Privatisering av jernbanen – «Go to Hell» Go-Ahead!

VANT ANBUDET: Britiske Go-Ahead skal kjøre tog på Sørlandsbanen, Jærbanen og Arendalsbanen de neste ti årene.

VANT ANBUDET: Britiske Go-Ahead skal kjøre tog på Sørlandsbanen, Jærbanen og Arendalsbanen de neste ti årene.

Øystein Bråthen

Privatisering på Sørlandsbanen:

Oljefondet er syvende største eier i britiske Go-Ahead, anbudsvinneren på Sørlandsbanen

Fra 2015 til 2017 ble verdien av Oljefondets aksjer i Go-Ahead halvert. Nå skal selskapet tjene penger på å kjøre tog i Norge.

Publisert 19.10.2018 –

Det skapte reaksjoner da NSB ble danket ut på tre tog-strekninger i Sør-Norge, til fordel for britiske Go-Ahead.

Men også dette selskapet har den norske stat eierinteresser i.

Oljefondet er nemlig en av eierne av Go-Ahead. Med sine 2,61 prosent av aksjene i selskapet, er de den sjuende største eieren i selskapet.

Oljefondet har siden i fjor redusert eierandelen, fra 2,96 prosent. Selskapet har den siste tiden måttet tåle både kraftig kritikk fra brukerne og bonusbråk rundt direktøren.

NSB-ansatte er skuffet og overrasket over at Go-Ahead ble valgt

Har sunket kraftig i verdi

Oljefondet, eller Norges Bank Investment Managemnet som det heter internasjonalt, gikk inn i selskapet allerede i 2002. Mens verdien av selskapet har økt jevnt og trutt, foruten finanskrisa i 2008, har den nå sunket kraftig de siste tre årene.

På det meste var verdien av Oljefondets investeringer i Go-Ahead – i 2015 – 410 millioner kroner. I 2017 var den halvert – til 210 millioner kroner.

Ville avsette styreformannen

Oljefondet stemte i 2017 også for å avsette den sittende styreformannen, Andrew Allner – som ble formann i 2013, men han ble sittende.

Konsernsjefen i Go-Ahead, Allan Brown, fikk tidligere i høst utbetalt en bonus på snaut 600.000 pund (ca. 6,5 millioner kroner etter dagens kurs). Dette på tross av at selskapet i sommer hadde store problemer med trafikkavviklingen på grunn av endringer i rutetabellen.

Britisk selskap slaktes av passasjerene. Nå kan det få kjøre tog i Norge

Skal primært skape profitt for eierne

Mens eierne av statlige jernbaneselskapene som norske NSB, svenske SJ og tyske Deutsche Bahn samfunnsmessige føringer i hvordan selskapene drives, er Go-Aheads primæroppgave å skape profitt for eierne.

De to desidert største eierne av selskapet er Standard Life Investments Ltd, med 9 prosent av aksjene og Threadneedle Asset Management 8,48 prosent av aksjene.

Standard Life Investments Ltd er Europas nest største holdingselskap, og forvalter 670 milliarder pund.

Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd. er et holdingselskap som holder til i Luxembourg, og som er heleid av det amerikanske investeringsselskapet Ameriprise Financial.

Britisk selskap danket ut NSB og vant kontrakten om å kjøre tog på Sørlandet

Slik er hverdagen på «anbudsbanen

Anbudstilhengerne mener Go-Ahead sparer staten for 300 millioner kroner i året. NSB-direktørens regnestykke viser noe helt annet

Posta under Fagrørsle og kamp, Kapitalisme, Noreg - Norway, Politikk, samfunn | Merkt , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Has the Killers of Marielle Franco Something to Do With Bolsonaro-Gov?

A makeshift memorial is pictured during a protest of Brazilian expats against the killing of Rio de Janeiro's left councilwoman and activist Marielle Franco in Berlin, Germany on March 18, 2018. Marielle Franco, who criticised openly racism and police brutality, was shot with his driver Anderson Pedro Gomes in the city center of Rio de Janeiro in the evening of March 14, 2018. (Photo by Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)A makeshift memorial at a protest against the killing of Rio de Janeiro’s leftist councilor and activist Marielle Franco in Berlin, Germany, on March 18, 2018. Photo: Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Who Killed Marielle Franco? An Ex-Rio de Janeiro Cop With Ties to Organized Crime, Say Six Witnesses in Police Report

Last March, Rio de Janeiro City Council member Marielle Franco, a rising star in left-wing politics who regularly spoke out against police violence and corruption in her city, was assassinated by a gunman in an attack that also claimed the life of her driver, Anderson Gomes. Ten months later, no one has been arrested for the crime.

Now, however, six witnesses have identified a former officer in the police’s special operations unit as the man who pulled the trigger, according to a police report reviewed by The Intercept. The individual named in the report had previously been expelled from Rio’s Military Police force for involvement with one of the city’s main organized crime syndicates and has since became a full-time mercenary for illegal gambling rings, dirty politicians, and anyone else willing to pay for his services. His specialty: murder.

Last November, the Brazilian news channel Globo TV published two stories about the contents of the police report reviewed by The Intercept. But a state judge subsequently issued a gag order prohibiting Globo from publishing or reporting any more details from the document. Due to the sensitivity of the ongoing homicide investigation, The Intercept has decided to not disclose the suspect’s name.

Franco was killed as she was being driven home from an event on the evening of March 14, 2018, when a car pulled up alongside hers and unloaded a spray of automatic gunfire. The 38-year-old politician and her driver were instantly killed. The attack had been carried out in a carefully chosen location, and surveillance cameras at a nearby metro station had been switched off prior to the crime, suggesting a shocking level of sophistication and giving rise to speculation that powerful figures were behind the assassination. In the days after Franco’s killing, tens of thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Rio and cities across the country and around the world in acts of solidarity, creating massive pressure on authorities to solve the case that has not abated.

The witnesses cited in the police report had concluded that the hitman didn’t act alone. This would be in line with the way the suspect is known to work. The police wrote in their report that they believe at least two other former special operations officers from the same force — the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, known as BOPE — were involved in the killing.

BOPE Veterans

In Brazil, each state has a military and civil police force. BOPE, an elite unit within Rio’s Military Police force, was founded in 1978 to carry out hostage rescues and other lifesaving operations, but evolved into an urban warfare unit with numbers in the hundreds. Its members are known as “caveiras,” or skulls, and the unit’s sometimes brutal ends-justify-the-means approach to its work has been immortalized in films and cheered on by Brazilians who favor a tough law-and-order approach to societal problems.

