Report: NATO Uses Azeri, Moldovan, Romanian Air Bases For War In Ukraine

August 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Azeri Press Agency
August 20, 2014

Defense Ministry: Reports on NATO warplanes using Azerbaijani aerodromes for refueling to launch air strikes against separatists in Ukraine are groundless
Rashad Suleymanov

Baku: The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry has released a statement on reports that NATO warplanes are using Azerbaijani territories for refueling to launch air strikes against separatists in Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry’s press service told APA that reports spread by some mass media outlets that NATO warplanes are using aerodromes of different countries, including Azerbaijan, for refueling in order to launch air strikes on separatists in Ukraine do not lean on any facts and are groundless, and this kind of information is just a provocation.

Note that, some websites reported yesterday citing U.S., Moldovan and Russian sources that fighter-bomber warplanes launching attacks on civilian targets had been recorded flying to aerodromes in Azerbaijan, Romania, and Moldova and, that those aircrafts were refueled at Azerbaijani aerodromes.

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Upton Sinclair: World war as a business enterprise

August 20, 2014 Leave a comment


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

American writers on peace and against war

Upton Sinclair: How wars start, how they can be prevented

Upton Sinclair: The lost people are those who go to be shot, killed in big war (Dante through Vanzetti)


Upton Sinclair
From Boston (1928)


Josiah gave his decision, in his old man’s voice that was beginning to crack. Jerry Walker might break himself some day, but not now; these were the days to buy anything at any price; hats were necessary to armies and felt slippers were worn in the hospitals. That led them to the subject which all men of affairs were discussing in this summer of 1915. Josiah repeated his well-known opinion that it would be a long war and that it was the part of wisdom to buy and buy. Cornelia sat thinking of human lives while they were thinking of money.

Rupert was of the opinion that the war couldn’t last over the year, because the warring nations were heading for bankruptcy. But Josiah told him not to worry; we would lend them the money, provided they spent it for our goods. How would we get the money back? And Josiah said we wouldn’t have to get it back – it would be like Jerry Walker’s felt business. “When Jerry can’t pay what he owes us we’ll take over his plants.”


Not even the destruction of the Reims cathedral, not even the thought of the peasant-boys in the trenches, could wipe out her amusement at the moral impulse of Boston, which was driving Rupert Alvin to take charge of Jerry Walker’s felt-business, and likewise the geography and finance of Europe. Her last thought was “He’ll do both those things.” And, in his own time and at his own convenience, he did.

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NATO Warships To Conduct Exercises Off Florida

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

August 18, 2014



Mayport, U.S.A. – Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) arrived in Mayport, Florida for a scheduled port visit in advance of Fleet Exercises (FLEETEX) on Thursday, 14 August 2014.

FLEETEX are multi-warfare naval exercises designed to promote force integration and test multiple war fighting skill sets. Ships from the U.S., Canadian, German and Turkish navies will participate in the exercises.This port visit and FLEETEX are part of a series of training exercises in which SNMG2 will participate during its deployment to the Western Atlantic. This is the first time in several years that a NATO task force has conducted transatlantic operations in North America. These events offer multiple opportunities for training at the highest levels of maritime operations.

FLEETEX will feature anti-air, anti-submarine, live fire and ship handling scenarios designed to provide high-end warfare training and valuable experience through integrated task group training. SNMG2, CSG8 and Canadian forces will train together as a force to learn how to work as a cohesive unit in response to a variety of threat scenarios.

SNMG2 ships currently deployed to North America include the U.S. flagship, USS LEYTE GULF (CG 55), the German ship FGS NIEDERSACHSEN (F 208), and the Turkish ship TCG KEMALREIS (F 247). KEMALREIS is the first Turkish warship to visit the U.S. in 15 years, and this will be the first trip to the U.S. for the majority of their crew.

During the port visit, SNMG2 will coordinate with representatives from the Canadian navy and Carrier Strike Group 8 (CSG8) to prepare for the exercises…

“Any opportunity we have to train with multiple NATO navies simultaneously is extremely valuable,” said Rear Adm. Brad Williamson, Commander SNMG2. “This period will allow us to build integration and teamwork, and I’m excited to train with and share experiences between Allied shipmates.”

SNMG2 is permanently available to NATO to perform a wide range of tasks, from real world operations to exercise participation. Composition of the force varies as allied nations contribute assets on a rotational basis. SNMG2 will be led by a U.S. Navy admiral and flagship until June 2015.

Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

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Latvia: U.S. Troops Practice Airborne Assaults

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Army
August 18, 2014

173rd Airborne paratroopers never tire of jumping from planes
By Sgt. Michael Crawford


ADAZI, Latvia: Despite all the planning, double checking and potential hazards associated with airborne operations, jumping out of a C-130 aircraft never loses its charm for paratroopers with 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Paratroopers with 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, based in Grafenwoehr, Germany, are in Latvia for Operation Atlantic Resolve, dedicated to demonstrating commitment to NATO obligations and increasing interoperability with allied forces. With many Latvian Soldiers on summer leave, paratroopers used the brief lull in combined-training exercises to refine their airborne skills.

Approximately 600 paratroopers from the brigade have been deployed to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland since April for Operation Atlantic Resolve.

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Robert Graves: Men at arms and men of letters, the birth of English pacifism in the First World War

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment


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

Robert Graves: Selections on war


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


While with the cadet-battalion, I went out nearly every Sunday to the village of Garsington. Siegfried’s friends, Philip and Lay Ottoline Morrell, lived at the manor-house there. The Morrells were pacifists, and I first heard from there that there was another side to the question of war guilt. Clive Bell, England’s leading art critic and a conscientious objector, looked after the cows on the manor farm; he had been allowed to do this ‘work of national importance’ instead of going into the Army. Aldous Huxley, Lytton Strachey and the Hon Bertrand Russell were frequent visitors. Aldous was unfit, otherwise he would certainly have been in the Army like Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, Herbert Read, Siegfried, Wilfred Owen, myself and most other young writers of the time, none of whom now believed in the War.

Bertrand Russell, too old for military service, but an ardent pacifist (a rare combination), turned sharply on me one afternoon and asked: ‘Tell me, if a company of your men were brought along to break a strike of munition-makers, and the munition-makers refused to go back to work, would you order the men to fire?’


Lytton Strachey was unfit, but instead of allowing himself to be rejected by the doctors preferred to appear before a military tribunal as a conscientious objector…Asked by the chairman the usual question: ‘I understand, Mr Strachey, that you have a conscientious objection to war?’ he replied (in his curious falsetto voice): ‘Oh, no, not at all, only to this war.’ And to the chairman’s other stock question, which had previously never failed to embarrass the claimant: ‘Tell me, Mr Strachey, what would you do if you saw a German soldier trying to violate your sister?’ he replied with an air of noble virtue: ‘I would try to get between them.’


In June, he [Siegfried Sassoon] had visited the Morrells at Oxford…Five poems of his had just appeared in the Cambridge Magazine (one of the few aggressively pacifist journals published in England at the time, the offices of which were later sacked by Flying Corps cadets).

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Black Sea: U.S. Guided Missile Warship Docks Near Russian Border In Georgia

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Navy
August 18, 2014

USS Vella Gulf Arrives in Batumi, Georgia
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East Detachment Europe


BATUMI, Georgia: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) arrived in Batumi, Georgia, for a scheduled port visit, Aug. 18.

While in Georgia, Vella Gulf is scheduled to participate in a joint training exercise with the Georgian Navy focusing on signaling and visit, board, search and seizure tactics. Vella Gulf will also host a reception onboard for Georgian dignitaries.

Vella Gulf’s mission in the Black Sea is to work with NATO allies and European partners, demonstrating the United States’ commitment to strengthening and improving interoperability while working toward mutual goals in the region.

Upon departing Georgia, Vella Gulf will continue its deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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Buildup In Eastern Europe: U.S. Warplanes, Troops Deployed To Bulgaria

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Stars and Stripes
August 18, 2014

F-15s, troops from 493rd deploy to Bulgaria
By Jon Harper


WASHINGTON: Troops and fighter aircraft from the 493rd Fighter Squadron have been sent to Bulgaria as tensions in Eastern Europe continue to run high.

A dozen F-15s and approximately 180 personnel from the 493rd, based at RAF Lakenheath, England, have deployed to Graf Ignatievo Air Base to participate in a two-week bilateral training exercise with the Bulgarian air force, Pentagon spokesmen Col. Steve Warren told reporters Monday.

The exercise began Monday and will continue through Sept. 1.

The purpose of the deployment is to “conduct training and focus on maintain joint readiness while building interoperability,” Warren said.

The move comes at a time when America’s Eastern European partners and allies are concerned about Russian military intervention in Ukraine…

“This is a reflection of our steadfast commitment to enhancing regional security,” Warren said about the exercise.

Last week the Pentagon announced that approximately 600 soldiers from the Army’s 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, will deploy to Poland and the Baltic states in October for a three-month series of land warfare training exercises.

The First Cavalry will bring M-1 Abrams tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored personnel carrier for the exercises, according to the Defense Department.

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NATO Would Wage War With Russia Over Farfetched Scenario: Top Military Commander

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Stars and Stripes
August 18, 2014

Breedlove: NATO would respond militarily to any infiltration of member state
By John Vandiver

STUTTGART, Germany: A NATO military response would be required if Moscow secretly sent personnel, with or without Russian military uniforms, into a member state as it did during its takeover of Crimea earlier this year, NATO’s top officer said.

