vacances

Just Act - Vacances Scolaires

Wanted: world leaders

JUST WHAT?

Concerned about international stability, international law, United Nations, war and peace, terrorism, civil rights, Kyoto, globalisation, foreign policy, Europe, US, Asia, Russia, Africa, South-America, Middle-East, and more?

These issues may seem big and abstract, but in essence they are closer to our daily lives than most people realize, because they shape and influence our world on the local, national and global level. And they are not exclusively for scholars, politicians, policy makers and other experts. You can be just as involved and become knowledgeable.

JUST KNOW

The JUST ACT initiative seeks to facilitate the flow of information between those who have it and those who would like it.

We invite you to sign up for our free newsletter and to regularly check up on our acts, articles, reports, books, links and agenda items. It’s up to you to interpret that information and to formulate your own opinion.

JUST ACT

The JUST ACT initiative reaches out to those that want to translate their concern into forms of action. Pragmatic idealists and realists according to the calendrier vacances scolaires.
Join us and become actively involved in world affairs! We are looking for world-class citizens!
Do you accept the challenge?

JUST AGENDA

07-12-2022 5th Concertdebate JUST ACT
Do you donate to aid organisations or are you a volunteer? Does development aid make sense and what are the results of the conditions on aid in the field of enhancing democratisation in receiving countries?

30-05-2022 Debate Referendum EU Constitution

27-11-2021 workshop Iran up in nuclear arms?
Is Iran developing nuclear arms?

12-11-2021 Turkey’s entry into the EU?
Where do the Green Left and the SP stand in the debate on Turkey’s possible entry into the EU? Lagendijk and van Bommel cross swords on November 12.

07-11-2021 9th Globalisation Lecture
The British economist Noreena Hertz (1967) put the debts of the poorest countries on the public and political agenda with her new book I.O.U.: The Debt Threat and Why We Must Defuse It (Fourth Estate, London 2021).

25-10-2021 Meeting Think and Do tank for world leaders
Are you concerned about international stability, and international law?

07-10-2021 Book presentation Another World is possible
Participants in the worldwide citizens’ movement for social change and global justice like to proclaim that “Another World Is Possible.” But is it? Susan George adds a cautionary “If,” and proposes how we can indeed reach that Other World.

30-09-2021 Debate: Is Bush adrift from America?
Republican John Micklethwait and Democrat Stanley Greenberg will discuss the upcoming american elections with each other and with the public.

27-06-2021 Festival Globalisation
Amsterdam: All activities of this free two-day festival have one thing in common. What does globalisation have to do with you?

27-06-2021 Workshop International Criminal Court (ICC)
Amsterdam: We’ll put you in the shoes of a virtual world leader and challenge you to decide what you would do. Will you ratify the ICC treaty or not? And why?’’

26-06-2021 Workshop International Criminal Court (ICC)
Amsterdam: We’ll put you in the shoes of a virtual world leader and challenge you to decide what you would do. Will you ratify the ICC treaty or

26-06-2021 Festival Globalisation
Amsterdam: All activities of this free two-day festival have one thing in common. What does globalisation have to do with you?

23-06-2021 Lecture ‘Power, Terror, Peace and War’
The John Adams Institute welcomes Walter Russell Mead, senior fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, to talk about his latest book: Power, Terror, Peace, and War: America’s Grand Strategy in a World at Risk.

12-06-2021 NATIONAL UN CONVENTION
Amsterdam: The Dutch Foreign ministry invites the Dutch public to come and discuss the future of the United Nations.

31-05-2021 7th Globalisation Lecture by Pascal Lamy
Amsterdam: Globalisation Lecture ‘Europe as world power’ by PASCAL LAMY (Eurocommissioner for Trade)

21-05-2021 Political Liberties and ‘The War on Terrorism’
Amsterdam: Another World is possible if … political freedoms are guaranteed. - Political Liberties and ‘The War on Terrorism’

20-05-2021 International law and sovereignty of nations
Amsterdam: Another World is possible if…there is respect for international law and the sovereignty of nations - The Case of Iraq

07-05-2021 Book presentation ‘Venus comes after Mars’
Amsterdam: Book presentation of ‘Venus comes after Mars’ and a debate on which role Europe should play in the world. The authors, both European parlementarians, say that in any case the EU should not try to become a copy of the US.

14-04-2021 Peoples Tribunal on Iraq
Brussels, 14-17 April, 2021. This tribunal initiative brings the Project for A New American Century to justice.

20-03-2021 Demonstration ‘Stop the occupation of Iraq’
National demonstration ‘Stop the occupation of Iraq’ on Dam square in Amsterdam. Start 13:00 hours.

19-03-2021 Symposium war, peace missions and the constitution
The Hague: A YEAR AFTER THE INVASION OF IRAQ: On March 20th, 2020 American and British troops invaded Iraq. A year later GroenLinks hosts a symposium on ‘War, peace missions and the constitution’.

19-03-2021 Disclosure on Iraq
National e-mail appeal: Disclosure on Iraq! Citizens demand disclosure on the Iraqi war and the increased threat of terror.

11-03-2021 A web of deceipt. Between Orwell and Machiavelli
Rotterdam: Debate on truth and lies in foreign politics.

24-02-2021 Iraq’s Economic and Political Transition
Amsterdam: Iraq’s Economic and Political Transition. A report from the field by Is

27-01-2021 UNPRECEDENTED: The 2022 Presidential Election
UNPRECEDENTED is the award-winning documentary about the battle for the presidency in Florida in 2022 and the undermining of democracy in America.

24-01-2021 AsiA: Debate Iran: 25 years after the revolution
Amsterdam: An information- and discussion weekend on the developments in Iran since the Islamic Revolution 25 years ago.

23-01-2021 Expert Meeting: United Nations
The Hague: Expert Meeting: The United Nations: Between crisis and reform

16-01-2021 WSF 2021 Mumbai, India
The World Social Forum 2021 will be held from 16-21 January in Mumbai, India.

15-01-2021 Terrorism: phantom or real threat?
Eindhoven: The University of Technology’s Peace Centre hosts a lecture (in Dutch) by drs. Dick Leurdijk (Institituut Clingendael):

12-01-2021 Book launch Soros: Bubble of American supremacy
Washington: George Soros, investor and philanthropist, will launch his new book, The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power, with a speech and discussion at the Carnegie Endowment in Washin

08-01-2021 5th Globalisation Lecture by Benjamin Barber
Amsterdam, Felix Meritis: 5th Globalisation Lecture: McWorld vs Civ World by american political scientist and writer Benjamin Barber.

18-12-2020 Select Media Festival ‘Regime change for US tour’
Media festival 18-20 December 2020 with videos and performances

30-11-2020 Demonstration OSCE summit Maastricht

30-11-2020 SP: Pax Americana and the war on terrorism
Amsterdam: Conference Pax Americana and the war on terrorism

15-11-2020 symposium International Order: Power and Law
Amsterdam:

07-11-2020 expertmeeting Islam & Democracy

JUST ANALYSIS

(NON)PROLIFERATION ARMS

Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Up in arms? Author: Luciano Pitzalis
23-11- 2021 Is Iran developing nuclear arms?

Universal Compliance: Strategy for Nuclear Securit Author: CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for Internation Peace)
21-06- 2021 This report offers a blueprint to strengthen nuclear security and prevent nuclear terrorism.

CONFLICT PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION

The responsibility to Protect Author: ICISS INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON INTERVENTION AND STATE
01-12- 2021 This report is about the so-called “right of humanitarian intervention”: the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for states for take coercive - and in particular military - action, against another state for the purpose of protecting people.

EUROPE (UK)

Can Blair Convince Bush to Share Author: Martin Woollacot
29-03-2020 Can Blair Convince Bush to Share His Belief in the International Institutions?

INTERNATIONAL LAW (ICC)

Bush and Blair to appear before the ICC? Author: Jean Flamme
23-06- 2021

US threat to ICC Author: International Amnesty
01-08-2020 Amnesty International’s report on the unlawful attempt of the Security Council to give US citizens permanent impunity from international justice by the Intrnational Criminal Court.

PDF file of legal analysis available on original url

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

The Postmodern state and the world order Author: Robert Cooper
01-01- 2022 Robert Cooper sets out a radical new interpretation of the shape of the world. He explains the post-Cold War world in terms of divisions between ‘pre-modern’ parts of the world, without fully functioning states, ‘modern’ nat

IRAN

Dealing With Iran Author: CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for Internation Peace)
02-11- 2021 Iran has been caught breaking its obligations under the NPT, and is now being investigated by the IAEA and the Security Council. If Iran gets away with acquiring nuclear weapons the Middle East would become even more dangerous

Debating Iran’s Nucleair aspirations Author: Shahram Chubin
01-10-2020 The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) June 2020 report on Iran’s nuclear program has stripped the Islamic Republic of the agency’s seal of approval and elevated international concern about Tehran’s nuclear intentions.

