Monday, 28 September 2015

Corbyn's hurdles: tory propaganda and hostile media

Article published in Cafebabel

Jeremy Corbyn. Bob Peters ©Flickr

British Labour party has a new leader. Corbyn, 66, has been a Member of the Parliament for Islington North since 1983. His election has already spread a big dose of controversy amongst the British media due to Corbyn’s reactionary nature as well as to media’s invasive stamp. 

Corbyn, who had submitted his candidature two minutes before the ballot close, was naturally not even expected to win the dispute within the Labour party. However, he has surprisingly managed to win the electorate of more than a quarter of million voters, with nearly 60% of the votes in a stunning first-round victory. This result has even dwindled Tony Blair’s performance in 1994 elections, with Blairite candidate Liz Kendall reaching the absurd electorate of 4,5%. 

 History in British Politics 

This is a political outcome of historic magnitude in the UK. We are talking about a major transformation within the Labour party, where for the first time in decades an obstinate socialist is the Leader of the Opposition. With a title “Quasi-Communist Corbyn” Robert Colvile wrote in POLITICO "if Corbyn becomes leader, the Labour Party will move from its traditional position to the right of Germany’s SPD or France’s Socialists to a stance closer to Syriza of Greece or Podemos of Spain". The austerity imposed in Europe, following the systemic crisis, has consequently unleashed a surge in leftist movements across the EU and Jeremy Corbyn has already made History by pushing the most unexpected Conservative country to form such a supportive left-mass in the political spectrum. Corbyn is one of the most unexpected winners of the party leadership in British politics, after persuading Labour affiliates and supporters that the party needed to step away from the New Labour age of Blair and Gordon Brown

Following his victory, Corbyn shared some words with his fellow supporters while giving some action points to his future implementing policy. “Our party has changed, we have grown enormously because of the hope of so many ordinary people. They are fed up with the inequality and injustice,” said Corbyn. The new leader acknowledge politics stopped being attractive for youngsters due to its corrosive and dishonored nature, while showing a fierce will to change people’s mentality when it comes to politics. The new lefty leader has also thanked and praised many of his colleagues, including Harriet Harman for her determination in fighting for women’s rights as well as Ed Miliband, on his commitment towards the preservation of the environment and all the work done as Labour leader. 

 Media and Propaganda, Double Trouble 

But now Corbyn has a whopping challenge ahead, and every British citizen capable of proper reasoning must perceive it. An aggressive monopolised media and a belligerent Conservative propaganda. What a nightmare. The new leader has to face a merciless Conservative party seizing every possible mistakes, inaccuracies and imprecisions from the Labour side. The Tories seem like a spider in its web, ready to attack the prey when the slightest flaw shows up. The flyer released by the Tories on the same day of Corbyn’s elections is a realistic picture on how the Conservatives are trying to attack and demolish a promising Labour leadership. They accused Corbyn of being a threat to national security after a statement where Corbyn describes Hezbollah and Hamas as “friends”.

Unsurprisingly, afterwards Channel 4 News, though publicly owned, largely commercially self-founded, has similarly attempted to intimidate Corbyn on this subject. The new leader explained the context of this “polemic” episode, saying “what I did, was speaking in a meeting, asking to all people involved in the Middle East issue to come together and be able to have a discussion and a debate,” he said. “You are not prepared to discuss the whole issue of the Middle East. You are not prepared for the wider question,” Corbyn added, while being interrupted several times by the journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who was blindly focused on the vocable “friends”. Everything must be put into perspective. What about Israel and the US foreign policy? Silent organised groups dressed up in fancy suits that should be accountable for the countless crimes that they have committed and still do. Yet, questions like Corbyn’s opposition to having nuclear defence as well as national anthem “disloyalty” were also reason for an overwhelming turmoil throughout the mainstream media. 

