From Some Day Peace Will Return (Und einmal wird der Friede wiederkommen)
Translated by Robert O. Weiss
I never believed that the age of perpetual peace had arrived, and I do not believe that this monstrous war – were it to last seven or even thirty years – is the last one that civilized nations will conduct against one another.
But let us not forget in the depth of our souls that the enemies against whom our troops are fighting also have fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, wives and children; that they all have a country, which almost all of them serve in the firm belief that its cause is just; and that even those have to serve their country who may doubt the justice of its cause. Let us remember that our enemies too, the foes of our soldiers, are sent into battle by their governments or their kings; that – willingly or unwillingly – they are obligated, indeed forced, to use their weapons against us, regardless of the degree of enthusiasm they have for that task.
There are neutral states, so-called neutral states that is, and among these may be one or another that will yet take sides in this monstrous war…Not one among those hundreds of thousands will be guided by his personal feelings and decide for or against us in opposition to his government. If, however, one of these soldiers obligated to fight should inwardly arrive at a conclusion other than that of his government or his king, and should he act in accordance with that conclusion – which may possibly be a much more sensible one than that at which his king has arrived – he will probably have to pay for that action with his life.
And those who are able to make an accounting in their own minds would realize in a flash of enlightenment: “We don’t want to kill at all, we don’t want to bleed to death at all! We want to breathe, live, eat our daily bread, have a bit of land to live on, and work.” At that great moment, with peace spreading over the land, all of them would know that they never did want anything else – even those who a minute ago were aiming at the hearts of their enemies and who were ready to die for their country.
Not the most shocking but perhaps the most saddening fact is that this time the intellectuals, who, we had hoped, would make it possible for us to extend our hands to them across the abyss of this war, are failing us almost entirely, that they either will not or cannot see the real facts.
This war is unprecedented for the heroism with which it is being fought by the armies, and for the malice with which it is being waged by the countries, especially by some governments, and by the journalists.
The respect of the armies for each other is growing; the bitterness between the nations is increasing.
It will not do, however, on the one hand to praise war as a grandiose, a colossal, and in a certain sense a divine, necessity that causes everything noble as well as everything evil in man to attain magnificent heights; to declare that a long peace renders nations sluggish and cowardly; to claim that war cleanses and purifies – and on the other hand to curse those who unleash the war and to hold them responsible for the fact that they were handily available at the proper time, so to speak, for the divine necessity.
November 23, 2013
Thousands protest drone strikes, block Nato supplies in Peshawar
PESHAWAR: Thousands of demonstrators protesting US drone strikes on Saturday blocked a main road in Peshawar used to truck Nato troop supplies and equipment in and out of Afghanistan.
The protest was led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and his party, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) along with their allies in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government.
The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad (AJIP) also confirmed their participation.
“We are here to give a clear message that now Pakistanis cannot remain silent over drone attacks,” Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a senior member of the PTI, said in a speech to the protesters.
Party workers of the PTI and JI had arrived in the provincial capital from across the country. According to some estimates, around 10,000 people participated in Saturday’s protest. The protesters shouted anti-US slogans, such as “Down with America” and “Stop drone attacks.”
Strict security arrangements were put in place by the provincial government, including deployment of over 500 polce personnel to ensure safety and order. Transporters were directed to use alternative routes.
“I am participating in today’s sit-in to convey a message to America that we hate them since they are killing our people in drone attacks,” said Hussain Shah, a 21-year-old university student. “America must stop drone attacks for peace in our country.”
The US Embassy in Islamabad declined to comment on the protest at the present time.
The protest comes only two days after a rare US drone strike outside of Pakistan’s remote tribal region killed six people, including senior commanders of the Haqqani network, at a seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district.
The attack outraged Pakistani officials, as did one on Nov 1 that killed the former leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, a day before the Pakistani government said it was going to invite him to hold peace talks.
Ring Road leads to Torkham, one of two border crossings used to ship supplies from Pakistan to Afghanistan, and is a key transit route to transport supplies to Nato troops in the war-torn country.
Tahir Khan, a government official at Torkham, says there is normally little Nato supply traffic on the route on Saturdays. Most trucks arrive at the border by Friday evening to clear customs.
‘Sit-in to continue until drone strikes stop’
PTI chief Imran Khan has been a vocal critic of US drone strikes, saying they violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Speaking to reporters earlier in Islamabad before heading to Peshawar for the demonstration, Khan said that the federal government was doing nothing on its part to stop drone attacks and the protest against the strikes would continue indefinitely.
Khan said that apart from issuing condemnation statements, nothing concrete had been done to put an effective stop to drone attacks.
He said that he had been protesting against drone attacks for the past nine years, but the government had yet to do anything about it.
Khan said Nato supplies would not be allowed to pass via KP, adding that the PTI-led government in the province possessed the mandate to block Nato supplies.
He moreover said PTI had promised to eradicate corruption from the country and it would fulfill its promise.
From Education Before Verdun (1935)
Translated by Eric Sutton
As he looked back on the whole period, he realized that in some strange fashion the books on art that he had read had served to sharpen his sense of reality. The painter’s images did not deceive; their respect for reality, their passionate search for form, had made him all the more sensitive towards the prevarications, the lies, and the quarter-truths, with which, in politics as in the war reports, day by day and month by month, men were satisfied. But he was no longer satisfied. When faced by the incredible he had begun to investigate. And now that his eyes had been opened he would not shut them. Then at last he had to face the fact that he had played his part and must retire from the stage. His loathing of the world he lived in was more than he could bear. He took no interest in women nor the usual masculine enjoyments and distractions. His relation to his father had taken the place of such diversions. He had been fond of travel, but after all the devastations of the war what country could a German visit unashamed?
That – so it was said – was war. From the point of view of legal theory – Mertens smiled to himself as he grew warmer – two strata could be distinguished: the unassailed sanctity of justice, existing objectively, and a right of retaliation and revenge, ultimately based on the interest of any given unit or group – both elements cunningly blended, so that formally, and in the eyes of the outer world, a facade of European civilization was maintained, though behind it reigned untrammelled all those impulses and passions the restraint of which was the process and purpose of civilization. One kind of justice was dictated by the Bible and by the conscience of humanity. Quite other kinds were permitted by contemporary thought and the customs of war. What was rather furtively provided for in the legal practice before 1914, now reign unashamed and undisguised, and nowhere was there any effective force that dared restrain or punish or abolish it…
The world had become an abode of horror, and it must inevitably grow more horrible; there was no appeasing or cleansing force now left within the world; no church, no prophets, no moral life whatever – nor the faintest suspicion that without them civilization must die. The world was besotted in its own self-complacency, and would so remain when the war was over.
“You must realize, my young friend, that you have not merely lost your place in the running; you’ll have to start afresh. Our hands have lost their skill, our brains are dulled, our judgment has deteriorated, and our technical knowledge has gone. We shall have to find out the meaning of civilization all over again, and that won’t be easy, let me tell you. And you’ll have lost all respect for human life after what you’ve seen and done. Won’t you find yourself reaching for a pistol when the landlord refuses to repair the shutters? I know I shall. And when the postman comes in the morning I shall want to throw my water jug in his face as I open the door. But you, my young friend, who’ve spent your time standing to attention and saying ‘Very good, sir,’ for the last two years, you’ll end up as a sort of coolie. Let us assume that nothing happens to you, that you finish the war as a private in the A.S.C. When you are released you’ll find that you’ve picked up the habit of obedience. You won’t grumble, whatever you’re asked to do, and if you’re asked politely and nicely, you’ll melt away like butter. You’ll find people who’ll save you the trouble of making up your own mind. And if you do manage to get a job, in an office or somewhere, one fine day you will realize that in the war you’ve lost all the personality you’ve ever had…”
Public Radio of Armenia
November 22, 2013
The US commends Armenia’s partnership with NATO
The U.S. Embassy has issued a statement congratulating Armenia on its successful hosting of the November 18 – 22 “NATO Week.” The United States values and supports Armenia’s partnership with NATO. NATO Week highlighted Armenia’s contributions to international peace operations and launched a joint Armenia-NATO effort designed to foster integrity and reduce corruption in the military.
Armenia is working to become a greater contributor to international peace and security. Armenia is actively seeking to expand its peacekeeping commitments, both with NATO and the UN, and is negotiating to support missions in Lebanon and Mali. We welcome Armenia’s willingness to contribute to peace operations around the world and are eager to support Armenian contributions to peace operations.
Armenia’s cooperation with NATO has opened up opportunities for joint training and exercises, and for gaining valuable experience serving together with NATO partners in peace operations. The U.S. government has provided robust support toward the development of Armenia’s peacekeeping brigade and continues to seek opportunities to expand our support. U.S. and Armenian soldiers are also working side-by-side in Kosovo in support of wider international efforts to build peace and stability in the area. Armenian peacekeepers tackle a broad range of assignments with distinction and honor.
Armenia is well on its way to developing peacekeeping brigade that is interoperable with its partners and capable to be deployed in support to various peace operations. Armenia is making great strides towards developing this highly-trained and capable brigade and the Embassy would like to congratulate Armenia on its excellent progress.
From The Maurizius Case (1928)
Translated by Caroline Newton
Even battlefields are still when peace has been concluded, no matter how filthy a pretence of peace it may be.
“Was there ever since the world began a just cause for war? Did a general ever fight a battle for love of justice? Was ever any one of the famous men who invaded and stole property, or anyone who slaughtered masses of the population, called to account unless the act was unsuccessful? I advise you to think some time about the relationship, I almost used the word affinity, between the conceptions of justice and revenge. When and where in history were kingdoms established, religions founded, cities built or civilization spread with the help of justice? I don’t know of one. Where is the forum which shall pass upon the criminal extermination of ten million Indians? Or upon the poisoning by opium of a hundred million Chinese, or the enslaving of three hundred million Hindus? Who stopped the ships full of captive negroes which sailed in fleets to the North American continent between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries?”
“Well, let us turn the pages, a summer afternoon, heat which parches one’s lungs, the mazes of the stockyards; the sky a curious reddish yellow, the air sticky and thick enough to cut. Passages miles long, wooden tunnels, labyrinths of tunnels crossing the streets, the death-bridge for animals which are to be slaughtered. A dull bellowing, oxen and calves in endless trains, a quiet fateful stamping. At a particular place a hammer falls upon them, in a minute hundreds die and fall into the pit. It is oppressive to be there, so close to countless creatures about to die; I see them stepping forward, shoving and shoved, the necks of the rear ones resting upon the flanks of those in front, from morning to night, day in, day out, year after year, with big brown eyes full of foreboding and wonder, their distressed lowing resounds through the air; perhaps the invisible stars are shaken by it; the pillars tremble with the heavy bodies; the sweetish smell of blood rises from the tremendous halls and warehouses, a constant cloud of blood hangs over the whole city; the people’s clothes smell of blood, their beds, their churches, their rooms, their food, their wines, their kisses. It is all so tremendous, so unbearably immense, the individual scarcely has a name any longer, the separate thing nothing, nothing to differentiate it. Numbered streets, why not numbered people, perhaps numbered according to the dollars they earn with the blood of cattle, with the soul of the world?”
“Judge! That formerly had a high meaning. The highest in human society. I have known people who have told me that at every trial they have had the same horrible feeling in their testicles that one has if one suddenly stands over a deep abyss. Every cross-examination depends on the employment of tactical advantages which one mostly secures just as dishonestly as the subterfuges of a victim at bay. But the judge and the state attorney demand that they shall be regarded as omniscient, and to question their omniscience means unchaining their desire for revenge to the point of hopelessness, so that only the hypocrite, the cynic or the completely broken man can have mercy from them. How can one then have a just decision? How can one obtain the protection which your law demands? The law is only a pretext for the cruel organizations created in its name, and how can one be expected to bow down before a judge who makes of a guilty human being a maltreated animal? The animal howls and rages and bites and the people outside shudder and say: Thank God that we are rid of that. It is a frightful way in which they are rid of it, so much they admit, some of them at least; but they maintain that it cannot be changed. It all comes to the fact that those who live in heaven have no conception of hell, even if one tells them about it for days. There all fantasy fails. Only he can understand who is in it.”
‘…The secure ones, as soon as they merely commenced to be secure, to share in the security, were suspicious of me. I used words which they never used; I made allusions to things which they had never heard of. The sentences in which I spoke to them had a construction; there was a main clause and a subordinate clause. Never did the word dollar cross my lips. On the other hand, I liked to express myself in comparisons. And that was intellect, something extremely suspicious, something crushing, and the higher up one went socially, the more crushing it was. Naturally I became constantly more careful, constantly more modest. But the neatly devised, carefully planned avoidance and elimination of intellect which I pursued was still a kind of intellect. What could I do about it? I had not yet grasped a thing about the country. I merely saw one thing, that when a person showed a modicum of mind, no matter who he was, others made a wide circle to avoid him, and he could only make up for his faux pas if he eventually did something like saving a child from the torrents of the Mississippi…”
“The people in those days lived more vigorously than today.”
“More patiently, at any rate. When their houses were plundered and their cattle killed, they complained to the Kaiser, and if the Kaiser did not help them, they undertook pilgrimages of intercession. The people were always very patient, they are still so. All government is based upon that, upon the patience of the people; that is how governments manage to muddle along.”
If a person transgresses and accepts the soul of another person, secretly keeping his own soul, but behaving as if it were a fair exchange, he commits a crime, perhaps the greatest of all crimes.
NATO and Ukraine sign agreement on participation in Operation Ocean Shield
Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office
LONDON, United Kingdom: On Thursday, 21 November 2013, NATO and the Ukrainian Navy formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding sealing the country’s participation in the Alliance’s counter-piracy operation OCEAN SHIELD.
This event occurred as the Chief of the Ukrainian Navy, Admiral Yurii Ilin, is attending the NATO Maritime Commanders Conference (MARCOMET) in Central London alongside with 20 Heads of Navy, 54 international delegations and 127 distinguished guests; including NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip Breedlove.
The signature is the final step in formalising Ukraine’s operational contribution to NATO which began three months ago with an exchange of official letters between Kiev and the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM). On 10 October 2013, this led to the Ukrainian Navy committing one of its warships, UPS HETMAN SAGAIYDACHNIY, to NATO’s counter-piracy Task Force 508. This was the first time in the history of NATO that a Partner Nation was contributing with a naval unit to the counter-piracy operation.
“This celebrates a very successful partnership between Ukraine and the Alliance” said Vice Admiral Peter Hudson, Commander Allied Maritime Command. “Since the beginning of her deployment, UPS HETMAN SAGAIYDACHNIY has already disrupted a pirate action group in the Gulf of Aden on 18 November, thus contributing to the security of international shipping in the region. I am personally delighted that our efforts to work together at the highest level are now translating into a very satisfactory cooperation at the operational one.”
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 19, 2013
NATO Secretary General attends EU talks on European security and defence policy
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed efforts to strengthen the European Union’s security and defence policy at a meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers on Tuesday (19 November 2013). The meeting comes ahead of a key European Council in December which will focus on defence issues. The Secretary General has described the summit as a unique opportunity to enhance European defence capabilities.
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen has called for even closer ties between the EU and NATO, “to coordinate, not duplicate,” and to ensure that the two organisations complement each other’s efforts. He has also urged EU member states to maintain investment in defence, and to continue addressing capability gaps, stating that “we need to develop capabilities, not bureaucracies; to commit to investing in security in those areas where we all need more capabilities, such as drones for surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance, heavy transport and air-to-air refuelling.” The December summit will be the first to discuss defence and security issues since the European Union Lisbon Treaty came into force in 2009.
U.S. Army Europe
November 19, 2013
U.S. Army Europe air defense Soldiers deploying to support NATO operation in Turkey
By Staff Sgt. John Zumer, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany: Two Patriot missile batteries from U.S. Army Europe’s 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command are deploying as part of the extension of a NATO operation providing missile defense support for Turkey.
