Documentary: ‘Water Time’ By Allan Weisbecker.

By Jerry Alatalo

aaa-37Alphabet As a person who keeps up on Jim Fetzer’s program “The Real Deal”, his latest posted at MBC Official Backup Channel on YouTube with Allan Weisbecker rose to the qualitative level of sharing it here. After some preliminary discussion between Mr. Weisbecker and Mr. Fetzer, the 90-minute documentary film “Water Time” becomes presented, followed by further discussion between the two men.

A number of wide-ranging, intense thoughts may occur while watching the film, including asking the question “Why hasn’t this powerful film gained much wider viewership?” (Mr. Weisbecker posted on his YT channel, AE Weisbecker, around a year ago – some 7-8,000 views thus far), along with appreciation of the film as a model for how documentary film-making should become produced in the future.

For men and women who’ve spent time going down the “rabbit hole” and researching historic events covered in the film – such as the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, September 11, 2001 etc., Mr. Weisbecker’s over-arching message should not come as any big surprise.

However, for those who’ve either ignored subsequent alternative or new findings of researchers on these events or accepted the so-called “official story”, watching “Water Time” will produce possible severely uncomfortable sensations related to their transformation of perceptions about power and how the world really operates, as illustrated by some of the people Allan Weisbecker talked with during the filming of the documentary.

Mr. Weisbecker made the film as an educational effort, without profit as the motive. His intention is perhaps best summed up in the opening minutes of the film where he says, “I’ve got to find out if there’s something really wrong… I mean with me – or with the rest of the world”.

People hold varying views about what qualifies as a “mediocre”, “good”, “above average”, “excellent”, “masterpiece” etc. documentary film. This writer sees “Water Time: Part I” as an – unfortunately – extraordinarily rare, profoundly revealing artistic triumph which makes a colossal contribution to the shared vision of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King expressed in the film – peace on Earth.

Thank you Allan Weisbecker. In the year 2016, the world urgently needs more true artists like him.

(Thank you to MBC Official Backup Channel at YouTube)

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The Elders Propose United Nations Evolution.

Originally posted / for more information visit:  www.theelders.org

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STRENGTHENING THE UNITED NATIONS

Statement by The Elders, 7 February 2015

peace pipe 222The United Nations was founded in 1945 “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.

Yet 70 years later far too many people in this world – in Nigeria, in Pakistan, in the Middle East, to name but a few places – are beginning the year 2015 in grief and suffering, caused by conflict and deliberate violence. Seventeen murders in Paris may seem little by comparison, but they too have horrified us all, because they were so clearly targeted at freedom of expression, and at the Jewish community. Millions of Muslims around the world sincerely deplore these murders, yet are also shocked to see their faith repeatedly caricatured.

Meanwhile the older threat of confrontation between great powers is also stirring again, notably in East Asia, and in Eastern Europe.

In short, human beings are far from being safe from the scourge of war, despite the UN’s best efforts.

Yet the world’s peoples yearn for a fairer, more peaceful world, where new generations can grow up in confidence. They do not want to see the UN wither into irrelevance, as the League of Nations did in the 1930s.

What needs to change?

All institutions must adapt to cope with new circumstances – and today’s circumstances are very different from those of 1945.

There have been profound shifts of power and wealth in the world since then. Of the 193 member states of the United Nations today, nearly three quarters were not members in 1945 – in a few cases because they had been on the wrong side in the second world war, but in the great majority of cases because at that time they did not yet exist as independent states.

Yet the Security Council, which has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, acting on behalf of all the member states, is still dominated by the same five permanent members that were designated all those years ago, being the five great powers that had just won the war.

The governments of those five powers have become so used to their exalted status, which is protected by their ability to veto any change in the Charter, that they think of it almost as their natural right, sometimes forgetting that it is above all a responsibility. They assume that the world will continue to respect their authority, and fail to notice that, year by year, that authority is eroding.

The peoples of the global South, especially, do not see themselves adequately represented in the Council. They are therefore more and more inclined to question its authority, and the legitimacy of its decisions. We ignore this threat at our peril.

