Does Terrorism Work?

From time to time I get papers written by grad students…..and the interesting ones I try to share with the readers IST…..

Just a few short years ago terrorism was all the buzz….today not so much……

Does terrorism work?

That is the question for the ages.

Some will say it does not….while others may disagree…..

This paper takes a look at the question…..

Terrorism is one of the most widely discussed issues in the twenty-first century due to the increasing terrorist occurrences and its destructive impacts, especially since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Terrorist incidences in the world reached its peak in 2014 with about 16,903 attacks leading to 32,658 fatalities (Global Terrorism Index, 2015). However, there was a fifty-two per cent reduction in the number of deaths associated with terrorist incidences in 2018 compared to 2014 (Global Terrorism Index, 2019). While there is a decline in the number of deaths attributed to terrorism, its impact remains prevalent. For instance, there is an upsurge in the number of countries that experienced terrorism in 2018 with at least one causality from seventy-one countries, which is the second highest in the past twenty years (Global Terrorism Index, 2019). The increasing nature of terrorist attacks has led to the intensification of scholarly interest in terrorism and terrorism-related issues. To this end, prior research has examined the definitions, causes, effects and strategies used by terrorist groups (Halliday, 2001; John, 2014; Elu and Gregory, 2015). However, it seems that the few studies that have examined the effectiveness of terrorism as a means of political struggle have been inconclusive.

In order to understand the reason for the continued existence of terrorism and its proliferation, it is crucial to examine if terrorism works, that is, if it achieves its stated objectives. This essay will contribute to the ongoing discussion on the effectiveness of terrorism by arguing that the answer to the question “Does terrorism work?” depends on our definition of “terrorism” and “work”. These concepts are a subject of debate, and as a result, there may not be one formula for measuring whether terrorism is effective. Thus, the success-level of terrorism is determined by various factors, especially by how it is evaluated. For example, while Dershowitz (2002:13) understands success in terms of attracting media attention and securing temporal concessions, Abrahms (2006:51) perceives it as the achievement the organisation’s central strategic objectives. Consequently, this essay will contend that although terrorist organisations rarely achieve their strategic goals, they often succeed in the achievement of other objectives.

Does Terrorism Work?

You tell me…does terrorism work?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Western Sahara 2021

This post will mean little to most readers….but it does to me and since this is my blog I will write on…..

I have written about the plight of the people of Western Sahara….https://lobotero.com/2018/04/30/western-sahara-update/

map of Western Sahara

My interests in Western Sahara is personal…..I was there in 1980s and fell in love with the desert and its people…..and ever since I have been watching the international tap-dance being done by the West to prevent the people from having their country back from Morocco.

According to a report from Axios, the Biden administration told Morroco that it would not reverse the Trump administration’s move to recognize Morrocan sovereignty over Western Sahara, which was Rabat’s reward for normalizing relations with Israel.

Sources told Axios that Secretary of State Antony Blinken conveyed the message to Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in a phone call on Friday. A State Department readout of the call did not mention Western Sahara but did say Blinken discussed Morroco’s relationship with Israel.

“The Secretary welcomed Morocco’s steps to improve relations with Israel and noted the Morocco-Israel relationship will bring long-term benefits for both countries,” the readout said.

The Trump administration recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in December 2020, making the US the first country to do so.

Morocco annexed Western Sahara after the Spanish withdrew from the region in 1975. Rabat then fought a war with the Polisario Front, a group that represents the indigenous Sahrawi people, to control the territory until a ceasefire was reached in 1991. Now there are fears that a new war is brewing. Last month, the Polisario Front said its police chief was killed in what could have been a Morrocan drone strike.

In 1976, the Polisario Front formed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a de facto state in Western Sahara. The SADR is a member of the African Union and maintains diplomatic relations with about 40 UN member states. Currently, the SADR controls about 20 percent of Western Sahara, and Morocco controls the rest.

President Biden is following through on other Trump-era favors for Arab countries that took steps to normalize with Israel. Biden is going ahead with a massive $23 billion weapons package to the UAE that includes F-35 fighter jets, reaper drones, and missiles.

