100-Day War: Ukraine Launches Third Stage Of Mobilization

July 24, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
July 24, 2014

Ukraine to increase number of army bases, create rotation conditions – General Staff

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During the third stage of partial mobilization in Ukraine conscripts will not be sent to the anti-terrorist operation zone in the east of the country straight away, Col. Oleksandr Pravdyvets, deputy chief of the mobilization unit at the Ukrainian Army General Staff Mobilization Department, has said.

“No one will be sent to the ATO (anti-terrorist operation) zone without proper training,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.

For his part, Col. Mykhailo Scherbyna, who is in charge of introducing reservists into service, said that an additional 15 army bases and 44 combat-support units are expected to be put on alert during the third wave of mobilization.

“The aim of the third phase of mobilization is to increase the number of army units, bolster national border security and create rotation conditions,” Scherbyna said.

The first two mobilizations saw the mobilization of 53 army bases and 18 bases related to other government departments, he said.

Whereas earlier the focus during mobilization was on conscripts trained for army jobs – paratroopers, grenadiers and so on, now preference will be given to the support provision for the bases located in the security-operation zone, the official said.

Mobilization will last for 45 days, but that is a period set for recruitment offices, not for the military service proper.

He also said mobilization will be conducted in all Ukrainian regions “proportionally” without an exception. ”It’s not that we’ll be recruiting from one region only,” the General Staff representative said.

He would not say how many conscripts will be mobilized now, citing confidentiality such information.

The law on the third stage of partial mobilization took effect on Thursday, July 24.

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Interfax-Ukraine
July 24, 2014

Eighteen soldiers return to Ukraine after medical treatment in Russia

Eighteen Ukrainian servicemen have returned home after undergoing medical treatment at hospitals in the Russian southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vasyl Zvarych told Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

The dead body of a Ukrainian soldier who died from his injuries has been turned over to the Ukrainian authorities as well, he said.

“With the help of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry and Consulate General in Rostov-on-Don, 18 servicemen who received medical treatment in Russia and the dead body of one serviceman who died from his injuries were delivered from Russia to Ukraine by airplanes of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry this morning. Another four Ukrainian soldiers have stayed in Russia for further treatment,” he said.

All issues concerning their return to Ukraine will be sorted out soon, Zvarych said.

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Mediterranean: Canada Adds Ship To NATO Buildup Around Ukraine

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
July 24, 2014

HMCS Toronto crew set to join NATO in Mediterranean

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Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto will depart this morning to join NATO reassurance measures in the Mediterranean.

HMCS Toronto is heading to a very tense area, replacing HMCS Regina, which has been part of Standing NATO Maritime Forces since May 2014.

HMCS Regina was on another mission in the Arabian Sea when the conflict in the Ukraine started to escalate three months ago. The ship was then sent to the eastern Mediterranean.

The Toronto will be headed to the same area in the eastern Mediterranean, where it can be quickly deployed to the Black Sea, if needed.

On Wednesday, a pair of Ukraine fighter jets were shot down in the same area where a Malaysian airliner was brought down last week.

The last mission for HMCS Toronto was also in the Arabian sea and it was 12 months long.

It’s not known how long this mission will be. Families will be at the dockyard in Halifax Thursday morning as the vessel departs.

HMCS Toronto will be leaving for the Mediterranean Sea from the CFB Halifax Dockyard with a ceremony Thursday at 10 a.m.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson will also be at the navy jetty to send off the Toronto’s crew of 250.

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Charles Yale Harrison: We have learned who our enemies are

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

American writers on peace and against war

Charles Yale Harrison: Bombardment, maniacal congealed hatred

Charles Yale Harrison: War’s whispered reminder, you must come back to my howling madness

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Charles Yale Harrison
From Generals Die In Bed (1928)

We have learned who our enemies are – the lice, some of our officers, and Death.

Of the first two we speak continually, the last we rarely refer to.

Strangely, we never refer to the Germans as our enemy. In the week-old newspaper which comes from the base we read of the enemy and the Hun, but this is newspaper talk and we place no stock in it. Instead we call him Heinie and Fritz. The nearest we get to unfriendliness is when we call him “square-head.” But our persistent and ever present foe is the louse.

***

Six days in reserve near the light artillery, six days in supports, six days in the front trenches – and then out to rest. Five or six days out on rest and then back again; six days, six days, rest.

Endlessly in and out. Different sectors, different names of trenches, different trenches, but always the same trenches, the same yellow, infested earth, the same screaming shells, the same comet-tailed “minnies” with the splintering roar. The same rats, fat and sleek with their corpse-filled bellies, the same gleaming gimlet eyes. The same lice which we carry with us wherever we go. In and out, in and out, endlessly, sweating, endlessly, endlessly…Somewhere it is summer, but here are the same trenches. The trees here are skeletons holding stubs of stark, shell-amputated arms towards the sky. No flowers grow in this wasteland.

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Latin America As Next War Zone: U.S. Leads 21-Nation Special Forces Exercise In Colombia

Department of Defense
July 22, 2014

Multinational Exercise to Test Special Operations Forces

WASHINGTON: Security forces from 21 countries will participate in Fuerzas Comando 2014 in Colombia tomorrow through Aug. 1, Defense Department officials announced today.

Fuerzas Comando is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise that has been conducted in Central and South America and the Caribbean since 2004, officials said.

The Colombian military is hosting the multinational special operations skills competition. About 700 military, law enforcement and civilian personnel from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and Uruguay will participate.

Through friendly competition, officials said, the exercise promotes military-to-military relationships, increases training knowledge and improves regional security. The nine-day event will demonstrate and test participants’ skills through special operations forces competitions, they added, and will include an executive combating terrorism fellowship program focused on topics such as combating terrorism, organized crime and illicit trafficking.

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Global NATO’s African Military Partner: Tanzania

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

July 23, 2014

NATO COUNTER-PIRACY WARSHIP COOPERATES WITH THE TANZANIAN NAVY

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Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA: NATO’s counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD warship ITS MIMBELLI has concluded a port visit to Dar es Salaam designed to deepen ongoing cooperation with the Tanzanian Navy in a common effort to eradicate piracy off the coast of eastern Africa, protect maritime trade and ensure safe navigation in the Indian Ocean.

MIMBELLI’s boarding teams performed maritime cooperation activities with the Tanzanian Navy, sharing experiences and knowledge on counter-piracy procedures, Maritime Interdiction Operations, force protection capabilities, fire fighting and damage control procedures.

During the port visit, ITS MIMBELLI’s Commanding Officer, Captain Davide Berna, met with the Acting Commander Tanzanian Navy, Brigadier General H. Majumba to discuss enhanced cooperation and training opportunities between NATO and Tanzanian naval forces.

…The visit to Dar es Salaam proved to be highly beneficial in solidifying cooperation between NATO naval forces and the Tanzanian Navy, while enhancing regional security.

Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

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Eastern European Janissaries Want NATO Buildup In Balkans, Black Sea Region

Voice of America News
July 23, 2014

Bulgaria Calls for More NATO Troops in Southeastern Europe

WARSAW: Bulgaria called for more NATO troops in southeastern Europe and the Black Sea, as well as more joint military exercises, to improve security in the region after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

An ex-communist state on the Black Sea, Bulgaria was a close Cold War ally of Moscow but joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union three years later.

“The events in Ukraine proved that we cannot take peace and security in Europe for granted,” President Rosen Plevneliev said at a meeting in Warsaw of heads of state of NATO countries in central and eastern Europe, according to a statement from his office.

“Increasing NATO forces in southeastern Europe and the Black Sea, carrying out more joint military exercises, as well as the more active use of joint military facilities in Bulgaria, were among the proposals put forward by President Plevneliev,” the statement said.

He also said Bulgaria will raise its defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2015 and then gradually raise it further to 2 percent of GDP.

Poland, which already spends 1.95 percent of GDP on defense, joined Bulgaria’s calls, and said the region should improve military infrastructure so it can get help from NATO if it is needed, the Polish President said.

Bronislaw Komorowski said in a statement on his website that a NATO summit planned for September should bring decisions aimed at improving the defense capabilities of the Eastern wing of the alliance.

On Monday, Romania’s President Traian Basescu criticised the EU for a soft stance toward Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, after the downing of a Malaysian airliner with nearly 300 people on board in separatist-held territory in Ukraine last week.

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Maxim Gorky: War permits destruction of every kind: losing limbs fighting for our country

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

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war

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Maxim Gorky
From The Specter (1938)
Translated by Alexander Bakshy

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“They cut off Dudarov’s leg for the ‘glory of the Church and the country,’ as the children recite at school. And now they’re beginning all over again to blow off the heads and legs and arms of the peasants…”

***

“We are already practically a colony. Our metal industry is almost sixty-seven per cent in French hands. French capital controls seventy-seven percent of our ship-building industry. The stock capital of our banks amounts to five hundred and eighty-five million, and of these four hundred and thirty-four are foreign capital, including two hundred and thirty-two million rubles representing the French investment.”

“We are fighting because M. Poincaré is eager for revanche for 1871, and because he wants to recover the mineral-bearing lands seized by the Germans forty-three years ago. Our army is playing the role of mercenaries – “

***

Three square windows, blanketed with snow, let in a very little light…

“I hope it lasts all winter, so that it will kill the Germans,” the gendarme growled; looking around, he added: “You burned the partition?”

“We used the partition for coffins.”

“You’ll have to answer for the destruction of somebody else’s property.”

“We’ll answer for it. It’s easy to answer in this obvious matter – war permits destruction of every kind.”

