Tag Archives: Human rights

A Collision Course in Europe and the US with Russia?‏ – What is the real Crisis?


Air strike in Kobani An air strike in Kobani, Syria, in October. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

 

 

 

“United we stand; divided we fall.”
Aesop

It would seem  the world is facing a critical number of security issues at similar time, the last which is part of the reason for the 28-nation meeting in Newport (Wales) this week. As part of the military alliance heads of state including US President Barack Obama will express their views on the situation in both Iraq and Syria, with the profound dangers of ISIS at this stage, increasing concerns on e.g cyber threats, issues in the South Chinese Sea what may be called territorial disputes and others. However the meeting is most likely to be dominated on the Ukraine crisis with the question as how far to take matters  in support of Ukraine against Russia challenging the political integrity of this nation, – the last by backing separatist fighter in Ukraine at a scale increasing over the last weeks.

Ukraine’s government in Kiev alleges with NATO support – which Moscow denies – that Russian troops are being actively deployed in the east and south of the country, this with the risk  of direct military conflict between the two nations with the potential of both NATO and the USA being pulled in.


The biggest challenge for NATO and the US is to balance both the pressure  but also providing Russia a gracious exit as one unbalanced step too far may trigger an escalating point of no return. Hence strategic discussions being more import than putting out fires. The crux will be NATO’s Clause nr 5 which says an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all members. Ukraine now is a “partner” but not an official member but it is anticipated that Ukraine will seek full NATO membership, which might be the desire of the Baltic states as well.


The US will needless to say reaffirm it’s commitment to NATO’s Clause 5. The problems as a result of this at the moment is as important as the response on the problems being faced. It’s a critical issue where Russia,  and both NATO &  US face each other “in the eye” on either compromise or an escalating devastating conflict. History learnt us that both past crisis around Berlin and Cuba had somehow a “last minute escape” from irreversible confrontation, and it is within reason to suspect that both US and Russia may come up with a solution reached under pressure amidst the risk of spiralling conflict.


One may look at the old Greek as how to face this in a broader context and it was Aesop who once said: “Lay not the blame on me, O sailor, but on the winds. By nature I am as calm and safe as the land itself, but the winds fall upon me with their gusts and gales, and lash me into a fury that is not natural to me.”..

In passing, this is what applies somehow to both parties in the current conflict. The “wind” is an unpredictable force and the “fury” of conflict could be immense. What Aesop says further is interesting as well and reflects some applicable wisdom:  “The north wind and the sun were disputing which was the stronger, and agreed to acknowledge as the victor whichever of them could strip a traveller of his clothing. The wind tried first. But its violent gusts only made the man hold his clothes tightly around him, and when it blew harder still the cold made him so uncomfortable that he put on an extra wrap. Eventually the wind got tired of it and handed him over to the sun. The sun shone first with moderate warmth, which made the man take off his topcoat. Then it blazed fiercely, till, unable to stand the heat, he stripped and went off to a bathe in a nearby river”…..Persuasion is more effective than force! –The question in Europe is how, how to do this as effective as possible without errors in calculation.

It is safe to say that it is sound to use pressure to prevent conflict but utter isolation may provoke war, this to  be considered as one of the learning experiences from both the processes leading up to both the 1st and 2nd world war. Obviously  Germany was both responsible for the start of both war’s but the Dual-Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary made the Russians feel threatened, and as a response they joined a Rival-Alliance with France. This put Germany in a position of threatening peace in Europe, which may have provoked the First World War. It should be noted that Rival-Alliances should not be aimed to put Russia in a spot they see no way out despite their errors of judgement. Perhaps they already don’t see a way out, it’s hard to assess.

Furthermore, coming back on history and the dynamics before the 2nd world war, –  the Treaty of Versailles triggered strong currents of deeply felt cultural dissatisfaction in Weimar Germany, responsible perhaps for a climate in which Adolf Hitler was perceived by the Germans as the answer on their grievances, – not knowing what the man was lying ahead. We know from President Putin that he is prepared to “play hard ball” but not at all costs and he may have his assessment “on the West” ready.



Coming back to Aesop, who said (perhaps) at the personal level: “Once upon a time all the rivers combined to protest against the action of the sea in making their waters salt. “When we come to you,” said they to the sea, “we are sweet and drinkable; but when once we have mingled with you, our waters become as briny and unpalatable as your own.” The sea replied shortly, “Keep away from me, and you’ll remain sweet.”……. In other words within the current European scenario stick to your own country and your country will stick to you.  “Keep your place in life and your place will keep you”. The perceptions Of President Putin are clearly different than US President Obama and whilst Ukraine has its own autonomy, Putin still considers somehow Ukraine as the backyard of Russia, the previous USSR. Increasing connections at military level between Europe and Ukraine are considered by Russia as a security risk.

Prejudices work both ways and conversance in sustained ways may soften the views from bilateral perspectives with an understanding that since the fall of the USSR the underlying Russian current is with an intended reclaiming of Ukraine now, it may strengthen its position against an increasing NATO alliance where the US keeps a strong foothold.  If the Ukraine crisis may be considered as the symptom of a disease, one need to avoid a remedy which is worse than this disease. At the end of the day the US has had a history in both Vietnam, invading Iraq and Afghanistan (which could have been dealt with differently) and on which the mixed after effects are visible . In Iraq more dangerous than ever before with the rise of ISIS. The Russian leadership out of security reasons may perceive to have the same rights as the US where it comes to invading countries if the last fits a “security strategy”, – hence the dynamics being dangerous as due to a risk that both super powers are not willing to back down. Obviously every nation has a right to exist and Ukraine is no exception on this but history learns that in many occasions this is not a point of fact. The question is whether Russia has perceived both increasing NATO influence in Europe, supported by the US, as a threat for its national security and if this is the case whether this could have been avoided and whether those perceptions can be reversed. Hard to say at this stage but once the trigger for this change of direction can be found, knowing that it is not in Russia’s interest to be isolated, efforts can be made to wind down this process ultimately leading to forces within Russia to restore the old status quo of the USSR. As such Russia is better part of Europe , participating like eg Germany does in constructive ways, – and not being a frustrated isolated and destructive force outside Europe with different perceptions on national security and increasing antagonism with “the West”.

Every conflict requires its unique response and in Europe applies that it is important to take care that by preventing one evil, one may not fall in a far greater evil. And being in the process to try to bend Russia from its way “in”, it should not break it whilst seeking a way “out”.  National pride might be for some part at the root of  domestic perceptions and one needs to be careful not to break this pride by not playing a good card (the sanctions) far too often without a convenient way out for the other party. Losing national dignity at this level comes at a price of wrong chosen liberty with the conviction the battle is won by the strong. The last which is not always true as an unexpected poisonous bite, as part of a pointless tit for tat strategy without sustained “face to face discussions”, could make the shortcut on success a failure on the long term. The art of crisis management is to create a new reciprocal bond to prevent issues like this in the future, and Russia needs to be included in such bond if it seeks a way out. Russia is somehow cornered and the dynamics for constructive dialogue are by far not ideal anymore. Partners are able to reason but both the US and Russia are not seen to be partners anymore, if they ever were. They were closing in at some stage, however the relationship is worse than almost ever before since the Cuban missile crisis where the US did not tolerate Russian supported nuclear missiles on Cuba.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov  said Monday that his country’s military would not interfere with the situation in Ukraine and that he stood ready to “converse” with the West to reach a peaceful settlement to the crisis there. This gesture was supposed  to be embraced within the pending NATO conference in Wales with genuine creativity rather than increasing tensions and new potential sanctions. It would seem Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling on Ukraine to start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.  Putin said Ukraine should “hold substantive, meaningful talks, not about technical issues but about the question of the political organization of society and statehood in southeast Ukraine, with the goal of safeguarding the legitimate interests of those people who live there.”


NATO meanwhile claims there are at least 1,000 Russian troops in Ukraine and the EU is giving Russia a one-week ultimatum to scale back its intervention in Ukraine or face more economic sanctions. The question is how strong are both the words and the actions in a situation which has deteriorated the last couple of months with high level propaganda in the media, not to speak about the Malaysian plane being shot down in the airspace of Ukraine held territory by pro-Russian separatists. The last a most tragic and dramatic error of calculation in a real war zone.


The conduct of public business in politics has an obligation to preserve peace at all costs and not running the pathway of an unavoidable collusion by lack of diplomatic creativity and discernment. Every man of his nation should be a man of his time as well. A high measure of public service needs to be seen in light of pure principle centred leadership rather than cutting corners with each other on false propaganda. We are living in a time we  neither can afford ignorance to the past, nor to the present , nor to the future, – and those in public office at the critical moment of decision making now need to be aware of the huge responsibilities to future generations, superseding national interest and national security issues in some aspects , but not at a cost of the real dangers of our time. The last, and the real ones,  which seems to find its manifestation in eg Iraq and Syria at the moment. Hence reason enough to find a bilateral satisfactory solution in Europe as if Ukraine would be considered to be a partner in NATO why not as well Russia, – provided they solve their conflicts in a peaceful way, with an immediate cessation of all sanctions after such agreement. Lets put it this way, there are far more important issues to solve at this very present moment and it is most important not to get into inflated “Cold War” dynamics from the past. Leaders allowing this to happen with the backing of their own military advisers would do better to look beyond this with a clearer picture in mind to find a settlement which fits all parties, – as such preventing both pointless and repetitive patterns  in history.

We need to strive to make others see that those matters in both Iraq and Syria are the real issues and avoid an escalating conflict in Europe. Peace among more unified civilised nations is the most important issue on earth otherwise we may be the victim of the widespread violence of seriously uncivilised and brutal forces, – plenty enough here on earth. It’s the kind of peace which makes life worth living and this peace is under threat from far more greater and spreading dangers than we see now, which is the reason we need to reconcile our differences on the issues where we are able do this by reasoning and making deals. The new face of potential all out war, this time in Europe again,  may have life ending implications as such war once started can’t be controlled anymore. Such war can only destroy and never create and serious errors on misjudgment on reciprocal abilities to reason out conflict as part of a multilateral security arrangement in which Russia is involved as well is more effective than sanctions from the West, and Russia reminding the world that they still have one of the most advanced nuclear arsenals. It needs to be understood that Russia has a historical fear with roots to the second world war, and the existing military pacts are coming too close to Russia, – in their perception. The point is that perceptions not being changed by the reality of “inclusion” may lead to self-fulfilling perceptions and possibly war like we have seen under different dynamics in both the lead up to the 1st and 2nd world war.