The main suspect, an ex-captain, already had close ties to organized crime when he enrolled in the Dom João VI Military Police officers’ academy.

It is an open secret that some BOPE officers also work for organized crime. Like the main suspect, the two other former BOPE officers are elite soldiers trained at taxpayer expense who now market their deadly skills to the highest bidder. One of them is a colleague of the main suspect from their police academy days, according to the Civil Police report.

The main suspect fingered by the witnesses, an ex-captain, already had close ties to organized crime when he enrolled in the Dom João VI Military Police officers’ academy before joining BOPE, according to the police report. Officials have long known that criminal syndicates recruit individuals to enlist in and infiltrate the police ranks. These individuals then run protection for organized crime, both on the streets and internally as informants.

The ex-captain got his start this way, working for “bicheiros,” illegal gambling clans, according to the Civil Police’s report, but the homicide detectives ruled out the possibility that bicheiros were responsible for Franco and Gomes’s murders. Instead, the police believe that the individual or individuals who ordered the crime are part of a militia, a type of paramilitary group comprised of current and former police officers, firefighters, soldiers, and municipal guards.

MPs from the Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) in Rio de Janeiro conducted an operation against drug trafficking in the main accesses to Morro do Dende, on Ilha do Governador, on the morning of this Tuesday, May 16, 2017 . (Photo by Fotoarena) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***(Sipa via AP Images)

Officers from the Special Police Operations Battalion, or BOPE, in Rio de Janeiro, conduct an operation against drug trafficking on Ilha do Governador on May 16, 2017.

Photo: Sipa via AP Images

Old Crimes Offered a Lead

The Intercept reported last May that the main suspect had ties to BOPE, and the weapon used in the crime — likely one of three types of imported submachine guns — was rare on the streets in Brazil, but part of the arsenal of special ops commandos.

The Civil Police’s Homicide Division first arrived at the name of the suspect by interrogating potential witnesses and fleshed out their suspicions by reviewing unsolved investigations into the executions of two former police sergeants, Geraldo Antônio Pereira and Marcos Vieira de Souza. Souza, known as “Falcon,” was the former president of the Portela samba school and, at the time of his murder, was running for city council. Executed in 2016, both Pereira and Falcon had been investigated for involvement with militias and bicheiros.

In the case of Falcon’s killing, witnesses at the time told detectives that four hooded men carrying assault rifles conducted the hit. The group pulled up in front of his campaign headquarters in a silver Volkswagen Gol, and three of them got out of the vehicle, but only two entered the building. Falcon, unaccompanied by his security guards, was shot dead with bullets to the chest and head, before the assassins fled in their vehicle. More than two years later, detectives still have not identified the killers or the motive for the crime.

With these clues in hand, the most experienced investigators in the Civil Police were able to draw up a short list of those capable of organizing such clean hits.

Pereira was also gunned down by assault rifle. His murderers used vehicles with cloned license plates and were exceedingly careful to leave no clues behind, exhibiting a level of sophistication on par with the attack on Franco and Gomes.

With these clues in hand, the most experienced investigators in the Civil Police — well-acquainted with Rio’s underworld — were able to draw up a short list of those capable of organizing such clean hits. On that list was the crew of former BOPE officers, including the ex-captain. Police investigators then hit the streets, concentrating their efforts in the region of Rio das Pedras, in Rio’s West Zone, where the former BOPE captain leads a crew of mercenaries. After scouring the area for security camera recordings, they finally located footage of the Chevrolet Cobalt used in Franco’s assassination. The car had been filled up at a gas station in Rio das Pedras on the eve of the crime.

“Ghost Weapon”

Franco’s killers employed a bevy of sophisticated measures to cover their tracks, including the use of what are known as “ghost weapons,” according to the Civil Police report.

The strategy is simple. For instance, as with the spoils of war, corrupt police are known to assemble arsenals of arms seized in the course of their work, usually from operations against drug traffickers. Most weapons are turned in, kept in the custody of the state, as is required by law. But the best pieces seldom make it to the Civil Police warehouse — they are diverted to the private stockpiles of dirty cops. Sometimes, these illegal caches are stored in the armories that the Military Police battalions operate out of.

The quantity and size of these arsenals is unknown, since there are no police records and most of the arms are imported illegally by organized crime groups. Suspecting that a “ghost weapon” had been used in Franco’s killing, Homicide Division detectives ordered all 9mm submachine guns to be collected from Military Police units, including BOPE, and undergo ballistics testing.

Militias and a City Council Member

Without enough material evidence to directly link the former BOPE captain’s posse to Franco and her driver’s assassinations, the Civil Police detectives dug deeper into unsolved homicide cases in which they thought the group of former BOPE officers might have been involved. In addition to the deaths of ex-sergeants Pereira and Falcon, the investigators dusted off the files on the 2011 murder of José Luiz de Barros Lopes, known as “Zé Personal,” and the April 2017 killing of Myro Garcia. The victims in those cases were, respectively, the son-in-law and son of the bicheiro moneyman Waldomiro Paes Garcia, known as “Maninho,” who was himself killed in September 2004.

After following the threads of these investigations, the police and prosecutors’ office opened a separate investigation last October into the involvement of militias in illegal land grabs and clay mining in the city’s West Zone.

The investigation produced enough evidence for warrants to obtain the banking, telephone, and personal records of Rio City Council member Marcello Siciliano, according to court documents obtained by The Intercept. The case also resulted in a search warrant on his house and office.

In court filings, prosecutors argued that Siciliano had participated in more than 80 real estate transactions involving land in areas dominated by paramilitary groups over the last 10 years. The documents also cite a negotiation between Siciliano and a businessperson involved in clay mining, whose brother was arrested on charges of militia involvement. The city council member has publicly denied any association with paramilitaries and said that the real estate negotiations were legal and registered in a notary’s office.

According to an O Globo report in June, Siciliano had been accused by at least one witness of having ordered the hit against Franco, but Siciliano has vigorously denied any involvement. The allegation, according to the O Globo story, came from a witness who is not named. In their account, the witness said Siciliano was associated with a well-known militia member, who the witness said was asked to do the hit on Franco. In his denial, Siciliano said he did not even know the militia leader.

This week, however, the militia leader’s driver was arrested on unrelated homicide charges and, according to another O Globo report, told police that he drove his boss to meet with Siciliano on multiple occasions — contradicting Siciliano’s previous claim.