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Ukrainian Junta Moves Toward Universal Conscription, Total Mobilization

July 22, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
July 22, 2014

Maximum age of Ukrainians able for military service goes up to 60

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The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada has increased the maximum permissible age of soldiers, sergeants and petty officers to 60. The top age for senior officers is 65.

The bill adjusting article 28 of the Ukrainian Law “On Military Duty and Military Service” dedicated to reservists and their maximum age was approved by 232 out of 242 deputies present at the session.

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Interfax-Ukraine
July 22, 2014

Verkhovna Rada approves Poroshenko’s partial mobilization decree

The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada has passed a bill endorsing the “Partial Mobilization” decree of President Petro Poroshenko by 232 votes.

The bill approved on Tuesday takes effect on the day of publication.

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Andriy Parubiy who introduced the bill said the third phase of partial mobilization “would mobilize extra 15 combat units and 44 combat support units.”

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Atlanticist Think Tank: Time For NATO To Absorb Ukraine

German Marshall Fund
July 21, 2014

It is Time for Ukraine to Join NATO
Allen Wan is the Deputy Shanghai Bureau Chief at Bloomberg News and a 2002 Marshall Memorial Fellow.

While the U.S. is still regarded as the world’s superpower, the reality is that America’s zone of influence increases when it is coupled with European support on economic, diplomatic and military action globally. America’s gravitas decreases when it decides to go it alone.

The transatlantic relationship has been instrumental in promoting democracy in former Soviet satellites, halting conflicts in places as far flung as Afghanistan and helping states recover from the ravages of the global financial crisis at a time when the world has split into two main camps with the rise of a prosperous China and Russia. NATO has been a key reason for the success of the alliance [!], binding 28 disparate nations in a desire for peace through collective security. I was able to witness this firsthand traveling through Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland as a Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2002.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, some have called into question whether NATO’s raison d’être is still pertinent today. In fact, it has only grown more important as wealthier, non-democratic powers serve as an alternative to poorer nations with weak governments who favor the idea of financial aid with little political interference. China’s purported largesse has enabled the nation to develop military infrastructure in Pakistan and tap resources in Africa. Putin’s Russia stifles domestic opposition and acts with impunity in independent nations like Ukraine, sending military hardware to rebels that has only escalated the conflict and made the world a more dangerous place.

In the wake of global outrage over the downing of Malaysia flight MH17, which killed 298 people, the world is looking for leadership in confronting Putin. NATO is uniquely qualified to serve that purpose given its history as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism. NATO should, at the very least, send its observers to gather evidence on the atrocity at the behest of the government of Ukraine. In the long term, NATO should consider full Ukrainian membership at a time when public support has reached the highest levels ever in the aftermath of a revisionist Russia. NATO must evolve to confront new challenges as it has been the hallmark of a successful transatlantic relationship built on a desire for world peace.

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Edgar Quinet: The soul of man has vanished, nations and races are doomed to combat and destroy each other

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

Edgar Quinet
From address delivered at the Congress of Peace in Geneva in 1867
Translated by Constance Garnett

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In the worst days of the ancient Caesarism, when every one was dumb except the sovereign, there were men who left their refuge in the wilderness to utter a few words of truth in the face of the fallen peoples. For sixteen years I have been living in the wilderness, and I in my turn should like to break the deadly silence to which our age has grown accustomed.

You have no conscience…it is dead, crushed under the heel of the mighty, it has disowned itself. For sixteen years I have been seeking traces of it and have not found it.

It was the same under the Caesars in the ancient world. The soul of man has vanished. The peoples aided their own enslavement, applauded it, showing neither regret nor remorse. As the conscience of mankind vanished, it left an emptiness which was felt in everything as it is now, and to fill it a new god was needed.

Who will in our day fill the abyss opened by modern Caesarism?

In the place of the worn-out, abolished conscience has come night; we wander in the darkness not knowing whence to seek aid, to whom to turn. All have helped to bring about our fall: church and law-court, the nations and society…Deaf is the earth, deaf conscience, deaf the peoples; right has perished with conscience; only might rules…

What have you come for, what are you seeking in these ruins of ruins? You answer that you are seeking peace. Whence do you seek it? You are lost among the broken ruins of the fallen edifice of justice. You seek peace, you are mistaken, it is not here. Here is war. In this night without dawn, nations and races are doomed to combat and destroy each other at hazard in obedience to the will of the rulers who have fettered their hands and their minds in bondage.

The nations will rise again only when they are conscious of the depth of their fall!

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Ukrainian Minister Wants NATO Involvement In 100-Day “Terrorist” War

National Radio Company of Ukraine
July 21, 2014

New Ukraine-NATO cooperation plan should include current terrorist threats to Ukraine – Minister

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“The new annual plan of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO should take into account the current terrorist threats to Ukraine,” Cabinet Minister Ostap Semerak said at a news briefing in Kyiv on Monday.

According to him, the government considered the draft Ukraine-NATO cooperation plan for 2015 last week but didn’t approve it, because the plan didn’t fully correspond with the actual situation in certain parts of Ukraine and the real terrorist threats there. “The document was sent for improvement,” Semerak said, adding that before the adoption the Ukraine-NATO cooperation plan would have to be agreed with NATO.

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Ukrainian Junta Restores Several Military Airfields In The South

Interfax-Ukraine
July 21, 2014

Ukraine starts restoring southern air bases

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The Ukrainian Air Forces have started restoring three former military airfields in the country’s southern region: Martynivka (Voznesensk, Mykolaiv region), Buyalyk and Chervonohlynske (both in Odesa region).

Currently, the runways on the airfields are being covered with Dyckerhoff monolithic concrete, the Ukrainian Military Portal said on Monday.

In the previous years, the airfield in the Mykolaiv region hosted the 642nd Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircraft regiment, the Buyalyk – Sukhoi Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft from the 511th reconnaissance aviation regiment, and the Chervonohlynske – the 737th fighter aviation regiment.

A military commandant’s office already reopened at the Kanatove air base (Kirovohrad region) in June.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also contemplated the possibility of restoring air bases in Bolhrad and Lymanske (Odesa region) but discarded the idea due to their closeness to the border, the statement said.

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Afghanistan: U.S. Trains Georgian Troops For War In Caucasus

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
July 21, 2014

Georgian Military Servicemen Welcomed Home

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Military servicemen of the 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade returned from Afghanistan. 150 battalion members were welcomed back home by the Deputy Defence Ministry Irakli Gegechkori, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces Col. Roman Jokhadze, Sergeant Major of the Georgian Armed Forces Aluda Kopaliani, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland and the U.S. Military Attaché Col. Matthew Dimmick at the Alekseevka military airfield.

23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade was serving at the Camp Leatherneck under the ISAF mission during four months. The 23rd Battalion is the last Georgian unit that has served at the military camp along with other Georgian units who served under the Georgian flag during four years on a rotation basis. A few days ago accomplishment of ISAF mission was marked with a solemn ceremony at Camp Leatherneck. Military base under the U.S. command has been closed related to transition of security responsibility to the Afghan National Security forces due to be completed at the end of 2014, when ISAF’s mission will end.

Under the U.S. Command the Georgian military servicemen were carrying out the full spectrum of operations during four months. The 23rd Battalion returned home without suffering any casualties. All personnel of the battalion will arrive in Georgia in a few weeks.

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Charles Yale Harrison: War’s whispered reminder, you must come back to my howling madness

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

American writers on peace and against war

Charles Yale Harrison: Bombardment, maniacal congealed hatred

Charles Yale Harrison: We have learned who our enemies are

====

Charles Yale Harrison
From Generals Die In Bed (1928)

For the past few days it has been raining ceaselessly. We are soaked and chilled.

It is near dawn..

As the smudge of gray appears in the east, the odors of the trenches rise in a miasmal mist on all sides of us. The soaked earth here is nothing but a thin covering for the putrescence which lies underneath; it smells like a city garbage dump in mid-August. We are sunk in that misery which men fall into through utter hopelessness.

***

At last we come to a narrow-gauge railhead. It is still dark. We are ordered to halt. The heat of our exhausted bodies loosens the foul trench odors which cling to us. We never escape the ominous thunder. It is the link which binds us to our future. Out on rest, miles behind the lines, we hear it. It is a reminder to us that the line is still there; that we must return. We lie prostrate, still…

Nearby the tiny narrow-gauge engine puffs energetically, giving off little clouds of white feathery steam which float slowly over us. We look about us with hungry eyes.

Smoke that is not the harbinger of death!

A field which is not the hiding place of thousands of men lurking in trenches to tear each other apart!

The dark, silent, brooding sky above us which does not pour shrieking, living steel upon our heads…!

Who can describe the few moments of peace and sunshine in a soldier’s life? The animal pleasure in feeling the sun on a naked body. The cool, caressing, lapping water. The feeling of security, of deep inward happiness…

In the distance the rumble of the guns is faint but persistent like the subdued throbbing of violins in a symphony. I am still here, it says. You may sleep quietly at night in sweet-smelling hay, you may lay sweating under a tree after drill and marvel at the fine tracings on a trembling leaf over your head, but I am here and you must come back to my howling madness, to my senseless volcanic fury.

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U.S., Polish Puppet Regime Internationalize Ukrainian War

July 20, 2014 3 comments

Radio Poland
July 19, 2014

Malaysian airliner tragedy ‘a global problem’

From Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s American wife Anne Applebaum

Both Barack Obama and President Komorowski have said the downing of a Malaysian jetliner in eastern Ukraine should be a “wake-up call for Europe and the world”.