“If NATO sees foreign forces infiltrating its sovereign territory, and if we can prove it comes from an aggressor nation — then that’s Article five,” Gen. Philip Breedlove said in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt. “That means a military response to the actions of the aggressor. Therefore, we have to expand the internal national capabilities to identify such a move and to deal with it.”

Article 5, the linchpin of the alliance’s founding treaty, ensures that an attack on one member demands a collective response from all. Breedlove’s latest comments come as NATO is preparing for a summit next month that will, in large part, focus on shifting the 28-nation alliance’s attention back to potential threats inside Europe.

Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander and head of U.S. European Command, has said NATO must take into account Russian actions in Ukraine as it prepares for future threats.

Western officials have accused Moscow of arming pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine and dispatching Russian military personnel to the country. In the case of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin initially denied Russian military were present in the country, only to admit it later as Russia formally annexed the region in March.

Breedlove said NATO must be ready to counter such unconventional tactics, which NATO’S eastern member states fear Russia could deploy in areas with large ethnic Russian populations, such as in the Baltics.

“The most important thing is that NATO nations are prepared for the so-called little green men,” said Breedlove, referring to the armed military without national insignia who create unrest. “We’ve seen this in eastern Ukraine … And there is a danger that it also could happen in other East European states. Therefore, we have to train the police and army there in such a way that they can deal with this kind of challenge.”

Late last month, Breedlove echoed those concerns, saying allies must take into proper account unconventional threats such as cyberwarfare and irregular militia operations.

It is illustrative for us to look at this form of warfare we’re seeing from Russia and how we will react to it in the future,” Breedlove said at the time.

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Poland: U.S., Polish Air Forces Train For Iraq Intervention

August 18, 2014 2 comments

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

August 18, 2014

US, Poland train for humanitarian missions to Iraq
By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton

POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland: Partnering with U.S. Air Force Airmen deployed to Powidz Air Base, Poland, loadmasters from both nations began training together, Aug. 11, to sharpen the skills necessary for Polish airmen to conduct humanitarian missions to Iraq.

“We want to be on the same page,” said Polish Sierż (Sgt.) Hieronim Chabras, 33rd Transportation Air Base C-130E loadmaster. “It is good to go over this training together before a mission like this.”

The joint training was especially beneficial to the Airmen deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. To date, U.S. military aircraft have delivered more than 27,000 gallons of fresh drinking water and nearly 100,000 meals to the displaced and endangered Iraqi people. The C-130’s, flown by both Polish and American forces, are uniquely suited to handle the mass container delivery airdrops…

Mass container delivery airdrops are one of the most effective ways to deliver combat and non-combat supplies and equipment,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Chelsea Sirmans, 86th Operational Support Squadron joint airdrop inspector. “It’s how we get the bullets, beans and bandages to the people who need them most, as quickly as possible.”

The loadmasters came together to ensure both parties were as proficient as possible on their particular model of C-130. The Polish Air Force spent time brushing up on the technical specifications of the C-130E Hercules; while the U.S. Air Force compared and contrasted the operational procedures of the E-model with the C-130J Super Hercules.

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Calls For NATO, EU Military Assistance

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

National Radio Company of Ukraine
August 18, 2014

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry urges NATO, EU to help Kyiv in fighting in east

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has urged the European Union and NATO to provide Kyiv with military assistance in fighting illegal armed formations in the country’s east, Deutsche Welle reports.

He described a threat of Russian incursion into Ukraine as “more than serious” and the actions of Ukrainian military in eastern Ukraine as “more than proportionate.”

At the same time, Klimkin refuted accusations of the Ukrainian military opening fire at Russian territory. He repeated the claims that the militants, not government troops are destroying residential areas in Donbas by artillery.

The minister also felt that NATO should develop a new strategy regarding Ukraine.However, he ruled out the possibility of Ukraine’s accession to NATO in the near future.


August 18, 2014

Turchynov vows to ratify association agreement with EU soon

KYIV: The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will ratify the Association Agreement with the European Union in the near future.

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Turchynov said this in an interview with Baltic news agency BNS, the press service of the Ukrainian parliament reported.

“The Ukrainian people have made their choice – European and Euro-Atlantic integration, and no aggression from Russia will stop us,” the speaker said.

Turchynov is attending a conference of parliamentary speakers of the Nordic and Baltic countries in Palanga, Lithuania, on August 17-19.

National Radio Company of Ukraine
August 18, 2014

10,000 personnel involved in counterterrorism operation

Almost 10,000 Interior Ministry troops and National Guard personnel are taking part in the operation in Donbas, Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, has said.

“The National Guard and Interior Ministry’s combined force in the zone of the counterterrorism operation has increased to almost 10,000. It consists of 25 Interior Ministry battalions, joined by volunteers, plus combined detachments, the National Guard’s regular special units and volunteer battalions of the National Guard, including the “Donbas” battalion and the General Kulchytsky battalion (former 1st and 2nd reserve formations),”Avakov wrote on Facebook on August 17.

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126-Day War In Europe: Ukraine To Use Western Model For Mandatory Military Training For All Citizens

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

National Radio Company of Ukraine
August 18, 2014

Ukrainian Defense Ministry drawing up program on basic military training of persons liable for military service

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry is drawing up a program on basic military training of persons liable for military service including training staff for guerrilla, sabotage and intelligence networks, the ministry’s press service has reported, citing the defense minister’s adviser, Oleksandr Danyliuk. Experts of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are engaged in drafting this strategy.

The program is based on the principle of territorial defense, the defense of populated localities and the protection of especially important public facilities.

Also, as part of the program it is planned to resolve the task of training staff for guerrilla, sabotage and intelligence networks who will be involved in the event of the occupation of certain territories of Ukraine, in the event of open aggression against our state,” reads the report.

The experience of the organization of national defense of the leading countries is used in drafting the strategy. In particular, it is planned that a kind of “basic training” will be mandatory for every citizen of Ukraine.

The program for women will be developed with an emphasis on civil defense and medical training.The first experimental groups will be selected in big cities in the near future.

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Ukraine Should Join EU, NATO: Speaker

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

August 18, 2014

Ukrainian parliament speaker: Ukraine can complete European integration reports in five years

Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov said he believes Ukraine can conduct European integration reforms over a period of five years.

“We have a five-year European integration plan,” the Ukrainian parliamentary press service quoted Turchynov as saying in an interview with the Baltic information agency BNS on Monday.

“Ukraine should become a member of the European Union and NATO,” Turchynov said, adding that he believes it will be a guarantee against Russia’s “aggressive ambitions.”

Turchynov said most Ukrainians now understand that Ukraine needs to enter NATO because “it is a way to protect Ukraine from Russia’s aggressive policy.”

Turchynov is on a working visit to Lithuania on August 17-19 to participate in the conference of the speakers of the parliaments of the Nordic and Baltic countries in Palanga.

At this conference, he plans to give a speech at a meeting entitled “The EU Eastern Partnership from Vilnius to Riga.”

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Sean O’Casey: The Prince of Peace transformed into the god of war

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Sean O’Casey
From Drums Under the Windows (1946)

sean o'casey

He had looked for the Conquest of Mexico all over the second-hand barrow, but had to be content with Pizarro’s fast and fiery bestowal of peace that belongs not to this world on the Incas and their people. It was odd how the symbol of the Prince of Peace appeared so often in the midst of fire and smoke and death and desolation! How often it brought to black, red, or yellow peoples, not the gentle grace of God, but the sword plunging through their bellies, and the madly rushing bullet searing through their throats. The cross was everywhere, on almost every flag of every nation, and England had three on hers to show she was holier than the others; each cross representing a saint, one a Jew, the second a Cappadocian, and the third Frenchman, and ne’er a one of them an Englishman. Millions made the sign in the air, or on their breasts, millions of times a day. The very hilt of their sword is a cross too. Ah, that’s the real cross for the hand of a plunderer, and here it is, firmly held in the hard hand of the murdering conquistadores. The Incas’ first taste of Christ was a bitter one: myrrh, myrrh, vinegar, and gall for them, with their frankincense and gold carried off, even to the scrapings from their temple doors…

They’re all the same, thought Sean. Those who conquer others to use them woefully for their own poor benefit performance are all the same, whatever god they worship. Today, the cross to the heathen is as ominous as it was to the Aztecs and the Incas in the days of the Spanish glory. The native of that day felt the love of God coming to him when the feathered shaft tore through his breast, today the fire and the smoke of the belching guns sing out the same evangel…

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Wales Summit To Decide On NATO Bases In Poland

August 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Polish Radio
August 17, 2014

Wales summit to decide on NATO bases in Poland?

Following months of lobbying by Poland to beef up the alliance’s eastern flank, hopes have turned to the upcoming summit in Wales for a concrete decision on the creation of a NATO support base in Poland.

“We hope that a decision will be taken on the creation of a logistics centre for equipment and other provisions for Alliance members stationed in Poland as well as the Baltic States,” head of the National Security Bureau, General Stanislaw Koziej told Polish Radio.

According to Koziej, due to the increased financing such a construction would need, the base will most likely take some years to be built.

The comment comes as Washington announced last Wednesday that “600 soldiers from the Fort Hood, Texas-based 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, will rotate to Poland as the next unit to participate in the reassurance initiative”.

“This is the effect of an agreement which we rubberstamped with the Americans in spring,” Poland’s Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said.

Some 200 Canadians and 1,200 British soldiers are also expected to be stationed in Poland at the same time for training exercises in the region, while a delegation from the US Army is expected to arrive in Warsaw next week to discuss the planned operations.

