My Archives




Статья про войну с ISIS…

На мой взгляд, — интересная.

After the military corrupted the English language with “collateral damage”, I’d like to introduce the equally dainty and equally misleading “collateral benefit”. I hope you like the smooth way the euphemism oozes from the lips; the imperceptible subtlety with which it shuffles off responsibility.

The phrase implies, without being so crude as to say so out loud, that the west does not intend mass murderers to benefit from its wars any more than it intends civilians to die in its airstrikes. If when the accountants of violence make their reckoning, the dictators are as triumphant as the civilians are dead, that is no concern of ours.

Bashar Assad is now enjoying the collateral benefits of western foreign policy. It is not that he, and by extension Iran and Hezbollah, is our formal ally. We still have our standards, after all. If their power is strengthened, and the bombing and slaughtering of civilians continues, we regret it, naturally. These are unintended side-effects no one can expect us to control.

Human suffering is not a competition. You can’t measure mounds of corpses and reserve your criticism for the highest. Yet when Barack Obama addressed the UN, he did not even glance at the mountain of bodies in Syria. He described the war crimes of Islamic State, but did not once say that clerical fascism had been nurtured by the bloodier war Assad had launched against the Syrian version of the Arab spring.

“We will support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities,” Obama cried. But only if they were fighting to reclaim them from Islamic State.

Between 2011, when peaceful demonstrators demanded the removal of a Ba’athist dictatorship that has tyrannised Syria since 1963, and April this year, the UN said that 191,000 people had been killed – the figure is “probably an underestimate”, it added. About nine million Syrians have fled their homes. To comprehend the catastrophe the Assad regime has brought, you must imagine an apocalyptic Britain where the entire population of London – and then some – run for their lives. Assad has launched chemical weapons attacks on the suburbs of his own capital. The gallant Syrian air force has dropped incendiary bombs on school playgrounds. Uncounted thousands, including relief workers, lawyers and doctors, have disappeared into his prisons where their jailers have beaten, mutilated and raped them.
Continue reading “Статья про войну с ISIS…” →

Russia and the Precedent Problem

Еще одна статья.

One constant of Russian diplomacy in the last several years has been for Moscow to vociferously criticize U.S. actions that go against Russia’s preferences, particularly those that represent any erosion of the Westphalian ideal of state sovereignty, as violations of international law—and then to claim an American precedent when it becomes convenient for Russia to similarly breach those principles. When Washington claimed a right to deploy military force against another sovereign state without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council, justified armed action on the basis of a “right to protect” or recognized a unilateral declaration of independence, Russia led the chorus of disapproval from the stalwart defenders of state sovereignty and territorial integrity (especially the rising and resurgent powers of the global south and east, like India, China and Brazil). The NATO intervention against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999 (without the blessing of the United Nations) and the subsequent recognition of an independent Kosovo (despite an explicit UN Security Council resolution calling for the province to enjoy maximal autonomy within the bounds of a Serbian state, and in the absence of Belgrade’s consent), initially condemned by Russia, were then cited as precedents to justify Russian military action in Georgia in 2008, and then to recognize the self-declared independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

A similar parallelism can be seen between Syria and Ukraine. Russia has strongly condemned efforts by Western states to aid the opposition seeking to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad as violations of Syrian sovereignty and criticized efforts by Washington and its allies in the Persian Gulf to provide assistance to rebel organizations. But when the government of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was deposed, hours after a power-sharing and transition agreement was reached between Yanukovych and the opposition in the presence of a European Union delegation, Moscow was quick to adopt the same language used by Washington to describe the Assad regime: an illegitimate government holding no mandate to rule, and defending the right of an opposition to challenge the subsequent “junta” by force of arms if necessary to secure their rights.
Continue reading “Russia and the Precedent Problem” →

Статья о конфликте на Украине…

…Достаточно интересная, на мой взгляд.

Exclusive: By driving a wedge between President Obama and President Putin over Ukraine, America’s neocons and the mainstream media can hope for more “shock and awe” in the Mideast, but the U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill, including $1 trillion more on nuclear weapons, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The costs of the mainstream U.S. media’s wildly anti-Moscow bias in the Ukraine crisis are adding up, as the Obama administration has decided to react to alleged “Russian aggression” by investing as much as $1 trillion in modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.

On Monday, a typically slanted New York Times article justified these modernization plans by describing “Russia on the warpath” and adding: “Congress has expressed less interest in atomic reductions than looking tough in Washington’s escalating confrontation with Moscow.”

But the Ukraine crisis has been a textbook case of the U.S. mainstream media misreporting the facts of a foreign confrontation and then misinterpreting the meaning of the events, a classic case of “garbage in, garbage out.” The core of the false mainstream narrative is that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the crisis as an excuse to reclaim territory for the Russian Empire.

While that interpretation of events has been the cornerstone of Official Washington’s “group think,” the reality always was that Putin favored maintaining the status quo in Ukraine. He had no plans to “invade” Ukraine and was satisfied with the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Indeed, when the crisis heated up last February, Putin was distracted by the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Rather than Putin’s “warmongering” – as the Times said in the lead-in to another Monday article – the evidence is clear that it was the United States and the European Union that initiated this confrontation in a bid to pull Ukraine out of Russia’s sphere of influence and into the West’s orbit.

This was a scheme long in the making, but the immediate framework for the crisis took shape a year ago when influential U.S. neocons set their sights on Ukraine and Putin after Putin helped defuse a crisis in Syria by persuading President Barack Obama to set aside plans to bomb Syrian government targets over a disputed Sarin gas attack and instead accept Syria’s willingness to surrender its entire chemical weapons arsenal.

But the neocons and their “liberal interventionist” allies had their hearts set on another “shock and awe” campaign with the goal of precipitating another “regime change” against a Middle East government disfavored by Israel. Putin also worked with Obama to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, averting another neocon dream to “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”
Continue reading “Статья о конфликте на Украине…” →

Кто судит?

Вот, любопытно, почему война с ISIS — это нужное дело, а с ХАМАС — не совсем?

Мне кажется, бандиты везде одинаковы. Или нет?

Binyamin Netanyahu: Isis and Hamas ‘branches of the same poisonous tree’

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared his country’s recent bombing campaign in Gaza to the US-led strikes against militants in Iraq and Syria on Monday, saying Hamas and the Islamic State (Isis) group share the same goal of world domination.

In a speech to the United Nations general assembly, Netanyahu railed against countries who condemned Israel for its war with Hamas while praising President Barack Obama for attacking Islamic State militants and other extremists.

The Israeli prime minister said those world leaders “evidently don’t understand that Isis and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”