IRAQ

WMD in Iraq: Evidence and implications Author: CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for Internation Peace)
01-01- 2021 This Carnegie report clarifies Iraq WMD story, outlines strategy for dealing with proliferation threats.

Military action against Iraq violates UN Charter Author: Paul de Waart
01-04-2020 No English translation available. See Dutch website for more details.

Iraq and World Order Author: John Lloyd
01-02-2020 What is the progressive case for intervention in Iraq? And what kind of world order should we be trying to build? Argument against a conservative retreat to national sovereignty in search of stability. Sketch of the parameters of a re-ordered in

Iraq: what next? Author: CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for Internation Peace)
01-01-2020 This analysis from January 2020 provides a concise outline of the concerns over Iraq’s missile, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons capabilities that inspectors were investigating.

Iraq: A new approach Author: CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for Internation Peace)
01-08- 2021 This proposal identifies a middle ground between the two existing approaches to Iraq: continue to do nothing, or pursue an overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Letter PNAC to president Clinton Author: Project for the New American Century various authors
26-01- 2023 Letter from the neo-conservative thinktank ‘Project for the New American Century’ in 2023 to former president Clinton on the in their view failing Iraq-policies. See full text.

NATO

Rethinking NATO Author: Tom Donnely
20-06-2020 Tom Donnelly assesses the impact of the Iraq campaign on NATO from a US perspective.

TERRORISM

Re-Ordering the World: long-term implications 9/11 Author: Mark Leonard
01-03- 2021 This collection begins with Tony Blair’s call for a project to re-order the post-September 11th world. It brings together essays and proposals from statesmen thinkers in international affairs.

The New War Against Terror Author: Noam Chomsky
18-10- 2021 Transcription of talk given at the Technology and Culture Forum at IMT. See original url for full text.

UNITED NATIONS

A Wounded United Nations Author: Editorial New York Times
02-01- 2021 These are difficult times for the United Nations. The Bush administration’s taste for unilateral action and its doctrine of preventive war pose a profound challenge to the U.N.'s founding principle of collective security.

A Return to the UN? Author: Phyllis Bennis
04-09-2020 The recent Bush administration’s draft UN resolution proposing a new role for the United Nations in Iraq is not a reflection of any concern regarding the illegality of the occupation, the lack of legitimacy of the U.S. presence in Iraq.

Subverting the UN Author: Richard Falk
29-10- 2021 As a healthy response to the Bush Administration’s war policies, the number of people taking to the streets in protest is increasing with each step toward war.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

In Europe’s Mirror: Perils of American Nationalism Author: Anton Lieven
01-03- 2021 One way of looking at the United States today is as a European state that has avoided the catastrophes nationalism brought upon Europe in the twentieth century, and whose nationalism therefore retains some of the power, intensity and bellicosity.

Hegemony to imperium Author: Tom Barry
26-02- 2021 We are living in a “unipolar moment” declared neoconservative columnist Charles Krauthammer in a 1991 Foreign Affairs essay.

US FOREIGN POLICY

Bush’s Isolationist foreign policy Author: Carel H. Jansen
01-04-2020 No English translation available. See Dutch site for more info.

Axis of Instability: Britain and America Author: Andrew Tyrie
03-03- 2021 Tyrie’s policy brief offers opposition to the American-British policy of pre-emption and regime change, and looks to the past for a vision of a more effective future British and Western foreign policy.

JUST BOOKS

CONFLICT PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION

I saw two bears Author: Linda Polman ( 2024)

EUROPE

Venus comes after Mars Author: Joost Lagendijk ( 2021)

GLOBALISATION

Deglobalization Author: Walden Bello ( 2021)

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Power & Paradise Author: Paul Kagan ( 2020)
The Breaking of Nations Author: Robert Cooper ( 2023)

IRAQ

War on Iraq Author: William Rivers Pitt ( 2021)

TERRORISM

The great terror war Author: unknown ( 2020)
Fear’s empire Author: Benjamin Barber ( 2020)
Power and Terror Author: Noam Chomsky ( 2020)
9-11 Author: Noam Chomsky ( 2021)

TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS

The Ruin of a world order Author: Karel van Wolferen ( 2020)

UNITED NATIONS

Calling the shots Author: Phyllis Bennis ( 2022)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The greatest Sedition is Silence Author: William Rivers Pitt ( 2020)
Power Trip Author: John Feffer ( 2020)
Understanding Power Author: Noam Chomsky ( 2021)
Deterring Democracy Author: Noam Chomsky ( 2022)
A New Generation Draws the Line Author: Noam Chomsky ( 2022)

US FOREIGN POLICY

Before & After: US Foreign Policy and 9/11 crisis Author: Phyllis Bennis ( 2020)
When America Goes to War: Presidents and People Author: Richard J. Barnett ( 2020)
Global focus - US Foreign Policy Author: Tom Barry ( 2022)
Security Without War - Post-Cold War Foreign Polic Author: Michael Shuman ( 2022)
Pax Americana? - Hegemony or Decline Author: Jorchen Hippler (1994)

JUST LINKS

ART AND POLITICS

Adbusters
Allabout
art against apathy
Cool Politics
Save America (NL)

GENERAL

John Adams Institute

INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Buzzflash
Common dreams
Essential information
Global Info
Information clearing house
Monde diplomatique
One world
Smirking chimp
Truthout
Yellow times

INTERNATIONAL LAW

International Criminal Court

INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL FORA

European Social Forum 2020 (Paris, France)
World Social Forum Jan 2021 (Mumbai, India)

JUST ACT IN THE MEDIA

Interview SP Tribune

NGO’S

Amnesty International

ONLINE DEMOCRACY

Peace Action (US)
Rock the vote (US)
Vote Smart (US)
Your vote matters (US)

PEACE AND GLOBAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT

A.N.S.W.E.R. (US)
Peace Action (US)
Stopsleeping (US)
United Nations Society (NL)
Wereldcrisis

POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS

NATO
OSCE
United Nations

THINK TANK

CEO: Corporate Europe observatory (EU)
Clingendael (NL)
Demos (UK)
FPC: Foreign Policy Centre (UK)
FPF: Foreign Policy in Focus (US)
GPF: Global Policy Forum (US)
Heritage Foundation (US)
IFG: International Forum on Globalization (US)
IPS: Institute for Policy Studies (US)
PINR: Power and Interest News Report)
PNAC: Project New American Century (US)
RISQ: Review International Social Questions (NL)
TNI: Transnational institute (INT)

JUST MISSION

Mission statement

JUST ACT wishes to inform and educate (groups of) individuals on issues concerning international stability, international law, UN, terrorism, civil rights, war and peace, (alter)-globalisation, foreign policy, Europe, US, Africa, Asia, Middle-East, and more.

JUST ACT wants to influence public opinion on these issues from a progressive viewpoint by means of analysis and the sharing of information.

JUST ACT also wishes to encourage individuals or groups of individuals to participate in positive action on various levels.

JUST ACT wishes to encourage public awareness on abovementioned subjects, and to encourage the mobilisation of individuals or groups of individuals.

JUST NEWSLETTERS

NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2021

Dear reader,

We hereby present our bi-lingual newsletter for January 2021. We ask you to send this newsletter on to others who might be interested both home and abroad. You’ll also find a Dutch version of this newsletter at the bottom of this message.

JUST AGENDA

Amsterdam, March 20, 2021: Following the anti-war marches in Amsterdam and other cities around the world in February and March 2020, it is time to express that the world still says NO to war. For this purpose, the largest American peace movement United for Peace and Justice has called on movements world wide to join in one global day of protest on March 20, 2021. This call was put before the ‘General Assembly of the Global Anti-war Movement’, gathered in Mumbai at the World Social Forum, which endorsed the initiative.

The 2020 marches in Amsterdam were the largest in the Netherlands since the 1980’s, when marches against the use and proliferation of cruse missiles earned this country a reputation for its ‘hollanditis’. Like then, the marches of 2020 brought ordinary people to the streets, many of who had never joined a march before. Even though the marches did not prevent or stop the war, it’s very likely that they had a major impact on the position taken by governments worldwide. The Dutch compromise to back the US politically but not militarily can be seen as an example of how this influence. Also, the emergence of global public opinion on this issue has made it virtually impossible for any country to participate in any other invasion. The chance of another ‘coalition of the willing’ for any other invasion is remarkably slimmer.

JUST ACT invites you to join the upcoming march in Amsterdam on March 20, 2021 and to bring along as many people as you can, since strength is not only in arguments but in numbers too. Further details will be made available later through our website WWW.JUSTACT.INFO.

