Interview: General Breedlove Channels Strangelove

Taylor Report
April 21, 2014

General Breedlove Channels Strangelove

April 21st, 2014
Featured Guest: RICK ROZOFF

Description:

Rick Rozoff on NATO’s provocative stance on Ukraine.

Audio Files:

Interview with Rick Rozoff


MP3 Page:

http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/75366

Introduction by Phil Taylor:


Link

Stop NATO

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/

Taylor Report Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/thetaylorreport

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NATO Blackmailing All CSTO Members: Secretary General

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 24, 2014

CSTO to Suspend Dialogue With NATO Due to Ukrainian Crisis

MOSCOW: The Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) has suspended contacts with NATO because of the situation in Ukraine, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha said Thursday.

“For now we will not be making any efforts to establish contact with NATO, due to their stance during the Ukrainian crisis,” Bordyuzha said at a press conference hosted by RIA Novosti.

He explained that NATO is currently “blackmailing” Russia and its allies. “Today, NATO is blackmailing all of the CSTO member states … showing that they are extremely dissatisfied with Russia’s actions in recent months.”

Last week, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance intends to deploy additional military personnel to enhance combat readiness and perform military drills, as well as revise its defense plans in connection with the Ukrainian crisis. The Atlantic alliance also decided to strengthen air patrols in Eastern Europe and send ships to the Baltic Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.

Russian authorities are closely watching the actions of NATO in the context of the situation in Ukraine. Russia’s envoy to NATO, Alexander Grushko, has warned about taking “necessary measures” to prevent Russian security from being undermined by the new NATO steps.

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 24, 2014

MOSCOW: No facts have been found to support allegations that Russian troops are operating in eastern Ukraine, hit by pro-federalization rallies since last month, the head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization said Thursday.

The coup-imposed Ukrainian authorities backed by Western countries have claimed that Russia has sent troops to aid federalists in Ukraine’s east. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier dismissed the allegations as nonsense.

“The presence of Russian servicemen on the territory of Ukraine in the eastern region has not been confirmed by anyone and anything, not a single fact,” Nikolai Bordyuzha said.

According to Bordyuzha, there is a “strong concentration of Ukrainian troop formations” in the region.
The chief of the Russian-led post-Soviet security bloc denied reports of a planned Russian military offensive in eastern Ukraine.

“I have not heard from any of the country’s leaders that Russia is ready to invade Ukraine. Russia has no such plans,” Bordyuzha said.

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Wednesday that international inspections had provided no evidence that Russia is carrying out “threatening military activity” on its border with Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said Russia is not conducting any unusual or unplanned military activities near its border with Ukraine.

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Thomas Hardy: Channel Firing

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Thomas Hardy: All-Earth-gladdening Law of Peace, war’s apology wholly stultified

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Thomas Hardy
Channel Firing (1914)

hardy

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,

The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, “No;
It’s gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

“All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christés sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

“That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them’s a blessed thing,
For if it were they’d have to scour
Hell’s floor for so much threatening….

“Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need).”

So down we lay again. “I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,”
Said one, “than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!”

And many a skeleton shook his head.
“Instead of preaching forty year,”
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
“I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.”

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

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Persian Gulf: NATO Deepens Naval Cooperation With Oman

April 23, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

April 23, 2014

NATO DEEPENS COOPERATION ON COUNTER-PIRACY WITH OMAN
Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

Muscat, OMAN: Last week, ITS MIMBELLI, currently deployed in NATO’s counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD, conducted a port visit to Muscat, the Sultanate of Oman’s capital city. The aim of the visit was to pursue NATO’s ongoing cooperation with regional states to combat piracy at sea.

ITS MIMBELLI’s Commanding Officer, Captain Davide Berna, made several official calls to regional authorities during the port visit, including one with the Deputy Governor of Muscat, H.E. Said Ibrahim Saud Al Busaidi.

A Royal Omani Navy’s delegation was also invited for a visit on board ITS MIMBELLI to share views and lessons-learned on counter-piracy operations in the area.

These meetings were valuable opportunities to deepen cooperation and interoperability between NATO and the Omani Government, Royal Omani Navy and Coast Guard. These talks complemented the activities carried out the previous week between OCEAN SHIELD’s flagship ESPS CRISTOBAL COLON and the Royal Omani Navy corvette AL SHAMIKH.

“Cooperation ashore with regional Nations is as important as cooperation at sea to ensure safety of navigation in this part of the world,” said Capt. Berna. “The level of support provided by the Government of Oman makes a significant difference for the success of this mission.”

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Drive East: NATO, CSTO Now In Direct Confrontation

Xinhua News Agency
April 24, 2014

CSTO chief says Russia, NATO confront directly

MOSCOW: Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have arrived at the state of direct confrontation, head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) said Wednesday.

“In fact, due to some NATO countries’ actions, we are heading to, and we have reached the level of direct confrontation,” Nikolai Bordyuzha told reporters following a meeting of CSTO Security Councils’ officials in the Chechen capital of Grozny.

Among those actions the Russian chief mentioned anti-Moscow sanctions, presence of NATO warships in the Black Sea and attempts of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists to sneak into Russia for subversive activity.

Bordyuzha called these actions a “psychological attack” which provokes further rise of tension.

He noted that the CSTO has not been involved into events in Ukraine and does not want other international blocs to do so.

In March, Bordyuzha criticized NATO’s “self-propaganda” through the Ukraine crisis, saying that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen promoted himself through Ukrainian domestic political problems.

Fresh unrest erupted in Ukraine’s east early April, when pro- Moscow activists seized government buildings in several cities, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia. Ukraine accused Russia of supporting the unrest, a move denied by Moscow.

Taking into account changing situation in the world, the CSTO might reconsider its objectives, both on the regional and global level, Bordyuzha said.

On Tuesday, the official said the CSTO did not take the recent NATO military build-up as an immediate threat, focusing on the more immediate threats instead, like extremism in the bloc’s countries and the volatile situation in Afghanistan.

Russia currently chairs the CSTO which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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Itar-Tass
April 22, 2014

Ukraine crisis consequence of distancing from CIS — CSTO head

Secretary General of the CSTO says “the wish by certain states to engineer a split among Slavic countries, separate Ukraine from CIS and neighbors, is among the reasons behind the crisis”

YEKATERINBURG: Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Nikolai Bordyuzha said the Ukrainian crisis is a consequence of long-term distancing from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and collective decision-making on security issues.

“Over the past two decades, Ukraine has been avoiding the opportunity to collectively make decisions on security issues. It never became a full-fledged CIS member, never signed the Charter, although it did participate in CIS activity,” Bordyuzha said. “The Ukrainian leadership has always had special position on this issue,” he added.

According to the CSTO official, “the wish by certain states to engineer a split among Slavic countries, separate Ukraine from CIS and neighbors with which it has shared its history, is among the reasons behind the crisis.”

“We now see the result of what has been happening in Ukraine for many years. It is very difficult to bring up a generation with Russophobic views. Much time and efforts were spent on it. Militant training camps operated there for years, as did instructors from various countries who worked with the political elites, creating the cells of what later became the Maidan,” Bordyuzha went on.

He said the CSTO saw information attacks on vital facilities of the Russian Federation and the attempts to plant there Right Sector representatives.

“We know, see and understand what is happening in Ukraine. Yet we try to make as few statements as possible about the situation, seeing the activity by NATO representatives. Talking about the need to punish Russia by sanctions and reiterating that ‘Russia will answer for everything’ they are provoking the development of events,” Bordyuzha stressed.

“Against this background, we should not behave in the same manner though we won’t leave the ongoing events in Ukraine without attention. At the same time, we won’t contribute to aggravation of the situation there,” Bordyuzha said.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization is a military and political union set by a number of Eurasian states on the basis of the Collective Security Treaty signed on May 15, 1992. In different periods, the organization comprised six to nine members. At present, its members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Serbia and Afghanistan have been observer states at CSTO since April 2013.

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Lithuania, Poland: U.S. Deploys Airborne Troops For Military Exercises

April 23, 2014 1 comment

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 23, 2014

US Troops to Arrive for Exercises in Lithuania

VILNIUS: US troops will arrive this week in Lithuania for a series of training exercises, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said Wednesday.

“In the near future, an additional unit of US ground forces will be in Lithuania, this will happen this week. US and Lithuanian troops will participate in joint exercises to train to protect the territory of Lithuania if a real threat emerges,” the president told journalists.

Lithuania will host US troops from the Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade, Grybauskaite said without giving further details on the drills.

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that Washington will send 600 soldiers to four countries in eastern Europe for exercises that will begin in Poland and later move to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Washington has called for more frequent military exercises in the Baltic countries, but said it had no plans to deploy a permanent contingent to the region.

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Voice of America
April 23, 2014

US Army Paratroopers Deploy to Poland, Baltics
Victor Beattie

WASHINGTON: U.S. Army paratroopers begin joint exercises with their Polish counterparts Wednesday in Poland with additional companies deployed in the three Baltic States in what a Pentagon spokesman called a “tangible expression” of the U.S. commitment to Europe. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said the decision follows what he called Russia’s “aggression” in Ukraine and is a way to reassure U.S. allies and partners.

Kirby said a company of about 150 members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Italy, will be part of a “rotational” U.S. military presence in Eastern Europe in the wake of tensions over Ukraine.

“This exercise is the first in a series of expanded U.S. land force training activities in Poland and the Baltic region that are scheduled to take place in the next few months and beyond. Additional companies from the 173rd will move in the coming days to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for similar exercises,” said Kirby.

Initially, some 600 troops will take part in what Kirby called a “persistent rotational presence” that will last about one month. He added that fresh troops will then move in, and this presence could last a year or more.

The spokesman said the United States is in consultation with its NATO allies and the force could be expanded in size and scope of countries involved. He also stressed that the exercises were bilateral and run by the participating countries, not NATO.

“Since Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, we have constantly been looking at ways to reassure our allies and partners, and these exercises, two points, they’re bilateral; they’re between the United States and the country in question. It’s not a NATO exercise [BUT] and, number two; it’s in response to that need by Secretary Hagel reaching out and talking to [Supreme Allied Commander, Europe] General Breedlove, talking to [Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman] General Dempsey and looking for ways we can constantly reassure our allies and partners of our commitment to [NATO's] Article 5 to the alliance, but also to them and their security,” said Kirby.

Kirby said that while these exercises were added because of tensions in Ukraine, the U.S. unit involved has worked with all four European countries in the past.

The Pentagon spokesman said the message of these exercises is an explicit one to the four countries involved, that the United States is serious about its obligations under Article 5 of NATO, even though they are not NATO exercises.

“If there is a message to Moscow, it is the same exact message that we take our obligations very, very seriously on the continent of Europe,” said Kirby.

Kirby said Russia has done nothing to de-escalate the situation or make Ukraine and Europe any more stable. He said what would be helpful is if Russia would remove its forces from Ukraine’s borders and take concrete steps to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine.

The Latvian government welcomed the Pentagon announcement, calling it “a fast and practical response.” Lithuania’s president said the deployments will “strengthen our readiness for collective defense and add to ensuring the safety of our people.” Estonia’s defense minister said it will “significantly” increase his country’s security.

