Politics and Justice without borders

Global Community Newsletter

Volume 10 Issue 7 July 2012
Theme this month:

Dirty tar sands oil bi-products of Alberta, Canada, used for global pollution and mass destruction

President Obama
A) Thank you letter to President Obama concerning your decision not allowing the world dirtiest oil, tar sands oil from Alberta, to enter on American soil.
a) Animation movie in (.swf)
b) Animation movie in (.wmv)
c) Canadian tar sands oil a living insanity.
d) Stop the madness of tar sands oil pipeline construction.
e) Dirty tar sands oil bi-products of Alberta, Canada, used for global pollution and mass destruction.
B) Letter to President Barack Obama concerning your re-election as President of the United States of America

Dirty tar sands oil bi-products of Alberta, Canada, used for global pollution and mass destruction
click on the following animation of this monthly Newsletter.

Dirty tar sands oil bi-products of Alberta, Canada, used for global pollution and mass destruction

Global Peace Village is a project of the Global Community. Global Peace Village

The theme of this Newsletter has been written by Global Peace Village.

The dirty tar sands oil of Alberta, Canada, is fuelling war machines, the war industry and the military. It is the use of bi-products from the refining of the dirty tar sands oil that truly causes destruction on a global scale. Let us stop the pollution and destruction brought forward by the dirty tar sands oil of Alberta.
The dirty tar sands oil of Alberta, Canada, is fuelling war machines, the war industry and the military

The list and links of all of our videos so far are found here.  The list and links to all of Global Community animations.
The list of all Global Community video games so far are found here.  The list and links to all of Global Community video games.

Read about the introductory text concerning Global Peace Village: the way forward. Read about the introductory text concerning Global peace Village: the way forward.
Short list of previous articles and papers on Global Peace
Short list of previous articles and papers on Energy and the protection of the global life-support systems

See the following artboards of
"Thank you letter to President Obama concerning your decision not allowing the world dirtiest oil, tar sands oil from Alberta, to enter on American soil".

Artboard #1 Thank you President Obama Artboard #2 Artboard #3 Artboard #4 Artboard #5 Artboard #6

The theme for this month Newsletter is best described by the following animation:

Dirty tar sands oil video in different formats

Note: the swf and html files are quick download but with low quality; the others have higher quality but will take several minutes to download.
a) swf file
b) html file
c) mp4 file (490 MB)
d) mov file (141 MB)
e) flv file (108 MB)
f) f4v file (191 MB)

Text from above animation (.pdf)
Additional notes (.pdf) from Soullife
Text from above animation (.docx)
Additional notes (.docx) from Soullife

Text found in this month theme dirty tar sands oil animation.

Dirty tar sands oil bi-products of Alberta, Canada, used for global pollution and mass destruction

Dirty tar sands oil bi-products of Alberta, Canada, used for global pollution and mass destruction
Global Community
July 2012
The observable Universe from Earth contains billions of galaxies each one with billions of stars.

Civilizations on Earth are not ready for the exploration of the Universe.

Peace in the world and Earth management have for far too long been in the hands of a few people on the planet, the 1%.

I am Soullife, God's Spirit.

Pollution is global and already found in critical proportions in water, air and land. Everyone on the planet needs to take responsibility to protect life.

The dirty tar sands oil of Alberta, Canada, is fuelling war machines, the war industry and the military. It is the use of bi-products from the refining of the dirty tar sands oil that truly causes destruction on a global scale.

Let us stop the pollution and destruction brought forward by the dirty tar sands oil of Alberta.

Let us take a close look at what comes out of the pipelines carrying the dirty tar sands oil.

See what we find: pollution and bi-products use for destruction. Tell Canada, the United States and China to stop production today. Planet Earth will be so much better without the dirty tar sands oil. Look! There are two scenarios of what will happen for using the dirty tar sands oil of Alberta to pollute and destroy the planet, the Global Community.

The first scenario shows you what most people think will happen. And at the very end here, in the second scenario, I will show you what will really happen if we continue using the dirty tar sands oil of Alberta.

The first scenario shows you only fringes of a truly bad future the next generations will have to endure. As you see here on the following pictures, future generations will have to wear masks over their faces for breathing to protect against the pollution caused by the use of the dirty tar sands oil of Alberta. Every human activity will be subjected to wearing masks. Conservatives and Republicans will tell you oh but that is good it will create jobs, a new business will make specialized masks.

Technology will not advanced fast enough to resolve problems of global warming, an after effect of using the dirty tar sands oil of Alberta. Global warming happens now, and there plenty of natural disasters happening right now in the world to give you a glimpse of what is coming sooner than predicted. Global warming happens much faster!

The second scenario is what humanity will truly suffer. Do you see any life here? Do you? This is the pathway you are on right now because of using the dirty tar sands oil of Alberta: pollution and destruction all over the planet.

Pollution is not the only result of bad governance and the erratic management of Earth. At the source of it all is the energy sector of the planet. What is fuelling these bad human behaviors is the dirty tar sands oil and the wealth this fossil fuel and bi-products bring to the CEOs and shareholders, the 1%.

What we need to understand is that pollution is not just destroying the global life support systems but it is the use of the bi-products from the refining of the dirty tar sands oil that truly causes destruction on a global scale. The dirty tar sands oil is a very special type of heavy oil from which bi-products can be manufactured for the only purpose of war.

The dirty tar sands oil is fuelling war machines, the war industry and the military. It is a living insanity. The abundance of oil has so far propelled governments, especially the United States and Great Britain governments, to manufacture astronomically high number of war products. Oil by-products are used to make the war machine more polluting and are destructive worldwide.

Text from above animation (.pdf)
Additional notes (.pdf) from Soullife
Text from above animation (.docx)
Additional notes (.docx) from Soullife

Artboards of the dirty tar sands oil
Pollution and destruction
Soullife front view
Soullife head
Dirty tar sands oil producers
Soullife walking
Soullife side view
Earth war machines

Pictures taken out in chronological order of the dirty tar sands oil animation sequence.
Sequence 0100293 Sequence 0100425 Sequence 0100995 Sequence 0101169 Sequence 0101271 Sequence 0101343 Sequence 0101364 Sequence 0101390 Sequence 0101393 Sequence 0101396 Sequence 0101415 Sequence 0101437 Sequence 0101458 Sequence 0101461 Sequence 0101553 Sequence 0101714 Sequence 0101723 Sequence 0101735 Sequence 0101749 Sequence 0101769 Sequence 0101775 Sequence 0101789 Sequence 0101805 Sequence 0102018 Sequence 0102045 Sequence 0102069 Sequence 0102077 Sequence 0102081 Sequence 0102135 Sequence 0102218 Sequence 0102283 Sequence 0102299 Sequence 0102313 Sequence 0102317 Sequence 0102333 Sequence 0102342 Sequence 0102403 Sequence 0102408 Sequence 0102410 Sequence 0102411 Sequence 0102417 Sequence 0102419 Sequence 0102464 Sequence 0102467 Sequence 0102500 Sequence 0102632 Sequence 0102641 Sequence 0102691 Sequence 0102893 Sequence 0102928 Sequence 0102967 Sequence 0103024 Sequence 0103140 Sequence 0103332 Sequence 0103336 Sequence 0103338 Sequence 0103341 Sequence 0103342 Sequence 0103343 Sequence 0103352 Sequence 0103357 Sequence 0103362 Sequence 0103487 Sequence 0103676 Sequence 0103699 Sequence 0103802 Sequence 0103910 Sequence 0104000 Sequence 0104108 Sequence 0104198 Sequence 0104306 Sequence 0104400 Sequence 0104498 Sequence 0104600 Sequence 0104696 Sequence 0104804 Sequence 0104900 Sequence 0105008 Sequence 0105110 Sequence 0105236 Sequence 0105350 Sequence 0105416 Sequence 0105512 Sequence 0105620 Sequence 0105722 Sequence 0105854 Sequence 0105932 Sequence 0106004 Sequence 0106100 Sequence 0106196 Sequence 0106304 Sequence 0106454 Sequence 0106562 Sequence 0106616 Sequence 0106736 Sequence 0106796 Sequence 0106904 Sequence 0107000 Sequence 0107108 Sequence 0107204 Sequence 0107330 Sequence 0107396 Sequence 0107498 Sequence 0107612 Sequence 0107702 Sequence 0107798 Sequence 0107894 Sequence 0108002 Sequence 0108092 Sequence 0108206 Sequence 0108296 Sequence 0108386 Sequence 0108470 Sequence 0108572 Sequence 0108680 Sequence 0108782 Sequence 0108872 Sequence 0108998 Sequence 0109394 Sequence 0109832 Sequence 0110042 Sequence 0110264 Sequence 0110456 Sequence 0112433

Daily reminder

This is the way. Message from the Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Message from the Editor.GIM  Message from the Editor
Politics and Justice without borders: what we stand for. Politics and Justice without borders: what we stand for
Message from the President of Global Parliament, the Federation of Global Governments.Message from the President of Earth Government
History of the Global Community organization, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments.History of the Global Community Organization and Interim Earth Government Since its beginning in 1985, many accomplishments can be claimed by the Global Community:History of the Global Community organization and Earth Government
Global Community days of celebration or remembering during the year.Global Community Days of Celebration
A reminder of her passing away. Virginie was a great global citizen, and we all owe her something that's forever. GIM  Message from the Editor
Life Day Celebration on May 26. Participate.Life Day Celebration May 26. Participate.
Participate now in Global Dialogue 2012, no fees. Participate now in Global Dialogue 2012
Global Dialogue 2012 Introduction.Global Dialogue 2012 Introduction
Global Dialogue 2012 Program Global Dialogue 2012 Program
Global Dialogue 2012 OVERVIEW of the process.  Global Dialogue 2012 OVERVIEW of the process
Global Dialogue 2012 Call for Papers.Global Dialogue 2012 Call for Papers
We seek more symbiotical relationships with people and organizations.We seek more symbiotical relationships
Note concerning personal info sent to us by email.Note concerning personal info sent to us by email
We have now streamlined the participation process in the Global Dialogue.We have now streamlined the participation process in the Global Dialogue
Global Community Days of Celebration and Remembrance during the year.Global Community Days of Celebration and Remembering during the year

Top of the page

GIM Proclamations

Authors of research papers and articles on global issues for this month

Bill Van Auken, John Scales Avery, Common Dreams Staff, Jonathan Cook, Guy Crequie, Marielle Dufour, Gwynne Dyer, Dana Gabriel, Peter Goodchild, Stephen Leahy, Charles Mercieca, Fred Pearce, Nicholas Russo

Bill Van Auken, CIA Directing Arms Shipments To Syria's Rebels CIA Directing Arms Shipments To Syria's Rebels
John Scales Avery, Four Futures Four Futures
Common Dreams Staff, Earth Facing Imminent Environmental 'Tipping Point Earth Facing Imminent Environmental 'Tipping Point
Jonathan Cook, The Evil Of Humanitarian Wars The Evil Of Humanitarian Wars
Marielle Dufour, Meditation cosmique (video) Meditation cosmique (video)
Gwynne Dyer, Rio+20: Vengeance Too Long Delayed Rio+20: Vengeance Too Long Delayed
Dana Gabriel, Using The TPP To Renegotiate And Expand NAFTA Using The TPP To Renegotiate And Expand NAFTA
Peter Goodchild, The Future Size Of World Population The Future Size Of World Population
Stephen Leahy, CO2 Level Hits 400 PPM, Do We Have A Way Out? CO2 Level Hits 400 PPM, Do We Have A Way Out?
Charles Mercieca, Discovering the Most Brutal Enemies of our Earthly Community Discovering the Most Brutal Enemies of our Earthly Community
Fred Pearce, Land Grabs: A Global Epidemic Land Grabs: A Global Epidemic
Nicholas Russo, In Lead-Up To Climate Summit, Scientists Issue Warning Of Biosphere Collapse In Lead-Up To Climate Summit, Scientists Issue Warning Of Biosphere Collapse

Articles and papers of authors
 Data sent
 Theme or issue
 June 2, 2012  
Abonné à des réseaux de par le monde, je reçois des informations sur les drames, mutilations, que connaît notre belle planète bleue vue du ciel, et si maltraitée à portée de notre vision. D’Argentine, Colombie, … Du Nigéria, d’Amazonie, de Chine, d’Inde, de pays européens, etc., je lis des agressions multiples de notre biosphère.

Cependant du 20 au 23 juin, à RIO, lors du sommet sur la terre n’étaient pas présents : Monsieur OBAMA, Monsieur POUTINE, Madame MERKEL, Monsieur CAMERON, etc.

Vingt-six ans après le premier sommet de la terre à RIO, l’hypothèse d’une tragique déception pour prendre le terme de Ban KI MOON, Secrétaire général de l’ONU, est ce qui est prévu ! Ceci car avant même la tenue du sommet, les experts avaient préparé un projet de déclaration finale minimum, loin des nécessités et attentes !