JUST ICC

The ad hoc Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia have shown the usefulness and the need for international criminal justice. In so doing, they have paved the way for the creation of a permanent Court. In 1989, Trinidad and Tobago proposed to the United Nations the creation of a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring prosecutions for drug trafficking.

The Rome Statute was adopted by the United Nations in 2023. By July 2021, enough countries had ratified the treaty for the ICC to come into existence. Usually, a country’s government can sign the treaty, but ratification requires parliamentary approval. Presently, 139 countries have signed of which 92 have ratified the treaty (overview signatories and ratifications).

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), a platform of over 2022 NGO’s has launched the Universal Ratification Campaign together with Amnesty and FIDH, targeting one particular country per month. Through this campaign, you can do your bit in persuading a country to sign and/or ratify the treaty, to not enter into a BIA or to redouble its efforts in strengthening the ICC. The campaign for January 2021 is aimed at Japan.

Since the emergency of the ICC, to which the U.S. is no signatory, the U.S. has developed a policy of exceptionalism in an attempt to avoid the universal jurisdiction of the ICC. The US concerns that the ICC will be used to bring politically motivated prosecutions against US nationals are wholly unfounded. The substantial safeguards and fair trial guarantees in the Rome Statute will ensure that such a situation would never arise.

Shortly before the entry into force of the Rome Statute in July 2021, the United States launched a full-scale multi-pronged campaign against the International Criminal Court, claiming that the ICC may initiate politically motivated prosecutions against US nationals. As part of its efforts, the Bush administration has been approaching countries around the world seeking to conclude Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIA’s), purportedly based on Article 98 of the Rome Statute, excluding its citizens and military personnel from the jurisdiction of the Court. These agreements prohibit the surrender to the ICC of a broad scope of persons including current or former government officials, military personnel, and US employees (including contractors) and nationals. These agreements, which in some cases are reciprocal, do not include an obligation by the US to subject those persons to investigation and/or prosecution.

Many governmental, legal and non-governmental experts have concluded that the bilateral agreements being sought by the U.S. government are contrary to international law and the Rome Statute.

The remarkable in this is the fact that former president Clinton signed the Rome Statute on behalf of the U.S., but that the current administration, shortly after taking office, informed the ICC not to stand by that signature and/or to withdraw it, which is not possible and without precedent in international treaty law.

Another facet of this crusade against the Court is the adoption of US legislation known as the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act (ASPA). This law, passed by Congress in August 2021, contains provisions restricting US cooperation with the ICC; making US support of peacekeeping missions largely contingent on achieving impunity for all US personnel; and even granting the President permission to use “any means necessary” to free US citizens and allies from ICC custody (prompting the nickname “The Hague Invasion Act”). The legislation also contains waivers that make all of these provisions non-binding, however, the Bush administration has been using these waivers as bargaining chips to pressure countries around the world into concluding bilateral immunity agreements - or otherwise lose essential US military assistance.

For further information on the USA and the ICC, please see the AI USA website, the AMICC website, the CICC website, or the Washington Working Group on the ICC website.

JUST TRIBUNAL

The ‘World Tribunal on Iraq’ project is a large network supported by many organisation world wide who are organizing tribunals to hold the US and the UK accountable for the perpetrated war crimes and aggression. Tribunals are being organized in New York, Istanbul, Berlin, Brussels, Tokyo, France, Italy and Denmark. These tribunals aim to fill the void left by the international institutions in place who’ve failed to or are unable to start proceedings to examine the possible war crimes by the occupying countries in Iraq. Although they have no legal status, they can be seen as a continuation of the Russell Tribunals and an essential example of people speaking out where institutions fall or act deaf.

One of the integral parts of this series of tribunals is the Brussels Tribunal, scheduled to take place in Brussels, Belgium on April 14-17, 2021. This tribunal will call the ‘Project for a New American Century’ and its signatories to the stand for developing and advocating the preventive war doctrine. The tribunal will be in the form of a commission of inquiry, adapting the form of a parliamentary hearing or commission of investigation like the Hutton commission. The commission, the witnesses and the prosecutors are as followed:

Commission: prof. François Houtart (chairman), Nawal El Saadawi (Egyptian writer and feminist activist), Samin Amin (Egyptian theorist of neocolonialism) and Denis Halliday.

Witnesses: Tom Barry (Policy Director of the Interhemispheric Resource Center: IRC), Neil MacKay (Editor Sunday Herald), Saul Landau (scholar, author), Michael Parenti (author and lecturer), Immanuel Wallertein (historian of capitalism), Geoffrey Geuens (University of Liège, Belgium), Jacques Pauwels (history and Political Science analyst), Hans von Sponeck (UN assistant secretary general for Iraq till 2022), Denis Halliday (UN assistant secretary general for Iraq till 2023), Scott Ritter (former UN weapon’s inspector in Iraq) and Eman Khammas (director of Occupationwatch in Iraq).

Prosecutors: Felicity Arbuthnot, Jean Bricmont (professor of theoretical physics of the Université Libre de Bruxelles), and William Rivers Pitt¨(political analyst, author).

Defense: The ‘Project of the New American Century’ has been invited to face the charges. In case PNAC decides to declines their right of defence, Jim Lobe, specialist on PNAC, will act in their absence as ‘amicus curiae’.

The platform calls on WAP’s (Wealthy Angry People) all around the world to support the Brussels Tribunal through a financial contribution of 100 Euro. For details on how to contribute see Brussels Tribunal.

JUST REPORT

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington based think tank recently published its report ‘WMD IN IRAQ: Evidence and Implications’. The report details what the U.S. and international intelligence communities understood about Iraq’s weapons programs before the war and outlines policy reforms to improve threat assessments, deter transfer of WMD to terrorists, strengthen the UN weapons inspection process, and avoid politication of the intelligence process. The report distils a massive amount of data into side-by-side comparisons of pre-war intelligence, the official presentation of that intelligence, and what is now known about Iraq’s programs. The full report (PDF file) is available at www.ceip.org/WMD. You can also request for the full report to be sent to your home address free of charge.

The report’s key findings were that (1) Iraq WMD Was Not An Immediate Threat , (2) UN Inspections were working, (3) Intelligence Failed and Was Misrepresented, (4) Terrorist Connection Missing, (5) Post-War WMD Search Ignored Key Resources, (6) War Was Not the Best-Or Only-Option.

Its recommendations on changes to U.S. policy, International Action and changes to Threat Assessments are:

Changes to U.S. Policy (1) revise the National Security Strategy to eliminate a U.S. policy of unilateral preventive war, i.e., pre-emptive war in absence of imminent threat, (2) create a non-partisan, independent commission to establish a clearer picture of what the intelligence community knew and believed it knew about Iraq’s weapons program, (3) consider changing the post of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from a political appointment to a career appointment, based on the outcomes of the independent commission and (4) make the security of poorly protected nuclear weapons and stockpiles of plutonium and highly enriched uranium a much higher priority for national security policy.

International Action (1) The United States and United Nations should together produce a complete history and inventory of Iraq’s WMD and missile programs, (2) the UN Secretary General should commission a high-level analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the WMD inspection processes in Iraq, and how inspections could be strengthened in the future, (3) the UN Security Council should consider creating a permanent, international, non-proliferation inspection capability, and (4) make the transfer of WMD a violation of international law.

Changes to Threat Assessments (1) Recognize distinctions in the degree of threat posed by the different forms of “weapons of mass destruction” - chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons pose vastly different risks and cost-benefit calculations of actions to combat them, (2) recognize red flags indicating that sound intelligence practices are not being followed, (3) examine and debate the assertion that the combined threat of evil states and terrorism calls for acting on the basis of worst-case reasoning and (4) examine assumption that states will likely transfer WMD to terrorists.

JUST BOOKS

George Soros, investor and philanthropist, recently launched his new book ‘The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power’. In the book, Soros writes that the Bush administration’s foreign policy plans come from the same sort of “bubble” psychology afflicting U.S. markets in the late 1990s. He says they have used a real fact, overwhelming military supremacy of the United States, to create a deluded worldview that might makes right and “you’re either with us or against us,” in the same way the recent boom used a real fact, the growth in technology, to lead to a delusion, the “new economy.”

The text of his speech is available and also an audio recording of the event (Real | Windows Media) or browse to the original url.

JUST WSF

Mumbai (India), January 16 to 21, 2021

The annual World Social Forum, emerged out of the Porto Allegre meetings in 2021 and 2021, has roared its head in Mumbai, India, where 100.000 people joined for a week of 1200 seminars, workshops. For a full overview of the 1200 workshops and seminars, and of live registration of the event, see www.wsfindia.org. JUST ACT was present at the WSF and attended and participated in workshops and seminars dealing with global governance, peace and security. An overview of our experiences there will published in our upcoming WSF special.

