All of the Balkans, legendary German Reichskanzler (Imperial Chancellor) Otto von Bismarck famously said, were not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. And Bismarck, a Prussian landowner or junker had nothing but amused contempt for Pomeranian grenadiers who were regarded as a standing joke in the German Army.
In 1890, brash, young new German Emperor Wilhelm II fired Bismarck after 28 years as minister-president of Prussia and then first Imperial Chancellor of Germany. He abandoned the priority policy of maintaining warm ties and close communications with Russia that Bismarck had always followed and scrapped the Dreikaiserbund, the League of Three Emperors that Bismarck had created with the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires.
Over the next 20 years, an increasingly isolated Germany became more and more committed to its one remaining ally – weak, unstable and inept Austria-Hungary ruled by the Habsburg Emperor Franz-Josef, after his death long revered but in reality a dim dolt.
In 1914, Wilhelm II performed his most fatal idiocy: He gave the rulers of Austria-Hungary a blank check to send an ultimatum to Serbia over its suspected invovlement in the assassination of the Habsburg Archduke Franz-Ferdinand in Sarajevo that was bound to lead to war.
Afterwards, belatedly realizing what he had done, Wilhelm panicked and tried to pull back from the catastrophe to which he had doomed his country and all of Europe. But it was too late. More than two million young German soldiers died for nothing in that war over the next four years. A needless war fought over allegations of complicity in an assassination cost the bones of a lot more than one, solitary Pomeranian grenadier.
The causes of World War I were compulsarily taught to millions of schoolchildren when I was growing up in Ireland and Britain. Today I doubt one American in half a million could explain them. Yet Congress in Washington and the US media are madly urging on the US government to replicate the castastrophe in what could trigger a global thermonuclear holocaust.
Assassination! Instead of the suspected involvement of the tiny Serbian government which was indeed deeply involved in the plot (but for which no proof at the time was in fact uncovered) we see the US government following the lead of the UK government in blaming Russia without any evidence whatsoever in the alleged assassination of Sergei Skripal.
A reckless stupid commitment! Instead of Wilhelm II giving a “blank check” to the Austro-Hungarian government to start a war with Serbia, provoking reaction by Russia, we see the US Congress pressuring President Donald Trump into imposing ferocious sanctions on Russia. Those sanctions are clearly intended to wreck Russia’s 19 years of recovery, prosperity and growth under President Vladimir Putin.
A superpower allowing a weak, unstable and irresponsible minor ally to pull it into a destructive war!
Wilhelm, the emperor of bluster in the end let himself be led as tamely as an obedient poodle by the reckless adventurers and gamblers in Vienna. Today, Trump is allowing US policy be deformed and national survival threatened by his loyalty to a leader he despises, Prime Minister Theresa May of the disintegrating United Kingdom.
Most of all Bismarck knew that tiny squabbling coutnries in the Balkans were not worth the life of a single comic soldier.
Bismarck would not have cared a fig for the internal politics of Macedonia, Montengegro or Georgia. He would have laughed at the idea that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania could or should determine the future of global superpowers and world-spanning alliances.
Instead, Bismarck sought to quarantine off peripheral regions that historically generated violence, ethnic conflict and assassination away from the major powers.
The Iron Chancellor’s policies maintained global peace for two generations. Abandoning them brought on the conflagration of 1914 that destroyed European civilization.
Today, the United States and its allies need to remember and relearn the wisdom of Bismarck and abandon the fatally infantile enthusiasms of Wilhelm II.
The survival of humanity depends upon it.
Originally published on 2018-09-05
About the author: During his 24 years as a senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and United Press International, Martin Sieff reported from more than 70 nations and covered 12 wars. He has specialized in US and global economic issues.
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
Greater Albania under Nazi Germany
During World War II, 35,000 to 40,000 Kosovo Albanians were recruited by Nazi Germany as part of the German occupation forces and security formations in Greater Albania, a state created by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini that included Kosovo-Metohija, western Macedonia, and territory from Serbia and Montenegro. In Albania, there were 30,000 Albanians who were in the German occupation forces. In 1941, the German occupation forces created a Kosovo Albanian Gendarmerie with headquarters in Kosovska Mitrovica. In 1944, these forces were incorporated into the Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division. In 1942, Balli Kombetar organization battalions were established ...
During the last decade the deteriorating political and military situation in the world have proved the necessity of well prepared Armed Forces.
It is obvious that the level of patriotism in Lithuania is high as ever. Many young men are thinking to join the Armed Forces and be useful to the country. The government only should maintain and strengthen this trend. But battling with numerous political and economical problems the government is going to make some changes in military sphere that could have far-reaching adverse consequences.
