The late Sheldon Chumir was a progressive Canadian lawyer, businessman , Liberal Party Member of the Legislative Assembly for Alberta and activist for civil rights, human rights and public education who was opposed to public funding of religious schools. He also founded and endowed the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership that in turn recently supported a Congress of Vienna 2015 for global stability.
200 years after the 1815 Congress of Vienna re-organized post-Napoleonic Europe; the Canadian Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership in collaboration with a number of leading policy organisations and universities hosted a lavish Congress of Vienna 2015 to explore policies for a stable world order. This 2015 Congress of Vienna was unfortunately opened by Vietnam war-complicit Henry Kissinger and generated a Draft Report that - as set out below in my tough critique, reality check and Alternative Report - is soft, wishy-washy, myopic and predicated on the Big Power- and Big Money-dominated status quo that kills 17 million people annually through deprivation and threatens to wipe out most of Humanity and the Biosphere.
My science-informed position is that the world is acutely threatened by nuclear weapons (that could wipe out most of Humanity and the Biosphere at any time), poverty (that kills 17 million people each year) and by man-made climate change from greenhouse gas pollution (pollutants from carbon burning kill 7 million people each year but unaddressed man-made climate change may kill 10 billion people this century in an already worsening climate genocide). My key recommendations are that national leaders and ordinary citizens alike must (1) acknowledge these horrendous realities; (2) subscribe to rational risk management that successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses, and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk; and (3) utterly reject the currently dominant, spin-based process successively involving (a) censorship, lying by omission, lying by commission, slying (spin-based untruth), propaganda, intimidation and white-washing, (b) anti-science spin involving the selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position, and (c) blame and shame with war being the worst ultimate consequence. Further, the world is badly running out of time to deal with the threats from nuclear weapons, poverty and climate change, and accordingly sensible, humane, science-informed people must (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians, parties, companies, corporations and countries disproportionately involved in these acute and worsening threats to Humanity and the Biosphere.
According to the participating Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD) inter-faculty research centre of the UK Open University: “2015 sees the anniversary of several landmark conferences that pursued security and justice in international affairs, including the 1814/15 Congress of Vienna that sought stability in post-Napoleon Europe. To mark the event, the [Sheldon] Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership is collaborating with a number of leading policy organisations and universities to host Congress of Vienna 2015. The event, from 22 to 25 October, will be opened by Henry Kissinger and will bring together some 40 global thinkers, former government and international institution practitioners, and representatives of business and civil society from around the world to examine current issues affecting global stability with a particular focus on the prospects for practical initiatives. IKD member Professor Jo Chataway will moderate the Technology, Economic Growth, Distribution and Stability session. Discussion will centre on the establishment of rules that can address both the destabilising impacts of the disparities that are resulting alongside modern technologies and innovation, and their failure – thus far – to produce the promised levelling of benefits. A full report of the discussions will be presented at a public session at the United Nations in New York in early 2016”.
A Draft Report entitled “Discussion and recommendations” has been prepared that seeks feedback before the final report from Congress of Vienna 2015 is made to the UN in 2016. What follows is my contribution to the process through systematic comment on the Draft Report and is made in the interests of humanity, notwithstanding my personal repugnance for the policies of Henry Kissinger whose involvements as US Secretary of State in the Bengali Holocaust by US-backed Pakistan and in prolonging the Indo-China War are estimated by Christopher Hitchens to have killed 8 million people, noting however that Christopher Hitchens himself became a warmonger who supported the Iraq War that was associated with 2.7 million Iraqi deaths from violence or from violently-imposed deprivation.
My analysis below sequentially follows the items of the Congress of Vienna 2015 Draft Report.
0.1. The Draft Document is crucially concerned with “How to create a politically safe environment in which national leaders can explore with adversaries solutions to the problems that confront us”. Mathematician George Polya in his brilliant book “How to Solve It” stipulated a key First Step: “First. You have to understand the problem”. The problem here is not finding “principles for a stable world order” but finding “principles for a peaceful and humane world order”. Thus maintenance of a “stable world order” involving continuance of post-WW2 American dominance has involved 40 million Asian deaths from violence or violently-imposed deprivation in post-1950 US Asian Wars. 32 million Muslims have died from violence (5 million) or from imposed deprivation (27 million) in 20 significantly or substantially Muslim countries invaded by the US Alliance since the 9-11 atrocity in which 3,000 were killed (most likely by their own government). Muslim refugees now total about 35 million, the upper estimate breakdown from major sources including 12 million (Syria), 7 million (Palestine), 6 million (Iraq), 3 million (Afghanistan), 2 million (Pakistan), 2 million (Myanmar), 2 million (Somalia) and 1 million (Libya).
