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.
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.
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”.
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.
In the chaotic moments and endless news feed about the Turkish coup, it became clear that Washington and the West did not support Erdogan.
After Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi and Viktor Yanukovych it was now time to get rid of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. According to the Daily Sabah the coup was linked to the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which has its leadership based in Washington.
The day after the failed coup, Western-based media tried to contain the damage and hurried to proclaim: “NATO Allies Rally Behind Erdogan as Turkish Coup Splits Military.1)NATO Allies Rally Behind Erdogan as Turkish Coup Splits Military Source Bloomberg 2016-07-16” They did not!
On Friday when the situation was very chaotic the White House website stated “The President spoke tonight by phone with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the events in Turkey. The President and Secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected Government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed. The Secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of U.S. citizens in Turkey. The President asked the Secretary to continue to keep him updated as the situation unfolds.” 2)Readout of the President’s Call with Secretary John Kerry Source The White Houes 2016-07-15
The announcement was purposefully vague nor was it made by the president himself; in the text of the White House, there was no reference or any direct support for Erdogan or outright condemnation of the coup. The “democratically-elected Government” as stated in the announcement does not include Erdogan as President. Of course, if the White House did support the democracy, the text should read: “democratically-elected Government and the President.”
The coup leaders said they’d done so in the name of protecting democracy, and this is in line with the statement of the White House.
The scenario seems to be like this: President Erdoğan lets loose immigrants wave after wave; the European Union negotiates with him in a bid to have him stop the immigrants flood and contain them on Turkish soil; President Erdoğan demands that Turks be allowed to enter the EU without a visa and that Turkey be admitted to the Union as soon as possible; Brussels-slash-Berlin apparently agrees though the idea of having Turkey as a member state without it conforming its laws to European standards is not palatable; so the German Bundestag comes up with the idea of slapping Ankara in the face by passing a resolution that recognizes and thus brings to the world’s attention the annihilation of Armenians that took place a hundred years back as an act of genocide. In response to or in retaliation for which Ankara recalls its ambassador from Berlin1)Scharfer Protest der Türkei gegen Völkermord-Resolution des Bundestags, Die Welt 2016-06-02., blocks a visit of German politicians to 250 German soldiers stationed at İncirlik Air Base2)Turkey says visit by German politicians to İncirlik base ‘not appropriate’, HurriyetDaily 2016-06-23., and threatens with the worsening of the bilateral relationship.3)Bundestag verurteilt Völkermord der Türkei an den Armeniern, Berlin Journal 2016-06-02. And to top it all, a Turkish party is to be formed in Germany.4)Entfremdung: Türken in Deutschland wollen eigene Partei gründen, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten 2016-06-17.
As we predicted, Cameron resigns after the British have cast “a leave vote” but Germany’s Chancellor Merkel is to blame for the disastrous result of the referendum.
Last year she mishandled three problems:
In 2015, under Angela Merkel’s leadership, the problems in Greece span out of control and Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister of Greece, was able to jeopardize the whole euro project1)Greece talks of compromise as Merkel warns time is short Source Reuters 2015-06-08;
When in 2015 millions of refugees were heading for Europe, it was Angela Merkel that single-handedly, without consulting her political counterparts in Warsaw, London or Rome, decided how Europe had to deal with it 2)Refugee quotas ‘unacceptable’ for Visegrad states Source EUobserver 2015-09-04;
Chancellor Merkel held talks with Erdoğan: Turkey was being considered as a member-state of the European Union, which lacked any support in Europe whatsoever 3)Turkey joining the EU is ‘unthinkable’, Nicolas Sarkozy tells Angela Merkel Source Source Independent 2016-06-21.
No wonder the British voters came to doubt the democratic legitimacy of Brussels as they saw Berlin mishandle the European project.
Belarus the last pariah of Europe? Its leader, referred to as dictator, shunned by polite society? Its image tarnished in the media? No longer so. Alexander Lukashenko’s fortress has been laid siege to, has been bombarded and… emerged victorious. With flying colors. Minsk has hosted talks on Ukraine’s future, the sanctions have been lifted, and President Lukashenko has been readmitted both to the lay (Rome) and spiritual (the Vatican) European salons.