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Zombie NATO PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 05:21


by Harvey B. Feigenbaum  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

In the mid 1990s over lunch with a friend in the State Department, he remarked: “We should have dismantled NATO when we had the chance.” That’s not what happened, and we are currently reaping the consequences of the path not taken.

When the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989 and the atavistic coup in the Soviet Union failed in 1991, NATO lost its mission. The military alliance had been formed to fight the Communist Menace (defence against fascism was never on the agenda). Without Communism, the alliance had no raison d’etre. Implicitly, of course, the mission was not simply about defence but about maintaining American hegemony, yet this was never said out loud, except by leftist critics in Europe—and eventually by Vladimir Putin.

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U.N. Probe Chief Doubtful on Syria Sarin Exposure Claims PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 09:36

U.N. Probe Chief Doubtful on Syria Sarin Exposure Claims

Ǻke Sellström (right), head of the UN technical mission to investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, briefs journalists on the work of the mission on Dec. 13, 2013. At his side is investigation team leader Maurizio Barbeschi from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Credit: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Ǻke Sellström (right), head of the UN technical mission to investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, briefs journalists on the work of the mission on Dec. 13, 2013. At his side is investigation team leader Maurizio Barbeschi from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Credit: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

WASHINGTON, May 6 2014 (IPS) - The head of the U.N. team that investigated the Aug. 21, 2013 Sarin attack in the Damascus suburbs, Ake Sellstrom, is doubtful about the number of victims of the attack reported immediately after the event.

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Going Beyond the Arms Trade Treaty to Secure Peace in Africa PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 04 May 2014 18:47

By Farangis Abdurazokzoda

WASHINGTON, Apr 25 2014 (IPS) - Even as countries around the world have started to sign on to and ratify a landmark international treaty that would for the first time regulate the international trade in conventional weapons, experts here are warning that the treaty in itself will not be able to maintain peace and security in Africa.

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was almost unanimously passed by the U.N. General Assembly in April 2013 following a decade of often contentious negotiations. It covers small arms to battle tanks, combat aircrafts to warships.

“Without import control regimes along with export controls, it will be hard to reap the benefits of the treaty." -- Thomas Countryman
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U.S.-Dependent Pacific Island Defies Nuke Powers PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 04 May 2014 18:39

 

A Patriot interceptor missile is launched from Omelek Island Oct. 25, 2012 during a U.S. Missile Defense Agency integrated flight test. Credit: U.S. Navy

A Patriot interceptor missile is launched from Omelek Island Oct. 25, 2012 during a U.S. Missile Defense Agency integrated flight test. Credit: U.S. Navy

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 25 2014 (IPS) - The tiny Pacific nation state of Marshall Islands – which depends heavily on the United States for its economic survival, uses the U.S. dollar as its currency and predictably votes with Washington on all controversial political issues at the United Nations – is challenging the world’s nuclear powers before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, is being described as a potential battle between a puny David and a mighty Goliath: a country with a population of a little over 68,000 people defying the world’s nine nuclear powers with over 3.5 billion people.

"The United States should defend the case and widen the opportunity for the Court to resolve the wide divide of opinion regarding the state of compliance with the disarmament obligations." -- John Burroughs
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Why Are We Entering the Cold War Again? PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 04 May 2014 18:28

By Roberto Savio

In this column, Roberto Savio, founder and president emeritus of the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency and publisher of Other News, suggests that media criticism of Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine harks back to the Cold War.

ROME, Apr 29 2014 (Columnist Service) - For weeks now, the mainstream media have been unanimously engaged in denouncing Vladimir Putin’s action in Crimea first and Ukraine now. The latest cover of The Economist depicts a bear swallowing Ukraine, with the title “Insatiable”.

Media unanimity is always troubling, because it means that some knee-jerk reflex is involved. Could it be possible that we are just following the inertia of 40 years of Cold War?

This inertia has not really gone away. Just say or write “communist President Raul Castro,” and nobody will blink. But use the same logic and call President Barack Obama a capitalist, and see how it is received.

Roberto Savio. Credit: IPS

Here in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi was able for 20 years to rally his voters against the threat of “communists”, as he called members of the left-wing Democratic Party, now in power with a devout Catholic at its head, Matteo Renzi.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 May 2014 22:31
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Reaping history’s bitter harvest in Ukraine PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 03 May 2014 08:50
By Chris Westdal | Apr 30, 2014 | iPolitics
http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/04/30/reaping-historys-bitter-harvest-in-ukraine/

In his Globe and Mail piece last week (see below), historian Michael Bliss eloquently evoked George F. Kennan's 1997 lament that "the expansion of NATO right up to the Russian borders is the greatest mistake of the post-Cold War period". Bliss's questions - about Russia, Ukraine, NATO's boundaries, European responsibility and Canadian bellicosity - need answers before we invest more in what may be "another of the West's dubious crusades."

Ten years ago in Moscow, when I was Canada's ambassador to Russia, I got a call from Yegor Gaidar, who had been Boris Yeltsin's crucial reform prime minister. Gaidar wanted to see me personally "as soon as possible about an urgent matter."
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World catching up with US in $28.7 bln drone race PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 20:46

An X-47B pilot-less drone (Reuters / Rich-Joseph Facun)

http://rt.com/news/155676-drone-race-world-billions/

Analysts predict that in less than a decade’s time, the United States will spend less than half the global total on drone research and development. Asia in particular is expected to surge ahead, with South Korea set to produce “suicide drones.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 18:05
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I'm confused, can anyone help me? PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 19 April 2014 20:43

 

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter

Published time: April 15, 2014 10:06
 
An anti-government protester waves a flag in front of the seized office of the SBU state security service in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine April 14, 2014. (Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)

An anti-government protester waves a flag in front of the seized office of the SBU state security service in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine April 14, 2014. (Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)

I'm confused. A few weeks ago we were told in the West that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine was a very good thing. These people, we were told by our political leaders and elite media commentators, were 'pro-democracy protestors'.

The US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these 'pro-democracy protestors' even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.

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The Strangelove Effect - or How We Are Hoodwinked Into Fighting a New Cold War PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 19 April 2014 11:04
 
 
Major T. J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickins) riding the bomb in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film, Dr. Strangelove.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
see http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/23152-the-strangelove-effect-or-how-we-are-hoodwinked-into-fighting-a-new-cold-war
Major T. J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickins) riding the bomb in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film, Dr. Strangelove.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Maj

I watched Dr. Strangelove the other day. I have seen it perhaps a dozen times; it makes sense of senseless news. When Major T.J. "King" Kong goes "toe to toe with the Rooskies" and flies his rogue B52 nuclear bomber to a target in Russia, it's left to General "Buck" Turgidson to reassure the president. Strike first, says the general, and "you got no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops."
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AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly U.S. Officials Talk Candidly (Just Not to Reporters) about Bases, Winning Hearts and Minds, and the “War” in Africa PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 13 April 2014 14:20

By Nick Turse

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175830/

What the military will say to a reporter and what is said behind closed doors are two very different things -- especially when it comes to the U.S. military in Africa.  For years, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has maintained a veil of secrecy about much of the command’s activities and mission locations, consistently downplaying the size, scale, and scope of its efforts.   At a recent Pentagon press conference, AFRICOM Commander General David Rodriguez adhered to the typical mantra, assuring the assembled reporters that the United States “has little forward presence” on that continent.  Just days earlier, however, the men building the Pentagon’s presence there were telling a very different story -- but they weren’t speaking with the media.  They were speaking to representatives of some of the biggest military engineering firms on the planet.  They were planning for the future and the talk was of war.  

 

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