Archives for posts with tag: Peace

here the article of Chomsky on Hiroshima’s destruction and here an article by Portuguese Communist Party on the same issue

August 6 should have been a day of somber reflection, not only on the terrible events of that day in 1945, but also on what they revealed: that in their dedicated quest to extend their capacities for destruction, humans finally found a way to approach the ultimate limit.

This year’s August 6 memorials to the victims of Hiroshima have special significance. They took place shortly before the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, “the most dangerous moment in human history,” in the words of historian and Kennedy advisor Arthur Schlesinger. Graham Allison writes in Foreign Affairs that Kennedy ordered actions he knew would increase the risk of nuclear war, with a likelihood of perhaps 50 percent, an estimate that Allison regards as realistic. Kennedy took Chairman Khrushchev “right to the brink of nuclear war and he looked over the edge and had no stomach for it,” according to General David Burchinal, then a high official in the Pentagon planning staff. One can hardly count on such last-minute sanity forever.

Disaster was perilously close in 1962, and there have been extremely dangerous moments since. In 1973, in the last days of the Arab-Israeli war, Henry Kissinger called a high-level nuclear alert. India and Pakistan have come close to nuclear war. And there have been cases when human intervention aborted nuclear attack after false reports by automated systems.

The events of October 1962 are widely hailed as Kennedy’s finest hour. Allison offers them as “a guide for how to defuse conflicts, manage great-power relationships, and make sound decisions about foreign policy in general.” In particular, today’s conflict with Iran.

Allison joins many others in regarding Iran’s nuclear programs as the most severe current crisis–even more complex than the Cuban missile crisis, because of the threat of Israeli bombing. The attack against Iran is in fact already well underway, including economic sanctions that have reached the level of “undeclared war,” in the judgment of Iran specialist Gary Sick, who served on the National Security Council under Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan.

Consider, for another example, the Flame virus, revealed in mid-July, developed jointly by the United States and Israel, and used to secretly monitor Iranian computer networks. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Pentagon regards cyberwarfare as “an act of war” that authorizes the target “to respond using traditional military force” (though with the usual exception: not when the United States or an ally is the perpetrator).

The escalation of the undeclared war against Iran increases the possibility of a large-scale war being sparked, even accidentally. The danger was illustrated when a U.S. Navy vessel, part of the huge deployment in the Gulf, fired on a civilian fishing boat July 16, killing one and wounding three. It would not take much more to ignite a major conflict.

The Iran threat has recently been outlined by General Giora Eiland, who Haaretz describes as“one of the most ingenious and prolific thinkers the [Israeli military] has ever produced.” Of the threats he cites, the most credible is that “any confrontation on our borders will take place under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.” Israel might therefore be constrained from resorting to force. Eiland agrees with the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence, which also regard deterrence as the major threat Iran poses.

One sensible way to avoid such dread consequences is to pursue, in the wording of U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 of April 1991, “the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons.” The U.S. and the U.K. invoked those words in their effort to provide a thin legal cover for their invasion of Iraq 12 years later. The goal has been an Arab-Iranian objective since 1974, regularly re-endorsed. It now has near unanimous global support, at least formally. An international conference to consider ways to implement such a treaty may take place in December. Progress is unlikely unless there is mass public support in the West.

Failure to grasp the opportunity will, once again, lengthen the grim shadow that has darkened the world since that fateful August 6.

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The Colombian government has signed a formal agreement with the FARC to start a peace process to end the armed conflict which has devastated the country since 1964, reported Venezuelan news network Telesur on Monday.

According to Telesur, “high level sources within the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC have just signed an agreement to begin a formal peace dialogue.”

The Venezuelan news network confirmed a report by Colombian television station RCN that the formal peace talks are planned in the Norwegian capital of Oslo in October. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs would not confirm this for Colombia Reports.

Telesur reported that the Colombian president is soon to make the official announcement of the deal and the upcoming talks.

Newspaper El Espectador on Sunday reported that senior security adviser Sergio Jaramillo has been leading the government commission in Cuba that has been trying to prepare formal peace talks between the government and the guerrilla group that has been at war with the state since its foundation in 1964.

Jaramillo is reportedly being assisted by Environment Minister Frank Pearl who, according to U.S. diplomatic cables began seeking contact with the FARC when serving as peace commissioner under former President Alvaro Uribe.

  • Peace talks news archive

Colombia’s ambassador to Cuba, Gustavo Bell, reportedly is also involved in the talks. According to RCN, Santos’ brother Enrique has also been attending the meetings.

The Venezuelan government, while not directly involved in the preliminary, has been called on as mediator when talks turned sour, reported the newspaper.

According to both El Espectador and Telesur, the FARC’s spokesperson in Cuba is Mauricio Jaramillo, alias “El Medico,” one of the members of the guerrillas’ political leadership who “according to rumors” was accompanied by guerrilla commander “Ivan Marquez” on at least one occasion.

RCN reported that the government’s agenda has six basic themes which include FARC demobilization, ceasefire and the decommissioning of arms, all issues which have limited past efforts at negotiations.

The guerrilla group’s conditions consist of agricultural reform, renegotiation of multinational involvement in oil and mining industries, environmental issues and the involvement of social organizations in the eventual peace talks, reported radio station W last week.

