As leaders around the world warn that the Ukraine War risks to escalate into a nuclear world war, there are new peacemakers joining with China and the Vatican that we quoted in this bulletin two months ago.Continue reading
“Israel’s military occupation has morphed the entire occupied Palestinian territory into an open-air prison, where Palestinians are constantly confined, surveilled and disciplined.” This is the conclusion of the latest report to the United Nations by its Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory.
The report “finds that since 1967, over 800,000 Palestinians, including children as young as 12, have been arrested and detained under authoritarian rules enacted, enforced and adjudicated by the Israeli military. Palestinians are subject to long detention for expressing opinions, gathering, pronouncing unauthorised political speeches, or even merely attempting to do so, and ultimately deprived of their status of protected civilians. They are often presumed guilty without evidence, arrested without warrants, detained without charge or trial and brutalised in Israeli custody.”
Little has changed since our bulletin of February 17 in which we quoted authorities saying that with the war in Ukraine we are “sleepwalking to Armageddon. This month, Anthony Blinken, the American cabinet minister responsible for foreign affairs, CIA, etc., insisted that the war should be continued because a ceasefire “would legitimize Russia’s land grab. It would reward the aggressor and punish the victim.”Continue reading
Little has changed since our bulletin of February 17 in which we quoted authorities saying that with the war in Ukraine we are “sleepwalking to Armageddon. This month, Anthony Blinken, the American cabinet minister responsible for foreign affairs, CIA, etc., insisted that the war should be continued because a ceasefire “would legitimize Russia’s land grab. It would reward the aggressor and punish the victim.”
To begin the year 2023, we said that one bright spot for the preceding year was the advance of the culture of peace in Latin America and Africa.
Now, as we enter the second half of 2023, we see that this continues; the culture of peace continues to advance on these continents (see discussion : “Latin America, has it taken the lead in the struggle for a culture of peace?”).
We begin on the highest level, the meeting of the G7 countries. While the countries of Europe, North America and Japan continue to promote the culture of war, it was the newly-elected President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who addressed the meeting with a message of the culture of peace. It was Lula a few months earlier, who refused the demands of the United States to contribute to the war in Ukraine, saying that “Brazil Is a Country of Peace.”
Not just words, but actions for a culture of peace mark the first few months of the new administration in Brazil.
With the potential for a major change on the global level, the first event of President Lula da Silva’s visit to China in April was the official swearing-in ceremony of Dilma Rousseff as president of the New Development Bank. The bank is seen as an alternative to the financial hegemony of Washington and Brussels, since it may finance development projects in local currencies instead of dollars. Rousseff, is also a former President of Brazil.
In a meeting with representatives of indigenous peoples, President Lula signed decrees demarcating six new territories for indigenous peoples, the first since 2018 and one of them in a vast territory in the Amazon.
Following a massacre of children at a day care center, the Minister of Justice announced a major national mobilization in favor of a culture of peace, including an inter-ministerial working group to prevent and confront violence in schools.
Along with Argentina, Paraguay, Chile and Peru, Brazil has signed on to a “Declaration for a Culture of Peace and Democracy and for Combating Expressions and Hate Speech” that will lead to a guidelines to be used internally by the signatory countries.
Elsewhere in Latin America, Mexico and Colombia continue to promote a culture of peace.
In Mexico, the city of León will host the First Ibero-American Meeting of Voices for Peace and the First Ibero-American Meeting of Journalism for Peace, to take place from June 1 to 3. The General Coordinator of State Social Communications stressed that Guanajuato will become the epicenter of the culture of peace in Mexico and Latin America (see discussion: “Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?”)
In Colombia, nine months into new efforts by Colombia’s administration to achieve “total peace” with remaining armed groups following decades of civil war, a network of 140 civic and community organizations is working to end violence. Quoting an activist from this network: “To advance peace, the government will need broad support from both Colombia’s grass roots and its international partners. A top priority in coming months needs to be a national process of dialogues among Colombia’s thousands of community-level civil society organizations.” (See discussion: “What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?”)
Meanwhile, in Africa, it is the women who are taking the leadership for a culture of peace. (See discussion:”Can the women of Africa lead the continent to peace?”)