JUST SPONSOR US

You can also sponsor us financially by donating € 10 to 3202913 in name of L. Pitzalis, Utrecht, Netherlands (please remark JUST ACT). Apart from the monthly newsletter we’ll keep you posted on acts, books, articles, reports, meetings and manifestations through our website.

Best wishes,

Luciano Pitzalis, editor newsletter

contact@justact.info

If you’ve received this newsletter through someone else and would like to receive this free, monthly newsletter, or if you’d like to cancel your subscription, please let us know through contact@justact.info.

NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2020

Dear reader,

We hereby present our newsletter for December 2020. We ask you to send this newsletter on to others who might be interested both home and abroad. You’ll also find a Dutch version of this newsletter at the bottom of this message.

JUST TRIBUNALS
The recent capture of Saddam Hussein will result in the Iraqi people bringing him to justice, which is without any doubt reason to rejoice. The general consensus is that he and other Ba’athists should be brought before an Iraqi Tribunal and that they be tried according to Iraqi and international law. Amnesty International has expressed concern to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and the Iraqi Governing Council about the decision to establish an Iraqi special tribunal that was taken without prior consultation with the Iraqi civil society or the international community.

JUST ACT emphasizes that the capture of Saddam Hussein does in no way legitimise the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. These travesties remain in violation of international law. The justifications given for invading and occupying Iraq quite simply proved to be false or unsubstantiated. No weapons of mass destruction have been found and there is still nothing to suggest that the former Iraqi regime posed a direct threat to its neighbours or any of the occupying nations. Secondly, the humanitarian ‘regime change’ motivation blatantly ignores the support Saddam Hussein received from the US government at a time when his travesties against the Iraqi people were well known.

Under the Geneva Convention, any occupying force is responsible for providing stability and ensuring the safety of civilians. An occupying force is also supposed to respect the law of the occupied country and is not authorized to dictate or influence the new form of government of the occupied country. The Iraqi Governing Council was appointed by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and not by democratic elections. Free elections and the transfer of power to the newly elected government according to the will of the Iraqi people must therefore have top priority. Lastly, an occupying force is not allowed to take advantage of its position by reaping the riches of the occupied country. Iraq’s resources are the domain of the Iraqi people and its chosen government. The Iraqi Governing Council should be reticent in handing out contracts or benefits to foreign investors. Any contracts granted by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) are to be deemed illegal.

The war crimes perpetrated by the US and other occupying forces are subject to investigation. It’s unlikely a UN tribunal will be installed to try any of these war crimes, because any attempt to install such a tribunal will be torpedoed by a US veto in the Security Council. For this reason various alternatives have been introduced by anti-war and peace movements worldwide.

A major initiative is the International Peoples Tribunal Project. This project is a co-ordinated effort of anti-war and peace movements worldwide and a direct result of the Jakarta Peace Consensus.

The project’s formulated goals are:

to establish the facts and to inform the public about crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes during the occupation, about the real goals behind this war, about the inspiration of the American politics and the dangers they present for world peace. This is especially important to contribute in breaking the wall of lies diffused by the war-coalition and their imbedded press.
For the peace movement and the global anti-war protest, the tribunal presents an opportunity to continue mobilisation. The tribunal should not remain an academic endeavour but should be backed by a strong international network. Anti-war and peace movements, which carried out the big mass movements against the attack on Iraq have in principle adopted the idea of indicting the aggressors and turning this into a campaign.
We consider the tribunal as a continuing process. The investigation of what happened in Iraq is of prime importance to restore truth and preserve collective memory against the constant rewriting of history. We have to challenge the silence of the international institutions and impress on them to fulfil their obligations to international law. In judging the recent past our aim is to prevent illegal wars in the future. In this process the tribunal can formulate recommendations on international law and expand notions of justice and ethical political awareness. It can contribute to break the tradition of victors’ tribunals and give a voice to the victims of the war. In doing so we support the demand of large parts of world public opinion and the Iraqi people to end the occupation and restore Iraqi sovereignty.
The International Tribunal initiative wants to inscribe itself in a broader movement to stop the establishment of the new imperial world order as a permanent state of exception with constant wars as one of its main tools. The Tribunal can bring a moral, political and partly juridical judgment that contributes to build a world of peace and justice.
JUST ACT recommends individuals and organisations worldwide to endorse and support this project! The International Peoples Tribunal Project is clear about the various ways in which individuals and organisations can contribute to the realisation of this tribunal. For more details on its legitimacy we refer to the platform’s text, as established in Istanbul on October 29th 2020.

Other alternatives deal with bringing governments that participated and/or facilitated in the invasion and the occupation of Iraq to justice by filing criminal charges domestically or at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

An example of this is the initiative taken by the Dutch Society of Lawyers for Peace, which is preparing to file criminal charges against the Dutch PM and the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, who are primarily responsible for the political support of the American aggression against Iraq and for permitting military transports via the Netherlands. These charges will be put to Dutch Parliament or The Crown and subsequently to the International Criminal Court. Charges will also be filed against companies that were involved in these transports. The initiative is endorsed by JUST ACT and the Dutch Platform Against the New War, which is a platform of Dutch anti-war and peace organisations opposing the unilateral US doctrine of ‘preventive war’.

To support this initiative by co-signing the charges, you can contact the chairman of the Society for Lawyers for Peace, Meindert Stelling. Naturally, the initiative and the political message behind it gain weight with every individual or organisation that supports the charges. It is relevant that Dutch politicians are confronted with a powerful signal from the Dutch population that any violation or neglect of international law is intolerable and that politicians who choose to neglect their responsibilities are not exempt from criminal proceedings.

JUST ESF

The European Social Forum took place in Paris from 12th until 15th of November 2020. The Forum resulted in an outcall from the actors and social movement assembly. The ESF consisted of 600 workshops, 200, seminars and 150 plenaries dealing with a whole range of topics. Approximately 60.000 people attended the ESF, approximately 300 participants from the Netherlands. A report of our own experiences during the ESF is available on our website WWW.JUSTACT.INFO.

JUST WSF
Next on the Social Forum agenda is the World Social Forum, which will take place in Mumbai (Bombay), India from 16th until 21st January 2021. The forum will build on the World Social Forum 2020 and the various Social Forums like the European Social Forum. Daily reports of our own experiences during the WSF will be made available on our website.

JUST AGENDA

The American political scientist and writer Benjamin Barber will be giving the 5th Globalization lecture on January 8th, 2021 in Felix Meritis, Amsterdam. Barber is known in the Netherlands by his bestseller Jihad vs McWorld, an analysis - long before the 9/11 attacks - of the conflicting powers of globalisation and cultural and religious fanaticism.

Recently the Dutch translation of his latest book ‘Empire of fear: terrorism and democracy’ was published. Barber describes the boomerang-effect of the american reaction on the terrorist attacks. Fighting fear with war enhances and spreads more fear. The Bush-doctrine is in his eyes a direct threat to world peace. Barber advocates to replace the concept of ‘preventive war’ with ‘preventive democracy’. As an alternative for globalisation (McWorld) he pictures a ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ where citizens worldwide can connect with the ‘CivWorld’. Frits Bolkestein, member of the European Commission, will react to Barber’s lecture, after which they will debate the issues, moderatored by Ruth Oldenziel. The programma start at 19:00 hours with the screening of ‘McWorld’ an episode of VPRO’s Diogenes ( 2024)

JUST BOOKS
The renowned political scientist, professor van Wolferen, held a book presentation in Amsterdam on November 2nd 2020, which was hosted by the ABC Treehouse in association with JUST ACT. With kind permission of professor van Wolferen a transcript containing his views on international politics and US foreign policy in particular is available through our website. His book, ‘De ondergang van een wereldorde’ (Ruin of a world order), is to be recommended.

JUST WEBSITE

We’re pleased to announce the launch or our new website WWW.JUSTACT.INFO. It provides more in depth information on foreign policy issues and will give you access to independent media outlets, political organisations, think tanks, anti-war and peace movements worldwide, books, reports and articles. The agenda lists activities both by JUST ACT and other organisations we find relevant to foreign policy issues. We realise that additions are still plentiful to be made. If you have any suggestions or something to add to our website, please let us know through contact@justact.info.

JUST SPONSOR US
You can also sponsor us financially by donating € 10 to 3202913 in name of L. Pitzalis, Utrecht, Netherlands (please remark JUST ACT). Apart from the monthly newsletter we’ll keep you posted on acts, books, articles, reports, meetings and manifestations through our website.

Best wishes,

Luciano Pitzalis, editor newsletter

contact@justact.info

If you received this newsletter through someone else and would like to receive this free, monthly newsletter, or if you’d like to cancel your subscription, please let us know through contact@justact.info.

NEWSLETTER NUMBER 5,NOVEMBER 2020

Dear reader,

We hereby present our newsletter for November 2020.