Kirby said the United States is encouraging its NATO partners to look for opportunities to take similar actions for each other.

He also said the United States is providing more than $14 million in non-lethal aid to Ukraine’s armed forces and state border guard.

Categories: Uncategorized

Maurice Druon: A contempt for all things military

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Maurice Druon: The dual prerogatives of minting coins and waging wars

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Maurice Druon
From The Strangled Queen (1955)
Translated by Humphrey Hare

images

There are cities that defy the centuries; time does not change them. Empires succeed each other, civilisations leave their remains in them like geological strata, but they preserve their character through the ages, their peculiar ambience, the sound and rhythm which distinguish them from all other cities upon the earth. Naples is one of these cities, and it appears to the traveller today, as it was in the Middle Ages, and doubtless a thousand years before, half-African, half-Latin, with its terraced alleys, its street-cries, its smell of olive oil, charcoal, saffron and frying fish, its sun-coloured dust, the sound of bells ringing on the necks of horses and of mules.

The Greeks founded it, the Romans conquered it, the barbarians despoiled it, the Byzantines and the Normans each in turn took possession of it as masters. But they did no more than modify a little the architecture of its houses and add certain superstitions, a few legends, to the traditions of its streets.

The population is neither Greek, Roman nor Byzantine; the people are Neapolitan in perpetuity, a population distinct from all others in the world. Their gaiety is but a facade concealing the tragedy of poverty, their magniloquence an accent relieving the monotony of the daily round, their leisure a virtue in refusing to pretend to be busy when there is in fact nothing to do; its population is life-loving, meeting the setbacks of fate with guile, with a gift of speech and a contempt for all things military because peace never becomes boring.

***

The statesman, from the pinnacle where he exercises his power, protected by the whole apparatus of police force and army, feeling as he does that his person is physically unattainable, condemns abstractions when he pronounces sentences of imprisonment or death. They are not men whom he tortures or annihilates; they are oppositions which he is reducing, symbols which he is erasing.

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NATO To Sign Deal With Finland To Receive Foreign Forces

Finnish Broadcasting Company
April 22, 2014

Finland to sign off on NATO assistance deal

1_4_2014+NATOn+harjoitus+Liettuassa

Finland has agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with NATO stating the nation’s readiness to receive assistance from foreign forces and to maintain military assets such as ships and aircraft. Defense Minister Carl Haglund says that the agreement is not a step towards NATO membership.

The deal would involve Finland agreeing to maintain military assets such as planes and ships.

“In this time of peace it mainly relates to armed forces involved in training exercises,” stated Minister Haglund. “In theory, in times of crisis we are better qualified for receiving assistance from other EU countries, the Nordic countries and NATO countries.”

Minister Haglund also stated that the deal was a matter of principle. He said that, in his opinion, it would be a positive move if the nation enhanced its ability to receive support during times of crisis.

Tuomioja: Deal not politically binding

However, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said that the deal is not a binding political commitment, although he indicated that there is a danger that some may feel that it is. He implied that such assumptions could be an obstacle to the pact going forward.

Finland’s President and top security and defense ministers will meet to consider the contents of the MOU and a deal is expected to gain the rubber stamp in coming months.

The completion of the MOU was first reported by Central Finnish newspaper Sunnuntaisuomalainen.

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“Win Decisively”: Pentagon Deploys Ground Forces To Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

April 22, 2014 3 comments

U.S. Army Europe
April 22, 2014

 

173rd deploys to provide additional training to European Allies and Partner militaries
By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

 

20140422_173_poland_baltic_545
WEISBADEN, Germany: Today Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby and U.S. European Command in Stuttgart Germany announced plans to deploy US Army Europe forces to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to conduct expanded land force training exercises, reinforcing our commitment to the security of our allies in the region.  This move to is intended as a continued demonstration of the United States’ commitment to NATO and our collective defense responsibilities.

According to the Office of the Secretary of Defense a company-sized contingent of U.S. paratroopers from USAREUR’s 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), based in Vicenza, Italy, will arrive in Poland April 23 to begin training exercises with the Polish Army. This is the first in a series of expanded U.S. land force training activities in Poland and the Baltic region, scheduled to take place over the next several months. Additional companies from the 173rd IBCT will arrive in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for similar exercises in the coming days. 

EUCOM is increasing its land force activities in the region…These events are in addition to previously scheduled multinational land force military exercises and are aimed at assuring our regional allies of the United States’ unwavering commitment to NATO. 

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during more than 1000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.

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Stephen Lendman interviews Rick Rozoff on Ukraine

http://prn.fm/progressive-radio-news-hour-rick-rozoff-041814/

 

Progressive Radio News Hour
April 18, 2014

Stephen Lendman interviews Rick Rozoff

Audio 

 

 
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NATO Aims At Splitting, Destroying CSTO: Russian Defense Ministry

Interfax
April 22, 2014

Deputy Defense Minister: NATO tries to drive wedge between Russia, CSTO allies

MOSCOW: The North Atlantic Alliance pursues its policy even in member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov opined.

“Moral pressure is being exerted and attempts are being made to convince the public that “the Russians are bad” and they should choose an orientation towards European democracy. They are talking about some kind of military-technological assistance, advisors and a larger number of joint exercises. NATO pursues the sole task of driving a wedge between Russia and its allies, detaching us from one another,” Antonov said in an interview published by Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Tuesday.

The deputy defense minister added that the attempt to build an equal partnership and mutually advantageous cooperation with the alliance had failed.

The Ukrainian events proved that “NATO needed us only if we held a policy convenient for it,” he argued.

“We can see that the alliance continues to mount its military presence near our borders. They kept telling us about certain camps training soldiers and officers for missions in “hotbeds” and “semi-hotbeds”. Now it is not a secret that these military units of NATO will be permanent. Whatever they may be called – bases, contingents or formations – their meaning does not change. A military potential is emerging by the Russian borders,” he said.

Russia is interested in collaboration with NATO to the degree the alliance is interested in collaboration with Moscow, Antonov said.

“If anyone thinks that Russia will rush into a project as soon as NATO crooks a finger at us, this is a profound mistake to make,” the deputy minister underscored.

That is why Russia has decided to withdraw its military representative from Brussels, he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Wilfred Owen: The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Wilfred Owen: Arms and the Boy and Disabled

Wilfred Owen: 1914

Wilfred Owen: Pawing us who dealt them war and madness

Wilfred Owen: Soldier’s Dream

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Wilfred Owen

_62544626_wilfred_owen_304

The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and strops,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

The Kind Ghosts

She sleeps on soft, last breaths; but no ghost looms
Out of the stillness of her palace wall,
Her wall of boys on boys and dooms on dooms.

She dreams of golden gardens and sweet glooms,
Not marvelling why her roses never fall
Nor what red mouths were torn to make their blooms.

The shades keep down which well might roam her hall.
Quiet their blood lies in her crimson rooms
And she is not afraid of their footfall.

They move not from her tapestries, their pall,
Nor pace her terraces, their hecatombs,
Lest aught she be disturbed, or grieved at all.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Interoperability: U.S. Finishes Romanian Air War Drills

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Forces Africa

April 19, 2014

US, Romanian exercise comes to a close
By Staff Sgt. R.J. Biermann
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

CAMPIA TURZII, Romania: The week-long bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Romanian air forces concluded at the 71st Air Base, Campia Turzii, Romania, April 17, 2014.

The exercise, which began April 10, enhanced interoperability and readiness between the NATO partners through combined air operations between F-16 Fighting Falcons from Aviano Air Base, Italy, and MiG-21 Lancers from the 71st AB.

“Combined training with Romania demonstrates that we share a commitment to promote a peaceful and stable Europe,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Hellinger, 510th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations and project officer for the exercise. “This exercise increased the level of cooperation between our militaries.”

U.S. and Romanian Airmen joined together in a formation during a closing ceremony held at the base, which demonstrated the partnership built during the exercise.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta was also in attendance.

“We welcome your friendship,” he said to the U.S. Air Force Airmen in attendance. “I came here today to praise this exercise and the importance of our partnership. Romania understands how impactful it is to us to be a partner of the U.S.”

At the ceremony, Ponta took the opportunity to discuss the benefits of the F-16, which he had the unique opportunity to co-pilot just moments before.

“I came to see the capability of the F-16 as a buyer of this unbelievable technology,” Ponta said. “The F-16 is impressive. I feel safe in the F-16 and will feel even safer come 2017.”

Romania recently signed a contract to acquire F-16s from Portugal within the next few years, a step forward in military capability.

The exercise marked the first time Team Aviano Airmen have partnered with the Romanian air force.

Categories: Uncategorized

Videos: NATO’s Top Military Chief Invokes Article 5 War Clause Over Russian “Military Invasion” Of Ukraine

April 21, 2014 1 comment
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Foreign Minister: Russia Won’t Allow Civil War In Ukraine

Interfax
April 21, 2014

Lavrov: Russia to stop attempts to unleash civil war in Ukraine

MOSCOW:Russia will not allow a bloody conflict in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“There has been a surge in appeals to Russia for saving them from this outrage. We are being put into an extremely complex position,” Lavrov told a press conference in Moscow on Monday.

“Those who are deliberately pursuing a civil war, possibly, in an attempt to start a big, serious bloody conflict, are pursuing a criminal policy. And we will not only condemn this policy but will also stop it,” the minister said.

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Interfax
April 21, 2014

Kyiv grossly violates Geneva agreements – Lavrov

MOSCOW: The current authorities in Kyiv are grossly violating the Geneva agreements reached last week at the Russia-U.S.-EU-Ukraine meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“Not only is the Geneva agreement not being complied with, but steps are being made, primarily by those who seized power in Kyiv, to grossly violate the agreements reached in Geneva,” he told a press conference responding to a question posed by Interfax.

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Itar-Tass
April 21, 2014

Lavrov: Geneva agreement on Ukraine not fulfilled

MOSCOW: The Kiev authorities do nothing to eliminate the causes of the crisis, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday after a meeting with his colleague from Mozambique Oldemiro Baloi.

“Geneva agreements on Ukraine specify no timeframe, but measures should be taken urgently”, Lavrov stressed. The agreement is not fulfilled, first of all, by those who have seized power in Kiev, the foreign minister added.

“Everything points to the fact that the Kiev authorities are not able to control extremists, or do not want to control them,” the foreign minister said. The main thing now is to prevent any kind of violence in Ukraine, Lavrov added. “It is the first clause of the Geneva agreements, the first requirement,” the minister stressed. “This part of the Geneva agreement is not fulfilled, but on the contrary, steps are taken by those who seized power (in Kiev) in violation of the Geneva agreements,” Lavrov said.

“We are concerned that instead of confirming the responsibility for the situation, Kiev and the West-European countries are trying to make Russia responsible,” he said. “There main proof is the Russian weapons in the conflict zones. It is ridiculous – no other weapons have ever been there,” Lavrov added.

Kiev’s statement that the Geneva decisions are not valid for Maidan are unacceptable, the diplomat noted.

“The buildings in Kiev, which have been seized by force in the beginning of the events in Ukraine, are not freed now, the streets remain blocked, the ‘Maidan’ continues to boom,” the foreign minister said. “The leadership appointed by the Verkhovna Rada, say openly the Geneva decisions are not valid for ‘Maidan’, because, as they say, Kiev’s municipal administration had decided ‘Maidan’ may remain and it is legitimate. This is absolutely unacceptable,” Lavrov stressed.

