Monday, June 18, 2018

IAEWP World Peace Ambassador for China


Here is an update on the appointment in China in 2017.

Professor  Dr. Yao Chao Cheng was appointed as the IAEWP National Chancellor of People's Republic of China and Mr. Feng Chengping of Beijing was named as IAEWP World Peace Ambassador for the term 2017-2020.



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A Truly Global Partnership – Helping the UN to Do Itself Out of a Job







/https://www.transcend.org/tms/2018/06/a-truly-global-partnership-helping-the-un-to-do-itself-out-of-a-job/

Korea: a significant summit but there are still many valleys to cross


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Korea: a significant summit but there are still many 
valleys to cross

By Rene Wadlow


The summit meeting in Singapore on 12 June of President Donald Trump of the United States and Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was a highly significant meeting, facilitated by a good number of diplomatic efforts, in particular that of Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea as well as diplomats from the People’s Republic of China. There were also active non-governmental initiatives from groups in South Korea, the USA and Japan to encourage such a summit to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

In the past, there have been a series of dangerous crises concerning the two Korean States. There are always dangers of miscalculations and unnecessary escalation of threats.

The Summit produced a framework agreement for the ultimate denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula – thus the end of the nuclear weapon capacity of North Korea and the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea. In the meantime, there would be a freeze on North Korean nuclear-weapon activity and a suspension of US-South Korean military exercises which the North Korean government has always considered “provocative” and as a rehearsal of an attack. In addition, there would be other confidence-building measures. A non-aggression pact or a strong non-aggression statement by the US has been mentioned. Other tension-reducing measures would be an increase of separated-family meetings, cultural exchanges, and perhaps a revival of joint North-South Korean economic undertakings.

Thus, there has been a definite change in the “atmosphere” from the earlier saber-rattling. However, there is still a long-way to go, and non-governmental organizations have a role to play in building on the Summit momentum.

In 2013, the Association of World Citizens had proposed in a message to then United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that there be a UN-sponsored Korean Peace Settlement Conference now that all States which participated in the 1950-1953 Korean War were members of the United Nations. 2013 was the 60th anniversary of the 1953 Armistice and thus would have a symbolic significance.

The time was not yet “ripe” in 2013. Today a peace treaty rather than the armistice could create a strong framework for cooperation. Since the 1950-1953 war was not only the war of the most active troops but of the United Nations as a whole, world citizens believe that it should be a UN Peace Settlement Conference, not only of government representatives but a peace conference in which the voices of civil society are legitimate and should be heard.



Rene Wadlow is the President of the Association of World Citizens, an international peace organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, the United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation on and problem-solving in economic and social issues

The Cold War Culture War






Saturday, June 16, 2018

Work in Progress: IAEWP Nigeria Registration as a NGO


Dr. Ayo Ayoola-Amale, MCIArb,
IAEWP Senior Vice-President & Regional Chairperson for Africa of 
the Diplomatic Commission of IAEWP (NGO ECOSOC - United Nations)
IAEWP - The 1987 recipient of Peace Messenger Award of the UN


Dear Ayo
 
In line with my earlier brief on the commencement of registration of IAEWP (Nigeria) with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria as required by law, I have paid the outstanding balance of Seventy Thousand Naira making a total of One Hundred and Seventy Thousand Naira. Advertisements have already been placed in two national newspapers which is mandatory for a period of twenty one days. There was initial rejection of the registration by CAC but I intervened, giving additional details about IAEWP. The process is on-going and we await the expiration of the mandatory twenty one days to conclude other parts of the registration.
 
In the meantime, I have started making plans and reaching out to those we can collaborate with. One of such is the Executive Director of Peace Commission of Kaduna State. As soon as the certificate of registration is obtained, major activities will commence. This is more so that we need to show evidence of registration in Nigeria. I will provide scanned copies of the newspaper publications in my next mail. Thank you. 
 
Air Commander Darlington Abdullahi(Rtd)
National Chancellor (Nigeria)
International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP).

National Secretary
Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC)
Nigeria.


