Ukraine II – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

Where to start? On August 23rd when Ukraine was the top story it was mostly about the large convoy of Russian trucks that went into and back out of Ukraine on a humanitarian mission. After that most of the news went toward Gaza Strip. Today Ukraine is back in the top spot and I just spent my self-required one hour reading about the issue.

Pro-Russian Separatists are battling Ukrainian Government troops in the Southeast portion of Ukraine in what seems to me to be a pathway from Russia to Crimea, the region annexed by Russia back in March.

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Luhansk and Donetsk are the largest of the cities that are currently under control of the militia that are now calling themselves Novorossiya, translated as New Russia.

Violence broke out in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions in April, as separatist leaders declared independence from the government in Kiev. Since mid-April, the conflict between the pro-Russia rebels and the Ukrainian military has cost more than 2,500 lives, according to the United Nations.

From <http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/30/world/europe/ukraine-crisis/>

Fingers are being pointed back and forth as NATO is claiming that Russian troops are now inside of Ukraine and are engaging along with the Separatists against the Ukrainian Government forces, while the Russians are denying this saying that there is no proof, that the pictures being provided by the West are from video games.

Volunteers from throughout Europe are now joining with the Separatists

RT’s Paula Slier found out that volunteers are coming to the Donetsk frontline not just from France, but also from Spain, Poland, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Aleksey Mozgovoy, the commander of ‘Prizrak’ (Ghost) brigade from the Lugansk Region said in an interview to the MK.ru news outlet that in his 1,000-strong battalion there are fighters from Bulgaria, Slovakia and Germany.

From <http://jhaines6.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/rt-united-continent-european-volunteers-fighting-kiev-troops-in-eastern-ukraine/>

They are joining the side of the Novorossiya because they are trying to protect the civilians that the Government forces are putting in peril, that the Government forces are not really sure why they are fighting, who they are fighting and what they are fighting for. They are just following orders from Kiev (capital) and from NATO leaders.

The United States has vowed to stay out of the fighting, but is looking to issue more sanctions against Russia if they do not also back off

On Thursday, Obama threatened his Russian counterpart with new sanctions over Ukraine.

“Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine,” Obama said. “The new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see.”

Moscow’s actions “will only bring more cost and consequences to Russia,” Obama told reporters.

From <http://jhaines6.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/presstv-obama-warns-putin-not-to-mess-around-with-baltic-states/>

Doesn’t seem like Putin is much concerned with the sanctions, and even though he attempted to do a humanitarian gesture this week

In one conciliatory gesture, Mr. Putin suggested in his statement that the militia groups open a humanitarian corridor to allow surrounded Ukrainian soldiers to escape and to avoid further loss of life. Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the rebel leader who said on Thursday that more than 3,000 Russians, including active soldiers on leave, had fought among the separatists, quickly agreed to Mr. Putin’s proposal. But he said the Ukrainians would have to abandon their weapons.
Ukraine rejected the proposal and said no such corridors had been established. “Combat is going on there with an aim to kill,” said Col. Andriy Lysenko, the spokesman for the Ukrainian national security council.

From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/world/europe/ukraine-conflict.html?_r=0&gt;

Soon afterwards he sent out a warning to all, that the West needs to remember that Russia is one of the top nuclear weapon Superpowers in the world. Seems like a stand off between the tough guys on the playground, both daring each other to do something else.

One blog I read had an example of a propaganda leaflet being left with citizens in cities where the militia has occupied, along with some very insightful opinions and concerns over what is going on there and what we are not hearing. Please read

http://migukin.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/this-propaganda-leaflet-from-occupied-novoazovsk-is-all-kinds-of-wrong/

Comparisons to Hitler have come up in many articles that I read as far as what is happening in Ukraine, not sure I agree with that comparison but it is concerning none the less. My viewpoint is this, both sides say that they are willing to negotiate but neither side is willing to give an inch. What I am not hearing is the viewpoint of the civilians in these towns. One video I did see had a young woman on a bicycle, smiling at the camera with a look of sincere relief saying that she was so happy that the militia had arrived in their town, as she did not trust the Government troops at all. Of course I had to take the word of the translation.

