December 30, 2012
Russian large landing ship heads for Syrian Tartus
MOSCOW: The large landing ship Novocherkassk of the Russian Black Sea Fleet left the Novorossiysk naval base and is heading for the Syrian port of Tartus, a source from the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces has told Tass.
The Novocherkassk is expected to sail through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles into the Aegean Sea on Monday, December 31. It carries marines and several units of military hardware.
The large landing ship, accompanied by a combat ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, is expected to arrive at the maintenance base of the Russian Navy in the Syrian port of Tartus in the first week of January, the source said.
He reminded the interlocutor that two more large landing ships, the Azov and the Nikolai Filchenkov, sailed through the straits and into the Aegean Sea on December 28 and joined a group of Black Sea Fleet ships.
From that area, the Russian landing ships with marines and military hardware on board headed for Tartus accompanied by the guided missile cruiser Moskva. They are expected to arrive in Tartus within the next few days.
“Thus, the large landing ship Novocherkassk has become the third landing ship of the Black Sea Fleet that will call at Syria’s Tartus in January,” the source summed up.
Pajhwok Afghan News
December 30, 2012
Kunduz survivors seek compensation: lawyer
KUNDUZ CITY: Relatives of those killed and wounded in a September 2009 NATO airstrike in northern Kunduz province have sought $4.4 million in compensation from the perpetrators, a lawyer for the survivors said, a claim denied by families of the victims.
The deadly airstrike on Sept. 4, 2009 had been carried out by German troops based in the province. The aircraft targeted two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by Taliban fighters in the Omarkhel village of the Chardara district.
As the trucks stuck in mud, rebels called on residents to empty fuel into jerry canes. A large number of residents rushed to the site to take fuel home. More than 100 people were killed and dozens of others were wounded when the jets dropped bombs on the crowd.
Abdul Hanan, who lost his two teenage sons and a brother to the incident, said though he was a poor farmer, yet he was not ready to sell the blood of his slain relatives.
After the incident, foreign troops paid $5,000 to each family of those dead. Later, German forces and the United Nations Human Rights commissioner…visited victims’ families and pledged assistance.
“We have told them that we only want the individuals who ordered the airstrike to be punished,” he said.
The defence lawyer for the families, Karim Popal, has recently said in a statement that the survivors had sought $4.4 million in compensation from the German government.
Noor Jan, 30, who lost his left arm in the airstrike, said it was difficult for him to work on farms. “I have several times approached the provincial labour department for help, but in vain,” he said.
Germany has 4,300 soldiers in Afghanistan stationed in the country’s north. So far 53 German soldiers have been killed since the Afghan war began 10 years ago.
The Trench (1926)
Translated by Karl F. Ross
Mother, why have you brought up your fellow,
taught and tended him for twenty years,
waited anxiously to hear his “hello,”
whispered little stories in his ears?
Till they hauled him from his bed and bench
to the trench, good woman, to the trench.
Sonny, do you still remember Daddy?
How he used to take you on his arm,
how he gave a penny to his laddie
and he chased with you around the farm?
Till they sent him out to fight the French
in the trench, young fellow, in the trench.
France’s comrades over there were lying
side by side with England’s workingmen.
Old and young ones, even boys, fell dying
where the bullets hit them, there and then.
As their lifeblood ebbed, the soil to drench,
they were buried in that common trench.
Don’t be proud of chevrons and citations!
Don’t be proud of medals and awards!
You stood guard for greedy corporations,
pseudo-statesmen and feudal lords.
Yours was just the squalor and the stench
of the tomb, companions, and the trench.
Dump those flags! A dance of death they’re casting
to the music of an army band.
When you’re gone – a wreath of everlasting,
that’s the thank-you from your fatherland.
Think what agony you cause to others:
Over there stand fathers, sons and mothers,
struggling hard, like you, for meager living -
won’t you turn to them without misgiving?
Stretch your hand out, let your fist unclench,
‘cross the trench, my friends, across the trench!
Mutter, wozu hast du deinen aufgezogen?
Hast dich zwanzig Jahr mit ihm gequält?
Wozu ist er dir in deinen Arm geflogen,
und du hast ihm leise was erzählt?
Bis sie ihn dir weggenommen haben.
Für den Graben, Mutter, für den Graben.
Junge, kannst du noch an Vater denken?
Vater nahm dich oft auf seinen Arm.
Und er wollt dir einen Groschen schenken,
und er spielte mit dir Räuber und Gendarm.
Bis sie ihn dir weggenommen haben.
Für den Graben, Junge, für den Graben.
Drüben die französischen Genossen
lagen dicht bei Englands Arbeitsmann.
Alle haben sie ihr Blut vergossen,
und zerschossen ruht heut Mann bei Mann.
