A Norwegian Professor and founder of Peace Studies, Johan Galtung, has stated that the US-Empire has killed or supported the killing of between 13 to 20 million people in 37 countries since the end of World War II in 1945.
He wondered if the US President, Donald Trump may as well continue to ”kill abroad like his predecessor, Barack Obama.”
Galtung, predicted September 11 (911) attack and the fall of the Berlin Wall as the Soviet Union’s weakest spot.
Recall that following President Donald Trump’s victory, the Professor, better known as the founding father of peace studies as a scientific subject, made shocking predictions about the United States of America, USA. He had hinted that the US global Empire under Trump would collapse. http://dailypost.ng/2017/01/09/america-trump-will-collapse-man-predicted-911-attack-johan-galtung/.
In an exclusive interview with DAILY POST, the 86-year-old founder of TRANSCEND International, further explains his thoughts on the US global empire and shares his views on Africa’s potentials.
Have you had personal contact with Trump or his aides?
I have never met Trump personally.
Is the global protest that greeted Trump’s emergence as President a sign of likely fulfilment of your prediction on US collapse in 2025?
First of all, if you read my book “The Fall of the US-Empire – and then what?”, you will find that the prognosis I make is not about the collapse of the US as such, but the collapse of the US global Empire. Two very different things. So what’s the difference? The US will continue hopefully as a republic to thrive, though right now I am having some doubts about that too because of Trump’s policies – but that remains to be seen. When I talk about the US-Empire, I am mainly talking about the capacity of the US to lure other countries into jumping up to fight and kill for US interests. And how can one tell that the US Empire is pretty much finished? Other countries simply will no longer do the killing for it anymore. There are very few countries left who jump up and obey without questioning, when the US wants to bomb this or bomb that country. Only the United Kingdom and evangelist protestant countries like Norway and Denmark are genuinely left on that bandwagon. For instance, regarding that regime change travesty which has destroyed Libya, it is a shame that my own country Norway was bombing the most out of all NATO allies even though it is but an eighth of NATO’s operative forces. It is a shame really. Other countries with close ties with the US like Saudi Arabia currently bombing Yemen are fighting for themselves. They are not killing Yemenis for the US even though they are doing it with US & UK weapons. Remember the US is the number one exporter of weapons in the world right now tightly followed by the UK, which shows you the kind of business the oldest democracies in the world excel in …
Your predictions are often negative. Are there positive predictions in your archives?
My line of work is “solution-indicative peace research” and we usually speak of prognosis. Not of predictions. The point being that prognosis is based on empirical evidence and projections about what positive or negative implications they may trigger. To me, peace-building professionals or diplomats who cannot tell you how to achieve solid sustainable solutions that reduce human suffering from all sides are like doctors who can’t cure preventable diseases: Useless. In my book ’50 Years & 100 Peace and Conflict perspectives’, I present no less than 100 constructive & positive prognosis for geopolitical problems from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe via the Yasukuni Shrine issue in Japan. Positive prognosis are at the heart of what we call socio-therapy in peace research, namely the art of producing nonviolent solutions to violent conflicts. And yes, there is a lot about how to think like this in my online archive. I’ve been teaching Advanced Conflict Transformation for about 60 years now. If you look at the subtitle of the book “The Fall of the US Empire – and then what?” it says very clearly: “US Fascism or US Blossoming?” So you see? I systematically explore both the negative prognosis and the positive prognosis. People interested in becoming peace-professionals and interested in learning how to do this can enrol in online courses offered through TRANSCEND International’s Online Peace University, a project which by the way is currently managed by a colleague from Ghana. We have students from all over the world who enrol to learn how to do this. There is nothing particularly negative or mysterious about the approach.
What generally informs your predictions? Signs or religion?
Straightforward Social Science based on Cartesian analysis, supplemented with methodological insights from Daoism, Holism and Dialectics. The key point is to learn from all of human history instead of insisting that European thinking has all the answers.
Briefly, what are the parameters used to reach your conclusion on collapse of USA as a global power?
