Tag Archives: Adolf Hitler

WHO ARE WE, – AND WHAT COULD WE STILL BECOME??


 

“Much of the “amazing” as this may happen between people at times, – is not always expressed in what we see or hear.  But in veiled ways,  it may become a force within our spirit.  Without this,  it would seem life itself would be unthinkable,  or at least less meaningful…”  –  Paul Wolf
WHO  ARE WE,  – AND  WHAT  COULD  WE STILL BECOME??
Is it worth raising this question?..
The question who we really are is not confined to anyone in one culture, –  but includes human beings in all cultures.
With differences in background , culture and or genetic structure,  we are all part of the same species.
Image result for best quote on Children still kill each other on the streets in Chicago
By chance we were either born in South Africa or Russia, – either born  in Syria or the US…  Or any other place….
By chance our parents created a conception at one particular time, –  otherwise we (as we are now) would not have existed. For sure!. And people with a different awareness would have walked around.
Interesting isn’t it?
If for instance my granddad would not have returned from Canada to the Netherlands – because my grandma  was terrible homesick –  my dad would have been born in Canada. The last if the timing of his conception would have been exactly the same…
If not, the genetic DNA structure and the awareness unique of the particular human structure would have been totally different.  And for sure,  “he” would not have met my later mum during the resistance movement in the Netherlands in 1942. 
History for me would have been different, so for my wife and children.
Is everything a matter of chance?
Who are we, and where are we going?
It is interesting you know!
By chance we are living in the place where we are placed, as if the timing of our conception would have been different, many of us would not have existed in the way we are manifesting ourselves now.
And if either our dad or mum would have lived in a different country, circumstances would have been hugely different.
It is mind-boggling when you start to think about this as you realise that lots of things are created as a matter of chance. Which does not take away our responsibilities as they are  provided within our current appearance. But the awareness  helps to receive everything with a certain refinement, dignity or civility. And, more importantly,  express the last as such.  Whatever else you would like to tag this “issue” in the positive!
Does it make sense?
I need to give the last perhaps a different shade:
People from most Christian denominations disagree with me on this one.
However, – its matter of chance where we are born, the genetic structure we have and the circumstances in which are placed at the start of our lifespan on this planet.
Later on, the gift of choice takes over, providing us with the opportunity to make the best of every situation or the worst of both our character and conditions.
Not that we always have the best of each situation, for sure not, – just look around!
It does not take much imagination what this says, both in our lives and that of others, whether it is nearby or far away. We can’t always escape the situation in which we are placed, because at times we have an obligation to meet or a promise to keep.
The last thing we have is “the gift of choice” in those provided circumstances, – our final response.
By chance the start of the first circumstances can be great, by chance the start of those initial circumstances can be terrible. We are not always sure what lies ahead, we are not always sure what the best possible decision is. We grow through it,  at times very helpful but unquestionably this is not always the case: the assumption that we grow through circumstances. Especially if the design of those conditions may for instance take our life. Mind you, if you look at those countries where this is happening day by night…
If we have learnt to fear, we will express this in our circumstances, by choice. We will avoid certain circumstances or contacts.  If we have learnt to love we are able to express this as well, we will embrace certain circumstances and contacts.
Often,  we are thrown in the deep and have to swim across rough waters. We are relying on our inner strength to sustain, on our physical ability to keep up to speed, and on our moral affinity to keep our sense of duty balanced. In all this, – we may hope we belong to the God of our understanding, and that we may sense his grace out of the many options we have to choose in one particular situation. Options we have, day in and day out, – wherever we are, – wherever we may be. And for sure those who are willing to pray genuinely, they better do this honestly and fully.
Mind you, it is not God or Christ who wanted children to be born in  unsustainable circumstances.  It is not “the will of God” that you are choking tomorrow on a potato or that a drunken truck driver hits your daughters car on the wrong end of the road and that she gets killed. Lots of things simply happen by chance, and the fact that nature was “created” is true, – but  lots of the multiplication of nature happens by chance, and in the design itself, –  we are manifesting ourselves. And in this manifestation, there is a beginning and an end, – by far not always as a matter of choice, – though choice we have.
Some Church leaders may wonder where I put God in this picture…. On an aside note on this, –  I can only say that I feel that God, at His choice, interacts with his creation, with foresight. However, the biblical David for instance, was anointed as Israel’s next King after it proved that Soul was a failure. It was not the original intent. Soul made himself a failure by choice, and he could have made his choices differently, – in which case his duty as King then
would have been a sustained one, as was the original aim.
But anyhow, – lets carry on.. Carry on the value of real “connections”, – based on what I  say….
Friendships we need in life. Connections  we need to sustain in life and broaden our own horizons by sharing thoughts we otherwise would not express, perhaps. Good connections in life are the most important gift, apart from having the gift of choice.  One should entertain and commit to this, with full faith and trust,  and include the people who are really dear to us, but also reach out where justice gets compromised, where people get abused, where poverty is reaching that stage it’s simply not acceptable anymore. Not that much we can do on our own, but in the connections we have we can do more then on our own, in the choices for our leaders we can do more than on our own. Because it is all about connecting energies working for the better. 
Being taken up by the stream of meaningful contacts may enlarge what we are and can be, but as I say for others as well.
If we are able to cherish the mix of colours and the mix of race we are able to inhale the oxygen of this planet.
If life has thrown stuff on your plate which was not of your making, and even when there have been times that you wish you could escape from it, the memory of people whom you love dearly and with whom you feel loved as well, – keeps you balanced the pathway you have to follow, as then there will be always some “oxygen” in the air.
 –
The last question on earth is not what we are but what we became in both love and compassion to those who surround us.  And in this it does not make any difference whether we are a Muslim Christian or Jew. The last question is whether we really did share in sorrow and cheer of those around us. Then we can go in peace back to the God of our understanding, when our transition takes place. The last one which is not terminal, as nothing is terminal,- everything is transitional.
On what appeared on this planet by chance in the form of human beings as part of the wider concept of creation, has been given “the gift of choice” in its manifestation. Again, that is the point, or one of the points.
For a better humanity, this is when we have contributed to a better state of human race, – including contributing towards more tolerance among our fellow human beings. This,  is not a point of any religion anymore, – as most people just refrain from the crux of their own religion..  And the last is what counts, the so long forgotten crux in any religion that it is about helping each other and not killing each other. I say this in the most simple way, but often it is the forgotten way in the sum of human history.
That’s not by chance you know, that’s by choice!
If we stand for those in the shadow at the good end of the moral spectrum, we may perceive our last moment on earth as a new beginning. The last because the question of our belonging extends far more further than what we can see and hear, – in our short lifespan on this planet. That’s  part of a never-ending creation.
Again, that’s the chance given to us, – brought on in our perception perhaps by chance, – as there is really little purpose to see children being born in war stricken areas with a special intent for their suffering. With a special intent that they are born in that particular place with a purpose to die days later, – or being taken into a terror cult, or being taken into other slavery.
The “who am I” question is not a question only to be raised by a person at any stage in his or her life.
This question applies to countries as well in the form of: “Who are WE as a people?”
It is a question with political implications, – whether you accept it or not.  It’s a question not raised by chance, but by choice
Experience kept us suspicious of others preventing us from being open and truthful in our appreciation of others, or countries, – and at times for a very good reason. Mind you!
If the looming of a new humanity would be able to  break through the shimmering of dawn,  to this earth, – any inhabitant of this planet, any country in this world, should not allow to make this new humanity more distant by more revolting mass actions of destruction and conflict. Or conflict and destruction, – both being the two sides of evil.
For sure, this is not a matter of chance but it’s all a matter of choice!
