-
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Recent Posts

A French Fix to Ending Violent Protests
The Need for Stability in France
A US Complaint, a Canadian Arrest - the Uncertainty of China's Meng Wanzhou
Farewell President George H.W. Bush
Suspension of Fuel Tax Increases in France - a Move to Ending Violence

Most Popular Posts

Mourn with Moore
On Partnerships of Conflicting Ideologies as a Force Shaping Extremism
DC Linktank
The World in 2014 - Asia
From This Point

Categories

Elections 2013
Friends in Business
Gun control
Immigration Reform
In America
Natural Disaster
The World
Towards 2014

Archives

December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013

powered by

My Blog

January 2014

European Ukraine

It is now clear that Ukraine is European. Ukrainians are very close to realizing their demonstrated aspirations to be aligned closer to the European Union(EU) rather  than to Russia. Any tactics by President Viktor Yanukovych to delay this inevitable  will be a ploy that would prolong protests and violence in the streets of the cities of the Ukraine. Anti protest laws have been repealed, the government has resigned, there is a conditional amnesty bill hanging in the ballots and the president has taken (sick) leave. Yet, affairs are still ripe for upheaval in Ukraine because key demands of the protesters including the freeing from jail of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, and the actual resignation of president Yanukovych have not taken place. The opposition fears the rumored sick leave by Yanukovych could be a political ploy because it creates a void on the other side of the negotiating table. But intelligence suggest that Yanukovych is done. His ability to effectively rule Ukraine past last December. As his country boiled in the bitter cold in mass protests, Yanukovych went jetting to China and then to Sochi, Russia. When three former Ukrainian presidents - Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko stood in solidarity with protesters in December, it marked the end of the Yanukovych era. Yet, Yanukovych forged a good-priced gas deal with Russia clearly aimed at saving Ukraine a lot of money; but on what conditions? Russia has denied any conditions to the deal. But yesterday, Russia announced it was holding up part of the deal of providing money to the Ukraine until a new government sits. At about this said time, Yanukovych went on sick leave. The $15 billion question now is whether Yanukovych will leave with some dignity or would  there be more blood shed until he finally sees that he cannot win a free and fair re-election in Ukraine. Ukrainians from the East and the West have spoken - it is with the EU with whom they aspire to hedge their future.

Protesters Defiance in Ukraine

The Ukraine parliament passed an amnesty bill yesterday to grant amnesty to protesters on the condition they vacate government occupied buildings and that they unblock streets. But in defiance to the parliament, protesters have rejected the terms of the new amnesty law. The opposition, which abstained from the vote, has also rejected the terms of the new amnesty law that amongst others things would only come into effect once the protesters have left the occupied buildings. So Ukrainians remain in protest in Kiev and elsewhere.

Change in Ukraine

European Union(EU) aspiring Ukrainians, who have been demonstrating on the streets of Kiev since last November, won major victories yesterday as the Ukraine parliament repealed recently passed anti-protest laws, and the prime minister, Mykola Azarov and his government resigned - two key demands that had been made by the opposition and protesters. Though the government has resigned, under the Ukraine constitution, the government could stay in power for 60 days as a caretaker body. Later today, the parliament will meet again to consider an amnesty bill for all arrested protesters. The opposition wants full amnesty, while the president wants to condition amnesty upon protesters leaving the occupied streets and government buildings. Also on the agenda today at the Ukraine parliament are constitutional conditions that could alter the face of Ukraine for some time to come. Ukrainians have clearly demonstrated their preferences to be aligned with the EU and not Russia.

New Government in UKraine?

Earlier today, faced with mounting civil protests across the country, the Ukraine parliament voted to repeal the anti-protest laws it had passed on January 16th to curb anti-government demonstrating. This enactment rightly gives a victory to anti-government protesters who have been on the streets of Ukraine since last November declaring their aspirations to aligned closer to the European Union(EU) and not Russia. Also earlier today, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov offered his resignation to President Viktor Yanokovych, Reuters reported. Should the president accept the resignation and according to the Ukraine constitution, the whole government would have to be dissolved leading to the creation of a new government, a key demand of protesters.

The Spread of EU Aspirations Across Ukraine

Ukrainian anti-government sentiments are spreading across the nation of 46 million people. Along with the many towns and cities in the western part of the country that have turned to the streets to demand closer ties with the European Union(EU), cities in the east, apparent strongholds of President Yanokovych, have now joined the demonstrations. Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya are now witnessing anti-government protest. So is the Black Sea city of Odessa. In Kiev, protesters have taken over the Ministry of Justice building as the minister considers petitioning the president to declare a state of emergency. As the opposition dismisses overtures from the president to staff key positions in the government, the future of affairs in Ukraine hangs in the ballot as to the outcome of an emergency session of the government called for Tuesday. Ukrainians have explicitly demonstrated their preferences and aspirations to be aligned with the EU and not with Russia as the president has determined.