Both Russia and NATO & the US need to speak in rational terms on the legitimate future of Ukraine with greater reference to the grave dangers in both Iraq and Syria, which is a task of civilised nations. This is not allowed to fall on deaf ears as history will judge those who make decisions in the present on how it worked out in the future. The option to help Russia on a more enlightened attitude towards Ukraine as part of a trade off deal can’t be missed. War is not inevitable among civilised nations but violence at larger than expected scale is inevitable from existing and spreading groups in both Syria and Iraq. We can be as big as we want as a human species but not in harmony with fast spreading evil who may destroy all human dignity on the places where they are allowed to spread their toxins by death, mutilation or worse.

Only the sum of many acts and the sum of the efforts of all civilised nations is able to turn the tide by destroying ISIS and their efforts to create an Islāmic state in Syria and Iraq.

To preserve  peace and avoid the threats of war will be a challenge for each generation anew in different identities and requires now to make a united stance against increasing sectarian violence across the borders of inflated perceptions on those which were earlier considered to be opponents. Relations between nations with frictions on relatively trivial issues need to change and new bonds need to be created against the greater dangers of our time. Communication  should be more than an exchange of threats and sanctions, where the options of a mature dialogue on the broader perspectives from both sides, including the anxieties from both sides, are not fully explored. And the last applies to the current issues in Europe where the risk is that people get too much fixed on their opinions, not always based on the facts. No nation suffered more on the battlefield of war than Russia during the 2nd world war and an increasing united alliance against it’s own state, including former parts of the USSR are perceived as a danger on their part. Reaching out in inclusive diplomacy may help a new bond. The last not being based anymore on underlying historic and  persistent ancient historic for a potential new menace,  from both sides however.

All what world powers have worked for could be destroyed in the devastation of war in the first 24 hours, giving way to the sectarian violence which will be the fruit of those endeavours if life proves still to be possible in some parts of the world.


Therefore I tend to say that nations in Europe and particular Russia need to evaluate their position to the long term desired dynamics and both Europe and the US need to help Russia a way out amidst the rumbling background powers this country has in terms of extreme dynamics, like the US has the same  in its own backyard, – all hard to balance. Certain buttons are not supposed to be pushed too hard where the other party has not a favourable image anymore. We know from both Russia and the US that there are mighty background powers, not to be under estimated, and when both the US President and the Russian President are unable to make a deal being satisfactory and long lasting, the background powers pushing for potential confrontation will get stronger.

The answer is to continue to reach out and look at long-term strategies to form new bonds based on different foundations than in the past, where the last is possible.


Massive amounts of money being spent on modernising the capacity for multilateral destruction is better spent on the common enemies we have, including terrorism, the last increasingly advanced, – but besides this a more unified struggle against the  roots of evil and hatred against humankind. At the end of the day violence breeds violence as a self-fulfilling prophecy and in our hands with God’s help lies the seed to unwind this ongoing process of what we may call a  self-destructive trait of humankind, – never ever solved since the creation of human beings.


We now have to avoid a remedy which is worse than “the disease” and too often in history it proved  we did do the last the last bit rather than the first one.  Whilst change of habit can’t change the nature of people, –  changing the nature of our response might change the habit and might change our culture, – the last which we need to watch closely  in our decision-making  at times of crisis.

For sure  we are lacking many answers but this is this is the  last option we have.


Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

>>>>
 

Rest Well Golden Eagle, – in memory of Nelson Mandela


Português: Brasília - O presidente da África d...
Português: Brasília – O presidente da África do Sul, Nelson Mandela, é recebido na capital federal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people, his country, he can rest in peace.

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
—–>>>
South Africa’s first black President who led his country out of apartheid died at the age of 95 today. Tributes are pouring in from all over the world as the general sense is that “A great light has gone out”.   Mandela’s greatest powers and values could not be taken away from him during his lifelong struggle for freedom. In his simple humanity he was able to harness the force of love. He loved the case for which he fought for both his country and fellow countrymen, – in ways only a few were able to do before in history.
There was no ceiling or limit towards his efforts of dismantling South Africa’s system of apartheid which institutionalised racism in extreme varieties. In all this he became an international symbol of reconciliation and human rights.
Therefore Mandela never forgotten under the stone. Time has its favours and so has clay its own, but his legacy will be remembered through the generations.
He exercised his power eventually with gratitude and humility, which kept him connected with both many of black and white South Africans.
The transition of South Africa without major civil war has been actually a miracle considering the existing dynamics at the time where only a few made the real difference.  Nelson Mandela was one of them and in his capacity as the first black South African President he had to balance at all sections of life and did reach out to both black and white. He did this with wisdom , determination, love and generosity.
Many people in South Africa did resonate with his example of leadership and the nature of this leadership was the trigger of making the nearly impossible possible.
Depending on the way his legacy and love to make such difference will last in the hearts and minds of the South African people will decide the way this new South Africa will continue to develop in the spirit of “his founding father”.
He said once: ” I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination”. The determination of working without domination from any kind and respecting human rights of all kinds will nourish the garden of South Africa’s future.
Poverty includes the feeling of being poor.
With the legacy of Nelson Mandela South Africa may feel rich.
Thanks
Paul Wolf
If you are interested read the articles about Mandela’s leadership and him embracing his love for the life he stood for. See below in  “Challenges of our times and generation.”
->>>>>>>>

 

Both International And National Security Starts At Home – US in the picture.


The Peacemakers.

“I have not seen anywhere else in the world a gun lobby that has the same level of influence on its own government as the NRA does in the United States.”    –Andrew Feinstein.

“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of insidious forces working from within.” – Douglas MacArthur.

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all” – John F. Kennedy

The topic for today is the importance  of both increased national and international security and the nature of leadership we need in a changing world. However the focus will be on the first one, with an example of things starting at home in the US. Both with proper legislation and law enforcement within the domain and control  of US Congress. The US here is just an example and different examples do exist all over the world.

Related image

When times are economical challenging, foreign policy matters are rarely the topic of discussion. But in recent weeks issues on both foreign policy and security worked their way up within the public domain of attention.

During the crisis with North Korea in which China played for certain a role of influence for the better, – we had first the Boston Marathon bombings with the related questions about terrorist connections.  This is relatively a new element that from areas where you don’t expect it, people find their way on US ground and evolve in personalities able to prepare bombs with the intention to kill indiscriminately. And so they did, as others may do again anywhere.  Both inside the US and outside the US.

Related image

Whilst the airliner plot over the Atlantic and  World Trade Centre attacks are unlikely to happen anymore in the identity as they evolved, – the prospect of terror from a different kind seems to be more of an issue in the future.

It is terror of a different kind than 9/11. But it is the terror on top of increased gun violence in the US anyway, and from both sides of the spectrum there is easy access to guns, assault weapons and other tools to inflict destruction.

Related image

It’s a warning that dynamics in society are changing and that we need to be mindful of the fact that we are simply not ready for this.

Proper legislation in line with the spirit of our time and similar law enforcement need to be in place.  This being prepared in a proactive way by anticipation on the dynamics in society.

Related image

Within those recent dynamics in the US the civil war in Syria did break the news with a high index of suspicion of chemical warfare being used against the opposition in Syria. This followed by an Israeli bombing near Damascus to prevent the transport of missiles and chemical weapons close to the borders of Israel.

At the same time Congressional hearings in the US provided more detail about what happened in Libya when the US ambassador Christopher Stevens and other Americans were murdered during a terrorist attack. Lacking the total picture, some Republicans claim that the White House should be held responsible for either insufficient protection or misleading information.  It would seem that the dynamics within the domain of some Republican members of US Congress go that far that they would like any effort to try to impeach President Obama on this issue, if they could.  A reflection of a “House Divided” where some members of this honourable branch of Government lost touch with both reality and the priorities of this country.

Related image

It illustrates the dangerous paradox in this country, the downfall of democracy when Congress is misaligned on some major topics and obstructive elements are able to block progress against the will of the majority of voters.

Related image

This is not new and it may happen anywhere in countries with democracies. It might be considered as the play game of democracy but in some events it’s a dangerous play game setting the tone for more little fruitful dynamics in society…

Whilst not proven perhaps, there is more chance a society at peace or stable in itself at times of peace, – will sustain the disharmony at times of no peace better than the kind of society already divided in itself.

It illustrates somehow as well the sad thing that people often tend to stick together in crisis only, but go their own way when there are no dangers on the horizon.

We live however in a world where simple escalating events may lead to massive drama’s all around.

For this reason the  topic to be discussed today is an interesting one as the perceptions about leadership, democracy and security are almost as different as the dimensions about security and leadership on its own. Issues about eg Israeli’s and Palestinian security have different perceptions all around the world. History shows that people can make a difference within certain positions.

Interestingly we had recently 2 US Presidential candidates with different perceptions and personalities. The person who started his US Presidency in 2009 was able to continue in 2013.  The perceptions of one leader and the choices being made on behalf of international security may define the outcome of many future dynamics. Likewise within the US,  US Congress may define the outcome on other dynamics.

It’s a matter of leadership and being proactive, with inclusive views.

The nature of fast growing  and increasing  economic and financial interdependence of countries around the world, with all sorts of growing  interactions, –  need a far stricter international security than ever before.  It all starts in home land activities, to get grip on those things we don’t want, those things being disruptive for our well-being in the countries where we live, – the things affecting national security.  An issue for all of us, wherever we may live.

Both National and International security are in ways connected.

Related image

Speaking about security at a challenging time in US history, we only need to look back some 150 years ago.

A time where US Congress and legislative issues paved the way for the dynamics leading to the US civil war in the 18th Century.

President Lincoln would not have been the person history remembers if he would not have been challenged after his Presidential election to lead his country through one of the most difficult times in US history.

He was the unexpected President exposed to the worst, which through a combination of circumstances made him the best!