Looking back, – (not that we can doing anything about it), – the parents of Adolf Hitler did chose the timing on conception of this person at the wrong time of the scale, whilst the timing of Mother Theresa was spot on. If it would have happened one day later or one day earlier the DNA structure and the power of the manifestation would have been  completely different.
Isn’t this a weird thought?
For sure, let’s take this with a sense of humour, as definitely there is more to it..
Related image
The difference though was the spectrum of conscious,  which did “exclude” in one case the Jews and many others, – in the other case it did “embrace” everybody!  It was the difference between evil in progress and love in motion.
That people are born by chance we accept, or perhaps not.
But what they do by choice,  is the crux.
There was no purpose in the existence of Hitler, neither is there purpose in many of the dictators on this world.
To escape “sin” may be the greatest guilt if not many of those dictators get stopped, – if so required even by assassination,  if the purpose is elimination of evil and destruction in progress. And the Bible says you are not allowed to kill. ..Well, people may disagree, but I think it is very biblical to stop all evil in progress, as history has seen more than enough of it, –  and we should be over it!
Who are we, –  or,  what could we still become?
When we were a child we spoke like a children,  but when we became  an adult – we should act like adults,  with the future of our children at heart.
What sort of a future?
When challenge strikes us at the wrong moment, we may be weak in progress, – but when challenge strikes whilst we are balanced amidst the encounters we have, – we may act stronger perhaps than ever expected. We all may act the wrong way when we are touched the wrong way, no matter how good we are or may be… But if our children get harmed or killed, – we may strike out in anger and become evil. It is not always possible to resist this temptation if we deal with evil,  but it is better being evil than doing evil. Being evil in our anger is better than doing evil in our outrage. This applies e.g. to Islāmic fractions who stand up against each others throat, –  when sentiments are hurt.
Mind you, by the way, no way that I say that the reigns in Saudi Arabia are good, – disturbing as they are at times………You know what happened,  I guess, a short time ago.  Saudi Arabia  executed 47 prisoners convicted of terrorism charges, – including a prominent Shiite cleric, who rallied protests against the government.
This happened by choice, not by chance!
The people who were killed recently were neither really killers or terrorists, but Iran did kill  people as well, who were neither assassins nor bombers in the past. It shows how often people are at the mercy of unpredictable and intolerant regimes, not allowing any opposition. The last applies to people in North Korea as well.
What applies to people that you hope and expect them to become real adults applies to counties as well.  But how often does it really happen?  How often regulate countries themselves to economic conditions, –  that will take the essentials from the many, to give the comforts to  the few? 
  And then as such in an excess at times astonishing.
Worse even, they kill to keep the status quo, and screw their justice systems to keep it that way, – not rarely with barbaric murder and mutilation wiped under the carpet, if possible.
One can’t judge a country on the contents of its leadership, however sometimes the contents of the leadership resonates willingly or unwillingly  with the people of such country.
Lets take pride in Nawal al-Hawsawi an outspoken, black, and  qualified pilot who married to a white man. The ‘Rosa Parks’ of Saudi Arabia who showed in non-violent action she does not agree what is common law on marriage.
Related image
She asked herself as well: ” Who am I”.   I am living will with a right to love, who can be against me if I do no harm?
She did this by choice, not by chance!
Many of us are restless and longing for the oxygen in life, even in the slightest moment of an encounter, far away or distant nearby.
Hungry for the human connection.
Mind you…and listen carefully….. I give an example,  an important one at this stage, – as it is not by chance but by choice!
I am quite candid in saying this:
The poison and intolerance of one person may destroy relations in and outside the US if Donald Trump would be elected US President in 2016!
The faint shimmer of a new humanity would be more down the drain than ever before in the US, – in such case.
– 
It is more than surprising that US Churches don’t take a united stance in matters, to avoid this happening. It would seem true religion and politics do not match very well, and far to often churches have been silent bystanders. Like the Roman Catholic Church at the times of Hitler, during the second world war, – they even made a deal.
It is up to the Americans which way they want to go, either the way of increasing friction among race and religion, with a risk of more civil unrest in the US and more disruption in the world… Or, –  more tolerance and understanding whilst eliminating people who can’t refrain from being evil by doing evil, –  in such  excess that it justifies their destruction.
It’s a matter of a free choice in a country, tainted by history, infected by racial tension, to make the right choice in line with common courtesy and respect for other cultures, – and race alike!
Children still kill each other on the streets in Chicago. At times they are shot as well by others..
Related image
If the US is not going to stop this, it is only a matter of time waiting for a massacre greater than the Civil War. Self inflicted, –  by inflated perceptions on what is right or wrong in gun control. The abolishment of slavery is , likewise, but different, –  proper, –  as the abolishment of enslavement to  inflated gun laws, … and the day by day unlawful killings on the streets of almost any big city in the US, – as a result of this, by day and by night.
By choice, not by chance!
The US is anyway not free from the dangers of violence and further polarisation, but choosing the wrong US President is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice..… Donald Trump is simply not qualified to run a country. His only qualification is being a rich business man with neither proven manners or an acceptable standard on a real partnership with a multi-cultural society .. And I am sure, such a bad choice would affect the world.
Definitely, US readers,  – at least some, – will be greatly annoyed what I say here.
For sure,  I have nothing to do with the US than my affinity for this country to have a better future.  And I am surprised about the way people are making their choices, not knowing what is lying ahead, –  quite a few not having the faintest perceptions on the potential dangers.
Therefore people and churches need to speak out in the US.
 People in the US are qualified to judge with common sense, at least if their support structures give the support they really need. It is amazing that the right-wing sector of the Republican party, with all those so-called Christians, are prepared to support Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination
Why is this important now?
Well, it is all part of: ” Who are we or what could we still become?”
We owe it to ourselves to believe in the future. More then enough countries are already messed up and we can’t allow the US to be messed up by Donald Trump,  and with this, the rest of the world as well, – as he has no concept  of real sustained diplomacy to create unrelenting change for the better.
You know, the power of a country can’t be only judged on its military strengths, – but by its leverage in the world to resolve problems in cooperation with the other superpowers and others,  – and to avoid conflict.
It is all part of the question who we really are and where we want to go. A question, each time with different dimensions and opportunities. And in each of those opportunities lies perhaps the best choice which we need to search for, and this is the craving for that thing, that choice, which may slowly resolve the brokenness in ourselves and in the world.
Where we go as a people is not by chance but by choice and only by making the best possible decisions in each new entity of life, – there is a way forward. Not only for us but also for the people who surround us, with whom we are interlinked.  Not only for us as people,  but for communities and countries as well.
Leaders today need to be qualified as the world is too complex, too  perplexing, –  to allow evil doing evil.
If we have the privilege of living in a country where our ancestors by choice created a Democracy, lets stick to the responsibility of this choice, and the privilege as such, –  the advantage of enhancing our freedom and justice systems by choice and as such I would say it would not be wise to take the chance with Donald Trump, – apart from all the other things I said.
The major challenge of leadership is to restore the  balance between what lies at the core of our humanity, –  and the qualities which direct us in both  actions of goodwill and cooperation towards the challenges we face in the future.
Much of the misery nowadays in this world is caused by the fact that people lose their ability to connect with each other. A real mental connection is a tie to the past and a road to the future, a tie to human rights and a bridge to justice. And if we are failing  to fasten the links between Nations based on the core of our humanity, as a people we will get more and more disconnected, – and as such we will be failing the children who will be the future of the next generation.
It is as Nelson Mandela once said: “A  Good  Head  and a  Good Heart are  Always a  Formidable  Combination”.
And this, – he became by choice, – not by chance!
Still we can make a difference,  and say: “Why not?”
HOW?
Really, – by choice:
To honour and to improve life where possible, and to make more gentle the life of this world..