President Barack Obama said Friday that the US was preparing tougher sanctions against Russia after it has failed to stop the violence in eastern regions of Ukraine, which has led to the death of 298, half them Dutch, on board the downed Malaysian Airline’s Boeing 777.

“This certainly will be a wake-up call for Europe and the world that there are consequences to an escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine; that it is not going to be localized, it is not going to be contained,” Obama told reporters in Washington after talks with Germany’s Angela Merkel, British PM David Cameron, among other world leaders.

In Poland, Ukraine’s western neighbour, President Bronislaw Komorowski said after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Donald Tusk that what was once a problem for Ukrainians is now “a global problem”.

Komorowski called for an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, but this must be accompanied by action “to deter attempts to destroy the Ukrainian state and create a permanent conflict in the region”.

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Estonia, Poland: U.S. Paratroopers Train For War In Europe

July 20, 2014 1 comment

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

July 15, 2014

Airmen, soldiers team up for airdrop
By Senior Airman Christine Griffiths

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POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland: A C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, airdropped U.S. Army paratroopers from Grafenwoehr over Estonia during an initial training mission July 8.

Aircrews from the 37th Airlift Squadron flew from Powidz Air Base, Poland to pick up more than 50 soldiers from the 1-91 Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), at Amari Air Base, Estonia.

“We went over our basic sustain airborne training where we go over exiting the bird and proper parachute landing falls,” said Cpl. Brian James Rushford, B Troop Senior Line Medic, 1-91 CAV, 173rd IBCT (A). “All in preparation for today where we rig up, load up into the bird and do a couple passes and exit the bird.”

“This training helps us maintain our proficiencies and just being ready for any real world operations that we may have to do,” said Airman 1st Class Ralph Colas, 37th AS loadmaster. “Out of today’s training, I was able to log off some currencies that we have to maintain for our semi-annual and as well as seeing all the rigging and all the things we have to do again and again. It helps keep it fresh in my mind.”

Three C-130Js from the 37th AS are based out of Powidz AB to conduct training and focus on maintaining joint readiness while strengthening interoperability. Through these relationships and engagements with our allies, the U.S. and NATO demonstrate their shared commitment to a peaceful, stable and secure Europe.

“Without the Air Force we can’t do our operations, they have a crucial part to this,” Rushford said…

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Robert Graves: Even its opponents don’t survive war

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

Robert Graves: A certain cure for lust of blood

Robert Graves: Recalling the last war, preparing for the next

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Robert Graves
From Good-Bye to All That (1929)

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My mother used to tell us stories of inventors and doctors who gave their lives to the service of humanity…She kept off the subject of war as much as possible; always finding it difficult to explain how it was God permitted wars. The Boer War clouded my early childhood…

One of my last recollections at Charterhouse is a school debate on the motion ‘that this house is in favour of compulsory military service.’ The Empire-Service League, with Earl Roberts of Kandahar, V.C., as its President, sent down a propagandist in support. Only six votes out of one hundred and nineteen were noes. I was the principle opposition speaker against the motion, having recently resigned from the Officers’ Training Corps in revolt against the theory of implicit obedience to orders. And during a fortnight spent the previous summer at the O.T.C. camp near Tidworth on Salisbury Plain, I had been frightened by a special display of the latest military fortifications: barbed-wire entanglements, machine-guns, and field artillery in action. General, later Field-Marshall, Sir William Robertson, who had a son at the school, visited the camp and impressed upon us that war with Germany must inevitably break out within two or three years, and that we must be prepared to take our part in it as leaders of the new forces which would assuredly be called into being. Of the six noes, Nevill Barbour and I are, I believe, the only ones who survived the war.

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Azerbaijan: NATO’s Outpost On Iranian, Russian Borders

Trend News Agency
July 19, 2014

Azerbaijan continues reforms for integration with NATO standards, deputy minister says
By Elchin Huseynov

Baku: Azerbaijan continues cooperating with NATO and is holding reforms to integrate its standards, Azerbaijani Deputy Defense Minister, Lieutenant-General Kerem Valiyev said at a meeting with heads of leading Azerbaijani media on July 18.

Valiyev thus dismissed some media reports that Azerbaijan does not intend to integrate into the NATO and is returning to the post-Soviet, Russian military system.

“We are cooperating with NATO and moving in this direction,” Valiyev said. “So far, seven representatives of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry have served at the NATO headquarters, and soon their number will be increased to ten,” he noted.

“Overall, 237 Azerbaijanis are receiving military training at various levels abroad. Most of them are being trained in NATO countries, including Turkey and the United States. Only a few of them are being trained in Russia,” Valiyev said.

The deputy minister explained that Azerbaijan is using Russian military equipment, so there is a need of Azerbaijani servicemen to receive the Russian military education. This is while Azerbaijan continues to cooperate with NATO.

“We are acquiring new NATO systems, and use its tactics. We are definitely cooperating with NATO,” the deputy minister said.

Commenting on the issue that Turkish military consultants are no longer working in the military structures of Azerbaijan, Valiyev said noted that the country continues its cooperation in Turkey at the highest level.

“Today, there is no need for Turkish consultants, but when necessary, we address to Turkish colleagues,” Valiyev explained.

Edited by S.I.

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Thomas Mann: Selections on war

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Russian Aggression Prevention Act: U.S. Declares Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova Major Non-NATO Allies

July 18, 2014 2 comments

The Messenger (Georgia)
July 18, 2014

U.S Congress gives Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova support to receive major non-NATO ally status
By Ana Robakidze

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, adopted by the US Congress, provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, adopted by the US Congress, provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services. The congress said the act was adopted in order to prevent further Russian aggression towards Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia.

Congress said that in order to be treated as a major non-NATO ally the country must…fully cooperate with the United States on matters of mutual security concern, including counterterrorism matters.

The progress of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova will be monitored by the U.S government. Once a year the U.S President should provide to the appropriate congressional committees a report assessing whether Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova should continue to be treated, for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services, as major non-NATO allies and whether the treatment should be expanded or reduced.

The act directs the president Barack Obama to increase U.S. Armed Forces interactions with the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia and the U.S. and NATO security assistance to such states. Accordingly, the act considers countries of the former Soviet Union to be in need of strengthening democratic institutions, political and civil society organizations, as well as the independent media. They also need to increase educational and cultural exchanges with countries of the former Soviet Union.

Congress directed the Secretary of State to hold former Soviet Countries to increasing democratic standards. Also it ruled out that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction should provide Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova with assistance in exploiting natural gas and oil reserves and to developing alternative energy sources.

Georgian military expert Giorgi Tavdgiridze welcomes the U.S Congress’ decision to make Georgia one of its close military allies. Speaking to Frontnews agency, Tavdgiridze said the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 is a very important document for Georgia and it will help to simplify military cooperation between the two states. However, the expert says Georgia should remain focused on its own sources of defense and should not rely only on its partners.

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U.S. Plans To Increase Military Aid To Ukrainian Client Regime

July 18, 2014 2 comments

National Radio Company of Ukraine
July 18, 2014

U.S. to expand military, technical aid to Ukraine due to Russia’s aggression

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The United States is planning to expand military and technical aid to Ukraine due to Russia’s aggression.

The relevant bill that has passed two Congress readings has been submitted to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs for preparation for the final approval. The bill, in particular, delegates the right to the U.S. Rresident to provide defence, services and training to Ukraine at the request of the Ukrainian government, taking into account the needs of the Ukrainian Army. The military assistance includes supplies of antitank, anti-aircraft and small arms and ammunition; armoured vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles, inflatable boats, and body armour.

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NATO Completes Black Sea War Games

July 18, 2014 1 comment

Romanian News Agency
July 18, 2014

NATO warships arrive in Constanta harbor

Four NATO warships, part of the Standing NATO Mines Counter Measures Two – SNMCMG-2 have arrived on Thursday afternoon in Constanta Harbor, for a five-day stopover.

According to the spokesperson of the Naval Forces HQ (SMFN), lt. col. Corneliu Pavel, the visit is part of the International Activity Plan of the Romanian Naval Forces for this year and is part of the line of developing relations between Romanian sailors and the alliance partners, the SNMCMG-2 Group being a multinational force specialized in mining-demining operations, part of the NATO Maritime Command, which is currently on a navigation-safety mission.

Led by Italian Captain Giovanni Piegaja, SNMCMG-2 is currently composed of the Italian frigate ITS Aviere (flagship), the Italian minehunter ITS Rimini, the Royal Navy minehunter HMS Chiddingfold (UK) and Turkish minehunter TCG Akcay.

SNMCMG-2′s mission in the Black Sea is to consolidate maritime security in the area, running joint exercises with Romanian and Bulgarian sailors during the BREEZE 2014 exercise.

On Friday, joint training activities of the Romanian and foreign sailors in port are programmed, as well as a visit of the official delegation to the Fleet Command and the Constanta County Prefecture, as well as a press conference aboard the ITS Aviere, held by Commodore Dan MacKeigan, Deputy Chief Of Staff Operations, NATO Maritime Command, Captain Giovanni Piegaja and Captain Tiberiu Chodan, Commander of the Fleet.

The SNMCMG-2 vessels will depart from Constanta harbor on Monday, subsequently carrying out exercises at sea, together with dredgers ‘Locotenent Lupu Dinescu’ and ‘Sublocotenent Alexandru Axente’, the frigate ‘Regina Maria’ and a Puma Naval helicopter.
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Voice of America News
July 18, 2014

NATO Black Sea War Games End

BUCHAREST: Seven NATO countries completed naval exercises in the Black Sea on Thursday, officials said, in a signal of the alliance’s resolve to support east European members…

Though scheduled before the crisis erupted, the war games took on added significance because of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March, and the subsequent outbreak of a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

Led by the Bulgarian navy, the 10-day drills aimed to improve tactical coordination of allied units “in a multi-threat environment,” NATO has said. Vessels took part from Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Britain and the United States.

