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Morning Star :: The struggle for a nuke-free world

Courage and optimism are needed if were to succeed in eliminating WMD, says JEREMY CORBYN

Next week the United Nations nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) meeting in New York will be making preparations for the five-yearly review due in 2015.

The process might sound obscure, but it is important. Nuclear weapons have the power to destroy the whole planet many times over, cost vast amounts of money, consume resources that could be better spent elsewhere and, furthermore, they make war more, not less, likely.

When the NPT was first made law in the 1970s, approved by the vast majority of the member states of the UN, it had three central themes.

First, that the existing five declared weapons states China, Russia, France, Britain and the US be recognised as such and take steps towards disarmament.

Second, that all non-nuclear weapons states which signed the treaty must not themselves acquire them and the declared states must not export them or their technology.

Third, that all states could legitimately develop nuclear power for civil purposes.

On the face of it there is much cause for depression at the continued existence of these weapons and their proliferation in India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.

Equally depressing is the upgrading of the weapons capability, even if accompanied by warhead reduction, by the five declared weapons states. But there are some causes for hope and optimism.

Much of our planet is covered by nuclear weapons-free zones, particularly Africa, Latin America, Antarctica and central Asia, and a number of states including South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have renounced nuclear weapons.

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Morning Star :: The struggle for a nuke-free world

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Bilderberg Group – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, Bilderberg meetings or Bilderberg Club is an annual private conference of approximately 120 to 140 invited guests from North America and Europe, most of whom are people of influence.[1][2] About one-third are from government and politics, and two-thirds from finance, industry, labour, education and communications.[1]

The original conference was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, from 29 to 31 May 1954. It was initiated by several people, including Polish politician-in-exile Jzef Retinger, concerned about the growth of anti-Americanism in Western Europe, who proposed an international conference at which leaders from European countries and the United States would be brought together with the aim of promoting Atlanticism better understanding between the cultures of the United States and Western Europe to foster cooperation on political, economic and defense issues.[3]

Retinger approached Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands who agreed to promote the idea, together with former Belgian Prime Minister Paul Van Zeeland, and the head of Unilever at that time, Dutchman Paul Rijkens. Bernhard in turn contacted Walter Bedell Smith, then head of the CIA, who asked Eisenhower adviser Charles Douglas Jackson to deal with the suggestion.[4] The guest list was to be drawn up by inviting two attendees from each nation, one of each to represent conservative and liberal points of view.[3] Fifty delegates from 11 countries in Western Europe attended the first conference, along with 11 Americans.[5]

The success of the meeting led the organizers to arrange an annual conference. A permanent steering committee was established with Retinger appointed as permanent secretary. As well as organizing the conference the steering committee also maintained a register of attendee names and contact details with the aim of creating an informal network of individuals who could call upon one another in a private capacity.[6] Conferences were held in France, Germany, and Denmark over the following three years. In 1957 the first U.S. conference was held on St.Simons Island, Georgia, with $30,000 from the Ford Foundation. The foundation supplied further funding for the 1959 and 1963 conferences.[4]

Meetings are organized by a steering committee with two members from each of approximately 18 nations.[7] Official posts, in addition to a chairman, include an Honorary Secretary General.[8] There is no such category in the group’s rules as a “member of the group”. The only category that exists is “member of the Steering Committee”.[9] In addition to the committee, there also exists a separate advisory group, though membership overlaps.[10]

Dutch economist Ernst van der Beugel became permanent secretary in 1960, upon Retinger’s death. Prince Bernhard continued to serve as the meeting’s chairman until 1976, the year of his involvement in the Lockheed affair. The position of Honorary American Secretary General has been held successively by Joseph E. Johnson of the Carnegie Endowment, William Bundy of Princeton, Theodore L. Eliot, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and Casimir A. Yost of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.[11]

A 2008 press release from the ‘American Friends of Bilderberg’ stated that “Bilderberg’s only activity is its annual Conference. At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued” and noted that the names of attendees were available to the press.[12] The Bilderberg group’s unofficial headquarters is in Leiden in the Netherlands.

According to the ‘American Friends of Bilderberg’, the 2008 agenda dealt “mainly with a nuclear free world, cyber terrorism, Africa, Russia, finance, protectionism, US-EU relations, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islam and Iran”.[12]

Historically, attendee lists have been weighted towards bankers, politicians, and directors of large businesses.[15]

Heads of state, including King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, have attended meetings.[8][16] Prominent politicians from North America and Europe are past attendees. In past years, board members from many large publicly traded corporations have attended, including IBM, Xerox, Royal Dutch Shell, Nokia and Daimler.[8]

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Bilderberg Group – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Ex-British prime minister calls radicalized Islam a growing threat

The Associated Press

Published: April 23, 2014

LONDON The West should set aside its differences with Russia and China to focus on the growing threat from radical Islam, Tony Blair said Wednesday, in a speech that included a call to support Egypt’s military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents.

The former British prime minister said that tackling “a radicalized and politicized view of Islam” should be at the top of the global political agenda.

He said many in the West seemed “curiously resistant” to face up to a force that “is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalization.”

