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Shame in Bali (Beware of the Gents!)

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The UN Conference on climate change in a luxury resort in sunny Bali is likely to go down in history as the biggest waste of public money this side of Nero’s rebuilding of Ancient Rome. The idea that the only way to get less CO2 in the atmosphere is to organize the biggest event in UN history is beyond belief.

Anyway, as usual in everything called global warming, numbers simply never add up:

(1) the Sunday Times estimates 15,000 people, TV crews included

(2) Voice of America opts for 20,000, without the TV crews

(3) AP talks of more than 10,000 delegates, celebrities included

(4) Radio Australia says 5,000 police officers will be there, an extraordinary amount that will generate several tonnes of CO2 by itself (also, I didn’t think UN meetings could get rowdy?)

In truth, if anybody can manage to get anything meaningful out of 10,000/15,000/ 20,000 people in two weeks, either all those are there just to rubber-stamp something already prepared, or the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the wrong UN group

In any case…they better watch out when using the gentlemen’s lavatories

Written by omnologos

2007/Dec/03 at 22:50:47

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Skepticism, UN

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Kosovo: Dream a Dream Against the Nightmares of Reason

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New, unreasonable, absurd ideas are needed to prevent diplomatic logic from perpetrating new injustice in Kosovo thereby prolonging the conflict for many years to come

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After years of postponements, the international crisis around the Kosovo region in the Balkans will climax in a little less than two months.

According to the intentions of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, 10 December 2007 will be the final date for the negotiations between Serbia and its Southern province, whose Albanian majority have been out of Belgrade’s control from 1999.

International mediator Martti Ahtisaari has published a Plan with a series of recommendations that include independence for Kosovo. But in all likelihood negotiations will keep failing. And then in December the USA will follow the Ahtisaari Plan, but Russia will not, further attracting Serbia in its orbit.

In the meantime the European Unione (EU) will demonstrate its independence from Moscow by following the path indicated by Washington: thus doing nothing to heal one of the Continent’s most difficult conflicts.

Europeans have been developing for 60 years the art of postponing comprehensive solutions thereby creating more problems. In December 1991, the Union recognized the independence of Croatia and Slovenia, intently to stop the war between Zagreb and Belgrade but in practice triggering the long Bosnian conflict.

The Kosovo issue can be traced back to a geopolitical decision taken 130 years ago above the heads of the inhabitants. At the time the Albanians were denied independence by German Chancellor Bismarck. They got it then in 1913 but only on a chunk of Historical Albania. Substantial amounts of ethnic Albanians were stranded in Serbia, Greece and Macedonia.

The common trait of this history is that nobody has never asked the Albanians’ opinion. Even in Kosovo, the “liberation” has come from American bombs, not the local guerrilla. And from 1999, although elections have been held, the province has effectively been in the hands of the UN, following Security Council Resolution 1244.

Serbs haven’t much to celebrate from history either. Conquered by the Ottomans in 1389 despite winning an epic battle just in Kosovo, they achieved international recognition at the mentioned 1878 Conference, but then lost much of male population facing the Austrian Empire in World War I. Nazis,

Croats and Italians literally and figuratively cut them to pieces (not just figuratively) in World War II. Then, after relative prosperity under Tito’s Communism, the Serbs fought wars nearly for the entire ten years of the extraordinarily aggressive nationalist/socialist Presidency of Slobodan Milosevic.

Serbia is today a nation with a most serious image problem, seven years after nonviolent popular revolution sent the Dictator to die in an international jail. Its path towards becoming a modern democracy is still not easy, with nationalists always too close to power, a First Minister killed by the Mafia, and a list of fugitive war criminals.

With a rancorous attitude, Brussels and Washington relentlessly seem to treat the entire Serbian Nation as “guilty”, somehow illogically after making so much effort to inspire the local democrats.

Unfortunately, one point seems to escape most: Serbs are Europeans, as much as the Italians, the Portuguese and the Germans (and the Albanians).

In truth their society developed a Communist dictatoriship; there is still lots of corruption and Mafia near the power centers; some Serbs have committed atrocities, covering themselves in blood for ethnic cleansing, concentration camps and mass killings. Two egregious war criminals (Karadzic and Mladic) are still on the run.

But doesn’t precisely that make the Serbs truly European? Their history has many correspondences with the rest of the Continent’s: Communist Party; Italian fascism; Nazi genocide; and the many European war criminals never brough in front of a court of law.

And it would not be difficult to continue.

More: the EU is the fruit of the epochal paradigm shift of 1951, when France and Germany, Latin Europe and German Europe, renounced war in the European Coal and Steel Community, some 1942 years after the slaughter of the lost legions of Varus in the Teutoburg forest.