The batteries from the 10th AAMDC’s 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, will replace the 3rd Battalion, 2nd ADA from Fort Sill, Okla., which has been in Turkey since last December augmenting the air defense capabilities of the NATO ally.
The Turkish government recently requested an extension of the original Patriot mission which began last January, and is designed to protect Turkish citizens from potential ballistic missile threats from Syria.
Approximately 300 Soldiers assigned to the 5-7th ADA will take part in the operation near the city of Gaziantep. The battalion, expected to be deployed for a year, joins Patriot batteries from NATO allies Germany and the Netherlands which are deployed to separate locations in southern Turkey.
The deploying Soldiers are expected to complete their handover from the Stateside batteries and fully assume the ballistic missile defense mission in mid-December.
Soldiers from the 5-7th have frequently partnered with Dutch, German and Polish air defense forces on training exercises in recent years.
Trend News Agency
November 21, 2013
NATO considers Azerbaijan important ally in energy security (PHOTO)
By Sabina Ahmadova
Baku: Azerbaijan has adequate resources to continue its cooperation with NATO, head of the NATO liaison office in the South Caucasus, located in Georgia, William Lahue said at the conference ‘Joint approach to energy security: Position of NATO and other parties’ today.
Addressing the meeting, head of the NATO energy security department Michael Rühle said that Azerbaijan is one of NATO’s most important allies in energy security.
Rühle said that Azerbaijan can also play an important role in joint energy security training with the organisation.
Azeri Press Agency
November 21, 2013
NATO Officer-Coordinator: “Azerbaijan is an important partner for NATO”
Baku: We signed an agreement on the next phase of IPAP last year,” NATO Officer-Coordinator for the South Caucasus William Lahu said, APA reports.
He said it is important for Azerbaijan and NATO to have close cooperation within the partnership program.
“Azerbaijan is an important partner for NATO,” he said.
To the question “Is there an agreement with Azerbaijan on the ISAF withdrawal from Afghanistan via Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway?” William Lahu said: “There is such a proposal. But as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has not been put into operation, we can speak about it only after the project is ready.”
From Voyage to Faremido
Gulliver’s Fifth Voyage (1916)
Translated by Paul Tabori
Machines and compositions surpassed man; they became more perfect, and soon we reached the point where, if he wanted to be perfect, Man was forced to imitate the machines and works which had once imitated him. A human being was accorded less respect than his imitation. I remember how, shortly before my journey to Faremido, I was filled with deep indignation when the barbaric Germans began to shell the Cathedral of Rheims, and at the same time I hardly noticed the number of the soldiers killed in the battle. We all knew too how much more it meant, how much greater enthusiasm the news awakened that we had captured one of two ships or five or six cannon of our enemy – far greater than the report that we had succeeded in killing five or six thousand men. Five guns were the equal of five thousand people – and the loss of each amounted to the same thing.
The same evening I was found by a Norwegian farmer. I was told that I was in a neutral country, not far from Christiana, and that I had no cause to fear any harm until I reached the frontier. Whether I could get home without a passport was highly doubtful – for Britain, at war with Germany, happened to be on bad terms with the Scandinavian states. The Norwegian farmer was much surprised by my total indifference to the development of the World War during the past eighteen months; what territories the belligerent powers had occupied, how many men they had lost, how many they had enslaved, what was the number of those that had perished of the plague, how many planes had been shot down, how many cities bombed, how many generals decorated and how many dismissed from command.
Gulliver’s Sixth Voyage (1921)
Translated by Paul Tabori
When the Germans started their war of self-defence by attacking Britain and doing everything to occupy our country so that they, the Germans, should have no further need of self-defence, indignation over this dastardly attack summoned all honest men to arms; among them my humble self. The inspiring slogan that our women and children must be defended moved my beloved wife to tears – as a deeply patriotic daughter of her country, she was willing to give up everything for Britain – she did not hesitate for a moment to sacrifice even my life, if need be, for the holy cause. She encouraged me to volunteer as soon as possible…She prevailed upon me to take out a policy with a recently formed insurance company – a transaction that, in view of my status, was completed only with great difficulty and involved the payment of a very large annual premium.
Failing any other way, unification had to be achieved by invasion and occupation. As soon as war broke out, all exits were sealed up watertight so that the cowardly rabble could not escape and shirk their military duties. By locking the exits we succeeded in creating the enthusiastic mood necessary for attack – the whole tower was highly excited, everybody rushed toward the only exit left, the top ledge where the first clashes had already erupted and fighting with the soldiers of the neighboring tower had begun. I myself was sent to the front in the capacity as Chief Rallier. As a brave soldier, I soon distinguished myself, inspired greatly by the Idea of Tower Defence which promised eternal peace and full employment for the whole world.
November 20, 2013
40,000 NATO troops to stage massive European war games
After the 2014 pullout from Afghanistan, NATO is set to stage huge European war games involving 40,000 troops, about seven times the size of the recent drills in the Baltic, with critics in the crisis-hit EU calling it a waste of money.
The Western alliance claims this is to test the members’ capability and teamwork, mainly for reasons of matching America’s commitment to the alliance, as well as keeping their edge after the Afghan mission is over.
The exercises, set to start in 2015, will involve 40,000 troops deployed in Spain and Portugal. NATO land forces commander U.S. Army Lieutenant-General Frederick Hodges told Reuters that “this kind of exercise, this sort of complexity, is going to be the norm,” so the exercises are just the first in a series.
The major reason given by NATO is that troops need to stay sharp and practice their interoperability, especially after Afghanistan, in times of military inactivity.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has emphasized the importance of Europe’s role in the alliance, in September saying that “European nations can – and should – do more to match America’s commitment.”
But some in Europe say that the EU cannot afford such an expensive venture in times of economic hardship, and that it isn’t really necessary either.
Karl Rehbaum, a former officer with the East German security services, says that “there isn’t any need to put these troops in Europe. I think they would’ve ramped up operations even if Afghanistan wasn’t coming to an end… Instead of a defensive army, they want to make an army of intervention, of aggression. NATO is responsible for three-quarters of global arms spending at a time when many of its members are flat broke.”
In Berlin, for example, a group of demonstrators, known as “Mothers against War,” were downtown recently, holding banners that said “No to Intervention” – a call for Europe to stop throwing money at the military and take care of the pressing economic issues afflicting the continent on a massive scale.
“The population is getting poorer, and wars are getting more expensive. These type of exercises are a threat to society,” one of the demonstrators told RT’s Peter Oliver.
Another said that it was “crazy to think this has anything to do with any rogue state. By holding operations in Europe it shows that NATO is still looking toward Russia.”
The upcoming series of war games comes amid widespread military spending cutbacks throughout NATO, in the wake of the expensive military interventions in places such as Libya and Afghanistan, which were a great drain on resources.
Although the operation is reportedly being done to sustain the troops’ battle readiness and retain coordination, the new war games were announced just days after the Steadfast Jazz exercises that took place in early November, close to the Russian border and much to Moscow’s dismay.
Steadfast Jazz was ostensibly targeting a “fictional enemy,” although it was no secret that alarmists in countries like Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania were entertaining the possibility that Russia would amass its forces at their borders in a bid to conquer them and rebuild the Soviet Union.
Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks told Reuters: “Russia as a country in the last five years has been increasing its assertiveness in the Baltic… ‘Steadfast Jazz’ is important to us, as these are the first exercises where we are really training to defend our territory.”
NATO officials are denying that the exercises were aimed at intimidating Russia, but that did not do much to allay the fears of Russian officials concerned with the bloc inching closer and closer to the country’s western borders.
Suspicions remain with regard to NATO’s upcoming missile defense system, which the organization claims is preparing for rogue-state scenarios from the likes of North Korea or Iran. However, the system would be pointing its weapons directly at Russia. In the latest move, the US and Romania in early November began to revamp their military base in the eastern European country, which is to hold some elements of the ABM shield.
Rasmussen, speaking of the recent Steadfast Jazz exercise, told a news conference in Latvia on November 6 that the games are “of course a signal to anyone who might have any intention to attack a NATO ally, but I don’t expect Russia to have any intention to attack NATO allies, so the Russians shouldn’t be concerned. So you might say it is a signal to whom it may concern.”
Rainer Rupp, a former German intelligence officer with the HVA, believes that the current exercises should be examined against the background of the Afghan experience and that the upcoming games have little to do with European security or keeping everyone ready for whatever scenarios may come.
There, he explains, NATO “could test its interoperability” just as well. However, now, “with NATO countries – especially the United States – leaving Afghanistan beaten like a dog with the tail between its legs, they need to project and show the world that they still have their claws sharpened.” Rupp sees the games as nothing more than “part of a continued effort of…intimidating nations that don’t follow voluntarily the US and European lead.”
Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 20, 2013
Russia Concerned at US Plans for Bases in Afghanistan
MOSCOW: A senior Russian diplomat has voiced concerns over US plans to retain nine military bases in Afghanistan after their planned withdrawal from the country.
Russia’s presidential envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, told RIA Novosti in an interview Wednesday that the bases would “exert a serious influence on the whole vast Asian region and become a powerful foothold for any large-scale military operation.”
Kabulov said Russia has many questions about the purpose of the bases.
The United States earlier said they would be used to train top brass of Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry and General Staff, which is estimated to count up to 400 people.
“Aren’t [400 people] too few for nine military bases?” Kabulov said. “Besides, what is the purpose of hiding the infrastructure of the Camp Shorabak training camp underground, which is moreover equipped with a three-kilometer runway?”
Kabulov said that while he accepted that Afghanistan was free to sign military agreements with any state, he hoped that Kabul’s authorization of foreign military bases would not result in security threats to third states, including Russia.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, which is currently estimated to comprise 100,000 servicemen, is to be largely pulled out of the country by the end of 2014.
From The Brigand (1951)
Translated by Angus Davidson
Then the war passed over our countryside. It happened at the beginning of autumn, when most of the crops were still ungathered. Curious are the thoughts with which the inhabitants of a small village, remote from the world, await the coming of a war. It was not as though the war had broken out the day before; and they knew fairly well what was likely to happen. They had seen squadrons of planes passing across the sky above the valley and had heard the sound of bombs dropped upon the town or upon the distant roads of the coast. They had lived closely packed in their houses in order to make room for hundreds of homeless people who fled to the village after air raids, and they had listened to their stories. They knew from the newspapers or from soldiers on leave of the existence of armored divisions and of divisions of parachutists. They knew that a small village like this one on the side of a mountain may be, for all anyone cares, either left in peace or destroyed without a thought, in a few minutes – if it is unlucky enough to be included within the radius of a battle. They had learned all these new, terrible things. And yet, in their minds, they are still a thousand years behind, still subject to the terror, handed down over centuries, of soldiers who go about looting and raping women. Therefore they do not concern themselves with escaping the death of the moment, from which there is no escape without the help of God, but the death which may come afterwards, through hunger and misery, and the disaster that may befall the woman or the home. They keep ready, within reach, an old dagger or a shotgun, for the defense of their own threshold. And hurriedly they hide in the house or bury in the yard the sack of flour and the jar of oil, they toil to gather in all they can from the land, whether it be potatoes or chestnuts or corn or merely the vegetables they do not dare to leave in the garden; and they are grieved because the olives are not yet ripe and cannot be gathered – as though the soldiers of the armored divisions would go round the farms stealing unripe olives.
We were so out of the world that we should never have imagined that the war would pass right under our eyes. A day came, however, when the armies started coming down the road from the high plateau, for the more important roads along the coast were being heavily bombed. There were interminable columns of guns and cars and trucks laden with soldiers white with dust or dirty with mud who passed through our village with an air of utter indifference and did not even look like living men. They did not stop, for they were in a hurry to escape northwards. And since they did not stop or harm us in any way, we stood looking at them with that feeling of astonished compassion that is so easily aroused in simple people by those who are unfortunate. They too had homes and families somewhere, and perhaps they had been forced to become soldiers, and now they had to escape so as not to be killed or captured. This was the German army in retreat.
And so the war had gone past and we were able to look around us again, as after a thunderstorm…Every week that passed, less could be bought with that money; and wages did not rise. And then there were the poor, who had always lived by odd jobs and small expediencies; and now, with the steadily increasing poverty, they could find neither expedients or jobs to save them from hunger. There were also the homeless, the people who had come out from the towns after the air raids, who stayed in our village because they had no where else to go. They were poorer than our own poor, and with them they lived, crammed into one-room huts, with the pigs and the hens, in the narrow, dirty alleys. And so even this war, though it had passed over us without bloodshed and without destruction, had left misery behind it.
This is Cornwall
November 19, 2013
NATO strategists will be ‘war-zone ready’ after training at RAF St Mawgan
Military strategists from 17 nations have begun a key training exercise at RAF St Mawgan that will ensure they are ready to control any warzone worldwide
Around 2,200 personnel from NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) will remain at the base until mid-December in what is believed to be the largest deployment of ground forces in the county since the Second World War.
The team, which has operated in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, must be mobilised and ready to take strategic control of any Nato-led mission worldwide within 28 days.
At St Mawgan, they will run through role-play situations and react to mock incidents such as helicopter crashes and civilian massacres to ensure they are ready to deal with a host of challenging combat situations.
Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Fraser, who oversees infrastructure provision for the ARRC team, including accommodation, food, electricity and water, said: “RAF St Mawgan has provided great support, and is truly one of a very small number of locations capable of providing the space and the life support to run an exercise of this scale.”
Wing Commander Philip Lamb, station commander, added: “RAF St Mawgan, though clearly very much still an RAF Station, is also proud to host many tri-service visitors as part of our established mission providing high end training to a broad joint and international audience. That we can support the ARRC is testament to our capacity to support just about any deployment.”
A series of exercises will be run on the site, which now accommodates servicemen and women from countries including Denmark, Canada, Italy, the United States and Portugal, as well as personnel from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and New Zealand.
Flight Lieutenant Jeff Spencer, the station’s spokesman, said: “A deployment of this scale is testament to the operational and strategic value that RAF St Mawgan, currently celebrating its 70th birthday, continues to provide in support of UK Defence. It clearly shows the value being drawn from the existing resource by the small core of 280 military and civilian station personnel.
“The future of the station is based on clear value to the current defence plan. There is no doubt that the pro-active nature of the people at this station in encouraging and supporting major exercises such as the ARRC, as well as the operationally essential role of defence survival training underscores us as a centre of excellence in the South West.”
U.S. Department of Defense
November 19, 2013
Combined Resolve Reflects Post-2014 NATO Training
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON: A training rotation underway at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, offers a glimpse at the direction NATO training is expected to take as the alliance concludes its mission in Afghanistan next year and implements a new strategy focused on the future.
For more than a decade, the training center has centered on preparing U.S. and European militaries for combat rotations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army Col. John Norris, the JMRC commander, told American Forces Press Service during a phone interview from Hohenfels, Germany.
That training focused predominantly on counterinsurgency operations, Norris said. Over time, it evolved to include stability operations and to prepare International Security Assistance Force members to train and mentor Iraqi and Afghan national security forces. But with the Iraq mission now completed and ISAF drawing down in Afghanistan, Norris said, it’s time for NATO to revamp how it trains its own forces.
So the JMRC cadre kicked off the first iteration of the new Combined Resolve series last week, reintroducing the full spectrum of combat operations into a multinational rotation for the first time in more than a decade.
“This is a paradigm shift,” Norris said. “This is now introducing our multinational partners to the post-ISAF, post-2014 environment and what is next. This rotation is clearly a pilot and example of that.”
Combined Resolve integrates armored vehicle, artillery and aviation maneuvers and other high-end operations into training that includes more than 2,200 U.S., Czech, Slovenian, Norwegian and French forces.
The U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade headquarters deployed from Vicenza, Italy, to serve as the rotational command element. A mechanized task force from the Czech Republic arrived with T-72 battle tanks, BMP-3 amphibious infantry fighting vehicles, engineer vehicles and artillery batteries. The Norwegian army deployed a mechanized task force, complete with Leopard-2 main battle tanks and other tracked vehicles, to serve as the opposing force. The Slovenians deployed about 190 members of the 10th Slovenian Mountain Regiment.