Alte Leute, Männer, mancher Knabe
in dem einen großen Massengrabe.
Seid nicht stolz auf Orden und Geklunker!
Seid nicht stolz auf Narben und die Zeit!
In die Gräben schickten euch die Junker,
Staatswahn und der Fabrikantenneid.
Ihr wart gut genug zum Fraß für Raben,
für das Grab, Kameraden, für den Graben!
Werft die Fahnen fort!
Die Militärkapellen spielen auf zu euerm Todestanz.
Seid ihr hin: ein Kranz von Immortellen -
das ist dann der Dank des Vaterlands.
Denkt an Todesröcheln und Gestöhne.
Drüben stehen Väter, Mütter, Söhne,
schuften schwer, wie ihr, ums bißchen Leben.
Wollt ihr denen nicht die Hände geben?
Reicht die Bruderhand als schönste aller Gaben
übern Graben, Leute, übern Graben -!
Ministry of Defence of Georgia
December 29, 2012
Meeting with Georgian Students of U.S. Military Institutions
The defence minister of Georgia met with eight Georgian students who study at various military educational institutions in the USA. Irakli Alasania got acquainted with learning conditions of the future officers and expressed interest in their future plans. The meeting with the Georgian students was of an introductory character.
“I am very delighted with the great knowledge our cadets get in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, as well at the Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force academies. These students are our ambassadors, our representatives in American educational institutions…I am sure that their return to the Georgian Armed Forces will enrich and make our army more capable”, stated Defence Minister after the meeting with the students.
Georgian students have received education in various American military educational institutions since 2007.
Before being sent to the American military academies, they conclude a 10-year-long contract with the Georgian Defence Ministry. After graduation they continue service in the Georgian Armed Forces. The tuition period in the US military educational institutions last for four years. Currently, 12 Georgian students receive education in U.S. military academies.
A War Diary (1917)
Time brings a better adjustment to the war. There had been so many times when, to those who had energetically resisted its coming, it seemed the last intolerable outrage. In one’s wilder moments one expected revolt against the impressment of unwilling men and the suppression of unorthodox opinion. One conceived the war as breaking down through a kind of intellectual sabotage diffused through the country. But as one talks to people outside the cities and away from ruling currents of opinion, one finds the prevailing apathy shot everywhere with acquiescence. The war is a bad business, which somehow got fastened on us. They won’t want to go, but they’ve got to go. One decides that nothing generally obstructive is going to happen and that it would make little difference if it did. The kind of war which we are conducting is an enterprise which the American government does not have to carry on with the hearty cooperation of the American people but only with their acquiescence. And that acquiescence seems sufficient to float an indefinitely protracted war for vague or even largely uncomprehended and unaccepted purposes. Our resources in men and materials are vast enough to organize the war-technique without enlisting more than a fraction of the people’s conscious energy. Many men will not like being sucked into the actual fighting organism, but as the war goes on they will be sucked in as individuals and they will yield. There is likely to be no element in the country with the effective will to help them resist. They are not likely to resist of themselves concertedly. They will be licked grudgingly into military shape, and their lack of enthusiasm will in no way unfit them for use in the hecatombs necessary for the military decision upon which Allied political wisdom still apparently insists. It is unlikely that enough men will be taken from the potentially revolting classes seriously to embitter their spirit. Losses in the well-to-do classes will be sustained by a sense of duty and of reputable sacrifice. From the point of view of the worker, it will make little difference whether his work contributes to annihilation overseas or to construction at home. Temporarily, his condition is better if it contributes to the former. We of the middle classes will be progressively poorer than we should otherwise have been. Our lives will be slowly drained by clumsily levied taxes and the robberies of imperfectly controlled private enterprises. But this will not cause us to revolt. There are not likely to be enough hungry stomachs to make a revolution. The materials seem generally absent from the country, and as long as a government wants to use the war-technique in its realization of great ideas, it can count serenely on the human resources of the country, regardless of popular mandate or understanding.