Some predictions for 2013 after 2012?


DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN07 - John F. Kerry, Se...
DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN07 – John F. Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts (Democrat), USA captured during the session ‘The Future of the Middle East’ at the Annual Meeting 2007 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2007. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

>”Don’t sweat the small stuff when so much else matters.”<

Predictions are not always easy and sometimes impossible. We have one certainty and this is that not nothing is certain. Our agenda for tomorrow based on today or yesterday may well work out, but sometimes it may get disrupted by the unexpected and we have to deal with things as they face us. The day may end differently than we expected, despite a good start perhaps and despite the fact that we assumed everything would by all right.

The same applies to predictions on a New Year, we hope for the best but nothing is certain. Same applies to the weather forecast. We may have good grounds to say it will be a sunny day tomorrow and go to the beach, but we may have to change plans as it proves to be a rainy day with a thunderstorm after eg a very humid day. Let’s be happy that the forecast that the world would end on the 20th of December was nonsense, nobody is able to predict those things.

In other words we may have our intentions but we are not sure whether they come true. Hence what I have to say about 2013 is based on assumptions, based on trends and certain facts perhaps but knowing as well that everything can be changed by the unexpected. In other words and if you like, read what is written below for your pleasure only. It is written by a country Physician, – so be on your guard as Physicians are not supposed to know anything about the future, not to speak about international developments. However what is said is not too difficult and perhaps we all know about it already. Besides this there is no pretension to be complete on those things as completeness on those things as far beyond our abilities.

2012 was for sure not the most dramatic year fortunately. As I said the world did not come to an end and for some this was a bonus, if they were aware of those predictions. Still there have been plenty of issues in 2012 with the seeds of events setting the scene for 2013. This includes eg the launch of a long-range rocket in North Korea, a country with just a new young leader.We had the conflict between Israel and Gaza, or actually as well the non – coöperation from Israel towards a new Palestinian State next door with still clearly significant Hamas impact and the potential of new rocket attacks from East Jerusalem, – if again a conflict situation. Hamas still being supported by Iran, not particularly Israels biggest ally so to say. We all know this. Nothing new. There has been always friction in this area.. Even in the Old Testament there were many reflections on struggle and endless fights. The problem now is that we have different means to start war’s. It’s a bit scary at times. Iran’s nuclear ambitions within this context are only adding oil on fear.

The ongoing civil war in Syria with endless killings and with the remote risk of escalation is an other example, and sadly spoken there is no reference for life at all in Syria (its leaders).. The only thing which is positive after the international community being tight into “non action” is that Russia is getting a bit over Syria with its troubles as well, which may aid international coöperation to end this pointless conflict, – based on a dictator hanging in for power. It’s a terrible example.

There are the current tensions between China and Japan about an absolute insignificant rock in the ocean, which means apparently enough for those countries to send Navy vessels to this direction. And we all hope that no idiot will start to sink a ship in this breeding conflict as little things can have major implications. However feel assured, neither the Chinese nor the Japanese are idiots, they need to show to their own people that they take this issue serious. However one may ask for what reason. One miscalculation or error in judgement may ruin plans. Interestingly Kennedy during the missile Cuba crisis in 1962 was at the end more concerned about his own Generals than about the leader of the Soviet Union at the time. Gives an indication perhaps that playing with fire may give unexpectedly a fire and sometimes a big one.

The continuation of Obama’s Presidency in 2013 may cause him more grey hairs, but his team approach will help to set the tone of international developments where both wisdom action and restraint are more balanced when the election outcome would have been differently. History has not always been that lucky.

Syrian dictator Assad still being in office with all the ongoing massacres will drive him into increasing isolation.Hopefully it is just a matter of time that international approval will help to stop the needless killings and extreme violence in this troubled country.The whole Middle East area is already troubled enough.

Needless to say that the Middle East will be most challenging in 2013, more so than in 2012. This since civilization festered area with religious hatred and conflict for certain will not easily find a harmonious solution for all parties involved. The most practical interim solution will be straight on US – Iran discussions to test Iran’s willingness to coöperate in multi part talks to restrict/reduce the chance of an escalating war without end.The emhasis should be to end all terror related violence as only this will encourage Israel to help the Palestinians into the developments needed with the protection of all people in the Israel/Gaza region.It is just wait and see whether it will go this direction, but it would be wise to include Iran subject to prove of genuine intentions to keep friendly relations with all neighbours in the area, including full safety guarantees for Israel.

It is amazing to see that the Euro crisis has been able to drag on for another year without a final conclusion. In December 2012 Greece is still in the Eurozone and different European countries are struggling with various intensity to stay straight, so to say. Unemployment ratio is increasing likewise the closure or reduction of various businesses. For many the belief in the Euro future is bleak with Germany however insisting that the Euro should survive. Needless to say that a potential fall of the Euro will have lots of implications for the people of Europe, but also for the nations with strong Euro connections.

Leadership changes took place in various countries during 2012 and generally spoken not much change can be expected immediately after those transitions. However, the leadership changes in both North Korea,China, Russia, Japan and other States will set the agenda for changing dynamics in 2013, with the inclusion at least of a stable and trustworthy foreign policy approach of the US under the same President with a good successor of Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. John Kerry is a foreign policy expert and an impressive elder statesman in the US Senate. He will not need much “in-house training” to aid US foreign policy on critical issues in 2013.

