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May 23, 2015
The monthly journal for independent thought, ethical standards and moral responsibility The international journal for independent thought, ethical standards, moral responsibility,
and for the promotion and respect of public international law, human rights and humanitarian law
Current Concerns  >  2008  >  No 17, 2008  >  Time to Think about what Mankind really Needs on this Earth and how We Want to Shape our Future [printversion]

Time to Think about what Mankind really Needs on this Earth and how We Want to Shape our Future

by Karl Müller

The electoral campaign and the election of the coming US-American president Barack Obama and the double slogan change and hope made many in the world, who had been deeply disappointed by Georges W. Bush’s eight-year presidency, hope for a the beginning of a better world. Another reason was that for the first time in history an Afro American – and that means a member of a population group that had been discriminated for centuries – became first candidate and then President of the United States.
But do the mere promises of “change” and “hope” suffice to turn the world we live in into a better place? Is it not high time, instead – just a few weeks before the President’s accession to office – to make a real cut, to take an honest retrospect and to think it over soundly what tasks the world will face in the coming months and years?
What does mankind really need in order to make things better?
We must not leave the answer to this essential question to the professional think tanks of the great powers, parties and interest groups, because, unfortunately we have to assume that they are generally less interested in the common weal than in their own weal respectively that of their contractors and financiers. We have to look for answers elsewhere and above all we have to think ourselves!
If we do so we will realise: International law is valid for all without exception and has to be observed by all. In times of nuclear, biological and other weapons of mass destruction the rule of force has to give way to international law – if it does not, the further existence of man is at stake.
The war crimes, the plight and misery that the world was expected to put up with under the slogan “democracy”, require amends. Such amends can only be made if we come back to the respect of all cultures. Only on the basis of mutual respect can the peoples of the world create structures which are built on equality and grant each and every people enough scope to create and develop its own economy, culture and international cooperation.
Nobody needs to say that he knows how these tasks can be solved but there are beginnings. We will find the fundamentals of a new economic system there, which has been called for from different quarters in the context of the world finance crisis – for example by Japan, China or Russia.
In his 5 November speech on the very day Obama was elected president, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev named the key aspects which show that the world is no longer willing to accept the US monopoly on the only true form of living and economy. In the opening passage of his speech the Russian President linked the Georgian war that had been imposed on Russia to the world financial market crisis. He maintained that both fatal crises “had a common cause.” Therefore “we need to put in place mechanisms that can block the mistaken, selfish and at times simply dangerous decisions made by some members of the international community. For both, the crisis in the Caucasus Mountains as well as the world finance crisis are the result of the autocratic course of the US-American administration that does not allow any criticism and bases its policy on one-sided decisions. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union the conviction that “its view is the only indisputably correct view, led the US authorities into making serious economic miscalculations. They let the currency bubble grow in the interest of stimulating domestic growth but did not bother coordinating their decisions with the other players on the global markets and neglected even the most basic sense of measure. They did not listen to the numerous warnings from their partners.” (
At the end of his speech the Russian President falls back on these preliminary remarks and calls for a new global security system and a new world financial architecture and presents detailed proposals: to work for the stabilisation of the legal fundament of international relations, so that the generally accepted norms and principles of international law determine the rules in the international arena; the creation of a multi-polar international system; agreements on universal diplomatic methods for the regulation of crisis situations; an international dialogue to create regulations for a world finance architecture rapidly to replace the present US American monopoly.
The Russian President is not the only one who voices such weighty considerations about the future of world politics. Kishore Mahbubani whose book was published in German only a few weeks ago (The New Asian Hemisphere – The Irresistible Shift of Power to the East) drew the attention toward the fact that Asian states are no longer willing to subordinate to the West. Instead they are acting more and more self-assured in the world, they have their own ideas of a good future and they are no longer willing “to tolerate the West’s double standards when it comes to the postulation of human rights and democracy.”