(antiwar.com)

Many of us writers are calling for a re-engagement internationally on the Western Sahara question and the plight of the people.

The long-dormant conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over the disputed Western Sahara territory is showing troubling signs of life. A Polisario blockade of a key artery in the UN-monitored buffer zone triggered a Moroccan military response, after which the Front called off a ceasefire and resumed attacks.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/north-africa/western-sahara/b82-time-international-re-engagement-western-sahara

The last guy as president made a crappy deal on Western Sahara and Biden will leave the deal in place.

Who should control Western Sahara? | The Economist

In the last move the Polisario of Western Sahara is demanded a seat in the UN….

The Polisario Western Sahara separatist group on Monday demanded a United Nations seat for the disputed territory and accused France and Spain of impeding a referendum on self-determination.

The status of Western Sahara, which the United Nations classifies as a “non-self-governing territory”, has for decades pitted Morocco against the separatist Polisario Front.

“The Sahrawi state claims its seat at the UN,” said Polisario foreign minister Ould Salek, on behalf the republic declared by the Polisario in 1976.

The republic, as a founding member of the African Union, “demands its rightful place” among world nations, he told a news conference in Algiers, allies of the Polisario.

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2021/4/5/polisario-demands-un-seat-blasts-france-and-spain

It takes a special kind of hypocrite and spineless cowards to deny a people the right to self-determination.

The US is a prime kind of cowardice for it preaches democracy and never stands by the demands it makes….the right to self-determination is just a slogan that falls from American mouths.

New leadership is needed…and NOW!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Thou Shall Not Deal With China

The war hawks are revving up their misinformation machine against China (the new enemy we must fear) and the nation has been expanding their influence around the world to include Africa…..and that expansion worries the US and plays into the hands of the war hawks.

The new SecState has issued a warning to Africa….

Secretary of State Antony cautioned Africa about China’s role in the continent in virtual talks with Nigeria and Kenya on Tuesday.

Responding to questions, Blinken said he hoped African countries would keep their “eyes wide open” when approaching relationships with other nations.

“We’re not asking anyone to choose between the United States or China, but I would encourage you to ask those tough questions, to dig beneath the surface, to demand transparency, and to make informed choices about what is best for you and your countries,” he said.

Beijing is involved in infrastructure projects across Africa, which the US views as a threat to American influence. President Biden has floated the idea of the US and its allies starting a global infrastructure project to rival China’s, which is known as the Belt and Road Initiative.

Biden has portrayed the US-China relationship as an ideological battle between “democracy” and “autocracy.” With this view in mind, it’s no wonder the US aims to compete with China in every theater it can.

China is also being used to justify domestic infrastructure projects. President Biden cited the need to compete with Beijing as the reason to pass his massive $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.

(antiwar.com)

That sounded like a ‘veiled threat’ to me….a threat is a threat regardless of the wording.

Let me see China is offering to build roads and other infrastructure projects to help the economy of ma nation and the US offers up special ops soldiers and armament.

Looks like China is winning more friends than the US.

Here’s a thought…maybe the US should find an alternative to armed conflict…look beyond the profit margins of the M-IC and offer the other nations ways to benefit the people and not the dictators and autocrats that ‘run’ most of these countries.

I know I am one voice in the wilderness against the M-IC and its aims of destruction and profit…I have been since 1972 and will remain so until I am gone.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The First Modern War

While in university I took a second in conflict management…..war as obscene as it is has always fascinated me…..what possesses man to commit such carnage and how does it end……

While World War One created the world as we know it today…..but was it the first modern war?

So, what was the first modern war?

Some say the Crimean War was the first.

The Crimean War (1853-1856) stemmed from Russia’s threat to multiple European interests with its pressure of Turkey. After demanding Russian evacuation of the Danubian Principalities, British and French forces laid siege to the city of Sevastopol in 1854. The campaign lasted for a full year, with the Battle of Balaclava and its “Charge of the Light Brigade” among its famous skirmishes. Facing mounting losses and increased resistance from Austria, Russia agreed to the terms of the 1856 Treaty of Paris. Remembered in part for Florence Nightingale’s work for the wounded, the Crimean War reshaped Europe’s power structure.