In addition, U.S. Navy SEALS and a French special operations team are supporting the rotation.
Together, they are conducting combined-arms maneuvers that Norris said had been sidelined for years due to real-world requirements that focused predominantly on lower-end operations.
NATO defense and military leaders recognized this gap when they adopted the Connected Forces Initiative last month. Part of the NATO Forces 2020 concept, the initiative aims to enhance NATO’s overall readiness and combat effectiveness, in part through tailored and expanded training.
“What we have going on right now in Hohenfels is in fact a living example, a proof of principle on the vision of the Connected Forces Initiative,” Norris said.
With the first week of training dedicated to situational training exercises, the participants are kicking off the “force-on-force” training today.
“This is powerful,” Norris said. “It is live, it is free play and it is 24 hours. You have a live enemy, you have a live friendly, and they both want to win.”
When Combined Resolve wraps up Nov. 24, Norris said, he’s confident the participants will take home valuable lessons and insights into what’s ahead for military training.
“This represents the future of warfare and how we will fight our nation’s wars,” he said. “We will always fight in a multinational environment. That’s why this training mission, Combined Resolve, focuses on sustaining the partnerships and the interoperability we have achieved during the last 12 years of war.”
JMRC represents the perfect site to do this, not only because of its vast training opportunities, but also because of its proximity to many multinational partners, Norris said. That makes the training affordable – a major consideration, he said, as all struggle with defense budget cuts.
The goal, Norris said, is to ensure NATO forces are prepared for the challenges they will face together post-2014.
“We want them to be compatible and interoperable so that we can all form a security blanket and work together in the future,” he said.
November 19, 2013
Pushing boundaries: US eyes Russian encirclement via NATO ‘Trojan horse’
The US is using NATO as a Trojan horse in order to take over militarily and politically the whole of Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and this is an open provocation vis-à-vis Russia, Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO told RT.
RT: What’s the problem with NATO doing more war drills? We do live in a dangerous world and practice makes perfect doesn’t it?
Rick Rozoff: Right, we have to put matters into context. If we are talking about the most recent NATO war games in the Baltic Sea, so-called Operations or Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013, we have to keep in mind it’s the largest joint military exercise held by NATO in seven years. And it was with the express intent of solidifying what is called the NATO Response Force, which is a global military strike force, and was conducted in two countries – Latvia and Poland – that share borders with Russia.
And it was again large-scale: 6,000 troops, and air and naval as well land, infantry, components in countries bordering Russia. It’s not an everyday affair, as your comments may have indicated. If anything analogous to this were to occur on an American border, say Mexico and Canada, and troops from 40 countries – all NATO members and a number of NATO partners were to engage in joint war games on the American border – you’d hear something from Washington, I’m going to assure you. And this isn’t an innocuous everyday affair of one nation, two nations, holding war games; this is the largest military bloc in history, to be honest, with 28 members and various partners over 70 countries in the world, which is over a third of the nations in the world and in the UN, for example. So this is a further indication that the US-led military bloc that is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization aspires, first of all, to hold what could be construed as reckless and perhaps even dangerous war games near Russia’s borders and at the same time design to further develop and give body to, activate its international response force.
RT: These exercises do not come cheap though – and many European nations aren’t in the best shape financially. Is it really worth it for them?
RR: Of course not, this is a phantom, an imagined threat that has been combated. It’s worth noting that the secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and other NATO officials including the deputy secretary general, Alexander Vershbow, who is the former US ambassador to Russia, made comments that the war games conducted in Latvia and Poland were meant to consolidate the gains that have been made over the last 12 years in Afghanistan, where NATO, through the International Security Assistance Force, has consolidated – in its own words – its interoperability with military forces of over 50 different nations. Can the peoples of Europe, the citizenry of the respective 26 NATO member states in Europe afford this sort of extravagance? No, of course, they cannot. So what we’re left to believe is that the United States finds it expedient to use NATO and is prepared to underwrite the majority of what it costs to conduct the war games or set up military installations to further the United States’ geopolitical interests in Europe and in the world.
RT: NATO’s just wrapped up exercises in Poland and the Baltic states. Any reason why it picked these specific locations?
RR: If you are talking about the rapid response force, which is a NATO mechanism used presumably to interfere, intervene militarily, as NATO has over the last 14 years outside of the area of responsibility, the self-declared area of protection of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, what we’re talking about of course is a serious military action, as serious as war, in fact.
In southeastern Europe 14 years ago, in former Yugoslavia; in Afghanistan over the last 12 years, in Asia; and two years ago in Libya and North Africa, that they have chosen such a sensitive spot vis-à-vis Russia – the Baltic states, the northwest border of the Russian Federation – almost looks like a provocation to me. But the official NATO explanation is that, now having established itself as an international military expeditionary force which can conduct military actions in Africa, in the Middle East, in the Gulf of Aden, in the Indian Ocean, in South and Central Asia, it now has to re-establish its ability to defend its member-states. Who else but Russia could be intended when NATO states, in the case of Latvia and Poland – they have to be able to defend their new NATO member-states such as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland – that any one nation that could be potential aggressor in that context and of course it is Russia. So this is an open provocation vis-à-vis Russia.
RT: Next year NATO will finish up its Afghanistan combat mission, which lasted over a decade. What will all these troops be doing after the 2014 withdrawal?
RR: There is going to be a period of rest and recuperation for the actual ground forces. And keep in mind that the NATO commanders in Afghanistan and US military commanders have mooted retaining as many as 8,000-14,000 US and other NATO troops in Afghanistan for the indefinite future. And this is of course an addition to the US sustaining and perhaps even expanding its presence and its strike capability in major airbases that the US has upgraded in Shindand, in Kandahar, and the Bagram air base outside Kabul, the capital, and so forth.
So what the NATO evidently intends to do, and the US in the first instance, is having integrated the military structures of over 50 countries – this a very significant event, there’s nothing like this even remotely comparable that has occurred before in history. We have to be honest about this. There have never been military personnel from 50 countries in any war, not even World War 2, much less on one side, much less in one theater of war and in one nation. So what NATO has done is use 12 years of indecisive war affair in Afghanistan in order to build up global NATO, in fact. And coming out of that, with the NATO summit that held in Chicago last year, the last NATO summit in May 2012, immediately before that NATO announced another partnership program. And this is one is the first that is not defined geographically, such as those in the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East region or Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. In this case it’s called Partners Across the Globe. This is the latest NATO initiative, which includes initially eight nations of the greater Asia-Pacific region: Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia. Mongolia of course, like Kazakhstan, which is a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, borders both Russia and China. So what we are seeing is that despite all these efforts to seduce the world into believing it has become an adjunct to the UN, or that it’s a peacekeeping apparatus of some sort, NATO has in fact extended itself into a global military force. It may have a limited capacity to extend itself, at least not to the extent, perhaps, to what it would choose to. But its intent is still clear. The new NATO headquarters in Brussels which will cost over a billion dollars to construct are going to come online very shortly. Well, there is no intention by NATO to accept budgetary constraints and other factors mitigating its shrinking, its ambitions are even more grandiose than they have ever been before.
RT: What does the future hold for the organization in general? How can it continue to stay relevant and be an important force in the world?
RR: We will find out at the next summit in Britain next year, in 2014. What we do know is that at the summit in Chicago last year, one of the more significant decisions was that the so-called Phased Adaptive Approach interceptor missile system that the US – initially under the George W. Bush administration and now fully-integrated with NATO under Barack Obama’s administration – has achieved initial operational capability, meaning plans to base ultimately hundreds of intermediate- and medium-range interceptor missiles on the ground in nations like Romania and Poland and also on destroyers and other kind of warships in the Mediterranean, ultimately, I suspect, in the Baltic Sea and even the Black Sea if they can get away with it, that the US is using NATO again as a Trojan horse, not only to take over militarily, but also politically, the entirety of Eastern Europe, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Every single member of the Warsaw Pact, with the exception of Russia itself, is now a full member of NATO. Half of the states of the former republic of Yugoslavia are now full members of NATO. So what we see is that the US uses NATO to extend its military from Berlin at the end of the Cold War all the way to the Russian border. And most alarmingly of late is that it has intensified its efforts to incorporate Ukraine, which has a sizeable border with Russia, as a major NATO partner. Ukraine is joining the Response Force, as well as Georgia, Finland and Sweden. Of course Sweden is the only one of those countries that doesn’t have a border with Russia. Finland, Ukraine and Georgia have sizeable borders. What we are seeing is that NATO in one form or another is continuing the push up to Russia’s borders and effectively the military encirclement of the Russian Federation.
Erich Maria Remarque
From All Quiet on the Western Front (1929)
Translated by A.W. Wheen
My hands grow cold and my flesh creeps; and yet the night is warm. Only the mist is cold, this mysterious mist that trails over the dead and sucks from them their last, creeping life. By morning they will be pale and green and their blood congealed and black.
Still the parachute-rockets shoot up and cast their pitiless light over the stony landscape, which is full of craters and frozen lights like a moon. The blood beneath my skin brings fear and restlessness into my thoughts. They become feeble and tremble, they want warmth and life. They cannot persist without solace, without illusion, they are disordered before the naked picture of despair.
The days are hot and the dead lie unburied. We cannot fetch them all in, if we did we should not know what to do with them. The shells will bury them. Many have their bellies swollen up like balloons. They hiss, belch, and make movements. The gases in them make noises.
The sky is blue and without clouds. In the evening it grows sultry and the heat rises from the earth. When the wind blows toward us it brings the smell of blood, which is very heavy and sweet. This deathly exhalation from the shell-holes seems to be a mixture of chloroform and putrefaction, and fills us with nausea and retching.
One morning two butterflies play in front of our trench. They are brimstone-butterflies, with red spots on their yellow wings. What can they be looking for here? There is not a plant nor a flower for miles. They settle on the teeth of a skull. The birds too are just as carefree, they have long since accustomed themselves to the war. Every morning larks ascend from No Man’s Land. A year ago we watched them nesting; the young ones grew up too.
We have a spell from the rats in the trench. They are in No Man’s Land – we know what for. They grow fat; when we see one we have a crack at it…
Although we need reinforcement, the recruits give us almost more trouble than they are worth. They are helpless in this grim fighting area, they fall like flies. Modern trench-warfare demands knowledge and experience; a man must have a feeling for the contours of the ground, an ear for the sound and character of the shells, must be able to decide beforehand where they will drop, how they will burst, and how to shelter from them.
The young recruits of course know none of these things. They get killed simply because they hardly can tell shrapnel from high-explosive, they are mown down because they are listening anxiously to the roar of the big coal-boxes falling in the rear, and miss the light, piping whistle of the low spreading daisy-cutters. They flock together like sheep instead of scattering, and even the wounded are shot down like hares by the airmen.
Their pale turnip faces, their pitiful clenched hands, the fine courage of these poor devils, the desperate charges and attacks made by the poor brave wretches, who are so terrified that they dare not cry out loudly, but with battered chests, with torn bellies, arms and legs only whimper softly for their mothers and cease as soon as one looks at them.
Their sharp, downy, dead faces have the awful expressionlessness of dead children.
It brings a lump into the throat to see how they go over, and run and fall…They wear grey coats and trousers and boots, but for most of them the uniform is far too big, it hangs on their limbs, their shoulders are too narrow, their bodies too slight; no uniform was ever made to these childish measurements.
Between five and ten recruits fall to every old hand.
A surprise gas-attack carries off a lot of them. They have not yet learned what to do. We found one dug-out full of them, with blue heads and black lips. Some of them in a shell hole took off their masks too soon; they did not know that the gas lies longest in the hollows; when they saw others on top without masks they pulled theirs off too and swallowed enough to scorch their lungs.
Their condition is hopeless, they choke to death with haemorrhages and suffocation.
We see men living with their skulls blown open; we see soldiers run with their two feet cut off, they stagger on their splintered stumps into the next shell-hole; a lance-corporal crawls a mile and a half on his hands dragging his smashed knee after him; another goes to the dressing station and over his clasped hands bulge his intestines; we see men without mouths, without jaws, without faces; we find one man who has held the artery of his arm in his teeth for two hours in order not to bleed to death. The sun goes down, night comes, the shells whine, life is at an end.
Still the little piece of convulsed earth in which we lie is held. We have yielded no more than a few hundred yards of it as a prize to the enemy. But on every yard there lies a dead man.
Trend News Agency
November 18, 2013
NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative calls cooperation with Georgia successful
By Nana Kirtzkhalia
Tbilisi: All the reforms conducted in Georgia under the leadership of Defence Minister Irakli Alasania deserve NATO’s positive assessments, NATO Secretary General Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai said in Tbilisi after the meeting with Georgia’s Defence Minister. Appathurai arrived in Tbilisi on the occasion of the president’s inauguration.
“We have just completed the annual assessment of the national program, which got a positive evaluation. We also discussed the issues of future cooperation in Afghanistan. We are preparing for the support mission and as far as I know, Georgia will participate in it. Georgia also intends to join the NATO Response Force. Many issues of cooperation with Georgia are carried out successfully,” he said.
Appathurai congratulated the Georgian people with holding exemplary presidential elections on Oct.27.
“I would like to congratulate Georgia and the Georgian people on the results. These elections were free, fair and democratic. This is what the member states of NATO expected from Georgia. I would like to congratulate Georgia with this result on behalf of them,” he said.
Alasania in turn thanked Appathurai for arriving at the inauguration.
“This is a sign of great respect to our newly elected president and reaffirms that our relations with NATO are irreversible and we will become the alliance’s member in the future,” he said.
During the meeting the parties discussed the reforms in the sphere of defense, as well as the issues of future Georgian-NATO cooperation.
The parties also talked about Georgia’s contribution to the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan (ISAF). According to Alasania, Georgia is ready to participate in the support mission in Afghanistan after 2014 and join the NATO Reaction Force.
Voice of Russia
November 16, 2013
Libya is in anarchy as US/NATO backed terrorists reign – Faraj Muftah
The entire western intervention in Libya was a lie fabricated from the very beginning to allow the US/NATO to prevent: gold-based dinars from damaging the dollar, an international law suit filed by Libya over the violations by the West of treaties, Libyan oil trade to be done in Euros, and a non-US controlled block to grow strong. The “humanitarian intervention” was never about protecting the Libyan people. It was only about money, geopolitics and resources. By providing air-support, funding and weapons to Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorists groups US/NATO was successful in destroying the government, completely freeing up the resources and assassinating the leader. The Libyan people now live in a state of anarchy being decimated by US/CIA/Al-Qaeda (the CIA data-base), and the West is silent. Where is the “support for the people of Libya” now? Faraj Muftah is a representative of the tribes of Libya and is in exile, he granted the VOR an interview on the real situation in Libya.
You are listening to part one of an interview with Farazh Muftah– a spokesperson for the tribal nations of Libya.
Robles: Can you explain to our listeners about the real situation in Libya right now? What is really happening in Libya?
Faraj: Thank you so much for giving us a chance to explain everything to your people and to your listeners.
Our country was safe and secure until what happened with it in 2011. It was started by lies and dirty games by satellite from many journalists of CNN, al-Arabia, Al-Jazeera, BBC as well and Qatari channels which prepared all the propaganda before the game has been started.
They lied to the people and they said that they will come to Libya to protect the civilian people. They only used this reason as a pretext to destroy our country, destroy all establishment and destroy our regime.
You have to know that the majority of Libyans supported the former regime and we did not have any problem before 2011. Our regime was the fairest regime, it was against Al Qaeda and terroristic groups on the ground and around the world.
And our leader Col Gaddafi – the fairest guy – announced and reported to the United Nations Security Council, the US and other Western countries that they must arrest Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda groups, it was in 1987.
