The mainstream media (MSM) has declared war on alternative media websites labeling them “Fake News” ever since Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump. The New York Times editorial board expressed their frustration in an article calling for the censorship of alternative and social media‘Facebook and the Digital Virus Called Fake News’ which claimed both social media platforms (Facebook and Google) has not been aggressive enough in blocking fake news sites:
Most of the fake news stories are produced by scammers looking to make a quick buck. The vast majority of them take far-right positions. But a big part of the responsibility for this scourge rests with internet companies like Facebook and Google, which have made it possible for fake news to be shared nearly instantly with millions of users and have been slow to block it from their sites.
Some of the websites named in a fake news list by Melissa “Mish” Zimdars, an assistant professor of communication at Merrimack College in Massachusetts including 21st Century Wire, Activistpost.com, Globalresearch.ca, Lewrockwell.com, Naturalnews.com and Project Veritas (who released undercover videos of the DNC attempting to rig the elections) and others have exposed the lies by MSM propaganda. The MSM has lost its credibility and at the same time lost viewers at unprecedented levels. on April 17, 2016, the Associated Press reported on how the U.S. population viewed the MSM ‘Poll: Getting facts right key to Americans’ trust in media’ said that “Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions.” Now they want to stop the alternative media from becoming a credible source for news. The New York Times is calling for the censorship of the alternative and social media by blocking “misinformation”:
Blocking misinformation will help protect the company’s brand and credibility. Some platforms have suffered when they have failed to address users’ concerns. Twitter users, for instance, have backed away from that platform because of abusive trolling, threatening posts and hate speech, which the company hasn’t been able to control.
Mr. Zuckerberg himself has spoken at length about how social media can help improve society. In a 2012 letter to investors, he said it could “bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government that could lead to more direct empowerment of people, more accountability for officials and better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time.” None of that will happen if he continues to let liars and con artists hijack his platform
Just to be clear, there are a number of websites that do spread misinformation including those in the alternative media, but it is fair to say that they never have caused the deaths of millions of people like The New York Times when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. A recent example is the U.S. led war against Iraq in 2003. After the September 11th attacks, the George W. Bush administration made a false accusation that the Iraq government had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) which led to a U.S. invasion eventually toppling Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The U.S. led war turned out to be a calculated plan by The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank who wrote the secretive blueprint called ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century’ to remove Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath party from power. The blueprint was originally written for the neocon lunatics who served under then-President George W. Bush including Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to establish an “international Security order” dominated by the United States. According to the document:
In broad terms, we saw the project as building upon the defense strategy outlined by the Cheney Defense Department in the waning days of the Bush Administration. The Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) drafted in the early months of 1992 provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests
PNAC was founded by neoconservatives William Kristol, a political analyst, media commentator (Fox News, ABC News) and the founder and editor of The Weekly Standard and Robert Kagan, an author, columnist, and foreign-policy commentator who is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and a fellow at the Brookings Institution. Kagan is also the husband of Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs appointed by President Obama who helped orchestrate a coup against the Ukrainian government of the democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych. The blueprint for regime change in Iraq was planned way before George W. Bush became President in 2001:
Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein
However, Judith Miller (who is currently an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute) and The New York Times played a crucial role for the Bush administration. Miller wrote one of the main articles on Iraq’s “WMDs” that justified the Bush administration’s agenda to topple Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath party. The article was not just “fake” news telling a lie that deceived the public, it destroyed a sovereign nation. The U.S. war against Iraq killed more than 1.4 million Iraqis (according to www.justforeignpolicy.org estimates) and more than 4,400 U.S. troops and tens of thousands permanently injured. The Iraq War also displaced millions of Iraqis thus creating a refugee crisis in neighboring countries including Syria. The destabilization of Iraq has also created a terrorist recruiting base that has spread throughout the Middle East including Syria.
The New York Times published Miller’s article on April 21st, 2003 ‘AFTER EFFECTS: PROHIBITED WEAPONS; Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, An Iraqi Scientist Is Said to Assert’ which claimed that an Iraqi scientist confirmed that the Iraqi government had WMDs:
They said the scientist led Americans to a supply of material that proved to be the building blocks of illegal weapons, which he claimed to have buried as evidence of Iraq’s illicit weapons programs. The scientist also told American weapons experts that Iraq had secretly sent unconventional weapons and technology to Syria, starting in the mid-1990′s, and that more recently Iraq was cooperating with Al Qaeda, the military officials said.
The Americans said the scientist told them that President Saddam Hussein’s government had destroyed some stockpiles of deadly agents as early as the mid-1990′s, transferred others to Syria, and had recently focused its efforts instead on research and development projects that are virtually impervious to detection by international inspectors, and even American forces on the ground combing through Iraq’s giant weapons plants
On April, 22, 2003, Miller appeared on the PBS News hour and spoke about her evidence on what she described as a “Silver Bullet” from an Iraqi scientist who allegedly worked on Saddam’s weapons program:
RAY SUAREZ: The task of finding that definitive proof falls in part to specialized teams within the U.S. Military. New York times” correspondent Judith Miller is reporting on the search conducted by units of the 75th exploitation task force. And she joins us now by phone south of Baghdad. Judith Miller, welcome back to the program. Has the unit you’ve been traveling with found any proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
JUDITH MILLER: Well, I think they found something more than a “smoking gun.” What they’ve found is what is being called here by the members of MET Alpha– that’s Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha– what they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person, an Iraqi individual, a scientist, as we’ve called him, who really worked on the programs, who knows them firsthand, and who has led MET Team Alpha people to some pretty startling conclusions that have kind of challenged the American intelligence community’s under… previous understanding of, you know, what we thought the Iraqis were doing.
RAY SUAREZ: Does this confirm in a way the insistence coming from the U.S. government that after the war, various Iraqi tongues would loosen, and there might be people who would be willing to help?
JUDITH MILLER: Yes, it clearly does. I mean, it’s become pretty clear to those of us on the ground that the international inspectors, without actually controlling the territory and changing the political environment, would never have been able to get these people to step forward. I mean, you can only do that when you know there is not going to be a secret policeman at your door the next day, and that your family isn’t going to suffer because you’re talking. And that’s what the Bush administration has finally done. They have changed the political environment, and they’ve enabled people like the scientists that MET Alpha has found to come forth. Now, what initially the weapons hunters thought they were going to find were stockpiles of kind of chemical and biological agents. That’s what they anticipated finding. We now know from the scientist that, in fact, that probably isn’t what we’re going to find. What they will find, and what they have found so far, are kind of precursors; that is, building blocks of what you would need to put together a chemical or a biological weapon.
But those stockpiles that we’ve heard about, well, those have either been destroyed by Saddam Hussein, according to the scientists, or they have been shipped to Syria for safekeeping. And what I think the interpretation of the MET Alpha people is, is why he did this. They believe that Saddam Hussein wanted to destroy the evidence of his unconventional weapons programs, and that’s what he has done– not only since 1995, but also in the weeks and months that led up to the war itself. There was mass destruction. And the scientist who has been cooperating with MET Alpha has actually said that he participated in… he kind of watched, you know, a warehouse being burned that contained potentially incriminating biological equipment. So clearly what Saddam Hussein wanted to do was cover his weapons of mass destruction tracks. And that means that the whole shape of the hunt here on the ground for unconventional weapons is changing
The problem with Miller’s assertion that Iraq had WMDs is that it relied on an Iraqi exile named Ahmed Chalabi who wanted “regime change” against Saddam Hussein’s government. James Moore of The Guardian wrote ‘How Chalabi and the White House held the front page: The New York Times has burned its reputation on a pyre of lies about Iraq’described Chalabi as a convicted criminal who embezzled millions from his Petra Bank in Amman, Jordan. Moore said the following:
Judith Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and authority on the Middle East for the NYT, appears to have been the most reliant on Chalabi. In an email exchange with the NYT’s Baghdad bureau chief John Burns, Miller said Chalabi “had provided most of the front page exclusives for our paper”. She later said that this was an exaggeration, but in an earlier interview with me, Miller did not discount the value of Chalabi’s insight. “Of course, I talked with Chalabi,” she said. “But he was just one of many sources I used.”
Miller refused to say who those other sources were but, at Chalabi’s behest, she interviewed various defectors from Saddam Hussein’s regime, who claimed without substantiation that there was still a clandestine WMD programme operating inside Iraq. US investigators now believe that Chalabi sent these same Iraqi expatriates to at least eight Western spy agencies as part of a scheme to convince them to overthrow Saddam
Mr. Moore mentioned Miller’s article which was co-written with Michael R. Gordon and published by The New York Times on September 8th, 2002 titled ‘THREATS AND RESPONSES: THE IRAQIS; U.S. SAYS HUSSEIN INTENSIFIES QUEST FOR A-BOMB PARTS’ claiming that Saddam was “building a uranium gas separator to develop nuclear material”:
If spies wanted a trophy to show what happens when their craft is perfectly executed, it would be a story written by Judith Miller on the front page of the New York Times on a Sunday morning in September 2002. She wrote that an intercepted shipment of aluminum tubes, to be used for centrifuges, was evidence that Saddam was building a uranium gas separator to develop nuclear material.
The story had an enormous impact, one amplified when national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state Colin Powell and vice-president Dick Cheney all did appearances on the Sunday-morning talk shows, citing the first-rate journalism of the liberal NYT. No single story did more to advance the neoconservative cause
Here is the original excerpt from Miller’s original September 8th 2002 New York Times article:
More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.
In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. American officials said several efforts to arrange the shipment of the aluminum tubes were blocked or intercepted but declined to say, citing the sensitivity of the intelligence, where they came from or how they were stopped
According to Moore (and many other journalists, researchers and alternative media outlets), Judith Miller’s story was completely false and that the “the aluminum tubes were covered with an anodised coating, which rendered them useless for a centrifuge, according to a number of scientists who spoke publicly after Miller’s story.” Moore continued“the tubes, in fact, were almost certainly intended for use as rocket bodies.” Lastly, Moore quoted what Miller had told him about her sources which lead to the WMD hoax:
“I had no reason to believe what I reported was inaccurate,” Miller told me. “I believed the intelligence I had. We tried really hard to get more information and we vetted information very, very carefully.” A few months after the aluminum tubes story, a former CIA analyst explained to me how simple it had been to manipulate the correspondent and her newspaper.
“The White House had a perfect deal with Miller,” he said. “Chalabi is providing the Bush people with the information they need to support their political objectives, and he is supplying the same material to Judy Miller. Chalabi tips her on something and then she goes to the White House, which has already heard the same thing from Chalabi, and she gets it corroborated. She also got the Pentagon to confirm things for her, which made sense, since they were working so closely with Chalabi. Too bad Judy didn’t spend a little more time talking to those of us who had information that contradicted almost everything Chalabi said.”
The New York Times was clearly embarrassed by Miller’s articles after the fact that Miller was wrong all along about the WMDs that led up to the invasion of Iraq. Nothing was ever found. On May 26th, 2004, the editorial board admitted their wrongdoing. The article ‘FROM THE EDITORS; The Times and Iraq’ stated that “We have examined the failings of American and allied intelligence, especially on the issue of Iraq’s weapons and possible Iraqi connections to international terrorists” which blames U.S. and other intelligence agencies (which do share the blame to an extent). The editorial piece continued “We have studied the allegations of official gullibility and hype. It is past time we turned the same light on ourselves.” Well, they do turn the light on themselves, sort of:
But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge.
The problematic articles varied in authorship and subject matter, but many shared a common feature. They depended at least in part on information from a circle of Iraqi informants, defectors and exiles bent on ”regime change” in Iraq, people whose credibility has come under increasing public debate in recent weeks. (The most prominent of the anti-Saddam campaigners, Ahmad Chalabi, has been named as an occasional source in Times articles since at least 1991, and has introduced reporters to other exiles. He became a favorite of hard-liners within the Bush administration and a paid broker of information from Iraqi exiles, until his payments were cut off last week.)
Complicating matters for journalists, the accounts of these exiles were often eagerly confirmed by United States officials convinced of the need to intervene in Iraq. Administration officials now acknowledge that they sometimes fell for misinformation from these exile sources. So did many news organizations – in particular, this one
The New York Times admittance that their journalistic principals had failed was too little and too late. The MSM in particular The New York Times relied on “fake” evidence from Ahmad Chalabi for years (since 1991 to be exact). The MSM failed the Iraqi people who suffered enormously under a pack of lies that destroyed their country. When Washington uses “propaganda” or fake news reports against a sovereign nation, the outcome is always “regime change” that sometimes leads to an all-out war. The MSM has time and time again been guilty of perpetrating fake news stories to assist in Washington’s Imperial agenda. The Iraq War was the biggest lie of the 21st century. What other fake news stories will appear on the MSM websites and newspapers in the future regarding Syria, Russia, China, Iran, the Palestinians, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and even the U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump? To answer that, we just don’t know, but it is up to the alternative media to decipher the “fake” stories and bring out the truth. It is just a matter of time that the MSM will falsify another story; let’s just hope it won’t lead to another war in the process.
After the first ever cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech on April 17, 2016 that the territory “will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.” This elicited admonitions from some of Israel’s greatest allies, the United States and Germany, and renewed attention on the issue.
The Golan Heights were opportunistically occupied by Israel after its victory in the 1967 six-day-war. A United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has monitored the region since 1974, when Israel and Syria signed a ceasefire agreement, and it has been considered an occupied territory of the UN and the international community. In violation of this ceasefire, Israel effectively annexed the territory in 1981 by extending its laws and governmental apparatus over it. Most of the native population has been displaced and over 30 settlements have been constructed to house Jewish settlers. These settlements, like those in the West Bank, are illegal under international law.
The current escalation is really about oil. Since 2013, the Netanyahu government has granted exclusive oil and gas exploration rights to the oil company Afek Energy in a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights. Afek Energy is an Israeli subsidiary of the US firm, Genie Energy. Afek’s director is former Israeli Housing Minister Effie Eitam, who is an illegal settler in the Golan Heights himself and is responsible for the fatal beatings of numerous Palestinians. Genie Energy’s strategy-advisory board includes former US Vice President Dick Cheney, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers. Other prominent names include Jacob Lord Rothschild, former CIA director and neocon James Woolsey, and former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson.
Given the clout that these figures wield in US politics, it is unlikely that the US is serious about its admonishments to Israel. Germany’s Foreign Ministry has also criticized Israel´s move as being against international law, but both the US and Germany have declined to call for the Golan Heights to be returned to Syria, citing Syria’s internal situation as a justification. If the US is indeed frustrated with Israel’s behavior, as Vice President Biden recently said, it has a funny way of showing it: the Obama administration recently agreed to grant a $3.2 to $5 billion military-aid package to Israel, its largest ever. Germany is Israel’s next largest donor and military trading partner, which suggest that the indignation is mostly symbolic.
The ascent of Genie Energy, a small Newark-based company, to such geopolitical machinations goes back to the discovery of the Levant Basin (also known as the Leviathan Basin) off the Mediterranean coast in 2010, and the confirmation of first deposits of natural gas in the Golan Heights in 2011. The Levant Basin extends from the Northeastern coast of Egypt to the Northwestern coast of Syria and covers a vast area within the territorial waters of Egypt, Israel, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Shortly after this discovery and the announcement that Israel intended to begin exploration and drilling, the government of Lebanon objected to the unilateral move, given the fact that the deposits extend into Lebanese territory. In an interview, Israel’s Minister of National infrastructure said that Israel would “not hesitate to use our force and strength” to protect the drilling operations. The Israeli energy giant Delek Group partnered with the US company Noble Energy to develop the exploitation of the reserves, which, according to a 2010 US Geological Survey, amounted to “approximately 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, with a current market value of $240 billion.”
Shale gas deposits were also found in Shfela valley in July 2011, and the Israeli Energy Initiative, a subsidiary of Genie Energy, was granted the drilling rights. Three months later, US Senator Mary Landrieu led the first official US Energy Mission to Israel, whose goal was to “introduce US firms to Israel’s rapidly expanding oil and gas market and to assist US companies pursuing export opportunities in this sector,” according to the US Department of Commerce. In reality, Landrieu was lobbying on behalf of Noble and Genie. But local environmental activists, and a consequent Knesset bill halted the venture in the Shfela Valley. By the time the bill passed, most of the company’s employees had moved to its sister subsidiary, Afek Energy.
US Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, and Israeli Treasury Director General, Doron Cohen, hosted the US-Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG) in Washington on October 24, 2012. After the meeting, the JEDG signed an agreement to extend US loan guarantees of $3.8 billion to Israel to 2016, in order to develop its natural gas industry. In essence, the Obama administration gave $3.8 billion of taxpayers’ money to Israel, so that they could use it to benefit the investments and interests of American and Israeli oil companies. Given this financial backing and success of her first mission, Landrieu sent a second delegation of 12 energy (gas and oil) company representatives to Israel. During a roundtable discussion hosted by Landrieu and the Chair of Israel’s oil and gas association, Uri Aldubi, “the delegation received presentations from Noble Energy, Zion Oil, and Genie Energy.” They also met with Uzi Landau, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure.
All the while, the US ambassador to Israel lobbied Israeli Members of Knesset (MKs) to support legislation that would favor the gas and oil industry, particularly after the botched project in the Shfela Valley. These efforts were largely successful and resulted in the 2013-14 US-Israel Energy Cooperation Bill, which is intended to foster cooperation between Israeli and American energy companies in the exploitation of these “strategic” reserves.
After the passage of the US-Israel Energy Cooperation bill and grant of rights in the area, Afek Energy continued its exploratory and drilling operations. In October 2015, Israel and Afek Energy announced the discovery of oil reserves of 10 times the global average and capable of ensuring Israel’s energy sufficiency for many years. The announcement did not garner much attention outside the industry, but its connection to the recent militarization of the area by Israel was not coincidental. During a Washington visit on November 9, Benjamin Netanyahu asked President Barack Obama to back a formal Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights, citing the dysfunctional Syrian government, gripped by a foreign-backed civil war. He failed to mention that Israel was undermining the Assad regime and Hezbollah forces that were attempting to thwart ISIS in the region. Other political figures within Israel, such as Zvi Hauser, claimed that Israel should demand this annexation as a compensation for having tolerated the nuclear agreement with Iran.
In the past year Israel has intensified its military presence in the region and contributed to the armed conflict by utilizing the region as a staging and support ground for anti-Assad Islamist groups. As far back as 2012, UNDOF reported that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were seen providing military and medical aid, on numerous occasions, to al-Nusra affiliated extremist groups engaged in hostilities against President Bashar al Assad in the South of Syria. In the week leading up to Netanyahu’s announcement of unilateral annexation, the Israeli military forces practiced a series of weeklong drills in the region, as well as along the border with Lebanon, in an apparent show of force. More recently, there have been reports of Israeli weapon shipments also being seized along Syria’s southern border, and intended for rebel groups in Syria. This suggests that the area is being used as a staging ground to destabilize the Assad regime even while this destabilization serves as a justification for the annexation.
Perhaps the IDF worries that the Syrian Arab Army, with the help of the Russian Aerospace Forces, is regaining territory formerly under rebel control and that, once this task is achieved, Assad might turn his eyes to the Golan Heights. Whatever the reason, a military escalation in the area coincides with the establishment of enormous economic interests, and these interests are linked to some of the most powerful individuals in the world. Political lobbying is taking place at the highest levels to ensure that the international community recognizes Israel’s claims of sovereignty over the region. For her services to the gas and oil industry, Ms. Landrieu has received tens of thousands of dollars of political contributions from both Genie and Noble Energy between 2010 and 2014. When this failed to get her reelected, she was quickly ensured a spot on Genie Energy’s Strategic Advisory Board, where she is still employed.
By Ruben Rosenberg Colorni
Editor’s Notes: Photographs one, seven, and nine from IDF; two from copelaes; three from US Embassy in Tel Aviv; four and ten from David Poe; five from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; six from DonkeyHotey; and eight from Irish Defence Forces.
Source: News Junkie Post
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Several years ago two very distinguished American scholars wrote a book, The Israel Lobby.
The book made a very understated case that the Israel Lobby has far more power over the US government and media than is good for America or Israel, as it silences constructive critics who are Israel’s friends. The two scholars were demonized by the Israel Lobby as advocating the return of the Holocaust.
The Israel Lobby presented itself as just a poor little weak thing unable to stand up to all the Nazis assailing Israel. Meanwhile the US Congress was unanimously passing outrageous resolutions handed to it by the Israel Lobby.
A number of former US Senators and Representatives, including Cynthia McKinney, have publicly stated that they were removed from office by the Israel Lobby for criticizing actions of the Israeli government, such as the Israeli government’s attempt to sink the USS Liberty, in which a majority of the American crew were killed or injured.
Instead of defending the US Navy, the cowardly US government was so scared of Israel that the President of the United States and the Admiral conducting the inquiry, Senator John McCain’s father, rushed to the defense of Israel and covered up the incident.
The coverup has been so successful that few Americans today know that a vessel of the US Navy was decimated by an Israeli air and torpedo boat attack, and Washington did not even file a protest. Really! The US is a “superpower,” and the cowardly government cannot even stand up to Israel?
What do you think will happen to these pussies in Washington when they confront by their carelessness and unjustified arrogance the power of Russia and China?
Little wonder that after 15 years of pointless conflict the US has been defeated by a few thousand lightly armed warriors in Afghanistan, and the “Mission Accomplished” promouncement of the moron George W. Bush now requires intervention by the Russian Superpower to be accomplished.
Only Russia can bring the terrorism in the Middle East that the dolts in Washington created to an end. The low grade morons in Washington sponsor the terrorism in order to bleed the American taxpayer of money to pay the profits of the Military-Security Complex that President Eisenhower, a Five Starr General warned us about going on 7 decades ago.
The Americans are so incompetent that they should just depart the scene and go home and hide under their beds so scared they are of “terrorists,” largely an invention of neoconservative propaganda.
But it only takes a propaganda invention, a false flag event, to scare “powerful America” out of its wits.
I became an “anti-semite” when I observed that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians resembled the Union Army’s treatment, under Sherman and Sheridan, of the American Plains Indians. Wholesale genocide.
An Israeli official wrote to me asking me why I criticized Israel for doing to the Palestinians what the United States government did to the native Americans. In other words, the Western World, and Israel that allegedly suffered the Holocaust, were not required to make any moral progress in one or two centuries. Whatever the Union war criminals did to the American Plains Indians in the 19th century is perfectly OK for Israel to do to Palestinians in the 21st century.
So much for those who believe in moral progress.
“Anti-semite” has lost its sting, because every justified criticism of the Zionist Israeli government is declared to be anti-semitism. The word is so overused and misapplied as to be useless. Indeed, to be declared “anti-semite” by the Israel Lobby is to be declared a person of high moral conscience.
Currently the Israel Lobby is at work destroying anyone associated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which is an effort to sanction Israel for its genocide against Palestine. The popular musician, Roger Waters, is one of the few brave enough to support this movement.
Waters says that many of his colleagues, who protested the Viet Nam War and South Africa Apartheid are too “scared shitless of Israel” to protest what former US President Jimmy Carter called Israeli Apartheid.
Republicans, conservatives, and the Israel Lobby do not like Jimmy Carter because he speaks honestly, but that is why I respect him.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the Palestinians have had their country stolen. Now they, like native Indians in the US in the 19th century, have been confined to ghetto reservations. This is a simple fact. But anyone who states the fact is declared by the Israel Lobby to be an anti-semite who wants to kill all the Jews.
In other words, it is Zionist Israel that is committing genocide, but if a person mentions that fact that person is accused of wanting to do to the Jews what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.
Israel, thanks to the complete cowardice of the government of “the world’s only superpower” and the largely Israeli controlled US media and entertainment industry, has got away with this raw exercise of the power of propaganda and intimidation.
But not with Roger Waters.
Support Roger Waters, one of the acknowledged greatest rock musicians of this era, when he stands up for the Palestinians and opposes the monstrous crimes of Zionist Israel:
It is amazing to me how courage has disappeared from the entire Western world. Insouciant Americans have lost their liberty to disinformation and fear. Such a fearful and afraid people have no prospect of standing up to the Russian and Chinese people.
The Western World buried in propaganda and lies is now in the trash bin of history. It is no more.
By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Source: Paul Craig Roberts’ personal website
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Israel’s Maariv newspaper has revealed that the government of the Zionist state is planning to drop a political bombshell in the coming weeks by presenting a bill in the Knesset (parliament) calling for the annexation of land occupied since 1967. It is likely to have the support of the majority of Knesset members. The newspaper added that the right wing has chosen this time for the move ahead of the US presidential election; America, it is believed, will be too preoccupied to care about what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Preliminary talks about a first stage have been held, claimed Maariv; Israel would annex all Area C land — which includes 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank —where more than 400,000 illegal Jewish settlers live alongside tens of thousands of Palestinians. Under the proposal, Israel will offer residents Israeli identity while imposing its curricula in schools.
According to far-right Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked, Israel must impose Israeli law in the West Bank, which means in practical terms that the occupied Palestinian territories would come under full Israeli control.
Furthermore, Deputy Defence Minister Eli Ben-Dahan has demanded “the annexation of the West Bank because the Arab and regional situation is appropriate for this step.” Naftali Bennett, the leader of the extreme right-wing Jewish Home Party, which is part of the government coalition, said that, “It is better for Israel to begin annexing Area C.”
These positions and statements should not be taken lightly, because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is working on the basis that the West Bank is “liberated land” and formal annexation is only a matter of time.
It was in the historic election in 1977 that the Israeli right-wing won a majority in the Knesset for the first time. The government was led by Menachem Begin, a student of Revisionist Zionist thinker Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who authored the iron wall theory. This set out that the indigenous people of the country would not accept what the Israeli occupation authorities want, what they are exposed to or solutions imposed by the occupation; and that Israel will go through a continuous process of change towards becoming a more and more Jewish, right-wing, settler-based and racist state.
This trend has deepened dramatically since Netanyahu’s return to government in 2009 when Israel’s so-called “third phase” began. The right-wing became the mainstream, dominating power in government and society. At the same time, the influence of Knesset members, parties and groups wanting to find a solution that includes the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel faded to the point that the Labour Party abandoned this option. Instead, it adopted unanimously a plan put forward by the country’s President, Chaim Herzog. The plan was based on a unilateral solution that calls for formal separation of the areas populated by Palestinians in order to protect Israel as a Jewish state, and not to expose it to the risk of becoming a bi-national state.
There are a series of changes taking place in Israel where secular and liberal characteristics have all but disappeared, while the religious right-wing has become more prominent. These changes have been made through the adoption of laws and policies, and by imposing facts on the ground that make changing this reality very difficult. If, for example, we look at the state’s relations with the Palestinians, we find that voices calling for their deportation are increasing; these are the voices of people in senior positions in the government, army, security services and Knesset, as well as various state institutions. Also, the Israeli government moved from conflict management and the creation of facts on the ground that can help Israel to impose its unilateral solution when negotiating “final status” issues, to simply imposing that unilateral solution. Thus, the central part of the Israeli government and the opposition basically gave up any semblance of agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian state to the extent that they refuse even to countenance it.
The Israeli position became such that the government refused to talk with the Palestinians unless the latter agreed in advance to specific conditions. These included recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” for all Jewish people all over the world, and for Israel’s security to be the main, and perhaps only, frame of reference for Palestinian-Israeli relations now and in the future. Israel also insists on the presence of its occupation forces in strategic locations within the Palestinian state after its establishment, and the granting of absolute freedom of movement for them all over the “Promised Land”.
It is within this context that the number of illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank has reached more than 700,000. Israel is working at an accelerated pace to increase this to one million within a few years.
We can also talk about Israel’s keenness to separate the West Bank from the Gaza Strip and doing all it can to make it a permanent political and physical separation. It is doing this by stripping the Palestinian Authority of its power, to such an extent that, as President Mahmoud Abbas has said repeatedly, the PA is an authority without authority, in spite of all the concessions that he and his ministers have made. The PA continues to be committed to the terms of the Oslo Accords; it accepts the 2003 international road map; and it has made unilateral commitments while Israel shows no commitment at all. From this position, we can understand why the Israeli government refused the offer made by the PA to stop threatening to implement decisions of the Palestinian Central Council, including an end to security coordination with the Israelis, in exchange for Israel’s commitment not to enter Area A. The authority suggested that this could begin with Ramallah and Jericho first, and if that works out, whereby Palestinian security forces would carry out their job in a manner that relieves the occupation from storming into these areas, then the experience could be spread to the rest of the occupied territories. The Netanyahu government was quick to reject any suggestion that would restrict the freedom of the occupation army to move across any area at will; this freedom is sacred for Israel, despite it paying tribute to the achievements of the Palestinian security services.
The question now is whether it would be possible to continue with the same policy that was used during negotiations, even though it was an illusion, and Israel is now becoming more vicious and refuses to partake in any negotiations whatsoever. It continues to impose its own solutions on the ground, stating clearly what it intends to do as it takes advantage of developments in the Arab region (where the Iranian threat has more priority than anything else) and around the world, which it believes have improved its strategic position.
Israel thinks that it has a great opportunity to achieve the still unfulfilled goals of the Zionist movement: the establishment of Israel on the whole of historic Palestine and beyond; in short, to revive the “Greater Israel” scheme from the Nile to the Euphrates.
The Zionist state of Israel is relying on the deteriorating Arab situation and the decline of the Palestinian national cause, which is weak, self-destructive and disoriented. The Palestinian leadership is still going round in circles reproducing the same old options without having enough courage to adopt anything new. Both of the main factions are just hanging around and waiting; the others are too small, weak and fragmented to do anything constructive.
Despite all of the above, the path to achieving “Greater Israel” is not smooth. The Palestinians, despite all that they suffer from, are still sticking to their cause, their rights and their presence on their land, and they continue to resist with all available forms of popular and armed resistance. They have also encouraged an international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel which threatens it strategically, and they have UN recognition of Palestine as a state. They have since joined a number of international institutions, notably the International Criminal Court. Most importantly, the Palestinians started a new intifada in October fuelled by individuals with no formal leadership, factions, the PLO or the PA; this is reminding the Israelis that the Palestinians are still there, that resistance continues one generation after the other, and that this racist, colonial-settler occupation cannot continue to be quiet, profitable and permanent.
Although there are elements of strength and a suitable environment for the revival of “Greater Israel” it has some weaknesses. If the Palestinians could learn how best to utilise them, they would be successful. Some of the weak points include Israel being an enemy to itself, proposing a project that has no future as it raises discontent and resentment across the globe, prompting criticism even from its trusted allies, like the United States, Britain, Germany and France.
In order to defeat hostile schemes, the Palestinians need a vision, a national institution, a leadership that is up to the challenges and risks and able to employ opportunities; they need an effective political hierarchy and a strategy for the struggle that can achieve the maximum in each stage. They can then move on to achieve more and more until they realise the humanitarian, democratic and historical solution on the ruins of the racist, colonial-settler, Zionist project.
By Hani Al-Masri
Translated from Masarat.ps, 3 May, 2016
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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 worse political capitulation in the case of Washington’s Kosovo policy that became ultimately implemented in June 1999 (the Kumanovo Agreement). Russia became in the 1990s totally geopolitically humiliated by the USA and its West European clients to such extent that we can call a period of Boris Yeltsin’s servile policy toward the West as a Dark Time of the history of Russian international relations when the main losers became the Serbs who were and still are extremely demonized by the Western mass-media and academic institutions.
An ideological-political background of Boris Yeltsin’s foreign policy of Russia was the Atlanticism – an orientation in the foreign policy that stresses as the fundamental need to cooperate (at any price) with the West especially in the area of the politics and economy. In the other words, the integration with the West and its economic-political standards became for Boris Yeltsin’s Russia, governed by the Russian Liberals, an order of the day. This trend in Russia’s foreign policy in the 1990s had the roots in the 19th century geopolitical and cultural orientation of the Russian society by the so-called Russian „Westerners“ who became the opponents to the Russian „Slavophiles“ for whom the ultimate aim of the Russian foreign policy was to create a Pan-Slavonic Commonwealth with the leadership of Russia.
The actual outcome of the Russian Liberals „in the years following Yeltsin’s election were catastrophic as, for instance, Russia’s industrial production dropped by nearly 40%, over 80% of Russians experienced a reduction in their living standards, health care disintegrated, life expectancy fell along with the birth rate, and morale overall collapsed“. However, the political influence of the Russian Liberals became drastically weakened by Vladimir Putin’s taking power in Russia from 2000 onward and especially from 2004. A new global course of Russia’s foreign policy after 2004 became directed toward a creation of a multipolar world but not unipolar Pax Americana one as the American Neocons wanted. Therefore, the Caucasus, Ukraine and Syria became currently directly exposed to the Russian-American geopolitical struggle while Kosovo is up to now still left to the exclusive US sphere of interest. Nevertheless, it can be expected in the nearest future that post-Yeltsin’s Russia will take decisive geopolitical steps with regard to Kosovo as from the year of 2000 the Russian exterior policy is constantly becoming more and more imbued with the neo-Slavophile geopolitical orientation advocated by Aleksandar Solzhenitsyn (1918−2008) as a part of a more global Eurasian geopolitical course of the post-Yeltsin’s Russian Federation supported by many Russian Slavophile intellectuals like a philosopher Aleksandar Dugin.
Ivan L. Solonevich, probably, gave one of the best explanations of Russia’s geopolitical situation and peculiarity in comparison to those of the USA and the UK focusing his research on the comparative analysis of geography, climate and levels of individual freedoms between these countries:
„The American liberties, as well as American wealth are determined by American geography. Our [Russia’s] freedom and our wealth are determined by Russian geography. Thus, we’ll never have the same freedoms as the British and Americans have, because their security is guaranteed by the seas and oceans, but ours could only be guaranteed by military conscription“.
Semuel P. Huntington was a quite clear and correct in his opinion that the foundation of every civilization is based on religion. Huntington’s warnings about the future development of the global politics that can take a form of direct clash of different cultures (in fact, separate and antagonistic civilizations) is unfortunately already on the agenda of international relations. Here we came to the crux of the matter in regard to the Western relations with Russia from both historical and contemporary perspectives: the Western civilization, as based on the Western type of Christianity (the Roman Catholicism and all Protestant denominations) has traditional animosity and hostility toward all nations and states of the East Christian (Orthodox) confession. As Russia was and is the biggest and most powerful Christian Orthodox country, the Eurasian geopolitical conflicts between the West and Russia started from the time when the Roman Catholic common state of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania launched its confessional and civilization’s imperialistic wars against the Grand Duchy of Moscow at the very end of the 14th century; i.e., when (in 1385) Poland and Lithuania became united as a personal union of two sovereign states. The present-day territories of Ukraine (which at that time did not exist under this name) and Belarus (White Russia) became the first victims of Vatican policy to proselytize the Eastern Slavs. Therefore, the biggest part of present-day Ukraine became occupied and annexed by Lithuania till 1569 and after the Lublin Union in 1569 by Poland. In the period from 1522 to 1569 there were 63% of the East Slavs on the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania out of her total population. From the Russian perspective, an aggressive Vatican policy of reconversion of the Christian Orthodox population and their denationalization could be prevented only by a military counter-attacks to liberate the occupied territories. However, when it happened from the mid-17th century till the end of the 18th century a huge number of the former Christian Orthodox population already became the Roman Catholics and the Uniates with lost original national identity.
A conversion to the Roman Catholicism and making the Union with Vatican on the territories occupied by the Polish-Lithuanian common state till the end of the 18th century divided the Russian national body into two parts: the Christian Orthodox, who remained to be the Russians and the pro-Western oriented converts who basically lost their initial ethnonational identity. This is especially true in Ukraine – a country with the biggest number of the Uniates in the world due to the Brest Union in 1596 with Vatican. The Uniate Church in (the West) Ukraine openly collaborated with the Nazi regime during the WWII and for that reason it was banned after the war till 1989. Nevertheless, it was exactly the Uniate Church in Ukraine to propagate an ideology that the „Ukrainians“ were not (Little) Russians but separate nation who are in no any ethnolinguistic and confessional connection with the Russians. Therefore, it was opened a way to successful Ukrainization of the Little Russians, Ruthenians and Carpatho-Russians during the Soviet rule. After the dissolution of the USSR, the Ukrainians became an instrument of the realization of the Western anti-Russian geopolitical interests in the East Europe.
The unscrupulous Jesuits became the fundamental West European anti-Russian and anti-Christian Orthodox hawks to propagate an idea that a Christian Orthodox Russia is not belonging to a real (Western) Europe. Due to such Vatican’s propaganda activity, the West gradually became antagonistic to Russia and her culture was seen as a disgusting and inferior, i.e. barbaric as a continuation of the Byzantine Christian Orthodox civilization. Unfortunately, such negative attitude toward Russia and the East Christianity is accepted by a contemporary US-led West for whom a Russophobia became an ideological foundation for its geopolitical projects and ambitions. Therefore, all real or potential Russia’s supporters became geopolitical enemies of a Pax Americana like the Serbs, Armenians, Greeks, Belorussians, etc.
A new moment in the West-Russia geopolitical struggles started when the Protestant Sweden became directly involved in the Western confessional-imperialistic wars against Russia in 1700 (the Great Northern War of 1700−1721) which Sweden lost after the Battle of Poltava in 1709 when Russia finally became a member of the concert of the Great European Powers. A century later, that was a Napoleonic France to take a role in the historical process of „Eurocivilizing“ of „schismatic“ Russia in 1812 that also finished by the West European fiasco, similar to a Pan-Germanic warmongers during both world wars. However, after 1945 up to the present, the „civilization’s“ role of the Westernization of Russia is assumed by the NATO and the EU. The West immediately after the collapse of the USSR, by imposing its client satellite Boris Yeltsin as a President of Russia, achieved an enormous geopolitical achievement around Russia especially on the territories of ex-Soviet Union and the Balkans.
Nevertheless, the West started to experience a Russian geopolitical blowback from 2001 onward when the B. Yeltsin’s time pro-Western political clients became gradually removed from the decision-making positions in Russia’s governmental structures. What a new Russia’s political establishment correctly understood is that a Westernization policy of Russia is nothing else but just an ideological mask for economic-political transformation of the country into the colony of the Western imperialistic gangsters led by the US Neocon administration alongside with the task of the US/EU to externalize their own values and norms permanently. This „externalization policy“ is grounded on the thesis of The End of History by Francis Fukuyama „that the philosophy of economic and political liberalism has triumphed throughout the world, ending the contest between market democracies and centrally planned governance“. Therefore, after the formal ending of the Cold War in 1989, the fundamental Western global geopolitical project is The West and The Rest, according to which the rest of the world is obliged to accept all fundamental Western values and norms according to the Hegemonic Stability Theory of a unipolar system of the world security. Nevertheless, behind such doctrinal unilateralism as a project of the US hegemony in global governance in the new century clearly stands the unipolar hegemonic concept of a Pax Americana, but with Russia and China as the crucial opponents to it.
According to the Hegemonic Stability Theory, a global peace can occur only when one hegemonic centre of power (state) will acquire enough power to deter all other expansionist and imperialistic ambitions and intentions. The theory is based on a presumption that the concentration of (hyper) power will reduce the chances of a classical world war (but not and local confrontations) as it allows a single hyperpower to maintain peace and manage the system of international relations between the states. Examples of ex-Pax Romana and ex-Pax-Britanica clearly offered support by the American hegemonic administrations for imperialistic idea that (the US-led) unipolarity will bring global peace and, henceforth, inspired the viewpoint that the world in a post-Cold War era under a Pax Americana will be stable and prosperous as long as the US global dominance prevails. Therefore, a hegemony, according to this viewpoint, is a necessary precondition for economic order and free trade in global dimension suggesting that the existence of a predominant hyper power state willing and able to use its economic and military power to promote global stability is both divine and rational orders of the day. As a tool to achieve this goal the hegemonic power has to use a coercive diplomacy based on the ultimatum demand that puts a time limit for the target to comply and a threat of punishment for resistance as, for example, it was a case in January 1999 during the „negotiations“ on Kosovo status between the US diplomacy and Yugoslavia’s Government in Rambouillet (France).
However, in contrast to both the Hegemonic Stability Theory and the Bipolar Stability Theory, a post-Yeltsin’s Russian political establishment advocates that a multipolar system of international relations is the least war prone in comparison with all other proposed systems. This Multipolar Stability Theory is based on a concept that a polarized global politics does not concentrate power, as it is supported by the unipolar system, and does not divide the globe into two antagonistic superpower blocs, as in a bipolar system, which promote a constant struggle for global dominance (for example, during the Cold War). The multipolarity theory perceives polarized international relations as a stable system because it encompass a larger number of autonomous and sovereign actors in global politics that is as well as giving rise to more number of political alliances. This theory is in essence presenting a peace-through model of pacifying international relations as it is fundamentally based on counter-balancing relations between the states on the global arena. At such a system, an aggression policy is quite harder to happen in reality as it is prevented by the multiple power centres.
Russia of Vladimir Putin became a cardinal opponent to the US post-Cold War imperialism
A new policy of international relations adopted by Moscow after 2000 is based on a principle of a globe without hegemonic leadership – a policy which started to be implemented at the time when the global power of the US as a post-Cold War hegemonic power declines because it makes costly global commitments in excess of ability to fulfill them followed by the immense US trade deficit. The US share of global gross production is in the process of constant falling even since the end of the WWII. Another serious symptom of the US erosion in international politics is that the US share of global financial reserves drastically declined especially in comparison to the Russian and Chinese share. The US is today a largest world debtor and even the biggest debtor ever existed in history (19.5 $ trillion or 108 percent of the GDP) mainly, but not exclusively, due to huge military spending, alongside tax cuts that reduced the US federal revenue. The deficit in current account balance with the rest of the world (in 2004, for instance, it was $650 billion) the US administration is covering by borrowing from private investors (most from abroad) and foreign central banks (most important are of China and Japan). Therefore, such US financial dependence on the foreigners to provide the funds needed to pay the interest on the American public debt leaves the USA extremely vulnerable, but especially if China and/or Japan would decide to stop buying the US bonds or sell them. Subsequently, the world strongest military power is at the same time and the greatest global debtor with China and Japan being direct financial collaborators (or better to say – the quislings) of the US hegemonic leadership’s policy of a Pax Americana after 1989.
It is without any doubts that the US foreign policy after 1989 is still unrealistically following the French concept of raison d’état that indicates the Realist justification for policies pursued by state authority, but in the American eyes, first and foremost of these justifications or criteria is the US global hegemony as the best guarantee for the national security, followed by all other interests and associated goals. Therefore, the US foreign policy is based on a realpolitik concept that is a German term referring to the state foreign policy ordered or motivated by power politics: the strong do what they will and the weak do what they must. However, the US is becoming weaker and weaker and Russia and China are more and more becoming stronger and stronger.
Finally, it seams to be true that such a reality in contemporary global politics and international relations is properly understood and recognized by a newly elected US President Donald Trump. If he is going not to be just another Trojan horse of the US Neocon concept of a Pax Americana, there are real chances to get rid of the US imperialism in the recent future and to establish international relations on more democratic foundation.
Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016
 As a very example of such moral, cultural and national demonization of the Serbs by the Western academic writings is [John Hagan, Justice in the Balkans: Prosecuting War Crimes in The Hague Tribunal, Chicago−London: The University of Chicago Press, 2003].
 John Baylis, Steve Smith (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Second edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, 124.
 Irina Isakova, Russian Governance in the Twenty-First Century: Geo-strategy, Geopolitics and Governance, London−New York: Frank Cass, 2005, 12.
 Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order, London: The Free Press, 2002.
 On the Lithuanian occupation period of the present-day Ukraine, see: [Alfredas Bumblauskas, Genutė Kirkienė, Feliksas Šabuldo (sudarytojai), Ukraina: Lietuvos epocha, 1320−1569, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2010].
 Ignas Kapleris, Antanas Meištas, Istorijos egzamino gidas. Nauja programa nuo A iki Ž, Vilnius: Leidykla “Briedas”, 2013, 123.
 About this issue, see more in [Зоран Милошевић, Од Малоруса до Украјинаца, Источно Сарајево: Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства, 2008].
 Срђан Перишић, Нова геополитика Русије, Београд: Медија центар „Одбрана“, 2015, 42−46.
 David Kirbz, Šiaurės Europa ankstyvaisiais naujaisiais amžiais: Baltijos šalys 1492−1772 metais, Vilnius: Atviros Lietuvos knyga, 2000, 333−363; Peter Englund, The Battle that Shook Europe: Poltava and the Birth of the Russian Empire, London: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2003.
 On Napoleon’s military campaign on Russia in 1812 and its fiasco, see [Paul Britten Austin, The Great Retreat Told by the Survivors, London−Mechanicsburg, PA: Greenhill Books, 1996; Adam Zamoyski, 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow, New York: Harper Press, 2005].