The Crimean War was a result of Russian pressure on Turkey; this threatened British commercial and strategic interests in the Middle East and India. France, having provoked the crisis for prestige purposes, used the war to cement an alliance with Britain and to reassert its military power.

Anglo-French forces secured Istanbul before attacking Russia in the Black Sea, the Baltic, the Arctic, and the Pacific, supported by a maritime blockade. In September 1854 the allies landed in the Crimea, planning to destroy Sevastopol and the Russian Fleet in six weeks before withdrawing to Turkey. After victory on the River Alma, they hesitated; the Russians then reinforced the city and attacked the allied flank at the battles of Balaklava and the Inkerman. After a terrible winter, the allies cut Russian logistics by occupying the Sea of Azov; then, using superior sea-based logistics, they forced the Russians out of Sevastopol, which fell on September 8–9, 1855.

https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/crimean-war

Now that you have the simple definition of the war…the whys and wheres…..

But what made it to be considered as the first modern war?

In 1854, British industrialist Henry Bessemer met Napoleon III. Bessemer had designed a new type of artillery shell, and after the French generals had shown little interest in the product, the inventor decided to pitch the idea to the Emperor himself.

Napoleon had taken the French throne by coup three years earlier. In the mould of his uncle, the first great Bonaparte, the new Emperor was determined to restore France’s influence both in Europe and the colonies. Only the previous year, he had sent troops to fight the Russians in the Crimea. Napoleon III liked Bessemer’s idea of a longer, heavier shell cut with spiral grooves that would make the shell spin and as a result more accurately target enemy positions. This, he believed, was the sort of technology that would help him release France from the shackles imposed by the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Peace Treaty that had brought an end to the Napoleonic Wars. There was, however, one slight problem with Bessemer’s invention.

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2013/10/crimea-the-first-modern-war/

Now you know.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

A Cold War Reboot?

I admit it I am old…..I lived through the original Cold War for most of my life and even witnessed the death of the old Soviet Union….when the USSR died it was hailed as a new beginning of a world that would be at peace and prosperous.

Well the world got more prosperous thanks in part to the advent of globalization….the peace part has yet to be achieved.

While we await the promise of peace the US is stirring the pot for a reboot of the policies of the Cold War.

This time the new ‘enemy’ is China…..

There has been lots of rhetoric around the ‘China Problem’…..and now the Senate has made it official that we are rebooting the Cold War….

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced a new piece of bipartisan legislation to confront China through prioritized military spending and more arms sales in the Indo-Pacific, sanctions, money for “democracy promotion” in Hong Kong, and other areas where the US seeks to counter Beijing.

The legislation still needs to go through the Committee before being introduced in the Senate, but a draft of the bill, titled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, was released by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Committee chairman. Menendez negotiated the bill with Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID).

In a release on the Committee’s website, the 281-page bill was described as the “first major proposal to bring Democrats and Republicans together in laying out a strategic approach towards Beijing — and assuring that the United States is positioned to compete with China across all dimensions of national and international power for decades to come.” Menendez is convening a Committee meeting on April 14th for a vote on the legislation.

The bill calls for the US to strengthen military ties in the Indo-Pacific through arms sales. The bill reads: “The United States should design for export to Indo-Pacific allies and partners capabilities critical to maintaining a favorable military balance in the region, including long-range precision fires, air and missile defense systems, anti-ship cruise missiles, land attack cruise missiles, conventional hypersonic systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, and command and control systems.”

Senate Unveils Sweeping Legislation to Confront China

The Cold War will be rebranded  as well as the reboot…..

When it comes to future conflicts or present-day war games, they have all the advantages and we have none! Or as Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, told CNN recently, “Russia and China are playing a home game, we are playing an away game.” And mind you, we’re talking about a home game that could stretch from the Baltic Sea and the Arctic regions of Eurasia to the South China Sea. Those two “near-peer rivals” (as the U.S. military has taken to calling them) seem to have all the luck. I mean, count on one thing: imagined future flare points for conflict – “a fictional global crisis erupting on multiple fronts” in those war games – won’t be in the Caribbean, off New York City, or near the Baja Peninsula. As a result, the US will have to be fully prepared, at staggering expense, to deploy and support forces thousands of miles away for the future conflicts the Pentagon is now imagining.

