New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #40, March 3, 2017
Ukraine-Russia-Europe: (* denotes also published in full on New Cold War.org)
* Ruslan Kotsaba’s antiwar voice in Ukraine: ‘I urge you not to remain silent’, by Ruslan Kotsaba, translated to English and published on Liva.com, Feb 16, 2017
Protests on March 5 in New York City and internationally: ‘Stop war crimes in Donbass!’ Text of appeal for actions, plus international petition by International Action Center to be delivered to the leaders of Russia, the U.S. and Germany
Zakharchenko: Nadiya Savchenko’s visit unlikely to unblock Ukrainian refusal of POW exchanges, Donetsk News Agency, Mar 3, 2017
The anti-Russia wave stirred by accusations against Jeff Sessions, panel discussion broadcast on CBC.ca‘s weekday newsmagazine program ‘The Current’ on March 3, 2017
[Featuring Reuter‘s national security correspondent Mark Hosenbal; Professor Paul Robinson of the University of Ottawa; and Bessma Momani, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation at the University of Waterloo and an anti-Russia ideologue.]
German soldiers to remain in Baltics ‘as long as needed’–German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, RT.com, March 3, 2017
Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
* Syrian Kurds cede buffer to Syrian government as Turkey-backed forces advance on Manbij, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, March 2, 2017 (and in same posting: Syrian state to be buffer between Manbij and Turkish forces, Rudaw News Agency, March 2, 2017)
Syria talks may surprise by meeting the low bar of expectations, ARA News (pro-Kurdish news outlet), March 4, 2017
Debating in whispers: opposition fearful ahead of Turkish referendum, by Kareem Shaheen, in Istanbul, The Guardian, March 2, 2017
Journalists, MPs and activists have been jailed ahead of vote on a system to grant sweeping powers to President Erdogan
Kurdish parties in Turkey kick off ‘No’ campaign for presidential referendum, Rudaw News Agency, March 3, 2017
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — The three major Kurdish factions in Turkey have officially launched their “No” campaign for the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments which they say will offer the Turkish president unprecedented powers. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), and the Freedom and Socialism Party (USP) have jointly called on their supporters to reject the amendments but urged voters to turn out on the referendum day rather than boycott the vote…
Trump’s “moderate” defense secretary has already brought us to the brink of war, by Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept, March 1 2017
Did you know that the Trump administration almost went to war with Iran at the start of February? Perhaps you were distracted by Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser or by President Trump’s online jihad against Nordstrom. Or maybe you missed the story because the New York Times bizarrely buried it in the midst of a long piece on the turmoil and chaos inside the National Security Council.
Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to the paper, had wanted the U.S. Navy to “intercept and board an Iranian ship to look for contraband weapons possibly headed to Houthi fighters in Yemen. … But the ship was in international waters in the Arabian Sea, according to two officials. Mr. Mattis ultimately decided to set the operation aside, at least for now. White House officials said that was because news of the impending operation leaked”…
The only concrete takeaway from Trump’s Feb 28 speech to Congress: Medicaid is doomed, by Jon Schwarz , The Intercept, Mar 1, 2017
Most of Donald Trump’s speech to Congress Tuesday night can safely be ignored. Almost all the government policy he advocated is either strenuously opposed by House and Senate Republicans (driving down the cost of drugs, paid family leave, promoting clean air and water), is not going to happen whether or not they oppose it (“American footprints on distant worlds”), or is so vague that Trump might as well have said, “I support good things.”
