zaterdag 6 september 2014

Zionist Fascism 260

Exclusive: Israel's Video Justifying Destruction of a Gaza Hospital Was From 2009

Saturday, 06 September 2014 09:29By Gareth PorterTruthout | Report
2014 906 isr fwThe video clip showing apparent firing from an annex to the hospital was actually shot during Israel's 2008-09 "Operation Cast Lead," and the audio clip accompanying it was from an incident unrelated to Al Wafa. (Screengrab: The Times of Israel)
A video distributed by the Israeli military in July suggesting that Palestinian fighters had fired from the Al Wafa Rehabilitation and Geriatric Hospital in Gaza City was not shot during the recent Israeli attack on Gaza, and both audio and video clips were manipulated to cover up the fact that they were from entirely different incidents, a Truthout investigation has revealed.
The video, released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on July 23, the same day Israeli airstrikes destroyed Al Wafa, was widely reported by pro-Israeli publications and websites as proving that the hospital was destroyed because Hamas had turned the hospital into a military facility. But the video clip showing apparent firing from an annex to the hospital was actually shot during Israel's 2008-09 "Operation Cast Lead," and the audio clip accompanying it was from an incident unrelated to Al Wafa.
The misleading video was only the last in a series of IDF dissimulations about Al Wafa hospital that included false claims that Hamas rockets had been launched from the hospital grounds, or very near it, and that the hospital had been damaged by an attack on the launching site.
The IDF began to prepare the ground for the destruction of Al Wafa hospital well before Israeli ground troops entered Gaza on July 17. On July 11, the IDF fired four warning rockets on the fourth floor of Al Wafa, making a large hole in the ceiling - the standard IDF signal that a building was going to be destroyed by an airstrike.
On July 17, the hospital was hit by a total of 15 rockets, according to Dr. Basman Alashi, Al Wafa's director. After the first few rockets, a phone call from the IDF "asked how much time do you need to evacuate?" he told Truthout. After the second and third floors were largely destroyed, the patients' rooms were filled with smoke and the hospital lost electricity, he gave the order to evacuate the hospital.
An IDF spokesman told Allison Deger of Mondoweiss that Hamas rocket launches had come "from exactly near the hospital, 100 meters near." A slide show released by the IDF August 19 includes an aerial view of Al Wafa Hospital with two alleged rocket launching sites marked that are clearly much farther from the hospital than the 100 meters.
Even if that IDF claim of 100 meters were accurate, however, it was more than sufficient to allow the IDF to hit the launch site with precision-guided munitions without damaging the hospital. Israeli air to ground missiles, especially those fired from drones, are known to be able to hit small targets without causing collateral damage to nearby buildings. An IDF video posted on August 9, for example, shows a missile destroying what is said to be a hidden rocket launch site without harming a mosque only a few meters away from the explosion.
IDF spokesman Captain Eytan Buchman nevertheless blandly suggested that it was collateral damage from striking the launch site. He said the IDF was "left with no choice" but to "target the launcher with the most precise munitions capable of ensuring its destruction."
On July 21, the IDF Spokesman's Office pushed its propaganda line linking Al Wafa and rocket launching sites even further, claiming in a tweet and on its blog, "Hamas fires rockets from Wafa hospital in the Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiya." Under that headline was an aerial photo enhanced to highlight what was said to be Al Wafa Hospital, along with a red dot representing an M-75 rocket launch site that was not on the hospital grounds, but appeared to be a few meters away.
But the building shown in the aerial photo was not Al Wafa hospital, as Dr. Alashi quickly pointed out. A Google map of Al Wafa hospital shows none of the buildings resemble the one the IDF identified as Al Wafa. The building in the IDF image belongs to the Right to Life Society.
After that prevarication had been revealed, the IDF added a new claim that "the hospital grounds" had been used by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as "a post enabling terrorists to open fire at soldiers."
The IDF said that Hamas had "fired at Israel and at IDF forces from the hospital" despite warnings from the IDF, and the IDF had been forced to attack targets on the hospital site.
The statement was accompanied by a video purporting to document the firing at Israeli troops. Based on the camera angle and altitude, the video was taken by an Israeli drone, according to a former US intelligence officer, with experience in interpreting military-related images, who analyzed the video for Truthout.
The first segment of the video is a grainy, black-and-white aerial shot of a building that starts with the legend, "Terrorists Threaten IDF from inside Wafa Hospital." The building shown is not Al Wafa hospital, however, but an annex to the hospital that had been empty, both Dr. Alashi and Charlie Andeasson, a Swedish activist who was in the hospital when it was attacked on July 16, told Truthout.
The eight-second video shows what could be two brief bursts of fire from one of the windows on the third floor and then a third flash in a fourth story window. The former US intelligence officer confirmed that the footage of the building was selected from two different times of day. After the first three seconds of the video, the camera angle and the amount of light both change perceptibly. Nevertheless an exchange between the two voices on the audiotape accompanying the video continues as though the scene were continuous during the entire eight seconds.
The first voice heard on the audio recording says, in Hebrew, "Do you see this firing? Have spotted fires from within the house." The English subtitles accompanying the audio add "hospital" in parentheses after the word "house," but Seattle-based blogger on Israeli affairs Richard Silverstein, who speaks Hebrew, confirmed to Truthout after listening to the audio clip that the speaker uses the word "bayit," which can only mean "house."
A second voice then says, according to the subtitles, "Positive, fire from within the house." But the speaker actually uses the term "small house" ("bayit ha katan hazeh"), according to Silverstein.
Those references to firing from a small house indicate that the audio clip was taken from an entirely different incident at another location. That device was obviously used because there was no audio of an incident involving firing from the hospital.
Dr. Alashi said he believes the eight-second video clip portrays firing from the annex that occurred in the 2008-09 Israeli attack on Gaza. "People confirmed to me that there was firing from the building then," he told Truthout. That building was, in fact, attacked on January 16, 2009, by Israeli tanks only 70 meters away from the hospital, damaging the third and fourth floors of the building - the very floors from which the flashes are shown in the video - as the UN Fact-Finding Mission noted in its September 2009 report.
The last segment of the video showing the bombing of the Al Wafa hospital, bears the legend "secondary explosion" - meaning explosions of weapons - as each building is shown being destroyed, in line with the Israeli argument throughout the operation that Hamas stored rockets and other weapons in hospitals, schools and mosques.
The video fist shows the hospital itself being blown up, followed by heavy billowing smoke covering the entire hospital and then another flash of fire. But the former intelligence official who viewed the video said that flash indicated another Israeli missile strike on the target rather than a secondary explosion.
The clip then cuts to the destruction of the annex, again with the "secondary explosion" legend. The billowing smoke from the initial bomb explosion covers the building, and then two or three small puffs of darker smoke appear. Those puffs of smoke would suggest a secondary explosion, according to the former US intelligence officer. But he also observed that a hospital would have flammable materials other than hidden weapons that could cause the darker smoke to appear.
Given the existence of Hamas' complex network of tunnels, which provided plenty of storage space for its rockets and other weaponry, it would have made no sense for Hamas to store rockets in a hospital that it knew had already been targeted by the IDF.
In its final seconds, the video focuses in to show a square which the legend describes as a “tunnel opening near Al Wafa.” But Dr. Alashi told Truthout that it is actually a water well.
The IDF real reason for the destruction of Al Wafa hospital appears to be related to the determination to raise the cost to the civilian population of Gaza for Palestinian resistance, in line with the approach represented by its "Dahiya doctrine," named after the Beirut suburb dominated by Hezbollah, much of which the Israeli Air Force reduced to rubble in the 2006 war.
That strategy, recognized as a violation of the international laws of war, was pursued most obviously in the complete destruction of every house in several square blocks in three separate areas of the Shujaiya district of Gaza City July 19-20. But it was also evident in IDF attacks on Al Wafa and in the series of mortar and artillery attacks on six different UN shelters from July 21 though August 3. Those attacks killed a total of 47 civilians and wounded 341, according to a survey of the incidents by The Guardian.
In none of the six cases where UN shelters were hit by IDF mortar shells was the military able to offer a plausible explanation, and in three cases, it offered no explanation whatever.


Gareth Porter (@GarethPorter) is an independent investigative journalist and historian writing about US national security policy, and the recipient of the Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012. His investigation of the US entry into war in Vietnam, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published by University of California Press in 2005.

Westers Militair Industrieel Complex

  1. New cold war? New Sub and Bomber Costs Could Force Cuts to Conventional Systems. Early warning Wapenwedloop? Het militair industrieel complex eist steeds meer van de belastingbetaler of die, of ie het er nu mee eens is of niet, iemand moet het betalen en dat zijn geen talking heads in de financiële sector of politici in dienst van de corporate sector die uiteindelijk de tol betalen en wiens persoonlijke, economische en sociale ontwikkeling erdoor gehinderd worden nietwaar. Integendeel! Vriend of vijand, de beschikking over de meest geavanceerde nieuwste technologie om te vechten rechtvaardigt de investeringen waarvan de armen het minst profiteren en het meest mogen bijdragen. Of ze willen of niet. Democratie of niet.

    1. Anoniem6 september 2014 16:29:00 CEST

      "Israel invests more money in research than most other countries -- and in no other place are research institutes, the defense industry, the army and politics as interwoven. The result is a high-tech weapons factory that successfully exports its goods globally. "

      De israelische wapenindustrie doet goede zaken door opgedane test ervaringen in Palestina

Volkskrant Wil Oorlog

even ter herinnering, een lezer weest mij op het volgende dat ik zeven jaar geleden schreef:


De Volkskrant 57

De Volkskrant is een opmerkelijke krant. De correspondent in Israel treedt op voor het CIDI, het propagandacentrum voor Israel in Nederland en de hoofdredacteur vindt dat goed. En de Volkskrant journalist die over Rusland schrijft, Arnout Brouwers, werkt ook voor deAtlantische Commissie, een instituut dat propaganda voor de NAVO onder leiding van de VS maakt, vandaar ook de naam Atlantische. En ook dit keurt de hoofdredacteur goed. Onafhankelijkheid, onpartijdigheid is kennelijk bij de Volkskrant geen uitgangspunt voor journalisten. Zelfs de schijn ervan streeft de hoofdredactie niet na.
Arnout Brouwers schrijft artikelen in zijn krant met deze strekking:
'Vladimir Poetin scoort op alle fronten
Analyse Arnout Brouwers
MOSKOU - Door een Azerbeidzjaans konijn uit de hoed te toveren, toont Poetin zich de sluwe vos in de internationale diplomatie.'
'Rusland dreigt VS met plaatsing van raketten
Van onze correspondent Arnout Brouwers.'
Ook bij hem weer veel suggereren, impliceren, stereotyperen en criminaliseren. In dit geval niet de Palestijnen of de moslims, maar de Russen, die maar niet willen deugen, terwijl de NAVO onder aanvoering van de VS zo'n nuttige organisatie is, althans in zijn optiek. Dit schreef hij voor de Atlantische Commissie:
'Met vereende kracht: Europa en de oorlog tegen Amerika terrorisme is een provocerend pamflet dat Volkskrant-journalist Arnout Brouwers in 2002 in opdracht van de Atlantische Commissie heeft geschreven. Brouwers stelt dat sinds ‘9/11’ de Europese publieke opinie niet de opkomst van catastrofaal terrorisme, maar het destabiliserende antwoord van Amerika als centrale bedreiging van de internationale stabiliteit beschouwt. Zo hoeft Europa zich niet de lastige vraag te stellen wat 9/11 voor haar betekent.

Auteur: Arnout Brouwers
Omvang: 46 p.
Verschenen: 2002
ISBN 90-73329-13-2
Prijs: € 3,50 (begunstigers gratis)'
'Amerika en Europa: Mars en Venus?
Deze Atlantische Onderwijspaper bevat de bijdragen van de sprekers in het ochtendgedeelte van de Atlantische Onderwijsconferentie van 19 februari 2004. Rob de Wijk (o.a. verbonden aan de Koninklijke Militaire Academie en Instituut Clingendael) schrijft over het gebruik van hard en soft power in de internationale betrekkingen. Amerika-commentator Ruth Oldenziel gaat in op de (vermeende) hardheid van Amerika’s macht. Arnout Brouwers (Chef van de buitenlandredactie van de Volkskrant) analyseert de (vermeende) zachtheid van Europa’s macht. Frank van Beuningen (Coördinator OVSE-aangelegenheden bij het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken), ten slotte, behandelt soft power in de praktijk, zoals die vorm krijgt in de conflictpreventie door de OVSE. Ook behandelt hij de rol van de Verenigde Staten en Europa in deze organisatie.
De onderwijspaper bevat ook een interview met Robert Kagan (de bedenker van de Mars-Venus-analogie) dat eerder in Atlantisch Perspectief is verschenen. Tenslotte staan er aanwijzingen en spelregels in de paper voor een debatwedstrijd over transatlantische betrekkingen.
Auteurs: Frank van Beuningen, Arnout Brouwers, Ruth
 Oldenziel, Rob de Wijk Nummer: 21 Omvang: 52 p.Verschenen: 2004 Prijs: portokosten'

De Atlantische Commissie organiseert allerlei bijeenkomsten voor een zorgvuldig gekozen gezelschap dat kan dienen als opiniemakers, dus voor: 'begunstigers, Nederlandse en buitenlandse universitair docenten, journalisten, leden van het corps diplomatique, politici, vertegenwoordigers van de ministeries van Buitenlandse Zaken en van Defensie en overige belangstellenden.'Zie:
Het spreekt voor zich dat onder de gasten journalisten en politici een prominente plaats innemen, aangezien die de publieke opinie vormen.
Een voorbeeld van wat de Atlantische Commissie aankondigt:
'Datum: 6 juni 2007
Onderwerp: ‘The United States and International Law’ Spreker: John Bellinger, III (Juridisch adviseur van de Amerikaanse Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken) Locatie: Sociëteit De Witte, Den Haag In samenwerking met: Amerikaanse ambassade, Den Haag Deelnemers: 150 begunstigers, Nederlandse en buitenlandse universitair docenten, journalisten, leden van het corps diplomatique, politici, vertegenwoordigers van de ministeries van Buitenlandse Zaken en van Defensie, vertegenwoordigers van de internationale juridische gemeenschap in Den Haag en overige belangstellenden Klik hier om de speech van de heer Bellinger te lezen.