Nigel Farage has also added fuel to the flames, accusing Corbyn of so swiftly changing his mind while in such a short time in power as Labour leader. At stake is, naturally, the negotiation of UK membership in the EU. Back in June, the Huffington Post wrote that Corbyn was considering to campaign for Britain to leave the EU. But Corbyn has never admittedly expressed his drive to abandon the Union and the Huffington Post has reached its own conclusions through Corbyn’s suggestions (“the veteran leftwinger suggested”). Contrarily to this statement, last week The Guardian has published Corbyn’s final stance towards EU membership, assuming his commitment to keep the UK in the Union. “We will make the case that membership of the European Union helps Britain to create jobs, secure growth, encourage investment and tackle the issues that cross borders – like climate change, terrorism, tax havens and the current refugee crisis,” assumed Corbyn. 

Also, interviewed by the BBC, Corbyn admitted not seeing a position where he, as Labour leader, "would campaign to leave the EU because I think we are going to be working with Trade Unions and social groups all across Europe as well as social groups in this [UK] country". 
Corbyn speeching. Chris Beckett ©Flickr

Corbyn’s Background 

Back in 1984, a Conservative MP, Terry Dicks, verbally attacked for wearing a sweater knitted by his mother. When interviewed by BBC on this matter, Corbyn (which for some reason is called Robin by the reporter) modestly replies that "it’s not a fashion parade, it’s not a gentlemen’s club, it’s is not a banker’s institute. It’s a place where the people are represented." This episode not only highlights Corbyn’s integrity as it displays the Conservative’s superfluous approach and mentality. Luckily, with the fast pace of the network we are now able to easily revive the past. A picture fromthe 80’s comparing what Corbyn and Cameron were doing at the time has gone viral, and even though almost 30 years have passed since then, we have the chance of witnessing Corbyn’s commitment and determination towards the less fortunate segment of the society. 

Another interesting relic, in 1990, Corbyn addressing Margaret Thatcher following the PM questions in the House of the Commons. As a matter of fact, Corbyn’s parents were peace campaigners who met during the Spanish Civil War. Not surprisingly Corbyn himself turned out to be known as a peace activist, a backbench rebel that stands up for what he believes in. 

Corbyn admittedly manifested his support for the way refugees should and must be treated in the UK. For the new leader, it was a big mistake that Britain did not join the EU refugee programme in the past, as he considers that the UK has responsibilities like every other country under the Geneva Convention. When interviewed by Jon Snow in his first major TV interview, Corbyn pledged for a social and inclusive Europe, only possible within the EU. Despite the importance of free market for the European economy, Corbyn believes that greater importance must be given to issues such as social and environmental protection. 

 Corbyn’s Environmental Manifesto and Pledges 

In fact, Labour’s environmental manifesto focuses mainly on questions such as climate change and an “energy revolution”. Labour “stands for a different Britain that would play a leading role internationally – committed to cutting a fair share of carbon emissions and driving international support for a fossil-fuel-free future.” Being a truly leftist, Corbyn is opposed to austerity measures and believes that taxing the wealthy is part of the solution to boost the economy. 

When it comes to education, Corbyn’s ideal is to create a National Education Service, the equivalent of the NHS. He wants to discard tuition fees and reestablish student maintenance grants. As for immigration, the new leader was very explicit showing his will to cooperate with the flow of migrants reaching Europe every day. Regarding welfare in the UK, “we are one of the richest countries in the world and there is absolutely no reason why anyone should have to live in poverty,” Corbyn’s words

Naturally, healthcare is connected to welfare, in the broadest sense of the question, and Corbyn has promised a fully funded NHS, integrated with social care, with an end to privatisation in health. His website states that the “principle of universal healthcare which is free at the point of use is something that we all deserve and should be absolutely protected.” 


With Jeremy Corbyn, the UK has shaped politics more than ever. What the future may bring is still unknown but the British Labour party has never had such a radical leader as Corbyn. The epidemic surge of extreme left parties across the EU has surprisingly hit Britain in its splendor. The route will be difficult and trapped though. A severe and biased media, powerful weapon towards the uninformed sector of the population, is awaiting, thirsty to spread misinformation. By doing so, the mainstream media is cloaking a remarkable fact in the British History, a fact that must not go unnoticed. A new cycle has clearly begun and the Labour Conference, first with Corbyn in power, from the 27th to 30th of September, will certainly define and organize the internal structure of the party. 