 The US-led NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 is only one example of a gangster’s policy of a violation of the international law and the law on war when the civilian objects became legitimate military targets. Therefore, the attack on Serbia’s television station in downtown of Belgrade on April 23rd, 1999 attracted criticism by many human rights activists as it was apparently selected for bombing as „media responsible for broadcasting propaganda“ [The Independent, April 1st, 2003]. By the same gangsters the same bombing policy was repeated in 2003 in Iraq when the main television station in Baghdad was hit by cruise missiles in March 2003 followed next day by destruction of the state radio and television station in Basra [A. P. V. Rogers, Law on the Battlefield, Second edition, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004, 82−83]. According to the international law expert Richard Falk, the 2003 Iraq War was a „crime against Peace of the sort punished at the Nuremberg trials“ [Richard Falk, Frontline, India, No. 8, April 12−25th, 2003].
 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1992.
 Charles W. Kegley, Jr., Eugene R. Wittkopf, World Politics: Trend and Transformation, Tenth edition, USA: Thomson−Wadsworth, 2006, 588; Andrew F. Cooper, Jorge Heine, Ramesh Thakur (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy, New York: Oxford University Press, 2015, 54−55.
 David P. Forsythe, Patrice C. McMahon, Andrew Wedeman (eds.), American Foreign Policy in a Globalized World, New York−London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2006, 31−50.
 William C. Wohlforth, „The Stability of a Unipolar World“, International Security, No. 24, 1999, 5−41.
 Charles W. Kegley, Jr., Eugene R. Wittkopf, World Politics: Trend and Transformation, Tenth edition, USA: Thomson−Wadsworth, 2006, 524.
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After all the initial eu(ro)phoria and hopes placed upon the original concept of a non-aligned, social-democratic Euro-bloc, the reality has turned out somewhat differently.
In a pamphlet written in 2011 – Europe: The Unfinished Project – I wrote:
At the present time the EU project seems to be stuck in no-man’s land, unable to press ahead with full political integration, or retreat back into a northern European protectionist Deutschmark zone, and leaving the peripheral member states to the tender mercies of unfettered, globalized capitalism. However there seems to be a sufficient residue of the original EU idealism in the present stage of development to persevere further with the political struggle taking place.” Ibid, page 19
I believe that this view, which seemed justifiable and plausible enough at the time of writing, has now become difficult to sustain. And the reason for this came in the next sentence, viz.
One only has to consider the Anglo-American alternatives (to the Euro model) and globalization more generally to make this choice.”
This statement was, however, based on the tacit assumption that the Euro model of capitalism was somehow fundamentally different from the Atlanticist model, a paradigm exemplified by the US/UK axis. In the fullness of time this has, unfortunately, turned out to be a fundamental misconception. The UK of course has always been bound hand and foot to the US in terms of both foreign and economic policy with the ending of the system of imperial preference demanded by the US as the quid pro quo for the American loan negotiated by Keynes in 1946; next came the American intervention in the Suez crisis in 1956 which effectively ended any independent UK foreign policy. This dog-like devotion to American imperatives – the “special-relationship” – then extended with the neo-liberal turn and the Reagan-Thatcher counter-revolution of the 198Os. True, the UK was always more Atlanticist in its outlook than its European neighbours. However, continental Europe is as enamoured of Atlanticism as is the UK – and those more recent EU ex-communist states, probably more so.
It is not only the UK which is Atlanticist, the continental European states are no less so … proof of this is given by the central position of NATO in this political construction. That a military alliance with a country outside the union (the US) has been integrated de facto into the European constitution – in terms of a common foreign and security policy – constitutes an unparalleled anomaly. For some European countries (Poland, Hungary and the Baltic States) NATO’s protection – that is, that of the United States against their ‘Russian enemy’ is more important than their adhesion to the European Union.” Samir Amin – The Implosion of Capitalism, 2014
This Americanization of Europe – this invisible annexation – has been achieved by a combination of soft and hard power – a cultural, political, economic and militaristic assimilation of the old world by the new. It should be understood that the US does
not do ‘partnerships’; any relationships the US enters into with other states is always on the basis of ‘Me Tarzan, You Jane.’
It follows from this that the neither the European Union nor any of its component states any longer have an independent foreign policy. The facts show that there is one single reality: alignment behind whatever Washington (perhaps in agreement with London) decides on its own.” Amin – Ibid
European Economic policy is similarly aligned to US interests and US practises. This is hardly surprising since the US has been the dominant economic force (although now in a declining trajectory) for the last 100 years. It has control of the world’s reserve currency which allows it to run persistent deficits on its current account since it can simply pay for its imports with by printing its own currency. The US also tends to dominate the multilateral institutions such as the IMF and WTO, having the largest bloc of votes in the IMF. American policymakers have used their influence in the IMF to pursue American financial and foreign policy objectives. The IMF offers larger loans to countries heavily indebted to American commercial banks than to other countries. In addition, the IMF offers larger loans to governments closely allied to the United States. (International Politics (2004) 41, 415–429). New York is the second largest financial centre (after London) with the most deeply liquid capital markets, and in absolute terms the US is largest economy in the world. (Although in terms of purchasing power parity, the Chinese economy is now larger.)
Additionally, the ‘soft power’ the US (and UK) which includes, university economics departments, economic think-tanks, publications – The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Economist – Business and Financial circles, and the universal language of business and diplomacy – English – have effectively dominated and structured the global ideological discourse. The ‘Washington Consensus’ along with the deadly weapons of financial mass destruction – the lethal derivatives – have come to dictate policy and policy making the western world. Recently, however, the neo-liberal, neo-conservative project has run into difficulties as instanced in the twin crises now besetting the Euro-Atlanticist bloc: namely, Greece and Ukraine.
At the outset it was wholly predictable that the accession of Greece into the eurozone was going to lead to trouble. In order to qualify for admission Greece needed to demonstrate that it conformed to the Maastricht Criteria. The Maastricht rules threaten to slap hefty fines on euro member countries that exceed the budget deficit limit of three percent of gross domestic product. Total government debt mustn’t exceed 60 percent of GDP.
The Greeks had never managed to stick to the 60 percent debt limit, and they only adhered to the three percent deficit ceiling with the help of blatant balance sheet cosmetics.
Not to worry, in 2010 some creative accounting was supplied by the premier (infamous?) US Investment Bank, Goldman Sachs. GS’s selling point for financial legerdemain is well known; in this instance cross-currency swaps where government debt issued in dollars and yen was swapped for euro debt for a certain period – and then exchanged back into the original currencies at a later date. Hey, presto! The figures added up (for a while at least). Goldman Sachs collected a $15 billion kickback for their labours.
As members of the eurozone the Greeks then had access to cheap credit from eurozone banks, particularly French and German. But any deal between borrower and lender means that both should act responsibly. The creditworthiness of the borrower has to be assessed before the loan is made. But such rigorous investigations of this sort were not carried out; with the deregulation of finance such tiresome procedures had been done away with and banks lent to almost anyone who had a pulse.
The rest as we say is history.
But if these lenders knew that borrowers would not be able to repay the loans, this would have amounted to ‘odious’ debt’. That occurs when the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable. Vulture capitalism is another equally unprepossessing term for the policy toward Greece. Vulture funds target distressed firms or countries buy their the bonds and stocks at knock-down prices, then when the company fails, sue the owner not only for the interest but also the principal. The Troika policy toward Greece has been one of Loan and Foreclosure.
If Greece remains in the eurozone it will continue to be bled white, privatised and ultimately dismembered. An example must be made to stop others in the southern periphery from getting ideas. And just as Thatcher was the junior partner of Reagan in shaping the EU, Merkel has been Obama’s enforcer in the Euro’s restive US provinces.
It is interesting to note that one, Victoria Nuland, rabid neo-con – more of which below – Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, visited Athens on 17 March and had talks with Tsipras regarding the turmoil. Suffice it to say it was geopolitics and the retention of Greece in the EU and NATO she was concerned with, rather than debt. She no doubt reminded Tsipras that there might be consequences if Greece did not toe the EU line. As Assistant Secretary for regime change in the State Department the redoubtable Ms Nuland’s brief has been to threaten or bring about regime change in countries of which the US and its vassals disapprove.
Earlier the peripatetic Ms Nuland was also busy in Ukraine promoting regime change – a process which had been going on since 2004 – and the installation of an oligarch-fascist regime paid for ($5 billion according to Ms N) and whose leaders were hand-picked by herself and the US Ambassador in Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt. (I have written extensively on this issue in Chartist available as an e-book on the website.) But it is interesting to note how the IMF’s treatment of the Kiev regime differs significantly to that meted out to Greece. Firstly a $40 billion aid package is granted to Ukraine over the next 4 years.
Secondly Madame Lagarde has stated that:
In the event that a negotiated settlement with private creditors is not reached and the country determines that it cannot service its debt, the Fund can lend to Ukraine consistent with its Lending-into- Arrears Policy” 12 June 2015
In other words if Ukraine defaults, and there is a strong possibility that the IMF will – in violation of its constitution – come up with the cash. Moreover, the IMF is also not mandated to lend to states which are at war. Of course, this is hardly even-handed way of operating, but then the IMF is a highly politicised institution and a key part of the neo-liberal, neo-conservative global establishment. Blatant confirmation of this politicisation of the IMF was occasioned by Kiev’s outright default on a $3 billion loan from Russia negotiated in 2013 before the Maidan. Customarily sovereign loans between states are sacrosanct: they must be paid or at the very least restructured. But the flat-out refusal by Kiev to repay its debt to Moscow was a flagrant default.
At that point the entire program to resurrect the Ukrainian economy, along with the most recent loan agreement, would go off the rails. And that would be unacceptable, since the biggest shareholder is insistent that the IMF support the regime in Kiev unconditionally. The IMF even went so far to change its constitution to allow this political jiggery-pokery to take place.
Changing its rules to clear the path for the IMF to make loans to Ukraine and other governments in default of debts owed to official lenders is rightly seen as an escalation of America’s New Cold War against Russia and also its anti-China strategy.” Michael Hudson – Counterpunch – December 2015
The decision to expand the EU and with it NATO right up to Russia’s borders, initially under the guidance and policies of the Clinton administration, was a clear indication that the governments of the EU had come under American domination. With this decisive shift the EU project – i.e., from the quasi-Gaullist, third force in world politics, and the Delors social chapter – was over. It has been replaced by a North Atlantic neo-liberal, neo-conservative project under American command. The hegemonist strategy of the US – made abundantly clear in both the Wolfowitz doctrine and the more recent enunciations and actions of the dominant US war party, a coalition of neo-cons, liberal hawks and liberal interventionists – is clearlyvisible behind the disappearance of the European project.
However it is quite possible that even against US wishes and geopolitical imperatives the EU might well fracture internally due to inter-state tensions and contradictions. One thing is certain: in its present structure the EU cannot endure, nor does it deserve to.
Source: Off Guardian
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Louis XVI needed a revolution, Napoleon needed two historic military defeats, the Spanish Empire in the New World needed multiple revolutions, the Russian Czar needed a communist revolution, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires needed World War I, Nazi Germany needed World War II, Imperial Japan needed two atomic bombs, the Portuguese Empire in Africa needed a military coup at home, the Soviet Empire needed Mikhail Gorbachev … What will the American Empire need?
I don’t believe anyone will consciously launch World War III. The situation now is more like the eve of World War I, when great powers were armed and ready to go when an incident set things off. Ever since Gorbachev naively ended the Cold War, the hugely over-armed United States has been actively surrounding Russia with weapons systems, aggressive military exercises, NATO expansion. At the same time, in recent years the demonization of Vladimir Putin has reached war propaganda levels. Russians have every reason to believe that the United States is preparing for war against them, and are certain to take defensive measures. This mixture of excessive military preparations and propaganda against an “evil enemy” make it very easy for some trivial incident to blow it all up. – Diana Johnstone, author of “Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton”
In September 2013 President Obama stood before the United Nations General Assembly and declared, “I believe America is exceptional.” The following year at the UN, the president classified Russia as one of the three threats to the world along with the Islamic State and the ebola virus. On March 9, 2015 President Barack Obama declared Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.
Vladimir Putin, speaking at the UN in 2015, addressing the United States re its foreign policy: “Do you realize what you have done?”
Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:
- Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
- Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
- Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
- Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
- Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.*
- Plus … although not easily quantified … has been more involved in the practice of torture than any other country in the world … for over a century … not just performing the actual torture, but teaching it, providing the manuals, and furnishing the equipment.
*See chapter 18 of William Blum, “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”
On October 28, 2016 Russia was voted off the UN Human Rights Council. At the same time Saudi Arabia won a second term, uncontested. Does anyone know George Orwell’s email address?
A million refugee from Washington’s warfare are currently over-running Europe. They’re running from Afghanistan and Iraq; from Libya and Somalia; from Syria and Pakistan.
Germany is taking in many Syrian refugees because of its World War Two guilt. What will the United States do in the future because of its guilt? But Americans are not raised to feel such guilt.
The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful. Vice-President Dick Cheney – West Point lecture, June 2002
Two flew over the cuckoo’s nest: “We are, as a matter of empirical fact and undeniable history, the greatest force for good the world has ever known. … security and freedom for millions of people around the globe have depended on America’s military , economic, political, and diplomatic might.” – Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, “Why the world needs a powerful America” (2015)
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner: “Assad must go even if Syria goes with him.”
Many of the moves the Obama administration has made in terms of its Cuba policy are in lockstep with Bill Clinton’s, as expressed in the recommendations of a 1999 task force report from the Council on Foreign Relations. The report asserted that “no change in policy should have the primary effect of consolidating, or appearing to legitimize, the political status quo on the island.”
A successful American regime change operation in Syria would cut across definite interests of the Russian state. These include the likely use of Syria as a new pipeline route to bring gas from Qatar to the European market, thereby undercutting Gazprom, Russia’s largest corporation and biggest exporter. Assad’s refusal to consider such a route played no small role in Qatar’s pouring billions of dollars in arms and funds into the Syrian civil war on behalf of anti-Assad forces.
War with Russia will be nuclear. Washington has prepared for it. Washington has abandoned the ABM treaty, created what it thinks is an ABM shield, and changed its war doctrine to permit US nuclear first strike. All of this is obviously directed at Russia, and the Russian government knows it. How long will Russia sit there waiting for Washington’s first strike? – Paul Craig Roberts, 2014
Iran signed the nuclear accords with the United States earlier this year by agreeing to stop what it never was doing. Any Iranian nuclear ambition, real or imagined, is of course a result of American hostility towards Iran, and not the other way around.
If the European Union were an independent and rational government it would absolutely forbid any member country from stockpiling American nuclear weapons or hosting a US anti-ballistic missile site or any other military base anywhere close to Russia’s borders.
Full Spectrum Dominance, a term the Pentagon loves to use to refer to total control of the planet: land, sea, air, space, outer space and cyberspace. Can you imagine any other country speaking this way?
Henry Kissinger at the Paris Peace Talks, September 1970. “I refuse to believe that a little fourth rate power like North Vietnam does not have a breaking point.”
In 2010, WikiLeaks released a cable sent to US embassies by then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She wrote this: “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, al Nusra and other terrorist groups … worldwide.” Surely this resulted in at least Washington’s much-favored weapon: sanctions of various kinds. It did not.
US General Barry McCaffrey, April 2015: “Because so far NATO’s reaction to Putin’s aggression has been to send a handful of forces to the Baltics to demonstrate ‘resolve,’ which has only convinced Putin that the alliance is either unable or unwilling to fight. So we had better change his calculus pretty soon, and contest Putin’s stated doctrine that he is willing to intervene militarily in other countries to ‘protect’ Russia-speaking people. For God’s sake, the last time we heard that was just before Hitler invaded the Sudetenland.”
No, my dear general, we heard that repeatedly in 1983 when the United States invaded the tiny nation of Grenada to protect and rescue hundreds of Americans who supposedly were in danger from the new leftist government. It was all a fraud, no more than an excuse to overthrow a government that that didn’t believe that the American Empire was God’s gift to humanity.
Since 1980, the United States has intervened in the affairs of fourteen Muslim countries, at worst invading or bombing them. They are (in chronological order) Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo, Yemen, Pakistan, and now Syria.
How our never-ending mideast horror began: Radio Address of George W. Bush, September 28, 2002: “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.” Yet … just six weeks before 9/11, Condoleezza Rice told CNN: “Let’s remember that his [Saddam’s] country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”
The fact is that there is more participation by the Cuban population in the running of their country than there is by the American population in the running of theirs. One important reason is the absence of the numerous private corporations which, in the United States, exert great influence over all aspects of life.
The U.S. is frantically surrounding China with military weapons, advanced aircraft, naval fleets and a multitude of military bases from Japan, South Korea and the Philippines through several nearby smaller Pacific islands to its new and enlarged base in Australia … The U.S. naval fleet, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines patrol China’s nearby waters. Warplanes, surveillance planes, drones and spying satellites cover the skies, creating a symbolic darkness at noon. (Jack A. Smith, “Hegemony Games: USA vs. PRC”, CounterPunch)
Crimea had never voluntarily left Russia. The USSR’s leader Nikita Khrushchev, a native of the region, had donated Crimea to Ukraine in 1954. Crimeans were always strongly opposed to that change and voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia after the US-induced Ukrainian coup in 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin refers to the Ukrainian army as “NATO’s foreign legion”, which does not pursue Ukraine’s national interests. The United States, however, insists on labeling the Russian action in Crimea as an invasion.
Putin re Crimea/Ukraine: “Our western partners created the ‘Kosovo precedent’ with their own hands. In a situation absolutely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary… And the UN International Court of Justice agreed with those arguments. That’s what they said; that’s what they trumpeted all over the world and coerced everyone to accept – and now they are complaining about Crimea. Why is that?”
Paul Craig Roberts: “The absurdity of it all! Even a moron knows that if Russia is going to put tanks and troops into Ukraine, Russia will put in enough to do the job. The war would be over in a few days if not in a few hours. As Putin himself said some months ago, if the Russian military enters Ukraine, the news will not be the fate of Donetsk or Mauriupol, but the fall of Kiev and Lviv.”
In a major examination of US policy vis-à-vis China, published in March 2015, the authoritative Council on Foreign Relations bluntly declared that “there is no real prospect of building fundamental trust, ‘peaceful coexistence,’ ‘mutual understanding,’ a strategic partnership, or a ‘new type of major country relations’ between the United States and China.” The United States, the report declares, must, therefore, develop “the political will” and military capabilities “to deal with China to protect vital U.S. interests.”
John F. Kennedy changed the mission of the Latin American military from ‘hemispheric defense’ – an outdated relic of World War II – to ‘internal security,’ which means war against the domestic population. – Noam Chomsky
Cuban baseball players who are paid a million dollars to play for an American team are not “defectors”, a word which has a clear political connotation.
Boris Yeltsin was acceptable to American and Europeans because he was seen as a weak, pliable figure that allowed Western capital free rein in the newly opened Russian territory following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin’s era was also a time of rampant corruption by Russian oligarchs who were closely associated with Western capital. That corrosive culture came to a halt with the election of Vladimir Putin twice as president between 2000-2008, and again in 2012.
Many ISIS leaders were former Iraqi military officers who were imprisoned by American troops. The fight isn’t against ISIS, it’s against Assad; at the next level it isn’t against Assad, it’s against Putin; then, at the next level, it isn’t against Putin, it’s against the country most likely to stand in the way of US world domination, Russia. And it’s forever.
Connecting to the US-based Internet would mean channeling all of Cuba’s communications directly to the NSA.
George W. Bush has been living a comparatively quiet life in Texas, with a focus on his paintings. “I’m trying to leave something behind”, he said a couple of years ago. Yeah, right, George. We can stand up some of the paintings against the large piles of Iraqi dead bodies.
Seymour Hirsch: “America would be much better off, if, 30 years ago, we had let Russia continue its war in Afghanistan … The mistake was made by the Carter administration which was trying to stop the Russians from their invasion of Afghanistan. We’d be better off had we let the Russians beat the Taliban.” (Deutsche Welle, April 2, 2014 interview) We’d be even better off if we hadn’t overthrown the progressive, secular Afghan government, giving rise to the Taliban in the first place and inciting the Russians to intervene on their border lest the Soviet Islamic population was stirred up.
The former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in an interview in 1998 summed up exactly what the US thinks of the UN: “The UN plays a very important role. But if we don’t like it, we always have the option of following our own national security interests, which I assure you we will do if we don’t like what’s going on.” She is now a foreign-policy advisor to Hillary Clinton.
A leader taking his (or her) nation to war is as dysfunctional in the family of humankind as an abusive parent is in an individual family. – Suzy Kane
It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy. Power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy … The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. – Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996
Interventions are not against dictators but against those who try to distribute: not against Jiménez in Venezuela but Chávez, not against Somoza in Nicaragua but the Sandinistas, not against Batista in Cuba but Castro, not against Pinochet in Chile but Allende, not against Guatemala dictators but Arbenz, not against the shah in Iran but Mossadegh, etc. – Johan Galtung, Norwegian, principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies
No mention was made that Iraq’s Christians had been safe and sound under President Saddam Hussein – even privileged – until President George Bush invaded and destroyed Iraq. We can expect the same fate for Syria’s Christians if the protection of the Assad regime is torn away by the US-engineered uprising. We will then shed crocodile tears for Syria’s Christians. – Eric Margolis, 2014
Jewish Power is the capacity to silence the debate on Jewish Power. – Gilad Atzmon
We need a trial to judge all those who bear significant responsibility for the past century – the most murderous and ecologically destructive in human history. We could call it the war, air and fiscal crimes tribunal and we could put politicians and CEOs and major media owners in the dock with earphones like Eichmann and make them listen to the evidence of how they killed millions of people and almost murdered the planet and made most of us far more miserable than we needed to be. Of course, we wouldn’t have time to go after them one by one. We’d have to lump Wall Street investment bankers in one trial, the Council on Foreign Relations in another, and any remaining Harvard Business School or Yale Law graduates in a third. We don’t need this for retribution, only for edification. So there would be no capital punishment, but rather banishment to an overseas Nike factory with a vow of perpetual silence. – Sam Smith
I have come to think of the export of ‘democracy’ as the contemporary equivalent of what missionaries have always done in the interest of conquering and occupying the ‘uncivilized’ world on behalf of the powers that be. I have said that the ‘church’ invented the concept of conversion by any means, including torture and killing of course, as doing the victims a big favor, since it was in the interest of ‘saving’ their immortal souls. It is now called, ‘democratization’. – Rita Corriel
It is more or less impossible to commemorate the war dead without glorifying them, and it is impossible to glorify them without glorifying their wars. – Paul Craig Roberts
By William Blum
Editor’s note: This article was written and originally published in March 2014
This article deals with the question of political and human/minority rights in the region of Kosovo & Metohija ten years after the „March Pogrom 2004“ and fifteen years after the NATO’s military aggression on Serbia and Montenegro and occupation of the region. An importance of this research topic is in a fact that for the first time in the European history a terrorist-style and mafia-ruled (quasi)independent state was created by a full diplomatic, political, economic, military and financial sponsorship by the West under the umbrella of the NATO’s and the EU’s protective administration. The precedence of Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence in February 2008 already had several negative „domino effect“ consequences elsewhere in Europe (the Caucasus, the Crimean Peninsula…). The aim of the paper is to present a current situation in Kosovo & Metohija and possible consequences of the Kosovo case for the international relations and the post-Cold War world’s order.
Global Pax Americana and post-modern colonialism
It passed ten years after the „March Pogrom 2004“ in Kosovo & Metohija against the local Serbs organized and done by Kosovo Albanians, led by the veterans from the Kosovo Liberation Army – the KLA and logistically supported by the NATO’s occupation troops in Kosovo & Metohija under the name of the Kosovo Forces – the KFOR. That was simply a continuation of the last stage (up to now) of dismemberment of ex-Yugoslavia – the Kosovo War (1998-1999) and the NATO’s military intervention (March 24th–June 10th, 1999) against and aggression on Serbia and Montenegro (at that time composing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – the FRY) by violating the international law. In this context, we can say that at the end of the 20th century the fate of ex-Yugoslavia was being determined by several international organizations, but not decisively by the Yugoslavs themselves.
The NATO’s military intervention against the FRY in March-June of 1999 (led by the USA) for the formal reason of protection of the human (Albanian) rights in Kosovo, marked a crucial step toward finishing the process of creation of the global „Pax Americana“ in the form of the NATO’s World Order – the NWO. As the NATO used force against the FRY without the UN Security Council sanctions and permission and also without an official proclamation of the war we can call this military intervention in fact as a pure „agression“ against one sovereign state. In the Balkans NATO acquired not only a big military experience and an opportunity to exhaust old and use new weapons, but also managed to enhance its activities, making its way to a global organization.
After the Kosovo War the UN’s Security Council Resolution 1244 (from June 1999) gave the mandate for the effective protection of the universal human and minority rights values of all inhabitants on the territory of the southern Serbia’s Autonomous Region of Kosovo & Metohija (in English language known only as Kosovo). At such a way, the responsibility for protection of human lives, freedom and security in Kosovo was thus transferred to the “international” public authorities, but in fact only to the NATO: the administration of the United Nations’ Mission in Kosovo – the UNMIK, and the “international” military forces – (the KFOR, Kosovo Forces). Unfortunately, very soon this responsibility was totally challenged as around 200.000 ethnic Serbs and members of other non-Albanian communities were expelled from the region by the local ethnic Albanians led by the KLA’s veterans. At any case, mostly suffered the ethnic Serbs. It left today only up to 3% of the non-Albanians in Kosovo in comparison to the pre-war situation out of a total number of the non-Albanians in this province that was at least 12%. Only up to March 2004 around 120 Serb Orthodox Christian religious objects and cultural monuments were devastated or destroyed.
However, the most terrible in the series of Kosovo Albanian eruptions of violence against the Serbs living in this region was organized and carried out between March 17th–19th, 2004, having all the features of the Nazi-style organized pogroms. During the tragic events of the “March Pogrom 2004”, in a destructive assault of tens of thousands by Kosovo Albanians led by armed groups of redressed the KLA’s veterans (the Kosovo Protection Corpus – the KPC, a future Kosovo Albanian regular army), a systematic ethnic cleansing of the remaining Serbs was carried out, together with destruction of houses, other property, cultural monuments and Serbian Orthodox Christian religious sites. Nevertheless, the international civil and military forces in the region have been only “stunned” and “surprised” what was going on. The “March Pogrom 2004”, which resulted, according to the documentary sources, in the loss of several tens of lives, several hundreds of wounded (including and the members of the KFOR as well), more than 4.000 exiled ethnic Serbs, more than 800 Serbian houses set on fire and 35 destroyed or severely damaged Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and cultural monuments, surely revealed the real situation on the ground in Kosovo even 60 years after the Holocaust during the WWII. Unfortunately, the attempts of the Serbs and especially by the government of Serbia at that time led by dr. Vojislav Koštunica (a leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia) to call an international attention to the human and minority rights violation situation in this region proved to have been both unsuccessful and justified.
It is thus necessary to reiterate that ethnic cleansing of the Serbs (and other non-Albanian population) in the region of Kosovo by the local Albanians after the mid-June 1999 means putting into practice the annihilation of a Serbian territory of exquisite historic, spiritual, political and cultural top-level significance in terms of the Serbian nation, state and the Church, and its every-day visible transformation into another Albanian state in the Balkans with a real wish and possibility to unify it with a neighboring motherland Albania. At such a way, the main geopolitical goal of the First Albanian Prizren League from June 1878 is being brought to its attainment, including its implications for the Preševo Valley in South-East Serbia, Western Macedonia up to the River of Vardar, a Greek portion of the Epirus province and the Eastern Montenegro. It is known that the Albanian political workers required within a framework of the First Albanian Prizren League (1878-1881) a creation of a Greater Albania as an autonomous province in the Ottoman Empire composed by “all Albanian ethnic territories”. More precisely, it was required that four Ottoman provinces (vilayets) of Scodra, Ioannina, Bitola and Kosovo would be combined into a single Albanian national Ottoman province of Vilayet of Albania. However, in two out of four required “Albanian” provinces – Bitola and Kosovo, the ethnic Albanians did not compose even a single majority at that time. Nevertheless, such a Greater Albania with a capital in Tirana existed during the WWII under Mussolini’s and Hitler’s protectorate.
The Albanian national movement, established in accordance with the program of the First Albanian Prizren League in 1878, is keeping on with its terrorist activities up today. It was particularly active in the period of Italian and German supported Greater Albania from April 1941 to May 1945, when it undertook the organization of the Albanian Quisling network of agents. During this period of time around 100.000 Serbs from Kosovo & Metohija have been expelled from their homes to addition of around 200.000 expelled during Socialist Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1980 lead by Josip Broz Tito who was of Slovene and Croat ethnic origin born in Croatia and notorious anti-Serb. The process of articulation of the Albanian secessionist movement in Kosovo & Metohija continued during the post-WWII Yugoslavia and was carried out by Kosovo Albanian anti-Serb communist partocracy. The process became particularly intense and successful in the period between 1968-1989. For instance, only from 1981 to 1987 there were 22.307 Serbs and Montenegrins who were forced to leave Kosovo & Metohija. The entrance of the NATO’s troops in the region in June 1999 marks the beginning of the last stage of the Albanian-planned and carried out the “Final Solution” of the Serbian Question on the territory of Kosovo & Metohija – a historical and cultural cradle of the Serbian nation, but in which only the ethnic Albanians have to live in the future.
In the light of the main Albanian goal – to establish ethnically pure Greater Albania – it is “understandable” why it is so important to destroy any Serbian trace on the territory defined by the aspirations. The Albanian terrorism has been developing for more than two centuries. It has the profile of ethnically, i.e. the Nazi-racist style motivated terrorism (like the Croat one), marked by excessive animosity against the Serbs. Its principal features are the following:
- All kinds of repressive measures directed against the Serbian population.
- Carrying practical actions to force the Serbs to leave their homes.
- Devastation of the Serbian Orthodox Christian religious objects and other cultural monuments belonging to the Serbian nation which are clearly testifying ten centuries long presence of the Serbs in Kosovo & Metohija.
- Destruction of the complete infrastructure used by the members of the Serbian community.
- Destruction of the Serbian cemeteries what means de facto destruction of the historical roots of the Serbs in the region.
A long standing Muslim Albanian oppression and terror against the Christian Orthodox Serbian community in Kosovo & Metohija is a specific phenomenon with the grave consequences not only for the local Serbs. It became, however, clear that sooner or later it will bring about severe problems for the rest of Europe as well.
Ten years have passed from the „March Pogrom 2004“ and fifteen years since the NATO’s military aggression against a sovereign European state of the FRY. At the moment, the crucial questions are:
1) What goals did NATO pursue?
2) Whether it managed to cope with its tasks in the following (15) years?
3) What did these years bring to those who threw bombs and those who were attacked?
It has to be made clear that during the Kosovo War the NATO did not achieve a military victory as it failed to destroy the army of the FRY and the soldiers’ morale. However, a campaign of bombing got the right political atmosphere for destroying Serbia (purposely not so much Montenegro) and for imposing their conditions on the Serbian government, including the rules of the cooperation with the EU, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (in the Hague) and with the NATO as well. After June 1999 Serbia lost almost all opportunities to control its own state’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security becoming in a pure sense of meaning a western political and economic colony. After several years of injustice and punishment by the West before 1999 the Serbs as a nation lost the will to fight, to resist as they were practically alone when tried to repel the attack of the powerful western military alliance in March-June 1999. As a consequence, after June 1999 it became much easier for the West to continue a process of destruction of Yugoslavia and to carry out a policy of transforming the region into its own colonial domain with occupied Kosovo & Metohija as the best example of „die rückkehr des kolonialismus“.
In October 2000 Slobodan Milosević, who was a head of Serbia for ten years, was ousted by the street revolution putsch-style like it was done with Ukrainian president Viktor Janukovich in Kiev in February 2004. At first sight, the move came as unexpected, easy and legal, in the other words – Yugoslavia’s home affair. However, the „Revolution of the Fifth October 2000“ in Belgrade, in fact, had been very thoroughly prepared by special divisions („Otpor“ or „Resistance“) sponsored by the West, especially by the CIA. The method proved to be so successful that, according to one western documentary movie based on the testimonies by the members of the Serbian “Otpor“ movement, it was later used in Georgia (the „Rose Revolution“ in November 2003) and Ukraine (the „Orange Revolution“ from late November 2004 to January 2005 and finally in 2013/2014), but failed in Moldova and Iran in 2009. The same source claims that the Georgian opposition were taught in Serbia, while their Ukrainian colleagues of the „Orange Revolution“ were drilled also in Serbia and in Georgia.
From the time of the end of the Cold War (1989) Serbia remained as a symbol of independence and disobedience to the NATO’s World Order in Europe. However, the new authorities in Serbia after October 2000 obeyed to the NATO’s World Order and everything went smoothly. The dismemberment of the FRY started when having arrived in Belgrade in February 2003, Javier Solana, a top the EU representative and official, suggested to a group of officials from Serbia and Montenegro to admit that the FRY ceased to exist, and adopt the Constitution charter, written in Brussels. Its text was proclaiming, for the beginning, the appearance of a new country. Solana did not face any resistance. Consequently, the FRY was renamed to the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and officially abolished the name ”Yugoslavia” that was in official use from 1929. In 2006 Montenegro and Serbia declared independence, thereby ending the common South Slavic state (only Bulgarians have been out from this state as the South Slavs) established in 1918 under the original name of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (this name was used till 1929). It was Javier Solana who did it regardless the fact that he up today remains a war criminal for majority of the Serbs as he bombed their country in 1999 as the General Secretary of the NATO killing 3.500 citizens of Serbia including and children and women with a material damage to the country around 200.000 billion US $.
After the year of 2000 it was easier to implement the NATO’s plans which seemed simply fantastic under Slobodan Milošević as president of Serbia and later the FRY. The last Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro) was undermined, its integration slowed down till final dissolution in 2006 and Serbia’s strength exhausted. What the NATO, USA and EU failed to achieve in the castle of Rambouillet (in France) in 1998/1999 (during the ultimatum-negotiations with S. Milošević on Kosovo crisis) and through 78 days of cruel and inhuman bombing in March-June 1999, they got on July 18th, 2005, when Serbia and Montenegro signed a deal with the NATO “On the Lines of Communication”. This was a technical agreement which allows the NATO’s personnel and equipment to transit through the country. Under the deal, the NATO could enjoy such opportunities for quite a long time – “until all peacekeeping operations in the Balkans are over”. Thus the NATO was given the green light to enlarge its presence in the region and control the army of both Serbia and Montenegro. On April 1st, 2009 Albania and Croatia have completed the accession process, and have joined the NATO as full members and at a such a way surrounding Serbia and Montenegro by NATO members from all sides except from Bosnian-Herzegovinian. Today the Balkans are NATO’s permanent military base. For instance, in October 2008 Serbia’s defence minister and the NATO’s officials signed agreement on information security, which allows the NATO to control everyone who deals with their documents or just cooperates with them. For the very reason the NATO insisted on secrecy of the negotiations with Serbia.
The aftermath of the 1999 aggression on Serbia and Montenegro for the NATO was the most favourable. Nobody condemned NATO and they felt even more confident in global perspective (Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003…). In the recent years the world has witnessed that the NATO was making several attempts of its own expansion. Currently, the NATO’s military bloc is occupying more positions at the Balkans, using old and building new military camps with attempt to include into its organization Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina (the later one after cancellation of the Republic of Srpska). Still existing a huge NATO’s military camp „Bondsteel“ in Kosovo & Metohija is the best proof that the region is going to be under the US/NATO’s dominance for a longer period of time if the balance between the Great Powers (the US/Russia/China) will not be changed. However, the current crisis over Ukraine is the first herald of such change, i.e. of the beginning of the new Cold War era.
The most disappointed fact in the present post-war Kosovo reality is for sure an ethnic and cultural cleansing of all non-Albanians and not-Albanian cultural heritage under the NATO/KFOR/EULEX/UNMIK umbrella. The proofs are evident and visible on every corner of Kosovo territory, but purposely not covered by the western mass media and politicians. For instance, on the arrival of the KFOR (an international, but in fact the NATO’s „Kosovo Forces“) and the UNMIK (the „United Nations’ Mission in Kosovo“) to Kosovo & Metohija in 1999, all names of the towns and streets in this province were renamed to have the (Muslim) Albanian forms or new names. The monuments to Serbian heroes like the monument devoted to duke Lazar (who led the Serbian Christian army during the Kosovo Battle on June 28th, 1389 against the Muslim Turks) in the town of Gnjilane, were demolished. The Serbs were and are getting killed, assassinated, wounded and abducted, their houses burned to the ground. As we mentioned earlier, the most infamous ethnic cleansing was done between March 17th and 19th 2004 – the „March Pogrom“.
As of today, a number of the Serbs that were killed or went missing in Kosovo & Metohija from June 1999 onward (after the KFOR arrived), is measured in thousands, the number of demolished Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries is measured in hundreds, and the number of burned down Serbian houses in tens of thousands. Even though the KFOR had as much as 50.000 soldiers in the beginning as well as several thousand of policemen and civilian mission members, mainly none of the above mentioned crimes have been solved. In fact, murdering a Serb in Kosovo is not considered as a crime, on a contrary, the murderers of children and the elderly are being rewarded as heroes by their ethnic Albanian compatriots. The province is almost ethnically cleaned like Albania and Croatia. For the matter-of-fact, according to the last pre-war official Yugoslav census of 1991 there were 13% of non-Albanians in Kosovo & Metohija (in reality surely more). However, it is estimated that today 97% of Kosovo & Metohija’s population is only the ethnic Albanian. In the light of the main national goal by the Albanians – the establishment of another Albanian state in the Balkans and Europe, as the first step towards the pan-Albanian state unification – we can „understand“ why it is important to destroy any Serbian trace in the „territory defined by the aspirations“.
In the name of a Greater Albania
The final stage of cutting of Kosovo & Metohija from their motherland of Serbia came on February 17th, 2008 when Kosovo Albanians received Washington’s permission to proclaim its formal (quasi)independence what happened in fact later than expected by Russia and China. At the UN Security Council Moscow said „no“ to Kosovo’s independence as Russia respects interests of Serbia and officially condemns all attempts to impose decisions on other members of the international community by breaking the international law (in the Kosovo & Metohija case it is the UN Resolution 1244). The fact is that the Serbs have not forgotten Kosovo, but have not done much about it either. Now there are some 80 states that recognized Kosovo independence, including 23 EU and 24 NATO members (out of 192 UNO members). Almost all of them are the neighbours of Serbia and with the exception of Bosnia-Herzegovina all the ex-Yugoslav republics have recognized Kosovo. Bosnia-Herzegovina did not recognize it for the very reason: the Republic of Srpska, still as an autonomous political unit within Bosnia-Herzegovina alongside with the Muslim-Croat Federation according to the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement in 1995, has and use the veto right. At the moment, in Kosovo there is the EULEX (European civil mission) and the Kosovo issue is gradually being moved out of the UNO jurisdiction and out of reach of the Russian veto in the UN Security Council becoming more and more the NATO and the EU governed territory. There is and the so-called Kosovo Security Forces (in fact the redressed members of the KLA, which is formed according to Martti Ahtisaari’s plan with active support from the NATO to be in the next years transformed into the regular Army of the Republic of Kosovo.
What is true about today political reality in Kosovo & Metohija is a fact that this territory in a form of a client (quasi)state is given to be administered by the members of the KLA – a military organization which was in 1998 proclaimed by the US administration as a terrorist one. Anyway, the KLA is the first successful rebellious movement and terrorist organisation in Europe after the WWII. The movement was originally developed from a tiny Albanian diaspora in Switzerland in the second half of the 1980s to around 18.000 soldiers financed and clearly supported by all means by the US administration. In order to realize its own crucial political task – a separation of Kosovo & Metohija province from the rest of Serbia with a possibility to unite it with Albania, the KLA was allied with the NATO between 1997-1999. The KLA’s strategy of the war terror was based on a long tradition of the Albanians to oppose by arms any organized authority in a form of a state from the Ottoman time up today. However, the military intervention by the NATO in 1999 against Serbia and Montenegro over the Kosovo question was portrayed in the American and the West European media as a necessary step to prevent the Serbian armed forces from repeating the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But the truth was that Serbia trained its military on Kosovo & Metohija because of an ongoing armed struggle by the KLA’s terrorist and separatist organization to wrest independence from Serbia for the sake of creation of a Greater Albania with ethnically pure Kosovo & Metohija and later on the western parts of the FYR of Macedonia, the Eastern Montenegro and the Greek Epirus.
Nevertheless, an active US President Barrack Obama congratulated at the very begginnig of his presidential mandate the leaders of the „multiethnic, independent and democratic Kosovo“ regardless to the facts that those leaders (especially Hashim Tachi – the „Snake“ and Ramush Haradinay) are proved to be notorious war criminals, that the region (state?) is not either multicultural, nor really independent and particularly not democratic one. However, there are several official EU’s declarations and unofficial political statements encouraging Belgrade and Priština to cooperate and „develop neighbourly relations“ what practically means for Serbia that Belgrade has firstly to recognize Albanian Kosovo independence in order to become the EU member state after the years or even decades of negotiations. The another fact is that the process of international recognizing of the Kosovo’s independence is much slower that Priština and Washington expected at the beginning. From the time of Kosovo’s self-proclamation of independence Serbia’s greatest diplomatic „success“ is the majority of votes in 2008 of the UNO General Assembly supporting the decision that the case of Kosovo independence should be considered by the International Court of Justice in the Hague (established in 1899). On the one hand, the Court’s decision on the issue in July 2010 was very favourable for Kosovo’s Albanian (the KLA’s) separatists and terrorists as it was concluded a verdict that an unilateral proclamation of Kosovo’s independence in February 2008 was done within a framework of the international law. However, on the other hand, the Court’s verdict in 2010 already became also very favourable for separatism movements elsewhere like in March 2014 for the separatists in Crimean Peninsula or maybe soon for their colleagues from Catalonia, Scotland, the Northern Italy (Lega Nord)… Kosovo’s self-proclamation of independence has a direct domino effect only a few months later when in August 2008 the South Ossetia and Abkhazia did the same from Georgia.
The (murky) reality in the present day Kosovo & Metohija, on the other side, is that there is not a single ethnic Albanian party at the deeply divided Kosovo’s political scene which would be ready to accept a „peaceful reintegration“ of the region into Serbia’s political sphere and there is no a single ethnic Albanian politician who is not concerned about the danger posed by the „division of Kosovo“ to the Albanian (major) part and Serbian (minor) part and does not oppose slightest suggestions of the Serbian autonomy for the northern portion of Kosovo & Metohija. However, what is more important: Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders and even the citizens of the Albanian ethnic origin do not even consider national dilemma like „Europe or independence!“ There is no doubt what their answer is going to be in that case. On the other side, what is going on about and in Serbia? The answer is that a nation unable to make a choice between a territorial integrity on the one side, and a membership in an international association (although an important one) on the other, i.e. a nation who cannot choose between these two „priorities“ really deserves to lose both.
At the end, if the international law and fixed order are broken on the one side of the globe (ex. Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq) it is nothing strange to expect that the same law and order are going to be broken somewhere else (ex. at the Caucasus, Ukraine, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, France…) following the logic of the so-called „domino effect“ reaction in the international relations. Finally, it has to be noted that if the Albanian extremism is not stopped, the FYR of Macedonia and Montenegro will have to give parts of their territories populated by the ethnic Albanians (the Western Macedonia and the Eastern Montenegro). In this case, Europe will have to decide how to discuss the issue of the borders’ revision and how to recognize a new enlarged state of a Greater Albania.
Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2014
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 That the NATO violated the international law by bombing the FRY in 1999 was clearly recognized in March 2014 by at that time Germany’s cancellor (the PM) Gerhard Schreder (Нова српска политичка мисао, March 10th, 2014: http://www.nspm.rs/hronika/gerhard-sreder-intervenicija-na-krimu-je-krsenje-medjunarodnog-prava-ali-to-je-bilo-i-nase-bombardovanje-srbije-1999.html). On this issue see documentary movie in three parts: „NATO’s Illegal War Against Serbia“ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joaNkHKxapk; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gaz8rzUW0Lc; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4vzr8l3FvU). On the identity and politics in the post-Yugoslavia’s successor states, see: Robert Hudson, Glenn Bowman, After Yugoslavia: Identities and Politics Within the Successor States, London-New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
 On the issue of destruction of ex-Yugoslavia and Kosovo question, see: F. Stephen Larrabee (ed.), The Volatile Powder Keg: Balkan Security after the Cold War, Washington, D.C.: The American University Press, 1994; Susan L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the Cold War, Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1995; Richard H. Ullman (ed.), The World and Yugoslavia‘s Wars, New York: A Council on Foreign Relations, 1996; James Gow, Triumph of the Lack of Will: International Diplomacy and the Yugoslav War, London: Hurst & Company, 1997; John B. Allcock, Explaining Yugoslavia, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000; Jelena Guskova, Istorija jugoslovenske krize 1990–2000, I-II, Beograd: IGA“M“, 2003; Ian King, Whit Mason, Peace at Any Price: How the World Failed Kosovo, London: C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, 2006; David Chandler, From Kosovo to Kabul and Beyond: Human Rights and International Intervention, London-Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 2006; David L. Phillips, Liberating Kosovo: Coercive Diplomacy and U.S. Intervention, Cambridge, MA: Belfer Center for Science, 2012; Misha Glenny, The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers 1804–2011, New York-London: Penguin Books, 2012.
