Ukraine War, April 10, 2024: Europe’s failure to understand Russian aggression an to act forcefully to counter it–three years on

1) Boris Bondarew (Gastbeitrag) “Warum Macron recht hat und Scholz nur Putin stärkt: Es ist richtig, dass der französische Präsident Bodentruppen in der Ukraine nicht ausgeschlossen hat. Denn Wladimir Putin fürchtet nichts so sehr wie die direkte Beteiligung Europas am Krieg,” Der Spiegel, den 10. April 2024 (16:11 Uhr);

2) Boris Bondarew:[Guest article): “Why Macron is right and Scholz only strengthens Putin;It is true that the French president did not exclude ground troops in Ukraine. Because Vladimir Putin fears nothing as much as Europe’s direct participation in the war.:” Der zspiegel, April 10, 2024 ( 4:11 p.m.);

Ukraine War, April 2, 2024: Running out of air defense, Ukraine’s cities and infrastructure are sitting ducks

1) “One of Ukraine’s biggest power plants destroyed by Russia,” The Telegraph, March 30, 2024 (5:00pm);

2) Chris McGreal, “‘Not a normal war’: doctors say children have been targeted by Israeli snipers in Gaza; IDF says it ‘completely rejects’ charge that its soldiers deliberately fired on any of the thousands of civilians killed in Israeli offensive,” The Guardian, April 2, 2024;

3) Phil Klay, “U.S. Support for Israel’s War Has Become Indefensible
A good pretext for war is not enough to make a war just,” The Atlantuc, March 28, 2024;

“All the work we have done with the Global South [over Ukraine] has been lost,” a senior G7 diplomat told the Financial Times in October. “Forget about rules, forget about world order. They won’t ever listen to us again.”

4) Von Susanne Koelbl, Christoph Reuter und Thore Schröder, “Deshalb ist das Bombardement des iranischen Konsulats so gefährlich; Der mutmaßlich israelische Raketenangriff auf das iranische Konsulat in Damaskus bedeutet eine immense Eskalation der Lage. Tel Aviv beteuert zwar, kein Interesse an einem Regionalkrieg zu haben. Doch was ist die Absicht?” Der Spiegel den 2. April 2024 (19.33 Uhr);

5) Hélène Sallon (Beyrouth, correspondante) et Ghazal Golshiri, “Après les frappes attribuées à Israël sur le consulat d’Iran à Damas, Téhéran face à un dilemme stratégique; L’Iran, qui a évité jusqu’ici d’entrer en conflit ouvert avec l’Etat hébreu, pourrait se trouver contraint de riposter, faisant craindre une escalade, Le Monde, le 2 avril 2024 (modifié à 10h06);

Israel bombs Iranian consulate in Syria, in total disregard of international law

1) Patrick Wintour ( Diplomatic editor), “Iran vows revenge after two generals killed in Israeli strike on Syria consulate; Several people killed in airstrike, including Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi and his deputy,” The Guardian, April 1, 2024 (22:17 BST);

2) Jared Malsin and Aresu Eqbali, “Israel Blamed for Attack Killing Iranian General in Damascus; Missile strike hit Iranian diplomatic building in Syrian capital, Syria and Iran say, risking an escalation of hostilities,” Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2024 (Updated 4:51 ET);

3) Antonio Pita, “Israel mata a tres destacados mandos militares iraníes en la residencia del embajador en Damasco; El asesinato y el bombardeo en Siria del viernes amenazan con incendiar aún más Oriente Próximo. El fin del asedio al mayor hospital de Gaza deja edificios calcinados, cadáveres en el suelo y pilas de escombros,” El País, el 1 de abril 2024 (actualizado a las 16:50 EDT);

4) “Israel bombs Iran embassy in Syria, Iranian commanders among dead,” SWI (Swissinfo.ch), April 2, 2024 (00:03);

Ukraine War, March 29, 2024: Putin and Russia now rule by overt Terror

1) “Russian media ‘told to publish’ torture footage of Moscow terrorists, The Telegraph, March 29, 2024 (3:36 pm);

2) David Ignatius, “Zelensky: ‘We are trying to find some way not to retreat’ Washington Post, March 29, 2024 h1:53 p.m. EDT):

3) Gloria Rodríguez-Pina (Varsovia), “Donald Tusk: “Estamos en una época de preguerra. No exagero”; El primer ministro polaco responde a Sánchez, que en la última cumber europea pidió rebajar el tono bélico: ‘Nuestro deber no es discutir, sino prepararnos para defendernos’. Y alerta de que el conflicto en Ucrania puede alargarse,” El País, el 29 de Marzo 2024 (06:00 CET);

4) María Antonia Sánchez-Vallejo”US sparks controversy at the UN with claim that Gaza ceasefire resolution is ‘non-binding’: The majority of members of the Security Council and numerous experts reject this reading and believe that the text is binding, even if the organization does not have the coercive power to make sure Israel and Hamas adhere to it,” El País, March 29, 2024 (19:50 CET):

MARÍA ANTONIA SÁNCHEZ-VALLEJO
New York – MAR 29, 2024 – 10:50CET

Analysis

Putin has now resorted to the overt use of TERROR in order to maintain his totalitarian regime in power. The Telegraph reports:

Russian state media employees were instructed to publish footage of the Crocus City Hall terrorist suspects being tortured as a “prevention measure”, Vertska reported.

Graphic images of Russian authorities torturing the suspects began circulating on Telegram soon after their arrest. One showed someone cutting off Saidakrami Rachabalizoda’s ear and forcing him to eat it while another showed Shamsidin Fariduni being electrocuted.