0.2. Further, there has been a “stable world order” since 1945 in which there have been essentially no direct military conflicts between the US, Russia and China but this “stable world order” has come at an enormous cost in terms of avoidable deaths (avoidable mortality, excess deaths, excess mortality, untimely deaths, premature deaths, deaths that should not have happened) in countries subject to Western colonialism or post-colonial Western neo-colonial hegemony. Avoidable mortality for a country is the difference between deaths in a country and deaths expected for a peaceful, decently-governed country with roughly the same per capita wealth and the same demographics (birth rate and age distribution). Thus annual avoidable deaths from deprivation total 17 million on Spaceship Earth with the First World in charge of the flight deck, and since 1950 about 1.5 billion people have died avoidably from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease.
0.3. Prevention of violent deaths in war and avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation are surely fundamental humane goals for all national leaders but the key problem is how to provide a “politically safe environment” in which national leaders can explore solutions. The fundamental solution to this problem of “political safety” lies in general acceptance of science-based rational risk management that successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis, this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses, and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk. Unfortunately, this rational risk management protocol is typically perverted at the individual, family or local level, or at the level of the family of nations by (a) lying, self-deception, spin, obfuscation, intimidation and censorship, (b) anti-science spin, this involving the selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position, and (c) blame and shame that is counterproductive because it blocks reportage crucial for rational risk management and in the worst cases leads to war. Setting aside ideal global solutions, a fundamental advance would involve all national leaders at least publicly accepting science-based rational risk management and the horrendous empirical realities such as that of 17 million avoidable deaths from deprivation annually i.e. “First. You have to understand the problem”. By way of example, the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference was a disastrous failure that locked the world into a catastrophic temperature rise of 2.7 degrees C - however the Paris Conference at least unanimously formally recognized the science-based need to keep temperature rise to plus 1.5 degrees C.
0.4 National governments range in economic philosophy from extreme corporatist neoliberalism (fascism) to authoritarian communism. The currently dominant neoliberalism involves maximizing the freedom of the smart and advantaged to profit from natural and human resources. While neoliberalism has been successful in terms of economic efficiency, it now endangers the Biosphere and Humanity through excessive greenhouse gas pollution and consequent global warming. Communism generally failed because of twin deep-seated human desires for freedom and personal enrichment but successes include Cuba and China, countries with annual per capita incomes of only about $6,000 but with zero (0) annual avoidable mortality. A compromise is social humanism as exemplified by Scandinavian welfare states involving an evolving social contract geared to the primary goals of maximizing human happiness, opportunity and dignity and based on social idealism, the morality of social agents (individuals, groups of individuals, corporations, institutions) and of society as a whole that in turn involves mutual informing by society and its subsets. However massive pollution and resource depletion on an increasingly crowded planet is pointing to the need for eco-socialism and negative growth. A range of current ostensible successes in economic systems ranging from neoliberalism to communism imply a lot of potential latitude in “politically safe environments” for national leaders addressing current problems.
0.5. The assumption that national leaders will find the solutions is belied by the reality explored below in section 1 that science has already found technical solutions to the key threats to Humanity (nuclear weapons, poverty and climate change) but major national leaders will simply not implement them. Further, just as ordinary people around the world successfully opposed Apartheid in South Africa, so ordinary people are presently opposing Israeli Apartheid and Occupation by Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) despite opposition from US Alliance national governments. Indeed things are so serious now that global, individual and indeed corporate Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) are now called for against all people, politicians, parties, companies, corporations and countries disproportionately involved in the nuclear, poverty and climate change threats that presently so acutely threaten Humanity and the Biosphere.
1. Relations among states
1.1. The Draft Report acknowledges the threat from nuclear weapons but ignores the acute threats from poverty and climate change. Further, in relation to nuclear weapons the Draft Report, while calling for more dialogue, fails to call for a ban on nuclear weapons (a technically feasible proposition), and while expressing concern about “[the threat of ] terrorist access to weapons of mass destruction (e.g. Pakistan)”, ignores minor states actually possessing nuclear weapons (Apartheid Israel and North Korea). In contrast, in 2007 Professor John Holdren , then President of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and subsequently the senior advisor to President Barack Obama on science and technology issues, identified nuclear weapons, poverty and climate change as 3 key threats to humanity. As reported by AAAS: “Challenges such as poverty, climate change and nuclear proliferation pose global risks that require scientists and engineers to join with political and business leaders in a concerted search for solutions, AAAS President John P. Holdren said Thursday. In his Presidential Address at the AAAS Annual Meeting, Holdren described a world poised at an unprecedented moment of decision: Without swift and urgent action, he said, the problems could spiral toward disastrous, permanent changes for all of life on Earth”.
