Det danske Fredsakademi

Kronologi over fredssagen og international politik 5. november 2012 / Timeline November 5, 2012

Version 3.5

4. November 2012, 6. November 2012

Women of Mali call for increased protection and involvement in resolving the conflict
“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.

Perpetual War
John Scales AveryBy 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 armaments.
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?



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