Sunday, September 7, 2014
Eine Delegation des lateinischen Patriarchats hat Gaza besucht und ein „Bild der Verwüstung wie nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg“ vorgefunden. Im Stadtviertel Sajaya seien vier von fünf Häusern „nur noch ein Trümmerhaufen“, sagte Bischof William Shomali vom lateinischen Patriarchat Jerusalem zu seinen Eindrücken nach dem kurzen Besuch in Gaza am 1. September. Die Menschen seien erleichtert über den Waffenstillstand. Andererseits hätten die jungen Menschen hier bereits drei Kriege gegen Gaza miterlebt, „und jedes Mal sei die Verwüstung größer als beim letzten Mal“. Es werde Jahre dauern, bis alles wieder so sei wie früher. Zwar trafen die Vertreter des Patriarchats keine Politiker, doch bei Gesprächen mit Christen und Muslimen sei „eine zunehmende Feindseligkeit gegenüber Israel deutlich geworden“, so Bischof Shomali. (fides 02.09.2014 gs) Radio Vatikan
Obama Begs for More War
Did Putin Just Bring Peace to Ukraine?
by MIKE WHITNEY CounterpunchWEEKEND EDITION SEPTEMBER 5-7, 2014
“In the implementing of their policies, our western partners– the United States first and foremost – prefer to be guided not by international law, but by force. They believe in their own ‘exceptionalism’, that they are allowed to decide on the fate of the world, and that they are always right.”– Russian President Vladimir Putin“What did we do to deserve this? What did we do to deserve being bombed from planes, shot at from tanks, and have phosphorous bombs dropped on us? ….That we wanted to live the way we want, and speak our own language, and make friends with whom we want?”– Alexander V. Zakharchenko, Chairman of The Council of Ministers of The Donetsk National Republic, The Vineyard of the Saker
There is no way to overstate the significance of what has transpired in Ukraine in the last three weeks. What began as a murderous onslaught on the mainly Russian-speaking population of east Ukraine, has turned into a major triumph against a belligerent and expansionistic empire that has been repulsed by a scrappy, battle-hardened militia engaged in a conventional, land-based war. The conflict in east Ukraine is Obama’s war; launched by Obama’s junta government, executed by Obama’s proxy army, and directed by Obama’s advisors in Kiev. The driving force behind the war is Washington’s ambitious pivot to Asia, a strategy that pits Russia against Europe to prevent further economic integration and to establish NATO forward-operating bases on Russia’s western border. Despite the overheated rhetoric, the talk of a (NATO) “Rapid Reaction Force”, and additional economic sanctions; the US plan to draw Ukraine into the western sphere of influence and weaken Russia in the process, is in tatters. And the reason it is in tatters is because a highly-motivated and adaptable militia has trounced Obama’s troopers at every turn pushing the Ukrainian army to the brink of collapse. Check out this frontline update from The Saker:
“The (Ukrainian Army) is not retreating on one, two or even three directions, it is retreating everywhere (except north of Lugansk). Entire battalions are leaving the front under orders of their battalion commanders and without the approval of the Junta leaders. At least one such battalion commander is already being judged for desertion. The entire Ukie leadership seems to be in a panic mode, especially Iatseniuk and Kolomoiski, while the Nazis are mad as hell at the Poroshenko administration. There are constant rumors of an anti-Poroshenko coup by outraged Nazi nationalists…..
The bottom line is this: Poroshenko promised a victory in a matter of weeks and his forces suffered one of the most total defeats in the history of warfare. ….the most likely thing is that this ridiculous “Banderastan” experiment has seriously begun sinking now and that many rats are leaving the ship.“The War in Ukraine“, Vineyard of the Saker
The fact that the demoralized Ukrainian army has been defeated by the superior fighting force is of little importance in the big scheme of things, however, the fact that Washington’s global resource war– which began on 9-11 and has reduced numerous sovereign countries into anarchic, failed states– has been stopped in its tracks, is significant. The so called War on Terror–which was recently rebranded under the ISIS moniker–has wreaked holy havoc and death on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria. By routing the Ukrainian army the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) has put the kibosh on Obama’s Great Game strategy in Eurasia and torpedoed Washington’s plan to rule the world by force of arms. It could be that the battles of Lugansk and Donetsk are eventually regarded as the turning point, where the lumbering and over-extended empire finally met its match and began its precipitous decline. In any event, there’s no doubt that Friday’s ceasefire agreement is a serious blow to US hegemony.
THE PROBLEM IS NATO
“The defining factor in relations with NATO remains the unacceptability for Russia of plans to move the military infrastructure of the alliance towards our borders, including via enlargement of the bloc,” said Mikhail Popov, deputy head of Putin’s Security Council.
