to
the Scale of Global Rights. The Scale was entrenched in the Global Constitution and is thus the fundamental guide to Global Law.
Now the Scale of Global Rights is a long term solution and is also a part of the Global Movement to Help of the Global Community.
The Scale was designed to help all life on Earth. What would be preferable is that nations unite amongst themselves to help.
Over time, we have seen the creation of the United Nations, the European
Union, the South American Community of Nations, and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Except for the UN, these organizations are mainly concerned with trade and economics.
The Global Community offers a more meaningful union in the form of nine or more Global Governments. For instance the South American Community of Nations can be
a Global Government by simply accepting the Global Constitution as a way of dealing between member nations. A Global Government is concerned not only with economics and trade,
but also with the environment, health, agriculture, energy, food, social, cultural and many other essential aspects.
The Federation of Global Governments
is the place of meeting between Global Governments.
The very first step of the Federation, and maybe the only one for several decades ahead of us, would be the approval of essential services amongst the participating member nations. The Global
Community has researched and developed such services and listed them here.
All of them are already in operation on a small scale.
that there is no greater task in the world today than for the Global Community
to proceed through the maturation of its leadership, emerging from a more
self-interested adolescence as a global leader into a nobler adulthood.
We have the potential to act as a torchbearer for a better tomorrow. Do
we heed the call? I hope this message has convinced many international organizations and the millions of people who have been with us over the past decades,
that the question of how to proceed with that maturation is of far deeper
significance than the reforming of the United Nations.
In fact the United Nations should not be reformed it should be replaced by the Federation.
I thus pray that
we move with wisdom, grace, clarity, and love in the days, years, and even
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Federation of Global Governments
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On and around May 26, 2009, millions of people will join together in a global call to celebrate Life, the gift to the universe from God.
Celebration of Life Day
is May 26 every year, a day to say
thank you God for the gift of Life on Earth
On May 26, 2009, the Global Community asked all Peoples of the world to participate in this celebration of Life in your own community. The following project
was appropriate to everyone.
From the experience in your life and local community tell us:
* Why are you important to this Global
* Why is it important to you?
* What do you like about it?
* What bothers you about it?
* Anything need to be done?
* What is really good there?
* What is very very important?
* What is not so important?
* What is not good?
* What is needed to keep the good things?
* What could make them even better?
* What could you do to keep the good things good?
* Could they help get rid of bad things?
* What unimportant things need to go?
* How could you help get rid of these things?
to sustain Earth, humanity and all life.
Please send us the following information:
1. What are the most important issues that would allow your community become more sustainable? Over the past several years, many communities have held Life Day
dialogues to determine the answer to this question. We look forward to hearing from all of you.
2. A brief story of success in your community from the last 10 years in regard to a sound sustainable development.
3. A picture related to the above or to a Life Day
4. A sample of your idea of the Earth Flag
We will gather this information from groups all over the world and
compile it into a comprehensive report. Your work will be shown during Global Dialogue 2009.
Please mail or email your ideas, pictures and descriptions, videos, Earth Flag samples to:
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Federation of Global Governments
Visit our website for more details concerning the Celebration of Life Day.
Celebration of Life Day
On May 26, as part of the Global Community Peace Movement, the Human Family,we will be rejoicing with
all Peoples of the world , and all life, for the annual Celebration of Life Day. Life is the most precious gift ever
given by God to the universe and this event needs to be celebrated.
At the early stage of the formation of the Earth, and a while later, all the conditions for the formation of life were present, and
created to better serve God. Life was made of matter and every particle of that matter had a Soul that merged with all the others. A
Soul is a part of the Spirit of God, His consciousness, and is a living, loving presence, a Being. A Soul can merge with other Souls
and become one Soul, and it can evolve as well. The first spark of life was the cause for the formation of a unique and independent
Soul to better serve God. Throughout the different evolutionary stages of life on Earth, Souls have guided the step-by-step
evolution of life and kept merging with one another to better serve God. They guided the evolutionary process in small, incremental
ways over a period of several billion years. Many groupings of Souls became more complex than others as they were much brighter
beings than other groupings, but all serve God in their own special way.