 See: Ken Booth (ed.), The Kosovo Tragedy: The Human Rights Dimensions, London-Portland, OR: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 2001.
 On the issue of the NWO and the Russian Balkan policy, see: Vladislav B. Sotirović, „The NATO World Order, the Balkans and the Russian National Interest“, Vladislav B. Sotirović, Balcania: Scientific Articles in English, Vilnius: Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences Press „Edukologija“, 2013, pp. 110-129; James Headley, Russia and the Balkans: Foreign Policy from Yeltsin to Putin, London: Hurst & Company, 2008.
 Costis Hadjimichalis, „Kosovo, 82 Days of an Undeclared and Unjust War: A Geopolitical Comment“, European Urban and Regional Studies, 7 (2), 2000, pp. 175-180.
 On the issue of used depleted uranium by the NATO during the Persian Gulf War and the Kosovo War, see: Darryl P. Arfsten, Kenneth R. Still, Glenn D. Ritchie, „A Review of the Effects of Uranium and Depleted Uranium Exposure on Reproduction and Fetal Development“, Toxicology and Industrial Health, 17, 2001, pp. 180-191. It has to be noticed that the depleted uranium was used by the NATO‘s forces in 1999 bombing of the FRY in armour-penetrating munitions, military vehicle armor, and aircraft, ship and missile counterweighting and ballasting applications. The combat applications of the depleted uranium alloy in the Persian Gulf War and the Kosovo War resulted in human acute exposure to the depleted uranium‘s dust, vapor or aerosol, and to the chronic exposure from tissue embedding of the depleted uranium‘s shrapnel fragments.
 On the universal human and minority rights, see: Will Kymlicka (ed.), The Rights of Minority Cultures, Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 2000; Jan Knippers Black, The Politics of Human Rights Protection, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2010; Dinah L. Shelton, Paolo G. Carozza, Regional Protection of Human Rights: Basic Documents, Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. It has to be stressed that the Albanian minority in Serbia within the region of Kosovo & Metohija in the Socialist Yugoslavia enjoyed all kind of minority rights according to the international law and even above it. The region has its own president, constitution, parliament, police, academy of science, law, press, education system, etc. In the other words, Albanian-run and dominated Kosovo & Metohija was in fact an independent political subject in Yugoslavia equal with all Yugoslavia’s republics. Within such political conditions Kosovo Albanians developed a high range of the policy of the oppression and expulsion from the region of the ethnic Serbs with a strong tendency to separate the region from the rest of Serbia and include it into a Greater Albania. What Milošević’s government did in 1989 it was abolishment of just political independence of both autonomous regions in Serbia – Vojvodina and Kosovo & Metohija in order to protect the country from territorial destruction. However, even after 1989 Kosovo Albanians enjoyed minority rights according to the basic standards of the international law. Many minorities in Europe or elsewhere today can just dream about minority rights left to Kosovo Albanians by Serbia’s government in 1989. For the matter of comparison, for instance, the Kurds in Turkey (from 1999 a candidate country for the EU membership) enjoy no single minority right for the very reason as they are not recognized as minority group at all. From the legal point of view by the Turkish government, the Kurds do not even exist in Turkey as the ethnocultural and linguistic group. For this reason, the process of Kurdish assimilation in Turkey is on the way on. On the Kurdish question in Turkey, see: Metin Heper, The State and Kurds in Turkey: The Question of Assimilation, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007; Cenk Saraçoglu, Kurds of Modern Turkey: Migration, Neoliberalism and Exclusion in Turkish Society, Tauris Academic Studies, 2010; Michael M. Gunter, The Kurds: The Evolving Solution to the Kurdish Problem in Iraq and Turkey, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011; Noah Beratsky (ed.), The Kurds, Greenhaven Press, 2013; Ramazan Aras, The Formation of Kurdishness in Turkey: Political Violence, Fear and Pain, London-New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014.
 On this issue, for instance, see: Мирко Чупић, Отета земља. Косово и Метохија (злочини, прогони, отпори…), Београд: НОЛИТ, 2006;
Video: Boris Malagurski, “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?”, Canada, 2009
Video: “La Guerra Infinita”, First part, RAI, Italy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho2yXwa2dtE&index=21&list=PL999EB6ACC07FC959);
Video: “La Guerra Infinita”, Second part, RAI, Italy
 March Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. March 17–19, 2004 with a survay of destroyed and endangered Christian cultural heritage, Belgrade: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia-Museum in Priština (displaced), 2004, p. 8.
 Душан Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија: Историја и идеологија, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, p. 61.
 On Tito’s biography, see: Jasper Ridley, Tito. Biografija, Zagreb: Prometej, 2000; Перо Симић, Тито. Феномен 20. века, Београд: Службени гласник-Сведоци епохе, 2011.
 Јеврем Дамњановић, Косовска голгота, Београд: Интервју, специјално издање, (22. октобар) 1988, p. 38.
 On terrorism in Yugoslavia, see: Радослав Гаћиновић, Насиље у Југославији, Београд: Евро, 2002.
 Hannes Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2009 (original title: Experiment Kosovo: Die Rückkehr des Kolonialismus).
 On the street-putsch in Ukraine in February 2004, see: „Vitrenko Says World Must Name ‚Neo-Nazi Putsch‘ in Ukraine; Cites Zepp-LaRouche on Danger of World War III“ (http://larouchepac.com/node/29889).
 On the NATO’s „humanitarian“ intervention in Yugoslavia, see: David N. Gibbs, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009.
 On Slobodan Milošević from the western perspective, see: Louis Sell, Slobodan Milosevic and the destruction of Yugoslavia, Durham-London: Duke University Press, 2002; Adam LeBor, Milosevic. A Biography, London-Berlin-New York-Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2012.
 On this issue, see: Petar V. Grujić, Kosovo Knot, Pittsburgh: RoseDog Books, 2014.
 On Kosovo’s transition to (quasi)independence, see: Aidan Hehir (ed.), Kosovo, Intervention and Statebuilding: The International Community and the Transition to Independence, London-New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2010. On the question of contested states, see: Deon Geldenhuys, Contested States in World Politics, London-New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
 James Pettifer, The Kosova Liberation Army: Underground War to Balkan Insurgency, 1948–2001, London: C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, 2012, the back cover. This book is official history of the KLA ordered and financed by the Albanian-run Kosovo government composed by the KLA veterans.
 Sinisa Ljepojevic, Kosovo Murky Reality, Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorsHouse, 2008, p. 1.
 See pro-Albanian and pro-western points of view on historical background for the KLA with described its activities up to and including the NATO intervention: Henry H. Perritt Jr. Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of An Insurgency, University of Illinois, 2008. The Albanian KLA is not lesser separatist and terrorist than, for instance, the Kurdish PKK. However, it is allowed for the Turkish government by the „international“ community to use all legal and other means to fight the PKK including and a clear violation of the human rights. On the question of the PKK party, see: Ali Kemal Özcan, Turkey’s Kurds: A Theoretical Analysis of the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan, London-New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2006; Aliza Marcus, Blood and Belief: The Kurdish Fight for Independence, New York-London: New York University Press, 2007; Abdullah Öcalan, Prison Writings: The PKK and the Kurdish Question in the 21st Century, London: Transmedia Publishing Ltd, 2011; Charles Strozier, James Frank, The PKK: Financial Sources, Social and Political Dimensions, VDM-Verlag Dr. Müller, 2011.
 On Lega Nord, see: Anna Cento Bull, Mark Gilbert, The Lega Nord and the Northern Question in Italian Politics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001; Thomas W. Gold, The Lega Nord and Contemporary Politics in Italy, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003; Manlio Graziano, The Failure of Italian Nationhood: The Geopolitics of a Troubled Identity, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010; Andrej Zaslove, The Re-Invention of the European Radical Right: Populism, Regionalism, and the Italian Lega Nord, Montreal & Kingston-London-Ithaca: McGill-Queens University Press, 2011.
 Vladislav B. Sotirović, “Kosovo and the Caucasus: A Domino Effect”,Vladislav B. Sotirović, Balcania: Scientific Articles in English, Vilnius: Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences Press „Edukologija“, 2013, pp. 130-141.
During World War II, hundreds of thousands of foreign peoples joined with Hitler’s legions to bring theirs people into special status in Hitler’s New Order. Tens of thousands among them were Muslims, where the majority of them came from Soviet Union. Under the banner of the crescent and the swastika, these Soviet Muslims believe to become holy warriors to liberated theirs land. But the end of this unholy alliance was a disaster for them.
The Pro-Nazi Soviet Muslims
When the German Army invaded Soviet Russia on June 22, 1941 they saw many of their opponent inhabitants welcomed them as liberators. One of the group of Soviet citizens that felt had reason to rejoiced the coming of the Teutonic legion invaders were Soviet Muslims.
Many of Soviet Muslims hates domination of Russians upon them. They still remembered theirs golden age under the Muslim khans, emirs, and sultans before they fall into Russian Czardom between 17th and 19th centuries. Actually, when the Czardom liquidated during Bolshevik Revolution, the Muslim Soviet got a chances to liberated themselves from theirs Russian masters and formed some independent states with help from theirs Turkish brothers and her German allied. Even for a while they thought to build a Greater Turkey Sultanate like Pan-Turanian longing.
In Caucasus, an all-Islam army, composed of Azeris, Ajars, and other Caucasian Muslims, assist the Turkish army under Nuri Pasha, who was known for his Pan-Turanian ideas. They besieged many non-Muslims towns in Caucasus that refused surrender to them and starved it into submissions. Some of them implicated with the massacres of Armenians.
The same thing developed in Central Asia. In Kokand, a free government of Turkestan was proclaimed, while the emirs of Khiva and Bukhara asserted their independence. The Turkish-Tartar peoples in Crimea and Volga also arise against the Russians.
Unfortunately, after succeeded consolidated their power in Russia, the Bolshevist penetrated these areas. One by one centers of Muslim resistance to communism fell. The attempt to free these Muslim areas from Russian rule had failed, and the Soviet government succeeded in reestablishing its authority over the whole Caucasus and Turkestan. But the native peoples rejected this Russian-Communist authority. Some of them rise against the Moscow rule when the communist forced collectivized farms and atheistic attitudes upon them. One of the uprisings erupted in Chechnya, where the Cechens under an ex-communist named Hasan Israilov rise against the Soviet regime.
The unrest of these Muslim peoples didn’t escape from Hitler intention. When many of Muslim Soviet POWs enthusiastic wished to join with the victorious Wehrmacht against theirs ruler, theirs aspirations get a green light from the German dictator. On December, 1941 a top secret memorandum ordered that the OKW was to create two Muslim units: the Turkestanisch Legion, consisted Muslim volunteers from Central Asia, like Turkomans, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kirghizs, Karakalpaks, and Tadjiks; and Kaukasisch-Mohammedan Legion from Caucasian Muslims volunteers, like Azeris, Daghestans, Chechens, Ingushes, and Lezghins. Beside a separated unit consisted Muslim Tartars, Wolgatatarische Legion, was formed in Poland on January 1942.
The German courting of the Soviet Muslims was part of Hitler’s lunatic schemes for bringing Turkey into his side and for advancing to control the oil fields in Middle East and Baku. The Soviet Muslims fighting units were supposed to take part in bringing the whole Middle East into the German orbit. As Hitler said in December 1942, “I consider only the Muslims to be reliable…I see no danger in the establishment of purely Muslim units.” As propaganda tools the Nazis attempt to revive and encourage Pan-Turanian tendency in Turkey and within Soviet Muslims population.
The Nazi’s Muslim Project
When the German army marches into Caucasus, they bring with them theirs Muslim supporters to fire rebellions within Soviet Muslim peoples. That move made a great-worried within Soviet leadership. As Konstantin Oumansky, Soviet ambassador in Washington, said on one of the blackest days of the Black Summer of 1942:
“I must said that I am a little worried about the Caucasus…The Tartars in the Crimea are, to a large extent, disloyal… they never liked us. It is well known that during the Crimean War they gladly ‘collaborated’, as we’d now say, with the English and the French. And, above all, there are religious factors, which the Germans have not failed to exploit. Nor do I trust the mountain peoples of the Caucasus. Like the Crimean Tartars, they are Muslims, and they still remember the Russian conquest of the Caucasus which ended not so very long ago – 1863.”
The Soviet authorities were, indeed, rather worried about the Caucasus Muslim nationalists there. The uneasiness extended, to some extent, also to certain Muslim nations of Central Asia, particularly the Uzbeks, among whom Muslim traditions were still strong.
The German did make contact with some of the Muslim nationalities in the Northern Caucasus. Toward the predominantly Muslim mountaineers of the Northern Caucasus – the Chechens, Ingushi, Karachai, and Balkarians – the German army adopted a ‘liberal’ policy. Promises were made for the abolition of the kolkhozes; mosques were to be reopened; requisitioned goods were to be paid for; and the confidence of the people was to be won by ‘model conduct’, especially in respect of women. Beside the local national committees got permission to be formed to help Germany Army in organize administration and law and order.
In Karachai region a ‘Karachai National Committee’ was set up under an anti-Soviet named Kaki Baieramukov. The high point of German-Karachai collaboration was the celebration of Bairam, the Muslim holiday, in Kislovodsk in October 1942. During the celebration, German high officials were presented with precious gifts by the local committee. Then the German announced the formation of a Karachai volunteer squadron of horsemen to fight with the German Army.
The same policy also applied in Kabardino-Balkhar area, although the Muslim Balkars were more outspokenly than the mostly non-Muslim Kabardinians. A national committee was formed under a local leader named Selim Shadov and has responsible to arrange the fields of religion, culture, and economy. The collaboration reached a highest-point during the Kurman ceremonies that held at Nalchik, the seat of the local administration of the Kabardino-Balkar area, on December 18. Again gifts were exchanged, with the local officials giving the Germans magnificent steeds and receiving in return Korans and captured weapons. An official from Reich Eastern Ministry named Braeutigam made a public address about lasting bonds of German friendship with the peoples of the Caucasus.
These pro-Muslim policies in Crimea and Caucasus gave Germany a trump card of major importance in her relations with Turkey. The Reich Foreign Ministry invited some Turks to aid in the administration as expert advisers. Germany showed a disposition to negotiate with Turkey about the future status of the areas in question. By conceding to Turkey the right to organize the liberated Turko-Tartar areas of the Soviet Union into a federation, German ambassador in Ankara, von Papen, and an influential group in the German Foreign Office hoped to secure Turkish collaboration during the war.
Actually, these inducements profoundly impressed Turkish Pan-Turanians and attracted the attention of some military leaders, including Marshal Cakmak. Unfortunately, the disaster in Stalingrad destroyed the German plan. The Turks changed theirs mind and continued embracing their neutral position while the German army retreat as quickly as possible from Caucasus to prevent another Stalingrad. Many Muslims collaborators followed them. The grandiose scheme for the conquest of the Middle East with the help of Soviet Muslims was off.
Nazi Muslim Legions at War
Although Hitler’s ambitious plan for Soviet Muslims political role failed after the Stalingrad debacle, he still had tens of thousands of them to assist him militarily. The most numerous of the Soviet Muslims that served the Germans were the Turkestanis. First Turkestanis volunteers were integrated as one battalion of the 444.Sicherungs Division in November 1941 and became auxiliary to help the Germans to fight the partisan.
According Hitler’s secret order on December 1941, a formation named Turkestanisch Legion was formed to command the Turkestanis volunteers. But it must be explained that name of a ‘legion’ in German’s Eastern Legions was not synonym with a tactical formation. In fact, it only a training center where national units. mostly battalions, were organized and trained. During the war, 70,000 Turkestanis volunteers served within the German forces: 40,000 soldiers and 30.000 military workers. In 1943, the Turkestanis had 15 battalions and one year later grew-up to 26 battalions. Those battalions mainly were integrated as independent battalions within German divisions.
But there was also a full division of the Turkestanis volunteers: the 162.Turkestanisch Infanterie Division. Composed of Germans, Turkomans, and Azeris, the division commanded by General Oskar von Niedermayer, a self-stylish German’s Lawrence of Arabia and a former military attaché in Persia. The division trained at Kruszyna in Poland and was transferred to Yugoslavia to fought Tito’s partisan. Then they were moved to Italy in 1943, where at a moment fought an American-Japanese regiment. According its commander, it was as good as a normal German division.
Crimean Tartar was not only gladly collaborating with the Germans, but was also supplying the Wehrmacht with 20,000 soldiers. These descendants of Mongols especially infamous during anti-partisan operations. In July-August 1943, Yalta mayor V.I. Maltzev formed a Tartars punitive battalion in Yevpatoria. Known as ‘Khimi’, the battalion fought the partisan in Yaila Mountains, where they burned several partisan bases and killed many civilians.
Impressed with theirs action, the Germans later transferred the battalion to northwestern France to fought the French maquis. Once again, their atrocious behaviors become well known so that feed fears to French civilians. An example of theirs cruelty occurred in Dortan in Ain on July 21, 1944 where the Tartars soldiers punished the village because its hospitality to the Maquis. According the reports of eyewitnesses, they raped women that fall into theirs hand collectively, burned the village, and laugh wild while playing in the front of the flames with children bicycles.
The Germans tried hard to court these Muslim volunteers. One of Nazi officials gave a report about the perfect condition of Turkestanisch Legion camp. The commander of the legion himself has learned the Turkestan language, and the Turkestanis have accepted German military terms and have an anti-Bolshevist attitude. The legions of the Muslim Caucasians and Tartars have modeled on similar lines.
To raise morale of the Soviet Muslim volunteers, the Germans also issued some publications for them, like Gazavat (Holy War), Svoboda. Ezenedel’naja gazeta legionerov (Freedom. Weekly Newspaper for the Legionnaires), Milli Turkistan (The National Turkestan), Yeni Turkistan (The New Turkestan), Milli Adabijat (National Literature), Idel-Ural (Volga-Ural), Tatar Adabijat (Tartar Literature), and Azerbaican (Azerbaijan). These newspapers and magazine were edited by local journalists and only loosely controlled by the Germans from the Eastern Ministry and Wehrmacht’s propaganda division.
The Soviet Muslims performance in the front lines itself different in one front to others. On Western Front, many of them disappointed theirs German master: like many of theirs Eastern colleague, Soviet Muslim volunteers didn’t show any eagerness to fight the Western Allied. In contrast, in Eastern Front they show the tenacious fighting qualities. As an example, three Turkic battalions had fought to the last man at Stalingrad. The other saw how a Turkic battalion that had broken out of a pocket near Kharkov, reentered it again just to recover the body of their beloved German commander.
But, whatever their performance, the existence the Soviet Muslims in the rank of the German army got attention of the second most powerful man in the Third Reich, Heinrich Himmler. The Reichsführer SS decided to recruited them into his private army, the Waffen-SS.
Soviet Muslims in the Himmler’s Black Legion
Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler was known as Islam most willing promoter and collaborator among the Nazi leadership. Himmler’s hatred the ‘soft’ Christianity was equal for his liking for Islam, which he saw as a masculine, martial religion based on the SS qualities of blind obedience and readiness for self-sacrifice, untainted by compassion for one’s enemies. His admiration for Islam made him ready to throw-out his racial ‘Aryan pure’ fantasies to receive more Muslim volunteers for his sinister legion.
When the mass of Soviet Muslims collaborators followed the retreating German armies to avoid the reprisals that awaited them from the Russians, Himmler would probably not have objected to procuring them for the Waffen SS. He had decided that it was only the Slav and the Jews in the Russian stock who were sub-humans. There was a superior element in the Russian nation which come from Asia and which had produced Attila, Jenghiz Khan, Tamerlane, Lenin, and Stalin. The Soviet Muslims themselves were suited with these criteria. Many of them came from Caucasus (just like Stalin origin) or descendants and relatives of the Mongols (like Tartar and Turkestan peoples).
In November 1943, a certain Heer major name Andreas Meyer-Mader meet Himmler to offering his service to help raise and command a Turkic SS unit. Himmler approved the major plan and then transfers him into the ranks of the Waffen SS and promoted him to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer. On 14 December, another meeting was held in Berlin in present of the Grand Mufti of the Jerusalem, Hajj Amin el-Husseini. The Grand Mufti approved the plan to raise a Turkic-Muslim SS division and give his “spiritual leadership” to influence the Muslim volunteers.
Osttürkischen Waffen-Verbände der SS was formed on January 1944 as 1.Ostmuslemanische SS-Regiment. (Actually, the Reichsführer SS plans to expand it into a division, Muselmanischen SS-Division Neu-Turkestan, but the plan never realized.) This new formation formed form the Turkic units in the Heer that was disbanded, i.e., 450th, 480th, and I/94 Turkic battalions, plus some new recruits from German POW camps. The recruits not only Turkestanis, but also Azeris, Kirghiz, Uzbek, and Tadjiks volunteers. The unit was formed in Trawniki, Poland, before they were transferred to Belorussia for further training. SS-Obersturmbannführer Andreas Meyer-Mader was appointed as its first commander.
Unfortunately, this unit suffered from poor discipline and poor morale, especially after theirs beloved commander, Meyer-Mader, killed during a skirmish with partisans in Yuratishki, near Minsk, on March 28, 1944. The situation became worse when the replacement commander, SS-Hauptsturmführer Billig executes 78 unit members for insubordination. This incident made Himmler angry and Billig relieved.
On July 1944, the unit transferred back to Poland. When the SS tried to quell the Warsaw Uprising, the unit attached to the notoriously SS Dirlewanger Brigade, where they were participated in brutal actions that killed 200,000 Polish civilians.
Himmler decision to appointed SS-Standartenführer Harun-el-Raschid-Bey, an Austrian officer who converts to Islam, didn’t made many good progression within the formation. In contrary, during his leadership the morals of the Turkestanis drop until a low ebb. Even a mutiny broke-up when on Christmas Eve 1944, 450 members of the 1st Battalion, led by Waffen-Obersturmführer Gulam Alimov and Waffen-Untersturmführer Asatpalvan, killed some NCOs and went over to the partisans. Himmler’s reaction was fired Harun-el-Raschid-Bey and reorganized the formation, where the Azerbaijan contingents in the formation transferred to the Kaukasicher Waffen-Verbande der-SS.
Meanwhile, another Soviet Muslim SS formation came into being during the summer of 1944, when all of the Crimean Tartar Schuma battalion were gathered together and formed into a new unit, Waffen-Gebirgs-Brigade der-SS (Tatarische Nr.1). But because the shorts of weapons and equipment, the unit was disbanded on December 1944, and the men were ordered to join with Osttürkischen Waffen-Verbände der SS.
In the final days of the war Osttürkischen Waffen-Verbände der SS operated in Slovenian-Italian borders. There were possibility that the unit participated in some anti-partisan operations in Slovenia, serving under HSSPF Adriatic Coast. During April-May 1945, the unit stationed in Lombardy, Italia. They stayed in there until the end of the war.
The Bitter End
The disaster that fell into the Third Reich began to take a turn for the worse and made a worse impact among the Soviet Muslims that served within the Germans armies. When Himmler finally tried to assembled a united front against the Bolshevik among the Soviets dissidents under General Vlasov, many of non-Russians voiced against it.
One of the oppositions came from Turkestani National Committee which longing independence of Turkestan. The committee that headed by Veli Kayum Khan, head of the Turkestani “government in exile”, had been in charge of the political and national leadership of Turkestani volunteers. It had successfully raised the morale of the Turkestani volunteers by supporting independence for Turkestan and, with the aid of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the SS-FHA, setting up schools at Dresden and Götingen to train religious imams for the Muslim military units in the Waffen SS and the Wehrmacht. His stand were supported by some Muslim leaders form Caucasus, like Khedia, Mischa, Kantimer, Alibegow, and Tschamalja.
But the situation in front lines decided their fate, not the Germans. The Allied high tides sweeps and swallow the Third Reich. Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945. One week later, Germany surrenders. Like many of theirs Eastern comrade-in-arms that supported the Nazis, Soviet Muslim volunteers who surrender to Western Allied were shipped back to Soviet Union, where many of them were executed or dumped into the Gulags as traitors.
Even Stalin ordered deportations to the east some of Soviet Muslim nationalities whose representatives had fraternized with the Germans – like Chechens, Balkars, Ingushi, Karachais, and Crimean Tartars. The first four of these nationalities – or what was left of them – were allowed to return to their homes after Stalin’s death, while the Crimean Tartars – the most notoriously collaborator – could return only after the fall of the Soviet Union.
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Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government)
- China 1949 to early 1960s
- Albania 1949-53
- East Germany 1950s
- Iran 1953 *
- Guatemala 1954 *
- Costa Rica mid-1950s
- Syria 1956-7
- Egypt 1957
- Indonesia 1957-8
- British Guiana 1953-64 *
- Iraq 1963 *
- North Vietnam 1945-73
- Cambodia 1955-70 *
- Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
- Ecuador 1960-63 *
- Congo 1960 *
- France 1965
- Brazil 1962-64 *
- Dominican Republic 1963 *
- Cuba 1959 to present
- Bolivia 1964 *
- Indonesia 1965 *
- Ghana 1966 *
- Chile 1964-73 *
- Greece 1967 *
- Costa Rica 1970-71
- Bolivia 1971 *
- Australia 1973-75 *
- Angola 1975, 1980s
- Zaire 1975
- Portugal 1974-76 *
- Jamaica 1976-80 *
- Seychelles 1979-81
- Chad 1981-82 *
- Grenada 1983 *
- South Yemen 1982-84
- Suriname 1982-84
- Fiji 1987 *
- Libya 1980s
- Nicaragua 1981-90 *
- Panama 1989 *
- Bulgaria 1990 *
- Albania 1991 *
- Iraq 1991
- Afghanistan 1980s *
- Somalia 1993
- Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *
- Ecuador 2000 *
- Afghanistan 2001 *
- Venezuela 2002 *
- Iraq 2003 *
- Haiti 2004 *
- Somalia 2007 to present
- Honduras 2009
- Libya 2011 *
- Syria 2012
- Ukraine 2014 *
Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?
A: Because there’s no American embassy there.
By William Blum
Source: William Blum
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Every day signs are looming larger than life as we know it in the wealthiest nation on earth that it’s about to crash and burn, forever changing not for the better. The latest wake-up call arrived in a Guardian article earlier this week. The story features a secret prison not unlike the CIA torture detention centers all over the world whereby the Chicago police hold rounded up US citizens for hours or days at a time for interrogation. The same internationally illegal roundups of suspected “potential terrorists” (which by latest Gestapo America standards can easily be you or me) that the CIA and military black ops deploy globally, are being covertly conducted not only in Obama’s hometown where his thug buddy Rahm rules, but likely every US city and soon coming to a neighborhood near you.
The complete loss of constitutional civil liberties where we can be taken in without warrant, locked up and shackled for indefinite periods of time, where to all our friends and family we simply disappear, those totalitarian Orwellian tactics are here today in secret CIA-like “black site” locations throughout the nation. Lawyers are summarily turned away. Those imprisoned are not booked nor entered in any record-keeping system, only to typically be beaten and shackled. It was determined that one man at the Chicago site already died while in custody. If this inhumane brutality hidden from public view is operating in one major US metropolis, it means that these secret police detention centers are no doubt also up and running in secret locations throughout America. This worst case scenario of police state USA is just one more nightmare come true. And this comes after it’s been determined that Americans are at least 100 times more likely to die at the hands of murdering police than in all other industrialized nations.
For numerous decades the United States has engaged in both high intensive and low intensive counterinsurgency and counterterrorism wars around the globe. But now in the twenty-first century all those same black ops wars have come home to roost right here in the land of the not-so-free. To police state USA all American citizens are the potential enemy. It’s also fair to say that the police in countless jails and prisons have unlawfully beaten and killed thousands of US citizens while in police custody over the years. Sadly, this form of murder in covert black sites where inmates are literally tortured to death takes police state brutality and slaughter to a whole new unprecedented level. And of course those of color and poor are most often the victims. Two years ago it was reported that a black man is killed by police every 28 hours. And with the deaths spiking last year, it’s more apt to be closer to every 24 hours now.
On a far less shocking and dramatic note, the latest FCC 3 to 2 vote on Thursday to “maintain net neutrality” has been treated in the press as a triumph for the people. Yet before we internet users celebrate, several keys factors still need to be pondered. We already know the overriding history in North America where giant transnational corporations enjoy more individual rights than us individuals in this age of globalism. The people may have averted a disastrous lost battle but the war of corporate greed winning out over the rights of people goes on. The FCC’s ruling declared that the internet falls under the rules and regulations of the telecommunications industry and we know what’s been happening there. Six corporate entities virtually control all the world’s major media outlets.
Secondly, the 300-page details of the FCC decision has yet to be released. Literally armies of telecom lawyers will be analyzing every line of 300 pages with a fine-tooth comb just searching for the myriad of potential loopholes by which the large corporate internet providers can find ways to squeeze additional money for the giants at our expense. Finally, the FCC has a special new rule called the “general conduct rule” whereby as in FCC Chairman Wheeler’s words, “it wants to referee” in getting to decide what it deems unfair or “hurts consumers, competition or innovation.” With such a vague and wide open birth, the FCC wields enormous power to interpret its 300 pages of new rules in what it considers running afoul of “proper conduct” and it may not be in favor of us internet consumers. Meanwhile, the telecom lawyers have unlimited time and money to finagle, lobby and court FCC’s favor, not unlike Big Business rules over the EPA in getting away with all kinds of unregulated pollution and Big Pharma literally owns the FDA.
Big Gov operates in deviously sneaky ways. It knows ruling against net neutrality now would cause a storm of fury in America that temporarily Washington is choosing at this moment to avoid. But as mentioned, the mountains of fine print perfectly suited for loopholes contained in 300 pages of rules can easily turn this ephemeral victory into another staggering long term defeat for the people. It’s simply akin to the hard kill being deferred to the soft kill strategy, quietly sneaking through little changes that in their totality will eventually peck away at net neutrality and ultimately kill it. We need to always remember that in recent years gov.corps is one entity that historically favors corporate greed and profit over the well-being of a bunch of humans. The power elite’s agenda remains to offer less internet services, less access to not only the internet but to particular websites that will come at higher prices to access in the future.
Indeed the growing threat of our tyrannical fascist government cutting off access to independent alternative news sites falling victim to state censorship is still very real and extremely foreboding. Increasingly the elite’s agenda is to disempower the global masses by keeping them ignorant, dumbed down and in the dark without any access to the truth. Taking away much of the World Wide Web is their sinister strategy that’s still operating at all times despite this recent decision.
The totalitarian government in Washington has realized that their propagandizing mainstream media machine has been rapidly losing its credibility and audience. Upwards of 4 out of 5 Americans today aren’t even tuning in to the likes of NBC’s Brian Williams’ fake show for MSM’s inaccurate reporting of the latest unfolding events in the globalized censored world. And that trend arrived long before we learned Williams turned out to be another mainstream liar.
The totalitarian government’s fusion into corporate fascism has long recognized that supplying the world with free internet allows the masses access to alternative independent news sites for far more accurate reporting of world news and developments. At increasing risk of censorship black outs and persecution, independent news strives to tell the truth to the rest of the world, exposing the official narrative of pure lies and evildoing perpetrated by the criminal syndicate acting as the rogue government. A continued free and independent internet news outlet making suppression of the truth difficult poses a real threat to fascism. That’s why free internet is still under attack.
The other reason the internet poses a threat to New World Order is its enormous capacity to provide instant global communication between billions of humans around the globe that together possess a potentially powerful resistance movement opposing the oppressive tactics being implemented by globalized multinational governments. Ultimately an awakened, informed and empowered citizenry of the world united in solidarity poses the biggest threat to global fascism and its New World Order. That’s why through Executive Order Obama has given himself supreme dictatorial authority to shut down the internet in America under the pretense of a national emergency.
As another in-our face, over-the-top, draconian measure that reveals how today’s totalitarian police state is fast closing in on us is the feds’ agenda to impose its latest sinister plan to impose mandatory vaccine immunizations on every American adult as well as child. Since 9/11 the feds have been systematically stripping away all our liberties. But when forcing potentially lethal injections on us citizens against our will, the tyrants in Washington will likely have a real fight on their hands. With overwhelming evidence piling up indicating vaccines pose a deadly danger to millions of humans, the feds forcing injections on all US adults may be the catalyst that sparks a genuine grassroots revolt not unlike what the Boston Tea Party was to the American Revolution. With an increasing segment of the US population becoming sick and tired of their government’s rampant oppression, their battle cry may be “enough is enough with your abusive totalitarian bullshit.” The US government has long overstepped both its legal and ethical boundaries that the people may now be reaching the tipping point toward active rebellion.
Of course everything gov.corps does has an intended purpose. With this latest Big Brother violation – the National Adult Immunization Plan (NAIC), it appears the feds are actually intending to create a national confrontational backlash. Ever since 9/11 they’ve been preparing for the civil unrest that they’ve been insidiously provoking and escalating. With the US police state fully militarized, mechanized and mobilized, apparently Washington’s nearing ready to unleash its absolute brutality full force against its own people.
In the same way the US lies and propaganda are attempting to demonize Putin as the bad guy excuse to start WWIII, baiting him to react to relentless over-the-top Empire transgressions, the feds are using the same demented strategy now on us too. They want Americans to react and oppose them so they can bring out their big guns and initiate those long awaited FEMA camp roundups we’ve been hearing about for years – all for the sake of quelling the unrest they themselves incite as their excuse to “restore civil order”. It’s downright demonic but unfortunately that’s where our nation and world appear to be heading, led by an elitist handful of sub-human psychopaths that within a short period of time are bent on killing off at least 90% of us currently inhabiting this planet.
The neocon 9/11 inside job shows more about the treasonous, demonic elements controlling the US government (along with Saudi-Israeli assistance) that executed nearly 3000 innocent Americans to justify waging permanent war around the world than it does 19 box-cutting Moslem terrorist-stooges borrowed from the Saudi government accomplice. Yet the evildoers responsible for 9/11 have targeted Islamic religion as their scapegoat and polarized the entire world with dozens of false flags purposely designed to demonize Moslems worldwide. By waging false flag terrorism events like January’s Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, between Bush and the Obama regime they have maintained the US and the world in a constant state of emergency, using that designated status as their carte blanche false flag policy to get away with anything and everything evil.
As an example, with the total dismantling of the US Constitution since 9/11 that for more than two centuries guaranteed Americans their civil liberties, now the criminal syndicate of our shadow rogue de facto government currently in power is waging undeclared war against the American people. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of Americans at grave risk to themselves are growing boldly courageous enough to vocally object to the tyranny and criminality of the treasonous feds who’ve systematically violated both their oath to uphold and protect the Constitution and the Constitution itself as our nation’s no longer recognized rule of law. This criminal element inside our own government is not only killing innocent people around the world but is now beginning to brazenly murder innocent American citizens on US soil with increasing regularity. Recall Obama a couple years ago envisioning out loud his use of drones to kill citizens here in the US in the not too distant future. And now he’s selling killer drones to US allies that inevitably will fall into ISIS/al Qaeda hands as the rogue government’s fake enemy and true ally that will join the Empire in the slaughter of Americans.
For years the federal government has been arming and militarizing its robotic henchmen in preparation for waging all-out war against the mounting anger and civil unrest coming from the American people. The exponential growth of the Homeland Security Department and FEMA, the pathological surveillance state, the militarization of US police state, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes military force to break into our homes and arrest law-abiding US citizens without warrant, without charges and imprison Americans without due process or legal representation for an indefinite period of time, all of these highly disturbing developments act as hardcore evidence of the government’s not-so-hidden war against the American people.
For some time now Obama has been both secretly and not so secretively negotiating a full frontal assault on America with implementation of the nightmarish UN Agenda 21whereby under the rationale of sustainability the UN will work in conspired unison with DHS to relocate much of the US population away from rural and suburban areas into denser populated urban zones. According to their plan, the US has already been broken down into various regional sections most of which will end up unpopulated. Similar to the method of how “national security” has been used to cram down our throats in order to justify stripping us of all our rights and freedom, Agenda 21 uses the transparent façade of “sustainability” as its oppressive criminal excuse to confiscate and steal our homes and force people into federal urban housing. Counties throughout the States and beyond have been busily enacting Agenda 21 laws using eminent domain to illegally force people off their own land and property.
Those who object are labeled noncompliant dissidents joining the activists and journalists who’ve been protesting and exposing the federal crimes against humanity. They are the designated enemy to be rounded up and placed in the more than 1000 FEMA concentration camps that have been waiting to be filled. In the last decade Halliburton has contracted with gov.corps to refurbish and build hundreds of prisons throughout America. To justify mass murder and imprisonment, the feds are now openly calling those of us who object to their lethal madness homegrown terrorists. Yet it is they who are the true terrorist-traitors reigning terror, theft and destruction down on this entire planet. We law abiding citizens are determined patriots willing to stand up for our rights, indeed standing up for humanity and the very survival of our human species. Members of the ruling elite are the perverse, insane psychopathic criminal mass murderers.
The US government since 9/11 has turned the United States of America into a military-security-prison complex with multiple state and city information analysis fusion centersworking 24/7 around the clock in cahoots with militarized law enforcement and NSA surveillance creating dossiers on every single person in America. Those of us who object, resist and/or oppose the insanity of what’s happening will either be imprisoned or killed.
Obama has been secretly signing a host of Executive Orders (EO’s) without Congressional approval, many of which violate existing laws rendering his orders illegal. But the crime syndicate behind the current de facto government operates above all law. The criminals in power do not answer to anyone but the ruling elite. And though they’re all bona fide, soulless psychopaths, they’re utilizing their brute force to subjugate innocent, good people in bondage or worse yet, simply murdering them.
Perhaps the most graphically telling EO of all illustrating their sinister nature is Executive Order 13603, which grants Obama authorization to seize possession of every possible resource, from our property to “all food storage facilities” (meaning all food and water belonging to every person inside our homes). This extremist, maniacal edict is designed to enforce our submission, rendering us totally dependent on Big Brother government or face the obvious – starvation and extermination.
President Obama has quietly transferred his intelligence gathering apparatus from the superseded NSA now under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. The reason is simple, NSA can only collect data but is not authorized to act on it. Now DHS does have federal authorization to act against all the dissident voices who’ve become outraged over how our government has betrayed the United States and our people. If not already, very soon DHS will be moving to lock up those observed and classified by NSA as targeted security threats who’ve been placed on growing watch lists. Among this list, a dissident’s gradient status as a security threat target is measured on how large a conduit disseminating the lowdown truth to the public that automatically places him or her at the top of the list to be silenced.
Neocon puppet Bush summed it up when he smugly pronounced, “You’re either with us or against us.” Ever since he uttered those words, the US population has become polarized into two growing divided camps. The one camp consists of the totalitarian enforcers that are members of the criminal government agencies having drawn the line in the sand with their massive bulk data collection separating themselves from their opposing camp – those of us citizens who disagree with their Orwellian nightmare-come-true. A third group of Americans are sitting on the fence, though leaning toward the oppressors as in the Stockholm syndrome, either employed in the Fortune 500 transnational corporations unwilling to bite the immoral hand that feeds them or part of the larger flock of sheeple representing Americans either too ignorant, weak or fearful who remain in denial or have stuck their head in the sand pretending or hoping that what’s happening above ground really isn’t happening at all. They are in for very a rude awakening.
Everyone part of this demonic system simply plays their part in doing what they’re told, not unlike the Nazi guards at the Jewish concentration camps during WWII. So now you can see why the psychiatric field has been co-opted and taken over by our Gestapo totalitarian government that represents the oppressive crime syndicate. Mental health clinicians are being mandated to brand anyone with a label in order to declare them certifiably ill with a mental disorder diagnosis that can be applied conveniently to anyone regardless of how stable, well-adjusted or strong their mental and emotional health may actually be. This labeling for control purposes will come in handy as to deciding who goes where under martial law.
Now you know why oppressive draconian laws have been springing up all over the country as well as globally usurping homeowners’ rights to even grow their own vegetable gardens in their own backyard. Harassing and shutting down community food co-ops that undermine local citizens’ resources and independence has been part of the feds’ agenda. In fact, anyone who is preparing to live off grid as a resourceful survivalist/prepper is also in their crosshairs. It’s even become unlawful in many municipalities to be a caring humanitarian these days. Serving food to the homeless in parks is now considered a crime across America.
For a long time Obama and the feds have been attempting to confiscate citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms with the passing of stricter gun control legislation to such an extreme of using Sandy Hook as yet one more horrendous false flag. For that singular purpose, Obama has signed twenty-three Executive Orders on gun safety alone. Already early in 2015 Obama is at it again with his plan to take guns away from gun owners. His latest unilateral move is to ban a bullet commonly sold in local sporting goods stores that’s been among the most popular ammunition in America for generations, used in multiple rifles as well as a new kind of revolver. The catch here is the .223 caliber “green tipped” bullet is known to pierce bullet proof vests typically worn by police state nation. By outlawing and collecting all the most popular ammo and making it strictly for the feds’ use, when his government goes to war against Americans, it’ll obviously give his murdering death squads a distinct, unparalleled advantage.
During the global spread of the Ebola virus last August, Obama signed executive orders authorizing authorities to begin involuntarily rounding up and housing against their will the homeless and mentally ill to even include persons with known respiratory ailments (EO13295). All of these draconian measures demand total dependence and docility from its citizenry – or else. While Americans are now trapped in a domestic police state, cops are killing innocent people in the US every single day at an unprecedented, alarming rate. If you resist, you risk dying. And even if you don’t resist, you still risk dying.
The constant attack on citizens struggling to maintain their modest yet eroding standard of living desperately trying to stretch less money to cover the steadily rising costs of survival spells a very uncertain and even doubtful future for both Americans and people throughout the world. The ever-shrinking middle class in both North America and Europe is the inevitable, by designed outcome of globalization, privatization, destabilization, rising war and massive human impoverishment. The unstable future of the world feeds the emerging New World Order along with its demonically Orwellian control of the entire global population.
Ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union nearly a quarter century ago, the US as the sole global superpower has aggressively been surrounding the entire Russian border placing missiles on its doorstep aimed directly into Russia while the US Empire-NATO-European Union has co-opted as geopolitical puppets the entire former Soviet bloc nations of Eastern Europe including a number of Central Asian countries on the globalized chessboard hemming in Russia and China into checkmate position.
Despite this prodding, walled in aggression used as bait to manipulate Putin into reacting and fighting back, he has repeatedly outsmarted the US and its puppets by showing remarkable restraint. But the US has pushed him to the very limit. Understandably he has strengthened ties with neighboring China and formed an economic union with other emerging powers Brazil, India and South Africa (BRICS) in formidable economic self-defense. Just this week India’s cabinet approved of a BRICS development bank. Meanwhile, increasing financial reports have predicted that the US dollar and petrodollar as the standard international currency will be dropped. And that may spell economic disaster for the United States.
In response to the threat that the West poses, a coalition of nations in the East – Russia, China and India – have all been forced to prepare for the impending war the US Empire has been instigating. Clearly it is America and Europe that are the wrongful aggressors that have been deliberately setting the stage for World War III against nuclear-powered Russia and China. Also clearly in the court of world opinion, Putin is winning and once again Obama and his neocon aggressors are losing. The real problem though is all of us on earth might lose because of Obama and his puppet masters’ deadly games.
Everything in this world now is reversed from the way it once was and should be. It is painful to realize that we Americans were always brainwashed and taught that we were the good guys and the Russian and Chinese Communists were always the bad guy oppressors. However, now roles seem very much reversed whereas the relentless, instigating aggressor pushing for what could easily become nuclear war and the end of the world, American Empire has become the most dangerous rogue state on earth flailing in its final destructive acts before it collapses. The tragic irony and pathetic hypocrisy is that the United States always in its holier than thou self-righteousness criticized the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union and China. Yet it now appears that the darkest shadows of the gulag are operating as “black holes” right here in America, the land of the no longer free but the enslaved and the walking dead who haven’t awakened from their slumber of what used to be to find the once greatest nation on earth the most destructive predator spiraling into oblivion but seemingly determined to take the entire planet down with it.
