Anniversary of invasion of Ukraine

24 Feb 2023

along the street
along the street 2
At Liberty Bell Plaza, to observe the first anniversay of the invasion of Ukraine and mostly, to call for an end to nuclear weapons.

This is a bit after the second anniversary of the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that the UN General Assembly adopted in 2017. Fortunately, even though China put out a peace plan for Ukraine-Russia that left the question of things like what territory each side would occupy in the event of a settlement (They both want all of Ukraine), China did say some positive things about nuclear issues. Point 7 was "Keeping nuclear power plants safe." and point 8 was "Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought." But it's not a good sign as to how things are going with China that simply flying over the Taiwan Strait provokes an angry response from it.

A Russian TV personality, her show is
Solovyov Live, says that Russia didn't really want to take Kyiv in three days. "Let me repeat myself. If we wanted to do it, we would have done it." Uh-huh. Those grapes that I reached so hard for were probably sour anyway.

There has been a concern that China will supply Russia with lethal aid. Ukraine's Intelligence Chief,
Major General Kyrylo Budanov, does not believe that will happen. He thinks that Iran is the only country that has been serious about supplying weapons to Russia. Russia has tried to buy weapons from North Korea, Serbia and Myanmar. There's been no sign that anyone has supplied them with anything.

VOA said on 25 February that Russia was running low on Iranian drones, but the Wall St. Journal said on 27 February that Russia is again launching those drones.

another view
Bob Smith, Brandywine Peace Community, co-founder and organizer.

The Battle of Bakhmut, which started in May with the shelling of the city, became an all-out assault in August and looks like it may end soon with a Ukrainian retreat. Bakhmut is easy for Russia to supply and is strategic for their purposes as it's one of the last few remaining cities in the Donetsk Oblast (province), which has been partially occupied since 2014 and is one of four oblasts that were allegedly annexed by Russia (In late September of last year, Russia claimed to have annexed Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson), the UN's general membership rejected Russia's claim by 143 to five, with 35 countries abstaining. But as Russia has a seat on the Security Council, Russia vetoed the resolution and continues to claim the oblasts. Russia has paid a very dear price for Bakhmut, losing at least an estimated two brigades, or 8k men. Estimates of Russian total losses of men since they invaded Ukraine are between 100k and 150k.

Helen Evelev, Granny Peace Brigade - Phila.

Every now and then, I see positive pieces on Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, who was just reelected by nearly 60% to 40%. But in numbers of Covid deaths, Florida is number seven with 0.19 deaths per 100k or third with a total number of over 86k deaths or, for February, number 13 with 402 deaths per 100k. No matter what you read in the press, Florida is not a success story as far as Covid is concerned.

The media critic Dan Froomkin said flat-out last August that DeSantis was a fascist, and that the mainstream media were derelict if they didn't regularly point that out. From the Hartman Report:

DeSantis has been a careful student of Donald Trump’s successes and imitates him right down to wearing similar suits and using identical hand gestures and rhetorical flourishes.

Because of our flirtation with Trumpism, we now have two systems of government in a duel with each other in America today: Trump/DeSantis fascism and democracy.

The Berkshire Edge lists specific DeSantis policies. They describe him as a "one-man civil rights wrecking ball, determined to neutralize any group that doesn’t conform to his dangerously narrow view of social order."

David Gibson, Peace, Justice, Sustainability Now.

In 1981, the NY Times reporter Raymond Bonner investigated a village called El Mozote in El Salvador. Over 800 people had been massacred by the American-trained Atlacatl battalion. President Reagan was furious because he was trying to support the anti-guerrilla counter-insurgency there and Bonner's story didn't help matters. Administration officials denied and belittled the report. Bonner was accused of having a political agenda. Eventually, Bonner was withdrawn from Central America.

The reassignment may have chilled El Salvador coverage. Reporters, according to Michael Massing of the Columbia Journalism Review, became "wary of provoking the embassy."

Apparently, something similar happened to the FBI, this time President Trump was the one who administered the discipline. By criticizing the FBI, Trump's criticism had a chilling effect on the FBI's ability to enforce the law and, among other things, the FBI was very hesitant to take action on Trump's illegal removal of docunents from the White House.

West Philly Students Against War, with prawnworks editor, Rich Gardner

Represntative Greene was very upset because a woman she didn't know "attacked" her while she was at a restaurant wih her staff people. an “insane woman and screamed at by her adult son,” adding, “They had no respect for the restaurant or the staff or the other people dining or people like me who simply have different political views.”

No question that was an unpleasant experience. There are certainly better ways to disagree with a political opponent. But Greene thought it was great fun to harass Representative AOC during January 6th, she yelled and screamed at Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg and has clashed with him since. So yes, it's certainly nice to be civil, but civility is not a one-way street.

The reaction of Greene's spokesperson to being fact-checked over the mother who lost two children to fentanyl, but then incorrectly dated their deaths as occuring under Biden's watch is hilariously unrestrained!

Tina Shelton, facilitator, Women's International League for Peace & Freedom - Phila. Area

The media critic Dan Froomkin takes on the Washington Post opinion page writers. Yeah, they're generally a pretty sad lot. Marc Thiessen wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer for  awhle.  I found him pretty easy to debunk. At the very best, his column was free of lies and obvious errors.  Huh! Hugh Hewitt charged the left with something he called "Obamagate?"  I obviously didn't miss anything there. Yeah, Kathleen Parker with her "Calm doen" pieces should've gotten her relieved of her duties. And yeah, for an all-white board to pooh-pooh the "updated voting rules" in Georgia (no mail-in voting, no ballot drop-boxes and consequently, longer lines at the pols) as being a problem for democracy was really pathetic!

Melissa Elliott, Germantown Friends Meeting, leads chant in support of the Phila.City Council's Endorsement  for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons