Semenivka, Ukraine, 2016. A house destroyed in the fighting. Red Cross the International Red Cross in Eastern Ukraine
“Destroyed houses are common in Donbass. There are villages left completely destroyed, after the most intense battle. The ICRC employs teams of local residents with necessary skills, who have lost their job due to the conflict, to help in reconstruction. In this way, we help fixing damaged buildings and support impoverished people engaging in new income generating opportunities.” (Written in 2016.)
As the elephants fight, the grass lies down and dies. Currently, Ukrainian heavy weaponry is on the move and random shelling of civilians in Eastern Ukraine is picking up.
The Trump administration had reached the conclusion that America was in decline because of China’s economic ascent. In accord with this myopic, zero sum reckoning, it instigated moves to hamper Chinese progress and vilify it in the thoughts of the American population. That vilification of China is now so well institutionalised that even if he wanted to (which he doesn’t) Biden could not back out of the confrontational course set by his predecessor.
However, after Hillary Clinton’s humiliation by Trump, the Democrats are far more emotionally involved in their enmity towards Russia, which is seen as having somehow engineered Hillary’s defeat and Trump’s ascent. More importantly, the USA’s Military Industrial Complex has had far more success in Europe than in the Far East. It is only natural for the Biden administration to look to reinforce success against Russia (which has an economy about the size of Italy’s) than push for victory in a battle with China, against which it is barely holding its own. If only Russia can be provoked into a military intervention on behalf of its Russo-phone neighbours in Eastern Ukraine!
The primary US aim is to bind Europe to the Atlantic: at all costs, to prevent any moves for Europe to be pulled towards Eurasia. Russia has to be presented as a bogeyman with the USA providing the bed under which the Europeans can crouch. With the eastward expansion of NATO to its borders through which previous European invaders have repeatedly entered Russia, and most successfully with the replacement of the Ukraine’s pro-Russian regime with a neo-Nazi regime strongly bonded to US capitalist interests, Russia has clearly been forced into a defensive position.
Russian planners appear to be increasingly concerned. Recently, there appears to be a major buildup of neo-Nazi infiltrated, Ukrainian attacks against the civilians holding out in the Russian speaking enclaves of Eastern Ukraine. It looks as though the intention is to provoke Russia into defending its kinsmen. In doing so, at what will almost certainly be great loss to the Ukrainian (not the NATO) military, Russia will yet again demonstrate its aggressive intentions. Thus it will provide a perfect excuse for NATO forces to extract yet more from their tax-payers, impose further economic sanctions on Russia and further disrupt economic ties between Western Europe and the rising East. (The professionally crafted Skripal and Navalny furores can be read in this context.)The USA is currently arming and training Ukrainian forces and this is the use to which the armaments are put Donbass 3 minute read.
After the Christchurch massacres, New Zealanders, like Russians, now know all too well the cruelty of minds possessed by neo-Nazi enthusiasms.
Dimona One country still wedded to a nuclear Armageddon. 3 minute read
Dasgupta The Dasgupta report in time for this year’s climate and biodiversity conferences. It argues for evaluating economic performance in terms of environmental degradation alongside the conventional l evaluation of GDP. 4 minute read
Peace & Conflict Resolution
Empire Letter to Biden on overseas retraction. 2 minute read. (The post also contains masses of maps & other stuff about the outposts of US empire that you could spend time on.)
Prepping Australians being prepped for war. 3 minute read.
Environment & Climate
Birds & Bees New Zealand’s declining birds and bees. 3 minute read.
Rainforest Bye-bye rain forests. I guess this is old-hat, but a reminder does no harm. 3 minute read.
More Rainforest 3 minute read/
Ammonia How to replace Hydrogen with more manageable Ammonia as a fuel of the future. 15 minute read.
Human Rights & Justice
Syrian crimes German activists pursue Syrian war criminals but the main perpetrators, the British and American governments, get off Scot –free. 2 minute read.
UK Contirbution Following an Anonymous hack of a UK government data-base, a detailed report on UK involvement in the Syrian uprising: the White Helmets and other UK funded contributions to the destruction of a nation. 15 minute read.