“The navy exercises BREEZE 2014 successfully concluded,” a Bulgarian defense ministry spokesman said. The Romanian Navy said exercises involved commercial traffic monitoring, reaction to asymmetric threat warnings, anti-submarine warfare and artillery firing. 

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NATO To Expand Military Exercises In Lithuania

July 18, 2014 1 comment

Lithuania Tribune
July 18, 2014

NATO officer: exercises in Lithuania will be expanded, Russia has triggered a “security paradigm shift”

Exercises in Lithuania and NATO’s other Eastern member-states will be expanded in response to Russian actions in Ukraine, NATO’s Joint Forces Headquarters officer Lieutenant Colonel Hans Houf said after his team inspected Lithuania’s military infrastructure in Vilnius Friday.

Houf, the commander of NATO Forward Integration Team, said in an interview to BNS that an analysis is being carried out on a macro level in NATO about larger exercises in 2015, with plans adjusted to address Russian tactics and strategies.

“There will be a continuous increased presence for training and exercise purposes not only in Lithuania but in the complete Eastern part of the Alliance, in fact. It’s only the beginning. That’s an effort that we want to continue over time. It’s not only until the end of this year, for example, but we are already studying at the higher level within NATO to increase activity in the region in the coming years and fully integrate that into our annual training and exercise program,” said Houf.

“We think about how we could refocus our exercises, making those exercises more adaptable to the current crisis, to the new security environment that we are seeing, to the security paradigm shift, to the tactics and techniques and strategy that has been applied by the Russians for example, and how we can improve our reaction and our readiness to that,” he told BNS.

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Franz Werfel: Selections on war

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Ukraine: NATO’s 94-Day Proxy War Takes International Toll

Interfax-Ukraine
July 17, 2014

Malaysian plane crashes near Shakhtarsk in Donetsk region – Ukrainian law enforcement source

A Malaysian plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur disappeared from radar at 10,000 meters and then crashed near the city of Shakhtarsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, a source in the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities said.

According to the source, the group of the state emergencies service is on way to the scene.

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Xinhua News Agency
July 17, 2014

Malaysian passenger plane down in Ukraine near Russian border

-“The plane was shot down by the Ukrainian side. We simply do not have such air defense systems, our MANPADs have a firing range of only 3,000 to 4,000 meters, while passenger jets fly at a much higher altitude.”

MOSCOW: A Malaysian flight crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board reportedly having been killed.

“A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, started descending 50 kilometers before entering Russian airspace, and was subsequently found burning on the ground in Ukrainian territory,” Interfax news agency quoted an aviation source as saying.

The plane disappeared from radar at 10,000 meters and then crashed near the city of Shakhtarsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, it said, citing Ukrainian law enforcement authorities.

An advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko wrote on his Facebook that “280 passengers and 15 crew members have been killed.”

A group of emergencies service is on the way to the scene.

Andrei Purgin, first deputy prime minister of the DPR [ Donetsk People's Republic], said the first militia units had reached the crash site and found many children dead.

There were reports saying that the plane was shot down by the eastern Ukrainian militants, which was immediately denied by the leadership of the DPR.

“The plane was shot down by the Ukrainian side. We simply do not have such air defense systems, our MANPADs have a firing range of only 3,000 to 4,000 meters, while passenger jets fly at a much higher altitude,” Interfax quoted DPR officials as saying.

The militants said they did not rule out that the plane could have been brought down by Ukrainian servicemen.

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UNIAN
July 17, 2014

Lufthansa, Air France, “Aeroflot”, “Transaero” and Turkish Airlines suspend flight above Ukraine

Leadership of a range of airlines made decisions to suspend flights above the territory of Ukraine.

In particular, now it is known that the following airlines suspend flights above Ukraine: Lufthansa, Air France, “Aeroflot”, “Transaero” and Turkish Airlines. According to information of airlines, routes of scheduled flights will be changed and will be carried out in a way to avoid the Ukrainian airspace.

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Nathanael West: One live recruit is better than a dozen dead veterans

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Nathanael West
From Good Hunting (1938)

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FITZSIMMONS

We’ve been trying to take the Pepper Mill for months with that plan. We’ve held up the advance on the whole front. We’ve been hurled back again and again…routed…destroyed!

KILBRECHT

An attack is never entirely wasted. Experience under fire, you know, has moral value.

FRENIQUE

Marvelous training.

JARVIS

After all, we are turning a rabble of bookkeepers and farmers into an army of battle-tried soldiers.

FITZSIMMONS

What’s left of them.

FRENIQUE
(As though they should be glad)

They died for France!

FITZSIMMONS

Sure – only one live recruit is better than a dozen dead veterans.

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Indefinite Military Presence: U.S. Wants Compliant Client Regime In Kabul

Press TV
July 15, 2014

US wants a client regime in Afghanistan: Rozoff

The United States is manipulating politics and attempting to exercise “19th century classical imperialism” in Afghanistan because it wants a “client regime” in Kabul, says an American antiwar activist.

In a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday, Rick Rozoff, with the Stop NATO International Network, said Afghanistan “since 1918 had a rich history of parliamentary democracy, in many ways even currently, much more diverse than the situation that obtains in the United States where, as is infamously known, there are two major political parties that have a monopoly on both houses of Congress and the White House.”

And now, Rozoff added, we see “the US stepped in and claimed to be the defender of representative government, of parliamentary democracy; that is a bitter irony.”

“What is painfully obvious is that the US and NATO want to maintain a client regime in Kabul,” Rozoff said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry held meetings with Afghanistan’s two presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani and incumbent President Hamid Karzai on Friday and Saturday, trying to strike a deal ending the deadlock over the June 14 election run-off between the leading contenders.

On Saturday, Kerry said the Afghan presidential rivals have agreed to a full audit of ballots. In a joint meeting with Ghani and Abdullah, Kerry said both candidates have accepted to stand by the eventual result of the audit.

Rozoff says Washington is only interested in securing a “bilateral security agreement or status of forces agreement that permits the United States and its Western military allies to maintain not only a longstanding but ultimately an indefinite military presence in the country.”

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John Greenleaf Whittier: The stormy clangor of wild war music o’er the earth shall cease

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

American writers on peace and against war

John Greenleaf Whittier: If this be Peace, pray what is War?

John Greenleaf Whittier: The Peace Convention at Brussels

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John Greenleaf Whittier
From Worship

370px-John_Greenleaf_Whittier_November_25_1885

Red altars, kindling through that night of error,
Smoked with warm blood beneath the cruel eye
Of lawless Power and sanguinary Terror,
Throned on the circle of a pitiless sky;

Beneath whose baleful shadow, overcasting
All heaven above, and blighting earth below,
The scourge grew red, the lip grew pale with fasting,
And man’s oblation was his fear and woe!

Feet red from war-fields trod the church aisles holy,
With trembling reverence: and the oppressor there,
Kneeling before his priest, abased and lowly,
Crushed human hearts beneath his knee of prayer.

Not such the service the benignant Father
Requireth at His earthly children’s hands
Not the poor offering of vain rites, but rather
The simple duty man from man demands.

For Earth He asks it: the full joy of heaven
Knoweth no change of waning or increase;
The great heart of the Infinite beats even,
Untroubled flows the river of His peace.

Types of our human weakness and our sorrow!
Who lives unhaunted by his loved ones dead?
Who, with vain longing, seeketh not to borrow
From stranger eyes the home lights which have fled?

Then shall all shackles fall; the stormy clangor
Of wild war music o’er the earth shall cease;
Love shall tread out the baleful fire of anger,
And in its ashes plant the tree of peace!

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NATO Plans Expanded Military Presence In Lithuania

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

July 15, 2014

NATO TEAM ASSESSES LITHUANIAN CAPABILITIES

A small team of staff officers from JFC Brunssum has travelled to Lithuania and is currently reviewing potential infrastructure and assessing the logistical challenges of rapidly deploying a NATO presence to the area. The NATO Forward Integration team began its work on July 14 and is expected to complete its assessment in about one week’s time.

“NATO has deployed small teams of staff officers to several locations in eastern member nations in order to conduct surveys and planning that would facilitate a more rapid establishment of a NATO presence, should the situation warrant. Allies recognize that the security situation in Europe has fundamentally changed, and are conducting prudent measures to hone military capabilities and to decrease reaction times in response to any potential threats, ” said MGen Jerry Martinez, Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) at JFC Brunssum.

The information that the team in Lithuania gathers will be used to enhance operational capability, integration and interoperability between Allies and Partners for future exercises and reinforce NATO Assurance Measures in the Baltic Region.

The 12 staff officers from JFC Brunssum are visiting military installations, training facilities and infrastructure. While in Lithuania, the team will also visit the Joint Headquarters of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Vilnius, the Lithuanian Air Force Headquarters in Kaunas, the Lithuanian Navy Headquarters in Klaipeda and Siauliai Airbase where NATO Air Policing Forces are currently deployed.

This isn’t the first fact finding mission for the NFIT team. The group was in Slovakia and Latvia last month in conjunction with NATO exercises. These visits by NATO experts are a proactive and effective way for the Alliance to enhance collective defence capability and ensure rapid responsiveness to secure NATO’s borders.