I believe that Russia is involved in the rebels cause, just like I believe that NATO and US is involved in the Government’s cause. What I don’t understand is what is gained by controlling this land that up until March of this year, when the pro-Russian president was ousted, I never even knew existed to be honest. Can someone explain this to me?

Until next time, praying as always for peace….

Mark

 

 

 
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Ebola – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

Again, I remind myself definition of ignorance is lack of knowledge or information.

Before today, when it became the #1 story on Google News, I knew little about the Ebola virus and the outbreak affecting West Africa. I still only know a very little about it, but what I have read is very disturbing.

The outbreak apparently was first reported to deaf ears in March, almost 6 months ago. But it really did not get much notice as far as I can tell here in the United States until a report that an infected person actually flew into Atlanta, and even then it was hidden behind reports on Gaza Strip, Ukraine and any political bull crap that was going on.

This is scary, scary stuff, and that is an understatement. Some statistics:

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday in a bleak assessment of the deadly disease.

The United Nations health agency issued a strategic plan to combat the oubreak in four West African nations where it said the actual number of cases could already be two to four times higher than the reported 3,069. The death toll stands at 1,552.

 From <http://diamondcelebrities.com/2014/08/28/ebola-outbreak-could-strike-20000-people-who/>

If half the people that contract Ebola die from it, and WHO is saying that 20,000 people are going to possibly be infected, it seems to me that more people will die from this than both Ukraine and Gaza combined, yet it took 6 months for it to be the top story? I read many accounts from people in Africa who are scared for their lives. Accounts of medical personnel packing up and leaving rather than having to help treat the sick. But there are also accounts of volunteers willing to help for NO pay because they want to save their country’s people.

Top story today seemed to be a Doctor in Nigeria dieing from Ebola, with Nigeria joining Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as infected countries. Many reports are saying that the help is finally starting to arrive from the International community, even though there are still stories of medical aid being delayed.

Our “freight forwarder” collected the pallets on August 18 for consolidated air freight service, which normally means airport-to-airport delivery within three to five days using space available on commercial (passenger) airlines or dedicated cargo flights to the destination. By consolidating cargo from various shippers, freight forwarders reduce the cost of air shipment significantly from express services, which is important when shipping multiple pallets.

And here is the rub. In spite of repeated statements from the World Health Organization (WHO) advising against travel bans to and from affected countries, commercial airlines have suspended service. Clearly this constrains the ability for the international humanitarian community to send aid workers. But due to the role passenger flights play in providing air cargo capacity, these travel restrictions are effectively quarantining critical medical supplies outside Ebola-affected regions.

From <http://supplychainmit.com/2014/08/28/commerical-air-cancellations-quarantine-ebola-supplies/>

Unfortunately the conditions of the medical centers that are fighting this outbreak are dismal at best, but some of the stories of the heroes that have stayed and are doing everything that they can are amazing. One such story is below with a link to the entire story with some more mind numbing statistics

Anja Wolz is in the latter group of people. A nurse with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Wolz is working at Kailahun, Sierra Leone. She has written a first-person account of the grueling and relentless work the national and international health-care workers fighting the outbreak face day after day after day.
She says the worst thing about the work is dealing with the children — orphaned, confused, sick and a heartbreak to caregivers whose instincts are to offer consoling hugs. The PPE — personal protective equipment, a.k.a. layers of head-to-toe coverings — the health workers must wear make hugging and even talking to the children difficult.

From <http://globalnews.ca/news/1531783/a-nurses-view-fighting-ebola-one-day-at-a-time-in-sierra-leone/&gt;

My ignorant view is this. First I cannot believe that this has not been the top news story before today. Second I hope and I pray that the international community turns its attention away from the pointless wars elsewhere and devotes as much time and money into combating this true war before it is too late. I guarantee that if an Ebola outbreak had occurred anywhere besides in Africa, that this would have been the top story back in March.

Vaccines are being tested now in US and in Canada, what the hell have they been waiting for? I guess the appropriate funding was not available or else everyone was too busy watching War TV. My hopes and prayers go out to all in West Africa along with the heroes that are en route now to help combat this, just hope it is not too little, too late

Gaza Strip IV – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

Headlines read “Latest Gaza Strip cease-fire holds as both sides weigh cost of conflict. Yesterday I posted my hope that this will last, unfortunately the more I learn, the less likely that seems to be possible.