Friday, June 15, 2018

WGHA 2018 CHILDREN’S DAY POEM by Ayo Ayoola-Amale




LET IT BE EVERY CHILD

We build tomorrow on fire.
We build the ancestor to humanity,
they yelled our names, the mind,
in the heart of the deepening moonlight wind
with a steady hand we take hold of paradise.
We walk with society’s souls like maddened fresh air
in blazing nobility echoing centuries.
We build tomorrow in the world we found
for every child.

-ayo ayoola-amale © 2016

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Trump's summit military concession to Kim surprises everyone


Trump's military concession to Kim surprises everyone — even the Pentagon

  


https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-s-summit-military-concession-kim-surprises-everyone-n882326

New Appointments in Africa : National Chancellery & Diplomatic Commission


The Office of the President of IAEWP is pleased to announce the following appointments with immediate effect:


1
The Most Distinguished   Mr AYETAN Kodjo Ognandou
IAEWP National Chancellort for Togo
Président, Promoteur culturelCommunication et
Développement Intégral
Bibliothèque Ilérama & BibliomobileTél.
+228 90275825 / 99802198/ 22370858Siège : Lomé (TOGO), Qtier
Agoè-NyivéE-mail : cdi_togo@yahoo.frSite :
www.bibliomobile.tgwww.cditogo.wordpress.com

2
The Most Distinguished  Mr  De Monsieur Koffi Yaossim Azouma KPELA
IAEWP Diplomatic Council for Togo.
01 BP : 20363, Lomé-Togo ;
Tél. : +228 22 38 79 28 ;
Mobile : +228 90 03 92 76 / 99 43 00 71
Washapp : +228 90 05 96 73
Fax. : +228 22 51 50 80
E-mail : waansatogo.2015@gmail.com
ongcjsp.togo@gmail.com/ cjsp_tg@yahoo.fr
Internet : www.cjsptogo.wordpress.com

3
The Most Distinguished Mr  James Koung Ninrew Dong (Rev. James Ninrew)
IAEWP Diplomatic Council for South Sudan.
Minister of Presbyterian Church of South Sudan/Sudan
Assistance Mission for Africa (AMA)
Juba Office, Block 3-K South, Plot 165 Juba Jabari.
Tel: +211 955 224 368, +254 706 388 591
Email: jninrew@yahoo.com, jdong60@icloud.com and jubaama@gmail.com

4
The Most Distinguished  Dr.Peter Boswell McOmalla,PhD
IAEWP Diplomatic Council for Tanzania
Peace and Security Expert/Mediator/Researcher/Consultant/Lecturer
Executive Director
HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AND PEACE INTERNATIONAL(HUREPI-TRUST)
incorporating
Hurepi Centre for Peace,Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Studies
P.O.BOX 14963,Arusha Tanzania East Africa
E-mail:peterkirina@gmail.com

5
The Most Distinguished  Mr Cliffton Mayaba Chifuwe
IAEWP Diplomatic Council for Zambia
Woodlands Central SDA Church
Box 320086
Lusaka
Cell: +260 977 411 676/955 527 274
Email: mayclif@gmail.com 
Alt: mayclichi@yahoo.com

We would like to place a special thanks on record for the hard work, commitment and dedication of 

Dr. Ayo Ayoola-Amale, JD,MCIArb,
IAEWP Senior Vice-President for Africa & Regional Chairperson for Africa of 
the Diplomatic Commission of IAEWP (NGO ECOSOC - United Nations)
IAEWP - The 1987 recipient of Peace Messenger Award of the UN


in recommending the above high caliber personalities to lead IAEWP mission in Continental Africa.

Thank you for the opportunity to put this information on record.




Office of the Deputy Secretary General, IAEWP (NGO ECOSOC - United Nations)
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Classic of Poetry : "Peace is a Cliche."





Dear All:

Here is to share another fine collections of articles from Global Research:
“Peace is a Cliche”:

I quote from the ancient Chinese Classic of Poetry (11th-6th Century BC) praised the high moral standards of Confucius:


高山仰止  景行行止.   雖不能至  心嚮往之
Peace is like:” A distant mountain, although we cannot reach it, we never stop walking towards it.”