Recalling the wise guidance of our founder, Nelson Mandela, we, The Elders, call on governments to listen to their peoples, and on peoples to insist that their governments make more farsighted decisions.

We call on both the existing permanent members of the Security Council and the rest of the membership of the Organization to accept the urgency of strengthening the United Nations, and therefore accept also the compromises – sometimes painful ones – that will be needed to make it possible.

Our proposals:

  1. A New Category of Members

In principle, the existing permanent members claim to be ready to welcome new ones. But their sincerity has not been tested because the rest of the membership cannot agree on essential points: which countries, and how many, should be new permanent members, and should they, like the existing ones, be given a veto over the Council’s substantive divisions? In the view of many, the use or abuse of the veto is responsible for some of the Council’s most conspicuous failures, when it does not intervene in time, or with sufficient force, to protect the victims of genocide and other comparable crimes. Those states are understandably reluctant to give yet more powers the right of veto.

We therefore propose a compromise. Let the states which aspire to permanent membership accept instead, at least for the time being, election to a new category of membership, which would give them a much longer term than the two years served by the non-permanent members, and to which they could be immediately re-elected when that term expires. This would enable them to become de facto permanent members, but in a more democratic way, since it would depend on them continuing to enjoy the confidence of other member states. By making the Council more democratic, this change would increase its legitimacy in the eyes of the world, thereby enhancing its authority and so also making it more effective.

This compromise will not be easy for states which aspire to full permanent membership to accept. But we urge them, for the greater good, to set aside for now their larger ambition. If they do, we believe that other member states will be willing to accord them this special status, whereas their chances of achieving full permanent membership in the near or even medium term still seem remote. Half a loaf (and we submit that in its practical effects it would be much more than half) is proverbially better than no bread. And “no bread” in this instance means continuing the present stalemate, at an unacceptable cost to humanity and to innocent human lives.

Even so, such a change requires amendment of the Charter, which requires a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly and then ratification by two thirds of all UN members, including all five permanent members of the Security Council. This can be done. (The Charter has been amended three times – in the 1960s and early 70s – to enlarge the Security Council from 11 to 15 members, to make related changes to its voting arrangements, and to enlarge the Economic and Social Council.)

But it will inevitably take some time: all the more reason for starting the process without further delay. Meanwhile, we propose three other changes, which do not require Charter amendment. We believe all three are urgently needed, to make the UN more effective, more authoritative and more efficient in its work of maintaining the peace. They should not wait until this first one has been completed.

  1. A Pledge by the Existing Permanent Members

As already noted, on too many issues the Security Council is deadlocked by the failure of its permanent members to agree on a course of action, with the result that millions of people are left to suffer while great powers score debating points off each other. As the UN’s founders understood, without the united support of the permanent members, both material and moral, the Council cannot act.

None of us has forgotten the Holocaust, Rwanda, Srebenica, Saddam Hussein’s campaign against Iraq’s Kurds, or the killing fields of Cambodia. No part of the world has been spared these horrors. So the political will must be summoned to prevent, or at least limit, their repetition.

We therefore call on the five existing permanent members to pledge themselves to greater and more persistent efforts to find common ground, especially in crises where populations are being subjected to, or threatened with, genocide or other atrocity crimes.

States making this pledge will undertake not to use, or threaten to use, their veto in such crises without explaining, clearly and in public, what alternative course of action they propose, as a credible and efficient way to protect the populations in question. This explanation must refer to international peace and security, and not to the national interest of the state casting the veto, since any state casting a veto simply to protect its national interests is abusing the privilege of permanent membership.

And when one or more permanent members do feel obliged to cast a veto, and do provide such an explanation, the others must undertake not to abandon the search for common ground but to make even greater efforts to agree on an effective course of action.

  1. A Voice for Those Affected

When they can agree, the permanent members too often deliberate behind closed doors, without listening to the voices of those most directly affected by their decisions, and present their elected colleagues with ready-made resolutions leaving little room for debate. To remedy this, we call on all members of the Security Council to make more regular and systematic use of the “Arria formula” (under which, in the last two decades, Security Council members have had meetings with a wide variety of civil society organizations), to give groups representing people in zones of conflict the greatest possible opportunity to inform and influence Council decisions.