Warsaw has been pushing for a greater NATO presence in the region, with renewed calls for a NATO beef up after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further pro-Russian rebel-led actions caused unrest in eastern Ukraine. Speaking during a ceremony on Army Day on 15 August, which commemorates a Polish victory over the Soviets in 1920 at the Battle of Warsaw, President Bronislaw Komorowski said that “freedom is not given once and for all, it has to be protected, strengthened, prized”. “We are responsible for the independence of the Polish state, for its armed forces, and are co-responsible for the strength of the NATO alliance,” he underlined.

Speaking on the upcoming summit in Newport, Wales, Komorowski said that Poland will address finance issues. “It cannot be so that our powerful neighbour to the east has been increasing its defence budget for the past eight years while NATO has been cutting costs,” the President said, adding that “In Poland, we too should start spending the recommended 2 percent of GDP on defence.”

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Interview: U.S. Exploits ISIS Threat To Justify Intervention

August 17, 2014 1 comment

Press TV
August 17, 2014

America’s ISIL threat claim is ‘dishonest ploy’ to justify intervention


An American peace activist says US counterterrorism officials’ claim that the ISIL terrorist group poses a clear and immediate threat to the United States is a “dishonest and disingenuous ploy” to justify the military intervention in Iraq.

Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO International Network, made the remarks during a phone interview with Press TV on Saturday.

On Thursday, US counterterrorism officials told reporters that new strategies are urgently needed to counter the surging ISIL threat.

“We’re seeing an expansion of its external terrorist ambitions,” one US counterterrorism official said. “As its capabilities grow, it has attracted thousands of foreign extremists — some of whom are going home to start cells. As it carves out territory [in Iraq], it wants to go beyond that and do attacks outside.”

Rozoff said, “This is sleight of hand on the part of the White House in the first place that has been used over the past decades to justify the US military intervention/the US aggression.”

He also said that it is “ludicrous” that the US and its allies support “an armed insurrection within a nation” while insisting the groups they themselves armed pose a threat to the West.

“Nothing occurring in northern Iraq — as tragic and violent as it is — in any way presents a threat directly or even indirectly to the United States,” Rozoff stated.

“This is, I believe, making the military intervention by the US more palatable to the domestic audience in America,” he noted.

He went on to say that for the US “to claim that it is fighting terrorism, when it is one of the main supporters of exactly that, is another act of duplicity on behalf of the White House, on behalf of the US government.”

“You know, people would be well-advised to take what the US government says with a grain of salt and investigate these matters on their own.”

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C.P. Snow: Even if moral judgments are left out, it’s unthinkable to drop the bomb

August 17, 2014 Leave a comment


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

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

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


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


The typescript was faded, in the margin were some corrections in a high, thin, Italian hand. Much of the argument was in mathematical symbols, but, after twenty pages of calculation, some conclusions were set out in double spacing, in the military jargon of the day, with phrases like ‘casualisation’, ‘ground zero’, severe destruction.

These conclusions meant that, in one explosion over the centre of a town, about 300,000 people would be killed instantly, and a similar number would later die of injuries…

Anyone who worked on the inside of scientific war saw such documents. And most men took it as part of the day-by-day routine, without emotion; it had to be done, if you were living in society, if you were one ant in the anthill…


“You can’t expect decency from any collection of people with power in their hands, but surely you can expect a modicum of sense.”

“Have we seen much of that?” I asked.

“They can’t drop the bomb.”

The car drove on, past the unshaded fields. Francis went on to say that, even if we left moral judgments out, even then it was unthinkable for a sensible man to drop the bomb. Non-scientists never understood, he said, for how short a time you could keep a technical lead. Within five years any major country could make these bombs for itself. If we dropped them first -

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Between Armenia And Iran: Turkish, Georgian And Azeribaijani Defense Chiefs To Meet

August 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Azeri News Agency
August 16, 2014

Turkish, Georgian defense ministers to make official visit to Azerbaijan on August 18
The three countries’ defense ministers will hold a meeting in Nakhchivan
Rashad Suleymanov


Baku: Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and Turkish National Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz are to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan at the official invitation of Defense Minister Colonel General Zakir Hasanov on August 18, the Defense Ministry’s press service reported to APA.

As part of the visit, the defense ministers are expected to have meetings with Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Vasif Talibov, hold private and trilateral talks with one another, visit military units of the Detached Troop Army as well as a number of historical and cultural monuments located in Nakhchivan, and attend several other events.

The defense minister’s visit to the city of Nakhchivan will continue till August 19.

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Ukraine War: NATO To Strengthen Ties With Partners At Summit

August 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Azeri Press Agency
August 16, 2014

NATO Secretary General: ‘Russia’s aggressive policy against Ukraine makes us rethink about security’
Rufet Ahmadzadeh


Baku: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that during his visits to Norway and Denmark on August 14-15, they held discussions on strengthening of NATO and increasing investments in armed forces.

APA reports that Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a video posted on YouTube his recent visits to European countries are part of preparation for the Wales Summit scheduled for September.

The secretary general said his visits were also aimed at strengthening cooperation among NATO’s members as well as its partners: “I also noted during my meetings with the member countries’ heads of state that our summit to be held in Wales will be one of the most important events in NATO’s history. We need to thoroughly prepare for this summit. We must increase investments in armed forces and closely cooperate with one another to ensure security. Russia’s aggressive policy against Ukraine makes us rethink about security. The members of NATO need to comprehend this responsibility and do their best to strengthen the alliance. I’m sure NATO isn’t going to lose its power and instead will develop even further. We’ll be able to protect our members and friends against any threat”.

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Vittorio Alfieri: The infamous trade of soldier, the sole basis of all arbitrary authority

August 16, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Vittorio Alfieri
From Memoirs (1803)
Anonymous translation of 1810


In the month of September I continued my journey through Prague and Dresden, where I remained a month. From thence I went to Berlin, and in this city took up my abode for an equal length of time. On entering the states of the great Frederick, which appeared to me like a vast guard-house, my hatred was still more increased of the infamous trade of soldier, the sole basis of all arbitrary authority, which must always rely on so many thousand hired minions. On being presented to His Majesty, I experienced not the slightest emotion either of surprise or respect, but on the contrary, a rising feeling of indignation, which became daily strengthened in my mind on beholding oppression and despotism assuming the mask of virtue. Count de Finch, who introduced me to the royal presence inquired why, as I was in the service of my sovereign, I did not wear my uniform. To which I replied that I thought the Court was already sufficiently crowded with uniforms. The King addressed to me the few words customary on such occasions. I regarded him with the greatest attention, fixing my eyes respectfully on his, while I mentally thanked heaven I was not born his slave. Towards the middle of November I left this Prussian barracks which I regarded with detestation and horror as it deserves.

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Donetsk: Kiev Intent On Leveling City Of One Million Inhabitants

August 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Xinhua News Agency
August 15, 2014

Death toll rises as fighting intensifies in E. Ukraine

KIEV: At least 16 people were killed in eastern Ukraine over the past day as government forces stepped up their offensive against independence-seeking rebels, authorities said Friday.

The conflict has reached a critical stage in Donetsk city, where heavy shelling on Thursday afternoon killed 11 civilians and injured eight others.

Donetsk City Council said that the shelling also damaged several electricity substations and destroyed 20 private houses.

The rebels have repeatedly accused government forces of using rockets against civilians…

Fierce battles were also reported in the neighboring Gorlovka town and in the city of Lugansk, though rebel-held Donetsk and its outskirts still remain the epicenter of clashes.

Over the past 24 hours, at least five Ukrainian soldiers were killed in confrontation with rebels, according to Andrei Lysenko, a spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council.

However, some local military experts believe that Ukrainian officials tend to downplay the number of casualties among the government troops.

According to regional authorities, at least 839 civilians have been killed in Donetsk region and around 1,500 in Lugansk region since mid-April, when Kiev started its military operation to retake insurgents-controlled cities and towns.

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U.S. Deploys 600 Troops For Baltic-Poland War Games

August 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Xinhua News Agency
August 15, 2014

600 U.S. soldiers to go to Poland for troop rotation

WARSAW: The Pentagon on Thursday said approximately 600 soldiers will go to Poland as a part of a troop rotation for operation Atlantic Resolve, local media reported.

The operation is a joint military exercise between the United States and four Eastern European countries, namely Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The new contingent of soldiers will carry out exercises for three months and will replace the 173 Paratroops Brigade who have participated in the mission since April.

“These exercises of land forces, undertaken at the request of host countries, will help to improve operational coordination through training of small subunits and commanders,” a Pentagon spokesperson said.

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“Ironclad Commitment” To NATO’s Article 5: Obama Baltic Trip Linked To 123-Day Ukraine War

August 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Xinhua News Agency
August 15, 2014

Obama to visit Estonia to reassure allies amid Ukraine crisis

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Estonia in early September for a visit aimed at reaffirming U.S. commitment to its Baltic allies amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the White House said Friday.

During his stay, Obama will meet President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Prime Minister Taavi Roivas to discuss bilateral ties, strategic and regional cooperation, and commitment of the two countries to the trans-Atlantic partnership, National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

Obama will also meet two other Baltic presidents — Latvia’s Andris Berzins and Lithuania’s Dalia Grybauskaite – to discuss cooperation on regional security, economic growth and collective defense, Hayden said.

“This trip is a chance to reaffirm our ironclad commitment to Article V as the foundation” of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said Hayden, adding that the United States has taken steps to reassure allies in Central and Eastern Europe in light of recent developments in Ukraine.

After visiting Estonia, Obama will proceed to Britain to attend a NATO summit, Hayden added.