Nevertheless, not everything will be a bed of roses as Corbyn was already criticized by the woman he praised - Harriet Hartman – for not appointing women to the top jobs in the shadow cabinet. This urged the support from more senior women within the party. External opinions following the first day of the Conference count with Thomas Piketty, who said, “There is now a brilliant opportunity for the Labour party to construct a fresh and new political economy which will expose austerity for the failure it has been in the UK and Europe.” I don’t know Jeremy Corbyn, but compared to most of the politicians out there representing the citizens, I believe Corbyn has the commitment towards his people and wants to make the difference in the UK. 

Of course, we all know that a man with power can easily change his behavior and quickly redefine his goals, but the future is yet to be seen. We might well be surprised with some future papers’ headlines or some episode pulled out from the bottom of the cradle about the new Labour leader - as we can’t control the mainstream media - but we ought to show him some respect for his humble being and human essence and wait to see if he is up to the duty he is meant to.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Is climate change the major concern of the XXI century?

Because we cannot take for granted the water we drink and the air we breathe, we all must take the environmental cause seriously. Ahead of the Paris Summit, adaptation strategies are needed at all levels of administration: at the local, regional, national, EU and also the international level. (Photo: Alan Cleaver ©Flickr)

 Let’s Get Startled 

The countdown has begun. Several instances proving how our planet is progressively deteriorating are undoubtedly before our eyes. First and foremost, half of the wetlands have been lost since 1900; nearly 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated and pollutes rivers, lakes and coastal areas; in developing countries, 70% of industrial waste is dumped untreated into waters where it pollutes the potable water supply; every day, 2 million tons of human waste is disposed into bodies of water; the global sea level rose about 6,7 inches in the last century; all three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that the earth has warmed since 1880, however, most of this warming has occurred since the 1970’s, with the 20 warmest years occurring since 1981. 

The 10 warmest years occurred in the past 12 years. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths a year, mainly because of asthma, malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress. These proofs are crying out for help and intervention, which can only be tackled with a worldwide effort. Every day, 2 million tons of human waste is disposed into bodies of water. 

Road to Paris 

In December 2015, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) will take place in Paris, focusing mainly on achieving a legally binding and global agreement on climate change from all the nations in the world. The hot topic on the table is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions aimed at limiting the global temperature increase to 2°C. This ecological odyssey intends to convene leading businesses, regions, cities, financial institutions, other organisations and stakeholders to come up with and develop solutions to climate challenges. 

Leaders from national governments, business, finance and technology will have the chance to network, do business, and influence the climate change agenda in a positive way through the Road to Paris initiative and the Paris Declaration, an announcement from governments, business and finance to support an international climate deal during the UN COP21 in 2015. Only in late 1979, the first World Climate Conference (WCC) took place in Geneva with the aim of tackling the environmental cause. A long way has been made since 1979 until now. In 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up. 

Later on, in 1990 the IPCC’s first assessment report was released and both IPCC and a second World Climate Conference called for a global treaty on climate change. Also, the United Nations General Assembly began its negotiations on a framework convention. The basis of an infrastructure to address the environmental cause at a global level was then created. Afterwards, meetings were settled and in 1992 the International Negotiating Committee (INC), at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, adopted the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) text, entering into force in 1994. 

In 1997, the famous Kyoto Protocol was formally adopted at the Conference of the Parties (COP3), entering into force in 2005. In 2009, the Copenhagen Accord was drafted, with countries submitting emissions reductions pledges. A few years later, in 2011, the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. And finally, the last big event before the Road to Paris happened in Warsaw, where key decisions were adopted, including the Durban Platform, the Green Climate Fund and Long-Term Finance. 

What is Europe doing? 

From the European side, the Commission presented the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework on January 2014. This framework represents a center to launch discussions on how to take certain policies forward at the end of the current 2020 framework. The Luxembourg EU Presidency also has several issues to discuss concerning environmental policies. Naturally, the road to the Summit in Paris is a priority, not only in terms of external communication but also to discuss climate finance for the coming years. The reform of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) is now on the table after a recent proposal from the Commission. The ETS covers more than 11,000 power stations and industrial plants in 31 countries as well as airlines. 