“Those who intentionally aim at instigating a civil war obviously hope to spark off an enormous, serious and bloody conflict, are conducting a criminal policy,” Lavrov said. “We (Russia) will not be only condemning this policy, but thwarting any manifestations of such policy as well,” the diplomat said, adding that “shooting at unarmed people on the Easter night is beyond any reason.”

“Instead of giving ultimatums and threatening us with sanctions, Washington should realize in full measure its responsibility for those people they brought to power in Kiev,” Lavrov noted. “Attempts to isolate Russia are absolutely prospectless, as it is impossible,” the minister emphasized.

Categories: Uncategorized

Lilika Nakos: “Surely God didn’t intend this butchery”

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Lilika Nakos: The dead man, the living, the house; all were smashed to bits

Lilika Nakos: The grandmother’s sin

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Lilika Nakos
From The Children’s Inferno (1946)
Translated by Allan Ross Macdougall

“‘I’ve lived my life, Kyra Argyros. The children have got to live theirs.’

“‘You’ve got to live your life, too. My man was saying that just by living and letting others see you does them good. They understand that goodness isn’t dead on earth.’

“‘Be quiet, Kyra Argyros, you’re exaggerating. I wish I had lots to give, something to everybody. To be kind only requires a little will, just a little, then goodness comes of itself.’

“‘That’s true! but men don’t want to be kind,’ said the neighbor. ‘Look how they’re killing one another, bringing Hell on earth. They drag young men from their mothers’ arms and send them into the butchery. When I get to thinking of all the poor mothers all over the world, I weep; I weep. I don’t think the world’s badly planned, for surely God didn’t intend this butchery.’”

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukraine: Fascist Stormtroopers Kill Three In The East

Interfax
April 20, 2014

Moscow outraged by incident in Sloviansk, insists on Ukraine fulfilling Geneva agreement – ministry

MOSCOW: Moscow is outraged by the armed incident that occurred Saturday night in Sloviansk in which innocent civilians died as a result of an attack by Right Sector militants, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

“The Russian side is enraged by the militant provocation which is an indication of the reluctance of the authorities in Kyiv to bridle and disarm nationalists and extremists,” a ministry statement says.

“It is surprising that the tragedy occurred after the signing on April 17 in Geneva of the final statement of the four-sided meeting of representatives of Russia, the USA, EU and Ukraine which calls for refraining from any violent actions, intimidation or provocations. The Russian side insists on the strict fulfillment by the Ukrainian side of its commitments concerning the de-escalation the situation in southeast Ukraine,” the ministry says.

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Itar-Tass
April 20, 2014

Provocation in Slavyansk proves Kiev’s not willing to disarm extremists – Russia’s FM

MOSCOW: The militants organized the provocation on the night of Sunday in Ukraine’s Slavyansk (Donetsk region). It proves the Ukrainian authorities are not willing to disarm nationalists and extremists, Russia’s foreign ministry says in a statement published on Sunday.

“At the night of Sunday, April 20, the Easter armistice was broken in Slavyansk. The attack of the armed militants from the so-called Right Sector claimed lives of innocent civilians… The Russian side is indignant at this provocation of the militants, which proves Kiev’s authorities are not willing to control and disarm the nationalists and extremists.

Russia insists on Ukraine’s strict observance of the obligations it has undertaken to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine’s south-eastern regions, Russia’s foreign ministry said commenting on the events in Slavyansk, where militants from the Right Sector had breached the Easter armistice.

“We are surprises the tragedy happened already after signing on April 17 in the Geneva the statement of the four-sided meeting featuring representatives of Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine, which contains the urge to refrain from any force actions, threats and provocations,” the foreign ministry said.

“The Russian side is indignant at this provocation of the militants, which proves Kiev’s authorities are not willing to control and disarm the nationalists and extremists,” the foreign ministry said adding the local people found in the attackers’ cars weapons, maps of the region and symbols of the Right Sector.

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Voice of Russia
April 20, 2014

Slavyansk mayor asks Russia to send peacekeepers in wake of deadly night attack

Head of the self-defense units of Ukraine’s eastern town of Slavyansk, Vladimir Ponomaryov, who was appointed Slavyansk mayor by the town’s residents, has asked Russia to send peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine to protect civilians from National Guard and Right Sector militants.

“They kill our people. They don’t talk to us but just kill,” Ponomaryov said at an emergency press conference in the wake of last night’s armed clashes on the outskirts of Slavyansk.

“The town has actually been besieged by the Right Sector,” he said.

Only Russia can protect civilians from the Right Sector, Ponomaryov said, that’s why he decided to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to send peacekeepers to the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the RIA Novosti news agency reports.

The leader of the self-defense forces in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk said Sunday up to seven gunmen who attacked a local checkpoint overnight were injured or killed by return fire. Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, also known as the acting Slavyansk mayor, has confirmed that one member of the self-defense forces was killed and two others were injured in the shootout.

Nevertheless, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has stated Sunday three people, including two local citizens, were killed and three others were injured in overnight shootout at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Slavyansk, RIA reports.

Federalization supporters in Kharkov, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia. In response, Ukrainian authorities launched a special operation to crack down on the protests.

Russia outraged by deadly shootout in Slavyansk, insists on Kiev fulfilling Geneva agreement – Moscow
Moscow is outraged by the armed incident that occurred Saturday night in Slavyansk in which innocent civilians died as a result of an attack by Right Sector militants, the Russian Foreign Ministry says. “The Russian side is enraged by the militant provocation which is an indication of the reluctance of the authorities in Kiev to bridle and disarm nationalists and extremists,” a ministry statement says.

“It is surprising that the tragedy occurred after the signing on April 17 in Geneva of the final statement of the four-sided meeting of representatives of Russia, the USA, EU and Ukraine which calls for refraining from any violent actions, intimidation or provocations. The Russian side insists on the strict fulfillment by the Ukrainian side of its commitments concerning the de-escalation the situation in southeast Ukraine,” the ministry says, Interfax reports.

“The Eastern ceasefire was violated in Slavyansk on April 20. As a result of an armed attack by the so-called Right Sector innocent civilians died. Local residents seized the vehicles of the attackers in which they discovered arms, aerial maps of the area and Right Sector paraphernalia,” the statement says.

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Video Interview: U.S. Drone Warfare Is Indefensible Slaughter From The Skies

Press TV
April 20, 2014

US elbows deep in world terrorism: Rick Rozoff

Video

Press TV has interviewed Rick Rozoff, a manager at Stop NATO Network, from Chicago, to discuss the US assassination drone program.

What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: I quote the words of Christopher Haines, he’s the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions, and he says the US policy of using drones to carry out targeted killings presents a major challenge to the system of international law that has endured since the Second World War. Do you see it that way too?

Rozoff: It’s a flagrant violation of international law. It is establishing unilaterally, by one nation, the United States, the right to kill at will.

In the common parlance of the Central Intelligence Agency, the US Air Force and other government agencies involved in international drone warfare, the unmanned aerial vehicles being used right now are referred to as ‘hunter-killers’:  they bear names like Predator and Reaper, Reaper presumably as in the expression grim reaper; that is, they’re murderous by intent. They have accounted already for, conservatively, five to six thousand deaths in the last 10 years, in the last decade.

It’s been a decade of slaughter from the air. You use the word assassin. I think that’s inappropriate. They’re aerial assassins. If they offend international law, they certainly offend human morality.

Press TV: Ok Mr. Rozoff, jump in there. It seems like you want a response [to the previous guest speakers, Mr. Bob Ayers, comment].

Rozoff: Yeah, that’s morally reprehensible. It’s also unfactual. We know for example that one of the five countries which the US has waged drone warfare – you know, Pakistan is the most egregious example where easily 4,000 people have been killed.

To believe that various ages and both genders, to believe they’re all high-profile al-Qaeda commanders is simply ludicrous.

Second of all, they’ve also been used in Iraq in the past, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Yemen, actually in a sixth country we should mention, Libya. Pray tell, which al-Qaeda operatives were hit by US Hellfire missiles fired from Predator drones in Libya?

Let me tell you something, those drones were used to attack government sources on behalf of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, who the US and NATO were operating as an air force for. That’s simply an indefensible position.

I would suspect the people on the ground know best of all who are killed in drone strikes rather than somebody sitting in Nevada, New Mexico or California, who haven’t a ghost of an idea of who they’re ordering to be killed.

Press TV: Is the US ensuring that its drones do not target civilians? Because I’m going to read out what President Obama said earlier regarding his drone warfare, and he declared that before any strike is taken, there must be near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured, the highest standard we can set. And he added that by nearly targeting our action against those who want to kill us and not the people that they hide among, we are choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life.

Do you see it that way, Mr. Rozoff?

Rozoff: I don’t dispute that officials in the United States government, the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Joint Special Operations Command, the US Air Force and all the various agencies and branches of government involved in the now decade-long international drone warfare campaign would prefer not to kill civilians. I’m not contesting that point.

There’s a notorious expression from the 1990s, “collateral damage”, that was used in reference to the weapon of choice at that time, two decades ago, which was the cruise missile. And I don’t doubt that the Hellfire missile fired from a Predator or now increasingly a Reaper drone is less devastating and is going to cause less civilian death and casualties. Nevertheless, the fact is that they’re not as precise as to key in on somebody who is identified beyond question.

You know, first of all this ‘actionable intelligence’ expression that is being used by the White House, which incidentally goes back to Barack Obama’s statements, repeatedly, during his first presidential campaign in 2008 that, and I’m roughly paraphrasing him, that if the US has actionable intelligence that there are terrorist activities being planned inside Pakistan, the sovereign nation thereof, and if the government is either unable or unwilling to take action against them, the US reserves the right to bomb targets inside a sovereign nation without even, presumably, consulting with the government of that nation.

Similar complaints have been registered, as you indicated earlier in this program, by the Yemeni government. And I can certainly assure you the former government of Libya did not authorize the US firing its weapons even at its head of state, if the report most of us are acquainted with is factual, which is, that a US Hellfire missile hit the convoy that Muammar Gaddafi was in, which ultimately led to his brutalization and murder.

To presume that there’s a humanitarian component to drone warfare is simply not true.

I’m not saying that the US goes out of its way to gratuitously kill innocent civilians. I’m not asserting that, but it’s the inevitable result of this sort of military activity.

And this is no excuse in a war crimes tribunal. It certainly won’t be if the US is ever held accountable for its actions.

Press TV: Mr. Rozoff, do you agree [on the previous speaker’s comments]?

Rozoff: Do I agree that al-Qaeda ought to lay down its arms in the best of all possible situations? Certainly.

Let’s keep in mind that we would not even be speaking about al-Qaeda if not for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Operation Phoenix [should be Operation Cyclone] in the 1980s that was instrumental in recruiting extremists from around the Islamic world to be trained in military camps in northwest Pakistan for a war in Afghanistan, amongst whom incidentally was Osama bin Laden, we have to recollect, and many of his chief lieutenants.