We Europeans have to learn to listen to the many voices of the world attentively and to interpret the principle “equal rights for all” in such a way that we, the Europeans, must no longer claim a “spiritual leadership.”
However, we do not lack the basic standards. After having struggled for many years and guided by the impression of most bitter experiences, the representatives of many states got together and took upon themselves an order, which was laid down in the Charter of the United Nations. Today, we have to call to our minds what is established there: The peoples of the United Nations are “firmly determined to prevent future generations from the scourge of war” and they believed “in the basic rights of all men, in dignity and value of the human personality, in equality of man and woman and of all nations, be they small or great.”
The United Nations therefore set the goal,
• “[…] to maintain international peace and security, and to that end to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
• to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
• to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
• to be a centre for harmonising the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.” (Charter of the United Nations, art.1)
Today, more than 60 years later, the world is far from having realised these goals. However, there are people responsible for this. In particular, the US administrations have so far not been willing to make the goals of the United Nations the landmark of their policy. That was true for the first decades after World War II and is even more true for almost 18 years of post cold war time which were years of national lies and a power policy trampling on the law.
Part of that is the lie about Iraqi soldiers, who were said to have torn Kuwaiti children from incubators, which justified the Gulf War in 1991. Then there are the lies that justified the Yugoslavia wars (see Jörg Becker and Mira Beham: Operation Balkan: Werbung für Krieg und Tod; ISBN 3-8329-1900-7). There is also the 9/11 lie that justified the long planned Afghanistan war in 2001, the weapons-of-mass-destruction lie to justify the Iraq war in 2003, and finally the US-American lie claiming that the USA are striving for the improvement of the Palestinians’ situation. At the same time, the Israel lobby continues – without interruption – to exert their influence (see John J. Mearshheimer and Stephen M. Walt: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy; ISBN 978-0374-5315-08): the Egyptian Government e.g. is pressed to keep the border to the Gaza Strip closed so that the Palestinians continue to starve and suffer, ghetto-like (see “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” of 20 December 2008).
US politics have been leaving a long trail of crime and blood, with a monstrous magnitude of war crimes and crimes against mankind.
However, even where US hegemonic politics is executed by “soft power”, we recognise a system of subjection and inhuman exploitation; a clear-cut dividing line from murder and mass murder is not visible. Former insiders such as John Perkins have unveiled these machinations to us.(Cf. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: The Shocking Story of How America Really Took Over the World, ISBN 978-0091909109, or The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How To Change The World, ISBN 978-0452289574)
They tell us what it is all about: The violations of international law proceeding from US politics are not only motivated by the interests of the military-industrial complex. They also have to do with the boundless greed and hegemonic ambition of American and other financial circles with their billions and trillions of assets. They do not only seek to control the world financial system but have also taken the real economies into their stranglehold and stop at nothing when choosing their means and methods. Their strategy of grubbing money and power is targeting the whole world. In her book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” Naomi Klein has shown this for many countries in the world, which have been afflicted by wars and disasters: There has been only one goal: to establish a Wild West capitalism of the worst sort.
And neither should we be mistaken: Our own populations can be afflicted and will be afflicted, too. In the USA 40 million people go hungry, hundreds of thousands of war veterans have fallen seriously ill from the consequences of the unlawful use of uranium weapons in Iraq, in Yugoslavia, and in Afghanistan. These veterans suffer just like the afflicted people in the war-stricken countries. However, politics and administrations do not bother about the victims in their countries. Is it possible that they hazard the consequence of thousands of victims in their own country? The doubts about the official version of the 9/11 events are growing stronger.
