Who's Online

We have 749 guests online

Popular

International Peace Articles
The Ukraine crisis through the whimsy of international law Money and hard power count, and that's that PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 07 March 2014 03:49

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-ukraine-crisis-through-the-whimsy-of-international-law-1.2559980

Mar 05, 2014

 

Listening to U.S. President Barack Obama bang on this week about the importance of world opinion and obeying international law and respecting sovereignty and being on the right side of history, you had to wonder whether he didn't have a little voice in his head whispering: "Really? Seriously? I'm actually saying this stuff?"

 

This is the commander-in-chief of a military that operates a prison camp on Cuban soil, against the explicit wishes of the Cuban government, and which regularly fires drone missiles into other countries, often killing innocent bystanders.

Read more...
 
The Ukraine crisis through the whimsy of international law MONEY AND HARD POWER COUNT, AND THAT'S THAT PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 07 March 2014 03:38
Analysis

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Mar 05, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 06, 2014 2:44 PM ET

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with reporters on the possibility of U.S. sanctions against Russia for intervening in Ukraine before meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on Monday.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with reporters on the possibility of U.S. sanctions against Russia for intervening in Ukraine before meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on Monday. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Close
 

 

This is the commander-in-chief of a military that operates a prison camp on Cuban soil, against the explicit wishes of the Cuban government, and which regularly fires drone missiles into other countries, often killing innocent bystanders.

 

He is a president who ordered that CIA torturers would go unprosecuted, and leads a nation that has invaded other countries whenever it wished, regardless of what the rest of the world might think.

 

Disclaimer here: Vladimir Putin's proclaimed justification for invading Ukraine — protecting Russian-speaking "compatriots" in that country from some imagined violence — stinks of tribalism.

 

His rationale is essentially ethnic nationalism, something responsible for so much of the evil done throughout human history.

 

Stated motivation aside, though, what Putin is doing is really no different from what other world powers do: protecting what they regard as national self-interest.

And so far, he's done it without bloodletting.

 

Imagine, for a moment, what Washington would do if, say, Bahrain's Shia population, covertly supported by Tehran, staged a successful uprising and began to push itself into Iran's orbit.

 

The U.S. Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, just as Russia's Black Sea Fleet is parked at its huge naval bases in the Crimea.

 

To pose the scenario is to answer the question of how America would react.

 

The same goes for all the other countries in America's political realm. The Philippines, South Korea, certain Persian Gulf nations. Imagine if Russia's military tried to return to Cuba.

 

The order of things

 

There is an order of things; it is disturbed at the world's peril.

 

And Ukraine, for better or worse — decidedly worse, those in the western portion of the country will tell you — has for centuries been in Russia's sphere.

UKRAINE-CRISIS/

Armed men, believed to be Russian soldiers, stand outside the civilian port in the Crimean town of Kerch on Monday. (Thomas Peter ?Reuters)

 

Crimea, the region of Ukraine now occupied by Russia, was part of the Soviet Union and was deeded to Ukraine in 1954 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of a treaty that bonded much of Ukraine to Tsarist Russia.

 

To suggest, as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso did this week, that Ukrainians "have shown that they belong culturally, emotionally but also politically to Europe," is just wishful thinking, even if some Ukrainians wish it were true.

 

Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was right when he pointed out that many of the countries denouncing Putin's intervention were actively involved in encouraging anti-Russia Ukrainians to overthrow an elected, if distasteful, president and government.

 

Victoria Nuland, a senior American diplomat, was caught in flagrante delicto a few weeks back, chatting with another American official about which Ukrainian opposition figures should and shouldn't be installed.

 

Washington's reply: It was unconscionable of Russia to intercept and leak that discussion.

 

More angry flailings

 

Incidentally, some of the Ukrainian opposition groups that have now ended up in power are thuggish, anti-Semitic, anti-Russian, extreme right-wingers.

 

Putin's description of them — ultranationalists — was mild. You just wouldn't know it listening to Western politicians.

 

In Obama's case, sitting beside him on Monday as he gave his lecture on international law from the Oval Office was close ally Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

The Israeli prime minister, having just engaged in a protracted, robust handshake for the cameras, presides over a country that operates a military occupation in the West Bank, an occupation that includes Israeli settlements, which violate the international law Obama was demanding Putin obey.

 

The U.S. insists that Israel's occupation can only be solved by respectful negotiation between the parties themselves, and it vehemently opposes punishing Israel with the sort of moves currently being contemplated against Russia.

 

It's easy to go on and on in this vein — Britain's prime minister, who leads a nation that helped invade Iraq on a false pretext, denouncing Putin's pretext for going into Crimea. The NATO powers that helped bring about the independence of Albanian Kosovars complaining about the separatist aspirations of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, etc.

 

But that's diplomacy. Hypocritical declarations and acts are woven into its essence.

 

What's remarkable is the unspoken pact among the Western news media to report it all so uncritically.

 

When Obama spoke, the gaggle of reporters in attendance rushed to report his statements, mostly at face value.

 

Likewise, Western news reports seriously reported Russia's ridiculous threat to end the role of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, as though Russia's creditors will begin to accept rubles at whatever exchange rate Putin decrees.

 

On TV and in print, we hear serious talk about the possibility of economic sanctions against Russia — which would only trigger a devastating trade back-blast against European economies.