Less than a month after Franco’s killing, a staffer in Siciliano’s city council office was gunned down in Rio, along with a retired police officer. Both had alleged militia ties. At the time, police sources told The Intercept that the killings may have been an attempt to “burn the records” — silence individuals who may have been involved or knew too much about the assassinations.

Franco’s mentor and political ally, Marcelo Freixo, has publicly cast doubt on this theory. “I do not see the possibility of Marielle’s death having any connection with our work with the militias,” Freixo told O Globo. “If the [public security] secretary says that the motivation is the land issue or is the question of the militias, this statement has to be accompanied by evidence.”

The reconstruction of the murder of Rio de Janeiro city councilor, Marielle Franco (PSOL), and the driver Anderson Gomes, started at 10:53 pm on Thursday, 10, at the corner of Joao Paulo I and Joaquim Palhares streets, in Estacio, central region of Rio, where the crime was committed, ended at 4:20 this Friday, the 11th. The model of the weapon used in the crime, the distance and angle at which shots were fired and even the degree of skill of the killer are some of the information that the Homicide Division cops expect to get with the simulated replay that lasted five and a half hours. Photo: WILTON JUNIOR/ESTADAO CONTEUDO (Agencia Estado via AP Images)

The reconstruction of the murder of Rio de Janeiro City Councilor Marielle Franco and driver Anderson Gomes, at the corner of Joao Paulo I and Joaquim Palhares streets in Estacio on May 11, 2018.

Photo: Wilton Junior/Estadao Conteudo/Agencia Estado via AP

A Broken Street Sign

Ten months after the executions of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes, the Homicide Division and the Public Ministry at last seem close to putting together all of the pieces in this intricate puzzle. Gen. Walter Braga Netto, who led the federal government’s takeover of Rio’s public security apparatus until the end of last year, told the O Globo newspaper last week that investigations into the death of Franco and Gomes are advanced, and the results would come “soon.”

“I could have announced who we think it was, or told Richard” — Gen. Richard Nunes, the former secretary of public security — “to do it, but we wanted to do a really professional job,” he said at a military event in Brasília.

Whether these pieces end up fitting together, however, may be up to Rio Gov. Wilson Witzel, who took office this month after promising during his campaign to “slaughter criminals” and end the civilian secretariat that oversees state police forces. This week, Witzel posted a video of himself leading a session of pushups at BOPE headquarters. Last year, a viral photo from a campaign event showed Witzel, microphone in one hand, the other raised in a fist, standing on stage next to two other candidates who proudly displayed a Marielle Franco street sign they had broken in half.

Posta under Latin-Amerika, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Kapitalflukta frå land i sør aukar – USA motarbeidar reglar

Tilbakeslag og lyspunkt i FN

Tilbakeslag og lyspunkt i FN | Julie Kristine Wood (bilde tatt av Jonas Engestøl Wettre)

Julie Kristine Wood (bilde tatt av Jonas Engestøl Wettre)

Ny resolusjon om ulovlig kapitalflyt er vedtatt i FN. Norge tar utviklingslandenes side mot USAs gjentatte forsøk på utvanning av internasjonalt samarbeid.


Av Julie Kristine Wood, rådgiver i Tax Justice Network Norge

Kapitalflukten fra utviklingsland er estimert til å ligge på rundt $1.200 milliarder årlig. Dette er over 10 ganger så høyt som verdens bistand. Pengene kunne bidratt til skolegang og vaksinering av alle verdens barn, men de potensielle skatteinntektene ender dessverre opp et helt annet sted. Multilaterale selskaper utnytter at det finnes lite eller ingen lovgivning internasjonalt til å tjene seg rike. Dette problemet kan bare løses gjennom internasjonalt samarbeid, fordi ulovlig kapitalflyt er grenseoverskridende i sin natur. FN er en arena med stort potensiale for å skape enighet om felles løsninger på disse utfordringene. Dette er fordi det eneste forumet der ulovlig kapitalflyt er direkte knyttet opp mot spørsmål om utviklingspolitikk, i tillegg til at rike og fattige land sine stemmer i prinsippet skal veie like tungt.

Resolusjonen om ulovlig kapitalflyt ble i år lagt frem for tredje gang i FNs komite for utviklingsspørsmål og vedtatt i generalforsamlingen ved konsensus 20.desember 2018. Det så en stund ut som USA ville kreve votering over resolusjonen, men dette ble heldigvis ikke tilfelle. Dette vitner derimot om steilere fronter og en vanskeligere forhandlingsprosess enn årene i forveien.

Som tidligere var det G77-landene, med Nigeria i spissen, som fremla førsteutkastet til forhandlingene, som begynte i slutten av oktober. Førsteutkastet som dannet utgangspunkt for diskusjonene, var ved første øyekast likt som fjorårets vedtatte resolusjon, med noen ønskede endringer og oppdateringer fra G77. At resolusjonene har som startpunkt det som det allerede finnes enighet om fra i fjor gjør at man kan følge utviklingen i hva som er FNs posisjon på en bestemt sak fra år til år.

Den første resolusjonen i FN om ulovlig kapitalflyt ble vedtatt i 2016, og bidro først og fremst til å sette temaet på den internasjonale dagsorden. De første substansielle fremskrittene med tanke på innhold ble gjennomført i 2017. Da ble initiativer for internasjonalt samarbeid og åpenhet om skattespørsmål, samt oppfordringer til tiltak for å redusere multinasjonale selskapers bruk av feilprising inkludert. Resolusjonen lovet bred innsats mot korrupsjon og for økt åpenhet og godt styresett, og pekte spesifikt på behovet for å hindre at kryptovaluta blir brukt til ulovlige aktiviteter. Et eget høynivåmøte om ulovlig kapitalflyt, som vil finne sted i første del av 2019, ble også inkludert. Norge foreslo, eller støttet opp om flere av disse initiativene og skiller seg fra de fleste vestlige land i forhandlingene. I mange viktige spørsmål deler Norge posisjon med utviklingslandene.

Årets resolusjonsforhandlinger var derimot preget av at Norge, og andre, måtte forsvare flere posisjoner man trodde det allerede fantes enighet om fra året før. At EU, Sveits og flere andre land nå lå nærmere USAs posisjoner enn tidligere, var heller ikke til hjelp.

