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DESIP-Military Occptns, etc/ 3 of 3
- Subject: DESIP-Military Occptns, etc/ 3 of 3
- From: rbleier@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 25 Feb 1996 10:31:00
DEMOGRAPHIC, ENVIRONMENTAL AND SECURITY ISSUES PROJECT
(DESIP), -- February 1996 -- Part 3 of 3
by Ronald Bleier (rbleier@xxxxxxxxxxx)
MILITARY OCCUPATIONS, MINORITIES, PEACE TALKS,
REFUGEES, FORTHCOMING SECTIONS OF DESIP
1. China in Tibet -- China has been occupying Tibet since
1950 and has killed 1.2 million Tibetans (1995 Tibetan
population: 14 million); destroyed all but 13 of 6,254
monasteries and has forced intermarriages between Chinese
and Tibetans. The Chinese government has encouraged
Chinese nationals to settle in Tibet. China has refused to
recognize the Tibetan Panchen Lama (the successor to the
Dalai Lama) and imposed their own choice. The Tibetan
Panchen Lama has been missing since July '95 and is
believed to be detained by Chinese authorities in Peking.
2. Indonesia invaded East Timor on December 7, 1975. The
pre-invasion population of East Timor was about 750,000.
Deaths have been estimated at 200,000. Indonesia began to
transfer settlers to East Timor in the 90s and the migrant
population is estimated at 100,000 to 200,000. East
Timorese guerilla leader, Xanana Gusmao, was captured in
1992 and remains in prison.
The U.S. gave the green light for the 1975 invasion and
has supported the Suharto government with military and
economic aid. The Clinton administration in 1995 indicated
its willingness to sell General Suharto 20 F-16's and has
approved $60 million in weapons sales.
* From report on Xanana Gusmao by John Pilger in The
Nation Dec. 25, '95.
Kay Rala Xanana (pronounced Shanana)Gusmao was the
commander of the forces of the East Timorese National
Liberation Front until he was captured in November 1992 by
the Indonesian forces. He has bee n the symbol of East
Timorese resistance since 1981. He currently lives in a
cell in Cipang Prison near Jakarta and continues as the
Chairman of the National Council of Maubere (Timorese)
In a secret taped interview conducted by journalist John
Pilger, Gusmao spoke of the decisive role American arms
played in the attack on his people by the Indonesian
military. "American Bronco and Skyhawk aircraft
relentlessly bombed and machine-gunned the camps and wells
of the refugee population." Xanana also said that the new
British Hawk aircraft "will invariably be used against
3. Indonesian occupation of West Papua, formerly Dutch New
Guinea -- renamed Irian Jaya by the Indonesians who forced
the Dutch out after WWII and set up a protectorate which
was supposed to lead to independence in 1965. Indonesia
refused to leave however, and continued its exploitation
of the country's rich resources. The indigenous Papuans
have been fighting for independence ever since.The best
known resistance group is the OPM (Organasi Papua Merdeka
- Free Papua Organization).
The Indonesian military, in an attempt to crush the Papuan
struggle, have killed over 150,000 people. As a result of
the fighting, more than 10,000 West Papuans have been
forced to take refuge across the Papua New Guinea border.
More than 70% of the forests of Papua have been given to
Indonesian and foreign concession holders. 50% of
Indonesian government income is derived from oil exports;
one third of this oil comes from West Papua.
The Kamoro and Amugme people of West Papua are jeopardized
by the U.S. based Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold Co.
Sources in West Papua allege that Freeport, with the
approval of the Indonesian government, has expropriated up
to 10,000 hectares of traditional lands used or occupied by
Environmental damage is caused by dumping mine tailings
from a huge gold mine employing 17,000 workers directly
into the Aqwaghon River. Each day 110,000 tons of tailings
are dumped into the river system (Bankcheck, September
According to a 1993 Canadian documentary produced by Ian
Mackenzie as part of the Endangered Peoples Project, 110
million Javanese are the dominant group in West Papua. The
transmigration of Javanese settlers are devastating the
last great rainforest of West Papua and are threatening
the culture and livelihood of the remaining 4,000 Moi
people who live in the rainforest.
