Nobel Peace Prize 2.0

Rubikon advisory board member Daniele Ganser is awarded the Mind-Award for his character and work.

They still exist, the really great rays of hope, the really good news that stand out from the crowd of bad news: Dr. Daniele Ganser, Swiss historian, peace researcher and member of the RUBIKON advisory board, receives the Mind-Award 2018/19 for his character and work.

Awards of this kind are all the more beautiful if the winner has really earned them. In the case of Barack Obama, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was a fake prize. The award to the former US President was then a perverse deception of the world population, an attempt to gloss over an aggressive American war policy that brought so much suffering to the world and once again showed us how predatory capitalism is increasingly succeeding in undermining all morals. All the more reason why the MIND Award for Daniele Ganser is an honest “Nobel Peace Prize 2.0”. For hardly any other peace activist in the German-speaking world places his work at the centre of the human family as much as the likeable Swiss, whose research does not shy away from the really explosive, system-critical questions.

Ganser, who seeks the truth with great courage and a straight back, who authentically lives what he speaks to thousands of people in his lectures, more than deserves this award. He told RUBIKON about his nomination: “I am delighted about the award. I hope it is an encouragement for all people to commit themselves to peace despite headwinds and devaluation and, whenever possible, to be mindful of the values of courage, love and truth. For when an honorable scientist like Daniele Ganser is defamed because of system-critical questions and dismissed from the universities, when provocative comments in social networks degrade one’s own person, when others allow and spread judgements that destroy one’s anonymity, it is a great art to react in these situations with calmness and peaceableness.

Daniele Ganser succeeds so convincingly that he becomes a crowd-puller. And even if he doesn’t want to be a bearer of hope for the masses, most people would probably wish for someone like him in a high political office, someone who has the welfare of the world and not of big business in mind. Because from the heart one can only serve one being, capital or love, Ganser clearly stands for love of man, nature and life in general. This is what distinguishes him and makes his MIND Award so valuable. In addition, the father of two – as a role model especially for the young generation – provides impressive proof that it is always worthwhile to consciously explore one’s inner world and draw the strength for one’s own life from the depths of the soul. Even via the screen and the Internet, Ganser succeeds in conveying these important messages undogmatically and thus establishing a true connection to his constantly growing community. Daniele Ganser touches with his words the people in their innermost, in their hearts, instead of only supplying their intellect with new information. The Swiss is a lighthouse, he infects people to do the same, to live attentively and to create peace with consciousness.

And something else distinguishes him: Daniele Ganser can listen. A quality that is increasingly being lost in our burnout-influenced society. Ganser always has an honest interest in his counterpart, he asks the right questions and remains empathetic – even in difficult, uncomfortable situations. In recent years he has repeatedly proven this in numerous interviews and publications. For all these reasons, the MIND Award will be presented to him on 26 March 2019 in the Montabaur City Hall as part of a peace event. A strong signal to further strengthen the peace movement in the coming years. And once again Daniele Ganser: “To be successful, the peace movement must strive for inner and outer peace at the same time. Inner peace can be strengthened by mindfulness, i.e. by observing one’s own thoughts and feelings. Besides, by remaining always objective and friendly in all debates in the tone, all the same whether the interlocutor chooses the left or the AfD, all the same whether he is Muslim or Christian or atheist. The peace movement can become stronger if it focuses on what unites us, on the fact that we all belong to the human family, with the deep conviction that in the 21st century we cannot solve the greatest problems with violence”.

The MIND Award sends a strong signal, at the right time, when it honors Daniele Ganser not only for his work, but also for his character. Because every human being makes an important contribution to the mood in our society and world. May this sign remind many of us that we can achieve much more with our being and our actions than with mere words. The reasons given by the MIND Award jury for the awarding of the prize, for example, are a clear reminder of this. Here is an excerpt: “Regardless of personal disadvantages, Ganser is on his way to enlightenment. It is his particular merit not only to uncover the many lies behind so-called political correctness, but also to stick to the truth when he is personally defamed for it. Thus he acts as a moral authority on the conscience of our society.

Whether he was defamed by the conspired mainstream opinion-makers as a so-called conspiracy theorist or by the hate organisation Wikipedia – he always opposed himself in his calm Swiss manner, underpinned by well-founded knowledge, and makes the background clear. Ganser counteracts his hostilities with personal attitude and action in words that which our world needs most urgently: Hope and Peace”.