If human resources are fairly malleable into the war-technique, our material resources will prove to be even more so, quite regardless of the individual patriotism of their owners or workers. It is almost purely a problem of diversion. Factories and mines and farms will continue to turn out the same products and at an intensified rate, but the government will be working to use their activity and concentrate it as contributory to the war. The process which the piping times of benevolent neutrality began, will be pursued to its extreme end. All this will be successful, however, precisely as it is made a matter of centralized governmental organization and not of individual offerings of good-will and enterprise. It will be coercion from above that will do the trick rather than patriotism from below. Democratic contentment may be shed over the land for a time through the appeal to individual thoughtfulness in saving and in relinquishing profits. But all that is really needed is the co-operation with government of the men who direct the large financial and industrial enterprises. If their interest is enlisted in diverting the mechanism of production into war-channels, it makes not the least difference whether you or I want our activity to count in aid of the war. Whatever we do will contribute toward its successful organization, and toward the riveting of a semi-military State-socialism on the country. As long as the effective managers, the big men in the staple industries, remained loyal, nobody need care what the millions of little human cogs who had to earn their living felt or thought. This is why the technical organization for this American war goes on so much more rapidly than any corresponding popular sentiment for its aims and purposes. Our war is teaching us that patriotism is really a superfluous quality in war. The government of a modern organized plutocracy does not have to ask whether the people want to fight or understand what they are fighting for, but only whether they will tolerate fighting. America does not co-operate with the President’s designs. She rather feebly acquiesces. But that feeble acquiescence is the all-important factor. We are learning that war doesn’t need enthusiasm, doesn’t need conviction, doesn’t need hope, to sustain it. Once manoeuvred, it takes care of itself, provided only that our industrial rulers see that the end of the war will leave American capital in a strategic position for world-enterprise. The American people might be much more indifferent to the war even than they are and yet the results would not be materially different. A majority of them might even be feebly or at least unconcertedly hostile to the war, and yet it would go gaily on. That is why a popular referendum seems so supremely irrelevant to people who are willing to use war as an instrument in the working-out of national policy. And that is why this war, with apathy rampant, is probably going to act just as if every person in the country were filled with patriotic ardor, and furnished with a completely assimilated map of the League to Enforce Peace. If it doesn’t, the cause will not be the lack of popular ardor, but the clumsiness of the government officials in organizing the technique of the war. Our country in war, given efficiency at the top, can do very well without our patriotism. The non-patriotic man need feel no pangs of conscience about not helping the war. Patriotism fades into the merest trivial sentimentality when it becomes, as so obviously in a situation like this, so pragmatically impotent. As long as one has to earn one’s living or buy tax-ridden goods, one is making one’s contribution to war in a thousand indirect ways. The war, since it does not need it, cannot fairly demand also the sacrifice of one’s spiritual integrity.
The liberals who claim a realistic and pragmatic attitude in politics have disappointed us in setting up and then clinging wistfully to the belief that our war could get itself justified for an idealistic flavor, or at least for a world-renovating social purpose, that they had more or less denied to the other belligerents. If these realists had had time in the hurry and scuffle of events to turn their philosophy on themselves, they might have seen how thinly disguised a rationalization this was of their emotional undertow. They wanted a League of Nations. They had an unanalyzable feeling that this was a war in which we had to be, and be in it we would. What more natural than to join the two ideas and conceive our war as the decisive factor in the attainment of the desired end! This gave them a good conscience for willing American participation, although as good men they must have loathed war and everything connected with it. The realist cannot deny facts. Moreover, he must not only acknowledge them but he must use them. Good or bad, they must be turned by his intelligence to some constructive end. Working along with the materials which events give him, he must get where and what he can, and bring something brighter and better out of the chaos.
Now war is such an indefeasible and unescapable Real that the good realist must accept it rather comprehensively. To keep out of it is pure quietism, an acute moral failure to adjust. At the same time, there is an inexorability about war. It is a little unbridled for the realist’s rather nice sense of purposive social control. And nothing is so disagreeable to the pragmatic mind as any kind of absolute. The realistic pragmatist could not recognize war as inexorable — though to the common mind it would seem as near an absolute, coercive social situation as it is possible to fall into. For the inexorable abolishes choices, and it is the essence of the realist’s creed to have, in every situation, alternatives before him. He gets out of his scrape in this way: Let the inexorable roll in upon me, since it must. But then, keeping firm my sense of control, it will somehow tame it and turn it to my own creative purposes. Thus realism is justified of her children, and the liberal is saved from the limbo of the wailing and irreconcilable pacifists who could not make so easy an adjustment.
Thus the liberals who made our war their own preserved their pragmatism. But events have shown how fearfully they imperilled their intuition and how untameable an inexorable really is. For those of us who knew a real inexorable when we saw one, and had learned from watching war what follows the loosing of a war-technique, foresaw how quickly aims and purposes would be forgotten, and how flimsy would be any liberal control of events. It is only we now who can appreciate The New Republic — the organ of applied pragmatic realism — when it complains that the League of Peace (which we entered the war to guarantee) is more remote than it was eight months ago; or that our State Department has no diplomatic policy (though it was to realize the high aims of the President’s speeches that the intellectuals willed America’s participation); or that we are subordinating the political management of the war to real or supposed military advantages, (though militarism in the liberal mind had no justification except as a tool for advanced social ends). If, after all the idealism and creative intelligence that were shed upon America’s taking up of arms, our State Department has no policy, we are like brave passengers who have set out for the Isles of the Blest only to find that the first mate has gone insane and jumped overboard, the rudder has come loose and dropped to the bottom of the sea, and the captain and pilot are lying dead drunk under the wheel. The stokers and engineers however, are still merrily forcing the speed up to twenty knots an hour and the passengers are presumably getting the pleasure of the ride.
