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.

If Taiwan Is The Next Ukraine, Better Start Studying

Source: China Protests US Navy, Coast Guard Ships in Taiwan Strait, VOA

My last blog post made reference to a RAND study on perceptions of U.S. space programs in both Russia and China. The report noted how much more difficult it is for people in the West to understand Chinese attitudes and beliefs. Indeed, the authors could not even select ten space developments in recent decades that were seen as significant by Chinese publications they studied.

As U.S. warmongers clearly signal their intention to use Taiwan to weaken China

in a move analogous to using Ukraine to weaken Russia, it’s time for me to do some studying.

Since information rather than propaganda is so hard to come by these days, I’ve compiled a digest that goes partway toward addressing that problem. I don’t read Chinese so I’ll have to rely on English translations or, in some cases, messaging prepared with a Western audience in mind.

I acknowledge that this is a very incomplete list of worthwhile readings, so I welcome your feedback and further suggestions in the comments.

China digest

outsider perspectives

Taiwan and the making of an ‘Asian NATO’ – Monthly Review Online, Danny Haiphong

China chip ban a US exercise in extreme self-harm – Asia Times, David P. Goldman

Countries struggling against US domination are inevitably turning to China – Friends of Socialist China, Margaret Kimberley

‘China knows it’s getting stronger’ George Yeo on US-China tensions – South China Morning Post, Talking Post with Yonden Lhatoo

‘Peaceful modernization’: China’s offering to the Global South – The Cradle, Pepe Escobar

Screenshot from a video of former Communist Party of China (CPC) Chairman Hu Jintao, age 79, being removed from the closing day of the 20th National Congress of the CPC. Xi Jinping is seated to his left when a man in a mask comes to escort Hu out.

The interpretations of this odd event are indicative of 1) the difficulty for Westerners to understand what’s going on in China and 2) the often knee-jerk hostility where most commenters assumed this was like a Mafia hit or purge.  Other commenters said: Hu has Alzheimers and may have needed someoe to attend to his personal hygiene. 

It is well nigh impossible for me to know the truth of what happened. So, I’ll keep reading.

Chinese perspectives

Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects – Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, October 16, 2022, Xi Jinping

Special report on the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China – People’s Daily Online (in Google English translation, for what it’s worth)

‘Who Am I,’ video about CPC’s growth, purposes and goals, goes viral – Global Times

Who Am I? – YouTube