In reality the US government is simply acting on orders from the ruling Western elite that has ordered destruction of the United States. The ruling elite has taken the entire human species hostage and like their Islamic State stooges, the psychopathic oligarchs are busily beheading the entire human civilization in a relentless combination of both soft and hard kill tactics designed to exterminate 90% of the global population. This is the first known human genocide – the earth’s sixth mass extinction and first caused by a handful of demonically possessed sub-human species that has been in control of planet earth for many centuries. We owe it to all life on planet earth to fight back.
About the author:
Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing and has a blog site at http://empireexposed. blogspot. com/.
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Note: This article was originally published in January 2015.
Two months ago, hundreds of thousands of Chileans somberly marked the 40thanniversary of their nation’s September 11th terrorist event. It was on that date in 1973 that the Chilean military, armed with a generous supply of funds and weapons from the United States, and assisted by the CIA and other operatives, overthrew the democratically-elected government of the moderate socialist Salvador Allende. Sixteen years of repression, torture and death followed under the fascist Augusto Pinochet, while the flow of hefty profits to US multinationals – IT&T, Anaconda Copper and the like – resumed. Profits, along with concern that people in other nations might get ideas about independence, were the very reason for the coup and even the partial moves toward nationalization instituted by Allende could not be tolerated by the US business class.
Henry Kissinger was national security advisor and one of the principle architects – perhaps the principle architect – of the coup in Chile. US-instigated coups were nothing new in 1973, certainly not in Latin America, and Kissinger and his boss Richard Nixon were carrying on a violent tradition that spanned the breadth of the 20th century and continues in the 21st – see, for example, Venezuela in 2002 (failed) and Honduras in 2009 (successful). Where possible, such as in Guatemala in 1954 and Brazil in 1964, coups were the preferred method for dealing with popular insurgencies. In other instances, direct invasion by US forces such as happened on numerous occasions in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and many other places, was the fallback option.
The coup in Santiago occurred as US aggression in Indochina was finally winding down after more than a decade. From 1969 through 1973, it was Kissinger again, along with Nixon, who oversaw the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It is impossible to know with precision how many were killed during those four years; all the victims were considered enemies, including the vast majority who were non-combatants, and the US has never been much interested in calculating the deaths of enemies. Estimates of Indochinese killed by the US for the war as a whole start at four million and are likely more, perhaps far more. It can thus be reasonably extrapolated that probably more than a million, and certainly hundreds of thousands, were killed while Kissinger and Nixon were in power.
In addition, countless thousands of Indochinese have died in the years since from the affects of the massive doses of Agent Orange and other Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction unleashed by the US. Many of us here know (or, sadly, knew) soldiers who suffered from exposure to such chemicals; multiply their numbers by 1,000 or 10,000 or 50,000 – again, it’s impossible to know with accuracy – and we can begin to understand the impact on those who live in and on the land that was so thoroughly poisoned as a matter of US policy.
Studies by a variety of organizations including the United Nations also indicate that at least 25,000 people have died in Indochina since war’s end from unexploded US bombs that pocket the countryside, with an equivalent number maimed. As with Agent Orange, deaths and ruined lives from such explosions continue to this day. So 40 years on, the war quite literally goes on for the people of Indochina, and it is likely it will go on for decades more.
Near the end of his time in office, Kissinger and his new boss Gerald Ford pre-approved the Indonesian dictator Suharto’s invasion of East Timor in 1975, an illegal act of aggression again carried out with weapons made in and furnished by the US. Suharto had a long history as a bagman for US business interests; he ascended to power in a 1965 coup, also with decisive support and weapons from Washington, and undertook a year-long reign of terror in which security forces and the army killed more than a million people (Amnesty International, which rarely has much to say about the crimes of US imperialism, put the number at 1.5 million).
In addition to providing the essential on-the-ground support, Kissinger and Ford blocked efforts by the global community to stop the bloodshed when the terrible scale of Indonesian violence became known, something UN ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan openly bragged about. Again, the guiding principle of empire, one that Kissinger and his kind accept as naturally as breathing, is that independence cannot be allowed. That’s true even in a country as small as East Timor where investment opportunities are slight, for independence is contagious and can spread to places where far more is at stake, like resource-rich Indonesia. By the time the Indonesian occupation finally ended in 1999, 200,000 Timorese – 30 percent of the population – had been wiped out. Such is Kissinger’s legacy and it is a legacy well understood by residents of the global South no matter the denial, ignorance or obfuscation of the intelligentsia here.
If the United States is ever to become a democratic society, and if we are ever to enter the international community as a responsible party willing to wage peace instead of war, to foster cooperation and mutual aid rather than domination, we will have to account for the crimes of those who claim to act in our names like Kissinger. Our outrage at the crimes of murderous thugs who are official enemies like Pol Pot is not enough. A cabal of American miss-leaders from Kennedy on caused for far more Indochinese deaths than the Khmer Rouge, after all, and those responsible should be judged and treated accordingly.
The urgency of the task is underscored as US aggression proliferates at an alarming rate. Millions of people around the world, most notably in an invigorated Latin America, are working to end the “might makes right” ethos the US has lived by since its inception. The 99 percent of us here who have no vested interest in empire would do well to join them.
There are recent encouraging signs along those lines, with the successful prevention of a US attack on Syria particularly noteworthy. In addition, individuals from various levels of empire have had their lives disrupted to varying degrees. David Petraeus, for example, has been hounded by demonstrators since being hired by CUNY earlier this year to teach an honors course; in 2010, Dick Cheney had to cancel a planned trip to Canada because the clamor for his arrest had grown quite loud; long after his reign ended, Pinochet was arrested by order of a Spanish magistrate for human right violations and held in England for 18 months before being released because of health problems; and earlier this year, Efrain Rios Montt, one of Washington’s past henchmen in Guatemala, was convicted of genocide, though accomplices of his still in power have since intervened on his behalf to obstruct justice.
More pressure is needed, and allies of the US engaged in war crimes like Paul Kagame should be dealt with as Pinochet was. More important perhaps for those of in the US is that we hound Rumsfeld, both Clintons, Rice, Albright and Powell, to name a few, for their crimes against humanity every time they show themselves in public just as Petraeus has been. That holds especially for our two most recent War-Criminals-in-Chief, Barack Bush and George W. Obama.
About the author:
Andy Piascik is a long-time activist and award-winning author who writes for Z, Counterpunch and many other publications and websites. He can be reached at email@example.com
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Here we present a photo from November 2015 on which you can see heavily damaged Serbian Orthodox church and totally destroyed Serbian Orthodox tombstones in the southern part of the town of Kosovska Mitrovica inhabited by the Muslim Albanians.
The Kosovo ISIS is doing its job profoundly.
Enjoy Kosovo independence!
BELGRADE – Serbia organized an exhibition of cultural and historical heritage of Kosovo and Metohija in Paris, the headquarters of UNESCO, to serve as a reminder to the West of how they let it be destroyed since the 2000s.
There is a lot of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija. Now, Kosovo is an independent state, partially recognized by Western countries. But the world was shocked by anti-Serbian riots organized by Albanians during the Kosovo unrest in 2004. Many Serbian monuments were damaged in the chaos.
Albanian extremists living in Kosovo, since the 2000s, have continued to raid and damage Serbian cultural heritage monuments under the guise of a political crisis. Last year, President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic showed a film to foreign ambassadors about the anti-Serb riots in March 2004 in a bid to prevent Kosovo’s entry into UNESCO. The diplomats were shocked.
It is unknown whether the ambassadors understood that Serbian heritage in Kosovo does not belong to any particular time or any particular generation, but to all of mankind. The attempt to push Kosovo into UNESCO failed, however, the savagery of Albanian extremists continues today.
Art historian and former director of the National Museum in Belgrade, Nikola Kusovac, said that those who decide the fate of the most significant monuments obviously do not understand that it is thanks to these shrines that the Serbs maintain their identity and their roots. These monuments have a lasting value, Kusovac told Sputnik.
“It is ridiculous even to think that the hand of the one who destroyed and burned this heritage for years could now protect it. Their own heritage is limited to just the walls that they built around their homes. All those who do not have evidence of the creative spirit, now want to usurp those created by Serbian hands,” Kusovac told Sputnik. The most recent episode was a fight with Kosovo police who were agitated by the fact that Serbs originally from the Kosovo town of Musutiste wanted to visit a ruined church of the Virgin Protectoress (Church of the Virgin Hodegetria), which is under UNESCO protection, as well as to visit graves of their relatives.
As the photo demonstrates, not much is left of the church, a symbol for not just Serbia but for Christians in the entire region.
In 1905, archaeologist and art historian Gabriel Millet visited the Serbian lands and wrote that a new world had opened up before him. He immediately understood the specifics of Serbian Byzantine art and wrote that the monuments of Serbian medieval culture were quite special and unique.
A hundred years later, Millet’s covenants have been forgotten and the Serbian scientific community has once again been forced to show the world precious samples of Serbian cultural heritage.
The Government of Serbia organized the exhibition to attract the attention of UNESCO to protect the Serbian treasures located in Kosovo and Metohija. Almost forty ambassadors of the UNESCO member states observed the beauty of “Serbian Byzantium” in Paris. It was just 20 years ago when West closed its eyes on the fate of this heritage and it seems like it is in no hurry to open them. More than 150 churches and monasteries were damaged in 2004 during mass attacks by Albanian extremists on Serbian shrines.
Among the rubble were monasteries on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Ten medieval architectural monuments were destroyed just in Prizren, among them was the temple of the Mother of God Ljeviška, as well as the previously mentioned Church of the Virgin Hodegetria. The Monastery of the Holy Archangels was also almost completely demolished.
After the demolition, UNESCO included the monasteries of Visoki Dečani, Gračanica and the Patriarchate of Peć into the list. It should be noted that in 2012, 2 million dollars of the funds slated for the restoration of Orthodox churches in Kosovo were allocated by UNESCO Russia.
Shortly after the destruction of the monuments, the Mayor of Venice Massimo Cacciari said it was as if the Cathedral of St Mark’s in Venice had been destroyed or any other such important artifact in Italy or France. Today, slogans of Daesh and other terrorist organizations are now visible on the shrines. Perhaps this slogan best illustrates the extremists’ intentions.
Daesh terrorists destroyed the ancient city of Palmyra because they believed that history began with them.
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The Harper government’s Bill C-51, or Anti-Terrorism Act, has been in the public domain for over a month. Long enough for us to know that it subverts basic principles of constitutional law, assaults rights of free speech and free assembly, and is viciously anti-democratic.
An unprecedented torrent of criticism has been directed against this bill as the government rushes it through Parliament. This has included stern or at least sceptical editorials in all the major newspapers; an open letter, signed by four former Prime Ministers and five former Supreme Court judges, denouncing the bill for exposing Canadians to major violations of their rights; and another letter, signed by a hundred Canadian law professors, explaining the dangers it poses to justice and legality.
As its critics have shown, the bill isn’t really about terrorism: it’s about smearing other activities by association—and then suppressing them in ways that would formerly have been flagrantly illegal. The bill targets, among others, people who defend the treaty rights of First Nations, people who oppose tar sands, fracking, and bitumen-carrying pipelines as threats to health and the environment, and people who urge that international law be peacefully applied to ending Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. (Members of this latter group include significant numbers of Canadian Jews.)
But the Anti-Terrorism Act is more mortally dangerous to Canadian democracy than even these indications would suggest. A central section of the act empowers CSIS agents to obtain judicial warrants—on mere suspicion, with no requirement for supporting evidence—that will allow them to supplement other disruptive actions against purported enemies of Harperland with acts that directly violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other Canadian laws.
The only constraints placed on this legalized law-breaking are that CSIS agents shall not “(a) cause, intentionally or by criminal negligence, death or bodily harm to an individual; (b) wilfully attempt in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice; or (c) violate the sexual integrity of an individual.”
The second of these prohibitions—occurring in the midst of a bill that seeks systematically to obstruct citizens in the exercise of their rights, pervert justice, and defeat democracy—might tempt one to believe that there is a satirist at work within the Department of Justice. (Note, however, that CSIS agents can obstruct, pervert and defeat to their hearts’ content, so long as they do so haphazardly, rather than “wilfully.”)
But the first and third clauses amount to an authorization of torture.
On February 16, Matthew Behrens observed that these clauses recall “the bone-chilling justification of torture” in the infamous memos of George W. Bush’s Justice Department. He pertinently asked what the Canadian government knows, if it “actually feels the need to spell out such a prohibition, […] about illicit CSIS practices behind closed doors….”1 On February 17, two prominent legal experts, Clayton Ruby and Nader R. Hasan, remarked that the “limited exclusions” in these clauses “leave CSIS with incredibly expansive powers, including water boarding, inflicting pain (torture) or causing psychological harm to an individual.”2
Like the Bush torture memos, Harper’s Anti-Terrorism Act is attempting to legitimize forbidden practices. Bush’s lawyers argued that interrogation methods producing pain below the level of “organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death” were legal—as were methods producing purely mental suffering, unless they resulted in “significant psychological harm […] lasting for months or even years.”3 Harper’s legislation prohibits acts of the kind that created an international scandal when the torture practices of Abu Graib, Bagram and Guantánamo became public. But as Ruby and Hasan recognize, in so doing it is tacitly declaring acts of torture that fall below that horrifying threshold to be permissible.
Most of the torture methods applied in the black sites of the American gulag during the so-called War on Terror would be permitted to CSIS under Harper’s Anti-Terrorism Act. Among these methods are sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation (both of which induce psychosis, without of course leaving physical marks), stress-position torture and waterboarding (which again leave no marks of “bodily harm”), and techniques of beating and pressure-point torture that produce excruciating pain without leaving visible traces.4
As to what CSIS does behind closed doors, we know enough to be able to say that this agency is already seriously off its leash. CSIS agents were involved in interrogating Afghan prisoners from early 2002 until 2007 or later, a period during which the American and Afghan agencies with which they collaborated were systematically torturing detainees. We know from journalists Jim Bronskill and Murray Brewster that one of the Kandahar interrogation sites used by CSIS, “work[ing] alongside the American CIA and in close co-operation with Canada’s secretive, elite JTF-2 commandos,” was a “secluded base”—this seems a polite way of saying ‘secret torture facility’—“known as Graceland.”5
American torturers seem to have enjoyed giving names of this sort to their black sites: the secret facility outside the Guantánamo prison where three prisoners were tortured to death on the night of June 9, 2006 is called “Penny Lane.”6 (Think about the lyrics to Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and the Beatles’ “Penny Lane”: you’ll understand that these interrogators are sick puppies indeed.)7
But these are the people that Jack Hooper, Assistant and then Deputy Director of CSIS Operations from 2002 until 2007, wanted his agents to emulate. He told his men, “If you’re going to run with the big dogs, you’d better learn to piss in the high grass.”8
We know already that Stephen Harper doesn’t flinch from covering up high-level Canadian responsibility for torture in Afghanistan. In November 2009, the Toronto Star quoted a former senior NATO public affairs official as saying that flagrantly false denials about Canadian complicity in the torture of Afghan detainees had been scripted by Harper and his PMO, “which was running the public affairs aspect of Canadian engagement in Afghanistan with a 6,000-mile screwdriver.”9 And we’ve not forgotten that a month later Mr. Harper prorogued Parliament in order to shut down a parliamentary committee that was hearing evidence on the subject.
But on October 22 of last year, when a deranged gunman murdered Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial and then tried to run amok on Parliament Hill, Mr. Harper was less brave. While some members of his caucus prepared to defend themselves and their parliamentary colleagues with anything that came to hand, he hid in a closet.
It seems that Mr. Harper would now like us all to share the emotion he felt in that closet—if not by quivering at the mention of ISIS jihadis, then, soon enough, by shaking in our boots at the thought of CSIS toughs kicking down doors at midnight.
Canadians need to tell this government, and this prime minister, that we are not intimidated on either count.
We are ashamed by his lies over high-level Canadian complicity in torture in Afghanistan.
We will not tolerate his attempt to institutionalize torture in Canada.
About the author:
Michael Keefer, who is Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph, is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, a former President of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, a member of the Seriously Free Speech Committee, and an associate member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada.
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1 Behrens, “Troubled times ahead with new anti-terror legislation,” Rabble.ca (16 February 2015),http://rabble.ca/columnists/
2 Ruby and Hasan, “Bill C-51: A Legal Primer. Overly broad and unnecessary anti-terrorism reforms could criminalize free speech,” Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (17 February 2015), https://www.
policyalternatives.ca/ publications/monitor/bill-c- 51-legal-primer.
3 Jay S. Bybee, “Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President, Re: Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340-2340A (August 1, 2002),” in David Cole, ed., The Torture Memos (New York: New Press, 2009), p. 41.
5 Jim Bronskill and Murray Brewster, “CSIS reviewing role in Afghan detainee interrogations,” Canadian Press, available in The Toronto Star (2 August 2010), http://www.thestar.com/news/
canada/article/843055–csis- reviewing-role-in-afghan- detainee-interrogations. See also Murray Brewster and Jim Bronskill, “CSIS played critical role in Afghan prisoner interrogations: documents, sources,” Canadian Press (8 March 2010), available at http://www.webcitation.org/ query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. google.com%2Fhostednews% 2Fcanadianpress%2Farticle% 2FALeqM5jJLuGfEH6QP3vrNSLPiAGP ZNqBcw&date=2010-03-09; and “Le SCRS était au courant de cas de torture,” La Presse Canadienne, available at Radio-Canada.ca (21 January 2011), http://www.radio-canada.ca/ nouvelles/International/2011/ 01/21/007-scrs-detenus- afghans-torture.shtml.6 David Swanson, “We’ve murdered some folks,” Review of Murder at Camp Delta, by Joseph Hickman, Cold Type 94 (March 2015), p. 26, http://coldtype.net/Assets.15/ pdfs/ColdType.0315.pdf.
7 Some relevant lines from “Graceland”: “Everybody sees you’re blown apart / Everybody sees the wind blow / In Graceland, in Graceland / I’m going to Graceland / For reasons I cannot explain / There’s some part of me wants to see / Graceland….” And from “Penny Lane”: “In Penny Lane there is a barber selling photographs / Of every head he’s had the pleasure to know / … / Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes….”8 Quoted by Michelle Shephard, Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr (Mississauga: John Wiley, 2008), p. 57.
9 Mitch Potter, “PMO issued instructions on denying abuse in ’07,” The Toronto Star (22 November 2009), http://www.thestar.com/news/
canada/afghanmission/article/ 729157–pmo-issued- instructions-on-denying-abuse- in-07.
SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is elating after his right-wing Likud Party secured a firm victory in the Israeli elections on March 17. It was a very close race against the Zionist Union Party, led by Isaac Herzog. Our next guest, Shir Hever, in an interview he did with us last month, predicted that Prime Minister Netanyahu would win in spite of many strikes against him at the time. So, defying election polls leading up to the election, Prime Minister Netanyahu has won. To get his reaction to the results, I’m joined by Shir Hever. Shir is reporting from Göttingen, Germany. He is an economic researcher at the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit Sahur. Thank you so much for joining me, Shir.SHIR HEVER, ECONOMIST, ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER: Thanks for having me, Sharmini.PERIES: So, Shir, so let’s begin with your initial reaction to the results.HEVER: I have to admit, mostly relief. Of course, Netanyahu is nowhere near my political views. He is an extreme right-wing, racist, and neoliberal leader. But within the framework of the Israeli political system, the real danger doesn’t come from a head of state who embodies such opinions, but from a coalition that is compelled, in order to maintain its stability, to be extra aggressive against Palestinians and to go to wars. In fact, the most aggressive coalitions in the history of Israel were not the ones led by Likud, by the right wing, but by the so-called center or left, like the Labour Party, which is now calling itself the Zionist Camp. These governments have a right-wing opposition which will never criticize them if they use violence against Palestinians, and therefore they can go much further with their aggressiveness and brutality. But I want to correct you in one small thing. The race between Netanyahu and the Likud and the Zionist Camp was not very close, actually. It was only close in the polls. And then, when we finally get the actual result, we see that there’s quite a significant gap between the two parties. Likud has managed to get several seats in the parliament more than the Zionist Camp. And all of that was a big surprise for the various polling companies.PERIES: So then why were the pollings so wrong?HEVER: I think many people in Israel have completely underestimated Netanyahu’s skill and his deep understanding of how the political system in Israel works. Netanyahu is the master of short-term solutions, and he doesn’t have or hasn’t expressed any desire to have a long-term strategy to make Israel a better place to live in. But whenever it comes to political crisis, to political crises, he’s the master of getting out of it. And he has engineered, very, very cleverly, the situation that allowed him to appear as an underdog until the very last moment. In fact, he was the one who called for early election. And many people in the Israeli elite, in the newspapers, have said he’s made a terrible mistake, the public will punish him for calling for an early election, the election costs a lot of money, and they would punish them by voting for the opposition. But Netanyahu understood things much better. He understood that it’s not really an election about personalities. I think a lot of Israelis, probably the majority of Israelis, dislike Netanyahu on a personal level and see him as a corrupt person, as a very vain man who doesn’t care so much about their well-being. But Netanyahu understands that, on a deeper level, the Israeli society is very racist. And this racism he decided to exploit. On the very day of the elections, when the first reporting were coming out about turnout at the voting booths, they reported a slightly lower than usual turnout rate for the morning and afternoon hours compared to previous elections. At that moment, Netanyahu sent an SMS that reached many people in Israel–maybe most people in Israel got this SMS, in which he said uthe Arabs are voting in droves, the Arabs are rallying to vote in large numbers. And that caused–and he tried to create panic. I think he succeeded and convinced people to respond to that SMS. In fact, after that, the show-up in the polls has–in the booths have increased dramatically. And now, when all the votes are counted, it shows a higher voting rate than previous elections, because people wanted to make sure that the Arab parties, the Palestinian United Joint List, will not be represented in the parliament in a way that would give it significant strength.PERIES: And in addition, he also fueled those anti-Arab sentiment or anti-Palestinian sentiments here when he days before announced that he would not support a separate Palestinian state.HEVER: Yeah, because Netanyahu has already given his famous Bar-Ilan speech in which he said that he would accept a Palestinian state, a demilitarized Palestinian state, and that was used both by his critics and by his supporters to say that actually he’s compatible with the two-state solution. And he thought that before this election it would be a good chance to make it absolutely clear that he will not allow Palestinians to have their own state. I think this statement is beautiful, actually, I think it’s very good that he made that statement, first of all because it completely exposes the fact that there is no peace process, there is no two sides negotiating. This is just a state of occupation. Israel has no intention of recognizing the rights of Palestinians to freedom and independence. And everybody should know that. When the head of state says that openly, I think there is no more room for trying to cast any kind of illusions. The second reason that I find this statement encouraging is that in the history of Netanyahu’s political career, he has never made a single statement which didn’t turn out to be a lie. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I think when reality’s ridiculous, we have no choice but to acknowledge it. Every statement Netanyahu makes turns out to be a lie. And when he says he will not allow a Palestinian state, I am becoming quite encouraged. I think that we might see some real headway–not that Netanyahu will promote it, not that he would support Palestinians’ struggle for freedom, of course, but that he’s already realizing that when the time comes that Palestinians are going to raise their struggle to the next level with a lot of international support and solidarity, he will not be up to stop them. Everyone in the political system understands that this stage is coming. And that’s one of the reasons why nobody really wanted to challenge Netanyahu so much and there was no real attempt to replace the government with a vision of a different kind of strategy, different kind of political horizon for Israel. And that made it much easier for him to win.PERIES: So let’s look at how the Arab parties did in the election. And what was the Arab voter turnout like?HEVER: Yeah. So what every Israeli knows is that Palestinians are more than 20 percent of the population. There are 120 seats in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. So if all the Palestinians would vote for Palestinian parties–that is not, of course, what happens, because there are people with the political opinions, just like everybody else. But if that would happen, their representation would be 24 seats in the parliament. And yet, in reality we see that these parties only get ten to 12 seats, these Palestinian parties. And the reason for that is indeed that many Palestinians choose to vote for other parties, even for Zionist parties. But also the reason for this is that many Palestinians are very discouraged by the political system in Israel, which they see as an apartheid system in which they have no chance of influencing the political system. So they boycott the elections. They say, we are not going to legitimize the system that maybe gives us the vote, but creates various mechanisms to make sure that we will be completely marginalized and will not have a say in the political reality of Israel. Now, because there is now a new law to increase the minimum percentage for parties to enter the Knesset, the Palestinian parties had no choice but to unite, because otherwise they would all be wiped out by this minimum percentage. So they united. And they said, this is actually opportunity for us to call on the Palestinian people to change their historic tendency to boycott the elections and to vote in larger numbers. And they tried to convince people–especially Palestinian citizens of Israel, but there are also, of course, Jews that vote for this party, and they were expecting to get, to jump from 12 seats maybe as high as 15 seats. So they got 14 in the end. Fourteen is almost as high as what they expected, once seat short. However, what they did not manage to do is to get the second-largest party in the Knesset. It was not very likely that they would have succeeded. But what they thought they could do is, if there would be some kind of unity government between the Zionist Camp and Likud, then they would actually be heading the opposition. And that is a position that in Israel gives you some authority, some influence, to be the head of the opposition. That’s not going to happen, because Netanyahu has no reason now to take the Zionist Camp into his coalition. So the Zionist camp is going to head the opposition. And that puts the Joint List in a very disempowered position there. Now, they’re going to have very little impact within the upcoming Knesset. Now, they can try to have an impact anyway, they can try to use provocative measures and to show their solidarity with the Palestinians living under occupation, for example, and that would get a lot of noise in Israel, in order to try to convince their public that they didn’t make a mistake, but they shouldn’t have boycotted the elections. But if they don’t do that, then I think it’s very likely that many Palestinian voters in Israel would realize that within a Zionist political system, the participation is not going to lead to true equality.PERIES: What are the next steps, Shir, in terms of forming the government immediately and then also moving forward? What are some of the issues that Netanyahu promised his voters that he has to deliver on?HEVER: Well, according to the Israeli political system, the president, who doesn’t have a lot of authority–but in this case he has the right to choose which will be the first party that gets a chance to form the coalition. And traditionally he asks the biggest party. So he’s going to ask Likud. I think that’s quite obvious. And he tried to beg Likud and Zionist Camp to consider a joint coalition together, what is known in Israel is a unity government. I think that’s not going to happen, because the Zionist Camp are not willing to make the sacrifices to pay the price that Netanyahu will demand of them. And it will be rather easy for Netanyahu to assemble his coalition using parties that are anyway in his pocket and will not have any other options. So Netanyahu is actually going to have, probably, a very stable coalition. He’ll be able to cast aside various centrist parties that might still make demands of him and go for a very religious coalition using right-wing religious parties as the backbone of his coalition and leaving any party that could conceivably be considered a little bit lefty in the opposition. And I think that’s also not very bad, because when you have these lefties in the government, they are used as a fig leaf to try to legitimize the government, especially in the international community. It’s better not to have that. It’s better that everyone will see that the people who run the country are in fact the colonists from the West Bank, the commanders of the army who have attacked Gaza last summer. These are the people who run the country, and everyone should know this. So it’s going to probably be a relatively stable coalition. And, actually, a stable coalition has a very big advantage in terms of everybody living in that area, but it doesn’t have to prove itself. It’s not under a very strong political pressure, internal political pressure, to prove that it does something. So they can basically do nothing. And hopefully that would mean that they will have less of an incentive to start additional wars and additional attacks against Gaza, or if they will start additional attacks against Gaza (because there is a pattern every two years, more or less, Israel does invade Gaza), that they will maybe do it on a smaller scale.PERIES: Shir, I thank you so much for joining us today.HEVER: Thank you for having me, Sharmini.PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
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King Abdullah is being eulogized in the most unrealistic ways possible, from CNN designating him as a “reformer” to Chuck Hagel calling him “a powerful voice for tolerance, moderation and peace — in the Islamic world and across the globe.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin takes the cake, however, by proclaiming that “his smart policy contributed greatly to Middle East stability.” None of these characterizations are true in any way, as Abdullah’s main legacy isn’t one of reform, tolerance, and regional stability, but of destruction, hate, and regional instability. Every contemporary Mideast problem except for the Israel-Palestine issue can be directly traced back to the deceased despot, and in the wake of his death, it’s worth revisiting the legacy of regional chaos that he leaves behind.
The Method Behind The Madness
Before highlighting the chaos that Abdullah unleashed all across the Mideast, it’s necessary to explore the three primary reasons why he decided to do this in the first place:
Abdullah saw a valuable opportunity to promote his Kingdom’s extreme perversion of Islam, the terrorist ideology of Wahhabism, in the aftermath of the US’ War on Iraq in 2003. Although not officially the King until 2005, he had ruled as regent for nearly a decade prior, thereby meaning that Abdullah’s vision was set into motion around the mid-1990s. This gave him the much-needed time to hone Wahhabist institutions and individuals for more effective destabilizing export abroad, which is precisely what began to happen when terrorists took over the anti-US resistance movement in Iraq. The extreme elements that hijacked the movement started focusing more on inciting a sectarian war (previously dormant for centuries) than on battling the American occupiers, which is exactly what Saudi Arabia wanted as part of its pan-regional grand strategy.
The US is Saudi Arabia’s chief ally, hence why Riyadh had an interest in deflecting attacks against its occupation forces and back toward the resistance itself. However, a more sinister strategy was also at play here, and that was the creation of the so-called ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ as a weaponized ideological force against Iran. The Saudis identify the Islamic Republic as being their eternal enemy, and although this was never an objectively foregone conclusion, what is important to emphasize here is that Saudi decision makers hold this mistaken belief and accordingly shape their foreign policy around it.
They have a paranoid idea that majority-Shia Iran wants to harness its influence among its related believers to exert political influence wherever they reside, including in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. Thus, Abdullah figured that the Saudis could ‘strike first’ by manufacturing an artificial ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ in order to ‘justify’ repressions against the Shia in Saudi Arabia and prevent them from attaining power as ‘Iranian proxies’ in Iraq and Bahrain sometime in the future. In countries such as Yemen and Syria where Shia and Shia-affiliated sects constitute an influential minority, the policy was aimed at inciting religious hatred against them in the hopes that they could be eventually relegated to social and political obscurity. Abdullah’s plan was obviously long-term, but given the intensity of the sectarian war that he launched in Iraq and the lessons his intelligence forces gleaned from such activity, his was able to see demonstrable ‘results’ a couple years later after the ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions. Wahhabism flared throughout the Mideast and Shia communities everywhere found themselves in fear of violent sectarian-led attacks. For the Saudis, this was mission accomplished.
The second driving force behind Abdullah’s reign of terror across the Mideast was to spread the influence of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a Saudi-led regional grouping that operates as a multifaceted integrational platform that coordinates military, political, and economic policies. Abdullah’s ambition was to use it as a vehicle for creating regional satellite states, either formally integrated into the organization (such as Bahrain) or living under its military shadow (as it envisioned Yemen to be). Pertaining to Syria and Iraq, Abdullah sought to make them submissive to the GCC’s dictates, in that Syria was unsuccessfully bullied into allowing a gas pipeline to transit its territory (and its subsequent refusal is credited with initiating the war) and Iraq was targeted for trilateral fragmentation so that it could never rival the Saudis again.
Lead From Behind:
Finally, the US understood the regional value that Abdullah’s goals could have for its global grand strategy, and therefore threw all of its weight behind his destabilizing activities. The American vision for adapting to the multipolar world is to delegate zones of regional responsibility to its close allies (or group thereof), and Saudi Arabia is the Lead From Behind partner for the Gulf. The US wants to use the Saudis and their GCC minions as military proxies for any future conflict with Iran, hence why it and its NATO allies are arming them to the teeth. The US seems to have also fallen for Abdullah’s scam of the ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ and his paranoid fears of Iranian interference via this ‘mechanism’, which explains its blind support for the dead ruler’s actions in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Yemen. Instead of the US directly confronting Iran, it simply outsources this responsibility to Saudi Arabia and the GCC, which share the same delusional belief as the US and Israel have about a hidden Iranian hand guiding all sorts of Mideast mischief.
Abdullah’s Hit List
While the story of Pandora’s Box may only be a legend, Abdullah’s Mideast application of it is most certainly not. The former King opened the gates of hell when he unleashed his sectarian war on the masses in an attempt to transform his country into the region’s unrivaled hegemon. Thus, the following should be read as Abdullah’s ‘hit list’:
Abdullah took personal offense to President Assad’s refusal to betray his Iranian allies and kowtow to the Gulf Monarchies, and thus targeted him for elimination. Of course, the US was also planning President Assad’s removal even before then, but this gave Abdullah an even greater reason to work with them to bring his sectarian plans into play in the Levant. He had intended for Syria to be a peripheral satellite of the GCC, but President Assad’s loyalty to his Iranian partners frightened the King and brought about hallucinations of a ‘Shia alliance’ aimed against his country’s interests. Abdullah wasn’t apt enough to identify it for what it properly was – the Axis of Resistance – but instead, given his fixation with Iran, he only saw a sectarian element to it that he became obsessed with destroying. Since Iraq stood between the two and happened to be run by Maliki (a Shiite) at the time, the Saudis instinctively began plans for sucking them into the oncoming destabilization by restarting the sectarian civil war that previously devastated the country.
For a while, it seemed like Iraq would successfully resist the Saudi-inspired destabilization that was ravaging Syria, since Maliki’s strong arm kept everything together between his country’s Sunni and Shia citizens. However, that was not to last, as ISIL began its massive surge across the Syrian border and into Iraq last summer, whereby it acquired unimaginable territorial conquests in an extremely short period of time. This was the final aspect of Abdullah’s northern-directed foreign policy, since he ultimately succeeded in having the Wahhabist militants destabilize Iraq and reignite the sectarian war, which in turn led to Maliki’s soft-coup removal from power and the country’s de-facto fragmentation into three identity-dominated entities.
This small island country was actually Abdullah’s first geopolitical victim, since he ordered the Saudi military to intervene there upon the urgent request of its monarchy. The Shiite majority had been rising up against the Sunni-minority royals and demanding democratic representation and more rights, in a scenario that Abdullah could not refrain from viewing in sectarian (read: ‘Iranian conspiracy’) terms. Nonetheless, Abdullah wasn’t successful in putting down the people’s resistance to their rulers (despite dozens of deaths and hundreds of torture allegations), which still continues to this day amidst an ever-stringent crackdown on the opposition.
Finally, Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbor wasn’t spared from Abdullah’s militant ambitions, although it experienced them in a different way. Given that Yemen is the geopolitical Achilles’ heel of the Kingdom, large-scale destabilization there poses the high risk of spilling over the border and boomeranging back into Saudi Arabia, hence Abdullah’s reluctance for all-out conflict there on par with Syria. Also, the government there was favorably affiliated with the Saudis and comfortably kept under their thumb. However, Abdullah’s obsession over sectarianism meant that he continued to view the Shiite Houthis in the north as proxy agents of Iranian influence, and he was paranoid that if they were able to create a more inclusive and democratic government, then Saudi Arabia might be left with a hostile state on its borders.
When the Houthis rebelled against President Hadi’s GCC-approved plan to arbitrarily federalize the country into six units and dilute their already miniscule representation, the government was forced to concede to a UN-mediated power-sharing agreement. The thing is, that was all just a time-buying ploy, whereby the Saudis sought to retain their man in Sanaa while finding a way to slowly destroy the Houthis. When they finally ordered Hadi to backtrack on the agreement and carry out a pro-Saudi coup, everything disastrously fell to pieces and Riyadh’s agent in Yemen stepped down from the presidency. This left the Houthis as the only real political force still active in the country, which in turn exacerbated Saudi Arabia’s fears of an Iranian conspiracy. Yemen is now on the cusp of a greater conflict, as the Kingdom, convinced of a hidden Iranian hand behind its monstrously failed coup attempt, desperately contemplates its next power move along its vulnerable and exposed southern border.
Bonus – The Hitman:
Last but not least, Abdullah, following the template of his American advisors, also sought to outsource some of his country’s regional activity to a degree, ergo the creation of ISIL. Although they deny it, the Saudis created it and were absolutely instrumental in helping the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization come to power. So important has ISIL been to achieving Saudi objectives in Syria and Iraq that it can even be said to function as the ‘hitman’ taking out the members of Abdullah’s ‘hit list’. However, just like with any mercenary gunman, the Wahhbist Frankenstein might finally be turning on its masters, which would present an ironic twist of fate for Abdullah’s lasting legacy.
As the mainstream media shamelessly ‘mourns’ Abdullah’s passing, millions of his victims across the Mideast are celebrating the death of what they rightfully view to have been the world’s number one terrorist. Never before in modern times has one man had such a wide-ranging effect of death and destruction across the region. Bush’s War on Iraq may have been indirectly responsible ending the lives of between half a million to one million Iraqis, but one needs to be reminded that most of the violent deaths that occurred weren’t perpetrated by Americans (although that definitely doesn’t excuse them), but by anti-government/occupation forces and ‘unknown actors’ (read: Saudi-supported sectarian terrorists).
The salient point is that Abdullah’s brainchild, the artificial ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’, cooked up in order to advance his Kingdom’s Wahhabism, spread the GCC’s power, and (as he saw it) supposedly contain and rollback Iran, has resulted in countless deaths that the mainstream media never attributed to him, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of casualties and millions of displaced people due to the Saudi-sponsored War on Syria. This weaponized ideology doesn’t seem set to stop killing for quite some time (if at all), and since it has already proven the capability to outlive its creator, it should deservedly be attributed as Abdullah’s actual legacy.
About the author:
Andrew Korybko is the political analyst and journalist for Sputnik who currently lives and studies in Moscow, exclusively for ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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The way our electoral process now stands, electronic voting machines guarantee a Republican victory in 2016.
No matter what she does, Hillary Clinton – or any other Democratic nominee – cannot be elected without a fundamental change in the basic mechanics of how our votes are cast and counted.
It is a profoundly disturbing reality that casts a long shadow over all that’s wrong with our electoral system, no matter who one favors for public office.
Just 15 years after the theft of the 2000 election, the Democrats have finally begun to talk about voter rights and various methods to guarantee public access to the polls.
But for a non-Republican to win the White House in 2016, one of two virtually impossible things must happen: The Democrat must win by absolutely indisputable margins far beyond simple majorities – 10 percent or more – in the key states whose electronic tallies will swing the Electoral College.
Or the nation must find and accept a way to guarantee a reliable vote count immune to electronic manipulation by those who control the voting apparatus in each state, meaning the governors and secretaries of state.
At this point, it’s hard to see either happening.
Today, there are 24 states where both the governor and secretary of state are Republicans. These include Florida and Ohio, where rigged vote counts put George W. Bush in the White House in 2000 and 2004. In both states, the presidential election was decided by governors and secretaries of state in control of the voting process and final vote count. In Florida in 2000, that was Bush’s brother Jeb; in Ohio in 2004, it was Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, co-chair of the Buckeye committee to re-elect Bush and Cheney.
In 2016, additional key swing states with both governors and secretaries of state from the GOP include Michigan, Iowa, Nevada and Arizona, among many others.
No significant reforms have been put in place to prevent the theft of another presidential election. Quite the opposite. Since the 2000 Bush-Gore fiasco and the Help America Vote Act that followed, electronic voting machines have spread throughout the country. Election results in a wide range of federal, state and local contests have been extremely suspect, and there’s no reason to believe 2016 will be any different – except to get worse.
Indeed, the Koch brothers and their fellow mega-billionaires have proudly announced their willingness to spend as much money as it takes to buy the White House. The Democrats do have corporate backers, but are not likely to win the 2016 money game, at least not to an extent that would allow them to crack the states where the GOP controls the voting machines.
Citizens United, McCutcheon and other key Supreme Court decisions have guaranteed that the corporate super-rich are free to pour in as much cash as they need to control electoral campaigns. There is no doubt that in 2016 cash will flow beyond all means of calculation.
At least some of that GOP cash will guarantee that electronic voting machines in key states are rigged again.
Remember that in Florida in 2000, former Gov. Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State Katherine Harris used computerized electronic registration fraud to eliminate tens of thousands of votes by people of color in an election decided for Bush’s brother by less than 600 votes.
In Volusia County, the vote count fluctuated with electronic manipulation at key hours of the evening. George W. Bush’s true tally remains a mystery. What’s known is that he lost the general election by more than 500,000 votes, but somehow won the Electoral College.
In 2004, all projected estimates at 12:20 am election night showed Bush losing Ohio, which would have given John Kerry the presidency.
But a series of “glitches” mysteriously shut the data flow coming from the basement of the Old Pioneer Bank Building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The server bank there had been contracted to do the vote compilation by Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. The servers in that basement also housed the emails of Karl Rove and the Republican Party. (The Bush family IT specialist in charge, Michael Connell, was deposed a day before Election Day 2008, then died in a mysterious small plane crash a month later.)
By 2 am, when the data flow somehow resumed, Bush was declared the winner. The vote margins had done a legendary flip of more than 6 percent, a virtual statistical impossibility, especially when combined with “magical” flips in at least seven other swing states that decided the election.
Nothing has been done to improve the situation in Ohio. A federal court decision required election officials to deliver the 2004 ballots and voting records to a single repository so they could be re-examined. The court order was ignored by 56 of the state’s 88 counties, which destroyed the records, making a recount impossible. No arrests were made. To this day there has been no definitive confirmation of the highly contested ballots that gave George W. Bush his second term. And both computerized poll books and electronic voting machines have proliferated even further throughout the state.
In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama won by big enough margins to get him by. Thousands of volunteers inundated ballot centers to monitor what was going on. Without them, John McCain and Mitt Romney would have become president.
But numerous Senate, House and other races were clearly swung electronically. That includes three US Senate races in 2014 that gave the GOP its current illegitimate margin in the upper house of Congress. Serious questions must be asked about the alleged re-election of Gov. Rick Scott, which has put him in charge of the Florida vote count next year.
Not one major Democratic candidate has raised a serious legal challenge based on these electronic “anomalies.”
So today there is no meaningful independent apparatus in place to credibly examine the electronic presidential ballot tally. And it’s not likely Team Koch will allow what happened for Obama in 2008 and 2012 to be repeated.
A single strategic IT manipulator virtually anywhere could swing the 2016 election with just a few keystrokes perpetrated in less than a minute.
After years of utterly ignoring the issue of voter rights, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats seem to have vaguely awakened. They’re now raising demands about early voting and other steps in the process long familiar to the election protection movement.
But she and the Democrats have not touched the issue of electronic voting or accountability.
Source codes remain “proprietary,” so the public has no control over the private machines on which our allegedly democratic elections are conducted. There is no usable paper trail, transparency or accountability.
We are concerned that all voters get fair access to the polls, and all votes are fairly counted, no matter who the candidate. We have no doubt the Democratic Party would be just as willing to flip elections from Republicans as vice versa, and that both have, can and will do the same to the Green Party and other challengers.
So we support universal hand-counted paper ballots, automatic universal voter registration, a four-day national holiday for voting, major restrictions on campaign spending and a wide range of additional reforms meant to guarantee some kind of democracy in the United States.
We are happy to have Clinton and the Democrats finally begin to address some of these issues. But it’s nowhere near enough.
Guaranteed voter registration and ballot access are meaningful only if they feed into a system that produces a reliable vote count.
That does not include easily corrupted electronic machines.
Do we really think the Kochs and their ilk would spend billions to sway our elections without throwing in some pocket change to flip the final tally? Especially in states where they already own both the governor and the secretary of state?
From Al Gore to John Kerry to Daily Kos and beyond, the Democrats have been utterly unwilling to face this reality.
If they don’t, we can ready ourselves for Hillary’s concession speech.
And for a final goodbye to even the illusion that our electoral process has any real meaning.
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman’s next book Election Theft Is the Fourth Jim Crow: How the GOP Can Buy, Rig, Steal and Lynch the Presidency in 2016 will be published prior to the next vote count. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for more information and support.
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According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper. In advance of the paper’s publication, a harsh note of protest has been sent to Berlin: The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, Alexei Puschkow, has posted the Twitter message: ‘The decision of the German government declaring Russia to be an enemy shows Merkel’s subservience to the Obama administration.’”
Back on February 17th, DWN had reported that German Chancellor Merkel “will develop a new military doctrine” declaring, “The ‘annexation’ of Crimea by Russia is the basis for military action against Moscow.” Apparently, that prior report will soon be fulfilled.