Unfortunately the “swift and urgent action” recommended by Professor John Holdren is simply not happening, leaving the world at acute risk from (1) state terrorism via nuclear terrorism, (2) state-sanctioned corporate terrorism via poverty-linked mass avoidable death, and (3) state-sanctioned carbon terrorism and climate terrorism via huge air pollution deaths and a worsening climate genocide. These 3 acute threats and the technical solutions to them are outlined below.
(1) Nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism. A nuclear exchange would wipe out most of Humanity (current population about 7.3 billion), successively through the initial instantaneous destruction of cities, subsequent deaths from burns and radiation sickness from radioactive fallout, and finally through a “Nuclear Winter” decimating agriculture, photosynthesis and photosynthate-based life in general. This is state terrorism and nuclear terrorism threatening extinction of Humanity and most of the Biosphere. While imposing deadly Sanctions on Iran (that has zero nuclear weapons and repeatedly states that it does not want nuclear weapons and wants a nuclear weapons-free Middle East), the US (7,315 nuclear weapons) is boosting its nuclear and conventional forces in Asia and Australia and continues to pour billions of dollars of military aid into the war criminal, genocidal racist, ethnic cleansing and nuclear terrorist rogue state of Apartheid Israel that reportedly has up to 400 nuclear weapons. The upper estimates of stored nuclear weapons are as follows: US (7,315), Russia (8,000), Apartheid Israel (400), France (300), UK (250), China (250), Pakistan (120), India (100), and North Korea (less than 10). India, Pakistan and North Korea have not ratified the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Nuclear exchanges have almost occurred accidentally several times in the last half century and in several instances have only been averted by the sane actions of particular courageous and humane individuals who declined to press the button for global destruction e.g. Commander Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov (in 1962) and Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov (in 1983).
(2) Poverty and neoliberalism-driven corporate terrorism. UN Population Division data indicate that about 17 million people already die avoidably each year from deprivation in Developing Countries (minus China) on a Spaceship Earth with neoliberal One Percenters in charge of the flight deck. 12 years ago global avoidable deaths totalled 16 million per year. This is racist, state terrorism-backed corporate terrorism. In Iran alone about 100,000 people have been dying avoidably each year under cruel, Zionist-demanded, US-imposed Sanctions. The Sanctions applied to Iraq from 1990 to 2003 killed an estimated 1.7 million people, 1.1 million being under-5 year old infants. 1950-2005 avoidable deaths from deprivation have totalled 1.3 billion for the world, 1.2 billion for the Developing World and 0.6 billion for the Muslim World, these estimates being consonant with 1950-2005 under-5 infant deaths totalling 0.88 billion for the World, 0.85 billion for the Developing World and 0.4 billion for the Muslim World. The post-1950 avoidable deaths of about 600 million Muslims constitutes a Muslim Holocaust about 100 times bigger than the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed by violence or imposed deprivation) or the “forgotten” WW2 Bengali Holocaust in which the British with Australian complicity deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death for strategic reasons. The US-backed Apartheid Israeli oppression of the Indigenous Palestinians and ongoing Palestinian Genocide illustrate state terrorism and the Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust in microcosm - of 12 million Palestinians, 6 million are forbidden to step foot in their own country, 4.3 million exist without human rights as prisoners without charge or trial in the blockaded Gaza Concentration Camp (1.8 million) or in West Bank Bantustan ghettoes (2.5 million), and only 1.7 million Palestinians Israelis (14% of Palestinians and 28% of Palestinian subjects of Apartheid Israel) are permitted to vote for the government ruling all of Palestine, albeit as Third Class citizens under Nazi-style Apartheid laws; and the annual per capita GDP is $2,900 for Palestine, 13 times lower than for Apartheid Israel ($38,000) that continues to steal land, steal water and impose a Nazi-style Apartheid regime on Occupied Palestinians of whom it kills 1,000 violently each year and kills 4,000 non-violently each year through imposed deprivation.