The most important issue perhaps of being resolved at present is unfortunately financial . If both the US and Europe are unable to solve their issues with the required political will, it will enhance the weakening of the “western hemisphere” in almost every dimension. Fiscal cliffs or not, the balance between outgoing’s and innings need to be right. The current US deficit and the Federal Reserve printing heaps of money not backed by any “golden standard” or “oil” is asking for trouble down the line with the risk of a massive new recession.Utterly complex matters within the US not fully controlled need to be be managed or controlled by vigorous new legislation. Gun control is important and a public topic at present but the system of financial self-regulation is vital for the US to continue to exist in the way it does and not go down the road as the Roman empire once did. Some countries perhaps would be delighted with a reduction of US power, but the risk of a significant reduction of US power could destabilise the world and President’s Obama’s second term will be vital to face and deal with the issues as they are.The potential foreshadow of social unrest and increasing violence as a result of a possible second recession makes gun control even more significant to protect US citizens against itself. The potential destruction of the US not necessarily may come from the outside but can come from the inside and the years ahead are critical for the US. Inflation and possible recession are going hand in hand if no firm control on the Federal Reserve, but the powers behind this are significant and dealing with this is a risk for the US President. However what needs to be done needs to be done. At the end of the day it is all people’s work translated into energy, rewarded by money, – which is decreasing in value by the private control of creating money by the Federal Reserve. Man made problems can be resolved by men, only if the political will to support the required directions resonates through various legislative branches in both Europe and the US.Without any predictions being possible it is wait and see how the dynamis in this area will evolve in 2013, knowing that any international conflict could ruin the efforts of each country to solve its balance between spending and cutting costs in a way which protects those who have worked hard for their money, but also those who live from their superannuation, those who are disabled and fragile in society, the elderly and the children included. “Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” as was once said by Nathan Pyle, – however I doubt this for 2013 (in no uncertain terms).. Increasing costs for food and energy against reduced value of our money is harmful wherever we may live on this world, and still the majority of people can’t afford it anymore and live below any reasonable standard of living.

Various countries in the Middle East will face the problem of opposing Islamist groups taking responsibility of taking Government as many Islamists have their own political frictions with the potential of increasing sectarian conflicts in the years laying ahead. Initial peaceful countries could turn quickly into new areas of intense conflict.

The US has renewed interest  in the Asian Pacific for both economical and security reasons after withdrawing from both Iraq and eventually in 2014 from Afghanistan, but the vacuüm created will have both Iran’s and India’s interest to have their perceived deserved share of influence. Also an area of different dynamics with an uncertain outcome at this stage after US withdrawal by the end of 2014.

It is anticipated that US dependence on oil exporting countries is going to reduce in quite sustained ways with significant “US dollar” issues. There is a tendency already of increasing countries less relying on the value of the US dollar with as final result (forgetting about a few other issues) that the US impact on foreign international policy may reduce in value and strength..

President Obama shortly in his second term will have greater influence to balance the critical important relationships between the US and China. The new President Xi from China needs to get agreement and support for a different set of policies in a rebalancing act on the Chines economy and the demands of some 350 million middle class people. The facts behind the conflict between Japan and China in the East Chines sea could be well that the Chinese government can’t afford to look weak. It is clear that the US has been worried about China for some time and it is not hoped that Japan might be forced to act in a very trivial conflict with apart from this the still contentious issues around Taiwan.

As we all know, words from leaders may lead to action and both feeding empty rhetoric and false sentiments besides fear, are unhelpful to balance the required coöperation between Washington and Beijing.Tha call for action goes together for the call for great care on both sides. Again note that it has been an international interest to have President Obama reelected as US “Commander-in-Chief”, even though a number of US citizens feel different about this.

Iran has been faced with various sanctions in 2012 together with increased inflation and unemployment.The desire of Iran to go nuclear and have potential weapons of mass destruction is going at a significant cost for Iran.It’s standing in the region as due to the Arab uprising is not as strong as it was before.It’s ally Syria is fully involved in a civil war and Israels insistence on a preëmptive attack may seem to have diminished somewhat, waiting what a second Obama term will deliver in terms of security for Israel. The question remains whether containment of a nuclear Iran is possible. Israel will still reconsider its options and in terms of US foreign policy it would be wise to test Iran on its willingness to have serious discussions on security matters in the Middle East area, including its place about Israel. If Israels security is without any doubt accepted it is neither in Israel’s interest nor intention to start a preëmptive war with Iran, but also this is a wait and see matter as how dynamics will evolve. Needless to say again that this is an area of both great concern and importance and proactive management from the US Administration is a need to keep the right balance as from other countries this can’t be expected, unfortunately. It’s a critical issue in US foreign policy in the Middle East and it would be hoped that John Kerry will be granted with a new US mission to explore the potential coöperation with Iran to balance US vital security interest in Israel, without a major Middle East war.

Climate change and the implications of Climate change, the protection against terrorism of any kind will remain high on the international agenda, likewise and hopefully increasingly the protection of human rights. The last often an issue of international lip service and a need being recognised but not often materialised where it proves to be required, including the issue of increasing human trafficking. Also in this domain we have to wait and see how international coöperation will work out, but at least a stable world will contribute and a world with increasing conflict will compromise, – any form of human rights! Hence the importance of the 2013 agenda that some countries are going to deal seriously with their own financial affairs as what we can learn from history is that the great depression of the 1930ties was one of the triggers of the second word war.

America’s stronghold as an economic power has been compromised in the past and it is by far nor sure this will be sorted in the future. A sudden recession or an unexpeced and escalating conflict could ruin each potential to overcome its problems if both leaders in Europe and the US are unable to get the required support to control internal economical dynamics not being sufficiently managed in the past. Fruitful international relationships are  of ongoing importance, which will be really the challenge of 2013 with a new generation of leaders in vital countries of potential conflict.

Far more to say about 2013, but let’s leave this to the experts with more insight information about existing background dynamics. What often seems true on the surface is different from the inside, with the knowledge reaching this inside.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

The Art of Leadership and lessons from the Past – some general features


Organization clears your path
Organization clears your path (Photo credit: nist6ss)

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow”.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein

Countries and organisations at whatever level are the combination of all-around “living” and existing dynamics and the art of leadership is based on the concept that it is important to mobilise the existing recourses of available people in the right direction, – at all levels if possible.

Related image

Not always do people change that easy, not always are existing structures at certain parts of the organisation or the country due to be changed despite being desirable to have change.  Timing is sometimes crucial and dealing with people at various sections and levels is the domain of the greatest challenge of leadership.

Our level of influence is largely dependent, not only on the vision we have and the ability to articulate this, – but both as well on our ability to  build  fundamental  trustworthy relationships, empowering others and get people in alignment with the bigger picture: the vision we emphasise.

Related image

Trust is essential but not easy. People often have different agenda’s and where other’s are not always to be trusted, leaders in essence need to be trustworthy. Integrity fires off, integrity is like a lighthouse which does not move by the principle of light, – which does not disappear and gives direction, regardless the circumstances.

Related image

So vision, direction, a way to articulate this vision, and trustworthiness are all fundamentals of sound leadership, – besides an ability to deal with people in such a way that it gives enough empowerment and leverage to work eventually at the same page of the agenda, – where eg agenda’s have been different.

Again the level of influence to achieve this needs to be able to mobilise and energize the recourses of  management levels at all existing creative and intellectual abilities, – to work things out as they should be.

Related image

We all know that leadership and management are  not the same. Where leadership gives direction or a vision, management is the agreed strategic to meet this vision or goal. Where the leader has the insight which direction is best for either country, organisation or any other movement, – the ability to get the workers in place and organise the work to be done in such a way that the goal is achievable is a management issue. Even at management level it is important that people are led in the right direction of things to be done according to plan, and both at the level of leadership and management effective communication is the cornerstone to resolve issues as they arise, – at times conflict as well.

Integrity at all those levels is a principle issue where corners are not cut at the benefit of the cheapest option and the  loss of values or principles.