Well for details, I recommend people read my book “The Fall of the US-Empire – and then what?”. I doubt we have enough space to go through each point. Just let me state the most important ones: The US-Empire has killed or supported the killing of anything between 13 and 20 Million human beings in 37 countries since the end of World War II in 1945. In covert operations by the CIA and overt operations by the Pentagon. That alone should tell you that at some point, you will have negative feedback. It has caused enormous resistance all over the world. So the political clout of the US is flipping. In addition, the economy is flipping, and in addition to all of this, the illusion of a world in which the US is the moral beacon has also come to an end. Just to name these few points: The US has currently deployed special killer commandos to 138 countries to teach and execute extrajudicial killings. What has that got to do with the rule of law? Secondly: Why hasn’t terrorism stopped since George Bush started this global war on terror nonsense? According to their own White House figures, estimated deaths from terrorism increased 4500% between 2002 and 2014. This is like a fire extinguisher spraying petrol on the fire. Also, where are the WMDs for which George W. Bush started this global war on terror thereby killing 1,3 million Iraqis according to Hans von Sponeck, former United Nations assistant secretary general to Kofi Annan and former UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq. The key point here is that with every person the US kills somewhere in the world, it creates anything between 2 to 10 more bereaved people, parents, siblings what have you, with a grievance against it. Now apply this to 1.3 million direct and indirect deaths in Iraq and 222000 deaths in Afghanistan. Only fools will be surprised the world is detaching from the US: The magic is gone.
How does Trump fit into the parameters?
This is actually a good question. Difficult to tell. But his positive relation to Russia may lead to something more constructive, may reduce tensions in Europe… we will have to see. From my peace studies perspective, the question remains whether Trump will continue to kill abroad like his predecessor Obama, who dropped over 26000 bombs on 7 countries in 2016 alone, or whether he will stop killing people for the political goals of the US. This “thou shalt not kill” thing was also meant to apply to US politicians, as far as I can tell.
If Hilary Clinton had won, would the predicted downfall of USA have been hastened or hampered?
You see, to make it clear again; there is no such thing as a mandatory downfall of the USA. The downfall of the US Empire has already happened as I explained earlier, since there are very few countries left – in essence UK, Norway and Denmark – willing to fight and kill for the US. The other members of the European Union said in Bratislava, 6th November 2016 that they will no longer fight US wars. Trump is going to have to deal with that. So again, my point is not the downfall of the USA, but the downfall of the US Empire. In my view, if Hillary Clinton had run, she would have probably been heading towards nuclear war with Russia and Denmark would probably not have accepted that. So you can say, in that way, the last part of the US Empire would have disappeared, but at what cost? With a bang instead of with a whisper.
You predicted correctly the September 11 attack. Were there counter predictions? How did you feel when the incident happened?
As far as I can tell, there were no predictions at all, except that some intelligence agencies saw something coming but not where and when. What I predicted was negative feedback against the US as retaliation for the massive meddling and killing in the Middle East; so called blowback. You see, during the Vietnam War, the country was left with 3 Million dead Vietnamese, many of them Buddhists. Maybe after the Vietnam War, the Pentagon learned the wrong lesson, that they carry no risk for killing millions abroad. Maybe Buddhists are less likely to retaliate in revenge than Muslims? In any case, 9/11 was a blowback for murderous manipulations in the Middle East.
How did you feel when the incident happened?
Well, I said regrettable to the loss of life but also: “obvious”. The US cannot go on forever waging so many wars against so many countries and bombing all over without there being a counter-attack. The attacks were in 2001. And you know very well that in the 1990s the focus of US bombing was on Muslim countries. For anyone with a geopolitical eye on global events, it was very obvious that there could be a counter-attack from Muslim countries and so it came.
What is continental growth forecast for Africa? How should Africa position itself as a continent to benefit from a Trump presidency, in relation to its foreign and immigration policies?
The short answer is this: My forecast is very positive if Africa gets control over itself. And the best plan so far was Ghaddafi’s plan with an African Monetary Fund, and African Bank and a joint African currency. Also remember, his own violence notwithstanding, Ghaddafi was paying roughly 15 percent of the AU’s operating budget provided by member states, but then they killed him, and with him an important part of African solidarity. And as I said in 2011 in a public lecture, before they killed him, they have created a 20 to 30 year quagmire in that country which will further destabilise parts of Africa south of Libya. And I am not only thinking of the Tuareg in Mali. All of this was predictable and avoidable. Africa has been set back heavily by these violent blows. It is my hope that the African Union’s Peace and Security Council will boost conflict transformation trainings across the continent to help solve these violent conflicts effectively and make way for development.
