New website of Ukraine information and analysis is launched

New Cold War website imageNovember 26, 2014

Dear reader,

Following several months of preparatory work, a new website providing information and analysis of the war and political crisis in Ukraine is now online. The website is titled The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond. You can read it, subscribe to it and like it on Facebook at this weblink.

The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond is a project of the international delegates who attended the antiwar, anti-fascist conference that took place in Yalta, Crimea on July 6 and 7, 2014. That conference adopted an antiwar declaration that serves as a guide to the information assembled and presented on the new website.

The website already contains a vast storehouse of information and analysis. The content is expanding daily. One feature designed to assist readers is ‘Editors’ picks’, a selection by our editors of the items posted to the website that are varied and that we consider particularly informative.

The information on the website is sorted by category for ease of access. There are 14 subject categories—from the obvious—‘Ukraine’, ‘Russia’, ‘News’, and’ Analysis’—to ‘Eastern Europe and Caucasus,’ and ‘Malaysian Airlines Crash’.

From the ‘About us’ section of the website:
We are open to reports from all sources, provided that they are relevant and contain verifiable factual claims, not unsupported opinion. To send reports, questions, or comments write to If you would like to contribute to our blog or become a regular author, please contact our editorial team.

Please inform your friends and associates of this new website. Please like us on Facebook. You can sign up to receive website postings by e-mail in a frequency of your choosing.

The editors, The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond

‘No jobs on a dead planet’: The Battle of Burnaby Mountain in British Columbia

Land defenders, aboriginal peoples and trade union and climate activists unite to stop tar sands pipeline

By Roger Annis, Nov. 26, 2014​

Solidarity rally on Burnaby Mountain, Nov 17, 2014, photo by Roger Annis

Solidarity rally on Burnaby Mountain, Nov 17, 2014, photo by Roger Annis

An excellent editorial is published today on describing the significance of The Battle of Burnaby Mountain and its meaning for the BC Federation of Labour convention presently in session. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera America has published an overview article describing the origin and history of the battle and some of its long-term political consequences for climate change politics in North America. (Full text of the Al Jazeera article is below.)

» Read more..

More obfuscation in latest UN report on the human rights situation in Ukraine

By Roger Annis, Nov. 24, 2014

A monitor of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examines the aftermath of shelling in July 2014, photo by OSCE

A monitor of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examines the aftermath of shelling in July 2014, photo by OSCE

The latest monthly report on Ukraine by the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has earned some headlines because it reports that significant numbers of people are still being killed by the war in the east of the country, notwithstanding a ceasefire agreement on September 5 to which the Ukrainian government committed itself.

The 49-page UN report covers the period Sept. 17 to October 31 and is based on the work of the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU). The report says nearly 1,000 people, an average of 13 per day, were killed between Sept. 6 and Oct. 31. “Since the beginning of the hostilities in mid-April until 31 October, at least 4,042 people were killed and 9,350 were wounded in the conflict affected area of eastern Ukraine”. » Read more..

A Scottish watershed

By Neil Davidson, in New Left Review, issue of Oct-Nov 2014

ScotlandThe odds were huge. On one side, the might of the British state, the three parties of government, Buckingham Palace, the BBC—still by far the most influential source of broadcast news and opinion—plus an overwhelming majority of the print media, the high command of British capital and the liberal establishment, backed up by the international weight of Washington, NATO and the European Union. On the other, a coalition of the young and the hopeful, including swathes of disillusioned Labour voters in the council estates—the ‘schemes’—of Clydeside and Tayside, significant sections of the petty bourgeoisie and Scotland’s immigrant communities, mobilized in a campaign that was at least as much a social movement as a national one. Starting from far behind, this popular-democratic upsurge succeeded in giving the British ruling class its worst fit of nerves since the miners’ and engineering workers’ strikes of 1972, wringing panicked pledges of further powers from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal leaders. By any measure, the Yes camp’s 45 per cent vote on a record-breaking turnout in the Scottish independence referendum was a significant achievement. How did we arrive at this point—and where does the 18 September vote leave UK and Scottish politics?

Read the full article at the weblink above.