(3) Climate change and state-sanctioned corporate terrorism, carbon terrorism and climate terrorism. In 2009 the WBGU, which advises the German Government on climate change, estimated that for a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2C temperature rise, the world must emit no more than 600 billion tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2) before zero emissions in 2050. Unfortunately the global greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution is now so high that the World will exceed this Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget in 2 years relative to 2015. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CH4 (methane) on a 20 year time frame and with aerosol impacts considered is 105 times that of CO2. The 50 Gt (50 billion tonnes) of CH4 predicted to be released from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf in coming decades is equivalent to 50 billion tonnes CH4 x 105 tonnes CO2-equivalent/tonne CH4 = 5,250 tonnes CO2-e or about nine (9) times more than the world’s terminal greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution budget (Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget). The world faces catastrophe unless global warming and this Arctic CH4 release can be stopped. Unaddressed man-made climate change is set to exacerbate already worsening climate genocide and cause 10 billion avoidable deaths this century leaving a predicted only 0.5 billion of Humanity alive. Presently about 7 million people die annually from the effects of pollutants from carbon fuel burning and 0.4 million people die annually from the effects of climate change. 17 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation but if climate change is not requisitely addressed an average of 100 million people will die avoidably each year this century. This is state terrorism-sanctioned corporate terrorism, carbon terrorism and climate terrorism.
Specialist scientists have technical solutions to all of these 3 major threats facing humanity but politicians – notably those representing the One Percenters who own about half of the world’s wealth – are preventing the required actions in all 3 areas that can save the world and which are summarized below.
(1) Nuclear Weapons. Complete nuclear disarmament in accordance with a Nuclear Weapons Ban is technically possible. About 117 countries now support a complete Nuclear Weapons ban and this is also supported by the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, the World Council of Churches and the International Trade Union Confederation. However a Nuclear Weapons Ban is opposed by nuclear-armed countries and their compliant lackeys. Thus, for example, while Australia has no actual nuclear weapons of its own, it has hosted nuclear tests and testing of nuclear weapons delivery systems, hosts nuclear-armed warships, plays a key role in US nuclear terrorism through its Pine Gap joint US-Australian communications facility, and under the present pro-war, pro-Zionist, pro-Apartheid Israel, US lackey Coalition Government slavishly supports US and Israeli war policies and is doing its best to oppose a Nuclear Weapons Ban. Thus the Sydney Morning Herald reported (2014): “In October 2013, according to the documents released under freedom-of-information law, Australia refused a request by New Zealand to endorse a 125-nation joint statement at the United Nations highlighting the humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.'' Australia objected to a sentence declaring that it is in the interest of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, ''under any circumstances''. A group of 16 nations, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand, have been working to highlight the humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons. That diplomatic campaign is intended to lay the ground for negotiation of a convention that would prohibit nuclear weapons - putting them in the same category as chemical and biological weapons, which are already prohibited under international law… declassified documents have revealed that the government's primary concern is that a nuclear weapons ban would ''cut across'' Australia's reliance on US nuclear deterrence”.
(2) Poverty. Notwithstanding the expansion of ostensible democracy and social welfare in the 20th century, the world's wealth is overwhelmingly concentrated the hands of the rich. Thus, according to Oxfam “[Its] report, Working for the Few, shows that the wealth of the world is divided in two: almost half going to the richest one per cent; the other half to the remaining 99 per cent”. French economist Professor Thomas Piketty argues in his important book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” that current wealth inequality endangers democracy and economic sustainability, and he proposes a progressive annual wealth tax to address the danger. There is a largely ignored Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust in which currently 17 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease in the Developing World (minus China). This is happening on Spaceship Earth with the flight deck under the control of the 10% richest who have about 90% of the wealth of the World and who in turn are controlled by One Percenters who own about half the wealth of the World. An annual global wealth tax of about 4% would yield US$16 trillion annually and enable raising all countries to annual per capita incomes equivalent to the $6,000 per person per year of China and Cuba, countries for which annual avoidable mortality is zero (0).
(3) Climate Change. Basically we know what the problem is (man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution that is warming the world and acidifying the ocean) and how to solve it (stop and reverse GHG pollution). Fundamentally, as enunciated by 300.org, we need to urgently reduce atmospheric CO2 concentration from the current dangerous and damaging 400 ppm CO2 to the pre-Industrial Revolution level of about 300 ppm CO2 for a safe planet for all peoples and all species. To achieve a safe atmosphere we must achieve the following: (1) a change of societal philosophy to one of scientific risk management and biological sustainability with complete cessation of species extinctions and zero tolerance for lying; (2) urgent reduction of atmospheric CO2 to a safe level of about 300 ppm CO2 as recommended by leading climate and biological scientists; and (3) a rapid switch to the best non-carbon and renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tide and hydro options that are currently roughly the same market price as coal burning-based power and about 4 times cheaper if the environmental and human costs of GHG pollution are considered) and to energy efficiency, public transport, needs-based production, re-afforestation and return of carbon as biochar to soils or as bicarbonate to oceans coupled with correspondingly rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning, deforestation, population growth, and methanogenic livestock production. Critically, as urged by scientists and by scientifically-trained Green Left Pope Francis, the environmental and human cost of pollution must be “fully borne” by the polluters. Dr. Chris Hope of 90-Nobel-Laureate Cambridge University has estimated a damage-related Carbon Price of about $200 per tonne CO2-e which indicates a Carbon Debt for the World of $360 trillion that is increasing at $13 trillion per year.