One unique and most wonderful grouping was the grouping that made the Human Soul. God loves the human Souls a lot because of
their wonderful qualities. Over the past thousands of years, through their Souls human beings became conscious of God in many
different ways. Religions of all kinds started to spread on Earth to adore God and pray. Different groupings of Souls affected human
beings in different ways and Peoples today have different religious beliefs. God is like a river feeding plentifully and bountifully
all lifeforms and plants. There are many pathways leading to the river. They are God's pathways. God loves diversity in Nature and
in Souls. God loves good Souls from all religions.
Different religions have different ways to love, adore and pray to God. And God's Heaven exists. Heaven on Earth is different from
God's Heaven. To be in Heaven with God will mean a Soul has left the matter of the universe forever to enter God's Heaven.
The Divine Will or Will of God is the most powerful force of the universe and is pure spiritual energy. The Will
of God is for life to reach God, God’s Pure Light, in the best possible ways. Life is the building block through which Souls
can have a meaningful relationship with God. By observing the Universe, the galaxies, we are observing and studying God. We are
seeing His magnificence, His greatness, and His complex making. There is more to the Universe we observe today, that is, there is
more to God, much more. God is self-existent, eternal and infinite in space and time. Follow God's Word. God's Plan was revealed
to humanity a short while ago.
The Divine Plan for humanity is:
a) for everyone to manage Earth responsibly, and
b) about to reach the stars and spread Life throughout the universe and thus help other Souls to evolve and serve God in the best
Humanity’s higher purpose is to serve God by propagating life throughout the universe. Humanity will evolve spiritually to
fulfill God's Plan. The human species has reached a point in its evolution where it knows its survival is being challenged. The human
species knows through the Souls and now that all human Souls have merged together and formed the Soul of Humanity, we
will find it easier to fight for our own survival. The Soul of Humanity does not make decisions for us and can only help us
understand and guide us on the way. In the past, human beings have had some kind of symbiotical relationship
something common in Nature between lifeforms in an ecosystem) with the Souls, and now with the Soul of Humanity. We work
together for both our survival and well-being. Cooperation and symbiosis between lifeforms (especially human beings) on Earth
and between lifeforms and their Souls and the Soul of Humanity have become a necessity of life. We help one another, joint
forces, and accomplish together what we cannot accomplish separately. Several billion years ago this symbiosis between matter
and Souls resulted in the making of complex biochemical systems. Symbiosis has worked throughout the evolution of life on Earth
and today, the Soul of Humanity has decided to be more active with humanity by purifying Souls. The Soul of Humanity shows us
the way to better serve God.
The Soul of Humanity is helping to bring about the event of Peace in the world. Knowing that Earth is a spiritual entity as
well as a physical entity in space and time in the universe we begin to have a better relationship with Earth and with all its
living inhabitants. This way Earth management will become a spiritual and a natural process whereby each person is responsible and
accountable for its management the best they can. Peace in the world and Earth management have for too long been in the hands of
and affected by government and business leaders, in the hands of a few people on the planet, as opposed to being in the hands of
all of us (7 billion people on Earth) working together to keep our planet healthy. We are the keepers of the Earth.
The Soul of Humanity will help us:
* resolve problems, concerns and issues peacefully;
* reinstate the respect for Earth;
* work with humanity to keep Earth healthy, productive and hospitable for all people and living things;
* bring forth a sustainable global society embracing universal values related to human and Earth rights, economic and social justice;
respect of nature, peace, responsibility to one another;
* protect the global life-support systems and manage Earth;
* evolve spiritually to fulfill God’s Plan; and
* enter God’s Heaven, His Spirit, His Pure Light, His universal mind and global consciousness.
We have the responsibility of managing Earth. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of life within
Community. When there is a need to find a solution to a problem or a concern, a sound solution would be to choose a measure or
conduct an action, if possible, which causes reversible damage as oppose to a measure or an action causing an irreversible loss.
Life exists on millions of other planets in the universe and our species got to be who we are today through the evolutionary process.
Other lifeforms in the universe may have evolved to be at least as advanced as our species. Their Souls may even be more complicated
than ours. They may have merged a trillion times more than the human Souls. They may have evolved as well.