Story by SHAPE and JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Offices

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

July 15, 2014

NATO DEPLOYABLE COMMUNICATIONS UNIT CONDUCTS TRIALS IN LITHUANIA

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Vilnius, LITHUANIA: NATO has sent a Deployable Communications Module (DCM) to Vilnius during the week of July 14 in order to exercise the unit’s ability to rapidly move and establish command and control assets across Alliance territory in response to any crisis.

The DCM, which deployed approximately 30 persons and 10 vehicles from Szekesfehervar, Hungary to the Lithuanian capital, is part of the 3rd NATO Signal Battalion of the NATO Communication and Information Systems Group (NCISG). The deployment to Lithuania was an operational readiness test designed to assess the Hungarian unit’s capabilities and responsiveness for contingency operations. The operational test is a new addition to regular DCM exercise training and is the first communications test of its kind for a NATO DCM.

“Our mission is to deploy a satellite ground terminal and connect to the Tactical Satellite Network to facilitate extension of the NATO communication infrastructure,” said Maj Lazlo Dozsa, the DCM Commander. “It’s a good opportunity to test our ability to carry out a deployment on short notice and verify and update our procedures as needed.”

In order to accomplish the goal of setting up secure and non-secure computer services for 30-50 users, the DCM had to deploy a wide range of equipment to include a portable satellite dish, computer servers, power generators, air conditioners, tents, communication cables, computers, fuel and other supplies.

The Hungarian unit was also proud to be part of this ‘first-of-a kind’ test of a DCM. “These soldiers are specially selected for this unit and are trained to deploy around the world in order to support NATO deployed operations.” said Maj. Dozsa. “It’s an honour for us to serve in the multinational environment.”

Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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MPs: Kiev To Enforce Martial Law After Military Campaign

Interfax-Ukraine
July 14, 2014

Hrytsenko: Martial law in Donbas will ‘show up real shady business in time of peace’

 
A significant number of MPs support the introduction of martial law in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, independent MP Anatoliy Hrytsenko has reported.

“The firm advice from the factions representing the majority in parliament, says it is necessary to introduce a martial law. It brings more possibilities for controlling the situation, including all material flows,” he said at a program at 112 Ukraine TV channel on Monday.

Hrytsenko noted that several MPs had registered in parliament drafts decrees on the introduction of martial law.

“It’s clear that they didn’t have a legal effect, because only the president has the right to introduce a martial law,” Hrytsenko added.

However, he said that some top managers in Donbas are against martial law.

“They’re afraid of there will be more efficient or less efficient military actions. If martial law is introduced, the whole perimeter is surrounded and every wagon, every piece of raw stock, food, which is produced, will be checked…” he said.

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C.P. Snow: Worse than Genghiz Khan. Has there ever been a weapon that someone did not want to let off?

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

C.P. Snow: Hope it’s never possible to develop superbomb

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C.P. Snow
From The New Men (1954)

C. P. Snow

In was his own uniquely flat expression of delight: but his face was rosy, he did not look like a man of seventy-three. He was reveling in his victory, the hot room, the mildly drunken night.

“If this country gets the super bomb,” he said cheerfully, “no one will remember me.”

He swung his legs under his chair.

“It’s funny about the bomb,” he said. If we manage to get it, what do we do with it then?”

This was not the first time that I heard the question: once or twice recently people at Barford had raised it. It was too far away for the scientists to speculate much, even the controversialists like Mounteney, but several of them agreed that we should simply notify the enemy that we possessed the bomb, and give some evidence: that would be enough to end the war. I repeated this view to Bevill.

“I wonder,” he said.

“I wonder,” he repeated. “Has there ever been a weapon that someone did not want to let off?”

I said, though the issue seemed remote, that this was different in kind. We had both seen the current estimate, that one fission bomb would kill three hundred thousand people at a go.

“Oh, I don’t know,” said Bevell. “Think of what we’re trying to do with bombing. We’re trying to kill men, women and children. It’s worse than anything Genghiz Khan did.”

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Upcoming Summit: NATO Switches Focus From Afghanistan To Ukraine

July 14, 2014 2 comments

U.S. Department of Defense
July 14, 2014

DoD Official Outlines Issues for September’s NATO Summit
By Nick Simeone

WASHINGTON: As NATO prepares for a summit in September, a senior Defense Department official today characterized the alliance as being at a turning point, with questions emerging about the kinds of missions it should take on post-Afghanistan, appropriate levels of defense spending by its members, and whether NATO publics will question the alliance’s relevance going forward.

“For NATO to continue to be seen as relevant to our publics, it needs to be seen as addressing the security issues that are relevant to our publics, so that’s why as an alliance we need to work harder,” Derek Chollet, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said during a “Transatlantic Talks” discussion at the German Marshall Fund of the United States here.

Chollet, whose Pentagon portfolio includes department policy on Russia and Ukraine in addition to alliance issues, said the NATO summit set to be held in Wales will come at a critically important time for the alliance, given the uncertain security situation in Eastern Europe and the scheduled end of NATO’s combat mission in Afghanistan in December, as well as other possible responsibilities that its 28 members could be asked to take on in the future.

“As we are approaching the end of this year with Afghanistan transitioning to a train, advise and assist mission, we are once again facing for the alliance a moment where we are asking, ‘What is the alliance for?’” he said.

The crisis in Ukraine, Chollet said, has served to bring some of these issues to the forefront, including the question of capabilities, which inevitably touches on defense spending by European governments.

“Declining defense budgets [and] declining capabilities remain a challenge, they remain a problem, and they remain something we worry very much about, and that’s why these issues have been on the agenda at NATO at ministerials, and that’s why they will be front and center at the summit,” Chollet told his audience of journalists, think tank members and diplomats.

It was an echo of warnings by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his recent predecessors, who have publicly called on NATO’s European members to pick up an increasing share of the alliance’s budget, the bulk of which is paid by the United States.

Chollet said demonstrating the importance of holding the line on defense spending is one reason why President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve up to $1 billion to fund the European Reassurance Initiative, a program he announced last month intended to reassure U.S. allies of American support on the continent through security operations that include exercises and troop rotations.

“Think of it as a challenge pledge,” he said. “We’re showing that we’re still willing to try to buck the political trends here and continue to spend on European security, and we expect our European partners to show the same.”

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Charles Yale Harrison: Bombardment, maniacal congealed hatred

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

American writers on peace and against war

Charles Yale Harrison: War’s whispered reminder, you must come back to my howling madness

Charles Yale Harrison: We have learned who our enemies are

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Charles Yale Harrison
From Generals Die In Bed (1928)

The air screams and howls like an insane woman.

We are getting it in earnest now. Again we throw ourselves face downward on the bottom of the trench and grovel like savages before this demoniac frenzy.

The conclusion of the explosions batters against us.

I am knocked breathless.

I recover and hear the roar of the bombardment.

It screams and rages and boils like an angry sea. I feel a prickly sensation behind my eyeballs.

A shell lands with a monster shriek in the next bay. The concussion rolls me over on my back. I see the stars shining serenely above us. Another lands in the same place. Suddenly the stars revolve. I have been tossed into the air.

I begin to pray.

“God – God – please…”

I remember that I do not believe in God. Insane thoughts race through my brain. I want to catch hold of something, something that will explain this mad fury, this maniacal congealed hatred that pours down on our heads. I can find nothing to console me, nothing to appease my terror. I know that hundreds of men are standing a mile or two from me pulling gun lanyards, blowing us to smithereens. I know that and nothing else.

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90-Day War: Ukrainian Junta Launches Armored Assault On Cities

BBC News
July 13, 2014

Ukraine conflict: Fighting flares near city of Luhansk

Fighting has flared outside the rebel-held east Ukrainian city of Luhansk, with rebels saying government forces tried to storm the city with tanks.

Rebel military leader Igor Strelkov was quoted as saying his forces had beaten off columns of government armour attacking from the south and west.

Pro-Ukrainian sources in the city of 425,000 people reported skirmishes in villages to the south and west.

‘Seventy tanks’

Strelkov (the nom-de-guerre of Igor Girkin) said the rebels had beaten off two government armoured columns numbering between 40 and 70 tanks.

The rebels fought artillery skirmishes with the Ukrainian army “along the front”, he said.

According to a report (in Russian) on the local anti-rebel news website Informator, Ukrainian forces entered the village of Sabivka, just west of Luhansk, on Sunday. Shooting broke out and local residents took shelter in cellars, it said.

Another local pro-Ukrainian news website, 0642.ua, also reported fighting in Sabivka, quoting an unnamed local woman.

Fighting was also reported around 17:00 (14:00 GMT) just south of Luhansk, in the villages of Heorhiivka and Rozkishne, by the Luhansk news website sxid.info.

An Luhansk anonymous blogger, who tweets as @journal1st_88, wrote of hearing explosions, sirens, shooting and planes flying overhead in Luhansk.

The government began an “anti-terrorist operation” in April to crush the rebellion in the eastern regions.

On Friday, it suffered one of its heaviest losses when an armoured column was hit by rebel rockets in Donetsk region and at least 19 soldiers were killed and about 100 injured.

A rocket attack on the Donetsk city suburb of Marinka on Friday night killed at least four people, with the rebels and government blaming each other.

And earlier on Sunday, Russia warned of “irreversible consequences” after a man was allegedly killed on its side of the border by a shell fired from Ukraine.

The incident reportedly happened when a shell hit the courtyard of a residential building in a small Russian border town, also called Donetsk. The Ukrainian government denied firing on Russian territory.

More than 1,000 civilians and combatants are believed to have died in the fighting since April.