Fortunately, that military is, it seems, planning ahead for just such a future. As CNN’s Barbara Starr recently reported, this summer it’s going to engage in highly classified computer war games with two near-peer enemies with fictional names. No one, however, should doubt for a second that they will be China and Russia. This will happen just as the next Pentagon budget is being set in place and, in a recent exercise gaming out a future conflict against such adversaries, an anonymous Defense Department official confirmed to Starr that “we found the Blue Team, the US and allies, kept losing.”

The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded

We are returning to the ‘good old days’ of the Cold War…..that will mean more and more taxpayer cash will flow into the Pentagon and the rest of the nation will suffer.

Time to invest in some form of diplomacy….and leave the weapons and threats aside……but sadly talk does not equate into profit for the defense industry….and we all know it is more about that than the good of the nation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

An Invocation To War?

Events seem to be spiraling in Ukraine in the mash-up with Russia…..something I tried to bring to the readers of IST and try to make people understand that this situation could get serious very quickly…..https://lobotero.com/2021/04/05/ukraine-vs-russia/

After I attempted to raise the alarm to conflict in the wings…..Ukraine has invoked the agreement with NATO……

Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, is quoted today as boasting that his nation’s military is capable of responding to what he deemed the “aggravation of the situation” in the Donbass, in his words the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk and Lugansk, and “along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.”

The above regions are only two of five Ukrainian (or former Ukrainian) oblasts bordering Russia. The total land border between Ukraine and Russia as Ukraine computes it is some 1,225 miles; Russia’s border with Donetsk and Lugansk is 255 miles.

The Ukrainian military chief has extended the line of conflict by almost five times. In language evocative of the worst days of the Cold War, Khomchak also intoned: “Ukraine is supported by the entire civilized world. We are not alone in the face of the enemy.”

As a concrete example of what he was alluding to, and in arguably the most inflammatory language used to date in regard to the conflict in the Donbass, the country’s top military commander mentioned NATO’s collective military defense clause:

“We have intensified the military dialogue with NATO at the strategic level and deepened cooperation in the Black Sea region. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are taking part in collective training events for troops [forces], including in NATO exercises on the subject of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.”

At the same time Interfax-Ukraine reported that an American delegation led by the U.S. defense attaché to Ukraine, Colonel Brittany Stewart, paid a working visit to the Joint Forces Operation headquarters. From 2014-2018 known as the Anti-Terrorist Operation, Joint Forces Operation is the name for Ukraine’s war in the Donbass.

The American delegation met with troops assigned to “the contact line with the enemy, talked with Ukrainian defenders and once again made sure [were apprised?] of the presence of Russian mercenaries in Donbas.” It also visited a memorial to Ukrainian soldiers killed in the seven-year war in the Donbass.

Colonel Stewart said at a briefing, “The U.S. government is deeply concerned over the situation that is developing near the borders of Ukraine and in every possible way supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

The U.S. and NATO in every possible way support Kiev’s war near the Russian border.

(antiwar.com)

Once again the drums of war are beating and the clock is ticking…..time to let real diplomacy take the lead….not the ‘gunboat diplomacy’ of our past.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is It Trump Lite?

My main interests are in the arena of foreign policy and international relations……and I know that Biden has been president for less than 100 days and it may not be a good idea to analyze his foreign policies…..but the world is going to crap and he, Biden, should be focused on the many flair ups happening around the world as well as putting the US on sound domestic footing.

In less than a 100 days not much has changed……..

Joe Biden has been president for two months. Only 46 months to go, unless he is reelected. In fact, he teased the media at his press conference, suggesting that he likely would run for reelection, though he insisted that prospect was too far in the future for him to consider today.

The biggest change from his predecessor is the calm which has descended upon Washington, D.C. Days go by without thinking about Biden. After four years of Donald Trump, the atmosphere seems so … normal.