However, stakeholders have shown some disagreement towards the Commission’s stance on this subject. Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU policy advisor, said that “the European Commission has wasted an opportunity to make its flagship climate tool fit for purpose by offering compensation to heavy polluters instead of making pollution pricing work for low carbon development and climate change adaptation in poor countries.” 

Nevertheless, the EU has undertaken some of the world’s most ambitious climate goals, promising to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2030, to have renewables supply 27 percent of the bloc’s energy and to cut energy use by 27 percent. Also proposed by the Commission, a circular economy is due to remake Europe into a more competitive resource-efficient economy, addressing a variety of economic sectors. Another very important topic to debate is related to air quality throughout the Member States. 

The Presidency will impose the revised National Emission Ceilings (NEC) directive on unwilling Member States. Regarding this matter, the European Commission has already referred Belgium and Bulgaria to the EU Court of Justice due to persistently high levels of dust particles (PM10) posing a major risk to public health. Sweden was also warned by the Commission to take urgent action on its poor air quality. 

Currently, a proposal from the Commission to Parliament and the Council regarding enhancing cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investment is awaiting a committee decision. This proposal aims to amend Directive 2003/83/EC and implement a more sustainable regulation concerning global warming. In preparatory phase in Parliament is a delegated act addressing the technical implementation of the Kyoto Protocol after 2012. 

Tackling a Global Concern 

In the USA, Barack Obama has made an important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants with the Clean Power Plan. Before the end of his term as President, Obama has made a bold decision when introducing this new environmental measure. This action establishes for the first time national standards for limiting carbon pollution from American power plants and aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. "The Clean Power Plan gives further momentum to #COP21, shows US commitment to underpin its international climate pledge with domestic action", EU energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete tweeted. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon referred to Obama’s “visionary leadership” while German environment minister Barbara Hendricks said the plan was an "important signal" for the Paris talks. 

Nevertheless, the US political spectrum was promptly divided when it came to support this measure. From the Democratic side, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has backed the plan, promising that if elected she will defend the Clean Power Act against “Republican doubters and defeatists”. But the Republicans are focused on business and on the coal industry and have attacked this measure calling it a “war on coal”. 

From an economic point of view, it is true that many Republican states will be affected by this measure. West Virginia, Kentucky and Wyoming are all states that get about 90 percent of their electric power from coal. And here we find ourselves confronted with a moral decision that has long been destroying our planet. We know that economical and financial interests are put in front of the environmental cause and everyday we are confronted with the terrifying consequences of that choice. 

According to Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the UK and Northern Ireland, “in recent years, Russia has been actively participating in the international cooperation on climate issues and is the world leader in terms of emission cuts. Over the last two decades, Russia has managed to reduce its total emissions in the energy sector by roughly the same amount that the EU has emitted over five years, and the US over three.” 

As for China, the biggest polluter in the world has admittedly intensified carbon reduction. Prime Minister Li Keqiang made the announcement following an official visit to Paris, where the global conference will take place in December. Nevertheless, doubts still remain regarding the main goal of achieving the 2°C reduction worldwide. “We think the collective ambition of what has been put on the table, in particular major emitters (EU, China, US) are not sufficient to help us maintain below 2°C,” said Li. “Now it is the task of the political process all the way to Paris to ensure we have a robust agreement by the end of this year to enhance action further.” 

Let’s take a look at Singapore, a country where strict rules are imposed upon those who fail to make an effort for the environmental cause. In Singapore you are fined if you throw litter to the floor. Some might claim that these rules are compromising the state of democracy but if we look at the other side of the coin, people are actually being fine with the ultimate intuit of preserving the environment and public health. Issues like energy, water, waste, public spaces and commuting are very well addressed in a country that uses the power of law for an overall benefit of the population. 