At that time no one listened to our side. The reality and the truth is that the Western world and especially the USA and the CIA, which gave control to America, they knew already that Bin Laden works with them.
Nowadays, they brought all the Al Qaeda terroristic groups to Libya at the beginning of the crisis and we call it a conspiracy against our country.
France, the United States, Italy, Qatar, Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups – they used Security Council resolution of 1971-1973 to launch and intervention and “protect” the civilian people. But they killed the people, as you know now approximately more than 500,000 people have been killed in Libya.
Faraj: Yes, about half a million has been killed in Libya since 2011 up to now. The majority of this number has been killed by NATO and the United States, the rest of them have been killed by militias and terrorist groups, and Al Qaeda as well.
Al Qaeda has a full control of Tripoli – the capital. There is no government, there is no regime, there is not an agency in Libya.
The solution now is to return the people who have been exiled to their country, to their land, to try to sort out all the problems in Libya.
Americans supported Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and in Egypt as well.
Now in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime has been finished and destroyed by the Egyptian people, more than 32 million people went on the streets.
In Libya still America and some Western countries support Al Qaeda and terrorist groups, especially in Tripoli – the capital of Libya. This is the big problem facing the Libyan people that NATO and the USA supported Al Qaeda and terrorist groups.
And the American administration – Obama and John McCain – are representatives of Al Qaeda terrorist groups.
John McCain is their close friend, he supported them and he talks about them every day. They plan how to support them, how to protect them. This is the big problem which faces the whole world.
In the future, I warn all of the people, we report that in a few days it will become a big problem and danger facing the whole world, especially the Western countries.
Now the Libya is the main source for terrorists, the main source for Al Qaeda training, the main source of weapons, main source of crimes and criminal groups.
Now the danger has reached Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Chad – they get the resources and establish control over our cities in Libya. As you know, they burned more than four or five cities in Libya. In Tawergha all cities have been completely burned in 2011.
And where was Tawergha, now it is a place for Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood training.
Bani Walid attack of 2012 was by militias, about 20,000 militias attacked Bani Walid city to try to establish control over it, but it was hard for them, because the people in Bani Walid are brave and strong fighters, they were against and they defended their city. They got the out back to Misrata militias.
Now, we have another problem the international community must know about – the unknown and uncontrolled presence in Misrata and Tripoli which is controlled by Al Qaeda terrorist groups.
It is a hard situation for more than 30,000 Libyan civilian people inside the prisons. Nobody knows their fates. It is a situation of unknown presence without any control from the government, because there is no government.
Even the so-called Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been kidnapped by militias. And they still lie to the people, lie to the community, they lie to the media and he says he is the Prime Minister.
There is no Prime Minister in Libya, there is no parliament in Libya, there is no government in Libya, there is no regime in Libya now, only Al Qaeda and terrorist groups.
Let’s me tell you something about the problem with Interpol. When NATO and Americans invaded Tripoli with militias and terrorist groups, they attacked the Interior Ministry and the office of Interpol was taken over by militias.
The militias reported papers and documents to Interpol. That is why Interpol has now called and is asking (searching) for more than 200 Libyan people who are living abroad.
There is no Interpol in Libya, it is impossible. There are militias all cities,the whole country controlled by militias and where is Interpol? There is no Interpol in Libya.
2 million Libyan people have been exiled and they are living in a bad situation in Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Mali, Egypt, Malta and a small number of them in the Western countries. There is no United Nations that cares about us, there are no human rights organizations that care about us, there is no international community that cares about us.
This is the truth and this is the reality, and this is our story.
Nobody will bring control in our country, nobody will clean up our country, only Gaddafi loyalists know how to clean out the terrorist groups and Al Qaeda. And we have our own experts, more than 2,000 security experts outside Libya, they have been exiled. And they are followed by Al Qaeda terrorist groups.
Every day they kill an officer from our military, every day they kill one member of the security section in Libya, every day they kill civilian people, kidnap them, rape the ladies, rob stores and banks.
This is the situation now in Libya. This is the real story. This is the truth and this is what is happening in Libya right now.
Robles: It sounds like complete anarchy. Can you tell me what was life like before the NATO invasion?
What was life really like for Libyan people when the US and NATO said they were oppressed and they were being killed, and everybody hated Gaddafi? What was life really like?
Faraj: No! This is not truth. The truth is that all the Libyan people liked Gaddafi, supported our leader. Our leader was an honest man. He was a patriot, a strong man and defended our country.
He was against the international law which allowed them to invade any country, to attack any country, to bomb any country.
You cannot imagine how is it to burn and attack civil cities, to burn them and then bomb for two months about three or four times every day. Did you think about this? How is it that the NATO forces, their airplanes, their military, which were prepared to fight against Russia and then attacked a small city like Bani Walid?
From February 2011 up to October 2011 NATO attacked and bombed.
Most of the cities, as I told you, have been burned and destroyed, all cities – Sitra, Bani Walid, Tawergha, Qawalish, Mashashita, Ar Rayaniya, now Tiji.
Every day now Tiji is exposed to attacks from militias in Zintan.
This is the truth and this is the real story. We were living in so good situation, nobody was against Gaddafi. There were a few people and they say that this is a political group. But they ran away from the military in 1971-1973 to America and America protected them, and America used them as spies, as Ali Zeidan.
Ali Zeidan has stolen money from our embassy in India and ran away to Germany.
He’s stolen the Libyan Embassy’s money in Delhi which was sent to use to help Muslim people in India and he ran away to America.
America protected (Magallion?) and America used him as a spy.
(Magallion?) is a member of the CIA. Ali Zeidan is from Gestapo, a member of German intelligence. This is the truth, this is the story.
Robles: I see. Why do you think they want to keep a condition of anarchy in Libya?
Faraj: In Libya right now there is no control, there are no companies, there is no government, there are no embassies.
All the foreign people, all representatives of foreign companies, all diplomatic groups in Libya are threatened and killed by Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda announced a few days ago that they will start killing all diplomatic people in Libya.
And there is no infrastructure from 2011. There are no buildings, there is no development, there isn’t anything.
Even all the money in the Central Bank invested outside Libya has been stolen by these militias.
There is no money, there are no resources now because oil exports have been blocked by militias.
Robles: Who is in control of the oil right now?
Faraj: The militias since 2011 sell the Libyan oil in the Mediterranean Sea without any documents, without anything. It is a black market. Many groups from the eastern part did not allow Ali Zeidan, from the puppet government to sell oil unless they have a know and help to plan and organize how to sell our oil.
Robles: Is oil still flowing out of Libya right now?
Faraj: No, not any more. It’s been blocked by many groups in Ras Lanuf, Sitra, Zueitina. And even yesterday I think a group from west part militias has blocked gas, which is supplied to the south of Italy.
Robles: I’d like to ask you a question. In Egypt we now know the United States supported the Muslim Brotherhood, like they supported Al Qaeda, like they created Al Qaeda, like MI5 created the Muslim Brotherhood – the Egyptian people have filed crimes against humanity charges against the US and Barack Obama. Can the Libyan people do the same thing?
Faraj: Yes, we have a lot of things, we have a lot of documents which will show to the world what was happening because of Obama and the Western countries.
Of course, because they started to help the militias and the Muslim Brotherhood from the beginning of the conspiracy against Libya.
Robles: Is there any movement or any group of lawyers or former judges who could organize a formal criminal complaint and deliver it to Hague?
Faraj: Yes, our group and our lawyers, who have been exiled as well, they are preparing all the documents and all files to bring them to ICC or to any international court, to show them all the evidence how NATO and America destroyed the country and destroyed the land of Libya. They are working on it.
My friend John, you have to know that there is no stability, no development and infrastructure, there is no growth for all the countries who were invaded or attacked by NATO and America.
You were listening to part 1 of an interview with Faraj Muftah – a spokesperson for the tribal nations of Libya. You can find part 2 of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com in the near future.
November 18, 2013
INS Vikramaditya was spied upon by NATO aircraft and ship last year but the matter was hushed up
INS Vikramaditya, India’s largest aircraft carrier, is safely in the Indian Navy’s hands now, and will begin its journey home shortly. But just a year ago, there was an incident that created a major stir on board the massive ship as it was put through trials at sea off the Russian coast.
INS Vikramaditya was spied upon by NATO forces.
Headlines Today Deputy Editor Shiv Aroor, the first Indian journalist on board the aircraft carrier, has accessed exclusive images of that disturbing incident that was even taken up at the diplomatic level.
The images show a NATO maritime spy aircraft repeatedly buzzing.
Over INS Vikramaditya in an attempt to snoop on her communications and combat signatures. Never before revealed, these images captured from the deck of the ship show how the US-built P-3C Orion “buzzed” the ship just a few hundred feet over her deck and circled her in an attempt to harvest classified electronic and acoustic data about the vessel.
The snooping operation created such a stir that the Russian team on board the Vikramaditya summoned a Russian Navy MiG-29K from a shore base to chase away the intruding aircraft.
The spy aircraft beat a hasty retreat once the MiG-29K arrived on the scene.
During the spying mission, the P-3C aircraft dropped two sensor buoys into Vikramaditya’s immediate path in such a way that the ship sailed right through the gap between the two red bobbing devices, allowing the aircraft to record acoustic signatures.
Later, the Russian government sent photographs of the intrusion, including pictures of the sensor buoys, to the US Embassy in Moscow and NATO headquarters, but has received no reply yet.
Both the Indian Navy and the shipyard that modernised the Vikramaditya confirmed the incident but were tightlipped about the details of how much data about the battleship may have been compromised.
The NATO aircraft chose the early summer of 2102 when the sea was calm and the relative silence of neutral waters interfered least with sounds emanating from a ship – ideal conditions for airborne electronic snooping.
In another attempt to listen in on Vikramaditya’s communications and electronic emanations, a Norwegian ship attempted to snoop on the ship shortly after the airborne spying mission.
The vessel, known to have specialised electronic equipment on board that allows the recording of acoustics from a distance, came fairly close to the Vikramaditya.
By that time, command and crew on board the aircraft carrier had made her go near totally silent.
A NATO ship from Norway snooping on the Vikramaditya.
The spygame between NATO and Russia remains intact years after the end of the Cold War, with both sides routinely intercepting and escorting “stray” aircraft, or attempting to snoop on aircraft and ship movements near maritime boundaries.
However, the fact that the snooping incident was on an Indian ship was a surprise.
Arnold Zweig: The costs of war are spiritual and moral desolation, economic catastrophes and political reaction
From Education Before Verdun (1935)
Translated by Eric Sutton
“Where are the blessings you were promised at the outset of the war? The real consequences of the war are all too plain: misery and privation, unemployment and death, starvation and disease. For generations the costs of the war will paralyze the strength of the nations, and destroy all that you have fought for and won to ennoble your lives. Spiritual and moral desolation, economic catastrophes and political reaction – such are the fruits of this horrible international conflict, as of all those that came before it…”
All that these men suffered, all that the world suffered in the war, slipped through the films of consciousness into the deeper chambers of the soul. Thence, in time to come, it would re-emerge, and demand a reckoning…From the darkness came the thunder of guns. It was Christmas night, a festival that meant a great deal to Germans, but they felt they must discipline the indulgence of such feelings by a display of manly vigour; so their guns were scattering steel Christmas gifts, and the French followed their example. Peace upon earth, sang the Gospel; War upon earth thundered the reality.
By now, however, individual cases had ceased to count. The whole scurvy race of man stood ripe for judgment, before the spiritual bar of one for whom the first four decades of life had been a quest for justice and truth, under guidance of a greater man – his father. He had reached the point when he could no longer hear certain words without a desire to cough and a sense of nausea; and especially the word “nation.” Men had ceased to exist; there was only a nation. Man had become absorbed into the herd, and must follow the appointed leader, no matter whom. Aristotle had known this, and Plato too. The zoon politikon; what else did this definition contain but the damnation of man to a vile and irredeemable dependence? Except that for the two Greeks and all their disciples in Europe this fact made manifest how great was the moral obligation laid upon individuals and men of intelligence to remedy this deplorable state of affairs, and by their wisdom and insight, their human loyalty and goodwill, their patience and self-restraint, to reform and purify humanity. Since the renascence of human reason in the Italy of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the churches and the secular seats of learning had tried to meet this duty; they had inspired religions, reformations, and revolutions – with the result that in this war the peak of our achievement stood in a glare of light; the spirit of Europe was arrayed in uniform; only nations now existed, in the scarlet, black, and white of their several self-isolated creeds, and civilization served at the best as a technique of slaughter, as a mask for villainy, as a phrase to justify the insatiable lust for conquest which had made the earth too narrow for Alexander of Macedon, and for which the Romans at least had paid the modest price of five hundred years of peace and a world civilization. What price should we pay? With merchandise and lies.
How long had this house stood? Certainly more than a hundred years. When it was new the great names of Goethe, Beethoven, and Hegel shed their glories upon Germany; Europe stood in the shadow of Napoleon the First, a commander who made good the devastation of his campaigns by political reform and codes of law. And now, a hundred years later, of these faded conquests nothing survived but moral disintegration, the destruction of all individual values, the deliberate wreck of the moral culture that had revived after the Thirty Years’ War. He wondered what his father would have said had he lived to see the unanimous glorification of war by all the intellectuals of Germany; a war of which they knew nothing, and which they busily palliated, falsified, and distorted until it suited their vision of reality. The jurists and theologians, the philosophers and the doctors, the economists and historians, and above all the poets, thinkers, and writers spread betrayal in all they said and wrote; they made haste to say what was not, and to deny what was, callow and ignorant, bloated with pride, making not the faintest effort to find out the facts before they blew their trumpets.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 15, 2013
NATO Secretary General announces dates for 2014 Summit
I am pleased to announce that the next NATO Summit will take place on September 4‑5, 2014. I also welcome the recent announcement by the British Prime Minister David Cameron that the UK will host NATO Heads of State and Government in South Wales.
This Summit will be an important opportunity for NATO. We will mark the conclusion, at the end of 2014, of our ISAF mission, as well as a new phase of our engagement in Afghanistan. We will take further steps to modernise our Alliance so that it remains strong, flexible and ready to face any security challenge. And we will reaffirm the bond between Europe and North America that is the source of our strength, our security and our success.
In 1949, the United Kingdom was one of NATO’s twelve founding members and the seat of its first Headquarters. From the start, the United Kingdom has been a staunch Ally, and a strong contributor to NATO operations as well as to our political debate. As we plan for the Alliance’s future, I warmly welcome the United Kingdom’s offer to be our host, and I look forward to a successful Summit in September 2014.
U.S. Department of Defense
November 14, 2013
Eucom Promotes Cooperation Among Arctic Partners
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON: When travel brochures feature Arctic expeditions, adventure-seekers think of a once-unreachable fantasyland rich with wildlife and a pristine frozen tundra stretching as far as the eye can see.
Coast Guard Capt. Ed Westfall, chief of U.S. European Command’s Arctic strategy branch, thinks more of the second- and third-order effects of the melting polar icecap, in terms of not just tourism, but also its effect on maritime traffic, fishing and oil and gas exploration.
Although analysts’ forecasts range from about five to 25 years, almost all envision a day when the Arctic has no significant ice coverage for at least part of the summer.
“The conditions in the Arctic are changing, and we are already seeing increased human activity indicative of that easier access,” Westfall said during a phone interview from the Eucom headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.
The United States, along with the seven other nations whose territory rings the Arctic Circle, recognize the commercial, energy and security implications, he said.
The Defense Department, in support of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, works closely with other federal agencies and the United States’ Arctic partners…
“The Arctic is an incredibly harsh environment, and everybody who operates there faces common challenges,” Westfall said. “Because the infrastructure is so sparse and the distances so vast, the resources that any individual nation is going to have [available to support a contingency] are likely to be limited.
The Defense Department modified its Unified Command Plan in 2011, in part to reflect the growing importance of the Arctic. The plan assigned U.S. Northern Command responsibility for overseeing the Arctic frontiers in Alaska and Canada. Eucom focused its attention on the six Arctic nations within its theater. With that charter, the two commands collaborate closely with their Arctic partners to ensure they’re ready to respond to a crisis in the Arctic.