1.2 Unfortunately, the Western democracies have become Plutocracies, Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies, Corporatocracies, Kleptocracies and Dollarocracies in which the Big Money of the dominant One Percenters buys people, presstitutes, politicians, policies, parties, preferment, public perception of reality, political power and hence even more profit. The national leaders have failed and the young must revolt (peacefully, of course) to secure their future and have 3 main avenues for action on all these major threats to Humanity, specifically: (1) massive peaceful demonstrations in the streets under the banner “Save our future” and demanding climate justice and intergenerational equity with cessation of state crime, state terrorism and state-sanctioned corporate terrorism, carbon terrorism and climate terrorism; (2) at the ballot box where they must vote 1 Green and consign the corrupt politician lackeys of the One Percenters to the sewer of History; and (3) through Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the terracidal One Percenters and all those people, politicians, parties, presstitutes, companies, corporations and countries whose actions are disproportionately threatening and destroying Humanity and the Biosphere.
1.3. Sensible international relations among states and intra-national relations within states are set out in UN General Assembly (UNGA) and UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions, and International Court of Justice (ICJ) and International Criminal Court (ICC) Decisions and are codified by International Law including Conventions and Declarations such as the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Geneva Convention, notably the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, the UN Genocide Convention, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the International Convention on the suppression and punishment of the crime of Apartheid. Unfortunately, exceptionalism by the US and by US-backed Apartheid Israel means that these 2 states means that they flagrantly and serially violate International Law, UNGA and UNSC Resolutions, ICJ and ICC Decisions and international conventions and declarations. Outstanding Jewish French writer Emmanuel Todd has summarized this disaster as America being rich, loved and needed before the fall of Communism but now being bankrupt, hated and feared. Todd points out the might-is-right collaboration of the expanding, violent American Empire (obsessed by oil and the need to contain Russia and China in Asia) and a colonial Apartheid Israel (like the US also treating its occupied subjects very badly) has led to a departure from American “universalism” (“all men are created equal”) to what he calls “differentialism” (some men are more equal than others in practice ) – something that others have called “exceptionalism” (i.e. International Laws and Conventions don’t apply to the US or Apartheid Israel) but which should simply be described as “racism”.
1.4. A very specific and fundamental rule in interstate relations relates to the prohibition of invasion of other countries. Such illegal invasion is the worst of all crimes because it usually translates into mass murder. The worst state crime of all is invasion of another country but International Law as enshrined in the UN Charter only permits this in certain circumstances (and then only after serious negotiations): (a) if there is UN permission; (b) if the invading country has been invaded; (c) if the invading country has been invited to invade by the government. Thus, to give just one example, the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US, UK and Australia was illegal and was associated with 2.7 million Iraqi deaths from violence (1.5 million) or from violently-imposed deprivation (1.2 million), the generation of 5-6 million refugees and 0.8 million under-5 infant deaths , 90% avoidable and due to gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention that demand that an Occupier must provide its conquered Subjects with life-preserving food and medical requisites “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”. Over the centuries the US has invaded 70 countries (50 since WW2), currently subverts all countries, has bases in 63 countries. and has military personnel in 156 countries. By way of comparison, the British have invaded 193 countries, Australia 85, France 82, the US 70 (50 after WW2), Germany 39, Japan 30, Russia 25, Canada 25, Apartheid Israel 12 and China 2.
2. Forced migration
2.1. The Draft Report points out that “Despite the media focus on the current refugee crisis in Europe, close to 90 percent of the displaced are stranded in the Global South, where they are often denied the right to work, where their children have no access to education, and where they live in conditions that are conducive to generating more instability. The Congress urged a re-characterization of this destabilizing phenomenon as a development task, rather than as primarily a humanitarian responsibility” but offers the caveat that “ Nor should a development approach to displacement deflect attention from giving highest priority to preventing dislocation in the first place, nor from attempting to make return possible by resolving the conflict that provoked the displacement ”. However, as outlined below, “forced migration” and “displacement” are euphemisms for genocide.