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Ukraine Shells Russia, Kills Civilian

Xinhua News Agency
July 13, 2014

Russia vows “tough response” after Ukraine’s border shelling

MOSCOW: A cross-border shell fired from Ukraine was an indication of dangerous escalation of tension in border areas and might have irreversible consequences, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

The response came after local authorities confirmed the death of one Russian citizen after a Ukrainian shell hit Russia’s Rostov region earlier Sunday.

Representative of the regional government Aleksandr Titov told ITAR TASS news agency that a shell struck two private houses at about 9:02 a.m. local time (0502 GMT) in the city of Donetsk, which lies near the border with Ukraine’s Lugansk region.

One Russian citizen, born in 1967, was killed, he said, while the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a medical source as saying two women were also badly injured.

Investigators from the Russian Investigative Committee said it has opened a criminal case on the shelling [!].

The Ukrainian charge d’affaires was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry where a resolute protest was expressed to him.

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Rossia-24 channel that the incident “is a qualitative escalation of danger” for Russian citizens on their own territory, and it “will not be left without a reaction.” {blah, blah, blah]

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Black Sea: U.S. Leads Military Exercise In Bulgaria

Xinhua News Agency
July 13, 2014

Bulgarian-U.S. landing drill kicks off near Plovdiv

SOFIA” A joint exercise involving Bulgarian special operations forces and U.S. C-130J Hercules aircraft started on Sunday near Plovdiv, some 150 km southeast of Bulgaria’s capital Sofia.

Daytime and nighttime training and combat parachute jumps would be performed during the two-week drill codenamed “Thracian summer 2014″ as well as tactical low altitude flights, transportation of troops and cargo, and delivery of humanitarian aid, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry said in a press release.

The joint training would contribute to improving the operational capabilities of participating units, the press release said.

“Bulgarian troops will improve their tactical skills and share experiences on the implementation of tasks, techniques, and procedures in order to improve their interoperability with NATO standards,” it added.

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George Bernard Shaw: War and the sufferings of the sane

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

George Bernard Shaw: Selections on war

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George Bernard Shaw
From Preface to Heartbreak House (1919)

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The Sufferings of the Sane

The mental distress of living amid the obscene din of all these carmagnoles and corobberies was not the only burden that lay on sane people during the war. There was also the emotional strain, complicated by the offended economic sense, produced by the casualty lists. The stupid, the selfish, the narrow-minded, the callous and unimaginative were spared a great deal. “Blood and destruction shall be so in use that mothers shall but smile when they behold their infantes quartered by the hands of war,” was a Shakespearean prophecy that very nearly came true; for when nearly every house had a slaughtered son to mourn, we should all have gone quite out of our senses if we had taken our own and our friend’s bereavements at their peace value. It became necessary to give them a false value; to proclaim the young life worthily and gloriously sacrificed to redeem the liberty of mankind, instead of to expiate the heedlessness and folly of their fathers, and expiate it in vain. We had even to assume that the parents and not the children had made the sacrifice, until at last the comic papers were driven to satirize fat old men, sitting comfortably in club chairs, and boasting of the sons they had “given” to their country.

No one grudged these anodynes to acute personal grief; but they only embittered those who knew that the young men were having their teeth set on edge because their parents had eaten sour political grapes. Then think of the young men themselves! Many of them had no illusions about the policy that led to the war: they went clear-sighted to a horribly repugnant duty. Men essentially gentle and essentially wise, with really valuable work in hand, laid it down voluntarily and spent months forming fours in the barrack yard, and stabbing sacks of straw in the public eye, so that they might go out to kill and maim men as gentle as themselves. These men, who were perhaps, as a class, our most efficient soldiers (Frederick Keeling, for example), were not duped for a moment by the hypocritical melodrama that consoled and stimulated the others. They left their creative work to drudge at destruction, exactly as they would have left it to take their turn at the pumps in a sinking ship. They did not, like some of the conscientious objectors, hold back because the ship had been neglected by its officers and scuttled by its wreckers. The ship had to be saved, even if Newton had to leave his fluxions and Michael Angelo his marbles to save it; so they threw away the tools of their beneficent and ennobling trades, and took up the blood-stained bayonet and the murderous bomb, forcing themselves to pervert their divine instinct for perfect artistic execution to the effective handling of these diabolical things, and their economic faculty for organization to the contriving of ruin and slaughter. For it gave an ironic edge to their tragedy that the very talents they were forced to prostitute made the prostitution not only effective, but even interesting; so that some of them were rapidly promoted, and found themselves actually becoming artists in wax, with a growing relish for it, like Napoleon and all the other scourges of mankind, in spite of themselves. For many of them there was not even this consolation. They “stuck it,” and hated it, to the end.

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NATO Intensifies Integration Of Georgia

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
July 9, 2014

Irakli Alasania Met James Appathurai

The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai met with the Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania. The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative pays a two-day visit to Georgia aimed at working on details of a new package with the Georgian side and discuss preparatory period ahead of NATO Summit.

After the meeting held at the Georgian Defence Ministry, Irakli Alasania declared: “With Mr. Appathurai we discussed details of the package of proposals from NATO towards Georgia to be discussed at the NATO Summit. As NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative outlined, the package consists of several elements – the first one is that Georgia will be better protected after the Summit and these proposals will guarantee more security for us and the most important of all, this will be another step forward to NATO membership. All our efforts are directed to achieve our goal of NATO membership in the nearest future. This and all other discussions with government officials will be crucial before the decisions are taken in NATO in the coming days.”

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“In fact, I’ve had many substantial and very important meetings with the Defence Minister but this was probably one of the most substantial and the most important. Why, because together we were working on the details of the package that will be approved at the NATO Summit and we are both determined that this package be very substantial – that it enhances the security for the Georgians and that it concretely moves Georgia towards NATO. All of these we have to discussed in Brussels but I think we have made a very good start. He has done a lot of good work and I think the foundation that he has given us can be built on in time to make the Summit a success,” James Appathurai said.

Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze and Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili attended the meeting as well. In the framework of the visit James Appathurai has already met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze. Meetings are scheduled with the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Aleksi Petriashvili and ambassadors of NATO countries accredited to Georgia.

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Maxim Gorky: World war and racial conflict on an obscure, infinitesimal planet

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

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war

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Maxim Gorky
From The Specter (1938)
Translated by Alexander Bakshy

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How insignificant were the little affairs of the Nogaitzevs, the Frolenkovs, and the peasants of the village of Pesochnoye compared with the drama being enacted in the north of France, threatening the downfall of Paris, “the Athens of the world.” Should the Germans win, not only would the French be economically impoverished for the second time, but they would be brought to their knees…Yes, Such a blow would affect the future of all Europe, and consequently the fate of all humanity. Quite possibly the Germans, omitting revolution, would create their own Napoleon and set out to conquer the whole of Europe. At the same time, Japan would start the conquest of Asia. The future of humanity was menaced with racial conflict and struggle. And if one bore in mind that all this was taking place on an infinitesimal planet lost in a limitless universe of thousands of gigantic constellations, of millions of planets, among them the earth quite probably the only speck of dust upon which man had been granted life – and then not more than fifty or sixty years to the individual -

***

“A lot of us here can’t understand the cause of this war. Of course, as you said last night,the Germans don’t like the Russians. But what Germans are they? A merchant, particularly a big, wholesale merchant – he doesn’t need to like people. Forgive our way of looking at things, but a commercial man likes commerce. A manufacturer likes manufacturing. Frolenkov likes building boats. For instance, he’s got an idea about building a barge for shallow water so that it would float on the surface without drawing water – understand? Every one has to like his own work. Now, I sell geese. My geese live and are fed in the Minchuk and Lithuanian districts. That is close to the Germans.”

“Some people are here are saying the Czar is trying to punish the Germans for interfering with us in the Turkish War. They say his grandfather stretched out his hand for Constantinople, and the Germans stopped him. Then the English were hand in glove with the Germans, but now they are against them. So they said to the Czar: Go ahead and take Constantinople, only beat the Germans. And the French – they spoke right out. They said: Take what you like, only rid us of the Germans.”

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Ukraine: 88-Day War Nears Final Bloodbath

July 11, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
July 11, 2014

Poroshenko: For each death of a Ukrainian serviceman, militants will pay with tens or hundreds of theirs

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has held a meeting with military and law-enforcement officials…

“For every taken life of our servicemen, they will pay with tens and hundreds of theirs. Not a single terrorist will escape responsibility, everyone will get what they deserve,” Poroshenko said.

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National Radio Company of Ukraine
July 11, 2014

Ukrainian forces eliminate up to 100 militants over last 24 hours

The counterterrorism operation (ATO) forces have destroyed a number of terrorist bases and eliminated about a hundred militants over the last 24 hours, the ATO press centre has reported.

“As a result of air strikes and artillery fire, up to 100 militants and their bases were destroyed in Rovenky, Izvaryne and the village of Novosvitlivka near Luhansk, firing points in the vicinity of Savur-Mohyla, and at the waste heaps of Mine No. 71 (Rovenky),” reads the statement…
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Interfax-Ukraine
July 11, 2014

23 Ukrainian servicemen killed overnight, including 19 military, 4 border guards – NSDC

The anti-terrorist operation forces have lost 23 people killed over the past 24 hours, including 19 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and four border guards, spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council information center Andriy Lysenko has said.

“Regretfully, over the past 24 hours 23 participants of the anti-terrorist operation, including 19 from the Armed Forces of Ukraine and four border guards, have been killed during combat missions in different areas,” he said at a press briefing on Friday.