The EU is the foremost peacemaking experiment in the History of Humanity, more important because more complex also than those 4,000 completely demilitarized miles between USA and Canada.

But if peace is where the idea of Europe begins, that’s where it may end (or jam, perhaps). And so only an enlargement that would include Serbia, the former adversary, would sanction the Continental “completion” of the EU, exactly because for years Serbia has been the enemy to isolate and to bomb.

(two points for clarity: the enlargement to include Albania is also important but it appears a question of time…from a strategic point of view, it has happened already. And the other “missing pieces” from the Continent (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland) are in all but paper members of the Union, having to adhere to almost all of its directives and regulations).

Finally, without Serbia, and indeed if Serbia voluntarily and angrily refused to join the EU in open contrast to the dream of the founders (Spinelli, Monnet, Schuman), the Union would have to waste time and resources on that inner wound ready to spill blood at the first opportunity: bye-bye to further expansion with Turkey, the Ukraine, Morocco and Israel!

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Unfortunately, this is the most likely future.

In the Kosovar crisis international diplomacy has shown all its limits, and especially its “Curse of Reason”, with perfectly logical behaviors by all protagonists combining in perfectly illogical, and disastrous collective decisions.

Think of the tragic chain of events that changed the solid European equilibrium before the Sarajevo murder in 1914 to the suicidal years of the First World War; think also of the War of Korea, stopped on July 27, 1953 at the same border where it started on June 25, 1950, minus four million dead.

In Kosovo too, everybody behaves according to logic. For the local Albanians, independence is now a goal they thought they had reached a year ago. For the Serbs in Pristina and Belgrade, keeping Kosovo as a province is the last bastion to defend national dignity, having been divorced by Slovenes, Croats, Bosniacs, Macedonians and Montenegrins.

The larger fish couldn’t disagree more either. The USA have repeteadly declared their intention to recognize the independence of Kosovo, in opposition to Russia, while the EU awaits unanimity and so can only show paralisis.

It is hard to imagine how could any “logical” solution satisfy all the parties. Indeed, every “practical idea” guarantees the perpetration of this or that injustice: an independent Kosovo would be evidence for the Serbs that their interests are of no concern to the USA and the EU: frankly, one put-down too many, and without any strong reason why.

Declaring Kosovo as a province of Serbia would mean in turn the betrayal of years of expectations, and would alienate the Kosovars without eliciting so much as a “thank you” note” from Belgrade or Moscow.

Leaving the status quo would not help the development of a territory that is getting addicted to international aid, and where the way to riches passes through the local Mafia and drug smuggling.

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Some new solution is needed for Kosovo: an unreasonable, absurd, impratical idea and for those very reasons logical, reasonable and indeed practical, a lot more than the Cold and Warm Wars (and probably, the dead people) that otherwise await all of us in the future, almost with absolute certainty.

What kind of solutions? Offering independence to a smaller Kosovo, cut out according to pre-1999 ethnic lines plus adjustments, with the territories with Serbian majorities conceded to Serbia? Implementing a customs union of Serbia, Kosovo and Albania that would simplify their EU accession negotiations whilst rendering obsolete the issue of Kosovo independence?

Offering free circulation of people between Serbia and independent Kosovo, with generous aids for Serbs to repatriate? Setting aside independence in favor of a “macualted” federal state? Guaranteeing to Serbia the immediate accession to the EU as soon as the necessary laws are implemented, and in any case not after Croatia and Turkey?

Re-admitting Belgrade to the assembly of nations without the lasting distrust and independently from the situation with the war criminals? Compensating the civil Serbian victims of the 1999 war?

None of those questions may be the answer: indeed, they could be all and only Dreams.

However, what has the Powers’ diplomacy to offer, but Nightmares?

Written by omnologos

2007/Oct/14 at 22:54:33

Posted in Kosovo, peace, UN

Tagged with ,

IgNobel Peace Prize A More Likely Contribution to Peace than Al Gore’s

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Apparently one of the reasons for Al Gore and the IPCC to receive the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize relates to “green” being nowadays equal to “peace”.

This is absolutely a fantasy as there are many, many wars and conflicts around the world and not even one can honestly be related to climate change or global warming.

The one example that is always used is the remote possibility that increased drought would be behind the Darfur genocide. Such a link has been fabricated in a recent UN report and it is a shameful way of abandoning all those women and children while providing a ready-made excuse for the people committing the genocide.

All that, because a bunch of rich people fear that world temperature may go up 2C in 40 or 100 years, and can only get their worries on top of everybody’s agendas by stocking up fears?

The issues about Darfur have nothing to do with climate. And in any case, on the entire rest of the surface of the planet there is not a single other place where armed conflicts can be even remotely connected to any presumed, measure or modelled change in the climate.