Some would say that the American civil war in those day  was a security and a significant emancipation issue for the US as a Union.

Emancipation still to be remembered, still to be remembered by those members of the Republican Party who are unable to see that emancipation and  inclusive progresses are ongoing issues in history. Running behind the important social and political events of time will catch up with those who have to deal with the implications in the future. History learns that not being proactive comes at a cost.

Related image

Being true what he said in his inauguration, President Lincoln did not allow a minority to disintegrate the Union, –   but he preserved the Union, by which he followed through with his planned declaration of Emancipation to end slavery.

He succeeded as part of the Republican movement at the time to create the next endeavour in US history, keeping the right balance on the required issues of national security in his days.

Whilst generally Southern Democrats were obstacles for Emancipation in the 1860 ties, – Northern Republicans are generally stumbling blocks for 21st  Century US progress. Both with exceptions within  each party in the days of President Lincoln and today. True is that the Republicans were the driving force for progress  one and half century ago.

Republicans should take this on board.

The last still in a most divided America.

Related image

Congressional choices long ago by overturning the so-called Missouri compromise which intended to restrict slavery, played part in the  evolving drama in the 1860ties, before it actually happened.

Today we jump a fair bit in time. To illustrate that divisions can go one way or the other but unresolved within the required legislation will lead to all sorts of processes in society hard to contain.

Also an issue subject to  Congressional choice.  The choice either being proactive or reactive.

It is not long ago  the National Rifle Association moved to block a UN treaty on gun control. The NRF serves strongly the interest of both national and international arms deals, with a high level of influence in US Congress.  Clear is that  US Congress has been willing to serve the power position  of the NRA by simply not approving Presidential proposals to revise gun legislation. The majority however of US voters wants a change in the current legislation on gun control as increasing gun violence disrupts a nation and may compromise eventually national security, the last because the current legislation is not aligned with changing dynamics in US society with more gun related violence and deaths, – both at the cost of children and adults.

.Related image

Whilst some 700000 people died during the American civil war at the time of President Lincoln,- more even died as a result of unlawful gun use in the US over various decades.

The downfall of a democracy is that a minority may act against the will of the constitutional rights of voters. Voters to have their voice  properly represented in the legislation a country deserves.  It is true that the ignorance of a few voters – in the words of John F Kennedy –  may impair the security of all. In some cases the security of a Republic.

Congressional ignorance on the issue of gun control may disregard national security interest where it comes to the protection of US citizens. Voters want to reduce the risk  of more generalised and increasing gun violence in the US as the extremes will come together in the context of changing social dynamics. The last  as part of increased globalisation. Congress is not allowing those facts to be considered within the concept of national interest and as such  tolerating  the death toll of existing gun violence, –  eventually debilitating the US ability to keep control in own house. Getting worse when the forces of external terrorism meet existing dynamics in US society with more or less free access to unrestricted guns and assault rifles, enabling massacres at large scale.

A matter of national security.

Congressional choices may define future dynamics whilst the US President is almost powerless to change this at a time this being required.

It’s a matter of poorly understood national security of the United States of America. The dynamics of society turning into  increasing and senseless massacres, – the last often caused by  ill minded and mentally disrupted people from which the statistics say they are only on the increase.  Meanwhile US Congress allowing to be influenced more by NRA interest, and not  taking the dynamics in society or the wishes of voters on board.

Related image

Douglas MacArthur within a different context reflected once his concern for his own great Nation; “not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within”.

He was right in one sense, but today the danger comes from 2 directions, – both from threats within and without,  and with the current Congressional attitude towards increased gun control as is today, – this is a potential menace to the security of the Union.

Lincoln would have turned away from this, – if he could!   It is a matter of emancipation, constitutional emancipation.

Where history changed with new dilemma’s to be sorted, – the ask of true leadership is more profoundly needed all over the world.

But it all starts at home to have the required legislation and law enforcement in place.

We are faced with different dilemma’s this century.

True leadership is required today when the proper balance gets disrupted with lots of things being at stake. And often as it proved in history it falls back on people with a distinct personality and attitude, – bright in their assessment and determined in their actions.

The last applies for US Congress as well. An honest and fair assessment being required, both based on the choice of people being represented and the dynamics in society.

If we speak about the issue of security in a broader sense:

Not only  increased globalization is asking for stricter national and international security, but also  a new political economy with shifting influence from west to east and a population growth hardly possible to sustain, – with an increased unstable relationship between our fragile global civilisation and an increased depletion of our resources.

The last will become vital in the future.

Hence from an international perspective, international security in the Asia-Pacific region can’t be allowed to be compromised by nuclear dictators as eg in North Korea.

Related image

Similarly US security can’t be compromised by increasing gun violence inflicted by more  people turning their hatred on society,  with the same easy access to guns and rifles because Congressional legislation did not follow the trend in society.

Rifles and gun’s being far more advanced than when the Constitution was written. Dynamics within society and international far more different than they have ever been. The US more at edge than ever before.

The issues of both national and international security are getting more important as more things can go wrong at the same time with wider implications faster speed and greater destruction and disruption.

Without the right tools, the right brains and the best possible  assessment, – we lose both momentum and direction for a more stable world.

Related image

And again it all starts at home.

If we look at the Middle East, the situation in Syria is a prime example of major dangers and the potential of an escalating conflict. Civilisation and reason totally lost.

There have been dangers and evils in the past, so will there be evils and dangers in the future and we need to recognise them at an early stage.

When Lincoln made his Emancipation declaration amidst the American Civil war, – it took still hundred years before the Civil Rights movement got its way into proper and equal legislation for each American citizen.

I hope the desired emancipation on gun control and the required restrictions on gun related violence will not take an other 50 years in the US.  It would be a massive drain on society, both for victims and their families, but also for those who have to work in authority within the given restrictions of  incomplete gun legislation.

Related image

People in the police force have families as well.

Fortunately there is no room for racial hatred anymore, but whilst the last  belongs largely to the past new issues of friction and potential hatred arise at the spectrum of social development, – with mixture of cultures and religions, and increased travel from various countries around the world.

Being multicultural in one sense is good and has the potential to bring the goodness of different nations together. The downfall could be when people from poverty stricken area’s in today’s world travel at different countries, – with at times the narrow and restricted perception of only blind hatred. Receiving in some occasions terrorist training in their homeland of origin,  with a mission to destruct and destroy.

Related image

Alqaida has eg booklets designed to help terrorists overseas to make bombs and strike and kill in various ways. The target quite often seems to be the US  and its allies.

We might be horrified to know of what is possible to happen, – but most of us get horrified when it happens. Whilst we need to love our neighbour as ourselves, we have to denounce the persons and groups inflicting violence and terrorism. Similar with countries deliberately exporting this sort of people or ideology to be held accountable in line with international law, – the last subject for renewal and change at various levels to combat the dangers of our time.

But again it starts at home.

Insufficient restrictions on international nuclear control and allowing more countries to have access to nuclear weapons by lack of internal law enforcement is asking for more dictators or other countries “pulling the trigger”, – like allowing more people in the US to have access to lethal rifles and other dangerous guns, – is asking for a more unstable society, – creating a situation with potential “mass pulling of triggers” where the US army may have to act against its own citizens at times of national unrest.

Related image It seems correct that the Bush Administration prepared for FEMA concentration camps in case of social unrest. More important is that the triggers for social unrest never escalate in the use of massive gun violence in one society, – just for the sake of civilisation and protection of citizens. The law simply needs to be adapted to prevent an almost unlimited access is some States.

Again a matter of Congressional choice, but it would not seem they see it this way with some members of this establishment even devoted to get the Obama Administration down on what happened in Benghazi, Libya. Not being able to take the long view but using the short-sighted view to debilitate proper Governance at a time this being required makes jurisdiction stagnant.

 

Just an illustration how members of Congress can add to a “House divided” by not getting the priorities right.

It happened in the past, with US civil war just 150 years ago. It is for some part up to Congress to prevent this ever happening again by reducing increasing gun violence in a similar divided nation on different issues by proper legislation in line with the spirit of time.

With eg the Boston bombing just recently behind, an alleged terrorist rail  plot being foiled in Canada, sarin – gas being possibly used in Syria, and North Korea “one click away” from pushing the launch button of firing ballistic missiles, – it is clear that changing international patterns are evolving into more risk involving scenario’s waiting to become reality. both national and international.

This is what I mean when I say that at some stage  the extremes are coming together, both from outside the country and inside the country.

At the end of the day the means to have control is largely a  matter of the right legislation being in place with the proper law enforcement and the proper people right for our time. This both applies at the arena of national and international politics.

National Security starts at home and coming back on the US, Congress should act in favour of increased gun control.

A matter of civilised and effective legislation to support both national security and the safety of US citizens.

On the extremes outside – and within the context of international security and coöperation against terrorism  – it is  encouraging that President Putin from Russia emphasised the need for increased international intelligence coöperation,  as prevention at an early stage is the better substitute.

Related imageG8 summit in Ireland, June 17, 2013

Some nations posses the power to abolish any form of human poverty but also any form of human live.  Both  a matter of responsibility and choice, – a matter actually of priority to support any extended nuclear freeze proposals,  and contain the current level of nuclear experience where it comes to the development of new weapons of mass destruction.

Whilst most nations appreciate the responsibilities on this and have already reduced their nuclear arsenals, new powers arise with the wish to have those weapons as well, – and with a clear intent to either use them or apply international blackmail.

Those countries are an issue of serious concern. They need to be stopped at the earliest possible stage through reason and if reason and sanctions do not help, through force if so required, – in line with international coöperation by those nations committed to stop the dangers to multiply.

The UN plays a central role.

International security on this is based on the practical choice not to allow any new country to develop those weapons, – regardless the question whether it is good or wrong that other countries do already  have those weapons. It is clear that with increasing countries having access to nuclear or chemical weapons it is getting more difficult to keep the world secure.

Same applies with providing at times even more unpredictable people an almost free access to fire arms, – as such creating increasing difficulties to prevent massacres of any kind as result of gun violence, the last with a potential domino effect.