We the Peoples of the Global Community, the Human Family, are reaffirming faith in the fundamental human and Earth
rights, the Scale of Human and Earth Rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small. We
the Peoples implies every individual on Earth, every community and every nation. Earth management is now a priority and a
duty of every responsible person on Earth. The Global Community has taken action by calling the Divine Will into our lives and following its
guidance. Divine Will is now a part of the Soul of Humanity to be used for the higher purpose of good and life's evolution.
We will learn to serve humanity and radiate the Will of God to others.
As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. This requires a change of mind and heart, and calling
Divine Will to come into our life to show us the way. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility.
We must develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally, regionally, globally, and within ourselves
throughout life. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to
realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the ongoing collaborative search for truth and
Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize
diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual,
family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media,
businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of
civil society, and business is essential for an effective global governance based on global concepts and the Scale of Human
and Earth Rights.
In order to build a sustainable global community, each individual, each local community, and national governments of the world must
initiate their commitment to the Human Family.
Let our time be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the
quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. Let our expanding consciousness blend with
that of the Soul of Humanity.
Humanity welcomes the
"Belief, Values, Principles and Aspirations of the Global Community"
(see the Global Constitution on our website) with Faith in the Divine Will and without fears such as the fear of
change. Humanity seeks meaningful experiences and embraces the future for the better. Divine Will has caused the event of the Global Community.
Our time is the age of global cooperation and symbiotical relationships. There are many different kinds
of symbiotical relationships. Symbiotical relationships exist between nations of the European Union. It is mainly an economic base
symbiotical relationship. Other types of symbiotical relationships maybe created all over the world between communities, nations,
and between people themselves. The Global Community, the Global Governments Federation, and the Global Government of North America are examples.
They may be geographical, economical, social, business-like, political, religious, and personal.
There has always been symbiotical relationships in Nature, and between Souls and the matter of the universe to help creating Earth
and life on Earth to better serve God.
The Global Community has begun to establish the existence of a meaningful global co-operation all over the planet. National governments and
large corporations have taken the wrong direction by asserting that free trade in the world is about competing economically without
any moral safeguards and accountability to peoples and the environment. The proper and only way is for free trade to become a global
cooperation between all nations. Surely, if we can cooperate in fighting against terrorism, then we should also be able to
cooperate in fighting against the effects of the type of free trade and the emergence of the planetary trading blocks as applied
by national governments members of the World Trade Organization(WTO). It has already been shown (see Newsletters on
our website) that these effects will be disastrous socially and environmentally and are a direct threat to the existence of life
on Earth. The Global Community is proposing a solution that the process of trading within the planetary trading blocks be changed
from a spirit of global competition to that of global economic cooperation. This is the new way of doing business, the new way
The Global Community has made clear that globalization and planetary trading blocks should be serving the Human Family and not the other way around,
the people around the world serving the very few rich individuals. The September 11 event was the result of bad trading of
arms and oil and the absence of moral responsibility and accountability in our way of doing business with the Middle East nations.
By applying proper moral safeguards and accepting responsibility and accountability of all products (arms and oil in this case),
from beginning to end where they become wastes, each corporation would make free trade and globalization serving the Human Family.
The September 11 event was also a turning point in human history and indicated the end of the last superpower in the world and the
birth of the Global Community. Over its long past history trade has never evolved to require from the trading partners to
become legally and morally responsible and accountable for their products from beginning to end. At the end the product becomes
a waste and it needs to be properly dispose of. Now trade must be given a new impetus to be in line with the global concepts of
the Global Community. When you do exploration work, and develop, manufacture, produce, mine, farm or create a product, you become legally
and morally responsible and accountable of your product from beginning to end (to the point where it actually becomes a waste;
you are also responsible for the proper disposable of the waste). This product may be anything and everything from oil & gas,
weapons, war products, construction products, transportation and communications products and equipment, to genetically
engineered food products. All consumer products! All medical products! All pharmaceutical products! In order words, a person
(a person may be an individual, a community, a government, a business, an NGO, or an institution) becomes responsible and
accountable for anything and everything in his or her life.
Certainly an important action has been for the Canadian Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as it is. No more waiting! Time for
action is now! We are all responsible for the creation of global warming, and there are plenty of observable effects. Greenhouse
gases are accumulating dangerously in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, and temperatures are rising globally
due to these activities. Climate changes have to be manage without delays and the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is only the
beginning of a long fight for the protection of life on Earth. There is much more to be done to even come close to what we have to
do. The ratification was only the beginning to help save the next generations.
