In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Gotcha!

Posted by seumasach on August 16, 2014

Cailean Bochanan

16th August, 2014

Finally, the smoking gun: journalists from the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers, two western news sources of unimpeachable integrity, have spotted a Russian military column inside Ukraine. According to an update in today’s Guardian:

“It was impossible to verify the destination or ultimate fate of the convoy, or monitor how long it stayed on the other side of the border.”

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The West on the wrong path

Posted by seumasach on August 9, 2014

The publication of this article could be a key moment in this unfolding crisis. It reveals not only German self-interest but German self-awareness, the latter a much rarer commodity amongst today’s nations.

Gabor Steingart

Handelsblatt

9th August, 2014

Düsseldorf. Every war is accompanied by a kind of mental mobilization: war fever. Even smart people are not immune to controlled bouts of this fever. “This war in all its atrociousness is still a great and wonderful thing. It is an experience worth having“ rejoiced Max Weber in 1914 when the lights went out in Europe. Thomas Mann felt a “cleansing, liberation, and a tremendous amount of hope“.

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Modi’s WTO stance annoys US

Posted by seumasach on August 4, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

4th August, 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has drawn big criticism from the United States on account of the firm stand India took at the World Trade Organization negotiations, insisting that its concerns about food security needed to be accommodated if India were to go along with the so-called trade facilitation agreement. Overnight the smile has vanished from Uncle Sam’s face.

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Heads must roll!

Posted by seumasach on July 26, 2014

Cailean Bochanan

26th July, 2014

Within a week or so, we have seen the resignation of Hague and Yatsianuk as well as strong indications that Merkel will be standing down rather than completing her current term as promised. Is the stress of backing a faltering Nazi “anti-terrorist operation” in Ukraine beginning to tell?

Things do indeed look desperate on the Eastern front in the West’s attempt to rerun WW11 with a different outcome. Last week the Kiev authorities gave the go-ahead for a civilian airliner to fly over a war zone and then immediately “knew” the identity of the culprit after it was shot down. The culprit, of course, was Russia. Am I alone in finding this all rather transparent? Still, let’s not preempt the findings of the inquiry that the Anglo-Americans are going to try and cook. But, if, for the sake of argument, we assume that it was an  false flag, then that would indicate that things on the military front were going very badly indeed. If Kiev’s military really were advancing as portrayed in the media then it would only be a matter of time before Russia was forced into direct intervention and the the neo-cons would have  their pretext for further conflict without the need to resort to murky stratagems. As it happens, there are reports on the ground which reveal catastrophic reverses for the Ukies, as they’re known.

The collapse of the Ukraine project is indeed bad news for its sponsors, but it could be very good news for those who wish to see Europe finally cast off its vassalage to the “United States of America and Britain”. Such a desirable outcome would of course involve changes of personnel: heads would have to roll, heads such as those of Hague and Merkel, but of many others also. Names such as Barroso, Ashton, Rasmussen(already coming to the end of their terms), Hollande, Fabius and Steinmeier come immediately to mind.

The utter, destructive uselessness of the NATO entity is being laid bare for all to see. Its life span has been artificially extended well past senility. How the hell can this monster still be stalking planet earth over twenty years after the end of the cold war? Here the right to die is indeed appropriate although not the right to be forgotten- may their abominable crimes be remembered forever!

The Western media is also on the way out having imploded into an infantilism which cannot correspond to popular opinion, however negative your views on Western citizenry are- we deserve better than this! The collapse of the Kiev regime is the collapse of the West as we know it: the Western unipole is set to be relegated to the status of a pole amongst others in a multipolar world order.

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Britain must talk to Assad

Posted by seumasach on August 23, 2014

I don’t think Assad would be interested in allowing British bombing raids on his country. He is doing very well fighting the NATO jihadis himself. However, we could make sure that support for the “rebels” is cut off and make it clear that Britain recognizes the Assad government as the legitimate government of Syria.

Britain must talk to dictator Assad to defeat Isil, says former head of the Army

Telegraph

22nd August, 2014

Britain must co-operate with President Assad, the Syrian dictator, in order to confront Isil, the former head of the Army has said.

General Lord Dannatt, the former Chief of General Staff, said the West must secure the permission of the Syrian government in order to launch airstrikes on Islamist militants.

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Serbia rejects sanctions on Russia

Posted by seumasach on August 23, 2014

Serbia Says It Won’t Impose Sanctions on Russia

ABC News

22nd August, 2014

Despite pressure from the European Union, Serbia will not impose sanctions against Russia or curb its food exports to that country, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Friday.

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Russian statement on aid convoy

Posted by seumasach on August 23, 2014

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT ON THE START OF THE DELIVERY OF HUMANITARIAN RELIEF AID TO SOUTHEASTERN UKRAINE

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation

22nd August, 2014

The endless delays hampering the initial deliveries of the Russian humanitarian relief aid to southeastern Ukraine have become intolerable.

A lorry convoy with many hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian relief aid, urgently needed by the people in these regions, has been standing idle for a week now on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Over this period, the Russian side has made unprecedented efforts in all areas and at all levels in order to complete the required formalities. We have met all conceivable and inconceivable demands of the Ukrainian side and have submitted to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) exhaustive lists of food, drinking water, medications, essential items and diesel generators due to be delivered to Lugansk, where they are urgently needed by women, children and the elderly. These people are experiencing the horrors of daily artillery attacks and air strikes that have resulted in an increasing number of killed and wounded and destroyed the entire vital infrastructure in the area. Time and again, we met requests to check and recheck the shipment route, to coordinate procedures for the shipment’s delivery, and have signed the required documents with the ICRC. We have provided all essential security guarantees and have ensured similar guarantees on the part of the self-defense forces. These guarantees apply to the Russian convoy as well as other humanitarian relief aid being sent to Lugansk by the Kiev authorities.

At the same time, Kiev has delayed granting its formal consent required by the ICRC for several days, while repeatedly inventing new pretexts and stepping up attacks on Lugansk and Donetsk that involve military aircraft and heavy-duty armored vehicles, targeting residential areas and other civilian facilities. Over the past few days, the Ukrainian side has been launching ballistic missiles, including the deadly Tochka-U missiles, ever more frequently.

On 21 August, the situation appeared to have been resolved when the Ukrainian authorities finally informed the ICRC of their readiness to start clearing humanitarian shipments for prompt delivery to Lugansk. The Ukrainian side officially confirmed its unconditional consent for the convoy to start moving during a phone conversation between the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Russia and Ukraine. On 20 August, customs clearance and border control procedures were launched at the Donetsk checkpoint. On 21 August, however, this process was stopped, with officials citing much more intensive bombardment of Lugansk. In other words, the Ukrainian authorities are bombing the destination and are using this as a pretext to stop the delivery of humanitarian relief aid.

It appears that Kiev has set out to complete its “cleansing” of Lugansk and Donetsk in time for the 24 August Independence Day celebrations. It seems increasingly credible that the incumbent Ukrainian leadership is deliberately delaying the delivery of the humanitarian relief aid until there is nobody left to deliver this aid to. Quite possibly, they hope to achieve this result prior to the planned 26 August meetings in Minsk.

Russia is outraged by the blatant external manipulation of the international experts involved in preparing this operation. An endless succession of contradictory and mutually exclusive signals and messages we have been receiving is a true indication of behind the scenes games for purposes that have nothing to do with accomplishing a set humanitarian objective. Those who are holding the reins and hampering efforts to save human lives, to mitigate the suffering of sick and wounded people neglect the basic principles of society. We have called on the UN Security Council to promptly declare a humanitarian armistice, but these proposals are being invariably blocked by those who pay lip service to universal human values. Last time, this happened on 20 August, when the United States and some Western members of the UNSC declined to issue a statement in support of a ceasefire during the delivery of humanitarian relief aid to Lugansk by Russian and Ukrainian convoys.

We hereby state once again: All the required security guarantees regarding the passage of the humanitarian convoy have been provided. The ICRC has officially recognised these guarantees. The delivery routes are known, and they have been checked by an ICRC mission. The documents have been drawn up. The shipments have long been ready for inspection by Ukrainian border guards and customs officers who have been waiting at the Donetsk checkpoint in the Rostov Region for a week now. The capitals that display heightened concern for the situation in southeastern Ukraine are well aware of this. The endless artificial demands and pretexts have become unconscionable.

It is no longer possible to tolerate this lawlessness, outright lies and inability to reach agreements. All pretexts for delaying the delivery of aid to people in the humanitarian disaster zone have been depleted. The Russian side has decided to act. Our humanitarian relief convoy is setting out towards Lugansk. Naturally, we are ready to allow ICRC officials to escort the convoy and to take part in distributing aid. We hope that representatives of the Russian Red Cross Society will also be able to take part in this mission.