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Interfax-Ukraine
July 11, 2014

Twenty-three Ukrainian troops killed, nearly 100 wounded in past 24 hours – military operation spokesman

Twenty-three members of the Ukrainian government forces have been killed and about 100 others wounded in the anti-terrorist operation in southeastern Ukraine over the past 24 hours, Vladyslav Selezniov, an operation spokesman, said on Facebook on Friday.

“Twenty-three servicemen from Ukrainian forces and the State Border Service have been killed in the past 24 hours performing special missions in various districts where an active phase of the anti-terrorist operation is ongoing. Ninety-three Ukrainian servicemen and border guards have sustained injuries and concussions of various degrees,” Selezniov said.

Ukrainian military planes also carried out two airstrikes…near the community of Perevalsk, Luhansk region, on Friday, Selezniov said…
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UNIAN
July 11, 2014

Hostilities take place in district of airport in Donetsk

Hostilities take place in district of airport in Donetsk / ua.comments.uaOfficial web site of the city head and city council of Donetsk with reference to the words of eyewitness reports this.

“Attention! Hostilities – in the district of the airport. As of 14.45 pm hostilities are taking place in district of airport in Donetsk. Eyewitnesses report this”, – it is said in the web site.

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Central Asia: NATO Pushes Ukrainian War Line In Tajikistan

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
July 9, 2014

NATO-supported Summer Academy in Tajikistan focuses on development and cooperation

The tenth NATO-supported Summer Academy took place in Romit, Tajikistan from 4 to 14 July. This year’s theme was ”Central Asia after 2014 and beyond: regional development and stabilisation process”.

This annual event brings together students from Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Russia. Previous Academies have also involved participants from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The event offers students the opportunity to take part in interactive seminars and English-language discussion groups with leading Tajik experts and foreign diplomats on international security-related issues.

NATO’s Liaison Officer for Central Asia, Alexander Vinnikov, visited Tajikistan from 6 to 8 July as part of the Alliance’s cooperation with this partner country. It was Mr Vinnikov’s third visit to the country since his appointment last year.

Mr Vinnikov delivered a presentation during the Academy’s opening session on the Alliance’s engagement with partners in Central Asia and answered students’ questions about NATO’s future, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

“Central Asia’s youth deserves greater opportunities. The Academy enables tomorrow’s leaders to expand their knowledge of international affairs while building lasting connections with peers from the wider region,” said Mr Vinnikov. “That is why NATO is pleased to support this unique initiative,” he added.

The event was organised by the non-governmental organisation Vector Intellect with the support of NATO and of the Embassy of France, NATO’s Contact Point Embassy in Tajikistan.

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Armenia: NATO Sews Up South Caucasus

July 11, 2014 1 comment

Public Radio of Armenia
July 10, 2014

Armenia-NATO relations based on direct dialogue and cooperation
Liana Yeghiazaryan

“Armenia’s cooperation with NATO has only been developing over the past twenty years. These relations are based on direct dialogue and cooperation,” Representative of NATO Public Diplomacy Division Despina Afentouli said at the presentation of the “Armenia-NATO: Modern History” book at the NATO Information Center in Armenia.

Armenia cooperates with NATO not only in the field of defense by sending peacekeeping forces to Afghanistan and other regions, but also on issues of regional security, protection of human rights, fighting terrorism and corruption, etc.

Armenia’s cooperation with NATO takes place within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace Program.

Should Azerbaijan unleash war against Armenia, it will mean a clash between the principles of CSTO and NATO. As CSTO member state, Armenia will actually have to fight against a country, which has allied military relations with a NATO member state (Turkey). Is NATO concerned about this?

Despina Afentouli said they have not envisaged such a situation. “On the other hand, we know that you have disagreements with Turkey. There was an attempt of dialogue in the past. We have always supported and continue to support that dialogue,” she said.

Could the suspension of cooperation with Russia negatively affect the relations with CSTO member states or Russia’s partner countries? NATO representative Despina Afentouli reminded that NATO is now increasing its military presence in all countries having a shared border with Russia and declaring that Russia should reconsider its foreign policy.

“At the same time NATO has no relations with CSTO; therefore, there can be no new approaches. On the other hand, the protection of our allies remains the most important principle,” she said.

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Thorne Smith: Make statues of war’s wholesale butchers before they strike

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Thorne Smith
From Night Life of the Gods (1931)

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“…I have succeeded in achieving complete cellular petrification through atomic disintegration…”

“It’s all very interesting,” said Alfred, “but I can’t see any commercial possibilities for the thing – no practical application.”

“Oh, you can’t,” exclaimed the scientist. “How about putting an end to the activities of objectionable individuals? Think of what it could do for humanity. If I had made this discovery previous to the World War I could have turned a flock of statesmen to stone, and then there wouldn’t have been any war. And the economic as well as artistic waste entailed by eventually making statues of those self-same wholesale butchers would have been eliminated. The majority of statesmen should be born statues, anyway.”

Alfred’s face began to glow avariciously.

“Got it!” he cried. “Got it! The United States government would give you millions in cold cash for the use of your discovery. We could play up the bloodless side of the thing. That sort of drip is popular right now. Victory without death, you know. Do you want me to get in touch with the right parties and arrange for a demonstration?”

“We haven’t quite finished with our own little demonstration here,” Mr. Hawk replied darkly. “But why don’t you sell it to Mussolini first? He’d put his country in hock to see himself as a statue and to experience while still alive something approaching the adulation of posterity.”

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Ukraine: Thousands Of Civilians Killed, Injured In 87-Day “Antiterrorist” War

Interfax-Ukraine
July 10, 2014

478 civilians killed, 1,392 injured in eastern Ukraine – Health Ministry

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As many as 478 civilians have been killed and 1,392 more injured in the area of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian Health Ministry has reported.

“I can say that 1,392 people, including 104 women and 14 children, have been injured,” Deputy Health Minister Vasyl Lazoryshynets said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

“478 were killed. They include 30 women and seven children. These are civilians,” he added.

According to the ministry, 279 people are undergoing treatment in medical institutions.

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Interfax-Ukraine
July 10, 2014

National Guard lost 12 fighters in east Ukraine since mid-April – chief medical officer

Twelve members of the Ukrainian National Guard have been killed in east Ukraine since the beginning of the security operation, said Oleh Mykhailik, the chief medical officer of the National Guard.

The operation in east Ukraine was announced in mid-April this year following mass protests by supporters of Ukrainian federalization.

“To date, 138 National Guard servicemen have been injured, 29 of them are still being treated. We have 12 servicemen killed,” Mykhailik said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.

Meanwhile, on July 2 the National Security and Defense Council said 200 military personnel and law enforcement officers had been killed in east Ukraine, including 13 National Guard fighters, and a total 619 had been injured.

However, on July 10 a spokesperson for the security operation issued a statement giving lower figures for deaths and injuries – 173 and 446, respectively.

The Ukrainian Health Care Ministry said for its part that 478 civilians have been killed in the security operation zone, including 30 women and seven children, and 1,392 were injured. A total of 279 people have been hospitalized.

At the same time, the NSDC said no statistics were kept about civilian deaths in the militia-controlled territories.

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National Radio Company of Ukraine
July 10, 2014

IMF mission extends visit to Ukraine until weekend – Finance Ministry

A mission of the International Monetary Fund in Ukraine on the first revision of the stand-by loan program will work in Kyiv till weekend, the Finance Ministry reports.

“The constructive dialogue between the IMF delegation and Ukrainian government members continues,” the ministry said on Thursday. As reported, the IMF Executive Board on April 30 approved a two-year Stand-By Arrangement for Ukraine worth about 17 billion U.S. dollars. Early in May, the IMF transferred the first tranche of about 3.2 billion dollars. The second-to-fourth disbursements scheduled for July, September, and December, will total about 1 billion dollars each, while the next quarterly disbursements of 2015 will be around 1.4 billion each. The last, ninth disbursement of will be provided in mid-March 2016 if the terms and conditions stipulated in the program are observed.

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NATO Expands Scope, Scale Of Baltic Air Patrols

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Air Command

July 10, 2014

MIDTERM REVIEW OF BALTIC AIR POLICING

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Ramstein, GERMANY: It’s been a good eight weeks since NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission got underway. That being said, it’s time for a review.

Earlier this year, The North Atlantic Council (NAC) invited Allies to contribute to an enhanced Air Policing posture on the Eastern border of the Alliance. On 30 April, the Polish Air Force took over the mission as the lead nation at Siauliai, Lithuania. The United Kingdom is also in Siauliai, Denmark is in Amari, Estonia, and France is stationed at Malbork, Poland.

Since the four Allies took over the BAP mission, more than 50 so-called Alpha scrambles have been flown. This term refers to the launch of fighter jets from one of the bases in response to an unclear situation in the air. Reasons for such a launch include a civilian airliner in an emergency situation or a loss of radio communication with civilian Air Traffic Control. Scrambles were also conducted in response to the markedly increased Russian military air activity in the region.

Additionally, the Allied detachments executed more than 100 training scrambles to exercise procedures and skills of pilots, ground crews and air controllers in the region.

NATO’s Integrated Air Defence System is a cornerstone of collective defence. All member nations contribute in some form, be it through the use of national aerial surveillance systems, air traffic management, interceptor aircraft or other AD measures.

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“Four different nations delivering Baltic Air Policing with four different aircraft type from three different airbases in three different countries has not been without its problems; however, it has been great to see how people at all levels have risen to the challenge. Conducting operations and training alongside the three other deployments has provided really worthwhile opportunities for my pilots,” says Wing Commander Simon J Hulme, Royal Air Force, Commanding Officer 135 Expeditionary Air wing. “Delivering Baltic Air Policing is a cooperative endeavour and the support we are receiving from the Lithuanian Air Force, and from across the Baltic States, remains as strong as ever….”