In the meantime, without sufficient weapon, air defense systems, and other munitions, Ukraine’s cities and civilian infrastructure are vulnerable to devastating attack, while lack of munitions (especially artillery shells) may lead to major Ukrainian retreats and Russian reconquest of territory it lost in 2022.

If the Republicans were not running on a ricket headed by a cunning and dangerous fascist who is notvsmart and centered solely on himself, they could marshal a powerful attach on tge disastrous foreign policy leadership of tgecDemocrats beginning with Barack Obama in 2009.

Democratic foreign policy leadership and policies have been absolutely disastrous for at least the last decade. Moreover, there appears yo be little prospect for change. Even if Joe Buden is reelected, his disastrous forein policies can only be expected to continue. Should Kamala Harris become tge Democratic candidate in 2028, her victory in the election would signify continued weak leadership ny the Democrats on foreign policy. Bybthe, tge country could be in a hot war with Russia or China, and be facing nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran.

1) Cristian Segura (Kiev), “Olaf Scholz asegura que Ucrania está analizando cómo puede negociarse la paz con Rusia; El canciller alemán insiste en un discurso menos beligerante con Moscú que el del presidente francés,” El País, el 28 de marzo 2024 (actualizado a las 12:55 EDT);

2) Sozialdemokratische Historiker kritisieren Russland-Politik der SPD; Eine Gruppe von Historikern um Heinrich August Winkler rechnet in einem offenen Brief mit der SPD ab. Deren Argumente seien ‘erratisch und nicht selten faktisch falsch’,” Die Zeit, den 27 Marz 2024 (Aktualisiert am 27. März 2024, 19:57 Uhr);

3) “‘Hochgefährliche Realitätsverweigerung’: Historiker üben scharfe Kritik an Russland-Politik der SPD-Spitze; Eine Gruppe von Wissenschaftlern um Heinrich August Winkler geht in einem offenen Brief hart mit der SPD-Spitze ins Gericht. Sie werfen ihr unzureichende Solidarität mit der Ukraine vor,” Tagesspiegel, den 28. März 2023 (13:14 Uh);

Analysis

Olaf Scholz and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) are leading Germany down the path of appeasement of Russia.And as the leading country favoring appeasement, Germany is operating as a major brake on the efforts of the EU and NATO countries to provide the advanced weapons systems and ammunition it needs.

In both NATO and rge EU, major decisions relating to Ukraine can only be taken by unanimous vote. Consequently, as the leading country favoring appeasement, Germany in effect blocks critical actions by these actors that would supply Ukraine with the military assistance it so desperately needs.

The leader of the SPD faction in the Bundestag, Rölf Mützenich, recently advocated a “freezing” of the conflict in Ukraine with a settlement to be worked out later. Anyone who has been following the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine understands that Mützenich was essentially calling for capitulation by Ukraine.

While Defense Minister Pistorius and Chancellor Scholz distanced themselves from this proposal, Scholz continues his hard line on the road of appeasement–no Taurus missiles, slow and begrudging supply to Ukraine of other weapons systems.

Scholz reminds this observer of no one so much as Neville Chamberlain, the Conservative prime minister of Great Britain until May 1940 when Winston Churchill took over the job.

Chamberlain clung to the belief until the very end, in May 1940), that a negotiated agreement could be reached with Adolf Hitler, even after Hitler tore up the Munich Pact which led Chamberlain to declare he had achieved “peace for
our time”.

Scholz is a follower, not a leader. He has been following the pro-Putin and pro-Russian elements in his party, the SPD, with careful attention to tge party’s chances in the next federal elections, where the SPD is challenged by pro-Russian and pacifist oar ties on the left, as well as the Alternative for Germany (AFD) party on the far-right, which is also pro-Russian.

Scholz is a modern Chamberlain, not a Churchill. Just as Chamberlain followed tge appeasement sentiments that were dominant in the Conservative party in 1940, Schilz follows (ir us careful not to antagonize the pacifist and pro-Russian elements on the left, particularly within the SPD.

He us alao following the opinion polls, which show a majority of Germans support his cautious and deliberate approach, on tge road to appeasement of Russia. As Cristian Segura reports in El País, his latest comments urging a softer tone than Emmanuel Macron’s toward Russia, and negotiations with the Russian dictator.

It is hard to imagine Winston Churchill basing his biggest decisions on public opinion polls, or prevailing opinion in the Conservative Party. Instead he led, and resolutely set out to change both public opinion and support for standing up to Hitler within his party.

Today, in German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, we have a leader very much like Neville Chamberlain. On the road to appeasement. Following the public opinion polls and strong factions within his party.

One does not discern a leader with the qualities of leadership Germanu, and Europe and the world, so desperately need at this perilous moment in time.

Ukraine War, March 26, 2024: Oil production, sanctions, and price of oil may be key to defeating Russia

1) Andriy Kermak, “The Oil Weapon Against Moscow; In 1986 the U.S. and Saudi Arabia raised production. That move contributed to the Soviet collapse, Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2024 (4:09 pm ET);

2) Jesus A. Nuñez Villaverde, “La batalla de las refinerías: nuevo foco de tensión entre Kiev y Washington; Estados Unidos ha hecho saber a Ucrania que no ve con buenos ojos los ataques a instalaciones de hidrocarburos,”El País, el 23 de marzo 2024 (05:40CET);

3) “The battle of the refineries: new focus of tension between Kiev and Washington; The United States has made it known to Ukraine that it does not welcome the attacks on hydrocarbon facilities,” El País, March 23, 2024 (95:40 CER);