In Kenya, women from Turkana, West Pokot and Marakwet communities have kicked-off talks with their Ethiopian and Ugandan counterparts to take leading roles in the restoration of peace in the North.
In Abuja, the African First Ladies Peace Mission was addressed by Nigeria’s first lady, Aisha Buhari, who emphasised the significance of women’s role in conflict resolution: “As women leaders and mothers, our role in peace and security is to continue to say no to the culture and structures of violence.”
And in Luanda, the Angolan vice-president, Esperança da Costa, opened the 1st International Women’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, to reaffirm and strengthen political commitment to action on gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and their human rights, ensuring high-level engagement. The forum is part of the Luanda Biennial – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, which is a joint initiative between the Government of Angola, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) and the African Union (AU) (see discussion, “The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?”)
While most of these initiatives are initiated and supported by the national governments of Latin America and Africa, in the long run, the most important is the development of grass-roots and civil society, as described above for Colombia and Kenya. This is especially true for Brazil as described in a recent blog from the CPNN representative in that country. As expressed in the Constitution of UNESCO: “a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and . . . peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.”
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Brazil President Lula’s speech to the G7
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There has not been very much publicity, but the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed this year as the International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace.
The proposal came from Turkmenistan with 68 co-sponsors including all of the countries of Central Asia, reflecting the fact that these countries are menaced by the nearby war in the Ukraine. The resolution was adopted by consensus although reservations were expressed by the United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine.
In his opening remarks at the launch ceremony in January, Vepa Hajiyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, said, “Currently, these principles and goals are particularly relevant against the background of the existing systemic problems of international relations. In this context, we see a common task in turning the International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace into a powerful constructive process designed to provide an incentive for dialogue, cooperation, and mutual understanding”. Other speakers at the launch ceremony considered the year as implementation of the 1999 International Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.
Concerning the war in Ukraine, a new proposal from China insists that “Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis. All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported. The international community should stay committed to the right approach of promoting talks for peace, help parties to the conflict open the door to a political settlement as soon as possible, and create conditions and platforms for the resumption of negotiation. China will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.”
According to the analysis of the French Mouvement de la Paix, the Chinese proposal was supported by many commentators in the Global South, while it was dismissed by the United States and its European allies. Some Asian countries, however, remarked that China should live up to these principles with regard to Taiwan.
Dialogues for peace are ongoing through the auspices of the International Parliamentary Union, including between opposing sides of the conflicts in Ukraine, Palestine and Cyprus.
Another important voice for peace through dialogue is that of Pope Francis. In a video distributed worldwide on February 6, the Pope states that, “The time has come to live in a spirit of fraternity and build a culture of peace.” In recent years the Pope has stressed dialog for peace with other religions, such as in his meeting with the grand imam of Al-Azhar in Egypt in 2019 and his voyage this year to Africa with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
In Africa, a continent torn by many armed conflicts, there are important voices for peace through dialogue.
Speaking at a Global Security Forum, General Djibril Bassolé, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, caused a sensation by saying “We must dialogue with armed terrorist groups . . . In any case, dialogue is one of the typically African means of settling conflicts and easing tensions. I think that as Africans we must find our own ways to resolve the crises that have undermined our societies.”
With regard to African traditions for settling conflicts, a recent homage to the great poet of Madagascar, Jean Joseph Rabearivelo, underlines that “Through cultural diversity, which should be nurtured by a permanent dialogue without ulterior motives, we are rich in our differences!”
A broad approach of dialogue is being supported in Burkina Faso by the NGO Search for Common Ground. More than 500 participants, including local authorities, religious and customary leaders, and representatives of eight communities took part in an event in March. The strong participation of women, with 300 present, underscored their crucial role. The neighbouring country of Niger has made dialogue with violent extremist groups an important part of its strategy. By including dialogue in its counter-terrorism efforts, Niger is experimenting with an approach similar to those in Algeria and Mauritania , which underpin their decade-long protection against jihadist violence.
