Greetings once again from Brussels, city of long work hours and dreary office work.
Today’s item that has me pretty disappointed involves the Dutch government and the iron fisted oligarch that runs Russia. They’ve struck a deal so that the Dutch gas company now controls a higher percent in the Russian state controlled Gaz-Prom.
Some might say its just business as usual, but after all the outcries about how the junta oppresses people in Burma or how Mugabe is starving his own people, it still bothers me that so-called human rights respecting governments make deals and allow their companies to make deals with known war criminals and political assassins. Not that Mugabe or the Junta deserve a free pass.. its the consistency when it comes to respecting human rights, that I’m calling for.
Later this week I shall have a return guest to talk about another political figure in Russia, the very interesting Gary Kasparov. So keep an eye out for that show, as Kasparov seems much more complex than I had originally thought.
It is a pretty well known fact that the US is the global leader in arms sales. Some will also have heard that Russia is second. But in fact, if you put together all the European Union numbers, in terms of total arms sales in the last 10 years, they come very close to tying the US. Somehow its not a very publicized fact, Europe sells almost as many weapons as the US.
And who gets those weapons? Which countries in the world? Better yet, which groups in the world? Places where there is civil war? Dictatorships? Or civil wars yet to come? I think of all those child soldiers in the world and wonder where their gun came from? USA? France? Probably both.
Global warming gets a fair amount of play in the media these days. There is even some, though surely not enough, mobilization to do something about it. Yet all over the developed world in all these lovely places with people that are so highly educated and experienced, people are engaging in the arms trade. Making money selling weapons for people to kill each other with. Trading stocks and benefiting while people arm themselves and carry out mass murders in the name of the latest cause or call-to-arms. Even in the US now, the favored presidential candidate Hillary CLinton has become the number one choice of weapons manufacturers… and yet people believe she will bring change and restore some sort of self respect for the nation.
With each passing year that arms dealers post record profits, more people die needlessly in the name of business and strategic defense. If that isn’t a threat to our world, I don’t know what is.
One year later, remembering Anna Politkovskaya.
A journalist amongst journalists. Human amongst humans.
Never forgetting the importance of journalists and reporters who are willing to speak up, speak out, and stay citical no matter what.
Never forgetting that she was murdered with the help of a corrupt government, who have murdered and oppressed in the name of profits and power.
I hope to one day be 1/10th of the kind of journalist she was.
The media has reported on the recent rush by various countries to gain access to more territory in the arctic. Yet they fall short of discussing what is at stake for the earth if companies start extracting resources or using the region as a shipping lane. In this program with the help of guests in Moscow, Alaska, and New York, we look at just what is going on, why, and how are communities being effected.
James Cochran in New York; Doherty Senior Research Scientist, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.
Pamela Bumsted in Bethel, Alaska; Researcher, Scientist, and blogger.
Olaf Koens in Moscow; journalist and blogger.
Topics covered during the program:
– Why now?
– What lies beneath?
– Territorial claims
– New Shipping lanes
– Rising sea levels
– Effects on communities in and around the region
– Effects on the globe
– Russian political and scientific goals
– Public perception
– Media coverage of the issue