Et urovekkende element fra årets forhandlinger var at USA, støttet av flere vestlige land, insisterte på at det ikke finnes noe internasjonalt anerkjent definisjon på ulovlig kapitalflyt. Av denne grunn ønsket de gjennomgående å legge til frasen “derived from criminal activities” der ulovlig kapitalflyt ble nevnt i resolusjonen. I praksis ville dette ha begrenset definisjonen på ulovlig kapitalflyt til handlinger avgjort som kriminelle gjennom nasjonal lovgivning. Dette utelukker blant annet kommersielle aktiviteter i multilaterale selskaper, som står for den aller største andelen av ulovlig kapitalflyt. Den vil heller ikke dekke potensielt nye og kreative metoder for skatteunngåelse, som ikke er eksplisitt nedfelt i loven. Som følge av stor motstand fra blant annet G77 og Norge, fikk heldigvis ikke USA viljen sin gjennom i år. Man skal derimot ikke se bort ifra at denne tilnærmingen vil fortsette å være knyttet til USAs posisjon inn mot andre relevante prosesser i fremtiden.

I tråd med at USA i økende grad vender ryggen mot internasjonalt samarbeid og FN, ble det i forhandlingene også tydelig at de ønsker å flytte tyngdepunktet fra internasjonale, til nasjonale tiltak mot korrupsjon og ulovlig skatteplanlegging. Eksempelvis fikk USA gjennomslag for å endre et avsnitt som anerkjenner behovet for styrking av internasjonalt samarbeid i kampen mot ulovlig kapitalflyt, til kun å se internasjonalt samarbeid som en nødvendig del av dette arbeidet. Dette kan ses i sammenheng med et ønske om å endre problembeskrivelsen av ulovlig kapitalflyt til noe som først og fremst handler om korrupsjon i utviklingsland. Å ta et oppgjør med rollen vestlige finanssenter spiller i ulovlig kapitalflyt, finnes det i mindre grad et engasjement for.

En annen diskusjon verdt å merke seg er hvorvidt det er utviklingsland som rammes hardest av ulovlig kapitalflyt. USA fikk gjennom å utvanne en setning om dette i årets resolusjon. Dette ble begrunnet med at det i absolutte termer forsvinner større summer ut fra vestlige land enn utviklingsland. Korrigert for størrelsen på et lands økonomi, er det derimot de fleste utviklingsland, og deres innbyggere, som er de største taperne. Et lite skritt tilbake for global fordeling der, med andre ord.

Alt dette tegner et ganske dystert bilde av årets forhandlinger, men det finnes også noen lyspunkt. Eksempler på dette er et nytt avsnitt som gir anerkjennelse til sivilsamfunn og akademia; et operativt avsnitt som nevner automatisk informasjonsutveksling mellom stater og en erkjennelse av at ulovlig kapitalflyt begrenser midler tilgjengelig til å finansiere utvikling. Norge fikk dessuten gjennomslag for et avsnitt om å styrke regelsetting (regulatory frameworks) for transparens og ansvarlighet hos finansielle institusjoner, kommersielle aktører og det offentlige, samt et avsnitt om behovet for større datagrunnlag og kunnskap om ulovlig kapitalflyt.

Norge kvalifiserer også til klassens raddis og presenterte en rekke forslag til substansielle avsnitt. For eksempel et som nevner muligheten for en FN-konvensjon om finansiell åpenhet og et annet om behovet for å synliggjøre reelle eiere av selskap (beneficial owners). Da den norske innsatsen ble konsentrert rundt å forsvare det som var oppnådd tidligere, kom imidlertid ingen av disse forslagene med til den endelige versjonen av resolusjonen.

Man kan spørre seg om det fantes et rom for fremgang som nå har lukket seg, eller om landene på andre siden av bordet bare trengte et år på å mobilisere seg i mellom. Uansett fremstår behovet for et norsk engasjement inn i arbeidet med ulovlig kapitalflyt i FN, og andre internasjonale fora fortsatt sterkt.

Støtt Tax Justice Network – Norge i arbeidet for skatterettferdighet. 
Enkeltbidrag på VIPPS: 550844. Bli fastgiver (valgfritt månedlig beløp).
Posta under Kapitalisme, Politikk, samfunn, Vår globale verd | Merkt , , , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

The World Economy on the Edge of Crisis?

Posta under Capitalism, Marxism, Our global world, Politikk, samfunn | Merkt , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

The Imperialists – Dem. and Rep. – Against Trump – What a Weird Story!

The wrong kind of unity against Trump

January 7, 2019 –

Trump’s plan to pull U.S. troops from Syria is a product of his America First nationalism, but no one should trust the odd bedfellows united against him, writes Ashley Smith.

AS THE New Year dawned, Donald Trump’s regime appeared to be coming apart at the seams.

The billionaire’s tariffs against China and threats to fire the head of the Federal Reserve Bank sent the stock market into a panic. Trump then shut down the government over his demand for a racist border wall and spent his holiday home alone in the White House, munching on burgers and binge-watching Fox News.

The political establishment, which had until recently tolerated Trump’s impulsive statements and erratic policy swings, decisively turned against him over his surprise announcement to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria and half of the 14,000 occupying Afghanistan.

Everyone from the generals in his cabinet to the state bureaucracy, the corporate media and both the Republican and Democratic Parties have denounced Trump’s withdrawal as nothing less than the abandonment of U.S. imperialism’s bipartisan strategy to defend global capitalism through a system of alliances against terrorism, so-called rogue states, and great-power rivals.

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (left) and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in Washington, D.C.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (left) and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in Washington, D.C. (Tech Sgt. Vernon Young Jr. | flickr)

Trump’s decision, while made in haste and reportedly over a phone call with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, isn’t the accident it has sometimes been portrayed as, but a campaign promise that flows from his “America First” nationalist strategy to put U.S. interests before all else, even if that means disrupting alliances and cutting deals with rivals.

The establishment’s opposition to his decision — and, indeed, his whole America First strategy — began within his own administration. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in protest and was soon followed by Brett McGurk, Trump’s envoy to the global coalition to fight ISIS.

Mattis and McGurk denounced Trump for betraying the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Force — the Kurds are now threatened with destruction by an invasion from Turkey — and failing to finish the war against ISIS, which, while it lost its capital in Raqqa, still retains over 30,000 soldiers in Iraq and Syria.

But their main criticism was that Trump’s decision was a surrender of American imperial influence in Syria to Russia and Iran. In particular, they and other sections of the establishment are concerned that Iran will gain an upper hand in its regional power struggle with the U.S.’s main allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In his letter of resignation, Mattis further excoriated Trump for trashing the traditional U.S. strategy of superintending the neoliberal world order and thereby compromising Washington’s ability to dominate the world system.