Those who do not recognize and acknowledge this cannot do anything good for this planet.

Congratulations, Daniele Ganser!

Translated by Alfonso

 

 

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The American war on terror has cost at least 500,000 dead.

According to estimates of the Costs of War Project of Brown University, half were civilians, the direct financial costs are estimated at 4.6 trillion US dollars

From the outset, the United States has refrained from counting the number of deaths and injuries in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Syria was not included in the report, where alone more than half a million people were killed. Other countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Libya or Niger were not included either. For Afghanistan and Iraq, the United Nations regularly publishes the number of war victims, and other organisations such as AirWars also try to give an overview by evaluating various sources.

Under Obama, the Pentagon only began to list civilian victims in Iraq and Syria who could practically not be denied, while all those killed were routinely described as militants. This led to such small figures that this could be described as alternative, at any rate extremely clarified facts that are far removed from reality. In June 2018, the Pentagon counted 499 civilians killed and 167 injured in US operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen. However, the Pentagon felt compelled to present at least some figures, and other warring parties have kept them silent.

The victims were and are mainly the civilian population.

 Neta Crawford, the author of the current report, a professor of politics at Boston University and co-director of the Costs of War Project, also makes it clear that this is only an approximate estimate and that the wars are likely to have left many more dead. Not only civilians but also killed soldiers, policemen and militants were counted. The latter were also included because they were often civilians. So it is only about the victims of direct violence, not about the many people who died indirectly or as a result of displacement, for example as a result of war-related illnesses, lack of clean drinking water, lack of food or lack of medical care. If one were to include the number of indirect deaths, i.e. cynically the collaterals, one would have to speak of a million and more deaths as a result of the wars. If you look at the figures for Afghanistan and Pakistan (October 2001 to October 2018) and Iraq (March 2003 and October 2018), you will again notice what you already know, but what makes the reality of these asymmetric wars clear: In the total number of victims, the – of course exactly listed – numbers of killed US soldiers (6951) and allied soldiers (1464) are insignificant. Even if one includes the American contractors (7820), the respective native population has to bear the overwhelming burden if the USA or Germany are defended at the Hindu Kush or elsewhere. 362 journalists were killed, the vast majority in Iraq, and 566 aid workers, mostly in Afghanistan.

Almost 110,000 local soldiers and policemen have been killed as allies, half of them in Afghanistan, where there is still no end to the war in sight. Around 250,000 civilians are said to have lost their lives, the vast majority in Iraq, where the report estimates 182,272 to 204,575, and in Afghanistan “only” more than 38,000 so far. The number of “opposition fighters” killed is estimated at less than half of the civilian victims, namely between 109,396 and 114,471. According to the report, 42,000 were killed in Afghanistan, most of them in Afghanistan, and 34,806 to 39,881 in Iraq, slightly less. In Iraq in particular, however, the numbers can be far higher. Nobody knows how many civilians and militants were killed during the offensive, especially on Mosul, but also on other cities, and still lie under the rubble of the bombed city. There could be tens of thousands more dead civilians, especially since the government had instructed the people to stay in the city even before the offensive. The US government under president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama had no objection.

Millions of refugees and trillions in costs

Deaths are only the top, the number of injured, mutilated and traumatised is much higher. The latter include the displaced and fugitives. According to the report, there were 4.8 million refugees and displaced persons in Afghanistan in 2017, 3.25 million in Iraq and 12.5 million in Syria, compared with 380,000 in Pakistan. These figures show how the fight against terror is becoming terror for the local population and a burden for neighbouring countries. There are 1.3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and 900,000 in Iran. Most of the refugees from Iraq and Syria, around 3.5 million, live in Turkey. Iran has also welcomed one million Syrians and Iraqis in addition to the Afghans.

The financial costs of the war were also estimated again, including the costs for internal security in the context of the defence against terrorism, the expenses for the veterans and the interest for the pumped war expenses. By November 2017, expenditures for U.S. citizens are estimated at $4.351 trillion, including $534 million in interest. By the end of 2017 the costs will have risen to 4.632 trillion US dollars, and in 2018 alone almost 90 million US dollars in interest will have to be paid. And the interest on the debt taken out, which is why the costs of the war against Iraq were called peanuts under Bush, will rise by another trillion dollars in the next few decades.

by (Florian Rötzer)

 

Translated from German to Engish by alfonso

 

The Genocide

Concealed by war lies and propaganda, the Yemeni people are massacred visibly for all to see.