However, Trump did call for something specific that Republicans desperately want and that is completely feasible: brutal cuts to Medicaid…
Trump’s use of Navy SEAL’s wife highlights all the key ingredients of U.S. war propaganda, by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Mar 1, 2017
During his Tuesday night address to the U.S. Congress, President Trump paid tribute to Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed in the January commando raid in Yemen that Trump ordered. As he did so, television cameras focused for almost four full minutes on Owens’s grieving wife, Carryn, as she wept and applauded while sitting next to and periodically being touched by Trump’s glamorous daughter Ivanka. The entire chamber stood together in sustained applause, with Trump interjecting scripted, lyrical expressions of support and gratitude for her husband’s sacrifice…
Trump’s 100 days, by Michael Roberts, March 2, 2017
After Donald Trump delivered his first presidential address to the U.S. Congress, the American stock market hit yet again a record high. Since he was elected, the stock market is up over 11%. The buoyant mood in the market for financial assets is also being mirrored in the views of the top financial analysts. “There’s no question that animal spirits have been unleashed a bit post the election,” remarked New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley, echoing the terms of Keynesian economic thinking that economies take off when entrepreneurs feel optimistic about future sales…
As U.S. stocks hit new records, investor pessimism is soaring to post-election high, by Sam Meredith, CNBC, March 3, 2017
Guantánamo’s last 100 days: The story that never was, by Karen J. Greenberg, TomDispatch, Mar 2, 2017
In the spring of 2016, I asked a student of mine to do me a favor and figure out which day would be the 100th before Barack Obama’s presidency ended. October 12th, he reported back, and then asked me the obvious question: Why in the world did I want to know?
The answer was simple. Years before I had written a book about Guantánamo’s first 100 days and I was looking forward to writing an essay highlighting that detention camp’s last 100 days. I had been waiting for this moment almost eight years, since on the first day of his presidency Obama signed an executive order to close that already infamous offshore prison within a year…
International conference in Brussels pledges $200 million to replace Trump’s cuts to world contraception education, by Geoffrey York, Globe and Mail, March 2, 2017
… Analysts already estimate that 225 million women worldwide are unable to get the modern contraception that they want, because of poverty, supply shortages, cultural pressures and other factors. This, in turn, leads to an estimated 22 million unsafe abortions annually, one of the world’s leading causes of maternal deaths.
… About 50 governments attended the Brussels conference on March 2. Contributions of about $20-million were promised by Canada, Sweden and Finland, while earlier pledges came from Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. Private donors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are promising tens of millions of dollars in additional funds.
RCMP not charging asylum seekers for illegal cross-border entry into Canada from U.S., by Daniel Leblanc, The Globe and Mail, Mar. 2, 2017
The number of asylum seekers who are crossing into Canada by foot has been steadily increasing, but the RCMP has yet to charge anyone for illegal entry into Canada this year, federal officials said. The asylum seekers are arrested as they enter into Canada, at which point the RCMP conducts checks to see if they were engaged in criminal acts such as trafficking.
So far this year, none of the hundreds of asylum seekers who have come to Canada have been charged for illegal entry, and they were all transferred to the Canada Border Services Agency. Their status will now be determined by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, federal officials said at a background media briefing on Thursday…
Supporters stage New York rally demanding Japan release Okinawa anti-base activist, Japan Times, Mar 3, 2017
NEW YORK – Supporters of a prominent opponent of U.S. military bases in Okinawa held a rally Thursday outside the Japanese Consulate in New York calling for his release from more than four months’ detention. The move came after Japan’s Supreme Court last month denied bail to Hiroji Yamashiro, head of the Okinawa Peace Action Center. Human rights and civic groups are calling for him to be released from what they say is political oppression…
In a break from LDP, Kono calls for Japan to open doors to blue-collar foreign workers, by Tomohiro Osaki, Japan Times, Mar 3, 2017
Veteran Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Taro Kono is calling for a drastic policy shift that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is loath to accept: open up Japan to blue-collar foreign workers. For Japan, which has for years grappled with a fertility rate of less than 1.5, the only way to survive as a viable economy is to accept immigrants, Kono said at a Tokyo symposium on immigration policy last week…
Global warming and climate change:
‘Clean coal’, CCS and CSG will not save fossil fuels – their game is up, by Ian Dunlop, The Guardian ‘Sustainable Business’ feature, March 3, 2017
As the Finkel review submission deadline arrives, it’s time to accept the inevitable and fix the shambles that is Australia’s energy policy
Every few years, the fossil fuel industry pressures politicians to force “clean coal”, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and more recently coal seam gas (CSG) on an increasingly sceptical community to justify its continued expansion…
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