Je le dis à nouveau ; il faut l’engagement citoyen d’ONG, d’Associations de paix et d’harmonie, pour contrôler et mieux infléchir, les politiques des gouvernements sur ce point, et mieux ; leur imposer la direction, le sens du souhaitable pour les peuples.

Avec la crise actuelle, et les dures lois du système libéral du marché sans concorde ni miséricorde, réconcilier propreté de la nature et éthique des comportements humains n’est pas la priorité des Etats. Il y a 26 ans, le premier sommet de RIO avait défini 90 objectifs fondamentaux. En 2011, 4 seulement sont engagés sérieusement. Les autres, dont celui de la limitation des émissions de gaz à effet de serre sont en déshérence.

En 2009, la conférence de Copenhague sur le climat avait pris l’engagement de contenir le réchauffement climatique à 2 degrés.

Cela semble utopique aujourd’hui et hélas. Selon les études du GIEC (groupe d’experts intergouvernementaux sur l’évolution du climat), les températures moyennes pourraient réellement augmenter de 3 à 5 degrés d’ici la fin du siècle.

Alors, si tel est le cas, il convient d’être lucide même si c’est avec effroi ! Qui pourra arrêter les catastrophes liées aux tsunamis, à la sécheresse, aux famines et aux flux migratoires provoqués par ces catastrophes ? Ceci, au risque de créer des guerres ou des conflits ethniques.

Oui, pour gagner des millions de consciences des organisations ont été créés ou sont dirigées par des personnalités soucieuses du respect de la vie, de toute vie : humaine certes, mais également animale, végétale, minérale. A l’exemple de Federico MAYOR, Daisaku IKEDA, Joseph BEROLO et Ernesto KAHAN, Carlos GARRIDO CHALEN, Ada AHARONI et Maria CRISTINA AZCONA, Nina GONRACHOVA, Léo SEMASHKO, Charles MERCIECA, Germain DUFOUR, Nicolas HULOT, David STRINGER, et tant d’autres que je ne peux tous désigner. Ces organisations sont indispensables.

Selon l’ONU : les catastrophes liées aux inondations ont augmenté de 230% entre 1980 et 2000, et de 38% pour la sécheresse et ces tendances s’accroissent entre 2000 et 20011.

De sols ont été souillés par l’exploitation du pétrole, l’extraction de divers minerais sans garanties de non pollution ou de protection des sols pour leur utilisation et transport. Ceci pour respecter la seule règle du profit rapide et maximum .Ceci, sans la précaution maximale des conditions de travail de salariés et du respect de la santé des autochtones. Chaque année, 13 millions d’hectares de forêts disparaissent, il y a le tassement ou la pollution des nappes d’eau douce dans les zones agricoles en Inde, comme dans les grandes plaines des Etats-Unis. Il y a l’épuisement des stocks d’hydrocarbures, des minerais et 415 côtes côtières seraient envoie d’eutrophisation.

Et ce sans parler du drame et des incidences pas encore toutes appréhendées d’une catastrophe comme celle de Fukushima au Japon.

Alors quelles solutions avec un tel bilan :

L’OCDE (organisation de coopération de développement économique réclame de supprimer les subventions préjudiciables à l’environnement et d’intégrer dans les prix : le coût de la pollution afin d’éviter que le développement humain lui-même ne soit compromis.

Le BIT (bureau international du travail) estime, que la conversion à une économie plus respectueuse de l’environnement pourrait créer de 15 à 60 millions d’emplois dans le monde en deux décennies.

La France et d’autres pays, sont favorables à la création de l’Organisation mondiale de l’environnement comme il existe l’OMC (organisation mondiale du commerce.) Certes, je n’y suis pas défavorable !Cependant, pour créer une nouvelle structure, il faut d’abord décider au départ de lui accorder les moyens en compétences humaines, en moyens financiers, en pouvoir juridique de décision, et surtout par un engagement solennel, que les Etats aient la volonté politique et enfin : de le faire comme un priorité pour l’équilibre du monde et de la paix entre continents et pour notre survie et harmonie à terme avec la nature . En sachant, que tout ce qui serait fait positivement maintenant, n’aurait des premières incidences que dans une vingtaine d’années.

Le fait, que les philosophes eux-mêmes doivent s’impliquer dans ce débat, démontre l’ampleur du malaise et des solutions qu’il exige.

Plus que de la seule confiance en les gouvernements et leurs experts, il y faut la volonté et l’urgence des peuples d’agir pour notre survie.

Copyright Guy CREQUIE
Ecrivain français à finalité philosophique




Subscribed with networks all over the world, I receive information on the dramas, mutilations, which our beautiful blue planet seen of the sky knows, and if maltreated within reach of our vision. From Argentina, Colombia,… Of Nigeria, of Amazonia, of China, of India, European countries, etc, I read multiple aggressions of our biosphere.

However from June 20th to June 23rd, in RIO, at the time of the top on the ground were not present: Mr OBAMA, Mr PUTIN, Mrs MERKEL, Mr CAMERON, etc

Twenty-six years after the first top of the ground in RIO, the assumption of a tragic disappointment to take the term of Round of applause KI MOON, General secretary of UNO, is what is envisaged! This because before even the behavior of the top, the experts had prepared minimum a finale declaration plan, far from the needs and waitings!

I say it again; one needs the commitment citizen of ONG, Associations of peace and harmony, to control and better inflect, the policies of the governments on this point, and better; their to impose the direction, the direction of desirable for the people.

With the current crisis, and the hard laws of the liberal system of the market without harmony nor mercy, to reconcile cleanliness of the nature and ethics of the human behaviors is not the priority of the States. 26 years ago, the first Summit of RIO had defined 90 fundamental objectives. In 2011, 4 only are committed seriously. The others, whose that of the limitation of the gas emissions for greenhouse effect are in déshérence.

In 2009, the conference of Copenhagen on the climate had undertaken to contain climate warming with 2 degrees.

That seems utopian today and alas. According to the studies of the GIEC (group of expert intergovernmental on the evolution of the climate), the average temperatures could really increase by 3 to 5 degrees by the end of the century.

Then, if such is the case, it is advisable to be lucid even if it is with fear! Who will be able to stop the catastrophes related on the tsunamis, the drought, the famines and the migratory flux caused by these catastrophes? This, with the risk to create ethnic wars or conflicts.

Yes, to gain million consciences of the organizations were created or are directed by concerned personalities of the respect of the life, of any life: human certainly, but also animal, vegetable, mineral. The following the example of Federico MAYOR, Daisaku IKEDA, Joseph BEROLO and Ernesto KAHAN, Carlos GARRIDO CHALEN, Ada AHARONI and Maria CRISTINA AZCONA, Nina GONRACHOVA, Léo SEMASHKO, Charles MERCIECA, German DUFOUR, Nicolas Hulot, David STRINGER, and as well of others as I cannot all indicate. These organizations are essential.

According to UNO: the catastrophes related to the floods increased by 230% between 1980 and 2000, and by 38% for the drought and these tendencies increase between 2000 and 20011.

Grounds were soiled by the exploitation of oil, the extraction of various ores without guarantees of nonpollution or protection of the grounds for their use and transport. This to comply with the only rule of the fast and maximum profit.This, without the maximum precaution of the work conditions of paid and the respect of the health of the autochtones. Each year, 13 million hectares of forest disappears, there is the compressing or the pollution of the fresh water tablecloths in the agricultural zones in India, as in the large plains of the United States. There is the exhaustion of hydrocarbon stocks, of the ores and 415 coastal coasts would be sends of eutrophication.

And this without speaking of drama and of the incidences all not apprehended yet of a catastrophe like that of Fukushima in Japan.

Then which solutions with such an assessment:

OECD (cooperation organization of economic development claims to remove the subsidies prejudicial with the environment and to integrate in the prices: the cost of pollution in order to prevent that human development itself is not compromised.

The ILO (international office of work) estimates, that conversion with a more respectful economy of the environment could create from 15 to 60 million employment in the world in two decades.

France and other countries, are favorable to the creation of the Worldwide organization of the environment as there exists WTO (worldwide organization commercial.) Admittedly, I am not unfavourable there!However, to create a new structure, it should initially be decided at the beginning to grant the means in human competences to him, financial means, legal power of decision, and especially by a solemn undertaking, that the States have the political will and finally: to do it like a priority for balance of the world and peace between continents and for our survival and harmonizes in the long term with nature. While knowing, that all that would be done positively now, would have first incidences only in about twenty years.

The fact, that the philosophers themselves must imply themselves in this debate, shows the extent of discomfort and the solutions which it requires.

More than of the only confidence in the governments and their experts, one needs for it the will and the urgency of the people to act for our survival.

Copyright Guy CREQUIE
French writer with philosophical purpose
 May 27, 2012  
Discovering the Most Brutal Enemies of our Earthly Community
by Charles Mercieca

International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University
Hon President & Professor, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich
We can help solve all problems of our earthly community only if we were to get directly to their source. As the scholastics indicated: Quidquid contingens est causam habet – Whatever comes into being must have a cause. People across every continent are going through crucial pain of one kind or another. Such pain did not pop up from the midst of nowhere. Since in this world only people make things happen for the better or the worse, we may safely conclude that the origin all the problems facing the world could be traced to people.

Exposing the Source of Existent Problems

Our job as concerned citizens is to find the source of an existent problem as to bring it into the open for everyone to see with clarity. As Socrates said, when people become aware of the source of their problems, they proceed to take needed steps courageously and fearlessly and the problems are solved. If we were to analyze every problem that human beings faced, we will soon discover that such problems could always be traced to violations of the Divine Law.

This law is always applicable to all people of every culture, religion and philosophical orientation. Although the name of such a divine law may vary in various global areas, its essence remains the same… totally unchangeable for all practical purposes. The Divine Law was instituted by the Supreme Essence of the Universe, known as Causa Prima – the First Cause by Aristotle and simply as the Supreme Being, commonly known as God.

In the Judeo, Christian and Islamic tradition, this Divine Law is also referred to as the Ten Commandments that God gave to all of us around the world. The Divine Law was meant to protect God’s children from human abuses. As Jesus and many ascetical writers reminded us, God is pleased with us when we reveal our love for Him by action through the faithful observance of the Divine Law. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

God’s Ten Commandments may be stated briefly as follows: 1) Make God the most important element of your life, 2) Refer to God’s name with respect, 3) Devote God’s weekly day in holiness, 4) Demonstrate respect toward your parents, 5) Preserve the life of others by not killing anyone, 6) Respect the purity of people’s life, 7) Avoid stealing anything from others, 8) Prevent yourself from deceiving others through lies, 9) Show gratitude toward every wife you come across, and 10) Develop respect toward your neighbor’s property. We may trace the source of all problems in history through violations of such commandments.

People in Authority Fully Accountable

When those that violate these divine commandments happen to be people in authority, then the harm that comes out as a result may go on for several decades and even for many centuries. Hence, we cannot close our eyes to any action taken by those in authority, regardless of what their titles may be. When they perform actions that are in line with the Divine Law, then we should give them our wholehearted support. But when their actions reveal defiance to such a sacred law, then we should become vocal and demonstrate our opposition.

Each time we are faced with a conflict that reveals clearly a struggle between God and the Devil, we should throw our full weight behind God against the Devil by all means and without any hesitation. We may illustrate this by a few tangible examples that involve violations against the Divine Law. For all practical purposes, let us take the Ten Commandments, one by one as follows:

1) Making God the Supreme Being of our lives by observing His wishes on a daily basis with no exceptions whatsoever.

2) Referring to God’s name with respect in a way that He always comes first in our lives.

3) Devoting one full day a week in prayer and meditation as to seal my spiritual union with God by all means.

4) Demonstrating respect toward our parents, without whom we would have not been born to become an integral part of a constructive society.

5) Preserving the life of others by not killing and maiming anyone. This means that the waging of wars, under any circumstance, is strictly forbidden. Our culture of war mentality should be fully obliterated.

6) Respecting the purity of people’s life by not taking advantage of them through exploitation and other abusive means.

7) Avoiding stealing anything from others. Over the centuries, wars were mostly waged to control entire communities and nations and to confiscate from them anything good they may have.

8) Preventing ourselves from deceiving others through lies. There are hardly any politicians in the world that use honesty and fairness in dealing with people everywhere.

9) Showing gratitude toward every wife you come across. There has been hardly any war where women in general were spared from being treated as a piece of property without any respect for their human dignity. 10) Developing respect toward your neighbor’s property. Over the centuries to this very day, numerous sophisticated weapons have been developed whose purpose is to kill more and more people and to destroy their properties beyond repair. The latest of such weapons are known as the drones.

Culture of War Mentality in Perspective

Over the last few thousands of years, the entire world has been immersed in a culture of war mentality. The philosophy of the vast majority of nations has been built on machismo. In order to get what you want you have to become brutal as to take by force what you cannot take easily by peaceful means. The sacredness of human lives ceased to exist since it became only an instrument to get what one wants by all means. This culture of war has become a nightmare. We need to keep in mind that in a war everyone is a loser, now one a winner.