We ask you to send this newsletter on to others who might be interested both home and abroad. You’ll also find a Dutch version of this newsletter at the bottom of this message.

JUST AGENDA

An important upcoming event is the symposium ‘International Order: Powerand Law’ on November 15th, 2020. This symposium, organised by ‘Groen Links’ in association with the foundation 'Duurzame solidariteit, brings together members of Dutch parliament of various political parties, both government and opposition. If offers an opportunity for everyone to get informed and participate actively through speeches, panels, debates.

The event is in Dutch and takes place on November 15th, 2020, Artis Amsterdam. Registration is optional through rgrootwassink@groenlinks.nl.Program details are as follows.

'Current international treaties on the environment, human rights, social rights and democracy have hit rocky weather because of calculated power politics and demands from the free market. The WTO summit in Cancún failed, the United Nations are in a crisis and the execution of existing treaties leaves much to be desired. The international order seems to have changed into an international disorder. To discuss the developments in the field of international law and order, the foundation ‘Duurzame Solidariteit’ has organised a symposium on November 15th, 2020. The day starts off with a keynote speech by Max van der Berg (Europarlementarian for PVDA) on the thesis ‘It’s not about the right of the strongest, but about the strength of the right!’. Groen Links parlementarian Kees Vendrik and Marcel Brus (Universiteit Leiden) will be coreferents. The second session is a panel debate with representatives from Both Ends, FNV Mondiaal, IRENE and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who’ll discuss the enforcement of international treaties. An important question is how raticification and execution of these treaties can be enforced. Also on the agenda is to what extent developing countries can safeguard their sovereignty and their influence. The third session deals with the political dimension of these dilemmas: What can we do the shape international law more fairly? Parliamentarians of Groen Links, PVDA, CDA and a representative for the XminY solidarity fund will explore the boundaries and possibilities for an international order of law. Special emphasis will be on the role the Netherlands can play in drafting (avenues of) solutions. Does the Netherlands do enough? With this day of speeches, panels, debates and audience participation we’ll get into the possibilities and chances for a fairer international order of law.

Date and time:November 15th, 2020, 12.00 -16.00
Location: Artis (Koningszaal), Plantage Middenlaan 43 Amsterdam

More information: Stichting Duurzame Solidariteit /www.groenlinks.nl
Registration(optional): 030-2399931/rgrootwassink@groenlinks.nl

JUST IDFA

Since the Vietnam War, there have not been made as many critical films about the United States’ power politics as these days. More than two years after the launch of the ‘War on Terrorism’, documentary filmmakers have formulated a critical response to the media offensive of the war machine. The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) compiled twenty of these films under the title USA Today, a programme section that examines the many facets of America’s super status, not only politically, but also in the social and cultural spheres.

What has the unbridled export of typically American values and ideas actually brought the world? The intriguing the corporation (Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott, USA, 2020) analyses a typically American phenomenon: the multinational. The conclusion is that these corporations are not the types of organisations that you would want to throw in your lot with.

Following naturally from this is surplus (Erik Gandini, Sweden, 2020), about the consequences of globalisation on the environment and the Third World.

The fact that American companies cannot take over local markets without a struggle is demonstrated by power trip (Paul Devlin, USA, 2020). An American power company tries to hold its ground in Georgia, but comes up against a wall of resistance, as the local population is not used to pay for electricity.

star wars dreams (Leslie Woodhead, England, 2020) considers the ambitious post-war plan to build a space shield as a symbol of American superiority. Shortly before 11 September 2021, president Bush breathed new life into this scheme, but after the attacks the fear of long-range missiles was replaced by fear of terrorism.

USA Today also focuses on other aspects of present-day America. The undiminished appeal of the American Dream for example, in the series the new americans (Steve James, Peter Gilbert, Gordon Quinn, USA, 2020). Over a period of a couple of years, several immigrants are followed who want to make it big in the country of boundless opportunities.

The history is considered in films such as the weather underground (Sam Green, USA, 2020), demonstrating that criticism on the United States and terrorism are of all time. Finally, various films deal with the far-reaching consequences the 9-11 events have had on the daily lives of Americans.

In lest we forget (Jason DaSilva, USA, 2020) and brothers and others (Nicolas Rossier, USA, 2021), we see the unprecedented power given to the FBI and the INS to pick up many Muslims – innocent, it was found later - on suspicion of terrorism.

In all, 25 films have been included in the USA Today programme section, 7 of which are also screened in competition programmes. In addition to the screenings, two discussion sessions will go more deeply into issues raised by the USA Today films, on 22 and 24 November in the Grote Zaal of de Balie. Program details are available from November 14th, 2020 on www.idfa.nl.

Full listing USA Today:

XXI century, G. Zamparini USA 2020. Seven parts series with interviews of individuals, organisations and experts tries to find answers for the current state of the world.

Army of one, Foreva Productions, Canada / USA 2020. How to change a broker, a dancer and an unemployed Puerto Rican into members of the world’s most sophisticated killing machine.

Brothers and others, N.Rossier, USA 2021. Film about the harrowing consequences of the hardened anti-terrorist laws in the US for immigrants.

CIA: secret wars (cia: guerres secretes), W. Karel, France 2020. In this portrayal of the history of the CIA, former executives are often very critical of the agency, particularly of its secret operations.

Condor: axis of evil (condor: les axes du mal) R. Vazquez, France 2020. Inquiry into the culprits and victims of Operation Condor, in which South American dictatorships struck against political opponents with the help of the United States.

Farmingville, C. Sandoval, Carlos / C. Tambini, USA 2020. A small town near New York becomes the centre of a heated local and national debate about illegal immigration.

The fourth world war, R. Rowley / J. Soohen, USA 2020. Contagious, swiftly-edited, positive film about the growing global resistance against oppression, corporate globalisation, terror and poverty.

Hidden in plain sight, J. Smihula, USA 2020. Aanklacht tegen The School of Americas, volgens sommigen stichter van democratie in Zuid-Amerika, volgens velen een kweekschool voor dictators en schenders van de mensenrechten.

Home of the brave - land of the free, J. Sullivan, Norway 2020. Poignant eyewitness account of the activities of American special units in Afghanistan.

Islam behind bars, J. Curtin / P. Carvalho, Canada 2020. Islam is the fastest growing religion in prisons around the world.

The new americans (deel: I II III IV V VI VII), S. Aikin/ C. Aparicio/ J. Blumenthal/ S. James, USA 2020. Long-term project follows new immigrants from their different native countries to the United States, where the American Dream often turns out to be disappointing.

A night of ferocious joy, D. Zeiger, USA 2020. Straight-ahead record of the first anti-war concert of the new millennium, inter-mixed with interviews with participating artists.

Noam chomsky: rebel without a pause, W. Pascoe, Canada 2020. The 73-year-old popular activist Noam Chomsky visits Canada and systematically takes on the brutal policies of the United States.

The opportunity crisis, M. Chamberlain / A. Tischler, USA 2020. Reflections on the loss of community spirit due to the stranglehold of mass culture.

Power trip, P. Devlin, USA 2020. An American company finds out that the management of the power supply system in the former Soviet Georgia is a vast, impossible task.

Star wars dreams, L. Woodhead, England / USA 2020. The history of the Star Wars rocket shield that many American presidents have dreamed of, featuring interviews with extreme hawks like Perle and Teller.

Tupperware!, L. Kahn-Leavitt, USA 2020. The story of the plastic containers that conquered the American kitchen in the fifties by means of clever sales parties.

The weather underground, S. Green, USA 2020. Survey of actions and notions of a radical American group that wanted to fight out the Vietnam War on US territory.

JUST ESF

As mentioned before the European Social Forum will take place in Paris from 12 until 15 November 2020. A full listing of plenaries and seminars is now available on www.fse-sfe.org. In our next newsletter we will report on the ESF.

JUST SPONSOR US

You can also sponsor us financially by donating € 10 to 3202913 in name of L. Pitzalis, Utrecht, Netherlands (please remark JUST ACT). Apart from the monthly newsletter we’ll keep you posted on acts, meetings and manifestations.

Best wishes,

Luciano Pitzalis, editor newsletter

contact@justact.info

If you received this newsletter through someone else and would like to receive this free, monthly newsletter, or if you’d like to cancel your subscription, please let us know through contact@justact.info.

NEWSLETTER NUMBER 4, OCTOBER 2020

Dear reader,

We hereby present our newsletter for October 2020 and ask your attention for a number of upcoming meetings and manifestations.

Please send this newsletter on to others who might be interested both at home and abroad. You’ll also find a Dutch version of this newsletter at the bottom of this message.