Global consumption is a very important aspect of globalization. Consumers should be concerned with the impact of their decisions on
the environment but also on the lives, human and Earth rights and well-being of other people. Since one of the key functions of
families as a social institution is to engage in production (selling their labour in return for wages) and consumption (using
those wages to buy goods and services), then the role of families has impacts on sustainable consumption and development.
Corporations are required to expand their responsibilities to include human and Earth rights, the environment, community and
family aspects, safe working conditions, fair wages and sustainable consumption aspects. Global Community has summarized the rights of every
person on Earth by developing the Scale of Human and Earth Rights. The scale will eventually be
replacing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Global Constitution established all rights.
Just as corporations have social responsibilities and so do consumers in societies. Consumers are socialized to improve the
quality of their lives. Quality of life is a multi-dimensional, complex and very subjective concept. For instance,
someone who has changed their consumption habits to better ensure that their choices will make a better quality of life for
themselves, the environment and future generations, may be seen by others as having a lower or inferior quality of life since they
have removed themselves from the materialistic mainstream characteristic of our consumer society. Someone may feel that an absence
of violence and abuse in their life leads to a higher quality of living even though they have fewer tangible resources, money, or
shelter; peace of mind and freedom from abuse has increased the quality of their daily life relative to what it was like before.
There are universal quality of life values which lead to "human betterment" or the improvement of the human condition. In addition
to the value of species survival (human and other living organisms), they include: adequate resources, justice and equality,
freedom, and peace or balance of power. A better quality of life for all people of the Global Community Earth Government is a goal for all of us and
one of our universal values.
Global Community found that an adequate level of health care is a universal value as well as a human right. We expect adequate health services to
be accessible, affordable, compassionate and socially acceptable. We believe that every individual of a society is co-responsible
for helping in implementing and managing health programmes along with the government and the public institutions.
Being unified under the Soul of Humanity, Divine Will, God the Spirit and the Human Family dissolve all barriers and expand our global
consciousness. We become more whole and complete within ourselves and as a group. Our common Spirit is able to resolve planetary
problems in a coherent way. One common 'global Vision'
allows us to see how all the parts of the whole relate to each other. We
have the right relationship with one another, with all lifeforms and Earth itself, and with the Soul of Humanity, the Divine Will
and God the Spirit.
On May 26, let us all celebrate life in our heart, mind and Spirit. Let us thank God for the gift of life.
On August 22 of every year the Global Community celebrates the Global Cultural Day, the Cultural Appreciation Day. The event's theme is "Culture, Values and Social Development."
Noting that culture and development are not mutually exclusive, event organizers are asked to promote a union between historical preservation and future local - global growth.
The Global Community is rich with tradition and art.
Culture is certainly tangible - churches, temples and monuments; and intangible - heritage with performing arts, fine arts or visual arts.
Every community is based on a society distinctly different from any other country and its people.
The Cultural Appreciation Day celebration.
The Cultural Appreciation Day celebration promotes the meaning of culture, the real nature of Humanity and what inhibits its development.
It is for all, regardless of education, age, race, political or religious beliefs. The idea of the Cultural Appreciation Day celebration is that Humanity
in truth is limitless, and that there is a unity underlying all the apparent diversity in our daily lives.
Activities during the celebration may include mask making, cooking, singing, music, dance/drama, and puppet making by and for the children.
The day provides vendors, live entertainment, children's activities, and food in celebration of the various cultural groups.
The Cultural Appreciation Day celebration occurs at the same time and is an important part of the Global Exhibition.
For the fourth year since the first time ever promoting of a Global Exhibition, there is a Global Exhibition at the time of Global Dialogue 2009, and at the same site in Nanaimo. It is also occurring
everywhere else in the world along with Global Dialogue 2009. People of all nations are asked to organize a Global Exhibition during the period August 17 - August 22 of each year.
We live in a world where all natural and human resources
are exploited without limits, so that a small minority can consume far more
than their rightful share of the world's real wealth. Now, while that is going on, we found
that the industrial era faces a burnout, because it is exhausting the human
and natural resource base on which our very lives depend.