In Latin America, where dialogue made possible the peace accords in Colombia, another step forward was taken this month when the dissident rebel group, Estado Mayor Central (EMC), finally agreed to begin peace talks with the government. And in Mexico, also torn by violence, a national peace conference was convened in March by 175 organizations and groups. “We want to talk to each other, listen to each other, understand each other, support each other. We want to imagine and build all possible safeguards to face violence and find all the paths to peace.”
In Europe, where Greece and Turkey have long been in conflict, a new commitment to dialogue was made by the defense ministers of those countries following a joint visit to the areas of Turkey devastated by the earthquake in February.
In Asia, it seems that dialogue for peace can be dangerous. As explained by Al Jazeera, “under South Korean law, citizens are prohibited from contact with North Korean people or organisations unless they receive government permission.” Despite this, South Korea’s two biggest trade unions, the KCTU and the FKTU, signed a joint statement last fall with their sibling trade union in North Korea, opposing US war exercises. The South Korean government responded with a crackdown. In January the national intelligence service raided KCTU offices. Multiple organizers and union leaders were charged under the anti-communist National Security Law, accused of being spies for North Korea.
In a world where there is increasing danger of a nuclear war that could destroy all human civilization, the need for peace through dialogue is greater than ever. Let us hope that all world leaders will engage in this dialogue.
|FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION
United Nations International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace, 2023
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Pope’s Video: “Let Us Develop A Culture Of Peace”
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Brazil: Lula creates working group to combat violence in schools
The State of the World’s Human Rights: Amnesty International’s Annual Report 2022/23
Search for Common Ground – Burkina Faso Promotes Community Resilience through Dialogue and Peace Initiatives in Ouahigouya
International Women’s Day, March 8, was the occasion for many reports promoting a culture of peace through the election, support and mobilization of women.
A new report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) informs that women’s participation in parliament has become more diverse and representative. And for the first time in history, not a single functioning parliament in the world is male-only. Overall, six countries now have gender parity (or a greater share of women than men) in their lower or single chamber as of 1 January 2023. New Zealand joined last year’s club of five consisting of Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at the top of the IPU’s authoritative global ranking of women in parliament. Other notable gains in women’s representation were recorded in Australia (the strongest outcome of the year with a record 56.6% of seats won by women in the Senate), Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, Malta and Slovenia.
The annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women was devoted this year to the struggle for women’s equality in access to digital information such as smartphones and internet. Ms. Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General, listed seven ways in which the struggle needs to be carried out, including digital, science and technology education for girls and women as well as jobs and leadership positions for women in the tech and innovation sectors.
Under-Secretary-General Bahous also addressed a session of the UN Security Council devoted to Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. She called for more resources to the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian fund, a UN-led partnership that has so far supported more than 900 organizations.
Significantly, the Security Council was chaired by a woman from Africa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mozambique. And the Council was addressed by Bineta Diop of the African Union Commission who advocated a strategy of building a network of women leaders on the continent. “We are ensuring that women’s leadership is mainstreamed in governance, peace and development processes so as to create a critical mass of women leaders at all levels,” she said.
The Security Council heard from Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee from Liberia who recommended steps to engage and partner with local women peace activists, who she called “the custodians of their communities.” “We will continue to search for peace in vain in our world unless we bring women to the table,” she warned. “I firmly believe that trying to work for global peace and security minus women is trying to see the whole picture with your one eye covered.”
Further details about women and peacekeeping in Africa are provided by Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, assistant secretary-general for Africa at the United Nations, in her reflections for International Women’s Day. In my role at the U.N., I have had the opportunity to visit several countries in Africa affected by conflict. “During one such visit to visit Bamako, the capital of Mali, I met women from all over the country who shared with me their experiences and the challenges in making their voices heard. . . . . In South Sudan, we have women like Alokiir Malual who, after immense efforts and advocacy, made history in 2015 as the first woman to sign a peace agreement. . . . On the other side of the border, in Sudan, our political mission facilitated consultations with women’s civil society groups and leaders on bringing the country back to a civilian-led transition.”
A meeting devoted to African women for peace took place virtually in Nigeria on International Women’s Day. Women from the Northwest and North Central regions of the country discussed women’s leadership role in peacebuilding and the need to accelerate the achievements of women in digital technologies.