Best wishes,

Lana Yang 楊幗蘭
Peace Ambassador and
Main Representative to the UN for IAEWP
和諧卋界從心開始
A Harmonious World Begins in the Mind
Altruism is the Foundation of World Peace

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Plea to Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, for compassion for Women Subject to Violence.



Kuan Yin :

She who harkens to the cries of the world 
and restores equilibrium.
 
Wise in using skilful means
In every corner of the world
She manifests her countless forms

A Plea to Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, for compassion for Women Subject to Violence.

8 March, the International Day of Women is an appropriate time to focus on the destructive impact of violence on women. Violence against women is a year-round occurrence and continues to an alarming degree. Violence against women is an attack upon their bodily integrity and their dignity. We need to place an emphasis on the universality of violence against women, the multiplicity of its forms, and the ways in which violence, discrimination against women, and the broader system of domination based on subordination and inequality are inter-related.

The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by governments in the General Assembly of 1993, gives a broad definition of violence as “ any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”The Declaration highlights violence within the family, violence within the broader community, and violence perpetrated or condoned by the State. We will deal briefly with these three areas of violence against women.

The Family: Although the family should be a safe haven with relations among its members guided by respect and love, it is often within the family where the most psychologically devastating forms of violence take place — devastating because such violence goes against the expectations of a safe and harmonious haven. We see battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women and violence related to exploitation carried out by family members and intimate partners.

Within this family setting, we also need to look at the conditions of domestic workers, often working under totally unregulated conditions. Live-in maids can be subjected to slave-like treatment at the hands of the members of the family employing them. They can encounter humiliation, work and sexual exploitation and violence, often with no access to justice.

The Wider Community: As the preamble to the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women states clearly “Violence against women is a manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and to discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of women’s full advancement, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.” This universal phenomenon is embedded in a patriarchal structure which justifies mechanisms of enforcing and sustaining the system of domination.

As Adrienne Rich wrote in Of Women Born “Patriarchy is the power of the fathers; a familial-social ideological, political system in which men — by force, direct pressure, or through ritual, tradition, law and language, customs, etiquette, education, and the division of labour, determine what part women shall or shall not play, and in which the female is everywhere subsumed under the male. It does not necessarily imply that no woman has power or that all women in a given culture may not have certain powers… The power of the fathers has been difficult to grasp because it permeates everything, even the language in which we try to describe it. It is diffuse and concrete; symbolic and literal; universal, and expressed with local variations which obscure its universality.”

Many of the tenets of patriarchal gender order concerns male power to control women’s sexuality and reproductive capacity. The honour and prestige of a man, in many instances, are intrinsically associated with the conduct of a women related to sexuality, leading in some cases to ‘crimes committed in the name of honour’.

Within the wider community, we also see physical, sexual and psychological violence, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and intimidation at work and in educational institutions, trafficking in women and forced prostitution.

Education, psychological care and sociological change are important to combat violence within the family and the community.

The State and Armed Insurgencies: There is physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State. The State has a clear duty to control the behaviour of its police, prison, and other agents of justice. Victims of violence by the agents of the State should have clearly set out mechanisms by which they can appeal to the State for redress and compensation. Violence against women in custodial and prison conditions is still a widespread phenomenon which requires a review of national legislation but especially a real investigation of national practice. In many ways ‘law and order’ can be a ‘war on the poor’ and the misfits or a ‘war of segregation’ which can translate into arrests of members of specific social, ethnic or religious groups.

We see violence against women used as a systematic weapon in many armed conflicts by both governmental forces and the armed insurgencies. Women, children and the elderly are the most vulnerable in war-torn societies.

There are also real but less visible psychological and personality disorders left by a conflict. Therefore the role and needs of women in post-war reconstruction and reconciliation require immediate special attention.

Thus, the Association of World Citizens stresses that we need to look carefully at the causes of violence against women and to develop further the policies and institutions leading to human dignity and respect.