The issue has always been NATO expansion, not the ridiculous claim that Putin wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. The only one interested in stitching together a global Caliphate is Barack Hussein Obama and his nutcase neocon advisors. Putin is not interested in an empire. Putin just wants to make money like everyone else. He wants to sell gas to Europe, raise living standards and rebuild the country. What’s wrong with that?
Putin’s not a troublemaker. He’s not sticking a freaking first-strike nuclear missile system in Havana just 60 miles from Miami. But that’s what Obama wants to do. Obama want to establish NATO bases on Russia’s doorstep and deploy his fake-named “missile defense system” a couple hundred miles from Moscow. Putin can’t allow that. No one in their right mind would allow that. It’s a direct threat to national security. Here’s how Putin summed it up in a recent press conference:
“Russia is an independent and active participant of international relations. Just like any nation it has national interests that must be taken into consideration and respected…..We stand against having a military organization meddling in our backyard, next to our homeland or in the territories that are historically ours. I just cannot imagine visiting NATO sailors in Sevastopol,” he stressed. “Most of them are fine lads, but I’d rather they visit us in Sevastopol than the other way around.” (Vladimir Putin)
Washington’s harebrained gambit was doomed from the get go. Who made the decision to topple Yanuchovych, install a US-puppet in Kiev, fill-out the security services with neo Nazis, and wage a bloody ethnic cleansing purge on the Russian-speaking people in the east? Who was it? Isn’t there any accountability among the Obama team or is it all a matter of “failing upwards” like the Bush crowd? Here’s Putin again:
“Our western partners created the ‘Kosovo precedent’ with their own hands. In a situation absolutely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary….And the UN International Court of Justice agreed with those arguments. That’s what they said; that’s what they trumpeted all over the world and coerced everyone to accept – and now they are complaining about Crimea. Why is that?”
Doesn’t Putin have a point? Isn’t this what we’ve seen over and over again, that there’s one standard for the US and another for everyone else?
Of course it is. But Putin’s not going to stand for it. In fact, just this week, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expanded on Putin’s comments in an interview that never appeared in the western media. Here’s what he said:
“The current stage of international relations is marked by a transition to a fundamentally new world order – a polycentric model based on due regard for the appearance of new economic and financial centres. And political weight comes with economic and financial influence. Transition to a polycentric world order reflects an objective trend according to which the world order should be based on the world’s cultural and civilisational diversity. This is objective reality, which no one can deny. …
After a long period of dominance in global economy and politics, these countries are trying to keep their positions by artificial means. They know that their economic positions are not as strong as they were after WWII, when America accounted for over half of global GDP, but they are trying to use all available military and political instruments, social media, regime-change technology and other instruments to keep back the objective process of the development of a democratic world order based on the equality of all sides.Not everyone has realized yet that it is impossible to move contrary to an objective historical process. We strongly hope that this will happen, because otherwise more illegal unilateral sanctions will be approved against Russia, to which we will respond accordingly, as we have already tried to do. But this, I repeat, is not our choice; we don’t want confrontation.” (Press Conference: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov)
“A new world order based on a polycentric model”? What a great idea. You mean, a world in which other sovereign nations get a say-so in the way the world is run? You mean, a world in which the economic, political, and military decision-making does not emerge from one center of power that is dominated by privately-owned banks, transnational corporations and voracious western elites? You mean, a world in which international law can be applied evenly so that one country cannot unilaterally create off-shore gulags, or incite color coded revolutions, or carry out extra-legal abductions and killings, or order drone attacks on wedding parties or conduct any of the other heinous violations of human rights which imperial Washington engages in without batting an eye?
The NAF’s victory in east Ukraine brings us all one step closer to actualizing the multi-polar world of which Lavrov and Putin speak so glowingly. In fact, just hours ago Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko capitulated and signed a ceasefire agreement with the leaders of the anti-fascist militia, Igor Plotnitsky and Aleksandr Zakharchenko. (Remember: “We never negotiate with terrorists”?) Ukraine’s National Security Council (SNBO) has reported that its troops have halted all military actions. The government’s public statement reads as follows:
“According to the decision of the President of Ukraine and the order of the chief of the General staff of the military units of Ukraine, troops in the area of anti-terrorist operations ceased fire at 15.00 GMT.”
Peace at last?
It sure looks like it.
So while Obama is busy trying to ramp up the violence by rallying NATO to expand the wars around the world, international peacekeepers will begin the thorny task of implementing a seven-point peace plan put forward by none-other-than Vladimir Putin.
The difference between the peacemakers and the warmongers has rarely been as stark as it is today.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at email@example.com.
NATO Summit: Look at Results
|Arkady DZIUBA | 08.09.2014 | 00:00|
The NATO Wales summit is an important event for the relationship between Russia and the West. It wound up with controversial results.