All international efforts to tackle climate change are praised and encouraged by the world population. Since the dawn of social awareness on environmental issues, our planet has seen several changes and people are changing their lifestyles towards a more sustainable way of living. But many concerns still remain. We, the population, can change some habits and incorporate new ones in our lives, but in fact, the overall change must be done by actions taken by world leaders. Unfortunately, it is the same world leaders that so many times have refused to put the environmental cause in front of corporate matters. 

The new leader from the Labour Party in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn, has opposed maintaining nuclear energy in the country, setting out plans for a nuclear disarmament. This is a very environmentally friendly policy that even goes towards one of the solutions provided by Greenpeace to tackle climate change, “the rejection of false solutions like nuclear energy”. But David Cameron and his fellow Conservatives have reacted to this measure as an attack to national security in the UK, leaving the country in a fragile and vulnerable position. This is only one example where we have the real proof of how difficult it is to reach an agreement at a national level let alone globally. 

Moreover, its is a well known fact that questions like radically reducing farming livestock are a crucial matter in order to attack climate change. But what has Europe done regarding this? Not much. Meanwhile, the greenhouse effect and global warming are escalating. 

According to the medium fertility estimate by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, as of 1st July 2015, the world population was 7.349 billion people. China, India and the US are the top three most populated countries in the world. Studies have shown that during the 20th century alone, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 to 6 billion, and in 1970 there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now. It is pretty obvious that we, as human beings, are the major destroyers of our own home. 

The uncontrolled expansion of urban areas and mountains of garbage, industry and industrial agriculture, hunting, poaching and fishing – leading to animal extinction - deforestation, production of animals for human consumption, are only a few of the infamous emblems of the twentieth century, along with an unstoppable human compulsion to consume, consume, consume. How can this be sustainable? The planet does not have to pay for our superfluous collective habits. It is therefore a duty for all of us, whether common citizens or world leaders, to live to preserve the world we live in, because as the famous Indian saying taught us “when the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realise that you cannot eat money”.

Article published in Cafebabel

Thursday, 10 September 2015

A Geopolitical View of the World on the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations

World leaders gathered on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. © Google

After the scourge of the World War II, in 1945, a new global organisation for international cooperation and diplomacy was created. The United Nations were negotiated and established amongst the delegations from the Soviet Union, the UK, the US and China, and settled in the Dumbarton Oaks Conference. 

In 1946, Churchill’s speech in Zurich touched Europe with its sense of hope and solidarity for a prosperous future. Europe was to reborn from the ashes of war. The transition was difficult, with the big winners from the war, US and URSS, turning out enemies and dividing the world in two blocs. Boosted by the Marshall Plan, Western Europe and Japan were rebuilt while Eastern Europe was trapped into Soviet influence. 

The Cold War was then installed, marked by a nuclear arms race and a climate of tension. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Soviet Communism, Europe seemed to be in the right path towards social evolution. Seventy years after its beginning, the United Nations General Assembly still represents the major geopolitical scene throughout the world, convening leaders from 193 Nations, discussing topics such as climate change, public health, foreign policy amongst many others. In the highest point of the political scene, leaders have the opportunity to openly address each other, and citizens can put the jigsaw pieces together and reach their own conclusions on what is really going on in the world.


Russian president Vladimir Putin. © Google

This year, the spotlight was focused on Putin. For the first time in a decade, the President of the Russian Federation has addressed the UNGA, the forum for decision-making where all 193 Member States each have a single vote, in a rather critical time. The annexation of Crimea hasn’t been forgotten and his recent bold move -  stating Russia as the first Nation intervening for Damascus - made him the man of the day. By doing so, the Russian President has set up an air base in Latakia and secured the naval base in Tartus. Briefly, Putin declared Russia was organising an anti-terrorism coalition to defeat ISIL and affirmed the necessity of strengthen Syrian state’s structure. Putin has confirmed to the world his support towards his old friend Bashar al-Assad. Moreover, he added that ISIL grew in strength after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and is now aggressively spreading to other territories. He said Moscow has consistently fought against terrorism in all its forms, and is supporting the Syrian government with military equipment. “We should acknowledge that no-one except for Assad and his militia is truly fighting ISIL in Syria,” said Putin. 