Datum: 1 juni 2007

Onderwerp: Actuele ontwikkelingen binnen de NAVO Sprekers: vertegenwoordigers van de Internationale Staf en medewerkers van de permanente vertegenwoordigingen bij de NAVO van Nederland, andere NAVO-lidstaten en de partnerlandenI n samenwerking met: NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division Locatie: Brussel Deelnemers: 10 journalisten
Datum: 24 mei 2007
Onderwerp: ‘Towards a comprehensive (NATO) approach of military stabilization operations in Afghanistan’ Sprekers: Alexander Moens (hoogleraar internationale betrekkingen, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada); Stephen Pattison (directeur Internationale Veiligheid, Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, Verenigd Koninkrijk) Jonathan Parish (senior planner, afdeling Politieke Zaken en Veiligheidsbeleid, NAVO) Locatie: Perscentrum Nieuwspoort, Den Haag Deelnemers: 45 begunstigers, Nederlandse en buitenlandse universitair docenten, journalisten, leden van het corps diplomatique, politici, vertegenwoordigers van de ministeries van Buitenlandse Zaken en van Defensie en overige belangstellenden Klik hier voor een verslag van de bijeenkomst


Datum: 22 mei 2007

Onderwerp: De evolutie van de oorlog. Van de Marne tot Irak Spreker: Martin van Creveld (hoogleraar Militaire Geschiedenis, Hebrew University, Jerusalem) Interviewer: Leonard Ornstein (journalist) Locatie: De Balie, AmsterdamIn samenwerking met: Uitgeverij Het Spectrum Deelnemers: 70 begunstigers, Nederlandse en buitenlandse universitair docenten, journalisten, leden van het corps diplomatique, politici, vertegenwoordigers van de ministeries van Buitenlandse Zaken en van Defensie en overige belangstellenden. Klikhier voor een verslag van de bijeenkomst.'
En ja hoor, ook de naam van mijn collega die zich opstelt als pro-Israel lobbyist, Leonard Ornstein tegenwoordig werkzaam bij de AVRO, duikt hier weer eens op. En zo schnabbelen mijn collega's van onder andere de Volkskrant en de AVRO er vrolijk bij. Hier gaat niet eens zozeer op 'wiens brood men eet, diens woord men spreekt.' Welnee, deze journalisten geloven echt in wat ze beweren. Dat is het meest absurde, want ze kunnen over onafhankelijke informatie beschikken, maar ze verkiezen het die te negeren. Waarom? Ik weet het niet, uit angst, of misschien wel uit kwaadaardigheid. U weet in elk geval met wie u te maken heeft als u iets van dit slag journalisten leest of hoort.
De Atlantische Commissie kent een Dagelijks Bestuur waarin onder andere zitten:
Jawel, 'mr. drs. J.C. van Baalen Woordvoerder Europese zaken, en buitenlandse zaken voor de VVD, Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal.
mevrouw drs. S.I.S. Vetter-Samuels, voorzitter Atlantische Onderwijscommissie Directeur Bureau Sterk in Samenwerken, informatie- en communicatiemanagement.
dr. N.V. Both Speechwriter, Global Editorial Services, Shell International B.V.
drs. O. Beeksma, waarnemer namens het ministerie van DefensiePlaatsvervangend Directeur Voorlichting, ministerie van Defensie
drs. R.E. de Groot, waarnemer namens het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken Directeur Veiligheidsbeleid, ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken '

En een 'Algemeen Bestuur' met onder andere namen als:
'jhr. mr. A.A. LoudonVoormalig voorzitter Raad van Bestuur AKZO Nobel NV; voormalig lid van de Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal voor de VVD'En jawel, de Hirhi Magan/Ali volgeling en voormalige minnaar 'prof. drs. P. Scheffer Publicist; bijzonder hoogleraar grootstedelijke problematiek, Universiteit van Amsterdam
dr. A. SzászVoormalig directeur De Nederlandsche Bank
gen. b.d. A.K. van der Vlis Voormalig Chef Defensiestaf
prof. dr. R. de Wijk Hoogleraar internationale betrekkingen, Koninklijke Militaire Academie, Breda; bijzonder hoogleraar Strategische Studies, Universiteit Leiden.'
En: Directie:
dr. A. (Bram) BoxhoornDirecteur van de Stichting Atlantische Commissie Vice Voorzitter Atlantic Treaty Association'

U ziet een keurige afspiegeling van behoudend Nederland op politiek, economisch, militair en universitair gebied, mensen die ervoor zorgen dat de westerse commerciele massamedia de juiste boodschap verspreiden, neoliberaal en dus pro-NAVO, want de vrijheid van de niet door de democratie gecontroleerde concerns moet natuurlijk regelmatig met geweld verdedigd worden.

8 opmerkingen:

  1. Een bericht dat iemand als Brouwers bijvoorbeeld overslaat is:
    US ran nuclear weapons exercises the week before Bush-Putin summit
    Shortly before the so-called 'Lobster Summit' between President George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Kennebunkport, Maine, the United States appears to have carried out a significant nuclear weapons exercise, according to a report in Friday's Washington Times.
  2. En inderdaad, dat ze het zelf geloven wat ze opschrijven is het allerergste. Dat ze zelf niet doorhebben dat ze niet onafhankelijk kunnen zijn. Chomsky vergelijkt ons nieuws wel eens met wat vroeger in de Sovjet Unie "journalistiek" werd genoemd. En ook toen dachten de schrijvers van de partijpropaganda dat ze "objectief" waren. Maar eigenlijk heeft het meer weg van bewuste onwetendheid. Ik was even een paar dagen op vakantie en verstoken van internet. En nu merk ik dat de gevestigde media niet meer kan luchten of zien. Na vele jaren van lezen en kleine ervaring wordt ik eigenlijk kotsmisselijk van de leugens die over je heen worden uitgestort. En veel van die figuren die dat knippen en plakken en overschrijven geloven daar zelf ook in. Wat dat beteft is de kerk nog steeds aanweizg in de moderne maatschappij. Om een of andere reden moeten we steeds weer opnieuw in valse goden en autoriteiten geloven om ons leven zin te geven. Misschien is het gewoon nodig om ons bewustzijn te onderdrukken met steeds weer nieuw opium.
  3. Ik betwijfel of ze zelf geloven wat ze schrijven Brendan. Bepaalde informatie consequent door de jaren heen achterhouden is toch iets waar je bewust voor kiest - zeker wanneer je ook buitenlandse kranten leest. Ook het consequent niet reageren op vragen van lezers duidt in die richting, immers, als je ergens in gelooft, zou je daar toch geen moeite mee moeten hebben. Journalisten zijn ook geen domme mensen.

    Nee, ik zie het meer als het uitdragen van een ideologie op een welhaast stalinistische manier. Er worden duidelijk bepaalde belangen gediend, misschien van de adverteerders? Net lees ik in de Volkskrant een 'verslag' over Live Earth. Daarin staat geen woord over het milieu. Geen woord! Dat moet toch een duidelijke keuze zijn.

    Gisteren op radio 1, een VVD-er die zich beklaagt over dat de 'linkse pers' teveel aandacht besteed aan het Global Warming "sprookje" van Al Gore. Want het is namelijk allemaal niet waar. Maar aan het eind van het programma ontstond er een wonderbaarlijke conclusie: of het al dan niet waar zou zijn bleek ondergeschikt aan het feit dat het ging om een 'linkse' mening, en dáárom was het niet waar. Deze idiotie zie ik steeds vaker gebeuren. Zo is bij de rechtse partijen bijvoorbeeld een discussie over mensenrechten problematisch, aangezien het altijd 'links' is die daarmee aankomt, en daar wil men niet mee geassocieerd worden. Het hele Midden-Oosten probleem idem dito. Ons land is zo gepolariseerd dat zaken die iederéén aangaan (milieu, oorlog, etc.) niet gezamelijk besproken kunnen worden, laat staan een oplossing kan worden gevonden voor bepaalde nationale vraagstukken. En hoe harder het standpunt van 'links', hoe harder 'rechts' zich genoodzaakt voelt om het tegendeel te bevestigen - en vice versa.
  4. Brendans gevoel van walging komt mij heel bekend voor.

    Voor wat betreft de vraag of ze hun propaganda zelf geloven:
    "There is no harder scientific fact in the world than the fact that a belief can be produced in practically unlimited quantities and intensity, without observation or reasoning, and even in defiance of both, by the simple desire to believe, founded on a strong interest in believing. (Bernard Shaw, preface on Doctors, The Doctor's Dilemma).

    Dat 'interest' is natuurlijk primair hun carriere, hun snobisme. 'Le trahison des clercs' (Benda), de lafheid van intellectuelen (Chomsky)...
  5. Ook bij hem weer veel suggereren, impliceren, stereotyperen en criminaliseren. In dit geval niet de Palestijnen of de moslims, maar de 'clercs' en de intellectuelen , die maar niet willen deugen,
  6. Paul, Sonja,

    Dat ze liegen is duidelijk. Dat ze het weten is ook duidelijk. Maar ik denkd at ze zichzelf dwingen om hun eigen leugens te geloven. Volgens mij omschreef George Orwell in 1984 het als DoubleThink: "The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. ... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them..." Overigens is het interessant dat Winston de hoofdpersoon in het verhaal ook een soort van journalist is voor het Ministerie van Waarheid.

    In ieder geval juich ik het toe dat Stan steeds weer opnieuw dit soort zaken aankaart. Beste Stan als je dit leest zou je dan het e-mailadres kunnen plaatsen waar je je vragen naar toe stuurt? Met een verzoek om ook een bericht te sturen? Ongeveer net zoiets als wat ze bij medialens doen.
  7. leclerc,

    Als je je reactie alleen baseert op het citaat dan is dat nogal kort door de bocht. Dan mag je zelf ook wel even met wat voorbeelden komen. Van Chomsky weet ik in ieder geval dat hij zijn beweringen altijd met vele feiten kan staven. Dus waar zijn jouw feiten?
  8. Goddank dat er nog mensen zijn die Brouwers en zijn ergerlijke anti-Russische propaganda doorhebben!


Ukraine Ceasefire Takes Hold, but an Expanding NATO on Russia’s Borders Raises Threat of Nuclear War



Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. He is also the author of numerous books on Russia and the Soviet Union. His latest article in The Nationis "Patriotic Heresy vs. the New Cold War."
This is viewer supported news
The Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels are reportedly set to sign a ceasefire today aimed at ending over six months of fighting that has killed at least 2,600 people and displaced over a million. The deal is expected this morning in the Belarusian capital of Minsk as President Obama and European leaders meet in Wales for a major NATO summit. The ceasefire comes at a time when the Ukrainian military has suffered a number of defeats at the hands of the Russian-backed rebels. In the hours leading up to the reported ceasefire, pro-Russian rebels launched another offensive to take the port city of Mariupol, which stands about halfway between Russia and the Crimea region. The Ukrainian government and NATO have accused Russia of sending forces into Ukraine, a claim Moscow denies. The new developments in Ukraine come as NATO has announced plans to create a new rapid reaction force in response to the Ukraine crisis. We are joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, and the author of numerous books on Russia and the Soviet Union.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, now to international news.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels are reportedly set to sign a ceasefire today aimed at ending over six months of fighting in eastern Ukraine that has killed at least 2,600 people and displaced over one million. The deal is expected to be signed in the Belarusian capital Minsk as President Obama and European leaders meet in Wales for a majorNATO summit. The ceasefire comes at a time when the Ukrainian military has suffered a number of defeats at the hands of the Russian-backed rebels.
A new dispatch from The New York Review of Books reveals the remnants of at least 68 Ukrainian military vehicles, tanks, armored personnel carriers, pickups, buses and trucks are littered along one 16-mile stretch in eastern Ukraine where the rebels launched an offensive last week. The reporter, Tim Judah, writes, quote, "The scale of the devastation suffered by Ukrainian forces in southeastern Ukraine over the last week has to be seen to be believed. It amounts to a catastrophic defeat and will long be remembered by embittered Ukrainians as among the darkest days of their history."
In the hours leading up to the ceasefire, pro-Russian rebels launched another offensive to take the port city of Mariupol, which stands about halfway between Russia and the Crimea region. The Ukrainian government and NATO have accused Russia of sending forces into Ukraine, a claim that Moscow continues to deny.
AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile in Wales, NATO has announced plans to create a new rapid reaction force in response to the Ukraine crisis. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the new force could be deployed anywhere in the world in two to five days.
PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON: So we must be able to act more swiftly. In 2002,NATO stood down its high-readiness force. I hope that today we can agree a multinational spearhead force, deployable anywhere in the world in just two to five days. This would be part of a reformed NATO response force, with headquarters in Poland, forward units in the eastern allies, and pre-positioned equipment and infrastructure to allow more exercises and, if necessary, rapid reinforcement. If we can agree this, the United Kingdom will contribute 3,500 personnel to this multinational force.
AMY GOODMAN: In another development, the Pentagon has announced 200 U.S. troops will be sent to Ukraine later this month for a multinational military exercise dubbed Rapid Trident. Another 280 U.S. troops will work with Ukrainian forces next week for a military exercise aboard the USS Ross in the Black Sea.
To talk more about the crisis in Ukraine and the NATO summit, we’re joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, also the author of a number of books on Russia and the Soviet Union. His latest piece in The Nation is headlined "Patriotic Heresy vs. the New Cold War: Neo-McCarthyites Have Stifled Democratic Debate on Russia and Ukraine."
So, welcome to Democracy Now!, Professor Cohen. Talk about the latest developments, both the decisions out of NATO and what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine.
STEPHEN COHEN: One latest development is related to what Juan just said about New York kids. There are about a million refugees from eastern Ukraine, most of them having fled to Russia, a lot of kids. Traditionally in Ukraine and Russia, the first day of school is September 1. There are about 50,000 to 70,000 kids who needed to have started school. The Russians have made every effort to get them in school, but there are a lot of little Ukrainian kids who won’t be going to school this September yet, because they’re living in refugee camps. And that’s the story, of course.
This is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in eastern Ukraine. In my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. I would say that historians one day will look back and say that America has blood on its hands. Three thousand people have died, most of them civilians who couldn’t move quickly. That’s women with small children, older women. A million refugees. Talk of a ceasefire that might go into place today, which would be wonderful, because nobody else should die for absolutely no reason.
But what’s driving the new developments, and partially the NATO meeting in Wales, but this stunning development, that Juan mentioned, reported in The New York Review of Books, though a handful of us in this country have been trying to get it into the media for nearly two weeks, is that it appeared that the Ukrainian army would conquer eastern Ukraine. But what they were doing is sitting outside the cities, bombarding these cities with aircraft, rockets, heavy artillery. That’s what caused the 3,000 deaths and the refugees. They’ve seriously damaged the entire infrastructure, industrial infrastructure, of Ukraine, which is in these eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, the so-called Donbas region.
It turned out, though, that the Ukrainian army didn’t want to enter these cities, where the rebels were embedded, ensconced. It’s their homes; these fighters are mainly from these cities. And while this killing was going on, the rebels were regrouping. Now, there’s an argument: How much help did they get from Russia? Some people are saying Russia invaded. Others say, no, Russia just gave them some technical and organizational support. But whatever happened in the last 10 days, there’s been one of the most remarkable military turnarounds we’ve witnessed in many years, and the Ukrainian army is not only being defeated, but it’s on the run. It’s fleeing. It wants no more of this. It’s leaving its heavy equipment behind. It’s really in full-scale retreat, except in one place, the city Juan mentioned, Mariupol, where there’s a fight going on as we talk now. The rebels have the city encircled. Whether that fighting will stop if the ceasefire is announced in the next couple hours, we don’t know. It’s a very important city. But everything has now changed. If there’s negotiation, the government of Ukraine, Poroshenko, the president, our President Obama and NATO thought that when negotiations began, the West would dictate the terms to Putin because they won the war in Ukraine. Now it’s the reverse.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, what about this whole issue of United States forces now actually being introduced, the exercises in Ukraine? To what degree do you see the Obama administration being drawn more and more into the conflict?
STEPHEN COHEN: Well, we have to ask ourselves, because we don’t fully know, because Obama is a kind of aloof figure who disappears in moments like this, then reappears and says kind of ignomatic things. But are we being drawn into it, or are we driving these events? It has been true, ever sinceNATO was created, that the United States controlled NATO. Now, it is also true now that there—thatNATO is deeply divided on the Ukrainian issue. There’s a war party. And the war party is led by Poland, the three Baltic states, to a certain extent Romania but not so much, and Britain. Then there’s a party that wants to accommodate Russia, that thinks that this is not entirely Russia’s fault. And moreover, these people—the Germans, the French, the Spanish, the Italians—depend on Russia, in many ways, for their economic prosperity. They want to negotiate, not punish Russia. Where is Obama in this? It would appear nowhere, except occasionally he comes in, as he did in Estonia—was it yesterday or the day before?—and seem to give a speech that favors the war party.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to the comments of President Obama when he was in the former Soviet republic of Estonia blaming Russia for the fighting and vowing to defend the Baltic states.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It was not the government of Kiev that destabilized eastern Ukraine. It’s been the pro-Russian separatists, who are encouraged by Russia, financed by Russia, trained by Russia, supplied by Russia and armed by Russia. And the Russian forces that have now moved into Ukraine are not on a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission. They are Russian combat forces with Russian weapons in Russian tanks.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s President Obama. Professor Stephen Cohen?
STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, it is. It certainly is President Obama. Look, here’s the underlying problem. What Obama just said implies, if not asserts, that if it wasn’t for Russia, Ukraine would be stable, that Russia has destabilized Ukraine. No serious person would believe that to be the case. Ukraine is in the throes of a civil war, which was precipitated by the political crisis that occurred in Ukraine last November and then this February, when the elected president of Ukraine was overthrown by a street mob, and that set off a civil war, primarily between the west, including Kiev, and the east, but not only. There’s a central Ukraine that’s here and there. This civil war then became, as I said it would or might when we first started talking earlier this year, a proxy war between the United States and Russia.
Now, it’s absolutely true that Russia has made the destabilization of Ukraine worse. It’s also absolutely true that the United States has contributed to the destabilization of Ukraine. But if tomorrow the United States would go away and Russia would go away, Ukraine would still be in a civil war. And we know what civil wars are. We had one in our country. Russia had one. There were many civil wars around the world in the 20th century and elsewhere today. The point is, the only way you can end a civil war, either the one side completely conquers and the other side gives up, as happened with the Confederacy in the United States, or there’s a stalemate or somebody says, "Enough killing, because these are brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers, they’re part of the same family," and you negotiate.
So we will see later today, perhaps, or tomorrow whether this ceasefire comes and if it holds. Now, negotiating a civil war is terribly complex. In some ways, we’re still arguing about the American Civil War. I grew up in Kentucky, segregated Kentucky, and in my childhood, people were still claiming we, the South, won. So, this isn’t going to end if the United States and Russia goes way. But both sides have the capacity to get these negotiations going. But when Obama says that Russia destabilized Ukraine, it’s a half-truth.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Stephen Cohen, I wanted to ask you—you’ve come under some criticism by other Russia experts in the U.S. as being an apologist for the Russian intervention in Ukraine, I think in Forbes magazine. Op-ed piece there claimed that you were questioning whether Ukraine had the right to exercise control over its own territory, that it was plotting to seize its own territory. I’m wondering your response to that criticism.
STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, I mean, many very harsh and unpleasant, probably libelous and slanderous things have been said about me, which suggests to me that they have no factual response to me. Rather than call me a toady and an apologist and a paid hiring of the Kremlin, I’d like to hear what factual mistakes I’ve made. And I haven’t seen any, because I’m a scholar and I try not to make factual mistakes.
It’s not about whether Ukraine has the right to take back its territory. The problem is, as I just said, that a civil war began when we, the United States, and Europe backed a street coup that overthrew an elected president. When you overthrow a constitution and when you overthrow a president, you’re likely to get a civil war. It usually happens. Now, when you have a civil war, the country is divided. And in this case, the government in Kiev is trying to conquer where the rebels, so to speak, are located. The problem is that the rebel provinces do not recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev. The United States recognizes the legitimacy, but that doesn’t make it legitimate.
Now, let’s go to what’s going on in Kiev now. I mean, Obama also said—and I kind of chuckled and cried—that we are helping Ukraine build a democracy. What kind of democracy is unfolding in Kiev? All right, they had a presidential election. About a fifth of the country couldn’t vote. Now, Poroshenko has called a parliamentary election in October, a month from now. But where the war is, in the south and the east, they won’t vote. So you’re going to end up with a rump country, further dividing the country. Meanwhile, they’re shutting down democracy in Kiev. Communist Party is being banned. Another party that represents the east is being banned. People are being arrested. There’s censorship kicking in. There’s no democracy in Kiev, because it’s a wartime government. You just don’t get democracy. So, these assertions by the United States that we’re democracy builders, we’re virtuous, and it’s all Putin’s fault, this is—it’s worse than a half-truth; it’s actually a falsehood.
AMY GOODMAN: The possibility of Ukraine in NATO and what that means and what—
STEPHEN COHEN: Nuclear war.
STEPHEN COHEN: Next question. I mean, it’s clear. It’s clear. First of all, by NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, a country that does not control its own territory. In this case, Kiev controls less and less by the day. It’s lost Crimea. It’s losing the Donbas—I just described why—to the war. A country that does not control its own territory cannot join Ukraine [sic]. Those are the rules.
AMY GOODMAN: Cannot join—
STEPHEN COHEN: I mean, NATO. Secondly, you have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO. Ukraine meets none of them. Thirdly, and most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily.
In fact, Russia is already reacting militarily, because look what they’re doing in Wales today. They’re going to create a so-called rapid deployment force of 4,000 fighters. What is 4,000 fighters? Fifteen thousand or less rebels in Ukraine are crushing a 50,000-member Ukrainian army. Four thousand against a million-man Russian army, it’s nonsense. The real reason for creating the so-called rapid deployment force is they say it needs infrastructure. And the infrastructure—that is, in plain language is military bases—need to be on Russia’s borders. And they’ve said where they’re going to put them: in the Baltic republic, Poland and Romania.
Now, why is this important? Because NATO has expanded for 20 years, but it’s been primarily a political expansion, bringing these countries of eastern Europe into our sphere of political influence; now it’s becoming a military expansion. So, within a short period of time, we will have a new—well, we have a new Cold War, but here’s the difference. The last Cold War, the military confrontation was in Berlin, far from Russia. Now it will be, if they go ahead with this NATO decision, right plunk on Russia’s borders. Russia will then leave the historic nuclear agreement that Reagan and Gorbachev signed in 1987 to abolish short-range nuclear missiles. It was the first time nuclear—a category of nuclear weapons had ever been abolished. Where are, by the way, the nuclear abolitionists today? Where is the grassroots movement, you know, FREEZESANE? Where have these people gone to? Because we’re looking at a new nuclear arms race. Russia moves these intermediate missiles now to protect its own borders, as the West comes toward Russia. And the tripwire for using these weapons is enormous.
One other thing. Russia has about, I think, 10,000 tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called battlefield nuclear weapons. You use these for short distances. They can be fired; you don’t need an airplane or a missile to fly them. They can be fired from artillery. But they’re nuclear. They’re radioactive. They’ve never been used. Russia has about 10,000. We have about 500. Russia’s military doctrine clearly says that if Russia is threatened by overwhelming conventional forces, we will use tactical nuclear weapons. So when Obama boasts, as he has on two occasions, that our conventional weapons are vastly superior to Russia, he’s feeding into this argument by the Russian hawks that we have to get our tactical nuclear weapons ready.

Voetbal Commentator stan van houcke heeft dit als repost geplaatst Marcel Van Silfh...