Related image

Stable we can make it through more succesful partnerships on the issues we face in the 21st century. US Congress is not much familiar with succesful partnerships on this issue of restricting gun violence.

Science is able to unleash the powers of destruction by human choice, unless we prevent humankind and powers to make this choice, – by restricting at least the powers who are able to destruct each other.  Most of them who are nuclear now do realise that the choice of such destruction means self-destruction,  involving all humanity.

Likewise science provides terrorists the means to unleash powers of more limited destruction, both by senseless shootings or bomb blasts at areas of their choice. However the means by which terrorists are able to apply this destruction in the future is by no means sure and increased international coöperation is required to recognise at an early stage the features of certain persons and groups committed to terror

Whether terror is provoked or inflicted by guns or bombs makes in essence not much difference when we consider the lethal outcome on both children and adults. School shootings where people die are as terrible as disrupted sport events where people are killed through the hands of terrorists using bombs. Those tools need to be be banned from the street with the restriction (if the Constitution can’t be changed as yet) of gun’s being controlled, registered and only in the hands of mindful people, – and assault rifles being excluded in any case for “civil use”.

We live in a world insufficient prepared for terrorism, – which does not mean we have to learn to live with terrorism as if this would be our fate.

Related image

 

Both National and International security starts at home in our own countries with the things we can control, with proper legislation and law enforcement on issues being required in the context of changes in society, changes in the way children are brought up and the way they become adults, apart from the changes related with globalization and the technology which brings people down from different countries.

Whilst it is hard to change or control the mindset to take lives for no reason, it is easier to control or limit the means by which we are able to do this.

This applies both to guns and nuclear weapons, –  and it all starts at home where we are privileged to make choices on restricting the tools and dynamics of violence.

US Congress should reconsider the issue of effective gun legislation for the benefit of a more secure society where people are becoming slowly less at risk of violence as due to unlawful use of bullets, – regardless whether those bullets come from US citizens or people who travel from overseas to inflict violence for the reason of hatred against US society.

Waiting for escalating gun violence in the future, wherever it comes from, is pointless. The warnings are there, written already in the hearts of many people who lost loved ones in this repetitive cycle of non-required violence, –  waiting to get worse only.

Related image

We have neither right to inflict suffering nor death on another human being unless there is an unavoidable necessity for it and any culture or country which endorses the right to bear arms amongst it citizens has blood on the law provision it provides on this and will pay at later date a price being higher than initially intended at the time those laws were made.

Related image

The clause on the right to bear arms in the US Constitution is a serious defect considering the time spirit of the 21st Century and lays the foundation of the potential destruction of it’s culture through internal destructive forces, – if not adapted.

Thanks!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

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

 

 

The Question As How To Serve…


Albert Schweitzer, Etching by Arthur William H...
Albert Schweitzer, Etching by Arthur William Heintzelman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

–Marten Luther King,Jr.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Robert F. Kennedy

“We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.”
Barbara de Angelis

SOME PEOPLE ASKED  me in which way they could serve in the best possible way, – and I smiled because they asked me.

Related image

For those who don’t know, I serve my patients from a comfortable position being paid as a Family Physician in Australia. However I love what I do and look with gratitude on the things I received and still receive, – knowing that in all of this I am dependent on the work many people did before I was born, and during the time of my life until the present.

The best answer on the question as how to serve in the best possible ways can be given by those who serve or served best.

Those who went out in any kind of wilderness, – lacking money and recourses and build up their heartfelt dreams.

Related image

There are different ways of serving.

I have neither vivid memory on my school friend who died to early at the age of 6 as due to childhood cancer, nor do I remember his face, – but he “served” me in the way he died with a peace you don’t often see.

Besides this he left me with one of Bach‘s most beautiful organ plays, played by Albert Schweitzer. This left me at an early place in life with a memory on something different from life itself. I am still grateful that this old school friend passed my way, not because of what he was, – but of what he was able to “plant” without knowing it.

Related image

Sometimes, many years later, we do realise. In a way this is a secret of a kind we need to cherish, not by speaking about it when we do realise, but by allowing it to grow. So are human encounters at times of a nature we better not speak about, but our “awareness” is enough on its own and as such we respect life as it is without touching it. On other occasions we do good to show our gratitude at least ten times more than we tend to do.

There are 100 billionaires all over the world who could wipe out hunger with little more contribution. The difference between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger. Some of them indeed do contribute but they are not the people who work in the front line against poverty, against war and against various abuses of human rights. If people ask me as how to serve, I tend to say to look at those people who do and find the answer in your own heart.

We are limited perhaps in our potential as due to nature and living conditions but there is neither limit nor ceiling to our potential to love and work our imagination the desired direction in our own circumstances.

It is as Albert Schweitzer once wrote about his work in Lambarena less then 100 years ago, – that anybody can create his or her’s own Lambarena. An affirmation only to illustrate that everyone can create his or her’s domain of care, and serve as such. Those who care do serve and the options are endless. Many examples are not seen by the world or valued for what they are.
Child soldiers who lost their innocence at an age far too young. Many of them did do terrible things but some of them reacted amazingly well by saving lives. People who fight the cruelty in central Africa, – within the domain of strong discomfort but perhaps with peace at heart. People who reach out without fame or name, saving friends and family amidst war.

Related image

Fire- fighters entering houses with people, children, at risk to be burned, and they do this at risk for their own life. People providing aid in Syria now. Fathers and mothers protecting their children in the Congo, without caring for themselves anymore. People providing polio vaccinations in Pakistan despite Taliban death threats. Journalists working at the forefront of all those things to bring the news, at risk of their own life.

Related image

Human encounters are essential before being able to serve as the memory of some people may enlarge what we are able to do.

And in our memory those people deserve honour.

The question as how to serve best is an interesting question, but much depends on the situation where you are and on both your desires and imagination, besides the level of love you feel for those desires.

Sometimes people may be put in a situation where they have no other choice than to serve as staying on the side line would be betrayal of one’s own conscience. Sometimes people go out and meet those situations by
choice.

Again it’s hard to say.

One thing is sure, we can’t wait for the moment everything and everything is ready because in such case we are not likely to begin to serve or reach out.

The other thing is true as well, – true that if we want to work on a dream, to build a ship, – that it is no point to drum up the people to collect the wood and other material. That there is no point to give them tasks of the work due to be done. Working this way is an error of judgement, as the starting point is to help people see what you see, and teach them the ways to get the dream into a reality, – to help them to buy into the endeavour themselves, and then it’s time to collect the wood and all the other things.

Related image

Faith is to believe the things you don’t see, rewarded at times by seeing the things you believe. Time might seem to be a limiting factor but not where it comes to the frequency of love. Love is the prime substance of both our life and nature, the prime substance of both earth and heaven. Without this love there would be neither cosmos nor sun, neither earth nor life.

“For everything there is a time and place”, – so to say.

The other thing being true is that you don’t travel as you think, but you think as you travel. Neither is it true that as you attract you do love, – but as you love you do attract. True love and real care are indispensable and we don’t always touch what is beautiful, neither do we lose the opportunity to see anything which is beautiful, – whether it is a fair face or a plant, a fair sky or a dark cloud. We absorb the seeds in our own soul and this gives life, – and may give direction as where to go, as alert we need to be. One spark of fire may light ourselves and from that fire we may light the world. None of us is too small to serve and freedom can be gained by giving more of ourselves.

Related image

Real love may reach the frequency of “the universe”, the last which may transform us as a transitional “human-being”, – through the awesome grace of God.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

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

 

We dream of things that never were and say: “Why not?”


Kennedy giving his speech on Martin Luther Kin...
Kennedy giving his speech on Martin Luther King, Jr.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” — Robert Frost

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned in order to have the life that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCrx_u3825g

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’” —George Bernard Shaw

Related image

Being asked at some stage why this blog had the pretentious title; “We dream about things that never were and say: why not?”, – I refer back to one of the plays of George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) “Back to Methuselah“, which actually is a series of five plays on its own.

In “Back to Methuselah” the above quote is used by The Serpent to Eve in the Garden of Eden. The play was performed for the first time in New York City at the Garrick Theatre in 1922 and entailed for the time a most interesting science fiction fantasy which took three nights to do.

The former US Senator and assassinated Presidential Candidate Robert F Kennedy (1968) borrowed this quote and said it differently: “Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?”

Kennedy and Martin Luther King were the people at the forefront for change in the United States during the Vietnam War. Martin Luther King was assassinated just a couple of months before Robert Kennedy was killed.

The movement for change came to a standstill, the Vietnam War escalated, – social issues to be developed in the US were put on hold. The last until the movement for change embodied in President Barack Obama evolved into a new episode in US history, at a time crucial for various developments in the world.

If the further movement for change on issues of human rights, on Peace and International Stability requires to get stronger, and if the quote in above fiction play (from Bernard Shaw) is being allowed to embody a stronger emphasis, then the “I” part in the quote needs to be changed in the “We” part.

Related image

We are all strongly interdependent and if the “dream” in whatever entity resonates as a ripple effect across the generations, like the waves are coming and going but (!) always coming in terms of new energy, “We” may create a movement eventually which breaks the obstacles for Peace and stability, the obstacles to reduce poverty and keep the ingredients to protect this small planet against  climate changes and other disruptions of various nature.

We dream of things that never were and say: “Why not?”, reflects a shift in perception so to say.  A shift in thinking where new and better options are explored, new ways discovered. Where the creativity from the  right part of the  brain takes over the reactive activity from the  left side of the  brain, the last where those activities are not balanced in the actions of people. Actions which are not right and call for change. Actions which require passion and creative thought for peace and development.

Related image

Where conscious activities take over the activities from the mind, as it is not the mind which dictates the outcome of the future, the first determines then the outcome of our common activities.

Obviously we can do this as people in breaking with the past where this is required and at times we do this by choice, – using this gift we all have.

At the end it is not “I” it is “We”!

 

There is no pretentious aim in the title of this blog, – as it is not about “me”, it is about “We” as a people, “We” as people, “We” embodied in the future with plenty of issues to be resolved. “We” who bear both the seeds of potential and defeat.

Defeat we had, potential we need.

Far too often we see the scary demeanour of empty confidence and coolness in this world.

