Thursday, 17 December 2015

Does History Repeat Itself?

Lecture by Dr. Ivaylo Grouev
Professor Political Science, University of Ottawa.

Saturday, 7 pm — January 23, 2016
University of Ottawa.

Marion Hall Auditorium, Room 150 (Google map)
140 Louis Pasteur Street. Campus parking map
Walking directions to auditorium

'Does History Repeat Itself?' is 1.5 hour lecture with maps, charts and videos, followed by discussion.

Dr. Grouev, formerly a journalist in Bulgaria, will focus on USA hegemony in the era of globalization — world leadership.

The lecture is hosted by The Cinema Academica and the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Peace Initiative (Facebook). Cinema Academica (Facebook) is a film/lecture program at the University of Ottawa, presented as a free public service.

Friday, 4 December 2015

War in Ukraine and NATO

'... a complicated situation, but not impossible to understand ...' — Roger Annis

I have just watched a 1-hour video: 'The NATO Offensive in Eastern Europe and the Class and the National Dynamics of The War in Eastern Ukraine,' presented at the public forum: 'Eyewitness Report from the War Zone of Eastern Ukraine' held June 12, 2015 at the Institute for the Humanities, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia.

The author Roger Annis is a retired aerospace worker in Vancouver, a member of the Vancouver Ecosocialist Group, and is an anti-war advocate. He is an editor and writer at The New Cold War: Ukraine and Beyond, a website launched in November 2014 by delegates who attended an anti-war conference in Yalta, Crimea in July 2014, about which Annis reported in September 2014 at SFU.

February 2012 Minsk II ceasefire zone around Donetsk and Lugansk
In April 2015, as one of 11 international delegates (2 from Canada), Annis participated in a 5-day media tour to Donetsk city and region in eastern Ukraine. He presented the tour's findings and his observations and views with a slide presentation shown in split-screen (above) using 65 images (34 photos, 16 charts/lists, 12 maps). Though about 40 attended this forum, 4000+ watched all or part of it online so far.

I appreciated his clarity in context, facts, and interpretation rarely found in Western media. Here are some of his findings:
  • Minsk II — A ceasefire zone has been in place in the Ukraine since February 12, 2015, but violations are frequent and the underlying economic and political issues that sparked the war are unresolved.
  • The NATO countries are pushing a 'blame Russia' narrative, and three of them — the US, UK and Canada — have soldiers in western Ukraine training the Ukrainian army.
  • The Eastern regions of the Ukraine Donetsk and Lugansk have declared themselves as Peoples Republics. However, the illegal right wing government of Kiev does not recognize them, and instead calls them 'terrorists'. At least 6,350 people have been killed in the war.
  • Choosing Europe or Russia is 'an absurd choice'. Wealthy elite want to make much money by selling off the resources, but the majority do not agree.
  • Since 1991, the West has spent $5 billion in the Ukraine weakening the ties between Ukraine and Russia. The violent overthrow of the elected government of Yanukovych was illegal.
  • NATO expansion is threatening the world order. Russia is 'not' an imperialist country, but is only defending itself from NATO threats. The author suggests that Canada should pull out of NATO.
  • Economic sanctions against Russia are 'illegal and immoral'. Yet, Westerners seem to accept this as 'normal', supported by much of the mainstream media.
  • In the meantime, the nuclear arms race seems to be heating up, with US leading the pack. When climate change requires great resources, it is time that wars stop, militarization be curtailed, and people around the world turn their attention to this environmental crisis.
In brief, this is a no-nonsense first-hand explanation on the situation in the Ukraine. The author Roger Annis invites readers to subscribe (for free) to the website on The New Cold War — Ukraine and Beyond. Also see links, books, and updated related resources on Youtube.