World View: Hamas Restricts Foreign Media Reporting After NDTV Shows Rocket Launch

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Russia to send 'non-military' aid truck convoy into eastern Ukraine
  • Hamas restricts foreign media reporting after NDTV shows rocket launch
  • U.S. sending weapons directly to Kurds in Iraq

Russia to send 'non-military' aid truck convoy into eastern Ukraine

Russia says that it will send a truck convoy with humanitarian aid across the border into east Ukraine, into the region around Donetsk, which is currently being held by pro-Russian separatist militias. The announcement said that the convoy will be non-military, and that the aid will be provided in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 

The ICRC responded cautiously, saying, "[P]rior to the beginning of the operation, the ICRC should receive without undue delay from the authorities of the Russian Federation all necessary details concerning the aid, including the volume and type of items, and requirements for transport and storage." 

The Ukraine government in Kiev has surrounded the pro-Russian militias in Donetsk, cutting off travel and supplies, with analyst opinions mixed about whether Kiev is close to defeating them. Thousands of people are believed to be short of water, electricity, and medical aid due to the fighting. It's feared that Russia will use the humanitarian convoy as a pretext for military action to support the pro-Russian militias. Reuters and Ria Novosti (Moscow) and Itar-Tass (Moscow)

Hamas restricts foreign media reporting after NDTV shows rocket launch

On Sunday, Hamas announced that it will severely restrict reporting of the Gaza war by foreign journalists, possibly in retaliation for the airing a week ago of a video of the assembly and launch of a rocket from a heavily populated area of Gaza. ("10-Aug-14 World View -- New Delhi TV accidentally gets video of Hamas rocket launch in Gaza"

Hamas has been harassing reporters since the beginning of the war, and has threatened reporters with retaliation for publishing news that was not favorable to Hamas. On Sunday, Paul T. Jørgensen of Norway's TV2 reported that: 

[S]everal foreign journalists have been kicked out of Gaza because Hamas does not like what they wrote or said.

We have received strict orders that if we record that Hamas fires rockets or that they shoot, we will face serious problems and be expelled from Gaza.

The Foreign Press Association on Monday denounced the new Hamas restrictions in a statement: 

The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.

The international media are not advocacy organizations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground.

In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.

We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a "vetting" procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA.

According to the new rules, announced on Sunday, Hamas will require foreign journalists covering Gaza to provide information about Palestinian translators and fixers, as well as the address where they are staying. Camera.org and Jerusalem Post and Foreign Press Association

U.S. sending weapons directly to Kurds in Iraq

The U.S. is sending weapons directly to the Kurds in Iraq to help the Kurdish Peshmerga forces fight militias from the Islamic State. Islamic State hopelessly outguns the Peshmerga, since they have advanced American-made Humvees and other heavy weapons that were acquired from warehouses when IS captured the city of Mosul. The intention is that the U.S. weapons shipments will even things out a little, though the light arms being shipped are still no match for Humvees and tanks. 

Army Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr. on Monday said that nothing that America is doing, including airstrikes, is expected to have much effect on IS: 

I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained, or that we are somehow breaking, the momentum of the threat.

They’re very well-organized, They are very well-equipped. They coordinate their operations. And they have thus far shown the ability to attack on multiple axes. This is not insignificant.

It's beginning to look like we're using what what might be called the "Vietnam strategy" for entering Iraq.

What I mean by that is that George H.W. Bush took a firm decision and fought Iraq to extract it from Kuwait. Bill Clinton took a firm decision, and bombed Iraq to protect the Kurds and prevent development of weapons of mass destruction. George W. Bush took a firm decision and invaded Iraq to get rid of Iraq's reported weapons of mass destruction. 

However, no firm decisions are being made now with respect to Iraq, and we're being pulled into Iraq more and more in a reactive mode, one step at a time. This is how Presidents Kennedy and Johnson got us into the Vietnam War, and we appear to be repeating that strategy. Washington Post

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Ukraine, Donetsk, International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, Hamas, NDTV, Paul T. Jørgensen, Foreign Press Association, Iraq, Kurds, Peshmerga, William C Mayville Jr 

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