According to Julia Ioffe from Foreign Policy, Putin’s move is connected to the authoritarian image he maintains in Russia, and since Russia is supporting Syria since the beginning, he believes it is time to intervene whilst the Islamic State is gradually taking Syrian territory. “Bashar al-Assad is losing; he’s losing one town after another,” said Georgy Mirsky, a vintage Russian Arabist who teaches Middle Eastern conflicts at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. 

An opposing opinion has Ely Karmon, who wrote in Haaretz Putin’s intervention in Syria aims to establish a solid base in the Middle East as well as building up a mini Alawite state for Assad. Karmon claims Israel interests will be at risk with the Russian alliance with the neighbors Iran and Iraq.

As for Ukraine, Putin claims the civil war and consequent dramatic events were the result of a “military coup” from outside – a metaphor for the US and the CIA. He hasn’t made any comments on the annexation of Crimea. Interviewed by CBS’s Charlie Rose during the ’60 Minutes’ program, Putin declared, “We have no obsession that Russia must be a superpower. The only thing we do is protecting our vital interests.” “Nuclear weapons and other weapons are the means to protect our sovereignty and legitimate interests, not the means to behave aggressively or to fulfill some non-existent imperial ambitions,” he added.

In his statement to the United Nations, Putin said after the cold war “a single center of domination emerged in the world” – the US - and it has not been complying with the UN basic principles, probably recalling the led-American intervention in Iraq, bypassing the Security Council. He said, however, Russia is willing to collaborate with its partners on the basis of consensus, but endeavors to enfeeble the UN are “extremely dangerous”. He criticised the dissemination of “so-called democratic revolutions” which have led to violence, poverty and social disaster – probably evoking the “Arab Spring” and the overthrown and consequent elimination of Saddam Hussein and Muhammad Gadhafi. Was Putin denouncing the New World Order?

According to RT, the US has accused Russia of overusing its veto power and risking the legitimacy the Security Council. However, noticeable American linguist Noam Chomsky told RT the US has been “the veto champion in the past, and has used its veto just as often. “In the last couples of years Russia has caught up to the United States. They are roughly equal in the number of vetoes they have cast. But that is quite a recent development,” told Chomskyto RT.

United States

Obama says the US is willing to work with any nation – including Russia and Iran – to solve the conflict. On Russia and Ukraine, the US president says the international community can’t stand still while Russia is invading Ukraine’s territory, undermining its integrity and sovereignty. He claims if there are no consequences for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, it could happen to any other country within the UN. On Syria, Obama insists the only way of ending the civil war implies the withdrawal of president Assad – which Putin vehemently refuses to cooperate with. As for international cooperation, Obama pointed out the UN remains incomplete after seven decades of its foundation. According to news analyst Lisa Haven, the president of the US wants more globalisation, reflected on his blessing of the TTIP, which Haven considers just evil to the core. When Obama says “capabilities must be given to strengthen the UN in order to accomplish global governance”, meaning the New World Order, according to Lisa, she raises the question on how big will the UN be in the future, claiming that globalisation and climate change dialogues are only equipping and building up the control of the UN.  Lisa accuses Obama of so vigorously applauding the increase of capabilities (infantries, helicopters, intelligence) to strengthen UN’s Peacekeepers whilst denouncing the President’s drive of disarming the masses in the US.

Iran and Israel

The Iranian president spent a considerable part of his speech focusing on the recent nuclear deal achieved in Vienna.  Rouhani criticised Israel, saying “the zionist regime” was the only hurdle towards securing the nuclear agreement. Later on, he criticised the US for extending a steady support for Tel Aviv and ignoring the condition of what he described as “oppressed Palestinians”.  With a defensive discourse, Netanyahu slammed support over the nuclear deal’s outcome, alleging that Iranian threats to destroy Israel have been met in the world body by “utter silence, deafening silence.” 