In addition to Africa, there were contributions from Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Arab States:
Throughout Mexico, the program of Women Builders of Peace continued to advance as Tlaxcala took first place in the country with with 214 networks in its 60 municipalities, integrating 8,208 women and allies. Making women aware of their rights, promoting gender equality, detecting the main problems in each environment, proposing solutions, promoting solidarity and community work, among other actions, are the main work of these networks.
Throughout Europe, the Women’s Peace Leadership Programme of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) develops networks and sponsors activists such as Bojana Mumin of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who is featured in a CPNN article. As she says, “here I am, speaking in person to one of the WPLP participants from Afghanistan, Elham Kohistani, and other women peacebuilders from so many different regions about their experiences in mediation, leadership and peacebuilding efforts.”
In Sri Lanka, thanks to the support of UN Women and the government of Japan, the country has adopted its first National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security for 2023-2027. Speaking at the launch of the programme on International Women’s Day, the President of Sri Lanka announced that they will host a meeting of leading women activists from countries of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) this year to advocate for the inclusion of women’s rights within the organization’s framework.
At the International Peace and Humanity Conference in Jordan, delegations from several Arab countries addressed the role of female leadership in promoting a culture of peace, redressing family structure as it relates to gender norms, building a model civil society, and the role model for contemporary Arab women.
In Essaouira, Morocco, The Women’s World Forum for Peace was launched by the “Warriors of Peace”, a movement of Jewish and Muslim women for peace, justice and equality, on the occasion of international women’s day. A dozen activists representing Morocco, Palestine, Rwanda, Senegal, Liberia and Israel , presented captivating testimonies in which they shared their respective experiences, their actions and peace initiatives. The Forum was addressed by Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate from Iran.
To quote Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, “Women hold up half the sky, and consequently they have a fundamental right to be part of discussions and decision-making that define the future of their families, communities and countries.”
Women Hold Up Half the Sky
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In our special bulletin of February 17, we published some of the important voices from North America and Europe who oppose the American/NATO escalation of the war in the Ukraine. Unlike most of the major media in those countries, these voices are not “obedient” to their governments’ policies.
At the end of the special bulletin, we quote Lula, the new President of Brazil, who said his country is willing to contribute, together with countries such as China, India and Indonesia, to create a “club of countries that want to build peace on the planet.” And we asked if the rest of the world stop the US, Europe and Russia from sleepwalking all of us to Armageddon?
In order to answer this question, we translated the phrase “Ukraine War opinion” into Arab, Spanish, Bangla, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian and Turkish, and searched via Google for articles published locally during the past month in those languages (but not the international services of BBC, VOA, etc.) For Africa, we searched in French and English. The quotations below have been translated into English from the various languages as you can see by using the translation service of a Chrome browser.
Beginning with Brazil and the other countries listed by Lula, what is the opinion of the major media outside of the NATO countries and their allies? Do they support or oppose the escalation of the war?
As for Brazil, the meeting of Lula with US President Biden is described as follows by Emir Sader in the Argentinian media Pagina12: “Lula reiterated that he does not want to send weapons to the war in Ukraine, because he is for peace, he wants to find a way to end the war and not prolong it. But Biden ignored Lula’s words. . . . (Lula’s) . . . words in the US still sound like those of a true statesman, next to the small size of the head of the world’s greatest war power.”
As for China, the Indian expert Antara Ghosal Singh from the Observer Research Foundation, writes that China’s strategy regarding the current crisis in Europe is to sit away and watch the war of two forces. . . . Chinese experts who talk about peace and agreement often say that they are waiting for the monkey to get an advantage in the fight of two cats. China will be the only big power to escape from this war without any damage.
As for India, an opinion piece by a professor at Mahindra University published by the Navbharat Times, the largest Hindi daily in terms of circulation, concludes that America and Europe are “caught in the web of war.” The sanctions imposed by West because of the Russia-Ukraine war are only benefiting India and China. The writer cites the following estimates by the International Monetary Fund for economic growth : the Russian economy could grow at 2.1% in 2024, compared to 1% for the US, 1.6% for the 27 countries in Europe, and 0.9% for Japan. The countries that do not ban oil imports from Russia, India and China are going to achieve a growth rate of 6.8% and 4.5% respectively.