“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues,” he wrote. “We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.”

MATTIS WAS backed up a chorus of retired generals. Former Admiral James Stavridis impugned Trump’s intellectual capacity to absorb information in an article in Time magazine. Retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal told ABC News that he considered Trump immoral and would never accept an appointment in his cabinet.

The foreign policy establishment was just as critical. Barack Obama’s favorite neoconservative, Robert Kagan, warned that Trump had opened “an era more destructive of the world order than in the 1930s. Back then, at least Britain and France were responsible for keeping part of the order. Now we are the responsible world power — and we are undermining it.”

Surprisingly, the Republican Party establishment, which has heretofore tolerated Trump’s erratic rule in order secure tax cuts for big business, further deregulation of Corporate America and right-wing judicial appointments, condemned Trump’s decision almost unanimously.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who most recently made headlines as the Republicans’ rabid attack dog against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in defense of now confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, declared that Trump’s withdrawal was a “disaster,” a “stain on the honor of the United States” and a decision that risked “another 9/11.”

Graham penned a bipartisan public letter to Trump signed by six senators that decried the decision as a threat to American dominance of the Middle East that would “bolster two other adversaries to the United States, Iran and Russia. As you are aware, both Iran and Russia, have used the Syrian conflict as a stage to magnify their influence in the region. Any sign of weakness perceived by Iran or Russia will only result in their increase presence in the region and a decrease in the trust of our partners and allies.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who supported George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, signed on to the letter, but she wasn’t alone among the Democrats. In fact, the party staked a position almost to the right of the GOP, denouncing Trump for his misleadership of the empire and for capitulating to Russia and Iran.

Nancy Pelosi pointed to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement in support of Trump — “Donald’s right. I agree with him” — and railed:

Imagine. That is the comment of Vladimir Putin on the actions taken by the president of the United States in relationship to Syria, an action that was taken without the benefit of the thinking of our national security establishment and out intelligence community included in that, a decision made in a cavalier fashion in terms of our allies in the fight against terrorism, a decision that is dangerous.

Daniel Feldman, Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, recognized the ironic unity in the establishment across the political spectrum, admitting, “I hate to ever feel like I’m in the company of neocons, and I’m no proponent of a forever war in Afghanistan, but pulling troops out in this way is completely irresponsible and nonstrategic.”

THE ESTABLISHMENT has come out swinging because they are worried that now, after the resignations of Mattis, McGurk John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff and former Gen. John Kelly, Trump will be completely unhindered from implementing his America First program.

The two parties had hoped that the administration’s so-called “adult faction” — which also had included H.R. McMaster, and CEOs Rex Tillerson and Gary Cohn — would restrain Trump and channel his foreign policy into a more orthodox, if muscular, version of the traditional one of superintending the neoliberal world order.

The deceased warmonger John McCain had greeted this grouping’s appointment by declaring he “could not imagine a better, more capable national security team.” Even socialist Bernie Sanders and progressive Elizabeth Warren voted to confirm Mattis and Kelly to Trump’s cabinet back in 2017.

Sanders justified this by stating that they “may not be the nominees I would have preferred for the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, but in a Trump cabinet likely to be loaded up with right-wing extremists, all of whom I will oppose, I hope General Mattis and General Kelly will have a moderating influence on some of the racist and xenophobic views that President Trump advocated throughout the campaign.”

It’s a sign of the times that the bipartisan political establishment would look to a war criminal whose nickname is “Mad Dog” as an adult who could discipline Trump.

Mattis infamously told his troops in Iraq to “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” With such instructions, it should come as no surprise that he oversaw a massacre in Haditha and the destruction of Fallujah, which included the illegal use of the chemical weapon white phosphorous.

In fact, the CEOs and generals did at first manage to contain Trump and his America First faction, spearheaded at the start by the dark prince of the alt-right, Steve Bannon. They took credit for stopping Trump from withdrawing from NATO, pulling troops out of South Korea and, until now, doing the same in Syria and Afghanistan.

They were so successful that, after the billionaire fired Bannon in a fit of egotistical rage, it looked like the establishment had won the faction fight.

But Trump grew frustrated about the restraints on his agenda imposed by the generals and CEOs. In March of last year, Trump got rid of most of them, firing Cohn, McMaster and Tillerson. They were replaced by like-minded hawks and nationalists like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.

Now, with Mattis, McGurk and Kelly gone, the establishment has few reliable agents left within the Trump regime.

While Trump railed against all his critics, trashing his military critics as “failed generals,” he did agree to slow down the removal of troops from both countries after Lindsey Graham came to the White House to beg for a change of course.

Nevertheless, Trump’s nationalist backers know they’ve won a victory. Steve Bannon told a reporter that “the apparatus slow-rolled him until he just said enough and did it himself…Not pretty, but at least done.”

NO ONE on the left should oppose U.S. troops being removed from Syria and Afghanistan. But the fact that Bannon was delighted with Trump’s announcement should be a warning if anyone has any illusions that antiwar motives, let alone anti-imperialist motives, are involved.

The U.S. forces in Syria were never there to aid the now-defeated popular uprising against the Bashar al-Assad regime, to protect Syrian civilians from Assad’s atrocities or to advance the Kurdish struggle for self-determination. Their sole mission was to wipe out ISIS, and this was the purpose to which the U.S. tried to bend all its allies.

Even that war aim should not be seen as humanitarian in any way. Remember that ISIS did not exist before the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. Like al-Qaeda before it, ISIS emerged as a reactionary opposition to U.S. intervention.

The U.S. war against ISIS was destined to backfire. It caused death and destruction for untold numbers of civilians in both Iraq and Syria, and those war crimes have increased the breeding ground for opposition to imperialism in any form.

The occupation of Afghanistan — now the U.S.’s longest war — had similar consequences. The U.S. invaded and toppled the former Taliban government, killed thousands of innocent Afghans, and installed an utterly corrupt and unpopular regime of warlords and crooks. The occupation and its quisling government is so despised that large numbers of Afghans have rallied in despair back to the Taliban, which is likely to return to power when U.S. troops withdraw.

Nor does the withdrawal mean an end to U.S. imperial intervention in either country. The Pentagon has already drawn up plans to use their Special Forces and air power to strike against ISIS in Syria. Trump’s super-hawk National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly told Israel that the U.S. would support its attacks on Iranian targets in Syria — and for good measure, he threatened the Assad regime with air strikes if it used chemical weapons again.