The US is hardly the innocent babe in the woods that my colleague on the other side is trying to portray or implicitly suggesting it is. The US is up to its bloody elbows in supporting terrorist activities around the world including most recently in Libya, but also in the Balkans in the 1990s and Afghanistan in the 1980s, and heaven knows where else currently.

Look, there are people sitting in the United States right now, some of them living rather poshly, many of them with political refugee status, who are making the same claims towards other countries about what they would like to do that the other guest suggests al-Qaeda operatives hiding out in caves in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas in Pakistan are. I’m talking about Chechen separatists or Dagestani separatists who would like to do to Russia what is claimed al-Qaeda wants to do to the United States. I don’t believe the other guest would permit Russia to reserve the same right as the United States does, which is to launch preemptive strikes inside the United States against targeted terrorists.

Press TV: Mr. Rozoff, I’d like to get your opinion on this, does the inability of the US to capture these so-called terrorists deny them the right to do judicial process?

Rozoff: No, of course not. We have made such an elastic concept of identifying a perpetrator. Incidentally, in most instances, I believe even in the discussion we’ve had today, it’s the presumed motives of somebody who may be contemplating some action. In other words, somebody is not being judicially processed, is not being tried after an act has been perpetrated.

We are reading the thoughts, if you will, of people who may or may not entertain certain projects that they have no ability to execute. For example, somebody stationed in the very same cave complex that we just alluded to in Afghanistan, you know, can talk about anything they choose to talk about. They can intend to do anything. They can dream about anything, but realistically their ability to put that into practice is another question.

And when do you preemptively kill somebody for what they may be planning or intending? This is how I think the unconscionable elasticity of moral and legal concepts that has permeated the last decade has led us to the point right now that you can even kill somebody in anticipation of their possibly thinking tomorrow about perpetrating an act against us. That’s a horrible misuse of legal philosophy and legal practice.

Press TV: Mr. Rozoff, I give the last comment to you, very quickly if you can. Sometimes we’ve seen that legislation and law is always trying to play catchup with evolving technology. Do you think that the international community has done enough to cover the loopholes to ensure that this drone warfare is done responsibly without violation of international law?

Rozoff: There’s a question about whether targeted assassinations – I know they’re called targeted killings by Harold Koh in the State Department – but the substitution of the word killing for assassination doesn’t get around US law that forbids assassinations internationally.

I just want to bring a couple of things up on the question of the CIA being monitored. This is the very same CIA that ran, as I mentioned earlier, Operation Phoenix [Operation Cyclone] in the early 1980s, that armed to the teeth and in other ways assisted Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani, whose two fighting groups incidentally are two of the three groups the United States acknowledges it’s currently fighting in Afghanistan.

If CIA activities are so closely monitored and supposedly ethical in nature, then they have created the very monsters they claim to be fighting in South Asia right now.

I don’t for a moment trust that Congressional and Senatorial oversight, you know, House and Senate oversight, is going to prevent the further commission of egregious acts around the world including killing 14- and 15-year-old boys, and then having US government officials say they should have selected better parents.

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Alfred Neumann: The War Minister

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Alfred Neumann: Selections on war

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Alfred Neumann
From Guerra (1930)
Translated by Huntley Paterson

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“I hate war!” exclaimed the Grand Duke suddenly in a voice that sounded husky. “Old as I am, I have been able to manage without it up to the present. Are not any of you gentlemen going to second me in this? For I know that some of you are familiar enough with the idea of humanity…”

***

Guerra had the extraordinary good fortune to be brought the news of Tentenna’s decision in favour of war, and of Piedmont’s order for general mobilization at ten in the evening, in the middle of the jubilations over the proclamation. The Leader was standing with his staff in the Loggia dei Lanzi, brilliantly lighted by torches – an ideal platform for a popular orator – and was looking down on the raving mob.

War! War! War! and repeated cries of “Death to the Austrians!”

Guerra was not happy. He felt strangely oppressed by the horror of the day. Were the Austrian dead who were being demanded, and the Italian dead who were being offered, to constitute the meaning and pinnacle of his life – the work of his life? Was it impossible to escape the horrible double entendre of his name, which was now constantly being roared from one end of the square to the other?

***

“The most glorious day, my old friends, and we are all brothers, and we are going to kill all the rest! That is our simple way of creating a new paradise. Our most glorious day!…I am Minister of War, as is only tight and proper; for I understand a good deal about war and very little about peace, as I have proved…”

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Prague Offers NATO Warplanes, Troops For Ukrainian-Russian Border

April 19, 2014 1 comment

Czech News Agency
April 18, 2014

Prague offers fighter jets, 300 troops for NATO country’s defence

Prague: The Czech Republic can provide four Gripen fighter jets and 300 troops for reinforced protection of NATO member countries because of the Ukrainian crisis, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky told CTK Thursday.

“If NATO asks for it, we are ready to provide four Gripen fighters to reinforce the protection of the Baltic airspace or the Russian-Ukrainian border and 300 troops who are selected for NATO Response Force,” Stropnicky said.

NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday the defence of allied countries will be strengthened. He said the Ukrainian crisis is a wake-up call for Europe to increase defence spending.

NATO wants to more protect the airspace over the Baltic states, reinforce its naval presence in the Baltic Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.

NATO says Russia has moved tens of thousands of soldiers to the border with Ukraine.

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France, Georgia Sign Bilateral Military Cooperation Agreement

Ministry of Defense of Georgia
April 17, 2014

Defence Ministries of Georgia and France Signed Bilateral Cooperation Plan

Ministries of Defence of Georgia and the Republic of France signed a bilateral [plan of] cooperation for 2014. Delegation of the French Armed Forces visited Georgia to discuss the prospects of bilateral cooperation in defence sphere.

Today, the representatives of international relations service of the Joint Staff of the French Armed Forces, led by Navy Captain Alexis Willer visited the Ministry of Defence of Georgia. Members of the delegation held meetings with the Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili, Deputy Chief of General Staff of JS, Col. Vladimer Chachibaia and leadership of Euro-Atlantic Integration Department.

At the meeting the sides discussed issues of bilateral cooperation in defence sphere and strengthening existing cooperation. Regional security issues and challenges Georgia faces, cooperation with NATO and EU, ongoing defence reforms and participation in international operations were also the topics of discussion at the meeting.

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Alexander Herzen: Selections on the military and war

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Gabriel García Márquez: March 6, 1927-April 17, 2014

Gabriel García Márquez: Five wars and seventeen military coups

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Gabriel García Márquez
From Nobel Prize in Literature lecture (1982)

Eleven years ago, the Chilean Pablo Neruda, one of the outstanding poets of our time, enlightened this audience with his word. Since then, the Europeans of good will – and sometimes those of bad, as well – have been struck, with ever greater force, by the unearthly tidings of Latin America, that boundless realm of haunted men and historic women, whose unending obstinacy blurs into legend. We have not had a moment’s rest. A promethean president, entrenched in his burning palace, died fighting an entire army, alone; and two suspicious airplane accidents, yet to be explained, cut short the life of another great-hearted president and that of a democratic soldier who had revived the dignity of his people. There have been five wars and seventeen military coups; there emerged a diabolic dictator who is carrying out, in God’s name, the first Latin American ethnocide of our time. In the meantime, twenty million Latin American children died before the age of one – more than have been born in Europe since 1970. Those missing because of repression number nearly one hundred and twenty thousand, which is as if no one could account for all the inhabitants of Uppsala. Numerous women arrested while pregnant have given birth in Argentine prisons, yet nobody knows the whereabouts and identity of their children who were furtively adopted or sent to an orphanage by order of the military authorities. Because they tried to change this state of things, nearly two hundred thousand men and women have died throughout the continent, and over one hundred thousand have lost their lives in three small and ill-fated countries of Central America: Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. If this had happened in the United States, the corresponding figure would be that of one million six hundred thousand violent deaths in four years.

One million people have fled Chile, a country with a tradition of hospitality – that is, ten per cent of its population. Uruguay, a tiny nation of two and a half million inhabitants which considered itself the continent’s most civilized country, has lost to exile one out of every five citizens. Since 1979, the civil war in El Salvador has produced almost one refugee every twenty minutes. The country that could be formed of all the exiles and forced emigrants of Latin America would have a population larger than that of Norway.

I dare to think that it is this outsized reality, and not just its literary expression, that has deserved the attention of the Swedish Academy of Letters. A reality not of paper, but one that lives within us and determines each instant of our countless daily deaths, and that nourishes a source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune…

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I do not mean to embody the illusions of Tonio Kröger, whose dreams of uniting a chaste north to a passionate south were exalted here, fifty-three years ago, by Thomas Mann. But I do believe that those clear-sighted Europeans who struggle, here as well, for a more just and humane homeland, could help us far better if they reconsidered their way of seeing us. Solidarity with our dreams will not make us feel less alone, as long as it is not translated into concrete acts of legitimate support for all the peoples that assume the illusion of having a life of their own in the distribution of the world.

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On a day like today, my master William Faulkner said, “I decline to accept the end of man”. I would fall unworthy of standing in this place that was his, if I were not fully aware that the colossal tragedy he refused to recognize thirty-two years ago is now, for the first time since the beginning of humanity, nothing more than a simple scientific possibility. Faced with this awesome reality that must have seemed a mere utopia through all of human time, we, the inventors of tales, who will believe anything, feel entitled to believe that it is not yet too late to engage in the creation of the opposite utopia. A new and sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth.

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Audio Interview: NATO Includes All Former Fascist Powers In Europe

April 18, 2014 1 comment

Voice of Russia
April 18, 2014

“NATO includes all former fascist powers in Europe” – Expert

Audio:

Download audio file

 

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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s building up its presence along its eastern borders. The move was supported by the White House. According to an AP report, Rasmussen said the new NATO deployments are about “deterrence and de-escalation in the face of Russia’s aggressive behavior in Ukraine”, which is not a member of the 28-nation alliance.

Why would NATO get so actively involved in a country which is not a member of the alliance? And how come it has sided with the nazi-installed government, in which the interim vice-premier, minister of defence, minister of agriculture, and minister of environment, belong to a fascist Svoboda party?

Voice of Russia is looking into the US and NATO role in Ukraine crisis with Rick Rozoff, a US journalist covering NATO enlargement and analyst with the Canadian Center for Research on Globalization.

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/radio_broadcast/25298789/271384163/

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West Fighting Total War, Seeking CIS Collapse: Russian Official

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 18, 2014

West Fighting Total War, Seeking CIS Collapse – Russian Official

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See:

Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union

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MOSCOW: Western countries are fighting a “total war” aimed at the complete destruction of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and expulsion of the major members of the organization, the deputy head of the Russian agency on CIS affairs said Friday.

“Within the context of this policy they are trying to give a final blow to the Commonwealth of Independent States,” Georgy Muradov said during a session on human rights in Ukraine at the Russian Civic Chamber.

“They are fighting a total war against the CIS, seeking its disintegration.”

He added that “key members of the organization are being expelled” in an effort to eliminate Russia’s allies.

Muradov added that the Russian agency Rossotrudnichestvo had recently put forward a motion to enhance cooperation with compatriots living in CIS countries. He specified that the Ukrainian scenario might be repeated if questions related to the protection of Russian citizens living abroad were not resolved.