Not mentioned in the DWN articles — nor anywhere in Western ‘news’ media — is a crucial fact, that the head of America’s ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor acknowledged only when addressing a Russian-speaking audience: that (in English) the overthrow of Ukraine’s President in Russia’s neighboring nation of Ukraine during February 2014 was “the most blatant coup in history.” Extensive video documentation exists demonstrating that it was a coup, and even demonstrating that the Obama Administration had selected Ukraine’s post-coup leader 22 days prior to his being formally appointed by the Ukrainian parliament. Furthermore, the only detailed scholarly study of the evidence that has been performed came to the same conclusion — that it was a U.S. coup. The last month before the coup was incredibly violent, with Obama’s hired fascists attacking the government’s securitly forces brutally:
Here is some of the bloodshed from the prior month, on January 21st, then January 22nd, then January 25th.Moreover, immediately after the overthrow, when the EU sent its own investigator into Kiev to report back on how the overthrow had taken place, he too reported that it had been a coup. Subsequently revealed was that the Obama Administration had started preparing the coup inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev by no later than 1 March 2013 — almost a year prior to the coup. Also, the even earlier preparation for the coup, extending through decades, on the part of CIA-affiliated ‘nonprofit’ or NGO organizations (funded by Western aristocrats and their corporations), laying the groundwork for this coup, has been brilliantly documented at some onlinesites.
None of this information has been widely published — it’s virtually not at all published in the West. Though the potential audience for it might be vast (especially since Western publics pay much of the tab for this operation and yet receive none of the benefits from the resultant looting of Ukraine, which goes all to aristocrats in the U.S. and allied aristocracies), the market in the West for reporting it, is virtually nil, because the market is the West’s news media, and they’ve all (except for a few small ones like this) been taken over by the aristocracy, and serve the aristocracy — notthe public (their audiences, whom they’re in business to deceive). The aristocracy’s companies advertise in, and thereby fund, most of those ‘news’ media, and the aristocracy’s governments fund the rest — and the public pays for that, too, not just by being manipulated to vote for the aristocracy’s politicians, but by being taxed to pay what the NGOs and their aristocrats don’t (so the public are buying the weapons etc.). It’s a vast money-funnel from the many, to the few.
Though the transfer of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia is treated by Western ‘news’ media as having been a ‘conquest’ by Russia, and as being Russia’s ‘seizure’ of Crimea, and Russia’s ‘stealing’ Crimea, nothing of the sort is true (and Crimeans had good reason to be terrified of the Obama-coup regime that had just been installed, from which Russia saved Crimeans), but the lie needs to be promulgated in order for the aristocracy’s invasion of Russia to be able to organized and carried out.
Unfortunately, the reason why this U.S. coup in Ukraine has still not been reported in the West, is that to make it public to Westerners would jeopardize not only the Western economic sanctions against Russia after Russia accepted the overwhelming decision by Crimeans to separate from the post-coup Ukrainian government, but would also jeopardize the preparations by all of NATO to go to war against Russia: both the sanctions and the invasion would have no basis and no support among Western publics. All of that (the sanctions, and now the pouring of troops and weapons onto and near Russia’s borders for a possible invasion of Russia) would no longer be at all palatable by Western publics, if this history — that it all began by a violent U.S. coup in Ukraine — were to become known before the U.S. and NATO invasion occurs. So it all remains, instead, suppressed in the ‘democratic’ West.
So: please email this article’s URL address (which is immediately above this article), to friends, so as to spread to them the word, that NATO is preparing an invasion of Russia. There’s no way that the ‘news’ media they see are likely to tell them (until it’s already too late).
About the author:
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
Source: personal author’s blog
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It’s that time of year again – when Britain’s “poppy fascism” dominates public life. Television presenters are perhaps the most conspicuous exponents, whereby the paper facsimile of the little red flower must be donned on all lapels.
It may seem innocuous, but there is a disturbing authoritarianism to the increasing custom. Those who don’t wear the symbol commemorating Britain’s war dead are liable to be castigated and abused for being “traitors”.
The BBC is a classic example. The publicly owned state broadcaster says that its presenters and reporters have the option of not wearing the red poppy. But in practice such is the peer pressure and jingoistic mood of modern Britain that all BBC staff will have to conform to a personal display of the red floral tribute. Bet on it.
Some brave television figures refuse to go along with the established “norm”. It was Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow who coined the phrase “poppy fascism” a few years ago when he was publicly berated by BBC journalists and other media outlets for refusing to don the flower during his nightly broadcasts. It remains to be seen if the Channel 4 news anchor will this year cave to public pressure – a pressure which seems to be growing every year.Ever since 1919, Britain and its Commonwealth states, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand hold Remembrance Day on November 11.
It marks the armistice of the First World War in 1918. The first commemoration was held by Britain’s King George V who wore a red poppy, thus inaugurating a tradition that continues to this day. The delicate flower was commonly seen on the battlefields of Belgium and France and came to symbolise the millions of soldiers killed during the four-year-old war.
Across Britain, Remembrance Day is marked by sombre ceremonies in towns and cities during which poppy wreathes are laid at war memorials. The biggest event is held at the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall. Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister David Cameron and other political leaders will be among the chief dignitaries, along with senior members of Britain’s armed forces.
So what, you may ask, is objectionable about Britain’s annual Remembrance?
In its early observance, the event was indeed a momentous mourning for the millions who died in the First World War. It was an occasion to vow “never again” should mankind be plagued with such horror.
However, the massive demonstration of grieving and repudiation of war has since given way to an obscene glorification of war. The danger of such co-option was there from the beginning when King George V led the first Remembrance Day. For the British monarch – whose cousins included Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II and other European aristocrats – personified the basic background to the conflict. It was an imperialist squabble that exploded into a conflagration that consumed up to 18 million ordinary civilians among the warring nations.
From the very outset therefore, the British commemoration was an opportune way to rehabilitate the monarch and the state’s ruling class who had largely precipitated the war, along with their European elites.It is a heinous indictment that only two decades after the end of the First World War, the world would be plunged into an even greater conflagration of the Second World War, which resulted in nearly 80 million dead – more than four-fold more. The subsequent war had its antecedents in the imperialist rivalries of the first. Why a second more terrible war should happen was because the war-making imperialist state apparatus had never been held to account. The British rulers were able to deftly reinvent themselves in the eyes of their public as “victors” instead of being seen, as they should have been, as warmongering villains.
To be fair to honourable exceptions, many genuine anti-war Britons were aware of the disgraceful and dangerous co-option by the ruling class. During the 1920s, a movement began which saw war remembrances conducted with white poppies, instead of the red ones that came to be associated with the official event. White poppies are still worn to this day and that tradition has been reinvigorated by campaign groups like Stop the War Coalition.
Nevertheless, Britain has become a discernibly more jingoistic country in which the red poppy has taken on an Orwellian symbolism. Television presenters are dragooned into wearing it, schools and workplace are expected to display it. It has become a badge of loyalty to the state, and those who decline to wear the poppy are fingered as treacherous or disrespectful to “our troops”.
A major cause of the cultural shift is that Britain has become a more warmongering state over the past 20 years. True, it was always a belligerent state, playing the bulldog role to the more powerful and even more warmongering United States.
But former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s criminal partnership with Washington in invading Afghanistan and Iraq has unleashed a virtual permanent state of war. British troops are still stationed in Afghanistan and will be for at least another year. Blair’s warmongering has been continued by David Cameron who launched NATO strikes on Libya in 2011 and who is moving to deploy British warplanes to bomb Syria – without the consent of the Syrian government.
When Cameron joins Queen Elizabeth in laying wreathes at the Cenotaph in London, they will be followed in their footsteps by former British prime ministers, including Tony Blair. Together, they will be honouring not only the dead of the First World War, but British veterans who took part in all subsequent wars, including the destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and countless other colonial wars in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Britain’s dirty war in Northern Ireland will also be exonerated.In other words, this is not a solemn regret for the dead or for war.
Not a bit of it. It is the warmongering British capitalist state apparatus indulging in an exercise of sanitising Britain’s history of illegal wars, including its present role in Syria. It deifies the war criminal class, which is then “authorised” to keep repeating its crimes. If that’s not fascism, then what is?
Britain’s official war commemoration is certainly not a fitting tribute to victims of war. Because if it were then there would a commitment to stopping wars. But as history shows, Britain’s warmongering has proliferated over the years. That in turn is because the upper echelons of British class society use war commemorations as a cloak to hide their vile belligerence.
A fitting Remembrance Day would be for British citizens to call for the prosecution of Tony Blair and David Cameron as war criminals.
But when British news channels are falling over themselves to wear red poppies out of unthinking “loyalty” or fear of being labelled traitors – that shows how disturbingly authoritarian and conformist British society has become.
By Finian Cunningham
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik and Democraticus Online.
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The Socialist Party (PS) government has declared a state of emergency and mobilized more than 100,000 security personnel throughout the country, including regular police, gendarmes, paramilitary riot police and military forces. It is impossible to walk the streets of any major city without running into individuals decked out in camouflage or dressed in black, toting automatic rifles. These paramilitary forces have been given the power to raid any home and arrest or kill anyone declared a threat, with no opposition from within the political or media establishment.
Now Hollande is proposing to amend the French Constitution to allow the president to decree emergency rule, extendable indefinitely, and vastly expand the powers granted to the army and police. The proposal, published online, provides the legal basis for transforming France into a presidential dictatorship.
The existing 1955 law grants the president and the security forces far-ranging powers during a state of emergency. They can carry out warrantless searches and seizures, impose curfews and ban public assemblies, detain and order the house arrest of anyone “whose activity proves dangerous to security and public order,” and dissolve any organization linked to people under house arrest that “participates in, facilitates or incites” disturbances of public order.
The changes introduced by the Socialist Party’s constitutional amendment make the law even more ominous. President Hollande has declared that he intends to renew it as long as France faces a threat from any terrorist group similar to ISIS, i.e., for an indefinite period of time.
An examination of the amendment makes clear, however, that the measures are not about fighting ISIS, which in any case emerged from the NATO powers’ own policy of sponsoring Islamist militias as proxy forces to wage war for regime-change in Syria. The horrific attacks in Paris are the pretext for implementing dictatorial measures that cannot be rationally explained by the threat posed by ISIS.
Under the cover of fighting ISIS, the French state is giving itself absolute powers against anyone it calls a threat to “security and public order.” This vague, all-embracing category has long been used against the constitutionally-protected right to strike and protest—as in the Socialist Party’s decision last year to ban protests against the Israeli state’s war in Gaza.
The legal changes introduced by the PS document effectively make any expression of oppositional sentiment potential grounds for arrest. Instead of allowing police to detain persons whose “activity proves dangerous for public security and order,” the amended law allows them to detain anyone “who gives reason to believe that his behavior constitutes a threat to security and public order.” The PS explains that this allows police to target “people who attracted the attention of police or intelligence services by their behavior, friendships, statements, or plans.”
The implications of these proposals are immense. To arrest and detain someone, police will have to do no more than assert that they believe that this person might conceivably disturb public order at some future time, based on something this person said or posted on social media, or on someone with whom he associated.
A statement suggesting sympathy with calls for strike action against a wage cut or factory closure, for a protest against war, or for any number of legal activities would be grounds for detention and house arrest.
It is worth recalling that the law the PS is now proposing to expand was drafted in 1955 to provide the legal framework for France to carry out mass torture and repression in a failed attempt to crush the Algerian people’s struggle for independence in the 1954-1962 war against French colonial rule. This brutal war cost the lives of between 250,000 and 400,000 Algerians. It anticipated and fed into deep social tensions within France that erupted in the general strike of May-June 1968.
The current moves to effectively dismantle democratic rights in France are motivated by a similar crisis of class rule. First, as its ultimately unsuccessful attempt to ban last year’s Gaza war protests showed, the PS government is desperate to suppress all opposition to the militarist policies of French imperialism. In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, Hollande has moved rapidly to expand France’s bombing campaign in Syria, part of the efforts of the French ruling class to assert its interests on a world stage.
Second, bourgeois democracy can no longer handle and adjudicate the immense and increasingly uncontrollable social tensions of contemporary capitalist society. In all of the advanced capitalist countries, including France, the state is controlled by tiny, super-wealthy elites who view rising discontent among broad masses of workers with hatred and fear.
The Hollande government epitomizes the domination of the financial aristocracy. Elected on promises that “austerity was not our destiny,” Hollande soon proved to be a pro-austerity politician presiding over surging unemployment and a “zero growth” economy.
The PS turned to a strategy of trying to divert social opposition to reactionary domestic policies by means of a foreign policy based on militarism and war. As Hollande launched a war in Mali in 2013, one official told Le Point that the PS hoped it would be their version of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Falkland Islands war: a “military adventure that ensured her re-election in 1983.” Wars across France’s old colonial empire, however, have only contributed to the growing social tensions within France.
The political dynamic in France is mirrored in every major capitalist country. Since the “war on terror” began in 2001, governments throughout the world, led by the United States, have sought to erode and dismantle basic democratic rights. They have participated in the “extraordinary rendition” of prisoners for torture, mass warrantless wiretapping and extra-judicial drone murder. The domestic deployment of heavily-armed military units is now common.
From the police suppression of the 2011 youth riots in London to last year’s heavily-armed crackdown on protests against the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, these measures are ever more clearly directed at the suppression of class struggle.
There is virtually no constituency for the defense of democratic rights within the political or corporate establishment. That task falls to the working class, which retains a deep commitment to democratic principles. However, there is no room for political complacency. The ruling class is moving very far with dictatorial measures to deal with internal crises for which it has no solution.
The defense of democratic rights and opposition to police-state forms of rule must be rooted in the independent political mobilization of the working class, based on a struggle against imperialist war and social inequality and their source in the capitalist system.
By Alex Lantier
Original source of the article: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/11/19/pers-n19.html
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The Democratic Party has moved from being what you might call a reluctant war party to an aggressive war party with its selection of Hillary Clinton as its presumptive presidential nominee. With minimal debate, this historic change brings full circle the arc of the party’s anti-war attitudes that began in 1968 and have now ended in 2016.
Since the Vietnam War, the Democrats have been viewed as the more peaceful of the two major parties, with the Republicans often attacking Democratic candidates as “soft” regarding use of military force.
But former Secretary of State Clinton has made it clear that she is eager to use military force to achieve “regime change” in countries that get in the way of U.S. desires. She abides by neoconservative strategies of violent interventions especially in the Middle East and she strikes a belligerent posture as well toward nuclear-armed Russia and, to a lesser extent, China.
Amid the celebrations about picking the first woman as a major party’s presumptive nominee, Democrats appear to have given little thought to the fact that they have abandoned a near half-century standing as the party more skeptical about the use of military force. Clinton is an unabashed war hawk who has shown no inclination to rethink her pro-war attitudes.
As a U.S. senator from New York, Clinton voted for and avidly supported the Iraq War, only cooling her enthusiasm in 2006 when it became clear that the Democratic base had turned decisively against the war and her hawkish position endangered her chances for the 2008 presidential nomination, which she lost to Barack Obama, an Iraq War opponent.
However, to ease tensions with the Clinton wing of the party, Obama selected Clinton to be his Secretary of State, one of the first and most fateful decisions of his presidency. He also kept on George W. Bush’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates and neocon members of the military high command, such as Gen. David Petraeus.
This “Team of Rivals” – named after Abraham Lincoln’s initial Civil War cabinet – ensured a powerful bloc of pro-war sentiment, which pushed Obama toward more militaristic solutions than he otherwise favored, notably the wasteful counterinsurgency “surge” in Afghanistan in 2009 which did little beyond get another 1,000 U.S. soldiers killed and many more Afghans.
Clinton was a strong supporter of that “surge” – and Gates reported in his memoir that she acknowledged only opposing the Iraq War “surge” in 2007 for political reasons. Inside Obama’s foreign policy councils, Clinton routinely took the most neoconservative positions, such as defending a 2009 coup in Honduras that ousted a progressive president.
Clinton also sabotaged early efforts to work out an agreement in which Iran surrendered much of its low-enriched uranium, including an initiative in 2010 organized at Obama’s request by the leaders of Brazil and Turkey. Clinton sank that deal and escalated tensions with Iran along the lines favored by Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a Clinton favorite.
Pumping for War in Libya
In 2011, Clinton successfully lobbied Obama to go to war against Libya to achieve another “regime change,” albeit cloaked in the more modest goal of establishing only a “no-fly zone” to “protect civilians.”
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had claimed he was battling jihadists and terrorists who were building strongholds around Benghazi, but Clinton and her State Department underlings accused him of slaughtering civilians and (in one of the more colorful lies used to justify the war) distributing Viagra to his troops so they could rape more women.
Despite resistance from Russia and China, the United Nations Security Council fell for the deception about protecting civilians. Russia and China agreed to abstain from the vote, giving Clinton her “no-fly zone.” Once that was secured, however, the Obama administration and several European allies unveiled their real plan, to destroy the Libyan army and pave the way for the violent overthrow of Gaddafi.
Privately, Clinton’s senior aides viewed the Libyan “regime change” as a chance to establish what they called the “Clinton Doctrine” on using “smart power” with plans for Clinton to rush to the fore and claim credit once Gaddafi was ousted. But that scheme failed when President Obama grabbed the limelight after Gaddafi’s government collapsed.
But Clinton would not be denied her second opportunity to claim the glory when jihadist rebels captured Gaddafi on Oct. 20, 2011, sodomized him with a knife and then murdered him. Hearing of Gaddafi’s demise, Clinton went into a network interview and declared, “we came, we saw, he died” and clapped her hands in glee.
Clinton’s glee was short-lived, however. Libya soon descended into chaos with Islamic extremists gaining control of large swaths of the country. On Sept. 11, 2012, jihadists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American personnel. It turned out Gaddafi had been right about the nature of his enemies.
Undaunted by the mess in Libya, Clinton made similar plans for Syria where again she marched in lock-step with the neocons and their “liberal interventionist” sidekicks in support of another violent “regime change,” ousting the Assad dynasty, a top neocon/Israeli goal since the 1990s.
Clinton pressed Obama to escalate weapons shipments and training for anti-government rebels who were deemed “moderate” but in reality collaborated closely with radical Islamic forces, including Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise) and some even more extreme jihadists (who coalesced into the Islamic State).
Again, Clinton’s war plans were cloaked in humanitarian language, such as the need to create a “safe zone” inside Syria to save civilians. But her plans would have required a major U.S. invasion of a sovereign country, the destruction of its air force and much of its military, and the creation of conditions for another “regime change.”
In the case of Syria, however, Obama resisted the pressure from Clinton and other hawks inside his own administration. The President did approve some covert assistance to the rebels and allowed Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Gulf states to do much more, but he did not agree to an outright U.S.-led invasion to Clinton’s disappointment.
Clinton finally left the Obama administration at the start of his second term in 2013, some say voluntarily and others say in line with Obama’s desire to finally move ahead with serious negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and to apply more pressure on Israel to reach a long-delayed peace settlement with the Palestinians. Secretary of State John Kerry was willing to do some of the politically risky work that Clinton was not.
Many on the Left deride Obama as “Obomber” and mock his hypocritical acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. And there is no doubt that Obama has waged war his entire presidency, bombing at least seven countries by his own count. But the truth is that he has generally been among the most dovish members of his administration, advocating a “realistic” (or restrained) application of American power. By contrast, Clinton was among the most hawkish senior officials.
A major testing moment for Obama came in August 2013 after a sarin gas attack outside Damascus, Syria, that killed hundreds of Syrians and that the State Department and the mainstream U.S. media immediately blamed on the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
There was almost universal pressure inside Official Washington to militarily enforce Obama’s “red line” against Assad using chemical weapons. Amid this intense momentum toward war, it was widely assumed that Obama would order a harsh retaliatory strike against the Syrian military. But U.S. intelligence and key figures in the U.S. military smelled a rat, a provocation carried out by Islamic extremists to draw the United States into the Syrian war on their side.
At the last minute and at great political cost to himself, Obama listened to the doubts of his intelligence advisers and called off the attack, referring the issue to the U.S. Congress and then accepting a Russian-brokered deal in which Assad surrendered all his chemical weapons though continuing to deny a role in the sarin attack.
Eventually, the sarin case against Assad would collapse. Only one rocket was found to have carried sarin and it had a very limited range placing its firing position likely within rebel-controlled territory. But Official Washington’s conventional wisdom never budged. To this day, politicians and pundits denounce Obama for not enforcing his “red line.”
There’s little doubt, however, what Hillary Clinton would have done. She has been eager for a much more aggressive U.S. military role in Syria since the civil war began in 2011. Much as she used propaganda and deception to achieve “regime change” in Libya, she surely would have done the same in Syria, embracing the pretext of the sarin attack – “killing innocent children” – to destroy the Syrian military even if the rebels were the guilty parties.
Still Lusting for War
Indeed, during the 2016 campaign – in those few moments that have touched on foreign policy – Clinton declared that as President she would order the U.S. military to invade Syria. “Yes, I do still support a no-fly zone,” she said during the April 14 debate. She also wants a “safe zone” that would require seizing territory inside Syria.
But no one should be gullible enough to believe that Clinton’s invasion of Syria would stop at a “safe zone.” As with Libya, once the camel’s nose was into the tent, pretty soon the animal would be filling up the whole tent.
Perhaps even scarier is what a President Clinton would do regarding Iran and Ukraine, two countries where belligerent U.S. behavior could start much bigger wars.
For instance, would President Hillary Clinton push the Iranians so hard – in line with what Netanyahu favors – that they would renounce the nuclear deal and give Clinton an excuse to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran?
In Ukraine, would Clinton escalate U.S. military support for the post-coup anti-Russian Ukrainian government, encouraging its forces to annihilate the ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine and to “liberate” the people of Crimea from “Russian aggression” (though they voted by 96 percent to leave the failed Ukrainian state and rejoin Russia)?
Would President Clinton expect the Russians to stand down and accept these massacres? Would she take matters to the next level to demonstrate how tough she can be against Russian President Vladimir Putin whom she has compared to Hitler? Might she buy into the latest neocon dream of achieving “regime change” in Moscow? Would she be wise enough to recognize how dangerous such instability could be?
Of course, one would expect that all of Clinton’s actions would be clothed in the crocodile tears of “humanitarian” warfare, starting wars to “save the children” or to stop the evil enemy from “raping defenseless girls.” The truth of such emotional allegations would be left for the post-war historians to try to sort out. In the meantime, President Clinton would have her wars.
Having covered Washington for nearly four decades, I always marvel at how selective concerns for human rights can be. When “friendly” civilians are dying, we are told that we have a “responsibility to protect,” but when pro-U.S. forces are slaughtering civilians of an adversary country or movement, reports of those atrocities are dismissed as “enemy propaganda” or ignored altogether. Clinton is among the most cynical in this regard.
But the larger picture for the Democrats is that they have just adopted an extraordinary historical reversal whether they understand it or not. They have replaced the Republicans as the party of aggressive war, though clearly many Republicans still dance to the neocon drummer just as Clinton and “liberal interventionists” do. Still, Donald Trump, for all his faults, has adopted a relatively peaceful point of view, especially in the Mideast and with Russia.
While today many Democrats are congratulating themselves for becoming the first major party to make a woman the presumptive nominee, they may soon have to decide whether that distinction justifies putting an aggressive war hawk in the White House. In a way, the issue is an old one for Democrats, whether “identity politics” or anti-war policies are more important.
At least since 1968 and the chaotic Democratic convention in Chicago, the party has advanced, sometimes haltingly, those two agendas, pushing for broader rights for all and seeking to restrain the nation’s militaristic impulses.
In the 1970s, Democrats largely repudiated the Vietnam War while the Republicans waved the flag and equated anti-war positions with treason. By the 1980s and early 1990s, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were making war fun again – Grenada, Afghanistan, Panama and the Persian Gulf, all relatively low-cost conflicts with victorious conclusions.
By the 1990s, Bill Clinton (along with Hillary Clinton) saw militarism as just another issue to be triangulated. With the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Clinton-42 administration saw the opportunity for more low-cost tough-guy/gal-ism – continuing a harsh embargo and periodic air strikes against Iraq (causing the deaths of a U.N.-estimated half million children); blasting Serbia into submission over Kosovo; and expanding NATO to the east toward Russia’s borders.
But Bill Clinton did balk at the more extreme neocon ideas, such as the one from the Project for the New American Century for a militarily enforced “regime change” in Iraq. That had to wait for George W. Bush in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. As a New York senator, Hillary Clinton made sure she was onboard for war on Iraq just as she sided with Israel’s pummeling of Lebanon and the Palestinians in Gaza.
Hillary Clinton was taking triangulation to an even more acute angle as she sided with virtually every position of the Netanyahu government in Israel and moved in tandem with the neocons as they cemented their control of Washington’s foreign policy establishment. Her only brief flirtation with an anti-war position came in 2006 when her political advisers informed her that her continued support for Bush’s Iraq War would doom her in the Democratic presidential race.
But she let her hawkish plumage show again as Obama’s Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 – and once she felt she had the 2016 Democratic race in hand (after her success in the southern primaries) she pivoted back to her hard-line positions in full support of Israel and in a full-throated defense of her war on Libya, which she still won’t view as a failure.
The smarter neocons are already lining up to endorse Clinton, especially given Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party and his disdain for neocon strategies that he views as simply spreading chaos around the globe. As The New York Times has reported, Clinton is “the vessel into which many interventionists are pouring their hopes.”
Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the neocon Project for the new American Century, has endorsed Clinton, saying “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy. If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon.”]
So, by selecting Clinton, the Democrats have made a full 360-degree swing back to the pre-1968 days of the Vietnam War. After nearly a half century of favoring a more peaceful foreign policy – and somewhat less weapons spending – than the Republicans, the Democrats are America’s new aggressive war party.
[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Would a Clinton Win Mean More Wars?’]
By Robert Parry
About the author:
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
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In the night of July 16-17, 1918, a squad of Bolshevik secret police murdered Russia’s last emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, along with his wife, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their 14-year-old son, Tsarevich Alexis, and their four daughters. They were cut down in a hail of gunfire in a half-cellar room of the house in Ekaterinburg, a city in the Ural mountain region, where they were being held prisoner. The daughters were finished off with bayonets. To prevent a cult for the dead Tsar, the bodies were carted away to the countryside and hastily buried in a secret grave.
Bolshevik authorities at first reported that the Romanov emperor had been shot after the discovery of a plot to liberate him. For some time the deaths of the Empress and the children were kept secret. Soviet historians claimed for many years that local Bolsheviks had acted on their own in carrying out the killings, and that Lenin, founder of the Soviet state, had nothing to do with the crime.
In 1990, Moscow playwright and historian Edvard Radzinsky announced the result of his detailed investigation into the murders. He unearthed the reminiscences of Lenin’s bodyguard, Alexei Akimov, who recounted how he personally delivered Lenin’s execution order to the telegraph office. The telegram was also signed by Soviet government chief Yakov Sverdlov. Akimov had saved the original telegraph tape as a record of the secret order.1
Radzinsky’s research confirmed what earlier evidence had already indicated. Leon Trotsky — one of Lenin’s closest colleagues — had revealed years earlier that Lenin and Sverdlov had together made the decision to put the Tsar and his family to death. Recalling a conversation in 1918, Trotsky wrote:2
My next visit to Moscow took place after the [temporary] fall of Ekaterinburg [to anti-Communist forces]. Speaking with Sverdlov, I asked in passing: “Oh yes, and where is the Tsar?”
“Finished,” he replied. “He has been shot.”
“And where is the family?”
“The family along with him.”
“All of them?,” I asked, apparently with a trace of surprise.
“All of them,” replied Sverdlov. “What about it?” He was waiting to see my reaction. I made no reply.
“And who made the decision?,” I asked.
“We decided it here. Ilyich [Lenin] believed that we shouldn’t leave the Whites a live banner to rally around, especially under the present difficult circumstances.”
I asked no further questions and considered the matter closed.
Recent research and investigation by Radzinsky and others also corroborates the account provided years earlier by Robert Wilton, correspondent of the London Times in Russia for 17 years. His account, The Last Days of the Romanovs – originally published in 1920, and reissued in 1993 by the Institute for Historical Review — is based in large part on the findings of a detailed investigation carried out in 1919 by Nikolai Sokolov under the authority of “White” (anti-Communist) leader Alexander Kolchak. Wilton’s book remains one of the most accurate and complete accounts of the murder of Russia’s imperial family.3
A solid understanding of history has long been the best guide to comprehending the present and anticipating the future. Accordingly, people are most interested in historical questions during times of crisis, when the future seems most uncertain. With the collapse of Communist rule in the Soviet Union, 1989-1991, and as Russians struggle to build a new order on the ruins of the old, historical issues have become very topical. For example, many ask: How did the Bolsheviks, a small movement guided by the teachings of German-Jewish social philosopher Karl Marx, succeed in taking control of Russia and imposing a cruel and despotic regime on its people?
In recent years, Jews around the world have been voicing anxious concern over the specter of anti-Semitism in the lands of the former Soviet Union. In this new and uncertain era, we are told, suppressed feelings of hatred and rage against Jews are once again being expressed. According to one public opinion survey conducted in 1991, for example, most Russians wanted all Jews to leave the country.4 But precisely why is anti-Jewish sentiment so widespread among the peoples of the former Soviet Union? Why do so many Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians and others blame “the Jews” for so much misfortune?
A Taboo Subject
Although officially Jews have never made up more than five percent of the country’s total population,5 they played a highly disproportionate and probably decisive role in the infant Bolshevik regime, effectively dominating the Soviet government during its early years. Soviet historians, along with most of their colleagues in the West, for decades preferred to ignore this subject. The facts, though, cannot be denied.
With the notable exception of Lenin (Vladimir Ulyanov), most of the leading Communists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews. Leon Trotsky (Lev Bronstein) headed the Red Army and, for a time, was chief of Soviet foreign affairs. Yakov Sverdlov (Solomon) was both the Bolshevik party’s executive secretary and — as chairman of the Central Executive Committee — head of the Soviet government. Grigori Zinoviev (Radomyslsky) headed the Communist International (Comintern), the central agency for spreading revolution in foreign countries. Other prominent Jews included press commissar Karl Radek (Sobelsohn), foreign affairs commissar Maxim Litvinov (Wallach), Lev Kamenev (Rosenfeld) and Moisei Uritsky.6
Lenin himself was of mostly Russian and Kalmuck ancestry, but he was also one-quarter Jewish. His maternal grandfather, Israel (Alexander) Blank, was a Ukrainian Jew who was later baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.7
A thorough-going internationalist, Lenin viewed ethnic or cultural loyalties with contempt. He had little regard for his own countrymen. “An intelligent Russian,” he once remarked, “is almost always a Jew or someone with Jewish blood in his veins.”8
In the Communist seizure of power in Russia, the Jewish role was probably critical.
Two weeks prior to the Bolshevik “October Revolution” of 1917, Lenin convened a top secret meeting in St. Petersburg (Petrograd) at which the key leaders of the Bolshevik party’s Central Committee made the fateful decision to seize power in a violent takeover. Of the twelve persons who took part in this decisive gathering, there were four Russians (including Lenin), one Georgian (Stalin), one Pole (Dzerzhinsky), and six Jews.9
To direct the takeover, a seven-man “Political Bureau” was chosen. It consisted of two Russians (Lenin and Bubnov), one Georgian (Stalin), and four Jews (Trotsky, Sokolnikov, Zinoviev, and Kamenev).10 Meanwhile, the Petersburg (Petrograd) Soviet — whose chairman was Trotsky — established an 18-member “Military Revolutionary Committee” to actually carry out the seizure of power. It included eight (or nine) Russians, one Ukrainian, one Pole, one Caucasian, and six Jews.11 Finally, to supervise the organization of the uprising, the Bolshevik Central Committee established a five-man “Revolutionary Military Center” as the Party’s operations command. It consisted of one Russian (Bubnov), one Georgian (Stalin), one Pole (Dzerzhinsky), and two Jews (Sverdlov and Uritsky).12
Contemporary Voices of Warning
Well-informed observers, both inside and outside of Russia, took note at the time of the crucial Jewish role in Bolshevism. Winston Churchill, for one, warned in an article published in the February 8, 1920, issue of the London Illustrated Sunday Herald that Bolshevism is a “worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality.” The eminent British political leader and historian went on to write:13
There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate, Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek — all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combatting Counter-Revolution [the Cheka] has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses.
Needless to say, the most intense passions of revenge have been excited in the breasts of the Russian people.
David R. Francis, United States ambassador in Russia, warned in a January 1918 dispatch to Washington: “The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90 percent of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution.”14
The Netherlands’ ambassador in Russia, Oudendyke, made much the same point a few months later: “Unless Bolshevism is nipped in the bud immediately, it is bound to spread in one form or another over Europe and the whole world as it is organized and worked by Jews who have no nationality, and whose one object is to destroy for their own ends the existing order of things.”15
“The Bolshevik Revolution,” declared a leading American Jewish community paper in 1920, “was largely the product of Jewish thinking, Jewish discontent, Jewish effort to reconstruct.”16
As an expression of its radically anti-nationalist character, the fledgling Soviet government issued a decree a few months after taking power that made anti-Semitism a crime in Russia. The new Communist regime thus became the first in the world to severely punish all expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment.17 Soviet officials apparently regarded such measures as indispensable. Based on careful observation during a lengthy stay in Russia, American-Jewish scholar Frank Golder reported in 1925 that “because so many of the Soviet leaders are Jews anti-Semitism is gaining [in Russia], particularly in the army [and] among the old and new intelligentsia who are being crowded for positions by the sons of Israel.”18
Summing up the situation at that time, Israeli historian Louis Rapoport writes:19
Immediately after the [Bolshevik] Revolution, many Jews were euphoric over their high representation in the new government. Lenin’s first Politburo was dominated by men of Jewish origins.
Under Lenin, Jews became involved in all aspects of the Revolution, including its dirtiest work. Despite the Communists’ vows to eradicate anti-Semitism, it spread rapidly after the Revolution — partly because of the prominence of so many Jews in the Soviet administration, as well as in the traumatic, inhuman Sovietization drives that followed. Historian Salo Baron has noted that an immensely disproportionate number of Jews joined the new Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka And many of those who fell afoul of the Cheka would be shot by Jewish investigators.
The collective leadership that emerged in Lenin’s dying days was headed by the Jew Zinoviev, a loquacious, mean-spirited, curly-haired Adonis whose vanity knew no bounds.
“Anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Cheka,” wrote Jewish historian Leonard Schapiro, “stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with, and possibly shot by, a Jewish investigator.”20 In Ukraine, “Jews made up nearly 80 percent of the rank-and-file Cheka agents,” reports W. Bruce Lincoln, an American professor of Russian history.21 (Beginning as the Cheka, or Vecheka) the Soviet secret police was later known as the GPU, OGPU, NKVD, MVD and KGB.)
In light of all this, it should not be surprising that Yakov M. Yurovksy, the leader of the Bolshevik squad that carried out the murder of the Tsar and his family, was Jewish, as was Sverdlov, the Soviet chief who co-signed Lenin’s execution order.22
Igor Shafarevich, a Russian mathematician of world stature, has sharply criticized the Jewish role in bringing down the Romanov monarchy and establishing Communist rule in his country. Shafarevich was a leading dissident during the final decades of Soviet rule. A prominent human rights activist, he was a founding member of the Committee on the Defense of Human Rights in the USSR.
In Russophobia, a book written ten years before the collapse of Communist rule, he noted that Jews were “amazingly” numerous among the personnel of the Bolshevik secret police. The characteristic Jewishness of the Bolshevik executioners, Shafarevich went on, is most conspicuous in the execution of Nicholas II:23
This ritual action symbolized the end of centuries of Russian history, so that it can be compared only to the execution of Charles I in England or Louis XVI in France. It would seem that representatives of an insignificant ethnic minority should keep as far as possible from this painful action, which would reverberate in all history. Yet what names do we meet? The execution was personally overseen by Yakov Yurovsky who shot the Tsar; the president of the local Soviet was Beloborodov (Vaisbart); the person responsible for the general administration in Ekaterinburg was Shaya Goloshchekin. To round out the picture, on the wall of the room where the execution took place was a distich from a poem by Heine (written in German) about King Balthazar, who offended Jehovah and was killed for the offense.
In his 1920 book, British veteran journalist Robert Wilton offered a similarly harsh assessment:24
The whole record of Bolshevism in Russia is indelibly impressed with the stamp of alien invasion. The murder of the Tsar, deliberately planned by the Jew Sverdlov (who came to Russia as a paid agent of Germany) and carried out by the Jews Goloshchekin, Syromolotov, Safarov, Voikov and Yurovsky, is the act not of the Russian people, but of this hostile invader.
In the struggle for power that followed Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin emerged victorious over his rivals, eventually succeeding in putting to death nearly every one of the most prominent early Bolsheviks leaders – including Trotsky, Zinoviev, Radek, and Kamenev. With the passage of time, and particularly after 1928, the Jewish role in the top leadership of the Soviet state and its Communist party diminished markedly.
Put To Death Without Trial
For a few months after taking power, Bolshevik leaders considered bringing “Nicholas Romanov” before a “Revolutionary Tribunal” that would publicize his “crimes against the people” before sentencing him to death. Historical precedent existed for this. Two European monarchs had lost their lives as a consequence of revolutionary upheaval: England’s Charles I was beheaded in 1649, and France’s Louis XVI was guillotined in 1793.
In these cases, the king was put to death after a lengthy public trial, during which he was allowed to present arguments in his defense. Nicholas II, though, was neither charged nor tried. He was secretly put to death – along with his family and staff — in the dead of night, in an act that resembled more a gangster-style massacre than a formal execution.
Why did Lenin and Sverdlov abandon plans for a show trial of the former Tsar? In Wilton’s view, Nicholas and his family were murdered because the Bolshevik rulers knew quite well that they lacked genuine popular support, and rightly feared that the Russian people would never approve killing the Tsar, regardless of pretexts and legalistic formalities.
For his part, Trotsky defended the massacre as a useful and even necessary measure. He wrote:25
The decision [to kill the imperial family] was not only expedient but necessary. The severity of this punishment showed everyone that we would continue to fight on mercilessly, stopping at nothing. The execution of the Tsar’s family was needed not only in order to frighten, horrify, and instill a sense of hopelessness in the enemy but also to shake up our own ranks, to show that there was no turning back, that ahead lay either total victory or total doom. This Lenin sensed well.
In the years leading up to the 1917 revolution, Jews were disproportionately represented in all of Russia’s subversive leftist parties.26 Jewish hatred of the Tsarist regime had a basis in objective conditions. Of the leading European powers of the day, imperial Russia was the most institutionally conservative and anti-Jewish. For example, Jews were normally not permitted to reside outside a large area in the west of the Empire known as the “Pale of Settlement.”27
However understandable, and perhaps even defensible, Jewish hostility toward the imperial regime may have been, the remarkable Jewish role in the vastly more despotic Soviet regime is less easy to justify. In a recently published book about the Jews in Russia during the 20th century, Russian-born Jewish writer Sonya Margolina goes so far as to call the Jewish role in supporting the Bolshevik regime the “historic sin of the Jews.”28 She points, for example, to the prominent role of Jews as commandants of Soviet Gulag concentration and labor camps, and the role of Jewish Communists in the systematic destruction of Russian churches. Moreover, she goes on, “The Jews of the entire world supported Soviet power, and remained silent in the face of any criticism from the opposition.” In light of this record, Margolina offers a grim prediction:
The exaggeratedly enthusiastic participation of the Jewish Bolsheviks in the subjugation and destruction of Russia is a sin that will be avenged Soviet power will be equated with Jewish power, and the furious hatred against the Bolsheviks will become hatred against Jews.
If the past is any indication, it is unlikely that many Russians will seek the revenge that Margolina prophecies. Anyway, to blame “the Jews” for the horrors of Communism seems no more justifiable than to blame “white people” for Negro slavery, or “the Germans” for the Second World War or “the Holocaust.”
Words of Grim Portent
Nicholas and his family are only the best known of countless victims of a regime that openly proclaimed its ruthless purpose. A few weeks after the Ekaterinburg massacre, the newspaper of the fledgling Red Army declared:29
Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies by the scores of hundreds, let them be thousands, let them drown themselves in their own blood. For the blood of Lenin and Uritskii let there be floods of blood of the bourgeoisie — more blood, as much as possible.
Grigori Zinoviev, speaking at a meeting of Communists in September 1918, effectively pronounced a death sentence on ten million human beings: “We must carry along with us 90 million out of the 100 million of Soviet Russia’s inhabitants. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated.”30
‘The Twenty Million’
As it turned out, the Soviet toll in human lives and suffering proved to be much higher than Zinoviev’s murderous rhetoric suggested. Rarely, if ever, has a regime taken the lives of so many of its own people.31
Citing newly-available Soviet KGB documents, historian Dmitri Volkogonov, head of a special Russian parliamentary commission, recently concluded that “from 1929 to 1952, 21.5 million [Soviet] people were repressed. Of these a third were shot, the rest sentenced to imprisonment, where many also died.”32
Olga Shatunovskaya, a member of the Soviet Commission of Party Control, and head of a special commission during the 1960s appointed by premier Khrushchev, has similarly concluded: “From January 1, 1935 to June 22, 1941, 19,840,000 enemies of the people were arrested. Of these, seven million were shot in prison, and a majority of the others died in camp.” These figures were also found in the papers of Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan.33
Robert Conquest, the distinguished specialist of Soviet history, recently summed up the grim record of Soviet “repression” of it own people:34
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the post-1934 death toll was well over ten million. To this should be added the victims of the 1930-1933 famine, the kulak deportations, and other anti-peasant campaigns, amounting to another ten million plus. The total is thus in the range of what the Russians now refer to as ‘The Twenty Million’.”
A few other scholars have given significantly higher estimates.35
The Tsarist Era in Retrospect
With the dramatic collapse of Soviet rule, many Russians are taking a new and more respectful look at their country’s pre-Communist history, including the era of the last Romanov emperor. While the Soviets — along with many in the West — have stereotypically portrayed this era as little more than an age of arbitrary despotism, cruel suppression and mass poverty, the reality is rather different. While it is true that the power of the Tsar was absolute, that only a small minority had any significant political voice, and that the mass of the empire’s citizens were peasants, it is worth noting that Russians during the reign of Nicholas II had freedom of press, religion, assembly and association, protection of private property, and free labor unions. Sworn enemies of the regime, such as Lenin, were treated with remarkable leniency.36
During the decades prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the Russian economy was booming. In fact, between 1890 and 1913, it was the fastest growing in the world. New rail lines were opened at an annual rate double that of the Soviet years. Between 1900 and 1913, iron production increased by 58 percent, while coal production more than doubled.37 Exported Russian grain fed all of Europe. Finally, the last decades of Tsarist Russia witnessed a magnificent flowering of cultural life.
Everything changed with the First World War, a catastrophe not only for Russia, but for the entire West.
In spite of (or perhaps because of) the relentless official campaign during the entire Soviet era to stamp out every uncritical memory of the Romanovs and imperial Russia, a virtual cult of popular veneration for Nicholas II has been sweeping Russia in recent years.
People have been eagerly paying the equivalent of several hours’ wages to purchase portraits of Nicholas from street vendors in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. His portrait now hangs in countless Russian homes and apartments. In late 1990, all 200,000 copies of a first printing of a 30-page pamphlet on the Romanovs quickly sold out. Said one street vendor: “I personally sold four thousand copies in no time at all. It’s like a nuclear explosion. People really want to know about their Tsar and his family.” Grass roots pro-Tsarist and monarchist organizations have sprung up in many cities.
A public opinion poll conducted in 1990 found that three out of four Soviet citizens surveyed regard the killing of the Tsar and his family as a despicable crime.38 Many Russian Orthodox believers regard Nicholas as a martyr. The independent “Orthodox Church Abroad” canonized the imperial family in 1981, and the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church has been under popular pressure to take the same step, in spite of its long-standing reluctance to touch this official taboo. The Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Ekaterinburg announced plans in 1990 to build a grand church at the site of the killings. “The people loved Emperor Nicholas,” he said. “His memory lives with the people, not as a saint but as someone executed without court verdict, unjustly, as a sufferer for his faith and for orthodoxy.”39
On the 75th anniversary of the massacre (in July 1993), Russians recalled the life, death and legacy of their last Emperor. In Ekaterinburg, where a large white cross festooned with flowers now marks the spot where the family was killed, mourners wept as hymns were sung and prayers were said for the victims.40
Reflecting both popular sentiment and new social-political realities, the white, blue and red horizontal tricolor flag of Tsarist Russia was officially adopted in 1991, replacing the red Soviet banner. And in 1993, the imperial two-headed eagle was restored as the nation’s official emblem, replacing the Soviet hammer and sickle. Cities that had been re-named to honor Communist figures — such as Leningrad, Kuibyshev, Frunze, Kalinin, and Gorky — have re-acquired their Tsarist-era names. Ekaterinburg, which had been named Sverdlovsk by the Soviets in 1924 in honor of the Soviet-Jewish chief, in September 1991 restored its pre-Communist name, which honors Empress Catherine I.
In view of the millions that would be put to death by the Soviet rulers in the years to follow, the murder of the Romanov family might not seem of extraordinary importance. And yet, the event has deep symbolic meaning. In the apt words of Harvard University historian Richard Pipes:41
The manner in which the massacre was prepared and carried out, at first denied and then justified, has something uniquely odious about it, something that radically distinguishes it from previous acts of regicide and brands it as a prelude to twentieth-century mass murder.
