Friday, February 13, 2015

The Illusion of Peace in Ukraine. It’s Three Minutes to Midnight

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 13.02.2015 | 10:12
On Tuesday, Contact Group envoys representing France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine held talks ahead of Wednesday’s Minsk summit attempt to resolve ongoing conflict conditions diplomatically.
Previous efforts failed. Will this time be different? Don’t bet on it. More on this below.”
Obama and Putin spoke. A White House statement combined the usual America supports peace rubbish with blaming Russia for US / Kiev crimes.
Obama turned truth on its head saying “if Russia continues its aggressive actions in Ukraine, including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise.”
Fact: Washington wants war, not peace. Stop NATO highlighted what’s ongoing headlining “US Deploys More Warplanes (in Europe) In Expanding (its) Anti-Russian Campaign.”
Fact: Russia alone continues going all-out for resolving Ukraine’s conflict diplomatically. It’s the only country supplying large amounts of desperately needed humanitarian aid to Donbas residents.
Washington and Kiev want them isolated, slaughtered and starved to death.
Fact: Conflict continues. Rebels continue making gains. At the same time, Colonel Cassad reported “a whole number of frontline cities…subjected to a large-sale artillery shelling of a terrorist nature…to improve the front line before Minsk” talks.
Reuters said rebel advances “diminished hopes (for a Minsk) deal.” Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) parliament Speaker Denis Pushilin said it’s too early to talk of a deal.
An unnamed Russian source said Minsk discussions will focus on creating a demilitarized zone – not a document resolving the conflict.
One rebel commander likely spoke for others saying fighting won’t stop with junta forces being battered.
“We are absolutely against” a ceasefire, he said. “They will have time to regroup. We have them now.”
Pushilin said success in Minsk “depends on (how) Contact Group (leaders) respond to our proposals.”
Lugansk negotiator Vladislav Deinego said “(w)e have handed over (to Contact Group members) a draft protocol outlining a set of measures of both political and military character aimed at a peaceful settlement of the situation.”
Military measures are “temporary,” he explained. “Achieving a stable peace is possible only through a political solution” granting Donbas political autonomy.
previous article explained failed Moscow peace talks. On Wednesday, Hollande, Merkel and Putin continue discussions.
Illegitimate oligarch Ukraine president Poroshenko joined them. Expect no more success now than earlier.
Obama wants war, not peace. He didn’t initiate proxy conflict to quit. He wants total control over Ukraine nationwide.
He wants it as a platform to target Russia. Things head perilously closer to direct confrontation.
Last November, the London-based European Leadership Network (ELN) think tank explained at least 40 NATO/Russian forces near misses.
Saying relations between both sides are characterized by “mistrust, fear, and shortened leadership decision times…(A) volatile stand-off between (nuclear powers) could prove catastrophic.”
Given Washington’s rage for war, fears may become reality. Things perhaps are closer to nuclear confrontation than ever before.
Washington bears full responsibility. Its rage for world dominance may cause armageddon.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) “speak(s) knowledge to power.” It calls today’s threat “serious.” Time is short to resolve things, it stresses.
Its Doomsday Clock shows three minutes to midnight. The only time it’s been there since 1984. At the time, it noted US/Soviet Russia “icy nadir” relations.
“Every channel of communications (was) constricted or shut down; every form of contact has been attenuated or cut off. And arms control negotiations (were) reduced to a species of propaganda.”
In late January, BAS headlined “2015: IT IS 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT,” saying:
“Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.”
“These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.”
“(T)he United and Russia have embarked on massive programs to modernize their nuclear triads – thereby undermining existing nuclear weapons treaties.”
“The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty – ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.”
Some historical perspective: In 1947, BAS began Doomsday Clock readings. At the time, it stood at 7 minutes to midnight.
In 1949, it plunged to 3 minutes to midnight after Soviet Russia tested its first nuclear device – “officially starting an arms race.”
In 1953, it was at 2 minutes to midnight after America tested its first thermonuclear (H-bomb) device. Nine months later, Soviet Russia tested its own.
