Posts Tagged ‘peace’

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This is the third cease fire deal. The Kiev Nazis violated all previous agreements.

The Minsk ceasefire deal, point by point

Here is the breakdown of the deal:

1. A comprehensive ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Comes into force at 00.00 (Kiev time) on February 15.

Reuters / Maxim Shemetov

Reuters / Maxim Shemetov

2. A pullout of heavy weapons. The parties agreed to a compromise disengagement line. Kiev is to pull artillery and other hardware from the current frontline while the rebels would do it from the frontline as it was in September, before they gained ground in a January counter-offensive. The OSCE-monitored safety zone would be 50 km to 150 km wide for weapons, depending on their range. The pullout is to be completed by March 1.

A Ukrainian army tank. Reuters / Maxim Shemetov

A Ukrainian army tank. Reuters / Maxim Shemetov

3. The OSCE will use its drone fleet and monitors on the ground, as well as satellite images and radar data to ensure that both parties stick to the deal.

Reuters / Nikolai Ryabchenko

Reuters / Nikolai Ryabchenko

4. Kiev and the rebels will negotiate the terms for future local elections in the rebel-held areas, which would bring them back into Ukraine’s legal framework. Kiev would adopt legislation on self-governance that would be acceptable for the self-proclaimed republics.

RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko

RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko

5. Kiev will declare a general amnesty for the rebels.

Fighters of the self-defense forces in Uglegorsk.(RIA Novosti / Nikolay Hizhnyak)

Fighters of the self-defense forces in Uglegorsk.(RIA Novosti / Nikolay Hizhnyak)

6. An exchange of all prisoners must be completed by the fifth day after full disengagement. That’s in 19 days, if the weapons pullback takes the full time provided for by the deal.

Prisoners of war who returned to the Donetsk People's Republic after the "all-for-all" prisoner exchange between the Donetsk People's Republic's people's militia and Ukrainian special forces, on December 26, near Konstantinovka, Donetsk suburb.(RIA Novosti / Igor Maslov)

Prisoners of war who returned to the Donetsk People’s Republic after the “all-for-all” prisoner exchange between the Donetsk People’s Republic’s people’s militia and Ukrainian special forces, on December 26, near Konstantinovka, Donetsk suburb.(RIA Novosti / Igor Maslov)

7. Humanitarian aid convoys will be allowed full access to the needy in the war-affected areas. An international monitoring mechanism will be provided.

A column of trucks with a Russian humanitarian aid during the formation of a thirteenth humanitarian convoy for Donbas in the settlement of Kovalevka in the Rostov Region.(RIA Novosti / Sergey Pivovarov)

A column of trucks with a Russian humanitarian aid during the formation of a thirteenth humanitarian convoy for Donbas in the settlement of Kovalevka in the Rostov Region.(RIA Novosti / Sergey Pivovarov)

8. Kiev will restore economic ties, social payments and banking services in the dissenting areas, which it cut earlier in response to the elections held by the self-proclaimed republics. Their respective governments will resume taxation and payment for utilities. This provision is subject for further negotiation.

Citizens of Donetsk queue up to the main office of Oschadbank (State Savings Bank of Ukraine) in the city's Universitetskaya Street, 11.17.2014.(RIA Novosti / Masha Ross)

Citizens of Donetsk queue up to the main office of Oschadbank (State Savings Bank of Ukraine) in the city’s Universitetskaya Street, 11.17.2014.(RIA Novosti / Masha Ross)

9. After the local elections are held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, Kiev is to restore control over their borders with Russia. The transition may take time, which would be needed for a comprehensive constitutional reform in Ukraine.

Line of vehicles at the Uspenka checkpoint in the Donetsk Region on the border between Ukraine and Russia.(RIA Novosti / John Trast)

Line of vehicles at the Uspenka checkpoint in the Donetsk Region on the border between Ukraine and Russia.(RIA Novosti / John Trast)

10. All foreign troops, heavy weapons and mercenaries are to be withdrawn from Ukraine. Illegal armed groups would be disarmed, but local authorities in Donetsk and Lugansk would be allowed to have legal militia units.