Bit of history

Gaza City, slightly inland and adjacent to a natural harbor, has been inhabited for at least 3,500 years. The first historical reference to the loose subsoil of Gaza — which has made possible the network of Hamas tunnels targeted by Israel in the latest conflict — dates to Alexander the Great, whose forces besieged the Arab garrison for three months and eventually sacked the city, filling six ships with booty. Some 1,500 years later — following the emergence of Islam and sporadic rule by crusaders — Gaza was the westernmost point of the Mongol advance. Centuries later, it was seized (briefly) by Napoleon

From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/opinion/gaza-victim-of-history.html>

This is nothing new for Gaza, it seems to be all that they know, which is one of the main reasons that I believe that this is not going to last. There are many opinions out there on how to make it last, one of them that stood out in my mind is that removing the blockades and the sanctions against the Gaza Strip might actually make sense. With the sanctions in place, citizens of Gaza really have no choice but to follow radical parties like Hamas, who promise to get them what they need, and they do it by smuggling items in and stockpiling weapons. No sanctions, then they would be able to grow their city and the businesses and infrastructure that is much needed. On more than one occasion, Gaza City is referred to as the world’s largest prison or largest ghetto, and that is exactly how the radical leaders want it.

The Gaza Strip is a 25-by-5-mile spit of sand, crammed with 1.7 million Palestinians. It is the largest open-air prison in the world. Since 2007, it has been blockaded by Israel. The blockade restricts the movement of personnel and the imports of building supplies, medical goods and food.
Hamas is often accused of using Gazans as human shields, but there is no evidence of that. If civilians are killed, it’s because there is no place to go, no place to hide. U.N. safe houses, schools, hospitals and mosques offer no protection. The Gaza Strip is a ghetto

From <http://napavalleyregister.com/news/opinion/mailbag/the-gaza-strip-new-age-ghetto/article_d2adaf50-7aa0-5336-8f20-d3452ad20f42.html>

Hamas is declaring victory. Really?!?!

Hamas declared victory, even though it had little to show for a war that killed 2,143 Palestinians, wounded more than 11,000 and left some 100,000 homeless. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and six civilians were killed, including two by Palestinian mortar fire shortly before the cease-fire was announced

From <http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/08/27/latest-gaza-strip-cease-fire-holds-as-both-sides-weigh-costs-conflict/>

In 50 days of fighting, Israel struck 5,226 targets, and militants fired 4,591 rockets at Israeli communities. More than 2,100 Palestinians, including hundreds of women and children, were killed in the fighting, and thousands of homes and businesses, as well as utilities, medical centers and mosques, were destroyed or heavily damaged, according to Gaza officials.
Seventy people on the Israeli side, almost all of them soldiers, were killed. The Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted 735 rockets headed for built-up areas, according to the military. Israel accuses Hamas of deliberately putting civilians in harm’s way by operating out of residential areas and using them as human shields.

From <http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/27/benjamin-netanyahu-under-fire-in-israel-for-little-gained-at-high-price-in-gaza-conflict/&gt;

All of my career spent in management over the course of the last 30 years or so, one reoccurring theme always came up. Get to the root cause of the problem and fix that, and then everything else will take care of itself.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations welcomed the cease-fire but said in a statement, “The blockade of Gaza must end; Israel’s legitimate security concerns must be addressed.” He warned, “Any peace effort that does not tackle the root causes of the crisis will do little more than set the stage for the next cycle of violence.”

From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-strip-conflict.html?_r=0>

What exactly did the last two months accomplish? As I see it, Gaza fishermen are the only winners here

Under the deal that ended seven weeks of fighting yesterday, restrictions on Gaza’s border crossings with Israel will be eased to let in reconstruction materials and humanitarian aid, while fishing zones off its coast have been extended, Egypt said. The two sides will resume indirect talks on other issues in the coming month, it said

From <http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/27/benjamin-netanyahu-under-fire-in-israel-for-little-gained-at-high-price-in-gaza-conflict/>

I do not see the easing of restrictions on the border crossings to be a win, as the only reason reconstruction and humanitarian aid is needed, is because of the last two months of war, which leaves the fishing zones being extended. Was it worth it? I guess I just don’t get it. The saddest part in my opinion, is the fact that it is not going to end with this cease-fire and the reason I say that is because fighting is all that the citizens of Gaza know. The following quote just exemplifies that in my opinion. In my ignorant viewpoint. I am sure that this mother of six is not alone in how she feels, and that is the scariest part of all.

