Vladimir Bukovsky: I have lived in your future Read more >>>
Europe in Crisis: Bosnia’s break-up unavoidable Read more >>>
Central Europe’s opinion is falling (as yet) on deaf ears Read more >>>
The Centre of Russian World Affairs Is Moving East Read more >>>
Breaking the Siege of Aleppo Will Make Erdoğan the father of all Sunni Muslims Read more >>>
It was Vladimir Bukovsky, a well-known Soviet dissident, who, having lived several years in the West, said these words about the European Union.Did he exaggerate or did he hit the nail on the head? Well, let us see1)Vladimir Bukovsky: EU = USSR, YouTube 2011-12-20..
An analogy is what it is: it is an analogy, not a mirror reflection. If history repeats itself, it repeats itself as a farce. Napoleon III had all the imperial trappings of Napoleon I and was but an echo of his predecessor. And: for those who are observant enough no proof is necessary; for those who cling to their dream-world no proof is possible. With this in mind let us draw a comparison between the European and the Soviet Union.
A next Balkan war in Bosnia is a matter of time. The Republic of Srpska is planning on holding a referendum next Sunday, 25 September, on a seemingly minor issue1)Bosnia’s Republika Srpska to hold controversial referendum despite ban Source BNE Intellinews. The Bosnian Serbs will be voting on the date of the “national independence day.” This referendum seems, however, to be a run-up to to a referendum on the splitting up of the country. The Serbs want to secede from Bosnia and become part of Serbia, claiming their democratic right on self-determination2)War Talk Grips Balkans Ahead of Bosnia Vote Source Balkan Insight.
An amiable mood has held sway over years in the European family. The Western countries went to great lengths to teach their eastern counterparts what capitalism and democracy were all about, and the East European nations obediently let themselves be dictated to. Western Europe would provide the finances for the development of Eastern Europe, and the latter would comply with the imposed precepts. The European unity flourished and no one expected the children to ever voice their political opinion. Recently, however, this idyll has been somewhat marred.
At first it turned out that one relative (Greece) could not stand on its own, next another relative (Great Britain) filed for divorce. Such news has an impact on each family. A comfortable and supportive home threatens to disintegrate and the children are getting the impression that their parents are by no means infallible and that they do not seem to have everything under control, and, to top it all, that the parents are losing their head.
It is customary for European schools to resume their activities with the beginning of September, which provides us all with the opportunity to picture ourselves back in a school bench and pore over the map of the world. Some of the facts that we learnt back then and have long forgotten might turn up handy to help us through today’s unstable geopolitical situation. Others will let us unravel the complex networks that we, accustomed to our European perspective, have lost sight of. A look at a world’s map is enough for us to put everything in the right perspective. Nowadays we are facing a number of agendas that are propagandized by the powers that be. Facts are propaganda’s most implacable enemies since they provide an average citizen with food for thought, enabling him to come up with his own worldview. Such facts can surely be found in a world’s map.
The events in Syria are changing rapidly. Turkey has entered Syria and is heading for Al-Bab, a city 35 kilometers from Aleppo, according to a Turkey government official and a statement issued by the Turkey-supported Muslim militia united in the FSA (Free Syrian Army).1)New target is western town of al-Bab, 6 km from Syrian army, Source Hurriyet Daily.The next step is lifting the siege of Aleppo from the east. Atatürk became the Father of all Turks after he had won the Battle of Gallipoli and defeated major European powers; Erdoğan will be the father of all Sunni Muslims if he liberates Aleppo and thus gains the upper hand over Russia and Iran.
Russia, the Kurds, and the Syrian army were very close to cutting off the Raqqa-Turkey supply route. Turkey’s invasion is a gift from heaven for the Jihadists in Raqqa: it prevents them from being cut off from Turkey. Turkey’s invasion of Syria is clearly to the advantage of ISIS.
Turkey’s objectives in Syria have always been clear and these are to:
1. prevent the Kurds from gaining autonomy, destroy the YPD, the sister organisation of the PKK, and 2. remove Assad from power.
It was 77 years ago today that the Second World War began. Early in the morning on September 1st German troops violated the country’s territorial integrity along all of the shared borderline and later that same day Chancellor Adolf Hitler delivered a speech in the Reichstag some of whose words went down in history: Polen hat heute Nacht zum ersten Mal auf unserem eigenen Territorium auch mit bereits regulären Soldaten geschossen. Seit 5:45 Uhr wird jetzt zurückgeschossen!
Apple’s $14 billion EU tax fine, and the suspension of the TTIP negotiations cannot come as a surprise; they are a clear retaliation for the totally unjustified penalties the US authorities imposed on European banks during the period between 2009 and 2014.