Israel is bombing nuclear targets in Syria and Damascus did not even complain, and we think that peace will come from lowering CO2 in the atmosphere??

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The contribution by Al Gore and the IPCC to present or future peace remains a mystery indeed. And other big questions remain open:

  • Why give a Prize before the fact, when we do not even have a Kyoto-II Agreement?
  • Why a political award to what is supposed to be a non-policy-making international body of scientists like the IPCC?
  • Why not a Nobel Prize in Physics for the IPCC if the science of global warming is strong enough to justify their efforts that earned them a Peace Prize?
  • Why can’t concerned IPCC scientists group themselves outside of the Panel, thus separating Science from politics?

All in all, this year’s IgNobel Peace Prize does seem a more likely contribution to peace than what Al Gore and the IPCC have not yet done:

PEACE: The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio, USA, for instigating research & development on a chemical weapon — the so-called “gay bomb” — that will make enemy soldiers become sexually irresistible to each other.
REFERENCE: “
Harassing, Annoying, and ‘Bad Guy’ Identifying Chemicals,” Wright Laboratory, WL/FIVR, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, June 1, 1994.

A bit far-fetched, perhaps, especially about attracting annoying creatures, eliciting halitosis and the extraordinary application of the old slogan Make Love Not War to the battlefield: still, the Wright Laboratory’s efforts were (are?) about changing the nature of the armed conflicts of today, not the ones some very worried people are imagining now will happen in five or more decades.

Written by omnologos

2007/Oct/13 at 21:17:14

Support the UN Vote on the Moratorium on Capital Punishment

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(by the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, registered as an Ngo in General Consultative Status with the UN’s ECOSOC under the name of Transnational Radical Party)

S.O.S. MORATORIUM

URGENT NONVIOLENT INITIATIVE FOR A UN MORATORIUM ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT!

The 62nd UN General Assembly opens on September 24.

According to a communiqué by the Italian Government dated September 11, the text of the Resolution for a Universal Moratorium on Capital Punishment will be presented to the UN the day after, September 25.

The Members of the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party, of the “Hands Off Cain” association and of the Italian Radical Party have however not forgotten that in 14 years the approval of the Resolution has been compromised three times, by mistakes and delays caused by, if not outright ostracising behaviour from, several European Governments.

Above all, for more than a decade the European Council bureaucracy in Brussels has hindered the voting of the Universal Moratorium on Capital Punishment at the UN General Assembly, where the number of member nations still using the death penalty has been reduced to a mere fifth of the total.

In order for the Resolution pro-Moratorium (for emphasis: moratorium on the death penalty, not abolition) to be presented at the opening of the General Assembly on September 24, we must strengthen our nonviolent movement right now – and more than ever before.

A hunger strike is in progress from September 2, by many people including Italian politicians Marco Pannella, Lucio Bertè, Guido Biancardi, Sergio D’Elia, Marco Perduca, Michele Rana, Alessandro Rosasco, Antonio Stango, Claudia Sterzi, Valter Vecellio and Dominique Velati.

At the same time, an extraordinary number of people have become members to show their support.

Becoming a member is in fact a vital part of the nonviolent action supporting the Transnational Radical Party, “Hands Off Cain” and the Italian Radical Party in their effort to provide the UN General Assembly the chance to vote the Resolution for a Universal Moratorium on Capital Punishment.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE INITIATIVE (click on the link of your chosen option):

BECOME A MEMBER OF:

Written by omnologos

2007/Sep/20 at 20:22:33

Darfur Conflict Heralds Era Of UN Stupidity Triggered by Climate Change

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The behavior of the UN regarding Darfur and the whole of the Sudan is nothing short of scandalous:

(1) The UN were unable to broker a peace between North and South Sudan, and had to rely on non-UN negotiators

(2) The UN could then do nothing at all apart from chatting, to prevent the Darfur civil war and genocide, started not by chance almost exactly when the North-South Sudanese civil war ended

(3) And now, the UN is trying to blame (global) climate change when it has nothing to do with Darfur, where the conflict is about the local vast, untapped underground resources, something that has bloodied Sudan for more than 24 years now (one wonders if this would be news for the “diplomatic editor” of a major British newspaper?)

There is absolutely no need to shove in “climate change”: look no further than the Sahel area in Niger, where rains have come back after the local government has finally decided to take care of its trees.

The downside of the absurdity of the UN intervention, its stupidity, is that time and money will be spent to tackle a non-problem, whilst the real culprits will get an easier ride simply by pointing out “climate change” is somebody else’s fault.

And so, as the actual issues are not taken care of, we can only expect failure about Darfur.

Written by omnologos

2007/Jul/20 at 13:46:50