Kiev earlier announced that it was abandoning its post as this year’s rotating CIS head, thus paving the way for Minsk to take the leadership role.

National Security and Defense Council chief Andriy Paruby said that Ukraine also intended to withdraw from the organization.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the move, saying that it will affect millions of Ukrainians. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Ukarine’s potential withdrawal from the organization an anti-Russian campaign of propagandistic nature.

“We are not keeping anyone in the CIS by force but this decision was made not for the benefits of the Ukrainian population but to stage another anti-Russian campaign of propagandistic nature. I don’t doubt that,” Lavrov said.

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NATO Warships In Black Sea, Cyprus

Itar-Tass
April 18, 2014

Two NATO warships in Black Sea, one remains in Cyprus port

MOSCOW: Two NATO warships the US “Donald Cook” with the Aegis missile defense system on board and the large French reconnaissance ship “Dupuy de Lome” are in the Black Sea for the present. The French destroyer Dupleix, which was planned to enter the Black Sea on April 14, remains in the Cypriot port of Limassol in the Mediterranean, a Russian Defence Ministry source has told ITAR-TASS this Friday.

The Donald Cook and the Dupuy de Lome left the Romanian port of Constanta after staying there for a few days. The US destroyer was in the western part of the sea and the French ship was in its central part, the source said, noting that a fuss was created all over the world over a flight of a Russian Su-24 bomber over the US warship, though it was routine practice usual for the United States itself.

As for the French destroyer Dupleix remaining in the port of Limassol for a week, it was unknown yet when the ship would arrive in the Black Sea, the source said.

The US and French warships entered the Black Sea on April 10 in connection with the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.

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Georges Ohnet: Pillaging in the wake of victorious armies

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Georges Ohnet
From The Eagle’s Talon (1913)
Translated by Helen Meyer

Georges_Ohnet_photo

“…As long as Bonaparte holds the reins of State, the peace of France will hang by a thread. He thirsts for glory.The thing that he calls glory is a condition maintained by war. Violence is the basis of his power. He will involve France in a world-wide struggle, and appear before his fellow citizens as a providential saviour…”

Gorgeret, an army contractor notorious for speculations successfully carried out at the expense of the well-being of the army during the campaign of Italy, had devoted a part of the fortune made from revictualling the troops after the siege of Genoa to the acquisition of real estate…Habituated to profit by the immunity attendant upon great wealth, he had worked his will regardless of results. He had never been punished. He had pillaged in the wake of victorious armies, and sold the cattle and the flour stolen from the enemy to the French, and nothing had been done to show him that he was within the reach of justice. He had worked for the Royalists and against the reigning power with the same freedom with which he had fed the army on questionable food.

“Bonaparte hates us!’ said Polignac.

“He fears us!” said Cadoudal proudly.

“If he fears us, he is foolish,” declared Rivière. “France belongs to him; the people love him. Our attempt was an act of egregious folly! To make this wretched country understand that it is to her interest to return to the king, we must turn her into a burial-ground. It is probable that Napoleon will do that. France will pay for his glory by hecatombs, and his dictator’s purple will be dyed in blood.”

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McCain, Other U.S. Senators Posture At NATO Air Base In Lithuania

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Forces Africa

April 17, 2014

U.S. Senator John McCain speaks with Maj. Gen. Edvardas Mažeikis, Lithuanian air force commander, at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, April 16, 2014. McCain and U.S. Senators John Hoeven and John Barrasso visited the Baltic Air Policing mission as part of a visit to the greater Baltic region, which also includes meetings with government officials in Estonia, Latvia, and Moldova.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dana J. Butler/Released)

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Pentagon Chief: Warplanes, Troops To Remain In Poland

Stars and Stripes
April 17, 2014

Hagel: US forces to stay in Poland until end of 2014
By John Vandiver

The U.S. Air Force will maintain an enhanced presence in Poland for the remainder of the year as part of an effort to reassure allies in the region alarmed by Russian aggression in neighboring Ukraine, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

Hagel also urged allies to contribute to the U.S. air detachment mission in Poland, where U.S. F-16s and about 200 troops have maintained a steady presence since the start of the crisis in Ukraine.

“We’re committed to maintaining that augmented presence to the end of the year,” said Hagel during a joint news conference at the Pentagon with Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

The U.S. and Poland also will cooperate more in other areas with an emphasis on rotational missions and exercises, Hagel said. Other measures in the works include closer collaboration between U.S. and Polish special operations forces, additional Air Force training initiatives and pressing on with the current air detachment program and missile defense efforts.

“We should take advantage of the opportunity to work more closely,” Hagel said.

Since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, allies in eastern Europe, long wary of Russian intentions in the region, have watched events unfold with growing unease.

[T]he U.S. quickly bolstered its presence in the region, including adding rotations of F-16s in Poland for training missions and bolstering air policing over the Baltics. NATO surveillance aircraft also has been deployed to Poland and Romania to monitor events in Ukraine. The USS Donald Cook has been deployed to the Black Sea.

Moscow has repeatedly assured the U.S. and NATO that it has no intention of invading eastern Ukraine. However, on Thursday, President Valdimir Putin said he had the authority to use force, but hoped that would not be necessary.

On Wednesday, NATO took additional measures…focused mainly on an intensification of steps already underway: Ramping up of NATO’s air policing mission over the Baltics and the deployment of more allied ships into the Baltic Sea and eastern Mediterranean. More training missions and exercises also are in the works.

The U.S. also has offered additional staff to assist NATO with updating its defense plans, Hagel said.

The next step will be for allies to make troop contributions for the new effort in the east and generate a deployment schedule.

Hagel did not offer specific details about how the U.S. will contribute to those efforts, noting that plans were still being crafted.

Meanwhile, the U.S. also will supply Ukraine military and border control units with a range of supplies such as medical equipment, helmets, and water purification systems, Hagel said.

When asked if he was concerned Russia could aim to strike out against others in the region, Hagel did not rule out such a move.

“We have to look, based on past actions, at every possibility,” Hagel said.

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Air And Space Power In Modern Warfare: NATO In Turkey

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

April 16, 2014

DSACT Emphasises the Importance of Air Power in Turkey

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NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT) Italian Air Force General Mirco Zuliani participated as the keynote speaker at the International Symposium on the History of Air Warfare (ISAW 14) held in Istanbul, Turkey, April 9-11, 2014.

In this symposium organized by the Turkish Air War College with the support of the Turkish Air Force, the history of air warfare was reviewed and included diverse discussions focussing on the emergence and rapid development of air power and its impact on society and scientific research.

Bringing together Scholars, Academics, high-ranking military officials and senior fellows, the symposium was split into several break-out sessions covering topics such as Air Power in Theory and Implementation, Air and Space Power in 20th-Century Warfare, How Air Power Has Become An Independent Service, the Contribution of R&D and Think Tanks to Air and Space Power and Air Power and Society.

In his speech, DSACT highlighted that the issues related to Air Warfare are currently at a crossroad. “The current and difficult economic and financial climate we are still facing today and the end of the Cold War era has brought western Nations to seek cost cuts and savings yet again in the Defence Sector, possibly jeopardizing the industrial-military cooperation, especially in the areas where technology is evolving very quickly,” he said.

DSACT also outlined the importance of Smart Defence. “Smart Defence is a concept that encourages Allies to cooperate in developing, acquiring and maintaining military capabilities to meet current and future security threats, in accordance with the actual NATO Strategic Concept.”

DSACT concluded saying, “I am in the end fully convinced that, having established itself as a critical component of the war-fighting abilities of a military force in such a short time, Air Power is destined to play a significant role in determining a nation’s military capability and intent in the 21st century. In other words, it is here to stay, as long as we manage to recognize the trends and transform accordingly, keeping up with the fast pace of innovation that has always been the Air dimensions main characteristic.”

Click here for an extensive coverage of the event from the Turkish Air War College.

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NATO Reaches New Low In Anti-Russian Rhetoric: Russian Foreign Ministry

April 17, 2014 1 comment

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 17, 2014

NATO Reaches New Low in Anti-Russian Rhetoric – Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW: NATO has surpassed its propaganda efforts of the 1990s by blaming Russia for the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization made a series of publications lately, including ‘Russia’s accusations – setting the record straight,’ in which NATO in its usual biased manner called Russia responsible for the recent crisis [in Ukraine],” the ministry said.

“Moreover NATO’s recent anti-Russian political rhetoric has surpassed the propaganda during the aggression against Yugoslavia,” the ministry added.

The ministry said that despite disagreements, Russia has continued to honestly develop cooperation with the alliance in areas of common interest as part of an effort to wipe out hostile feelings left over from the Cold War.

On Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pledged to step up patrols and boost its military presence along the alliance’s eastern border in Europe, citing Russia’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

The move came as a further sign that the alliance was tightening its grip on Eastern Europe, where it is already conducting air-policing and surveillance missions over Poland, Romania and the Baltic states.

Federalization supporters in eastern Ukrainian regions have been staging mass rallies since March in a bid to hold referendums similar to the one that recently led to Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In order to suppress the activists, the Ukrainian army launched a special operation earlier this week targeting the cities of Kramatorsk and Slaviansk in the Donetsk region.

Moscow has condemned the Ukrainian regime’s use of force against its own population as unacceptable.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO To Deploy Land, Air, Sea Forces To Russian Border

April 17, 2014 1 comment

National Public Radio
April 16, 2014

NATO Makes Plans To Bolster Its Eastern Border

NATO has announced a strengthening of its forces near the alliance’s eastern border. Gen. George Joulwan, the former NATO supreme allied commander for Europe, discusses the plan.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In response to the situation in Ukraine, NATO’s secretary general today announced a strengthening of alliance forces near NATO’s eastern border. Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the moves are about defense, deterrence and de-escalation. In Rasmussen’s words, we will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land.

For more on the thinking behind NATO’s new deployments, we turn now to retired Gen. George Joulwan who is former NATO supreme allied commander for Europe. Welcome to the program.

GENERAL GEORGE JOULWAN: Thank you.

SIEGEL: And how do you read the message from NATO? What are they saying here?

JOULWAN: Well, I think the key word in what the secretary general was saying is deterrence and I think what we’re seeing in both land, air and sea forces that will be deployed in the region to demonstrate NATO political will in order to send the clear message to Russia that they have invaded a sovereign country. This is against international law and we’re going to see planes that were deployed to the Baltic countries and we’ll have a – in the Black Sea, we’re going to see Standing Naval Force Med and we’re going to see land forces, some including the United States on training missions in eastern and central Europe.

SIEGEL: But is the message also, at least implicitly, any threat to the Baltic republicans(ph) or Poland or to NATO members is unacceptable, but the alliance really has no role to play in Ukraine?

JOULWAN: No. I think, first of all, you’re right that the Article 5, attack upon one, attack upon all that’s been in existence since 1949 is very clear when it comes to the Baltic states, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, which are NATO members.

SIEGEL: If they are attacked, we are attacked.

JOULWAN: By the way, they have large numbers of Russians living in their countries so what’s happening in Ukraine and Crimea is a clear message to them. So I think it’s very clear that this is not just posturing. It’s to send a clear NATO message. And by the way, this is the 65th anniversary of NATO and it has done superb work in those 65 years and I think it still has work to do in trying to bring stability to this part of the world.