The penalty the realist pays for accepting war is to see disappear one by one the justifications for accepting it. He must either become a genuine Realpolitiker and brazen it through, or else he must feel sorry for his intuition and be regretful that he willed the war. But so easy is forgetting and so slow the change of events that he is more likely to ignore the collapse of his case. If he finds that his government is relinquishing the crucial moves of that strategy for which he was willing to use the technique of war, he is likely to move easily to the ground that it will all come out in the end the same anyway. He soon becomes satisfied with tacitly ratifying whatever happens, or at least straining to find the grain of unplausible hope that may be latent in the situation.
But what then is there really to choose between the realist who accepts evil in order to manipulate it to a great end, but who somehow unaccountably finds events turn sour on him, and the Utopian pacifist who cannot stomach the evil and will have none of it? Both are helpless, both are coerced. The Utopian, however, knows that he is ineffective and that he is coerced, while the realist, evading disillusionment, moves in a twilight zone of half-hearted criticism and hoping for the best, where he does not become a tacit fatalist. The latter would be the manlier position, but then where would be his realistic philosophy of intelligence and choice? Professor Dewey has become impatient at the merely good and merely conscientious objectors to war who do not attach their conscience and intelligence to forces moving in another direction. But in wartime there are literally no valid forces moving in another direction. War determines its own end — victory, and government crushes out automatically all forces that deflect, or threaten to deflect, energy from the path of organization to that end. All governments will act in this way, the most democratic as well as the most autocratic. It is only liberal naïveté that is shocked at arbitrary coercion and suppression. Willing war means willing all the evils that are organically bound up with it. A good many people still seem to believe in a peculiar kind of democratic and antiseptic war. The pacifists opposed the war because they knew this was an illusion, and because of the myriad hurts they knew war would do the promise of democracy at home. For once the babes and sucklings seem to have been wiser than the children of light.
If it is true that the war will go on anyway whether it is popular or not or whether its purposes are clear, and if it is true that in wartime constructive realism is an illusion, then the aloof man, the man who will not obstruct the war but who cannot spiritually accept it, has a clear case for himself. Our war presents no more extraordinary phenomenon than the number of the more creative minds of the younger generation who are still irreconcilable toward the great national enterprise which the government has undertaken. The country is still dotted with young men and women, in full possession of their minds, faculties, and virtue, who feel themselves profoundly alien to the work which is going on around them. They must not be confused with the disloyal or the pro-German. They have no grudge against the country, but their patriotism has broken down in the emergency. They want to see the carnage stopped and Europe decently constructed again. They want a democratic peace. If the swift crushing of Germany will bring that peace, they want to see Germany crushed. If the embargo on neutrals will prove the decisive coup, they are willing to see the neutrals taken ruthlessly by the throat. But they do not really believe that peace will come by any of these means, or by any use of our war-technique whatever. They are genuine pragmatists and they fear any kind of an absolute, even when bearing gifts. They know that the longer a war lasts the harder it is to make peace. They know that the peace of exhaustion is a dastardly peace, leaving enfeebled the morals of the defeated, and leaving invincible for years all the most greedy and soulless elements in the conquerors. They feel that the greatest obstacle to peace now is the lack of the powerful mediating neutral which we might have been. They see that war has lost for us both the mediation and the leadership, and is blackening us ever deeper with the responsibility for having prolonged the dreadful tangle. They are skeptical not only of the technique of war, but also of its professed aims. The President’s idealism stops just short of the pitch that would arouse their own. There is a middle-aged and belated taint about the best ideals which publicist liberalism has been able to express. The appeals to propagate political democracy leave these people cold in a world which has become so disillusioned of democracy in the face of universal economic servitude. Their ideals outshoot the government’s. To them the real arena lies in the international class-struggle, rather than in the competition of artificial national units. They are watching to see what the Russian socialists are going to do for the world, not what the timorous capitalistic American democracy may be planning. They can feel no enthusiasm for a League of Nations, which should solidify the old units and continue in disguise the old theories of international relations. Indispensable, perhaps? But not inspiring; not something to give one’s spiritual allegiance to. And yet the best advice that American wisdom can offer to those who are out of sympathy with the war is to turn one’s influence toward securing that our war contribute toward this end. But why would not this League turn out to be little more than a well-oiled machine for the use of that enlightened imperialism toward which liberal American finance is already whetting its tongue? And what is enlightened imperialism as an international ideal as against the anarchistic communism of the nations which the new Russia suggests in renouncing imperialist intentions?
