Tale Of Two Broken Accords: Oslo And Minsk

“Tens of thousands of Italians marched through Rome on Saturday calling for peace in Ukraine and urging Italy to stop sending weapons” © Stefano Ronchini / ipa-agency.ne/Stefano Ronchini / ipa-agency.net  Source: MSN

Many people understand that war is hell. That’s why they clamor for negotiated settlements that move belligerents back from the battlefield and set them on a path to reconciliation.

The Oslo Accords established a two-state solution to Israel’s violent occupation of Palestinian homelands and at the time was hailed as a major achievement.

Then came facts on the ground for the last several decades. 

It would by now be virtually impossible to create a State of Palestine that was not hopelessly Balkanized into tiny, unconnected territories. At the time of Oslo, many expressed doubt and believed that only a truly democratic one-state solution could work. (Full disclosure: I’m in that camp.)

The insanely belligerent and corrupt Israeli PM Netanyahu has won the recent elections and stands poised to bring even more violence and suffering to the long-occupied Palestinians.  And Israel is a nuclear weapons nation. With lots of nuclear threats and innuendoes being thrown around these days, it’s important to keep that in mind.

So we can expect to see a continuation of Israel’s attacks on Palestinians in blockaded Gaza

in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank

and Israel bombing Syria and Lebanon, other nations altogether.

The Minsk II agreement established a game plan for resolving civil war in Ukraine.

Tens of thousands of civilians and combatants had been killed by missile strikes and more hands-on violence from militias operating freely in the Donbas border region with Russia following a 2014 CIA-sponsored coup in Kyiv. Years later, Ukraine’s President Zelensky was elected on a platform promising to implement Minsk and end the death toll. Then the neo-Nazis enabled by the U.S. and NATO got to him. I suspect he was threatened with assasination unless he signed on to his country serving as the killing grounds for proxy war to weaken Russia. 

One wonders why nations sign on to accords and then immediately show no intention of fulfilling them?

It could be a stalling tactic to temporarily reduce international pressure to de-escalate.

Or it could be a case where those who signed on are ousted either by coup or elections, and succeeded by those with a lust for war.

Or maybe diplomatic efforts like accords are doomed in the face of the profit motive provided by modern industrialized killing?

Workers hold the key to stopping wars no matter what the motives of those waging them. 

An international general strike would make wars literally impossible.

I pray we are seeing signs of this developing, especially in Europe where the economic impact of the war on Russia via Ukraine has been most intense. Certainly we are seeing signs of alarm from rulers enacting laws that actually criminalize gathering.

Okay, so don’t gather. Stay inside and refuse to work helping the war machine grind on. Mutual aid could not only make this strategy survivable but also strengthen solidarity among the people. Build it on the foundation of a shared desire to not be burned to a crisp by wars escalated via nuclear weapons.

The Fire This Time

Nagasaki in August, 1945 Source: HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES

This month, a hot one in the Global North, is when we remember the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with two types of nuclear weapons. This month the old lies will be trotted out: the U.S. ended the war and saved countless (American soldiers’) lives by dropping these bombs. 

This month the old lies will be refuted — eloquently and with copious references by David Swanson in Hiroshima is a Lie among other places.

Anyone paying attention to WWII actual history rather than the History Channel (some say, Hitler Channel) version knows that Japan was about to surrender. And the U.S. government knew it. The unnecessary firepower was primarily intended as a show of strength to warn the U.S.S.R. that, with Nazi Germany defeated — primarily by the U.S.S.R. — the U.S. was the new bully on the block.

But firebombing cities full of civilians was nothing new in 1945. The U.S. had already burned up many cities in Japan and Germany. 

And burning civilians to death has continued as the signature act of aggression by U.S. forces.

Napalm was developed, a jellied form of petroleum, to burn Vietnamese jungles and people.

Drones were developed to deliver Hellfire missiles remotely without risk (other than debilitating moral injuries to last a lifetime) to the bombers.

White phosphorus was developed to burn on contact and keep burning deep into the flesh. It’s used extensively by Israel and the U.S. on civilian populations.

And now come global raging fires, a result of runaway military use of fossil fuels which is accelerating rather than abating in the face of climate emergency.

Joseph Galanakis/Rex/Shutterstock

Greece is on fire, with ground temperatures beyond belief.

Oregon has gone almost two months without rain and is burning.

Just two examples out of many.

When will we stop burning up people, animals, fish, birds, and forests for profit?

When will we realize that to live by the sword of fire is to die by the sword of fire?

Respect to the environmental activists begging us to find a better way to live, throwing their spanners into the works of late stage capitalism.

Respect to the nuclear resistance activists begging us to realize that any further deployment of nuclear weaponry spells doom for humans as a species.

In the face of facts on the ground, why does the U.S. keep building nuclear weapon systems? For profit, of course. The revolving door between the Pentagon and military contractors guarantees that these deadly contracts keep rolling in. 

Source: https://jpegy.com/artsy/you-cannot-eat-money-33756

Indigenous wisdom is ignored at a time in history when listening and heeding could save us. 

Will we listen in time to save us from the fire this time?