To make things worse, the manufacture and sales of weapons, along with the waging of never-ending wars, turned into a lucrative business, which nowadays it is all that counts. Weapons of all kinds are sold to all those who are ready to give the right price, friends and foes alike. Those nations that manufacture and sell weapons tell us that they want to make sure that their allies would be well protected in case they are attacked. Those that make such claims are either naïve or phenomenally wicked.

If they really believe what they say, then they must be naïve, morons in the strict sense. If they say so as an excuse to justify their continued manufacture and sales of weapons merely for profit, then they must be wicked, very brutal at heart. We need to learn from history that those nations that are our allies today may turn to become our mortal enemies tomorrow. Iran under the Shah was viewed as an ally by the USA. But under the Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran was then viewed as an emerging enemy.

The United States as a capitalistic nation believes that when it comes to making money, the “sky is not the limit.” This means we may device any plan we want as long as it generates more and more money in our pockets. The consideration as to whether it would be wise to equip other nations with weapons of all kind as to wage wars without any end in sight is never taken into consideration. Hence, we may begin to realize that those that are responsible for the manufacture and sales of weapons and the waging of wars have become our de facto brutal enemies.

There is no need to go into far-away lands to search for our mortal and deadly enemies. Our brutal enemies are to be sought in our native land. In view of what has been stated, we may now easily recognize them without the slightest shadow of a doubt. They are all those who, when it comes to action, they demonstrate total disregard for the Divine Law as explained in the Ten Commandments outlined and explained earlier. Our notorious and most brutal enemies are those involved with the manufacture and sales of weapons of all kind. They are known as the weapons and the military industries.

Our Mortal and Deadly Enemies at Work

Our mortal and deadly enemies have developed the habit to look at us in the eyes with artificial smiles, while trying to convince us that they feel deeply “obligated” to look after our security. These are normally our government officials whom we elect to whip things into order by putting the bulk of money in areas that are vital to our lives. These would include a good health care system, guaranteed social security, the best education possible for all citizens as to develop their talents to the maximum possible, and adequate home facilities for all people especially those in dire need.

Every government in the world that allows a foreign nation to build military bases on its territory is contributing toward the creation of animosity and needless threats to nearby countries. We have reached a stage in history where every single country cannot feel safe any longer. The reason lies in the fact that with our war products we are constantly germinating the seeds of future conflicts and wars. The time has arrived when all people of all countries should make sure that their respective nation develops into an island of peace and not serving as a platform for never-ending wars.

Every government that allows its nation to develop into a platform for future possible wars has, willy-nilly, become a brutal and notorious enemy not only to its own people but also to the people of the surrounding countries as well. Good intentions are not enough since we learned from history that the “way to hell is paved with good intentions.” We do have a substantial number of good countries, which are doing very well in their pursuit for a permanent peace. We may enlist Costa Rica in Central America, Malaysia in Asia, New Zealand in the South Pacific, in addition to others.

What do such countries demonstrate to have in common? They all refuse military aid of any kind and, instead, they opt for health care needs along with useful medical equipment, good education and adequate homes especially for the needy. They also believe the presence of the military stimulates suspicion.

Unless the institution of the military is changed from a war agency into a humanitarian organization, its presence has become increasingly detested by people everywhere. Since World War II ended in 1945, the United States became involved in wars more than all the nations of the world combined. Each time it became involved in war conflicts, the people of the locality like in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan always detested foreign military presence, from which they experienced systematical brutality. The military destroyed brutally not only the infrastructure of cities but killed numerous citizens without mercy.

Carrying out Brutal Orders Blindly

Everybody knows that the military in a nation is there to carry out orders from the government such a military represents. Still, the military is held fully accountable for all the atrocities people experience, among which the loss of their homes, places of worship and schools. This always creates thousands of refugees. In addition, many children become orphans since so many parents get killed. All of this explains why people in many countries have described the military as a terrorist organization sanctioned by the government that sent them.

Those nations in the world that believe in what they term to be “strong military” to provide for “national defense and security,” have proven that they have absolutely learned nothing from a recorded history of 6,000 years of civilization. History has repeatedly taught us that violence breeds violence and more violence breeds more violence. We often hear of the military used to bring about peace. When the military destroys cities along with the lives of people, the whole area is turned into a “cemetery” that is referred to as “peace!”

Since the beginning of times, there has never been a cemetery that was not peaceful. When people are dead and buried you never hear afterwards any noise from them. This is how the military is used by governments to bring about peace in any global area. Besides, the military has been the only institution in history that is accountable to no one. When we kill innocent people, we may be arrested, and later brought to trial for our act of murder. But when soldiers kill innocent people, upon their return home they are received and treated as heroes!

Finally, we may begin to see with crystal clarity that through a careful study of the realities that surround us, it would not take us long to discover the most brutal enemies of our earthly community. As stated earlier, to make constructive contributions to our earthly society, we need to explore and find the source of an existent problem as to bring it into the open for everyone to see with clarity. Once we all become aware of such a source, constructive actions are then bound to be taken and any brutal problem we face would then be solved.
 June 2, 2012  

The last time Earth saw similar levels of climate-heating carbon dioxide (CO2) was three million years ago during the Pliocene era, where Arctic temperatures were 10 to 14 degrees C higher and global temperatures four degrees C hotter.

Research stations in Alaska, Greenland, Norway, Iceland and even Mongolia all broke the 400 ppm barrier for the first time this spring, scientists reported in a release Thursday. A global average of 400 ppm up from the present 392 ppm is still some years off. If today's CO2 levels don't decline - or worse, increase - the planet will inevitably reach those warmer temperatures, but it won't take a thousand years. Without major cuts in fossil fuel emissions, a child born today could live in a plus-four-degree C superheated world by their late middle age, IPS previously reported. Such temperatures will make much of the planet unlivable.

In a four-degree warmer world, climate adaptation means "put your feet up and die" for many people in the world, said Chris West of the University of Oxford's UK Climate Impacts Program in 2009.

This week the International Energy Agency reported that the nations of the world's CO2 emissions increased 3.2 percent in 2011 compared to 2010. This is precisely the wrong direction: emissions need to decline three percent per year to have any hope of a stable climate.

By 2050, in a world with more people, carbon emissions must be half of today's levels.

Impossible? No. A number of different energy analyses show how it can be done.

Dutch energy consulting firm Ecofys published a technical study in 2010 called "The Energy Report" that demonstrates how the world could reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

Greenpeace has a plan called "Energy [R]evolution". Even the International Energy Agency has one: it's called the "450 Scenario".

There is no lack of technical knowledge about how to cut emissions and still keep the lights on. Some countries have already started.

Germany, a modern industrialized country, generated more than 30 percent of its energy from solar power one bright sunny day last week. Instead of using 20 or more climate-wrecking coal plants, Germany used the energy from more than one million solar panels on houses, buildings, along sides of highways - even those ugly highway sound barriers have solar panels.

Although hardly known for sunny weather, Germany has more solar panels than all the rest of the world combined. It gets four percent of its total annual electricity needs from solar. Germany could increase its solar output by a factor of five or 10, experts say, especially with recent drops in the cost of solar panels.

The difference in Germany is leadership. Hermann Scheer, a minister of economics in the German government, created the now famous feed-in tariff in 2000 that launched Germany's renewable energy revolution.

The outspoken Scheer had to both champion and defend this policy for many years to prevent successive governments from gutting it. He died suddenly in 2010. Other German politicians, supported by environmental groups and the public, have continued to push for more.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reversed her support for nuclear power following huge public protests following the catastrophe at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants in 2011. Germany will close its 17 nuclear plants by 2022. Renewables and energy efficiency are to replace that lost energy under an ambitious plan called "Agora Energiewende".

If successful, as much as 40 percent of Germany's energy will come from renewables by 2022.

German energy prices have risen and large power users, as well as the politically powerful energy sector, oppose Merkel's plan. The chancellor will need strong public support even though Germany's renewable energy sector now employs more people than its vaunted automobile industry.

Globally, the renewable energy sector now employs close to five million workers, more than doubling the number of jobs from 2006- 2010, according to a study released Thursday by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The transformation to a greener economy could generate 15 to 60 million additional jobs globally over the next two decades and lift tens of millions of workers out of poverty, concluded the study, "Working towards sustainable development".

Only 10 to 15 industries are responsible for 70 to 80 percent of CO2 emissions in the industrialized countries, the report discovered. And those industries employ just eight to 12 percent of the workforce. Even with policies forcing major reductions in emissions, only a fraction would lose their jobs.

"Environmental sustainability is not a job killer, as it is sometimes claimed," said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. "On the contrary, if properly managed, it can lead to more and better jobs, poverty reduction and social inclusion."

  Read CO2 Level Hits 400 PPM, Do We Have A Way Out?
 June 8, 2012  

Humankind is facing an imminent threat of extinction, according to new research released on Wednesday by the science journal Nature. The report Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere reveals that our planet's biosphere is steadily approaching a 'tipping point', meaning all ecosystems are nearing sudden and irreversible change that will not be conducive to human life.

The authors describe what they see as a fast paced 'state shift' once the tipping point is reached, which contrasts with the mainstream view that environmental change will take centuries. "It's a question of whether it is going to be manageable change or abrupt change. And we have reason to believe the change may be abrupt and surprising," said co-researcher Arne Mooers, a professor of biodiversity at Simon Fraser University in Canada's British Columbia.

"The data suggests that there will be a reduction in biodiversity and severe impacts on much of what we depend on to sustain our quality of life, including, for example, fisheries, agriculture, forest products and clean water. This could happen within just a few generations," stated lead author Anthony Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California in Berkeley.

"My colleagues who study climate-induced changes through the Earth's history are more than pretty worried," he said in a press release. "In fact, some are terrified," said co-researcher Arne Mooers, a professor of biodiversity at Simon Fraser University in Canada's British Columbia.

The report, written by 22 scientists from three continents ahead of this year's Rio+20 summit, claims that the 'state shift' is likely; however, humans may have a small window to curb over-consumption, over-population growth and environmental destruction, with drastic efforts to change the way we live on planet earth through international cooperation.

* * *

Agence France-Presse: Environmental collapse now a serious threat: scientists

Climate change, population growth and environmental destruction could cause a collapse of the ecosystem just a few generations from now, scientists warned on Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The paper by 22 top researchers said a "tipping point" by which the biosphere goes into swift and irreversible change, with potentially cataclysmic impacts for humans, could occur as early as this century. [...]

The Nature paper, written by biologists, ecologists, geologists and palaeontologists from three continents, compared the biological impact of past episodes of global change with what is happening today.

The factors in today's equation include a world population that is set to rise from seven billion to around 9.3 billion by mid-century and global warming that will outstrip the UN target of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

The team determined that once 50-90 percent of small-scale ecosystems become altered, the entire eco-web tips over into a new state, characterised especially by species extinctions.

Once the shift happens, it cannot be reversed.

To support today's population, about 43 percent of Earth's ice-free land surface is being used for farming or habitation, according to the study.

On current trends, the 50 percent mark will be reached by 2025, a point the scientists said is worryingly close to the tipping point.

If that happened, collapse would entail a shocking disruption for the world's food supply, with bread-basket regions curtailed in their ability to grow corn, wheat, rice, fodder and other essential crops.

"It really will be a new world, biologically, at that point," said lead author Anthony Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California in Berkeley.

* * *

Montreal Gazette: Earth reaching an environmental 'state shift': Report

Or, as Canadian co-author Arne Mooers, at Simon Fraser Univeristy in British Columbia, puts it: "Once the shift occurs, they'll be no going back."

A shift or tipping point is "speculation at this point," Mooers told Postmedia News.

"But it's one of those things where you say: 'Hey, maybe we better find out,' because if it's true, it's pretty serious." [...]

The climate is warming so fast that the "mean global temperature by 2070 (or possibly a few decades earlier) will be higher than it has been since the human species evolved," they say.

And to support the current population of seven billion people, about 43 per cent of Earth's land surface has been converted to agricultural or urban use. The population is expected to hit nine billion by 2045 and they say current trends suggest that half Earth's land surface will be altered by humans by 2025.

That's "disturbingly close" to a potential global tipping point, Barnosky says in a release issued with the report. The study says tipping points tend to occur when 50 to 90 per cent of smaller ecosystems have been disrupted.

"I think that if we want to avoid the most unpleasant surprises, we want to stay away from that 50 per cent mark," Barnosky says.

The "ultimate effects" of a state shift are unknown, but the researchers suggest it could have severe impact on the world's fisheries, agriculture, forests and water resources. And they warn that "widespread social unrest, economic instability and loss of human life could result."

* * *

Live Science: Tipping Point? Earth Headed for Catastrophic Collapse, Researchers Warn

Barnosky and his colleagues reviewed research on climate change, ecology and Earth's tipping points that break the camel's back, so to speak. At certain thresholds, putting more pressure on the environment leads to a point of no return, Barnosky said. Suddenly, the planet responds in unpredictable ways, triggering major global transitions.