Related image

Hitler started a war based on the most effective army being organised at the time and was from this point of view initially successful. His leaders at the various divisions of the “Third Reich” were highly efficient and able to communicate their vision at nearly all levels of society with passion and consideration of those who followed; – but the failure of Hitler’s “Third Reich” was that the concept of both integrity and value for life was totally lost and that the goal setting and vision of the man was deeply floored from the beginning.

Related image

For every endeavour in society at the organisational level is the fundamental question whether the vision or goal setting adds value and respect for life, – besides financial gain to support the mission. If there is no margin there is no mission. We see already in the US after the Bush Administration how hard it is to create a mission with little margins as all the previous existing margins were wasted in often pointless war’s being dominated by powerful elements in society pushing their agenda, – not rarely against the wishes of many people, and not rarely in contradiction with basic respect for life.

The world is very complex now as the traditions of securing the power base of each country with enhanced military development, based on the often ill-defined principle of “national security”, are getting worldwide more and more out of control. Strong and value based leadership is required to avoid a world eventually being totally filled up with mass grave yards as such grave yards are often not more than a reflection that conflict could have been dealt with differently, – with more leadership, integrity and respect for life.

Related image

History will always have areas of conflict but the means by which those conflicts should be resolved can’t be the means by which we have been able to inflict destruction at a large-scale.

Leadership deals with the future, with the way valuable aims and goals can be achieved through the power of the human spirit, the last often being required to be coached and energised in the right direction. Not by the increasing power of distinct evil being much prevalent all over the word, but by the power of trust, respect for life and differences, – besides mutual distinct coöperation to cut those evils which could put us all at risk if we don’t value the future for what it really could be. Values, ethics and principles are  at the heart of real leadership as it protects the immune system of an organisation or country from the undermining elements being always present anyway.  In physical terms the “Third Reich” of Hitler was a well-developed cancer being able to grow as this country had no proper functioning immune system based on principles values and ethics. If it had been present or more powerful at the time, the forces of a proper immune system would have been able to eradicate Hitler at an early stage as he would have been never an electable person with the level of influence he had. The level or lack of principles ethics and values being developed in a country or organisation, may attract the sort of leader which fits the type of country or organisation at some extend. It may accelerate change for the better or change for the worst. Hence by proper law enforcement each country or organisation would benefit from protecting the best in values being present, at all levels. Leaders come and go, in the best scenario they push forward to the next level. However, never allow them to compromise the values and principles on which the organisation or country is based. Allow them to reach the next level of the endeavour at a certain time and place, as pioneers for a  future we all need to embrace with compassion and courage.

Related image

The value of society of any democratic or non-democratic country can be assessed by the law enforcement on both terror ( to protect life) in general and eg  the terror of human trafficking (= the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery) more specific.  Some 27-28 million people are eg held in slavery all over the world in countries least expected, many of them being children.  After drug trafficking and illegal arms trade, human trafficking is the fasted growing criminal industry not being tackled with the same efforts as eg “the war on terror” in Afghanistan. How countries respond to this is only one of the assessment tools to check whether our world is a world where human life is getting more respected or not, where countries are indifferent or not where it come to proper law enforcement to cut with passion and energy the crime rate at this level and let “the slaves go free”, – support them and punish the criminals who make eg human trafficking their business.
Related image
Like Hitler and his movement was a cancer not being eradicated before it became a worldwide disease, the metastatic cancer of various other injustice against all forms of human rights needs the power of relentless law enforcement in favour of  the universal rights of people, where ever they may live, where ever they are born, –  and regardless who the criminals are.
In more practical terms on leadership and values, with accepting  the above as the baseline for leadership, the following can be said:
Places of leadership:
They are everywhere. In any organisation, large or small. Leadership is neither restricted to the young nor the old. Some have more to it due to circumstances in life, others have less to it due to misfortune and/or ill health. However within the group of the less advantaged the greatest leaders did evolve by motivation and choice, by desire and both by skill and ability to learn the lessons life has to learn a keen spirit. Sometimes people were placed in a position to take this role on board, not by choice perhaps (the circumstances itself), – but by choice to go ahead with what crossed their pathway unintended. It was the challenge they took willingly or unwillingly on board, often when times were tough, – where they could not afford it to be indifferent in times of hardship and uncertainty. Times of adversity and crisis made great leaders in history, by choice.  The last regardless the level of wealth or first status.
Related image

Inspire vision:
Vision can bring the best of ourselves forward in the endeavours we have to face. But let us note that there are no strict rules for this. Every time when a leader stands up we may recognise some features, but the patterns following which the new leader develops are always different. For each person the background is different and each time requires a different vision as the circumstances through life do change. The needs do change as well and the way “vision” does evolve during the trials and tribulations of life is each time again different. However one of the features of a leader is that he or she is able to inspire a broader picture which does resonate at various levels. This is however a place by choice and sometimes it takes a long way to reach this position. It is not the end but often it is the beginning with various hurdles, – but the hurdles do need faith, determination, imagination, coaching teaching and involvement. In other words this vision comes from deep inside, it is a driving force requiring commitment and getting commitment in what people want to know about their own aspirations, want to hear about their own hopes and dreams in a particular set of circumstances. Inspiring vision is a shared thing.
Related image
The matter to be trustworthy is essential:
Whatever comes to the surface in retrospect about some leaders,  people in general want leaders to be credible as this makes it possible to follow a leader. If you don’t trust the leader it is hard to trust what he or she has to say about your hopes and dreams. Leaders show in word and deed what they believe in. They are trustworthy – as Stephen Covey once put it – “at the personal level and the interpersonal level”.
Leaders are able to articulate their own deep felt values very well and the level of their integrity is in line with what they say and do. Part of being trustworthy is caring. Leaders do care of what lies ahead and they show it open and honest, at times affectionate. They speak to the heart of people and mobilise at times the best in people, whilst learning from their needs with an integrity of action to carry out what is required. The broader context of this trustworthiness’ is felt in a wider relationship with people.
Related image
The matter of being proactive:
Leaders have a great capacity to anticipate and take charge of situations. They act in advance of a future situation, and not just reacting. They take control and make things happen and not just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen. It has to do with the importance of courage, perseverance, personal responsibility and being aware that there are choices, regardless of the situation or context. Leaders have a sense of direction and look forward to this direction whilst applying at the same time their action of choice to reach this direction, with imagination. As such making people more capable to follow and manage their own actions in line with this direction. This being proactive may well be at the personal level, but it needs to transpire at the “team level” to get sustained results in a broader spectrum. It takes both proactivity and a team to bring people to the top of the mountain, – to become a CEO or President.
Related image
Leaders don’t work on their own, but whilst doing their own work they work in collaboration and connection.
This is the focus of getting things done.
Thank you!
 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

Our future lies in our children as well!


Vietnam
Vietnam (Photo credit: jamesonwu)

Our future lies in our children as well!

Fortunately, in history, we still  have remarkable  people, – people who left their foot prints, their legacy,  at the times they lived.

People who reflected courage at times of the worst violation of human rights.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian before and during the 2nd World War, saw  the dynamics leading to the upcoming of Hitler. He sensed at an early stage the dangers and went to the US, – realising however that he could not commit to a post war engagement without being involved in the German resistance against Hitler.