In Indonesia, El Shinta news quotes the suggestion that neutral countries such as Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa could act as intermediaries for a peace accord in the Ukraine because their attitudes are not anti-Russia, but also not anti-Ukrainian. But the article complains that it has become more and more difficult to mediate an end to the war, largely because of the neoconservative group in the United States who want a complete defeat of Russia and who, therefore, often intercept and kill peace initiatives, including those initiated by Israel and Turkey.
Elsewhere in Asia, in Bangladesh, Monayem Sarkar, Director General, Bangladesh Foundation for Development Research, writes in abnews24: “Ukraine has truly become a battleground for the US-led NATO alliance versus Russia. The Ukrainian army led by Vladimir Zelensky is actually waging a ‘proxy war’ on behalf of the NATO alliance. . . . This totalitarian war needs to be stopped as soon as possible. Whether it is to strengthen America’s hegemony or to boost its armaments industry, peacemakers around the world must come forward to end this war. If the Ukraine war is prolonged without immediate resolution, the possibility of a nuclear attack cannot be ruled out. At one point, many are expressing fear that the West will be directly involved in this battlefield, which will practically lead to the Third World War.”
And in Korea, the new book by Professor Lee Hae-young of Hanshin University, entitled “Ukrainian War and New World Order” is reviewed in Hani.com. The book claims that what is leading this war is the ‘neocon’ seeking ‘expansion of liberal hegemony’. Rather than a war between Ukraine and Russia, it is a ‘proxy war’ between the United States and the West, with Ukraine at the forefront, against Russia. The eastward march of NATO, which began in earnest in the 2000s and even reached Ukraine, is one of the proximate causes of the war. Another review of the book, published in pression.com, concludes “After the Russo-USA War, the world order will be shaken. These changes will further destabilize the Korean Peninsula. The present Ukraine may be the Korea of the near future. I sincerely recommend reading this book to many people who are concerned about the future of the Korean Peninsula.”
Although the Arab countries have long been allied with the United States, their attitudes towards escalation of the Ukraine War are not favorable. Here is a list:
Pan-arabist satellite news television channel Al Mayadeen, based in Beirut: “the reconstruction of Ukraine needs at least 20 years, meaning that the defeat of Ukraine has become a fait accompli that cannot be changed. As for the Western camp, especially the United States of America, its goal may be to weaken Russia as much as possible by engaging it in the war in Ukraine to deplete its strength, without this reaching the point of cornering it, because that would make Moscow resort without thinking to using its nuclear weapons, which is what the Russian leaders recently threatened. But the problem lies in whether the West did not take these threats seriously, then the whole world would have slipped into what is unimaginable.”
Lebanon: an article in the Beirut daily newspaper Al Akhbar. “Ukraine War: Subjugation of Europe and then Russia.” The Ukraine War is “an American war against Russia, with Ukrainian hands and European tools, while Europe itself is the implicit target for its subjugation.” “This war, its repercussions, and the rejection of this policy of American hegemony that we are witnessing, as if the world has had enough of imposing will at all levels, indicate that the world is heading towards a new multipolar system, and the decline of American hegemony in its unilateralism.”
Kuwait: an article in Alrai Media. “European countries cannot maintain their support for the war for a long time, and therefore the currency will lose its purchasing value and inflation will push to record levels, causing economic disasters and recession. Despite the economic damage to partners in Western Europe, President Joe Biden’s administration cannot stop the war at its peak because losing would be a disaster. If the war ends anytime soon without weakening Russia, Washington will lose control of Europe. In this case, Western European doubts regarding the continuity and viability of NATO will return. Therefore, it is expected that the ferocity of the battle – and with it the rise in commodity prices – will rise in the coming months to break or weaken Russia before the end of the US president’s term, if possible.”