The most recent example of one of these transitions is the end of the last glacial period. Within not much more than 3,000 years, the Earth went from being 30 percent covered in ice to its present, nearly ice-free condition. Most extinctions and ecological changes (goodbye, woolly mammoths) occurred in just 1,600 years. Earth's biodiversity still has not recovered to what it was.

Today, Barnosky said, humans are causing changes even faster than the natural ones that pushed back the glaciers — and the changes are bigger.

  Read Earth Facing Imminent Environmental 'Tipping Point
 June 9, 2012  
The Future Size Of World Population
by Peter Goodchild , Countercurrents.org
There are three principal ways of determining future global population: on the basis of arable land, on the basis of fossil-fuel production, and on the separate basis of the question of sustainable agriculture. The three figures we arrive at by these methods are quite different from one another. The first indicates that 6 billion people could be supported for an indeterminate length of time, and the second gives a figure of 2 billion for the year 2050. The third gives us the much smaller figure of only 10 million, which is less than one percent of the present population -- in fact it is only one seventh of one percent.

The first method involves multiplying the number of hectares of arable land by the number of people that could be supported per hectare. For example, in a study of corn (maize) production in Mexico that used only manual labor, David Pimentel claims that the average yield per hectare was 1,944 kg. He also notes that in a typical farm-based culture an adult burns about 1 million kilocalories ("calories") a year. Simplifying his various calculations considerably, we might say that these 1,944 kg of corn will provide about 9 million calories a year, or enough for 9 people. (There are uncertainties based largely on the question of what factors to be listed as input or output of calories. The term "net energy" sometimes suffers from a lack of clearly defined parameters.) By contrast, although there are many figures available on modern industrialized corn production, they tend to hover at around 6,000 kg or more.

Combining figures on land use from the CIA and the FAO, we can say that in the entire world there are now about 1.5 billion hectares of arable land. This is about 10 percent of the world's total land area. If we multiply the figure of 1.5 billion hectares by the 9 people per hectare, we then apparently arrive at the "fact" that we can support 13.5 billion people without using fossil fuels.

For various reasons, unfortunately, things are not quite that simple. Arable land is not evenly distributed in relation to the world's population. Much of the arable land is not really used for that purpose. Arable land can also be relatively unproductive, either because of natural factors such as mineral imbalance or harsh climate, or because it has been overworked for centuries. A certain amount of land must be left aside for fallowing in order to prolong the retention of nutrients and moisture. We must consider the fact that corn has a much higher yield in calories than most other crops, so these latter crops require more land per person. We must also take into consideration any rise in population beyond the present 7 billion.

When we include all these peripheral factors, we might need to start reducing the figures toward about 4 people per hectare. If that is the case, it would seem we can still support 6 billion people with the world's arable land. However, about a third of the world's countries are already outside that 4:1 ratio; the worst areas are western Europe, the Middle East, most of southern and eastern Asia, and the islands of the Pacific. In view of all these qualifications and uncertainties, it might be best simply to discard the inquiry into future human population merely on the basis of arable land.

The second method of determining future population involves looking at the relationship between population and the supply of oil and other fossil fuels. Human population has risen dramatically since the development of an oil-based global economy. That is because oil provides most of the energy, for end uses of any sort, in that economy: an increase in oil production results in an increase in population. One might argue about the extent to which that relationship is one of strict causality -- i.e. about whether there is a clear distinction between "causing" and "allowing" -- but it can at least be said that abundant oil allows a large population, and that without abundant oil a large population would not be possible.

The world's population has gone from 1.7 billion in 1900 to over 7 billion now. Conversely, as oil declines so must population. Based partly on the mathematics of the Hubbert curve, most estimates indicate that in the year 2050 oil production will be about 2 billion barrels. The same amount of oil production occurred in the year 1930, when there were 2 billion people. The same population figure as in 1930 may therefore be case for the year 2050: 2 billion people.

These two methods of determining population produce quite different results: a population of 6 billion versus one of 2 billion. Yet they are both probably wide of the mark, because they both refer to a world that is based on agriculture. It is easy to regard agriculture as a "given" for human society. But that is not the case. Hominids have lived on Earth for about 2 million years. Agriculture, on the other hand, was invented only about 10 million years ago; largely by definition, that is the line that separates the Palaeolithic from the Neolithic. At this dividing line, the world's population was only about 10 million.

Several scholars have pointed out that agriculture cannot be maintained indefinitely, and certainly not with a large population. Agriculture causes the destruction of arable land: the more we farm, the more the farmland becomes eroded. "Organic" farming and similar practices can reduce the rate of loss, but only to a certain extent: essential elements such as phosphorus and calcium get washed away, as well as humus, and the soil is gradually ruined. In spite of the popular misconception, to plow the earth is to "go against Nature," since it means disturbing the soil, the intricate, complex surface of the planet; even the slightest and shallowest disturbance causes chemical and biological losses of various sorts. No matter how we try to rationalize our behavior as farmers, the "peaceable kingdom" of agriculture is to some extent a figment of our imagination. Eventually, the result of ever-increasing agriculture is ever-increasing famine.

We must regard a final global population of about 10 million, as existed 10,000 years ago, just before the development of agriculture, as more likely, because agriculture itself is just not "sustainable." That word, however, though beloved by politicians, is a terribly vague one and is perhaps best avoided. "Sustainable" for a week? For eternity? Let us say, in any case, that agriculture cannot be maintained as a steady state for thousands of years. The only way of life that can truly be preserved for a great length of time is foraging -- hunting and gathering -- or some other means of sustenance that does not involve disturbing the soil.


Bot, A. J., Nachtergaele, F. O., & Young, A. (2000). Land resource potential and constraints at regional and country levels. World Soil Resources Reports 90. Rome: Land and Water Development Division, FAO. Retrieved from

CIA. World factbook. (2010). US Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook

Clugston, C. O. (2012). Scarcity: Humanity's final chapter. Booklocker.

Diamond, J. (1987, May). The worst mistake in the history of the human race. Discover. Retrieved from http://www.environment.ens.fr/perso/claessen/agriculture/mistake_jared_diamond.pdf

Ferguson, R. B. (2003, July/August). The birth of war. Natural History. Retrieved from http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~socant/Birth%20of%War.pdf

Gever, J., Kaufmann, R., & Skole, D. (1991). Beyond oil: The threat to food and fuel in the coming decades. 3rd ed. Ed. C. Vorosmarty. Boulder, Colorado: University Press of Colorado.

Lee, R. B. (1968). What hunters do for a living, or, How to make out on scarce resources. In R. B. Lee and I. DeVore, eds., Man the Hunter. Chicago: Aldine Publishing. Retrieved from http://artsci.wustl.edu/~anthro/articles/lee_1968_1.pdf

Pimentel, D. (1984). Energy flows in agricultural and natural ecosystems. CIHEAM (International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies). Retrieved from http://www.ressources.ciheam.org/om/pdf/s07/c10841.pdf

------, & Hall, C. W., eds. (1984). Food and energy resources. Orlando, Florida: Academic Press.

------, & Pimentel, M. H. (2007). Food, energy, and society. 3rd ed. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.

Salonius, P. (2008, October 20). Agriculture: Unsustainable resource depletion began 10,000 years ago. The Oil Drum. Retrieved from http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4628a

Peter Goodchild is the author of Survival Skills of the North American Indians , published by Chicago Review Press. His email address is prjgoodchild[at] gmail.com

  Read The Future Size Of World Population
 June 9, 2012  
Four Futures
by John Scales Avery , Countercurrents.org


Today, the world is faced with a number of problems which are both serious and interconnected, but which all have solutions. Although the problems are well known, it is useful to list them:

? THREATS TO THE ENVIRONMENT: The global environment is being destroyed by excessive consumption in the industrialized countries, combined with rapid population growth in developing nations. Climate change threatens to melt glaciers and polar ice. Complete melting of Greenland's inland ice would result in a 7 meter rise in sea level. Complete melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would produce an additional 5 meters of rise.

? GROWING POPULATION, VANISHING RESOURCES: The fossil fuel era is ending. By 2050, oil and natural gas will be prohibitively expensive. They will no longer be used as fuels, but will be reserved as feedstocks for chemical synthesis. Within a hundred years, the same will be true of coal. The reserve indices for many metals are between 10 and 100 years. Reserve indices are defined as the size of the known reserves of metals divided by the current annual rates of production.

? THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: It is predicted that by 2050, the world's population of humans will reach 9 billion. This is just the moment when the oil and natural gas, on which modern energy-intensive agriculture depend, will become so expensive that they will no longer be used as fuels. Climate change may also contribute to a global food crisis. Melting of Himalayan glaciers threatens the summer water supplies of both India and China. Rising sea levels threaten to inundate low-lying agricultural land, and aridity produced by climate change may reduce grain harvests. Furthermore, aquifers throughout the world are being overdrawn, and water tables are falling. Topsoil is also being lost. These elements combine to produce a threat of widespread famine by the middle of the 21st century.

? INTOLERABLE ECONOMIC INEQUALITY: Today 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day - 1.1 billion on less than $1 per day. 18 million of our fellow humans die each year from poverty-related causes. Meanwhile, obesity is becoming a serious health problem in the rich part of the world. In 2006, 1.1 billion people lacked safe drinking water, and waterbourne diseases killed an estimated 1.8 million people. The developing countries are also the scene of a resurgence of other infectious diseases, such as malaria, drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

? THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR: Despite the end of the Cold War, the threat of a nuclear catastrophe remains severe. During the Cold War, the number and power of nuclear weapons reached insane heights - 50,000 nuclear weapons with a total explosive power equivalent to roughly a million Hiroshima bombs. Expressed differently, the total explosive power was equivalent to 20 billion tons of TNT, 4 tons for each person on earth. Today the total number of these weapons has been cut approximately in half, but there are still enough to destroy human civilization many times over. The danger of accidental nuclear war remains severe, since many nuclear missiles are on hair-trigger alert, ready to be fired within minutes of a warning being received. Continued over a long period of time, the threat of accident will grow to a near certainty. Meanwhile, the number of nations possessing nuclear weapons is growing, and there is a danger that if an unstable government is overthrown (for example, Pakistan's), the country's nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of subnational groups. Against nuclear terrorism there is no effective defense.

? THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: In 2008, world military budgets reached a total of 1.7 trillion dollars (i.e. 1.7 million million dollars). This amount of money is almost too large to be imagined. The fact that it is being spent means that many people are making a living from the institution of war. Wealthy and powerful lobbies from the military-industrial complex are able to influence mass media and governments. Thus the institution of war persists, although we know very well that it threatens to destroy to civilization and that it responsible for much of the suffering that humans experience.

? LIMITS TO GROWTH: A ?healthy? economic growth rate of 4% per year corresponds to an increase by a factor of 50 in a century, by a factor of 2,500 in two centuries and 125,000 in three centuries. No one can maintain that resource-using, waste-producing economic activities can continue to grow except by refusing to look more than a certain distance into the future. It seems likely that the boundaries for certain types of growth will be reached during the 21st century. (Culture can of course continue to grow.) We face a difficult period of transition from an economy that depends on growth for its health to a new economic system: steady-state economics.

In this paper, I will present four scenarios for the future, two of which are very dark indeed. The other two scenarios present solutions. Our world is not doomed to undergo a dark fate. Modern science has, for the first time in history, offered humankind the possibility of a life of comfort, free from hunger and cold, and free from the constant threat of death through infectious disease. At the same time, science has given humans the power to obliterate their civilization with nuclear weapons, or to make the earth uninhabitable through overpopulation and pollution. The question of which of these paths we choose is literally a matter of life or death for ourselves and our children.

Will we use the discoveries of modern science constructively, and thus choose the path leading towards life? Or will we use science to produce more and more lethal weapons, which sooner or later, through a technical or human failure, may result in a catastrophic nuclear war? Will we thoughtlessly destroy our beautiful planet through unlimited growth of population and industry? The choice among these alternatives is ours to make. We live at a critical moment of history - a moment of crisis for civilization.

No one living today asked to be born at such a moment, but by an accident of birth, history has given each of us an enormous responsibility, and two daunting tasks: If civilization is to survive, we must not only stabilize the global population but also, even more importantly, we must eliminate the institution of war.

The problem of building a stable, just, and war-free world is difficult, but it is not impossible. The large regions of our present-day world within which war has been eliminated can serve as models. There are a number of large countries with heterogeneous populations within which it has been possible to achieve internal peace and social cohesion, and if this is possible within such extremely large regions, it must also be possible globally.

We must replace the old world of international anarchy, chronic war and institutionalized injustice, by a new world of law. The United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court are steps in the right direction, but these institutions need to be greatly strengthened and reformed. We also need a new global ethic, where loyalty to one's family and nation will be supplemented by a higher loyalty to humanity as a whole.

The Nobel laureate biochemist Albert Szent-Gy ¨rgyi once wrote: ?The story of man consists of two parts, divided by the appearance of modern science.... In the first period, man lived in the world in which his species was born and to which his senses were adapted. In the second, man stepped into a new, cosmic world to which he was a complete stranger.... The forces at man's disposal were no longer terrestrial forces, of human dimension, but were cosmic forces, the forces which shaped the universe. The few hundred Fahrenheit degrees of our flimsy terrestrial fires were exchanged for the ten million degrees of the atomic reactions which heat the sun.?