Another historian, Ivor Benson, characterized the killing of the Romanov family as symbolic of the tragic fate of Russia and, indeed, of the entire West, in this century of unprecedented agony and conflict.
The murder of the Tsar and his family is all the more deplorable because, whatever his failings as a monarch, Nicholas II was, by all accounts, a personally decent, generous, humane and honorable man.
The Massacre’s Place in History
The mass slaughter and chaos of the First World War, and the revolutionary upheavals that swept Europe in 1917-1918, brought an end not only to the ancient Romanov dynasty in Russia, but to an entire continental social order. Swept away as well was the Hohenzollern dynasty in Germany, with its stable constitutional monarchy, and the ancient Habsburg dynasty of Austria-Hungary with its multinational central European empire. Europe’s leading states shared not only the same Christian and Western cultural foundations, but most of the continent’s reigning monarchs were related by blood. England’s King George was, through his mother, a first cousin of Tsar Nicholas, and, through his father, a first cousin of Empress Alexandra. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm was a first cousin of the German-born Alexandra, and a distant cousin of Nicholas.
More than was the case with the monarchies of western Europe, Russia’s Tsar personally symbolized his land and nation. Thus, the murder of the last emperor of a dynasty that had ruled Russia for three centuries not only symbolically presaged the Communist mass slaughter that would claim so many Russian lives in the decades that followed, but was symbolic of the Communist effort to kill the soul and spirit of Russia itself.
- Edvard Radzinksy, The Last Tsar (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 327, 344-346.; Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.
- From an April 1935 entry in “Trotsky’s Diary in Exile.” Quoted in: Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1990), pp. 770, 787.; Robert K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra (New York: 1976), pp. 496-497.; E. Radzinksy, The Last Tsar (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 325-326.; Ronald W. Clark, Lenin (New York: 1988), pp. 349-350.
- On Wilton and his career in Russia, see: Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976), pp. 141-142, 144-146, 151-152, 159, 162, 169, and, Anthony Summers and Tom Mangold, The File on the Tsar (New York: Harper and Row, 1976), pp. 102-104, 176.
- AP dispatch from Moscow, Toronto Star, Sept. 26, 1991, p. A2.; Similarly, a 1992 survey found that one-fourth of people in the republics of Belarus (White Russia) and Uzbekistan favored deporting all Jews to a special Jewish region in Russian Siberia. “Survey Finds Anti-Semitism on Rise in Ex-Soviet Lands,” Los Angeles Times, June 12, 1992, p. A4.
- At the turn of the century, Jews made up 4.2 percent of the population of the Russian Empire. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1990), p. 55 (fn.).
By comparison, in the United States today, Jews make up less than three percent of the total population (according to the most authoritative estimates).
- See individual entries in: H. Shukman, ed., The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Russian Revolution (Oxford: 1988), and in: G. Wigoder, ed., Dictionary of Jewish Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991).
The prominent Jewish role in Russia’s pre-1914 revolutionary underground, and in the early Soviet regime, is likewise confirmed in: Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, Roots of Radicalism (New York: Oxford, 1982), pp. 92-94.
In 1918, the Bolshevik Party’s Central Committee had 15 members. German scholar Herman Fehst — citing published Soviet records — reported in his useful 1934 study that of six of these 15 were Jews. Herman Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum: Das jüdische Element in der Führerschaft des Bolschewismus (Berlin: 1934), pp. 68-72.; Robert Wilton, though, reported that in 1918 the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party had twelve members, of whom nine were of Jewish origin and three were of Russian ancestry. R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (IHR, 1993), p. 185.
- After years of official suppression, this fact was acknowledged in 1991 in the Moscow weekly Ogonyok. See: Jewish Chronicle (London), July 16, 1991.; See also: Letter by L. Horwitz in The New York Times, Aug. 5, 1992, which cites information from the Russian journal “Native Land Archives.”; “Lenin’s Lineage?”‘Jewish,’ Claims Moscow News,” Forward (New York City), Feb. 28, 1992, pp. 1, 3.; M. Checinski, Jerusalem Post (weekly international edition), Jan. 26, 1991, p. 9.
- Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1990), p. 352.
- Harrison E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (Doubleday, 1978), p. 475.; William H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution (Princeton Univ. Press, 1987), vol. 1, pp. 291-292.; Herman Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum: Das jüdische Element in der Führerschaft des Bolschewismus (Berlin: 1934), pp. 42-43.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography (Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 318-319.
This meeting was held on October 10 (old style, Julian calendar), and on October 23 (new style). The six Jews who took part were: Uritsky, Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Sverdlov and Soklonikov.
The Bolsheviks seized power in Petersburg on October 25 (old style) — hence the reference to the “Great October Revolution” — which is November 7 (new style).
- William H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution (1987), vol. 1, p. 292.; H. E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (1978), p. 475.
- W. H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution, vol. 1, pp. 274, 299, 302, 306.; Alan Moorehead, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1965), pp. 235, 238, 242, 243, 245.; H. Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum (Berlin: 1934), pp. 44, 45.
- H. E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (1978), p. 479-480.; Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991), pp. 27-28, 32.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography (Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 319-320.
- “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A struggle for the soul of the Jewish people,” Illustrated Sunday Herald (London), February 8, 1920. Facsimile reprint in: William Grimstad, The Six Million Reconsidered (1979), p. 124. (At the time this essay was published, Churchill was serving as minister of war and air.)
- David R. Francis, Russia from the American Embassy (New York: 1921), p. 214.
- Foreign Relations of the United States — 1918 — Russia, Vol. 1 (Washington, DC: 1931), pp. 678-679.
- American Hebrew (New York), Sept. 1920. Quoted in: Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Beyond the Melting Pot (Cambridge, Mass.: 1963), p. 268.
- C. Jacobson, “Jews in the USSR” in: American Review on the Soviet Union, August 1945, p. 52.; Avtandil Rukhadze, Jews in the USSR: Figures, Facts, Comment (Moscow: Novosti, 1978), pp. 10-11.
- T. Emmons and B. M. Patenaude, eds., War, Revolution and Peace in Russia: The Passages of Frank Golder, 1913-1927 (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1992), pp. 320, 139, 317.
- Louis Rapoport, Stalin’s War Against the Jews (New York: Free Press, 1990), pp. 30, 31, 37. See also pp. 43, 44, 45, 49, 50.
- Quoted in: Salo Baron, The Russian Jews Under Tsars and Soviets (New York: 1976), pp. 170, 392 (n. 4).
- The Atlantic, Sept. 1991, p. 14.;
In 1919, three-quarters of the Cheka staff in Kiev were Jews, who were careful to spare fellow Jews. By order, the Cheka took few Jewish hostages. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 824.; Israeli historian Louis Rapoport also confirms the dominant role played by Jews in the Soviet secret police throughout the 1920s and 1930s. L. Rapoport, Stalin’s War Against the Jews (New York: 1990), pp. 30-31, 43-45, 49-50.
- E. Radzinsky, The Last Tsar (1992), pp. 244, 303-304.; Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.; See also: W. H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution, vol. 2, p. 90.
- Quoted in: The New Republic, Feb. 5, 1990, pp. 30 ff.; Because of the alleged anti-Semitism of Russophobia, in July 1992 Shafarevich was asked by the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC) to resign as an associate member of that prestigious body.
- R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (1993), p. 148.
- Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 787.; Robert K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra (New York: 1976), pp. 496-497.
- An article in a 1907 issue of the respected American journal National Geographic reported on the revolutionary situation brewing in Russia in the years before the First World War: ” The revolutionary leaders nearly all belong to the Jewish race, and the most effective revolutionary agency is the Jewish Bund ” W. E. Curtis, “The Revolution in Russia,” The National Geographic Magazine, May 1907, pp. 313-314.
Piotr Stolypin, probably imperial Russia’s greatest statesman, was murdered in 1911 by a Jewish assassin. In 1907, Jews made up about ten percent of Bolshevik party membership. In the Menshevik party, another faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, the Jewish proportion was twice as high. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 365.; See also: R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (1993), pp. 185-186.
- Martin Gilbert, Atlas of Jewish History (1977), pp. 71, 74.; In spite of the restrictive “Pale” policy, in 1897 about 315,000 Jews were living outside the Pale, most of them illegally. In 1900 more than 20,000 were living in the capital of St. Petersburg, and another 9,000 in Moscow.
- Sonja Margolina, Das Ende der Lügen: Russland und die Juden im 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin: 1992). Quoted in: “Ein ganz heisses Eisen angefasst,” Deutsche National-Zeitung (Munich), July 21, 1992, p. 12.
- Krasnaia Gazetta (“Red Gazette”), September 1, 1918. Quoted in: Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), pp. 820, 912 (n. 88).
- Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1990), p. 820.
- Contrary to what a number of western historians have for years suggested, Soviet terror and the Gulag camp system did not begin with Stalin. At the end of 1920, Soviet Russia already had 84 concentration camps with approximately 50,000 prisoners. By October 1923 the number had increased to 315 camps with 70,000 inmates. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 836.
- Cited by historian Robert Conquest in a review/ article in The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.
- The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.
- Review/article by Robert Conquest in The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.; In the “Great Terror” years of 1937-1938 alone, Conquest has calculated, approximately one million were shot by the Soviet secret police, and another two million perished in Soviet camps. R. Conquest, The Great Terror (New York: Oxford, 1990), pp. 485-486.;
Conquest has estimated that 13.5 to 14 million people perished in the collectivization (“dekulakization”) campaign and forced famine of 1929-1933. R. Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow (New York: Oxford, 1986), pp. 301-307.
- Russian professor Igor Bestuzhev-Lada, writing in a 1988 issue of the Moscow weekly Nedelya, suggested that during the Stalin era alone (1935-1953), as many as 50 million people were killed, condemned to camps from which they never emerged, or lost their lives as a direct result of the brutal “dekulakization” campaign against the peasantry. “Soviets admit Stalin killed 50 million,” The Sunday Times, London, April 17, 1988.;
R. J. Rummel, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, has recently calculated that 61.9 million people were systematically killed by the Soviet Communist regime from 1917 to 1987. R. J. Rummel, Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917 (Transaction, 1990).
- Because of his revolutionary activities, Lenin was sentenced in 1897 to three years exile in Siberia. During this period of “punishment,” he got married, wrote some 30 works, made extensive use of a well-stocked local library, subscribed to numerous foreign periodicals, kept up a voluminous correspondence with supporters across Europe, and enjoyed numerous sport hunting and ice skating excursions, while all the time receiving a state stipend. See: Ronald W. Clark, Lenin (New York: 1988), pp. 42-57.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography (Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 55-75.
- R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), pp. 187-188.;
- The Nation, June 24, 1991, p. 838.
- Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.
- “Nostalgic for Nicholas, Russians Honor Their Last Czar,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1993.; “Ceremony marks Russian czar’s death,” Orange County Register, July 17, 1993.
- R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 787.
From The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 1), pages 4-22.
About the Author:
Mark Weber was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University (M.A., 1977).
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GR Editor’s Note
Moscow is accused of doping as part of a US dirty tricks campaign to prevent Russia from participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
What is the record of the US with regard to doping?
The main sports organizations including the NFL, MLB, and NBA have allowed unusually relaxed policies for performance-enhancing drug testing and punishment. The USADA is the US government agency responsible for the implementation in the United States of the World Anti-Doping Code, Yet, the record suggests that the USDA does not actively intervene in “big money sports” and often turns a blind eye to American athletes using performance-enhancing drugs.
This 2014 article outlines some important issues.
M. Ch. GR editor, June 21, 2016
* * *
There is a doping double standard in American sports. The “big money” sports – football, baseball, and basketball – turn a blind eye to their athletes using performance-enhancing drugs while track – a “poor” sport – does not. This double standard is particularly harmful to track because strict testing procedures and subsequent doping scandals have led to a general decline of faith in the sport.
Mainstream American sports have long allowed their athletes to get away with something considered immoral for the sake of their popularity. This is an inadequate justification. In the case of track, a sport Americans really only pay attention to during Olympic years, anti-doping is something that now creates almost as many headlines as the sport itself.
If for every great race there is a headline about yet another runner getting busted for doping, the sport will never see the increased public interest or ratings that it would benefit so greatly from. Meanwhile, ratings have never been as pressing an issue for America’s mainstream sports. If the public continues to ignore this disconnect, the popular will only continue to get more popular while the unpopular will continue to get less popular.
This past summer, Tyson Gay, the fastest American sprinter in history, tested positive for a banned substance. The American governing body for track and field (USATF) punished him with a two-year ban from competition and his sponsorship deals will be terminated in the next few months. The fastest American in history. Track’s version of Michael Jordan. Done. At 31, he will probably never compete again. Even if he does, it won’t be at the same level.
For the past few decades, track governing bodies have dealt with doping by punishing athletes who test positive with a two-year ban from competition for a first offense and a lifetime ban from competition for a second offense. Next year, the punishment for a first-time offense will be extended from a two-year ban to a four-year ban from competition. Either way, these punishments are disproportionately harsh when compared to, say, the NFL’s 4-game suspension (basically 30 days) for a first offense, 8-game suspension (basically 60 days) for a second offense and year suspension for a third offense. A third offense in the NFL is less than a first offense in track. To make matters even more unequal, testing procedures in the NFL are, just like their punishments, more relaxed than those in track. The NFL doesn’t even test players for human growth hormone (HGH), one of the most widely used performance-enhancing substances in sports.
Tyson Gay would still be smiling if he was in the NFL as he’d already be back competing
The lack of transparency in the NFL is also worth noting. The players union is so protective that it doesn’t even allow the specific results of a positive test to be public, which means that players can be caught using steroids and publicly claim otherwise, with no repercussions. NFL testing and punishment procedures are so flawed that the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), David Howman, publicly criticized them last year (2013).
Returning to Tyson Gay, his story would have ended much differently if he were a football player. In addition to being a lot richer, he’d already be back to competition. Specifically considering his positive test for steroids on May 16th, if he were competing under guidelines as relaxed as those in the NFL, he would have been amazingly allowed to return to competition in time for the August World Championships after serving a 30-day suspension for his first doping offense.
Here’s my fuss: I think that it is unfair for the NFL, MLB, and NBA to allow such relaxed policies for performance-enhancing drug testing and punishment, especially when compared to the policies in track. If these “big money” sports were to implement drug-testing policies as rigorous and transparent as those in track, the public would see a significant increase of doping scandals in them. The public would collectively realize that doping is more an industry wide problem than a problem specific to a “poor” sport.
Doping is an issue that needs to be tackled – no pun intended – from the top-down. The NFL is a $9.5 billion/year industry. MLB, $7.5 billion. NBA, $4.0 billion. Because the policies in these sports make it easy for players to get away with using performance-enhancing substances, they are responsible for funneling the most money into America’s performance enhancing substance black market! But, instead, the spotlight is constantly shined on track, a sport whose governing body in the US (USATF) has a $24 million yearly budget. That was not a typo. You read right. USATF’s entire yearly budget is less than what some individual football, baseball, and basketball players, including steroid cheats like Alex Rodriguez ($28 million in 2013).
It may seem like a fair doping crackdown would never happen because there’s so much money involved. Still, doping should be regarded as harshly for high-grossing sports as it is for such a low-grossing sport. The American sports doping double standard must go.
About the author:
Sami Aziz is a student at Columbia University where he is on the cross country and track and field teams. In high school, he was an individual qualifier for NXN and ran 9:14 for 3200.
1. Ingle, Sean. “NFL Faces Battle with Wada over Transparency of Drug-Testing.” The Guardian 27 Sept. 2013, Sport: 11. The Guardian. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.
2. Isidore, Chris. “Why Football Is Still a Money Machine.” CNN. Time Warner, 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 2 Dec. 2013. <http:/ money.cnn.com/2013/02/01/news/companies/nfl-moneysuper-bowl/>.
3. “2012 Budget.” USATF. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2013. <http://www.usatf.org/About/Financials/Approved-Budgets/2012.aspx>.
The original source of this article is LetsRun.com
Copyright © Sami Aziz, LetsRun.com , 2016
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Anthony Charles Lynton Blair currently back in Britain, cast a dark shadow over those campaigning to stay in the European Union in the 23rd June referendum. Inflicting himself on the Britain Stronger in Europe group, he spoke at every opportunity – reminding even the most passionate Europhile of the last time he assured: “I know I’m right” – Iraq.
If the “Remainers” had an ounce of sense Blair should have been ditched in a nano-second. He is not “Toxic Tony” for nothing.
However, since the long awaited Chilcot Inquiry in to the Iraq invasion is to be published just thirteen days after the referendum (6th July) it is worth revisiting more of the mistruths of which he is capable.
On 18th March 2003, Blair stood in Parliament and listed the times Saddam Hussein’s government had said they had no weapons of mass destruction (1) dismissing them all, including the 11,800 pages or 12,200 pages of accounting of that which they did not possess and delivered by the Iraqi delegation at the UN to the UN UNSCOM offices on 8th December 2002.
Lest it be forgotten, the reason for the uncertainty of the length of the volume is that the US delegation simply appropriated it and returned less than 4,000 pages so heavily redacted as to be indecipherable – and without the hefty index at the back listing the Western arms companies who had, prior to the first Gulf war, sold them weapons.
Blair told Parliament loftily:
“ … the 8th December declaration is false. That in itself is a material breach. Iraq has made some concessions to co-operation but no-one disputes it is not fully cooperating. Iraq continues to deny it has any WMD, though no serious intelligence service anywhere in the world believes them … We … will back it with action if Saddam fails to disarm voluntarily.”
Iraq of course, was telling the truth. Blair had appointed himself Judge, jury and executioner.
And here is a real whopper: “I have never put our justification for action as regime change.”
And another: “Iraq is a wealthy country that in 1978, the year before Saddam seized power, was richer than Portugal or Malaysia.
“Today it is impoverished, 60% of its population dependent on food aid.
“Thousands of children die needlessly every year from lack of food and medicine.”
What he omitted was stated in a piece I wrote back in 1998 (2) addressing the ever repeated propaganda. The conditions were caused directly by the US-UK driven embargo, overseen by Blair’s envoy to the UN, Carne Ross, who headed the Sanctions Committee after the August 1991 imposed embargo:
“In 1989 the World Health Organization recorded Iraq as having 92-per-cent access to clean water, 93-per-cent access to high quality health care and with high educational and nutritional standards.
“By 1995 the World Food Program noted that: ‘time is running out for the children of Iraq’. Figures – verified by UNICEF – record that 1,211,285 children died of embargo-related causes between August 1990 and August 1997. A silent holocaust in the name of the UN. These numbers are similar to those lost in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. It is three times the population of Kuwait in small lives.”
‘ “After 24 years in the field, starting with Biafra, I didn’t think anything could shock me,” wrote Dieter Hannusch of the World Food Program in l995. “But this was comparable to the worst scenarios I had ever seen.” ‘
The day after Blair’s address to Parliament, Operation Iraqi Liberation began, to which he had committed the country in his visit to George W. Bush’s Texas ranch in April 2002, without telling Parliament.
Moreover, in 2009 The Mail on Sunday disclosed (3) that: “Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wrote (a) letter to Mr. Blair in July 2002 – a full eight months before the war – telling him that deposing Saddam Hussein was a blatant breach of international law.
“It was intended to make Mr. Blair call off the invasion, but he ignored it. Instead, a panicking Mr. Blair issued instructions to gag Lord Goldsmith, banned him from attending Cabinet meetings and ordered a cover-up to stop the public finding out.
“He even concealed the bombshell information from his own Cabinet, fearing it would spark an anti-war revolt. The only people he told were a handful of cronies who were sworn to secrecy.
“Lord Goldsmith was so furious at his treatment he threatened to resign – and lost three stone as Mr Blair and his cronies bullied him into backing down.”
The then Prime Minister did not alone ignore the Attorney General’s legal advice. In November 2002 “six wise men” gave Blair “bloody warnings” as to the outcome of an attack on Iraq. (4) They were: “ … all academics, expert on Iraq, the Middle East and international affairs. They had been called to the Cabinet Room to outline the worst that could happen if Britain and the United States launched an invasion.
“This was a meeting that could have changed the course of history and, with better planning for the aftermath, saved countless lives – if only the Prime Minister and his advisers had listened and acted on the bloody warnings on that day in November 2002.”
Dr. Toby Dodge, then of London’s Queen Mary University foresaw with extraordinary clarity the near certain outcome, warning: ‘… that Iraqis would fight for their country against the invaders rather than just celebrate the fall of their leader. A long and nasty civil war could follow. “My aim that day was to tell them as much as I could, so that there would be no excuses and nobody saying, ‘I didn’t know.’ ”
Others who shared their extensive expertise were Professor George Joffe of Cambridge University, Sir Lawrence Freedman, Professor of War Studies at King’s College, London and a Blair adviser, Professor Charles Tripp of the School of Oriental and Asian Studies, Steven Simon, Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Professor Michael Clarke, then of Kings College, London. Before the gathering they were warned: “Don’t tell him not to do it. He has already made up his mind”, Dr. Dodge told The Independent.
Blair and his Cabinet had: “… no plan for what would happen after the invasion. The approach was, ‘The Americans are heading this up. They will have a detailed plan. We need to follow them’ ”, said Professor Joffe. However in reality, a year’s planning by the State Department for the invasion’s aftermath: “was junked. They were making up policy on the hoof.”
Professor Joffe also explained the complexities of Iraq’s power structures with Tony Blair seemingly disinterested in the potential cultural, societal and political minefields, responding with kindergarten simplicity (re Saddam Hussein) “ But the man is evil isn’t he?”
A chameleon-like absorption of George W. Bush, his political circle and his Generals’ simplistic “good guys”, “bad guys” rhetoric.
Steven Simon had little faith in bringing democracy to Iraq at the barrels of guns and deliveries of 30,000-pound bunker busters: “If everything had been done differently, there might have been some small shot at avoiding disaster. But only a small shot.”
Incredibly, according to Professor Joffe: “The people who were put in charge in Iraq had very little knowledge or experience of the Middle East.”
Professor Clarke commented that Blair’s attempt to justify the invasion was mistaken: “We knew there was no nuclear stuff in Iraq.” Moreover, he believed: ‘Blair did not actually decide to go to war on the basis of intelligence, but made it look as if he had with his two “dodgy” dossiers. “He presented the case to the public as if they had incontrovertible evidence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. That was rubbish. They were ridiculous documents, both those documents.” ‘ (Emphasis added.)
Late last year, Blair made what was described as a “qualified apology” for “mistakes” made in Iraq – among them: “our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime”. In the light of the above, blatantly untrue.
Blair’s dodging and weaving over the years since 2003 – in spite of his millions, numerous properties, jet (seemingly leased) and a yacht, accrued from advising some of the world’s most despotic leaders – seems to have worn him down a bit, though.
In an extraordinary television outburst (5) attacking Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn who said of Blair on BBC’s Newsnight last August:
“If he has committed a war crime, yes (he should stand trial.) Everybody who has committed a war crime should.” Blair responded: “I’m accused of being a war criminal for removing Saddam Hussein … and yet Jeremy is seen as a progressive icon as we stand by and watch the people of Syria barrel-bombed, beaten and starved into submission and do nothing.”
No mention of the US’ illegal “coalition” which includes the UK which has made 4,024 strikes to 1st June this year, according to the US Department of Defence. Strikes remarkably inept at affecting the countless foreign terrorist groups, but which have caused devastation to the Syrian people whose plight was caused by US plotting (6.)
46,615 bombs and missiles have been dropped Syria and Iraq in the seeming non-fight against ISIS and other criminal groups. (airwars.org)
Apart from his ongoing economy with the truth, Tony Blair also seems to be well past his sell by date. In Northern Ireland, probably the only place on earth which has a tenuous reason to give him some credit for the “peace process”, where he went to speak on the referendum at Ulster University, he was less than welcome.
Derry anti-war campaigner Frankie McMenamin said the former Labour leader was “not welcome” in Derry, telling the Derry Journal:
“I was involved in protests about the Iraqi War which Tony Blair was responsible for, Tony Blair is hated throughout the world and he has blood on his hands over Iraq.
“I will be voting for the U.K. to remain on June 23rd but I think someone like Mr. Blair (urging the stay in vote) will put a lot of other people off.
“Tony Blair is not welcome in our city and the people who organized this visit obviously knew this” – the meeting had not been publicly advertised and the address was to a specially selected audience. The co-speaker was Blair’s former Chancellor, Gordon Brown, near equally unpopular, who wrote the cheques for years of UK bombings before the invasion and then for the invasion’s destruction. Had the meeting been publicly advertised, assured Mr McMenamin, protesters would have been out in force.
On 17th June, Blair was a signatory to an open letter, signed by two former deputy Prime Ministers and a number of MPs and public figures urging voters to stay in the European Union. It included the words:
“ … public life, whether in politics or elsewhere, should be about something else – something better.
“It should be driven by a desire to bring people together when it would be easier to tear them apart. A wish to build bridges rather than erect walls.” To promote that which is “Peaceful, tolerant, compassionate.”
As he added his signature, did he reflect on Iraq’s destroyed bridges – literally and metaphorically, on a nation of walls erected by US and UK troops over one of the most open landscapes anywhere to be found and on the accompanying destruction of peace, tolerance and compassion at the hands of US and UK policies aided by his ignorant determination and
Philippe Sands QC, Professor of international law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at University College London, has said (7) ‘he believes, unequivocally, that the 2003 invasion was illegal under international law. “In the UK, beyond those associated with the government’s effort, I cannot think of a single international lawyer who thinks the war was lawful. Not a single name comes to mind. That’s got to be telling.” ‘
It can only be hoped the Chilcot Inquiry’s findings deliver Charles Anthony Lynton Blair and his cohorts in a tragedy which will be his and George W. Bush’s place in history. A sharp and chilly return to reality.
By Felicity Arbuthnot
In the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush stated in no uncertain terms that “State sponsors of terrorism” would be considered as “terrorists”.
“We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.
But there is always an “Exception that the Proves the Rule” and that is George W. Bush himself.
When George W. Bush respectfully kisses King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, does this mean that Dubya could–by some stretch of the imagination– be considered a “suspected terrorist”, who should never have been elected president of the United States of America?
The answer is negative: Kissing “State sponsors of terrorism” on the mouth is not defined by the FBI as “suspicious behavior”.
The Global War on Terrorism’s “New Normal“: “Good Guy” Terrorists
Establishing political ties with “State sponsors of terrorism” is now considered to be part of a “New Normal”, a humanitarian endeavor intent upon spreading American democracy Worldwide.
NATO calls it “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P).
John Kerry concurs: financial aid to Syria’s Al Nusra, an affiliate of Al Qaeda is part of an R2P mandate.
There are now “‘good guy terrorists” and “bad guy terrorists”.
Financial aid is channeled to Al Qaeda “good guy terrorists” to protect Syrians against the terrorists (New York Times, April 20, 2013)
The Bush and bin Laden Families
Now let us turn our attention to the Bin Laden Family.
The Bushes and bin Ladens are long-time friends.
We know that the late Osama bin Laden was a “bad guy”: “Enemy Number One”.
He is a disgrace to members of the bin Laden family, who reluctantly provided him with “pocket money”, which was used to develop Al Qaeda (The Base). He is referred to as a “Black Sheep”.
There is nothing wrong, therefore, in socializing and doing business with family members of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, including the late Salem bin Laden and Shafiq bin Laden of the Carlyle Group.
Its all part of a “good guys project” of going after Osama, the “Black Sheep”, and waging the “Global War on Terrorism”.
Confirmed by the Washington Post, “fellow investors” of the Carlyle Group Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden and former President H.G.W. Bush met at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel one day before 9/11 (see image below):
It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden [Shafiq bin Laden]. Former president Bush [senior, seem image above], a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (Greg Schneider, Pairing the Powerful With the Rich, Washington Post, March 16, 2003)
Launched on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush is the political architect of the “Global War on Terrorism” commonly referred to as GWOT.
On the evening of September 11, 2001, president George W. Bush pronounced a historic speech in which he defined the relationship between “terrorists’ and “state sponsors of terrorism”:
The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.
In a subsequent address to the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate on September 20, 2001:
“We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime [state sponsor of terrorism].
“Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” – President George W. Bush, 20 September 2001
Now let us pause and reflect
Bush seems to be caught up in the contradictions of his own political rhetoric, the “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists” conundrum:
“I am with myself and I am also with the terrorists”
The House of Saud provides financial aid to the terrorists. And so does the bin Laden family. Worst Case scenario: There may be a “conflict of interest”.
According to The Washington based CATO Institute (November 2001) Saudi Arabia is a “prime sponsor of terrorism”
The U.S. government has warned that it will treat regimes that harbor or assist terrorist organizations the same way that it treats the organizations themselves. Yet if Washington is serious about that policy, it ought to regard Saudi Arabia as a prime sponsor of international terrorism. Indeed, that country should have been included for years on the U.S. State Department’s annual list of governments guilty of sponsoring terrorism.
The One Trillion Dollar Foreign Policy Question
What is ultimately involved is that the US government is the ultimate “state sponsor” of those who sponsor terrorism.
The US government supports the House of Saud. In turn, the Saudi monarchy supports Al Qaeda.
It follows pari passu: the US government is a “State sponsor of Terrorism”. QED.
“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
Bear in mind Dubya is asking the question.
And now we are asking you, our readers, the question:
Is Dubya “with us”, or “with the terrorists.” either/or, both or neither?
Original source of the article:
Since Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution, successive US administrations governed increasingly lawlessly and recklessly – Bill Clinton worse than his predecessors, Bush worse than him, Obama worst of all, at war with multiple invented enemies throughout his tenure – from inaugural day to the present.
A neocon Hillary Clinton presidency succeeding him risks the unthinkable – possible WW III. America’s rage for dominance, its wanting planet earth colonized, and increasing belligerence toward Russia and China points to eventual confrontation.
Unknown is to what extent, but when conflicts begin, they take on a life of their own. Starting them is easy, resolving them another matter entirely.
America has turned planet earth into a battleground. All US post-9/11 wars continue, resolution nowhere in sight. Peace and stability defeat America’s imperial agenda. Conflicts serve it.
Clinton’s public record as first lady, US senator and secretary of state shows her rage for war, her contempt for rule of law principles and democratic values.
She’s for unlimited military spending, phony war on terror continued, likely escalated, use of banned weapons, and super-ones in conflicts she calls peacekeeping deterrents.
Before primary/caucus season began, she was chosen Democrat party nominee, Sanders going along for the ride, a political opportunist, a populist in name only leading a nonexistent political revolution.
Its illusion persists, to fade straightaway once a new administration takes power, Clinton its likely head, plotting pure evil before assuming office, likely aided by false flag deception.
Trump is in trouble, losing momentum, outrageous racist and other extremist comments making more enemies than friends. In late May, he fired his national political director, Rick Wiley, suggesting campaign disarray.
Now top aide Corey Lewandowski is gone. Dismissing him this late in the game indicates trouble. It gets worse.
On last Sunday’s Meet the Press, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R. WI) said Republicans are free to withhold support for Trump if they wish, stating:
“The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience (sic). This is a very strange situation. This is a very unique nominee.”
Trump responded, claiming he can win with or without party backing. Its members “need to listen to the American people,” he said. “Let me run for president. I think I’m going to do very well.”
In May, his campaign raised only $3.1 million, compared to $28 million for Clinton. He entered June with $1.3 million on hand, way short of Clinton’s $42 million.
His unorthodox style won millions of adherents during primary season, campaigning one-on-one against Clinton another matter entirely – backed by Wall Street, war-profiteers, most media scoundrels, and other powerful entrenched interests.
He’s at a distinct disadvantage, Clinton the establishment favorite, he an outsider, tolerated at best by GOP party bosses after going all-out to stop him.
America’s political system is notoriously corrupt, candidates for high office pre-selected, outcomes predetermined.
Will things be rigged to defeat Trump in November, Clinton chosen with electronic ease, voter role purges and other devious tactics assuring her selection?
Is the process over before it begins? WW II followed Hitler becoming German chancellor, supported by London and Wall Street bankers.
Is world peace up for grabs under Clinton? Is WW III preordained under her leadership? Will humanity’s survival become a coin toss?
The possibility of her succeeding Obama should mobilize mass opposition to stop her.
About the author:
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
“Please don’t write about Ya’ir Golan!” a friend begged me, “Anything a leftist like you writes will only harm him!”
So I abstained for some weeks. But I can’t keep quiet any longer.
General Ya’ir Golan, the deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, made a speech on Holocaust Memorial Day. Wearing his uniform, he read a prepared, well-considered text that triggered an uproar which has not yet died down.
Dozens of articles have been published in its wake, some condemning him, some lauding him. Seems that nobody could stay indifferent.
The main sentence was: “If there is something that frightens me about the memories of the Holocaust, it is the knowledge of the awful processes which happened in Europe in general, and in Germany in particular, 70, 80, 90 years ago, and finding traces of them here in our midst, today, in 2016.”
All hell broke loose. What!!! Traces of Nazism in Israel? A resemblance between what the Nazis did to us with what we are doing to the Palestinians?
90 years ago was 1926, one of the last years of the German republic. 80 years ago was 1936, three years after the Nazis came to power. 70 years ago was 1946, on the morrow of Hitler’s suicide and the end of the Nazi Reich.
I feel compelled to write about the general’s speech after all, because I was there.
As a child I was an eyewitness to the last years of the Weimar Republic (so called because its constitution was shaped in Weimar, the town of Goethe and Schiller). As a politically alert boy I witnessed the Nazi Machtergreifung (“taking power”) and the first half a year of Nazi rule.
I know what Golan was speaking about. Though we belong to two different generations, we share the same background. Both our families come from small towns in Western Germany. His father and I must have had a lot in common.
There is a strict moral commandment in Israel: nothing can be compared to the Holocaust. The Holocaust is unique. It happened to us, the Jews, because we are unique. (Religious Jews would add: “Because God has chosen us”.)
I have broken this commandment. Just before Golan was born, I published (in Hebrew) a book called “The Swastika”, in which I recounted my childhood memories and tried to draw conclusions from them. It was on the eve of the Eichmann trial, and I was shocked by the lack of knowledge about the Nazi era among young Israelis then.
My book did not deal with the Holocaust, which took place when I was already living in Palestine, but with a question which troubled me throughout the years, and even today: how could it happen that Germany, perhaps the most cultured nation on earth at the time, the homeland of Goethe, Beethoven and Kant, could democratically elect a raving psychopath like Adolf Hitler as its leader?
The last chapter of the book was entitled “It Can Happen Here!” The title was drawn from a book by the American novelist Sinclair Lewis, called ironically “It Can’t Happen Here”, in which he described a Nazi takeover of the United States.
In this chapter I discussed the possibility of a Jewish Nazi-like party coming to power in Israel. My conclusion was that a Nazi party can come to power in any country on earth, if the conditions are right. Yes, in Israel, too.
The book was largely ignored by the Israeli public, which at the time was overwhelmed by the storm of emotions evoked by the terrible disclosures of the Eichmann trial.
Now comes General Golan, an esteemed professional soldier, and says the same thing.
And not as an improvised remark, but on an official occasion, wearing his general’s uniform, reading from a prepared, well thought-out text.
The storm broke out, and has not passed yet.
Israelis have a self-protective habit: when confronted with inconvenient truths, they evade its essence and deal with a secondary, unimportant aspect. Of all the dozens and dozens of reactions in the written press, on TV and on political platforms, almost none confronted the general’s painful contention.
No, the furious debate that broke out concerns the questions: Is a high-ranking army officer allowed to voice an opinion about matters that concern the civilian establishment? And do so in army uniform? On an official occasion?
Should an army officer keep quiet about his political convictions? Or voice them only in closed sessions – “in relevant forums”, as a furious Binyamin Netanyahu phrased it?
General Golan enjoys a very high degree of respect in the army. As Deputy Chief of Staff he was until now almost certainly a candidate for Chief of Staff, when the incumbent leaves the office after the customary four years.
The fulfillment of this dream shared by every General Staff officer is now very remote. In practice, Golan has sacrificed his further advancement in order to utter his warning and giving it the widest possible resonance.
One can only respect such courage. I have never met General Golan, I believe, and I don’t know his political views. But I admire his act.
(Somehow I recall an article published by the British magazine Punch before World War I, when a group of junior army officers issued a statement opposing the government’s policy in Ireland. The magazine said that while disapproving the opinion expressed by the mutinous officers, it took pride in the fact that such youthful officers were ready to sacrifice their careers for their convictions.)
The Nazi march to power started in 1929, when a terrible worldwide economic crisis hit Germany. A tiny, ridiculous far-right party suddenly became a political force to be reckoned with. From there it took them four years to become the largest party in the country and to take over power (though it still needed a coalition).
I was there when it happened, a boy in a family in which politics became the main topic at the dinner table. I saw how the republic broke down, gradually, slowly, step by step. I saw our family friends hoisting the swastika flag. I saw my high-school teacher raising his arm when entering the class and saying “Heil Hitler” for the first time (and then reassuring me in private that nothing had changed.)
I was the only Jew in the entire gymnasium (high school.) When the hundreds of boys – all taller than I – raised their arms to sing the Nazi anthem, and I did not, they threatened to break my bones if it happened again. A few days later we left Germany for good.
General Golan was accused of comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Nothing of the sort. A careful reading of his text shows that he compared developments in Israel to the events that led to the disintegration of the Weimar Republic. And that is a valid comparison.
Things happening in Israel, especially since the last election, bear a frightening similarity to those events. True, the process is quite different. German fascism arose from the humiliation of surrender in World War I, the occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium from 1923-25, the terrible economic crisis of 1929, the misery of millions of unemployed. Israel is victorious in its frequent military actions, we live comfortable lives. The dangers threatening us are of a quite different nature. They stem from our victories, not from our defeats.
Indeed, the differences between Israel today and Germany then are far greater than the similarities. But those similarities do exist, and the general was right to point them out.
The discrimination against the Palestinians in practically all spheres of life can be compared to the treatment of the Jews in the first phase of Nazi Germany. (The oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories resembles more the treatment of the Czechs in the “protectorate” after the Munich betrayal.)
The rain of racist bills in the Knesset, those already adopted and those in the works, strongly resembles the laws adopted by the Reichstag in the early days of the Nazi regime. Some rabbis call for a boycott of Arab shops. Like then. The call “Death to the Arabs” (“Judah verrecke”?) is regularly heard at soccer matches. A member of parliament has called for the separation between Jewish and Arab newborns in hospital. A Chief Rabbi has declared that Goyim (non-Jews) were created by God to serve the Jews. Our Ministers of Education and Culture are busy subduing the schools, theater and arts to the extreme rightist line, something known in German as Gleichschaltung. The Supreme Court, the pride of Israel, is being relentlessly attacked by the Minister of Justice. The Gaza Strip is a huge ghetto.
Of course, no one in their right mind would even remotely compare Netanyahu to the Fuehrer, but there are political parties here which do emit a strong fascist smell. The political riffraff peopling the present Netanyahu government could easily have found their place in the first Nazi government.
One of the main slogans of our present government is to replace the “old elite”, considered too liberal, with a new one. One of the main Nazi slogans was to replace “das System”.
By the way, when the Nazis came to power, almost all high-ranking officers of the German army were staunch anti-Nazis. They were even considering a putsch against Hitler . Their political leader was summarily executed a year later, when Hitler liquidated his opponents in his own party. We are told that General Golan is now protected by a personal bodyguard, something that has never happened to a general in the annals of Israel.
The general did not mention the occupation and the settlements, which are under army rule. But he did mention the episode which occurred shortly before he gave this speech, and which is still shaking Israel now: in occupied Hebron, under army rule, a soldier saw a seriously wounded Palestinian lying helplessly on the ground, approached him and killed him with a shot to the head. The victim had tried to attack some soldiers with a knife, but did not constitute a threat to anyone any more. This was a clear contravention of army standing orders, and the soldier has been hauled before a court martial.
A cry went up around the country: the soldier is a hero! He should be decorated! Netanyahu called his father to assure him of his support. Avigdor Lieberman entered the crowded courtroom in order to express his solidarity with the soldier. A few days later Netanyahu appointed Lieberman as Minister of Defense, the second most important office in Israel.
Before that, General Golan received robust support both from the Minister of Defense, Moshe Ya’alon, and the Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot. Probably this was the immediate reason for the kicking out of Ya’alon and the appointment of Lieberman in his place. It resembled a putsch.
It seems that Golan is not only a courageous officer, but a prophet, too. The inclusion of Lieberman’s party in the government coalition confirms Golan’s blackest fears. This is another fatal blow to the Israeli democracy.
Am I condemned to witness the same process for the second time in my life?
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“I can still see it very clearly, I have not forgotten,” says Títos Patríkios. “The Athens police firing on the crowd from the roof of the parliament in Syntagma Square. The young men and women lying in pools of blood, everyone rushing down the stairs in total shock, total panic.”
And then came the defining moment: the recklessness of youth, the passion of belief in a justice burning bright: “I jumped up on the fountain in the middle of the square, the one that is still there, and I began to shout: “Comrades, don’t disperse! Victory will be ours! Don’t leave. The time has come. We will win!”
“I was,” he says now, “profoundly sure, that we would win.” But there was no winning that day; just as there was no pretending that what had happened would not change the history of a country that, liberated from Adolf Hitler’s Reich barely six weeks earlier, was now surging headlong towards bloody civil war.
Even now, at 86, when Patríkios “laughs at and with myself that I have reached such an age”, the poet can remember, scene-for-scene, shot for shot, what happened in the central square of Greek political life on the morning of 3 December 1944.
This was the day, those 70 years ago this week, when the British army, still at war with Germany, opened fire upon – and gave locals who had collaborated with the Nazis the guns to fire upon – a civilian crowd demonstrating in support of the partisans with whom Britain had been allied for three years.
The crowd carried Greek, American, British and Soviet flags, and chanted: “Viva Churchill, Viva Roosevelt, Viva Stalin’” in endorsement of the wartime alliance.
Twenty-eight civilians, mostly young boys and girls, were killed and hundreds injured. “We had all thought it would be a demonstration like any other,” Patríkios recalls. “Business as usual. Nobody expected a bloodbath.”
Britain’s logic was brutal and perfidious: Prime minister Winston Churchill considered the influence of the Communist Party within the resistance movement he had backed throughout the war – the National Liberation Front, EAM – to have grown stronger than he had calculated, sufficient to jeopardise his plan to return the Greek king to power and keep Communism at bay. So he switched allegiances to back the supporters of Hitler against his own erstwhile allies.
There were others in the square that day who, like the 16-year-old Patríkios, would go on to become prominent members of the left. Míkis Theodorakis, renowned composer and iconic figure in modern Greek history, daubed a Greek flag in the blood of those who fell. Like Patríkios, he was a member of the resistance youth movement. And, like Patríkios, he knew his country had changed. Within days, RAF Spitfires and Beaufighters were strafing leftist strongholds as the Battle of Athens – known in Greece as the Dekemvriana – began, fought not between the British and the Nazis, but the British alongside supporters of the Nazis against the partisans. “I can still smell the destruction,” Patríkios laments. “The mortars were raining down and planes were targeting everything. Even now, after all these years, I flinch at the sound of planes in war movies.”
And thereafter Greece’s descent into catastrophic civil war: a cruel and bloody episode in British as well as Greek history which every Greek knows to their core – differently, depending on which side they were on – but which remains curiously untold in Britain, perhaps out of shame, maybe the arrogance of a lack of interest. It is a narrative of which the millions of Britons who go to savour the glories of Greek antiquity or disco-dance around the islands Mamma Mia-style, are unaware.
The legacy of this betrayal has haunted Greece ever since, its shadow hanging over the turbulence and violence that erupted in 2008 after the killing of a schoolboy by police – also called the Dekemvriana – and created an abyss between the left and right thereafter.
“The 1944 December uprising and 1946-49 civil war period infuses the present,” says the leading historian of these events, André Gerolymatos, “because there has never been a reconciliation. In France or Italy, if you fought the Nazis, you were respected in society after the war, regardless of ideology. In Greece, you found yourself fighting – or imprisoned and tortured by – the people who had collaborated with the Nazis, on British orders. There has never been a reckoning with that crime, and much of what is happening in Greece now is the result of not coming to terms with the past.”
Before the war, Greece was ruled by a royalist dictatorship whose emblem of a fascist axe and crown well expressed its dichotomy once war began: the dictator, General Ioannis Metaxas, had been trained as an army officer in Imperial Germany, while Greek King George II – an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – was attached to Britain. The Greek left, meanwhile, had been reinforced by a huge influx of politicised refugees and liberal intellectuals from Asia Minor, who crammed into the slums of Pireaus and working-class Athens.