However, U.S. foreign policy hasn’t changed much.

(read the analysis)

After Two Months, President Joe Biden has Become Donald Trump Lite on Foreign Policy

Seems to be a ‘bait and switch’ foreign policy……just doing the status quo…..

Unscrupulous used car dealers could learn a trick or two from America’s foreign policy mandarins when it comes to bait-and-switch tactics. Repeatedly, U.S. officials have invoked a specific justification—frequently an emotionally charged one with wide appeal—to obtain congressional and public support for a military intervention or other questionable policy initiative. When the original justification subsequently proves to be bogus, exaggerated, or no longer applicable, they simply create a new rationale to justify continuing the mission.

That tactic is especially evident with respect to the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan. U.S. leaders justified the initial invasion of the country as a necessary response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Foreign fighters belonging to Al Qaeda had used the country as their primary safe haven, and the Taliban government had allowed Osama bin Laden and his organization to plan and execute the attacks from that sanctuary. Given the public’s emotional trauma from the 9/11 episode, the nearly total lack of opposition to launching the Afghanistan invasion was unsurprising. In statement after statement during the initial months and years that followed, American officials reiterated that defeating Al Qaeda—and, if possible, killing or capturing bin Laden—was the primary objective. Ousting the Taliban regime was a corollary to that goal, but no one advocated a long-term war against that indigenous Afghan faction, however odious its social policies might be.

Bait-and-Switch: How Officials Perpetuate Bad Foreign Policy

For instance….can Biden get this country out of the spiraling endless wars?

My opinion is no he will….nor does he truly want to…..but I am not lone in this belief…..

Will Joe Biden end the endless wars or won’t he?

I have serious doubts that he has the will or political acumen to do so. But that’s only a fragment of the question that needs to be asked, as we approach the twentieth anniversary of our global “war on evil.”A far, far bigger question looms, a question with answers scattered across the global landscape: Can we learn to wage peace? Can we create a united world, free of borders and scapegoats? Can we transcend our alienation from and exploitation of the planet that is our home and our nurturer? Can we stop being afraid of people we don’t know, people who are “different”from us? Can we let go of our need for an enemy?

Millions of global citizens believe the answer to these questions is yes and are committed to creating a different world—I call it participatory evolution—but at the highest levels of collective human organization, cynicism and ignorance rule. Or perhaps I simply mean cluelessness. Militarism is embedded in the infrastructure of the nation state. It’s not simply that borders and interests have to be “defended”; the easiest way to maintain the illusion of national unity is to present the people with a powerful enemy, imaginary or otherwise.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/04/01/can-biden-end-endless-wars-and-learn-wage-peace

Like I say…..this is nothing but more of the same on the major points….there is some small movement in the world….but will that lead to a wider foreign policy of diplomacy?

I know you may think I am being too hard on Biden…that he has lots of work to do to repair the damage done to our foreign policy by the other guy that was president.

That is true…..but I see a chance here to do more than just repair….we could change direction and make this a better world.

I just do not see anything changing in our adventurism…..the more we intervene the more unstable regions and the world become.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Is NATO Involved?

It is no secret that I am no fan of NATO…..its time has passed…..now it is nothing but a sponge that sucks in taxpayer dollars.

NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization…..The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance of 30 countries that border the North Atlantic Ocean.1 The Alliance includes the United States, most European Union members, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Turkey.

NATO’s mission is to protect the freedom of its members. Its targets include weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber-attacks.

If this is for the protection of members then why are they trying to insert themselves in the Far East…there are NO members in that region.

I asked this question because of something I read…..

An article appeared on the website of the Atlantic Council on March 26 entitled Opportunity knocks for NATO and its partners in the Asia-Pacific, which elaborates plans for continuing and qualitatively upgrading the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s steady but largely unnoticed penetration of that region through military partnerships, port visits and exercises with NATO naval groups and the establishment of Asia-Pacific nations’ liaison offices at NATO Headquarters in Brussels among other measures. It came as it did immediately after the recent two-day foreign ministers meeting at NATO Headquarters before and after which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Anthony Blinken unrelentingly thundered against China and Russia, with Blinken casting them into the same category with Iran and North Korea as threats not only to the Asia-Pacific region where they’re situated but to the entire world.