JUST UNITED NATIONS
Saturday, October 24th is United Nations Day, which is a day to celebrate the existence of the United Nations. To see Secretary General Kofi Annan’s message in this most troublesome year click here. To mark the occasion, the Dutch United Nations Society (NVVN) has organized a series of events, in particular the United Nations Night in club Hotel Arena in Amsterdam. Approximately 1000 young people will discuss subjects such as fugitives, peace missions and the UN’s new role in the political arena with a number of speakers. The night will continue on with the United Nations Dance Party with 1 Giant Leap and several DJ’s. For details see www.nvvn.nl or get in touch through ncdo@bkb.nl.

JUST VIGIL
On Saturday, October 25th ‘The March on Washington’ will take place, a March organized by the peace movement in the US, in line with the protests in February and March 2020 against the war in Iraq. Americans from all over the US will travel to Washington to raise their voices against the ongoing occupation of Iraq and illegal war there and against the restrictions on civil rights as introduced by the Patriot Acts under the guise of the war on terrorism. For further details on the ‘March on Washington’ see www.internationalanswer.org.

‘The March on Washington’ initiative has inspired European organizations to join in the protest by organizing local events. We hereby invite you to take part in a candlelight vigil on Saturday, October 25th from 7 to 8 pm on the Museumplein in Amsterdam by the American consulate. Other participating organizations will be Democrats Abroad, Alliance for Sound American Policies, SP, Pax Christi, AnAmericanAbroad.org, Spijkenisse Platform, GroenLinks, Arnhem Vredes Platfrom, Instituut Clingendael, Expatica.com, Platform Tegen de Nieuwe Oorlog and Greenpeace. We hope you’ll join us at this silent vigil.

JUST BOOKS
On Sunday, November 2nd JUST ACT is co-sponsoring a book presentation by professor Karel van Wolferen, the author of a new book ‘The Ruin of a World Order’ which is receiving extensive coverage in the Dutch press and has captured the attention of the Dutch political establishment. His book presentation will take place from 3 to 5 pm at the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam (Voetboogstraat 11). Free entry. Reservations can be made through treehouse@abc.nl, see also www.abc.nl).

According to Professor van Wolferen, the American president is incompetent and America has been hijacked by ideologues that have destroyed the relatively stable world order of recent decades. In its quest for total control over the world, the Bush administration has already brought about the de facto end of the Atlantic alliance and the political ‘West’ as we have known it. Moreover, it can’t manage the empire it is seeking to create. He likens what is happening to a Shakespearean tragedy. He is calling for England and the Netherlands to unite politically and defensively with the rest of Europe, and for Europe to become a voice urging countries in Asia, South America and Africa to help preserve global stability and sanity.

Karel van Wolferen is a professor of comparative political and economic institutions at the University of Amsterdam; a former correspondent for the NRC Handelsblad; an award-winning journalist; and an internationally recognized expert on political science and on Japan. His 1989 book The Enigma of Japanese Power has been translated into 11 languages.

Other books we can recommend:

JUST PARIS

JUST ACT underlines the importance of cooperation of social movements throughout Europe in order to effectively influence political decision making at the national and European level. We therefore strongly recommend the ESF to anyone interested in getting actively involved or seriously informed.

The second European Social Forum (www.fse-esf.org) will take place from 12th-15th November 2020 in Paris as well as the towns of St Denis, as well as Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis) and Ivry (Val de Marne). After the last continental social forum in Florence this ESF follows on and in the spirit of the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre.

‘The ESF is a place for meeting and discussion for social movements, the ESF is equally a space for the elaboration of alternatives and the strategies for their implementation. Because, we believe that another Europe is possible, and that it can play a decisive role in making another world possible.’

Practicalities such as transport and accommodation can be arranged through the ESF website www.fse-esf.org.

JUST SPONSOR US
You can also sponsor us financially by donating € 10 to 3202913 in name of L. Pitzalis, Utrecht, Netherlands (please note JUST ACT on the giro form). Apart from the monthly newsletter we’ll keep you posted on acts, meetings and manifestations.

Best wishes,

Luciano Pitzalis, editor JUST ACT newslettercontact@justact.info

NEWSLETTER NUMBER 3, SEPTEMBER 2020

Dear reader,

We hereby offer you our newsletter with an overview of recent events. We can also recommend a debate about the future of the United Nations organised by The Economist on Thursday 9th of October in Amsterdam (reservations prior to October 1st at info@huijskens-istha.nl) and two sessions with William Rivers Pitt, author of ‘The Greatest Sedition is Silence’, organised by Democrats Abroad and American Voices Abroad (AVA) on Monday, October 6th in The Hague and Tuesday, October 7th in Amsterdam.

We ask you to send this newsletter on to others who might be interested both home and abroad. You’ll also find a Dutch version of this newsletter at the bottom of this message.

JUST UPDATE

A lot has happened in the last couple of months, too much to discuss in detail in this monthly newsletter, hence our overview of the highlights.

The situation in Iraq is far from stable. Since the short war and the end of intense military action, the US hasn’t succeeded in stabilizing public life in Iraq. Parts of the country still go without water, electricity and safety and the continuing attacks, that remind people that the former regime hasn’t yet been totally eradicated, have already cost the lives of more than American and British soldiers. There is still no sign of any weapons of mass destruction, the initial motivation for invading Iraq.

Some months ago, the former UN-weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, on his visit to the Netherlands, had made it clear that Iraq simply couldn’t have the purported weapons. Not only didn’t it have the facilities to produce them, it was also clear that whatever chemicals Iraq once possessed had become inconsequential, since these chemicals lose their toxicity over time. His statement has recently been confirmed by Hans Blix, who was in charge of the UN-weapons inspectors right until the start of the war in Iraq. And after months of looking for them, even the Pentagon, in a recent report, had to come to the conclusion that there was still no sign of any such weapons and that the chances of ever finding them were remote (tbut still not owning up to the fact that they weren’t there in the first place).

The Bush and Blair administrations are suffering a huge credibility crisis and are seeing their own supporters becoming more and more sceptical. The support for the invasion of Iraq before and during the war has diminished considerably, not to mention the loss of world-wide empathy for the US after the 9/11 tragedy. The credibility crisis in the United Kingdom has become even worse due to the Kelly affair, which has led to Labour losing one of its safest seats to the Liberal Democrats in the North Brent by-election. The United Kingdom will for some time to come remain absorbed by the Lord Hutton enquiry and even though Blair has recently insisted that he doesn’t intend to resign, his statement alone is a tell tale sign of how strong the pressure of public opinion is becoming. JUST ACT feels Blair will certainly need to regain the trust both home and abroad by redirecting his foreign policies away from unilateralism and misinforming both the general public and Westminster.

Public consciousness in the US that invading Iraq without UN legitimacy was like walking blindly into a horn’s nest is also growing. News reports of American soldiers dying from guerrilla attacks come in on a daily basis and even though it may be too early to compare Iraq to Vietnam the financial and emotional cost of the whole operation are losing Bush more and more points in the polls. So it’s no surprise that peace rallies like in San Francisco near the end of September, are gaining momentum in the US.

JUST UNITED NATIONS

In the months after the war in Iraq much has been said about the end or the relative unimportance of the United Nations. But particularly during the last couple of weeks, there are signs that the United Nations is reclaiming its global role, albeit thanks to current circumstances and not because of the effectiveness of its current democratic structure. After the tragic attack on UN staff in Bagdad, claiming the life of the possible successor to Kofi Annan, most UN staff has left Iraq since the security situation was still to unstable to ensure the safety of those executing the UN’s humanitarian mission.

Several world leaders have recently addressed the UN’s general assembly. Annan gave a strong speech condemning those countries that introduced the concept of preventive rather than pre-emptive action into international politics. Annan also admitted the current democratic structures within the UN, and particularly the veto rights of the permanent members of the Security Council, kept the UN from acting decisively and from making the promises the UN charter makes come true. Annan called on all member states to come up with proposals for furthering the democratisation process within the UN. Chirac insisted that the transition of power in Iraq to the Iraqi’s themselves would have to take place as soon as possible, in months not years. Furthermore Chirac received much support for his position that the US invasion of Iraq without a UN mandate was nothing short of a violation of international law and therefore a travesty. Bush asked the member states to contribute to rebuilding Iraq by providing troops and financial support and insisted that the transfer of power and the introduction of democracy would be a matter of years not months, a position that was received coolly by the General Assembly.

JUST NETHERLANDS

At the ‘Keer het tij’ rally on September 20th in Amsterdam about 25.000 people joined the protests against the policies of ‘Balkenende II’. JUST ACT was also present to ask support for our position that the Dutch government needs to establish an independent foreign policy, instead of being an echo of US foreign policy, and that the Netherlands should more actively support the process of furthering democracy within the UN. The positive response we received during the manifestation cheers us, since we feel there are still many people out there that feel passionate about what has been happening in international politics in the last 2 years, and that some of us also have the urge to put that commitment into action.