Those European countries that followed US politics or have developed – in their lee - their own hegemonic plans are afflicted with the consequences as well. For example the New Germany which since 1990 has turned away from many established principles of the old Federal Republic and the former GDR, has not only become involved into ever more war missions all over the world, but has also developed a social and economic need culminating in growing numbers of children living in poverty and going hungry.
Even members of the German Bundestag called the circles responsible for the worldwide financial crisis “arsonists”. This is a rather benign word for the havoc wreaked on the world.
And now? Are we to condone everything and be satisfied with the promise of “change” and “hope”, with a “new face” in US politics, (as Zbigniew Brzezinski, string puller behind Obama, said) while the monstrous nature of this dreadful power prevails? It is the same Brzezinski, whose book The Grand Chessboard. American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (ISBN 0-465-02726-1) was published in German in 1999.
He now wrote another book: Second chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower (ISBN 978-0465-00355-6), which deals with the “failures” of US politics during the past 20 years, in which the USA have lost their face in the world and can no longer operate their hegemonic politics in an unquestioned and unrestricted manner. And this was to be changed with the “new face”!
Similarly alarming facts must be reported on the entire crew of the president-elect - we did so in this newspaper (see Paul Craig Roberts: Conned Again and Michel Chossudovsky: Who Are the Architects of the Economic Collapse? in Current Concerns, No. 13/14, 21 December 2008).
It can be expected that this crew will do no good to the world as long as Obama does not make a real cut and – to give a sign for this cut – binds himself and his international politics to international law and the UN Charter. He should also prosecute all war crimes and crimes against mankind of the preceding governments (among which are also the governments of the presidents Clinton and Bush sen.) consistently and help to establish a world economy and a world finance system, which will serve the needs of the people and not the greed of a few.
So, what does mankind need? What do we have to think about collectively and what sound solutions must we find?
• First of all we must stop the state-authorized murdering on this globe. At once! The former Federal Chancellor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Willy Brandt was right when he said, “Peace is not everything, but without peace everything is nothing!” War should again be outlawed. Those responsible for wars of aggression must be prosecuted. The war damages have to be made good as far as possible and infrastructure must be reconstructed. Compensations must be paid to the surviving dependants of those who were innocently murdered.
• Equal rights and the sovereignty of all states must be respected. This sovereignty includes what is laid down in article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights from 1966: “All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. All peoples may, to their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligation arising from international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.”
• How can we achieve a world economy and a world finance system, that leaves nobody poor or hungry on this earth? One billion hungry people on this planet, and two billion people – that is a third of all mankind – with less than a 2-dollar income per day are a festering sore on our conscience. How can we ensure that all human beings on this earth have sufficient food and drink of good quality, a roof over their heads and are free from persecution and suppression?
• What has to be done in order to enable all people to benefit from the best health care and to put an end to lingering illnesses and people dying from diseases and epidemic plagues that can nowadays easily be cured.
• How can we make sure that each form of colonialism and imperialism will come to an end and that the governments, states and peoples in this world have equal rights and meet at eye level? How can we achieve that all necessary contracts are agreed upon in fairness and justice and that the contractors for ever refrain from the threat and exercise of violence?
• How can we learn that we are not only shapers of nature but also a part of it? And that we are responsible for this our nature and its wealth as well as for the generations to come?
• How can we provide educational facilities for all children and youths on our world so that they all have access to good education which provides them with the chance for a better future? How can we call a halt to those forces in education that want to cement social injustice by promoting a further privatisation of the educational system?
• What can we do to fully respect human dignity and help every human being to find a true sense in life so that he can give up egoism and contribute to the well being of all?
All these are questions that can not be ans­wered overnight. But if we do not begin to discuss them together with our neighbours and with people all over the world, we will fail to make the necessary cut and miss our opportunity to be human.•