Thus, Trump’s America First policy does not, in the misleading words of liberal commentator Gareth Porter, offer “the country a new course, one that does not involve a permanent war state.”

As left-wing journalist Jeremy Scahill tweeted, “For those who somehow think this is Trump opposing the war machine, I point you to his massive escalation of drone strikes, his easing of rules for killing civilians, his use of ground troops in Yemen and Somalia and his use of criminal weaponry like the MOAB in Afghanistan.”

Trump merely wants to extract the U.S. from losing positions, compel other nations to shoulder the burden of fighting and bend relationships with both allies and enemies to what he perceives to be the interests of the U.S. state and American capitalism.

This is what led him to rip up the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran and threaten it with war, back Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen — and, most importantly, launch a new cold war with China.

BUT BEING opposed to Trump’s erratic nationalism should not lead anyone on the left to follow the Republican and Democratic establishments’ defense of the traditional imperial strategy of ruling the neoliberal world order. While that status quo brought riches to ruling classes around the world, it has produced nothing but misery for workers and oppressed peoples.

Indeed, few if any great powers rival the crimes that U.S. imperialism committed in establishing and running that so-called “rules-based international order.” It was founded at the end of the Second World War with two of the greatest acts of barbarism in human history: the nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After that, during the Cold War, the U.S. and its superpower rival, the Soviet Union, trapped the world in fear of total destruction through nuclear war. The U.S. even called its policy, which promised to ensure peace through the arms race, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).

Faced with rebellion within its own sphere of influence, the U.S. was the principal enemy of national liberation struggles, backing reactionary dictators throughout the developing world and, when that didn’t work, launching wars like in Vietnam that laid waste to whole countries in a vain effort to preserve imperial dominance.

Since the collapse of the USSR, Washington’s unchallenged rulership over the world order has been no better. The U.S. used the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank to impose free trade globalization for the benefit of capital and to the detriment of workers throughout the world.

It deployed its military to put down all opposition, whether progressive or reactionary, and to impose its rule on sections of the world reduced to chaos by neoliberal economics.

Neither Trump’s “America First” nationalism nor the establishment’s neoliberal imperialism offer anything but austerity, war and state terror for the workers and oppressed of the world. Meanwhile, on the central question of imperial competition with China, both Trump and his critics agree on the need to confront a rising threat to U.S. dominance over the world system.

One mainstream commentator, Robert Samuelson, went so far as to argue that the U.S. is spending too much on the welfare state and underfunding the military, thus causing it to fall behind its competitors in China and Russia. He ominously warned:

It’s hard to miss the parallels with the period before World War II, when England, France and the United States allowed Adolf Hitler to rearm Germany, altering the global balance of power…This is not a call for war. It is a call for stopping many self-inflicted wounds. We need to stop underfunding the military, especially on research and cyberwarfare, even if that means less welfare.

THESE DEVELOPMENTS make the question of imperialism and anti-imperialism unavoidable and central for the new socialist movement in the US. So far, it has been ill-prepared to answer it for two reasons.

The first is the influence of pro-Democratic Party liberalism, which led the main forces of the antiwar movement that protested the “war on terror” invasions of the Bush years to dissolve themselves when Barack Obama won the White House in 2008 as a supposed antiwar candidate.

As should have been obvious then and certainly is in retrospect now, Obama never intended to be an antiwar president. He sustained the occupation of Iraq, increased the troop presence in Afghanistan, launched a global drone war and attempted to confront China through his administration’s failed Pivot to Asia.

The dissolution of the antiwar movement meant that many lessons about U.S. imperialism have not been transmitted to a new generation of radicals.

Second, among the radicalization taking place to the left of the Democratic Party since 2008, imperialism has been downplayed.

Most of the socialist radicalization associated with Bernie Sanders, for example, has focused on domestic reforms like Medicare for All. But there is a connection between anti-imperialism and the struggle for such reforms — and as the ruling class, as Samuelson signals, puts the demands of imperialism first and social reforms last, it becomes impossible to separate them.

Sanders’ lead on the question of U.S. foreign policy is inadequate. Recently, he laudably called for a progressive internationalism that puts human rights and democracy at its heart. But on key issues — like supporting Trump’s protectionism against China — he falls short, following the traditional social democratic practice of promoting a left version of nationalism.

Some in the new left have fallen under the sway of another inadequate doctrine: a form of Stalinist anti-imperialism inherited from the Cold War. This position, known as “campism,” uses the idea that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” to justify support for any and all antagonists of the U.S., no matter how oppressive and capitalist.

This had led some to unconscionably support Assad’s regime in Syria and even Xi Jinping’s in China as somehow anti-imperialist.

Instead of these models, the new left must recover the genuine socialist tradition of anti-imperialism that opposes the U.S. state, first and foremost, but also its rivals like China or Russia — and instead builds solidarity from below between workers and oppressed nations and peoples of the world.

Only this approach can provide the new left with a solid foundation to oppose Trump’s unbound nationalism and the establishment’s neoliberal imperialism.

Recent articles

  • Shut out by Trump’s shutdown

  • LAUSD’s “portfolio model” gets an F

  • Scotch tape for crumbling subways

  • From Palestine to Mexico, border walls must go

  • Building the left in the face of Brexit

Further reading

E-mail alerts

International Socialist Organization |
International Socialist Review |
Haymarket Books |
Posta under Imperialism, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Nikki Fascist and Fascist Bolsonaro

Shibley Telhami @ShibleyTelhami

Svar til

Bolsonaro Quotes: • “I had four sons, but then I had a moment of weakness, and the fifth was a girl.” • “I’m not going to rape you, because you’re very ugly” • “I’d rather have my son die in a car accident than have him dating some guy” • “I’m pro-torture”

New Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro Has Anti-Black Agenda | News One

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who was once on trial for racism, won Brazil’s presidency on Sunday, clearing the way for him to pursue his unabashedly racist agenda. See Also: Marielle …



Posta under Capitalism, Latin-Amerika, Our global world, Politikk, samfunn | Merkt , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Verda anno 2019 – Er det slik me vil ha ho?