4. Israeli occupation of the former Palestine (Occupied
Territories) and their self-designated "security strip" in
5. Moldova -- Trans Djnestria, the eastern part of
Moldova, has a majority Russian population. Russian troops
effectively rule the area after suppressing nationalist
elements in fighting which erupted upon Moldovan
6. Serbian occupation of Kosovo -- Albanians make up 90% of
OPPRESSION OF MINORITIES OR WEAKER MEMBERS (If not listed
1. Gypsies (Roma) in Hungary, Romania, Germany, Albania,
Czech Republic, Bulgaria, ex-Yugoslavia, Poland. 8 million
Gypsies in Europe; 12 million in world
2. Hungarian minorities in Slovakia, Transsylvania and
Vojvodina. Transsylvania (Zevenburgen) is the North-West
section of Rumania, and was part of the Austro-Hungarian
Empire. In Slovakia, according to a NYT Nov 1995 article,
the government is in process of imposing severe
restrictions on Hungarian language and culture. Most
Hungarians have fled Vojvodina, and Hungary has
strengthened their troops along the Serbian border but
outright fighting is not on the horizon.
2. Latvia -- One third of the country's 2.5 million people
are ethnic Russians who live under restrictive laws which
make them ineligible for citizenship; nor can they vote.
Latvian nationalists argue that in 1940, Russia illegally
occupied Latvia and that in three separate waves of ethnic
cleansing eliminated 1/3 of their population by killing
them or deporting them to Siberia or elsewhere; and that
about 1 million ethnic Russian colonists took their
places. They claim that there are a total of 2 million
ethnic Russian colonists in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania
and 1 million in Koenigsberg.
3. Germany -- attacks on Turkish and other minorities by
right-wing elements with more or less local government
4. Nigeria -- The Muslim government of General Sani
Abacha is condemned for its military dictatorship and for
the oppression of minority tribes including the 5 million
Ogoni peoples. In November 95, nine Ogoni leaders were
hanged on charges of murder, including writer and
environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa. Moshood K.O. Abiola, the
winner of the 1993 elections which were annulled by
Abacha's government, has been imprisoned since 1994 when
he declared himself president.
1. North and South Korea
2. U.S. vs. Cuba
PEACE TALKS/NEGOTIATIONS ONGOING
3. Guatemala -- Rebels announce unilateral cease-fire to
coincide with Nov. 12, 1995 elections due to progress in
the peace talks.
4. Israelis and Palestinians -- Oslo 2 Accords signed at
the White House on September 28, 1995; Oslo 1 was signed
there on September 13, 1993.
5. Mexico vs. rebels in Chiapas
6. North and South Korea
7. Northern Ireland/England -- In August 1994, the IRA
declared a unilateral halt to its campaign of bombings and
other attacks, jump-starting diplomatic efforts. On the
occasion of President Clinton 's visit in late November
1995, Prime Minister John Major of Britain and Prime
Minister John Bruton of Ireland set a target date for
all-party talks of February 15, 1996. British insistence
that the decommissioning of the estimated 100 tons of
weapons in the IRA arsenal as a pre-condition for
negotiations seemed to represent one of the stumbling
blocks. On February 9, 1996 the IRA reportedly ended their
cease-fire on the same day that a bomb in London injured
dozens of people.
SOME REFUGEE NUMBERS
According to Hal Kane writing on "What's Driving
Migration" Worldwatch (Jan/Feb 1995), the world's official
refugee population has grown to 23 million people from 15
million people at the beginning o f the decade. In the
mid-1970s there were only about 2.5 million refugees,
about the same number as in the 1950s and 1960s.