Their senior officers sit down together discuss the issues involved through the annual Arctic Security Forces Roundtable that the United States and Norway co-sponsor…
The partners also regularly test their response capabilities through tabletop exercises and field and maritime drills…
In early September, for example, U.S. military forces joined participants from Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Russia and Norway during SAREX Greenland Sea 2013, a Danish-led search-and-rescue exercise centered on a notional cruise ship disaster between Iceland and northeastern Greenland that required a massive rescue.
The United States sent two New York Air National Guard aircraft and crews that regularly support scientific research missions in both the Arctic and Antarctica. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard members served as observers and subject-matter experts in command centers the Danish government operates in Greenland. Westfall was an observer aboard the Danish exercise control ship HDMS Vaedderen.
In the coming year, U.S. European Command and U.S. Northern Command plan to co-sponsor a multilateral tabletop exercise called Arctic Zephyr that will focus on search-and-rescue issues in the Arctic, Westfall reported. Other Arctic partners have indicated that they hope to host additional multinational exercises as well, he said.
Meanwhile, U.S. and partner nations are building on the foundation already laid as they learn about each other’s capabilities and how they can work together…
U.S. Air Forces Europe – U.S. Air Forces Africa
November 14, 2013
Heavy Airlift Wing C-17s reach 12,000 flight hours
By Ville Tuokko
Heavy Airlift Wing Public Affairs
PÁPA, Hungary: About 6 1/2 months after reaching the significant milestone of 10,000 flight hours, the Strategic Airlift Capability Heavy Airlift Wing fleet of three C-17 Globemaster III long range cargo jets has exceeded a total flying time of 12,000 flight hours.
The 12,000 flight hour mark was passed by a HAW C-17 on a Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian combined mission on Nov. 13.
Since its launch in July 2009 the Heavy Airlift Wing has carried out more than 840 missions delivering about 36,220 tons of cargo and carrying more than 47,000 passengers to serve the airlift needs of its 12 member nations.
The Heavy Airlift Wing declared full operational capability in November 2012. During 2013 HAW flew more than 2,800 flight hours and is expected to reach 3,165 annual flying hours – meeting the target amount set to it by the Strategic Airlift Capability member nations.
Southeast European Times
November 14, 2013
NATO anti-missile system in Romania to strengthen Europe’s security
By Paul Ciocoiu
Bucharest: NATO has resumed building a military base in Romania with the construction of an anti-missile shield to protect the European countries from the ballistic threats stemming from the restive Middle East, especially from rogue states like Iran, officials and experts in Bucharest told SETimes.
“Missile threats to alliance territory and populations are real and growing,” NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow said at the ceremony at Deveselu Air Base in southern Romania. “NATO’s defence against these threats must be real, too. And it must be able to grow and adapt as the threat evolves.”
“Romania has joined the NATO member states club which will ensure one of the most perfected solutions against the real threat which the ballistic missile represents,” Romania’s President Traian Basescu said at the ceremony.
Officials in Bucharest said the Deveselu air base will host 24 SM-3 interceptors that will be connected with other anti-missile facilities in Turkey, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Once functional, the system in Romania will represent the second phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, after an initial stage, a radar station in Turkey, was launched last year.
“What is now going on in the Middle East shows an unstable and unpredictable environment,” Dan Dungaciu, director of the Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations of the Romanian Academy, told SETimes…
Ioan Mocioalca, chairman of the defence committee of the Chamber of Deputies, said the main threats the international community faces are coming from North Korea and Iran.
“By joining this project, Romania has proven it is a serious, credible and predictable partner [of NATO] in this part of Europe,” George Scutaru, a lawmaker in the defence committee of the Chamber of Deputies, told SETimes.
The Deveselu base will be operational and integrated in the NATO system by the end of 2015….
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
November 14, 2013
HQ ARRC heading to Cornwall for major training exercise
Close to 1000 personnel assigned to Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) will depart this weekend to begin a major training exercise at RAF St. Mawgan, Cornwall, in the United Kingdom.
Named Exercise ARRCADE FUSION 13, the training event is designed to ensure the Innsworth-based NATO headquarters continues to remain ready for any potential short-notice call-up it may receive as part of the NATO Response Force (NRF) this year.
Occurring 17-29 November, FUSION will see the headquarters commanding four divisions and three separate brigade headquarters from across Europe and North America.
This will be the first time that the ARRC has conducted a training exercise on this scale since the unit moved from its former location in Germany to the UK in 2010.
Participating in this exercise will be units and troops from ARRC Partner Nations Denmark, Canada, Italy, the United States and Portugal, as well as personnel from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and New Zealand – all-in-all totalling some 2000 military and civilian personnel.
Additionally, FUSION will present the headquarters with an opportunity to begin training for the ARRC’s next challenge, that of becoming an Integrated Land Command, or ILC.
A new operational concept conceived by NATO, the ILC builds a land-centric headquarters, like the ARRC, into an element capable of commanding an entire military theatre of operations. For ARRC, this means adding both air and maritime personnel to its structure so that it can command air, land, and sea troops.
To this end, military personnel from the UK’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will train with the ARRC and its many subordinate units for this exercise.
NATO has tasked the ARRC to train this way because in 2015 the HQ will be the first NATO rapid deployable corps held by NATO on short-notice, rapid recall (similar to the NRF) for rapid response to any/all mission that may develop during the year (2015).
“FUSION presents the ARRC with an outstanding opportunity to push the edge of the envelope and grow a bit as an organisation,” said ARRC spokesman Major Chris Hyde. “As NATO’s first rapid deployment corps, ARRC has always championed both its readiness and passionate willingness to pioneer new concepts and challenge the norm.”
Additional notes for the Editor:
HQ ARRC is currently on stand-by for short-notice call-up and subsequent rapid deployment (5 days notice to move) in support of any potential NATO Response Force (NRF) mission that may develop during 2013.
The NRF is comprised of three parts: a command and control element from the NATO Command Structure; the Immediate Response Force, a joint force of about 13,000 high-readiness troops provided by Allies; and a Response Forces Pool, which can supplement the Immediate Response Force when necessary. The NRF traditionally comprises land, air and sea components provided by NATO members.
As an NRF Land Component Command, or LCC, the ARRC will essentially be in command of all land combat troops on the ground during an NRF deployment.
HQ ARRC is a NATO Rapid Deployment Corps headquarters, founded in 1992 in Germany, and headquartered in Gloucestershire since August 2010.
Although HQ ARRC’s ‘framework nation’ is the United Kingdom, comprising approximately 60% of the overall staff, the ARRC is fully multinational in nature and organization, with 15 Partner Nations contributing the remaining complement of personnel (Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United States).
From And Quite Flows the Don (1928-32)
Translated by Stephen Garry
The Cossacks listened with unflagging attention to the speeches of a sergeant and a little rank-and-file Cossack. The latter had difficulty in giving vent to his angry feelings:
“Cossacks! This isn’t good enough! They’ve mucked everything up again! They’re trying to make fools of us! If there’s been a revolution and all the people have been given their freedom, they ought to stop the war. Do the people and us Cossacks want war? Am I right?”
“We can’t keep our trousers up over our bottoms! And is that what they call war?”
“Down with the war! Let’s go back home.”
“When I was a lad I used to climb up on the stove in winter-time, and my grandmother (she was a hundred years old then) would search for lice in my hair with her fingers, and tell me: ‘My little Maxsim, my darling! In the old days people didn’t live like they do now; they lived well, lawfully, and nobody dared attack them. But you, my little child, will live to see a time when all the earth is covered with wire, and birds will iron noses will fly through the air and peck at the people as a rook pecks at a watermelon. And then will be hunger and plague among men, brother will rise against brother, and son against father. The people will be left like grass after a fire.’” Grazianov paused a moment, then continued: “Well, it’s all come to pass as she said it would. They’ve invented the telegraph, and there’s your wire. And the iron birds are aeroplanes. And there’ll be a famine, all right. My own folk have only sown half their land during these years, and there’s little left of the reserve stocks. Everywhere it’s the same. And if the harvest fails you’ll have your hunger.”
The front extended a little further to the west. There the armies breathed in a mortal fever; there was a shortage of military supplies, of food. With innumerable hands the soldiers reached out to the phantasmal word “peace.” In the armies a ripened anger flowed and bubbled like water in a spring…
The two officers walked back to the centre of the city and took leave of each other.
“We mustn’t lose sight of each other, Eugene,” Kalmikov said as he shook hands. “Difficult times are coming! Keep you feet on the ground, or you’ll be lost!”
As Listnitsky walked away Kalmikov called after him:
“Oh, I forgot to tell you. You remember Merkulov – the artist fellow?”
“He was killed in May. Quite unexpectedly. You couldn’t have seen a more silly death. A grenade burst in the hands of a patrol and blew off the man’s arms at the elbow, while all we found of Merkulov, who was at his side, was part of his entrails. For three years death spared him…”
He shouted something else, but his words raised the grey dust and brought only the ends of his words to Listnitsky’s ears. Eugene waved his hand and strode away, giving an occasional glance back.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 14, 2013
Defence industry, Allies urged to cooperate more closely at Istanbul NATO-Industry Forum
NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow on Thursday (14 November 2013) called on senior representatives from defence industry and Allied governments to forge closer ties at this year’s NATO-Industry Forum held in Istanbul, Turkey. “We are faced with increasingly complex global security challenges and shrinking defence budgets in many of our NATO nations. These two factors combined mean that effective security today requires a new level of multinational cooperation,” Ambassador Vershbow said.
This year’s forum focuses on the need for a closer dialogue between NATO and industry to ensure the Alliance receives the best value for money in an era of budgetary constraints. The Deputy Secretary General said NATO was keen “to promote a new level of cooperation” between Allies and industry. “Today’s forum will help us to identify how best to deliver the capabilities we need to ensure the Alliance can continue to provide for our security well into the future,” he said.
Ambassador Vershbow and the Turkish Ministry of Defence Under Secretary Murad Bayar opened the forum’s plenary session which also included a video message from NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The Secretary General stressed that effective defence requires effective capabilities. “To deliver such effective capabilities an effective defence industry matters very much too,” he said. He called on forum participants to come up with concrete proposals to contribute to the preparation for next year’s NATO Summit in the United Kingdom, which will focus on ensuring that the Alliance has the right range of capabilities needed to face the security challenges of the future.
Hürriyet Daily News
November 14, 2013
Ankara asks NATO for extension on Patriots
ANKARA: Ankara has asked NATO to extend the deployment of Patriot missiles for another year, a Turkish official told Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.
With the request lodged, NATO still has not made a decision, the official added.
Turkey, a NATO member, appealed to the Alliance last year for the protection of its border from any threats derived from Syria. The Netherlands, Germany and the United States deployed to the southern city of Adana and the southeastern cities of Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
Turkey asked for protection from its NATO allies after…October last year.
Originally used as an anti-aircraft missile, Patriots today are used to defend airspace by detecting and destroying incoming missiles.
November 13, 2013
Intelectuales denuncian injerencia de EE.UU.en espacio postsoviético
Moscú: El libro La muerte de la democracia y las operaciones de la CIA y el Pentágono en el período postsoviético, de reconocidos intelectuales, presentado en la capital rusa, desvela las ocultas pretensiones de la ayuda de Washington a estados de la región.
Tras una presentación exitosa en Moscú, con la presencia de algunos de sus autores y de los embajadores de Bolivia y de Siria, la obra se presentará este viernes en Kiev, en la sede de la filial ucraniana del Instituto de los países de la Comunidad de Estados Independientes.
Según la principal compiladora, Veronika Krasheninnikova, muchos de los países que en 2001 contaron con la gratitud de Estados Unidos por el apoyo a la ocupación de Afganistán, hoy tienen un resultado adverso, con la creciente presencia militar estadounidense en la región.
Washington cree que los estados (del espacio postsoviético) están obligados a mantener la seguridad en torno a Afganistán, y en abierto chantaje rodea de bases militares todo el perímetro aledaño al territorio afgano, aseveró la directora general del Instituto de investigaciones e iniciativas de política exterior.
El período de la guerra fría terminó nominalmente en 1991, pero Estados Unidos, tras la desintegración de la Unión Soviética, no solo no cesó las intervenciones militares y la injerencia encubierta en el mundo, sino que las incrementó significativamente, sostienen los autores del libro.
Durante una reflexión acerca de los temas abordados, la embajadora de Bolivia en Rusia, María Luisa Ramos, recordó que su país, como muchas otras naciones de Latinoamérica, ha sufrido la injerencia de Estados Unidos a lo largo de su historia.
Washington utiliza varios medios para lograr sus objetivos en esos países señalados por su interés, a través de la CIA y el Pentágono, por ejemplo, con ayuda de la Agencia de Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID), afirmó Ramos.
Denunció la diplomática que después que el presidente Evo Morales anunciara la expulsión de la USAID por injerencia en asuntos internos, el gobierno norteamericano lleva a cabo una agresiva operación encubierta de inteligencia.
Indicó que la Agencia Antidrogas de Estados Unidos y la CIA preparan en contubernio con algunas fracciones de la oposición de derecha en Bolivia una nueva campaña de descrédito e intentos de desestabilización contra el gobierno de Morales para involucrar a algunas autoridades bolivianas en supuestas actividades de narcotráfico.
Advirtió la embajadora que la lucha contra el narcotráfico es el pretexto que utiliza la administración norteamericana para tratar de imponer su presencia militar y el amplio despliegue de su enorme aparato dirigido a la desestabilización y derrocamiento de gobiernos progresistas latinoamericanos.
Este libro, apuntó Ramos, muestra con hechos de la historia reciente cómo Estados Unidos ha hecho uso de las organizaciones no gubernamentales y otras estructuras para-estatales para desestabilizar y generar una “des-soveranizacion” de los países y hacer más fácil su penetración.
En el colectivo de autores figuran intelectuales como William Blum, historiador y pacifista estadounidense; Rick Rozoff, fundador del portal alternativo Stop NATO; el politólogo James Petras, y la investigadora Eva Golinger.
From In Sicily (1937)
Translated by Wildred David
“Ah, I’m in a cemetery,” I said.
“Hm,” the voice replied.
“Who are you?” I asked. “Are you the gravedigger?”
“No, no,” answered the voice. “I’m a soldier.”
The voice sounded near, and my eyes peered hard to make out its owner. But the lights of the dead cast no gleams.
“Strange,” said I.
The soldier laughed. “Strange?”
“Perhaps you’re on guard here?” I asked him.
“No,” said the soldier. “I’m resting.”
“Here among the tombstones?” I exclaimed.
“They’re most comfortable,” said the soldier.
“Perhaps you’ve come here to remember the dead,” said I.
“No,” said the soldier. “If anything, to remember the living.”
“Ah,” said I. “Your sweetheart, I expect.”
“A little bit of everybody. My mother and my brothers, my friends, my friends’ friends, and my father in Macbeth.”
“Your father in Macbeth?” I exclaimed.
“Certainly, sir,” answered the soldier. “The poor man always like to play the role of a king.”
“How’s it possible?” I cried.
“Oh, yes!” said the soldier. “They think that the gods tolerate in kings what they abhor in common people.”
The soldier sighed, and said in a reproachful tone: “I think I’ve suffered enough getting as far as this.”
“This?” said I. “To become a soldier?”
“No,” he replied. “To be seven years old. To play with my brother.”
“Are you playing with your brother?” I asked.
“Yes, sir,” he replied. “By your leave, I’m also at play.”
“Also?” I observed. “What else are you doing?”
“A lot of other things,” he replied. “I’m talking to a girl. I’m pruning a vine. I’m watering a garden. I’m running…”
“Ah, you forget you’re in the middle of these tombstones,” said I.
“Not at all,” he replied. “I know quite well that I’m here as well and that nothing can harm me…Yes, as to that, I’m quite at ease.”