?This is but a beginning, with endless possibilities in both directions ? a building of a human life of undreamt of wealth and dignity, or a sudden end in utmost misery. Man lives in a new cosmic world for which he was not made. His survival depends on how well and how fast he can adapt himself to it, rebuilding all his ideas, all his social and political institutions.?

?...Modern science has abolished time and distance as factors separating nations. On our shrunken globe today, there is room for one group only - the family of man.?

Scenario 1: Nuclear Catastrophe

Today the danger of a catastrophic war with hydrogen bombs hangs like a dark cloud over the future of human civilization. The total explosive power of today's weapons is equivalent to roughly half a million Hiroshima bombs. To multiply the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by a factor of half a million changes the danger qualitatively. What is threatened today is the complete breakdown of human society. Although the Cold War has ended, the dangers of nuclear weapons have not been appreciably reduced. Indeed, proliferation and the threat of nuclear terrorism have added new dimensions to the dangers.

There are 26,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, about 4,000 of the on hair-trigger alert. The phrase ?hair trigger alert? means that the person in charge has only 15 minutes to decide whether the warning from the radar system was true of false, and to decide whether or not to launch a counterattack. The danger of accidental nuclear war continues to be high. Technical failures and human failures have many times brought the world close to a catastrophic nuclear war. Those who know the system of ?deterrence? best describe it as ?an accident waiting to happen?.

A nuclear war would a global ecological catastrophe, and all the nations of the world would suffer - also neutral nations. Recent studies by atmospheric scientists have shown that the smoke from burning cities produced by even a limited nuclear war would have a devastating effect on global agriculture. The studies show that the smoke would rise to the stratosphere, where it would spread globally and remain for a decade, blocking sunlight, blocking the hydrological cycle and destroying the ozone layer. Because of the devastating effect on global agriculture, darkness from even a small nuclear war could result in an estimated billion deaths from famine. This number corresponds to the fact that today, a billion people are chronically under-nourished. If global agriculture were sufficiently damaged by a nuclear war, these vulnerable people might not survive. A large-scale nuclear war would be an even greater global catastrophe, completely destroying all agriculture for a period of ten years.

There are many ways in which a nuclear catastrophe could occur, and indeed the world has many times been close to such a disaster, for example during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and on the occasion in 1983 when the Soviet warning system falsely reported an American attack, and only the outstanding skill, courage and coolness of Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov averted disaster.

In this scenario we will consider the threat of a third world war triggered by an Israeli attack on Iran. The government of Israel, under Benjamin Netanyahu, is reportedly planning a unilateral military attack on Iran, perhaps as early as the autumn of 2012, at the height of the US presidential election. President Obama's response, on behalf of the United States, has been to state that if Israel is attacked by Iran, all options are on the table, diplospeak for US military involvement in the war. But if Iran is attacked by Israel, how can Iran fail to respond? Thus the stage is set for escalation.

Most probably, a military attack on Iran by Israel will provoke Iran to retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz, and also provoke an Iranian missile attack on Tel Aviv. The United States will very probably respond by sending warships to the Strait of Hormuz, and bombing Iranian shore installations. This will very likely lead the Iranians to sink one or more of the US warships by means of rockets. The public in the United States will demand massive retaliation against Iran.

Meanwhile, one can anticipate that, in Pakistan, the unpopularity of the

US -Israel alliance (as well as memory of numerous atrocities) will lead to the overthrow of Pakistan's government and the entry of the new revolutionary government of Pakistan into the war on the side of Iran, thus providing Iran with nuclear weapons. Israel will then decide that a preemptive first strike against Pakistan's nuclear weapons installations is necessary, and for this purpose Israel will use its own large arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Russia has already prepared for the threatened war by massing troops and armaments in Armenia, and China too will be drawn into the conflict. In this tense situation, when nuclear weapons have been used for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there will be a danger that a much larger scale nuclear disaster will occur because of a systems failure or an error of judgement by a political or military leader. Such a disaster will have both environmental and economic dimensions.

Scenario 2: Large-Scale Famine Produced by Overpopulation, Climate Change and the End of Oil and Gas

During the first decade of the 21st century, a child died from starvation every six seconds - five million children died from hunger every year. As the 21 st century progresses this tragic loss of life will increase to unimaginable proportions.

As glaciers melt in the Himalayas, threatening the summer water supplies of India and China; as ocean levels rise, drowning the fertile rice-growing river deltas of Asia; as aridity begins to decrease the harvests of Africa, North America and Europe; as populations grow; as aquifers are overdrawn; as cropland is lost to desertification and urban growth; and as energy prices increase, the billion people who now are undernourished but still survive, will not survive. They will become the victims of a famine whose proportions will exceed anything that the world has previously experienced.

Attempts to increase the size of the area under cultivation will meet with failure. In Southern Asia, in some countries of Eastern Asia, in the Near East and North Africa there will be almost no scope for expanding agricultural area. In the drier regions, it will even be necessary to return to permanent pasture the land that is marginal and submarginal for cultivation. In most of Latin America and Africa south of the Sahara, there will still be considerable possibilities for expanding cultivated areas; but the costs of development will be high, and it will often be more economical to intensify the utilization of areas already settled. Many of the remaining tropical rain forests will be destroyed in attempts to increase the area under cultivation.

Rather than an increase in the global area of cropland, we will encounter a future loss of cropland through soil erosion, salination, desertification, loss of topsoil, depletion of minerals in topsoil, urbanization and failure of water supplies. In China, North Africa, the Middle East, India and in the south-western part of the United States, water tables will fall to such an extent that the agricultural use of water from wells will become impossible. Attempts to convert arid grasslands into wheat farms will fail, defeated by drought and wind erosion, just as the wheat farms of Oklahoma were overcome by drought and dust in the 1930's. Much land will be turned into desert by salination and overgrazing and wind erosion.

Especially worrying is a prediction of the International Panel on Climate Change concerning the effect of global warming on the availability of water: The prediction is that by the 2050's, global warming will have reduced by as much as 30% the water available in many areas of world that now a large producers of grain.

Added to the agricultural and environmental problems, there will be problems of finance and distribution. Famines will occur even when grain is available somewhere in the world, because those who are threatened with starvation will not be able to pay for the grain, or for its transportation. The economic laws of supply and demand are will not be able to solve this type of problem. One will say that there is no ?demand? for the food (meaning demand in the economic sense), even though people are in fact starving.

Green Revolution plant varieties will prove to be less valuable than might be expected because they require heavy inputs of pesticides, fertilizers and irrigation. Monocultures, such as the Green Revolution varieties will also prove to be vulnerable to future epidemics of plant diseases, similar to the epidemic that caused the Irish Potato Famine in 1845. Even more importantly, pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, and the use of farm machinery all depend on the use of fossil fuels. Therefore high agricultural yields cannot be maintained in the future, when fossil fuels become prohibitively scarce and expensive. Furthermore, food crops will be converted into biofuels, and biofuels will be grown on land that could be used for food production.

The ratio of the fossil fuel energy inputs to the food calorie outputs depends on how many energy-using elements of food production are included in the accounting. David Pimental and Mario Giampietro of Cornell University estimated that in the 1990's, if the energy expended on transportation, packaging and retailing of food is included, the U.S. food system required 10 input calories of fossil fuel energy for each food calorie produced, and this figure did not include energy used for cooking. Thus, by 2050, just as global population reaches unprecedented levels, a severe blow to modern agriculture will be dealt by prohibitively high prices of oil and natural gas. The result will be global famine on a scale never before experienced. As desperate refugees from the worst-hit parts of the world attempt to enter more fortunate countries, the severity of the disaster will be compounded by xenophobia, loss of empathy, and a shift to the political far right.

Scenario 3: Steady-State Economics

Like a speeding bus headed for a brick wall, the earth's rapidly-growing population of humans and its rapidly-growing economic activity are headed for a collision with a very solid barrier - the carrying capacity of the global environment. As in the case of the bus and the wall, the correct response to the situation is to apply the brakes in good time.

The size of the human economy is, of course, the product of two factors the total number of humans, and the consumption per capita. If we are to achieve a sustainable global society in the future, a society whose demands are within the carrying capacity of of the global environment, then both these factors must be reduced. The responsibility for achieving sustainability is thus evenly divided between the North and the South: Where there is excessively high consumption per capita, it must be reduced; and this is primarily the responsibility of the industrialized countries. High birth rates must also be reduced; and this is primarily the responsibility of the developing countries, in many of which birth rates are too high to be sustainable. Both of these somewhat painful changes are necessary for sustainability; but both will be extremely difficult to achieve because of the inertia of institutions, customs and ways of thought which are deeply embedded in society, in both the North and the South.

In this scenario we will look at the features of a new type of economics, which will be needed to avoid an ecological crash: Steady State Economics. In the future, the population of the earth will be gradually decreased to a level that can be maintained by organic agriculture. The changes which will be used to break the cycle of overpopulation and poverty are all desirable in themselves. Besides education and higher status for women, these measures include state- provided social security for old people, provision of water supplies near to dwellings, provision of health services to all, abolition of child labor and general economic development.

When women have higher education, higher social status, and independent careers outside the home, they will not be forced into the role of baby- producing machines by men who do not share in the drudgery of cooking, washing and cleaning. Women will take their places beside men in positions of responsibility, thus contributing their uniquely life-oriented point of view to the ethos of society.

As the global population first becomes stabilized and afterwards gradually decreases to a sustainable level, the problems of eliminating poverty and providing adequate infrastructure will be simplified.

In the industrialized countries, per-capita consumption will be drastically reduced. Material goods will no longer be used as a means of social competition. Public education, mass media and religious instruction will all reenforce the perception that ?conspicuous consumption? is vulgar and antisocial. Riding a bicycle will become more fashionable than riding in an automobile, since it will be seen as contributing to the salvation of the earth's environment. In general, private transportation (apart from bicycles) will disappear, and will be replaced by public transport systems driven by renewable energy sources.

The use of fossil fuels will be gradually reduced and finally eliminated. This will be achieved with the help of high taxes on fossil fuel use. All forms of renewable energy will be intensively developed with the help of state subsidies. In particular, the solar energy potential of arid desert regions in North Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia will be fully exploited. Solar energy will be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. These gases will be liquefied and transported to other parts of the world, where they will be used in fuel cells.

In so far as is possible, food will be grown locally. The consumption of meat will be very much reduced in order to shorten the food chain, and in order to avoid the release of nitrogen-containing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. New forms of food will be found - for example high-protein algae and high-protein edible seaweed.

The institution of war will be eliminated, thus releasing productive forces for more constructive purposes. Aid to underdeveloped countries will be very much increased. Wasteful energy use will be avoided, partly because it will be considered to be antisocial, and partly through governmental regulations. Goods will be made more durable and repairable.

In the world of the future will be a world of changed values. Non-material human qualities, such as kindness, politeness, knowledge and musical and artistic ability will be valued more highly, and people will derive a larger part of their pleasure from conversation and from the appreciation of unspoiled nature.

Governments already recognize their responsibility for education. In the future, they will also recognize their responsibility for helping young people to make a smooth transition from education to secure jobs. If jobs are scarce, work will be shared with a spirit of solidarity among those seeking employment; hours of work (and if necessary, living standards) will be reduced to ensure that all who wish it may have jobs. Market forces alone cannot achieve this. The powers of government are needed.

The present financial system of the world, characterized as it is by fractional reserve banking and the need for growth, will not survive in the future, when growth is no longer possible. Private banks will be replaced by national banks.

In the future world as it can be if we work to make it so, a stable population of moderate size will live without waste or luxury, but in comfort and security, free from the fear of hunger or unemployment. People will derive more of their pleasure from the enjoyment of their families and friends, from music, art and literature, and from the beauty of the environment.

Scanario 4: Global Governance

The problem of achieving internal peace over a large geographical area is not insoluble. It has already been solved. There exist today many nations or regions within each of which there is internal peace, and some of these are so large that they are almost worlds in themselves. One thinks of China, India, Brazil, Australia, the Russian Federation, the United States, and the European Union. Many of these enormous societies contain a variety of ethnic groups, a variety of religions and a variety of languages, as well as striking contrasts between wealth and poverty. If these great land areas have been forged into peaceful and cooperative societies, cannot the same methods of government be applied globally?

Today there is a pressing need to enlarge the size of the political unit from the nation-state to the entire world. The need to do so results from the terrible dangers of modern weapons and from global economic interdependence. The progress of science has created this need, but science has also given us the means to enlarge the political unit: Our almost miraculous modern communications media, if properly used, have the power to weld all of humankind into a single supportive and cooperative society.

Many of the large regions within which internal peace has been established are federations, and in this scenario, the United Nations is developed from the confederation that it now is to a World Federation. We visualize a reformed UN General Assembly, with the power to make laws that are binding on individuals. These laws will be enforced by a much more developed International Criminal Court, whose jurisdiction will be extended to cover the full range of international law.

