US pays off Kyrgyzstan for land
Civilians 'bear the brunt of war'
Some go to war. Some have war come to them. Those bloody real estate deals will never go away until we geonomize and make economies fair, leaving little or nothing to fight over. We trim, blend, and append three 2009 articles from: (1) BBC, Jun 23, on civilians; (2) Itar-Tass, Jun 25, on Manas; and (3) BBC, Jun 27, on Korea by Michael Bristow.
by the BBC, by Itar-Tass, and by by Michael Bristow
Civilians 'bear the brunt of war'
The Red Cross report, called "Our world, views from the field" asked 4,000 civilians from eight countries to relate their personal experiences of war.
Of those, 44% said they had witnessed armed conflict first hand and one in three had seen a relative killed.
The countries were Afghanistan, Georgia, Haiti, Liberia, DR Congo, Colombia, Lebanon, and the Philippines.
More than half -- 56% -- said they had been forced to leave their homes and almost half had lost contact with a loved one.
The research was commissioned to mark the 150th anniversary of an event that became the inspiration for the founding of the Red Cross movement.
Henri Dunant founded the organization after witnessing the dead and dying soldiers at the battle of Solferino during the Italian wars of independence. The fighting in 1859 caused 40,000 military casualties but only one civilian death.
Today, says Red Cross director of operations, Pierre Krähenbuhl, civilians are the chief sufferers in war.
The report also suggests that most civilians caught up in war turn first to relatives or friends for help, suggesting more needs to be done to support those carers.
JJS: Plenty of civilians die in the US wars, making the US unpopular in poor countries where the US needs to locate bases and pays good money for the locations.
Kyrgyz-US agreement on Manas
Kyrgyzstan’s parliament on Thursday voted in favor of a bill on hosting a US centre for transit shipments at the capital’s Manas airport that would be delivering cargoes for the international anti-terrorist coalition in Afghanistan. The government of Kyrgyzstan and the United States signed the agreement June 22.
According to the agreement the USA will yearly pay 60 million dollars of infrastructure and land rent though it used to pay only 17.5 million dollars for the use of the airbase in Manas, which is now being closed. The Pentagon will have to build at the airport a terminal for its planes and storage facilities.
The military of Kyrgyzstan and the USA will jointly protect Manas on the perimeter and its checkpoints. All foreign personnel will be under the criminal jurisdiction of the United States. Staffers will be allowed to carry weapons, but only during the service hours. Outside the facility they must act in accordance with local legislation. Foreign military will have diplomatic immunity, but it will be granted upon agreement with the Kyrgyz side.
The Kyrgyz side may not inspect cargo being moved to and from Afghanistan through Bishkek or charge any taxes for transit. The agreement does not specify what sort of cargoes can be moved through Manas.
The agreement will be valid for a period of five years. It may be prolonged “after the terms of the agreement concerning the sum payable have been revised.”
In February Kyrgyzstan decided to remove the US airbase that has been in Manas since December 2001. The US military was obliged to leave by August 18. Some Kyrgyz politicians argue the US transit centre is a military base, where it has been, but under a different name.
JJS: Both the US and China have trouble on the border with North Korea.
China gets tough with North Korea
To celebrate 60 years of diplomatic ties, this was supposed to be the year of friendship between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which China fought for during the Korean War in the 1950s.
But after their socialist neighbor carried out a nuclear test at the end of May, the relationship cooled.
* There were a number of editorials in Chinese newspapers criticizing the North's actions.
* In early June China cancelled a visit to North Korea by a senior official because of her "schedule at home".
* And China supported UN sanctions against North Korea.
Not only did the test make the region more volatile, it also embarrassed China. It chairs the six-party talks, and has invested time and effort getting five other countries -- Russia, the US, Japan, and the two Koreas -- to sit down and talk. The test showed that China does not have as much influence in North Korea as they would like, or the outside world thinks it has.
China is still wary of striking too strident a note. China advised others must have ample evidence and proper cause before carrying out the UN resolution giving countries the right to stop North Korean ships and inspect their cargo.
And China continues to support the North with all kinds of goods, including food and fuel -- a sign that it does not want the current regime in Pyongyang to collapse. If that happened, millions of North Korean refugees could flood across the 1,400km (880-mile) border shared by the two countries.
JJS: And again, it would be the civilians to pay the price.
Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
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Wars on peoples, including on Americans
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