Now you asked me to talk about growth implying economic growth, but you did not mention economic distribution for social growth, which is the precondition for the satisfaction of basic human needs like food, clothing, housing, health and education in Africa as elsewhere. At 87, I have had ample time to conduct comparative studies of economic systems from Latin America, to China, to Japan and Europe etc. I have made my findings from a peace research perspective on economics available in my book Peace Economics – From a Killing to a Living Economy. As you know, economic growth at the global level has led to 8 people owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people.
In Africa, this kind of economic growth has led to the 10 richest Africans owning as much as the lower half of the rest of the continent’s population. If this is the kind of growth you are asking me about, I refuse it. Let us call it what it is: structural violence. The key problem today is that without equity in distribution, such growth is inhumane. Having said that, let me give you two concrete and constructive ideas inspired by Africans on African matters.
First: Africa must unite! And for this, it must engage in transborder cooperation. Colonialism divided an already diverse continent and everybody now talks about these borders that hinder cooperation but there are ways to overcome this. Let me give you one example: During a recent consultancy in China, the conversation with foreign affairs officials turned to the subject of their development assistance for infrastructure in East Africa and I will tell you what I told them: If they really care and truly want to assist Africa to unfold its own capacities, China should build one of their magnificent four-lane highways connecting the Pacific Ocean in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the west from Tanzania’s Dar El Salam via Kinshasa to the port town of Boma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Such a transborder, transafrican, bi-oceanic heavy duty highway would change the history of humanity by allowing for very important economic spin offs that would primarily benefit Africans to the north and south of this road. Most importantly, it would connect Asian markets with Latin American markets directly through African markets. This should have been done half a century ago. I am quite sure both Presidents Dr. Magufuli and Mr. Kabila can quickly assess the value added of this future project.
Second: Africa will grow through self-reliance. The coming generations of Africans have to sever the invisible but still very taxing ties with their former colonial masters. Such humiliations as the embarrassing speech delivered by Sarkozy at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal in July 2007 should remain a thing of the past. Right now, the myth prevails that Africa is being developed by the West. But the numbers don’t lie: Africa is losing around $60 billion every year! $135 billion worth of loans, foreign direct investments and so called development aid arrive on the continent annually, at the same time Africa loses $192 billion annually in the shape of profits for foreign private enterprises or as losses in the billions through tax evasion and corruption. Obviously, this is unsustainable. Africa must rediscover its self-reliance instead of continuously imitating and running after poisoned charity from the West. If Africa harnesses and unfolds its own inner creativity and inspires its youthful population to implement the very futures they aspire to live in, it will blossom. Ironically, the West itself is currently de-developing and contracting after a long period of growth, based on the systematic exploitation of the Rest. I write about this extensively in my book ‘A Theory of development – Overcoming Structural Violence.’ I am not telling you anything Cheikh Anta Diop, Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara or Julius Nyerere didn’t already say. That is why I always point out that Africa’s potential is in the youth of its population and in the wisdom of its elders – dead and alive. It is high time to cut and upend the verticality and hierarchy that continues to define how Europe relates to Africa. Look, 11 of the EU members –when they were 28– were colonial masters, 9 of them in Africa! Don’t wait for Europeans to play fair all of a sudden after 500 years. Why should they? They would lose if African countries gained full autonomy. So why should they do it? I will not get into the details of it, but just look at how France continues to stifle the autonomy of the francophone CFA countries on the continent. As long as these countries continue to allow the French treasury to run their economies, they are de facto remote controlled and subservient. Stop allowing your people to be exploited through neo-colonialism.
Using your parameter, would you say Nigeria will make economic progress under such leadership currently provided by President Buhari?
I’m sure, dear Danielle that your country’s own Wole Soyinka will have a more informed answer to this question.