I denne bloggposten, er det utdrag frå artiklane «Ein milliard menneske svelt i vår tid – og me lever i våre bobler», «Liberalismen, den individualistiske fridom og flyktningkrisa«, «Er dette framtida allereie i dag?«, som eg skreiv for fleire år sidan. Artiklane er på ingen måte utdaterte! OG, dei er, diverre kan ein seie med sikkerheit, like (om ikkje meir) aktuelle no. Difor er dei sett saman, oppdaterte der det trengs og blogga på nytt. Det vil truleg vera naudsynt i eit langt perspektiv med slike ny-bloggingar. Urettvisa vert ikkje slutt i morgon, eller i over-morgon! Godt nytt år!

Ivar Jørdre

Pengane eller livet

I landa i sør vil det sjølvsagt også i framtida verte produsert, handla og forbrukt fleire landbruksvarer, men matvaremangel og svelt er likevel eit veksande problem i dag. Den globale kapitalismen har ikkje som føremål å gje alle verdas folk like rettar til mat, husvære, helse og arbeid. Han skal gje dei priviligerte rettar til profitt! I verda i dag svelt ein milliard menneske. Det er matvarer nok. Derimot har fattige langt ifrå nok tilgang til dei. Difor skal fattigdomen minskast, og økonomien vekse – heiter det i FN – og det skal landbruket i utviklingslanda kunne hjelpe til med (, 17.6.09). (”Organisasjonen for økonomisk samarbeid og utvikling”, OECD, har også skreve, m.a. i sin ”Landbruksutsikt 2009”: at ”Ein milliard menneske svelt».)

Høyres sikkert vel og bra ut dette, men det manglar det avgjerande: ”tilgang” til desse matvarer. Kva ligg det så i denne ”tilgang”? Tilgangen ligg i pengar, sjølvfølgeleg. Det er pengane som utelet dei fattige frå midlet til å få tak i mat. Dei må først skaffe pengane før dei kan ete. Med litt logikk kan ein lett få slutninga: Formålet med all produksjon – også produksjonen av matvarer – er ikkje å framstille goder, t.d. det dei fattige treng. Formålet er i staden å skaffa pengar. Den materielle rikdom som vert produsert i så rikeleg monn, eksisterar utelukkande for å verte til pengar. Vidare er det denne tvang, dette altdominerande formål, som får fram det marknadsøkonomiske elendet! Ekspertane i OECD kallar likevel ikkje pengane for pengar, men derimot for ”tilgang”. Det er på den eine sida uttrykk for, at det for dei er den mest sjølvsakte ting i verda, at ein ikkje kan få noko utan pengar og at ein no ein gong ikkje har nokon ”tilgang”. Og på den andre sida dekkar dei over dette litt «fine» ordet, at det i det heile teke berre dreiar seg om pengar. Dei vil ikkje innsjå at det er pengane, altså fastlegginga av all produksjon på å tene pengar, som let folk svelte. For dei ligg problemet i, at folk manglar pengar. Berre mangelen på pengar hindrar at dei produserte godene kjem fram kor det er allar mest bruk for dei. Så snart pengane er til stades, muleggjer dei ”tilgangen” til godene. Sett gjennom dette blikket er det nok klart kva saka går ut på: Svolt handlar ikkje om mangel på mat, men derimot om mangel på pengar. Og det, som dei fattige primært har trong for, vert så: ein vellukka pengeøkonomi! Milliardar av sveltande menneske er medvitne (eller manipulerte) til å tru på naudsyntheita av marknadsøkonomisk vekst målt i pengar. Dei siste tiåra med vekst i verdsøkonomien før krisa i 2008, har gjeve eit kjempestort og stigande tal sveltande – og det einaste riktige middel mot det var verdsøkonomisk vekst, vart folk fortalt om og om igjen. Og no etter økonomikrisa med nedgang i den totale verdsøkonomien seier det seg sjølv kva som hender.

Det er dermed gitt kva som føreskrivast som løysing i den sosiale marknadsøkonomien, som er berømt (eller berykta) for sin «effektivitet og menneskelegheit»: Om sveltande i det heile teke får tilgang til mat, så skjer ikkje det ved å lage og ete han. I staden skal dei væra med på å gjere mat til ei vare, som kan handlast, og så skal dei transportera vara dit kor ho kan betalast for. Det er den einaste måte dei kan tene pengane, som dei så kan bruka til å kjøpe mat for. Kva elles kan ein då tilby dei fattige enn økonomisk vekst?

Dette er måten som marknadsøkonomar arbeidar med spørsmål om liv og overleving på. For profesjonelle økonomar startar og sluttar økonomien med pengar. Dei forstår ikkje eller kjenner ikkje andre behov og produkt enn pengar. Ikkje andre spørsmål og ingen andre middel til problemløysing, kjenner dei. Same kor dei byrjar, så avsluttar dei med det evindelige maset om at økonomisk vekst er uunnværleg. Desse sokalla ekspertar uroar seg ikkje om stort anna enn marknadsøkonomien og hans vekst målt i pengar. Så er det oss sokalla vanlege borgarar som ikkje lever i fattigdom og vårt kjennskap til kva vårt økonomiske system (les kapitalismen) verkeleg held på med. Me lever mest i vår eigen boble og ensar svært lite at me sjølve er «slavar» av kapitalismen, men då ikkje som fattige og sveltande menneske, men som relativt velfødde konsumistar. Denne tilstanden er sjølvsagt perfekt for dei systemtru politikarane og kapitalistane. Det er ikkje før både me velfødde og dei fattige reagerar mot uretten systemet fører med seg, at systemet sjølv har grunn til uro. Ikkje før!

Framtida på havet (The future at sea), olje_61x40cm, 2011, Ivar Jørdre.