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Report: Obama To Visit Baltic Ahead Of NATO Summit

August 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Xinhua News Agency
August 15, 2014

Obama most likely to make stop in Tallinn on way to NATO meeting

TALLINN: U. S. President Barack Obama will most likely stop in Tallinn on September 3 on his way to the NATO summit in Wales on September 4-5, the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) reported on Friday.

ERR quoted the Latvian Public Broadcasting website, LSM.LV, as saying that the Latvian and Lithuanian presidents, as well as the president of Poland, will be in Tallinn to meet with Obama as well to discuss “a range of topics,” although Baltic defense is likely to be the main topic of discussion.

Earlier on Thursday evening, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed to Estonian biggest online news outlet Delfi that United States President Barack Obama will be visiting Estonia “in the near future”.

The NATO summit, the ERR report said, is going to be the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain. Obama, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande, are scheduled to be there, along with leaders and senior ministers from around 60 other countries.

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Poland: U.S., Canada Participate In “Huge Military Display”

August 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Polish Radio
August 15, 2014

Huge military display marks Army Day

Over 1000 soldiers, 50 aircraft and 120 military vehicles were on display in Warsaw during the largest armed forces parade for several years to mark Army Day.

The White-Red Sparks aerobatic team began the parade on Friday, flying their TS-11’s over the capital, following a speech by President Bronislaw Komorowski. A fly-passed of helicopters – including two US Black Hawks – were followed by Hercules transport aircraft and then a parade of soldiers, including Polish paratroopers stationed in Krakow and 90 soldiers from Canada and the US, alongside tanks and armoured vehicles.

Vintage military vehicles were also on display, including a WWI-era Renault FT tank. Army Day is a national holiday in Poland on 15 August, marking the famous victory over the Soviet Red Army in the 1920 battle of Warsaw.

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Ukraine Claims To Shell, Destroy Russian Convoy

August 15, 2014 Leave a comment

August 15, 2014

Artillery destroys part of Russian military equipment that broke border

KYIV: Some Russian military equipment was destroyed by the artillery almost immediately after the invasion of Ukraine.

President Petro Poroshenko said in a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the press service of the President informs.

“Much of this equipment was destroyed by the Ukrainian artillery at night,” a statement reads.

Information about destruction of Russian military equipment was also confirmed by the National Security and Defense Council.

“I want to reassure: this column was led, it always was under the supervision of our intelligence and weapons of destruction, appropriate active actions were made and a part of the column does not exist now,” Spokesman of the NSDC Information-Analytical Center Andriy Lysenko noted.

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Almost 200 Civilians Killed, Wounded In Assault On Donetsk In Past Three Days

August 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Xinhua News Agency
August 15, 2014

74 civilians killed in Ukraine’s Donetsk region over three days


KIEV: At least 74 civilians were killed in clashes between government forces and independence-seeking insurgents in Ukraine’s Donetsk region over the past three days, local authorities said Thursday.

According to the press service of Donetsk City Council, another 116 people were wounded as a result of fighting since Monday.

On Thursday afternoon, two civilians were killed and seven injured in Donetsk city, one of the rebel strongholds, when artillery fire hit several buildings in the residential area, the press service said in a statement.

In the past 24 hours, nine Ukrainian soldiers were also killed in fighting with the insurgents, and 18 were wounded, according to Andrei Lysenko, a spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council.

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Alfred Döblin: The law and the police are at the service of the war state and its slavery

August 15, 2014 Leave a comment


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

Alfred Döblin: The old grim cry for war


Alfred Döblin
From Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929)
Translated by Eugene Jolas


“You had to join up with the Prussians, you’ve been in the war. Now I call that theft of liberty. But they had their own courts and police, and because they had them, they put a muzzle on you, and so now it’s not a theft of liberty, according to a poor bum like you, but military service. And you’ve got to put up with it, like taxes, which go for something you don’t understand any better.”


Trumpets are blaring a military song beside him. A battle was fought on the open wold, ratatata, ratatata, ratatata. We have sacked the town and taken all their heavy gold. Sacked it – racked it, ratatata!

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Ukraine Continues To Shell Russian Territory

August 14, 2014 1 comment

RIA Novosti
August 15, 2014

Shell Fired From Ukraine Falls in Russia’s Rostov Region

ROSTOV-ON-DON: A shell fired across the border with Ukraine has fallen on the territory of Russia’s Rostov Region, a source at local law enforcement agencies said late Thursday.

“A shell-hole was found in the village of Avilo-Fedorovka. The shell apparently was fired from the Ukrainian territory,” the source said.

The site was cordoned off. The police will search the area on Friday morning, according to the source.

The Russian-Ukrainian border has been hit multiple times by Ukrainian artillery in the nearly four-months-long standoff between Ukraine’s national troops and eastern independence supporters, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the new government.

On August 10, the Russian border control registered about 15 munition explosions, which came from the Ukrainian side. They exploded just 300 meters (984 feet) away from the town of Mityakinskaya. On Tuesday, Ukrainian shells landed near the village of Kuybyshevo, Rostov Region.

In total, one person has been killed and nine injured on the Russian territory as a result of Ukrainian shelling since the military operation in southeastern Ukraine began.

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NATO Siege Of Russia: U.S. Leads Air Drills In Poland, Baltics

August 14, 2014 Leave a comment

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

August 14, 2014

Touchdown: new rotation takes reigns at Powidz
By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton


POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland: With a shrill squeal rubber met road as two C-130J Super Hercules’ touched down at Powidz Air Base, Poland, Aug. 14 – their crews ready to begin a flying training deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Hailed as a demonstration of the United States’ ongoing commitment to the collective security of NATO allies and European partners, Operation Atlantic Resolve allows Airmen deployed to Poland the opportunity to augment allied capability with the aim of designing and hosting a broad range of training opportunities.

“As representatives of the U.S. military in Poland we value the shared commitment and close cooperation with NATO partners on countering a range of regional and global threats,” said Lt. Col. Barry King II, 37th Airlift Squadron detachment commander at Powidz. “Our continuing contributions to develop and improve air readiness are significant in maintaining security and building partnership capacity.”

In addition to building relationships, Airmen deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany will spend the next few weeks conducting bilateral exercises with Poland and the neighboring Baltic States. They will hone their skills while practicing low-level flight training, touchdowns at unimproved landing zones and airdrop training of both cargo and personnel.

“This training is absolutely invaluable toward maintaining joint readiness, building interoperability and strengthening relationships with NATO partners,” King said. “We are serving as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa’s forward presence in this region. It is our goal to ensure both the United States and NATO know we can move forward quickly to support, and defend our allies.”

Demonstrating the “forward, ready, now” capabilities of Air Force Airmen and equipment is made possible through the application of regular combined training exercises.

“These exercises don’t simply strengthen our capabilities, they strengthen the bonds with our host nations,” said King. “They send a message that we are committed to a peaceful, stable and secure Europe.”

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NATO Proxy Force: Georgia Transforms Former Russian Base Into Combat Training Center

August 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Civil Georgia
August 14, 2014

MoD Builds Basic Combat Training Center in Akhalkalaki

Tbilisi: Ministry of Defense has launched construction of a basic combat training center for recruits in Akhalkalaki at the site which hosted the Russian military base before it was pulled out in 2007.

“It’s a historic decision taken by the Georgian government. The Soviet army was based here and today this place is acquiring a new meaning,” said Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, who along with chief of general staff of the armed forces Vakhtang Kapanadze took part in groundbreaking ceremony on August 14.

First phase of the construction, involving building of the headquarters, dining facility and barracks, is scheduled to be over by the end of 2015. The second phase, involving construction of sports facilities, accommodation for officers and their families, is scheduled to be completed by 2019, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Defense Minister Alasania said that the basic combat training center will also be important for the local population as they will be able to supply the base with locally produced agriculture products.

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Paul Morand: The War for Righteousness ends in the burying of moral sense

August 14, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Paul Morand
From The Living Buddha (1928)
Translated by Madeleine Boyd


His father, Comte d’Ecouen, was killed in the army, a volunteer at the age of sixty. Renaud d’Ecouen had heard the sound of the cannon, but not near enough to be deafened by it as his elders had been. He did not take part in the great war which marks the beginning of an age for some, and the end of a world for others….His memories of the war began with the disappearance of gold coin and ended with the burying of moral sense. He had been born in time to see gold money and its offspring, moral sense, buried. Placed face to face with 1914, as Musset or Vigny with the Napoleonic battles, he had their pessimism, but none of their admiration for what preceded them. He only knew – as to-day even the French know – that the massacre had been in vain, that seven years after nothing was left of the principles in the name of which the fighting had taken place, and that those principles were worn out with having been carried too long on the peaks of helmets. His father had died at Verdun after having killed a lot of small German landowners, who were more like him that anyone else in the world. Tears came to Renaud’s eyes when he thought of that sad end. The War for Righteousness seemed to him as confused as a railway accident. “My poor father lost his life in a terrible accident,” he would say.

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122-Day War: Ukrainian Oligarch-King Gets New Orders From The White House

August 14, 2014 Leave a comment

August 14, 2014

Poroshenko and Biden speak over the phone for third time in a week


Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has held another round of telephone consultations with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, the Ukrainian presidential press service reported.

“In his telephone conversation with the vice president of the United States, the president of Ukraine informed him of the situation surrounding the implementation of the international humanitarian mission under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),” the press service said.

The sides agreed to further coordinate their efforts in responding to existing and potential challenges and threats.

During his previous telephone conversation with Biden early on August 10, the Ukrainian leader asked the U.S. to join the ICRC-led international mission to deliver humanitarian aid to the city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

Poroshenko and Biden also spoke over the phone on August 7.