“So you’re happy,” I observed.
“He sighed again. “How can I be happy? I’ve been lying on a field covered with snow and blood for the past thirty days.”
My mother looked at the things of our childhood that were scattered about the kitchen, and her gaze traveled far, then it drew nearer and nearer, and she replied: “It was Liborio.”
“Ah, the third of us,” said I.
“He hadn’t seen anything of the world, and he was happy when he was called up,” she said. “He sent me postcards from the places he went to. Three last year, two this year. Lovely cities, he must have liked them.”
“Were they cities mixed up in the war?” I asked.
“I think so,” she replied.
“And was he happy?” I shouted.
I was really shouting. Then I added: “That’s a grand idea, for a boy!”
“Don’t think ill of him now,” my mother said.
“Ill?” I shouted. “What put that into your head? He must have been a hero.”
My mother looked at me as if I had spoken with bitterness.
“No!” she said. “He was a poor boy. He wanted to see the world. He loved the world…”
“No, my dear,” I shouted louder. “You’ll see, they’ll send for you, and they’ll give you a medal.”
“A medal?” my mother cried.
“Yes, to pin on your bosom,” I yelled.
Then I lowered my voice, and continued in a calm tone: “For what he has done for the world. For those cities. For Sicily.”
“A medal to reward his deeds,” I concluded.
But at this point my mother began to break down. “How’s it possible?” she said. “He was just a poor boy.”
November 13, 2013
U.S. 6th Fleet Flagship Visits Batumi
Tbilisi: The U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, USS Mount Whitney, arrived in Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi on November 11 “for a regularly scheduled port visit that will include combined training exercises with the Georgian Coast Guard,” according to the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi.
According to the Georgian authorities, joint trainings planned for November 12 will include fire-fighting, command and control, information sharing exercises. USS Mount Whitney will stay in Batumi till November 13.
Previously when USS Mount Whitney, a sophisticated command warship which is based in Italy, sailed into the Black Sea was five years ago, when the warship dropped anchor off Georgia’s port of Poti on September 5, 2008 to deliver humanitarian aid less than a month after Georgia-Russia war; at the time Russian military forces were still maintaining two outposts in the outskirts of Poti.
It is the second visit of a U.S. warship to Georgian port this year. U.S. guided-missile destroyer Bulkeley (DDG 84) made a four-day port call in Batumi in August.
“This visit serves to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with Black Sea nations and improve maritime safety and security,” the U.S. embassy said on November 10.
“U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland and Defense attaché Col. Matt Dimmick will visit the ship during its Batumi visit,” it said. “Georgian officials and local residents will welcome the crew at Batumi pier and members of the crew will participate in a community relations project in the city of Batumi.”
The USS Mount Whitney entered the Black Sea and made a port call in Burgas, Bulgaria on November 4.
Stars and Stripes
November 12, 2013
NATO wraps up major exercise in Poland, Baltics
By Matt Millham
DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland: NATO’s biggest military exercise in seven years ended over the weekend after more than a week of drills and simulations designed to test the alliance’s readiness to deploy to combat or other emergencies.
Hosted by the Baltic states and Poland, the event was closely watched by Russian military observers. A little more than a month ago, Russia carried out its own Zapad exercises…
“It is, of course, a signal of military strength and determination to defend our allies,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a press conference in Latvia.
The exercise, NATO officials said, was a beefier-than-usual version of annual maneuvers held to train and test the NATO Response Force, which will be headed up in 2014 by the alliance’s Joint Force Command Brunssum. The command, led by German Gen. Hans-Lothar Domröse, is one of two four-star headquarters that trade responsibility for the NRF each year.
Domröse said Steadfast Jazz was a graduation test for him and his headquarters as well as a test of the initial operational capability of the NRF, to which the U.S. has pledged a brigade from the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. However, only a relatively small American contingent deployed with the 6,000-strong force NATO mobilized to respond to the simulated crisis.
While much of the scenario played out in a virtual world, the Brunssum headquarters deployed to Latvia, where it operated from a small tent city on a military base outside the capital and gamed out a defensive response to a fictitious neighbor’s invasion of Estonia.
Meanwhile, in events staged across the Baltics and Poland, more than 3,000 NATO personnel deployed for live training with armored vehicles, ships, planes and an assortment of other weapons and equipment.
A high-profile demonstration for Baltic and NATO leaders Thursday showed off some of the alliance’s infantry, armor, surface-to-surface missile, chemical and special forces capabilities. But, because of bad weather, officials scrapped plans to include an assortment of planes and helicopters.
Planning for the exercise, NATO’s largest since an NRF validation exercise in 2006, had been in the works for a year and a half, according to military planners and leaders…
With the end of the war in Afghanistan a little more than a year away, NATO leaders have put special emphasis on maintaining the interoperability they’ve gained in the last decade of war.
But one thing war hasn’t prepared NATO for is quickly deploying to defend an ally.
It was American forces that invaded Afghanistan after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, NATO officers pointed out.
The U.S. didn’t cede control of the war to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force until years later, when day-to-day operations and logistics were already well-established.
“If I were to go back out to ISAF now, I would go out there and take over from someone, spend a week taking the job over, and he would tell me, ‘Oh, this has been happening, that’s been happening,’” said Royal Air Force Wing Comdr. David Cole, a British staff officer assigned to JFC Brunssum. “Here it’s different, because we’re deploying as a response force … so there’s no one to take over from.”
The Brunssum headquarters began planning for the deployment six months ago, as the fictional scenario heated up from a war of words to an invasion that caught NATO by surprise.
“Every war results from miscalculation,” said French Maj. Gen. Michel Yakovleff, Brunssum’s deputy chief of staff for plans.
“It’s a big miscalculation to threaten and then attack a NATO ally, and it may have been a miscalculation of NATO to be a bit late in the game. Because we’ve had to catch up with events.”
By design, the fictional scenario took unexpected turns that forced the headquarters to scrap its plans twice and start over, “to test, to put the decision-making process under real stress,” Yakovleff said.
Asked if that put at risk the allies’ victory in the fictional conflict, Yakovleff said: “The aim of the exercise is not to win the war. The aim of the exercise is to train us.”
November 12, 2013
Komorowski: Solidarity is NATO’s key principle
Some 6,000 soldiers are taking part in ongoing NATO exercises in the Baltic region
“Joint field exercises are the best to show that the key principle for NATO’s activity is solidarity, including solidarity in practice,” President Bronisław Komorowski said in Drawsko Pomorskie during the ongoing “Steadfast Jazz” NATO exercise.
Mr Komorowski stressed that “ Steadfast Jazz” is one of the most important NATO training exercises and that Poland is happy to host it alongside the Baltic States.
“The purpose of this exercise is to make sure that our rapid-reaction force, the NATO Response Force (NRF), is ready to defend any Ally, deploy anywhere and deal with any threat,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on a visit to Poland for the exercise.
“Steadfast Jazz” involves air, land, maritime and special forces components. The exercise also involves military headquarters staff from NATO’s Joint Force Command Brunssum, which will have to be certified to lead the NATO Response Force next year .
Over 30 countries are involved in the exercise, including 28 NATO members as well as Finland, Sweden and Ukraine. Some 6,000 troops are involved in the demonstration including 3,000 soldiers from Poland.
From The Devil (1926)
Translated by Huntley Paterson
At the beginning of November, the undisciplined soldiers, exasperated by the stubborn resistance and their own heavy losses, were still engaged in murder and pillage in the conquered city. The Duke’s Limburger troops were methodically setting it on fire for the third time, and the swollen corpses of the drowned, mingling with the floating ice on the Meuse, were being carried down the stream like ghastly flotsam, while the Burgundian cavalry with their lances were massacring the rest of the inhabitants – men, women and children – who had fled to the hills.
Louis’ will to keep death at arm’s length had driven his misanthropic and suspicious habits of mind to extremes. Matters had become so bad that he could no longer endure to look on the houses of the town from the windows of the castle. And accordingly…he retired to the lonely and inaccessible fortress of Plessis-les-Tours, and with the frenzy of a madman who imagines he is being persecuted, strengthened it with the most formidable defences. In order to make it even more secure, he strictly forbade anyone to approach it, and punished with death all who disobeyed – that is to say, all who, unaware of the dangers, had not already fallen victims to the thousand and one pitfalls, man-traps and automatic spring-guns that lay hidden about the approaches to the castle. And it was from this stronghold that, with Oliver at his side, he directed the affairs of the realm with a sharp and a hard hand. As deaf to the groans of his oppressed people as he was blind to their heroic obedience, he guided the country’s destiny with skill and certainty, and displayed so deep a knowledge of every political factor that the people – filled with mingled admiration and horror – regarded the omniscience of their invisible monarch as a result of his alliance with the Antichrist, and secretly called him by the name of his strange friend and adviser. It was if these two devils, from their rocky fastness far removed from human ken, swayed the destinies of Europe…
He also possessed horses of European breed…With the pertinacity of the monomaniac, the King called them by the great names to be found on the grave-stones marking the miles along his life-road.
All around the fortress and for some distance beyond the outermost walls, a network of strong iron piles was built, so that the whole castle bore a terrible resemblance on a large scale to the cages that the King had designed for the incarceration of distinguished prisoners. At each of the four corners of this monstrous cage, four armoured towers on wheels were erected – crested larks, as they were called – each of which was garrisoned by forty sharpshooters, who had orders to shoot without challenge anyone approaching the network of iron piles by night, and during the hours of admission made a personal search of all who presented themselves, whether they were princes or merely tradesmen delivering goods. The walls behind the iron piles were protected by spokes and chevaux de frise, while the no man’s land between was used as a dry moat, covered overhead and patrolled day and night by guards…
The King’s need to prove to himself and to the world that he still existed increased as his health declined…He also began once more to take a personal interest in the business of government and even in the trivial details of administration, and addressed the world in terms which grew more truculent the greater difficulty his tired mouth found in pronouncing them…
Oliver made no attempt to oppose the old man’s yearning for activity or his outbreaks of spite and petty tyranny in which, according to his strength at the moment, he either tormented or merely irritated his subjects – cancelling or reducing their pensions, depriving them of offices and dignities and inflicting all manner of arbitrary and terrifying punishments upon them…
November 12, 2013
Libya falls into pieces controlled by armed groups
MOSCOW: Libya is practically disintegrated, and the real power is in the hands of numerous small armed groups, the president of the Institute of Middle East Studies, Yevgeny Satanovsky, told Tass on Tuesday in comments on the recent developments in the country.
“De facto, Libya does not exist as a country. Certain people possessing sufficient amounts of weapons are fighting for oil exports, for control over the territory, and nothing more,” he said.
“These groups are divided into tribal unions, territorial militias, like Zintan or Misuratah ones, Berber militia, Islamist formations of different kind, including Al-Qaeda supporters,” he said. “There are several hundred such groups, as Libya has more than 200 Arab tribes alone, and they have always been in thorny relations with each other. Besides, there are clans inside tribal groups,” he added.
Satanovsky also noted that as a result, the traditional geographic division of Libya into Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica was losing any sense. “This is a mosaic, a very intricate one, much more intricate than three territorial units,” he said.
“Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica with their hydrocarbon resources can live quite well separately, but inside these territories there is a ‘snake pit of like-minds’,” the expert said.
He believes the country could be once again united by western tribes under a strong leadership, like for example the former Libyan leader, Muammar Qaddafi. “Libya as a country will have a chance only if western Libyan tribes get together under the leadership of some new Qaddafi and manage to establish law and order on the whole territory,” he said. “So far such a leader is not even on the horizon,” he added.
The situation in Libya worsened once again on Monday, when the government announced its decision to pull additional military units into the second biggest city of Benghazi, where local radicals had been for several months continuously attacking law enforcement officers. Also on Monday it became known that gas exports to Italy had been stopped upon the demand of Berber tribes demanding that their right to revenues from gas sales be recognized.
South Wales Argus
November 12, 2013
‘Embrace Nato talks – the world is coming to Newport’
NATO: Some 60 heads of state are expected
There was excitement last month when Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the military alliance would be convening at the Celtic Manor Resort next autumn, as well as venues in Cardiff.
With Barack Obama and other major world leaders expected to attend, Lori Healey, who was executive director of the Chicago Nato host committee, said that the summit is a unique opportunity to market the region.
As well as representatives from 28 Nato member countries, 24 Afghanistan International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partner countries and six other nations and international organisations took part in the May 20-21 summit, with 7,500 delegates and 7,300 staff, press and other dignitaries.
Ms Healey explained, in an interview with the Argus, how organisers in Illinois dealt with cynicism towards the summit, how the committee was brought on board and how the summit was planned.
We asked Ms Healey what advice she would give to Newport and Cardiff about the summit. She said: “They should absolutely embrace it. It was a fantastic event for Chicago. You have 60 heads of state that come to your country.
“It’s a unique opportunity to show off. People spent millions of dollars marketing for tourism – it’s a free opportunity to do that.”
Ms Healey, who is chief executive officer of TUR Partners and has also been president of the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid, explained that the Chicago Nato summit had faced cynicism locally from “day one”.
“There was constant cynicism. A lot of people left town for the weekend,” she said, echoing the experience of the 2012 Olympics, when many Londoners took a leave of absence from the city.
But those who stayed, particularly those who lived near where delegates were staying, potentially had the world at their door. Ms Healey said: “You would walk out and see the King of Tonga walking down – that doesn’t happen every day.”
Media speculation was also an issue. “Because so many of these high-level security events don’t make public certain information until the last minute there’s always a lot of speculation about what’s happening,” said Ms Healey.
“I said to one of the reporters here, there’s a reason they call it the Secret Service. Your security plans are supposed to be confidential to the point that you have to release them.
“It’s a constant battle to say look, we’ve got this under control, there’s been terrific amounts of planning and in the end everyone came back and said, wow, that was really great.
“And I said, well, you didn’t believe us when you were talking about leading up to it.”
Newport’s experience of hosting Nato is likely to differ greatly, at the very least in security terms, from Chicago’s experience. While the Celtic Manor is on the edge of Newport and shares much of its border with countryside and has its own junction off the A449, Nato 2012 took place at a city convention centre, McCormick Place, on the edge of Lake Michigan.
The US Secret Service co-ordinated security at the event, with the Chicago Police department acting as boots on the ground, with members of the public kept up to speed on how decisions could affect them.
That could include road closures, which occasionally took place when a head of state who carries a high-level threat risk, like David Cameron, had to move from one place to another. Ms Healey explained: “A motorcade could be four cars or could be 60 cars. In the morning when they left their hotels and went to McCormick Place you would have a fairly large motorcade.
“Obviously in a less urban environment the impact is not quite as big. There was a great deal of time spent planning routes, and ensuring to the public and the workforce that came downtown every day that it was clearly communicated when those motorcades would happen.”
Major international summits also tend to face major protests. News agency Reuters reported that 45 demonstrators were arrested after anti-war protesters had marched on the summit.
Ms Healey said the city, and not necessarily the host committee, had negotiated with protesters’ lawyers to make “sure that routes were planned and there was clear communication of issues and how they would be moving through the streets”.
With so many people at the summit the host committee, which was made up of donors who had contributed £35 million to organise the event, took advantage of the opportunity to promote the city.
It went to Brussels, where the Nato headquarters is based, for a week with Chicago’s first lady, the city’s mayor Rahm Emanuel’s wife, Amy Rule, hosting a dinner at the US ambassador to Nato’s residence.
A media hotel was set up during the event with the host committee showcasing the city’s food and culture and throwing a party for the foreign press.
But events were also organised in the community to engage Chicagoans with the summit.
“We had some schools would adopt a country and learn about that country,” said Ms Healey. “We had a sports competition before the summit started that had soccer and basketball tournaments. We had kids from different schools representing different countries in Chicago, so they got to spend the day, for example, learning about Croatia.”