Saudi Arabia: an article by Major General Samir Farag published by the MBC Media Group. “It is now required to quickly reach peace talks between the conflicting parties, otherwise, with the onset of spring, Russia will launch comprehensive offensive operations to seize more Ukrainian lands. It is expected that Russia’s first goal in the upcoming spring offensive will be to seize the port of Odessa on the Black Sea to prevent Ukraine from having ports on the seas, especially the Black Sea, after it lost control of the Sea of Azov. In these battles, Russia will use the scorched-earth method, using the new Russian types of missiles, King, Alexander, and Doomsday. Russia may also consider seizing Kiev, the capital, to overthrow the Ukrainian regime. All these assessments will lead the world to the necessity of resorting to peace, because peace is needed not only to Russia and Ukraine, but also to all countries of the world.”
Egypt: An opinion piece by Hicham Mourad of Cairo University published by the weekly Ahram. “Egypt’s position is similar to that of the majority of the Gulf monarchies and it has remained largely neutral since the start of the war. It has been quiet in its criticism of Russia and unwilling to join in the imposition of Western sanctions. Cairo’s burgeoning political, economic and military ties with Moscow explain its position. They include in particular a $25 billion contract for the construction of the Al-Dabaa nuclear power plant on the North Coast, the construction of a Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal economic region, major reports trade and tourism, as well as arms contracts.”
United Arab Emirates: An editorial in Al Khaleej, the leading newspaper published in the country. “The declaration of the Atlantic countries to send weapons and ammunition of an offensive nature does not mean that the battle will be resolved easily. Rather, the opposite is true, because Kiev’s confessions confirm that its situation is critical. . . the fear remains because the defeat of any party will be a major problem and a horrific collapse of the European security system and the entire world, and there will be no room for remedy unless all parties are convinced of deliberation and avoid confronting that moment.
Jordan: An article published in Al Ghad, Jordan’s first independent Arabic daily national newspaper. “A recent op-ed in The Washington Post offers an insight into the mindset of US foreign policy makers. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. . . . call for “dramatically” more arms shipments to Ukraine. . . . Their solution is clearly unreasonable: let the people of Ukraine suffer more so that the country can defeat Russia and regain all Ukrainian lands. This is not, neither moral nor logical, a solution at all.”
In Sub-Saharan Africa, we found articles from Mali, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and the African Union published in French or English.
Mali: a long opinion piece by Rene Naba published in Maliactu. “The tragic truth is that if the West had not sought to expand NATO into Ukraine, it is unlikely that a war would have raged in Ukraine today. . . History will severely condemn the United States and its allies for their astonishingly stupid policy towards Ukraine”, argues John Mearsheimer, professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. . . . Ukraine would be expendable for the United States. But Mearsheimer fails to see that the war is existential for the United States too: if Russia holds out, their imperial system crumbles.”
Kenya: a weekly column by Gitau Warigi for the Sunday Nation. “Something, whatever, should be done to end the ruinous Russia-Ukraine war. . . . The high fuel and food prices and general disorganisation across the world that it has brought has made everybody suffer. Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenksy needs to take the lead in this initiative. He should open negotiations with Russia. His country’s cities are being destroyed by fusillades of missiles and drones fired from Russia. Infrastructure is being systematically destroyed.
Nigeria: an article by Tarkaa David in the online journal “leadership.” “Africa, Victim Of Ukraine-Russia Crisis”. “The huge financial assistance to Ukraine, primarily for the supply of weapons and military equipment by Western countries has significantly reduced the volume of aid to African countries. . . . NATO weapons will again arrive in Ukraine, most of which will flood the “black markets” and get to the countries of the African continent, where they are highly likely to be used in the commission of terrorist act.s . . . According to the report, apart from providing huge assistance to Kiev, Washington is deliberately provoking a food crisis in African countries by disrupting the supply of agricultural products from Ukraine.”
South Africa; an opinion piece in The Mail and Guardian. Most South Africans get their information about the war in Ukraine from Western media, and our own media, a good deal of which reports the Western line verbatim and uncritically. While the media often presents itself as impartial, this is never the case. . . . All powerful states deploy considerable resources and expertise towards shaping media narratives in their own interests. And during times of war, the media, including social media, is explicitly considered to be part of the battlespace. This is not a new development. As the old saying goes, “the first casualty when war comes is truth”.