August 14, 2014

Luhansk completely besieged – NSDC

KYIV: The anti-terrorist operation (ATO) forces have liberated the village of Novosvitlivka, cutting off the last highway connecting Luhansk with the remaining areas…

Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) Information and Analysis Center spokesman Andriy Lysenko told this to reporters in Kyiv on Thursday.

“Today the Ukrainian military have liberated…the village of Novosvitlivka near Krasnodon in Luhansk region and blocked off the last traffic opportunity between the captured Luhansk and other areas…particularly with Izvaryne checkpoint on the border with Russia,” Lysenko said.

He said the fighting is underway in the village of Hriashchuvate near Luhansk, where terrorists have built a strong fortified area.

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Celestial Army Replenished: A Dozen Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Cross Rainbow Bridge To Valhalla

August 13, 2014 2 comments

August 13, 2014

Right Sector confirms death of 12 fighters


KYIV: Right Sector spokesman Boryslav Bereza has confirmed the death 12 soldiers.

He wrote this on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

“The celestial army has been replenished by souls of twelve warriors. For us, it is a tragedy. For Ukraine the death of the patriots – it is a disaster. The best sons of the Fatherland are being killed. These bastards like to make a video of our fallen soldiers. For them, it is a fetish. We promise that we will do everything possible to ensure that each of these fetishists get their personal coffin,” he said.

Bereza believes that Ukrainians will defeat Russian mercenaries.

“We will not just take revenge. We will win, and the victory over the enemy horde would be a worthy memorial to all those who died for Ukraine. We will not forget them. We have no right. Eternal glory to the heroes!” he concluded.

A reminder that Right Sector leader Dmytro Yaros wrote on his Facebook page about the terrible casualties among Right Sector soldiers.

Later, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported that the militants shot out a bus with Right Sector soldiers near Donetsk.

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“Conservative Figures” For 121-Day War: UN Says Ukraine Death Toll Has Doubled In Past Two Weeks

August 13, 2014 Leave a comment

August 13, 2014

Death toll in Ukraine’s east reaches over 2,000 – UN

KYIV: Over the past two weeks the death toll in the Ukrainian conflict has almost doubled to more than 2,000 people, UN human rights spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly said at a press conference on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

“The estimated death toll in the Ukraine conflict nearly doubled to at least 2,086 as of Aug. 10 from 1,129 on July 26,” she said.

Pouilly added that nearly 5,000 have been wounded to date.

On average, more than 60 people a day have been killed or wounded since fighting began in mid-April in eastern Ukraine, rising to at least 70 people a day in the first week of August, she said.

The figures for casualties include Ukrainian soldiers, armed groups, pro-Russian militants and civilians, but are “very conservative estimates”, Pouilly said.

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Ex-Defense Chief: Georgia Should Join War Against Russia

August 13, 2014 1 comment

Rustavi 2
August 13, 2014

Bacho Akhalaia calls for Georgians to assist Ukraine in battles against Putin`s Russia

The former minister of defence and internal affairs of Georgia, Bacho Akhalaia has released a special statement regarding the situation in Ukraine and called on his compatriots to be on alert for assisting the brother nation and struggling together against Putin`s Russia.

`There is a greater danger – a serious possibility of intrusion of Russia`s regular army into Ukraine. For this moment we should mobilize, but the support by Georgian officers and military servicemen will not be sufficient – there is a need for mobilization of free citizens of Georgia to provide strong and additional resistance to Putin`s Russia. That`s why I call on you to at least make list of those brave Georgians, who will be prepared to travel to Ukraine promptly and immediately on behalf of Abkhazia and reinforce the Georgians residing in Ukraine, if Russia intrudes into Ukraine,` Akhalaia has posted.

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Georgia, Ukraine: Two Wars, Two NATO Outposts In Former Soviet Union

August 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Civil Georgia
August 13, 2014

Georgian, Ukrainian Presidents Discuss Cooperation

Tbilisi: Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili spoke by phone with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on August 12 and reiterated Tbilisi’s “firm support” to Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Ukrainian president’s office said that President Margvelashvili “expressed readiness to contribute to international humanitarian assistance” to conflict-torn Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine, noting that Georgia has also been a target of “aggression in the past and understands the situation of Ukraine.

“We appreciate the support of Georgia both in bilateral format and in the framework of international organizations. Georgia was and is our partner,” the Ukrainian President said, according to his office.

The Ukrainian President also noted that “both countries have common challenges as well as common tasks, particularly the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU”. Poroshenko also said that Ukraine is “interested in the experience of Georgian reforms.”

The two presidents have also “agreed to continue their dialogue in September within the framework of the NATO summit,” the Ukrainian president’s office said.

The Georgian president’s office said that during the phone conversation, which was held upon Margvelashvili’s initiative, the Georgian President “reiterated firm support to Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

“The Georgian President said that he follows closely developments in Ukraine. He noted with regret that Ukraine is now facing the same problems Georgia had in 2008 and developments in Ukraine are continuation of those of 2008,” the Georgian president’s office said referring to August, 2008 war between Georgia and Russia.

“Need for strengthening regional security was also discussed. The [two presidents] noted importance of coordinated actions on the international arena, including at the NATO summit in Wales [in September],” the Georgian President’s administration said, adding that implementation of Georgia’s and Ukraine’s Association Agreements with the EU was also discussed.

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Isaac Rosenberg: Dead Man’s Dump

August 13, 2014 2 comments


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

Isaac Rosenberg: Break of Day in the Trenches


Isaac Rosenberg
Dead Man’s Dump


The plunging limbers over the shattered track
Racketed with their rusty freight,
Stuck out like many crowns of thorns,
And the rusty stakes like sceptres old
To stay the flood of brutish men
Upon our brothers dear.

The wheels lurched over sprawled dead
But pained them not, though their bones crunched,
Their shut mouths made no moan.
They lie there huddled, friend and foeman,
Man born of man, and born of woman,
And shells go crying over them
From night till night and now.

Earth has waited for them,
All the time of their growth
Fretting for their decay:
Now she has them at last!
In the strength of their strength
Suspended – stopped and held.

What fierce imaginings their dark souls lit?
Earth! have they gone into you!
Somewhere they must have gone,
And flung on your hard back
Is their soul’s sack
Emptied of God-ancestralled essences.
Who hurled them out? Who hurled?

None saw their spirits’ shadow shake the grass,
Or stood aside for the half used life to pass
Out of those doomed nostrils and the doomed mouth,
When the swift iron burning bee
Drained the wild honey of their youth.

What of us who, flung on the shrieking pyre,
Walk, our usual thoughts untouched,
Our lucky limbs as on ichor fed,
Immortal seeming ever?
Perhaps when the flames beat loud on us,
A fear may choke in our veins
And the startled blood may stop.

The air is loud with death,
The dark air spurts with fire,
The explosions ceaseless are.
Timelessly now, some minutes past,
Those dead strode time with vigorous life,
Till the shrapnel called ‘An end!’
But not to all. In bleeding pangs
Some borne on stretchers dreamed of home,
Dear things, war-blotted from their hearts.

Maniac Earth! howling and flying, your bowel
Seared by the jagged fire, the iron love,
The impetuous storm of savage love.
Dark Earth! dark Heavens! swinging in chemic smoke,
What dead are born when you kiss each soundless soul
With lightning and thunder from your mined heart,
Which man’s self dug, and his blind fingers loosed?

A man’s brains splattered on
A stretcher-bearer’s face;
His shook shoulders slipped their load,
But when they bent to look again
The drowning soul was sunk too deep
For human tenderness.

They left this dead with the older dead,
Stretched at the cross roads.

Burnt black by strange decay
Their sinister faces lie,
The lid over each eye,
The grass and coloured clay
More motion have than they,
Joined to the great sunk silences.

Here is one not long dead;
His dark hearing caught our far wheels,
And the choked soul stretched weak hands
To reach the living word the far wheels said,
The blood-dazed intelligence beating for light,
Crying through the suspense of the far torturing wheels
Swift for the end to break
Or the wheels to break,
Cried as the tide of the world broke over his sight.

Will they come? Will they ever come?
Even as the mixed hoofs of the mules,
The quivering-bellied mules,
And the rushing wheels all mixed
With his tortured upturned sight.
So we crashed round the bend,
We heard his weak scream,
We heard his very last sound,
And our wheels grazed his dead face.

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120-Day “Anti-Terrorist” War: Kiev Uses Air Strikes, Artillery Bombardment

August 12, 2014 Leave a comment

August 12, 2014

Ukrainian aircraft and artillery destroy reserves of terrorists near Shakhtarsk


KYIV: The Ukrainian Armed Forces have neutralized terrorists that were sent to help armed groups near the town of Shakhtarsk in Donetsk region.

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) information and analytical center spokesman Andriy Lysenko said this at a briefing on Tuesday, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“Aircraft and artillery forces neutralized groups of terrorists that were put forward to strengthen the defense of militants near Shakhtarsk, Torez and Snizhne,” Lysenko said.


National Radio Company of Ukraine
August 12, 2014

Operation to seize Donetsk, Luhansk to last for weeks

The commander of the Azov battalion, which took part in the Ukrainian military operation in south-eastern Ukraine, said the plan to seize control over Donetsk and Luhansk will take weeks to accomplish.”It’s going to be an extremely difficult and painful operation, which must not by any means be scheduled to mark Independence Day or any other date,” Andriy Beletsky said at a press conference in Kyiv on August 11.He said the operation would last “several weeks at minimum.”

He also said that the military operation was going to be difficult…Spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Andriy Lysenko said at a press briefing earlier that the military operation in south-eastern Ukraine would not be suspended, while local residents are advised to leave Donetsk and Luhansk.