It should be said that today there is a serious gap in providing the national Armed ...
07 February 2018: Israel advances a plan to build a walkway though the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem to connect two settler residential compounds in the Palestinian At-Tur neighbourhood
07 February 2018: During a Knesset report on the policy of refusing to return the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces to their families for burial, officials are urged to ‘throw it into the sea’, ‘we should not return bodies. We should demolish homes’, others say
05 February 2018: A number of Israeli politicians, including coalition government members, call for ‘practical moves’ to be taken to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank while Donald ...
The world will long remember the present immigrant crisis in Europe, which has negatively affected countless people there, and almost all countries. History will certainly record it as a major tragedy. Could it have been averted? Or kept within much more reasonable humane bounds?
After the United States and NATO began to bomb Libya in March 2011 – almost daily for more than six months! – to overthrow the government of Muammar Gaddafi (with the completely phoney excuse that Gaddafi was about to invade Benghazi, the Libyan center of his opponents, and so the United States and NATO were thus saving ...
A peaceful dissolution of the USSR according to the agreement between Mikhail Gorbachew and Ronald Reagan in 1988 in Reykjavik brought a new dimension of a global geopolitics in which up to 2008 Russia, as a legal successor state of the USSR, was playing an inferior role in global politics when an American Neocon concept of Pax Americana became the fundamental framework in international relations. Therefore, for instance, Boris Yeltsin’s Russia capitulated in 1995 to the American design regarding a final outcome of the USA/EU policy of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia in November 1995 (the Dayton Agreement) followed by even ...
The goal of this article is to investigate and describe the text of one very significant, but so far forgotten, document and historical source upon the question on Serbian liberation from the Ottoman sway and national unification. The document was written in 1804 during the first months of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman oppression [about the uprising see in Petrovich 1976; Vucinich 1982; Temperley 1969; Ђорђевић 1956].
The Serbian nation was divided at the dawn of the 19th century by the borders of Ottoman pashaliks and by the state frontiers that separated the lands under Ottoman from those under ...
Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States! How unprecedented! How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!
In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.” (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”
But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections ...
On 10 August 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accused president Barak Hussein Obama and Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of co-founding the jihadist rebel organization ISIS (Islamic State) operating mainly in Syria and Iraq but with operative in many Middle Eastern countries and around the world. Trump used Obama’s full name to provoke a racist-xenophobic response from the public about the Arabic-sounding name rooted in East Africa. Immediately, critics insisted that Trump made outrageous and ignorant comments about complex foreign affairs matters he does not fully comprehend.
The following day Trump clarified that he meant exactly what he said and ...
“The United States has been sending a message that the settlements must stop privately and publicly for nearly five decades.”
Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN
Christians following the Gregorian calendar are getting busy to celebrate Christmas, but the business of diplomacy continued in the United Nations. In the Security Council, anticipation about a particular resolution was greater than usual.
On Friday, interest was piqued by what the Obama administration’s representative, Samantha Power, would do about a particular resolution that had riled Israeli politicians, US president-elect Donald Trump, and various members of the US Congress.
Resolution 2334, as worded, demanded that Israel “immediately ...
Remember watching ancient Orthodox Christian monasteries in flames in Kosovo dozen times.
Old, noble constructions, spiritual and historical testimonies of past times.
I also remember that majority of Orthodox Christian monasteries, churches and relics has been attacked and destroyed after NATO forces (officially: KFOR) took full control of the Serbian province.
It amazed me to see how Western soldiers, under full equipment and heavy armament, often didn’t make a single move to stop Albanian violence; over 200 000 Serbs had to flee, in order to save their bare lives, bearing whole their lives in few suitcases if they were lucky enough.
It turned out ...
Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.
The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism — the conservative ideology dominant in Saudi Arabia — in the 17 years since an American-led intervention wrested tiny Kosovo from Serbian oppression.
Since then — much of that time under the watch of American officials — Saudi money and influence have transformed this ...
Thursday marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of America’s deadliest terrorist organization: the Klu Klux Klan.
Since September 11, extremists associated with various far-right wing ideologies, including the KKK and Jewish extremists, have killed far more people in the United States than extremists motivated by radical Islam.
One centuries’ old example of US government double standards when it comes to terrorism, is the infamous Klu Klux Klan. The Klan has terrorized and killed far more Americans than Islamic terrorists ever have; and despite being America’s oldest terrorist organization, the US government does not officially consider the KKK a terrorist organization, classifying ...
First published by GR in December 2006
War criminals George W. Bush and Tony Blair were banned for life in April 2003 from the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, widely believed to be the birth-place of Jesus Christ. The ban was announced at the height of the illegal US-allied bombing and invasion of Iraq.
Below are the original 2003 press reports pertaining to that decision as well as a subsequent introductory note published by Global Research in December 2006.
“The Bethlehem sanctuary issued a ringing reprisal Sunday [April 2003] of the coalition attack, going as far as barring US President George W. Bush, ...
War is evil; permanent war is permanent evil. It is evil to humans but also to other species and the planet; the weapons used destroy us but also contaminate and destroy nature.
Despite a general knowledge of the evils of war and acceptance of peace and the rule of law, war has become a permanent feature of the 21st century -destructive, cruel, dehumanizing and vindictive. Its message: those who can kill and destroy the most have the upper hand. Major General Smedley Butler said it in a speech in 1933: “war is a racket.” Butler, who had joined the Marine ...
GR Editor’s Note
Publicly available military documents confirm that pre-emptive nuclear war is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon.
Compared to the 1950s, the nuclear weapons are more advanced. The delivery system is more precise. In addition to China and Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea are targets for pre-emptive nuclear war.
Let us be under no illusions, the Pentagon’s plan to blow up the planet using advanced nuclear weapons is still on the books.
Should we be concerned? Blowing up the planet through the use of nuclear weapons is fully endorsed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who believes that nuclear weapons ...
Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, a little more than a year ago, in July 2014 were the focus of attention in Europe and North America, accused, without a shred of forensic evidence, of shooting down an unarmed civilian Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine. The Russians were deemed out to restore the Soviet Union with their agreement to the popular referendum of Crimean citizens to annex into the Russian Federation and not Ukraine. Western sanctions were being thrown at Russia by both Washington and the EU. People spoke of a new Cold War. Today the picture is changing, and profoundly. ...
Kosovo is to set up a regular standing army, officially defying everyone, including NATO, although the bloc’s objections are only half-hearted. The alliance would prefer that the illegal entity of Kosovo change its constitution in order to create an army. Just amend it, and then you’re free to have one. This stance looks more like connivance than any real opposition to the move.
Washington’s position is more or less the same. It supports "the gradual, transparent transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into a multiethnic force in line with NATO standards" as long as it complies with the provisions of Kosovo’s constitution, reflecting that “entity’s multiethnic ...
The media is currently in the midst of an anti-Russian hysteria that many have dubbed Cold War 2.0. Of course the first cold war never really ended as the wars in Yugoslavia, Chechnya, and even Afghanistan were aimed at Russia as was the relentless NATO expansion. This manufactured panic is a form of psychological warfare that went into high gear during the Sochi Olympics in 2014 as the US was working to launch a fascist coup in Ukraine.
Since most ordinary people would be shocked to discover that Nazis had been installed in power in Ukraine an anti-Russian hysteria was ...
The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.
Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through ...
General Ratko Mladic’s arrest and his extradition to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia satisfied the prerequisites for Serbia’s membership in the European Union. As expected, the western media have tagged the defendant as the “Butcher of Bosnia” and piled on as many charges against him as possible, thereby masking NATO’s role in Yugoslavia. But there can be no reconciliation without truth, which, as Slobodan Despot observes, is far more complex than the Manichean account given.
Ratko Mladić did not serve his country well by hiding from justice for all these years, but his late capture may allow a ...
Kosovo Under Nazi Germany: Nazi-Created Albanian Security Forces in Kosovo During the World War II
Lithuania Risks to Lose the Future of the Armed Forces
Timeline: Israel’s anti-Palestinian Laws since 1948
Bombing Libya: The Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
The West vs Russia: Towards the End of a Pax Americana?
The Memorandum (1804) by the Karlovci Metropolitan Stevan Stratimirovic
US Meddling in 1996 Russian Elections in Support of Boris Yeltsin
Obama and Clinton Co-Founders of ISIS?
Drama at the UN Security Council: Israel’s Illegal Settlements
Albanian Terrorists as Official NATO Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo Members
How Kosovo was Turned into Fertile Ground for ISIS
The Ku Klux Klan: America’s Long History of Accepting White Terrorist Organizations
The Spirit of Christmas: War Criminals George W. Bush and Tony Blair Banned from the Birthplace of Jesus Christ
Permanent War against Humans and the Planet
Declassified Documents Reveal Pentagon’s 1950s Planned Nuclear Holocaust
Putin is Defeating More than ISIS in Syria
Kosovo: An Illegal Entity Annexed and Ruled by NATO is to Create a Regular Army
The Cold War and Its Origins: The Inception of the Soviet Union (1917-1950)
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”: US Sponsored Islamic Fighters in the Balkans
General Ratko Mladić and the Pandora’s Box of the Bosnian War (1992-1995)