*Rene Wadlow, President and Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens

Saturday, March 10, 2018

HEROES vs ‘heroes’



Friends & Colleagues
This is the second of two essays on the political implications of our celebrity culture.
Michael Brenner



                                    HEROES  vs  ‘heroes’

The famous, celebrities, heroes – we tend to use the terms interchangeably these days.   That is the cause of much mischief. For the way that they have become synonyms in our minds reveals just how confused American culture is about what it values - and why.  A revealing example was the flap a few years back over Rolling Stone magazine’s banishment from CVS, Walgreen’s and other vendors because it placed a picture of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover shortly after the atrocity. No such reaction was provoked when in the past villains like Osama bin-Laden, Saddam Hussein, Stalin or Hitler glared at us from popular journals like Time, Life and Newsweek. So what’s going on?
 Well, we used to think that anyone who was famous and newsworthy should be publicized. Publicized – not promoted. In other words, it was important to know who they were and how they affected our lives because they had become prominent for some obvious reason. The main criterion was not a favorable judgment – just a recognition that they counted. The same could be said for Tsarnaev or Mateen or Cruz. Except that a transformation has occurred in the meaning we attach to publicity. Publicity today is taken to be a valuable commodity in itself. We seem to have assimilated the old Hollywood maxim that “there is no such thing as good publicity or bad publicity; there is just publicity.”
 Publicity for its own sake is what celebrity is all about.  Achieving the status of a celebrity – by being on a magazine cover, for example – is what most people aspire to. From Hollywood stardom to just a fleeting appearance on the local 10 o’clock news, the dynamic of vanity and gratification is pretty much the same. We stand out, we are exceptional, we are paid attention to, i.e. we have escaped the drab and dreary and humdrum. We envy those who have made it – for whatever reason they have gotten into the spotlight. Gazing longingly at their exalted selves, wallowing in their doings, bedazzled by the glitz – we momentarily stop contemplating our own navel in order to concentrate on somebody else’s navel – a celebrity navel.
 So at some level many go so far as to envy the villain. She may be a neurotic wreck hanging onto reality by his gnawed fingernails while considering a sex change. But damn it she’s on the cover ofRolling Stone, or staring at us from the National Enquirer at a million checkout lines –and I’m not! Like the Kardashians.  Like Tonya Harding who is being reinvented as a ‘coming-of-age’ proletarian heroine decades after the ‘unfortunate incident’ when a hit man was hired to cripple her skating arch rival Nancy Kerrigan. “I, Tonya” is the modest title pf the film Americans are breathlessly awaiting. What next – “I, Charles Manson”?
 Envy is at the essence of the celebrity cultureFame used to be the deserved reward of those who did something special and praiseworthy. They succeeded beyond the norm – in politics, in the arts, in sports, in war, even at times in learning. The famous earned the praise and attention they received. In the past, a contemporary celebrity like Kim Kardashian would not be famous; she would beinfamous –with all the heavy negative connotations that the term carried.  That is to say, she had done nothing commendatory. Indeed, she had behaved in a gross if not immoral manner. These days, the words famous and infamous are conflated into the term celebrity.
The fading of any measure or common standard by which to judge conduct at once encourages anti-social behavior, eliminates a sense of shame, and makes the public unnaturally indiscriminant in its reaction. One example: hedge fund titans who extract billions from gaming the system gain widespread respect – even though their ethics are at the same level as the guy who deals three-card monte on the sidewalk outside Bloomingdale’s on Lexington Avenue. And the damage they inflict on persons and the country is infinitely greater. A Presidential candidate who boasts that he physically assaulted 23 women, often in public,  easily transmutes notoriety into popularity to win 50% of the vote from an electorate who are bedazzled by his celebrity. The same for his tax evasion.
The Pentagon sends 17 bemedalled commanders to Afghanistan to follow each other in abject failure, punctuated by strings of lies, yet every one of the generals, as well as those uniformed and civilian superiors who lauded them, has received the acclaim accorded a triumphant warrior.  As he is crowned with laurels (another row of ribbons and a promotion), the celebrity General declares that “we have turned the corner.” In truth, that means we have gone around the block 4 times to arrive at the exact spot we started: dealing 3-card monte at Dupont Circle up the street from the Brookings Institution. By the way, Brookings’ new president is Marine General John R. Allen – one of the “Kabul 16” alumni association.
 The universe of celebrity has its own compulsions, its own vocabulary, its own venues for disseminating news. Indeed, its own definition of news: what celebrities are up to. Somehow, this is considered more genuine, more real (as in reality show), more people oriented, more democratic than how we imagined and treated the famous in bygone times. Even our highest officials and leaders are infected by the celebrity bug. Magnified and caricatured by the Orangutan.