SIEGEL: Well, let me put to you an argument that’s made by the retired U.S. diplomat, James Jeffrey, who says the best way to send Putin a tough message and possibly deflect a Russian campaign against more vulnerable NATO states is to back up our commitment to the sanctity of NATO territory with ground troops, the only military deployment that can make such commitments unequivocal. Does he have a point?

JOULWAN: To a degree, I think. But it’s not just ground forces. It’s air and land and sea forces together in a joint way. And ground forces imply that a really strong commitment – and I think this will be those rotational forces, in other words, we would take a unit from, let’s say, the 82nd Airborne or the 1st Infantry Division in the United States and they would deploy to eastern and central Europe and train with countries that border on Ukraine and Russia. That sends a very clear message and intent of seriousness in trying to de-escalate the situation.

SIEGEL: Put me in the mind of people at NATO who are looking the crisis in Ukraine and wanting to do something that has, as you would say, deterrent value and as Secretary General Rasmussen said, deterrent value, and at the same time, isn’t such a powerful set of deployments that it becomes provocative or it becomes more threatening than we want it to be.

JOULWAN: Well, let’s go beyond just the military. Let’s talk about economic, political and diplomatic. I think economic sanctions, which need to be stronger than they are now, can have a real effect on a Russia that’s a little shaky in its economy, but has clear links with energy and financial ties now to Europe. But I think more robust sanctions can do that. So just as a military, I think it has to be a series of actions that embody political, military, diplomatic and economic.

SIEGEL: As you follow what’s happening in Ukraine and the response to events there, are you actually concerned that this could lead to a large ground war in eastern Europe between Russia and NATO forces?

JOULWAN: I’m more concerned about the impression that Putin may have that he could get away with this incremental moves that he makes and he sees not enough coming back from the United States.

Remember, we pulled a lot of forces out of Europe. We’ve demonstrated that we want to go to Asia. We want to pivot toward Asia. We see Syria red lights and that’s been crossed and nothing is done. So political will is lacking here, both by the United States, particularly and, to a degree, NATO. This is to restore some of that political will and I think that would be a deterrent as much as troops will be a deterrent to Putin.

SIEGEL: General George Joulwan, thanks a lot for talking with us today.

JOULWAN: Thank you.

SIEGEL: Retired General George Joulwan, a past supreme allied commander, Europe, that is the top serving officer at NATO.

Categories: Uncategorized

Jack Lindsay: Who Will Dare Look This Child in the Eyes?

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Jack Lindsay
Who Will Dare Look This Child in the Eyes? (1950)

lindsay jack 5 (1)

This leprosy of death, this delicate
device of pain as vast as a star gone rotten
with some shrewd virus of decay:

This intricate defilement of deepest springs,
this pus of death that blotches and blots the sun
across the pitted face of day:

This Thing was made by man, his brain, his hands.
You are a man, accomplice of this Thing.
Redeem your birthright while you may.

Hell has another name now, Hiroshima,
darker than all the rings of burning darkness
where Dante clambered his accusing way.

Can you escape the ghosted night, the eyes
of children scraped to ragged bone?
You are a man. What word have you to say?

Categories: Uncategorized

Holy Thursday

April 16, 2014 1 comment

Matthew 26

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people. His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.” Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him. Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword…”

330px-The_capture_of_Christ_mg_1674

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NATO to Boost Military Presence in Baltic, Mediterranean

April 16, 2014 1 comment

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 16, 2014

NATO to Boost Military Presence in Baltic, Mediterranean

BRUSSELS: NATO will intensify air patrols over Eastern Europe and dispatch extra ships to the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas due to the crisis in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after a meeting of alliance ambassadors in Brussels.

“We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water, and more readiness on the land,” Rasmussen said

“For example, air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region. Allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere, as required. Military staff from Allied nations will deploy to enhance our preparedness, training and exercises. Our defense plans will be reviewed and reinforced,” the NATO chief said.

“We will start to implement these measures straight away. More will follow, if needed, in the weeks and months to come,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the statements, as well as the alliance’s double standard on Crimea, have hindered a de-escalation of tensions in the country.

Tensions between Russia and the West became strained after a regime change in February when the Ukrainian parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and scheduled early presidential elections for May 25.

Russia has described the uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup and a military seizure of power that resulted in Moscow taking steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine and reunify with Crimea following a referendum in the region.

The steps were heavily criticized by the US and EU, who imposed targeted sanctions against several Russian officials and suspended cooperation in certain areas.

On April 1, NATO ended all practical cooperation with Russia. The foreign ministers of NATO members are to review relations with Moscow at their next meeting in June.

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White House, Polish Foreign Minister: Kiev Junta Right To Use Military Against People

Polish Radio
April 16, 2014

Polish FM: ‘Ukraine has the right to defend itself’

[Radoslaw Sikorski, married to American Anne Applebaum, was a resident and citizen of Great Britain in the 1980s (and a member of an elite club that included David Cameron and Boris Johnson), adviser to Rupert Murdoch from 1988-1992, resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., from 2002-2005 and executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative.]

Poland’s foreign minister has said “Ukraine has the right to use force” as troops are sent in to the eastern Donetsk region to clear areas occupied by pro-Russian groups since the weekend.

Interim president Oleksander Turchinov in Kiev declared that a military airport in the eastern city of Kramatorsk had been “liberated” late Tuesday night after Ukrainian troops disembarked from two helicopters where reporters earlier heard gunfire.

President Turchinov said earlier yesterday that Ukraine was launching an “anti-terrorist” operation to clear buildings in ten locations throughout eastern Ukraine of pro-Russian forces.

At least two people died on Sunday when Ukrainian forces tried to retake police and local government buildings in Slaviansk, about 150 km from the Russian border, after they were occupied by pro-Russian groups.

On Tuesday, at least 15 armoured personnel carriers displaying Ukrainian flags were seen parked by the side of a road around 50 km north of Slaviansk, Reuters reports.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said in a telephone conversation with Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday that Ukraine was “on the brink of civil war,” the Russian ITAR-TASS agency says.
Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski told the TVN 24 broadcaster on Tuesday evening that only “Ukraine has a right to use force on its own territory”.

“If some unidentified people take over the airport, [Ukraine] has the right to pick them up,” Sikorski said of the operation in Kramatorsk.

“I do not know, however, what Russia will do,” he added. “In some of its communications to the West, Russia has said that if Ukraine tries to regain control over its own territory, it would consider that as a pretext for an invasion”.

“We know that Russia has enormous military superiority over Ukraine, so [Ukraine authorities] must calculate the risks and take them,” Sikorski said.

A spokesman for US President Barack Obama has said Ukraine’s government was obliged to respond to “provocations” in the east.

The White House spokesman added that the US was “seriously considering” adding to sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea, although the State Department said such action was unlikely before a meeting in Geneva on Thursday at which US, EU and Ukrainian officials will try to persuade Russia to defuse the situation.

Categories: Uncategorized

Pentagon And NATO Heighten Anti-Russian Rhetoric

U.S. Department of Defense
April 15, 2014

U.S., NATO Remain Concerned About Situation in Ukraine
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON: The United States is concerned about reports of increased violence in Ukraine, and continues to call on Russia to de-escalate the situation, Pentagon officials said today.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen echoed the U.S. concern during a media availability in Luxembourg today.

There has been no substantial change in the number or composition of the Russian forces on Ukraine’s eastern and southern borders, Army Col. Steve Warren, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters at the Pentagon.

“The Russians continue to have tens of thousands of troops arrayed along the Ukrainian border,” he said, “and again I would like to reiterate that we have repeatedly called on the Russians to withdraw those troops from the border and help de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian troops are moving to flush pro-Russian militias from cities in the eastern part of the country. In a call with President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is not interfering in Ukraine, and that U.S. contentions that Russia is interfering are based on erroneous information.

“The American government is under no illusions that the Russian government continues to array its troops along the Ukrainian border,” Warren said. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the evidence is compelling that Russia is supporting these efforts to destabilize Ukraine.

The United States continues to support Ukraine, Warren said, and U.S. officials have conducted defense consultations with Ukraine recently. The consultations did not address current operations, he added. The senior Defense Department representative at the talks was Evelyn Farkas, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

Rasmussen said NATO is concerned about the continued violence by small groups of separatists, and Russia’s continued military pressure on Ukraine’s borders. “I call on Russia to de-escalate the crisis, to pull back its troops from Ukraine’s borders, to stop de-stabilizing the situation in Ukraine, and make clear that it doesn’t support the violent actions of pro-Russian separatists,” the secretary general said.

“Russia should stop being part of the problem, and start being part of the solution,” he added.
The NATO chief said the alliance is considering further steps to strengthen collective defense. This could include appropriate deployments, he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Air Strike Kills Afghan Mother And Children

April 16, 2014 1 comment

Kuwait News Agency
April 16, 2014

ISLAMABAD: At least two children and a woman were killed when a NATO helicopter mistakenly bombed a house in the Nader Shah Kot district of southeastern Khost province of Afghanistan, said officials on Tuesday.

The spokesman for governor, Mubarez Zadran calling it a mistake told media that the incident took place in Mirkori area on Monday night.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement confirmed alleged civilian casualties in Khost.

The statement said, “We are aware of reports regarding alleged civilian casualties in Khost province. We are looking into these allegations. ISAF takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously.” The spokesman for governor said that two children and a woman had been killed and a fourth person injured in the incident. Soon after the incident police reached the scene and launched their investigation, he added. Earlier on March 6, a NATO air strike killed at least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and wounded eight others in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan.

==============================================================

Pajhwok Afghan News
April 15, 2014

Mother killed with 2 children in Khost airstrike
By Mohammad Haroon

KHOST CITY: A mother and her two children were killed and her spouse injured during an overnight NATO airstrike in the Nader Shah Kot district of southeastern Khost province, the Presidential Palace said on Tuesday.

The incident took place in Mirkori area on Monday night, said the Khost governor’s spokesman, Mubarez Zadran, who called it a mistake. He said a NATO helicopter on a drill accidently hit a house.

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement said: “We are aware of reports regarding alleged civilian casualties in Khost and are looking into these allegations.”

Zadran told Pajhwok Afghan News two children and a woman had been killed and a fourth person injured in the incident. Soon after the incident, he said, police reached the scene and launched their investigation.
But Agha Jan Tawkali, administrative chief of Nadir Shah Kot district, told Pajhwok Afghan News the attack took place in a mountain side not on a house. He said villagers were collecting firewood in the mountain when foreign troops fired at them from the air.

While police chief Brig. Gen. Faizullah Ghairat said it was not an airstrike, but an artillery fire that hit the mountain. He said two person had died in the incident.

Meanwhile, President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the overnight NATO airstrike that his office said killed three civilians.

A statement issued from the Presidential Palace said a woman and her two children were killed and her spouse wounded in the airstrike.

President Karzai said the attack once again violated agreements between the United States and Afghanistan.

Following the incident, President Karzai telephoned Khost Governor Abdul Jabar Naeemi and directed him to investigate the incident thoroughly.

Karzai extended his sympathies to the bereaved family and wished speedy recovery of the wounded person.

The deaths come at a time when the presidential election and the security agreement between Kabul and Washington are yet to be decided.

