Archives pour la catégorie Bloc-note

How did we get from trade disputes in Ukraine to nuclear threats in Severodvinsk?


The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, apparently by Russian-trained separatists using a Russian missile launcher. The US government’s determination that Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987 by testing ground-launched cruise missiles. Increasingly stringent US and European economic sanctions against Russia’s government and key areas of the country’s economy. Troubles in and around Ukraine are straining relations between Russia and the United States and raising the prospect of a new Cold War. Fear is fueling actions on all sides, even leading Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, in a speech on the country’s July 27 Navy Day, to laud new nuclear submarines being built at Severodvinsk, saying they will be a reliable deterrent against any threat: “We see the presence of a nuclear potential can cool the fervor of any aggressor located at any point in the world.”

How has the East-West relationship moved from a November 2013 dispute over economic trading partnerships to veiled threats of nuclear weapons use just nine months later? Many Western observers begin their analysis with Ukraine’s internal problems, of which there are many. But the current tensions have their origins in the ending of the Cold War, as US Ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack Matlock and others have observed.


‘My wife thinks I will come home in a box’ – and three days later Gaza bomb disposal expert was dead


Rahed Taysir al-Hom was buried in the sandy soil of the cemetery of Jabaliya, the rough Gaza neighbourhood where he had grown up, at 1pm on the third day of the ceasefire.

His funeral was quick, attended by a hundred or so mourners, and accompanied by a short sermon from a white-turbaned cleric, a sobbing father and some shots fired from a Kalashnikov by a skinny teenager.

Two breeze blocks and a ripped piece of cardboard with his name scrawled on it now mark the grave of a personable man with an easy smile, hollow eyes and a quiet intensity that was entirely understandable given his job.

The 43-year-old father of seven lies next to his brother, a Hamas fighter killed in an Israeli air strike two weeks ago. But the Hom who died on Wednesday was not a warrior. He was head of the sole bomb disposal unit of Gaza’s northern governorate and his job was to protect several hundred thousand people from the unexploded ordnance that now litters the streets, fields and rubble of many homes.


Dominique de Villepin : «Lever la voix face au massacre perpétré à Gaza» – article du Figaro


English translation:

Lever la voix face au massacre qui est perpétré à Gaza, c’est aujourd’hui, je l’écris en conscience, un devoir pour la France, une France qui est attachée indéfectiblement à l’existence et à la sécurité d’Israël mais qui ne saurait oublier les droits et devoirs qui sont conférés à Israël en sa qualité d’État constitué. Je veux dire à tous ceux qui sont tentés par la résignation face à l’éternel retour de la guerre qu’il est temps de parler et d’agir. Il est temps de mesurer l’impasse d’une France alignée et si sûre du recours à la force. Pour lever le voile des mensonges, des omissions et des demi-vérités. Pour porter un espoir de changement. Par mauvaise conscience, par intérêt mal compris, par soumission à la voix du plus fort, la voix de la France s’est tue, celle qui faisait parler le général de Gaulle au lendemain de la guerre des Six-Jours, celle qui faisait parler Jacques Chirac après la deuxième intifada. Comment comprendre aujourd’hui que la France appelle à la «retenue» quand on tue des enfants en connaissance de cause? Comment comprendre que la France s’abstienne lorsqu’il s’agit d’une enquête internationale sur les crimes de guerre commis des deux côtés? Comment comprendre que la première réaction de la France, par la voix de son président, soit celle du soutien sans réserve à la politique de sécurité d’Israël? Quelle impasse pour la France que cet esprit d’alignement et de soutien au recours à la force.

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