Victor Lenfa, commander of a French volunteer team fighting for the rebels in Eastern Ukraine.(Screenshot from RT video)

Victor Lenfa, commander of a French volunteer team fighting for the rebels in Eastern Ukraine.(Screenshot from RT video)

11. Keiv will implement comprehensive constitutional reform by the end of the year, which would decentralize the Ukrainian political system and give privileges to Donetsk and Lugansk. The privileges include language self-determination, the freedom to appoint prosecutors and judges, and to establish economic ties with Russia.

Verkhovna Rada meeting.(RIA Novosti / Alexandr Maksimenko)

Verkhovna Rada meeting.(RIA Novosti / Alexandr Maksimenko)

12. The OSCE’s election monitors are to see that local elections in the self-proclaimed republics are up to international standards. The exact procedure for the elections is subject to further negotiations.

RIA Novosti / John Trast

RIA Novosti / John Trast

13. Talks between the “contact group” will be intensified in various ways.

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The conflict in Ukraine – a prelude of World War III – former Ambassador to the US

The conflict in Ukraine – a prelude of World War III, and the Minsk talks – this is the only alternative.

“This is a prelude to World War III. A lot of people know this. For example, Zaporizhia nuclear power plant just 160 kilometers away from the fighting. You can imagine what a disaster could happen if there will get a shell? We have an alternative to the Minsk talks? We can declare war Moscow to conduct a swift operation? No. Because in this case the cruise missiles will fly tomorrow to Kiev “, – said the diplomat.

AFGHAN-WAR-01Long after anyone can remember what is happening in Afghanistan, the US suddenly rolled up its war machine under cover of the Christmas break, picked up its bombs and went home. They’ll leave 13k “adviser” types, the variety who were scurrying out of Viet Nam from the roof of the embassy in 1975, tossing their helicopters into the sea.

There doesn’t seem to have been any “Al Qaeda” in the country for as long as anyone can remember, and Bin Laden, a special guest of the PAKISTANIS next door, is also dead. The loose ends of 9/11 were neatly wrapped up, tortured into silence, and the treasonous frothing ghouls who let it happen remain protected from justice. In a world of laws and justice American high officials would be sitting at war crimes trials and likely tried for aiding and abetting in the September 11th attacks to achieve their dream of a “New American Century.”

But it’s all myth all the time, all propaganda, all framing and the exploitation of the general public’s ignorance. Where to begin when your audience is worse than ignorant; they believe demonstrable falsehoods, by the plane load? And they are conditioned to reject any challenges to their pseudo-religious mythology.

The United States and NATO formally ended their war in Afghanistan on Sunday with a ceremony at their military headquarters in Kabul as the insurgency they fought for 13 years remains as ferocious and deadly as at any time since the 2001 invasion that unseated the Taliban regime following the Sept. 11 attacks.

The symbolic ceremony marked the end of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force, which will transition to a supporting role with 13,500 soldiers, most of them American, starting Jan. 1.

Israeli Guilt?

Posted: November 4, 2014 in -
Tags: , , , , , ,
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105 Israeli ex-generals, spy chiefs call on Netanyahu to make peace with Palestinians

“We’re on a steep slope toward an increasingly polarized society and moral decline, due to the need to keep millions of people under occupation on claims that are presented as security-related,” reserve Major General Eyal Ben-Reuven told the channel.

“I have no doubt that the prime minister seeks Israel’s welfare, but I think he suffers from some sort of political blindness that drives him to scare himself and us,” he added, Haaretz reported.

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Fast-paced, thought-provoking and at times moving.

by K.R. Kelly

COVER-FINAL copyTransfixion is in the speculative fiction genre that has really come to dominate in the young adult market, and it is a good example of why the genre is popular.
Author J. Giambrone hits the ground running. The reader is not left with much time to draw breath as action piles on action. The pace never flags throughout the book which transitions from a place of surrealism and suspense through watershed moments of growing clarity. In time it reaches a climax in which concrete reality has been recovered – though only through the brave efforts of a protagonist who refuses to let go of her humanity when the entire world has turned dangerously insane.