He returned to Germany and during the 2nd world war he became increasingly aware that taking Hitler out of the total picture could perhaps save millions of lives.

He engaged himself in a plot to take Hitler’s life but by “miracle” (as Hitler called it),  2 serious assassination attempts failed very closely. It did reinforce Hitler however in his belief that he was supported by supernatural powers.

Bonhoeffer was arrested by the Gestapo and put in a concentration camp. Just before the end of the 2nd world war he was killed  following explicit instructions from the German government. He left some literature providing an insight in the moral dilemma’s he faced with taking an (evil) life, – to preserve many other lives.

Related image

He was an example of true courage.  He said once: “>The test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children<.” – I would like to add to this that the moral value of a society is neither its reputation in the world nor its gross national product. The level of greatest morality in society is far more connected with the way its looks after its children, the elderly and the frail, – facilitating optimal education to offer people a future with value and dignity, in peace.

Related image

This world is still a world where children do suffer. In various countries uprooted by civil war, poverty and lack of basic education. Besides this there are many countries where many thousands of children (millions perhaps) are sold or disappeared in the sex trade or child pornography. Daily abused in the most horrible dimensions. Often the perpetrators walk free as e.g the case recently with a Belgian Arch Bishop. He abused children in his care and in the 21st century in Belgium, he was only advised to leave the country – without any prosecution.

Related image

Not to speak about countries reigned by some dictators, often far worse, – but these dimensions about child abuse are almost at a global level. This is the violence different from the bomb at night in Gaza, slower than the shot in Afghanistan, – but at least as deadly in terms of physical and mental torture. It is the silent violence and the slow decay within existing institutions supposed serving the countries, – like e.g. in  Belgium, where high-ranking government officials have been involved in  pedophile rings, and where some influentially in the top of the Roman Catholic Church walk free.

Related image

This violence again is different from e.g. the violence applied by the US in Vietnam some decades ago, where the US Government was in a place to decide which areas in Vietnam would be destroyed with mass bombardments. It is the violence different as applied in many other pointless war’s as happened e.g in Iraq. Nevertheless it is often institutional violence, like it was institutional violence which intervened in John F Kennedy’s Presidency of the US, with high-ranking Governments officials being involved with cover up’s at the highest level of US Government. It was this institutional violence as well which killed both Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert F Kennedy during the anti Vietnam-war demonstrations,  – preparing as such (in a way)  the winning campaign of Richard Nixon.  Even in the US there are potentially dangerous dynamics if not wisely put to an end.  Still e.g. the Iraq war and 9/11 left many unanswered questions and if the Bush administration with Dick Cheney & Donald Rumsfeld would stand trial in an International Court of Justice, the verdict could be less favourable than most people would think, – if all available evidence would be presented. The potential however in the US reflects still the choices being possible to change the political climate, which is different from some other countries. The choices of not allowing the past to become the future of our children. The statue of liberty however has only value with a supplementary statue of responsibility in the White House. If the US would falter and loses its freedom it is: “because we destroyed ourselves”, – Abraham Lincoln once said.

Related image

Neither western democracies nor countries elsewhere on the world are free of failures of both judgement and perceptions, but  with democracies is has been rarely necessary to put dissidents in jail whilst this seems common practice in those countries where there are no free elections. The beauties of a democracy remain restricted if  most value their right to remain indifferent against potential evil systems tolerated in their own society. Every democratic country gets the criminals it deserves in the highest positions, where there is a free vote, – but on the other hand each free vote can add to the law enforcement being required. People being elected at various levels of government do represent the choices of people and in real democracies it is not really justified to blame politics for everything, – as everyone in those positions of government can be replaced through those who are committed to their democratic votes and the legitimate need for change. The dynamics in e.g Syria are far less straightforward, especially when the crack down on dissidents is relentless and supported by Teheran.

Nevertheless certain countries can’t continue killing their own people without repercussions on the long-term. It happened in the former Yugoslavia and there are still trials in The Hague with generals involved in genocide and all other abuses of human rights.

Related image

Like the principle of non involvement in business does not work in the time of knowledge workers, non involvement does not work in the business of the political administration of any country, and most of the non democratic leaders are operating from obsolete and inflated paradigms driving their countries on the brink of disaster.

In 2008 the US made a choice for profound change and Barack Obama became the first African American President. Despite a multi trillion federal budget deficit inherited from past Administrations, he was able to carry out various reforms. Without compromising on the needs for the children, the frail, the elderly and the middle class he needs to find ways to attempt a significant reduction in the federal budget deficit to keep the US a sustainable country. No representative of the Republican Party during the 2012 elections will prove to have similar credentials as this first African-American President, who may prove in retrospect  to be one of the finest US Presidents in history, – provided being able to serve his 8 years term in office.

Education is the key to help less privileged groups to better standards of living all over the world. It can push countries to the next levels of their endeavours. The inhumanity and dilemma’s of this swiftly changing planet can’t be resolved by ongoing oppression of groups who want to see positive changes in their society. The world can neither be moved by those who represent a dying history of obsolete principles of government, with full prove that it does not work, – nor can it be moved by democracies with decay in their systems as allowed by those having a free vote. Our security can’t be secured anymore by nuclear warheads. – Security is far more likely to be settled in the way reason meets across the borders of division. The future will be an achievement for those who find ways to work together at the forefront of those challenges in our time.

Related image

The world is wicked dark and grey, despite its beauties on many of its corners. Obstruction is in the midst whilst oppression does not leave from the streets. If we ask the children all over the world what makes their times bad, they will tell. They will tell the stories about hunger and dysfunctional families. They will tell their stories about violence and rape. They will tell the stories about schools without books. They will tell the stories about friends being gunned or knifed down. They will tell the stories about trading childs for sex in Taiwan and Cambodia, apart from other countries. It is this silent violence which goes barefaced often under the protection of civil servants or in some countries – the church. The grievances of many under oppression are loud and clear but often not heard. Often they are wiped under the carpets. Those carpets often so nicely shining from the top, but so dusty and dirty at the bottom where nobody looks.  As long as the world will exist there are always wicked leaders who ruin the ethical principles of life by wearing out the people who refuse to remain indifferent towards human suffering and humiliation.

Related image

Through the agony of deep divisions we need to change our world by our choices. We need the world and the world needs us. ….Those who take history as a relentless master in the challenge to keep both reverence for life and diversity, will always meet the world as a strange place, – whilst it take miles to make it change. However there is a time fixed for this…This time will come at the fittest time where people will be set free… This optimism takes no account of the present but is worth both enduring inspiration vitality and hope for the future, – where others have resigned to claim the future for themselves.

Related image

And still, we see this hope and optimism in children.  And don’t let us forsake them, – they are our future!!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gdGkf5Kb2w&feature=player_detailpage

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/on-the-issue-of-human-trafficking/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

 

 

From Pol Pot to Darfur


On the 25th of April each year, Australians  commemorate ANZAC day, the landing of Australian and New Zealand Troops at Gallipoli in 1915. The spirit of this day – as suggested by the official war historian C.E.W Bean – both stand and stood for “reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance that will never own defeat”. It also encompasses the laughter, the love and pride of life which fits most Australians as well. Anzac was a terrible day in history with about 265000 casualties on Allied forces. including 7594 Australian soldiers.