In addition to the world's official refugee population,
according to Kane, there are "internally displaced
migrants" whose estimated numbers run to approximately 27
million. Also, there are probably another 10 million
"illegal" immigrants. And in the largest category, Kane
estimates that there are "around 100 million economic
* Statistics regarding the number of illegal immigrants
from Mexico and Central America are uncertain and highly
controversial. It has been estimated that about 300,000
cross the southern U.S. borders every year with far higher
numbers crossing and returning many times.
It has been estimated that about 1 million illegal
immigrants from Northern Africa make their way to Europe
* Refugee Report from Otranto, Italy
According to a report by Andrew North in Middle East
International (19 Jan 96) some 40,000 migrants every year
are slipping into Italy at the Salentine Peninsula on the
southern Adriatic coast. Most are Albanians but in the
last year Turks, Iranians, Kurds, Pakistanis, Indians and
Bangladeshis are also arriving. The author quotes an
Albanian speaking through the grill-covered window of his
container cell in Otranto (waiting to be returned to
Albania): "I will come again and again, however many times
it takes. I have no choice."
The award-winning film, "LAmerica" deals with the Albanian
migration to Italy.
NYT story on Rwandan refugees by James C. McKinley Jr
Headline: "Some Rwandan Exiles Can't Go Home Again"
Subhead: "Despite Pressure, Few Leave Camps"
Picture caption: "Mothers of babies born in refugee camps
waited to register their newborns with the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees this week. The birth rate at
the camps exceeds the number of people going home."
According to the story, there are 1.7 million Rwandan Hutu
refugees in 59 camps in Tanzania, Zaire and Burundi.
According to European Journal (12.25.96), a TV news and
features program produced in England, there are 3 million
refugees from the fighting in the former Yugoslavia. Most
are internal refugees but a bout 600,000 are living in
other European countries; with the majority, 400,000 in
Germany. Other countries hosting ex-Yugoslav refugees
are: Netherlands -- 45,000; Sweden -- 48,500; Austria --
52,0 00; Italy -- 54,000.
* FORTHCOMING SECTIONS OF DESIP*
DESTRUCTIVE DAM AND RIVER PROJECTS:
* BAKUN DAM in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak (which
joined the Malaysian federation in 1963) is designed to
produce 2400 MW of energy. Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir
Mohamad. Impact on local population: displacement of
people, degradation of water catchment area which covers
1.5 million hectares; ruin for the mighty Rejong river
system. 200,000 acres of forest will be flooded;
7,000-10,000 people will lose their homes. The indigenous
peoples who will be affected comprise the Kayan, Kenyah,
Penan, Ukit and Kahanan ethnic groups.
27 million cubic meters of forest in Sarawak is in
process of being logged before it is to be flooded. The
project will destroy an area of forest the size of
Singapore. Cost: $4 billion. British funds will help fund
the dam. Ekron Berhad is the company selected without
tender to build the dam.
* South America -- The monumental Hidrova project
undertaken without an adequate environmental impact
assessment by Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and
Bolivia threatens the world's largest and most pristine
wetland: the Grand Panatal wetland which now covers 100 to
200 thousand square kilometers at the meeting place of the
Amazon rainforest, the savannas, and the Chaco wetlands.
Some of t he indigenous peoples of the Panatal who will be
affected are the Guatos, Terena, Kaiowa, Bororo, Umotina,
Pareci and Ki (World Watch October '95 and International
Rivers Network, January '96).
* China -- Three Gorges dam project. The project will
forcibly resettle more than one million people and
inundate thousands of miles of land, some of which is
currently used for farming. Proponents of the dam argue
that it will provide electricity, flood control and ease
navigation. Critics say that the two kilometer wide dam
which is being built over several seismic faults would
actually cause flooding and disrupt navigation and will
destroy the habitat of a number of threatened species.
Typically in these megaprojects, the rationale of supplying
energy and water to a growing population is used
to enrich local and highly placed political and
commercial figures who pocket percentages of the huge
loans that the World Bank and other lending institutions
supply. In the case of the Three Gorges Dam, the Chinese
government has already threatened to put down with
violence any resistance to the dam by its own people.