People who both often speak too noisy with overbearing pride. People often who build their lives at a cost of others, –the last not rarely with intolerance and suppression. We see this in families, our communities, in organisations where people are still able to manage from inflated principles, – and finally we see this in our country and many countries around us.

Often in “the culture” as well of our political systems, – whether they are democratic or the opposite.

The more suppression there is the more violence it may create, with violence creating retaliation and retaliation creating more violence, – whether this is the violence in our demeanour or the violence of a society.

Related image

Again and too often we see the sickness of not rarely whole societies, – with true respect for those who turn against it. And too often as well again we see the sickness of the souls of those people with the kind of sickness we are neither able to remove nor to heal.

What we can remove however is the hidden sickness of our own souls and shine as brightly as we can, – knowing that we don’t live in a perfect world. But the last thing which remains by free choice is trying to take away some part of the misery of humanity and this world, when it comes our way drop by drop and piece by piece, – either by coincidence or by choice.

Related image

In the final analysis as human beings, – we have the last choice. And again this is not about “Me or I”, but it is about “We”, – where the sum of our individual activities do help to call the trumpet of our collective activities. The last in alignment with a massive human orchestra, directed perhaps by those conductors representing global efforts in favour of increasing international coöperation on the issues of our time.

Related image

This part is not seeing things and standing by only, – and wondering “why?”. This is part of the active process of “Dreaming things that never were and say: Why not?” A creative and proactive activity, an ongoing movement for change where only “we” as a people can  make this change.

Related image

In the broader sense of the word it is a team effort of gigantic proportions, which does not fail when one of the leaders would be assassinated, but where the group activity would make sure that the anti-movement would be eliminated by the proper law enforcement which would be the fruit of our collective endeavours, – and the movement would endure, regardless death, which surrounds us day by day.

Whilst the reality of this world may make many of us pessimistic, – the power of being hopeful and believing in the potential goodness of human nature and going beyond the realities of ignorance and violence, – provides us with the seeds to “Dream things which never were and say: “Why not?”

So let us go forth therefore unto keeping the human spirit alive, against all odds.

Let us go forth into the field where we are able to touch the lives of others who walk in “the dark”, whether they are rich or poor, – whether they represent countries in regression or under repression. As both in our communities we are able to offer the peace which helps people to move forward and inevitably among countries as well, – we are able to support those who need guidance. Not the support of weapons, which only give destruction and not the provision of hope, – but the support to inhabit this planet within the range of our human destiny where forces against its survival can be controlled by the rational end of the human spirit.

The last to be shared with the vigilant efforts within our families, communities and finally between countries, – where law enforcement on peace, human rights and the protection of our environment is not impossible.

Not even impossible in times where annihilation still is possible, – when people can’t do without this enforcement on peaceful efforts to settle disputes of any kind.

Therefore we need to continue to dream things that never were and continue to say, – as acting we must: “Why not?” Each time and in each generation those efforts need to be renewed. Each time and in each generation new identities need to be evolved to combat the danger of evil spirits and evil movements, – whether it is organised crime or human trafficking, whether it applies to countries who foo the world or people who represent terrorist activities.

Where non-violence needs to be the universal aim, – violence can’t be always prevented as ready we need to be to combat the risks of greater destructions.

Never ever we will live in a perfect world. Never ever will there be an enduring peace as there is always the risk of conflict. But “We” as a people need to dream things to create the antidote for the evils of humanity, – which is an active process starting at the base of our own conscience in all our day to day activities where we have to make choices, where we have to make choices to make things better or bitter.

Therefore we have to dream things which never were and say” Why not?” Not because the people have to do it for us, but we have to do it for the people, for those who deserve our care and compassion.

Again lastly (I touched base on this before), the last responsibility we have as people is to remove the hidden sickness of our own souls. Either the sickness from the past or the present, which manifest itself in small and often unnoticed deeds. It’s a process of personal growth which means we need to leave certain things behind us and replace this by better things today and shine as such as brightly as we can.

Related image

After sustaining and surviving the most horrible experiments in 2nd WW concentration camps, –  it is as Victor Frankl once said about choice.

Indeed, at the end we have a free choice.

They can take away everything from us, and even at the last moment we have the final choice as how to respond or not respond at all anymore.

So neither death nor life needs to face us in the things we don’t understand, as long we play our own part on this little planet.

At the end nothing is terminal, everything is transitional, – even where death separates us from our duties here on earth.

But the duties continue in hopefully endless generations to come, each with its specific problems where man made problems need to be resolved.

And finally therefore the “We” part in saying we dream things that never were and say “Why not?” is so important, because the power of our collective dreams for a better world in action creates a ripple effect which can’t be stopped, – neither today nor tomorrow!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/the-question-as-how-to-serve/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/rest-well-golden-eagle-in-memory-of-nelson-mandela/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/to-sweep-down-the-mightiest-walls-of-oppression-against-our-human-rights-and-create-the-biggest-movement-on-earth/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/peace/

Challenges of our times and generation

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/

On the issue of human trafficking


http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=human+trafficking+photos&go=&qs=n&form=QBIR

English: Prostitutes in front of a gogo bar in...
English: Prostitutes in front of a gogo bar in Pattaya, Thailand. Original text: Like slaves on an auction block waiting to be selected, victims of human trafficking have to perform as they are told or risk being beaten. Sex buyers often claim they had no idea that most women and girls abused in prostitution are desperate to escape, or are there as a result of force, fraud, or coercion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

-Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative past Tuesday, US President Barrack Obama took the remarkable step calling modern day slavery “barbaric” and “evil” as he spoke against trafficking and praised companies, organizations and people taking up the fight against the traffickers: “It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric”. “It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime”.”I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name  –  modern slavery.”

A 2011 paper published in The Human Rights Review  about Sex Trafficking, the trends, the challenges and limitations of International Law,  noted that since 2000 the number of sex-trafficking victims had risen while costs associated with trafficking had declined: “Coupled with the fact that trafficked sex slaves were/are the single most profitable type of slave, costing on average $1890,= each but generating $29000,= annually, leaded to stark predictions about the likely growth in commercial sex slavery in the future.” In 2008, over 12 million people were classified as “forced labourers, bonded labourers or sex-trafficking victims,” – as the study stated. Approximately 1.39 million of these people worked as commercial sex slaves, with women and girls comprising 98% (or 1.36 million) of this population. Trafficking as can be seen is a lucrative industry. It has been identified as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world.  It is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable illegal industry in the world.
Related image
President Obama signed legislation for domestic federal contracts, and tightening anti-trafficking rules for government contracts. He praised businesses in their industry, church groups for using their faith to tackle slavery and people trying to make sure the products they buy are slave-free. He further said: “Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights issues of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it.” The President also spoke about modern-day slavery in the U.S., from child sex slaves to migrant workers who have their documents taken from them. He said: “Last year we charged a record number of predators with human trafficking… We are going to do more to spot it and stop it.”
What he said should apply to each country, should be the responsibility of each nation, – the rule of each State to make sure there is proper law enforcement to irradiate this crime against humanity, – to ease the burdens of those who are forced to live at the bottom of a total unacceptable social and moral spectrum. A spectrum where the law of criminals rules, where people get abused and tortured for life, if they survive.
 There are countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards but there are many countries as well whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards. Some of them are making efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. Others however do not comply with the bare minimum required standards and neither are they willing or making efforts to do so.

A White House news release recently mentioned: “More than 20 million men, women, and children worldwide are victims of human trafficking”. “Companies around the world are taking steps to end the potential for trafficked labour in their operations and supply chains, and President Obama is committed to protecting vulnerable people as government contractors and subcontractors perform vital services and manufacture goods procured by the United States.” “As the largest single purchaser of goods and services in the world, the U.S. Government has a responsibility to combat human trafficking at home and abroad, and to make sure American tax dollars do not contribute to this affront to human dignity.”

Why is this single issue so important?
This single issue represents at large the standard of any morality in any country, and failing to comply with the protection of human rights as such in this area is of predictive value as how the social & political standards of counties do evolve, – some of them simply ignoring and blind folded by the gross injustice affecting vulnerable people. Not taking any action against it is similar as allowing the world to become a worse place where cruelties within nations themselves are interlinked with the level of increasing moral decay of institutions where criminals have increasing free play. It is very clear which countries are the worst culprits in allowing this injustice spreading.
In 2009 it proved that seven countries at least demonstrated the highest possible performance in effective policies for the most significant dimensions of protection, even though those countries had problems on this issue as well. At least they did something. These countries were Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden and the US. The second best performing group included France, Norway, South Korea, Croatia, Canada, Austria, Slovenia and Nigeria. The worst performing country in 2009 was North Korea, receiving the lowest score. The global extent of the problem is still horrendous. Thousands of children from Asia, Europe, North America and South America are sold into the global sex trade every year. Often they are kidnapped or orphaned, and sometimes they are actually sold by their own families, – a problem still tolerated by many countries all over the world.
Whilst there is still a  lack of understanding of human trafficking issues, poor identification of victims and deficient resources for the key pillars of anti-trafficking, besides identification, protection, prosecution and prevention, – the good thing is that the current US President is voicing his opinion on the matter. It’s an international dilemma and it deserves international attention.
The ignorance of the violent past is inadequate for the even more stormy future if little is going to change on this important aspect of human rights. Whilst ignorance is able to multiply on thousand occasions ,violence against human rights is able to multiply on a million of occasions The occasion is piled high with difficulty like we see amidst a different scenario in Syria, and we must rise with the  occasion. We can’t afford to turn a blind eye against gross inhumanity across the globe without the last and final implication that at some stage we will be ourselves the victim of similar gross inhumanity, as where we allow others to fall we will degrade ourselves as well. People not being educated on the moral issues of our times are lost people, like a child uneducated is a child lost.
Related imageRelated image
Progress in our general humanity is neither automatic nor can it be escaped, however the road towards increasing justice is as old as Methuselah and requires struggle and suffering, besides the  tiredness efforts and passionate concern of dedicated people who feel compassion, in  which all ethics must take root. Compassion only can meet its full breadth and depth if  it embraces all living people at the disadvantaged level of the human spectrum and  the fight against human trafficking is one of the corner stones of  respecting    human rights, – and international law enforcement on this issue should be at the corner of our international efforts as it is both right and a reflection of human justice.
Related image
Abolishing of human trafficking is at the heart of global civilisation as it will decide our approach on other issues affecting human rights, – both here and around the world!
Human activities during war-time may lead to war crimes against humanity.
Related image
From my perception human trafficking is a crime against humanity and needs to be dealt with accordingly, without mercy for those who commit them.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