The Brzezinski Plan

US vassals and tributaries
“American vassals and tributaries, some yearning to be embraced by even more formal ties to Washington, dot the entire Eurasian Continent, as the map [...] shows.” (p. 23)

Seemingly consensual American hegemony
“As the imitation of American ways gradually pervades the world, it creates a more congenial setting for the exercise of the indirect and seemingly consensual American hegemony.” (p. 27)

Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland
“Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island. Who rules the World-Island commands the world.” (p. 38)

Europe as geopolitical bridgehead
“But first of all, Europe is America’s essential geopolitical bridgehead on the Eurasian continent. […] the Atlantic alliance entrenches American political influence and military power directly on the Eurasian mainland. […] any expansion in the scope of Europe becomes automatically an expansion in the scope direct E.S. influence as well.” (p. 59)

Western and Central Europe as US protectorate
“The brutal fact is that Western Europe, and increasingly also Central Europe, remains largely an American protectorate, with its allied states reminiscent of agent vassals and tributaries.” (p. 59)

Players on the Eurasian Chessboard
“How the United States both manipulates and accommodates the principal geostrategic players on the Eurasian chessboard and how it manages Eurasia`s key geopolitical pivots will be critical to the longevity and stability of America`s global primacy.” (p. 194f)

“As in chess American global planners must think several moves ahead, anticipating possible countermoves.” (p. 198)
“In the short run, it is in America’s interest to consolidate and perpetuate the prevailing geopolitical pluralisms on the map of Eurasia. That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition.” (p. 198)

Zbigniew Brzezinski: The Grand Chessboard. American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. New York 1997. ISBN 0-465-02726-1

From 1977 to 1981 Zbigniew Brzezinski was Security Advisor of US President Carter. Then he became a professor for US Foreign Policy at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, and Counselor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS in Washington D.C.


“If you delve into this subject as a historian, you see from the outset, that there is a big global debate around what really happened on September 11 2001. The information we have are not very accurate. Important questions and events are not even mentioned in the inquiry report counting 600 pages – for example, the collapse of the so called ‹third tower›. In their report the commission speaks only about the collapse of two towers, the ‘Twin-Towers’. This is inaccurate, because there was a third tower with a height of 170 meters that collapsed in New York on September 11. The Tower is called WTC7. Some later US governmental reports say, a little fire would have brought WTC7 to collapse. But I spoke with professors, who know the structure of the buildings very well; they say that a little fire cannot damage the structure of such a big dimension.”

Daniele Ganser in an interview with Silvia Cattori.

“The plane does not fit in that hole”
“One of my experiences in the army was being in charge of the army’s imagery interpretations for scientific and technical intelligence during the cold war. I measured pieces of Soviet equipment from photographs. It was my job. I look at the hole in the Pentagon. And I look at the size of an airplane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon. And I said: The – plane – does – not – fit – in – that – hole. So what did hit the Pentagon? What hit it? Where is it? What is going on?”

Major General Stubblebine, United States Army Intelligence and Security Command, 1981 to 1984

“Crises Are, in a Way, Democracy-free Zones”

“[…] only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: To develop alternatives to existing policies to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.”

Source: Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (1962, Repr. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), In: Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine. The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Penguin Books 2008, ISBN 978-0-141-02453-0, p. 6.

“The kind of crisis Friedman had in mind was not military but economic. What he understood was that in normal circumstances, economic decisions are made based on the push and pull of competing interests – workers want jobs and raises, owners want low taxes and relaxed regulation, and politicians have to strike a balance between these competing forces. However, if an economic crisis hits and is severe enough – a currency meltdown, a market crash, a major recession – it blows everything else out of the water, and leaders are liberated to do whatever is necessary (or said to be necessary) in the name of responding to a national emergency. Crises are, in a way, democracy-free zones – gaps in politics as usual when the need for consent and consensus do not seem to apply.”

Naomi Klein, p. 140

“A Speech that Broke all Records for Obsequiousness and Fawning”