The decisions of the ICC will be backed by a World Standing Army, with a monopoly on heavy weapons, and with more power than any national military force. The manufacture or possession of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction will be forbidden. Mass media, public education and religion will all be used to build up the loyalty of citizens of the world to humanity as a whole. Global citizens will feel that it is their duty to report violations of international treaties and laws, in particular laws banning nuclear weapons. Whistle-blowers will be protected and rewarded by the World Federation. International trading in light arms will be forbidden.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights will take on a central position in defining the aims of the World Federation. Gross violations of human rights will be prevented by the World Federation. National politicians violating human rights will be arrested by the World Standing Army and tried by the International Criminal Court.

The voting system of the UN General Assembly will be reformed, and final votes will be cast by regional blocks, each block having one vote. The blocks will be: 1) Latin America 2) Africa 3) Europe 4) North America 5) Russia and Central Asia 6) China 7) India and Southeast Asia 8) The Middle East and 9) Japan, Korea and Oceania. A reformed Security Council will still exist, but without the special privileges of the P5 members, and without the veto power.

The World Federation will be given the power of taxation. One of its sources of income will be the so-called ?Tobin tax?, named after the Nobel laureate economist James Tobin of Yale University. Tobin proposed that international currency exchanges should be taxed at a rate between 0.1 and 0.25 percent. Even this extremely low rate of taxation will have the beneficial effect of damping speculative transactions, thus stabilizing the rates of exchange between currencies.

The volume of money involved in international currency transactions is so enormous that even the tiny tax proposed by Tobin will provide the World Federation with between 100 billion and 300 billion dollars annually. By strengthening the activities of various agencies, the additional income will add to the prestige of the World Federation and thus make the organization more effective when it is called upon to resolve international political conflicts. Besides the Tobin tax, other measures will be used to increase the income of the World Federation, for example, resources of the sea bed be given to the UN, as well as income from taxes on carbon dioxide emissions.

In the future, the budgets of agencies, such as the present World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, UNESCO and the UN Development Programme, will not just be doubled but will be multiplied by a factor of at least twenty. With increased budgets these agencies will sponsor research and other actions aimed at solving the world's most pressing problems - AIDS, drug-resistant infections diseases, tropical diseases, food insufficiencies, pollution, climate change, alternative energy strategies, population stabilization, peace education, as well as combating poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, lack of safe water and so on. The United Nations will be given its own television channel, with unbiased news programs, cultural programs, and ?State of the World? addresses by the Secretary General of the World Federation.

The need for international law will be balanced against the desirability of local self-government. Like biological diversity, the cultural diversity of humankind is a treasure to be carefully guarded. A balance or compromise between these two desirable goals will be achieved by granting only a few carefully chosen powers to a World Federation with sovereignty over all other issues retained by the member states.

Concluding Remarks

Although the problems facing the world in the 21st century are both severe and difficult, nevertheless they have solutions, as scenarios 3 and 4 attempt to show. Solutions such as these are vehemently opposed by the powerholders of today, who control both governments and mass media. Indeed this opposition by powerholders, who profit from the status quo, is the main reason why rational solutions to global problems have not yet been found. But in the last analysis, it is ourselves, the people of the world, the 99%, who have the collective ability (and responsibility) to choose the future world that we want. We have the weight of numbers on our side, and we also have reason on our side.

John Scales Avery is a theoretical chemist noted for his research publications in quantum chemistry, thermodynamics, evolution, and history of science. Since the early 1990s, Avery has been an active World peace activist. During these years, he was part of a group associated with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. In 1995, this group received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. Presently, he is an Associate Professor in quantum chemistry at the University of Copenhagen

  Read Four Futures
 June 12, 2012  

An international group of scientists—from the US, Spain, Finland, Chile, and Canada—published a review article in the June 7 issue of Nature, arguing that the human impact on the Earth's biosphere could lead to an ecological disaster in as little as a few generations. The article's release comes in the run-up to a United Nations summit on June 20.

The article, “Approaching a state shift in Earth's biosphere,” compares current man-made changes on the Earth to the type of forces that, at the end of the last ice age, led to a sudden, major climate change and a mass extinction event. The authors elaborate the basics of state-shift theory, whereby the accumulation of incremental effects over time can, upon surpassing a given threshold, result in sudden, extreme changes in a biological system.

This theory posits that the Earth can, locally and globally, absorb a certain degree of alteration without causing a major “state-shift,” an unpredictable collapse of the planet's biosphere. The authors focus on two impacts of human development: the direct, local transformation of ecosystems by development such as cities, industry, and agriculture; and the indirect, global transformation of the climate by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The authors point out that the retreat of glaciers at the end of the last ice-age led to drastic changes in the ecosystems covering about 30 percent of the Earth's land by creating open land where glacial ice had been for the previous 100,000 years. By comparison, current estimates for direct human alteration of land are as high as 43 percent. At the same time, man-made global warming as the result of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is proceeding faster than global warming at the end of the last ice-age, caused by increased solar radiation in the northern hemisphere due to variations in the Earth's orbit.

According to the authors, “The magnitudes of both local-scale direct [impacts] and emergent global-scale [impacts] are much greater than those that characterized the last global-scale state shift, and are not expected to decline any time soon. Therefore, the plausibility of a future planetary state shift seems high, even though considerable uncertainty remains about whether it is inevitable and, if so, how far in the future it may be…

“Comparison of the present extent of planetary change with that characterizing past global-scale state shifts, and the enormous global [impacts] we continue to exert, suggests that another global-scale state shift is highly plausible within decades to centuries, if it has not already been initiated...

“As a result, the biological resources we take for granted at present may be subject to rapid and unpredictable transformations within a few human generations.”

Although the authors repeatedly point out the unpredictable nature of when the threshold for a state shift could be reached and what the world might look like after such a shift, they warn that “widespread social unrest, economic instability and loss of human life could result.”

Despite the urgency conveyed by the authors, other climate scientists, and environmentalists, expectations from the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro are low.

The UN Sustainable Development Conference (nicknamed Rio+20) is set to meet 20 years after the initial Rio de Janeiro Earth summit in 1992. At that summit, nations agreed to a series of broad pledges to address greenhouse gas emissions, protect ecosystems and biodiversity, and prevent desertification. The pledges, however, lacked specific targets or mechanisms of enforcement, and are widely acknowledged to have gone unfulfilled.

An editorial published in Nature along with the review article, notes:

“[T]he collective failure to fulfill those initial pledges is all too evident. Countries have increased the rhetoric and their political commitments, but there is little to show for 20 years of work, apart from an impressive bureaucratic machine that has been set to indefinite idle. On urgent environmental issues, the world has perfected the art of incremental negotiation and redefined circular motion. Meanwhile, as documented elsewhere in this issue, pressure on the planet continues to build, greenhouse-gas emissions are still rising and species are still disappearing… It is hard to avoid a certain sense of gloom, if not doom.”

While industrialized nations decreased greenhouse gas emission by 7 percent in 2010 over 1990 levels, this decrease is attributed majorly to the economic devastation resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the financial crisis of 2008. At the same time, the decrease in emissions by industrial countries has been more than offset by increased emissions from developing nations including India and China.

The Nature editorial summarizes the expectations for the upcoming conference as being “so low that almost any agreement or affirmation would qualify as a success.”

A rational response to the ecological crisis is rendered impossible by the division of the world into rival nation states and the subordination of all economic activity to the profit interests of giant corporations. The United States in particular—under Bush and now Barack Obama—has rejected any serious approach to climate change.

The gulf between the scale of the potential crisis and the minimal response agreed at so-called “climate summits” would be comical if the situation were not so alarming. With 30 percent of amphibians, 21 percent of birds, and 25 percent of mammal species facing extinction, and untold suffering and catastrophe facing people across the planet, the vague goals and pledges pronounced at these conferences are tragic.

  Read In Lead-Up To Climate Summit, Scientists Issue Warning Of Biosphere Collapse
 June 22, 2012  

CIA agents have been deployed to Turkey to organize the arming of the so-called rebels in Syria seeking the overthrow of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, the New York Times reported Thursday.

The report, citing information provided by senior US officials as well as Arab intelligence officers, states that the CIA operatives are directing a massive smuggling operation through which “automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries, including the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and paid for by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.”

The day before the publication of the Times piece, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reiterated the Obama administration’s public line. “We have repeatedly said that we are not in the business of arming in Syria.” She went on to describe Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari as “deluded” for charging that major foreign powers were backing “armed terrorist groups” in his country and trying to escalate Syria’s crisis into an “explosion” in order to bring about “regime change.”

The Times article only confirms earlier press reports and provides further detail in exposing the same, barely covert, operation directed at fomenting and arming a sectarian civil war in Syria.

Last month, the Washington Post reported that the so-called rebels had “begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States.” The Post, in its May 16 article, also stated that US operatives had “expanded contacts with opposition forces to provide the gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.”

And last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that “the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department—working with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other allies—are helping the opposition Free Syrian Army develop logistical routes for moving supplies into Syria and providing communications training.”

The result of this operation has been a sharp escalation in the armed violence in Syria, with a spike in the number of Syrian soldiers killed and wounded and a proliferation of terrorist attacks.

The Obama administration’s pretense that it is not arming the Syrian militias for the purpose of toppling the Assad government has been thoroughly exposed. Its claim is based on the fiction that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, none of which would carry out such an operation without Washington’s approval, are doing the arming, and the CIA agents are merely “vetting” the Syrian rebels to assure that weapons do not fall into the wrong hands.

The Times report quotes one unnamed senior American official as claiming that the CIA is working on the Syrian-Turkish border “to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.”

Such claims are absurd. The reality is that the operation being mounted by the CIA against Syria bears a striking resemblance to the one it carried out in the 1980s along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, when Saudi Arabia also provided much of the funding for arms and Al Qaeda was born as an ally and instrument of US imperialist policy.

There is increasing evidence that Islamist elements from within Syria and from surrounding Arab countries are the backbone of the imperialist-backed insurgency seeking regime change in Damascus. The Associated Press Thursday carried a lengthy report on Tunisian jihadis flocking to Syria. It reports that fundamentalist Islamic clerics are urging youth to make their way to Syria to topple the “unbeliever” regime.

According to an earlier report in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung “at least 3,000 fighters” from Libya have reached Syria, most of them through Turkey. Other similar forces have crossed the border from Iraq to prosecute a sectarian conflict similar to the one that unleashed a bloodbath between Sunnis and Shiites in that country under American occupation.

The result, as the AP reports, is that “Al-Qaida-style suicide bombings have become increasingly common in Syria, and Western officials say there is little doubt that Islamist extremists, some associated with the terror network, have made inroads in Syria as instability has spread.”

On the one hand, Washington and its regional proxies—Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey—are lavishing arms and funding on the so-rebels, while, on the other hand, the major powers are seeking to quarantine the Syrian regime and starve it of resources by means of ever-tightening sanctions and international pressure.

While covertly pouring weapons into the country, US officials have denounced Russia for maintaining ties to Syria, Moscow’s sole remaining ally in the Middle East and the site of its Mediterranean naval base at Tartus. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unleashed a propaganda campaign against Moscow, charging falsely that it was supplying Damascus with new Russian attack helicopters.

Russia responded that there were no new helicopters, but rather it was sending back old aircraft that Syria had bought decades earlier and had been sent to Russia for repairs. The ship carrying the refurbished helicopters, the Curacao-registered MV Alaed, was forced to turn back to the Russian port of Murmansk on Thursday after the British government compelled a London-based insurance company to withdraw its coverage of the vessel. According to press reports, the British government had considered using military force to board the ship.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denounced the British move as an attempt to impose unilateral sanctions on other countries. “The EU sanctions aren’t part of the international law,” he said, vowing that the cargo would be reloaded on a Russian-flagged ship and sent to Syria.

“This is a very slippery slope,” Lavrov told Russia Today television. “This means that anyone—any country or any company—who is not violating any international rules, who is not violating any UN Security Council resolutions, might be subject to extra-territorial application of somebody else’s unilateral sanctions.”

Perhaps of greater concern than the Soviet-era helicopters to Britain and the other major imperialist powers, the ship that was compelled to curtail its voyage was also carrying what was described as a new and advanced air defense system. Such a system could prove an obstacle to an attempt by the US and its NATO allies to reprise the kind of bombing campaign used to topple Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

  Read CIA Directing Arms Shipments To Syria’s “Rebels”
 June 23, 2012  

I have spent the past two years investigating the global epidemic of land grabs for a book. Saudi sheikhs, private equity whizz-kids, Indian entrepreneurs and Chinese billionaires all believe, with financier George Soros, that "farmland is going to be one of the best investments of our time."

They are satisfying their new-found land lust from Mali to Mozambique, Cambodia to Kazakhstan, and Paraguay to Papua New Guinea, usually seeking out unfenced “customary” land to grow grains, sugar, vegetable oils and biofuel for sale on the world’s booming commodity markets.