Skeptical of the means and skeptical of the aims, this element of the younger generation stands outside the war, and looks upon the conscript army and all the other war-activities as troublesome interruptions on its thought and idealism, interruptions which do not touch anywhere a fibre of its soul. Some have been much more disturbed than others, because of the determined challenge of both patriots and realists to break in with the war-obsession which has filled for them their sky. Patriots and realists can both be answered. They must not be allowed to shake one’s inflexible determination not to be spiritually implicated in the war. It is foolish to hope. Since the 30th of July, 1914, nothing has happened in the arena of war-policy and war-technique except for the complete and unmitigated worst. We are tired of continued disillusionment, and of the betrayal of generous anticipations. It is saner not to waste energy in hope within the system of war-enterprise. One may accept dispassionately whatever changes for good may happen from the war, but one will not allow one’s imagination to connect them organically with war. It is better to resist cheap consolations, and remain skeptical about any of the good things so confidently promised us either through victory or the social reorganization demanded by the war-technique. One keeps healthy in wartime not by a series of religious and political consolations that something good is coming out of it all, but by a vigorous assertion of values in which war has no part. Our skepticism can be made a shelter behind which is built up a wider consciousness of the personal and social and artistic ideals which American civilization needs to lead the good life. We can be skeptical constructively, if, thrown back on our inner resources from the world of war which is taken as the overmastering reality, we search much more actively to clarify our attitudes and express a richer significance in the American scene. We do not feel the war to be very real, and we sense a singular air of falsity about the emotions of the upper-classes toward everything connected with war. This ostentatious shame, this grovelling before illusory Allied heroisms and nobilities, has shocked us. Minor novelists and minor poets and minor publicists are still coming back from driving ambulances in France to write books that nag us into an appreciation of the real meaning. No one can object to the generous emotions of service in a great cause or to the horror and pity at colossal devastation and agony. But too many of these prophets are men who have lived rather briskly among the cruelties and thinnesses of American civilization and have shown no obvious horror and pity at the exploitations and the arid quality of the life lived here around us. Their moral sense has been deeply stirred by what they saw in France and Belgium, but it was a moral sense relatively unpractised by deep concern and reflection over the inadequacies of American democracy. Few of them had used their vision to create literature impelling us toward a more radiant American future. And that is why, in spite of their vivid stirrings, they seem so unconvincing. Their idealism is too new and bright to affect us, for it comes from men who never cared very particularly about great creative American ideas. So these writers come to us less like ardent youth, pouring its energy into the great causes, than like youthful mouthpieces of their strident and belligerent elders. They did not convert us, but rather drove us farther back into the rightness of American isolation.
There was something incredibly mean and plebeian about that abasement into which the war-partisans tried to throw us all. When we were urged to squander our emotion on a bedevilled Europe, our intuition told us how much all rich and generous emotions were needed at home to leaven American civilization. If we refused to export them it was because we wanted to see them at work here. It is true that great reaches of American prosperous life were not using generous emotions for any purpose whatever. But the real antithesis was not between being concerned about luxurious automobiles and being concerned about the saving of France. America’s benevolent neutrality had been saving the Allies for three years through the ordinary channels of industry and trade. We could afford to export material goods and credit far more than we could afford to export emotional capital. The real antithesis was between interest in expensively exploiting American material life and interest in creatively enhancing American personal and artistic life. The fat and earthy American could be blamed not for not palpitating more richly about France, but for not palpitating more richly about America and her spiritual drouths. The war will leave the country spiritually impoverished, because of the draining away of sentiment into the channels of war. Creative and constructive enterprises will suffer not only through the appalling waste of financial capital in the work of annihilation, but also in the loss of emotional capital in the conviction that war overshadows all other realities. This is the poison of war that disturbs even creative minds. Writers tell us that, after contact with the war, literature seems an idle pastime, if not an offense, in a world of great deeds. Perhaps literature that can be paled by war will not be missed. We may feel vastly relieved at our salvation from so many feeble novels and graceful verses that khaki-clad authors might have given us. But this noble sounding sense of the futility of art in a world of war may easily infect conscientious minds. And it is against this infection that we must fight.
The conservation of American promise is the present task for this generation of malcontents and aloof men and women. If America has lost its political isolation, it is all the more obligated to retain its spiritual integrity. This does not mean any smug retreat from the world, with a belief that the truth is in us and can only be contaminated by contact. It means that the promise of American life is not yet achieved, perhaps not even seen, and that, until it is, there is nothing for us but stern and intensive cultivation of our garden. Our insulation will not be against any great creative ideas or forms that Europe brings. It will be a turning within in order that we may have something to give without. The old American ideas which are still expected to bring life to the world seem stale and archaic. It is grotesque to try to carry democracy to Russia. It is absurd to try to contribute to the world’s store of great moving ideas until we have a culture to give. It is absurd for us to think of ourselves as blessing the world with anything unless we hold it much more self-consciously and significantly than we hold anything now. Mere negative freedom will not do as a twentieth-century principle. American ideas must be dynamic or we are presumptuous in offering them to the world.