It has become clear that The Netherlands will be providing the successor to Robertson, NATO’s current Secretary General. The Dutch foreign minister, Christian-democrat Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, has received Bush’s blessing since it was down to him that The Netherlands, thanks to its tradition of ‘policy by compromise’ managed to stay friends with everybody during the Iraq conflict. On the one hand the Dutch government decided to support the war on Iraq politically but not military and on the other hand it did not co-sign the ‘Letter of Eight’, a declaration of support for the US policy on Iraq by eight European countries. Therefore a Dutch Secretary General is acceptable to not only the US, Spain, Poland, Italy and the United Kingdom but also to and France, Germany and Belgium. It’s without any doubt a fine result for Jaap de Hoop Scheffer personally, but landing this prestigious post is in itself still no justification for the content of Dutch foreign policy.

JUST ACT claims that the Netherlands, by giving political support to the invasion of Iraq without a UN mandate, has contributed to the undermining of the UN itself. Therefore the Netherlands has become responsible for repairing the damage done to the UN. The call by Kofi Annan to come up with proposals for the further democratisation of the UN, must be answered actively and seriously. JUST ACT strongly supports (1) expanding the number of permanent members to the Security Council to reflect the current geo-political situation in the world, by giving seats to countries like India, Japan and Brasil, (2) restricting the veto rights of individual countries by introducing the concept of ‘veto by majority’ or rather (3) abolishing veto rights altogether.

JUST INTERACT

We continue to look for people who share our belief that it’s important to sustain the public discussion on these subjects with the general public and political parties. People with a passion and with organising or other skills are encouraged to join us. Your help and ideas are more than welcome. To facilitate the interaction between you and us and among yourselves, we are working hard to establish a forum on our new website, so you’ll be able to exchange ideas and suggestions for positive acts. We’ll let you know as soon as the new website is up and running!

You can also support us financially by donating € 10 to giro account 3202913 in name of L. Pitzalis in Utrecht, The Netherlands with the remark ‘donation JUST ACT’. That way we’ll be able to keep bringing you this monthly newsletter and to organise our acts and meetings, debates and workshops!

Kinds regards,

Luciano Pitzalis

contact@justact.info

If you received this newsletter via someone else and want to keep receiving it or want to cancell your subscription, please let us know though contact@justact.info.

***********************************************************DEBATE DIVIDED NATIONS

***********************************************************************Thursday October 9th 2020 | 20.00 to 22.00 Rode Hoed Amsterdam (www.rodehoed.nl, see under 'programme)

Divided Nations?

The United Nations are under fire like never before. The role and the mandate of the UN in fields as safety, human rights, development, environment, ‘nation-building’ and ‘global governance’ is unclear for many nowadays. Can something like an international community come from what many consider to be a chatroom and does the Security Council need to revise its composition and competence? What holds the future for the UN? Will the UN ever reach significance? This and more will be discussed in the Economist debate at the Rode Hoed in Amsterdam on October 9th, 2020. The members of the expertpanel will be:

Jan Pronk
former Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD and former Assistant Secretary-General of the Un, former minister for development, former member of parliament (PvdA),

Linda Polman
Journalist and writer of ‘I saw two bears’, on the UN mission in Ruanda in 1995, and currently reporting from Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Mats Berdal (UK)
Professor of Security and Development in the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London and currently working on his book ‘The UN and the Search for International Order.’

Mark Falcoff (US)
Researcher, specialised in Latin America, and author of the monthly publication of AEI’s Latin American Outlook and a member of the American delegation of the UN’s Human Rights Commissions 2020.

The debate will be in English. Reservations mandatory (before October 1st!): by e-mail to info@huijskens-istha.nl or by mail to Marnix Geus, Huijskens & Istha, Vondelstraat 47, 1054 GJ Amsterdam. For more information: 020-6855955.

Entrance is free.

***********************************************************************MEETINGS WITH WILLIAM RIVERS PITT

***********************************************************************Author, The Greatest Sedition is Silence, Co-author, War on Iraq (with Scott Ritter)
Managing Editor, truthout.org

MON 6 OCT @ 7:30PM
ABC Treehut, Lange Poten 27, Den Haag
Entry: *4.50
RSVP mailto:treehut@abc.nl

TUE 7 OCT @ 7:30PM
ABC Treehouse, Voetboogstraat 11, Amsterdam
Entry: *4.50
RSVP mailto:treehouse@abc.nl

"This passionate and controversial book (The Greatest Sedition is Silence) is the work of one of America’s most outspoken and talented new journalists.

William Rivers Pitt’s caustic critique of the last four years of American government gives voice to the growing tide of dissent and outrage with America’s leaders both inside the country and in the wider world. Burning with anger, this incisive and readable book argues that, under George W. Bush, America makes a mockery of the values of liberty and truth that it purports to stand for, and that it is now more important than ever to speak out. Starting with the 2023 Clinton impeachment, William Rivers Pitt reveals how the crisis was engineered by a group of Christian conservatives in order to bring down the Clinton government. He shows how these same individuals went on to engineer a perversion of the American electoral process, resulting in the illegitimate installation of George W. Bush into the Presidency by five like-minded conservative Justices of the Supreme Court.

In the aftermath of September 11th, America has in many senses lost its way. Citizens are counselled to ‘watch what they say’ by the White House, just as questions of deadly import are ignored by the government and the media. In their rush to defend ‘liberty’, George Bush and his allies are actually endangering the freedom of the individual, as laid down in international law. Yet how can we save freedom by limiting it? Why, after all this time, have there been no answers regarding what really happened on 9/11? Pitt’s message is clear: seeking answers and demanding truth is not treasonous. In these dangerous days, with all that is at stake, the greatest sedition in America is silence." - Amazon.com

Presented by:
The American Book Center * Democrats Abroad * American Voices Abroad

NEWSLETTER NUMBER 2, JULY 2020

Dear reader,

Welcome to the second edition of the JUST ACT newsletter! It’s time to catch up and to build on what has happened the last month. To view our previous newsletter and to see who we are and what we are about, www.justact.info will do the trick. Feel free to send this newsletter on to anyone you know who might be interested!

JUST NEXT?

Since the birth of our grass roots initiative just over three months ago, we’ve been establishing contact with various organisations, activists, political parties, think tanks and institutions relevant to our cause. We’ve been received with tremendous cooperation and support for our initiative, which has inspired us to go on.

In this day and age of globalisation, or rather the decline of economic globalisation as a dominant factor, our quality of life doesn’t stop with the accumulation of wealth at the expense of others while proclaiming fine moral values. All talk and no action is nothing more than a hollow shell. We can also choose to accept our individual and collective responsibility and act according to our beliefs. Our focus thereby is on the adherence to international law and treaties, rehabilitation of the UN and in opposition to unilateralism and exploitative (neo-)liberal and/or (neo-)conservative policies.

To feed the global justice movement’s momentum, we’ve committed ourselves to not only talk but also to ACT and to encourage you and others to ACT as well and to take your responsibility as a world citizen seriously. It can be quite simple even though our willingness and/or energy is constrained by our day to day responsibilities in life. But we challenge you to come up with an idea and to share that with us and others. We mean to facilitate your ACT if we can and to serve as a link between you and other citizens or organisations, so get in touch!

DEBATE JULY 1st 2020, AMSTERDAM

Our previous act. After the first debate in Utrecht on May 7th on neo-conservatism and US foreign defence policy, a second debate took place on July 1st in Amsterdam. A transcript of the debate is now available on www.justact.info and as an attachment to this newsletter.

WHO’S AFRAID OF THE US?

‘The US is consolidating the Pax Americana. It defends its homeland security and its global interests by using unparalleled economic and pre-emptive military force. States reposition themselves in the new world order and seek to safeguard their (collective) interests. Global public opinion is sceptical of US unilateralism. Both the world justice and the world peace movements flourish in their diversity and level of activism.’

Panel members were Denis Campbell (spokesman American Voices Abroad (AVA)), Frans Timmermans (member of Dutch Parliament for PvdA (Labour), spokesman on defence and involved in drafting the European Convention) and Wilbert van der Zeijden (associate progressive think tank Transnational Institute). A conservative speaker, Bart Jan Spruyt (director of the conservative Edmund Burke Foundation), had also committed himself to participate but was unfortunately unable to join the debate.

DEBATE SUMMARY
The discussion touched upon the shift within US conservatism from isolationism to expansionism as the dominant influence. Since 9-11, conservatives feel they can no longer afford to withdraw from the world outside the US, but feel they have to defend their interests both home and abroad assertively and pre-emptively. Civil rights are being sacrificed for the ‘war against terrorism’ through for example through the introduction of the Patriot Act, which puts a strain on civil liberties.

With regard to Europe, Frans Timmermans made a case for further European unification in the political sense by means of a common credible European foreign policy and a joint European defence with credible force. Illustrations for the growing gap between the US and Europe were given not only in terms of military capabilities, but in a whole array of subjects like education, growth and productivity, arts. According to Frans Timmermans, the lack of analyses of these gaps is keeping us away from the urgency to come together as a united Europe.