A sound governance and management of our planet is needed for the long term survival of our species.
We need to grow strong caring communities in which we
get more of our human satisfaction from caring relationships and less from
material goods. We need to reclaim the
ideal of being a democratic middle-class people without extremes of wealth
And we need to realize what is a priority, what is the most
important, and what is the least important for our survival. We need to
make hard choices. We need a clear vision. We need a common vision. And
we must all change! There are many important aspects of our lives we can
no longer do, or should never do anymore. They are destructive. Humanity
and all life can no longer afford activities that destroy life and the
global environment, and certainly the military is a major one of them.
And there are other activities we must do, thousands of them, to assure
the survival of life on Earth. In view of the planetary state of emergency, we all must change, we must do things
differently to give life on Earth a better survival chance.
We need ways of organizing ourselves to help us live
in a world with less energy and fewer material goods. We need to recover a deep sense
of community that has disappeared from many of our lives. This means letting go
a sense of ourselves as consumption machine.
The Global Community has found that consumption of the
Earth resources and the amount of wastes we create can be managed very
differently, more efficiently, and be less destructive to the global environment.
Our ways of doing business and trade can be improved upon to decrease waste
and consumption of Earth resources.
Often what is called trade is really moving of resources
across borders between subsidiaries of the same corporation. Nothing to
do with free competition. Economic activity is centrally-managed and planned
by the corporate elite. Capital move freely across borders as restrictions
on the flow of money have been removed. Corporations can relocate their
operations to the countries with the lowest wages, the least active unions
and the lowest environmental standards. The reality is that more polluting
industries are encouraged to relocate to developing countries. A polluting
industry tends to increase the chances that people in the surrounding area
will have health problems. It costs less to dump a load of toxic waste
in the lowest wage country.
The Global Community has developed a strategy to improve
our ways of doing business and trade so as to protect all life on the planet.
Over its long past history trade has never evolved to require from the
trading partners to become legally and morally responsible and accountable
for their products from beginning to end. At the end the product becomes
a waste and it needs to be properly dispose of. Now trade must be given
a new impetus to be in line with the global concepts of the Global Community.
You manufacture, produce, mine, farm or create a product, you become legally
and morally responsible and accountable of your product from beginning
to end (to the point where it actually becomes a waste; you are also responsible
for the proper disposable of the waste). This product may be anything and
everything from oil & gas, weapons, war products, to genetically engineered
food products. All consumer products. All medicinal products! All pharmaceutical
The natural resources of the Earth belong to all the "global communities" along with the Global Community where they are found.
When people know they own the resources in their communities then people can start directing the wealth of their resources towards
the building of local-to-global economic democracies in order to meet the needs for food, shelter, universal healthcare, education, and employment for all in their community.
The Global Community concept of ownership states
that land and natural resources of our planet are a common heritage and
belong equally to everyone, to all life on Earth, as a birthright. Products
and services created by individuals are properly viewed as private property.
Products and services created by a group of individuals are properly viewed
as collective property.
Along with ownership comes the obligation of using the
resources, share them or lose them. Land and all other Earth natural resources
are not commodities. Use the land, share it or lose it. This principle
also applies to banks and similar institutions all over the world and to
Wall Street. You own property because the previous owners could not pay.
Use that property, share it or lose it.
It should also be our goal to create locally owned enterprises
that sustainably harvest and process local resources to produce jobs, goods
and services. We should favor local firms and
workers, who pay local taxes, live by local rules, respect and nurture
the local ecosystems, compete fairly in local markets, and contribute to
A community should benefit from the use of commonly held natural resources. That includes land, air, water, all minerals, and the electromagnetic spectrum.
The exploitation and use of natural resources should be taxed.
Moving taxes onto resources and land use and off of incomes should make people
less expensive to employ.
Taxes should be designed to conserve resources and energy, and increase employment.
Labour should not be taxed but pollution should.
Resource taxes should be assessed as early as possible.
Resources should be taxed before entering the manufacturing process in
order to green all aspects from extraction phase to the finished product.
Be sustainable locally first, and globally next only if needed. Let go
the WTO, NAFTA or any free trade agreement.
