Det danske Fredsakademi
Kronologi over fredssagen og international politik 5. november
2012 / Timeline November 5, 2012
4. November 2012, 6. November 2012
Women of Mali
call for increased protection and involvement in resolving the
“This occupation is the cruelest one that the Malian people
have had to undergo, nowadays women are deprived of all liberties
and even the choice of a husband is dictated to them by the
occupying forces,” says a displaced woman* living in Bamako
and originally from Timbuktu – a city occupied by armed
groups today. “Even worse, the woman is married to several
men against her will. Nowadays our children can no longer go to
school,” she added.
Mali is currently experiencing an unprecedented security, political
and humanitarian crisis, threatened by armed conflict in the north
of the country which is having a direct impact on the population,
and especially on women and children. The country has had to face
radical armed groups such as Ansar Dine, Mali’s northern
rebel MUJAO and Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) –
groups that have taken control over the northern part of the
country where they enforce a strict interpretation of the sharia as
well as restrictions, especially targeting women.
“The city of Gao has recorded the worst cases of gang rape or
rape by an individual and such crimes are still being perpetrated.
How to help these innocent victims on whom the occupation has taken
a heavy toll? Nowadays in Gao everything belongs to these people
who lay down the law and wreak havoc uninhibited,” says
another woman from Gao, a city located in the north-east of the
country, now residing in Bamako. She deplored the
“cruelty” of the armed groups targeting women in
particular, writes UN Women.
By John Scales Avery
– Because the world spends roughly 1.7 trillion dollars
each year on armaments, it follows that very many people make their
living from war. This is the reason why it is correct to speak of
war as a social, political and economic institution, and also one
of the main reasons why war persists, although everyone realizes
that it is the cause of much of the suffering of humanity.
We know that war is madness, but it persists. We know that it
threatens the survival of our species, but it persists, entrenched
in the attitudes of historians, newspaper editors and television
producers, entrenched in the methods by which politicians finance
their campaigns, and entrenched in the financial power of arms
manufacturers, entrenched also in the ponderous and costly hardware
of war, the fleets of warships, bombers, tanks, nuclear missiles
and so on.
In his farewell
address, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned his nation
against the excessive power that had been acquired during World War
II by the military-industrial complex:
“We Have Been Compelled to Create an Armaments Industry of
Vast Proportions” – Eisenhower
“We have been compelled to create an armaments industry of
vast proportions,” Eisenhower said, “…Now this
conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms
industry is new in American experience. The total influence,
economic, political, even spiritual, is felt in every city, every
state house, every office in the federal government. … We
must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil,
resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure
of our society. … We must stand guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,
by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the
disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must
never let the weight of this combination endanger our democratic
processes. We should take nothing for granted.”
“Overgrown Military Establishments…”
Eisenhower’s words echoed those of another US President,
George Washington, who warned against “overgrown Military
Establishments which, under any form of government, are
inauspicious to liberty, and which are regarded as particularly
hostile to Republican Liberty.” [Washington's Farewell
Address to "The People of the United States". September 19, 1796,
the Philadelphia Daily American Advertiser - editor].
The military-industrial complex needs enemies. Without them it
would wither. Thus at the end of the Second World War, this vast
power complex was faced with a crisis, but it was saved by the
discovery of a new enemy: communism.
However, at the end of the Cold War there was another terrible
crisis for the military establishment, the arms manufacturers and
their supporters in research, government and the mass media. People
spoke of the “peace dividend”, i.e., constructive use
of the trillion dollars that the world wastes each year on
However, just in time, the military-industrial complex was saved
from the nightmare of the “peace dividend” by the
September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
No matter that the attacks were crimes committed by individuals
rather than acts of war, crimes against which police action rather
than military action would have been appropriate. The Bush
Administration (and CNN, Fox, etc.) quickly proclaimed that a state
of war existed, and that the rules of war were in effect. The Cold
War was replaced with the “War on Terrorism”.
To a large extent, this over-reaction to the events of 9/11/2001
can be interpreted in terms of the needs of the military-industrial
complex against which Eisenhower had warned. Without a state of war
and without enemies, this vast conglomerate of organizations and
pressure groups would have languished.
The “War on Terror”
If the aim of the “War on Terror” had been to rid the
world of the threat of terrorism, acts like illegal assassination
using drones would have been counterproductive, since they create
many more terrorists than they destroy.
But since the real aim is to produce a state of perpetual war, thus
increasing the profits of the military-industrial complex, such
methods are the best imaginable. Urinating on Afghan corpses or
burning the Koran or murderous night-time raids on civilian homes
also help to promote the real goal: perpetual war.
For those who belong to the military-industrial complex, perpetual
war is a blessing, but for the majority of the people of the world
it is a curse. Since we who oppose war are the vast majority, can
we not make our wills felt?
eller søg i Fredsakademiet.dk