 The celebrity ethos has left its mark even on our sane leaders. Barack Obama relished being a celebrity – as he does today in a jet-setting retirement.  At the banal level, his preferred and habitual way of addressing the American people was via talk shows – be it Oprah,The ViewBetween the Palmssome ethnic themed radio station in Atlantic, or a jazz bash in Chicago. He avoided the televised Oval Office address to the country as somehow less authentic than the popular trendy media. As one staffer explained: “the Oval Office speech is so 1980s.”  This despite the simple fact that any one of Obama’s forays into the entertainment realm meant speaking to only a tiny fraction of the audience that tunes in to a retro White House performance – and an attentive one at that. By the end of his tenure, few listened to what Obama was saying – or cared. Yet, the celebrity motif never was questioned.
The point, though, is not to communicate directly to the American people in soberly identifying an issue, explaining its significance and making the case for a particular course of action. Rather, it’s about affirming oneself – about being recognized as communicating per se which, in a way, is taken to be almost more important than the substance of what he is saying. The fact that the President was on The View would be broadcast ad nauseum for the next 48 hours – accompanied by the one or two talking points that White House spun to get reported.  That is celebrity communication and that is the effect that the President of the United States, as the nation’s chief celebrity, wants to have. It’s impressions that register, not thoughts or convictions.
 We were shown how this phenomenon unfolds when Obama spoke impromptu at the White House of his reaction to the verdict in the notorious Zimmerman trial. That hurriedly organized meeting with the press was a last resort. The President had spent the previous two days giving interviews to a series of Hispanic radio stations – expecting, we are told, that he would get a question about the trial offering an opportunity to say a few well-chosen words. The question was never popped. So a frustrated President had to speak more or less formally from the White House – albeit avoiding that so-1980s format.  That is the bizarre world of celebrity governance we inhabit.
 Obama demonstrated that penchant for celebrity gab-communication once again on the graver matter of NSA’s comprehensive electronic spying on American citizens. When the scandal broke, the White House pledged a “conversation” with Americans on the constitutional and ethical issues raised. After six weeks of silence, Obama chose the Leno Show for making a few disjointed remarks . These were little more than the by then stale talking points that the administration had been pushing. His strongest assertion was that the government never looks at the content of emails and related communications. It was a lie – as proven two days later by The New York Times in quoting verbatim NSA documents  that it in fact it did examine emails for any reference to terrorist related activities or groups. By blatantly lying, Obama implicitly disparaged the issues’ importance while failing to show a decent respect for the opinions and legitimate concerns of his fellow citizens. Insult was added to injury by his choosing for this fabrication the perch normally reserved for self-promoting hams - hardly the proper location from which to explain why he had chosen to repeal unilaterally the Fourth Amendment.
This same mentality that finds the most authentic truth in its portrayal by the image-makers was on display after the killing of Osama bin-Laden. Within days of the event, the White House was in touch with Hollywood figures offering a deal whereby privileged access would be accorded in exchange for a glorified rendering of the decade long drama on the silver screen. The eventual account delivered a congratulatory adulation of implacable American heroes and heroines who brought honor and a just conclusion to the 9/11 saga. It took the liberty of shamelessly embellishing the already airbrushed story that was the official version. The main point is not virtual truth vs actual truth; rather, it is the unquestioned belief that the only reality that ultimately counts is that etched on the national consciousness by those who script our celebrations for us.
Indeed, Obama’s entire career can be viewed as an audacious exercise in scripted production – including his best-selling book, “Dreams From My Father,” which first vaulted him into the celebrity realm. A book largely written by friend Bill Ayres who took a very rough draft and turned into a literate, coherent work.
 Celebrity status provides its own legitimation. Once you have been recognized as a public personality, how you got there is forgotten.  Thus, the aforementioned Kim Kardashian. Thus, the authors and executors of the disastrous intervention in Iraq sold by deceit and lies circulate freely everywhere – from TV talk shows, to expert witnesses before Congress, to Council on Foreign Relations panels, to prestigious positions at Ivy League universities, to corporate boards, to now back at the highest levels of government. Thus, the bizarre phenomenon of self-declared aspirants for the White House whose disqualifications are glossed over once they manage to inveigle their way onto a few of those interminable pseudo-events we call “debates.”
Thus, the tinsel town mogul David Geffen who uses his mega-yacht to lure the famous into his web – Barack Obama in Tahiti preceded by Javanka who warmed the berth for him in Croatia a few months earlier. Common ground on the star struck celebrity seas. Celebrity itself forges bonds that transcend all else; it makes one feel part of an exclusive elite caste.
 Celebrity is an immutable status. There is nothing too moronic, there is no display of ignorance too mind boggling, there is no addled comment too outrageous, there is no lapse of elementary logic that seemingly can jeopardize that standing.  Trump is proving that daily.
Tawdry actions simply add to the celebrity – that includes ones of minor criminality. They open a whole new subject for self-observation and voyeurism. Celebrity is a sort of popularly granted mark of nobility that carries a set of irrevocable privileges.  And if you don’t have it, all the gravity, depth of thought, articulateness and humanity in the world won’t help you break into the charmed circle.