A workable type of Tobin tax should be in place as
it is a powerful instrument to promote global sustainability and force
shareholders to be responsible and accountable to the people of global communities.
A Tobin tax is a tax on
all trade of currency across borders to put a penalty on short-term speculation
in currencies. The tax rate should be 10 to 25 cents per hundred dollars.
The proposal is important due to its potential to prevent global financial
crises such as we are seeing now. Also, an estimated $500 billion per year
makes it possible to meet urgent global priorities, such as preventing
global warming, disease, and unemployment.
The tax should be managed by the
Global Community and the Federation of Global Governments. In the globalized
economy, there is a lack of adequate funding for global problems which threaten local
communities worldwide. Projects which could help to address these needs
and create jobs will cost more than $500 billion annually. Private donors
do not meet the need, and some nations cut their aid budgets. New multilateral
approaches to public finance, such as Tobin Taxes, may provide part of
We are facing the dire consequences of ecological collapse, Climate change, water scarcity, extinction of biodiversity and over population.
In the past 20 million years, the carbon dioxide content of the biosphere has been 300 ppm. Only in the past hundred years has the carbon dioxide reached 370 ppm. The question is whether this change may
react in such a way that it becomes a tipping point for extreme disaster.
In 1930, the population of the planet was2 billion. In 2000. It was 6 billion. In 2020. It will be 8 billion
There is massive, inequity in distribution of world income. A living wage in San Francisco, is $96 a day. Poverty in the US is
defined as, $12 a day. 60% of people in the world live on less than three dollars a day and they cannot afford any of the economic material luxury goods, which the current global economy thrives on.
40% of people by 2020 will not have enough water to live on and 95% of people in the world are predicted to be living in urban situations.
It is predicted that oil will peak by 2010. Oil is the source for growing food and fertilisers and plastics etc,. Because of this, the poorest people in the world will not be able to sell sufficient goods to survive.
We are in phase six of biodiversity, mass extinction. Within 20 years, 20% of biodiversity will be extinct and 50% by 100 years. This makes the biosphere, unsustainable. We are looking towards a whole
systems crisis within 20 years, unless we get our act together fast.
The structure of the political system is changing, due to the rapid change in the nature of information now available andthe fact that individuals have a greater say in what they want. Individuals, therefore, need to
be educated, and there needs to be greater emphasis on holistic education and holistic health. Economic rationalism per se does not work in a global milieu which does not have infinite resources.
Peace needs to be emphasised above all else, because the greatest threat to our extinction as a species is aggressive competition and war. There are still 40,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and we
completely forget about this., when we talk about climate change.
The big change occurring, which seems to be ignored., generally, is the coming together of science and religion. It is now proven scientifically, that Human consciousness has a profound effect on the
environment, as well as on society. The experiments done are more valid and more stringent than any medical double-blind trial, you will see for example in The New England Journal of Medicine.
For humanity , to survive a greater emphasis needs to be on decentralized representation, and a transnational representation of the voices of the Global community of people who in their billions are crying out for change
The creation of Ministries and Commissions for peace throughout the World would be a tremendous advance for global society, in rapid transformation and change
Only by expressing in every way the new paradigm based on interrelationship, interdependency and cooperation amongst all humanity regardless of race, creed, culture or belief system can we hope to
reverse the trend of global degradation and demise
The Global Community claims that everyone on Earth should
be able to live in peace. This Global Peace Mouvement is about the courage
to live a life in a harmonious peace order and showing by example, thus
preventing poverty, wars, terror and violence. We need to educate the coming
generations with good principles, being compassionate, social harmony and
global sustainability being some of them.
The responsibility of a peacemaker is to settle differences through compromise and negotiation before they erupt into violence. Conflicting
views do not have to bring about fighting. War is an irreversible solution to a problem. War is never an appropriate solution to resolve a conflict. In order to bring about the event of peace, the Global Community is offering other good organizations around
the world to work together to bring warring parties to peace.
Peace in the world and the survival and protection of all life on our planet go hand-in-hand. Asking for peace in the world means doing whatever is necessary
to protect life on our planet. Protecting life implies bringing about the event of peace in the world.
Let our time be a time remembered for a new respect for life, our determination to achieve sustainability, and our need for global justice and peace.
