UKRAINE, YEMEN & PALESTINE: WHY THE DOUBLE STANDARDS?; LETTER IN TODAY'S IRISH TIMES

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/war-in-europe-russia-s-assau…

Sir,

will some concerned councillor on Dublin City Council now propose to rename Fitzwilliam Square East as ‘Independent Yemen Square East’ given that it is the home of the Saudi Arabian Embassy whose Government has waged a brutal war on the people of Yemen for the last seven years that has caused the deaths of 377,000 people including tens of thousands of women and children, and has displaced and created famine conditions for millions of Yemenis.

Will a councillor call for Pembroke Road to be renamed ‘Independent Palestine Road’ or will some Independent TD propose, the next time that Gaza is being bombarded by the Israeli Military, that we send arms from the Curragh to the besieged Palestinians so they can defend their homeland? An eleven-year-old child in Gaza has witnessed four devastating wars in its short life.

The double standards being shown by political leaders, including here in Ireland, and so much of the Western Media in relation to Ukraine and other ongoing wars is truly galling. The best way to help the people of Ukraine and Yemen is to demand an immediate ceasefire, diplomatic engagement and peaceful negotiations between the belligerents while ensuring massive humanitarian aid to help the refugees. Meanwhile western leaders arm and train the Saudi military to drop bombs on Yemeni civilians, show disdain for peace talks between Ukraine and Russia while openly warmongering with Putin, all while starving the people of Afghanistan.

Why is the Irish Government not demanding ceasefires and peace talks at the UNSC? The desperate people of Ukraine and Yemen equally deserve peace, security and freedom from what are ultimately proxy wars between major imperial power blocks.

Yours etc,

JIM ROCHE,
PRO Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.
Tel. 087 6472737

BIDEN'S WARMONGERING COMMENTS CONCERNING - LETTER PUBLISHED IN IRISH EXAMINER

IAWM PRESS RELEASE 07 MARCH 2022

BIDEN'S WARMONGERING COMMENTS CONCERNING

LETTER SENT TO ALL THREE IRISH BROADSHEETS AFTER US PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

VERSION PUBLISHED IN IRISH EXAMINER ON 07 MARCH 2022 - https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/yourview/arid-40822230.html
- KEY SENTENCE OMITTED SO FULL LETTER BELOW

Editor,

the concluding warmongering bits of Joe Biden’s State of the Union address this week must be challenged. He said that Putin’s war has been “totally unprovoked”. This is not true. While Putin’s brutal invasion is certainly unjustified it can be argued to be the result of 30 years of failed diplomacy and goading by NATO. He also said that Putin “rejected repeated efforts at diplomacy”. This is unclear, if not totally untrue. The problem rests as much in western Governments’ inability to recognise Russia’s genuine security interests as it does with Putin’s irredentist ambitions. It is clear that some western leaders want a war with Putin.

Joe Biden also said that the US Administration “countered Russia’s lies with the truth”. There is no question that Putin is prone to lying – almost all leaders are, particularly totalitarian ones - but the US Government can hardly claim to be a paragon of virtue on the truth front. They have told continuous lies that have condemned multitudes to their deaths as witnessed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and currently in Yemen.

His last utterance was the most worrying. After the usual “God bless our troops, thank you” he said somewhat triumphantly “Go get him!” This is not in the official transcript of his speech and so could be taken as a Trumpian type slip, which is all the more worrying. Assuming the ‘him’ in question is Putin, the question arises as to who exactly is doing the going and the getting.

Of course, we know well that this is the courageous Ukrainian people who are putting up a remarkable defence against Putin’s brutal assault of their country. So, the US, and other western countries, will supply lots of military hardware thus escalating this proxy war between two powerful military blocks into a bloodbath while making no attempt whatsoever at diplomatic means to stop it. They also show scant regard and support for the diplomatic efforts of President Zelensky.

Taking inspiration from the brave Russian anti-war protesters we must counter this western warmongering with calls instead for a ceasefire, diplomacy and meaningful peace talks. It is the only way to avoid mass slaughter and a descent into barbarism. The Ukrainian people deserve peace and security, not this proxy war.