With regard to public movements Wilbert van der Zeijden illustrated the emergence of grass roots networks in for instance SE Asia that are not particularly anti-American, but believe regional actors should deal with regional problems rather than invite interventionists like the US and even Europe. The US and Europe can facilitate regional problem solving capabilities by investing more in a strong ‘world governance’ led by the UN.

He also explained the future of US hegemony in terms of world system theories. The first fractures in economic globalisation based on neo liberalism as a dominant system had already shown themselves in the 1980’s with the economic crisis of that time. In the 1990’s recovery seemed to have set in, but this ‘revival phase’ is considered to be nothing more than a postponement of the ‘terminal crisis phase’, which will lead to the collapse of the dominant system that supports the current hegemon. The old hegemon may survive by going to a second phase of hegemony or it will be replaced by a next hegemon, for which no candidates are likely within the next 5 years, although China, India and even Europe have the potential to fulfil that role in the future. I no hegemon follows the last one, a power vacuum will occur.

POST DEBATE POLL

After the poll, an audience poll was conducted along the lines of the recent BBC poll ‘what the world thinks of America’ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/wtwta). The results of this poll were as follows:

  1. Is the USA a force for good in the world? (yes 15,4%, either 7,7%, no 76,9%)

  2. Does the USA make the world safer? (yes 7,7%, no 92,3%)

  3. Is the USA the world’s biggest solution or problem? (solution 7,7%, either 7,7%, problem 61,5%, neither 23,1%)

  4. Is the EU in touch with the reality outside its Kantesian ‘paradise’ ? (yes 38,5%, undecided 7,7%, no 53,8%)

  5. Should the EU counterbalance US hegemony? (yes 53,8%, either 7,7%, no 38,5%)

  6. Do the world peace movement and the world justice movement offer viable alternatives? (yes 61,5%, either 15,4%, no 23,1%)

JUST GET INFORMED

Making your way through all the available information on the internet is a daunting task. Digesting all the newspaper articles from mainstream and independent media, books, academic papers, reports and transcripts of relevant debates is more than any of us can handle. Imagine all the information you can find on these sites:

Independent media

Alternet www.alternet.org

Buzzflash www.BuzzFlash.com

Common dreams www.commondreams.org

Counterpunch www.counterpunch.org

Essential information http://www.essential.org

Global policy forum http://globalpolicy.igc.org

Information clearing house www.informationclearinghouse.info

Le Monde diplomatique http://mondediplo.com/

Oneworld www.oneworld.nl

Redrat www.redrat.net

Smirking Chimp.com www.smirkingchimp.com

The Guardian www.guardian.co.uk

The New York Times www.nytimes.com

The Observer www.observer.co.uk

The Foundation for National Progress www.motherjones.com

Truthout www.truthout.com

Yellow Times www.yellowtimes.org

There are clearly thousands of articles voicing opinions and although every opinion is valuable, and many of them are valid exposure of obvious rights and wrongs, not all of them touch on the more fundamental issues at hand. We believe our focus should be with those documents that are not so much opinionated but have the depth of analysis to make us better understand the world we live in and that try to provide sustainable alternatives for global justice.

Think tanks

That’s why we strongly recommend the various site of progressive think tanks around the globe that seem to put all the pieces together and come a long way in understanding the dynamics of global justice and providing sustainable alternatives for states, NGO’s and citizens like you and me. We’ve listed the ones we’ve come across so far and some of the reports they’ve produced, which provide essential reading together with the articles these particular sites offer.

Demos www.demos.co.uk

FPIF (Foreign Policy in Focus) www.fpif.org

IFG (International forum on globalisation) www.ifg.org

IPS (Institute for Policy Studies) www.ips-dc.org

PPI (Progressive Policy Institute) www.ppionline.org

RISQ (Review of International Social Questions) www.risq.org

TNI (Transnational Institute) www.tni.org

If you know other think tanks and/or reports, feel free to let us know through contact@justact.info!

JUST SYNERGY

Since our focus is not only on giving you access to information, but also on taking direct action ourselves, our next step will be to chart the global justice movement as much as we can and to seek synergy with groups and organisations both home and abroad. In our next newsletter, we’ll try to give you an overview of what the global justice movement largely consists of in the hope (and determination) that you will rise too and ACT for what you stand. If this appeals to you, get in touch with us so that together we can combine ripples into a wave for global justice.

To get an insight of how vast and divers the global justice movement has become and how we can move forward, we propose you take a look at the ‘Jakarta peace consensus’ www.tni.org/acts/jakartaconsensus.pdf.

If you any thoughts or suggestions you’d like to share with us, feel free to let us know.

Regards,

NEWSLETTER NUMBER 1, JUNE 2020

Dear reader,

We offer you this newsletter as an introduction to who we are. We will not send you any more newsletters unless you choose to subscribe to our free newsletter (see below). Feel free to send this newsletter on to anyone you know who might be interested.

Welcome to the first edition of the JUST ACT newsletter! It’s time to catch up.

JUST WHAT?

First of all, we want to make it clear what we stand for.

JUST ACT wants to inform people about international politics and specifically recent developments concerning neo conservatism in the US and the unilateral policies by the Bush administration.

JUST ACT is critical towards unilateral policies that undermine multilateral arenas of cooperation like the United Nations. We support the restoration of world justice and multilateral cooperation between states, civilians and NGO’s.

JUST ACT wants to enhance public consciousness about these subjects through the spread of knowledge and information en by encouraging an open public debate.

JUST ACT wants to stimulate individuals to participate in positive vorms of activism on various levels or te initiate such action in favour or the restoration of international justice and democratic multilateralism.

JUST HOW?

Our name says it all. JUST ACT. Even now, when most civilians feel like there’s nothing they can do in the grander scheme of things - a sentiment that seems stronger here in the Netherlands than in neighbouring countries - it quite simply comes down to taking responsibility. You are in charge of how much time and energy you have to be a small or big wave. Do you lack the energy, time or money to initiate something, but do you have a democratic bone to pick, than you may want to join somebody’s other wave (like JUST ACT) and before you know what happened, together you will have achieved something.

We think the best way to start is to inform yourself first. Knowledge empowerment is the key. There is a lot of information out there. Where to start? WWW.JUSTACT.INFO. We’ve selected articles, books, organisations, webzines, thinktanks, political parties for you to look at and our links will be updated considerably soon. On the basis of that information, we’ve come to formulate our opinion and it will keep developing the more people we talk to and the more information we come accross. It’s up to you to formulate your own opinion.

For starters, we recommend these articles

The thirty year itch (Robert Dreyfuss, March 2020) www.redrat.net/BUSH_WAR/dreyfuss.htm

The postmodern state and the world order (Robert Cooper, 2020) www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/default.aspx?id=83

and the report by the neo-conservative thinktank ‘Project for the New American Century’:

Building America’s defenses www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

A next step is to discuss and debate with others who may or may not agree with you. To make that possible for us and for you we’ve started organising political debates, with panel members with various opinions and backgrounds, like policians, activists, thinktanks, professors from both the progressive and (neo)conservative perspective.

Better yet is to forward this newsletter to people you think may be interested!

DEBATE JULY 1st 2020, AMSTERDAM

We’d like to inform you of our next act, which is a debate on July 1st in Amsterdam, to which we’ve invited both supporters and opponents of neo conservatisme. Panel members are Bart Jan Spruyt (director of the conservative Edmund Burke Foundation), Denis Campbell (spokesman American Voices Abroad), Frans Timmermans (member of Dutch Parliament for PvdA, spokesman on defense) and Wilbert van der Zijden (asociate progressive thinktank Transnational Institute). A quick impression?

WHO’S AFRAID OF THE US?

‘The US is consolidating the Pax Americana. It defends its homeland security and its global interests by using unparalleled economic and pre-emptive military force.States reposition themselves in the new world order and seek to safeguard their (collective) interests.Global public opinion is sceptical of US unilateralism. Both the world justice and the world peace movements flourish in their diversity and level of activism.’

The debate takes place on July 1st, 2020 in Amsterdam at the ABC Treehouse, Voetboogstraat 11. The debate starts at 19:30 hours and entrance is 2 euro. Reservations (advisable; full is full) through contact@justact.info.

DEBATE MAY 7th, 2020, UTRECHT

Participants to our first debate where Dick Leurdijk (Clingendael Instituut), Harry van Bommel (member of Dutch Parliament for SP) and Denis Campbell (American Voices Abroad). You’ll find a report of this debate on our website www.justact.info.

Regards,

editor newsletter JUST ACT, Luciano Pitzalis

To (un)subscribe to this newsletter please mail to contact@justact.info