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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 2-Jul-2014
2-Jul-14 World View -- Ukraine's forces assault pro-Russian separatists as cease-fire ends

Web Log - July, 2014

2-Jul-14 World View -- Ukraine's forces assault pro-Russian separatists as cease-fire ends

In face of China's increased aggression, Japan reinterprets its constitution

This morning's key headlines from

Ukraine's forces assault pro-Russian separatists as cease-fire ends

Petro Poroshenko visits the Ukrainian troops last week (AP)
Petro Poroshenko visits the Ukrainian troops last week (AP)

Both Ukraine government forces and pro-Russian separatists in ease Ukraine appear to be digging in for a protracted conflict, as a dozen or so people were killed on Tuesday in firefights between the two groups. The government forces began an assault on the pro-Russian separatist positions after Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an end to a 10 day old cease-fire.

Poroshenko had declared a unilateral 7-day cease-fire on June 20, and then extended it for three more days. However, during the cease-fire, Russian-led forces continued attacking Ukrainian fixed positions, killing dozens of Ukrainian soldiers. At the same time, U.S. and Nato intelligence ascertained that during the unilateral cease-fire, Russia transferred additional tanks, armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft guns and other hardware to the Russian-backed fighters.

Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, is a war criminal providing supplies of heavy weapons to Syria's president Bashar al-Assad to conduct his "industrial strength" torture and extermination of civilians. Putin has no ethics or morals, and in Ukraine was playing the usual game of calling for peaceful negotiations, using the time to rearm his troops. Putin and European leaders all were pressuring Poroshenko to extend the cease-fire past June 30, but he was receiving a great deal of internal pressure not to force his own armed forces to stand still as sitting ducks for Russian-supplied weapons.

On Tuesday, Poroshenko gave a nationally televised speech ending the cease-fire:

"After a June 30 evening meeting of the the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine I, as Commander-in-Chief, have decided not to pursue a unilateral cease-fire.

Protection of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, safety and life of civilians requires not only defensive but also offensive operations against terrorist militants.

The Armed Forces, National Guard, the State Border Guard Service, Security Service have received appropriate instructions. ...

We will attack and liberate our land. Non-renewal of the ceasefire - is our response to terrorists, rebels, looters, and to all those who are making fun of civilians, who are paralyzing the work of regional economy, who steal the payments of salaries, pensions, stipends, who undermine and destroy railroad plumbing, who have deprived people of normal, peaceful life. ...

Everyone who stood in the way of armed resistance to lawful authority, but realizing that mistake and wants to correct it, as president, I guarantee FAILURE to justice. Condition One - voluntarily lay down their arms."

Vladimir Putin responded as follows:

"Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has taken the decision to resume military actions, and we Ė meaning myself and my colleagues in Europe Ė could not convince him that the way to reliable, firm and long-term peace canít lie through the war.

So far, Petro Poroshenko had no direct relation to orders to take military action. Now he has taken on this responsibility in full. Not only military, but also political, more importantly.

Everything thatís going on in Ukraine is of course the internal business of the Ukrainian government, but we are painfully sorry that people die, civilians."

Given his support of torture and genocide in Syria, I doubt very much that Putin is "painfully sorry" that civilians die. Also, there has been no confirmation that his "colleagues in Europe" agreed with his version of the discussions. Australian Broadcasting and Jamestown and Voice of Russia and Ukraine's government (Trans)

China's neighbors react to new South China Sea claims

President Obama's recent visit to Asia was, like many of his foreign trips, supposed to reduce hostilities and encourage peaceful negotiations, especially between China and its neighbors. Instead, it seems to have encouraged China to more aggressively assert its claims to the entire South China Sea, including regions that have historically belonged to Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines. China is building a network of airstrips and military garrisons in the South China Sea in clear violation of international law.

China has updated its famous "nine-dash map," which depicts its sovereignty over the entire South China Sea with a new map that signals China's treatment of its territorial claims as a "core interest," meaning that any compromise in the South China Sea would be equivalent to giving away a part of mainland China. This is consistent with China's repeated statements indicating that it will annex the entire South China Sea and declare war on anyone that tries to stop them.

A web site reader recently wrote the following:

"Mr. Xenakis, you sir are very good in your craft. I may not have heard or read about most of the international incidents here in your column, but your articulation about China's strong-armed annexation of a string of islets and shoals belonging to the Philippines is a fact I can definitely affirm myself. Proof is that one of these shoals, Panatag shoal and the seas surrounding it, has been a common fishing ground of my ancestors even before WW2. Now this area is surrounded by hundreds of large Chinese fishing trawlers, sucking everything from a grain-sized shrimp to giant, 10-pounder oysters. And these illegal fishermen are escorted by a numbers of Chinese coast guard ships armed with cal. 50 machine guns and powerful water cannons, used to intimidate and deter us Filipino fish folks from our livelihood."

China's relations with its neighbors continue to deteriorate, bringing increasing criticism. Diplomatic relations with Vietnam and the Philippines have become increasingly hostile, and the two countries are forming an alliance with Japan against China. Even Singapore, which has always been very cautious about China, is now speaking out, decrying China's militaristic approach. Reuters and Lowy Interpreter

In face of China's increased aggression, Japan reinterprets its constitution

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe has won his battle to partially abandon his country's self-defense only military policy by getting his cabinet to approve a reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution, the clause that permits military activity only for self-defense.

The change reinterprets the clause to allow Japan to use military action to come to the aid of an ally under military attack. According to Abe:

"We will not resort to the use of force (solely) with the aim of defending other countries. By being fully prepared to deal with any situation, Japan can foil any attempt to wage war against Japan."

According to the reinterpretation of the self-defense clause, Japan will use only the minimum force necessary, and only when the attack on the ally poses a clear danger to Japan. Japan Times

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 2-Jul-14 World View -- Ukraine's forces assault pro-Russian separatists as cease-fire ends thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (2-Jul-2014) Permanent Link
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