sabato 21 aprile 2018

Cammino quindi penso - 2018-04-21 - Vi spiego perché la notizia delle ar...

Entriamo nel merito della veridicità delle notizie sull'attacco chimico del 7 aprile a Douma: vi spiego perché io sia profondamente convinto che si tratti di una messa in scena, e che questo attacco nella realtà non vi sia mai stato.

Nel video cito l'articolo di Robert Fisk sull'independent, che potete trovare qui.

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lunedì 16 aprile 2018

Cammino quindi penso - 2018-04-16 - Un caldo finesettimana in Siria



I bombardamenti di questo fine settimana in Siria sono l'ennesimo episodio di un perverso gioco di potere, che secondo me la Russia sta interpretando molto male.

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martedì 10 aprile 2018

Cammino quindi penso - 2018-04-10 - Siria, propaganda per la guerra



Attacchi chimici contro i civili, minacce di interventi militari, proposte di investigazioni su Douma al consiglio di sicurezza dell'ONU. Quale destino si prepara per la Siria?

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giovedì 5 aprile 2018

Lo que tu non audi de Ucraina

You can find the English version of this post here

Le conflicto que initiava in Ucraina in 2014 non es multo visibile in le medios de information, perque — specialmente post le accordos de Minsk de februario 2015 — il se tracta de un conflicto congelate: le linea del fronte es quasi immutabile, in expectation que le duo factiones in guerra implementa le punctos definite in le documento de Minsk (a proposito, esque vos saperea dicer, qui debe facer que?). Infortunatemente, le facto que le conflicto es congelate non significa que on non combatte, e que le gente non mori: le soldatos de ambe factiones continua a sparar, con multe typos de armas differente, e le population civil continua a sufferer e morir.
Io crede que le majoritate de mi lectores jam sape isto. Lo que vos probabilemente non sape dicer, es si le victimas civil es distribuite equalmente in le areas del conflicto, o si il ha differentias inter le areas controllate per le rebelles philorusse e illos controllate per le governamento Ucrainian. In altere parolas, si le majoritate del victimas civil es causate per le rebelles o per le armea regular.
In absentia de tal information (al minus, io suppone que vos non ha iste information — si vos lo ha, per favor scribe in le commentos ubi vos lo trovava), il es natural supponer que, statisticamente, il ha un numero simile de victimas civil in ambe lateres del fronte. O forsan in vostre opinion il ha un faction que es plus culpabile del altere, a secunda de vostre prejudicios.

Pro obtener le numero exacte del victimas on debe leger le reportos del organisationes international, que es certemente plus credibile que reportos publicate per le factiones in guerra. Isto non significa que le organisationes international es impartial (le composition de iste organisationes vide generalmente un predominantia de membros occidental), ma nonobstante isto illos remane le sol fonte de datos que nos pote considerar credibile.
Le Consilio pro le Derectos Human del Nationes Unite publica proprie reportos cata tres menses, e in iste reportos il ha sempre un section dedicate al victimas civil, que contine numeros precise. Infortunatemente, durante le anno 2016 iste reportos omitteva de specificar le area de Ucraina in le qual le personas moriva; isto rende impossibile saper qual faction es responsabile del decessos.

Pro iste ration, io me armava de patientia e initiava un tediose labor de lectura del reportos del mission del OSCE in Ucraina, e pro cata uno de illos io extraheva le numeros del victimas civil (ferite e morite), classificate per causa del accidente (bombardamento, minas o alteres), e altere numeros que io trovava statisticamente interessante, como per exemplo le numero de casas que esseva lese per le bombardamentos. Io vos presenta hic un summario con le numeros que io trova plus interessante:

Areas controlate per
le governamento
Areas controlate
per le rebelles
Mortes per bombardamento 523
Feritas per bombardamento 4077
Casas bombardate 171358

Le tabula complete que io compilava, e del qual io ha extrahite le tabula supra, es hic: Reportos OSCE 2016. Io anticipa alicun criticas; alora, vole ben permitter me de explicar como interpretar le tabula:

  • Cata linea del tabula corresponde a un die del anno 2016.
  • Pro cata linea, il ha un ligamine al reporto del OSCE de ille die; vole ben usar isto pro verificar si mi extraction de datos esseva correcte.
  • Multe numeros es discutibile: con le exception del numero del decessos, tote le altere numeros es subjecte a interpretation: per exemplo, esque on debe enumerar inter le feritos un persona qui ha subite solmente un lesion multo superficial? O esque on debe contar como casas lese ille casas cuje vetros in le fenestras se rumpeva solmente a causa de un ruito? Io ha cercate de usar mi bon senso, ma io admitte que on poterea haber interpretationes differente.
  • Io ha contate solmente le numeros de victimas civil: clarmente, anque inter le soldatos e le militantes il habeva multe victimas, ma (excusa me pro mi cynismo) io non crede que le occision de un soldato es un acto criminal.
  • In plure casos, le OSCE non reporta le numero exacte de casas lese, ma usa expressiones como "several" ("plure"); alora, in absentia de altere informationes, in iste casos io arbitrarimente contava duo casas.
  • Io vos presenta le tabula integral solmente pro amor de completessa; ma mi consilio es de ignorar le detalios e considerar solmente le numeros relative al mortos e feritos inter le population civil.
  • In le columna "Initiated shooting" io contava le vices quando OSCE indicava clarmente, sin possibilitates de equivocation, qual parte del conflicto initiava a sparar primo.
  • Si vos trova errores, scribe me in le commentos.

Io crede que iste numeros monstra como le distribution del victimas non es casual: le plus grande parte del victimas civil es causate per le bombardamentos que le governamento ucrainian opera contra le territorios del rebelles philorusse, e le proportion es tanto grande que illo non lassa le possibilitate de explicar lo como un fenomeno accidental. De facto, mesmo si vos non vole creder a mi numeros, vos pote trovar datos simile in le reportos del Officio per le Alte Commissario pro le Derectos Human del Nationes Unite (OHCHR). Io summarisa le datos que on trova in lor documentos:

PeriodoVictimas civil: total (e mortos)
Areas controlate per
le governamento
Areas controlate
per le rebelles
16/11/2016 - 15/02/201713 (3)40 (4)
16/02/2017 - 15/05/2017incogniteincognite
16/05/2017 - 15/08/201727 (1)62 (8)
16/08/2017 - 15/11/20172 (0)18 (1)
16/11/2017 - 15/02/201812 (1)35 (2)

Io ha contate solmente le victimas per bombardamentos, quando il habeva un tal differentiation: le motivo es que le responsabilitate in iste caso es plus obvie, durante que in le caso de victimas per minas o per armas de calibro minor il pote esser que in alicun casos le responsabilitate cade super le personas qui controla le territorio

Como vos pote vider, le grande parte del victimas se trova in le territorio occupate per le rebelles. Esque nos pote concluder que iste personas esseva colpate per le foco del armea ucrainian? Io crede que si: nonobstante le propaganda ucrainian, que recita que le rebelles philorusse bombarda le territorios controlate per lor mesme, le reportos del OSCE que io examinava describe un pictura multo clar: le bombardamentos que occurre in le territorio del independentistas proveni del areas governative, e vice versa (de facto, in un caso il ha evidentia que le governamento ucrainian bombardava Shchastya, que es sub su proprie controlo). E anque le reporto del OHCHR de Novembre 2017 - Februario 2018 dice clarmente (al paragrapho 19) que le bombardamentos que occurre in un latere del conflicto es causate per le fortias que occupa le altere latere del fronte.

Conclusion

Io non crede que le mundo es dividite inter personas sancte e personas cruel, e que le veritate es sempre blanc o nigre. Le scopo de iste articulo non es lo de monstrar vos que le rebelles philorusse es bon, durante que le soldatos fidel al governamento ucrainian es perverse: le guerra es sempre mal, perque victimas civil es inevitabile. Ma io crede que le numeros ha un signification que non pote esser ignorate, e que vos deberea inquadrar in le contexto del information que vos recipe. Esque iste datos esseva un surprisa, pro vos? Si le responsa es affirmative, vos deberea initiar a dubitar del qualitate del information que vos consuma. Quando on lege un nova que tracta de guerra o de un evento de chronica, on sempre lege un information partial; mi consilio es de leger sempre le versiones de ambe partes, e alora on ha le sperantia de vider un pictura plus complete. Il non es per accidente que, in un processo juridic, le judice sempre ascolta anque le version del imputato, mesmo si le evidentia contra ille appare pesantissime.