 

To sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression against human rights and injustice, and create the biggest movement on earth


 
Collage for MENA protests
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal or act to improve the lot of others, or strikes against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”    – Robert F Kennedy,  former US Senator and Presidential candidate in 1968
Like words can move and guide people as part of proper leadership, so is principle centred and strategic non violent action able to remove the power base of oppressive regimes, – those regimes with no respect for human rights. Needless to say the movement of non violent action will endure and the force if well-balanced on all core principles, may outmanoeuvre dictators to make free the people who lost their freedom and dignity under often ruthless powers.
Related image
It works. It proved in India at the times of Gandhi, it proved in Tunisia and Egypt with people at the forefront of action and strengthened with the literature of eg Gene Sharp, the last being a scholar in nonviolent social change and still alive today in East Boston, USA.   Gene Sharp is a graduate from Oxford and has held positions at Harvard University, besides Massachusetts Dartmouth. His books “The Politics of Nonviolent Action” and “Waging Nonviolent Struggle” have inspired many movements across the globe. Iran did accuse him of working for the CIA, which is not true. A reflection however that the non violent movement if well prepared is feared by those countries who have reason to fear, Iran and Syria included. Needless to say that in some Middle East countries real discussions are going as how to break the force of non violent action. However if well-developed, like Robert Kennedy from a distance once indicated, it can “sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression”, as happened eg in South Africa.
Obviously the road of non violence action is not without risk and people engaging in non violent action will be killed regardless their good intentions. Often the struggle is a hard one with loss of friends to be endured, not to speak about the risk of very potential torture. However non-violence by principle and guided with superior talent is the only way, as violence will be responded with greater violence by forces far stronger than yourself and it will give opponents an argument to fight to the bitter end. Non violence includes the choice of specific tactics, often to break the violence of opposing policing and military force.
There have been misconceptions about nonviolent action. Many people used to think that it was not a strong force and that only the violence of war could remove extreme dictators. It is not true. Foreign countries do not need to occupy countries where human rights are abused or where dictator’s have the reigns. It needs to come from the people themselves, at times with support like in Libya. However the last one was not an example of non violent struggle and where violent struggle obtains a victory the likelihood of violence to be sustained has increased, – whatever party did win the struggle. Only if the principles of non violent action are at the centre of the struggle, those groups sustaining and winning the battle this way are more likely to continue to stick to those principles.
If people are disciplined and courageous, they can do it with the proper concepts of non violent action. When people lose the understandable element of fear of an oppressor’s regime, the oppressive regime is facing deep trouble. Maintaining a nonviolent discipline is crucial. If a highly oppressive regime has various troops and effective weapons, it is foolish to try fighting them on their own ground You can’t win from their weapons and if you use the same tactics you will be branded as terrorists. So you must choose something else. Violence is usually not the answer, it creates more often greater disasters.
Highly regarded Us exVietnam war officials initially being sceptic about the concept of “non violent action”, – changed their mind after the war as they were confronted with evidence that it worked,  – more effective than they ever thought!  The power base of people does not involve a foreign occupation of any country if such country lives in gross contradiction of essential human rights, – it does not even involve the requirement of using ugly force. It only requires to empower people with the principles of non violent obstruction and non coöperation in the specific context of their country and such a movement is able the get a victory on principle and start on the same principles a sustainable democracy with proper law enforcement, – the last requiring force of the law on the real offenders and criminals.
Related image
Related imageMilitary-Industrial Complex Conduct Invites Nonviolent Direct Action
Some may say throwing stones are fine as long as you don’t hit people. It is simply not true. The gesture is violent in itself and will be responded with physical and all other violence. In biblical terms the fall of Jericho was neither caused by violence nor stones. The walls representing the barrier were of such nature that violence would not bring it down. Oppression and dictators are based on certain systems of power and undermining those systems to make them fall apart is one of the aims to get rid of oppression. With faith!
Related image

 

This concept can be developed into a smart and highly effective technology using the human spirit in all it’s positive and creative dimensions for those who suffer an enduring and violent injustice against the basics of human rights. It requires a sound knowledge of the nature and dynamics of the oppressing regime, answering the question as well in which areas they are both strong and weak. Modern communication technology will  aid such movement of positive change.

 
It is not always true that every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves, what is true that every community may get the sort of law enforcement it insists on. To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world (as the Greeks) wrote so long ago, requires a shift in modern thinking where this modern thinking traditionally did include the option of excessive and more brutal force than ever before, against the will and the interest of the people. This type of  shift in thinking and perception is simply progress in the way we see the world and change is the motivator of progress into non violent ways to meet worthy goals and show respect for life.
However this type of change has enemies not to be underestimated. Those enemies are usually the extremists being extreme in their intolerance and in their accusations and it is paramount to provide them no grounded base for their accusations. Hence being in debt familiar with the principles of non violent struggle being the baseline to start a strategic sound and well prepared campaign against the oppressors, whoever the oppressors are and wherever they may be.
It is within this context that the intellectual work of Gene Sharp deserves recognition as within the context of an increasing friction between the interests of the people and the interests of Governments who seek confrontation rather than peace,  whilst the people they represent say:”Never ever again!”, – it provides a blueprint to do what Senator Robert F Kennedy once said in the above quote about “ripples of hope” and “million centres of energy and daring”.
The power of one can make or break the world where it comes to critical decisions about war and peace, and where the power of one directs into the direction of war the power of people’s have a right to say:”Not again, – never again!”, – as all out war on this planet not being able to controlled anymore is not a rational alternative. People  have  a right even to sweep down democratic governments if those governments take it one step too far in the direction of major war, and not keep the peace where  the option is to preserve the peace. Too many wars in the past were pointless, without real gain and with too many losses.
Any future major war may escalate into global disaster and as global citizens we have an obligation to watch our governments on the best possible intentions to protect our human right to live on this planet and cultivate the positive potential of life, – industry, – liberty and cut inequalities among race, cultures and individual opportunities. The last just  to be able to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy!
The use of violence is only the very last option when nuclear powers try to dominate the world with both the use of nuclear force and international blackmail, –  after it proved all efforts of proper international diplomacy guided by the UN failed.
Related image
To sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression against human rights and injustice, against the mightiest walls in favour of an increasing arms race and both nuclear and biochemical threat, –  requires nearly half a billion centres of energy and daring.  As only this current can change the tide in human history!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

US Presidential profiles in violations of Justice. (Part 6 – former President Carter, the exception)


English: James Earl
English: James Earl “Jimmy” Carter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 39th Us President James Earl (“Jimmy”) Carter

 
Human rights  is  the  soul  of  our  foreign  policy, because  human  rights  is  the  very  soul  of  our  sense of  nationhood.”  – Jimmy  Carter.
The 39th US President was James Earl Carter born on the 1st of October 1924 in Plains,Georgia. After his graduation from the US Naval Academy in 1946 he served the US Navy until 1953. He took over then and expanded the family peanut business in his home town Plains.

His Christian background from an early age was a driving force in his life.  As Governor of Georgia from 1970 – 1974 he favoured equal rights, – not only for African-Americans  but for women as well.

He did win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976  with a narrow victory from the sitting President Gerald Ford. Before his Presidency he proposed to withdraw American troops from South Korea and as a President elect he declined a CIA briefing on Korea.

Once elected President, he promised to carry out a populist form of government allowing the people a greater say in the Administration. He reflected as well on the importance of effective energy and proper health programs, apart from his commitment to both improving human and civil rights.

He emphasised further the importance of restricting the development of further nuclear weapons. His own national security team was opposed to the withdrawal of troops from South Korea as this could trigger an invasion from North Korea. CIA and Pentagon Directors/Chiefs had changed in the meantime and different people were in charge of those Agencies. However those powers obviously continued to play a significant role, but at a different level as his new CIA Director worked from a different perception.

Before discussing former US President Carter further it is worth reflecting that it proves over time when top positions in the Agencies are occupied by people with both skill  knowledge  and integrity  both the level and direction of operations do change. Obviously always with the US security at heart. It proves as well when Presidential Administrations give those agencies and in particular the CIA free play with the wrong people in those top positions, being ready to mislead the President, – that this may have devastating implications if the President is not able  to see what is happening, or when he is not strong enough to replace those persons providing him with the wrong intelligence. Or when the President is simply approving what is happening. The last may happen as long there are enough “buffers”  in the White House who take the blame when something is going wrong, keeping the US President as such out of the picture.

Generally spoken a significant issue is that foreign police matters are at some large extent depending on the type of information the President is getting from his Security Team. The quality and reliability of this team is a vital issue in any Presidential Administration. Where new CIA Directors need to be nominated, Congress should never allow people being Director of the CIA or Chief of Staff if they received a “Presidential pardon” for activities in earlier Government jobs which were against the law.  Presidential pardons for earlier Presidential team members are not rarely provided to those people who created buffers for the US President involving criminal activities for which they took the blame. The last to keep the President who approved it out of the picture. In retrospect most of those people were  pardoned for their illegal activities.

People in the highest CIA positions or members of both Security Team and Presidential cabinets need to have an absolute clear police record and their nomination needs to be subject to prove for established records on both quality and integrity.Those people are vital in Presidential Administrations and vital decisions being made on the wrong intelligence may have catastrophic implications. People who had a Presidential pardon in the past should not get a reëntry in Presidential Administrations later without justification by Congress that this pardon was based on the principles of justice  and not a backflip against the law. As we will see with later US Presidents some of those nominations were vitally wrong and people with a CIA background as Director with a history of activities neither in line with the law nor the US Constitution, besides a history of non transparency to Congress, should neither be US President later in life, nor being involved in Presidential teams. The point is that the cycle of mismanagement at top levels may continue otherwise with plenty of “buffer systems” in place to provide the US President a cover up, either arranged and approved by the US President himself or arranged by his staff and approved by himself.

Again US Congress needs to give further legislation to end the risk of both “White House” quality rules being compromised and the risk of criminal activities at the highest levels of Government being reduced.  With later Presidents it will be shown how dangerous people may become once they are allowed to join the Presidential staff after earlier convictions followed by Presidential pardons. Once you are convicted within the domain of previous activities as part of the Government Administration there has been a reason for this conviction, often providing enough reason to be incriminated again if circumstances do allow as such following a Presidential pardon over controversial issues.

If people may think that this article on President Carter will be an article about mismanagement of either the law or the Constitution they may be disappointed as President Carter within the domain of his national security operations balanced actually very well between those things being allowed or required and those things not being desired or required.

President Carter was however behind an Anglo-CIA conspiracy in Iran installing Khomeini and the Nullahs, based on intelligence information being provided on Khomeini staying in France at the time. Considering the outcome with Khomeini’s regime and the predicaments it caused in Iran and for the US eventually as well, in retrospect this decision may be considered as an error of judgement, however again based on  intelligence information at the time. It proved however that Carter did not provide Khomeini the best possible deal which would serve Khomeini against US interests. This will be discussed later in this article.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UYNyuA5Uois                                                                                                                        (Carter behind Anglo CIA conspiracy  in Iran which installed Khomeini and the Mullahs)

CIA Director in President Carter’s time was his old class mate at the Naval Academy Stansfield Turner. Turner strongly favoured both Imaginary Intelligence and Signal Intelligence, and not Espionage. He ceased 800 operational positions and he testified for US Congress revealing many covert CIA operations’ between late 1950ties and late 1960ties. He became very in popular within the CIA itself.  His reform initiatives did not produce results as they were largely obstructed within the CIA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z2GKV6AaqM&feature=player_detailpage                                                                                                                            (The CIA’s involvement in Iran from the perception of an ex-CIA agent)

Turner was quite outraged when former CIA agent Frank Snepp published a book criticising Government officials on their competence during the fall of Saigon. Interestingly the CIA forced Turner later on to seek preclearance of his highly critical book on President Reagan’s policies. Turner had enough reason to be highly critical on President Bush, but obstructing background powers in the CIA with Bush using his level of influence  were stronger than he anticipated.

One of the main features of Carter’s Presidency was the Panama Canal Treaty and the Camp David Accords in 1978. He took a required peace deal between Israel and Egypt very personally and successfully against all documented odds. Congress however did not approve his Arms Limitation Treaty with the Soviet Union. Both the energy crisis and a high inflation besides the recession in the American economy during his Presidency eroded his popularity, with the strongest fall between 1979 and 1980. The seizure of US embassy hostages by Islāmic fundamentalists in Iran with hardly any progression in the resolution of this predicament was a major problem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2S9FlG0L4uE                                                                                                                             (Camp David Accords – A Documentary)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkbZVZmeMl4&feature=player_detailpage                                                                                                                             ( Iran hostage crisis)

Being aware after “Watergate” that lies within public institutions as the White House are able to repeat Carter told during his campaigns that he would never lie to the public. Since his 2 terms as a Georgia State Senator he had emphasised the importance of human rights. His popularity did not sustain long and his last year of his Administration was complicated by the Iran hostage crisis, which contributed to his loosing the 1980 reelection campaign to Ronald Reagan. Interestingly minutes after Reagan’s term in office started on the 20th of january 1981, the 444 days-Iran hostage crisis ended with the release of the 52 hostages. With George W Bush being both the incumbent Vice-President and being CIA Director before Turner, the thesis is that Bush being aware of the CIA’s dissatisfaction with both Turner and Carter was able to prolong the hostage crisis at the disadvantage of Jimmy Carter. Under Ronald Reagan as US President William Casey got the position of CIA Director and Casey had the complete opposite approach than Stansfield Turner, as his focus became “Espionage”. The frictions within the CIA with Turner made powerful background dynamics planning a strategy to get Carter not reelected and the Iran hostage crisis proved the bottleneck for Carter. Hence not being reelected anymore and the hostages being released 444 days after it all started, – and all this  just minutes after Reagan’s inauguration. Vice-President Bush gave them a very warm welcome when they landed safely in the US.

Bush worked as CIA Director from 1976-1977 where he helped to “restore the agencies morale” after many disclosures of the CIA’s illegal and unauthorized activities after the Senate’s investigations by the Church Committee and he  still had high-profile contacts within the CIA.

Neither being very flexible as a politician nor being a real leader, President Carter had a principle centred Christian nature with a strong emphasis on human rights. He emerged from the aftermath of Watergate and Vietnam and of all US Presidents being discussed most likely Carter was the person most contributing to the end of the Cold War. As President he endeavoured to modernise US forces and the “Carter doctrine” as proclaimed on the 23rd of January 1980 stated that the US would use military force only to defend its national interests. Again it  is reasonable to suggest that the prolonged hostage crisis worked favourable for both the Pentagon and the CIA to resolve Carter’s Presidency by “nature” rather than as an assassination. He was replaced by Ronald Reagan after his first term in office.

As will be more clear later on the CIA needs sustained efforts and regulations to keep up its standards to support the US with the best possible unbiassed intelligence based on the best possible quality rules to get required information for US national security with optimal use of the best possible technology. Hence leadership being required to bring this stronghold in US society under control to make it work within both the domain of the Constitution and US law, besides the US need to sign the Convention of Geneva and stick to protocol not to torture prisoners in line with international law. Carter tried to change some of the CIA dynamics with his newly appointed Director Turner, but the background stream within the CIA was not in approval and these background powers obstructing change had connections with the previous CIA Director and nominee for the Vice-Presidency of the United States: Herbert Walker Bush. Bush has been both CIA Director and working for the CIA many years before he became a public figure. Besides this Bush, sr had close associations with the Skull and Bone secret organisation, which on its own had close links with the dominating culture of the CIA.

It will be clear that any incumbent US President different in nature and with different directions in mind will always struggle with the existing power base at the CIA insufficient regulated by US Congress. The culture within the CIA  requires to be principal based, neither being able to change  by a US President keen to engage in illegal covert operations, nor to be changed by background powers compromising the intent for which the CIA was designed.

Again both President Truman and Eisenhower did warn for the existing power base of those background powers. John F Kennedy in part of this was killed as he contemplated to expose the illegal activities which he perceived as “profound repugnant”. Kennedy wanted to withdraw from Vietnam whilst the CIA and the Pentagon wanted to stay in Vietnam. Kennedy despised intelligence advise being provided on Cuba, including the incompetence of some Generals and CIA officials.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8y06NSBBRtY                    (Eisenhower warned for the military industrial complex)

Carter wanted to change certain aspects of the CIA and was not reelected anymore.  Herbert Walker Bush, before he became Vice-President, achieved a strategy favourable for Reagan’s victory by delaying the solution in the hostage crisis. Bush had longstanding connections with the darker CIA elements when the assassination on JFK was prepared and executed, with close links to both former President Nixon and Ford as well. Bush,sr as well who  did support Nixon until the bitter end over Watergate.  This Watergate if properly investigated opening  a can of worms over the darkest CIA activities in the past, with criminal ramifications against US citizens. President Carter reflected a clear change from existing paradigms both introduced by LBJ, continued by Nixon and at some extend by Ford. However as it appeared the  Reagan – Bush campaign was that worried that President Carter would reach a deal with Iran resulting in the release of the hostages before the elections and therefore Carter winning a second term in office, that they made their own deal with a close relative of Khomeini during various meetings in both Paris and Madrid. The deal did include to accept fully the Islāmic Republic and non interference in Iran’s internal affairs. In other words whist not being in power they made a better deal with Iran, hence the hostage crisis deliberately delayed. Part of the deal was to engage later in an Iran-Contra arms deal with will be discussed under President Reagan.

US spring would not last long.  In summary both Reagan and Bush whilst not representing the US  engaged in illegal backdoor dealings  with high level representation of Khomeini at the cost of hostages in Iran to win the elections and to get rid of President Carter and CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner.

Once in a blue moon a US President may arrive with a different agenda for the nation, however this US President  still has to balance carefully among existing background powers, still being tolerated by US Congress. Restrictive legislation to bring those powers within the strict domain of both US law and the Constitution, neither permitting nor allowing those Agencies to engage in criminal activities, is a requirement for a better balance of US power systems.

With each new President different people may have the reigns in the CIA and the Pentagon. The way of operating  and an emphasis on intermittent covert operations, neither being regulated by the US President at times as we will see with President Reagan, nor being regulated by Congress, –  is a domain of potential breeding ground for the most monstrous endeavours through which US Presidents can be profoundly misled,  if they are not already compromised to allow being misled by choice.

President Obama has been compared with Carter by Donald Rumsfeld, but this might be more a reflection on Rumsfeld than either former President Carter or current President Obama. We know how Rumsfeld feels about Carter and human rights, as Rumsfeld is the one would go to jail in Switzerland and this would for certain not apply to former President Carter. Carter may not have had the charisma of Kennedy or Clinton, but he was a good man with a profound positive legacy, after his Presidency as well in – various ways.

Former President Carter remained remarkably active on human rights issues after his Presidency of the US. He did receive the Medal of Peace” and in 1999 both he and his wife Rosalynn were awarded with the Presidential medal of freedom.  In 1989 he hosted peace negotiations in Ethiopia and within the context of his role as UN embassador he has been very active taking part in the talks with Rwanda in 1996. Apart from other rewards he received in 1993 the “Matsunaga Medal of Peace”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px7aRIhUkHY&feature=player_detailpage                                                                              (Carter – Reagan debate 1980)

Continued>>>

See chapter 7 (Part 7) on former President Ronald Reagan.

Thank you!
 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

Profiles In US Presidential Violations of Justice – Front page (Part 1 of 11) on July 5, 2011

The Dangers of US Decay Within the Foundation of its Democracy.


English: Painting, 1856, by Junius Brutus Stea...
English: Painting, 1856, by Junius Brutus Stearns, Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whilst democratic movements spread across the globe the concept of “democracy”  being potentially at risk is more clear than ever before,  – not really only by those countries  opposing the principles of democracy, but  even more at times by those who are supposed to protect it.

On a positive note for the US, the 2011 Obama Administration seems to work within the balance of powers as being  provided within the US  Constitution more at least than some of the previous Administrations, – operating clearly with more value systems at the centre. This is the way it should be and perhaps he is the first US President since Kennedy and Carter with value systems at the core of his Administration in terms of domestic policy. However the practicalities do not prove to be easy and with his level of strength and providing leadership, it is still wait and see how he will break with the tradition of the US  being involved in war’s which should not be there in the first instance.

Related image

 

Presidential powers exercised during previous US Administrations however created a precedent within the US of using the “arm” of the CIA to engage in most secret covert operations,  both within and outside US mainland and in part against all forms of human rights and/or dignity. The last with the ability even to keep Congress out of the picture with collective organised cover up’s and controlling the media, – besides suppressing  existing  justice systems as they should be able to work in a free society.

The US  is neither sufficiently protected against the phenomenal powers from some internal background forces, which does include the CIA and the Pentagon, – nor from the collective systems of separation of powers with internal checks and balances to work in alignment of the Constitution and the law. Legislation is required to change this to better ways of law enforcement at the Executive branch of the US, as such to protect the US against itself. With the wrong persons in power at the main divisions of this Executive branch, the systems of governance might turn out to be a total failure, with cover up’s in place to hide matters from both Congress the public and the world.

Presidential powers are inappropriately able to collide (largely e.g. on foreign policy issues and military operations) with the existing background powers and vice versa; whilst Congress can be kept in the dark with the required investigations or hearings being delayed,  – various justice systems being obstructed as well within e.g the FBI, – and with other help if so required.  Besides this the media can be and has been controlled for many years. As such democracy at its worst proves both to be repugnant and intolerable, – whilst no systems are in place to correct this; nor systems being in place to reopen insufficient and past Government initiated investigations and held e.g. former Presidents (including members of their Administrations)  accountable within the obligations of fair justice for all, – and not the few most powerful being excluded for those principles of the same justice.

Collective ignorance for the  profound risks  of a democracy not being exposed for its existing decay and failures (with both complete and right historical reflections on the past)  – whilst voters are either misled or do not take notice – will provoke even worse decay to come with  “the balance of power”  being more compromised than ever before. Worsening repressive systems and corrupting elements may have free play at the highest positions in the US  (if not stopped)  if the US by error may choose the wrong President as happened with the Bush Administration not that long ago. At present this former US President is not able to visit Switzerland without the risk of being arrested as due to war crimes and human right abuses, which does show that at least something went wrong. Even for some US citizens who claim their systems of Government are always right and pretend to have proper knowledge of the US Constitution. Some even claiming that President Obama is to blame for everything what is wrong. The dangers of right wing extremism are unfortunately quite evident in the US and though no Party may claim to be perfect, the Democratic Party in the US has at present the best credentials to facilitate the required reforms as the Republicans (as “an Organisation”) lost any sense of direction. Obviously this may change in the future with new talent and vision and skill perhaps arriving at some stage.

 

Some may say the US  is a Republic only. However this Republic is still based on democratic and constitutional principles of the separation and balance of powers, not being allowed those principles and common US values being compromised  by either currents within the CIA or Pentagon. Existing powers at the level of the President or Congress seem to have insufficient oversight, – if senior management within both Pentagon and CIA  are unable to get their Organisations under control and in line with both US law and the Constitution. With both the wrong President and ill selected people in top positions of both the CIA and the Pentagon the US is in danger of being an enemy of itself.

Both within the Military and CIA  are enough very highly regarded people with dignity for their own country, not willing to sacrifice the US Constitution and the implications of this Constitution on the altars of human rights abuses, whether it is in the US or anywhere else in the world. Sounds excessive perhaps but “9/11” e.g. was largely an internal job as far as former Division Chief of the FBI Ted Gunderson concerned. It was an internal job as well as far as Major General Albert Stubblebine concerned, who was the Commanding General of the United States Army Intelligence. Still many people ask for clarification on 9/11, even at the highest levels of the Military Branch as the contradictions did not add up and the most evil systems within the US itself could have been part of the massacre in 2001, to give the US President an excuse to go to war.

Related image

Related image

Preserving democracy as the best possible governance against historically profound failures of the alternatives  is subject to prove, provided by the Democracy itself. The US has to work on this to keep up its credibility, not only for its own people, but in the face of the world as well.

Secret powers within democracies have the ability within the dark corners of the world to degrade the meaning of democracy into the “bludgeoning of the people by the people and for the people”,  without mechanisms to control those powers responsible for this ugly manifestation of inhumanity.

The Greek city state Athens, once being reflected on  as the highlight of democracy, developed by its people probably the finest form of direct democracy ever being created. Obviously with its purest form this is not practical anymore in current times and places. Introduced by its popular leader Cleisthenes in about 500 BC there was the ecclesia which was inviting all eligible citizens over the age of 18 to meet on a regular base to discuss important state business by debate. In those days they would reach a decision based on the majority of those being around  by a show of hands.

Pericles, the Athenian leader,  at a funeral speech delivered 430 BC paid tribute to the constitution of those days which favours the many and not the few,  indicating  the importance of liberty and equality before the law. Political preferment should be based on merit and neither through the wealth of power and money nor class, – was his perception.

Both Plato and Aristotle warned for the potential of democracy being put at risk by those who are persistent unruly unstable  and corrupt. The lessons go through history with major powers coming up and major powers going down as due to self inflicted obstruction of justice. Not only this.  The power of imperialism with overstretched  military resources and lack of economic durability have been at the foundations of the fall of Great Powers in history, together with poorly controlled internal corruption.

If we look at history,  super powers crumbled down as a result of corrupting powers colluding within a culture of decay. Democracies are not without those risks if existing decay  is not eliminated within the process of proper law enforcement. The US needs to manage its affairs as it proved that military expenditure out with any proportion compromised economic growth within proportion. Frankly the US has increased its risk of following the similar pathway as Great Powers in the past, running out of the recourses to stay sustainable. The deepening controversy about spending priorities as shown in US Congress, with a politics of short term advantage and long-term disadvantage provide the base of potentially spiralling down dynamics.

Related image

 

At the heart of democracy lies the question of the supreme powers of state (created by the people for the people),  to protect lawfully the rights of people being restricted to prevent the misuse of powers to cut those same rights as implemented by the Constitution. This failed at unimaginable scale during the last Bush Administration. The trend of allowing the major background powers in the US to have more say in public policy since the assassination of JFK, accelerated during the last Bush Administration. The corrupting Government investigations about the realities of the CIA orchestrated 9/11 drama,  provided a ruthless US Executive Branch to go to war at pleasure, as by choice there was a stand down in the security systems and by choice there was a US controlled demolition of the various towers in the lower Manhattan area of New York in 2001. This direction could prove in US history -in retrospect – the last straw over which the US lost its potential to continue to be sustainable. The Obama Administration has to stick to the conduct of US Presidents neither being critical against those provoking powers nor to stop the war in Afghanistan at once,  without running the  risk to be assassinated by extreme right wing elements.

Related image

 

The limitations of powers by the Executive branch with its far too much dominating Agencies must be exercised with the consent of the voters, but is the only reason the US could survive as a sustainable Democracy with full backing of US Congress. The trend to be involved in various pointless war’s , apart from those who have both security and moral merit with the approval of Congress, may drive the US to bankruptcy.

Related image

 

As shown, the relation between people and state on the justified balance between might and right is still an issue after centuries of battle. Political mechanisms to make sure that those who govern at various levels remain accountable can’t be guaranteed only by regular elections and competition.

The reality of the political process and operating powers remain a concern, as some of the most basic constitutional rights and obligations have been compromised during the last decades. Often behind closed doors and in the dark corners of those places where detection was being made  difficult and operating justice systems being prepared to compromise the truth by those people already being  compromised.

Both President Truman and President Eisenhower warned against significant background powers within the US with connections deep within those separation of powers and elaborate systems of checks and balances. Those background powers decide at some extend – together with the Presidential powers being exercised – the direction of the US Government.  Sinister branches of those background powers carry a history of human atrocities in a wide variety, both within and outside the US.  When those powers were under threat by political opponents in the US, assassinations or smear campaigns have not rarely been the tools of choice to stay in control and prevent exposure.

Those  collective background powers, working somehow together, are at some extend able to attract those US Presidents who are able to remain the status quo of both secrets and society, misleading not rarely – and profoundly!-   the majority of the voters.

Democracy can be  a charming form of government full of variety,  but  not rarely full of disorder as well at various levels.

It should not happen that democratic societies are in a position to get “criminals” eventually in positions perhaps affecting  branches of government, – whilst law enforcement each country deserves is unable to extinguish the malicious effect those people may have on their systems of governance. This is decay in the foundations of a democracy as profoundly demonstrated during the last US Administration and not resolved by tighter legislation. It can happen any time again with even worse implications.

It is not in our poor power to add or detract the value of those who struggled before us and could not stay around to finish their task, those who fought for fairness and justice against the senseless acts of bloodshed which ignored our common humanity on the battlefields of civilian slaughter.

This is what happened with 9/11 and during various war’s, the last of which were “open” at times but more often they took place as part of secret operations.

The violence of the increasing decay in institutions with indifference and inaction do show the sickness of the soul of a country anywhere possible on this world with different gradations.

The US is an example of a Republic based on the principles of a democracy where more proactive management is required in terms of legislation to prevent the various abuses of power, as too many people lost their lives and to many compromises were made at the cost of an economy in shambles as a result of excessive and pointless war activities in the past.

When we can’t resist the temptation to meet disagreement with force we breed violence and this violence will breed retaliation and potential terror. We need to be strong enough to defend ourselves against any  evil powers who want to get the better of us,  but whilst living on this planet the short time we have, we need to realise that those who live in our times are our brothers and as such we need to act against inhumanity hatred or blind revenge, – as our common goal on earth is at a different level, regardless the need indeed to extinguish the dangers of terror.

Thank you!
 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/profiles-in-us-presidential-violations-of-justice-part-1/

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