The Atlantic Council, which is sixty years old this year, is considered to be the world’s preeminent pro-NATO think tank, one which has spawned dozens of mirror organizations in the post-Cold War period, especially in Eastern European nations and former Soviet republics where they have been instrumental in lobbying, almost always successfully, for their host countries’ NATO membership. Despite the Atlantic Council’s name, it has, reflecting and keeping pace with NATO itself, adopted an international purview and mandate over the past thirty years. It now has five regional bureaus: Europe and Eurasia, Americas, Africa, Indo-Pacific and Middle East. The term Europe and Eurasia would not have been employed during the Cold War when the NATO and transatlantic community were understood to be limited to North America and Europe. Similarly, the term Indo-Pacific has recently come to replace Asia-Pacific, as in the Pentagon three years ago changing the name of its largest geographical unified combatant command from Pacific Command to Indo-Pacific Command.

Upcoming NATO Summit and the Great Game for the Asia-Pacific

I do not think that NATO should have any involvement in the Far East…..that should be up to the countries that feel the threat from China….not to have the US do it for them.

The US is getting ass deep in the Indo-Pacific thing…..so deep that the Pentagon has requested a $27 billion increase to their already bloated budget to deal with the Pacific region…..

The Pentagon recently asked Congress for an astronomical $27 billion budget increase to support a massive military buildup in Asia  as part of its new Indo-Pacific plan, which calls for a substantially more aggressive military stance against China.

With the US already ranking first in military spending worldwide and holding more than 290 military bases in the Asia-Pacific region alone, this aggressive buildup is being proposed at the most financially precarious moment in US history. According to the Congressional Budget Office report released this month, federal debt is projected to reach 102% of GDP by the end of 2021 before surpassing its historical high of 107% in 2031 and going on to nearly double to 202% by 2051. According to Doug Bandow, “Uncle Sam is headed toward insolvency.”

How can the Biden administration sell such an expensive foreign policy proposal to the American public in these economically depressed times? By publicly stoking moral outrage and militarism in the US–as well as throughout the Asia-Pacific region–in the name of launching a crusade ostensibly in defense of human rights. This strategy was on full display when Secretary of State Blinken echoed bipartisan political rhetoric about the “Chinese threat” during his visit to Asia last week. In a stream of condescending self-righteousness, he unleashed a deluge of recrimination against China and North Korea while pontificating on American exceptionalism.

The Real Danger of the Pentagon’s New Indo-Pacific Plan 

Once again the M-IC is pushing the US foreign policy into a new expensive conflict that we cannot afford.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ukraine Vs Russia

The situation in Ukraine has not been in the news as of late…….it was all consuming when the forces of pro-Russia Ukraine fought with the Ukrainian forces……but lately the media has had so much more on their plate and pushed it back to the back burner.

But recently there has been a developing situation that could soon lead to a start-up to a deadly conflict once again…..

The U.S. military believes a buildup of Russian forces near the border with Ukraine, seen as “concerning” on Tuesday, is likely a training exercise. But the gathering of troops comes amid heightened tension in the region, and Ukraine’s Commander-In-Chief Ruslan Khomchack told his country’s parliament this week that Russian forces from different regions had been assembling near the border.

Russia’s president has acknowledged an “escalation of armed confrontation” in the region.

Training exercises were always a possible explanation for the buildup, but a U.S. defense official told CBS News that the locations and types of units seen on the ground didn’t line up with what the Russian Ministry of Defense had announced last month.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-troops-ukraine-border-concerning-united-states/

The war of words……

The Kremlin said on Wednesday it was worried by the situation in eastern Ukraine, fearing the Ukrainian side could do something that would restart a civil war there.