“This is a great victory for the Palestinian people,” said Nabila Salem, a mother of six children, who went into the street to celebrate. “I know the destruction was huge and the pain is difficult, but we’ve gotten used to pain, and it’s the only way to win.”

 From <http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/27/benjamin-netanyahu-under-fire-in-israel-for-little-gained-at-high-price-in-gaza-conflict/>

What is in their future?

Gaza Strip III – An Ignorant View

I just pray that it lasts….below is from the New York Times

Breaking news

Israel, Palestine agree to long-term ceasefire in Gaza Strip

Palestinians celebrate what they said was a victory over Israel following a ceasefire in Gaza City August 26, 2014 (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)

GAZA CITY — Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday reached a long-term cease-fire after seven weeks of fighting, according to officials on both sides, halting the longest, bloodiest battle either side has experienced in years — but without resolving many of the bigger issues underlying the conflict.

“Israel has once again accepted an Egyptian proposal for a complete cease-fire,” a senior Israeli official said on the condition of anonymity. “This cease-fire is unlimited in time.”

Shouts of “God is great” rang out from mosque loudspeakers across Gaza City, as people fired gunshots into the air to celebrate.

“We declare the victory of the Palestinian resistance, the victory of Gaza,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the militant Hamas movement that dominates Gaza and led the Palestinian militants’ operation, announced at a news conference at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. “We achieved some of our instantaneous demands out of this battle.”

Gaza Strip II – An Ignorant View

 

posted about this a month ago and to be honest had not given it much thought since then. I was actually surprised when I looked and saw that it was the top story on Google News. After reading as many stories and blogs that I could in the past hour, I do not see where much has changed in the past month, other than it not being the lead story any more.

Most of the articles that came up on Google were articles from local newspapers in Florida, Alaska and Kentucky, all just giving the account as reported by the Associated Press. Biggest change that they are noting is that Israel is now focusing on larger buildings, specifically buildings where Hamas leadership is known to be staying. 3 top level Hamas officials were killed and turned into martyrs over the weekend. Several children, on both sides were also killed.

Meanwhile the higher ranking Hamas officials are not even in the Gaza Strip, one of them is reportedly in a high rise hotel in Qatar while spewing Israeli hate messages trying to keep the Palestinian people in an uproar. Meanwhile Hamas continues to use public buildings as a screen for their activities, drawing the missiles coming out of Israel to those buildings, killing mostly civilians.

Israel has fired over 4000 missiles into Gaza since July and Gaza has fired 3000 back into Israel. This is definitely a war, not a skirmish. Now they are saying that this could continue on into September, which thankfully is only a week away. Every story that I read notes that all of this started over 3 Israeli teenagers being abducted and killed back in July and the subsequent retaliatory murder of a Palestinian child, just in case anyone couldn’t remember why they are fighting (?).

Here I go being ignorant again, but it seems to me that this reminds me of when we were kids, and we would get into a fight over something insignificant and start arguing, with neither side willing to back down because “they started it. And I’m not going to stop until they stop. . . .” For a while I was against what Israel was doing, solely based on the number of CIVILIAN casualties within the Gaza Strip. The more I read, keyword is reading and not having to actually live in it, the more it seems that Hamas has masterfully been able to get the sympathy of much of the media and was purposefully having their own civilian shields killed and then making sure that everyone saw how brutal Israel really was.

The fact that Israel is able to destroy larger buildings with much fewer casualties indicates to me that they have had the ability to do so from the beginning, but chose not to. But under pressure from UN and other countries, have come up with a new game plan so to speak. And as long as Hamas continues to fire their missiles at Israel, they will fire back and this will continue.

Ironically, one of the items that also came up in the stories that has upset both the Palestinian and Israel civilians, is that this war is still going on even though school is supposed to start. Just wonder what exactly is going to be taught in those classrooms.