The war — or American promise: one must choose. One cannot be interested in both. For the effect of the war will be to impoverish American promise. It cannot advance it, however liberals may choose to identify American promise with a league of nations to enforce peace. Americans who desire to cultivate the promises of American life need not lift a finger to obstruct the war, but they cannot conscientiously accept it. However intimately a part of their country they may feel in its creative enterprises toward a better life, they cannot feel themselves a part of it in its futile and self-mutilating enterprise of war. We can be apathetic with a good conscience, for we have other values and ideals for America. Our country will not suffer for our lack of patriotism as long as it has that of our industrial masters. Meanwhile, those who have turned their thinking into war-channels have abdicated their leadership for this younger generation. They have put themselves in a limbo of interests that are not the concerns which worry us about American life and make us feverish and discontented.
Let us compel the war to break in on us, if it must, not go hospitably to meet it. Let us force it perceptibly to batter in our spiritual walls. This attitude need not be a fatuous hiding in the sand, denying realities. When we are broken in on, we can yield to the inexorable. Those who are conscripted will have been broken in on. If they do not want to be martyrs, they will have to be victims. They are entitled to whatever alleviations are possible in an inexorable world. But the others can certainly resist the attitude that blackens the whole conscious sky with war. They can resist the poison which makes art and all the desires for more impassioned living seem idle and even shameful. For many of us, resentment against the war has meant a vivider consciousness of what we are seeking in American life.
This search has been threatened by two classes who have wanted to deflect idealism to the war — the patriots and the realists. The patriots have challenged us by identifying apathy with disloyalty. The reply is that war-technique in this situation is a matter of national mechanics rather than national ardor. The realists have challenged us by insisting that war is an instrument in the working-out of beneficent national policy. Our skepticism points out to them how soon their mastery becomes drift, tangled in the fatal drive toward victory as its own end, how soon they become mere agents and expositors of forces as they are. Patriots and realists disposed of, we can pursue creative skepticism with honesty, and at least a hope that in the recoil from war we may find the treasures we are looking for.
December 29, 2012
Ankara considers Azerbaijan’s active participation in NATO programs necessary
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu proposed an initiative of correcting the NATO program the Partnership for Peace.
“We consider it necessary for the Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, to take a more active part in NATO programs”, Davutoglu said in the interview with Samanyolu TV channel.
The new program of partnership is already being developed.
“The program has been supported by not only Turkey but also other countries. We have attained a bigger diplomatic success in this issue”, the Turkish Foreign Minister said.
December 29, 2012
Azerbaijani servicemen to attend NATO trainings
Azerbaijani servicemen are to attend several NATO trainings.
According to the news service for the Defence Ministry of Azerbaijan, under the program of military cooperation between the United States and Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani servicemen will attend a training course at the US Academy of the Marine Fleet in Rhode Island from 7 January until 26 June.
International courses of the English language for servicemen will be held in Vilnius from 14 January until 17 May. The meeting of working groups within the VERITY program is due in Brussels from 15 to 19 January.
The discussions of the situation in Central Asia after the withdrawal of international coalition forces from Afghanistan in 2014 will be discussed in Garmisch, Germany from 15 until 23 January.
December 28, 2012
China must and is able to withstand pressure
By Ren Weidong
[S]ince the end of the Cold War, the U.S. global strategy has gone through two major historical stages. In the first 10 years (in the 1990s), the strategic focus was on Eastern Europe. The main strategy was presented by the NATO’s eastward expansion and the European Union’s eastward expansion. In the first 10 years of the new century (2000-2010), the strategic focus is to expand in the Middle East and Central Asia, with launching wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as its main strategy.
Since the United States adjusted its global strategy to return to the Asia-Pacific region, China-U.S. strategic relations and China’s security environment has undergone significant historical changes.
From a geopolitical perspective, since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. global strategy has gone through two major historical stages. In the first 10 years (in the 1990s), the strategic focus was on Eastern Europe. The main strategy was presented by the NATO’s eastward expansion and the European Union’s eastward expansion. In the first 10 years of the new century (2000-2010), the strategic focus is to expand in the Middle East and Central Asia, with launching wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as its main strategy.
Around the second 10 years in the new century, the United States has ceased its strategic task in Central Asia and the Middle East for a while. Despite the fact that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not going very smoothly, the United States succeeded in overthrowing the anti-American regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq and established pro-American regimes. Therefore, the strategic focus of the United States shifting from Central Asia and the Middle East to East Asia entirely followed its strategic steps as planned.