Blair, Britain’s prime minister between 1997 and 2007, is now Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S. and Russia.

In a speech in London, he said that “whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and co-operate with the East, and in particular Russia and China,” to combat Islamic extremism.

Blair’s political legacy in Britain is tarnished by his decision to lead the country into the divisive invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Blair acknowledged the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Western willingness to intervene in the Middle East. But he called for the West to engage with the region, saying “we have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time.”

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Ex-British prime minister calls radicalized Islam a growing threat

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Former British PM Blair says radical Islam a growing threat

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks at the Balkan Peace Festival, organized by the Indian “Sahara Group” in honor of the International Day of Non-Violence, in Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)The Associated Press

LONDON The West should set aside its differences with Russia and China to focus on the growing threat from radical Islam, Tony Blair said Wednesday, in a speech that included a call to support Egypt’s military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents.

The former British prime minister said that tackling “a radicalized and politicized view of Islam” should be at the top of the global political agenda.

He said many in the West seemed “curiously resistant” to face up to a force that “is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalization.”

Blair, Britain’s prime minister between 1997 and 2007, is now Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S. and Russia.

In a speech in London, he said that “whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and co-operate with the East, and in particular Russia and China,” to combat Islamic extremism.

Blair’s political legacy in Britain is tarnished by his decision to lead the country into the divisive invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Blair acknowledged the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Western willingness to intervene in the Middle East. But he called for the West to engage with the region, saying “we have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time.”

Blair argued that “on the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region.”

He defended the coup that overthrew the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi last year, saying “the Muslim Brotherhood government was not simply a bad government. It was systematically taking over the traditions and institutions of the country.”

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Former British PM Blair says radical Islam a growing threat

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For Tony Blair, radical Islam is a growing threat

LONDON: The West should set aside its differences with Russia and China to focus on the growing threat from radical Islam, Tony Blair said Wednesday, in a speech that included a call to support Egypts military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents. In a speech in London, the Middle East envoy said the spread of extremist ideology in that region as well as in Pakistan, Afghanistan and North Africa represents the biggest threat to global security of the 21st century. The former British prime minister said that tackling a radicalized and politicized view of Islam should be at the top of the global political agenda. He said many in the West seemed curiously resistant to face up to a force that is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalization. Blair, Britains prime minister between 1997 and 2007, is now Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the United Nations, the European Union, the US and Russia. In a speech in London, he said that whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and co-operate with the East, and in particular Russia and China, to combat extremism. Blairs political legacy in Britain is tarnished by his decision to lead the country into the divisive invasion of Iraq in 2003. Blair acknowledged the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Western willingness to intervene in the Middle East. But he called for the West to engage with the region, saying we have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time. Blair argued that on the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region. He defended the coup that overthrew the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi last year, saying the Muslim Brotherhood government was not simply a bad government. It was systematically taking over the traditions and institutions of the country. He said the protest that led to Morsis ouster was not an ordinary protest. It was the absolutely necessary rescue of a nation. We should support the new government and help. Blair said there was a shared interest between East and West on the dangers of religious extremism and it should be at the top of the global agenda. He said many people were curiously reluctant to acknowledge the common thread linking militant movements around the world, but said we have to take sides against a dangerous ideology that was a perversion of Islam. There is a Titanic struggle going on within the region between those who want the region to embrace the modern world, politically, socially and economically, and those who instead want to create a politics of religious difference and exclusivity. This is the battle, Blair said. Taking sides meant supporting the principles of religious freedom and open rules-based economies, whether they were held by states or revolutionaries. In reality, this meant backing the new governments in Egypt and Tunisia and helping the security services in Libya and Yemen to reform, he said. In Syria, which he called an unmitigated disaster, Blair said both the prospect of President Bashar al-Assad staying in power and the opposition taking over seemed like bad options. Repugnant though it may seem, the only way forward is to conclude the best agreement possible even if it means in the interim President Assad stays for a period, he said. He also said it was an absurdity that Western nations spent so much on defending themselves against Islamist extremism that was being taught to young people in countries with whom we have intimate security and defence relationships. Blair suggested the G20 launch an international programme to eradicate religious intolerance from schools systems and civil society organisations in those countries. They need us to make this a core part of the international dialogue in order to force the necessary change within their own societies, he said. This struggle between what we may call the open-minded and the closed-minded is at the heart of whether the 21st century turns in the direction of peaceful co-existence or conflict between people of different cultures. Blair was prime minister between 1997 and 2007 and is now representative for the Middle East Quartet, comprised of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.

