November 2008

We are troubled by the horrific attacks in Mumbai last night. Our thoughts goes to the victims, their relatives and friends.

We are also concerned about the possible implications of the recent wave of terror in India. While outbursts of ultra violence are legion in other places in the world and even in India, we are afraid of the potential national, regional and global effects of the latest series of attacks, especially those in Mumbai, one of the business centers in Asia. We hope that India, the largest representative democracy in the world, will not capitulate to terrorism and and continue on the path of counterproductive, capricious and authoritarian measures and blame games. We hope that this will not destabilize and divide India or affect its relations to its neighbor Pakistan. Regardless if the Pakistani state or part of its state has any links to these events or not, increased tension between the two nuclear nations is the last thing we need. While the surviving perpetrators should be caught and imprisoned, and if possible the eventual organization behind dealt with in accordance with procedural justice, it is also certainly in the world’s interest to seriously address root causes such as democratic and judicial deficits, grievances, exclusion and structural violence on national and transnational levels.



The one president at a time president bails out thanksgiving turkey but stays quiet on economy, although he repeatedly ensures that he’ll keep president-elect Obama informed about the situation and that he appreciate Hank’s hard work.

Meanwhile president-elect uses the visible hand, announcing names of economic advisers he’s going to take economic advices of, and voi⋅là the rational stock market goes up up up!

He’ll announce security adviser team soon too — Gates stays as defense minister and Clinton becomes secretary of state etc. — so if everybody at the international theater of war and diplomatics acts as rational as actors in the market does everything will be just fine and dandy. And Rummie, Cheney and others responsible for one of the darkest eras of USA will … probably not be held accountable in the US and they will definitely not go to holiday in the Hague any day soon.

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) of the US Intelligence Community have reached the same conclusion as Johan Galtung, the Grandfather of peace studies who in 1980 correctly predicted the fall of the Soviet Union within ten years. Namely that US dominance will end within a couple of decades. (In the wake of the Wall Street meltdown this prediction probably doesn’t seem far fetched.)

NIC’s Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World (opens pdf) paints a bleak picture of the future but with a few glimpses of hope. But scarcity, they argue, will be the hallmark of the new world.

Everybody, including NIC, now seem to agree that USA squandered its unipolar moment. Even though US may still be the largest economic and military power in 2025, its leadership ambitions will increasingly be met with distrust as will the Western liberal democratic model in general. The global political economic order will be completely reconfigured. US power will be balanced by the rise of the BRIC (Brasil, Russia, India, China)

“China, particularly, offers an alternative model for political development in addition to demonstrating a different economic pathway.” (NIC 2008, p. 34)

EU, will be strong but troubled by internal bickering. Much of Latin America and Africa will be early losers. Ongoing troubles will make it harder for the global community to focus on long-term risks. Nations and global governance institutions like the UN are ill fitted to meet global challanges of resource depletion, climate change, terrorism, resource conflicts and imploding states. The geopolitical rivalries will increase. Multilateralism, concerted efforts and empowerment of women are however our best chances.

“We could have a better world in 2025.” ( Thomas Fingar, chairman of NIC)

NIC’s bet on 2025 economic ranking

1 US
2 China
3 Europe
4 India
5 Japan
6 Russia
7 Brazil

Video “Global Trends 2025”

The National Intelligence Council Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World (pdf)

Johan Galtung On the Coming Decline and Fall of the US Empire



New York Times





Peace and Freedom II

The Cynical Optimist


This blog on the role of USA in the 21st century world order

The Swedish parliament passed the Lisbon Treaty earlier tonight. Critics argue that the Lisbon Treaty and the new EU constitution means the end of the Swedish welfare model and a large displacement of sovereignty. Proponents argue that the new constitution makes EU more responsive to common problems such as crime, terrorism, financial crisis, climate change and violent conflicts in the periphery. Additionaly they argue that the EU parliament get more power in relation to other EU bodies and that EU will get more transparent and accountable for citizens overall. In either case the passing Treaty is problematic for a number of reasons.

  • The negative result of Ireland’s referendum on the Lisbon treaty should, in accordance with the treaty’s own provisions, have rendered it null and void.
  • The Swedish parliament gives up a lot of its legislative powers to non-elected EU bodies.
  • The Swedish constitution is, against its own stipulations, subordinated to the EU constitution.
  • The EU member states, including Sweden, will be obliged to contribute with military forces to EU. Additionaly EU shall be able to intervene militarily outside of its borders without a UN security council decision. Critiques argue that this is a grave breach with both international law and the Swedish policy of neutrality.
  • The Swedish welfare model will be subordinated to EU labour laws.

But the most problematic issue is perhaps that the Swedish parliament passed the Lisbon treaty without any public debate. And the media treatment of the issue has been negligent at best.






EU Treaty of Lisbon


Henrik Alexandersson


Bo Widegren


Republikens Rösrt i Kungariket

Ingemars Blogg

Gunnar Axén

The Irish Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

USA:S och Storbrittaniens agerande, inte bara som världspolis utan som världsmedborgargarde, var ett “grovt brott mot internationell lag” sa Lord Bingham, en av Storbrittaniens mest ansedda domare, vid ett tal på British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Han refererade blandannat till USA:s och Storbrittaniens enhälliga “beslut” att Irak brutit att FN resolutionen om IAEAs inspektioner, och de båda ländernas agerande under ockupationen.

“It was not plain that Iraq had failed to comply in a manner justifying resort to force and there were no strong factual grounds or hard evidence to show that it had.”

