Donnerstag, 31. Mai 2018

Hidden Nuggets

Only 712 people have seen this 2017 ISWI keynote speech by Prof. Bernard Litaer, expert on monetary systems, on Youtube.

"Bernard Lietaer is an expert on monetary systems. He has been Professor of International Finance at the University of Louvain in Belgium, financial advisor to several Latin American governments, Head of Organization and Electronic Data Processing at the Belgian central bank, manager of a hedge fund whose profits were used for social and ecological projects, and advisor and speaker on various alternative financial systems. He is one of the most innovative economists in the world, recognized for his evaluation of the global financial system. He investigates possibilities for establishing fairer and more effective monetary systems through ideas such as complementary currencies and mutual credit, among others."

Considering the importance of the topics he addresses and his considerable (and well aknowledged) expertise, this number is embarrasingly small.

Freitag, 16. März 2018

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura, american climate heroes

The political successes of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a former Mr. universe body-builder and hollywood star and Jesse Ventura, as a former wrestling star and navy seal, have at their time been mostly ridiculed in europe. The elected governors of California and Minnesota have been portrayed as crazy and funny examples of the dysfunctionality of US-American democracy in the european press.

In retrospect, when compared to almost any career politician in the USA, especially on the right, these unlikely political figures seem to be the ones that represent sanity and real concern for the american people.

Arnold Schwarzenegger set the 8th largest economy in the world, California, on the rails to becoming a postcarbon economy by 2050. This week he anounced that he would sue the fossil fuel industry for first degree murder, using a strategy that has brought down the US-Tabaco industry decades ago. See his speech on the paris climate conference here:

Jesse Ventura today uses his popularity by starring in a political show under his name, "The World according to Jesse", fighting for Peace, LGBT rights, against corruption and against climate change:

Please carry on Arnold and Jesse! I am a fan!

Mittwoch, 14. März 2018

Geopolitik und Waffenlieferungen

Das schlimmste was einem Zyniker wie mir passieren kann ist, dass er recht behält. Leider gelingt es der Realität immer wieder meine zynischsten Zukunftsprognosen Wahrheit werden zu lassen. Angesichts der Unzahl an düsteren Prognosen in diesem Blog ist das etwas was bei mir eher Bestürzung als Genugtuung erzeugt.

Diese Woche erschien der neue Bericht des Friedensforschungsinstitutes SIPRI zu Weltweiten Rüstungsverkäufen. Darin steht:

"Arms imports by Egypt—the third largest importer in 2013–17—grew by 215 per cent between 2008–12 and 2013–17". Wie es zu dieser Entwicklung kam ist offensichtlich. Militärdiktator Al-Sisi gelang es mit Hilfe des Westens sich die absolute Macht in Ägypten zu sichern. Die Situation ist heute schlimmer als zu Zeiten Mubaraks.

Im Februar 2011 verfasste ich in der Zeit folgenden Leserbeitrag zur Sicherheitskonferenz in München:  

"Am Sonntag rutscht dem US Diplomaten Frank Wisner folgender Satz heraus: "Ich glaube, dass Präsident Mubaraks Führung weiter von großer Bedeutung ist".
Dass dies auf der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz geschieht ist kein Wunder. Geht es doch darum die Herren von der Waffenlobby zu beruhigen die sich hier Jährlich mit Ihren wichtigsten Kunden trifft.
Ägypten ist nach Israel das zweitgrößte Empfängerland für Waffenhilfe (70 Mrd bisher!). Hier sind dicke Aufträge bei Boeing und Konsorten in Gefahr! Und nicht Demokratie sondern das Wohlergehen der heimischen Konzerne ist das Ziel Amerikanischer Aussenpolitik.

An zweiter Stelle folgt natürlich die Sicherung von Ressourcen und ihren Transportwegen. Dass die USA den Suezkanal den Unwägbarkeiten der Demokratie überlassen ist nicht vorstellbar. Man traut ja noch nicht einmal den eigenen Bürgern.
Zu allem Überfluss gibt es in Ägypten auch noch Öl!
Reichlich unverschämt von den Ägyptern selbst über diese Ressourcen verfügen zu wollen!
Zu glauben, dass die Ägypter unterstützt werden weil sie gerne Demokratie hätten ist reichlich Naiv. Politik und Medien äussern sich dementsprechend, aber was davon zu halten ist weiss man ja.
Wie immer wird der Westen durch seine Intervention einen neuen Despoten unterstützen und das Militär stärken. (möglichst verdeckt natürlich).
Und wie immer wird dies das Leid der Bevölkerung verschlimmern und Entwicklung und Demokratie verhindern.
Und dafür kann sich jeder Wähler in einem westlichen Staat an die Nase fassen.
Wenn wir Ägypten zur Demokratie verhelfen wollen müssen wir sie erstmal für uns fordern. So lange die Interessen Internationaler Konzerne die Politik bestimmen hat jeder Pech der in einem Land wie Ägypten lebt."

Auf ein Umdenken der westlichen Geopolitik und ein Aufwachen unserer Bürger warte ich seit dem vergeblich.

Freitag, 9. Februar 2018

Background on Erdogans War on Syrian Kurds

The western response to the atrocities of Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the enclave of Afri in Syria has been largely silence. The media does not provide context or background on Erdogans war. The german government continues to deliver weapons to turkey even though german tanks are now used in a genocidal war against civilians in the northwest of Syria, where turkey together with jihadist forces try get rid of the kurdish people once and for all. As usual I refer to the sources I trust, my "personal bubble" of left intellectuals, for sane information on the background and assesment of this war.

Vijay Prashad, expert on middle east politics, Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, writes:

"Turkey made the inevitable move into Syria with air strikes and artillery bombardment of Kurdish positions along the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkish and allied troops have entered Syria, moving towards the town of Afrin. The policy, which Turkey has made clear, is to remove Syrian Kurdish control over the land along the border which the Kurds call Rojava, or Western Kurdistan. The Kurds - organized as the YPG and the YPJ as well as the Syrian Democratic Forces - are well dug in with a network of tunnels and hardened bunkers to give them the ability to fight off the invasion. But, since there is no air power with them and little hope of resupply from any direction, the Kurds will likely be defeated by Turkey and its proxies. Kurdish leaders believed that the United States would protect them, either with air power or with a UN Security Council resolution. None are forthcoming. Both Damascus and Washington, DC, for different reasons have abandoned the Syrian Kurds.  

One of the key elements of the story is that Syria is being slowly eaten into by its neighbours, each of whom are building secure zones to their own benefit. Turkey and its proxies hope to create a cordon sanitaire that would push the Kurds towards the Iraqi border and deeper into Syria. ...."

Time will tell if his pessimistic outlook will be confirmed. The YPG had some years to prepare for this long expected move by turkey. Meanwhile  Erdogans army is still suffering from the cleanup after the alleged coup and he needs a victory very badly to cater to his ultra nationalist base at home. If the Kurds manage to hold on long enough to cost Erdogan his domestic support, they win. Furthermore, Erdogan will not be able to guess the american response, and things will be totally different if Assad and Putin continue to use this attack as an opportunity to bring the Kurds of Syria to submit to Assads rule, or reach any kind of compromise both forces can live with. As of now, the Kurds are the only group in Syria not yet in total enmity to Assad. 

The attacks on Afri could therefore as well bring Erdogans downfall, says Hisyar Özsoy, of the Democratic Party in Turkey (HDP) in his interview with Tariq Ali: