Posted in Global Affairs

Peace in Caucasus

A nice piece by Gorbachev. One clear implication that has come out from the war is that it has made Russia’s neighbours more weary of the threat possed by the Red Army and their ambitions in the region. Poland became the latest member to join the missle shield and Georgia’s joining NATO will now accelerate, exactly what Russia didn’t want!

Peace in Caucasus

Posted in Global Affairs

BBC blackout (Georgia-Russia war)

BBC World experienced a sudden signal black out yesterday for about 20 minutes at about 7.20 PM (local time), the timing could be far from coincidental as a Russian diplomat on a live interview tried to justify their deep operations akin to what NATO forces did in Serbia. Originally, Russia stated that its operations were limited to the break away regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia until Georgia pulls back all its forces. Russia has given most of the residents passport and hence their subjects to protect. They later changed their statement on the deep incursion to avoid Georgians from regrouping for further attacks.

The regions are also pro-Russia to avoid Georgia from attacking it and to maintain its autonomous independence. And when Georgia last week entered Tskhinvali they took the bait for a long wanted Russian offensive.

Source: BBC World

Source: BBC World

For the next 10 minutes the screen was black, and for the remaining time a static message from DIGITURK on an orange background with one of the words in Turkish ‘technik’ confirmed that there was a technical problem. May be this was an on purpose off-air command. Sensing what the Russian diplomat would state, it would not be advisable to echo globally, or were there are any security concerns? As counter accusations flew from both states, any misinterpretation could lead to serious escalations.

If this were to be true, such an immediate response may have been from the British higher authorities (highly unlikely) or a deliberate action by the relay station in Turkey. Also modern technologies can jam signals and could have been a military intelligence operation. Or was it a BBC action on its own? BBC World later replayed the interview in full.

Also interesting is that the world’s second largest oil pipeline from neighbouring oil rich Azerbaijan passes Georgia onto Turkey and central Europe. Definitely, Turkey is closely watching the storm-in-the-tea cup of its neighbour, and its own energy worries from further unprecedented developments.

For the Red Army this operation is seen as flexing muscles, and a warning to the west on not to mingle on affairs around its borders. Most of the former USSR break away states are pro-US, and the signing by Czech to deploy US missile shield is seen as a step to far on what Russia sees a ring closing out around it borders. US claims the shield will protect against missile launches from rouge states such as North Korea or Iran, Russia claims the missiles are pointed against them remnant of the cold war.

While as Bush states the “invasion” as “unacceptable in the 21st Century” and a “disproportionate response”, does the world have to be reminded of their invasion of Iraq, destroying a sovereign nation into a worse state than what is previously was?

Day-by-day: Georgia-Russia crisis

Q&A: Violence in South Ossetia

In pictures: Georgia in crisis

Voices on Georgia-Russia conflict

Press weighs conflict in Georgia

Posted in Global Affairs

Israeli women confess

A new documentary ‘To See If I’m Smiling’ yet once again unearths the human right abuses by Israelis against Palestinians.

In the documentary, six women speak out the trauma they faced under compulsory military service.

One of them posed for a photo while scrubbing a Palestinian corpse, other abuses mentioned include stripping a man to his underwear and beating him up, covering up the abuse of a young boy, scrubbing corpses to hide signs of abuse by Israeli soldiers.

Directed by Tamar Yarom, she was motivated by personal experience when during the 1980s, as a support soldier saw a Palestinian torture victim slumped over a generator with his neck bent to the side and face covered with blood.

A memory she cannot erase but speaks two decades later.

Posted in Global Affairs

Kenyans in Britain

A recent report by The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) produces the following facts:

· There are estimated 123,600 people who were born in Kenya who live and work in UK.
· The Kenyan expatriate community is the 13th largest in the country.
· The community is a mixture of Kenyan African, white Kenyans, Kenyan Asians and asylum seekers.
· It is one of the most productive of all immigrant communities to the UK.
· Kenyans in the UK earn on average £24,500 pa.
· Kenyans are the second biggest home owners of immigrants in UK behind Indians.
· 82% of the community owns a house.
· They are least likely to claim benefits from the social welfare system.
· 80% are employed, while 19% are self-employed.
· They earn on average £12.50 per hour.

Source: partly quoted from “Kenyans in Britain active in economy” by Paul Redfern, Daily Nation correspondent, London.