These fines were based on a change in U.S. regulations made in the second half of the 2010’s, i.e. that all operations done in dollars need to conform to American regulations. As the Dollar happens to be the world’s reserve currency, the US unilaterally expanded its jurisdiction on all other nations. The U.S. has the power to subjugate their partners to their authority and hand over some of their sovereignty to the ruling elites in Washington. BNP Paribas was forced to pay $8.9 billion to Washington regulators. The extraordinary high penalty on the French bank was for all intents and purposes a humiliation of France.
The US alternative media rightly like to point out how the big banks buy their influence in Washington, but they purposely fail to mention another more powerful interest group, with much more influence. For every dollar a lobby group donates, it wants something in return. According to our analyses, the big banks are not the principal contributors who pull strings in Washington. The money trail shows another influential group that have put their wealth and money behind both candidates.
Presidential candidates have always had their political action committees (PACs). These collected money from donors and used it for the campaign. Traditional PACs must abide by strict limits: the money can only be accepted from individual contributors (corporations and labor unions excluded) and its amount is strictly limited.1)Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits 2013-2014.Super PACs differ from traditional PACs in that they are allowed to collect money in all amounts, from individuals as well as corporations and labor unions on condition that (i) this money will not be given directly to the candidate nor (ii) will the expenditure of the money be consulted with the candidate.2)Sunlight Foundation, 2012-01-31.This has opened up quite new possibilities to the presidential candidates.
Since Turkey has become a hostile country to Europe, Turkish citizens in Germany, Belgium and in the Netherlands as well as Germans, Belgians and the Dutch of Turkish descent may be used by the relentless President Recep Tayyip Erdoğanagainst European governments and states. The Turkish diaspora in Germany alone makes up three million people and most of them support the presidential AKP party. The political clout of Turks living in Europe could be seen in Cologne, where 40 or even 50 thousand Erdoğan’s supporters gathered, waving Turkish flags. It was the Turkish President’s test or show of force, whose message to Angela Merkel was: “Watch out what you are doing, because refugees are not my only weapon”.
China is by far the most powerful contestant. Neither the Philippines, nor Malaysia nor Vietnam can compare, though they, especially Hanoi, dare to put up a fight and stave off the encroachment on its sovereignty. China, true, is willing to sit down to the negotiation table, yet insists on bilateral talks; the smaller contestants prefer group talks. An they all look to the United States, if for different reasons. China is trying to expand its regional clout, the smaller countries are defending their rights. And the United States? Failure to respond to the Chinese challenge entails serious consequences such as damage to Washington’s status of the world superpower and loss of American credibility, not only in the eyes of the few South-East Asian nations concerned but also others, like Japan. The eyes of the world are thus focused on the South China Sea.
The failed Western-backed coup against Tayyip Erdoğan has far-reaching geopolitical consequences.
That this coup was coming was known to the Americans, Europeans and President Erdoğan; In May the Wall-Street Journal wrote: “Speculation about a military coup reached a fever pitch in late March, when Turkish media reports suggested the Obama administration was trying to topple Mr. Erdoğan. The rumors led to a terse exchange at the State Department, where a Turkish reporter asked spokesman John Kirby whether the U.S. was working to bring down Mr Erdoğan.”1)Turkish Military’s Influence Rises Again, Wall Street Journal 2016-05-15.
Let us wind the tape fast forward. Germany 2060. We are entering the country from east or west. We are travelling across it, visiting ancient towns and cities, doing the sights in medieval castles and cathedrals. The people that we face are black or brown; with kinky hair, squinted eyes, pouted lips and sometimes even blond hair and fair skin. Some speak good German, some speak broken German, some speak Somali, some Pashto, some Turkish. We hear their names: Muhammad,1)How Muhammad is now the most popular name for baby boys in England and Wales… but it doesn’t top official list because there are so many ways to spell it, Mail Online 2014-08-16.Karl-Heinz, Hassan, Konrad, Omar, Gojko, Mammoon. A German of Afghan descent is our guide around a medieval castle explaining to us the ways of life of the former inhabitants of the country; an imam walks us around a cathedral turned mosque, explaining that some time back it fell into disuse, and so it was taken over; we are entertained by a black teacher who is proud of teaching German to students with diverse cultural heritage, ‘You know,’ she says, German is almost a kind of present-day Latin in terms of it being almost obsolescent but still one of the official languages of the country.’ So we tour the country in search of Germany or rather traces thereof. We can still find German cuisine in isolated pockets in the countryside.