It’s a day indeed not to forget and for Australians it is an important day. Like D-day and other battlefields were many people lost their lives. John Masefield wrote in his tribute about those bold, laughing soldiers, -“they seemed to be of one race, for all of them had something of the same bearing, and the same look of humorous swift action.” On an other occasion John Masefield made a tribute on the heritage of English universities, being places where ignorance has been despises and where people strive to know, “where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see. ” Unfortunately we can’t say that ignorance has been despises as the  “modern” world still builds on the legacy of genocide and an increasing ignorance of human rights, – besides controlling most of the world’s oil, most of the world’s weapons, most of the world’s money, and most of the world’s media. The energies of most countries are going 10 times more to either being well prepared – and eventually going to war, – rather than eliminating the chances of war with the risk of partial or total self-destruction, as being possible in the times we live today.

Related image

 

Never ever nuclear powers will surrender in times of conflict without resort to those forces and this risk is growing year by year. If we look into recent history and see the level of irrationality among some of the worst tyrants, – whilst the world has made minimal efforts to stop those leaders at an early stage, – there is a real concern when any of those countries and it’s leaders have either access to nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons. I am under no illusion North Korea (with its current leadership) would be able to destroy a few nuclear power plants on the east coast of the US, if it is able to develop long-range missiles. They would have no mercy.

Related imageRelated image

Related image

Related image

 

Even when some countries do have nuclear weapons for not using them (“deterrent”), – other countries with less rational leaders acquire those weapons with the purpose of irrational use, if they feel fit to do so. In any significant nuclear encounter where one single nuclear explosive alone is almost 12 times the explosive force applied by all the Allied airforce during the 2nd world war,- the military encounters at Gallipoli with the losses of 265000 soldiers are only trivial with the losses then being endured, and we can’t take any pride anymore by sending our “brave soldiers” to war (being slaughtered) whilst the nations in the word have failed to take drastic actions to prevent the spreading of nuclear energy.

John Masefield if still alive in such days would despise the ignorance of not having prevented those battle fields, and the failures of the UN to end tyranny and the abuses of human rights. The problem is that some member states abuse human rights themselves and are subject to gross tyranny at a cost of their own population.

Related image

If we consider the most evil leaders in the world we can be pleased that at least Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot are not among the living anymore, – but they were tolerated to use their powers and have never been stopped at an earlier stage, – as such preventing the misery and deaths of millions all over the world.

Related image

Still  there have been , – and still there are many other tyrants who exercise the most brutal powers and all forms of inhumanity. Many of those people have been and still are, – tolerated on the political scene,  even within the context of the United Nations. Some of those people are suffering from serious psychopathology but are still able to keep up  in a world of increasing themselves with more and more personal wealth, ethnic cleansing and coordinating often cruel obliteration of any political opposition. Some have, – others will get in the future excess to nuclear power plants, which will enable them to join the countries with the powers to use nuclear weapons eventually.

Needless to say what power graving inhumane leaders could provoke in the future, if the United Nations and the Global Community does not learn the lessons from the past and deal with those leaders at an early stage.  This should have happened with e.g. Pol Pot and Idi Amin, the last with a killer record of about 400000 and the first with even 3 million Cambodian’s being massacred under his responsibility. Pol Pot with his Khmer Rouge “revolution” has been (per head) possibly the deadliest in Asian history, and the world watched it happening…

Related image

Terror and paranoia reigns at more places around the world, and early intervention would have prevented the ramifications of some of those brutal monsters.

To give a glimpse only and starting to speak about North Korea, – we all know the dangers associated with Kim Joni -il,  – the leader of this poverty-stricken and possibly one of the most isolated countries in the world. He is most unpredictable and acquired nuclear weapons ready to be used. Actually he is known as the world worst dictator now. His problem is the combination of personal paranoia,  his deadly weapons and his addiction to Hennessy cognac ( his yearly alcohol bill is over $200000,-). For many other countries apart of his own, – this  is a potential  lethal combination with the wrong decisions being made, despite diplomatic efforts to control the situation as long as it can be controlled.  A report compiled by Frederick L . Coolidge and Daniel L Segal (with help of a South Korean psychiatrist) concluded that the current North Korean leader has similar personality disorders as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein (sadistic, paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic and schizoid). Although many stories about this man are perhaps somewhat exaggerated perhaps, – needless to say that he is a most dangerous commander of the “Korean People’s Army“, the 4th largest in the world. Two hundred thousand of North Korean people have been imprisoned as due to opposition. This country with this leader is able to create a nightmare scenario.

Related imageRelated image

In Iran we still have Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is the leader who declared the Holocaust to be a lie and a myth, stating that the Jewish Nation should be wiped from the map. Later he denied this,  saying that he was not “passing judgement” on the Holocaust and that he “respects Jews very much.” The population in Iran has increased quite significant but has major problems in terms of unemployment and inflation. Obviously there are powers behind this President, but there is not enough clarity. The records on human rights are notorious and the nuclear ambitions are  potentially most dangerous. Having said this in a 2009 interview with reporter Ann Curry on the question whether the President of Iran would rule out an Iranian nuclear bomb in the future, – he responded: >”We have no need for nuclear weapons.” <->”Without such weapons we are very much able to defend ourselves.” <……Though  he may prove likely not to be consistent in his projections,  at least he is not as irrational as the North Korean leader. Being however both a controversial figure in and outside Iran, – Human Rights Watch has been quite explicit about tortures and mistreating dissidents. There is no tolerance for peaceful protest and gatherings. Within the context of the Middle East dynamics he proved to support Hizbullah against Israel and in October he did visit Lebanon. It would seem he is buying time within the Middle East dynamics.

Related image

The current leader of Syria, President Bashar al-Assad has continued his family’s Ba’athist regime and rule of Syria. His secret police as part of normal routine imprisons, tortures and kills those people who disagree or speak out against his regime. In an interview with ABC news he stated that: “We don’t have such things as political prisoners.” Assad has been  logistically supporting & sponsoring various militant opposing groups against Israel as he is “anti-Israel”, though appears perhaps interested in a “peace treaty” today, – but not real peace. Besides this he is “anti – West” as well and a close ally of Iran. Large protests against the regime earlier this year have been crushed. His economic policies are in the range of gross neglect of his own country. Family members are holding key government positions to secure his power base.

Related image

In Zimbabwe there is still President Robert Mugabe (the world’s 3rd nightmare dictator). Zimbabwe’s economic fall down is one of the worst being known, together with a dreadful record on human rights. Mugabe’s ruling party inflicted militias to support his campaign to hold on power during the 2008 elections. Vote counts were falsified Foreign Journalists were chased out of the country or detained. Supporters of the opposite party were either beaten or killed by Mugabe loyalists, using relentless torture methods being widespread documented. The South African President Tabu Mbeki watched in silence whilst the murder rate peaked, but brokered under international pressure a deal with the leader of the  Movement for Democratic Change (Morgan Tsvangirai), and the last became Prime Minister, – however under Mugabe’s rule. The process of white farmers being expelled from their properties is still ongoing. Mogabe’s regime and followers are not less than a gang of murderers and thieves, without any moral bearing and the majority who did support him should be sent to an international criminal tribunal, once there will be an M.D.C led government. Mugabe has been President since the early 1980ties and it is amazing that he still holding this position, in a country with so much bloodshed. Neither the dynamics in the Commonwealth, nor the dynamics in the United Nations or South Africa have been able to stop this man holding onto power.