There is so much money to be made in these projects that
environmental concerns, no matter how clear, are typically
DESTRUCTION OF TROPICAL RAINFORESTS AND
* Tropical rainforests grow in a belt around the equator
and are largely found in Brazil, Africa, Asia and parts of
* Some statistics on the present rate of destruction of the
* They are burnt at the rate of 12-20 hectares every
* They are disappearing at the rate of 10 sq. km every day.
* They are disappearing at the rate of 40-50 million acres
* Less than 50% of the original tropical rainforests are
left and at the present rate of destruction, almost all
will be gone by 2025.
New York Times report on deforestation of Amazon, June 29,
1993 by William K. Stevens
"... tropical deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon
increased to 89,000 square miles in 1988 from 30,000
square miles in 1978. The 1988 figure represented 6
percent of the Brazilian forest. But the total area of
biological disturbance, with the edge areas and islands
included, increased to 227,000 square miles from 80,000
square miles. The 227,000 square-mile area of biological
disturbance amounted to about 15 percent of the total
THREATS TO FORESTS
U.S. -- PACIFIC NORTHWEST
According to a December 5, 1995 article in the New York
Times, President Clinton is critical of a law permitting
logging that he initially vetoed but then signed in the
summer of 1995. According to the Times report, Clinton
said that "the leveling, or clear-cutting, will damage
rivers and streams, set back a $1.2 billion Federal
program to restore overcut national forests and could
eradicate some runs of Chinook salmon." The Times report
was accompanied by a photo of an Earth First! protest
encampment in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon.
Other Pacific Northwest areas subject to logging (as listed
in the Cascadia Times, October '95.
* Headwaters Forest under threat
* Sugarloaf timber sale in Southern Oregon's Siskiyou
* Warner Creek salvage logging sale in the Oregon Cascades
* Sales in Oregon's Coast Range
DEPLETION OF FISHERIES AND INTERNATIONAL FISH CONFLICTS,
FISHERIES MANAGEMENT DISPUTES AND UNREST, ETC.
* "Canada's East Coast fisheries, described as a `sea of
slaughter' by historian Farley Mowat, have killed off
forever the Sea Mink, the Great Auk and the Labrador Duck.
The Atlantic populations of the Walrus and the Gray Whale
have been wiped out, and the Right Whale is on the verge
of extinction on the East Coast. Since the collapse of
the Northern Cod stocks, other groundfish species, like
haddock and pollock, face commercial extinction" (from
"Dead Sea Tolls," by David Orton, in Real World, Tyne and
Wear, England, Autumn 1995).
TRANSBOUNDARY WATER CONFLICTS
* Jordan River Basin -- Israel's National Water Carrier
began diverting water in the 60s from the Jordan River
catchment basin to Israel's Mediterranean Coast and the
Negev desert. This diversion enabled Israel to
appropriate for itself virtually all of the water of the
Jordan River, leaving none for the Jordanians or for the
Palestinians, contrary to the plan worked out by
Eisenhower's water mediator, Eric Johnston. Even the
agreements signed with Jordan and with the Palestinians in
October 94 and September '95 respectively do not remedy the
situation since in both cases Israel gives up virtually
none of the water it currently uses.
* Future Southern Africa Water Conflict?
According to the Southern Africa Development Committee
(SADC) water demand in the region is projected to rise by
almost 3% annually until at least the year 2020. The
situation is especially serious i n arid Botswana, Namibia
and South Africa. The projection is that fresh water
supplies will not be able to meet demand within 30 years.
The situation is likely to push SADC to source water from
river s shared with other states. For instance, Angola,
Botswanna, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia
and Zimbabwe all lie on the Zambezi, the region's largest
river. Other regional states share the river Orage Lumpo.
THREATS TO INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
West Papua (Irian Jaya)
OTHER HUMAN ENCROACHMENTS ON SPECIAL
OR SENSITIVE AREAS
* Galapalagos Island -- The rapid growth of the human
population from 2,500 15 years ago to 15,000 now has taxed
the ecological balance (Diana Jean Schemo, NYT, 28 Nov
* Northern Michigan woodlands invaded by snowmobiles.