Both dictator and king were fervently anti-communist, and Metaxas banned the Communist Party, KKE, interning and torturing its members, supporters and anyone who did not accept “the national ideology” in camps and prisons, or sending them into internal exile. Once war started, Metaxas refused to accept Mussolini’s ultimatum to surrender and pledged his loyalty to the Anglo-Greek alliance. The Greeks fought valiantly and defeated the Italians, but could not resist the Wehrmacht. By the end of April 1941, the Axis forces imposed a harsh occupation of the country. The Greeks – at first spontaneously, later in organised groups – resisted.
But, noted the British Special Operations Executive (SOE): “The right wing and monarchists were slower than their opponents in deciding to resist the occupation, and were therefore of little use.”
Britain’s natural allies were therefore EAM – an alliance of left wing and agrarian parties of which the KKE was dominant, but by no means the entirety – and its partisan military arm, ELAS.
There is no overstating the horror of occupation. Professor Mark Mazower’s book Inside Hitler’s Greece describes hideous bloccos or “round-ups” – whereby crowds would be corralled into the streets so that masked informers could point out ELAS supporters to the Gestapo and Security Battalions – which had been established by the collaborationist government to assist the Nazis – for execution. Stripping and violation of women was a common means to secure “confessions”. Mass executions took place “on the German model”: in public, for purposes of intimidation; bodies would be left hanging from trees, guarded by Security Battalion collaborators to prevent their removal. In response, ELAS mounted daily counterattacks on the Germans and their quislings. The partisan movement was born in Athens but based in the villages, so that Greece was progressively liberated from the countryside. The SOE played its part, famous in military annals for the role of Brigadier Eddie Myers and “Monty” Woodhouse in blowing up the Gorgopotomas viaduct in 1942 and other operations with the partisans – andartes in Greek.
By autumn 1944, Greece had been devastated by occupation and famine. Half a million people had died – 7% of the population. ELAS had, however, liberated dozens of villages and become a proto-government, administering parts of the country while the official state withered away. But after German withdrawal, ELAS kept its 50,000 armed partisans outside the capital, and in May 1944 agreed to the arrival of British troops, and to place its men under the officer commanding, Lt Gen Ronald Scobie.
On 12 October the Germans evacuated Athens. Some ELAS fighters, however, had been in the capital all along, and welcomed the fresh air of freedom during a six-day window between liberation and the arrival of the British. One partisan in particular is still alive, aged 92, and is a legend of modern Greece.
In and around the European parliament in Brussels, the man in a Greek fisherman’s cap, with his mane of white hair and moustache, stands out. He is Manolis Glezos, senior MEP for the leftist Syriza party of Greece.
Glezos is a man of humbling greatness. On 30 May 1941, he climbed the Acropolis with another partisan and tore down the swastika flag that had been hung there a month before. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942, was tortured and as a result suffered from tuberculosis. He escaped and was re-arrested twice – the second time by collaborators. He recalls being sentenced to death in May 1944, before the Germans left Athens – “They told me my grave had already been dug”. Somehow he avoided execution and was then saved from a Greek courtmartial’s firing squad during the civil war period by international outcry led by General de Gaulle, Jean-Paul Sartre and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev Geoffrey Fisher.”
Seventy years later, he is an icon of the Greek left who is also hailed as the greatest living authority on the resistance. “The English, to this day, argue that they liberated Greece and saved it from communism,” he says. “But that is the basic problem. They never liberated Greece. Greece had been liberated by the resistance, groups across the spectrum, not just EAM, on 12 October. I was there, on the streets – people were everywhere shouting: ‘Freedom!’ we cried, Laokratia! – ‘Power to the People!’”
The British duly arrived on 18 October, installed a provisional government under Georgios Papandreou and prepared to restore the king. “From the moment they came,” recalls Glezos, “the people and the resistance greeted them as allies. There was nothing but respect and friendship towards the British. We had no idea that we were already giving up our country and our rights.” It was only a matter of time before EAM walked out of the provisional government in frustration over demands that the partisans demobilise. The negotiations broke down on 2 December.
Official British thinking is reflected in War Cabinet papers and other documents kept in the Public Record Office at Kew. As far back as 17 August 1944, Churchill had written a “Personal and Top Secret” memo to US president Franklin Roosevelt to say that: “The War Cabinet and Foreign Secretary are much concerned about what will happen in Athens, and indeed Greece, when the Germans crack or when their divisions try to evacuate the country. If there is a long hiatus after German authorities have gone from the city before organised government can be set up, it seems very likely that EAM and the Communist extremists will attempt to seize the city.”
But what the freedom fighters wanted, insists Glezos “was what we had achieved during the war: a state ruled by the people for the people. There was no plot to take over Athens as Churchill always maintained. If we had wanted to do that, we could have done so before the British arrived.” During November, the British set about building the new National Guard, tasked to police Greece and disarm the wartime militias. In reality, disarmament applied to ELAS only, explains Gerolymatos, not to those who had collaborated with the Nazis. Gerolymatos writes in his forthcoming book, The International Civil War, about how “in the middle of November, the British started releasing Security Battalion officers… and soon some of them were freely walking the streets of Athens wearing new uniforms… The British army continued to provide protection to assist the gradual rehabilitation of the former quisling units in the Greek army and police forces.” An SOE memo urged that “HMG must not appear to be connected with this scheme.”
In conversation, Gerolymatos says: “So far as ELAS could see, the British had arrived, and now some senior officers of the Security Battalions and Special Security Branch [collaborationist units which had been integrated into the SS] were seen walking freely in the streets. Athens in 1944 was a small place, and you could not miss these people. Senior British officers knew exactly what they were doing, despite the fact that the ordinary soldiers of the former Security Battalions were the scum of Greece”. Gerolymatos estimates that 12,000 Security Battalionists were released from Goudi prison during the uprising to join the National Guard, and 228 had been reinstated in the army.
Any British notion that the Communists were poised for revolution fell within the context of the so-called Percentages Agreement, forged between Churchill and Soviet Commissar Josef Stalin at the code-named “Tolstoy Conference” in Moscow on 9 October 1944. Under the terms agreed in what Churchill called “a naughty document”, southeast Europe was carved up into “spheres of influence”, whereby – broadly – Stalin took Romania and Bulgaria, while Britain, in order to keep Russia out of the Mediterranean, took Greece. The obvious thing to have done, argues Gerolymatos, “would have been to incorporate ELAS into the Greek army. The officers in ELAS, many holding commissions in the pre-war Greek army, presumed this would happen – like De Gaulle did with French communists fighting in the resistance: ‘France is liberated, now let’s go and fight Germany!’
“But the British and the Greek government in exile decided from the outset that ELAS officers and men would not be admitted into the new army. Churchill wanted a showdown with the KKE so as to be able to restore the king. Churchill believed that a restoration would result in the return of legitimacy and bring back the old order. EAM-ELAS, regardless of its relationship to the KKE, represented a revolutionary force, and change.”
Meanwhile, continues Gerolymatos: “The Greek communists had decided not to try to take over the country, as least not until late November/early December 1944. The KKE wanted to push for a left-of-centre government and be part of it, that’s all.” Echoing Glezos, he says: “If they had wanted a revolution, they would not have left 50,000 armed men outside the capital after liberation – they’d have brought them in.”
“By recruiting the collaborators, the British changed the paradigm, signalling that the old order was back. Churchill wanted the conflict,” says Gerolymatos. “We must remember: there was no Battle for Greece. A large number of the British troops that arrived were administrative, not line units. When the fighting broke out in December, the British and the provisional government let the Security Battalions out of Goudi; they knew how to fight street-to-street because they’d done it with the Nazis. They’d been fighting ELAS already during the occupation and resumed the battle with gusto.”
The morning of Sunday 3 December was a sunny one, as several processions of Greek republicans, anti-monarchists, socialists and communists wound their way towards Syntagma Square. Police cordons blocked their way, but several thousand broke through; as they approached the square, a man in military uniform shouted: “Shoot the bastards!” The lethal fusillade – from Greek police positions atop the parliament building and British headquarters in the Grande Bretagne hotel – lasted half an hour. By noon, a second crowd of demonstrators entered the square, until it was jammed with 60,000 people. After several hours, a column of British paratroops cleared the square; but the Battle of Athens had begun, and Churchill had his war.
Manolis Glezos was sick that morning, suffering from tuberculosis. “But when I heard what had happened, I got off my sick bed,” he recalls. The following day, Glezos was roaming the streets, angry and determined, disarming police stations. By the time the British sent in an armoured division he and his comrades were waiting.
“I note the fact,” he says, “that they would rather use those troops to fight our population than German Nazis!” By the time British tanks rolled in from the port of Pireaus, he was lying in wait: “I remember them coming up the Sacred Way. We were dug in a trench. I took out three tanks,” he says. “There was much bloodshed, a lot of fighting, I lost many very good friends. It was difficult to strike at an Englishman, difficult to kill a British soldier – they had been our allies. But now they were trying to destroy the popular will, and had declared war on our people”.
At battle’s peak, Glezos says, the British even set up sniper nests on the Acropolis. “Not even the Germans did that. They were firing down on EAM targets, but we didn’t fire back, so as not [to harm] the monument.”
On 5 December, Lt Gen Scobie imposed martial law and the following day ordered the aerial bombing of the working-class Metz quarter. “British and government forces,” writes anthropologist Neni Panourgia in her study of families in that time, “having at their disposal heavy armament, tanks, aircraft and a disciplined army, were able to make forays into the city, burning and bombing houses and streets and carving out segments of the city… The German tanks had been replaced by British ones, the SS and Gestapo officers by British soldiers.” The house belonging to actor Mimis Fotopoulos, she writes, was burned out with a portrait of Churchill above the fireplace.
“I recall shouting slogans in English, during one battle in Koumoundourou Square because I had a strong voice and it was felt I could be heard,” says poet Títos Patríkios as we talk in his apartment. “‘We are brothers, there’s nothing to divide us, come with us!’ That’s what I was shouting in the hope that they [British troops] would withdraw. And right at that moment, with my head poked above the wall, a bullet brushed over my helmet. Had I not been yanked down by Evangelos Goufas[another poet], who was there next to me, I would have been dead.”
He can now smile at the thought that only months after the killing in the square he was back at school, studying English on a British Council summer course. “We were enemies, but at the same time friends. In one battle I came across an injured English soldier and I took him to a field hospital. I gave him my copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped which I remember he kept.”
It is illuminating to read the dispatches by British soldiers themselves, as extracted by the head censor, Capt JB Gibson, now stored at the Public Record Office. They give no indication that the enemy they fight was once a partisan ally, indeed many troops think they are fighting a German-backed force. A warrant officer writes: “Mr Churchill and his speech bucked us no end, we know now what we are fighting for and against, it is obviously a Hun element behind all this trouble.” From “An Officer”: “You may ask: why should our boys give their lives to settle Greek political differences, but they are only Greek political differences? I say: no, it is all part of the war against the Hun, and we must go on and exterminate this rebellious element.”
Cabinet papers at Kew trace the reactions in London: a minute of 12 December records Harold Macmillan, political advisor to Field Marshal Alexander, returning from Athens to recommend “a proclamation of all civilians against us as rebels, and a declaration those found in civilian clothes opposing us with weapons were liable to be shot, and that 24 hours notice should be given that certain areas were to be wholly evacuated by the civilian population” – ergo, the British Army was to depopulate and occupy Athens. Soon, reinforced British troops had the upper hand and on Christmas Eve Churchill arrived in the Greek capital in a failed bid to make peace on Christmas Day.
“I will now tell you something I have never told anyone,” says Manolis Glezos mischievously. On the evening of 25 December Glezos would take part in his most daring escapade, laying more than a ton of dynamite under the hotel Grande Bretagne, where Lt Gen Scobie had headquartered himself. “There were about 30 of us involved. We worked through the tunnels of the sewerage system; we had people to cover the grid-lines in the streets, so scared we were that we’d be heard. We crawled through all the shit and water and laid the dynamite right under the hotel, enough to blow it sky high.
“I carried the fuse wire myself, wire wound all around me, and I had to unravel it. We were absolutely filthy, covered [in excrement] and when we got out of the sewerage system I remember the boys washing us down. I went over to the boy with the detonator; and we waited, waited for the signal, but it never came. Nothing. There was no explosion. Then I found out: at the last minute EAM found out that Churchill was in the building, and put out an order to call off the attack. They’d wanted to blow up the British command, but didn’t want to be responsible for assassinating one of the big three.”
At the end of the Dekemvriana, thousands had been killed; 12,000 leftists rounded up and sent to camps in the Middle East. A truce was signed on 12 February, the only clause of which that was even partially honoured was the demobilisation of ELAS. And so began a chapter known in Greek history as the “White Terror”, as anyone suspected of helping ELAS during the Dekemvriana or even Nazi occupation was rounded up and sent to a gulag of camps established for their internment, torture, often murder – or else repentance, as under the Metaxas dictatorship.
Títos Patríkios is not the kind of man who wants the past to impinge on the present. But he does not deny the degree to which this history has done just that – affecting his poetry, his movement, his quest to find “le mot juste”. This most measured and mild-mannered of men would spend years in concentration camps, set up with the help of the British as civil war beckoned. With imprisonment came hard labour, and with hard labour came torture, and with exile came censorship. “The first night on Makronissos [the most infamous camp] we were all beaten very badly.
“I spent six months there, mostly breaking stones, picking brambles and carrying sand. Once, I was made to stand for 24 hours after it had been discovered that a newspaper had published a letter describing the appalling conditions in the camp. But though I had written it, and had managed to pass it on to my mother, I never admitted to doing so and throughout my time there I never signed a statement of repentance.”
Patríkios was among the relatively fortunate; thousands of others were executed, usually in public, their severed heads or hanging bodies routinely displayed in public squares. His Majesty’s embassy in Athens commented by saying the exhibition of severed heads “is a regular custom in this country which cannot be judged by western European standards”.
The name of the man in command of the “British Police Mission” to Greece is little known. Sir Charles Wickham had been assigned by Churchill to oversee the new Greek security forces – in effect, to recruit the collaborators. Anthropologist Neni Panourgia describes Wickham as “one of the persons who traversed the empire establishing the infrastructure needed for its survival,” and credits him with the establishment of one of the most vicious camps in which prisoners were tortured and murdered, at Giaros.
From Yorkshire, Wickham was a military man who served in the Boer War, during which concentration camps in the modern sense were invented by the British. He then fought in Russia, as part of the allied Expeditionary Force sent in 1918 to aid White Russian Czarist forces in opposition to the Bolshevik revolution. After Greece, he moved on in 1948 to Palestine. But his qualification for Greece was this: Sir Charles was the first Inspector General of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, from 1922 to 1945.
The RUC was founded in 1922, following what became known as the Belfast pogroms of 1920-22, when Catholic streets were attacked and burned. It was, writes the historian Tim Pat Coogan, “conceived not as a regular police body, but as a counter-insurgency one… The new force contained many recruits who joined up wishing to be ordinary policemen, but it also contained murder gangs headed by men like a head constable who used bayonets on his victims because it prolonged their agonies.”
As the writer Michael Farrell found out when researching his book Arming the Protestants, much material pertaining to Sir Charles’s incorporation of these UVF and Special Constabulary militiamen into the RUC has been destroyed, but enough remains to give a clear indication of what was happening. In a memo written by Wickham in November 1921, before the formation of the RUC, and while the partition treaty of December that year was being negotiated, he had addressed “All County Commanders” as follows: “Owing to the number of reports which has been received as to the growth of unauthorised loyalist defence forces, the government have under consideration the desirability of obtaining the services of the best elements of these organisations.”
Coogan, Ireland’s greatest and veteran historian, stakes no claim to neutrality over matters concerning the Republic and Union, but historical facts are objective and he has a command of those that none can match. We talk at his home outside Dublin over a glass of whiskey appositely called “Writer’s Tears”.
“It’s the narrative of empire,” says Coogan, “and, of course, they applied it to Greece. That same combination of concentration camps, putting the murder gangs in uniform, and calling it the police. That’s colonialism, that’s how it works. You use whatever means are necessary, one of which is terror and collusion with terrorists. It works.
“Wickham organised the RUC as the armed wing of Unionism, which is something it remained thereafter,” he says. “How long was it in the history of this country before the Chris Patten report of 1999, and Wickham’s hands were finally prised off the police? That’s a hell of a long piece of history – and how much suffering, meanwhile?”
The head of MI5 reported in 1940 that “in the personality and experience of Sir Charles Wickham, the fighting services have at their elbow a most valuable friend and counsellor”. When the intelligence services needed to integrate the Greek Security Battalions – the Third Reich’s “Special Constabulary” – into a new police force, they had found their man.
Greek academics vary in their views on how directly responsible Wickham was in establishing the camps and staffing them with the torturers. Panourgia finds the camp on Giaros – an island which even the Roman Emperor Tiberius decreed unfit for prisoners – to have been Wickham’s own direct initiative. Gerolymatos, meanwhile, says: “The Greeks didn’t need the British to help them set up camps. It had been done before, under Metaxas.” Papers at Kew show British police serving under Wickham to be regularly present in the camps.
Gerolymatos adds: “The British – and that means Wickham – knew who these people were. And that’s what makes it so frightening. They were the people who had been in the torture chambers during occupation, pulling out the fingernails and applying thumbscrews.” By September 1947, the year the Communist Party was outlawed, 19,620 leftists were held in Greek camps and prisons, 12,000 of them in Makronissos, with a further 39,948 exiled internally or in British camps across the Middle East. There exist many terrifying accounts of torture, murder and sadism in the Greek concentration camps – one of the outrageous atrocities in postwar Europe. Polymeris Volgis of New York University describes how a system of repentance was introduced as though by a “latter-day secular Inquisition”, with confessions extracted through “endless and violent degradation”.
Women detainees would have their children taken away until they confessed to being “Bulgarians” and “whores”. The repentance system led Makronissos to be seen as a “school” and “National University” for those now convinced that “Our life belongs to Mother Greece,’ in which converts were visited by the king and queen, ministers and foreign officials. “The idea”, says Patríkios, who never repented, “was to reform and create patriots who would serve the homeland.”
Minors in the Kifissa prison were beaten with wires and socks filled with concrete. “On the boys’ chests, they sewed name tags”, writes Voglis, “with Slavic endings added to the names; many boys were raped”. A female prisoner was forced, after a severe beating, to stand in the square of Kastoria holding the severed heads of her uncle and brother-in-law. One detainee at Patras prison in May 1945 writes simply this: “They beat me furiously on the soles of my feet until I lost my sight. I lost the world.”
Manolis Glezos has a story of his own. He produces a book about the occupation, and shows a reproduction of the last message left by his brother Nikos, scrawled on the inside of a beret. Nikos was executed by collaborators barely a month before the Germans evacuated Greece. As he was being driven to the firing squad, the 19-year-old managed to throw the cap he was wearing from the window of the car. Subsequently found by a friend and restored to the family, the cap is among Glezos’s most treasured possessions.
Scribbled inside, Nikos had written: “Beloved mother. I kiss you. Greetings. Today I am going to be executed, falling for the Greek People. 10-5-44.”
Nowhere else in newly liberated Europe were Nazi sympathisers enabled to penetrate the state structure – the army, security forces, judiciary – so effectively. The resurgence of neo-fascism in the form of present-day far-right party Golden Dawn has direct links to the failure to purge the state of right-wing extremists; many of Golden Dawn’s supporters are descendants of Battalionists, as were the “The Colonels” who seized power in 1967.
Glezos says: “I know exactly who executed my brother and I guarantee they all got off scot-free. I know that the people who did it are in government, and no one was ever punished.” Glezos has dedicated years to creating a library in his brother’s honour. In Brussels, he unabashedly asks interlocutors to contribute to the fund by popping a “frango” (a euro) into a silk purse. It is, along with the issue of war reparations, his other great campaign, his last wish: to erect a building worthy of the library that will honour Nikos. “The story of my brother is the story of Greece,” he says.
There is no claim that ELAS, or the Democratic Army of Greece which replaced it, were hapless victims. There was indeed a “Red Terror” in response to the onslaught, and on the retreat from Athens, ELAS took some 15,000 prisoners with them. “We did some killing,” concedes Glezos, “and some people acted out of revenge. But the line was not to kill civilians.”
In December 1946, Greek prime minister Konstantinos Tsaldaris, faced with the probability of British withdrawal, visited Washington to seek American assistance. In response, the US State Department formulated a plan for military intervention which, in March 1947, formed the basis for an announcement by President Truman of what became known as the Truman Doctrine, to intervene with force wherever communism was considered a threat. All that had passed in Greece on Britain’s initiative was the first salvo of the Cold War.
Glezos still calls himself a communist. But like Patríkios, who rejected Stalinism, he believes that communism, as applied to Greece’s neighbours to the north, would have been a catastrophe. He recalls how he even gave Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader who would de-Stalinise the Soviet Union “an earful about it all”. The occasion arose when Khrushchev invited Glezos – who at the height of the Cold War was a hero in the Soviet Union, honoured with a postage stamp bearing his image – to the Kremlin. It was 1963 and Khrushchev was in talkative mood. Glezos wanted to know why the Red Army, having marched through Bulgaria and Romania, stopped at the Greek border. Perhaps the Russian leader could explain.
“He looked at me and said, ‘Why?’
“I said: ‘Because Stalin didn’t behave like a communist. He divided up the world with others and gave Greece to the English.’ Then I told him what I really thought, that Stalin had been the cause of our downfall, the root of all evil. All we had wanted was a state where the people ruled, just like our [then] government in the mountains, where you can still see the words ‘all powers spring from the people and are executed by the people’ inscribed into the hills. What they wanted, and created, was rule by the party.”
Khrushchev, says Glezos, did not openly concur. “He sat and listened. But then after our meeting he invited me to dinner, which was also attended by Leonid Brezhnev [who succeeded Khrushchev in 1964] and he listened for another four and a half hours. I have always taken that for tacit agreement.”
For Patríkios, it was not until the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, that the penny dropped: a line had been drawn across the map, agreed by Churchill and Stalin. “When I saw the west was not going to intervene [during the Budapest uprising] I realised what had happened – the agreed ‘spheres of influence’. And later, I understood that the Dekemvriana was not a local conflict, but the beginning of the Cold War that had started as a warm war here in Greece.”
Patríkios returned to Athens as a detainee “on leave” and was eventually granted a passport in 1959. Upon procuring it, he immediately got on a ship to Paris where he would spend the next five years studying sociology and philosophy at the Sorbonne. “In politics there are no ethics,” he says, “especially imperial politics.”
It’s the afternoon of 25 January 2009. The tear gas that has drenched Athens – a new variety, imported from Israel – clears. A march in support of a Bulgarian cleaner, whose face has been disfigured in an acid attack by neo-fascists, has been broken up by riot police after hours of street-fighting.
Back in the rebel-held quarter of Exarcheia, a young woman called Marina pulls off her balaclava and draws air. Over coffee, she answers the question: why Greece? Why is it so different from the rest of Europe in this regard – the especially bitter war between left and right? “Because,” she replies, “of what was done to us in 1944. The persecution of the partisans who fought the Nazis, for which they were honoured in France, Italy, Belgium or the Netherlands – but for which, here, they were tortured and killed on orders from your government.”
She continues: “I come from a family that has been detained and tortured for two generations before me: my grandfather after the Second World War, my father under the Junta of the colonels – and now it could be me, any day now. We are the grandchildren of the andartes, and our enemies are Churchill’s Greek grandchildren.”
“The whole thing”, spits Dr Gerolymatos, “was for nothing. None of this need have happened, and the British crime was to legitimise people whose record under occupation by the Third Reich put them beyond legitimacy. It happened because Churchill believed he had to bring back the Greek king. And the last thing the Greek people wanted or needed was the return of a de-frocked monarchy backed by Nazi collaborators. But that is what the British imposed, and it has scarred Greece ever since.”
“All those collaborators went into the system,” says Manilos Glezos. “Into the government mechanism – during and after the civil war, and their sons went into the military junta. The deposits remain, like malignant cells in the system. Although we liberated Greece, the Nazi collaborators won the war, thanks to the British. And the deposits remain, like bacilli in the system.”
But there is one last thing Glezos would like to make clear. “You haven’t asked: ‘Why do I go on? Why I am doing this when I am 92 years and two months old?’ he says, fixing us with his eyes. “I could, after all, be sitting on a sofa in slippers with my feet up,” he jests. “So why do I do this?”
He answers himself: “You think the man sitting opposite you is Manolis but you are wrong. I am not him. And I am not him because I have not forgotten that every time someone was about to be executed, they said: ‘Don’t forget me. When you say good morning, think of me. When you raise a glass, say my name.’ And that is what I am doing talking to you, or doing any of this. The man you see before you is all those people. And all this is about not forgetting them.”
- This article is the subject of a column by the readers’ editor
Timeline: the battle between left and right
Late summer 1944 German forces withdraw from most of Greece, which is taken over by local partisans. Most of them are members of ELAS, the armed wing of the National Liberation Front, EAM, which included the Communist KKE party
October 1944 Allied forces, led by General Ronald Scobie, enter Athens, the last German-occupied area, on 13 October. Georgios Papandreou returns from exile with the Greek government
2 December 1944 Rather than integrate ELAS into the new army, Papandreou and Scobie demand the disarmament of all guerrilla forces. Six members of the new cabinet resign in protest
3 December 1944 Violence in Athens after 200,000 march against the demands. More than 28 are killed and hundreds are injured. The 37-day Dekemvrianá begins. Martial law is declared on 5 December
January/February 1945 Gen Scobie agrees to a ceasefire in exchange for ELAS withdrawal. In February the Treaty of Varkiza is signed by all parties. ELAS troops leave Athens with 15,000 prisoners
1945/46 Right-wing gangs kill more than 1,100 civilians, triggering civil war when government forces start battling the new Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), mainly former ELAS soldiers
1948-49 DSE suffers a catastrophic defeat in the summer of 1948, with nearly 20,000 killed. In July 1949 Tito closes the Yugoslav border, denying DSE shelter. Ceasefire signed on 16 October 1949
21 April 1967 Right-wing forces seize power in a coup d’état. The junta lasts until 1974. Only in 1982 are communist veterans who had fled overseas allowed to return to Greece
- A group of Greek historians writes concerning this article. It was reported that British troops opened fire on the Greek demonstrators from the Grande Bretagne hotel in Athens on December 3 1944. The hotel was British military headquarters, but the fire from it could also have come from Greek police. We also said that the Greek anti-Nazi resistance, ELAS/EAM, agreed not to oppose the landing of British troops in May 1944. The historians point out that the agreement was formalised at Caserta in September.
Professor Vladislav B. Sotirović, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer of: “Middle East Studies” at the Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania; “Mediterranean Studies;” “Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Globalisation;” “Balkan Nationalism and Ethnic Conflicts”and “Europeanisation: Process and Results.”
Prof. Dr. Sotirović is a distinguished expert on the History of the Early Byzantine Empire, 330–846”, Comparative History of Central and South Eastern Europe and Ottoman History, History of Lithuania and Ukraine. He is well known abroad for his influential books and popular lectures about Lithuania, Russian Federation, the Balkans and Baltic Nations and the Multiculturalism.
Professor Sotirović has studied at the Central European Summer University, Budapest, Hungary (2002); earned his Ph. D. in Vilnius University, Faculty of Philology, Slavic Philology Department, in Vilnius, Lithuania. Has pursued graduated studes at the School of Human Rights Research, Tilburg University and Institute for Human Rights, of the Catholic University of Leuven (2001), the Netherlands and Leuven, Belgium; the Center for European Integration Studies, Bonn, Germany (2001); European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano, South Tyrol (Alto Adige), Italy, and in many other Summer Universities and post graduate programs. The following is an extensive interview that Prof. Sotirović has provided to Foreign Policy News Journal, in Washington, DC.
Peter Tase: What is the historical background of the current Ukrainian conflict from the point of view of the Ukrainian statehood?
Vladislav B. Sotirović: The German occupation forces were those who have been the first to create and recognise a short-lived state’s independence of Ukraine in January 1918 during the time of their-own inspired and supported anti-Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917−1921. As reoccupied by the Bolshevik Red Army, the eastern and southern parts of the present-day territory of (a Greater) Ukraine joined in 1922 the USSR as a separate Soviet Socialist Republic (without Crimea). Therefore, a Jew V. I. Lenin has to be considered as the real historical father of the Ukrainian statehood but also and as of the contemporary nationhood. Ukraine was the most fertile agricultural Soviet republic but particularly catastrophically affected by (Georgian) Stalin’s economic policy in the 1930s which neglected agricultural production in favour of the speed industrialisation of the country. The result was a great famine (holodomor) with around seven million people dead but majority of them were of the ethnic Russian origin. A territory of the present-day Ukraine was devastated during the WWII by the Nazi German occupation forces from 1941 to 1944 who installed in Ukraine a puppet and criminal regime of S. Bandera (1900−1959) under which a genocide on Poles, Jews and Russians was committed. For instance, the Ukrainian militia (12.000) directly participated in the 1942 holocaust of some 200.000 Volhynian Jews together with 140.000 German policemen. The Ukrainian mass killers learned their job from the Germans and applied their knowledge as well as on the Poles.
After the war, J. V. Stalin, supported by the Ukrainian party-cadre N. Khrushchev, deported about 300.000 Ukrainians from their homeland as they have been accused for the collaboration with the Nazi regime during the war and the participation in genocide done by S. Bandera’s government. However, after the war the Ukrainians have been and directly rewarded by Moscow for the collaboration with the Germans and participation in S. Bandera’s organized genocide as the lands of Transcarpathia, littoral Moldova (Bessarabia), Polish Galicia and part of Romania’s Bukovina in 1945 followed by Crimea in 1954 became annexed by the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. These territories, which never have been part of any kind of Ukraine and overwhelmingly not populated by the ethnolinguistic Ukrainians, were included into the Soviet Ukraine primarily due to the political activity by the strongest Ukrainian cadre in the USSR – N. Khrushchev, a person who inherited Stalin’s throne in Moscow in 1953. On this place, a parallel with Croatia is an absolute: for the Croat committed genocide on the Serbs, Jews and Roma by A. Pavelić’s regime (a Croat version of S. Bandera) during the WWII on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia a post-war (Socialist Republic of) Croatia was awarded by a Croat-Slovenian dictator of Yugoslavia J. B. Tito with the lands of Istria, Adriatic islands and Dubrovnik – all of them never have been in any kind of the state of Croatia before the WWII.
M. Gorbachev’s policy of deliberate dissolution of the USSR from the time of Reykjavik bilateral meeting with Ronald Reagan in 1988 caused a revival of the ethnic nationalism of the Ukrainians who proclaimed an independence on August 24th, 1991 (confirmed on a referendum held on December 1st, 1991 only by those who did not boycott it) in the wake of anti-Gorbachev’s military putsch in Moscow (mis)using the political situation of paralyzed central government in the country. The state’s independence of Ukraine was proclaimed and later internationally recognized within the borders of a Greater Stalin-Khrushchev’s Ukraine with at least 20% of the ethic Russian population living in a compact area in the eastern part of the country and as well as making a qualified (2/3) majority of Crimea’s population. The coming years saw the rifts with neighbouring Russia with the main political task by Kiev to commit as possible as the Ukrainization (assimilation) of ethnic Russians (similar to the policy of the Croatization of ethnic Serbs in Croatia orchestrated by the neo-Nazi government in Zagreb led by Dr. Franjo Tuđman). At the same time the Russian majority in Crimea constantly required the peninsula’s reunification with mother Russia but getting only an autonomous status within Ukraine – a country which they never considered as their natural-historical homeland. The Russians of Ukraine were becoming more and more unsatisfied with conditions in which they have been leaving from the time when in 1998−2001 the Ukrainian taxation system collapsed what meant that the central government in Kiev was not able to pay the salaries and pensions to its own citizens. A very weak Ukrainian state became in fact unable to function normally (“failed state”) and as a consequence it did not have a power to prevent a series of politically motivated assassinations followed by popular protests which had been also very much inspired by economic decline of the country.
As a matter of fact, it has to be stressed that the Ukrainian historiography on their own history of the land and the people is extremely nationalistic and in very cases not objective like many other national historiographies. It is basically politically coloured with the main task to present the Ukrainians as a natural ethnolinguistic nation who have been historically fighting to create a united independent national state and unjustifiably claiming certain territories to be ethnohistorically the “Ukrainian”. As a typical example of such tendency to rewrite history of the East Europe according to the nationalistic and politically correct framework is, for instance, the book by Serhy Jekelčyk on the birth of a modern Ukrainian nation in which, among other quasi-historical facts based on the self-interpreted events, is written that the USSR in 1939−1940 annexed from Poland and Romania the “West Ukrainian land” (Serhy Jekelčyk, Ukraina: Modernios nacijos gimimas, Vilnius: Baltos lankos, 2009, 17).
However, this “Western Ukrainian Land” never was part of any kind of Ukraine before the WWII as Ukraine as a state or administrative province never existed before V. I. Lenin created in 1923 a Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine within the USSR but at that time without the “Western Ukrainian Land” as it was not a part of the USSR. Moreover, the Ukrainians were either not leaving or being just minority on this land what means that Ukraine even did not have ethnic rights over the biggest part of the “West Ukraine.” Even today around half of Ukraine’s state’s territory is not populated by the Ukrainians as a majority of the population. Moreover, in some regions there are no Ukrainians at all. Therefore, the cardinal question is on which principle the Ukrainian borders are shaped?
As another example of the Ukrainian historiographic nationalistic misleading we can find in an academic brochure on Bukovina’s Metropolitan’s residence, published in 2007 by the National University of Chernivtsi. In the brochure is written that this university is “…one of the oldest classical universities of Ukraine” (The Architecturial Complex of Bukovynian Metropolitan’s Residence, Chernivtsi: Yuriy Fedkovych National University of Chernivtsi, 2007, 31) that is true only from the present-day rough political perspective but not and from a moral-historic point of view. Namely, the university is located in the North Bukovina which in 1775 the Habsburg Monarchy had obtained. The land was from 1786 administrated within the Chernivtsi district of Galicia and one hundred years after the affiliation of Bukovina to the monarchy, the Franz-Josephs-Universität was inaugurated on October 4th, 1875 (the name day of the emperor). In the other words, the university’s origin as whole Bukovina has nothing to do with any kind of both historical Ukraine and ethnic Ukrainians as before 1940 it was outside of administrative territory of Ukraine when the whole North Bukovina on August 13th, became annexed by the USSR according to the Hitler-Stalin Pact (or the Ribbentrop-MolotovPact) signed on August 23rd, 1939 (ibid.). Therefore, two notorious bandits (one Nazi another Bolshevik) decided to transfer the North Bukovina to the USSR and the land became after the WWII part of a Greater (Stalin’s) Ukrainian SSR. Nevertheless, while the Ukrainian nationalists claim that “Russia” (in fact anti-Russian USSR) occupied Ukraine, the annexation of the North Bukovina and other territories from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania in 1940 are for them a legitimate act of historical justice. Here we have to notice that according to the same pact, the territories of the independent states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are as well as annexed by the USSR that is considered by their historians and politicians as “occupation”, what means (illegal) act of aggression that is breaking international law and legitimate order. Nevertheless, they never accused Ukraine of doing the same in regard to occupied lands from its three western neighbours in 1940/1944.
Political assimilation of certain separate Slavonic ethnolinguistic groups in Ukraine was and is one of the standardized instruments for the creation and maintaining of the Ukrainian national identity in the 20th century. The most brutal case is of the Ruthenians (Rusyns) who are simply proclaimed as historical Ukrainians known under such name till the WWII. Their land, which was in the interwar period part of Czechoslovakia, that was annexed by the USSR at the end of the WWII and included into a Greater Soviet Ukraine is simply renamed from Ruthenia into the Sub-Carpathian Ukraine. However, the Ruthenians and the Ukrainians are two separate Slavonic ethnolinguistic groups as such officially recognized, for example, in Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Vojvodina where the Ruthenian (Rusyn) language is even standardized and studied together with Ruthenian philology and literature at a separate department at the University of Novi Sad. Unfortunately, the Ruthenian position in Ukraine is even worst in comparison with the Kurdish position in Turkey as the process of Ruthenian assimilation is much speeder than of the Kurdish case.
From the current perspective of the Ukrainian crisis and in general from the point of solving the “Ukrainian Question” it has to be noticed a very historical fact that a part of the present-day East Ukraine became legally incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1654 as a consequence of the decision by the local hetman of Zaporozhian territory Bohdan Khmelnytsky (c. 1595−1657) based on a popular revolt against the Polish-Lithuanian (the Roman Catholic) occupation of Ukraine which broke out in 1648. It means that the core of the present-day Ukraine voluntarily joined Russia, therefore escaping from the Roman Catholic Polish-Lithuanian oppression. Subsequently, B. Khmelnytsky’s ruled territory has to be considered from a historical point of view as the motherland of all present-day Ukraine – the motherland which already in 1654 chose Russia.
Peter Tase: How do you see the Euromaidan Revolution in 2014?
Vladislav B. Sotirović: The current Ukrainian crisis and in fact civil war which stared at the very end of 2013 are grounded in for decades lasting internal interethnic antagonisms primarily on the Ukrainian-Russian relations including above all the “Crimean Question” as an apple of discord from 1954 between Ukraine and Russia. The crisis came from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius were in November 2013 an Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine had to be signed. Lithuania at that time (July 1st−December 31st, 2013) presided the European (Union) Council and formally had a full political responsibility for the breaking out of the crisis as being the host of the event on which the EU absolutely blamed only Ukraine’s President V. Yanukovych for the failure of the agreement as he simply rejected to sign it.
However, his decision was primarily based on the logic of a realpolitik as he preferred much more favourable economic-financial offer by Moscow (including and de facto legalization of stealing of the Russia’s gas to Europe that was transported via Ukraine) for the purpose to try to resolve inner economic, social and political crisis which was threatening a stability of the Ukrainian society and state from 1991. The official Kiev recognizes that for Ukraine (up to 2014) Russia was:
“…the largest trade partner and a huge market. In addition, many Ukrainians have family and friendly relations with the Russian people. In this connection, it should be noted that Europeans are actually interested in stable partnership between the two countries. Ukraine remains the major transit country for Russian natural gas transported to Europe, and it is very important for Kyiv to make sure that Europeans regard it as a reliable and predictable partner” (Ukraine. A Country of Opportunities, Kyiv: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, 2010, 6).
It was obvious that such Yanukovych’s turn toward the Russian Federation would mean and closest political ties between Kiev and Moscow in the future – a cardinal reason for the EU and USA to directly fuel a new colour revolution in Ukraine for the purpose to overthrow Yanukovych and to install instead of him their own puppet regime which will drive the country to direction of both the EU and the NATO. The Ukrainian 2013/2014 coloured revolution was committed according to the model of the first CIA’s sponsored East European colour revolution that was organized in Serbia (Belgrade) at the beginning of October 2000 (the “2000 October 5th Revolution”). The protest of the “people” in Kiev in 2014 finally was ended by a classic street-style coup d’étatlike in Belgrade 14 years ago and installation of as well as a classic (pro-USA/EU/NATO’s) marionette regime. As it is known from any introductory course on democracy, any kind of coup d’état (putsch) is illegal and unconstitutional. As in the 2000 Belgrade Coup case, the 2014 Kiev Putsch case was formally justified as a “popular revolt” against the dictator who became ousted in February 2014. In fact, however, unlawfully removed legally and legitimately elected head of state by the USA/EU’s sponsored and supported ultranationalistic and even a neo-Nazi coloured political upheaval of the “Euromaidan” protesters in Kiev and some other bigger western Ukrainian cities (like in Lvov) directly provoked a new popular coloured revolution in the Russian speaking provinces of the East Ukraine and Crimea with a final consequence of a territorial secession of self-proclaimed Luhansk, Kharkov, and Donetsk People’s Republics and Crimea (according to Kosovo pattern from 2008).
In regard to the 2014 Kyiv Coup, according to Paul Craig Roberts, Washington used its funded NGOs ($5 billion according to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland at the National Press Club in December 2013) to begin street protests when the elected Ukrainian Government turned down the offer to join the European Union.Similarly to the Ukrainian coup in 2014, the Guatemala coup in 1954, when democratically elected Government of Jacobo Arbenz became overthrown, was also carried out by the CIA. Nonetheless, following R. Reagan’s logic used in the US-led military invasion of Grenada in 1983, the Russian President could send a regular army of the Russian Federation to occupy Ukraine for the security reasons of Russia’s citizens who were studying at the universities in Kiev, Odessa or Lvov. Similar R. Reagan’s argument (to protect the US’ students in Grenada) was (mis)used, among others, and by Adolf Hitler in April 1941 to invade and occupy the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as, according to the German intelligence service, the German minority in Yugoslavia (the Volksdeutschers) were oppressed and terrorized by the new (pro-British) Government of General Dušan Simović after the coup in Belgrade committed on March 27th, 1941.Nonetheless, a new anti-Russian government in Kiev launched a brutal linguistic and cultural policy of Ukrainization directly endangering the rights of ethnolinguistic Russians, who represent a clear majority of the population of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of the East Ukraine, Crimean Peninsula respectively but as well as and of other non-Ukrainian population who supported a pro-Russia’s course of the country.
Peter Tase: Who are the Ukrainians or what you can say on a Ukrainian identity as a very important part of the current Ukrainian conflict issue?
Vladislav B. Sotirović: Ukraine is an East European territory which was originally forming a western part of the Russian Empire from the mid-17th century. That is a present-day independent state and separate ethnolinguistic nation as a typical example of Benedict Anderson’s theory-model of the “imagined community” – a self-constructed idea of the artificial ethnic and linguistic-cultural identity. Before 2014 Ukraine was a home of some 46 million inhabitants of whom, according to the official data, there were around 77 percent of those who declared themselves as the Ukrainians. Nevertheless, many Russians do not consider the Ukrainians or the Belarus as “foreign” but rather as the regional branches of the Russian nationality. It is a matter of fact that, differently to the Russian case, the national identity of the Belarus or the Ukrainians was never firmly fixed as it was always in the constant process of changing and evolving. The process of self-constructing identity of the Ukrainians after 1991 is basically oriented vis-à-vis Ukraine’s two most powerful neighbours: Poland and Russia. In the other words, the self-constructing Ukrainian identity (like the Montenegrin or the Belarus) is able so far just to claim that the Ukrainians are not both the Poles or the Russians but what they really are is of a great debate. Therefore, an existence of an independent state of Ukraine, nominally as a national state of the Ukrainians, is of a very doubt indeed from both perspectives: historical and ethnolinguistic.
The Slavonic term Ukraine, for instance, in the Serbo-Croat case Krajina, means in the English language a Borderland – a provincial territory situated on the border between at least two political entities: in this particular historical case, between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as the Republic of Both Nations (1569−1795) and the Russian Empire (a German historical term for Ukraine would be a mark – a term for the state’s borderland which existed from the time of the Frankish Kingdom/Empire of Carl the Great).
The term is mostly used from the time of the treaty (truce) of Andrussovo in 1667 between these two states. In the other words, Ukraine and the Ukrainians as a natural objective-historical-cultural identity never existed as it was considered only as a geographic-political territory between two other natural-historical entities (Poland and Russia). All (quasi)historiographical mentioning of this land and the people as Ukraine/Ukrainians referring to the period before the mid-17th century are quite scientifically incorrect but in majority of cases politically inspired and coloured with the purpose to present them as something crucially different from the historical process of ethnicgenesis of the Russians (see, for instance: Alfredas Bumblauskas, Genutė Kirkienė, Feliksas Šabuldo (sudarytojai), Ukraina: Lietuvos epocha, 1320−1569, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2010).
It was a Roman Catholic Vatican that was behand the process of creation of the “imagined community” of the “Ukrainian” national identity for the very political purpose to separate the people from this borderland territory from the Orthodox Russian Empire. Absolutely the same was done by Vatican’s client Austria-Hungary in regard to the national identity of Bosnian-Herzegovinian population when this province was administered by Vienna-Budapest from 1878 to 1918 as it was the Austria-Hungarian government who created totally artificial and very new ethnolinguistic identity – the “Bosnians”, just not to be the (Orthodox) Serbs (who were at that time a strong majority of the provincial population).
A creation of ethnolinguistically artificial Ukrainian national identity and later on a separate nationality was a part of a wider confessional-political project by Vatican in the Roman Catholic historical struggle against the eastern Orthodox Christianity (the eastern “schism”) and its Churches within the framework of Pope’s traditional proselytizing policy of reconversion of the “infidels”. One of the most successful instruments of a soft-way reconversion used by Vatican was to compel a part of the Orthodox population to sign with the Roman Catholic Church the Union Act recognizing at such a way a supreme power by the Pope and dogmatic filioque (“and from the Son” – the Holy Spirit proceeds and from the Father and from the Son). Therefore, the ex-Orthodox believers who now became the Uniate Brothers or the Greek Orthodox believers became in a great number later on a pure Roman Catholics but as well as changed their original (from the Orthodox time) ethnolinguistic identity. It is, for instance, very clear in the case of the Orthodox Serbs in Zhumberak area of Croatia – from the Orthodox Serbs to the Greek Orthodox, later the Roman Catholics and finally today the Croats. Something similar occurred and in the case of Ukraine. On October 9th, 1596 it was announced by Vatican a Brest Union with a part of the Orthodox population within the borders of the Roman Catholic Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth (today Ukraine). The crucial issue in this matter is that today Ukraina’s Uniates and the Roman Catholics are most anti-Russian and of the Ukrainian national feelings. Basically, both the Ukrainian and the Belarus present-day ethnolinguistic and national identities are historically founded on the anti-Orthodox policy of Vatican within the territory of ex-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that was in essence an anti-Russian one.