Flyktningane sin tidsalder og fridomen sin pris

Aldri før har den individbaserte «fridom» vore større, meinar liberalistane. Samstundes har dei globale krisene aldri vore større heller: miljøkrise, økonomikrise og flykningkrise. Midt oppe i dette er vår forståing av fridomsomgrepet sentral. Fridom vert universelt sett oppfatta som positivt, dei fleste vil ha det, men dei færraste definerar innhaldet i det. Heilt frå antikken, hjå grekarane og romarane (og før) til omlag vår tid har omgrepet «fridom» vore diskutert. To hovudretningar gjer seg gjeldande: Den liberalistiske fridom. Definert som «fråvær av innblanding», frå staten eller andre menneske. Ofte forbunde med den kapitalistiske marknaden sin “fridom” og den individuelle “fridom” til å velje sitt konsum. Denne liberalistiske ideologien har sitt opphav på tidleg 1800-tal, m.a. med filosofen Adam Smith. Det andre fridomsomgrepet har sitt opphav i antikken og vidareført i m.a. den usanske (1776), franske (1789) og norske grunnlov (1814). I nyare tid har ein brukt omgrepet «republikanisme» (har ingenting med dagens republikanarar i USA å gjera!). Dette politiske fridomsomgrepet har m.a. i seg “fridom frå vilkårleg makt, tyranni og tvang”. Ein kan her legge til, fridom frå vilkårleg marknadsmakt og «konsumtvang», fattigdom og krig. Les om dette og meir i artikkelen: «Ta fridomsomgrepet attende frå liberalistane og høgrekreftene»

Dette krysspunktet mellom ulike innhald i «fridom» lyt me som menneske forhalde oss til, også i krisetider som vår. Me ser gradvis forverring av mange sider av menneskelivet. I denne artikkelen er det flykningar, folk som rømmer frå noko alvorleg og uhaldbart som krig, svolt og fattigdom, kontrast til «vår fridom», som det vert sett på. Innan EU er den kapitalistiske fridomen dei fire friheiter: Fri flyt av varer, kapital, tenester og menneske. MEN, skal nokon inn i dette Schengen-området og med Dublin-forordninga, vert saka straks annleis. Då er krava harde og utvelginga av folk som får kome inn urettvise. Dette «regimet» EU fekk framover seinsommaren 2015 sin største utfordring nokon gong.

Den sommaren og hausten kom det først omlag 350 000 menneske så over millionen til kontinentet frå land som Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq og Syria. Frå Syria kom langt på veg dei fleste. Over 3000 menneske (uoffentleg mange fleire) drukna i Middelhavet på veg i farkostar ein knapt kan kalle båtar, sendt avgarde av kyniske menneskesmuglarar. Dette sett i scene frå land i Vesten med USA i spissen fullt ut har øydelagt stukturelt og sosialt med krigar, invasjonar, innblandingar og regimeskifte ved Nato-bombing. Libya er no ein kaotisk stat etter Nato sine herjingar i 2011. Staten Noreg var den flinkaste bombaren i «Nato-klassen». Syria har vesten også blanda seg inn i og på kaotisk vis støtta eller ikkje støtta ulike fraksjonar og ekstreme grupper etter ad hoc-prinsippet.  Dei langvarige vestlege invasjonar i Iraq og Afghanistan, talar vel for seg sjølv i mange års «produksjon» av flyktningar. Som til og med Torbjørn Jagland, leiar i Europarådet, har sagt, i Søndagsavisa 30.08 i Nrk p2, i 2015, at det er Vesten som har skapt denne flyktningekrisa ved sine innblandingar og krigar.

Våre innblandingar og krigar er gamalt nytt. I heile den koloniale historie og meir til, har Vesten sine armear og elite rana andre kontinent for folk og ressursar. I dag er det olje og mineral Vesten mest jaktar på. Eller om det berre er eit regimeskifte Vesten vil ha av økonomiske og geopolitiske omsyn. Den største flykningkrise sidan 2. verdskrig seier mange om det i Europa. Men det er ei dreiing av sanninga. Den største krisa er i konfliktområda sine nærområde, nabolanda. Dei har teke i mot millionar av menneske. Og kva kranglar politikarane i Noreg om, skarve 8 000 kvoteflykningar over 3 år. Er det dette vår fridom utspeiglar seg i: Til å ta minst av byrda som ein av dei rikaste landa. Til å oppmode kommunane til ikkje å ta i mot flyktningar, slik finansministeren gjorde i 2015(ikkje å undrast slikt kjem frå Frp-kanten, men totalt sprøtt frå ein minister). Til å vera mest mogleg umenneskeleg i kjeften på sosiale media der nokon får seg til å seie at det er betre dei druknar så vert det færre som kjem seg til Europa. Kva for fridom er det?

I 2018 er stemninga i Europa endra sidan 2015. Ingen vil ha flyktningar  lenger. Grensene vaktast meir og meir. Dei mange redningsbåtar i Middelhavet er vekke, berre få att. I dette året kom berre litt over 70 000 menneske over havet. 2200 menneske har drukna. Er dette den fridomen Europa vil stå for?

Den totale framandgjeringa av fenomenet «menneske» gjer seg her gjeldande. Med denne dehumaniseringa ikkje berre av flyktningen, men også av seg sjølv, kjem eit mørkt systematisk syn i historia brått attende. For alvor i slike tider der hundretusen kjem og bankar på «festung Europa» si dør er det kritisk viktig at me står opp mot fascistiske krefter og deira mørke gribbar av tyrrani og ufridom. Fridomsomgrepet «republikanisme» med m.a. “fridom frå vilkårleg makt, tyranni og tvang” må gjelde vårt tilhøve til folk på flykt. Solidaritet frå folk til folk er basen for at endring hender av samfunnsstrukturar, men inn til det hender er dei tusenvis som er på flukt frå Vesten sine skapte kriser og eit klima som stadig vert meir uføreseieleg.


Dette er eit dikt som på fleire måtar speiglar miljø og framtid, og kva tilstand menneska kan vente seg om me eventuelt ikkje tenkjer oss om i tide. Men gjer me det? Arktis smeltar som aldri før. Det same gjeld i Himalaya. Metan stig opp frå steppene i Sibir og frå havbotnen i nord, snart enormt. Verdas regnskog forsvinn framleis i stort monn. Menneska rømer til konsumisme og dårskap. Er det håp? Ja, det er det! Men då må me vakne opp frå dvala, endre oss og kjempe saman – for noko nytt!

Regnskogen brenn II (The rainforest is burning), olje_61x85cm, 2008, Ivar Jørdre.

Eg skreiv dette diktet for ein del år sidan, men fann det fram att no og ser at det er meir aktuelt enn nokon gong.

Anno 2020

Nokre born sit i skuggen
av eit tre
Dette tre har sorg i sine lauv

Ei gong stod dette tre
i lag med
sine systre og brødre
i ein park

Dei var litt av eit syn
der dei stod
duvande i lett bris
med stolte bladkroner
som krystal

Parken er ikkje meir
eit tre står att
ein fabrikk er bygd
liknar ein sarkofag
med skorstein av død

Men denne generasjon
som sit under
dette tre
frå forige generasjon
veit noko saman

Det er
om ei betre verd

Posta under Imperialisme, Kapitalisme, Klima, Politikk, samfunn | Merkt | 3 kommentarar