Yours etc,

JIM ROCHE,
PRO Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.

Tel. 087 6472737

Vladimir Putin Has Already Won, but Nobody Wants to Admit It Russia is too big to fail: Jessica Wildfire, 070322

https://jessicalexicus.medium.com/vladimir-putin-has-already-won-but-no…

Putin has touched off the climate wars, a series of conflicts that experts have been predicting for a solid decade now. Ukraine is just the beginning. The societies that control the natural resources will enjoy the most power. The ones that rely on imports will lose their power. Without a sustainable energy plan, the biggest loser is the planet, and our future.

Tom Clonan: Putin is waging a 1942 war in 2022, causing untold suffering and destruction; thejournal.ie, Mar 1st 2022

https://www.thejournal.ie/readme/russia-invasion-of-ukraine-security-ri…

Thus, the scene is set for the major ground component of Russia’s invasion. This will involve massive loss of life and destruction of property on a grand scale. If Ukrainian forces hold their ground to any extent – inflicting heavy losses on Russian troops and delaying or denying a ‘victory’ to Putin, he may sanction the use of very heavy weapons such as thermobaric weapons in order to destroy whole sectors of the Ukrainian defence.

Ukraine says power completely cut to Chernobyl; IAEA downplays safety concerns: By AFP and TOI STAFF 9 March 2022

https://www.timesofisrael.com/ukraine-says-power-completely-cut-to-cher…

KYIV, Ukraine — Power has been entirely cut to the Chernobyl power plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986, and its security systems, Ukraine’s energy operator Ukrenergo said Wednesday.

The plant “was fully disconnected from the power grid,” Ukrenergo said in a statement on its Facebook page, adding that military operations meant “there is no possibility to restore the lines.”

“Reserve diesel generators have a 48-hour capacity to power the Chornobyl NPP. After that, cooling systems of the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will stop, making radiation leaks imminent,” tweeted Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Ukraine holds military drills with US, Poland, Lithuania: Reuters; July 27, 2021

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-holds-military-drills-with…

LVIV, Ukraine, July 27 (Reuters) - Helicopters provided air support, armoured personnel carriers rolled through fields, and soldiers fired at enemy targets on Tuesday as part of a large military exercise hosted by Ukraine and also involving the United States, Poland and Lithuania.

The drills, called Three Swords-2021, will involve more than 1,200 servicemen and more than 200 combat vehicles and will last from July 17 to 30 at Yavoriv training ground in Lviv region.

"You have seen several tactical exercises," said Yevhen Moysyuk, commander of the Ukrainian air assault forces. "They show a high level of preparedness and the readiness of our partners to jointly repel aggression," he told a briefing.

The drills come amid increased tensions between NATO and Moscow, which said in June it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it out of Black Sea waters off the coast of Crimea.

Ukraine holds military drills with U.S. forces, NATO allies: Reuters; 200921

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/ukraine-holds-milita…

A Ukrainian defence ministry spokesman said 4,000 Ukrainian troops and 2,000 foreigners would participate in the "RAPID TRIDENT - 2021" drill, due to run until Oct. 1.

The U.S. military said in a statement the drill involved a brigade combat team of the Washington National Guard, deployed in Ukraine since April as part of a multi-national training force. Troops from 12 countries in total would be involved, "to enhance interoperability among allied and partner nations" and demonstrate readiness.

IAWM PR: UKRAINE: MiG FIGHTER JETS NOT THE ANSWER - NO TO ESCALATION BY NATO COUNTRIES

IRISH ANTI WAR MOVEMENT (IAWM) PRESS RELEASE 09 MARCH 2022

• STOP PUTIN’S WAR NOW
• SUPPORT RUSSIAN ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS
• MiG JETS NOT THE ANSWER - NO TO ESCALATION BY NATO COUNTRIES
• DEFEND IRISH NEUTRALITY

The Irish Anti War Movement (IAWM) continues to condemn Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and we call on the Russian Federation to withdraw its military immediately.