According to a story on National Public Radio's (NPR)
Morning Edition program (2.1.96) the U.S. has more than a
million snowmobiles on the road. Plans to complete a 35
mile leg of the road in a roadless area in Northern
Michigan which would connect to Canada would bring
10,000-20,000 vehicles to the area disrupting wildlife
habitat. Also volunteer emergency services would be
strained. According to the story, environmentalists and
others have taken the matter to court in an attempt to
block construction. Road proponents argue that the
environmental impact would be limited to the narrow road
and would be minimal.
* Loss of Monarch butterflies habitat -- from a NYT op-ed
by Homero Aridjis and Lincoln P. Brower (1.26.96)
As many as 30 million monarch butterflies (about 30% of the
North American population) died when a snowstorm hit their
sanctuaries in Mexico, December 30, 1995.
The real dangers to the butterflies are man-made -- the
destruction of the Oyamel fir forests in Mexico's central
highlands. The Oyamel forests are relict ecosystems of
the Pleistocene era two miles above sea level. Logging the
forests creates gaps which allows rain and snow to fall
through the forest canopy.
The Mexican government continues to permit logging in
protected and unprotected areas in or near the forests.
Illegal commercial cutting is rampant. Local peasants
harvest trees for fuel and building materials and cattle
trample and eat the fir seedlings. According to the
authors, critical land to save much of the forest could be
bought for $60 million.
Homero Aridjis is president of the Group of 100, a Mexican
environmental organization. Lincoln P. Brower is a
professor of zoology at the University of Florida.
NUCLEAR ISSUES AND WEAPONS PROLIFERATION
1. Nuclear Testing
* France -- The French government completed six atomic
tests in 1995 and 1996 in the South Pacific at Mururoa
Atoll and the last one in January 1996 at Fangataufa
Atoll. The January 1996 test was 120 kilotons, 6 times
larger than the Hiroshima bomb. The French government has
conceded that trace elements of radioactive iodine and
other elements have been found in the waters around
Mururoa. Environmentalists fear significant damage from
radiation and heavy element leaks may be occurring.
* U.S. low level nuclear tests planned for June 96 --
While these tests are technically permitted by the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, they send a signal about U.S.
2. Nuclear Waste Disposal
3. Nuclear contamination of land and water
Researchers have speculated that the high levels of breast
cancer among women on Long Island, NY, are due not to
levels of DDT which are no higher than in many other areas
but perhaps to the water polluted by radioactivity from the
Millstone Reactor 12 miles away. In addition, the nearby
Brookhaven National Laboratory has been polluting the water
supply since the 1950s with recorded emissions entering
4. Nuclear proliferation
Costs of NATO Expansion Program
A report entitled "Another Nuclear Shadow," in The Nation
Magazine (December 25, 1995) by Daniel T. Plesch and Sami
Fournier, members of the British American Security
Information Council, an independent research organization
based in London and Washington, dealt with the "real
consequences of the integration of Central Europe into
Western military alliances."
According to the authors, the Partnership for Peace
Program, the Clinton administration's program for delaying
and marketing the NATO expansion program, allows the U.S.
to arm Central Europe. It facilitates the provision and
purchase of weaponry by Eastern countries. Excess U.S.
F-16A/B fighter planes are set to be given to Poland. The
Czech Republic is being offered an undisclosed number of F
-16 and F-18 fighters and Romania will manufacture 96
Cobra attack helicopters under license from the U.S. The
U.S. has 350 used F-16 fighter aircraft on hand and it
plans to sell or lease C-130 transport planes and E-2
early warning aircraft.
The authors believe that widening its arms market is the
only apparent advantage to the West of expanding NATO
since there is no military threat. The allies currently
spend about $1 billion on NATO administration. The costs
of NATO expansion will be ten times that amount. The Rand
Corporation estimates that installing NATO infrastructure
in four countries will require an alliance-wide outlay of
$10 billion to $50 billion.