HUNGARY

Republican Senator John McCain says it is Barack Obama's "feckless foreign policy" that is to blame for Russia's invasion of Crimea. However, he added, a military response is not on the table. (Reuters)

 

Other media analysts agree with the angry flailings of U.S. foreign policy hawks, who seem to think Obama should be much more aggressive with Putin, although they have few concrete suggestions. (A frustrated Senator John McCain demanded that rich Russians be barred from Las Vegas.)

 

The unspoken media-government arrangement is understandable, I suppose.

 

We must at least pretend there's international law and fairness and basic rules, because it reassures us that we live in a world where raw power doesn't ultimately rule.

 

But it's all just gibberish; through the looking glass. We might as well be reporting that slithy toves gyre and gimble in the wabe.

 

Money and hard power count, and that's that. The big players have it, and the smaller players play along. If we need the anaesthetic liquor of self-delusion to deal with it, well, drink up.

Clarifications

  • An earlier version of this article did not specify that it is the Israeli settlements in the West Bank that are considered a violation of international law.
    Mar 06, 2014 2:43 PM ET
 
Washington’s Military Aid to Israel Fake Peace Process, Real War Process PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 16:06


By Chase Madar

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175804/

We Americans have funny notions about foreign aid. Recent polls show that, on average, we believe 28% of the federal budget is eaten up by it, and that, in a time of austerity, this gigantic bite of the budget should be cut back to 10%. In actual fact, barely 1% of the federal budget goes to foreign aid of any kind.

Read more...
 
A Rare Indictment of US Atrocities PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 08 February 2014 09:06

By Gary G. Kohls

 

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/02/06/a-rare-indictment-of-us-atrocities/

February 6, 2014

Playwright HaroldPinter. (Photo credit: Huntington Theatre Company)

Playwright Harold Pinter. (Photo credit: Huntington Theatre Company)

 

Since World War II, the U.S. government has routinely sidestepped blame for the slaughters that have accompanied American foreign policy. One of the few high-profile condemnations occurred when playwright Harold Pinter accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, as Gary G. Kohls recalls.

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 February 2014 23:10
Read more...
 
The PA and the Peace process, PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 20:44

By Ramzy Baroud

 

2013 was a year in which the so-called peace process charade was allowed to continue, leading Palestinians on yet another futile journey of broken promises. Meanwhile, the Israeli colonial project in the West Bank and East Jerusalem carried on unabated. But it was not entirely a year of doom and gloom either, for the global boycott campaign (BDS) has taken off like never before, surpassing the capricious Palestinian leadership and its confined political platforms.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 20:55
Read more...
 
COP 19: Reallocate at least 50% of Global Military Budget to help Address Urgency of Climate Change PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 18 November 2013 02:10

By Joan Russow- Global Compliance Research Project alt

 

At every Climate Change conference the question is posed “where will we get the funds to address the urgency of climate change?” One answer is to end fossil fuel subsidies and invest in renewable socially equitable and environmentally sound energy. Another  answer is to reallocate  Global military expenses.
 
Not only does militarism divert funds from climate justice but also militarism is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
 
At COP 19 "lOSS AND DAMAGES" MUST BE ADDRESSED 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:10
Read more...
 
Banning Nukes Still a Political Fantasy PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 04 October 2013 04:09

Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, says her country faces a triple nuclear threat literally at her doorstep, from India, China and Pakistan. Credit: UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, says her country faces a triple nuclear threat literally at her doorstep, from India, China and Pakistan. Credit: UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 3 2013 (IPS) - The General Assembly’s first-ever high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament closed last week on a predictable note: the longstanding proposal for the elimination of nuclear weapons remains firmly in the realm of political fantasy.

The one-day meeting, referred to by insiders as the HLM, provided no concrete assurances from any of the world’s five declared nuclear powers – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 14:08
Read more...
 
The Italian Job How the Pentagon Is Using Your Tax Dollars to Turn Italy into a Launching Pad for the Wars of Today and Tomorrow PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 03 October 2013 06:37

By David Vine  http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175755/

The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for U.S. military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany, where the overwhelming majority of U.S. forces in the region have been stationed since the end of World War II. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 14:58
Read more...
 
Disarmament;Archbishop Dominique Mamberti's Address at UN General Assembly in New York PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 27 September 2013 16:57

 

By Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, High level Disarmament Converence

"Under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, states are enjoined to make "good faith" efforts to negotiate the elimination of nuclear weapons. Can we say there is "good faith" when modernization programs of the nuclear weapons states continue despite their affirmations of eventual nuclear disarmament? Concern over the proliferation of nuclear weapons into other countries ring hollow as long as the nuclear weapons states hold on to their nuclear weapons. If today’s special meeting is to have any historic significance, it must result in a meaningful commitment by the nuclear weapons states to divest themselves of their nuclear weapons."

Full text enclosed:

Read more...
 
Security Council Begins Writing a Resolution on Syria PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 08:06
Security Council Begins Writing a Resolution on Syria
by Barbara Crossette Copyright © 2013 The Nation -- distributed by Agence Global
 
---------------
 24 September 2013
 
As the Security Council begins the process of writing a resolution on Syria, the negotiations are likely to be less a debate than a grand jury investigation. With the United States and Russia on opposite sides of the argument—at least in public statements and accusations—over which side of the Syrian civil war is to blame for what was apparently a sarin gas attack on a suburb of Damascus that killed more than 1,200 people, the evidence presented will be central to the outcome in the Council.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 14:59
Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Latest News