In 1960, the Clock stood at 7 minutes to midnight. “For the first time, (US and Soviet Russian officials) appear(ed) eager to avoid direct confrontation,” said BAS.
In 1963, it was at 12 minutes to midnight after both sides signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty. All atmospheric testing ended.
In 1968, it was 7 minutes to midnight because of America’s escalating Vietnam War. Other disturbing issues included France and China developing nuclear weapons.
At the time, BAS said:
“There is little reason to feel sanguine about the future of our society on the world scale.”
“There is a mass revulsion against war, yes; but no sign of conscious intellectual leadership in a rebellion against the deadly heritage of international anarchy.”
In 1969, the Clock stood at 10 minutes to midnight after nearly all nations agreed to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions.
Israel, India and Pakistan notably remain nuclear outlaws. Washington most of all despite being an NPT signatory.
In 1972, the clock was at 12 minutes to midnight after America and Russia signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) and Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM).
Washington never observed SALT provisions. In December 2001, Bush abandoned ABM, renounced NPT, and asserted the right to develop and test new nuclear weapons.
He refused to adopt proposed Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) provisions, prohibiting further weapons-grade uranium and plutonium production.
He rescinded the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC),  prohibiting development off new biowarfare weapons.
He renounced the 1989 US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act prohibiting “the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons.”
Obama continues potentially humanity destroying Bush policies. He escalated them by proxy war in Ukraine. Goading Russia into possible catastrophic conflict. More on this below.
In 1974, BAS’ Doomsday Clock stood at 9 minutes to midnight after India tested it first nuclear device.
In 1980, it was at 7 minutes to midnight 35 years after the start of the nuclear age. At the time, BAS said:
Soviet Russia and America “behav(e) like what may best be described as ‘nucleoholics’ – drunks who continue to insist that the drink being consumed is positively ‘the last one,’ but who can always find a good excuse for ‘just one more round.’ ”
In 1981, the Clock was at 4 minutes to midnight after Soviet Russia’s Afghanistan invasion hardened America’s nuclear posture.
In 1984, it registered 3 minutes to midnight after dialogue between the world’s superpowers “virtually stop(ped).”
“The United States seems to flout the few arms control agreements in place by seeking an expansive, space-based anti-ballistic missile capability, raising worries that a new arms race will begin,” said BAS.
In 1988, the Clock was at 6 minutes to midnight after America and Russia signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
In 1990, it registered 10 minutes to midnight in the wake of the Berlin Wall’s fall.
In 1991, it was at 17 minutes to midnight after America and Russia began nuclear arsenal reductions.
“The illusion that tens of thousands of nuclear weapons are a guarantor of national security (was) stripped away,” said BAS.
In 1995, the Clock registered 14 minutes to midnight after hopes for renouncing nuclear weapons faded.
Especially because US “hard-liners (don’t) soften their rhetoric or actions (then or now)…(T)hey claim that a resurgent Russia could provide as much of a threat as the Soviet Union,” said BAS.
In 1998, the Clock stood at 9 minutes to midnight after India and Pakistan held nuclear weapons tests three weeks apart.
In 2002, it dropped to 7 minutes to midnight after Washington expressed intent to develop and produce more destructive nuclear weapons.
In 2007, it was at 5 minutes to midnight with America and Russia “ready to stage a nuclear attack within minutes,” said BAS.
In 2010, it was at 6 minutes to midnight during US/Russian Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty follow-up talks.
In 2012, it registered 5 minutes to midnight. “(I)t is difficult to see where the capacity lies to address(ing)” the challenge of “ridding the world of nuclear weapons,” said BAS.
It’s now “3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT.” Potentially things head disastrously toward a dangerous all-time low.
Neocons infesting Washington deplore peace. They want endless wars. They want all independent countries eliminated.
They want planet earth colonized. All nations made subservient to US interests. US-dominated NATO used as a global police force.
Wars on humanity without end to exert and maintain control. Lunatics in charge risk potential life-ending nuclear war with Russia.
BAS warnings go unheeded. Obama heads recklessly toward what no responsible leader would dare. The unthinkable may become reality.
Stephen Lendman,

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