August 12, 2014

Policemen allowed shooting on sight in ATO zone

KYIV: Police officers in the area of the antiterrorist operation are allowed to use physical force, special means and weapons since now.

As a Ukrinform correspondent reports, relevant amendments were made to the law “On Police.”
This decision was supported by 288 MPs.


August 12, 2014

U.S., EU ready to join international humanitarian aid mission for Luhansk – Chaly

KYIV: The United States and the European Union are ready to participate in an international mission to deliver humanitarian aid to Luhansk, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Valeriy Chaly said on the Svoboda Slova talk show on Monday, the president’s press office reported.

“It should be not convoys but a humanitarian aid, which is delivered through controlled by Ukraine border crossings with safety measures, under the coordination of the International Committee of the Red Cross. We have coordinated all activities, agreed positions,” Chaly said.

As referred to European integration, Chaly believes that the Verkhovna Rada will ratify the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union in September of this year. “The President of Ukraine has clearly discussed the schedules with the President of the European Commission. Today, there is an understanding – the ratification of the Agreement cannot be postponed, it should happen not until September,” the president’s aide said. He voiced hope that the ratification will be supported by over 300 MPs.

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Alexander Herzen: The frenzied anxiety, the exhausted satiety that lead to war

August 12, 2014 Leave a comment


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

Russian writers on war

Alexander Herzen: Selections on the military and war


Alexander Herzen
From My Past and Thoughts
Translated by Constance Garnett


For me there is something melancholy, tragic, in all this, as though the world were living anyhow, in expectation of the earth’s giving way under its feet, and were not seeking reconstruction but forgetfulness. I see this not only in the careworn, wrinkled faces, but also in the fear of any serious thinking, in the turning away from the analysis of the position, in the nervous thirst to be busy, to fill up the time with external distractions. The old are ready to play with toys, ‘if only to keep from thinking.’ The fashionable mustard-plaster is an International Exhibition. The remedy and the disease form a sort of intermittent fever centred first in one part and then in another. All are moving, rushing, flying, spending money, striving, staring and growing weary, living even more uncomfortably in order to keep up with progress – in what? Why, just progress. As though in three or four years there can be much progress in anything, as though, when we have railways to travel by, there were any necessity to drag from place to place things like houses, machines, stables, cannon, even perhaps parks and kitchen-gardens.

And when they are sick of exhibitions they will take to war and find distraction in the sheaves of dead – anything to avoid seeing certain dark spots on the horizon.


…They were like the parade-generals of the same period, the dandy martinets whose victories were won over their own soldiers, who knew every detail of military toilette, all the glitter of the parade, and never soiled their uniforms with the blood of an enemy. The courtesan-generals, jauntily ‘street-walking’ on the Nevsky, were crushed at once by the Crimean War…

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U.S. Stooge Yatseniuk: 50,000 Troops Assault Donbass Region

August 11, 2014 7 comments

August 11, 2014

PM Yatseniuk: Some 50,000 military participate in ATO

KYIV: For today, about 50,000 military have participated in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in Donbas, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said this while visiting the wounded servicemen at Kyiv’s main clinical hospital, the Governmental portal reported.

“Already at the moment about 50,000 fighters are members of the anti-terrorist operation,” he said.
According to Yatseniuk, of them “thousands are wounded, many families are left without a breadwinner.”

A reminder that the Cabinet of Ministers set up a separate state service for veterans, disabled persons, and participants in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in Donbas.

According to the National Security and Defence Council, during the anti-terrorist operation 568 military have been killed.

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119-Day War: Kiev Orders 1.5 Million Civilians To Flee Ahead Of Final Onslaughtt

August 11, 2014 Leave a comment

National Radio Company of Ukraine
August 11, 2014

Ukrainian troops are preparing for the final stage of the operation in Donetsk

This was announced by the National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

According to him, the vanguard of Ukrainian army completely blocked connections between Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Now Ukrainian military prepare for operation to liberate the two cities.


August 11, 2014

Army to continue advancement in east Ukraine, residents should leave – NSDC

The anti-terrorist operation in east Ukraine will not be stopped, and it will be best if residents leave Donetsk and Luhansk, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), has said.

“The anti-terrorist operation will continue. Peaceful residents should leave the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk just before these are freed,” Lysenko said at a Monday briefing.

Each city has humanitarian corridors through which the dangerous zone can be left, he said.

The Ukrainian army needs to continue its advancement in order to prevent militants from re-grouping…


August 11, 2014

Gunfire, explosions heard in Donetsk

The situation in Donetsk remained tense at noon on Monday, with barrages of gunfire and explosions heard periodically in Kirovsky and Leninsky districts, the mayor’s [sic]spokesperson said.

Two electric substations on the grounds of the Tochmash plant remain without power, the spokesperson said. For this reason, residents in the Pryvokzalny neighborhood of the Kuibyshevsky district, and in the Kyivsky and Putylivsky districts – in all, around 5,000 people living in tower blocks and private houses – remain cut off from electricity.

“Also there is no power in the buildings of the regional pension fund, a local tax inspectorate in the Kyivsky district and the Tochmash plant..,” the spokesperson said.


August 11, 2014

Some 250,000 Luhansk residents have no power for two weeks, city has no food, medication, fuel supplies

As of Monday morning, the situation in Luhansk remains critical – the city is completely cut off from power, the Luhansk City Council press office said in a statement.

“About 250,000 Luhansk residents, who stayed in the city, have no power and water for nine days already, cellular and landline service do not operate,” the document said.

According to resident reports, Luhansk districts still come under gunfire. “Most stores remain closed, food is sold from kiosks. Despite a lack of power, local producers continue to bake bread and provide Luhansk residents with it,” the city council said.

Issues with garbage disposal exist, the mayor’s office said. Most utility vehicles of the Luhansk waster utilization center were damaged in strikes but the city authorities are trying to resolve this issue in order not to allow environmental catastrophe. Utility workers continue to remove garbage from city streets and quarter area.

“No food, medication or fuel are being brought to the city,” the statement said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Fascist-Led Ukrainian National Guard To Get Drones

August 11, 2014 1 comment

August 11, 2014

Ukrainian National Guard to get squadron of drones

The Ukrainian National Guard is setting up an operational squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as of this Monday, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said.

“We have decided along with National Guard Commander Stepan Poltorak: our research and trial teams on tactical drones are joining their efforts. As of this Monday, the National Guards will set up an operational squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

The minister also put out a picture of one of the base prototypes.

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Maxim Gorky: The fatal consequences of ignoring military protocol

August 11, 2014 Leave a comment


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

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war


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


“Lieutenant Valery Nikolayevich Petrov,” he announced, taking a step toward Samghin. Clim Ivanovich, too, introduced himself, and offered his hand.

The officer drew back. He said:

“I cannot shake your hand.

“Why not?”

“You sit. I stand. Is it permissible that an officer should stand before a civilian, with hand outstretched?”

“I am near-sighted, and half asleep,” explained Samghin peaceably, looking at the thick-lipped, clean-shaven face, the little Mongolian eyes, and the broad nose.

“You should have explained that to me,” accused the officer, hiding his hand behind him.

“That’s exactly what I’m doing.”

“It’s too late. You have given me the right to believe that your behavior is the usual behavior of civilian liberals, Socialists, and all those who hide away in the Rural and City Unions, getting under our feet – ”

Raising his voice, he hissed and wheezed, louder and louder:

“You actually smiled, thus emphasizing your disrespect for a defender of the fatherland and the honor of the army – a dishonor which I am entitled to answer with a bullet.”

“He’s quite capable of doing it,” thought Samghin, trying to quell his fright. He said, conciliatingly:

“Yes – these days the army deserves – “

“These days! Didn’t it deserve in 1906-07, destroying the revolutionists? Didn’t it?”

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Poland: Call For NATO Military Bases, Air Fields

August 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Xinhua News Agency
August 8, 2014

Polish security head seeks larger NATO presence in Poland

WARSAW: Head of Poland’s National Security Office Stanislaw Koziej said Friday he hoped that NATO would decide to strengthen its eastern flank at the NATO summit in September.

Poland is inviting allied forces to construct bases and airfields here, he added.

“Elements of increased presence would be bases with equipment and fuel, or in other words logistic and equipment for those allied forces which would be present on Polish territory,” Koziej told Polish Radio Three.

The best solution would be to keep equipment permanently and rotate only troops, according to Koziej.

“It is easier to transport soldiers than heavy equipment,” said the Polish national security head, adding that Poland was willing to be a host country in NATO’s efforts to strengthen its eastern members.

Commenting on any assistance that NATO could offer to Ukraine, Koziej explained that the alliance could provide training and advisory aid, but excluded any supply of weapons.

“I believe that the Ukrainian authorities assess the situation in a rational way and realize what NATO can do for them,” Koziej said.

“NATO does not have the competences or possibilities to organize arms shipments to other countries,” he added.

Koziej explained that any intervention in a non-NATO country would require the consent of all NATO members.

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Robert Graves: Selections on war

August 10, 2014 Leave a comment
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Afghanistan: U.S. General Meets With Georgian Defense Chief

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
August 9, 2014

Defence Minister Met with US Lt. Gen. Anderson

Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania met with the commander of ISAF Joint Command, Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson. Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili and Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, Col. Roman Jokhadze attended the closed meeting.

The Georgian units serving in Afghanistan are directly subordinate to the commander of ISAF Joint Command. At the meeting with the Georgian Defence Minister, the U.S. Lt. Gen. Anderson talked about the role of Georgia in ISAF operation and level of preparedness of the Georgian soldiers.