Too Little Too Late in Ukraine

The aspirations of Ukrainians to form a stronger bond with the European Union(EU) rather than with Russia continue to be manifested on the streets across Ukraine today. From Kiev to Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Vinnytsya, Cherkasy, Sumy, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky and beyond, Ukrainians are explicitly demonstrating their dislikes to the path President Yanukovych has taken. In a last minute effort to curtail anti-government campaigns, compromises from the president to the opposition to join the government have been rebuffed. Demonstrators are demanding the resignation of the government, reconsideration of the trade and political pact with the EU and the release from prison of Ms. Tymoshenko, an opposition leader the government jailed. It appears that the scope of protests have reached a level where opposition forces believe the president cannot now make any demands, but yield to their aspirations.

Letters from an Egyptian Jail

 Three years to the date Egyptians led a spectacular revolution against the autocrat Hosni Mubarak, many of those people who were instrumental in the passionate movement for justice, sit today in Egyptian jails wondering of the worth of their gallant efforts then. As a matter of fact, many seem to utter the sentiments of a Michael Jackson song, "Be Not Always":To have nothing; to dream something; then lose hoping.  As reported earlier today by the Associated Press(AP), letters of despair from jail by some of the prominent activists who helped lead the "January 25 Revolution"

Egypt's Descent into the Age of the "Underground"

A car bomb exploded outside police headquarters in Cairo, Egypt early this morning killing four and injuring some 50. A second blast was later heard in the Dokki district of Cairo. These explosions come a day after five policemen were shot dead by gunmen on motorcycles at a checkpoint in Ben Suef province, south of Cairo. Moreover, these violent acts come on the eve of the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that removed Hosni Mubarak from power. But these events should come as no suprise. Last December, here at Community Affairs Consultants, we analyzed that Egypt would descend into this violent predicament. We said the violence in Egypt would equate that witnessed weekly nowadays in Iraq. With a democratically elected President Morsi, and having a government with a history of an association with a prior terrorist group, then having that president and that government deposed and jailed and having the Muslim Brotherhood again outlawed by the military, what will the future hold for Egypt? I submit an era of descent into underground violence. What makes the Egyptian condition so potent is the mix of new radicals, radicalized by Morsi's jailing, and their associations with re-radicalized experienced stalwarts of the Muslim Brotherhood. Anyway which the scenario plays out, a violent path stays on the horizon in Egypt. The major question here becomes how to deradicalize new and re-radicalized men and women in Egypt?

Two Ukraines?

At what point following peaceful demonstrations by an aspiring people, met by indignance by their government;  when, how and under what circumstances do a people seek their own redress of their own demands? Such is the nature of current affairs of aspiring Ukrainians today. Following months of hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating for a closer tie with the European Union(EU),  the Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych, defied his protesting citizens and walked away from a planned pact with the EU and instead plunged his country closer to Russia in an economic deal to bring cheaper gas to Ukraine. Matters looked almost stable for a while until the said president and his party pushed and passed laws restricting Ukrainian rights to protest and assemble. The opposition and others took to the streets of Kiev again. Now at least three demonstrators have died in a new wave of violence. Meetings between the president and the opposition have failed to yield an agreeable solution to the deepening crisis. Threats of government crack downs and opposition ultimatums of further unrest are now in place with no immediate end in sight. Much of the Ukrainian president's support comes from the eastern part of the country which supports a close relation with Russia. Much of the western part of the country desire closer ties to the EU. Could two distinct Ukraines emerge from this upheaval?

Assad is Out!

As was written yesterday, as is written now and as declared earlier this morning by United States Secretary of State, John Kerry in his opening statement in Geneva, Bashar al-Assad cannot be a part of any transitional government in Syria. Mr. Kerry said Assad cannot "regain the legitimacy to govern". And the Secretary of State is correct: that Assad remains free is a testimony to his allies Russia and China, both of whom have blocked concerted resolutions and statements by the United Nations Security Council to condemn Assad and his regime for crimes against the Syrian people. As the Syrian peace talks convene in Geneva, Secretary Kerry simply repeated a notion shared by the majority in the World community, with Russia, China and Assad himself as the only dissenters. In response to Secretary's opening declarations, Assad's representative Walid al-Moallem retorted: "No one, Mr. Kerry, no one can grant of withdraw the legitimacy of the President other than the Syrians themselves. This is their right and duty." Moallem is right. But he has failed to tell the Geneva II meeting that Syrians have withdrawn any legitimacy as to Assad's rule. The 130, 000 dead Syrians have withdrawn their legitimacy to Assad, the thousands of Syrian refugees now being fed, clothed and housed in camps  have withdrawn their legitimacy to Assad, the gassed children have withdrawn their legitimacy to Assad, the tortured thousands have withdrawn their legitimacy to Assad, the barrel-bomb mothers have withdrawn their legitimacy to Assad and the starved besieged Syrians have with drawn their legitimacy to Assad. In short Mr. Moallem, the crimes your and your regime have perpetrated upon the Syrian people nullifies any iota of legitimacy you once had.