From now on, building global communities for peace require understanding of global problems this generation is facing. There are several major problems: conflicts and wars,
no tolerance and compassion for one another, world overpopulation, unemployment,
insufficient protection and prevention for global health, scarcity of resources and drinking water, poverty, Fauna and Flora species disappearing at a fast rate,
global warming and global climate change, global pollution, permanent lost of the Earth's genetic heritage, and the destruction of the global life-support systems and
the eco-systems of the planet. We need to build global communities that will manage themselves with the understanding of those problems.
All aspects are interrelated: global peace, global sustainability, global rights and the environment. The jobless is more concerned
with ending starvation, finding a proper shelter and employment, and helping their children to survive. Environmental issues become
meaningless to the jobless. In reality, all concerns are interrelated because the ecology of the planet has no boundaries. Obviously, as soon as our environment is destroyed or polluted
beyond repair, human suffering is next.
Our goal for peace in the world can only be reached by resolving those global problems. Those problems have brought up a planetary state of emergency.
In view of the planetary state of emergency, shown and declared by the Global Community, we all must change, we must do things differently to give life on Earth a better
survival chance and bring about the event of peace amongst us all.
Our first objective was to find statements from all religions, all faiths, that promote ethical and moral responsibility to life and a responsible Earth management.
This was assumed to work well within the context of the global civilization of the 3rd Millennium and after defining the Global Community criteria of symbiotical
relationships. In this context, we have defined that
any symbiotical relationship is for the good of all. It is based on a genuine group concern and unconditional support for the individual's well-being ~ a giant leap in human behaviour.
Symbiotical relationships are needed today for the long term future of humanity, for the protection of life on our planet,
and to bring about the event of peace amongst us all.
The fundamental criteria of any symbiotical relationship is that a relationship is created for the good of all groups participating in the
relationship and for the good of humanity, all life on Earth. The relationship allows a global equitable and peaceful development and a more stable and inclusive global
Religious rituals now support the conservation efforts and play a central role in governing the sustainable use of the natural environment.
The Global Movement to Help, an initiative of the Global Community and of the Federation of Global Governments, is now applying more emphasis on the urgent need from
the people of all nations to give everyone essential services.
The urgent need to give all Global Citizens essential services was made obvious in the past few years after the occurrence of natural disasters, and the
global destruction created by the military.
The very first step of the Federation, and maybe the only one for several decades ahead of us, is the approval of essential services amongst the participating member
nations. To that effect, new global ministries will be established to guide us onto the path of global sustainability.
Through these new global ministries, we want each Global Government to take a larger share of responsibility of the specific region where it operates, and be more accountable to the people of that region.
Be compassionate. Essential services to the people of each member nation are now the most important global rights on the Scale of Global Rights and are protected by the
Global Protection Agency (GPA) of each member nation. The GPA will train and lead a global force, bypassing traditional peacekeeping and military bodies such as the United Nations and NATO.
The GPA is a short term solution, an immediate and efficient response to help.
There are also long term solutions. The Scale of Global Rights is the fundamental guide to Global Law. Global Law includes legislation covering all essential aspects of human activities.
The GPA will enforce the law. And that is a long term solution to the planetary state of emergency.
And that is also how we can solve the global problems facing this generation, thus largely improving the quality of life of the next
generations, and that is how we will bring about the event of peace amongst us all.
An important aspect of global governance is the security
of a person and of a nation. Security must be achieved by other means than conflicts
and wars. We might as well shelved the war industry from humanity right
now and that means phasing out all nuclear, biological, chemical weapons
right now. War products and equipment and weapons of mass destruction from all nations must be decommissioned.
Governments that have weapons of masss destruction are obviously terrorist governments. The Global Community is asking them to disarm.
Global security can only be achieved if it can be shared by all peoples and through global co-operation, based on principles as explained
in the Global Constitution such as justice, human dignity, and equity for all and for the good of all.
War is not sustainable to all life on the planet. It never was. The military option, war, is against global sustainability and global peace in a big way.
The worst environmental degradation happens in wars.
The military is no replacement to the " will of the people ", democracy, the rule of law, social justice, and to Global Rights and
Global Justice. The Global Community has no need of a subversive military
force. NATO must be subject to the people, the Global Community, and to
the Federation of Global Governments.
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