On one occasion a musical exchange – via teleconference – was held between a school in Chicago and a school in Afghanistan. Host committee co-chairman and former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright also visited schools “talking to children about the importance of learning about other countries and what’s happening on the national stage”, said Ms Healey.
Meanwhile Gwent Police confirmed that officers from across the UK will be brought in to help police the event.
She said: “We are confident that the summit will be seen locally, and indeed nationally, as an opportunity to showcase a modern and confident Wales to the world as a great place for investment and tourism.
A Gwent Police spokeswoman confirmed that the force will get additional UK government funding to support policing the event.
November 12, 2013
Ohryzko: Association with EU to entail Ukraine’s rapprochement with NATO
The association of Ukraine with the European Union will entail rapprochement with the NATO, ex-foreign minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Ohryzko said in comments to a ForUm correspondent.
“They are two sides of the same coin. Association with the EU and accession to the NATO is the one way to strengthen the civilizational choice. If you look at our Western [?] partners, who were under the Communist yoke, you will see that 99% of them now are members of both the EU and the NATO. Those who want to break the European and Euro-Atlantic integration, do not understand that this is one process,” he said.
Ohryzko said that “cooperation with the NATO means not only military affairs but also the political issues, which Ukraine needs today”.
Trend News Agency
November 12, 2013
Foreign Ministry: Georgia’s integration into NATO develops vigorously
Tbilisi: Simultaneously with the process of rapprochement of Georgia with Europe, the country’s integration into NATO is developing dynamically, Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze told journalists on Nov.11.
According to her, in the past six months the NATO-Georgia Commission held several meetings.
“A visit of the North Atlantic Council on June 26-27 was of particular importance. At all the meetings, the NATO allies noted Georgia’s progress in its democratic development and Euro-Atlantic integration.
“The Georgian side hopes that the alliance will appreciate this progress and therefore we will take the next concrete step towards the implementation of the decision taken at the Bucharest NATO summit to achieve substantial progress,” Panjikidze stressed.
She paid special attention to the relations of Georgia with the United States.
“Georgia continues to deepen strategic relations with the United States of America. During the last period, Georgia was actively working with Congress. In this regard, a visit to the U.S.by a Georgian delegation in July should be noted.
“We hope that in the future our cooperation within the framework of the Charter on strategic partnership will deepen even more in all directions. Currently the focus is on active Georgian-American consultations on bilateral trade relations and an increase of investment. As is known, this is a high level meeting in the framework of the Charter on strategic partnership. Hopefully by the end of the year, we will be able to organise it,” the Foreign Minister said.
She noted the past four months have been quite fruitful in terms of relations with European countries as well.
“In particular, at the level of Foreign Ministers about 30 visits were made. Every meeting was focused on three issues: holding free and fair presidential elections in Georgia, the Vilnius summit and territorial integrity and the situation in the occupied territories. Of note European diplomats constantly express support for the territorial integrity of Georgia and the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” Panjikidze stressed.
November 12, 2013
NATO expert group arrives in Baku
By Nazrin Gadimova
NATO’s expert group on military education arrived in Baku on November 11.
According to Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, the purpose of the visit is to provide assistance in some areas of military education to the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.
At the meetings, the expert group discussed military education and personnel training with the Azerbaijani side. The visit will end on November 14.
A NATO Days summit is held annually as part of the NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation, with the participation of the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Command Transformation’s (SACT) expert group and will be held by the Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces on November 25-29.
On November 18, a NATO expert group will arrive in Azerbaijan in connection with opening of the NATO Training Center.
NATO and Azerbaijan are actively cooperating on democratic, institutional, and military reforms, and are conducting practical cooperation in other areas.
The cooperation plan between Azerbaijan and NATO is set out in the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) on Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan aspires to achieve Euro-Atlantic standards and get closer to Euro-Atlantic institutions. Supporting the security sector reform and establishing democratic institutions are the key elements of the NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation in this regard.
Azerbaijan is among the eight partner countries that have confirmed their presence in Afghanistan after 2014. Peacekeepers of the country will stay in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops from the country by the end of 2014. Azerbaijan, however, will reduce its presence in Afghanistan after 2014.
The Azerbaijani peacekeeping contingent in Afghanistan consists of 90 servicemen. A company and then a battalion of peacekeepers were established as part of the Azerbaijani armed forces in 1997.
Azerbaijani peacekeepers are part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
In the past, Azerbaijan also actively supported the operations of the alliance in Kosovo.
Voice of Russia
November 12, 2013
Russia’s principled actions made the US/NATO back down – Rick Rozoff
By preventing another act of aggressive war against Syria and giving asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden the Russian Federation and due to the efforts of the BRICs countries being led by Russia, the “World’s Sole Military Superpower” has lost the reigns of world domination, and the world has become a multi-polar place once again. This has been another in a long line of failures by US President Barrack Hussein Obama, who has been an ineffective and failed leader domestically and internationally according to regular Voice of Russia contributor Rick Rozoff.
Hello this is John Robles, you are listening to part 2 of an interview with Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list. You can find the previous and following parts of this interview on our website at Voice of Russia dot com.
This interview is in progress.
Robles: About Obama possibly doing something dangerous in some “refusal” to just quietly step aside… no no no, “Step Aside” might be a little strong, let’s say: “Quietly allow another player to make the world multi-polar.”
Rozoff: You described that well and I think that’s exactly it, Does one do the right thing morally and politically and recognize…? It is almost like the heavy-weight boxer who finally realizes he is not going to dominate the game much longer.
Does he retire with some modicum of grace and dignity, or does he stay in the ring and perhaps make a fool of himself and damage somebody else in the process? That is a very good question, but we do have to be cautious and circumspect about this because it is entirely possible that; seeing the reigns of world domination slip through their fingers, major members of the US political elite may decide to do something reckless as you indicate and perhaps even catastrophic but increasingly world public opinion, to the extent it can again become a political force in its own right, we’ve seen in the post cold war era unfortunately, a tendency to supplant mass popular political and social consciousness and activity, by state or state-to-state relations.
That has been a part of the new totalitarianism I would call it, to be honest with you, is that a nation is now completely identified with the state apparatus and that state apparatus with the given administration of the day.
And that the idea of a nation state and a country and a populous and a people seem to be downplayed or downgraded as the result of celebrating the role of, the western states in particular, who have now asserted themselves as planners and made themselves the equivalent of the international community.
It is not unusual to hear the likes of the US president and its western European allies refer to strictly NATO countries, NATO-EU countries, the US and Canada as being the “international community”, that has been a trick they have used for the last 20 years, clearly now they can no longer do that.
And the credit is due not to the BRICs countries as a whole, Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, but almost entirely to Russia solely.
Again I want to emphasize and underline and italicize, in every way draw attention to the fact it was Moscow’s intervention around Syria to prevent a war which was clearly right on the horizon some 8-10 weeks ago and I think history will record not only principled and brave but perhaps heroic decision to grant refugee status to Edward Snowden, that signaled to the rest of the world that you could… not so much that the emperor was naked (the emperor is not naked, he’s got an arsenal as well as a wardrobe) but that one could stand up to the unipolar world’s sole military super-power and effectively have it back down. Because that is what’s happened and this is a major historical watershed.
Robles: Thanks for underlining that. The 4th of November was an anniversary date. It was the 5-year anniversary of Obama’s being elected to the post of President of the United States. A lot of people are pointing out his failures as a president even with former president Jimmy Carter calling him an “incompetent loser”. Can you comment on that and on a violent, you might say, “homicidal aspect” of Barack Obama that has recently come out?
Rozoff: In the final part of what you said alluding to an excerpt from the book that is to be published where evidently the Commander in Chief Barack Obama in so many words boasted of drone warfare making it easier to kill and in fact those words emanated from him it is an indication of unconscionable, inhumane, how vile and offensive politics that has become in this nation.
But I think rather than focus on his individual traits, rather than psychologizing Barack Obama, the important thing is to realize that somebody who was catapulted from almost total obscurity into the White House in a matter of 4 years (we’ve talked about this before on your show John) going from the Illinois State Legislature to the White House in 5 years, that is unprecedented, and clearly there are some major political forces behind the political career of Mr.Obama and the rapid elevation to the level of “Commander in Chief of the world’s sole military super-power”. Those are exactly his words, by the way, of 4 years ago when he received a Nobel Prize for Peace, if you can believe it.
And the fact that he was saddled with the infamous and egregious warmonger Joseph Biden, as his running mate in 2008, which I cannot believe for a moment would have been Obama’s personal choice, and that his White House as soon as he walked in, was taken over by now Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel who is another fairly disreputable and unprincipled individual, I am saying that at my own risk being a resident of Chicago, but let’s be honest.
But what we are looking at is more a figurehead, but I have no doubt that Mr. Obama is a particularly ambitious individual who would get ahead at any cost, he has proven that in Illinois during state legislative and state senate elections, and that he would trample on anyone necessary to get to where he wants to go.
But aside from his personal characteristics what we are looking at is a system that molds people to represent the interests of that system and he is simply the latest in the succession of such people.
Though I would state that in my lifetime, because I am old enough to remember a good number of presidents, I was born on presidential election day as a matter of fact, that the open brutality and cynicism of the heads of states in the United States I think has become more marked and I think now to the rest of the world as well as to many Americans.
Robles: How would you characterize Obama’s presidency? Has he had any successes in your opinion Rick?
Rozoff: No! I think that what is really astonishing, is that on the domestic front as well as on the foreign one, no!
But we have to keep in mind we have a political system where at best, (however it is defined even in self-interested or limited or cynical terms) it is all but impossible, we now have built a structural log jam that makes it impossible for any president to get much accomplished. By design.
So that having 2 officially sanctioned political parties who are able to exclusively raise billions of dollars for their campaign coffers and for heaven knows what else (or slush fund), creates a situation where neither party is going to compromise of course, because they are dependant on their core constituent contributors for money, and if they appear to be reasonable or moderate or compromised in any manner, they may lose some of that.
So what they are putting on is, as we’ve talked about before, a Punch and Judy show, this is the ultimate World Wrestling Federation (WWF) show, nobody is to believe this is really happening, the blood isn’t real, the person really hasn’t been hit in the head with a metal bar or what happens, but you have to put on a good enough show that it is in fact that which is occurring.
So that no president who doesn’t have a firm control of both houses of congress is going to be able to pass any substantive legislation domestically.
Though in his first term, as we’ll recall, at least for 2 years, Obama, like Clinton in 1993 and ‘94, had control of both houses of congress but his political party still didn’t do anything.
So the inescapable conclusion is nobody is to accomplish anything meaningful.
There are campaign platitudes and bombast that are meant to interest and maybe delude the voting populous but at the end of the day nothing major…
The major banking and corporate interests are going to be able to continue looting the citizenry and the Military Industrial Complex is still going to be given some of the largest military budgets since World War II without there being any country to seriously threaten the United States and that is business as usual and all the major power brokers in the United States are perfectly pleased with that arrangement. Why would they want to change it?
Robles: Personal question, I was looking at your site, how come you had posts in August and then it goes to November?
Rozoff: That is a good question. Somebody is messing with my Word Press site, with the Stop NATO site. I’ve noticed the same thing. As you scroll down instead of it being in chronological order, all of a sudden you have to get past the 4th of 5th, they jump back to any given time, a year ago, 2 years ago, I have no idea why it is happening, but it is part and parcel of a lot of similar inexplicable events.
Robles: I see.
Robles: How would you, in one phrase or sentence if it is possible, characterize so far the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama?
Rozoff: It is hard to see these matters in real time contemporaneously, but I think what will be recorded is: the Obama Administration through no blame or credit of its own, is officiating over the decline of the American Empire.
So, what that is going to mean is you can’t be the general of losing army, if you will, and come off with laurels or being praised.
So, he is going to be held accountable I imagine by historians for having overseen the continuation of the decline of the American Global Imperial Realm, just as his predecessor for 8 years George W. Bush, will be seen to have perhaps, overextended, discredited, US military power abroad.
But the legacy of Obama? It will be mediocre, like that of his predecessor and several predecessors in succession. As a matter of fact, I am hard pressed to think of a President … well we are coming up on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy who didn’t last most of his term so we have no idea of what he might have done…but I think that is perhaps the last time (and keep in mind we are jumping back half a century), that may be the last time that I think Americans fully expected of the President do something significant, to accomplish anything major and not simply tread water and throw a few favors to the groups that are supporting him.
In terms of any kind of vision, any kind of comprehensive or ambitious program for the nation at home and abroad, the Obama Administration doesn’t have that, could not have it probably under these circumstances and it will be recorded as another mediocre administration that kept the ball rolling and nothing fundamentally changed.
Robles: Didn’t people have great expectations of Obama?
Rozoff: A story is making the rounds today in the internet about Obama’s comments over the past few years about the Affordable Health Care Act, to the effect that those people will have their own insurance policy prior to this recent phase, this year’s phase, of the Affordable Health Care Act could keep their previous insurance. But the long and short of it there is a clear discrepancy between what he had said and what is now in fact the case.
And some Obama advisor, I read, said something like “we have to remember we wanted to keep the message simple and vague … he didn’t say “vague”, but in so many words simple and not too complicated”.
In other words the hallmark of Obama Administration is going to be, having kept this to an almost insultingly basic and primitive level: “Change you can believe in” and “hope”, and so forth, I mean you couldn’t get any more nebulous than that, could you?
When you make very indistinctive or unclear or nebulous statements like that, you can get people stirred up until they walk away and say “Well what does ‘Change’ mean?” “What does hope mean?”
Hope is a transitive verb, you have to hope in something. Change is generally a transitive verb, you have to change something. But when you use these words intransitively, and use them without the relation to anything concrete, then people walk away with a little boost to their morale, but when they think about it subsequently, when they analyze what they’ve heard it really means nothing.
Robles: Nobel Peace Prize, continues wars, change, things have gotten worse, all his promises about the economy, about jobs, rule of law, protecting whistleblowers, it is all gone quite the opposite.
Rozoff: He’s gone back on, he has betrayed most of his major (particularly foreign policy-wise) most of his pledges, that is for sure.
What we see, (this is a country that developed massed advertising industry, Madison Avenue, this public relation so-called. We are a culture here that places form over content) and it maybe reached its apex with the 2004 presidential campaign where Obama was packaged as a very attractive and fashionable and appealing product and he was then sold to people. But the truth is that people bought the packaging and not the content because the content was not, the first one not fundamentally different than that of his predecessor, (as I believe you are alluding to in the question of Guantanamo and other issues), forced renditions and extraordinary renditions, black sites, drone warfare, which is increased exponentially under Obama.
So that people got a nice symbol. I mean they also got – we can’t downplay the significance of this – a not only African-American, bi-racial man coming into the White House – this is very significant in American terms.
And it was seen as exciting and bold and precedent setting and so forth, and it was, on the surface, but the unfortunate thing is, and I think we have to be very clear about this, Barack Obama is not Dr Martin Luther King, he is not somebody who both comes out of and has built up a mass movement of people, he is not somebody who both comes out of and has built up a mass movement of people.
He is somebody who has played his cards right with the Democratic Party political machine, initially in Illinois and then ultimately nationally to get himself into White House.
When he leaves there will be no Obama Movement left. He will leave and that will be the end of the story.
Robles: Not much of a legacy, is it?
Rozoff: No, there won’t be any concrete legacy unless, heaven forbid, as you were alluding to earlier, somebody in or around his administration decides or they are going to go down in a blaze of glory and do something reckless if not lunatic.
But barring that, and let’s hope that doesn’t occur, no there won’t be anything truly significant.
Again the symbolic social significance of an African-American being elected President is indisputable, that is a major advance. But in terms of what legacy is going to lead to, in social economic policy, in the United States, world relations, no there is not going to be any real legacy.
You were listening to part 2 of an interview with Rick Rozoff the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list. You can find the previous and following part of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thanks for listening and as always I wish you the best.