Our leaders no longer aspire to be viewed as heroes.* A hero is exalted by his fellow citizens because he has accomplished something remarkable requiring exceptional traits of character or competence. A hero surpasses the famous by dint of extraordinary effort and extraordinary achievement. Heroes have something inside them that, under certain conditions, leads them to transcend the normal and the expected. Are our times conducive to the emergence of a hero? Yes – dealing with the grave dangers posed by predatory finance requires a hero, to cite one example. Talking squarely with the American people about how
the country has betrayed its principles and jeopardized its well-being since 9/11 requires a hero. However, those who are habituated to life on the celebrity circuit cannot and never will be heroes. Indeed, they may even have lost the instinct to distinguish between fame and heroism.
Barack Obama’s case is uniquely instructive on this point. Seemingly, he had the makings of a hero. In form, he was dignified, articulate, and cool. His words were high-minded. In terms of opportunity, he entered the White House at the very moment when the nation was shaken to its economic foundation by the great financial crisis. It was a crisis that exposed the Wall Street’s rapaciousness, ruthlessness and utter contempt for the public welfare. In so doing, it exposed as well the bankruptcy of market fundamentalist thinking that denounced regulation in the public interest and exalted private greed. Here was an historic opportunity for a man with the making of a hero to rise to the occasion.
Barack Obama did the exact opposite. He rode to Wall Street’s rescue, gave the malefactors blanket immunity, subordinated the interests of citizens to the corporate elite, and perpetuated the myths that had opened the way to their abuses. It is said that Franklin Roosevelt saved American capitalism. Barack Obama, by comparison, saved American predatory capitalism. Moreover, he failed totally to raise the national consciousness about the proper and necessary role of government to secure the general welfare, to restrain the influence of nefarious special interests, and to guard against the assault on the great social accomplishments of the past century. Today’s Trump-led plutocracy is his bequest to the nation.
Obama had a weakness for the celebrity life-style when he entered office. He saw his priority as making the country feel good about itself, to do so by building comity without regard to its foundations. As he said a few weeks ago, his greatest disappointment was his inability to create a bipartisan consensus. Not to defeat the forces of regression and racism and xenophobia – but bipartisanship for its own sake. The self-indulgent notion that Americans craved displays of unity above all, be it on whatever – even eroding Social Security and MEDICARE, as Obama proposed in 2011 - was the path of least resistance for someone without convictions but with aspiration to be celebrated. Something to talk about  before the audiences that pay him $400,000 a pop to inspire them, before the TV audience for late night shows, before a select audience of hedge fund pirateers, before Hollywood stars and Silicon Valley billionaires on mega-yachts and private islands in the South Seas.
A cynic might say that Obama first sought celebrity as a stepping stone to the Presidency, and then the White House as a stepping stone to a lifetime of celebrity.
That is not the stuff heroes are made from. They do not imagine the pinnacle of achievement is sitting in a circle against a backdrop of American flags, holding hands with sworn enemies, and singing Kumbaya.