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For Tony Blair, radical Islam is a growing threat

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The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency

Please select a country to view World Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Arctic Ocean Argentina Armenia Aruba Ashmore and Cartier Islands Atlantic Ocean Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas, The Bahrain Baker Island Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Polynesia French Southern and Antarctic Lands Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City) Honduras Hong Kong Howland Island Hungary Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jarvis Island Jersey Johnston Atoll Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kingman Reef Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius Mexico Micronesia, Federated States of Midway Islands Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Navassa Island Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pacific Ocean Pakistan Palau Palmyra Atoll Panama Papua New Guinea Paracel Islands Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Barthelemy Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Southern Ocean South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Spratly Islands Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe European Union

From the early 16th century through 1917, the area now known as the West Bank fell under Ottoman rule. Following World War I, the Allied powers (France, UK, Russia) allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. After World War II, the UN passed a resolution to establish two states within the Mandate, and designated a territory including what is now known as the West Bank as part of the proposed Arab state. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the area was captured by Transjordan (later renamed Jordan). Jordan annexed the West Bank in 1950. In June 1967, Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem and the former Israeli-Jordanian border zone, the West Bank has remained under Israeli military control. Under a series of agreements signed between 1994 and 1999, Israel transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the West Bank as well as the Gaza Strip. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip stalled after the outbreak of an intifada in mid- 2000. In early 2003, the “Quartet” of the US, EU, UN, and Russia, presented a roadmap to a final peace settlement by 2005, calling for two states – Israel and a democratic Palestine. Following Palestinian leader Yasir ARAFAT’s death in late 2004 and the subsequent election of Mahmud ABBAS (head of the Fatah political party) as the PLO Executive Committee Chairman and PA president, Israel and the PA agreed to move the peace process forward. Israel in late 2005 unilaterally withdrew all of its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip and redeployed its military from several West Bank settlements but continues to control maritime, airspace, and other access. In early 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won the Palestinian Legislative Council election and took control of the PA government. Attempts to form a unity government failed, and violent clashes between Fatah and HAMAS supporters ensued, culminating in HAMAS’s violent seizure of all military and governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip. Fatah and HAMAS in early 2011 agreed to reunify the Gaza Strip and West Bank, but the factions have struggled to implement details on governance and security. The status quo remains with HAMAS in control of the Gaza Strip and the PA governing the West Bank. In late 2010, direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians collapsed. In November 2012, the UN General Assembly upgraded the Palestinian status at the UN to that of an observer “state.” The Israeli government and ABBAS returned to formal peace negotiations in July 2013.

Middle East, west of Jordan, east of Israel

32 00 N, 35 15 E

total: 5,860 sq km

land: 5,640 sq km

water: 220 sq km

note: includes West Bank, Latrun Salient, and the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea, but excludes Mt. Scopus; East Jerusalem and Jerusalem No Man’s Land are also included only as a means of depicting the entire area occupied by Israel in 1967

slightly smaller than Delaware

total: 404 km

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The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency

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Blair: Radicalized Islam a growing threat

LONDON (AP) The West should set aside its differences with Russia and China to focus on the growing threat from radical Islam, Tony Blair said Wednesday, in a speech that included a call to support Egypt's military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents.

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Blair: Radicalized Islam a growing threat

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Former British PM Blair says radical Islam a growing threat

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks at the Balkan Peace Festival, organized by the Indian “Sahara Group” in honor of the International Day of Non-Violence, in Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)The Associated Press

LONDON The West should set aside its differences with Russia and China to focus on the growing threat from radical Islam, Tony Blair said Wednesday, in a speech that included a call to support Egypt’s military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents.

The former British prime minister said that tackling “a radicalized and politicized view of Islam” should be at the top of the global political agenda.

He said many in the West seemed “curiously resistant” to face up to a force that “is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalization.”

Blair, Britain’s prime minister between 1997 and 2007, is now Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S. and Russia.

In a speech in London, he said that “whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and co-operate with the East, and in particular Russia and China,” to combat Islamic extremism.

Blair’s political legacy in Britain is tarnished by his decision to lead the country into the divisive invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Blair acknowledged the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Western willingness to intervene in the Middle East. But he called for the West to engage with the region, saying “we have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time.”

Blair argued that “on the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region.”

He defended the coup that overthrew the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi last year, saying “the Muslim Brotherhood government was not simply a bad government. It was systematically taking over the traditions and institutions of the country.”

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British ex-PM says threat from radical Islam growing

April 23, 2014 – 13:46 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The West should set aside its differences with Russia and China to focus on the growing threat from radical Islam, Tony Blair said Wednesday, April 23, in a speech that included a call to support Egypt’s military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents, the Associated Press reports.

The former British prime minister said that tackling “a radicalized and politicized view of Islam” should be at the top of the global political agenda.

He said many in the West seemed “curiously resistant” to face up to a force that “is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalization.”

Blair, Britain’s prime minister between 1997 and 2007, is now Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S. and Russia.

In a speech in London, he said that “whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and co-operate with the East, and in particular Russia and China,” to combat Islamic extremism.

Blair’s political legacy in Britain is tarnished by his decision to lead the country into the divisive invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Blair acknowledged the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Western willingness to intervene in the Middle East. But he called for the West to engage with the region, saying “we have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time.”

Blair argued that “on the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region.”

He defended the coup that overthrew the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi last year, saying “the Muslim Brotherhood government was not simply a bad government. It was systematically taking over the traditions and institutions of the country.”

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British ex-PM says threat from radical Islam growing

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Editorial: President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine

On Monday, Mr. Lavrov was back to threatening an invasion by the tens of thousands of Russian troops on Ukraines border, claiming that, in the words of his ministry, Russia is increasingly called upon to save southeastern Ukraine from chaos

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Editorial: President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine

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