From The Axe of Wandsbek (1947)
Translated by Eric Sutton
“A strange world…that the last war left behind. So must Noah and his sons have felt, when the waters had fallen and receded, and they went out of the Ark, and set their feet once more on dry land. Was it old or new, changed or the same? In any case, the air that filled the lungs did them good – it was fresh and vigorous on the uplands of Ararat. And yet in all the valleys there must have been vast deposits of putrefaction; myriads of drowned creatures would soon be revealed, and the vultures, ravens, and jackals that had been rescued in the Ark would have much to occupy them for a long while. Still, nothing is recorded of all this; the earth grew green once more, the whole business continued, and humanity did not condescend to make any lamentations or take any precautions for the future. We are a strange breed, Heaven help us. I should truly like to know whether any generation will succeed in abolishing all this bad old business, and if so, when and how!”
Since men slaughtered and devoured each other, what better could be expected from the beasts, on land, in the waters, and in the air? The fact that one destroyed another, and then a third destroyed the first, until in the end the two survivors perished, because they proved themselves ill adapted to altered circumstances – all this was exemplified by the animal world…
“…I read in one of our military journals lately that a Rumanian professor had calculated that between 1500 B.C. and 1860 A.D. over eight thousand permanent treaties of peace had been made: average duration, two years. In the same period there had been about three hundred years of peace on earth, compared with three thousand years in which the fury of war raged over the earth in its accustomed fashion…”
A man must stand by what he does. The slaughter of human beings at the behest of a pack of knaves and fools and blackguards in usurped authority has occurred before and will occur again, just as long as schoolboys are trained to servility and their reckless masters dignify and disguise their drunken caprices with the name of justice. But the sun eventually brings all things to light.
“Only the wrong people are killed in a war, as one of our writers observed after the last one. The generals and the diplomats come out of it safe and sound.”
“JAZZ” ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE:
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office
Multinational forces conduct complex and highly integrated operations on land, sea, and in the airspace over Europe during Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013
Exercise Steadfast Jazz concluded successfully on Nov. 8 after two weeks of intense multinational joint military training in locations across Europe. About 6,000 personnel from 28 NATO member nations as well as three-partner nations (Sweden, Finland and Ukraine) trained together in a combined multinational setting.
Joint Force Command Brunssum Headquarters succeeded in meeting a host of demanding training objectives and will be officially certified at a future ceremony to lead potential NATO Response Force missions in 2014.
“As the ISAF mission winds down, NATO’s challenge is to maintain the cohesiveness and compatibility it has achieved through the years,” said Commander Joint Force Command Brunssum, General Hans-Lothar Domrӧse. “Exercise Steadfast Jazz was an important step in building and maintaining that high level of effectiveness and interoperability,” he said.
The NATO Response Force is the ‘tip of the spear’ in terms of NATO’s ability to respond to an emerging crisis, which is why realistic and demanding exercises like Steadfast Jazz are essential in maintaining and enhancing the effectiveness of Allied deployable forces.
“The multinational soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that I saw during the exercise demonstrated an exceptionally high level of skill and prowess,” said General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe. “The opportunity for troops from 28 different member nations, along with Alliance partners, to train and operate together is invaluable. Steadfast Jazz is what NATO is all about, our ability to defend ourselves together with a high-level of skill and effectiveness,” he added.
NATO places great importance on ensuring that its forces are trained, equipped and prepared should they be called-upon at short-notice to deal with an emerging disaster or crisis situation.
“Steadfast Jazz was based on a scenario that allows NATO forces to train for all possible missions the Alliance might face,” said Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Jean-Paul Palomeros. “A wide variety of scenarios were added to the exercise including humanitarian missions, cyber defense, anti-missile defense, and collective defense operations. Realistic, combined multinational training helps ensure that the Alliance is prepared to meet the threats of the future,” he said.
While headquarters staffs wrestled with ‘big-picture’ operational challenges, NATO troops deployed in the sea, land, and air honed their abilities to work together in a comprehensive multinational environment. Naval vessels deployed in the Baltic Sea, aircraft took to the skies of central Europe, and land forces participated in a live exercise in western Poland. The exercise culminated in a firepower demonstration attended by senior NATO officials, members of the diplomatic corps and invited observers from Russia and China.
“I am fully satisfied that our combined joint force met all of our training objectives, and I commend all the troops that were under my command for a job well done,” said General Domrӧse. I would also like to thank Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania for the outstanding support they provided to the exercise over the past number of months. Without their efforts, resources, and hospitality we would not have been able to achieve the results that we see today,” he added.
Exercise Steadfast Jazz was designed to test and certify elements of the NATO Response Force, which is the Alliance’s quick reaction force of up to 13,000 troops, which can be deployed anywhere, in different configurations, to perform a wide range of missions all on short notice.
NATO military commanders will now turn their attention to capitalizing on the lessons, experience and knowledge gained from Exercise Steadfast Jazz to ensure that the Alliance continues to build upon its capabilities, interoperability, and experience. NATO will conduct several exercises in 2014 to certify NRF forces and headquarters, and will conduct a significant combined live exercise in 2015.
Ministry of Defence of Georgia
November 10, 2013
US Marines’ Jubilee
US Marines celebrate its 238th anniversary. The solemn ceremony was marked at the South Vaziani military base “Algeti 2”. Director of “Georgian Food Company” LTD, Giorgi Rogava congratulated the Marines on the jubilee with birthday cake.
US Marines expressed their gratitude to the Director of the “Georgian Food Company” LTD and awarded 12 workers of the mess hall located at the base “Algeti 2” with certificates. On behalf of the company, Director Giorgi Rogava also granted the mess hall workers appreciation diplomas today.
November 11, 2013
NATO Expert Group for military education visits Baku
A NATO expert group on military education is visiting Baku.
APA reports quoting Defense Ministry, the visit aims to provide assistance to several spheres of military education system of Azerbaijan Armed Forces.
They will discuss personnel training and military education and draft proposals. The visit will end on November 14.
NATO and US experts visit Azerbaijan once a year to discuss cooperation in military education and provide further assistance.
November 11, 2013
NATO war games in Eastern Mediterranean
Warships opened fire at water and air targets in the Mediterranean Sea during a naval military practice hosted by Turkish Navy and joined by the Standing NATO Maritime Group-II and the US Navy today to test their fire power.
A high rate of hits was enjoyed by navy officials before a target sank after being hit by Turkish frigate TCG Salihreis in Invitex-Eastern Mediterranean military exercise.
USS Stout, an American destroyer that was deployed in Iraq War and during the operations targeted Libya attracted media attention with its powerful Tomahawk missiles.
USS Stout’s commander Lt Colonel Robert Alpigini said they are in the Mediterranean with the 19 year-old destroyer and the ship was named after a World War II commander.
The military exercise will continue with bombing practices on land targets and refueling trainings on Saturday.
Voltaire: Million regimented assassins traverse Europe from one end to the other, to get their bread by regular depredation and murder
“Surely the Devil must be in you,” said Candide.
“He concerns himself so much,” replied Martin, “in the affairs of this world that it is very probable he may be in me as well as everywhere else; but I must confess, when I cast my eye on this globe, or rather globule, I cannot help thinking that God has abandoned it to some malignant being. I always except El Dorado. I scarce ever knew a city that did not wish the destruction of its neighboring city; nor a family that did not desire to exterminate some other family. The poor in all parts of the world bear an inveterate hatred to the rich, even while they creep and cringe to them; and the rich treat the poor like sheep, whose wool and flesh they barter for money; a million of regimented assassins traverse Europe from one end to the other, to get their bread by regular depredation and murder, because it is the most gentlemanlike profession. Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts flourish, the inhabitants are devoured with envy, care, and inquietudes, which are greater plagues than any experienced in a town besieged. Private chagrins are still more dreadful than public calamities. In a word,” concluded the philosopher, “I have seen and suffered so much that I am a Manichaean.”
“And yet there is some good in the world,” replied Candide.
“Maybe so,” said Martin, “but it has escaped my knowledge.”
While they were deeply engaged in this dispute they heard the report of cannon, which redoubled every moment. Each took out his glass, and they spied two ships warmly engaged at the distance of about three miles. The wind brought them both so near the French ship that those on board her had the pleasure of seeing the fight with great ease. After several smart broadsides the one gave the other a shot between wind and water which sunk her outright. Then could Candide and Martin plainly perceive a hundred men on the deck of the vessel which was sinking, who, with hands uplifted to Heaven, sent forth piercing cries, and were in a moment swallowed up by the waves.
“Well,” said Martin, “you now see in what manner mankind treat one another.”
“It is certain,” said Candide, “that there is something diabolical in this affair.”
Azeri Press Agency
November 8, 2013
Protesters briefly stop NATO supplies in Pakistan
Baku: Hundreds of protesters against the U.S. drone attacks in northwest Pakistan on Friday briefly stopped supplies to NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan, APA rpoerts quoting Xinhua.
Supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami party staged a sit-in on the main NATO supply route in Peshawar for two hours, forcing the authorities to stop NATO containers from entering Afghanistan.
NATO trucks were stopped near the capital Islamabad and were not allowed to enter Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of which Peshawar is the capital.
The Jamaat activists were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the United States. They were also chanting slogans against the American drone attacks in the country ‘s tribal regions.
Addressing the participants, the speakers termed drone attacks against country’s sovereignty and called upon the federal government to devise a strategy to secure an end to drone attacks.
They also demanded the federal government to instruct the Pakistan Air Force to shoot down the U.S. drones when they enter the country’s airspace.
The Jamaat leaders warned that they would forcibly stop NATO supplies on Nov. 20 if the government did not take action.
They accused Washington of sabotaging the dialogue with the Taliban as the drone attack killed Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud on Nov. 1.
Supporters of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party, which leads the ruling coalition in the province, also took part in the protest. The party’s leader, Imran Khan, has already announced to block the NATO supply line on Nov. 20.
The provincial assembly has also adopted a unanimous resolution against the drone strikes and suggested halt to the NATO supplies if the United States continues theses attacks.
Religious parties also staged rallies in other major cities and the demonstrators called upon the federal government to suspend NATO supplies as the United States does not respect the country’s sovereignty.
Chief of Jamaat-ud-Daawa party Hafiz Saeed led a rally in the eastern city of Lahore, and demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to issue orders to the security forces to bring down U.S. drones.
Saeed said that the United States has derailed peace process in Pakistan with the recent drone attack in North Waziristan tribal region at a time when the government was in the process to send a delegation to initiate talks with the Taliban.
Erich Maria Remarque: All learning, all culture, all science is nothing but hideous mockery so long as mankind makes war
Erich Maria Remarque
From The Road Back (1930)
Translated by A.W. Wheen
Morning comes. I go to my class. There sit the little ones with folded arms. In their eyes is still all the shy astonishment of the childish years. They look up at me so trustingly, so believingly – and suddenly I get a spasm over the heart.
Here I stand before you, one of the hundreds of thousands of bankrupt men in whom the war destroyed every belief and almost every strength. Here I stand before you, and see how much more alive, how much more rooted in life you are than I. Here I stand and I must now be your teacher and guide. What should I teach you? Should I tell you that in twenty years you will be dried-up and crippled, maimed in your freest impulses, all pressed mercilessly into the selfsame mould? Should I tell you that all learning, all culture, all science is nothing but hideous mockery, so long as mankind makes war in the name of God and humanity with gas, iron, explosive and fire? What should I teach you then, you little creatures who alone have remained unspotted by the terrible years?
What am I able to teach you then? Should I tell you how to pull the strings of a hand grenade, how best to throw it at a human being? Should I show you how to stab a man with a bayonet, how to fell him with a club, how to slaughter him with a spade? Should I demonstrate how best to aim a rifle at such an incomprehensible miracle as a breathing breast, a living heart? Should I explain to you what tetanus is, what a broken spine is, and what a shattered skull? Should I describe to you how brains look when they scatter about? What crushed bones are like – and intestines when they pour out? Should I mimic how a man with a stomach wound will groan, how one with a lung wound gurgles and one with a head wound whistles? More I do not know. More I have not learned.
Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 9, 2013
Defense Minister Shoigu Outlines Security Threats to Russia
MOSCOW: Terrorism and NATO expansion near Russian borders pose key threats to Russia’s national security, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday.
Speaking in an interview with Rossiya 1 television, Shoigu said international terrorism is Russia’s “main foe” as many militants fighting in “hot spots” around the world are members of terrorist organizations.
“It may sound stale and banal, but look who is really fighting in Syria? In Mali? In Libya?” Shoigu said.
Another major threat, in Shoigu’s opinion, is continuing attempts to build NATO infrastructure and expand the alliance’s presence close to Russian borders.
Russia has vociferously opposed bids by Georgia and Ukraine to become NATO members as well as plans to place elements of US missile defenses in Eastern European countries, such as Romania and Poland.
“This continuing [NATO] expansion, in our opinion, is completely unfounded,” Shoigu said. “We are talking and talking, and smiling to each other, but it’s still going on.”
Moscow also remains highly concerned about the persistent threat of terrorism and drug trafficking from Afghanistan, particularly after the withdrawal of the international military contingent from the war-torn Central Asian country in 2014, the minister said.
According to Russia’s federal drug control watchdog, heroin production in Afghanistan rose 40-fold in the past decade while Russia remains the main corridor for Afghan drug trafficking to Europe.
Shoigu said that a key purpose of the current military reform in the country is to make the Russian army a highly mobile and professional force capable of responding rapidly and efficiently to any security threat.
He said, however, that Russia will never have a fully professional army because it would be hard to maintain it.
“The territory of our country is too big to maintain a fully professional force, but we should be able to mobilize our resources in case of a threat,” the minister said.
Shoigu said earlier this week that 205,000 professional soldiers currently serve in the armed forces and their number will gradually increase in the next seven years.
The Defense Ministry has previously announced plans to reach a target of 425,000 professional soldiers, or almost half of the armed forces, by 2017, with an annual recruitment and retention of about 50,000 contract personnel.
From The Charterhouse of Parma (1839)
Translated by C. K. Scott-Moncrieff
The escort broke into a gallop; they crossed a large batch of tilled land which lay beyond the canal. And this field was strewn with dead.
“Red-coats! red-coats!” the hussars of the escort exclaimed joyfully, and at first Fabrizio did not understand; then he noticed that as a matter of fact almost all these bodies wore red uniforms. One detail made him shudder with horror; he observed that many of these unfortunate red-coats were still alive; they were calling out, evidently asking for help, and no one stopped to give it them. Our hero, being most humane, took every possible care that his horse should not tread upon any of the red-coats. The escort halted; Fabrizio, who was not paying sufficient attention to his military duty, galloped on, his eyes fixed on a wounded wretch in front of him.
A few minutes later Fabrizio saw, twenty paces ahead of him, a ploughed field the surface of which was moving in a singular fashion. The furrows were full of water and the soil, very damp, which formed the ridges between these furrows kept flying off in little black lumps three or four feet into the air. Fabrizio noticed as he passed this curious effect; then his thoughts turned to dreaming of the Marshal and his glory. He heard a sharp cry close to him; two hussars fell struck by shot; and, when he looked back at them, they were already twenty paces behind the escort. What seemed to him horrible was a horse streaming with blood that was struggling on the ploughed land, its hooves caught in its own entrails; it was trying to follow the others: its blood ran down into the mire.
When he put spurs to his horse, he had had some hope that it might be his good cantinière of the morning; the horse and the little cart bore a strong resemblance, but their owner was quite different, and our hero thought her appearance most forbidding. As he came up to her, Fabrizio heard her say: “And he was such a fine-looking man, too!” A very ugly sight awaited the new recruit; they were sawing off a cuirassier’s leg at the thigh, a handsome young fellow of five feet ten. Fabrizio shut his eyes and drank four glasses of brandy straight off.
“It comes to this,” said the cantinière, speaking in a serious tone to the corporal, “this child is not a soldier at all; we’re going to have a bloody war now that we’ve been beaten and betrayed. Why should he go and get his bones broken free, gratis and for nothing?”