“Hans Blix and his team of weapons inspectors had found no weapons of mass destruction, were making progress and expected to complete their task in a matter of months.”

Bingham menar brittisk lag säger tydligt att brittiska ministrar måste lyda både brittisk och internationell lag. Detta ger understöd åt de som vill inreda en utredning av Storbrittaniens inblandning i kriget. Hans kritik är också ett viktigt bidrag till den internationella debatten om “preventiva” och “preemptiva” militära interventioner och den internationella ordningens grundvalar.

“The moment a state treated the rules of international law as binding on others but not on itself, the compact on which the law rested was broken”

Bingham är dock positiv. Han menar att även om de ansvariga troligtvis inte kommer att bli ställda inför den internationella domstolen i Haag så kanske, tack vare den massiva allmäna kritiken, stater aktar sig för att göra om samma misstag igen. Han avslutade sitt tal om nödvändigheten av internationell rätt i en tid av skrämmande utmaningar.

“If the daunting challenges now facing the world are to be overcome, it must be through the medium of rules, internationally agreed, internationally implemented and, if necessary, internationally enforced. That is what the rule of law requires in the international order.”

tl;dr Brittisk toppdomare konstaterar det som redan andra konstaterat. Hans status och goda anseende ger dock ytterligare tyngd åt det hela.


Fiskebestånden längs våra kuster är hotade. Torsken är snart slut i Östersjön och det finns mindre torsk i västerhavet än på länge. Hela den ekologiska balansen rubbas. Vad gör staten?

Befriar fiskeflottan från energi-, koldioxid- och svavelskatter vilket gynnar storskaligt fiske (och inte gynnar miljön). Av totalt 1.267 aktiva fiskefartyg får de 92 största ungefär hälften av skatteavdragen vilket är 100 miljoner kronor. Regeringens politik fiskeområdet är värdelös och förkastlig. En viktig förklaring till misslyckandet är enligt Eva Lindström på Riksrevisionsverket att regeringen använder två högst motstridiga styrmedel: å ena sidan erbjuds skrotningsbidrag och å andra sidan stöd och skattebefrielser.

Skrotningsstöd ges för att minska fiskeflottan. Men detta måste naturligtvis vara större än stöd och skattebefrielser för att det ska vara lönsamt för fiskaren. Men istället för den enkla och logiska lösningen att skrota subventioner eller åtminstone rikta dem mot småskaligt, socialt och miljömässigt hållbart fiske (med ökad tranparens, översikt accountability och ja ja..) föreslår Jorbruksministern ökade skrotningsbidrag.

Ett stort problem är EU:S Gemensamma Jordbruks-, och fiskeripolitik (CAP), med subventioner och satsningar på stordrift. Sverige kan inte agera ensamt (vilket dock inte är någon ursäkt för Sveriges idiotiska politk). EU säger sig vilja leda transitionen mot en low carbon economy. En radikal transformation av CAP måste vara en del av lösningen. 50% av EU:S budget går till CAP. Varför inte styra om denna mot småskaligt och energisnålt fiske och jorbruk samt stöd till landsbygdsutveckling i utvecklingsländerna? Detta stimulanspaket skulle minska miljöförstöringen, öka arbetstillfällen och människors hälsa.




Andra bloggar:

The evolving ape



Edit: Vill gärna få in minst ett citat i varje post. Passar inte riktigt men ändå.

“Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.” (Karl Marx)

Edit: FAO (SOFIA 2006)

Tillståndet för det globala beståndet av marina fiskarter:
52 % av alla bestånd är maximalt fiskade, vilket innebär att de tangerar eller är nära högsta möjliga hållbara produktionsnivå.
20 % är måttligt fiskade
17 % är överfiskade
7 % är utfiskade
3 % är lite fiskade
1 % återhämtar sig från utfiskning

Proposed solution for complex interconnected problems: a mixture of unrelated things

The G20 Communiqué presents lofty goals of growth, unemployment and poverty reductions with little mention of energy, environment and global imbalances or US mortgages and property bubble created the demand and liquidity for Chinese goods financed by Chinese savings.

The underlying principles of exploitation and competition are obviously untouchable. The goals, it says, should be obtained by market and free trade and principles of oversight, accountability and transparency. According to the pamflett, Rule of law is a market principle and effectively regulated financial systems equals free market.

The Bretton Woods institutions shall be reformed to increase its efficiency and legitimacy. Poor and emerging contries are excluded from the international financail institutions. The crisis began in USA and spread to the rest and it will worse in developing countries. Now the “emerging and developing countries, including the poorest countries, should have greater voice and representation.” How? According to Bush by “extending voting powers and government structures… particularly to those that have increased their funding”.

Thus, while Saudi Arabia and China may get some say and Japan increases its influence over the BWIs, the “basic vote” may continue to serve primarily to facilitate a false apparence that they are run according to the principle of equality among states.

No concrete commitments were made in regards to concerted demand stimuli. No promises to ODA and debt relief , which, in an ideal world, would be a part of a global stimuli package with positive long term and global security, justice and development implications.

There are however reasons for hope as I’ve written in Swedish in a post below.

Moreover, shockingly, the lame duck goes from entrenched denial to open admission:

“Those of you who have followed my career know that I’m a free market person,” he said. “Until you’re told that if you don’t take decisive measures, then it’s conceivable that our country could go into a depression greater than the Great Depression.”

The communiqué includes tangible and shor-term regulation, transparency and oversight goals, and other fashionable and ceremonial appurtenances, that are to be due in March. A new meeting will be held in April, in London, Watford or some place else in the old world.

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