At present, meetings under the Arria formula are too often attended only by junior officials, whose reports can easily be ignored. In future, we call on the heads of the delegations of all countries serving on the Security Council, including the permanent members, to attend all meetings held under this formula in person. Members of the Council must use such meetings to ensure that their decisions are informed by full and clear knowledge of the conditions in the country or region concerned, and of the views of those most directly affected.

  1. A New Process for Choosing the Secretary-General

At the United Nations, it is the Secretary-General who has to uphold the interests and aspirations of all the world’s peoples. This role requires leadership of the highest calibre. Yet for 70 years the holder of this post has effectively been chosen by the five permanent members of the Security Council, who negotiate among themselves in almost total secrecy. The rest of the world is told little about the process by which candidates are identified, let alone the criteria by which they are judged. This barely follows the letter, and certainly not the spirit, of the UN Charter, which says the Secretary-General should be appointed by the General Assembly, and only on the recommendation of the Security Council.

To remedy this, we call on the General Assembly to insist that the Security Council recommend more than one candidate for appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, after a timely, equitable and transparent search for the best qualified candidates, irrespective of gender or regional origin.

We suggest that the next Secretary-General be appointed for a single, non-renewable term of seven years, in order to strengthen his or her independence and avoid the perception that he or she is guided by electoral concerns. She or he must not be under pressure, either before or after being appointed, to give posts in the Secretariat to people of any particular nationality in return for political support, since this is clearly contrary to the spirit of the Charter. This new process should be adopted without delay, so that the United Nations can make full use of it to choose the best person to assume the post in January 2017.

No time to lose.

The Elders believe that, for the UN to recover its authority and effectiveness in maintaining world peace and security, these changes are an essential starting point. We also believe that they are achievable, with a minimum of good will and effort on the part of member states. We therefore call on the citizens of all states to press their governments to take the necessary action. We, for our part, will do all we can to persuade them.

Discussions on these priority changes must start immediately, inside and outside governments. There is no time to lose.

Already there is a groundswell of pressure for change. By the time we mark the UN’s 70th anniversary later this year, we hope to see this groundswell build into an unstoppable wave, drawing strength from all around the world.

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A Global Police Force: Possible, Beneficial For World Peace?

by Jerry Alatalo

“Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that holds out any promise of peace, the courage of supra-national security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide.”

Last written words of ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955) – German born, Swiss-American scientist

aaa-41Alphabet The scientist and intellectual known world-wide left this Earth and humanity with the message of an international military/security organization being the only course to peace. After the sixty years since the passing of Albert Einstein, has the time arrived for humanity to seriously consider his thoughtful suggestion?

Whether the peace development concept Einstein offered in his last days gets called a military or law enforcement/police force is a small consideration in contrast to the very significant positive benefits of establishing such a force. Nearly every man or woman having an awareness of Albert Einstein’s contributions to the human race would agree that he was the kind of person who only spoke after careful and scientifically based thinking.

In other words, Einstein was one of those men and women who, when they talked or wrote, moved people to understand the ideas presented were worth making the effort to grasp. In this instance, where he shared his views on options for establishing peace on Earth, was Einstein on to something whose time now in 2015 has finally arrived?

Some may disagree and assess that Einstein’s proposal is either impracticable or impossible in a world more complex than the days when he walked the Earth, but Einstein was correct and his idea deserves becoming pursued, analyzed, planned and implemented into reality. As one who considers himself “science-challenged”, let’s explore Einstein’s theory of peace creation some in a non-scientific manner.

Perhaps comparing today’s global security landscape, with its hundreds of separate national military organizations, to Einstein’s supra-national, single military/police force is a good starting point. Imagine a city with a 100,000 population and its police force of 200 men and women. The department has been organized to maximize communication and teamwork and efficiency for carrying out its purpose of serving, protecting and preventing harm and destruction to the city’s residents in their persons, homes and business.

Now, if one considers the Earth as one city for all the world’s citizens, hundreds of separate national military organizations results in the opposite of the 100,000 population city’s police department as related to communication, teamwork and efficiency. Because of the current international military state of affairs where there still exists widely held “us against them” perception, reaching the potential security success Einstein envisioned – peace – remains beyond reach.

The process of developing a supra-national security force begins when people around the world start a serious dialogue weighing the pros, cons, constraints and possibilities of bringing the concept to reality. Statistics related to every nation’s spending, staffing and manufacturing in the military arena are easily accessible and when compiled offers a universal viewpoint from which to start the planning stage.

In the planning stage, all the various aspects of the possible global organization become studied, analyzed and compared, then detailed organization, equipment and personnel structure models become created for consideration and agreement before going on to further development discussions along the process. Among other considerations are answering the questions of how many men and women each nation will send to serve, what an ideal arrangement of nationalities at each base/department around the world will look like, the best size force for each base of operations in the various regions, emphasis on higher staffing levels in regions with a history or potential of violence, the amount and variety of available equipment for each base, etc.

The greatest beneficial, transformative result of establishing a global, cooperative police/military force is elimination of an “us against them” perception, and the building of a “no enemies, only criminals” reality. Terrorist groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, al Qaeda etc. atrocities, along with instances of state-sponsored terror, will be correctly perceived as criminal actions, the same as fraud, robbery, assault and battery, etc., but at the highest scale of harm.

Those men and women serving around the Earth in a world police force will become seen by all as the best of the best, noble and protectors of one human family. Little by little, humanity will understand that there are those few who are willing to harm others and then there are the majority who wish to live and let live in peace. Just as traditional law enforcement agencies, the world police force will have a branch dealing with international financial or white-collar crimes, consisting of accountants and attorneys whose work is about preventing non-physical harm. A multinational branch for dealing with cyber-crime is also a part of the organization.

When a world police force replaces the current military configuration of hundreds of separate national groups of military personnel, equipment and weaponry, governments will become able to drastically reduce their expenditures on the military. In America, this means the multiyear trillion-dollar expenditure recently proposed for “upgrading” the U.S. nuclear arsenal becomes unnecessary. The annual spending on the military in the United States alone, reportedly over $700 billion, can become greatly reduced, and the funds saved can then be directed toward projects which improve citizens’ health and well-being.

With realization of an international military/police agency comes the need to expand capacity of international judicial systems, and that means the International Criminal Court. That legal institution will need more attorneys, judges and personnel to handle an international inflow of cases, which as time moves on will decrease as a result of new thinking on Earth.

One more benefit of pursuing and acting upon Einstein’s proposal is creation of one central location where the world’s people are able to find truth. No longer will people obtain their information about world events from biased, propagandistic, erroneous or intentionally deceptive sources, but will turn directly to the International Criminal Court records of legal actions, or to spokespersons for the world police force in regions around the world. Instances of violence based on wrong perceptions will steadily decrease as more people learn what’s really occurring, thereby diminishing misguided, unfortunate criminal actions.

All nations, after careful study and consideration of such a beneficial law enforcement organization becomes completed, will need to agree on working to plan and create it, while those nations who oppose such an international system will become forced to present a rational, detailed argument for their opposition. Those opposed will have to explain why continuance of the world’s military status-quo is better for humanity than Einstein’s supra-national security.

Albert Einstein was 76 years old and very close to death when he made his profound suggestion. A person who realizes their time on Earth has become short has a great tendency to get very serious in their communications, especially on grave matters of war and peace. Read Mr. Einstein’s last written words again and know that he was very serious.

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The following link takes you to the United Nations official website and a video of its recent 7,373rd meeting of the Security Council. Much of the 90-minute meeting (in English, others language options available) focuses on regions currently experiencing wars and violence on Earth. For those who decide to hear what members of the Security Council have to say, please keep in mind the peace suggestion of one man who went by the name of Albert Einstein.

http://webtv.un.org/watch/efficiency-and-transparency-of-the-security-council-security-council-7373rd-meeting/4020653544001

Build A Different Kind Of World.

Posted on July 14, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“Science is the search for truth – it is not a game in which one tries to beat his opponent, to do harm to others.”