Since the adjustment of the U.S. strategic focus, a series of its strategic initiatives in East Asia can be summarized as follows: Politically establishing a united front line around China; making military deployments targeted at China; and undermining the economic influence of China.
Out of hegemonic geopolitical need, the United States will not allow the emergence of a unified geopolitical situation that is out of its control on the other side of the Pacific.
In addition, the most developed and prosperous cities are gathered on the coastal region of southeast China, therefore the region is vital for the Chinese economy. As the main transportation mode for China’s foreign trade and energy supply is via the sea route, taking control of the transportation line from the West Pacific Ocean to India via the Strait of Malacca means seizing the lifeline of the Chinese economy. Therefore, it is necessary for the United States to put its strategic focus on Asia, especially East Asia, which is fatal for China.
The strategic focus shifting to the Asia-Pacific region means that the United States has targeted China as the main objective of its global strategy in the current situation, pushing China to the position where it has nowhere to retreat or hide, but only accept the truth.
From the historical experience of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, there must be murder accompanied behind the containment. In Africa, the United States excludes China’s economic interests and political influence; in the Middle East, it controls China’s energy throat; and in the neighboring countries of China, it seeks and supports a force to contain China. It even directly ruins the key to the security and the development of China in East Asia. Together with internal penetration, evolution and division of China, what the U.S. did is not simply containment with a purpose of stopping expansion, but a curb with the purpose of manipulation or even choking.
There are only two ways for China to choose: Either withstanding the external pressure, taking an independent place in the multi-centered world pattern in the future; or following in the steps of the Soviet Union, and experiencing survival ravages. The sharpness of the struggle is self-evident, but with 5,000 years’ cultural heritage and 63 years’ revolution achievements, China will be able to overcome the challenges.
December 28, 2012
Abkhaz diplomats act in secrecy because of Georgia’s, U.S.’, EU’s intrigues – foreign minister
SUKHUMI: The Abkhaz Foreign Ministry has to conceal a lot from journalists so that Georgia as well as the U.S. and the European Union as its sponsors could not take advantage of this information, Abkhaz Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Chirikba said.
“We cannot say about everything that occurs in our ministry and outside it. I cannot tell you about all trips that I have made this year and about all contacts that we are establishing with political figures of various countries, because our confrontation with Georgia, the U.S. and the European Union is very bitter,” Chirikba said.
“They are faultlessly tracking our telephone conversations, text messages, and emails, and they do everything to break our contacts with possible diplomatic partners. Therefore, we have to work in secrecy, however intriguing this might sound,” he said.
“I was in Italy recently, where I was supposed to read a lecture at a university. Georgia learned about this somehow and did all it could to thwart this lecture. But these petty steps don’t do it any good. I still gave a large press conference, at which I said all I wanted to say,” Chirikba said.
Even though Abkhazia’s contacts with foreign countries are being hampered, its diplomats are working on all continents, i.e. Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia, he said.
The minister said he was sure that the number of countries recognizing Abkhazia’s independence will be growing.
Stronger strategic partnership with Russia and broad international recognition are strategic objectives of Abkhazia’s foreign policy, he said.
December 28, 2012
Dniester Republic wants Russian peacekeepers to stay
TIRASPOL: The Dniester Republic wants Russian peacekeepers to stay until a political settlement is finally reached, Yevgeny Shevchuk, the president of the unrecognized Dniester Republic, told journalists on Friday, commenting on the proposal of the Moldovan leadership to replace “Russian Blue Helmets” by civilian observers.
“It’s time to stop creating preconditions for a war. Regrettably, we can see that representatives of Moldova’s political elite couldn’t refrain from aggressive remarks about the Dniester Republic in the outgoing year. These remarks are a source of concern for our people, in the first place,” Shevchuk went on to say.
He gave some figures, according to which about 40 incidents had occurred in the buffer zone on the Dniester River this year. They were settled by the Joint Control Commission that supervises the peacekeeping operation and commands the peacekeeping battalions of Russia, Moldova and the Dniester Republic.
“This is another evidence that the peacekeeping operation is a serious guarantee that the tragic events of 1992 when thousands of people were killed, wounded or became refugees will never be repeated,” Shevchuk emphasized.
He recalled that the Russian peacekeepers were staying in the Dniester region under an agreement that was signed in Moscow in 1992 and allowed for solving the conflict peacefully.
“First, under this document the Russian Group of Troops carries out a peacekeeping operation. Second, the Russian Group of Troops continues guarding munitions in the Kolbasnoye village of the Rybnitsky district, which is the property of the Russian army,” Shevchuk said, adding that the population of the Dniester Republic would like to expand the Russian military presence in the region in the foreseeable future.