It’s good the issue of Ukraine was not the only one to set the agenda, the situation in the Middle East, where the world witnesses British citizens severing heads of American journalists, stuns the world raising great security concerns. The US, Ukraine, the «young Europe» and some other members of the alliance wanted the situation in Ukraine to dominate. NATO claims global responsibility and it’s evident that the Islamic State poses a greater threat. The decision on new rapid response force did not exactly match the aspirations of Poland, Estonia, Romania and some other states that have recently joined the alliance.
On a visit to Estonia President Obama said he would increase the presence of US Air Force in this country. The summit agreed to broaden the military infrastructure and hold frequent military exercises to repel the Russian «aggression» but there will be no permanent presence, the decision not to deploy troops permanently was to large extent influenced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The summit declaration included the guideline to spend a minimum of 2% of their Gross Domestic Product on defence with 20% of the budgets spent on major equipment. The guideline has been effective for already ten years carried out only by the USA, Great Britain, Greece and Estonia. The final declaration puts it rather mildly; it says the allies should «aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade with a view to meeting their NATO Capability Targets and filling NATO's capability shortfall». The participants emphasized that collective defence is at the heart of the Washington Treaty as enshrined in Article 5. It commits members to protect each other in case of attack. It was stressed that this principle applies to the Baltic States as well.
The President of Ukraine got warm reception. NATO promised to increase the number of advisers in the country as cooperation is to be boosted in different areas, including bullet-proof jackets and other supplies except arms. The focus of NATO support will be on four areas; rehabilitation for injured troops, cyber defence, logistics, and command and control and communications. NATO’s assistance to Ukraine will amount to around 15 million euros. President Poroshenko said behind closed doors that some individual members will supply weapons on their own but the Ukrainian leader is treated rather skeptically being known for his propensity to news making. The information on arms deliveries to be included in the aid package has not been confirmed. The Ukrainian elite is known to be corrupted so the sum is just enough to meet the needs of only one Ukrainian general who would pocket the money to «modernize» himself and the next of kin.
Secretary General Rasmussen by and large endorsed the Russia’s peace plan with some reservations made. He remained skeptical about the cease fire. Somehow he never puts forward any demands addressed to Kiev calling only on Russia and Donbass self-defence forces to comply.
Jens Stoltenberg, former Prime Minister of Norway, was named NATO Secretary General designate. Sounds funny but Norwegian experts remembered that he was accused of working for the KGB at the start of his career. It made them predict that under his leadership NATO will toe a softer line on Russia.
Now about the things to make one frustrated. Obama and Rasmussen used the language like if they were the same kind of people as Poroshenko or Galetey (Ukrainian Defence Minister).They accused Russia of all kinds of wrongdoing including an incursion into Donbass and sending thousands of troops there. It’s hard to say if the tough rhetoric used is kind of compensation for absence of tough measures, time will tell.
Second, the US exerted enough pressure on the French President to make him say the delivery of the first of two assault navy ships ordered by Russia is halted. Hollande resisted for a long time, the refusal to carry the agreement out will entail penalty and protests staged by shipyard workers. Now the pressure has become too strong.
Still the advocates of tougher line towards Moscow were unsatisfied. It’s enough to have a look at American media outlets: Has NATO Lost its Will as well as its Muscle? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-has-nato-lost-its-will-as-well-as-its-muscle/2014/09/05/c342b78e-3467-11e4-9e92-0899b306bbea_story.html), NATO Too Wary of Russian Threats to Let Ukraine Join (http://time.com/3271057/nato-ukraine-membership),
Ukraine abandoned (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-at-nato-summit-ukraine-abandoned/2014/09/04/ce45f13c-3467-11e4-a723-fa3895a25d02_story.html). Obama is accused of being irresolute and incoherent again.
Now what we have? The United States finds it more difficult to make NATO take the desired decisions. There is a wide gap between the US and Europe’s interests. The crisis in Ukraine has become an acid test. It does not mean America will not meddle into Ukraine, especially as Obama comes under Republican pressure.
The United States will be looking for other ways to interfere along with loyal allies and some post-Soviet states – Georgia and Moldova. The Islamists should not be turned a blind eye on. The Islamic factor will be used against Russia in Crimea and the Caucasus… The United States will apply efforts to counter the growing Russian influence in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian President is threatened as a result of his acquiescence to cease fire. Of course, he did it as a result of failure to achieve military success in Donbass. Many Ukrainians are under the effect of propaganda and military advances in July-August. They refuse to see reality and put the blame for defeat on traitors. It brings to surface the possibility of third Maidan to make it the main result of the summit.
|Tags: NATO Russia Ukraine US|