While rumors of preliminary peace talks first surged in January, the still-unconfirmed negotiations were set high on the Colombian public and political agenda by Uribe a week ago.

Uribe’s rejection of peace talks caused the opposite reaction from Colombian congress, whosemajority of political parties voiced its support for a negotiated end to the 48-year old armed conflict, leaving the former president and his allies isolated.

According to a report by newspaper El Tiempo, the Uribe government was seeking talks with the FARC between 2005 and April 2010.

The visit of Tony Blair as a guest speaker to a conference sponsored by Discovery Health in in a weeks’ time 30 August 2012, provides an opportunity to comment on what has been Tony Blair’s ‘achievements’ that entitle him to charge extravagant amounts of money, for the pleasure of hearing his pearls of wisdom? Here are some of his more notorious ‘achievements’:

First, Blair the Anti-Social Reformer : Blair managed to ensure that the British Labour Party abandoned any pretence of being a socialist party and instead became a poor shadow of the anti-poor Conservative Party of Mrs Thatcher, so much so that Mrs Thatcher herself complemented Blair on his ability to cut much needed public services and undermine trade unions. A situation which so demoralised the British working class that the Conservatives were able to regain a foothold and now govern on an agenda that is amongst the most reactionary ever experienced in the UK, thanks to Blair.

Second, Blair the War Maker: Blair made sure that the alliance with the American Government under Bush was absolute, so much so that when the criminal decision was made to invade Iraq based on the blatant lies about weapons of mass destruction, and against the overwhelming wishes of the British people, he was prepared to abandon the sovereignty of his own country to become Bush’s lap dog and chief apologist. This decision cost the lives of thousands of innocent people, and has left Iraq and the region as a whole in turmoil. The invasion prepared the way for the pillaging of Iraq’s resources by US and UK based multinational corporations, thanks to Blair.

Third, Blair the Regional Peace Wrecker: Blair’s short lived role as a mediator to bring about peace in the Middle East exposed him as an unrivalled supporter of the Israeli Zionist project, and a loyal US Ambassador. As the person appointed by imperialist interests to try and bring about peace in the Middle East, he signally failed to take into account the appalling situation facing the Palestinian people, scattered as they are across the region, and blatantly ignored the worst excesses of the Israeli Apartheid State. The Palestinian people have been subject to accelerating levels of repression, with thanks to Blair.

We hope those who gather to hear Blair as a guest speaker this coming week bear these points in mind, and begin to understand why Blair is met with derision and disdain by very large numbers of people wherever he travels. Many believe that he should be indicted as a war criminal, and given the deaths he has been responsible for, not without justification. Others believe him to be a total fraud, who used his close association with ruthless media moguls like the discredited liar Rupert Murdock to gain power and influence, and who turned politics not into a positive force for social change, but as the preserve of spin doctors, unaccountable and corrupt manipulators of the truth, who care little for the common good.

We hope that those who intend to picket the Discovery event and expose Blair as the War Criminal he is, also remind those who have organised this so-called prestigious event, that by enlisting the support of someone like Blair, they have exposed their own limited and narrow interests, based as they are on profiting on the poor and sick, with special thanks to Blair.

PREAMBLE

WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

AND FOR THESE ENDS

  • to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
  • to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
  • to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
  • to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,
 
 
 

More than 276,000 Syrians have fled their country since March 2011, according to UN refugee agency figures released on Tuesday.

The UNHCR also said thousands of people forced to leave their homes in the economic capital Aleppo, where the fighting has focused in recent days, had sought shelter in schools and a university dormitory.

The figure, collated from countries which provide aid to refugees, concerns Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Algeria, the UNHCR said in a statement.

More than 70,000 Syrians sought refuge in Turkey and more than 140,000 have crossed into Jordan. Lebanon hosts more than 31,000 Syrian refugees, along with
Iraq (11,000) and Algeria (up to 25,000).

Describing the numbers leaving Syria as a “steady surge”, UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said that, among the 276,000, the agency had registered and given aid to 129,240 Syrian refugees to date.

The number of Syrians who have fled is thought to be much higher but many cases go unreported.

In and around Aleppo, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported that 200,000 people reportedly fled the area over the weekend amid “continuous raging violence” between Syrian government forces and rebel fighters, Fleming added. [AFP]

This is one of the outcome of the war; a war promoted by US, UK, Germany, France, Turkey and golf Monarchies.  In the online edition of Portuguese newspaper Publico Joska Fischer, one of the Lord of War that have his kingdom in EU, tell us about the Middle Est after Assad.

Por encima de las patrañas políticas y politiqueras, por encima de las campañas mediáticas de embrutecimiento, por encima de la ofensiva terrorista del Estado con sus aviones bombarderos que ya comienzan a ser derribados, son cada día más los colombianos que despiertan del engaño al que estuvieron tanto tiempo sometidos, son cada vez mayores las filas de la gente decente indignada con lo que la casta gobernante está haciendo con Colombia. Por todas las esquinas de la patria se levantan las voces y los brazos de los afectados con las políticas del régimen, de las mujeres y hombres que comprenden la necesidad de la lucha, de las ciudadanas y ciudadanos que anhelan vivir en un país democrático, en paz, justo, soberano y libre de tanta inmundicia.

FARC moves on in his heroic struggle for democracy and peace. Here in Spanish and here in Portuguese we found a statement of the Major Staff.