The nuclear agreement led Netanyahu to lose influence in Washington, reason why has recently urged the US administration to set forth talks. The Iran president said the US were pursuing “baseless accusations and pursuing other dangerous policies” in a strategic defence mechanism towards its regional allies, nurturing extremism, presumably referring to Saudi Arabia and Israel. Rouhani called on the world to form a “united front” to tackle extremism and violence and said the major threat facing the world is for the terrorist organisations to become a terrorist state, referring to the Islamic State. “We are prepared to assist in eradication of terrorism. We are prepared to help bring democracy to Syria and Yemen,” he said. Consequently, Lebanesesources reported hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a key ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes.


French president François Hollande focused more on climate change and the ongoing conflict in Syria that is resulting in the biggest humanitarian crisis since the II World War.  Denoting the coming CO21 which will take place in the French capital, Hollande said “in Paris, we are asking one question: is humanity capable of taking the decision to preserve life on the planet? If it’s not agreed in Paris, which is already late, it will be too late for the world.” On Syria, Hollande blames Assad for the catastrophic consequences of the war saying in the beginning of the conflict “there weren’t terrorists, no fundamentalists, there was just a dictator, a dictator who was massacring his people.” He reiterated France’s insistence that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has to be replaced by a “transitional government’. Sort of answering back to Putin’s words on Assad, Hollande reformulated the sentence by saying “I see people are using their efforts to include Bashar al-Assad. He is part of the problem, he cannot be part of the solution”.  From a European viewpoint, France urged Europe to help refugees and Syria’s neighbors – including Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. He then vowed an additional €100 million aid to Syria’s neighbors. Before finalising his speech, Hollande called on a reform of the UN, an enlargement and reorganisation of the Security as well as a limit to the use of veto in cases of mass atrocities. “I promise you here, France will never use its veto when there are mass atrocities,” said the President of France.

Wikileaks Revelations with Geopolitical Implications

Recent Wikileaks revelations of US State Department leaks  reported plans to destabilize Syria and overthrow the Syrian government as early as 2006. Additional Wikileaks cables reveal CIA involvement on the ground in Syria to instigate these very demonstrations as early as March 2011. The leaks expose that these plans were given to the US straight from the Israeli government and would be shaped through instigating civil conflict and sectarianism through partnership with nations like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and even Egypt, to demolish the power structure in Syria in order to weaken Iran and Hezbollah. According to MintPressNews, “it became then evident that the US, UK, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey would be jumping on to organise, arm and finance rebels from the Free Syrian Army as outlined in the State Department plans to destabilize Syria.” Later on, in 2012, the ironic “The Group of Friends of the Syrian People” was created by these meddling nations. Their agenda was to divide and conquer in order to inflict disorder across Syria in view of dethroning Syrian President Bashar Assad. “That plan was to use a number of different factors to create paranoia within the Syrian government; to push it to overreact, to make it fear there’s a coup,” said the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.

But why? This partnership and meddlesome in Syria was followed by a discussion of an Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline, supposedly to be built between 2014-2016 from Iran’s South Pars field passing Iraq and Syria. But Qatar and Turkey proposed Assad to join an agreement that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, touching Iran’s South Pars field via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria into Turkey, with the aim to supply European markets, critically bypassing Russia.  Protecting the interests of his friend Putin, Assad rejected the proposal from Qatar and Turkey. The latter didn’t like it, as it acknowledged the strategic piece Syria represents geographically. In return, Turkey along its allies became the major engineer of the so-called Syria’s civil war.  To better understand the oil and gas pipelines conflicts across the Middle East, Dmitry Minin wrote in May 2013 for the Strategic Cultural Foundation:

“A battle is raging over whether pipelines will go toward Europe from east to west, from Iran and Iraq to the Mediterranean coast of Syria, or take a more northbound route from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Syria and Turkey. Having realized that the stalled Nabucco pipeline, and indeed the entire Southern Corridor, are backed up only by Azerbaijan’s reserves and can never equal Russian supplies to Europe or thwart the construction of the South Stream, the West is in a hurry to replace them with resources from the Persian Gulf. Syria ends up being a key link in this chain, and it leans in favor of Iran and Russia; thus it was decided in the Western capitals that its regime needs to change.”


