War and Strife – Croatia, War and Peackeepers (#8)

This documentary looks at the roll of peacekeepers during the conflict in Croatia in the 1990’s.  The UN peacekeeping force in Croatia and Bosnia at the time had to deal with the Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian forces as well as local populations.  This was a most difficult task and this documentary gives us a look into their situation.

The documentary is obviously viewed from a particular perspective, when watching this film, try to imagine why soldiers may have acted in the way that they did and what it must have been like for the peace keepers to try and be friends with two sides who had so much hate for each other.


The planets’ police force (#7)

Click the picture for the full article at PressTV

It seems as if Turkeys’ will to join the European Union, exceeds its will to make the right decision for its country.  I feel as though the EU frowns upon unfavourable moves that Turkey makes, but will wink, nod and brush shoulders with them when they go along with the “west”.  I am unconvinced that a radar system and missile defence system in Turkey and Eastern Europe is the answer for anything.  The message I get from this aggressive manoeuvre, is simply that the United States, through NATO is looking to heavily expand its military presence.  I can completely see how countries in the region perceive this as a threat… Say for example you live on a street with all modest houses, except there is a single house in the middle of the block thats bigger, everyone who lives on this block knows that this guy has more money and power than the rest.  So one day the richer more powerful guy on the block tells everyone else one day, “I have concern for everyones safety and my own, so I have taken it upon myself to install a street cameras in front of everyones house so we can keep track of intruders that might be lurking around, I also took it upon myself to install automatic machine guns that can pop up from underground and that I can control from the command centre in my basement..i will be the only one with access to the cameras and machine guns, but it is completely for your safety, trust me”

Would you want your neighbour controlling a camera and an automatic machine gun that is pointed and monitoring your premises at all times? ….I didn’t think so

So why should Russia, or Turkey, or any country in this region have to put up with a similar situation.  Since the end of World War 2 and even throughout the entire cold war such a radar and missile defence system was never installed or used, so why is it needed now? what purpose would it serve other than aggression? It is clearly militaristic and aggressive approach by NATO and the US for more control of a region.  It is clearly a step AWAY from peace, not going towards it.  Have we not learned anything from previous wars and acts of aggression?  Obviously not.

From an American perspective, it is easy to justify the installation of this system for many reasons, of course their own safety: the US feels threatened by Russia, this gives the US better air control over the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but probably most importantly is the resource factor.  Strategically, this is a highly resource rich part of the globe, oil just to the southeast, minerals and water to the northeast.  But we cannot also forget that the Americans feel a strong sense of duty, they are the worlds “police” after all…but does the world really need another police officer? I guess nations are only actually sovereign when the US chooses, where was the worlds police force when the genocide in Rwanda happened? The murderous Khmer Rouge? The oppressive and brutal Burmese military Junta? The Serbian onslaught of Bosnians? Tell me where was the US during these atrocities? of course they showed up way too late or came up lame  , or didn’t show up at all.  Why did they not intervene? Maybe politically there was nothing to gain, and most likely there were no resources available and short and long term economic benefits would be unfavourable.

Where did the US intervene? Places where all of a sudden sovereignty was no longer an issue? Iraq, Iraq..now Iran? They already have a deal with Saudia Arabian for their oil, so no need to attack them..

The most popular slogans for US justification to itself and its people to unlawfully enter foreign and sovereign soil has been “saving the people” and “Stopping the tyrant”, “instilling western values”, “spreading democracy”, and “giving the people freedom” to name but a few.  It is quite evident from looking at the two very different international trespassing non trespassing scenarios that the worlds police force will only police when it is to their direct benefit. Period. Resources such as oil are highly coveted by the highest oil consumer on the planet, but there is much political benefit on the homefront from these resource expeditions as well ….  Next on the list will likely be water, watch out Canada! But not to worry Canada, you will be saved from the tyrant leader sooon!!! The Americans will safely lock down all “suspicious” sites in Canada and make they are contained and dealt with “properly”.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
― Dalai Lama


NGOs … Nuisance to Government Operations? (#6)

Click the picture for related article @ THE TIMES OF INDIA

Egypt –  “The activists – who worked at non-governmental organisations – were on trial for allegedly receiving illegal foreign funding and stirring up unrest.” BBC News

India – “The government intensified its drive against NGOs it suspects of being hostile to national interests” Times of India

West Bank“Reporters Without Borders cited a February 10 protest at Nabi Saleh, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, where it said: “Two Palestinian journalists were injured by tear gas grenades and rubber bullets fired by Israeli soldiers.” Associated Foreign Press

Pakistan – The CIA’s use of cover of humanitarian activity for this purpose casts doubt on intentions and integrity of all humanitarian actors in Pakistan, thereby undermining the international humanitarian community’s efforts to eradicate polio, provide critical health services and extend life-saving assistance during times of crisis like the floods seen in Pakistan over the past two years,” InterAction chief Samuel A. Worthington said.

Zimbabwe The party’s central committee report to the conference delegates claimed that there were about 2,500 NGOs operating in Zimbabwe and some of them were pushing a “regime change” agenda. New Zimbabwe

Canada – Greenpeace Canada’s executive director, Bruce Cox, said the government is trying to “intimidate and smear” legitimate, non-violent groups that threaten its interests. CTV NEWS

I could have added many many more articles where NGO’s all across the planet are causing huge headaches for governments from all over the world.  Non Governmental Organizations generally are humanitarian, environmental, rights and peace advocates.  If you read some of the articles above it is apparent that there are very real and serious issues to be dealt with, which due to neglect of domestic governments and or IGO’s have been left by the wayside.  When an NGOs work oversteps or interferes with the political agenda(s) of the political parties’ in the countries which they are working they are described as extremists, spies, threats, radical, fanatics, fundamentalist..to name but a few.  Even in Canada, Greenpeace has been labeled as extremist when it comes to oil…

But the India article brings up something that needs to be considered carefully.  Would the USA actually resort to using NGO’s as cover for operations in countries abroad?  After all, NGOs would have no ties to the government, so if anything came back to the US they could wash their hands of the situation.  It is well known that NGOs are an effective foreign policy tool for countries to utilize but, to use them as cover for covert or military style operations seems…just not right.  The international community has enough trouble trusting IGOs such as the various United Nations peacekeeping forces deployed all over the world.  It would be sad to see countries completely abandon the legitimate global organizations which fight aids and poverty in the name of political safety and or the security of capitalist interests.  Let’s hope that in the future, governments will be more transparent with their foreign policy intentions for the sake of world wide humanitarian aid.