We condemn in particular the indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas by the Russian Military in recent days which amount to war crimes. The provision of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians has been sporadic at best and we call for the fighting to stop to allow civilians to escape.

Possibly thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed and wounded so far, along with hundreds if not thousands of troops. A staggering 1.2 million refugees have now fled Ukraine.
The frightening threat of nuclear war by Putin still haunts us. This war has the potential to escalate and prolong creating immense suffering for Ukrainians and Russians.

THE WAR MUST STOP NOW!

There must be no ratcheting up of the war by NATO and other foreign governments. The latest effort by the Polish Government to offer US made MiG Fighter Jets to the Ukrainian Military is reckless and will only lead to further mayhem and suffering. Sending military hardware to Ukraine is not the answer. Escalating and prolonging this war will be an absolute catastrophe for the people of Ukraine and beyond. Foreign Governments instead should be encouraging diplomatic efforts to stop the war.

Jim Roche, PRO of the IAWM said:
“While we utterly condemn the barbaric invasion and in particular the shelling of civilian areas by the Russian military we call for strenuous efforts to be made by Foreign Governments to get an immediate ceasefire and negotiations for peace started. We call on the Irish Government to use its influence, including at the United Nations Security Council, to demand an immediate ceasefire, diplomatic engagement and peaceful negotiations to both immediately end the war, help the refugees and to address the ongoing disagreements between Ukraine and Russia.”

Contact:
Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 6472737
Sara O Rourke, Member, Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 6024821
Glenda Cimino, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 124 9456
Marnie Holborrow, Member, Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 9889244
Michael Youlton, Chair Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 086 8159487
END

Vladimir Putin’s unwinnable war: Assault on Ukraine; Irish Times, Dublin. 08 Mar 2022

Writing in recent days, historian Simon Schama reminded us that Napoleon is said to have estimated that the success of any campaign is one-quarter attributable to numbers and material, and three-quarters to morale. It is a lesson Russia's latter-day emperor Vladimir Putin would do well to take on board as he ploughs on with his ill-conceived and brutal assault on Ukraine.

Putin has never gained control of the narrative, the pillar of morale domestically and within his army. At home, thousands have braved police truncheons and arrest - 4,800 on Sunday - to expose the palpable nonsense that the war is simply a "military operation" against Nazis and that a grateful Ukraine is welcoming Russia's troops as friends. And as casualties mount, and unprecedented sanctions begin to bite, the initially passive support of a population, whose access to independent news has been muzzled by the regime, will turn to scepticism and then outright opposition. News will out.

In Ukraine, the calculation that a quick surgical strike would suffice to take the country has been bogged down in the winter mud on the roads north of Kyiv and in the face of a surprisingly well-armed, trained and - more crucially - motivated Ukrainian army and a risen people. In some cases disconsolate Russian conscripts have surrendered, confessing that they had no idea where they were. Or why they were there. Others have looked out bemused from their tanks as unarmed civilians barred their way in "captured" cities.

The huge imbalance in firepower means Putin may still win out. The battle may last months at a great cost in lives. But it could be a pyrrhic victory - long-term occupation and control will be hugely expensive in manpower and cash, if not impossible. It has been estimated that each day of the invasion is costing Russia more than $20 billion, and cash is already running short.

Putin has warned Ukraine's friends in the west that any attempt to provide direct military assistance will be seen as an act of war, and there is an understandable reluctance to trigger what some have warned would be world war three. A wider conflagration would be costlier in lives than the current bloody conflict and raise the prospect of a nuclear confrontation.

But Putin has also suggested that supplying fighter planes to Ukraine, currently under discussion in Nato, or allowing Ukraine's jets sheltering in Romania to fly missions into Ukraine, would also constitute an act of war by Nato. These are his red lines that Nato may consider are necessary to cross. And, should the occupation be successful, will Ukraine's neighbours deny displaced fighters bases in neighbouring Nato member states from which to launch attacks on the occupiers? Direct Nato-Russia conflict remains a real possibility. The stakes could not be higher.