President Vladimir Putin late on Tuesday accused Ukraine of provoking armed confrontation with pro-Russian separatists and failing to honour earlier agreements over its wartorn east, during a telephone call with France and Germany’s leaders.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-military-putin-kremlin-idUSKBN2BN1FQ

Not to worry the US may be dragged into this conflict as well……

Numerous statements by Ukrainian and Russian officials reported this Easter Sunday bode ill for hopes of diminishing tensions in Eastern Ukraine. Growing indications of impending intervention by the Pentagon and NATO make the situation yet more grim. U.S. European Command has raised its Ukraine watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis, the highest level, according to Stars and Stripes.

The past few days have witnessed a phone conversation between President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and a similar exchange between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his, Defense Minister Andrii Taran. In both instances the American officials assured their Ukrainian allies of American support not only in their steadily mounting conflict with the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass in what was formerly Eastern Ukraine, but with its war of words, and veiled words of war, with Russia which borders the two republics.

The deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, evoked the death of the child to warn the NATO and European Union nations in Europe that their silence on the Ukrainian government’s resumption of shelling in the Donbass is providing the Kiev government carte blanche to continue and to escalate the current conflict into a prelude to all-our war. A war, moreover, on the Russian border, one that it’s difficult to imagine Moscow being able to stand aloof from for long. His words included, “Yesterday, for the first time since July 2020 a Ukrainian shelling of the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] was conducted and a six-year-old child died,” and he bemoaned the fact that “there is no word about this” from Ukraine’s and Russia’s partners in the Normandy Contact Group, France and Germany. (The Normandy Format was established in 2014 when fighting in the Donbass erupted in order to deescalate the conflict and reach a peaceful settlement between its participants.)

(antiwar.com)

Smells like more interventionism to me.

This is one of those situation that is flying under the radar for now……but it should be monitored and attempts made to calm any events that could lead to more fighting.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Myanmar

The news has been awash of the troubles in Myanmar…..the protests, the response and the reasons…..all because the people of Myanmar feel that their rights are being infringed on by the country’s military.

Myanmar’s security forces have killed more than 300 people in attempts to crush opposition to a Feb. 1 coup, with nearly 90% of victims shot dead and a quarter of them shot in the head, according to data from an advocacy group and local media.

The killings have drawn outrage and prompted some sanctions from Western countries, including the United States. The use of lethal force against civilians had also been condemned by some Southeast Asian neighbors, which tend to be restrained in their criticism.

Then there are those “pro-democracy” protests in Hong Kong that has been raging for over a year….then death tolls are not confirmed because the Chinese government obfuscates the figures and facts.

There is a swift and hard reaction to these ‘crimes’….mostly through the sanctions switch…..the West has acted decisively.

Then there is the protests that have been raging for decades and yet the West does not think it is important enough to cover….or do anything about….

In the last two decades 10,000+ people have died protesting the theft of land, destruction of crops and the lack of ‘democracy’….

And yet there are NO sanctions in place against the offending country…..no media coverage…..or punishment for depriving the people of their homes and livelihood….not to speak on the democracy thing…..

The country in  question is Israel.

For some reason this nation gets a pass on the acting like a civilized country.

The media tells us about the people especially children that have been killed or maimed and yet they ignore the countless Palestinian children that have suffered like injuries plus the lose of their parents and homes.

The West is outraged….I said outraged….to the point that they issued a joint statement….

The following is a joint statement of the Chiefs of Defense of Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

As Chiefs of Defense, we condemn the use of lethal force against unarmed people by the Myanmar Armed Forces and associated security services.  A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people it serves.  We urge the Myanmar Armed Forces to cease violence and work to restore respect and credibility with the people of Myanmar that it has lost through its actions.

And yet most of these countries are totally silent on the barbarity of the IDF….to the point that they are enablers of the violence.

The apparatus of our diplomacy does not hold Israel accountable…..like they try to do with Myanmar or China.

I am sick and tired of all the slogans and rhetoric about democracy and then turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Israel….all in the name of self defense……all this is is a code word for genocide…..something the Israelis should be opposing given their history…..but instead they continue to kill and maim and steal from an indigenous people.

The US is by NO means a good faith spokesperson for democracy….regardless of the rhetoric.

Either we support ALL democracy movements or we need to STFU.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”