World War One and Canada: Myths, fog and skewed memories

By Mark Bourrie, Toronto Star, Nov 16, 2014

Announcement of War, Ottawa, 4th August, 1914:
His Royal Highness the Governor General received a telegraphic dispatch from the Secretary of State for the Colonies at 8.45 this evening, announcing that war has broken out with Germany.
—The Canada Gazette

WW1That was it. We were in. Everyone knew there would be war in the summer of 1914. But they expected it to be civil war between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland over Home Rule. The British army was gathering on Salisbury Plain. The Royal Navy’s warships stood in great rows at Spithead, ready to stand between Catholics and Protestants. » Read more..

Obama-China climate deal and climate-wrecking capitalist expansion

Nov 16, 2014–The following article from Counterpunch examines the secret agreement on climate change policy between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping that was announced last week at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Beijing. Author Rob Urie writes, “It would be hugely satisfying to have a positive take on Mr. Obama’s agreement with China… But on its face, even were the U.S. and China to do what was agreed upon, it is too little, too late.”

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Nov 2014

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Nov 2014

Also enclosed below are weblinks to a new article by U.S. writer and climate activist Richard Smith: ‘Climate crisis, the deindustrialization imperative and the jobs vs. environment dilemma’; a commentary in the Globe and Mail explaining that the  Obama-China areement won’t alter the climate-wrecking agenda of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper; and Bloomberg News reporting that Alberta tar sands bitumen shipments to the U.S. Gulf Coast are set to double in 2015.

Barack Obama does ‘the environment’

By Rob Urie, in Counterpunch, weekend edition of Nov 15, 2014 » Read more..

Parliament election in Ukraine confirms right wing government and its civil war course

By Roger Annis, first published on Truthout, November 10, 2014

Seat in Kyiv of the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council) of Ukraine

Seat in Kyiv of the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council) of Ukraine

The general election to Ukraine’s parliament (the Verkhovna Rada–Supreme Council) on Oct 26 was another step by the country’s wealthy power brokers to consolidate their pro-Europe, pro-austerity economic course and related war against the rebellious population in the east of the country. A large, neo-conservative and far-right majority now controls the Rada.

The election outcome continues the political course begun last February with the overthrow of President Victor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions. That course was affirmed in the May presidential election that saw Petro Poroshenko win a solid electoral majority from the minority of Ukrainians who took part. » Read more..

Scholars conference in Ottawa examines the crisis in Ukraine

By Roger Annis, Nov 6, 2014

The tenth annual, Danyliw Research Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine took place from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 at the University of Ottawa, Canada. It was hosted by the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the university and featured 47 invited scholars, journalists and diplomats (presenters) from Europe and North America. This writer attended the event. » Read more..

Dr. Paul Farmer speaks out on Ebola crisis in Africa

​Essay by Dr. Paul Farmer, in London Review of Books, print edition of Oct 23, 2014

SWITZERLAND CONRAD HILTON HUMANITARIAN PRIZEOct 1, 2014–I have just returned from Liberia with a group of physicians and health activists. We are heading back in a few days. The country is in the midst of the largest ever epidemic of Ebola haemorrhagic fever. It’s an acute and brutal affliction. Ebola is a zoonosis – it leaps from animal hosts to humans – which is caused by a filovirus (a thread-like virus that causes internal and external bleeding). It was first described in 1976 in rural Congo, not far from the Ebola River, as an acute-onset syndrome characterised by complaints of weakness, followed by fever and abdominal pain. Patients became dehydrated as a consequence of fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. Many became delirious and started to haemorrhage from the mouth, nose, vagina, at sites where intravenous lines had been placed, even from the eyes… » Read more..

What will it take to go beyond ‘extractivism’? Federico Fuentes replies to Don Fitz

The following is a periodic posting of key articles by authors on the fight against capitalist despoilation of the environment and resulting global warming. For full coverage of this story, go to the recommended website links on this website and to the website’s ‘Environment’ page of writings by Roger Annis. –A Socialist in Canada

By Federico Fuentes, published on Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal, October 31, 2014. A version of this article appeared first at TeleSUR English.

Bolivian miners at city of El Alto

Bolivian miners at city of El Alto

In recent years, a number of important discussions have emerged among and between environmentalists and solidarity activists. None has generated quite as much heat as the debate over extractive industries, particularly in South America.

This is perhaps unsurprising given what’s at stake: South America is home to some of the world’s largest and most important natural resource deposits. It is also a region dominated by progressive governments that have taken strong stances internationally in support of action on climate change, while facing criticism at home for their positions on extractive industries. » Read more..