Meanwhile, Around the World
EDITORIAL, 12 December 2016
#458 | Johan Galtung
Quite a lot is happening. NYT (11 Dec 2016): President-Elect Trump made Carrier keep 1,000 factory jobs in Indianapolis, not “trading” to Mexico; and canceled the Boeing contract for a new Air Force One.
Three Trump Upper Class challenges: Solidarity with the working class; a foreign policy based less on war and more on negotiation; and a new tax code (USA has the longest in the world, feeding highly paid law firms with loopholes). Trump wants jobs, and infrastructure.
There are also non-events: no Trump apologies to the groups he offended grotesquely in the campaign: non-whites, women, immigrants particularly Mexicans. And the old campaigner Trump is still alive.
Trumps’s focus on USA-Russia cooperation from the American to the Bolshevik revolutions, and now on the coming century, is brilliant and intellectual in an anti-intellectual USA. While US media and their copycats all over are still fighting the election for Clinton.
Ian Buruma “The End of the Anglo-American Order”, The New York Times Magazine (29 Nov 2016), praises the post-world war “vision of democracy and freedom”. There is something to that. But only as long as they voted correctly; not for Allende in Chile, Muslims in Algeria, for Brexit in UK (“U.S. loses direct link to Continent”, NYT 28 Jun 2015), for Duterte in the Philippines (with anti-drug atrocities) leaning away from the USA toward an Asian neighbor, China, for Erdögan in Turkey (with neo-Ottoman warfare) leaning away from the USA toward a European neighbor, Russia. And worst of all: not for Trump in the USA.
In this lengthy article not a word on the USA, assisted by the UK, killing more than 20 million in 37 countries after WWII. Or on 54% of the US Spending Budget allocated to the military and 46% shared among 11 sectors–none more than 6%. Very many words on Trump, with incredible arrogance not even checking what he does[i]. Be careful because Trump is smart. We will soon see who outsmarts whom.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, leading US intellectual and Supreme Court associated jurist, addressing the Harvard 1895 graduating class on “The Purpose of War Is to Die for One’s Country”, The Soldier’s Faith:
“–the faith is true and adorable which leads a soldier to throw away his life in obedience to a blindly accepted duty, in a cause which he little understands, in a plan of campaign of which he has little notion, under tactics of which he does not see the use”.
Holmes thinks he understands cause, plan and tactics, but does not understand that he blindly accepts them, willing to use the soldiers’ blindness for his own. Maybe they should have thrown away his life?
120 years later, Hillary Clinton will not throw away US soldiers’ lives but those of the “enemy”, soldiers or civilians, any numbers. One belligerence exchanged for the other; no democracy, nor freedom. Even The Nation endorsed her, blind to her massive privatized killing.
Move to The Hague, “The ICTY[ii]‘s Surprise Ruling: Hague Tribunal Exonerates Slobodan Milosevic for Bosnia War Crimes Ten Years Too Late” (18 Jul 2016) seems to have passed unnoticed. Karadzic, not surprisingly, sentenced to 40 years, but the exoneration was too contrary to Western media pre-judgment.
Move to “Panama: The Hidden Trillions” (The New York Review of Books, 17 Oct 2016). The conclusion of 400+ journalists working on 2.6 terabytes of information is very clear: “We pay tax, but they don’t pay tax. The burden of taxation has moved inexorably away from multinational companies and rich people to ordinary people”.
Fast forward to “Palestinians Demand UK Apology for Balfour Declaration (Al Jazeera 1 Nov 2016)–as parliamentary petition. With 100,000 signatures the British Parliament must consider debating the subject. The “Jewish Homeland” Declaration has a prescient clause:
“–understood that nothing shall be done that prejudices the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status of Jews in any other country”.
Both premises are broken. Does the UK have enough wisdom to apologize and yet stand by an Israel compatible with international law; 242, &c?
Move to Palmyra, reconquered by IS? Could Trump negotiate, rather?
Move to Saudi Arabia, to Mohammed Alyanya “Don’t Link ‘Wahhabism’ to Terrorism” (NYT 19 Oct 2016). Wahhabism, like Salafism, praised Islam as practiced by the Prophet as Medina ruler; the overwhelming majority is not violent. We add: in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia violence is more mundane, to preserve a Kingdom split down the middle.
Move to Ukraine: Arve Meisingset – “Massiv feilinformasjon om Ukraina”–Massively Wrong Information On Ukraine” (NY TID 17 Nov 2016). The coup against the Orthodox-Ukraine President was on 22 Feb 2014; on 1 Aug Paul Picard, head of the OSCE observers in Don-bass, Donetsk said he had seen no Russian troops or weapons. The Uniate (Catholic) policy is ethnic cleansing, and many left for Russia. The fighting in Ukraine is in the Orthodox part, headed by Uniate-Ukraine president Poroshenko, now only supported by 5.9% of the voters.
Fast forward to USA-Russia. The Russians fear that NATO at its border is a secret Operation Barbarossa (Hitler’s failed invasion 22 June 1941) because (points made by many, among them Leo Semashko):
- Deployment of NATO nuclear weapons on Russia’s Western border.
- Obama’s intent to spend US$1 trillion on nuclear arms next decade.
- A US doctrine which allows the first use of nuclear weapons.
All waiting for Hillary Clinton. But then came Trump. They hate him.
Afghanistan: Robert Fisk, “The invasion of Afghanistan 15 years ago was an arrogant, wretched adventure that caused a migrant crisis“, The Independent 7 Oct 2016. Geopolitical Futures, Kamran Bokhari: “Afghan Government Staring at the Abyss” 10 Oct 2016–“Kabul is unlikely to defeat the Taliban even after investing 15 years and over a $ 100 billion”. Better not talk about it. (NYT, 21 Sep 2016).
Norway: “We love America-We hate Russia-America hates Russia”, balanced, made elites change their military doctrine to attack Russia. Then “We love America-We hate Russia-America loves Russia”, dissonant. After a period hating Trump-America, Norway will accept Russia, and Störe’s Norwegian Labor Party will win the 2017 elections on that basis.
[ii]. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. Prof. Galtung has published 1670 articles and book chapters, over 450 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service, and 167 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 12 December 2016.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Meanwhile, Around the World, is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.