2.2, Genocide is defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention thus: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” . Article 3 states that “The following acts shall be punishable: (a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide”; Article 4 states that “Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals”. Forced migration or the forcible generation of refugees should be described as what it is: genocide.
2.3. By way of example, 32 million Muslims have died from violence (5 million) or from imposed deprivation (27 million) in 20 significantly or substantially Muslim countries invaded by the US Alliance since the 9-11 atrocity in which 3,000 were killed . Muslim refugees now total about 35 million.
2.4. If refugees cannot be safely repatriated to a life involving full human rights, security and decent conditions in the country of origin, then that country of origin should suffer draconian sanctions.
2.5. If refugees cannot be safely repatriated to a life involving full human rights, security and decent conditions in the country of origin, then foreign countries that abetted the generation of refugees by invasion or support for state or non-state terrorism should also suffer draconian but non-violent blow-back via Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
2.6. All refugees must receive humane treatment involving full human rights, security and decent conditions with the cost to be charged to the country of origin and to all foreign countries that abetted the generation of refugees by invasion or support for state or non-state terrorism.
3. Technology and innovation-linked disparities
3.1. The Draft Report ignores the Elephant in the Room technology- and innovation-linked disparities that mean that the top One Percent owns half the wealth of the world and 17 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease. The most crucial technological changes required for the world are responses to the worsening climate emergency. To return to a safe planet for all peoples and all species we must achieve the following: (1) change of societal philosophy to one of scientific risk management and biological sustainability with complete cessation of species extinctions and zero tolerance for lying; (2) urgent reduction of atmospheric CO2 to a safe level of about 300 ppm as recommended by leading climate and biological scientists; and (3) rapid switch to the best non-carbon and renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tide and hydro options that are currently roughly the same market price as coal burning-based power) and to energy efficiency, public transport, needs-based production, re-afforestation and return of carbon as biochar to soils coupled with correspondingly rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning, deforestation, methanogenic livestock production and population growth. We understand the problem and have the technological solutions – the impending catastrophe simply does not have to happen. Are we going to be able to overcome the current political stasis and act before it is too late for Humanity and the Biosphere? Is it too late? Are we all doomed?.
3.2 The Paris Climate Change Conference failed Humanity and has locked in a catastrophic temperature rise of about plus 2.7 degrees C. All ordinary folk can do is to boycott the worst polluters. World Bank analysts have revised annual greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutions upwards by 50% to 64 billion tonnes CO2-e by properly accounting for land use for animal husbandry and the same approach has been used to properly re-calculate annual per capita GHG pollution for all countries and hence the best targets for global Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to save the planet. Here are listed revised annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution for all countries (tonnes CO2-e per person per year), the world average being 63.80 billion tonnes CO2-e / 7.137 billion people in 2013 = 8.9 tonnes CO2-e per person per year: Belize (366.9), Guyana (203.1), Malaysia (126.0), Papua New Guinea (114.7), Qatar (101.8), Zambia (97.5), Antigua & Barbuda (85.6), United Arab Emirates (82.4), Panama (68.0), Botswana (64.9), Liberia (55.0), Indonesia (53.6), New Zealand (53.2), Australia (52.9; 116 if including its huge GHG-generating exports), Nicaragua (51.2), Canada (50.1), Equatorial Guinea (47.5), Venezuela (45.2), Brazil (43.4), Myanmar (41.9), Ireland (41.4), United States (41.0), Cambodia (40.5), Kuwait (37.3), Paraguay (37.2), Central African Republic (35.7); Peru (34.8), Mongolia (32.2), Singapore (31.2), Bahrain (30.5), Trinidad & Tobago (29.8), Cameroon (29.5), Congo, Democratic Republic (formerly Zaire) (29.3), Côte d’Ivoire (29.1), Denmark (27.8), Brunei (27.4), Bolivia (27.3), Guatemala (26.9), Belgium (26.3), Ecuador (26.2), Estonia (25.4), Laos (25.3), Suriname (25.1), Netherlands (24.9), Libya (24.9), Nepal (24.6), Benin (24.5), Angola (23.8), Madagascar (23.7), Argentina (23.7), Uruguay (23.7)*, Luxembourg (23.6), Turkmenistan (23.5), Czech Republic (23.5), Zimbabwe (23.3), Gabon (23.1), Greece (21.9), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (21.5), Cyprus (21.4), Congo, Republic (21.0), Spain (20.9), Finland (20.6), Israel (20.2), Norway (20.1), Colombia (19.8), Namibia (19.8), Mauritania (19.7), South Africa (19.4), Ukraine (19.1), Germany (18.6); France (17.7), Italy (17.6), Uzbekistan (17.5), Costa Rica (17.1), Sudan (16.8), Saudi Arabia (16.6), Slovenia (16.5), Azerbaijan (16.4), Russia (16.2), Sierra Leone (16.2), Slovakia (15.9), Honduras (15.8), Hungary (15.5), Kazakhstan (15.4), Portugal (15.0), Sweden (15.0), Iran (14.5), Iceland (14.2), Mexico (13.9), Oman (13.8), Malta (13.3), Austria (13.0), Poland (12.9), Jamaica (12.8), Palau (12.8), South Korea (12.7), Guinea (12.5), North Korea (12.1), Bahamas (12.1), Nigeria (11.7), Nauru (11.7), Malawi (11.7), Mali (11.6), Chad (11.6), Taiwan (11.6), Latvia (11.4), Vanuatu (11.1), Switzerland (11.0), Romania (10.9), Togo (10.9), Japan (10.7), Serbia & Montenegro (10.4), Seychelles (10.2), Bulgaria (10.1), Lebanon (9.8), Syria (9.4), Tanzania (9.3), Turkey (9.2), Barbados (9.1), Jordan (9.1), Occupied State of Palestine (9.1)*, Philippines (9.0), Guinea-Bissau (9.0); World (8.9); Ghana (8.9), Thailand (8.7), Chile (8.7), Fiji (8.7), Belarus (8.6), Sri Lanka (8.5), Macedonia (8.5), Tonga (7.4), Croatia (7.4), China (7.4), Burkina Faso (7.3), Bosnia & Herzegovina (7.2), Kenya (7.1), Dominican Republic (7.1), Senegal (7.0), Tunisia (7.0), Algeria (6.6), Grenada (6.4), Samoa (6.2), Rwanda (6.1), El Salvador (6.0), Lithuania (5.9), Mozambique (5.8), Lesotho (5.7), Burundi (5.5), Iraq (5.5), Eritrea (5.3), St Kitts & Nevis (5.1), Uganda (5.1), Haiti (5.0), Mauritius (5.0), Albania (4.3), Dominica (4.2), Bhutan (4.1), Niger (4.1), Ethiopia (4.1), Moldova (4.0), Georgia (4.0), Yemen (3.7), Tajikistan (3.7), Afghanistan (3.6), Swaziland (3.6), Cuba (3.5), Cape Verde (3.5), Kyrgyzstan (3.4), The Gambia (3.0), St Lucia (2.9), Bangladesh (2.7), Egypt (2.6), Niue (2.6), Pakistan (2.5), Morocco (2.5), Djibouti (2.4), St Vincent & Grenadines (2.4), Armenia (2.3), Maldives (2.1), India (2.1), Cook Islands (2.1), Vietnam (1.9), São Tomé and Príncipe (1.9), Comoros (1.6), Solomon Islands (1.4), Kiribati (1.2), Tuvalu (1.2)* (* indicates an estimate based on that for an immediately contiguous, ethnically-related country).
3.3. The whole world is very close to using up its Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget that must not be exceeded if we are to have a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic plus 2 degrees Centigrade temperature rise . Thus years left before the world uses up this Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget is 8.1 years relative to 2010 and thus only about 2 years relative to 2016. We are badly running out of time to deal with man-made climate change, and sensible, humane, science-informed people can (a) inform everyone they can about the corrected annual per capita GHG pollution data presented here, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians, parties, companies, corporations and countries disproportionately involved in the greenhouse gas pollution that so acutely threatens Humanity and the Biosphere.
3.4. Another area of innovation-linked disparity is access to life-saving drugs (e.g. for HIV). Western pharmaceutical companies legitimately justify high prices for patented drugs on the basis of the huge cost of research, development and clinical trials. However very low annual per capita GHG pollution Developing Countries suffering the ever-worsening consequences of the disproportionate GHG pollution by Developed Countries of the one common atmosphere and ocean of all nations can equally legitimately justify violation of patents to save the lives of their impoverished citizens.