I welcome any and all comments as I truly do not completely understand what is going on there, and please correct me if I have gotten any of the facts incorrect. Ignorance is not always bliss

Take Care

Mark

Rick Perry – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

RickPAC_Wanted-Tshirt

For just $25, you too can have this t-shirt being made up by Rick Perry’s political backers, his super-PAC

Why would you want this you ask? Because it shows just how unfair Mr Perry is being treated (Sarcasm) and the money will go to have him elected as President of the United States in 2016 so that he can bring all of this political party bias-ness with him

Mr Perry was indicted this last week for “Abuse of Power” stemming from some vetoes he did holding back funding for a committee that was being led by Rosemary Lehmberg, the Democratic District Attorney in charge of a Public Integrity Unit who was arrested for drunk driving back in 2013 where she registered a 0.238 on breathalyzer, or 3 times the legal limit. This sounds like a personal thing to me.

I did find it very interesting that while Mr Perry demanded that Ms Lehmberg step down immediately from her job, he did not do the same for other DA’s that had similar issues with the law according to a blog I read. Why is that? As usual, everything seems to be drawn down the middle on political party lines, everyone on this side MUST hate everyone on the other side, regardless of what is best for the American public.

There were also comments made by Mr Perry that there is a possibility that ISIS is sneaking into America through the “unsecured border” between Mexico and the United States. This was based on his revealing that 3 Ukrainians had been arrested in Texas recently. Now I may be ignorant on a lot of things, but I am pretty sure that ISIS and Ukraine are not inter-related. In fact what I have read about Ukraine lately, the word terrorist has never come up. In fact, the rebels that are fighting the Ukrainian forces are known as rebel SEPERATISTS, not rebel TERRORISTS.

My ignorant view? Based on what I read, having Mr Perry in the White House in 2016 would just give us more of what we have been getting for a long time. A leader that makes decisions based on personalities or party lines, instead of on facts or what is best for the country. Someone that has a personal agenda and is willing to take action without getting approval from the other 2 branches of the government.

Is that what we want? I don’t!

Would love to hear any comments

Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ukraine – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

My rule. Read about top story on Google news for no more than 1 hour and then write a post. To be honest, today after reading for exactly 1 hour, I am still feeling a bit ignorant. Today’s top story is UKRAINE on the google news list.

Mostly the reports have been about the 200 vehicle convoy that Russia sent into Ukraine without permission as humanitarian aid to the pro-Russia rebels that are getting decimated by the Ukraine Government Forces. Reportedly Russia did go to the Red Cross to try to get them to accompany the convoy and was basically put on hold. Frustration led them to just go ahead and send the convoy with or without consent which led to many calling it an invasion.

According to reports, Red Cross was allowed to check random vehicles and found that they contained food, medicine and assorted items that would be considered as humanitarian aid stuff. Much was made of the fact that the trucks that they did look in were only partially filled, which does make you wonder why they needed over 200 trucks going in.

Looking at the timeline, the trucks were only in Ukraine’s regions for about 4 hours, long enough to drive to the rebel held cities, unload and then drive back out. There are reports though coming out of Ukraine that while in Luhansk, the Russian convoy loaded up on goods that are manufactured these such as radar equipment. Many reports claim that Russia used this to re-arm the rebels as they are continuously losing ground to the Ukrainian forces.

Again, being honest, I have not been following this situation much at all, so one hour of reading does not really give me much to work on, but the one thing that I have been saying from the beginning, is that Vladimir Putin seems to me to be a master puppet master and he is toying with the world. Sending those trucks in and pulling them right out was an ingenious move to try to make the rest of the world appear to be nothing but a bunch of paranoid idiots, fumbling over themselves with whatever unsubstantiated story that they can come up with.

When I heard at one point that United Stated government official actually stated in a press conference that they were basing their knowledge on something that came from social media, I was dumbfounded. Social Media is now what we base facts from? Really? Lord help us.

Angela Merkel from Germany is in Kiev now and is trying to broker a peace deal, I guess Putin and the Ukrainian leaders are going to meet early next week. Let’s just hope and pray FOR THE CIVILIAN’s sake that they are able to come up with something.

Would love to here back from anyone that can shed better light on the subject

Respectfully

Mark