E pro tornar a iste triste guerra: si vos non es choccate per iste numeros, imagina si un situation simile occurreva in vostre pais. Face iste effortio de imagination: il ha un rebellion philorusse in un citate in le parte oriental de vostre pais: illes non plus accepta le governamento central, e demanda le independentia. Russia anque interveni, e secretemente adjuta le rebelles. Suppone que vostre governamento non es capabile de eliminar solmente le rebelles, perque illo dispone solmente de bombas imprecise; como reagirea vos, si vostre governamento bombardava le citate, e in iste guerra on habeva un proportion de victimas civil simile a illos que io ha reportate in iste articulo?
Esque vos poterea tolerar iste mortes, si in ille citate rebelle le percentual del personas qui supporta le rebellion es 80%? E 50%? O 5%? E quando vos ha respondite, le question successive es: qual es le percentual del personas del Donbass qui supporta le rebelles philorusse? E si vos respondeva que iste mortes non es tolerabile in vostre pais, perque vos (o le governamento de vostre pais) los tolera quando illos occurre in Ucraina?

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What you don't hear about Ukraine

You can find the interlingua version of this post here

The conflict started in 2014 in Ukraine is not very prominent in the media nowadays, because — especially after the signing of the Minsk agreements in February 2015 ­— it's been a frozen conflict: frontlines are nearly immutable, waiting for the warring sides to implement the points defined in the Minsk document (by the way, would you be able to tell who must do what?). Unfortunately, the fact that the conflict is frozen does not mean that there's no fighting ongoing, and that people are not dying: indeed, soldiers from both factions continue to shoot, with many different types of weapons, and civilians continue to suffer and die.
I bet most of my readers already know this. What you might not know, is whether the civilian casualties are evenly distributed over the conflict area, or whether there are differences between the areas controlled by the pro-Russian rebels and those controlled by the Ukrainian government. In other words, whether the majority of civilian casualties are caused by the rebels or by the regular army.
Lacking this information (well, that you might lack this information is only a supposition of mine — if you don't, then please write me in the comments, where did you get this information from), it's natural to assume that, statistically, there would be similar numbers of civilian casualties in each side of the frontline. Or you might hold the opinion that one side is more to blame than the other, according to your prejudices.

To get the exact number of casualties one must read the reports from some international organisations, which are certainly more credible than reports published by either warring side. This does not mean that international organisations are impartial (their composition generally sees a predominance of Western members), but nevertheless they remain the only source of data which we can rely on.
The United Nations Human Rights Council publishes its reports every three months, and in these reports there's always a chapter focusing on the civilian victims, with precise numbers. Unfortunately, during the year 2016 these reports never specified in side of the frontline were the incidents occurring; this makes it impossible for us to tell which faction was responsible for the deaths.

For this reason, I armed myself with patience and I started a tedious work of reading of all the reports from the OSCE mission in Ukraine, and from each of them I extracted the numbers of civilian casualties (both injures and deaths), grouping them by their cause (shelling, mine or other accidents), as well as other numbers which I thought could be statistically interesting, such as for example the number of houses which were damaged by the shellings. Here's a summary of those numbers I consider most interesting:

Areas controlled by
the government
Areas controlled
by the rebels
Deaths by shelling 523
Injuries by shelling 4077
Damaged houses 171358

You can find the complete table, from which I extracted the numbers above, here: OSCE Reports 2016. I do expect some criticism; therefore, please let me explain how to read the sheet:

  • Every line in the sheet corresponds to a day of the year 2016.
  • For each line, there's a link to the OSCE report for that day; feel free to use it to check whether my data extraction was correct.
  • Most numbers are debatable: except for the number of the deceased, all other numbers can be subject to interpretation: for example, should we count as injured someone who was only lightly hurt? Or should we count as damaged a house whose windows broke just because of a loud noise? While I've tried to use my common sense, I have to admit that there might be different readings.
  • I only counted civilian victims: clearly, there were victims also among soldiers and militants, but (I'm sorry if I appear cynic) I don't think that the killing of a soldier in a war zone is a criminal act.
  • In many cases, the OSCE fails to report the exact number of damaged houses, and instead just uses the word several; in those cases, and lacking better information, I arbitrarily decided to count two houses.
  • I show you the full sheet just for the sake of completeness; but my suggestion is to ignore the details, and instead focus on the numbers of civialian deaths and injures only.
  • In the "Initiated shooting" column I counted those times when the OSCE was clearly and unequivocally reporting which side of the conflict was responsible for starting the hostilities.
  • If you find mistakes, please write me in the comments.

I believe that these numbers clearly show how the distribution of victims is not uniform: most of the civilian victims are caused by the shelling operated by the Ukrainian government on the land held by the pro-Russian rebels, and the proportion between the two is so uneven that it removes the possibility of explaining it as an accidental phenomen. As a matter of facts, even if you don't want to believe my numbers above, you can find similar data in the reports by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). I sum up the data which you can find in their documents:

PeriodCivilian casualties: total (and deaths)
Areas controlled by
the government
Areas controlled
by the rebels
16/11/2016 - 15/02/201713 (3)40 (4)
16/02/2017 - 15/05/2017unknownunknown
16/05/2017 - 15/08/201727 (1)62 (8)
16/08/2017 - 15/11/20172 (0)18 (1)
16/11/2017 - 15/02/201812 (1)35 (2)

I counted only the victims by shelling, when such information was available: the reason for this is that responsibility is mush simpler to establish in this case, while in the case of mine or firearm victims there might be some cases where the responsibility falls over the party controlling the territory

As you can see, the vast majority of casualties happens in the territory occupied by the rebels. Could we therefore conclude that these people were hit by the shellings of the Ukrainian army? I believe so: regardless of Ukrainian propaganda, which states that the pro-Russian rebels are bombing their own territory, the OSCE reports which I examined paint a very clear picture: shellings occurring in the territory controlled by the separatists comes from governamental areas, and vice versa (as a matter of facts, in one case we have evidence that the Ukrainian government shelled Shchastya, which is under its control). And even the OHCHR report from November 2017 - February 2018 clearly states that shelling occurring in one side of the front is caused by those forces occupying the other side (paragraph 19).

Conclusions

I don't believe that the world can be divided between good and evil people, or that truth is always black or white. The goal of this article is not to prove that pro-Russian rebels are good, while soldiers obeying to the Ukrainian government are perverse: war is always bad, because civilian casualties are unavoidable. But I do believe that numbers have a meaning which can't be ignored, and that these numbers should be framed in the context of the information you receive from the media. Were these data a surprise to you? If the answer is positive, then you should start doubting the quality of the information you consume. When one reads a piece of news about war or other daily news, one always gets only a partial truth; my advice is to always read the news coming from both sides, and then we could have some hope of seeing a more complete picture. It's not by accident that, in a juridical proceeding, the jury always hears also the defendant's version, even if the evidence mounting against him is overwhelming.

And to come back to this sad war: if you are not shocked by these numbers, try to imagine if a similar situation occurred in your own country. Try to make an effort in picturing this fictional story: there is a pro-Russian insurgency in a city in the East of your country: they no longer recognize the central government, and demand independence. Russia also intervenes, and covertly helps the rebels. And suppose that your government was unable to eliminate only the rebels, because it only possesses imprecise weapons; how would you react, if your government shelled the city, resulting in civilian casualties with the same proportion as that reported in this article (that is, your government actions were causing much more deaths than the rebels')?
Could you tolerate these deaths, if in the rebel city there was about 80% of the population supporting the rebellion? And what if it was only 5%? Once you answer these questions, the next one is this: what is the percentage of people in Donbass who support the pro-Russian rebels? And if you answered that these deaths are not tolerable in your country, why are you (or your country's government) tolerating them when they happen in Ukraine?

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