While the Royal Danish Air Force is always ready to support the Alliance, our contribution to this NATO mission also demonstrates the historical ties Denmark has to the Baltic States,” says detachment commander Lieutenant Colonel Martin Lysemose. “We have received a fantastic support from the Host Nation making it possible for us the run our operations effectively.”

Story by HQ AIRCOM Public Affairs Office

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Direct Way To Membership NATO Special Caucasus Envoy Ends Georgia Visit

Rustavi 2
July 10, 2014

Appathurai sums up his visit to Georgia

NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai summed up his visit to Georgia briefly after his departure from Tbilisi.

`Just finished important visit to Georgia. After discussions on `the package`, I`m confident NATO`s Wales Summit will agree on steps that will see a) more NATO in Georgia (probably more so than in any other non-Ally; b) more Georgia in NATO`s discussions, exercises and courses; and c) a clear confirmation that Georgia continues to move closer to NATO. Now settling in to support the Netherlands, before the flight home!`Appathurai posted on facebook.
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Civil Georgia
July 9, 2014

NATO Envoy, Georgian Officials Discuss Details of ‘Substantive Package’

NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, is holding talks with the Georgian leadership in Tbilisi on July 9 to discuss details of closer cooperation NATO intends to offer to Georgia at the Alliance’s summit in Wales in September.

At its summit in Wales, NATO will not offer to Georgia a membership action plan (MAP) – a phase, which as NATO decided at its Bucharest summit in 2008 should be the next step for Georgia on its “direct way to membership”. Instead NATO foreign ministers decided in late June to offer Georgia, as NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen put it, a “substantive package” to help the country “come closer” to NATO.

“I’ve come because I have been assigned by the Secretary General to work with the Georgian government to fill the package that was opened by the foreign ministers meeting,” Appathurai told journalists after meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze in Tbilisi on July 9.

“I am quite confident that what we will see at the [Wales] summit are decisions that will lead to even more NATO presence in Georgia, that will lead to even more Georgian presence in NATO’s discussions, in NATO’s programs and activities and that will continue to move Georgia forward along the path that was decided in Bucharest,” Appathurai said, referring to 2008 Bucharest summit decision that Georgia will join the Alliance sometime in the future.

“There is still a lot of work to do, but actually I am quite confident that there will be real substance and real progress by the time we get to the summit,” Appathurai added.

Foreign Minister Panjikidze said that in short the package can be described as “more Georgia in NATO and more NATO in Georgia.”

“This package contains very concrete and very practical and important elements, such as increasing our self-defense capabilities, our engagement in strategic dialogues, our participation at a higher level in NATO, etc,” Panjikidze said.

Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, who also met Appathurai on July 9, said: “This package consists of number of elements. With these proposals Georgia will be more protected and secure, and it will be a step forwards for Georgia’s membership in NATO. Everything is being done in order to make Georgia a NATO member state in the nearest future.”


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Rustavi 2
July 9, 2014

James Appathurai meets with Georgian Defence Minister

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Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania has met with the NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai today. The goal of the two-day official visit of the NATO envoy to Georgia is to discuss the preparatory works prior to the NATO Summit of Wales and the details of the Substantive Package – a new action plan granted to Georgia as the next step of cooperation with the Alliance.

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Vercors: Are war crimes only committed by the vanquished?

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

Vercors
From Les Animaux dénaturés (1952)
Translated by Rita Barisse

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“Imagine…if what constitutes the essence of man comes to be legally defined, will not our obligations towards man be defined by the same stroke: since anything that threatened that essence would automatically be a menace to humanity. All the rights and duties of man, of social groups, of societies and nations, towards one another, in all latitudes, of all creeds, would for the first time be founded on the very nature of Man, on the irrefutable elements that distinguish him from the Beast. No longer would those rights and duties rely on utilitarian and hence destructible conventions, on philosophical and hence assailable theories, or on arbitrary, hence corruptible and changing traditions – let alone on the blind fury of passions.

“For do we not often see that what is a crime for one group of people is none for their neighbors or their foes? – who may even extol it as a duty or an honor, as we could see in the case of the Nazis? And was it not useless to create in Nuremberg a mere law which was not, in its very foundation, acknowledged equally by all? For today we find that, in the name of German traditions, the friends of the condemned drag the law from its lofty eminence as a safeguard of Human Rights down to the disgraceful level of a safeguard of Human Might – and we cannot crush them with the proof of their abject mistake. That is why today we see the Nuremberg laws, in spite of all the hopes that went into their making, gradually dissolving into shadows, and in those shadows new crimes prepared…”

***

“Humanity is not a state we suffer. It’s a dignity we must strive to win. A dignity full of pain and sorrow. Won, no doubt, at the price of tears…”

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Summit To Prepare NATO For New Wars

July 9, 2014 1 comment

Xinhua News Agency
July 9, 2014

Wales Summit to boost NATO readiness to face threats: Rasmussen

BRUSSELS: NATO’s Wales Summit scheduled for September is intended to boost the alliance’s readiness to face threats and seek a common commitment to reverse the decline in defense investment, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday.

Rasmussen, who is now on a visit to the United States, also “thanked President Barack Obama for his country’s leadership within the Alliance and strong commitment to transatlantic security” during their talk at the White House, a NATO statement issued Tuesday in Brussels said.

“At our Wales Summit in September, we will take further steps, to ensure that NATO is prepared to face any threats,” said Rasmussen. “But readiness requires resources so at the Summit we will also seek a common commitment to reverse the decline in defence investment.”

At the Wales Summit, the Allies will also turn a new page in Afghanistan. NATO will at the end of this year complete its longest combat mission and has already started to prepare to train, advise, and assist the Afghan forces after 2014.

Rasmussen said that the upcoming summit will also be an important opportunity for NATO to reinforce its work with partners, including those who have fought alongside Allied forces and to reach-out further to help build defence capacity in countries where crises can be prevented.

On Monday, the NATO chief addressed the need to ensure a continued strong transatlantic bond for an unpredictable world in a speech delivered at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington.

He is expected to give a speech on Wednesday at the Marine’s Memorial Club in San Francisco on “the need to reinforce the rules-based international order [?!],” the NATO statement said.

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Franz Werfel: Cities disintegrated within seconds in the Last War

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

Franz Werfel: Selections on war

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Franz Werfel
From Star of the Unborn (1946)
Translated by Gustave O. Arlt

WerfelFranz_02_Druck-300x406

“The other objects that you see here, Seigneur,” the Bridegroom expatiated eagerly, “are found much more frequently when excavations for new houses are made. They, too, date back to primitive times, but to later eras than the bow and arrow or the powder-gun. The scholars call them ‘trans-shadow-disintegrators.’ If you look more closely you can easily distinguish the clumsy trans-shadow-disintegrators of primitive wars from the more advanced, slender ones of the Last War.”

Although I could not exactly distinguish the pea-shooters from each other, I stepped closer, feigning a polite interest. The Bridegroom indeed seemed to be a great bellologist, a student of the science of war. His slightly bloated face glowed with the agitation of his monomania. Undoubtedly the younger generation was no longer as dispassionate as their elders…

“The longest and the thinnest of the trans-shadow-disintegrators,” Bridegroom Io-Do continued with growing zeal, “were directed against cities that were built high up over the surface of the earth. Did you ever know any cities like that, Seigneur?”

“I never knew any other kind,” I answered truthfully.

“The skyscrapers in these cities were a thousand to two thousand stories high,” Io-Do went on enthusiastically. “Is that right, Seigneur?”

“In my time they only managed to get up about a hundred stories,” I explained modestly. “The Empire State Building was the highest one I knew. Still, the skyline of New York was fairly respectable, especially for people coming from Europe, which had cities like Paris and Vienna that were splendid but never went in for tall buildings. It is not unlikely, however, Monsieur, that later history may have seen buildings that extended up into the stratosphere. I don’t know.”

“Well, that proves it,” the war-mad Bridegroom interrupted, drawing rash conclusions with youthful indiscreetness, “that proves that mankind is indebted to the trans-shadow-disintegrator alone for the boon of no longer living high up over the surface in the terror of the atmosphere, pitilessly exposed to the rays of the sun and the stars, but in the homely lap of the lithosphere. The trans-shadow-disintegrators, you know, cleaned up that skyline of yours in a hurry, in fact, in a matter of seconds. And to think that there are still people who deny the contribution of former wars to the progress of the race…”

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Ukraine: “Anti-Terrorist” War Now Targets Members Of Parliament

Interfax-Ukraine
July 9, 2014

Yatseniuk insists on speedy prosecution of those involved in separatism, including MPs

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has asked the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Security Service of Ukraine and the Interior Ministry to investigate the activity of all persons involved in separatism, including MPs.

“I would like to appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office, SBU, the Interior Ministry finally to finally investigate the activity of all persons, including those who have the status of people’s deputy of Ukraine, submit respective materials to court and the parliament in order to cancel their parliamentary immunity and prosecute all those that support terrorists, separatists and other bandits who encroach on Ukrainian independence,” he said, while opening a government meeting on Wednesday.

He noted that he would separately ask the Verkhovna Rada to consider without delay the motions on the abolition of parliamentary immunity in order to prosecute those persons who, according to him, have no right to the high rank of people’s deputy.

“All without exception should be called to account,” Yatseniuk said.

Speaking about a lawsuit filed by the Justice Ministry on Tuesday to ban the activity of the Communist Party of Ukraine, Yatseniuk said that it was a “ban on separatist activities.”

Categories: Uncategorized
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