Categories: Uncategorized

Siegfried Sassoon: To Any Dead Officer

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Siegfried Sassoon: Aftermath

Siegfried Sassoon: Arms and the Man

Siegfried Sassoon: At the Cenotaph

Siegfried Sassoon: Atrocities

====

Siegfried Sassoon
To Any Dead Officer

00sassoon

Well, how are things in Heaven? I wish you’d say,
Because I’d like to know that you’re all right.
Tell me, have you found everlasting day,
Or been sucked in by everlasting night?
For when I shut my eyes your face shows plain;
I hear you make some cheery old remark—
I can rebuild you in my brain,
Though you’ve gone out patrolling in the dark.

You hated tours of trenches; you were proud
Of nothing more than having good years to spend;
Longed to get home and join the careless crowd
Of chaps who work in peace with Time for friend.
That’s all washed out now. You’re beyond the wire:
No earthly chance can send you crawling back;
You’ve finished with machine-gun fire—
Knocked over in a hopeless dud-attack.

Somehow I always thought you’d get done in,
Because you were so desperate keen to live:
You were all out to try and save your skin,
Well knowing how much the world had got to give.
You joked at shells and talked the usual ‘shop,’
Stuck to your dirty job and did it fine:
With ‘Jesus Christ! when will it stop?
Three years…It’s hell unless we break their line.’

So when they told me you’d been left for dead
I wouldn’t believe them, feeling it must be true.
Next week the bloody Roll of Honour said
‘Wounded and missing’ – (That’s the thing to do
When lads are left in shell-holes dying slow,
With nothing but blank sky and wounds that ache,
Moaning for water till they know
It’s night, and then it’s not worth while to wake!)

***

Good-bye, old lad! Remember me to God,
And tell Him that our Politicians swear
They won’t give in till Prussian Rule’s been trod
Under the Heel of England…Are you there?…
Yes…and the War won’t end for at least two years;
But we’ve got stacks of men…I’m blind with tears,
Staring into the dark. Cheerio!
I wish they’d killed you in a decent show.

Categories: Uncategorized

TASS Report: Fighter Jet Shot Down In Eastern Ukraine

April 15, 2014 3 comments

Itar-Tass
April 15, 2014

Fighter jet shot down near Ukraine’s city of Kramatorsk, witnesses say

As follows from what the people say four fighter planes, presumably Sukhoi-27 were hovering over Kramatorsk

Ukraine KIEV: Shots are being fired at the airdrome near the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, and one fighter plane has been shot down, witnesses report from the scene.

As follows from what the people say four fighter planes, presumably Sukhoi-27 were hovering over Kramatorsk. At a certain point they opened fire at the local airdrome. Who commanded the planes and who downed the fighter remains unclear. Witnesses claim there have been casualties at the airdrome. An ambulance is on the way to the scene.

Earlier, a Ukrainian daily reported with reference to witnesses that shots and explosions were heard at the military airdrome near the city of Kramatorsk.

According to the website of the daily Novosti Kramatorska, a military aircraft circled over the airdrome for a while.

“Witnesses say it was a MiG-25 or Sukhoi-27 plane. It was flying at a very low altitude,” the paper said.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry declared the beginning of a special operation in the city against the supporters of the country’s federalization.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukraine: U.S. Proxies Launch Bloody Civil War

April 15, 2014 1 comment

Sofia News Agency
April 15, 2014

Ukraine’s Army Starts Anti-Terror Operation in Kramatorsk

photo_verybig_159851

The Ukrainian army has stormed Kramatorsk Airfield in Donetsk region, in a moved that has marked the beginning of a long-forewarned “anti-terrorist operation”.

A series of shots and explosions could be heard in the area, according to reports by the local newspaper Novosti Kramatorska cited by Lenta.ru.

A video footage earlier published on YouTube purportedly shows deployment of Ukrainian special forces beginning around the airfield.

Ukrainian aircraft seem to be taking part in the operation.

The country’s Defense Ministry announced an anti-terrorist operation had been launched in Kramatorsk, but refused to provide further details.

Unconfirmed reports by sources cited by Lenta.ru suggest Interior Ministry’s forces have also arrived in Slaviansk, which was virtually sealed off by rebel pro-Russian groups during Sunday and Monday.

On Tuesday afternoon local time, Andriy Parubiy, who heads the National Security Council of Ukraine, reported via his Facebook profile that troops had set off for Eastern Ukraine as part of the “anti-terrorist operation”.

Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov announced a few days ago that such operation would be a last resort if pro-Russian factions occupying government buildings and security headquarters across eastern cities don’t surrender.

Turchynov asserted on Tuesday that all activities addressing “separatists” would be carried out “in a very responsible way”, as quoted by Der Spiegel.

He also said the aim of these actions was “to protect the citizens of Ukraine” and “to stop terror… [and] attempts to tear Ukraine to pieces”.

Moscow has however repeatedly warned Kiev against using force to crack down on rebel groups. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev even wrote on his Facebook profile that “blood will be spilled again in Ukraine”, repeating a comment he made in mid-February, during the peak of violence across the country that led to ousting President Viktor Yanukovych.

Categories: Uncategorized

Poland: U.S. To Lead Simultaneous Multinational Air Exercises For First Time

April 15, 2014 1 comment

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Forces Africa

April 14, 2014

Poland, US strengthen defense ties through rotational training
By 2nd. Lt. Katrina Cheesman
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland: After two weeks of Polish armed forces and U.S. personnel working shoulder-to-shoulder and building partner capacity as NATO allies, training has come to close April 12 here at the U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment.

Throughout the two-week combined forces training, Polish armed forces and U.S. personnel from 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, traded techniques and tactics through personnel drops, joint precision air delivery system and container delivery system bundle drops, grass-strip tactical landings and observation flights.

“This training deployment is critical to our crews maintaining their readiness,” Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, 86th Airlift Wing commander said on his first visit to his Polish sister wing here, referencing the valuable opportunity for U.S. aircrew to practice various air drops in Poland. “It is critical that we work with the Polish to be able to accomplish our mission as NATO allies.”

The first week, Polish and U.S. service members trained and jumped together out of three U.S. C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Polish land forces and special operations forces were able to jump from U.S. aircraft, under the supervision of a joint team of U.S. jumpmasters.

Polish paratroopers trained with U.S. Air Force paratroopers, along with a small contingent of U.S. Army paratroopers and a U.S. Navy jumpmaster to build understanding of each other’s processes for real-world scenarios, according to U.S. Army Specialist Estevan Gonzales, 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Deliver Company.

The second week, both the U.S. and Polish C-130s flew to evade and escape Polish surface-to-air missiles systems in a first-ever complex training environment that challenged both NATO allies.

“The Polish Air Force has incorporated a lot of new capabilities this time around,” said Maj. Raymond Bevivino, 37th Airlift Squadron deployed forces commander. “It’s nice to see that every time we deploy here to work with our Polish counterparts, we both get better and grow from training together.”

After training with the U.S. this rotation, Polish pilots successfully accomplished tactical landings for the first time on unimproved surfaces, such as a grass strip, which are used during combat and humanitarian operations when paved runways are not available. U.S. service members also trained their counterparts how to set-up, operate and control the landing zone.

“We will continue to exercise these [tactical landings] after the rotation,” said Polish Lt Col. Kyrsztof Szymaniec, 3rd Transport Wing’s C-130 squadron commander. “This aviation rotation is great because we conduct our training under the supervision of the U.S. and learn better techniques and tactics.”

The Av-Det in Poland has an enduring U.S. presence, with ten U.S. Air Force members stationed at Lask Air Base, Poland. The ten Airmen plan and coordinate at least four aviation rotations a year, according to Maj. Matthew Spears, Av-Det commander.

“We have established continuity and a working relationship with our Polish counterparts that simplifies the deployment of U.S. aircraft to Poland, and increases the effectiveness of the bilateral training,” Spears said. “We could not accomplish the aircraft rotations without the tremendous support of the Polish armed forces.”

U.S. and Polish armed forces will continue to strengthen bilateral defense ties together in various exercises, including an upcoming aviation rotation in June, in which fighter aircraft from multiple nations will participate in three different exercises simultaneously for the first time.

Categories: Uncategorized

Video: NATO, Ukraine and U.S. Imperialism

 IF YOU HAVEN’T GIVEN YET, MAKE YOUR DONATION NOW TO KEEP LABOR BEAT ALIVE:

 
 
NATO, Ukraine and U.S. Imperialism
with Rick Rozoff
 
On YouTube at:
  
 
Also archived at:
 
Rick Rozoff, internationally recognized critic of NATO http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com>, spoke on April 12, 2014 at a Chicago teach-in titled “Stop U.S./NATO’s New Cold War Over Ukraine.”
 
He described the geo-political background to the current crisis resulting from the recent right-wing coup of the Kiev government in Ukraine and U.S./NATO sable-rattling. The key to understanding the present situation is to look at the historically aggressive objectives of NATO.
 
“The Ukrainian crisis is simply the pretext for the U.S. and its NATO allies of moving more military equipment up to the Russian border…to besiege [it]. And there’s only one reason you besiege a country — either to starve it out or to attack it. And nothing less severe is at stake right now.”
 
Rozoff also noted the presence of the warship USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea — and which has as of this writing been reported on corporate media, with cued vexation, as having been buzzed by a Russian fighter jet. “It’s the third guided missile warship from the United States to go into the Black Sea since the crisis in the Ukraine. There is a convention in 1936 called the Montreux Convention that expressly prohibits war ships of a certain size or larger to go into the Black Sea or to stay there over a limited period of time. The U.S. is in clear violation of that Convention and Russian political figures have notified them of that.”
 
“There is no way of exaggerating the severity of what we’re facing right now.” Rozoff warns. “I applaud everyone’s efforts in building an anti-war movement. It has never been more necessary than it is right now.”
 
This video of Rozoff’s talk is enhanced with images assembled in a PowerPoint created by Sara Flounders (International Action Center/NY), plus additional photos and footage. Length – 13:00
 
Rick Rozoff at April 12, 2014 meeting. “There is no way of
exaggerating the severity of what we’re facing right now.”
Photo: Labor Beat
 
 
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Categories: Uncategorized

Ukrainian Troops Kill Several Protesters In East

Interfax
April 15, 2014

Up to 11 people killed in Kramatorsk airfield battle – Rossiya 24

MOSCOW: Between four and eleven people have been killed in a battle at the airport in Kramatorsk, a correspondent for the Rossiya 24 television channel said.

“Indeed, there are fatalities. Efforts are under way to clarify their number, which is between four and eleven people,” the correspondent reported live on Tuesday.

As a result of clashes the Ukrainian troops opened fire against self-defense fighters who tried to stop paratroopers from landing at the airfield in Kramatorsk, he said.

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 15, 2014

4 Protesters Killed in Army Attack on Airfield in Eastern Ukraine

SLAVIANSK (Donetsk Region): At least four protesters were killed and two other wounded on Tuesday as the Ukrainian troops stormed an airfield in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kramatorsk, a spokesman for local People’s Militia told RIA Novosti.

“There are four dead and two wounded at the airfield. They are all militia,” the source said, adding that no casualties among the government troops had been reported.