Related image

In Eritrea the leader still is Isaias Afewerki. Since the date he came into power in May 1993 he has been responsible of shutting down all human rights organisations, besides removing all international development agencies from the country. Elections have been canceled and Amnesty International did report excessive human rights violations, like in other countries. A war looms with Ethiopia and the government is under suspicion of supporting terrorism, hence pending economic privation, – despite 2/3 of the populations receiving food aid. Border conflicts and a poor economy are ongoing issues, besides frequent reports on human rights abuses.

Related imageRelated image

President Yahya Jammeh has ruled Gambia since 1994. Apart from being known for his herbs and banana cure for Aids, he is known to have decapitated gay’s. Not to mention the documented torture and imprisonment of dozens of journalists and political opponents who disappeared from the scene. In round up’s traditional “witches” in his country were taken from their hut’s and villages by bus to secret locations. Here they were forced to drink hallucinates causing terrible pains with provoked and mindless killings. Gambia might be the smallest country on mainland Africa but has a very large record of human right atrocities and President Jammeh counts Iran’s President being a close ally. Both countries have much military and trades ties. Hopefully there will be pending signs of a fracture in the junta leading to it collapse, and if this collapse could be supported it would only create a more favourable situation. However if Iran would export nuclear technology eventually to this country, not much imagination is required of what would happen next.

Related imageRelated image

In Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov became the leader after the declared independence after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.During a peaceful protest in Andijan in 2005, Karimov’s police murdered 750 civilians. Since the 90ties he has jailed  at least over 8000 Uzbeks for “Islāmic extremism”, with him having warm connections with the US when President Bush was in power. The war on terror as it would seem, allowed the West to turn a blind eye to all sorts of human rights atrocities (in which thousands have been killed) as long those countries were supportive towards anti terror policies of President Bush. Opponents of  this particular  regime and the democratic movement are nullified and President Karimov blames any uprise on “terrorist groups”. Karimov has been selected already as one of the world’s worst dictator’s because of his tactic’s on torture, media censorship and fake elections, which are notorious. Craig Murray, the British embassador from 2002 to 2004 in this country details in his memoirs the financial corruption and human right’s abuses, which he encountered during his term in office.

Related imageRelated imageRelated image

Sudan’s dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for both war crimes and crimes against humanity within the committed Darfur genocide. He came to power in 1989 when he led a group of officers in a coup that ousted the Sadiq al – Mahdi government. The atrocities were committed during the war in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, which claimed over 300000 lives since 2003 and terrible mass displacements, – apart from torture, sexual violence and rape. An international arrest warrant (10 counts of genocide & war crimes) will be  issued in the dictator’s  name. However the regime may retaliate now against aid workers and peacekeeping soldiers in Darfur. International relief efforts could well be compromised resulting in more suffering among ordinary Sudanese people. Providing justice could have implications for peace keeping operations. Violence still continues in Sudan and the transition to a more peaceful civil society will prove to be a complicated process. Key transitional justice issues are envisioned already by Dr Mohammed Abdallah  Aisa, Physician and former Professor of Medicine at L Fasher University in Darfur. He has been much involved in the treatment of survivors of sexual violence and torture. Civil society in Darfur needs to be involved in crucial conversations about transitional justice to be well equipped to lead, once a peace agreement is in place.

Related image

Related image

The list does not stop with this. One last example:

Than Shwe ( one of the world’s most terrible dictator’s) has been the military dictator of the ruling junta in Birma, but I am led to believe that since yesterday his role has somewhat reduced, – however he is still a very influential background figure. He imprisoned, tortured and executed Buddhist monks, opponents and even journalists. Birma is one of the 10 poorest countries on earth and during the late 80ties the “Democracy Summer” has been squashed with murdering thousands of demonstrators. The Human Rights world report in 2005 describes this country as one of the most repressive countries in Asia.  A country excelling in all forms of terror among its own people, besides being listed as possibly the 3rd most corrupt nation on earth. Mind you if such a nation, or any of the others would get access to nuclear power plants.

Related image

Unrest is going on now at various levels in Middle East countries and China, where there is a call for more democratic reforms and freedom. Human rights have been often compromised in those countries as well.

Countries are different and follow different patterns of processes leading eventually to more democratic reforms. On the one hand we may hope that democracy and justice will prevail in those countries were the walls of oppression are still high. On the other hand it is not sure how many massacres those countries will have to endure.  However, keeping the world stable and safe it is better to start to make strategies for democratic reforms as at the end of the day they are legitimate and whatever happens they can’t be stopped. Delayed perhaps, but not stopped. Crushing the movements for reforms might be successful for some years but the resistance will grow and grow and trying to stop those movements will jeopardise the general stability and economy of each country trying to do this. Reconciliation at the end might be even more difficult as atrocities will not be easily forgotten.

Processes as they evolved eventually in South Africa with the election eventually of President Mandela in the 90ties are perhaps not everywhere applicable, but still the transition eventuated in a peaceful way where civil war would have been the alternative. Where leaders of countries like e.g.  China are able to make choices for the better of their country, it might be wise to do so as in the long term it will serve the purpose of China to be a peaceful super power in the world, with much leverage with surrounding countries in the region.

The amount of unstable countries on this world with oppressive regimes and human rights abuses is quite staggering at the moment and the dangers on escalating violence are quite clear as e.g. illustrated in Libia. The UN did step in eventually in this area but the options in other areas are quite limited as veto rights will be exercised by other member states. This at the background of an increased number of  nuclear powers makes the world unstable and far from safe, with the experience that some leaders have the capacity to respond in a total irrational way due to the personality structure of some leaders themselves, – holding on to power with everything it takes, – even self-destruction.

The modern Hitler’s. Stalin’s and Pol pot’s may dominate the world if united efforts from within the UN do fail to stop the most dangerous people at an early stage, with genocides worse than the killing fields in Cambodia and Vietnam. The liberation movements can’t be terminated as the currents will get stronger and stronger, so that the mightiest wall’s of oppression will fall. This is what the late Senator Robert F Kennedy once said on a tour in South Africa, – at the time this country had a most oppressive regime. The point is that he is right, but the question is at which cost if the UN does not become more proactive in dealing with those countries who are at risk.

Related image

As Elie Wiesel once commented – surviving both the Nazi Auschwitz death camp and Buchenwald: >”Have we really learned from our experiences? Are we less insensitive to the plight of victims of ethnic cleansing and other forms of injustices in places near and far?”<

Related image

Democracy is not “the prescription” for no trouble, but with proper balance of powers being constructed within the constitution, allowing constitutional freedom of press and an obligation to preserve human rights, – it is at least the form of government allowing change if so required.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/on-the-issue-of-human-trafficking/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/