We are warning against any attempts to thwart this purely humanitarian mission which took a long time to prepare in conditions of complete transparency and cooperation with the Ukrainian side and the ICRC. Those who are ready to continue sacrificing human lives to their own ambitions and geopolitical designs and who are rudely trampling on the norms and principles of international humanitarian law will assume complete responsibility for the possible consequences of provocations against the humanitarian relief convoy.

We are once again calling on the Ukrainian leadership, as well as the United States and the European Union, which are exerting their influence on Kiev, to promptly launch negotiations in southeastern Ukraine and start complying with the accords formalised in the 17 April 2014 Geneva Statement by Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the EU on stopping the use of force, mitigating the humanitarian situation and immediately launching nationwide dialogue that would involve all Ukrainian regions.

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Endgame begins in Ukraine

Posted by seumasach on August 22, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

22nd August, 2014

When I wrote in an earlier blog last Sunday, here,  that Russia and the European Union were exchanging glances, frankly, I couldn’t visualize that a dalliance could be beginning so soon. But the expectedgathering in Minsk coming Tuesday of the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko, and the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton signifies that traction has developed in the search for peace in Ukraine. 

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Cameron wants an alliance with Iran

Posted by seumasach on August 22, 2014

I am delighted that David Cameron has adopted the position long argued in these columns that Britain should form a strategic partnership with Iran. He should do the same with regard to Russia and China and , in general, move to fully embrace multipolarity

Independent

17th August, 2014

Britain must prepared to ally itself with Iran to combat the “shared threat” of Sunni Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria who want to create “a terrorist state” that could extend to “the shores of the Mediterranean,” David Cameron has said.

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Rifkind: US and UK should back Assad to defeat ISIS

Posted by seumasach on August 22, 2014

“We have to deal with facts on the ground, not as we would want them to be but as they are,”

I totally agree with Rifkind here and the facts on the ground are that Assad with the overwhelming support of his people defeated our attempt to overthrow him and destroy Syria. The sooner we get used to that fact the better. As it happens the IS is probably largely drawn from our own Jihadi irregulars and veterans of that failed Syria campaign. They are , of course, dispensable and the need for their elimination forms a useful pretext for reversing our previous, fruitless policies of antagonism towards Syria and Iran

RT

22nd August, 2014

The US and UK must work with Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime if they are to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the chairman of Britain’s intelligence and security committee warns.

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Sanctions rebound to hit Europeans

Posted by seumasach on August 21, 2014

Brian Cloughley

Asia Times

21st August, 2014

The Financial Times commented on August 10 that in reaction to the chaos in Ukraine, “Western policy has become a mere knee-jerk escalation of sanctions”, and for once the FT has got it right about foreign affairs. The US and its disciples in Europe and Australia have imposed sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in Ukraine, which has got nothing whatever to do with the US or anyone else. And Russia, understandably, is answering back. 

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Kiev in U-turn over Russian tanks claim

Posted by seumasach on August 21, 2014

Kiev in U-turn over claim that ‘Russian tanks, artillery and 1,200 fighters’ had been deployed in Eastern Ukraine as evidence fails to materialise  

Daily Mail

20th August, 2014

Muddled security officials in Ukraine were last night forced to deny a huge Russian military convoy had been deployed in the eastern rebel-run city of Lugansk. 

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Wake up, Chinese are coming!

Posted by seumasach on August 18, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

18th August, 2014

A lot of preparation is going into the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India next month. It is difficult to recall such dense traffic in the run up to a high level India-China exchange. It must be the ‘Modi effect’- suffice to say, Beijing is approaching Xi’s visit with high expectations of a historic breakthrough in relations with India. 

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​Right Sector threatens armed march on Kiev

Posted by seumasach on August 17, 2014

That was a smart move by Poroshenko sending the Right Sector/National Guard to the East and leaving them to their fate. But they’ve caught on and the survivors are on the way back to the Maidan for a very interesting showdown.

RT

§7th August, 2014

The far-right Ukrainian group Right Sector has threatened its armed forces will raid Kiev unless authorities release all its members and end all criminal investigations against them. They accused the police of being “anti-Ukrainian.”

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Russia, EU exchanging glances

Posted by seumasach on August 17, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

17th August, 2014

Open dissent erupted at the European Union foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday regarding sanctions against Russia. In an extraordinary outburst, Hungary’s prime minister ridiculed, here, that the Europeans are shooting at their own feet. Earlier, Slovakia and Czech Republic also sought a rethink on the sanctions policy. That leaves Poland, Lithuania and Romania as the odd ‘hawks’ in ‘New Europe’ allied with Washington. 

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