“The fighting for the airfield is over as the militia has reterated and the Ukrainian side took control of the airfield,” he said.

Eastern Ukraine has been swept by pro-federalisation rallies since March.

Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one that has been held in Crimea in March and led to its reunification with Russia.

In an effort to suppress the protesters Ukraine’s parliamentary speaker and acting President Olexander Turchynov ordered Monday a special anti-terrorist operation in the country’s east, involving the use of armed forces.

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 15, 2014

Russia Halts Handover of Arms to Ukraine to Prevent Civilian Bloodshed

MOSCOW: The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday suspended the transfer of weapons from Crimea to Ukraine in an effort to prevent Kiev authorities from using them against pro-federalization protesters in southeastern regions of the country.

“I would like to reiterate that Russia pledged … to restrict the delivery of weaponry to hot spots,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said, adding that southeastern Ukraine falls into that category as pro-federalization protests spread through the region.

“We are concerned that this weaponry could be used against civilians taking part in protests in eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine,” he said.

Antonov also urged Western countries to follow Russia’s example and apply wisdom and restraint in the possible delivery of arms to Ukraine, drawing on the same logic.

Following Russia’s reunification with Crimea, the Russian military has so far handed over nearly 400 pieces of Ukrainian military equipment, including eight helicopters and three warships, to the new authorities in Kiev.

Late last month, Crimea became a new subject of the Russian Federation following the ratification of the reunification treaty. Although widely denounced by the West, the referendum in Crimea was fully compliant with international law and must be recognized as legitimate, according to the Russian government.

Given the territorial change, Russia started handing weapons and military equipment over to Ukraine that previously belonged to the country’s armed forces.

Last month, activists in the eastern Ukraine started pro-federalization rallies, with protesters in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv calling for a referendum on the status of their respective regions.

Ukraine’s acting President Oleksander Turchynov announced the launch of a “full-scale anti-terrorist operation,” including military forces, against pro-federalization protesters.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the interim government’s decision to use force, including a military crackdown, against the protesters an extremely dangerous development.

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Video: NATO Trains For “Imaginary” Rapid Deployment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

April 15, 2014

VIDEO: NATO TRAINS FOR RAPID DEPLOYMENT

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

April 15, 2014

INTERALLIED CONFEDERATION OF RESERVE OFFICERS MEETS IN LILLE

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On April 10th to 12th 2014, Rapid Reaction Corps France located in Lille hosted the in-between meeting of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers, commonly referred to by its French acronym CIOR. Founded in 1948, the CIOR is a NATO-affiliated organization that represents the interests of over 1.3 million reservists across 36 participating nations, within and beyond NATO. That makes it the world’s largest military reserve officer organization.

The CIOR has two main roles. The first one is to provide support to the NATO Alliance and advice on reserve issues. In this specific framework, the CIOR directly contributes to NATO’s goals by promoting and enhancing cooperation and interoperability amongst reserve forces within the Alliance and its partners. Its second role is to foster the professional development of reserve officers.

The CIOR meets four times a year, for the summer and winter seminars, but also during the so called ‘in-between’ meetings, such as the one set up in Lille last week. There, members of the CIOR work through committees that examine issues and provide analysis relating to reserve forces.
Navy

As an Army HQ and thanks to its special links with NATO, Rapid Reaction Corps France was selected to host this CIOR in-between meeting and show the participants its delightful working conditions within the Queen of the Citadels.

Story by: Rapid Reaction Corps-France Public Affairs Office

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NATO Boss Exploits Ukraine For NATO-EU Military Merger

April 15, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 15, 2014

NATO Secretary General says Ukraine crisis amplifies need to boost defence cooperation

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday (15 April 2014) that the Ukraine crisis has amplified the need to strengthen cooperation between NATO, the European Union and with close partners. “We need to train and exercise more together, for instance the NATO Response Force and the EU Battlegroups, so that we stand ready for whatever the future may bring,” the Secretary General said arriving for EU Defence Ministers talks in Luxembourg.

The Secretary General discussed the crisis in Ukraine with the EU defence ministers. He expressed his deep concern over the continued violence by small groups of separatists and Russia’s continued military pressure on Ukraine’s border. “I call on Russia to de-escalate the crisis, to pull back its troops from Ukraine’s borders, to stop de-stabilizing the situation in Ukraine, and make clear that it doesn’t support the violent actions of pro-Russian separatists,” he said. “Russia should stop being part of the problem, and start being part of the solution.”

The EU ministers were informed by Mr. Fogh Rasmussen about what measures NATO has already taken and will take to further strengthen collective defence at sea, in the air and on land. “These measures will follow three tracks; re-enforced defence plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments,” he said. The Secretary General will also hold talks with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg and Mr. Marc Angel, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Luxembourg Parliament, while in the Grand Duchy.

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Top NATO Commander, McCain Plot With Georgian Military, Defense Chiefs

April 15, 2014 1 comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
April 12, 2014

Telephone conversation with NATO Commander

Chief of the General Staff of Georgian Armed Forces Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze had a telephone conversation with the Commander of U.S. European Command Philip Breedlove.

During the conversation regional security environment and bilateral defence cooperation issues were discussed. Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze thanked the American side for its assistance provided for the wounded soldiers` program. The generals also talked over the contribution provided by Georgia in the ISAF mission. Philip Breedlove expressed his gratitude to the Georgian soldiers for their devotion in Afghanistan.

Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze invited the U.S. General to Georgia. He also agreed to visit Georgia. During the telephone conversation, the generals of both countries decided to discuss the U.S. -Georgian cooperation in military field when their first personal meeting is held.

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Ministry of Defence of Georgia
April 12, 2014

Telephone Conversation with Senator John McCain

On April 11, telephone conversation was held between Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania and the U.S. Senator John McCain. Georgian Defence Minister and the U.S. Senator discussed Georgia’s NATO membership aspirations, regional security and bilateral cooperation issues in defence sphere between the United States of America and Georgia.

As Senator McCain stated, he firmly supports increasing Georgia’s defence capabilities and granting Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia at the upcoming NATO Summit. According to the U.S. Senator, he will do his best to achieve these goals.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Builds Up Georgian Reserve Forces

April 15, 2014 1 comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
April 15, 2014

NATO will help Georgia in review and assessment of reserve and mobilization system transformation concept

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NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee will assist the Georgian armed forces in review and assessment of reserve and mobilization system transformation concept. The Georgian side made report on the key aspects of the concept transformation of the armed forces reserve and mobilization system at the NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee Staff Officers assembly in France.

It was decided that committee member countries will provide expert assistance to the Georgian armed forces in development of project concept. U.S., Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark and Poland will present the concept assessment and recommendations at 2014 summer meeting. Also, Georgia’s initiative on holding the 2015 autumn committee in Tbilisi is under discussion.

Georgia became NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee Member as an observer on November 7, 2013. Together with Georgia observer member countries are: Australia, Sweden, Austria and South Korea.

NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee is directly supervised by NATO Military Committee and remains to be main coordinating structure in reserve issues.

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EU Expedites Association Agreements With Georgia, Moldova

April 15, 2014 1 comment

Civil Georgia
April 15, 2014

EU Reaffirms Support to Early Signature of AA with Georgia, Moldova

Tbilisi: EU foreign ministers, who met in Luxembourg on April 14, reiterated support to “early signature” of Association Agreements, including its deep and comprehensive free trade treaties, with Georgia and Moldova “no later than June.”

The foreign ministers’ meeting, which focused mainly on Ukraine, reaffirmed that further deepening of EU-Georgia and EU-Moldova relations “will have a positive impact on stability and socio-economic development, for the benefit of all the citizens of the two countries.”

“The EU encourages Georgia and the Republic of Moldova to continue implementing reforms as part of their commitment to further strengthen the political association and economic integration with the EU,” the EU foreign ministers said.

Meanwhile EU delegation in Tbilisi released on April 14 a ten-page fact sheet (pdf), calling it the “myth-buster”; it said that “recently there have been various myths spread about the EU-Georgia Association Agreement/Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).”

The fact sheet lists and responds to 40 “myths” ranging from assumptions that the EU will “force Georgia to legalise gay marriage” and that the Association Agreement “challenges the authority of the Georgian Orthodox Church” to allegations that DCFTA “will harm the Georgian economy.”

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Civil Georgia
April 15, 2014

EU Plans Investment Conferences in Georgia, Moldova

Tbilisi: EU will hold investment conferences in Moldova and Georgia on the occasion of the visit of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to those countries on June 12 and 13, respectively, according to the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The EU plans to sign the Association Agreements, including deep and comprehensive free trade treaties with Georgia and Moldova no later than June.

EEAS said that the conferences will focus on business activity and investment in Moldova and Georgia; discussions will also focus on what the deep and comprehensive free trade agreements will mean in practical terms for businesses.

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Lilika Nakos: The dead man, the living, the house; all were smashed to bits

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Lilika Nakos: The grandmother’s sin

Lilika Nakos: “Surely God didn’t intend this butchery”

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Lilika Nakos
From The Children’s Inferno (1946)
Translated by Allan Ross Macdougall

I was on night duty in the children’s ward. Some of the patients were drowsing, others slept, and some, burning up with fever, moaned. Suddenly, the frightful banshee-wail of the air-raid sirens sounded, shrill and persistent, setting off all the dogs of the neighborhood howling. I thought to myself: The children are going to be awakened, and the tiniest ones are going to be afraid and cry. When the alarm went off we did not take our patients to air-raid shelters for the simple reason that we had none…

“When my mother and I heard the sirens in our district of Botanico,” said Ianko, “we went out to look. If you only knew how we heard the bombs burst over there – the whole earth shook as if there was an earthquake.”

“At Kokkinia, we did the same thing,” said Yorgo. “Nobody went into the shelters. It was a celebration when the English came. How we laughed when we saw that it was the others who were getting it!”

“Why, old Yorgo, weren’t they also people?”

“Who?”

“Oh! The Italians and the Germans. When my mother heard the bombs falling she used to cross herself and say: ‘Dear God, have pity on men and on the mothers that brought them into the world.’”

“Who should He have pity on?”

“On everybody, don’t you understand? My mother felt sorry for all the mothers of the whole world because she lost my brother, the eldest, who was killed at Tepelini.”

Silence. The two children listened to the bombs crashing in the distance. Sometimes the noise was like that of an enormous body being dropped into the water – bombs falling into the sea. Then the noise became louder, changed its direction, and once more the earth shook.

“They are dropping bombs near here,” said one.

“Yes, they can’t be very far away.”

Through the windows, most of which had no blinds, one could see the heavens filled with flashes.

“The searchlights!” shouted a child who was sitting up in bed to see better.

“The noise of the explosions grew louder and came nearer in an alarming way.

“The world’s on fire, old man. Do you hear? You see, they are now beginning to bomb Athens,” said Ianko, not without uneasiness.

“And why not? Must it always be the Piraeus that gets it?” asked a little Pireot, sly as a monkey, who had been wounded in the leg during an earlier raid. “Let them bomb Athens too! The last time they bombed the Piraeus, near Agios-Vassili, they killed a whole family at a wake. The dead man, the living, the house; all were smashed to bits.”

Categories: Uncategorized
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