It is a rerun of the enclosure of common lands in Europe centuries ago – but taking place at breakneck speed and with the fences being erected mostly by foreign investors. At the heart of it is an arc of land through the grasslands of Africa, a region the size of western Europe that geographers call the Guinea Savannah Zone and the World Bank has dubbed “the world’s last large reserve of underused land”.

This unprecedented corporate privatisation and enclosure of the world’s common lands – its pastures, fields and forests – is being done in the name of development. But much of it will destroy development and impoverish the poorest. Peasants are being replaced with tractors.

Earlier this month, the UN committee on world food security agreed voluntary guidelines on “responsible” land grabbing. But I hold out no hopes for their success. As one British venture capitalist, with a 100,000-hectare stake in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, candidly admitted at an investor conference last year: “Industrial-scale farming displaces and alienates people, creates few jobs and causes social disruption.”

The trouble is that most of the grabbers care little for people like Omot Ochan, who I met in a forest clearing in Gambella, the poorest corner of Ethiopia. “All round here is ours. For two days’ walk,” Omot said. “When my father died he said don’t leave the land. We made a promise. We can’t give it to the foreigners.”

But Gambella is being taken over by Saudi and Indian land grabbers, and Omot is being forced out. “We used to sell honey,” he told me. “But two years ago, the big farm began chopping down our forest, and the bees went away. We used to hunt, but after the farm came the wild animals disappeared. Now we only have fish.”

Behind us, trucks owned by Mohammad Al Amoudi, Saudi Arabia’s second richest man and a buddy of the Ethiopian prime minister, were digging a canal that would drain the nearby wetland. So the fish would soon be gone too.

I met Malian herders whose cattle pastures are being fenced in for Chinese farms; Paraguayan tribes ejected from their land by Brazilian ranchers; Liberian peasant farmers giving ground to Malaysian palm-oil princes; and Cambodia rice farmers shunted aside by their own senators, who are shipping sugar to Tate & Lyle.

In Kenya, angry locals told me how they had lost the rich resources of the Yala swamp, on the shores of Lake Victoria, to an evangelical American who made his fortune managing privatised prisons.

I discovered that the government of newly-independent South Sudan handed out a tenth of its land to foreigners before even raising the flag for the first time last year. Not far from the capital, Juba, a British investment banker, Leonard Thatcher, claims control of more than half a million hectares, in a deal done with an aged chief whose people have denounced the deal.

Post-imperial governments across the world spent half a century putting communally owned land in state hands. The land was being held in trust for the people, they said. Now those governments are claiming the land is “empty” and “unused” - and flogging it off to foreigners who promise investment. After decades of under-investment in African agriculture, governments seem willing to accept any kind of investment.

Some say this is necessary to feed the world? I don’t believe so. I agree with the World Bank report that noted in 2009 that “there is little evidence that the large-scale farming model is either necessary or even particularly promising for Africa.” What sense does it make to grab the land of the poorest and hungriest, in the name of feeding the planet?

We need to invest in peasant farmers, not dispossess them.

But ultimately this is about rights. I agree with the Ford Foundation’s Pablo Farias, who recently called for the upcoming Rio+20 Earth Summit to “endorse community land rights”, noting that “when land rights of rural communities are recognised, far more sustainable land uses evolve.” Sadly the summit agenda is as devoid of recognition of those rights as its predecessor in Rio 20 years ago.

Fred Pearce’s book, The Landgrabbers, was published by Eden Project Books on 24 May. Fred Pearce spoke at the Festival of Transition, and writes for New Scientist magazine.

  Read Land Grabs: A Global Epidemic
 June 24, 2012  

There was no law against genocide in the early 1940s; it only became an internationally recognized crime after the worst genocide of modern history had actually happened. Similarly, there is no law against “ecocide” now. That will only come to pass when the damage to the environment has become so extreme that large numbers of people are dying from it even in rich and powerful countries.

They are already dying from the effects of environmental destruction in some poor countries, but that makes no difference because they are powerless. By the time it starts to hurt large numbers of people in powerful countries, twenty or thirty years from now, most of the politicians who conspired to smother any substantial progress at the Rio+20 Earth Summit will be safely beyond the reach of any law. But eventually there will be a law.

Rio+20, which ended last Friday, was advertised as a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to build on the achievements of the original Earth Summit, held in the same city twenty years ago. That extraordinary event produced a legally binding treaty on biodiversity, an agreement on combating climate change that led to the Kyoto accord, the first initiative for protecting the world’s remaining forests, and much more besides.

This time, few leaders of the major powers even bothered to attend. They would have come only to sign a summit statement, “The Future We Want”, that had already been nibbled to death by special interests, national and corporate. “(The) final document... contributes almost nothing to our struggle to survive as a species,” said Nicaraguan representative Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann. “We now face a future of increasing natural disasters.”

A plan to stop the destruction of the world’s oceans was blocked by the US, Canada and Russia. The final text simply says that countries should do more to prevent over-fishing and ocean acidification, without specifying what. A call to end subsidies for fossil fuels was removed from the final text, as was language emphasizing the reproductive rights of women. And of course there were no new commitments on fighting climate change.

The 49-page final declaration of Rio+20 contained the verb “reaffirm” 59 times. In effect, some 50,000 people from 192 countries traveled to Rio de Janeiro to “reaffirm” what was agreed there twenty years ago. The fact that the document was not even less ambitious than the 1992 final text was trumpeted as a success.

Rarely has such a large elephant labored so long to give birth to such a small mouse. The declared goal of the conference, which was to reconcile economic development and environmental protection by giving priority to the goal of a “green” (i.e. sustainable) economy, simply vanished in a cloud of vague generalities.

The final text does say that “fundamental changes in the way societies consume and produce are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development,” but it does NOT say what those fundamental changes should be. A “green economy” becomes only one of many possible ways forward. You wonder why they even bothered.

“This is an outcome that makes nobody happy. My job was to make everyone equally unhappy,” said Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the conference, but that is not strictly true. Governments seeking to avoid commitments are happier than activists who wanted some positive results from the conference, and the hundreds of large corporations that were represented at Rio are happiest of all.

How did it end up like this? Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown by 48 percent in the past 20 years, we have lost another 3 million square kilometers (1.15 million sq. mi.) of forest, , and the world’s population has grown by 1.6 billion – yet there is less sense of urgency than there was in 1992. You can’t just blame the economy: Rio+20 would probably have ended just as badly if there had been no financial crash in 2008.

Twenty years ago the issues of climate change, biodiversity, preservation of oceans and forests, and sustainable development were relatively fresh challenges. Moreover, the world had just emerged from a long Cold War, and there was plenty of energy and hope around. Now everybody understands how tough the challenges are, and how far apart are the interests of the rich and the poor countries.

We now have a 20-year history of defeats on this agenda, and there is a lot of defeatism around. Politicians are always reluctant to be linked to lost causes, and the struggles against poverty and environmental destruction now seem to fall into that category. Thus we sleepwalk towards terrible disasters – but that doesn’t absolve our leaders of responsibility. We didn’t hire them to follow; we hired them to lead.

At the recent World Congress on Justice, Law and Governance for Environmental Sustainability, one of the events leading up to the Rio+20 conference, a group of “radical” lawyers proposed that “ecocide” should be made a crime. They were only radical in the sense that a group of lawyers agitating for a law against genocide would have been seen as radical in 1935.

One day, after many great tragedies have occurred, there will be a law against ecocide. But almost all the real culprits will be gone by then.

Gwynne Dyer has worked as a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs for more than 20 years, but he was originally trained as an historian. Born in Newfoundland, he received degrees from Canadian, American and British universities. His latest book, "Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats", was published in the United States by Oneworld.

  Read Rio+20: Vengeance Too Long Delayed
 June 26, 2012  
Using The TPP To Renegotiate And Expand NAFTA
by Dana Gabriel , Countercurrents.org

Both Canada and Mexico have been invited to join the U.S., along with other countries already engaged in negotiations which will deepen trade and economic ties within the Asia-Pacific region. Such a deal would surpass NAFTA in size and scope. The U.S. led talks which have been criticized for their secretive nature, could be used to update aspects of existing trade pacts among member nations. This would provide the perfect opportunity for a backdoor renegotiation of NAFTA without officially having to open it back up.

After expressing interest in joining trade talks back in November 2011, NAFTA partners have been invited to join the U.S. backed
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which also includes Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk welcomed both Mexico and Canada into the TPP fold. He noted that, ?Mexico has assured the United States that it is prepared to conclude a high-standard agreement that will include issues that were not covered in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).? He added, ?Inviting Canada to join the TPP negotiations presents a unique opportunity for the United States to build upon this already dynamic trading relationship. Through TPP, we are bringing the relationship with our largest trading partner into the 21st century.? A joint statement by the U.S. and Canada acknowledged that, ?The TPP presents an opportunity to conclude a high standard agreement that will build on the commitments of NAFTA.?

The Council of Canadians who continue to be vocal opponents of NAFTA and other trade deals that follow the same flawed template, are strongly against Canada's entry into the TPP. Its national chairperson, Maude Barlow warned that this, ?could force Canada to change its drug policies, its copyright policies, its environmental and public health rules ? all without going through the normal parliamentary process.? The o rganization cautioned how, ?TPP negotiations could mean up-front concessions in a number of areas, including intellectual property rights, where the U.S. is making considerable demands on TPP member countries that will undermine access to essential medicines so that its multinational drug firms can increase profits.? They also emphasized that, ?Supply management, which guarantees fair wages and stable prices for farmers in non-exporting sectors, is too valuable to Canada to sacrifice on a negotiating table.? Others have pointed out that it is important as a buy-local program, as well as key to Canada's food security and food sovereignty. The Council of Canadians maintains that, ?the TPP is by and large a NAFTA renegotiation but on U.S. President Obama's terms.?

Not surprisingly, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives , an organization that lobbies the government on behalf of the country's largest corporations, welcomed the announcement that Canada has been invited to join the TPP talks. Its President and CEO John Manley stated that, ?By signing on to the TPP, the federal government has taken an historic leap toward securing Canada's long-term strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region.? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also applauded Canada and Mexico's entry into the TPP. Its President and CEO Thomas Donohue argued that, ?negotiating the TPP together is an excellent strategic decision for North America.? Back in January, the Council of the Americas explained how, ?it makes little sense for the United States to enter into potentially significant trade arrangements with countries in the Pacific region without our NAFTA partners.? They view the TPP as a ?promising vehicle to support the updating of our bilateral and trilateral trading relationships within North America to the high standards of twenty-first century free-trade agreements.?

In his article, Will invitation to join TPP talks lead to NAFTA 2.0? , Peter Clark one of Canada's leading international trade strategists concluded that, ?A successful TPP would allow NAFTA to essentially be re-opened without the optics of it actually being re-opened.? He went on to say, ?The business leaders in all three NAFTA countries, as strong supporters of TPP invitations to Canada and Mexico, understand that after nearly 20 years, mode rnization of NAFTA is needed. For rules of origin, supply chain management and manufacturing integration.? Clark stressed that, ?All Canadians should be clear about this ? TPP is the negotiation of NAFTA 2.0 and it could have major implications for Canada-USA trade relations.? Meanwhile, both countries are implementing the Beyond the Border Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan which has been described as the most significant steps forward in U.S.-Canada cooperation since NAFTA. Christopher Sands of the Hudson Institute observed how, ?The TPP negotiating agenda is at once similar to the bilateral agenda that Canada and the United States are pursuing, and also more ambitious an d multilateral.?

In May, the TPP held its twelfth round of negotiations with the next set of talks scheduled to take place in San Diego, California from July 2-10. So far, there has been a real lack of transparency, but what is clear is that the TPP seeks to go beyond other trade agreements. According to a leaked text by Public Citizen , it would expand on the investor privileges found in NAFTA, granting corporations more power and further threatening the sovereign rights of member nations. In the meantime, the U.S. continues to spearhead TPP negotiations as a way of countering growing Ch inese influence. The door is open for other countries to join which is why it is considered to be a stepping stone to a larger free trade area of the Asia-Pacific and an important part of the international corporate globalization agenda.

Trade deals such as NAFTA and now the TPP are being used to smuggle through a new set of transnational corporate rights, trapping nations in a web of treaties that further trump their own laws. All too often, these agreements fail to deliver on the promise of prosperity and only serve to accelerate the path towards economic enslavement. Globalization has meant sacrificing self-sufficiency and sovereignty for foreign dependency which is a sure path to world government.

Dana Gabriel is an activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade, globalization, sovereignty, security, as well as other issues.

Con tact: beyourownleader@hotmail.com . Visit his blog at beyourownleader.blogspot.com
  Read Using The TPP To Renegotiate And Expand NAFTA
 June 26, 2012  
The Evil Of Humanitarian Wars
by Jonathan Cook , Countercurrents.org

In a traditional cowboy movie, we know what to do: we look for the guy wearing the white hat to be sure who to cheer, and for the one wearing the black hat to know who deserves to die, preferably gruesomely, before the credits roll. If Hollywood learnt early to play on these most tribal of emotions, do we doubt that Washington’s political script-writers are any less sophisticated?Western military intervention is exactly what factional nation's in the Middle East and North Africa do not need. (AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

Since 9/11, the United States and its allies in Europe have persuaded us that they are waging a series of “white hat” wars against “black hat” regimes in the Middle East. Each has been sold to us misleadingly as a “humanitarian intervention”. The cycle of such wars is still far from complete.