The war in Yemen is not a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran – even if the leading media suggest it time and again. Rannie Amiri explains that it is rather a one-sided offensive of the Saudis and their allies against the Huthi after they had ousted the Saudi-backed President Mansur Hadi in 2015. There can be no question of “rebels led by Iran” either. Because the Huthi are generally closer to the Sunni Saudis than the Shiite Iranians. The population of Yemen has to serve as a substitute for the “real enemy”.

There is no proxy war in Yemen!

Those in the Western media who are too busy trying to understand the complexities, subtleties and nuances of the Middle East often use the conclusion that all conflicts in this region are a kind of “proxy war” between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

This is usually due to ignorance. Conflicts are reduced to the lowest common denominator of “Sunnis versus Shiites”, or between the states that function as the most important patron saints for the two. But often it is deliberately concealed; it must be justified that a US ally causes regional chaos on the pretext of enclosing an enemy.

The most obvious and welcome scapegoat is Iran. The aspirations of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and, of course, Israel to curb Iran’s alleged expansionism are being watched idly. One of the most devastating and tragic episodes in the Middle East is currently taking place in Yemen. This is not, however, a de facto proxy war about which, according to the war financiers, we do not want to investigate any further because we are tired of the news.

Saudi Arabia against the Huthi

Despite constant statements to the contrary by the lazy media, there is no proxy war in Yemen. The war that has devastated the poorest country in the Arab world since March 2015 is a one-sided attack led by Saudi Arabia that has destroyed the state, its economy, its infrastructure and its social services to such an extent that malnutrition is widespread and a cholera epidemic is rampant. Allegedly, the military campaign carried out by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates served to expel Huthi-led rebels who, in January 2015, ousted the highly unpopular President Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi, a Saudis-backed puppet, from power. He had been elected in a vote in which he was the only candidate. He remained in power even after the expiry of a one-year mandate that had extended his term. The Huthi, a politico-religious group officially known as Ansar Allah and named after its founder Hussein Badreddin al-Huthi, had originally formed in opposition to Hadi’s predecessor, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

No Iranian rebels

The Huthi belong mainly to the Zaidites, who form a branch of the larger Shiite group within Islam. Branding the Huthi as “Iranian-backed Shiite rebels”, as is now common practice, allows a simple and useful categorization to identify “the bad guys” in the media of the West and the Gulf states. But that is a lie. The inconvenient fact is that the Zaidites are generally closer to Sunni Islam than Shiite Islam – and the Saudis-backed long-term military dictator Saleh was Zaidit. More importantly, apart from his declaration of solidarity with the Huthi, there is no conclusive evidence of military intervention by Iran or its allies in Yemen. On the contrary, and very clearly, the Saudi and Emirati inhumane bombings are the most blatant example of foreign interference in the internal affairs of another state.

When a school bus was hit in an air raid and 40 children were killed, the Saudi coalition initially justified this as a “legitimate military target” before an international outcry finally led to the conclusion that it had been different.

On the other hand, the Huthi’s irregular rocket attacks on Saudi military installations, which are cited as evidence of foreign military equipment, erroneously suggest that the Huthi are legitimate, capable, combat-tested forces. Apparently, the regime cannot understand that, despite daily attacks, they had the strength to strike back and demonstrate offensive rather than purely defensive capabilities.

Cruel and one-sided

In Yemen, there is no conflict between religious currents or representatives, but a war resulting from the aftermath of the fall of another Saudi-controlled ruler. At least 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since 2015. With a total population of 29 million, 22 million need some form of assistance, and eight million suffer from malnutrition. These numbers are expected to increase now that there is evidence that Saudi Arabia is attacking food supplies.

The war waged in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its allies and their shameless use of US and British weapons borders on a veritable invasion. It is a unilateral, vicious military adventure that has driven millions of people into poverty and has so far proved totally unsuccessful in achieving its goals.

The only representatives in this conflict are the victims of its war crimes; innocent men, women and children who have starved to death or been killed. They are placeholders for a nebulous power that has yet to be determined.

Rannie Amiri is an independent commentator on political events in the Middle East.

translate from German to English by Alfonso