Security or Peace? No. Security AND Peace

Friday, June 29, 2012

I never tire of repeating that during so many centuries of absolute male dominance, force has prevailed over reason, with leaders shielded in the perverse proverb “if you want peace, prepare for war”, encouraged by the most dour alarms and threats from weapons manufacturers interested having peace appear simply as a pause between two wars. 

For that reason I likewise never tire of repeating that the colossal investments made in “human security” amount to 4,000 million dollars daily, while in that same 24-hour period 60,000-70,000 people die from hunger and neglect. 

The promoters of “human security” at all costs travel the earth while rubbing their hands in delight at the profits made from the war machines they sell, even to the poorest countries, because “security comes first”. 

Thus they sell the latest model bombers to poverty-stricken countries… And in order to honor its commitments to NATO, Europe charges huge sums to countries like Spain in which budget cuts are being imposed on education, health care and R + D + innovation. This is incongruous and senseless, but security is security… 

But in this essential aspect I also believe that the present system is coming to an end. Thanks to the potential for distance participation that new communications technologies provide, for the first time in history the “peoples” may fulfill the immense responsibility assumed when they decided to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. 

Peace or security? No. Now peace AND security. 

From subjects to citizens. To human beings who are committed, and not merely spectators. Citizens of the world who can transform that sinister proverb into “if you want peace, help build it in your daily lives, with your peaceful but firm dissent, through your attitudes”. 

The time for submission has passed. “We, the Peoples”… are taking the reins. 

A new era is dawning.

Now, It’s Time for People!

That’s how Iñaki Gabilondo concluded his acceptance speech yesterday, upon being awarded an honorary doctorate at the Menéndez Pelayo International University in Santander. 

They’ve been able to center our attention on risk premiums and stock market fluctuations… on the hounding from the markets… on debt repayment… while making budget cuts in healthcare and education. 

And people accept this because dissatisfaction with politicians has intensified and entertainment has been exaggeratedly promoted, especially sports events… 

With society distracted and the “great domain” more active than ever, it is now essential and urgent to bring people to the forefront, as protagonists and beneficiaries of increased commitment and daily action. 

“It’s time for people!” Because Iñaki Gabilondo so rightly underscored yesterday that after the West’s immense derailment –for having replaced democratic values with the rules of the market, for having alienated the United Nations in favor of groups of oligarchs- they are now attempting to “put us back on track”, but on the same rails! 

Yes: now, led by intellectuals, educators, artists, journalists, scientists… it’s time for people! 

It is inadmissible to rescue the banks while continuing to undermine the quest for a decent life for all human beings, commencing with education and healthcare!

“The Tax Authorities will only help regions that make budget cuts in healthcare and education!”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This is crossing a “red line”. They are doing exactly the opposite of what we have fought for so long. 

If this statement (ABC, 19 June 2012), attributed to Mr. Beteta, the Secretary of State for Local Government, is true, it is clear that instead of punishing those who have broken the rules and common sense of spending in their respective Autonomous Communities, they are rewarding those who make budget cuts in education and healthcare, the two great pillars of the future. Little does it matter how much and in what they’ve spent money in the past. The only thing that seems to matter is not investing in healthcare and education for the future. 

Beware, because that future is not the one to which the majority of Spaniard aspire.

The “Dollar Zone” is Reaching its Objectives Europe Must React Immediately

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Some time ago I called attention to what the impact of the “markets” really means for the economy of Europe: with the demise of globalization the “great (military, financial, energy and media) domain” is seeking first to devastate the Euro-zone, to immediately thereafter do the same in the Yuan-zone. 

After the events in Ireland, Greece and Portugal, and with a total lack of European coordination and union, the markets have not only continued their attacks on Spain and Italy… but have been able to directly appoint governments without holding elections in Greece, the cradle of democracy, and in Italy… 

The European Union still doesn’t have an autonomous security system and hasn’t reduced military spending; it still hasn’t created a fiscal federation with growth incentives… And under these conditions it is clear that the “dollar-zone” will soon achieve its victory. 

I published an article with President Mario Soares (see on “Saving the Euro, Saving Europe”, which is even more relevant today, if possible. 

Europe must react immediately. The events that have transpired in Spain in the last few days underscore the urgency of the action required.

Mediators: In schools, businesses and factories; at the local, regional and international levels…

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A few days ago several secondary school teachers told me that student mediators are having excellent results at maintaining peace in schools, intervening to try to resolve conflicts peacefully. 

For the transition from a culture of imposition and domination to a culture of dialogue and conciliation mediators are required at all levels. 

With the experience that they progressively acquire they can become those who actually “deactivate” the use of force. 