But over the course of the past decade, the presentation of these wars has necessarily changed. As Hollywood well understands, audiences quickly tire of the same contrived plot. Invention, creativity and ever greater complexity are needed to sustain our emotional engagement.

Declarations by Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu aside, there are only so many times we can be convinced that there is a new Hitler in the Middle East, and that the moment is rapidly approaching when this evil mastermind will succeed in developing a doomsday weapon designed to wipe out Israel, the US, or maybe the planet.

In 1950s Hollywood, the solution for audience ennui was simple: High Noon put the noble sheriff, Gary Cooper, in a black hat, and the evil gunslinger in a white one. It offered a veneer of complexity, but in reality the same good guy-bad guy formula played out along familiar lines.

If Washington required a new storyline after the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, it did not have to work hard to write one. It was assisted by the rapid changes taking place in the political environment of the Middle East: the so-called Arab Spring. Washington could hardly have overlooked the emotionally satisfying twists and turns presented by the awakening of popular forces against the deadening hand of autocratic regimes, many of them installed decades ago by the West.

The reality, of course, is that the US and its allies are pursuing the same agenda as before the Arab Spring: that is, they are looking to preserve their own geo-political interests. In that regard, they are trying to contain and reverse dangerous manifestations of the awakening, especially in Egypt, the most populous and influential of the Arab states, and in the Gulf, our pipeline to the world’s most abundant oil reserves.

But for Washington, the Arab Spring presented opportunities as well as threats, and these are being keenly exploited.

Both Afghanistan and Iraq followed a model of “intervention” that is now widely discredited and probably no longer viable for a West struggling with economic decline. It is not an easy sell to Western publics that our armies should single-handedly invade, occupy and “fix” Middle Eastern states, especially given how ungrateful the recipients of our largesse have proven to be.

Humanitarian wars might have run into the sand at this point had the Arab Spring not opened up new possibilities for “intervening”.

The Arab awakening created a fresh set of dynamics in the Middle East that countered the dominance of the traditional military and political elites: democratic and Islamist forces were buoyed with new confidence; business elites spied domestic economic opportunities through collaboration with the West; and oppressed ethnic, religious and tribal groups saw a chance to settle old scores.

Not surprisingly, Washington has shown more interest in cultivating the latter two groups than the first.

In Libya, the US and its allies in Nato took off the white hat and handed it to the so-called rebels, comprising mostly tribes out of favour with Gadaffi. The West took a visible role, especially in its bombing sorties, but one that made sure the local actors were presented as in the driving seat. The West was only too happy to appear as if relegated to a minor role: enabling the good guys.

After Libya’s outlaw, Muammar Gadaffi, was beaten to death by the rebels last year, the credits rolled. The movie was over for Western audiences. But for Libyans a new film began, in a language foreign to our ears and with no subtitles. What little information has seeped out since suggests that Libya is now mired in lawlessness, no better than the political waste lands we ourselves created in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of regional militias run the country, extorting, torturing and slaughtering those who oppose them.

Few can doubt that Syria is next on the West’s hit list. And this time, the script-writers in Washington seem to believe that the task of turning a functioning, if highly repressive, state into a basket case can be achieved without the West’s hand being visible at all. This time the white hat has been assigned to our allies, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, who, according to the latest reports, are stoking an incipient civil war not only by arming some among the rebels but also by preparing to pay them salaries too, in petro-dollars.

The importance to Western governments of developing more “complex” narratives about intervention has been driven by the need to weaken domestic opposition to continuing Middle East wars. The impression that these wars are being inspired and directed exclusively from “inside”, even if by a heterogeneous opposition whose composition remains murky to outsiders, adds a degree of extra legitimacy; and additionally, it suggests to Western publics that that the cost in treasure and casualties will not be born by us.

Whereas there was a wide consensus in favour of attacking Afghanistan, Western opinion split, especially in Europe, over the question of invading Iraq in the same manner. In the post 9/11 world, the villain in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, seemed a more credible threat to Western interests than Saddam Hussein. The critics of Operation Shock and Awe were proven resoundingly right.

The Arab awakenings, however, provided a different storyline for subsequent Western intervention -- one that Washington had tried weakly to advance in Iraq too, after Saddam’s WMD could not be located. It was no longer about finding a doomsday person or weapon, but about a civilising mission to bring democracy to oppressed peoples.

In the era before the Arab Spring, this risked looking like just another ploy to promote Western interests. But afterwards, it seemed far more plausible. It mattered little whether the local actors were democratic elements seeking a new kind of politics or feuding ethnic groups seeking control of the old politics for their own, vengeful ends. The goal of the West was to co-opt them, willingly or not, to the new narrative.

This move effectively eroded popular opposition to the next humanitarian war, in Libya, and looks like it is already achieving the same end in Syria.

Certainly, it has fatally undermined effective dissent from the left, which has squabbled and splintered over each of these humanitarian wars. A number of leading leftwing intellectuals lined up behind the project to overthrow Gadaffi, and more of them are already applauding the same fate for Syria’s Bashar Assad. There is now only a rump of critical leftwing opinion steadfast in its opposition to yet another attempt by the West to engineer an Arab state’s implosion.

If this were simply a cowboy movie, none of this would be of more than incidental interest. Gadaffi was, and Assad is, an outlaw. But international politics is far more complex than a Hollywood script, as should be obvious if we paused for a moment to reflect on what kind of sheriffs we have elected and re-elected in the West. George Bush, Tony Blair and Barack Obama probably have more blood on their hands than any Arab autocrat.

Many on the left are struggling to analyse the new Middle East with anything approaching the sophistication of Washington’s military planners. This failure derives in large part from a willingness to allow the war-merchants to blur the meaningful issues -- on the regimes, the opposition groups and the media coverage -- related to each “humanitarian intervention”.

Yes, the regimes selected for destruction are uniformly brutal and ugly towards their own people. Yes, the nature of their rule should be denounced. Yes, the world would be better off without them. But this is no reason for the West to wage wars against them, at least not so long as the world continues to be configured the way it is into competing and self-interested nation states.

Nearly all states in the Middle East have appalling human rights records, some of them with even fewer redeeming features than Gadaffi’s Libya or Assad’s Syria. But then those states, such as Saudi Arabia, are close allies of the West. Only the terminally naïve or dishonest argue that the states targeted by the West have been selected for the benefit of their long-suffering citizens. Rather, they have been chosen because they are seen as implacably opposed to American and Israeli interests in the region.

Even in the case of Libya, where Gadaffi’s threat to the West was far from clear to many observers, Western geo-political interests were, in fact, dominant. Dan Glazebrook, a journalist specialising in Western foreign policy, has noted that shortly before the West turned its sights on Libya Gadaffi had begun galvanising African opposition to Africom, the Africa command established by the US military in 2008.

Africom’s role is to organise and direct African troops to fight to ensure, in the words of a US Vice-Admiral, “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market”. In overthrowing Gadaffi, Africom both removed the main challenger to its plan and put into effect its mission statement: not a single US or European soldier died in the operation to unseat Gadaffi.

Highlighting the hypocrisy at the heart of the interventionist agenda should not be dismissed as simple whataboutery. The West’s mendacity fatally undermines the rationale for intervention, stripping it of any semblance of legitimacy. It also ensures that those who are our allies in these military adventures, such as Saudi Arabia, are the ones who will ultimately get to shape the regimes that emerge out of the rubble.

And yes too, the peoples of the Arab world have the right to live in freedom and dignity. Yes, they are entitled to rise up against their dictators. Yes, they have the right to our moral sympathy, to our advice and to our best efforts at diplomacy in their cause. But they have no right to expect us to go to war on their behalf, or to arm them, or to bring their governments down for them.

This principle should hold because, as the world is currently configured, humanitarian intervention guarantees not a new moral order but rather the law of the jungle. Even if the West could be trusted to wage just wars, rather than ones to promote the interests of its elites, how could we ever divine what action was needed to achieve a just outcome – all the more so in the still deeply divided societies of the Middle East?

Is the average Libyan safer because we pulverised his or her country with bombs, because we crushed its institutions, good and bad alike, because we left it politically and socially adrift, and because we then handed arms and power to tribal groups so that they could wreak revenge on their predecessors? It is doubtful. But even if the answer is unclear, in the absence of certainty we are obliged to follow the medical maxim: “First, do no harm”.

It is the height of arrogance – no, more a God complex – to be as sure as some of our politicians and pundits that we deserve the gratitude of Iraqis for overthrowing Saddam Hussein at the likely cost of more than a million Iraqi lives and millions more forced into exile.

Societies cannot have democracy imposed from without, as though it were an item to be ordered from a lunch menu. The West’s democracies, imperfect as they are, were fought for by their peoples over centuries at great cost, including horrific wars. Each state developed its own checks and balances to cope with the unique political, social and economic conditions that prevailed there. Those hard-won freedoms are under constant threat, not least from the very same political and economic elites that so vociferously campaign for humanitarian interventions abroad.

The reality is that greater freedoms are not awarded by outside benefactors; they are struggled for and won by the people themselves. No modern society achieved democracy except through a gradual, painful struggle, where lessons were learnt, often through error, where reverses and setbacks were plentiful, and where lasting success came with the realisation by all sides that legitimacy could not be secured through violence. If we owe other societies struggling for freedom anything, it is our solidarity, not access to our government’s arsenals.

In fact, the West’s duty is not to intervene more but to intervene far less. We already massively arm tyrannies such as those in the Gulf so that they can protect the oil that we consider our birthright; we offer military, financial and diplomatic cover for Israel’s continuing oppression of millions of Palestinians, a major cause of political instability in the Middle East; and we quietly support the Egyptian military, which is currently trying to reverse last year’s revolutionary gains.

Popular support for humanitarian wars could not be maintained without the spread of propaganda masquerading as news by our corporate-owned media. Over the past decade they have faithfully marketed the Middle East agendas of our war-making governments. As the fanciful pretext for each war is exposed, the armchair generals assure us that the lessons have been learnt for next time. But when the script is given a makeover – and the white hat passed to a new lawman – the same discredited media pundits justify war yet again from the safety of their studios.

This is another reason to tread cautiously. In the case of Syria, the source of the certainty expressed by our newsrooms is often no more than a one-man outfit in the British town of Coventry known as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. If Rami Abdulrahman did not exist, our interventionist governments and their courtiers in the media would have had to invent him. The Observatory produces the anti-regime news needed to justify another war.

This is not to argue that Assad’s regime has not committed war crimes. Rather, it is that, even were “humanitarian interventions” a legitimate undertaking, we have no comsistently reliable information to make an assessment of how best we can intervene, based on the “news” placed in our media by partisan groups to the conflict. All that is clear is that we are once again being manipulated, and to a known end.

These are grounds enough to oppose another humanitarian war. But there is an additional reason why it is foolhardy in the extreme for those on the left to play along with West’s current agenda in Syria, even if they genuinely believe that ordinary Syrians will be the beneficiaries.

If the West succeeds in its slow-motion, proxy intervention in Syria and disables yet another Arab state for refusing to toe its line, the stage will be set for the next war against the next target: Iran.

That is not an argument condoning Assad’s continuing rule. Syrians should be left to make that decision.

But it is an admonition to those who justify endless meddling in the Middle East in the service of a Western agenda. It is a caution against waging wars whose destructive power is directed chiefly at civilians. It is a warning that none of these humanitarian wars is a solution to a problem; they are only a prelude to yet more war. And it is a reminder that we have no right to play God.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.

  Read The Evil Of Humanitarian Wars
 July 1st, 2012  

Bonjour à tous et à toutes!
P.S. Les adresses de Josée, Marie-Claude, Isabelle et Mélissa sont en CCI.
Je vous ai peut-être parlé de cette méditation à quelques reprises, me voilà enfin sur le site WEB.
J'espère ne pas vous froisser en vous envoyant les coordonnées de ce site.
Vous savez que ce sont mes convictions spirituelles et que cela n'engage que moi.
Vous savez aussi que je vis très bien avec la différence des pensées dans ce domaine.
J'aimerais vous faire part de cette vidéo dont je suis l'animatrice et l'auteure. Elle s'appelle la "Méditation cosmique".
Si vous voulez m'entendre et me voir, voici les coordonnées: www.mouvementdaccueildeselohim.org
Allez dans le menu bien visible à gauche,
Allez à la ligne Méditation et cliquez sur la galaxie ci-jointe et la vidéo commencera...
Je te suggère le petit format puisque la qualité de l'image se déforme en grand format.
Il y a des publicités qui apparaissent de temps en temps (nous sommes sur Dailymotion et ils fonctionnent comme YouTube), alors, clique sur le petit x à droite de cette image et la publicité disparait ...

Affection et tendresse!

  Read Meditation cosmique