“The Georgian contribution here is very significant. They have been great partners across many places from our RC – Southwest in Helmand, RC – South in Kandahar to here in Kabul. Soon they will be in Bigram. So the contribution your country makes is valuable for us. You are great partners, great soldiers and you are the great part of the team.”

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Georgia Commemorates War With Russia Six Years Ago

Rustavi 2
August 8, 2014

Politicians commemorate August War heroes


Six years have passed since the Russian military intervention into Georgian territory, which is called the Georgia-Russia August War. It was the most tragic five days in the recent history of Georgia, which killed 228 peaceful civilians, 170 military servicemen, 14 police officers…

Today, the Prime Minister of Georgia went to the Mukhatgverdi Brothers` Cemetery to pay homage to those, who fell in the days of the August War. Prime Minister commemorated the fallen soldiers and spoke about the need to investigate all details of this military intervention. Gharibashvili said it was the obligation of the government of Georgia to provide fair and unbiased investigation as it is the direct request of the International Court of Human Rights.

`This information was announced by Tea Tsulukiani and it has been confirmed. There is a direct instruction from Hague the government of Georgia investigates the August War, otherwise, it will be investigated by the Hague Court itself. It is the obligation of our government to investigate this issue,` Gharibashvili said.


Ministry of Defence of Georgia
August 8, 2014

Tribute Paid to Fallen Heroes

6 years have passed since the Russia-Georgia War in August, 2008. President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili honored the precious memory of the fallen heroes at Mukhatgverdi Cemetery. Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze and Deputy Defence Ministers came to the Cemetery to pay tribute to the Georgian servicemen and remember their heroism.

Prime Minister, President and Major General Kapanadze laid a wreath at the memorial. The Guard of Honor of the National Guard was at the Cemetery along with the Military Band that performed the funeral march and the Georgian state anthem…


Rustavi 2
August 8, 2014

Defence Minister met with Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan

The Minister of Defence of Georgia spoke about the tragedy of August War 2008 at the meeting with the Georgian soldiers serving within the ISAD mission in Afghanistan. Irakli Alasania pays a working visit to the country, where Georgian soldiers are performing a peacekeeping mission. Alasania met with the soldiers at the U.S. military base Phoenix ; the Minister commemorated those Georgian soldiers, who were killed for protecting their homeland.

`We have lost 169 soldiers in August 2008 and we have lost our territories temporarily, but we have not lost what each of us has in the blood – dignity and the devotion to the homeland. Far away from the homeland, you are protecting the security of your country. To be a soldier is a heavy mission. I wish you fulfill this mission with dignity,` Irakli Alasania said.

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Canada To Provide Ukraine $5 Million In Military Equipment

August 9, 2014 1 comment

August 8, 2014

Canada to give Ukraine body armors, helmets at $5 mln

KYIV, August 8 /Ukrinform/. Canada will provide military equipment to Ukraine in the amount of $5 million, Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson has said, according to the Podrobnosti online edition.

“Canada’s contribution, in the amount of up to $5 million through Canada’s Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF), includes a range of targeted protection, medical and logistical equipment, such as helmets, ballistic eyewear, protective vests, first aid kits, tents and sleeping bags,” reads a press release of the office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The equipment will help strengthen border security in Ukraine by enhancing Ukraine’s capacity to detect the illicit movement of goods and people.

The assistance is provided in response to Ukraine’s request for non-kinetic (non-lethal) security assistance.

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A note from Stephen Lendman

August 9, 2014 2 comments

August 7, 2014

Back from the Abyss
By Stephen Lendman

I’ve been ill and unable to do what I love best for 2 months. Yesterday, August 6, I came home for the first time since hospitalized on June 4.

At the time, I posted a brief message on my blog site. I expected a few days of treatment. Then home to resume my writing and media work.

Things didn’t turn out that way. I owe my friends, colleagues and readers an explanation.

Multiple problems developed. One rather serious one. Thankfully they were resolved. But it took time – 2 weeks at Northwestern Memorial Hospital followed by 6 weeks at Warren Barr rehab facility.

The experience was life changing. I wondered at times if I’d ever be me again. I still have lots of recovery to go as an outpatient.

I worked very hard with good therapy people helping me daily. I’m deeply grateful to them for taking me from a very low point to going home yesterday.

It never felt so good to walk through my front door. I began emailing friends and colleagues to explain. More emailing coming.

Wonderful responses came. Means so much to this old guy – age 80 in mid-August. Still with so much I want to do – articles, media work and another book or 2 – maybe more as able.

I’ll slowly get back to what I love best. My health, of course, is top priority. Later this morning I have hours of treatment at Northwestern Mem. Hosp and weekly after that for 2 months followed by monthly treatment for a year.

I’m working with wonderful doctors. Some personal friends. They know what I do. They want me back in full swing. Will take time. I’m very patient.

Writing et al will come as able. Important not to overdue it. Yet what i love best is therapeutic – for the mind, soul and body. I’m fully committed to return to a much full health as possible – my top priority.

My great thanks to everyone now wishing me well. I was offline, unconnected with no email addresses so unable to communicate until now.

Physically for a good while I wasn’t in good shape enough to do it.

Now I’m back. My output won’t be my customary 2 articles a day. I’ll do what I can as health and strength permits.

Words can’t explain how wonderful it feels and how deeply grateful i am to be back from a very low point – mostly dependent on others to being near independent again now.

I can do things now we otherwise take for granted – my personal hygiene, cooking, laundry, all chores in my apartment, walk on the street with a walker, ride the bus, take a cab down, shop nearby and more.

Each day begins with an exercise regimen. It’s crucial to my recovery and ability to regain full health and vigor.

It gives me the energy to do my daily tasks. A day at a time I hope will make me fully me again – the me I largely took for granted. Never again.

While absent I couldn’t write on vital issues I’d have focused on daily – Israel’s genocidal, cold, calculated, premeditated aggression, mass murder and destruction of Gaza.

It was and remains one of history’s greatest crimes of war, against humanity, and genocide.

Israel remains unaccountable as always. Cairo talks will achieve nothing for the Palestinians. Israeli agreements when made aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

They’re systematically and repeatedly violated. Expect nothing different this time.

The Gaza war was much more than against Hamas. It was against millions of Palestinian non-combatant men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm. It’s genocide writ large.

It’s supported by Washington with billions of dollars of annual aid, weapons, Security Council vetoes and more.

The international community yawns and lets Israel get away with unspeakable crimes with impunity.

The pattern repeated large and smaller scale since the 1947-48 war taking a horrific toll on the entire Palestinian population.

Expect more of the same ahead. Expect Palestine’s liberating struggle to continue with virtually no help from the international community.

Expect more Israeli initiated mass much and destruction. Expect multiple daily pre-dawn Israeli West Bank incursions, terrorizing Palestinian families.

Expect many more political prisoners in Israel’s gulag. Expect torture, targeted assassinations and land theft to continue unabated.

Expect justice systematically denied as always. Expect Palestinians largely on their own in their struggle for dignity and proper treatment never afforded.

Expect Israeli crimes of war, against humanity and slow-motion genocide to continue unabated.

Expect Hamas and other resistance groups to be unjustly blamed for repeated Israeli crimes – like premeditated shelling UN refuges, civilian neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, mosques, power and other vital infrastructure and more.

Israel is a lawless, rogue, racist, apartheid terror state – uncountable for horrific crimes repeatedly.

Palestinian suffering is beyond words to explain properly. When will it end? How? No time soon for sure.

How many more Palestinians will die unjustly? How many more will have Israeli shells, bombs and missiles dismember their bodies?

How many more families will lose loved ones? How many more communities will be destroyed? How many more orphaned Palestinian children will be on their own?

How many more parents will lose their offspring, homes and all their possessions?

How much longer will injustice prevail? When, if ever, will Israel be held accountable?

When, if ever, will US tax dollars stop funding Israel’s out-of-control killing machine?

Future articles will have much more to say – written as health permits.

And much to say about the war in Ukraine – the democratic freedom fighting struggle against lawless, illegitimate US installed fascism.

Much to say about these and other important issues ahead as health and strength permits.

It’s wonderful being back doing what I love best.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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Ambrose Bierce: War as parricide


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

American writers on peace and against war

Ambrose Bierce: Warlike America

Ambrose Bierce: Killed At Resaca

Ambrose Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge


Ambrose Bierce
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League
A Horseman in the Sky (1889)


One sunny afternoon in the autumn of the year 1861 a soldier lay in a clump of laurel by the side of a road in western Virginia. He lay at full length upon his stomach, his feet resting upon the toes, his head upon the left forearm. His extended right hand loosely grasped his rifle. But for the somewhat methodical disposition of his limbs and a slight rhythmic movement of the cartridge-box at the back of his belt he might have been thought to be dead. He was asleep at his post of duty. But if detected he would be dead shortly afterward, death being the just and legal penalty of his crime.

The clump of laurel in which the criminal lay was in the angle of a road which after ascending southward a steep acclivity to that point turned sharply to the west, running along the summit for perhaps one hundred yards. There it turned southward again and went zigzagging downward through the forest. At the salient of that second angle was a large flat rock, jutting out northward, overlooking the deep valley from which the road ascended. The rock capped a high cliff; a stone dropped from its outer edge would have fallen sheer downward one thousand feet to the tops of the pines. The angle where the soldier lay was on another spur of the same cliff. Had he been awake he would have commanded a view, not only of the short arm of the road and the jutting rock, but of the entire profile of the cliff below it. It might well have made him giddy to look.