African Union: The African News Agency reports that the Executive Secretary Ambassador, Zainab Ali Kotoko, of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA) has lambasted warring parties in Ukraine saying those who started the war are now trying to manipulate Africans to take their side. She refused to criticize the fact that South Africa is engaged in military training activities with Russia, saying that it must not be viewed as something wrong as long as it related to their bilateral relations and did not by any chance fuel the ongoing conflict.
In Latin America, in addition to the assessment of Lula’s encounter with Biden as described above, we found articles from Costa Rica and Argentina.
Costa Rica: opinion piece in El Mundo. “Ukraine: the war of the end of the world.” “Not to be apocalyptic, but the cards are on the table for a devastating global conflict.. . . Barack Obama decided to support a coup in kyiv (the Maidan), he created an absolutely unnecessary and unacceptably dangerous situation. . . . And finally, his vice president (Biden) had the Russian invasion of Ukraine explode in his face. He hasn’t done a better job than his predecessor. Instead of forcing an immediate peace, he has pushed Ukraine into a war that is sustained solely by the barrage of weapons provided by the West. . . . Everything indicates that Russia, which began its invasion as a “special military operation”, is going to stop using rhetorical titles and launch its conventional power over poor Ukraine. . . . But the bigger problem is that if things don’t work out for Russia, it always has its nuclear arsenal. And there, we are going to be affected all over the planet. These political leaders are playing a game that can put the existence of humanity at risk.
Argentina: An editorial by Hernando Kleimans in Telam, the website of the official news agency of the Argentine Republic. “The absurd theory of Washington’s exclusivity over the rest of the countries, about its privilege in establishing a “rules-based order” that only it knows about, comes face to face with the absolute majority of humanity. Heart-breaking testimonies of hunger, misery, climatic disasters, plagues or infant mortality are worthless. The imposition of the great military-industrial complexes and the monopolistic centers of financial speculation, such as the new “merchants of the temple”, over the pusillanimous vassal governments, prioritizes their particular interests and is indifferent to the catastrophe, towards which it marches happily and without scruples.
Finally, we turn to Turkey, caught between Europe and the rest of the world. Selahaddin E. Çakirgil, columnist for the Star, a high-circulation Turkish newspaper. “Is the ‘Russia-Ukraine War’ heading towards a ‘nuclear catastrophe’?” The Chairman of the Russian Duma has written “If Washington and NATO countries provide Ukraine with weapons that it can use to attack Russian cities and try to seize our lands, we will retaliate with more powerful weapons.” “Given the technological superiority of Russian weapons, foreign politicians making such decisions need to understand that their aid could result in a global tragedy that will destroy their country. It is untenable for them to argue that “nuclear forces have not used weapons of mass destruction in local conflicts before. . . It is also obvious that the Western Front is actually dragging Ukraine into a ‘Proxy War’ in order to secure its own future against Russia. . . . In short, the Ukrainian War is increasingly heading towards a more complicated situation.”
Most of the countries named above (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates) were among the 101 countries that did not vote with the US, Europe and Ukraine on one or more of the UN General Assembly resolutions last week that condemned Russia and refused to criticise arm shipments to the Ukraine.
Opinion polls conducted recently in China, India and Turkey by the European Council on Foreign Relations confirm that ordinary citizens share the perspectives described above.
Finally, here is a curious fact that exposes the failure of Western media. The most recent opinion polls in the United States show that a majority of Americans no longer support the American arms shipments to Ukraine. But this information is not reported in the European or North American media. Instead, we learn this from Navbharat Times of India, Kabar24 of Indonesia and Elaosboa of Egypt.
It is very dangerous that the “obedient” mass media of Europe and the United States continue to support the escalation of the war. Are they leading us sleepwalking into Armageddon? We return to the article by Hernando Kleimans in Argentina. He entitles his article, “Son malditos porque viendo no quieren ver…” – ” “They are cursed by seeing what they do not want to see…”, a phrase that comes from Jesus, according to the Gospel of Saint Matthew. Kleimans argues that “more than two thousand years later, that phrase echoes with more force than ever in the great corridors of international politics. It is that the blindness of those who continue to ignite the demons of war that can lead our green planet to its total destruction, a deserted wasteland that will continue to rotate in infinite space as proof of our inconsistency as a species.”
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