World View: Mammoth Russian Truck Convoy Heads for Confrontation at Ukraine Border

This morning's key headlines from

  • Mammoth Russian truck convoy heads for confrontation at Ukraine border
  • Indirect Hamas-Israeli negotiations for Gaza war continue in Cairo
  • U.S. sends 130 more troops to Iraq as advisors

Mammoth Russian truck convoy heads for confrontation at Ukraine border

Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia and Ukraine had reached agreement that a huge truck convoy will be permitted to cross the border from Russia into Ukraine to distribute humanitarian aid in areas of east Ukraine inhabited by a mostly Russian-speaking population. 

According to Lavrov, the truck convoy will arrive at the Ukraine border in a couple days, at which time they will take on representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who will oversee the aid distribution. However, the ICRC has not said that it agrees to participate in this operation. 

The convoy is mammoth, several miles long. According to Lavrov, there are 280 trucks. The convoy will be comprised of 262 vehicles, including 198 truck with material means and electricity generators with an overall weight of 1,809.9 tonnes. The humanitarian aid includes: 69 electricity generator, 400 tonnes of cereals, 340 tonnes of canned meat, 30 tonnes of salt, 100 tonnes of sugar, 60 tonnes of canned milk, 0.8 tonnes of tea, 679.5 tonnes of bottled water, 62.4 tonnes of baby foods, 54 tonnes of medical equipment, and 12,300 sleeping bags. 

The Russians are deeply distrusted by the West and by Ukraine, thanks to their illegal annexation of Crimea and their thousands of invasion-ready troops, tanks, and warplanes massed near the Ukraine border. The fear is that this mammoth truck convoy is like the mythical "Trojan Horse," carrying soldiers and weapons to armed anti-government militias in east Ukraine. Reuters and Itar-Tass (Moscow) and PRI

Indirect Hamas-Israeli negotiations for Gaza war continue in Cairo

With the latest 3-day ceasefire scheduled to expire at midnight on Wednesday, officials from Hamas and Israel are in Cairo to decide on terms that might allow the ceasefire to be extended. The negotiations are being called "indirect," because Hamas and Israeli representatives are in different rooms and are not talking to each other. Hamas does not recognize the nation of Israel, and Israel considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization. Instead, Egyptian representatives talk alternately to the Hamas and Israeli representatives and carry messages and proposals back and forth between the two rooms. 

According to leaks, no progress is being made on the major issues. Hamas will not agree to military disarmament, as Israel is demanding, and Israel will not agree to build an airport and seaport and offer safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as Hamas is demanding. 

However, the leaked reports suggest that some progress may have been made. In particular, the Israelis and Palestinians have agreed on the reopening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, provided that 1,000 Palestinian Authority police officers are deployed at the terminal. 

As I've written several times in the past, there's only one big thing that the two sides agree to: No return to the status quo ante. Israel will not tolerate a ceasefire if it means a continuing stream of rocket launches from Gaza into Israel. And if Hamas cannot get some major concession, such as the opening of all six border crossings from Gaza into Egypt and Israel, then all the destruction that Gazans have suffered in the last few weeks will be lost. The logic of this situation indicates that the war will continue. 

As long-time readers are aware, Generational Dynamics predicts that the Mideast is headed for a major war between Arabs and Jews, re-fighting the war between Jews and Arabs that followed the 1948 partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Arab News and Jerusalem Post

U.S. sends 130 more troops to Iraq as advisors

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Tuesday that 130 additional troops were being deployed in Iraq to act as advisors. According to Hagel: "This is not a combat boots on the ground kind of operation. We're not going back into Iraq in any of the same combat mission dimensions that we once were in in Iraq."

CNN and ABC News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Ukraine, Sergei Lavrov, Trojan Horse, International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, Egypt, Israel, Gaza, Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Rafah crossing, Iraq, Chuck Hagel 

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