It's not clear whether NATO will maintain nuclear weapons
in Europe and whether new NATO members will receive
privileges to prepare to use U.S. nuclear weapons in
wartime. NATO has no proposals for further weapons
reductions in Europe.
Start II which would "eliminate the great long-range
bogeyman, the SS-18 missile," is now blocked in Congress by
Senators Dole and Helms.
5. Plutonium in the Space Program
* Professor Carl Grossman, a Long Island based activist,
has been reporting for years on the dangerous and
unnecessary use of plutonium in the U.S. Space Program.
For example,, the current Galileo Jupiter probe contains 50
pounds of plutonium. The Galileo mission made two earth
flybys as part of its voyage to Jupiter.
The Cassini Space Probe, scheduled for departure in 1997 is
designed to carry 72 pounds of plutonium and will also make
two Earth flybys during which its nuclear cargo could be
dispersed in our atmosphere in case of an accident.
Moreover, the Cassini is scheduled to be powered by a Titan
4 Rocket, which has a history of failures. A Titan failure
with nuclear material aboard could have a devastating
effect on South Florida.
Through a freedom of information request, Professor
Grossman found that according to an internal NASA study,
all these space probes could just as easily be powered by
solar energy. Grossman speculates that General Electric,
a proponent of nuclear power and a builder of nuclear
reactors, is the driving force behind the inclusion of
nuclear material in these space missions.
OZONE LAYER DEPLETION
In November 1995 the NYT reported that ozone decay in the
earth's atmosphere in 1995 was unparalleled. According to
the Times, the hole in the earth's ozone shield over the
Antarctic covered an area twice the size of Europe at its
seasonal peak in October and it grew at an unprecedented
rate in 1995. There was about a 1% per day increase during
the entire month of August when the ozone hole reached a
maximum of 7.7 million sq. miles. Ozone loss at the end of
November over Antarctica continues making the ozone hole
phenomena of 1995 the longest lasting on record.
ACID RAIN AND GLOBAL WARMING
On December 1, 1995, the New York Times reported that the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a loose
consortium of 2,500 scientists and policy makers set up
under the auspices of the U.N., ha d issued a report
concluding that human activity is likely to be at least
partly responsible for the changing climate.
Some of the findings are:
* Average global surface temperature has risen by about 1
degree F. in the last century.
* Predicts average global temperature will rise by 1.8 to
6.3 degrees F. (best estimate: 3.6) by 2100 if no action is
* Predicts average global sea level will rise by 6 to 37
inches (best estimate: 20 inches) by 2100.
* Predicts that up to 70 million people could be put at
2.1. 96 -- 5,738,893,517
According to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the world's
population on 2.1.96 stood at 5,738,893,517 and was growing
at the rate of 7,231,499 a month and 79,710,655 a year. At
this rate, the world's population will reach 5.8 billion
by October, 1996.
It should be kept in mind that these estimates are
constantly being revised. As recently as November 1995,
the Census Bureau estimated that the world's population was
growing at the rate of 86.7 million a year and would reach
5.8 billion by April 1, 1996.
According to Worldwatch (Vital Signs 1995), the annual
addition to the world's population held steady at 88
million a year from 1991 to 1994.
Some Population Projections (in millions)
United States 262.4 (1995) 345
United Kingdom 58 60
Germany 80 81
Philippines 64 111
Nigeria 87 278
Iran 57 183
Egypt 62 (1995) 111
Mexico 85 150
India 853 1,443
Brazil 153 252
China 1,230 (1995) 1,624
END OF PART THREE
Comments, information, contributions, requests, welcome.
Write to: Ronald Bleier (rbleier@xxxxxxx).
Part 1. ONGOING WARS; CHILDREN AS CASUALTIES OF WAR
Part 2. SIMMERING AND TROUBLE SPOTS
Part 3. MILITARY OCCUPATIONS, MINORITIES, PEACE TALKS,
REFUGEES, FORTHCOMING SECTIONS OF DESIP