Transfixion mines some of the same veins of disquiet that have fueled the success of the Hunger Games trilogy, but where Suzanne Collins aims for emotional effect and pathos Giambrone aims for something more elusive – a moral understanding of violent conflict. The result is a bit like what might have happened if Frantz Fanon had got hold of the script of 28 Days Later and insisted that denying the humanity of the zombies would only cause the normal people to become zombies: “There had to be a solution to win without becoming just like them.”

But the “dupes” in this book aren’t zombies – they are anti-zombies. Zombies have stood for many things in political allegory, but they almost always embody the epitome of the enemy “other”. They are implacably violent; they are usually mindless or, if not, they are utterly deranged; they are always incurable. In short, they are unquestionably legitimate targets for violence who are to be killed without compunction. In films zombies are killed for self-defence, but there is also a common tendency, first established in Dawn of the Dead, for protagonists to prolifically splatter zombie brains just in order to perform banal tasks like going from place to place.There is no reason too trivial to be worth taking the “life” of a zombie.

In short zombies are the human-shaped essence of life undeserving of life. Transfixion‘s “dupes” turn this notion on its head. These are every bit as implacably violent as any crazed zombie, but even more deadly for their ruthless and calculating rationality. For those embattled few survivors of the shock and awe of the initial onslaught of violence, the dupes are zombies. You kill them and you don’t think about it, or at least pretend not to. The dupes could literally be their brothers and sisters, but the shared humanity is forgotten by both and lost in both. One side is driven mad by a brain-altering signal, and the other side simply follows suit in many respects.

Young Kaylee Colton resists this amnesia and the disjuncture which creates a rift in humanity. In a brutal world she struggles to recreate a sense that she herself is a real person: “She was not herself, and she wasn’t sure which version of herself she wasn’t.” But, she never quite loses sight of the personhood of the other – even the knife-wielding maniac who will kill her without compunction. And she is right.

The reader is taken inside the mind of a dupe and find not the haze of hatred, but a different sense of reality. Now we are in the territory of Philip K. Dick – the science fiction author for whom reality was fragile and fungible not just in epistemological terms but in political, psychological and social terms. Under the guise of “out there” explorations of drugs and virtual reality, Dick made many astute political and social observations. He explored the significance of what academics would now refer to as a “subject position” decades before the term was coined. To put it another way, Dick’s writing and Transfixion have more in common with Battlestar Galactica than with The Matrix.

And that is the problem of the dupes. They are not different in nature. They are not inhuman. It is the mental landscape they inhabit that is different. That is not to say that their reality is somehow valid. The world they inhabit is not only ultimately senseless, it is extremely limited. The filters through which they see everything turn these human beings into remorseless killers who act like mindless zombies without the mindlessness. For this, Giambrone gleefully indicts the medium of television – the carrier signal of their derangement: “The sign on the door said “Editing,” and a sickly blue glow throbbed out from inside the dark chamber.”

Any young adult who has read this review this far should probably read Transfixion. The novel is a lot more accessible than my review and I really haven’t given any major spoilers. Despite all that I have written, it is still basically action driven and all of the political and philosophical considerations are delivered as subtext.

For adults the above also applies, but if you are thinking of acquiring it for a young person to read I have just one caution. Transfixion is very much in the soft science-fiction/speculative fiction allegorical idiom. The sense of suspense and mystery may lead more literally minded youngsters to think that the resolution will involve the standard denouement where the villain is unmasked and vanquished. This does not happen. Some will definitely find that unsatisfying, but then maybe it might cause them to reflect on the nature of such conventions.


TRANSFIXION is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Createspace (paperback).

david-swanson-msnbc

The anti-war perspective gets some airtime on a corporate network. Has hell frozen over?