Churchill’s speech in 1946 called on a federalist Europe and urged to the creation of the United Nations. “Our constant aim must be to build and fortify the United Nations Organisation. Under and within that world concept we must re-create the European family in a regional structure (…) The salvation of the common people of every race and every land from war and servitude must be established on solid foundations, and must be created by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than to submit to tyranny. “ The UN origins aimed at preventing future generations from the scourge of war and to endorse faith in the Human Rights, defending international justice and fostering social progress. 

Hostilities like the invasion of Vietnam, the genocide in Rwanda and the bloody civil war in Angola undermined the credibility in which the UN pillars were created. Nevertheless, during the way, some significant triumphs were accomplished, the eradication of some diseases of public concern, the rights of women and the assistance to children in need rose across the world. But the new century brought new wars, refugees and humanitarian crisis. Seventy years later, the UN has grown bigger and yet the suffering in the world remains out of scale – Darfur, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Georgia, Libya, Syria, to name but a few – they will be part of History, stamping the failure of action of the UN.

The United Nations, home for 193 Member States in the world, is the place to debate all the challenges the future may bring and to make a balance of what has been achieved throughout time. Commonly, the UN General Assembly is the “public” arena, where leaders have the opportunity to openly point fingers at each other.  Due to tense relations between the West and the East, the climax of the UN speeches was clearly Russia and the US. Russia assumed no imperialist ambitions, defending an arm race due to the logical reasons, meaning the recent increase in NATO’s military spending, as Polish president Andrezj Duda requested a permanent military presence in Poland. Former soviet states claim anticipated defence from possible Russian aggression as Russia claims investment in national security. But the recent arrival of Russian troops in Syrian soil is raising suspicions over Moscow’s ultimate intentions. Meanwhile, Iran is organising its ground armies in Syria, in preparation for an attack to rescue rebel occupied land under the cover of Russian air strikes. Lastly, to make the alliance even more powerful, suspicions that China might step in to support Assad are on the horizon

Unsurprisingly, Putin has omitted Russia undercover military take-over of Crimea and the shipment of weapons by Moscow to pro-Russian separatists fighting in the east of Ukraine.  The West appears to stick to a common position of complete rejection of Bashar al-Assad’s government. Both France and US repeatedly insist the only possible progress in Syria’s future implies Assad to withdraw from power. On this matter, Putin believes that only Assad has the legitimacy to decide on the future of his country and claims external interference is not the way of Russia’s conduct. Thus, the recent introduction of more actors in this ghastly equation – the announced military support from Iran and possibly China – is a complete game change for the Western partnership. This was one of the biggest outcomes of the UN’ s General Assembly – a joint statement from two superpowers demanding the withdrawal of Syria’s administration, which resulted in the official support of Assad’s government from two other Nations.

The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, said to The Guardian, the big security powers must “look beyond their national interest” and stop blocking action in Syria. Ban Ki-Moon added that “we are living in an era of transformation, politically, economically and technologically” and the UN has to adapt to this development.

                                              UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon. © makeroadssafe

The certainty of a monopolised media has been progressively accepted as public knowledge, but there is still much to do in order to break all the misinformation that so often taint our newspapers and TV screens. We need to be able to think for ourselves. Now, to be true what we know via leaked evidence – the Western instigation of the Syrian war -  we see ourselves confronted with a huge hash. So, the United States and France, the major supporters of the so-wanted Assad’s resignation, were instigating the revolution in Syria, then sending weapons to the opposition, that has degenerated in the Islamic State, to further on form a coalition to eliminate it? 

Some claim that geopolitics relations have always been like that, and we have the proof of our endless conflictual history since the period of Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, followed by the calamitous World Wars. I guess the big difference back then is that we didn’t have any Julian Assange or Edward Snowden to expose such detailed evidence hence enlarging our horizons. Therefore the big question is, what is the UN role after all? Seventy years after its creation, the United Nations counts with 193 Nations and a budget of $41 billion and hasn’t been capable of effectively reduce poverty, infectious diseases and war throughout the world. Are we pawns in a chess game?