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first_imgImagine a British Conservative politician – call her Catriona Aston – coming from obscurity to gain one of the top posts in the European Union, just as Catherine Ashton has emerged from the Labour ranks to be the EU’s new foreign minister. Imagine that on closer scrutiny it turns out that in the early 1980s the fictional Aston worked for a Cold War think-tank, called something like the ‘African Freedom Foundation’, that campaigned against the spread of communism in Africa. Imagine that on closer examination it turns out that this outfit enjoyed strong behind-the-scenes support from the then apartheid government in South Africa. Among its supporters and officials were unrepentant defenders of the fascist regimes in Spain and Portugal and even those who said that Nazism had been a lesser evil than communism. It is easy to imagine what would happen. The hapless Aston would be publicly disgraced and would have to resign forthwith. How could an EU representative credibly deal with the developing countries when she in the past had been a defender of a racist colonial regime? Nuance, context and balance would go out of the window. Nobody would ask if all causes supported by the former South African regime were equally evil, or if communism had maybe cost more African lives than apartheid. Against that hypothetical background, the lack of fuss about the real-life Catherine Ashton’s involvement with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in the 1980s looks puzzling. Ashton was a paid organiser for CND in the late 1970s and its treasurer from 1980-82. It is worth remembering that CND was (and is) a legal organisation. It encompassed a wide range of views. Some supporters simply wanted Britain to get rid of its outdated and expensive ‘independent’ nuclear deterrent. Others thought that the decision by the administration of US President Ronald Reagan to put medium-range cruise and Pershing nuclear missiles in Europe was mistaken. Some idealists believed that a strong peace movement in western Europe would inspire those behind the Iron Curtain to demand disarmament from their rulers too. Some were outright pacifists; others argued that nuclear weapons were so dangerous that ‘better red than dead’ was the only rational approach. Yet the fact remains that the Kremlin found CND and other ‘peace movements’ useful ways of undermining the unity of NATO, weakening the West’s defence posture and stoking anti-Americanism. The ex-dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, an expert in Soviet penetration of the West, says: “The worldwide disarmament campaign in the early 1980s was covertly orchestrated from Moscow. To a substantial extent it was also funded by the Soviet bloc.” As CND’s treasurer, Ashton argued publicly for the organisation to produce audited accounts, to counter allegations of covert Soviet support. That does not convince Bukovsky. CND funding, and who knew what when, may merit further investigation. The real scandal, though, is the West’s continuing amnesia about the Cold War. Given the Soviet Union’s history of mass murder, subversion, and deceit, it is astonishing that even tangential association with Soviet-backed causes in the past does not arouse the moral outrage now that is still so readily evoked by connections with the (undisputedly revolting) regime in South Africa. Most CND veterans see their peacenik days, at worst, as romantic youthful idealism. Warm-hearted but soft-headed, maybe – but better than being cold-hearted and hard-headed. That is a shameful cop-out. Imagine a 1980s Europe where CND had triumphed, with left-wing governments in Britain and Germany scrapping NATO, surrendering to Kremlin pressure and propping up the evil empire. Her opponents complain that Ashton is ineffective. As a CND organiser, that may have been a blessing. The writer is central and eastern Europe correspondent of The Economist.last_img read more

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first_imgThe flights will be twice-weekly to start on Wednesdays and Sundays.Depending on demand, these flights will be undertaken by Turkish Cargo A310 Freighter, which offers a capacity of 36 tonnes or by the A330-200 Freighter which offers a capacity of 65 tonnes.Turkish Cargo says it is one of the first airlines to launch freighter flights to Libya following the downfall of the Gaddafi Regime.The company also carries cargo using bellyhold capacity on its daily passenger flights from Istanbul to Benghazi.www.turkishcargo.com.trlast_img read more

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first_imgHe joins G2 Ocean from Kuehne + Nagel, where he served as global head projects, oil and gas, marine logistics.Commenting on Strømmen’s appointment, G2 Ocean ceo Rune Birkeland said: “There is a growing divide in the pace of change and innovation happening within the maritime industry and the logistic supply chain. Unless we as a major shipping company find more efficient business models and operations we will be left behind in terms of the value we bring to our customers. To have someone like Leif Arne to guide the organisation through the changes we need to face, is reassuring.”www.g2ocean.comlast_img read more

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