– LINUS PAULING (1901-1994) Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1954, Nobel Peace Prize 1962

ocean33Ever since becoming aware of Press TV’s news-talk program “The Debate”, the show has become a favorite because of its editors’ choice of seemingly always current issues. The only criticism which could be made is that the episodes would be more powerful and effective if longer than the average of roughly 25 minutes. The following video comes from a recent “The Debate” program with commentators from America Danny Schechter and Brent Budowsky.

Brent Budowsky is a journalist who I must admit was unknown to me before seeing him on a few “The Debate” episodes. He has appeared on the program with Danny Schechter in the past, and their on-air discussions have at times been turbulent. Danny Schechter is more well-known for being a documentary filmmaker; he spent time working in the mainstream media world before leaving it to become a filmmaker with “inside knowledge” of the corporate news. His most recent film was a tribute to the late, great South African leader Nelson Mandela: “Madiba.”

For what it’s worth, this writer has a very high opinion of Danny Schechter and the work he’s produced. He’s been producing and directing TV specials and documentaries for decades. From the year 2000 they include: Nkosi: A Voice of Africa’s AIDS Orphans (2001), We Are Family (2002), Counting On Democracy (2003), WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception (2004), In Debt We Trust (2006), and Plunder: The Crime of Our Time  (2010).

Mr. Schechter has written 11 books on media issues and world events.

In my opinion, Mr. Schechter is somewhat under the radar, and it’s disappointing that his voice isn’t heard much more often on talk programs like “The Debate”. Because he is one of the more insightful and knowledgeable journalists out there. So, because of my great respect for the man developed through hearing him speak and watching his films, it’s good to hear from him in the past few days; his discussion with Brent Budowsky could have gone on for hours.

For what it’s worth, Mr. Schechter and Mr. Budowsky should collaborate on a book, film, or something. The reason I suggested that the two men could have gone on for hours is that there is something different about this discussion. What makes this an atypical, extraordinary TV discussion is that both men, consciously or unconsciously, bring to the talk a sense of global change. Perhaps this is the result of what has happened in Gaza in the past days. The violence there seems to have pushed humanity to the point where an “intervention” is now necessary; the human race has become like a “war alcoholic” that, because of the continued war and killing recently, now needs a “sit down” with the human family and treatment for the disease: war.

The alcoholic analogy is apt, because the “drunken” warmongers and their recent escalations are really the same as the addict who’s “hit bottom.” Listening to Mr. Schechter and Mr. Budowsky, one can sense their shared feelings that the world is experiencing events that require a great deal more wisdom, creativity, diplomacy and statesmanship. In addition, qualities like morality, truthfulness and honor must become exercised now more than at any time in recent decades. In other words, it has become painfully obvious that humanity must rise to this occasion in world history and start acting from the basis of human beings’ highest, best, and most ethical principles.

So this is an unusual, enlightening TV discussion in that it focuses on the positive potentials and problem-solving capacity of mankind; one of the rare discussions that has moved beyond the problems and toward solutions. The mostly hidden, not easily discerned aspect of this talk between Mr. Schechter and Mr. Budowsky is its reason for viewers to regain any hope/optimism lost upon witnessing recent world events. These men are saying exactly what’s on the mind of an increasing number of men and women around the world: there is an urgent need for an intense global, all-inclusive focus and striving for fair, just, honorable, and truth-driven solutions to situations of war on Earth where human beings are insanely killing their fellow human beings.

Perhaps when listening to this discussion you’ll feel that new and extraordinary message woven into the words these men speak. And what is that profound message? Humanity is turning the corner – turning the page – and travelling/moving on toward solutions-oriented thinking. This is a long-awaited, welcome sign of things to come, and is good news for those who’ve experienced post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of any kind, whether less severe from observing tragic events on the outside, or the harshest manifestations through experiences inside real war zones.

As mentioned earlier, journalist Brent Budowsky is a man whom many know little or nothing about. But men and women in rapidly increasing numbers around the Earth are in absolute agreement with his relevant and wise words:

“We have to build a different kind of world.” 

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(Thank you to Press TV News Videos @ YouTube)