*David Petraeus.  At his retirement ceremony from the Army before assuming the Directorship of the CIA, he was inducted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen into the hallowed ranks of George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur. That was rarified company for an officer who never saw combat, never won a war, was outsmarted in negotiations with Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki who sent him and his fellow Americans packing, abandoned his own strategy in Afghanistan in order to register short-term virtual successes measured in body counts, and concluded his career by having an unsavory affair with a Major (reserve, married) in Army Intelligence. Soon after, he was invited to teach a couple of courses at Columbia and the City University of New York that was ready to shell out $200,000 to have a celebrity star on its roster. The very model of the post-modern celebrity-hero. Two years later, Petraeus’ “model” Iraqi Army threw down their arms and ran from the ISIS before Mosul.

  

International Women's Day



8 March 2018 International Women's Day
The Balance of Yin and Yang

By Dr. René Wadlow
President, Association of World Citizens



It is only when women start to organize in large numbers that women become a political force, and begin to move towards the possibility of a truly democratic society in which every human being can be brave, responsible, thinking and diligent in the struggle to live at once freely and unselfishly.

8 March is the International Day of Women and thus a time to highlight the specific role of women in local, national and world society. International Women's Day was first proposed by Clara Zetlin (1857-1933) at the Second International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen in 1911. Later, she served as a socialist-communist member of the German Parliament during the Wiemar Republic which existed from 1920 to 1933 when Hitler came to power. Zetlin went into exile in the Soviet Union shortly after Hitler came to power. She died several months later in 1933.

Zetkin had lived some years in Paris and was active in women's movements there. The women were building on the 1889 International Congress for Feminine Works and Institutions held in Paris under the leadership of Ana de Walska. De Walska was part of the circle of young Russian and Polish intellectuals in Paris around Gerard Encausse (1865-1916), a spiritual writer who wrote under the pen name of Papus and edited a journal L'Initiation.(1) Papus stressed the need for world peace and was particularly active on the human rights of Armenians.

This turn-of-the-century spiritual milieu was influenced by Indian and Chinese thought. Translations of fundamental Asian philosophical texts were increasingly known in an educated public. 'Feminine' and 'masculine' were related to the Chinese terms of Yin and Yang − not opposed but in a harmonic balance. Men and women alike have within themselves the Yin and Yang psychological characteristics. 'Feminine' characteristics or values include intuitive, nurturing, caring, sensitive and relational traits. 'Masculine' traits are rational, assertive and analytical.

As individual persons, men and women alike can achieve a state of wholeness, of balance between the Yin and Yang. However, in practice, 'masculine' refers to men and 'feminine' to women. Thus, some feminists identify the male psyche as the prime cause of the subordination of women around the world. Men are seen as having nearly a genetic coding that leads them to 'seize' power, to institutionalize that power through patriarchal societal structures and to buttress that power with masculine values and culture.

Thus Clara Zetkin saw the need to call attention in a forceful way to the role that women as women play in society and the many blocks which men place in their way. She made her proposal in 1911 and today 8 March is widely observed.

Women, individually and in groups, have played a critical role in the struggle for justice and peace in all societies. However, when real negotiations start to pull a community out from a cycle of violence, women are often relegated to the sidelines. There is a need to organize so that women are at the negotiating table to present their ingenuity, patience and determination.

The emerging world society has been slow to address the problem of injustice to women, because it has lacked a consensus on sex-based inequality as an urgent issue of political justice. The outrages suffered every day by millions of women − domestic violence, child sexual abuse, child marriage, inequality before the law, poverty and lack of dignity − are not uniformly regarded as ignominious and seen as human rights abuses.

Solidarity and organization are crucial elements to create sustainable ways of living in which all categories of people are encouraged to contribute. 8 March 2018 is a reminder of the positive steps taken but also the distance yet to be covered.


Note
  1. See the biography by Marie-Sophie André and Christophe Beaufils Papus (Paris: Berg International, 1995, 354pp.)