This year, the Dniester Republic has marked the 20th anniversary of the peacekeeping operation in the Dniester Valley. The Joint Peacekeeping Forces of Russia, Moldova and the Dniester Republic as well as Ukrainian observers have been guarding the security zone on the banks of the Dniester River since the end of an armed conflict between Moldova and the Dniester Republic under an agreement on the principles of the conflict’s peaceful settlement singed on July 21, 1992. Moldova considers the conflict to be over and believes that the existing peacekeeping format should be changed by replacing the peacekeepers by civilian observers under the OSCE mandate.
From Jean Christophe in Paris (1908)
Translated by Gilbert Cannan
Following on a sequence of apparently insignificant events, relations between France and Germany suddenly became strained: and, in a few days, the usual neighborly attitude of banal courtesy passed into the provocative mood which precedes war. There was nothing surprising in this, except to those who were living under the illusion that the world is governed by reason. But there were many such in France: and numbers of people were amazed from day to day to see the vehement Gallophobia of the German Press becoming rampant with the usual quasi-unanimity. Certain of those newspapers which, in the two countries, arrogate to themselves a monopoly of patriotism, and speak in the nation’s name, and dictate to the State, sometimes with the secret complicity of the State, the policy it should follow, launched forth insulting ultimatums to France.
The great mass of the German people had nothing at all to do with the provocation: they were shocked by it: the honest men of every country ask only to be allowed to live in peace: and the people of Germany are particularly peaceful, affectionate, anxious to be on good terms with everybody, and much more inclined to admire and emulate other nations than to go to war with them. But the honest men of a nation are not asked for their opinion: and they are not bold enough to give it. Those who are not virile enough to take public action are inevitably condemned to be its pawns. They are the magnificent and unthinking echo which casts back the snarling cries of the Press and the defiance of their leaders, and swells them into the Marseillaise, or the Wacht am Rhein.
It never occurred to Christophe to support his argument by the citation of similar crimes perpetrated by all nations all through the history of the world. He was too proud to fall back upon any such humiliating excuse: he knew that, as humanity advances, its crimes become more odious, for they stand in a clearer light. But he knew also that if France were victorious in her turn she would be no more moderate in the hour of victory than Germany had been, and that yet another link would be added to the chain of the crimes of the nations. So the tragic conflict would drag on for ever, in which the best elements of European civilization were in danger of being lost.
Men of the firmest intelligence, men the most secure in their faith, now saw it dissolve at the first puff of reality, and stood turning this way and that, not daring to make up their minds, and often, to their immense surprise, deciding upon a course of action entirely different from any that they had foreseen. Some of the most eager to abolish war suddenly felt a vigorous passionate pride in their country leap into being in their hearts. Christophe found Socialists, and even revolutionary syndicalists, absolutely bowled over by their passionate pride in a duty utterly foreign to their temper.
And as they were held on and on in suspense, they grew restless and feverish. André was in torment. He knew that his faith was true, and yet he could not defend it! He felt that he was infected by the moral epidemic which spreads among the people of a nation the collective insanity of their ideas, the terrible spirit of war!
But it was impossible to endure such suspense for long. The wind of action willy-nilly sifted the waverers into one group or another. And one day, when it seemed that they must be on the eve of the ultimatum, when, in both countries, the springs of action were taut, ready for slaughter, Christophe saw that everybody, including the people in his own house, had made up their minds. Every kind of party was instinctively rallied round the detested or despised Government which represented France. Not only the honest men of the various parties: but the esthetes, the masters of depraved art, took to interpolating professions of patriotic faith in their work. The Jews were talking of defending the soil of their ancestors. At the mere mention of the flag tears came to Hamilton’s eyes. And they were all sincere: they were all victims of the contagion. André Elsberger and his syndicalist friends, just as much as the rest, and even more: for, being crushed by necessity and pledged to a party that they detested, they submitted with a grim fury and a stormy pessimism which made them crazy for action. Aubert, the artisan, torn between his cultivated humanitarianism and his instinctive chauvinism, was almost beside himself. After many sleepless nights he had at last found a formula which could accommodate everything: that France was synonymous with Humanity.
Olivier was much calmer than he, though he had much more reason to be upset. Of all Christophe’s acquaintance, he seemed to be the only one to escape the contagion…For his own part, he refused to take part in the skirmish. While the civilized nations were cutting each other’s throats he was fain to repeat the device of Antigone: “I am made for love, and not for hate.” For love and for understanding, which is another form of love. His fondness for Christophe was enough to make his duty plain to him. At a time when millions of human beings were on the brink of hatred, he felt that the duty and happiness of friends like himself and Christophe was to love each other, and to keep their reason uncontaminated by the general upheaval. He remembered how Goethe had refused to associate himself with the liberation movement of 1813, when hatred sent Germany to march out against France.