From force to words! That is the historical change that is coming. We cannot continue to be tied to a system that invests thousands of millions of dollars daily in weapons and military spending to guarantee the security of a relatively small percentage of the world’s inhabitants, while the great majority live in the most abject poverty.

This huge injustice –that affects over 65% of mankind- will disappear together with the system that imposed it, and which is now in its last throes. 

The time for a “new beginning” of peace, dialogue and conciliation has arrived. Mediators! The existence and training of mediators is the guarantee of that new era.

Syria: a fully-empowered United Nations negotiator, the only solution

Monday, June 11, 2012

I have already expressed this on several occasions, but today, horrified by what continues to transpire in Syria, I am once again taking the opportunity to insist on the urgent need to call an extraordinary meeting so that all of the countries, including China and Russia, may designate a representative (who could certainly be Kofi Annan), fully empowered to negotiate with Bashar Assad the conditions for an immediate cease fire and a transition to democracy in Syria. 

Only with democratic multilateralism can we resolve the global problems prompted by a few small groups of wealthy countries, which have attempted to govern the world. 

Convene that World Conference today, so that tomorrow we can commence to close the immense wound now open in Syria.

Involving football and other sports fans in the major objectives of social change

As a sports enthusiast I have often thought that it would suffice if each “fan” of a sports or other organization –jumping for joy with his son!- would join his athletic preferences with causes such as peace, the fight against poverty or children’s diseases, etc., and through Internet donate a euro or another sum at especially joyful moments when celebrating his team’s results.

A good solution could be to associate team support with important causes that we all agree are worthy, but which have been neglected or which receive few subsidies. 

What would you think about having each fan associate his team with a good cause? For example, “Barça and peace”; “Madrid and zero poverty”; “Athletic and education”; “Betis and healthcare for children”… 

When I see so many people enthusiastically doing the “wave” to support their teams or to joyously celebrate a goal, I think about how much good that “positive energy” could do to help us change our present course, which is becoming more and more urgent each day. 

What do you think of this idea? 

Any suggestions?

G-8: Dissolution - NATO: Reform

Friday, June 1, 2012

We have just seen images of the G-8 meeting in the United States: there they were, the smiling faces of the representatives of the US, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, France, the President of the European Union and President of the European Commission… 

Sincerely, the huge failure of the role they assigned themselves in the process of “globalization” should immediately prompt their dissolution and the strengthening of a multilateral democratic system. 

I will never tire of repeating that it is intolerable that eight countries seek to govern 196! 

Given our present loss of direction in many areas (ethical, political, economic), it would be excellent news to hear that the groups of plutocrats have disbanded and that the United Nations system has been diligently re-founded and endowed with the necessary personnel, technical and financial resources. 

In other respects, NATO met almost simultaneously in Chicago to “strengthen ties within the Alliance” and, above all, to determine the most adequate procedure for withdrawing NATO troops from Afghanistan. 

Europe must rapidly achieve total autonomy in security matters and, through the appropriate agreements, become one of the foremost “regional forces” at the disposal of the United Nations. 

It is very urgent to reduce the budget for arms and military spending in a Europe that is implementing budget cuts (and why the short deadlines for doing so, and for whom?), even in areas that are vital for ensuring a decent living such as healthcare and education, which should always be excluded from any economic “adjustment”. 

G-8, Dissolution NATO
Immediate Reform 

This is the banner that I would like to carry today through all of the streets and roads in Europe.

Parliamentary Assembly, Almost Empty

I find it both incongruent and unacceptable that the Assembly of the Congress of Deputies is practically empty, especially in view of the crisis facing Europe and Spain. 

Many citizens believe that the topics debated there affect them directly. And, nevertheless, when viewing images of the Parliament they are at first shocked and then invaded by anger. Weren’t those the parliamentarians who –whatever their ideology— were going to debate until they found appropriate solutions to the serious challenges that are severely impacting our standard of living? Where have they gone? Or is it that they have so little interest in what the representatives of minority political groups have to say? 

Honorable Deputies, quickly take your seats. Otherwise, take note that we will do everything in our power to ensure the prompt demise of a system that accepts the shameful site of an empty parliament.

Democracy = Sharing

My father was a man of clear and precisely-expressed ideas. He was a “self-made man” with only an elementary education. A tireless worker, after many years of lost sleep while studying at home he progressed from being an unskilled worker in a factory in Tortosa, in the lower Ebro valley, to the director general of an important antibiotics manufacturing plant. 

One day, while discussing “genuine” democracy, I’ll never forget what he told me: “Democracy is rooted in sharing”. Those who have the most, the most fortunate, must show solidarity and offer equal opportunities to those who have less. 

Let all of those who feel no solidarity take note: democracy is sharing.