4. Public opinion
4.1. The Draft Report recommends “Developing a strategy to engender supportive public opinion so as to give political leaders political space in which to act on constructive proposal” but ignores the Awful Truth that public opinion is heavily manipulated by the dominant One Percenters. Public opinion is increasingly bought by Big Money in democracies that have become Plutocracies, Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies, Corporatocracies, Kleptocracies and Dollarocracies in which the Big Money of the dominant One Percenters purchases people, presstitutes, politicians, policies, parties, preferment, public perception of reality, political power and hence even more profit. Censorship, lying by commission and lying by omission are entrenched in our corporate media that operate as propaganda machines for Big Money and the Establishment.
4.2. Thus by way of example, the UK BBC has an assertedly good reputation around the world for impartial, authoritative broadcasting but there is a lot of hard evidence that contradicts this assessment. In reality the BBC is the propaganda arm of the endlessly war-making British Government and has an appalling record of censorship, lying by commission and lying by omission in support of continuing British crimes against humanity. Hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of people around the world have grown up listening to the words “this is the BBC” and being variously deceived by the pro-Zionist, pro-US, pro-imperialism, pro-neocolonialism censorship of the BBC, an organization with an appalling record of Anglocentric and Eurocentric censorship, lying by omission and lying by commission. Of course the BBC is not alone in this perversion of the truth and deception of the public which is widespread in the Western democracies.
4.3. A holocaust involves the deaths of a huge number of people whereas genocide is defined as acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Such atrocities are grossly mal-reported by the English language media (radio, TV, books, magazines, newspapers) and range from the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengali Holocaust (in which 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death for strategic reasons by the British with White Australian collaboration to the continuing global avoidable mortality holocaust in which, for example, between 1950 and 2005 some 727 million people died avoidably from deprivation in countries occupied by the British in the post-1945 era.
Anglo Mainstream media have an appalling record of genocide ignoring and holocaust ignoring , which is far, far worse than utterly repugnant genocide denial and holocaust denial because at least the latter admit the possibility of public debate. Thus, for example, British Zionist Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) was an eminent UK historian in the areas of Jewish history, Zionism, Churchill, WW1, WW2 and 20th century history. He was one of very few UK historians who actually mentioned the 1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million Indians killed by Britain under Churchill with Australian complicity) but must be criticized for hugely under-estimating this atrocity, excusing the British, eliminating any mention of this from his histories of Churchill, ignoring other holocausts and grossly exaggerating deaths in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (his most outlandish claim of “hundreds of thousands of Jews were being gassed every day at Belzec, Chelmno, Sobibor and Treblinka” corresponding to 22 million Jewish victims as compared to the 5-6 million deaths commonly accepted).
4.4. Free speech and academic free speech in particular are highly circumscribed in the ostensibly democratic English-speaking world and elsewhere. Free speech is vital for scholarship, science and science-based risk management. Unfortunately effective speech is greatly constrained in the US (and elsewhere in the “free world”) despite freedom of speech being enshrined in the First Amendment to the American Constitution. As universities have become increasingly corporatized and dependent on government and One Percenter patronage, so academic self-censorship and censorship have increased as spectacularly exampled by the genocide ignoring, holocaust ignoring, genocide denial and holocaust denial by the late Professor Sir Martin Gilbert, former Fellow of Merton College at 64-Nobel-Laureate University of Oxford, and indeed by so many of his fellow English-speaking historiographers.
Summary and conclusions
One suspects that if he were still alive, Canadian humanitarian Sheldon Chumir would be very disappointed with the weakness of the Congress of Vienna 2015 Draft Report and its commitment to the disastrous, One Percenter-determined, “let them eat cake” status quo.
The Awful Truth is that world is acutely threatened by nuclear weapons (that could wipe out most of Humanity and the Biosphere at any time), poverty (that kills 17 million people each year) and by man-made climate change from greenhouse gas pollution (pollutants from carbon burning kill 7 million people each year but unaddressed man-made climate change may kill 10 billion people this century in an already worsening climate genocide).
My key recommendations are that national leaders and ordinary citizens alike must (1) acknowledge these horrendous realities; (2) subscribe to rational risk management that successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses, and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk; and (3) utterly reject the currently dominant, spin-based process successively involving (a) censorship, lying by omission, lying by commission, slying (spin-based untruth), propaganda, intimidation and white-washing, (b) anti-science spin involving the selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position, and (c) blame and shame with war being the worst ultimate consequence.
Further, the world is badly running out of time to deal with the threats from nuclear weapons, poverty and climate change, and accordingly sensible, humane, pro-peace, science-informed people must (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians, parties, companies, corporations and countries disproportionately involved in these acute and worsening threats to Humanity and the Biosphere.
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|Syed Kamal Hussain Shah|