The country was wooded everywhere except at the bottom of the valley to the northward, where there was a small natural meadow, through which flowed a stream scarcely visible from the valley’s rim. This open ground looked hardly larger than an ordinary door-yard, but was really several acres in extent. Its green was more vivid than that of the inclosing forest. Away beyond it rose a line of giant cliffs similar to those upon which we are supposed to stand in our survey of the savage scene, and through which the road had somehow made its climb to the summit. The configuration of the valley, indeed, was such that from this point of observation it seemed entirely shut in, and one could but have wondered how the road which found a way out of it had found a way into it, and whence came and whither went the waters of the stream that parted the meadow more than a thousand feet below.

No country is so wild and difficult but men will make it a theatre of war; concealed in the forest at the bottom of that military rat-trap, in which half a hundred men in possession of the exits might have starved an army to submission, lay five regiments of Federal infantry. They had marched all the previous day and night and were resting. At nightfall they would take to the road again, climb to the place where their unfaithful sentinel now slept, and descending the other slope of the ridge fall upon a camp of the enemy at about midnight. Their hope was to surprise it, for the road led to the rear of it. In case of failure, their position would be perilous in the extreme; and fail they surely would should accident or vigilance apprise the enemy of the movement.


The sleeping sentinel in the clump of laurel was a young Virginian named Carter Druse. He was the son of wealthy parents, an only child, and had known such ease and cultivation and high living as wealth and taste were able to command in the mountain country of western Virginia. His home was but a few miles from where he now lay. One morning he had risen from the breakfast-table and said, quietly but gravely: “Father, a Union regiment has arrived at Grafton. I am going to join it.”

The father lifted his leonine head, looked at the son a moment in silence, and replied: “Well, go, sir, and whatever may occur do what you conceive to be your duty. Virginia, to which you are a traitor, must get on without you. Should we both live to the end of the war, we will speak further of the matter. Your mother, as the physician has informed you, is in a most critical condition; at the best she cannot be with us longer than a few weeks, but that time is precious. It would be better not to disturb her.”

So Carter Druse, bowing reverently to his father, who returned the salute with a stately courtesy that masked a breaking heart, left the home of his childhood to go soldiering. By conscience and courage, by deeds of devotion and daring, he soon commended himself to his fellows and his officers; and it was to these qualities and to some knowledge of the country that he owed his selection for his present perilous duty at the extreme outpost. Nevertheless, fatigue had been stronger than resolution and he had fallen asleep. What good or bad angel came in a dream to rouse him from his state of crime, who shall say? Without a movement, without a sound, in the profound silence and the languor of the late afternoon, some invisible messenger of fate touched with unsealing finger the eyes of his consciousness – whispered into the ear of his spirit the mysterious awakening word which no human lips ever have spoken, no human memory ever has recalled. He quietly raised his forehead from his arm and looked between the masking stems of the laurels, instinctively closing his right hand about the stock of his rifle.

His first feeling was a keen artistic delight. On a colossal pedestal, the cliff, — motionless at the extreme edge of the capping rock and sharply outlined against the sky, — was an equestrian statue of impressive dignity. The figure of the man sat the figure of the horse, straight and soldierly, but with the repose of a Grecian god carved in the marble which limits the suggestion of activity. The gray costume harmonized with its aërial background; the metal of accoutrement and caparison was softened and subdued by the shadow; the animal’s skin had no points of high light. A carbine strikingly foreshortened lay across the pommel of the saddle, kept in place by the right hand grasping it at the “grip”; the left hand, holding the bridle rein, was invisible. In silhouette against the sky the profile of the horse was cut with the sharpness of a cameo; it looked across the heights of air to the confronting cliffs beyond. The face of the rider, turned slightly away, showed only an outline of temple and beard; he was looking downward to the bottom of the valley. Magnified by its lift against the sky and by the soldier’s testifying sense of the formidableness of a near enemy the group appeared of heroic, almost colossal, size.

For an instant Druse had a strange, half-defined feeling that he had slept to the end of the war and was looking upon a noble work of art reared upon that eminence to commemorate the deeds of an heroic past of which he had been an inglorious part. The feeling was dispelled by a slight movement of the group: the horse, without moving its feet, had drawn its body slightly backward from the verge; the man remained immobile as before. Broad awake and keenly alive to the significance of the situation, Druse now brought the butt of his rifle against his cheek by cautiously pushing the barrel forward through the bushes, cocked the piece, and glancing through the sights covered a vital spot of the horseman’s breast. A touch upon the trigger and all would have been well with Carter Druse. At that instant the horseman turned his head and looked in the direction of his concealed foeman — seemed to look into his very face, into his eyes, into his brave, compassionate heart.

Is it then so terrible to kill an enemy in war — an enemy who has surprised a secret vital to the safety of one’s self and comrades — an enemy more formidable for his knowledge than all his army for its numbers? Carter Druse grew pale; he shook in every limb, turned faint, and saw the statuesque group before him as black figures, rising, falling, moving unsteadily in arcs of circles in a fiery sky. His hand fell away from his weapon, his head slowly dropped until his face rested on the leaves in which he lay. This courageous gentleman and hardy soldier was near swooning from intensity of emotion.

It was not for long; in another moment his face was raised from earth, his hands resumed their places on the rifle, his forefinger sought the trigger; mind, heart, and eyes were clear, conscience and reason sound. He could not hope to capture that enemy; to alarm him would but send him dashing to his camp with his fatal news. The duty of the soldier was plain: the man must be shot dead from ambush — without warning, without a moment’s spiritual preparation, with never so much as an unspoken prayer, he must be sent to his account. But no — there is a hope; he may have discovered nothing — perhaps he is but admiring the sublimity of the landscape. If permitted, he may turn and ride carelessly away in the direction whence he came. Surely it will be possible to judge at the instant of his withdrawing whether he knows. It may well be that his fixity of attention — Druse turned his head and looked through the deeps of air downward, as from the surface to the bottom of a translucent sea. He saw creeping across the green meadow a sinuous line of figures of men and horses — some foolish commander was permitting the soldiers of his escort to water their beasts in the open, in plain view from a dozen summits!

Druse withdrew his eyes from the valley and fixed them again upon the group of man and horse in the sky, and again it was through the sights of his rifle. But this time his aim was at the horse. In his memory, as if they were a divine mandate, rang the words of his father at their parting: “Whatever may occur, do what you conceive to be your duty.” He was calm now. His teeth were firmly but not rigidly closed; his nerves were as tranquil as a sleeping babe’s — not a tremor affected any muscle of his body; his breathing, until suspended in the act of taking aim, was regular and slow. Duty had conquered; the spirit had said to the body: “Peace, be still.” He fired.


An officer of the Federal force, who in a spirit of adventure or in quest of knowledge had left the hidden bivouac in the valley, and with aimless feet had made his way to the lower edge of a small open space near the foot of the cliff, was considering what he had to gain by pushing his exploration further. At a distance of a quarter-mile before him, but apparently at a stone’s throw, rose from its fringe of pines the gigantic face of rock, towering to so great a height above him that it made him giddy to look up to where its edge cut a sharp, rugged line against the sky. It presented a clean, vertical profile against a background of blue sky to a point half the way down, and of distant hills, hardly less blue, thence to the tops of the trees at its base. Lifting his eyes to the dizzy altitude of its summit the officer saw an astonishing sight — a man on horseback riding down into the valley through the air!

Straight upright sat the rider, in military fashion, with a firm seat in the saddle, a strong clutch upon the rein to hold his charger from too impetuous a plunge. From his bare head his long hair streamed upward, waving like a plume. His hands were concealed in the cloud of the horse’s lifted mane. The animal’s body was as level as if every hoof-stroke encountered the resistant earth. Its motions were those of a wild gallop, but even as the officer looked they ceased, with all the legs thrown sharply forward as in the act of alighting from a leap. But this was a flight!

Filled with amazement and terror by this apparition of a horseman in the sky — half believing himself the chosen scribe of some new Apocalypse, the officer was overcome by the intensity of his emotions; his legs failed him and he fell. Almost at the same instant he heard a crashing sound in the trees — a sound that died without an echo — and all was still.

The officer rose to his feet, trembling. The familiar sensation of an abraded shin recalled his dazed faculties. Pulling himself together he ran rapidly obliquely away from the cliff to a point distant from its foot; thereabout he expected to find his man; and thereabout he naturally failed. In the fleeting instant of his vision his imagination had been so wrought upon by the apparent grace and ease and intention of the marvelous performance that it did not occur to him that the line of march of aërial cavalry is directly downward, and that he could find the objects of his search at the very foot of the cliff. A half-hour later he returned to camp.

This officer was a wise man; he knew better than to tell an incredible truth. He said nothing of what he had seen. But when the commander asked him if in his scout he had learned anything of advantage to the expedition he answered:

“Yes, sir; there is no road leading down into this valley from the southward.”

The commander, knowing better, smiled.


After firing his shot, Private Carter Druse reloaded his rifle and resumed his watch. Ten minutes had hardly passed when a Federal sergeant crept cautiously to him on hands and knees. Druse neither turned his head nor looked at him, but lay without motion or sign of recognition.

“Did you fire?” the sergeant whispered.


“At what?”

“A horse. It was standing on yonder rock — pretty far out. You see it is no longer there. It went over the cliff.”

The man’s face was white, but he showed no other sign of emotion. Having answered, he turned away his eyes and said no more. The sergeant did not understand.

“See here, Druse,” he said, after a moment’s silence, “it’s no use making a mystery. I order you to report. Was there anybody on the horse?”



“My father.”

The sergeant rose to his feet and walked away. “Good God!” he said.

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