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Editorial: Meanwhile Around the World by Johan Galtung

Peace & SecurityEditorial: Meanwhile Around the World by Johan Galtung

The Global Security OutlookA lot is happening. As in “Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes” (CouterPunch 19 May 2017), breaking international law as if it did not exist, killing in Yemen-Pakistan-Somalia with drones-bombing-assaults in spite of neither being involved in armed conflict nor attacked by any one of them.  Hence, no right to self-defense.  Pure aggression.

Or Trump’s speech to Muslim leaders in Riyadh (Robert Fisk, The Independent 21 May 2017), Sunni (good)-Shia (evil), blaming Iran for terrorism–oblivious of the Islamic State being mainly Sunni and Iraq, presumably USA-protected, mainly Shia.  Babble from the Trump bubble.

The Saudis relish. Two rotten states–one killing its own people, one killing all over; one rich, one poor–made deals.  The rich one bought what the poor one has in excess, “beautiful” (Trump) arms, and invested in the poor’s infrastructure; the poor one being up for sale.

Western philosophy. Hobbes (Leviathan 1651) argued to “unite the multitude in one and the same person”, the sovereign King. “Hitler fulfilled Hobbes’ ideal” (Library of Social Science, May 1 2017): “You are flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood. You are all one, belonging to me”.  Extreme, yes, but as Western as violence.

War = genocide.Like sheep to slaughter” (the above source on April 25) compares German soldiers WWI “on their way to the Western front” to Jews WWII “on their way to the death camps”. German soldiers mobilized suffered 65% casualties, Russian 76, French 73, Austrian 90. Why? For the sake of something above human lives: to lay down their lives for the nation, the state.  Pathological.  Idiotic.

Western civilization. “Cortez in Mexico” (Spaniaposten), used the enemies of the Aztecs to fight one empire to establish their own. Next to Cortez’ palace in Cuernavaca was “the first church in America next to a brothel where native women were kept as sex slaves so that the soldiers could be forgiven right after their visits”.  Practical.

Manchester. 22 killed, terrorism; innocent, young. Terrible.  The last three decades USA-UK may have killed one million in Iraq, among them very innocent babies.  Does UK think that this can happen without some violence in return? Of course they are not that stupid and play verbal games as if violence started in Manchester. Trump called the terrorists “evil losers”. Evil, like USA-UK, yes.  Losers? Let’s see.

Norway.  With no comparison, the major terrorist event took place in Norway, 77 killed on one day by Breivik–inspired by the Oklahoma bombing and the UNA Bomber–many of them youths down to 14-year-old.  Norway has done a lot to keep it off records.  Breivik sees himself as a Christian crusader. He is not referred to as religious extremist-terrorist but as a psychiatric case. In spite of being in IT contact with his kind of people all over, as a “lone wolf” (Spaniaposten 14-04-17).

Tokyo. PM Abe drafts a new A9–which proscribes warfare and arms for Japan; not pacifist, but to punish Japan–to accommodate the alliance with USA: with a National Defense Force “in cooperation with the international community for the purpose of maintaining peace and security”. “International community”, the new name for USA?

North Korea.  Bruce Cummings (The Nation 10 Apr 2017) on North Korea”: “15,000 underground facilities of a national security nature, the fourth largest army in the world, 10,000 artillery pieces north of Seoul, mobile missiles that can hit all American military bases in the region (there are hundreds), and nuclear weapons”.  Moreover, not North Korea but the Bush administration broke the 1994-2000 agreements Clinton had worked out to freeze NK plutonium production, buy all of its medium-and long-range missiles, and with Gen. Jo Myong-Rok /more important than Kim son and grandson/ not to bear “hostile intent”.

The basic demands of Pyongyang can easily be met: a peace treaty, normalization of diplomatic relations to Seoul and USA, a nuclear-free, UN-inspected Korean peninsula.  An afternoon job for peace, USA?

Deir Yassin.  9 April is the trauma day for Norway, the Nazi German invasion in 1940. And for Palestine, the prophetic, emblematic Jewish terrorist massacre of Deir Yassin, one of “over 500 villages and towns /that/ were depopulated–to transform a multi-cultural multi-religious Palestine into the ‘Jewish state of Israel’”. (Mazin Qumsieyh, Deir Yassin to Egypt 10 April 2017).  Never forget.

EU. Naples cartoon “Looks like Europe will leave Great Britain”. Precisely.  Once French-German, EU became increasingly Anglo-American, now French-German again. Continental Europe, with UK in Anglo-America.  This may liberate EU from anti-Russia paranoia and NATO, and extend Europe from Brest to Brest, and beyond, to Vladivostok. Historical.

Incidentally, the Anglo and Anglo-American idea of defining the leading power “on the continent” as enemy applies to China–but there is much money to be made.  It applies to EU, hence either control or try to destroy it.  It applies to Russia, hence control and exploit, the Yeltsin period, or isolate, polarize, threaten.  Maybe strike.

China.  OBOR, One Belt, One Road.  China, with Russia, fills the gap in East-West transportation-communication-cooperation due to West’s obsession with North-South–so far with at least five rail/road links. Chinese bilateral win-win deals with all others?  They must insist on multilateralism, neither Chinese, nor Western; something new.

Africa. D+C Development and Cooperation 3 Apr 2017 has two articles: “Sliding towards genocide” about Reverend Peter Tibi’s peace mediation in South Sudan–may he succeed!; and “Uganda had benefitted from peace journalism“, “more than merely reporting events, putting them in context by engaging communities”.  Good luck!

USA:How to Revive the Peace Movement” (The Nation 16 Mar 2017). No, not as anti-war movement only, but for negative peace by solving conflicts and conciling traumas, and for positive peace through equity and empathy. Enhancing the basics: Human Needs. And Nature’s Needs.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of TRANSCEND International and rector of TRANSCEND Peace University. Prof. Galtung has published more than 1500 articles and book chapters, over 470 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service, and more than 170 books on peace and related issues, of which more than 40 have been translated to other languages, including 50 Years100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives published by TRANSCEND University Press. More information about Prof. Galtung and all of his publications can be found at transcend.org/galtung.

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