After Months of a tough and bitter race, a merciless struggle, Barack Obama has defeated his formidable opponent, Hillary Clinton. […]
And what was the first thing he did after his astounding victory? He ran to the conference of the Israel lobby, AIPAC, and made a speech that broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning. […]
The transparent fawning of Obama on the Israel lobby stands out more than similar efforts by the other candidates.
Why? Because his dizzying success in the primaries was entirely due to his promise to bring about a change, to put an end to the rotten practices of Washington and to replace the old cynics with a young, brave person who does not compromise his principles.
And lo and behold, the very first thing he does after securing the nomination of his party is to compromise his principles. And how! […]
OK he promises to safeguard Israel‘s security at any cost. That is usual. OK he threatens darkly against Iran, even though he promised to meet their leaders and settle all problems peacefully. OK he promised to bring back our three captured soldiers (believing, mistakenly, that all three are held by Hizbullah – an error that shows, by the way, how sketchy is his knowledge of our affairs.)
But his declaration about Jerusalem breaks all bounds. It is no exaggeration to call it scandalous.
No Palestinian, no Arab, no Muslim will make peace with Israel if the Haram-al-Sharif compound (also called the Temple Mount), one of the three holiest places of Islam and the most outstanding symbol of Palestinian nationalism, is not transferred to Palestinian sovereignty. That is one of the core issues of the conflict.
On that very issue, the Camp David conference of 2000 broke up, even though the then Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, was willing to divide Jerusalem in some manner.
Along comes Obama and retrieves from the junkyard the outworn slogan ‹Undivided Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel for all Eternity›. Since Camp David, all Israeli governments have understood that this mantra constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to any peace process. It has disappeared – quietly, almost secretly – from the arsenal of official slogans. Only the Israeli (and American-Jewish) Right sticks to it, and for the same reason: to smother at birth any chance for a peace that would necessitate the dismantling of the settlements. […]
Of one thing I am certain: Obama‘s declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people.

Excerpts from: Uri Avnery. No, I can’t!

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations since 9/11

With enactment of the FY2008 Supplemental and FY2009 Bridge Fund(H.R. 2642/P.L. 110-252) on June 30, 2008, Congress has approved a total of about $864 billion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans‘ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan and other counter terror operations; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
This $864 billion total covers all war-related appropriations from FY2001 through part of FY2009 in supplementals, regular appropriations, and continuing resolutions. Of that total, CRS estimates that Iraq will receive about $657 billion (76%), OEF about $173 billion (20%), and enhanced base security about $28 billion (3%), with about $5 billion that CRS cannot allocate (1%). About 94% of the funds are for DOD, 6% for foreign aid programs and embassy operations, and less than 1% for medical care for veterans. As of July 2008, DOD‘s monthly obligations for contracts and pay averaged about $12.3 billion, including $9.9 billion for Iraq, and $2.4 billion for Afghanistan.
Source: CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RL33110, 15 October 2008
These $657 billion for the war in Iraq would have been enough to pay the wages of 10 777 823 primary school teachers for a year, or to build 5 103 740 council homes.


Three million children directly affected

The Yugoslav Daily Survey of 8 June 1999 writes on the situation of refugee children from the former Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina: Three million children were directly endangered by the arbitrary bombings carried out by NATO aggressors. Since the beginning of the aggression, many children have been killed and wounded. Nearly 250,000 refugee children from the former Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, who believed to have found a secure place in the the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, once again faced the horrors of war. They have not been able to attend school since the aggression started. Moreover, it is estimated that in autumn about 100,000 children will not be able to start school as many pre-school and primary school institutions were destroyed by NATO’s bombs.

Source: Yugoslav Daily Survey, No. 2402, Special Issue, 8 June 1999

Doug Rokke* calls for recom­pen­sation payments to victims of war

The previous and current use of uranium weapons, the release of radioactive components in destroyed US and foreign military equipment, and releases of industrial, medical, research facility radioactive materials have resulted in unacceptable exposures. Therefore, decontamination must be completed as required by US Army Regulation 700-48 and should include releases of all radioactive materials resulting from military operations. […]

The President of the United States – George W. Bush, the Prime Minister of Great ­Britain – Tony Blair, and the Prime Minister of Israel Olmert must acknowledge and accept responsibility for willful use of illegal uranium munitions – their own «dirty bombs» – resulting in adverse health and environmental effects.

President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Prime Minister Olmert should order:
1. medical care for all casualties,
2. thorough environmental remediation,
3. immediate cessation of retaliation against all of us who demand compliance with medical care and environmental remediation requirements,
4. and stop the already illegal use (UN finding) of depleted uranium munitions.

* Dr Doug Rokke is the former head of the US Army Depleted Uranium Project