The Lithuanian historiography writing on the Church Union of Brest in 1596 clearly confirms that:
“… the Catholic Church more and more strongly penetrated the zone of the Orthodox Church, giving a new impetus to the idea, which had been cherished since the time of Jogaila and Vytautas and formulated in the principles of the Union of Florence in 1439, but never put into effect – the subordination of the GDL Orthodox Church to the Pope’s rule” (Zigmantas Kiaupa et al, The History of Lithuania Before 1795, Vilnius: Lithuanian Institute of History, 2000, 288).
In the other words, the rulers of the Roman Catholic Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the GDL) from the very time of Lithuania’s baptizing in 1387−1413 by Vatican had a plan to Catholicize all Orthodox believers of the GDL among whom overwhelming majority were the Slavs. As a consequence, the relations with Moscow became very hostile as Russia accepted a role of the protector of the Orthodox believers and faith and therefore the Church Union of Brest was seen as a criminal act by Rome and its client the Republic of Two Nations (Poland-Lithuania).
Today, it is absolutely clear that the most pro-western and anti-Russian part of Ukraine is exactly the West Ukraine – the lands that was historically under the rule by the Roman Catholic ex-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the former Habsburg Monarchy. It is obvious, for instance, from the presidential voting results in 2010 as the pro-western regions voted for J. Tymoshenko while the pro-Russian regions do it for V. Yanukovych. It is a reflection of the post-Soviet Ukrainian identity dilemma between “Europe” and “Eurasia” – a dilemma that is of common nature for all Central and East European nations who historically played a role of a buffer zone between the German Mittel Europa project and the Russian project of a pan-Slavonic unity and reciprocity.
In general, the western territories of the present-day Ukraine are mainly populated by the Roman Catholics, the East Orthodox and the Uniates. This part of Ukraine is mostly nationalistic and pro-western oriented. The East Ukraine is in essence Russophone and subsequently tends to look to closer relations with Russia.
Peter Tase: Russia’s President V. Putin called a Crimean separation from Ukraine in 2014 as a legitimate act founded on the example of Kosovo separation from Serbia in 2008. Can you comment on it?
Vladislav B. Sotirović: The revolt and colored revolution by the Russian speaking population in the East Ukraine in 2014 finally resulted in separation of Crimea from Ukraine based on the Declaration of Independence of the Crimea as a legal document followed by the people’s referendum on joining Russia based on the formal self-determination rights according to the model and practice of, for instance, the Baltic states in 1990 when they declared independence from the USSR.
It is clear from the official declaration by the Supreme Council of Crimea on peninsula’s independence that this legal and legitimate act is founded on international law and the people’s right to self-determination, but moreover, as well as based on the so-called “Kosovo precedent” – a western created “precedent” in 2008 which came as a boomerang to Ukraine six years later. Basically, “Kosovo precedent” is a clear representative example of a flagrant violation of the international law and order including above all the UN Charter and the UN 1244 Resolution on Kosovo. This “precedent” is firstly created in 1999 by a brutal NATO military aggression on the independent and sovereign state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) without any mandate of the SC UN that was followed in February 2008 by unilateral proclamation of Kosovo independence by Kosovo parliament and its recognition by a part of the world. At such a way, the West created the “precedence” which by definition has to be a unique case of the time in the international relations and global politics what theoretically means that it cannot serve as a foundation or example for any similar case all over the world. However, this international and legal “precedent” was in 2010 internationally and legally empowered by the opinion by the UN International Court of Justice that a proclamation of Kosovo independence does not violate an international law on self-determination (independence) what is true but at the same time it violates the UN Charter on territorial integrity of the states and their domestic law what is also true. Nevertheless, the court’s opinion is, formally, just of the advisory nature but in practice it has serious implications and consequences. The first coming one was exactly the Crimean case in 2014 that was clearly stated either by the local Crimean authorities or by Russia’s government.
Undoubtedly, “Kosovo precedent” not only shaken but even destroyed the very foundations of international law based primarily on the UN Charter and resolutions. As a direct consequence, it had direct “boomerang effect” with regard to the case of Crimean secession from Ukraine and following annexation by Russia. We have to remember that Crimea broke away relations with Ukraine calling for the same formal reasons used by the Albanians in the case of the 2008 “Kosovo precedent” and other legal arguments. Nevertheless, the western countries recognized Kosovo independence from Serbia but not Crimean, Donetsk and Luhansk separation from Ukraine regardless the fact that all of these cases are formally and officially based on the same legal and moral arguments. Moreover, differently to “Kosovo precedent”, separation cases in Ukraine are based on the results of the plebiscites.
The western policy of double standards is very visible from the following written statement on Kosovo independence by the US of April 17th, 2009 that was submitted to the UN International Court of Justice: “Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law.” Nonetheless, similar statement by the same US administration on the independence cases of the Republic of Serbian Krayina, Republic of Srpska, Republic of Transnistria, Republic of Abkhazia, Republic of South Ossetia or three separatist republics in the East Ukraine and Crimea we did not hear. Obviously, the UN International Court of Justice accepted the US statement and issued on July 22nd, 2010 its own two that “No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence,” and “General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.” According to the above statements, however, it is clear that Moscow was absolutely truthful in the case of Crimea’s secession but with one important distinction: Russia did not bomb Kiev previously!
As a matter of fact, the West did not offer to Belgrade possibility of federalization of Serbia with Kosovo as one federal unit as only the independence of Kosovo was advocated as the optimal solution. However, Moscow is advocating exactly the federalization as the best solution for the Ukrainian crisis with the East Ukrainian Russian-speaking regions as a single federal territory. Crimea, following the logic of both historical and ethnic rights, has to stay in Russia as the peninsula has nothing to do with Ukraine. Even Turkey or Greece have more rights on Crimea than Ukraine. The scenario of federalized Ukraine would surely positively influence the process of stopping already ongoing new Cold War in this case between the West (the NATO and the EU) and the bloc of the countries around Russia, China and Iran. However, if the western mentors of the Euromaidan government in Kiev will reject such Russia’s proposal it is most probably that Ukraine will be left to commit suicide as the western policy of double standards, promoted by the US and the EU in the 2008 Kosovo Case will continue to have the boomerang effect in the rest of the East Ukraine following the Odessa region as well.
Peter Tase: What is the way out, according to your opinion, of the current Ukrainian crisis?
Vladislav B. Sotirović: Current Ukrainian crisis can be solved according to the 1667 Andrussovo Treaty signed on February 9th between Poland-Lithuania and Russia. According to the treaty a present-day territory of Ukraine was simply divided between two states: the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (the Republic of Both Nations) and the Russian Empire with Dnieper river as a demarcation line. In the other words, Russia received from Poland-Lithuania territories eastward from Dnieper but with Kiev and whole Zaporozhie region (from both sides of the river). Therefore, Dnieper became a border between “Europe” and Russia with divided Ukraine into two borderlands. The Slavonic word Ukraine means in English a borderland. It is clear even from the name of the country what is going to be its ultimate destiny. Before or later, no matter. The case of the Republic of Serbian Krayina (Ukraine) proved it clearly in the 1990s – the Borderland can be only a periphery of some more natural state. It does not matter on which side of the border.
We cannot forget and a humanitarian intervention aspect of the final solution of the “Ukrainian Question”. In general, “intervention” is considered as forcible action committed by some state(s) against another one(s) but without the consent by the attacked side. Therefore, “humanitarian intervention” is a military intervention carried out by some state(s) for the sake to protect human rights (usually as a group minority rights). Speaking from the very morality point of view, a humanitarian intervention is grounded, or at least (mis)used as a formal pretext, on the notion of being “humanitarian” what means to be concerned about the interest of and benefits to mankind particularly if the suffering of someone has to be reduced. The concept of humanitarian intervention is (mis)used especially after the Cold War as in the cases of Iraq (in 1991 to create “safe havens” for the Kurds by establishing a no-fly zone policed by three NATO pact countries: the USA, UK and France), Somalia (in 1992 to create a protected environment), Haiti (in 1994 to restore order by the civil authority), Rwanda (in 1994 to create “safe zone” for the Hutu refugees), Kosovo (in 1999 to protect the Albanians from Serbia’s military and police forces), East Timor (in 1999 to prevent possible ethnic cleansing by Indonesia’s security forces) and Sierra Leone (in 2000 to protect the UK citizens at the time of the local civil war).
Peter Tase: How the concept of “humanitarian intervention” can affect the Ukrainian crisis?
Vladislav B. Sotirović: Very controversial wars of humanitarian intervention in above mentioned cases, in which participated only the western powers, were formally justified on humanitarian grounds. However, in majority of these cases the intervention had in essence very political and geopolitical real background as it clearly shows the cases of Kosovo and Sierra Leone. In Kosovo case, the intervention was committed just in a context of fears about the possibility of ethnic cleansing but not on the real ground. Following NATO airstrikes campaign for 78 days was conducted without the SC UN authorization but finally it forced Serbia to withdraw its complete military and police forces from the province. As a consequence, the province was occupied by the NATO troops with creation of huge US military base and finally separated from Serbia by proclamation and recognition of independence which was in fact a real and ultimate geopolitical goal of the formally humanitarian intervention in 1999. In Sierra Leone, after a prolonged civil war, the UK government decided to send the British military forces to the country, formally to protect the UK citizens, but in fact ultimately to support the elected government against the rebel forces that have been accused of carrying out atrocities against the civilians.
Here, we came probably to the crux of the matter of current Ukrainian crisis and most probably “Ukrainian Question” in general. It is well known that Russia’s president V. Putin is extremely counter-fascinated with the NATO 1999 Kosovo humanitarian intervention as it is seen as great humiliation of Russia and Russian national proudness. It is also well known that the Euromaidan regime in Kiev committed terrible war crimes in Donbass region which can be classified as ethnic cleansing and even form of genocide as thousands of Donbass region inhabitants are brutally killed (among them around 200 kids) and approximately one million of them became refuges in Russia. For Moscow, it is very easy formally to “prove” acts of war crimes of Kiev Euromaidan junta in Donbass region as it was, similarly, very easy for Washington formally to “prove” Serbia’s war crimes in Kosovo before NATO intervention in 1999. As a result, Moscow can launch Russia’s military humanitarian intervention in the East Ukraine with a consequence of its final separation from Kiev. A “Kosovo precedent” is still on agenda and it can be legitimized even by a very historical fact that a part of the present-day East Ukraine became legally incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1654 as a consequence of the decision by the local hetman of Zaporozhian territory Bohdan Khmelnytsky (c. 1595−1657) based on a popular revolt against the Polish-Lithuanian (the Roman Catholic) occupation of Ukraine which broke out in 1648.
By Peter Tase
Mykolas Romeris University
Faculty of Politics and Management
Institute of Political Sciences
The UK Parliament just confirmed what the alternative media has been saying for years.
Specifically, a new report from the bipartisan House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee – based on interviews with all of the key British decision-makers, review of documents, and on-the-ground investigations in Africa – found that the Libyan war was based on lies, that it destroyed the country, and that it spread terrorism far and wide.
The War Based On Bogus Intelligence … Like the Iraq War
Initially, the report finds that the threat to civilians from Libyan government forces was dramatically overstated:
Former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, who introduced Resolution 1973 [imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, and laying the groundwork for overthrowing the government], asserted in his speech to the Security Council that “the situation on the ground is more alarming than ever, marked by the violent re-conquest of cities”. He stressed the urgency of the situation, arguing that “We have very little time left—perhaps only a matter of hours.” Subsequent analysis suggested that the immediate threat to civilians was being publicly overstated and that the reconquest of cities had not resulted in mass civilian casualties.
The proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi [which was the basis for the West’s war to overthrow Gaddafi] was not supported by the available evidence. The Gaddafi regime had retaken towns from the rebels without attacking civilians in early February 2011 …. Gaddafi regime forces targeted male combatants in a civil war and did not indiscriminately attack civilians. More widely, Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year record of appalling human rights abuses did not include large-scale attacks on Libyan civilians.
On 17 March 2011, Muammar Gaddafi announced to the rebels in Benghazi, “Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.” Subsequent investigation revealed that when Gaddafi regime forces retook Ajdabiya in February 2011, they did not attack civilians. Muammar Gaddafi also attempted to appease protesters in Benghazi with an offer of development aid before finally deploying troops.
An Amnesty International investigation in June 2011 could not corroborate allegations of mass human rights violations by Gaddafi regime troops. However, it uncovered evidence that rebels in Benghazi made false claims and manufactured evidence. The investigation concluded that
much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge.
In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as “an intelligence-light decision”.
The Libyan Government Was Fighting Terrorists
The report also notes that the Libyan government really was – as Libyan dictator Gaddafi claimed at the time – fighting Islamic terrorists:
Intelligence on the extent to which extremist militant Islamist elements were involved in the anti-Gaddafi rebellion was inadequate.
Abdelhakim Belhadj and other members of the al-Qaeda affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were participating in the rebellion in March 2011.
Secret intelligence reports from 2011, written before and during the illegal US-led attack on Libya and recently obtained by the Washington Times, state:
There is a close link between al Qaeda, Jihadi organizations, and the opposition in Libya…
We reported in 2012:
The U.S. supported opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists. According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters – and bases for sending Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq – prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi:
The Hindustan Times reported last year:
“There is no question that al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition,” Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer and a leading expert on terrorism, told Hindustan Times.
It has always been Qaddafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi.
(Incidentally, Gaddafi was on the verge of invading Benghazi in 2011, 4 years after the West Point report cited Benghazi as a hotbed of Al Qaeda terrorists. Gaddafi claimed – rightly it turns out – that Benghazi was an Al Qaeda stronghold and a main source of the Libyan rebellion. But NATO planes stopped him, and protected Benghazi.)
The Daily Mail reported in 2014:
A self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.
‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.
She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..
‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’
‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’
‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.
The West and Its Allies Directly Supported and Armed the Rebels
The UK report confirms that the West and its allies directly supported and armed the rebels:
The combat performance of rebel ground forces was enhanced by personnel and intelligence provided by states such as the UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. For example, Lord Richards told us that the UK “had a few people embedded” with the rebel forces.
Resolution 1973 called on United Nations member states to ensure the “strict implementation of the arms embargo”. However, we were told that the international community turned a blind eye to the supply of weapons to the rebels. Lord Richards highlighted “the degree to which the Emiratis and the Qataris … played a major role in the success of the ground operation.” For example, Qatar supplied French Milan antitank missiles to certain rebel groups. We were told that Qatar channelled its weapons to favoured militias rather than to the rebels as a whole.
The REAL Motivation for War
The real motivation for the war? The Parliamentary report explains:
A further insight into French motivations was provided in a freedom of information disclosure by the United States State Department in December 2015. On 2 April 2011, Sidney Blumenthal, adviser and unofficial intelligence analyst to the then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reported this conversation with French intelligence officers to the Secretary of State:
According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:
- A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
- Increase French influence in North Africa,
- Improve his internal political situation in France,
- Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
- Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.
The sum of four of the five factors identified by Sidney Blumenthal equated to the French national interest. The fifth factor was President Sarkozy’s political self-interest.
Gaddafi Tried to Step Down … But the West Insisted On Violent Regime Change
Gaddafi had offered to hand over power, but the West instead wanted violent regime change. (The British report notes: “By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change.”)
The Parliamentary report notes that Gaddaffi may have been attempting to flee the country when he was killed:
Muammar Gaddafi might have been seeking an exit from Libya in February and March 2011. On 21 February 2011, for example, Lord Hague told reporters that he had seen credible information that Muammar Gaddafi was on his way to exile in Venezuela. Concerted action after the telephone calls conducted by Mr Blair might have led to Muammar Gaddafi’s abdication and to a negotiated solution in Libya. It was therefore important to keep the lines of communication open. However, we saw no evidence that the then Prime Minister David Cameron attempted to exploit Mr Blair’s contacts.
Political options were available if the UK Government had adhered to the spirit of Resolution 1973, implemented its original campaign plan and influenced its coalition allies to pause military action when Benghazi was secured in March 2011. Political engagement might have delivered civilian protection, regime change and reform at lesser cost to the UK and to Libya. If political engagement had been unsuccessful, the UK and its coalition allies would not have lost anything. Instead, the UK Government focused exclusively on military intervention. In particular, we saw no evidence that it tried to exploit former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s contacts and influence with the Gaddafi regime.
The U.S. and France were also hell-bent on regime change. And the New York Times confirms that Hillary Clinton is largely responsible for the violent regime change in Libya.
Why Should We Care?
Why should we care?
The Libyan economy generated some $75 billion of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010. This economy produced an average annual per capita income of approximately $12,250, which was comparable to the average income in some European countries. [The former Indian representative to the U.N. notes that, before the war, Libya had less of its population in poverty than the Netherlands. Libyans had access to free health care, education, electricity and interest-free loans, and women had great freedoms that were applauded by the U.N. Human Rights Council]. Libyan Government revenue greatly exceeded expenditure in the 2000s. … The United Nations Human Development Report 2010—a United Nations aggregate measure of health, education and income—ranked Libya as the 53rd most advanced country in the world for human development and as the most advanced country in Africa.
In 2014, the most recent year for which reliable figures are available … the average Libyan’s annual income had decreased from $12,250 in 2010 to $7,820. Since 2014, Libya’s economic predicament has reportedly deteriorated. Libya is likely to experience a budget deficit of some 60% of GDP in 2016. The requirement to finance that deficit is rapidly depleting net foreign reserves, which halved from $107 billion in 2013 to $56.8 billion by the end of 2015. Production of crude oil fell to its lowest recorded level in 2015, while oil prices collapsed in the second half of 2014. Inflation increased to 9.2% driven by a 13.7% increase in food prices including a fivefold increase in the price of flour. The United Nations ranked Libya as the world’s 94th most advanced country in its 2015 index of human development, a decline from 53rd place in 2010.
In 2016, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that out of a total Libyan population of 6.3 million, 3 million people have been impacted by the armed conflict and political instability, and that 2.4 million people require protection and some form of humanitarian assistance. In its World Report 2016, Human Rights Watch stated that Libya is
heading towards a humanitarian crisis, with almost 400,000 people internally displaced and increasing disruption to basic services, such as power and fuel supplies. Forces engaged in the conflict continued with impunity to arbitrarily detain, torture, unlawfully kill, indiscriminately attack, abduct and disappear, and forcefully displace people from their homes. The domestic criminal justice system collapsed in most parts of the country, exacerbating the human rights crisis
People-trafficking gangs exploited the lack of effective government after 2011, making Libya a key transit route for illegal migration into Europe and the location of a migrant crisis. In addition to other extremist militant groups, ISIL emerged in Libya in 2014, seizing control of territory around Sirte and setting up terrorist training centres. Human Rights Watch documented unlawful executions by ISIL in Sirte of at least 49 people by methods including decapitation and shooting. The civil war between west and east has waxed and waned with sporadic outbreaks of violence since 2014. In April 2016, United States President Barack Obama described post-intervention Libya as a “shit show”. It is difficult to disagree with this pithy assessment.
The Parliamentary report confirms that the Libyan war – like the Iraq war – has ended up spreading terrorism around the globe:
Libyan weapons and ammunition were trafficked across North and West Africa and the Middle East.
The United Nations Panel of Experts appointed to examine the impact of Resolution 1973 identified the presence of ex-Libyan weapons in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Gaza, Mali, Niger, Tunisia and Syria. The panel concluded that “arms originating from Libya have significantly reinforced the military capacity of terrorist groups operating in Algeria, Egypt, Mali and Tunisia.” In the 2010-15 Parliament, our predecessor Committee noted that the failure to secure the Gaddafi regime’s arms caches had led to “a proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and some heavier artillery, across North and West Africa”. It identified that Libyan small arms had apparently ended up in the hands of Boko Haram militants.
In January 2014, Egyptian Islamist insurgents used an ex-Libyan MANPAD to shoot down an Egyptian Army helicopter in the Sinai.
The FCO told us that “Political instability in Libya has led to a permissive environment for terrorist groups in which to operate, including ISIL [i.e. ISIS] affiliated groups”. Professor Patrick Porter, Professor of Strategic Studies at the University of Exeter, agreed with the FCO analysis, stating that “a lack of effective government is creating opportunities for the Islamic State.”
ISIL has used its presence in Libya to train terrorists. For example, Sefeddine Rezgui, the gunman who killed Western holidaymakers in Tunisia in June 2015, was trained by ISIL at its base in Sabratha along with the two gunmen who killed 22 tourists at the Bardo museum in Tunis. ISIL’s plans may extend beyond terrorism. Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone, a Royal Navy officer and NATO commander, commented that
We know they [ISIL] have ambitions to go offshore … There is a horrible opportunity in the future that a misdirected, untargeted round of a very high quality weapons system will just happen to target a cruise liner, or an oil platform, or a container ship.
And the UK report confirms that the Libyan war has created a tidal wave of refugees:
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that some 1 million migrants were present in Libya in June 2016. This estimate comprised 425,000 internally displaced Libyans, 250,000 non-Libyan migrants and 250,000 returnees. Most non-Libyan migrants travelled from West Africa, the Horn of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The most common countries of origin for non-Libyan migrants were Niger, Egypt, Chad, Ghana and Sudan. Between 1 January and 31 May 2016, 47,851 migrants arrived in Italy after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya. A similar number of migrants attempted the crossing over the same period in 2015. Despite the increased resources committed to Operation Triton, however, crossing the Mediterranean is becoming increasingly hazardous for migrants transiting through Libya. The IOM recorded 2,061 migrants as dead or missing between 1 January and 31 May 2016, which showed a 15% increase in fatalities compared with the same period in 2015.
In other words – just like the Iraq war – the Libyan war was based on fake intelligence, was carried out for reasons having little to do with national security or protecting civilians, destroyed a nation and created a “shit show”, spread terrorism far and wide, and created waves of refugees.
Abstract: This article investigates the Russian foreign politics at the region of the Balkan Peninsula after the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the time of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) World Order in relation to the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. The particular stresses are put on four main research topics: 1. The Pan-Slavism and Russia; 2. Relations between pro-Western and pro-Orthodox approaches of the Russian national interests on Russia’s domestic political scene; 3. Different attitudes towards the Balkans in Russia; and 4. Historical ties and future perspectives between Russia and the Serbs. A research methodology is based on investigation of the adequate historical sources and studying of the relevant scientific literature on the subject of our research. The main research results of the article show that: 1. Historically only (the tsarist) Russia was interested in protection of the Balkan Orthodox Slavs from any foreign power within the framework of the Pan-Slavic ideology of intra-Slavic reciprocity, solidarity and brotherhood; 2. The Balkan Orthodox nations have mostly to thank Russia for their state independence and preservation of national identities; 3. The post-Cold War Russia is only a taycoonized Gazprom Republic having no real intentions, at least until the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, to change the present day NATO’s World Order of Pax Americana; and 4. The Serbs and Serbia became the crucial victims of the post-Cold War perfect partnership in international relations between the West and the Gazprom Republic of Russia.
Keywords: NATO, World Order, Russia, Serbs, Serbia, foreign policy, Balkans, South-East Europe, South-East Slavs, Pan-Slavism, international relations, global politics, Pax Americana
1. The Pan-Slavism and Russia
The Balkan Peninsula together with the region of the South-East Europe historically have been one of the most important focal points of the Russian foreign policy, cultural influences and attempts to spread ideology of the Orthodox solidarity and the Slavic reciprocity. These ideas are common to almost all trends of the Russian public life in the past and today.
After Russia lost the Great Crimean War of 1853–1856 she intensified its cultural influence in the region of the South-East Europe for the purposes of beating the Habsburg (the Roman-Catholic) rivalry and to spread an idea of the Pan-Slavism in this part of Europe. However, the Great Crimean War was in essence the British war against Russia (Figes, 2010; Lambert, 2011; Small, 2014) in order to stop further Russian victories against the Ottoman Empire (Isaacs, 2001, 156; Anisimov, 298−299). After this war it became obvious for Russia that the West European great powers are her enemies, especially the United Kingdom. It will take even 50 years for Russia to sign a military-political agreement with the United Kingdom (in 1907) only after a final sharing the spheres of influence in Persia (Hans-Erich, 1985, 134).
The political and economic rivalry between Russia, on one hand, and the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria-Hungary from 1867) and the German Empire (from 1871), on other, over the dominance at the Balkans was strongly affected in Russia by the growth of the Pan-Slavic sentiment, based on the common Slavic origin, mutual Paleoslavonic language, and above all it was grounded on emotional sentiment to liberate those South Slavs who were under the Ottoman yoke (Jelavich, 1991). Historically, Russia had three pivotal interests in both regions the Balkans and the South-East Europe: 1) strategic, 2) cultural, and 3) religious (Castellan, 1992). It is important to stress a fact that Russia, together with the West European states, participated in the process of modernization of the eastern Balkan nations and states (Black, 1974).
From a strategic point of view, the Russian diplomacy concerned the Balkans and the South-East Europe as essential for the Russian state security and above all for the stability of the Russian state frontiers. The Russian intention was to obtain a favorable frontier in Bessarabia (today an independent Republic of Moldova) and to have control over the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which became very important to the Russian commercial and economic development and geopolitical projects; in particular for the shipment of surplus grain from today Ukraine or known also as a Little Russia (Прыжов, 1869; Соловьев, 1947) to the world markets.
The Bosporus and the Dardanelles became a part of Russia’s “security zone” in both economic and political terms. The Russian main concern was to safeguard free passage through the Bosporus Straits to the Mediterranean Sea (Jelavich, 1973). Simultaneously, Russia intended to block the expansion of the other European great powers, particularly of Austria-Hungary and Germany, into the region.
Taking religious and cultural aspects of the Russian interests in the Balkans and the South-East Europe, largely due to the Russian Pan-Slavic agitation, Russia succeeded to develop from 1870 a strong interest in the fate of the Balkan Slavs and the South-East European Orthodox Christians. The Pan-Slavism, based on the myth of the Slavic solidarity and primarily on the Orthodox Slavic reciprocity, which created strong ethnic, religious and cultural sentiments among the Slavic Orthodox population (but not among the Roman Catholic Slavs), became at the end of the 19th century one of the dominant driving forces behind the Russian policy in the Balkans and the South-East Europe. The myth of the Slavic solidarity and brotherhood exerted a considerable influence on many intellectuals and found support in official circles in Russia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria.
The Tsarist Russia was sincerely trying all the time to reconcile the Slavic nations in conflict, especially those of the Christian Orthodox faith for the sake of the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. Probably the case of the Serbian-Bulgarian conflict in 1912−1915 over the Macedonian Question is the best example of such Russian policy of Panslavism. In the other words, Russia became the creator of the 1912 Serbian−Bulgarian treaty and recognized arbiter in 1912−1913 diplomatic conflict between Serbia and Bulgaria over the destiny of Macedonia after the Balkan Wars (Ћоровић, 1990а, 20−24). The Russian Balkan policy in this case was a real Panslavonic one as St. Petersburg wanted to satisfy territorial claims by both sides by negotiations and diplomatic agreement between Sofia and Belgrade. When Austria-Hungary declared war to Serbia on July 23rd, 1914 all Entente member states, including and Russia, were making pressure on Serbia to give territorial compensation (the Vardar Macedonia) to Bulgaria for the Bulgarian participation in the war against the Central Powers. Serbia was promised, like in the secret 1915 London Treaty, territorial concessions in the Western Balkans populated by the ethnic Serbs living in the Dual Monarchy. For instance, a Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sazonov, on August 5th, 1914 urged the Serbian Government to give to Bulgaria Macedonian territories up to the line Kriva Palanka−Ohrid with Struga for Bulgarian active participation in the war against Austria-Hungary and towns of Shtip, Radovishte and the lands up to Vardar river for Bulgarian “friendly neutrality”. For such Serbia’s sacrifice, Russia promised to Belgrade to support Serbia at the end of the war in realization of her “national ideals”. However, Sazonov was clear in this case that Serbia by giving such territorial sacrifice is going to very contribute to the Russian “life wish” to establish the Panslavonic fraternity and eternal friendship between the Serbs and Bulgarians (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 138). The same territorial requirements to Serbia were vainly repeated once again by the Entente member states in 1915 before Bulgaria finally joined the war on the side of the Central Powers in October of the same year (Avramovski, 1985, 55−172; Трубецки, 1994, 21−158).
2. The Post-Cold War Russia between the “Westernizers” and the Patriots”
With the official end of the Cold War (1949−1989), the Balkans, especially the question of the destiny of the former Yugoslavia, reemerged as one of the major concerns in Russia. However, in fact, for the NATO and its leader – the USA, the Cold War is still on agenda of the global arena as after 1991 the NATO’s expansion and politics is directed primarily against Russia (Thompson, 1998) but China as well. Nevertheless, a fact that the NATO was not dissolved after the end of the Soviet Union (regardless on all official explanations why) is the crucial argument for our opinion that the Cold War is still reality in the world politics and the international relations.
It has to be noticed that the USSR was simply dissolved by one man-decision – the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who, concerning this matter, made a crucial deal in October 1986 with the US administration at two-days bilateral meeting with the US President Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik in Iceland (Wilson, 2014; Adelman, 2014). It is a matter of fact that the USSR was the only empire in the world history which became simply dissolved by its own government as the rest of the world empires were destroyed either from the outside after the lost wars or from the inside after the bloody civil wars or revolutions.
In our opinion, there were three main hypothetical reasons for Gorbachev’s decision to simply dissolve the Soviet Union:
Personal bribing of Gorbachev by the western governments (the USA and the EC).
Gorbachev’s wish, as the first and the only ethnic Russian ruler of the USSR to prevent a further economic exploitation of the Russian federal unit by the rest of the Soviet republics that was a common practice since the very beginning of the USSR after the Bolshevik (an anti-Russian) Revolution and the Civil War of 1917−1921.
Gorbachev’s determination to transform Russian Federation, which will firstly get rid of the rest of the Soviet tapeworm republics, into economically prosperous and well-to-do country by selling its own Siberia’s natural resources (gas and oil) to the West according to the global market prices.
In order not to spoil very good business relations with the West the Russian foreign policy during the last 23 years, up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, was totally soft and even subservient to the West to whose mercy Moscow left the rest of the world including and the ex-Soviet republics with at least 25 million of the ethnic Russian population outside the motherland. For the matter of comparison, Belgrade in 1991 also left all other Yugoslav republics to leave the federation free of charge, at least for the second Gorbachev’s reason to dissolve the USSR, but with one crucial difference in comparison with the Russian case in the same year: the ethnic Serbs outside Serbia were not left at mercy, at least not as free of charge, to the governments of the newly (an anti-Serb) proclaimed independent states emerged on the wreck of (an anti-Serb and dominated by Croatia and Slovenia) ex-Yugoslavia. That was the main sin by Serbia in the 1990s and for that reason she was and still is sternly fined by the West.
Russia’s policy and attitude towards the South Slavs in the Balkans after the dissolution of the USSR is a part of a larger debate over Russia’s “national interest” and even over the Russian new identity (Laruelle, 2012). Since 1991, when its independence was formalized and internationally recognized, Russia has been searching for both her national identity and foreign policy.
The intellectual circles in Russia have debated very much over the content of the Russian national self-identity for centuries. On the one hand, there were/are those who believe that the Russian culture is a part of the European culture and as such the Russian culture can accept some crucial (West) European values in its development, especially from the time of the emperor Peter the Great (1672−1725). This group, we could call them as the “Westernizers”, have never negated the existence of Russia’s specific characteristics as an Eurasian country, but have always believed that staying within the framework of the “Russian spectrum” is equivalent to the national suicide (a “fear of isolation” effect). On the other hand, there are those who have tried to preserve all traditional Russian forms of living and organizing, including both political and cultural features of the Russian civilization, not denying at the same time that Russia is a European country too. This, we can name them as the “patriotic” group, or the “Patriots”, of the Slavic orientation, partly nationalistically oriented, have believed and still believe that the (West) European civilizational and cultural values can never be adjusted to the Russian national character and that it is not necessary at all for the Russian national interest (a “fear of self-destruction” effect).
A confrontation of these two groups characterizes both the Russian history and the present-day political and cultural development. Very similar situation is, for instance, in Serbia today as the society is sharply divided into the so-called “First” (“patriotic”) and the “Second” (“western”) Serbia supporters.
At the moment, the basic elements of the Russian national identity and state policy are:
The preservation of Russia’s territorial unity.
The protection of Russia’s interior integrity and its external (state) borders.
The strengthening of Russia’s statehood particularly against the post-Cold War NATO’s Drang nach Osten policy.
It means that the post-Soviet Russia (the Gazprom Republic of the “Power of Siberia”) rejected, at least for some time, the most significant element in her foreign policy that has historically been from the time of the emperor Ivan the Terrible (1530−1584) the (universal) imperial code – constant expansion of its territory or, at least, the position of a power that cannot be overlooked in the settlement of strategic global matters. Therefore, after the Cold War Russia accepted the US’ global role of the new world Third Rome. For the matter of illustration, the US had 900 military bases in 2014 in 153 countries around the world.
From historical point of view, it can be said that the US’ imperialism started in 1812 when the US’ administration proclaimed the war to Great Britain in order to annex the British colony of Canada (Parks, 1986, 182−202). However, the protagonists of a “Hegemonic stability theory” argue that “a dominant military and economic power is necessary to ensure the stability and prosperity in a liberal world economy. The two key examples of such liberal hegemons are the UK during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the USA since 1945” (Heywood, 2011, 229).
At the present stage of Russia’s history, characterized by very harmonious (symphonic) economic and political relations with the West, at least up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, especially with Germany, Russia in fact became a political colony of the West which is seen in Moscow eyes only as a good source for making money. The results of such kind of Russia-West relations are Russian tourists all over the world, an impressive Russian state gold reserves (500 billion €), buying real estate properties all over the Mediterranean littoral by the Russians, huge Russian financial investments in Europe and finally, Russian authorization of the NATO’s and the EU’s aggressive foreign policy that is mostly visible exactly at the Balkans.
Russia’s foreign policy is surely a part of her national and cultural identity as for any other state in history. From 1991 up to at least 2014, Moscow accepted the western academic and political propaganda as a sort of the “new facts” that:
Russia is reportedly no longer a global super or even military power, although its considerable military potential is undeniable and very visible.
Russia allegedly has no economic power, although it has by very fact an enormous economic potential.
Russia, as a consequence, cannot have any significant political influence which could affect the new international relations established after 1989/1991, i.e. the NWO (the NATO’s World Order), or better to say – the Pax Americana.
It made Russia a western well paid client state as in essence no strategic questions can be solved without Russian permission, however for certain sum of money or other way of compensation. For instance, the Kosovo status was solved in 2008 between Russia and the NATO/EU on exactly this way as Russia de facto agreed to Kosovo self-proclaimed independence (as the US’s client territory or colony) for in turn the western also de facto agreement to the South Ossetian and Abkhazian self-proclaimed independence as in fact the Russian client territories or colonies.
Russia as a country is unpredictable when it is isolated, and its unpredictability can be dangerous for the surrounding regions as well as for the global international relations. This thesis has had its confirmation in the events concerning the conflicts in both former Yugoslavias (the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – the SFRY and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – the FRY), and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM). The cultural, religious and historic ties with the Orthodox Slavs who live in the Balkans (together with the western money) determine the Russian attitude and politics towards the political challenges in the South-East Europe during the last decades especially what concerns the Orthodox Slavs in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo-Metohija and Macedonia (i.e., the Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians).
In Russia emerged after Gorbachev’s dissolution of the Soviet Union two ideological-political streams in the general debate in the Russian society about the national interest. The first emphasizes the importance of Russia’s long-standing ethnic, cultural and religious ties with the Balkan peoples, especially with the Serbs, Montenegrins, Bulgarians and Macedonians. The second stresses the importance of the good ties with the West and integration of Russia into a broader Euro-Atlantic framework.
Since Russia formally has lost all the attributes of a super power after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (up to 2014), her political elite has in the early 1990s become oriented towards closer association with the institutional structures of the West – in accordance with her officially general drift towards liberal-democratic reform (in fact towards the tycoonization of the whole society and politics, like in all East European transitional countries). Till 1995 Russia had become a member of almost all structures of the NATO, even of the “Partnership for Peace Programme” what is telling the best about the real aims of the Gazprom Russia’s foreign policy up to 2014 when Russia finally decided to defend her own national interest, at least at the doorstep (i.e., in the East Ukraine) of her own home. In May 1997 Russia signed the “NATO’s−Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security”, what meant de facto that she accepted the NATO as the core of the Euro-Atlantic system of security.
For the matter of comparison with the USA, in October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of a real nuclear war over the placement of the USSR’s missiles in the island of Cuba – a courtyard (not even a doorstep) of the USA. It was the closest moment the World ever came to unleashing the WWIII (Kennedy, 1999; Munton, 2006; Dobbs, 2008; Pardoe, 2013). In the other words, during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 Kennedy’s administration was ready to invade the independent state of Cuba (with already the US’ military base on the island) and even to go to the WWIII against the USSR if necessary as Washington understood Cuba as a courtyard of the USA.
Whether or not the ruling structures in Russia had expected a more important role for their country in its relations with the new partners, since 1995 there has been certain stagnation in the relations with the West, accompanied by the insistence on the national interests of Russia. In practice, this was manifested in the attempts to strengthen the connections with the Commonwealth of the Independent States (the CIS) with which Russia had more stable and secure relations. However, the state of relations within the CIS, accompanied with a very difficult economic and politically unstable situation in some of the countries in the region, prevented any organizational or other progress in this direction. Still, the CIS has remained the primary strategic focus for Russia, especially when it comes to the insolent expansion of the NATO towards these countries (the NATO’s Drang nach Osten).
3. Russia, the West and ex-Yugoslavia
An economic and political situation in Russia, the changes, the rate and the content of her fitting into the existing international relations influenced Russia’s attitude towards the wars on the territories of the former SFRY. Since the beginning of the disintegration of the SFRY, Russia has taken very diplomatic position that these conflicts are the Yugoslav domestic (inner) affairs and consequently should be settled peacefully, without the use of force, with the United Nations (the UN) or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (the OSCE) as the mediator organizations. Russia kept this official position throughout all wars in Yugoslavia, till the end of the military conflict in Kosovo-Metohija in June 1999, but even and during the NATO’s military occupation of Kosovo-Metohija followed by the expulsion of majority of the ethnic Serbs and all other non-Albanian ethnicities by the Albanians from the region from 1999 up today (March Pogrom…, 2004; Чупић, 2006).
In a view of Russia’s position in Europe and the world (especially in relation to the USA), characterized by her need and wish to become at least a respectable partner to the most developed countries, Russia was until 2014 blindly following the decisions of her “partners” from the West, especially at the time of the “western clown of Boris Yeltsin” in the global politics. For instance, Russia recognized Croatia and Slovenia in February 1992 as independent states; in May 1992 she did the same with the FYROM and in August of the same year with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Although Russia was formally on the side of Serbia and the Serbs during the time of the dissolution (destruction) of ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s, mainly because of deep historic, cultural and political linkages with the Serbs, Moscow actually accepted the decisions of its western partners and followed their obviously anti-Serb Balkan policy (Guskova, 1996). Such attitude was the result of her orientation towards the policy of getting closer to the European economic, political and security institutions, but above all to the European market. For Russia, the Balkans is still just a part of her European (economic) strategy, but not the main task of her European (political) policy.
This is quite similar with the case of the NATO’s military aggression on the FRY in 1999 for the real reason to occupy and separate Kosovo-Metohija from Serbia for the final sake of creation of a Greater Albania (Hadjimichalis, 2000). Formally, Russia remained resolute in her demand that the conflict in Kosovo-Metohija had to be resolved in the Security Council of the UN or in the OSCE, but in fact nothing did to really help the Serbs in their legitimate struggle against the Albanian secessionist nationalism and the US’ imperialism – exactly what Washington and Brussels wanted and needed from Moscow at that time. From the very fact, when several western countries decided to intervene against the FRY in March 1999, Russia did nothing concrete to change that decision, although Moscow nominally disagreed because there was no formal decision in the Security Council of the UN and she was against the use of force in regional ethno-political conflicts in general. In fact, the Russian pro-western tycoon authorities did not wish to get directly involved in the conflict in Kosovo-Metohija in order to keep very prosperous economic relations with the West. Formally, during the NATO’s military aggression on the FRY (much more on Serbia than on Montenegro) Russia tried to sustain contacts with Serbia. These attempts met with the approval of a part of the public, which, along with the nationally oriented intellectual and political elite, was pushing Russia into a conflict with the West, with the USA in particular, for the matter to defend the Orthodox Slavs in the Balkans as historically Russia was a natural, and even recognized, protector of them during the time of the existence of the Ottoman Empire.
For the matter of fact, the Russian protection of the Balkan and the South-East European Orthodox population started with the Treaty of Küçük Kajnarca of July 21st, 1774 with the Ottoman Empire when Russia got the right to establish within the Ottoman Empire her own diplomatic consulates in Iaşi and Bucharest, and to make representations on behalf of the Orthodox Moldavia and Walachia (today parts of Romania) in Istanbul (Magocsi, 2002, 72). The Russian Empire by this treaty even became a protector of all Balkan Christian nations especially the Orthodox (Поповић, 1940; Радојевић, 2014, 114).
During the Kosovo Crisis and War of 1998−1999 the relations between Russia and the USA became the worst since the end of the Cold War period, but in essence nothing was changed after the war in relations between Russia and the West.
Nevertheless, the Russian participation with the NATO in international contingent of the “peace-keeping” forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina (the IFORS/SFOR) and Kosovo-Metohija (the KFOR) shows that (Gazprom) Russia became highly opportunistic and even smarmy to the West as she consciously accepted to participate in these NATO’s military missions only for the reason to internationally legalize the new NATO’s World Order (Pax Americana) that is obviously on the first place de facto anti-Russian. It is very unconvincing explanation by the Russian “Westernizers” that this decision to participate in the NATO’s “peace-keeping missions” in the Balkans in the 1990s was for Moscow only possibility to “prove” that Russia is still not out from the arena of international politics of the great (western) powers and to have some influence in the region. However, it is known that this participation (till 2003) was under the full-scale dictate of the NATO what is clearly visible from at least three facts:
Russia did not get its own sectors of protection and command either in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Kosovo-Metohija nevertheless Russia required them. The territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided into three sectors of protection: the Canadian, the US, and the French, while Kosovo-Metohija into five: the British, the Italian, the French, the German and the US. However, it was no single Russian one.
A brigade of the Russian peace-keepers has been based in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the US’ sector, the Multinational Division North, since January 1996, numbering only some 1,200 airborne troops. The Russian zone of responsibility was running between the predominantly “Croat and Muslim Federation” of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the predominantly “Serb Republic”. However, about 30 US’ soldiers were permanently stationed at the Russian brigade’s headquarters in Ugljevik (the North-Eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina) while the Russian peace-keeping troops were in fact under the US’s supervision and command. In this respect, can you imagine the US’ military brigade under the Russian supervision and command in Afghanistan or Iraq? We have also to notice that in 1877 Russia entered the war against the Ottoman Empire because of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the so-called “Great Eastern Crisis”) and even the First World War in 1914 after the “Sarajevo Assassination” and Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 113−114). However, it was an imperial Romanovs’ Russia (not at all in much better position to the western great powers as today Russia is), but not the Gazprom one. In July−August 1914 Serbia could see and feel who was her a real and only friend (even the “mother”) in Europe what was very proved in the Great War until the very end of the Romanov’s Imperial Russia (i.e., until the 1917 March Revolution). In the other words, Russia risked everything, even not properly prepared for the war at all, in order to give a crucial help to unprotected Serbia – a country facing at that time a real possibility to disappear from the map of Europe as a state and political reality. We have to notice on this place a very fact that when Serbia received a war proclamation by the Dual Monarchy on July 23rd, 1914 she had only two formal (by treaty) allies: Montenegro and Greece from 1912. However, only Montenegro put into effect its treaty obligations, while Greece interpreted the 1913 Military Convention with Serbia on the way that Greece was obliged to give a military assistance to Serbia only in the case of a war proclamation by Bulgaria to Serbia but not and by Austria-Hungary (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 136). However, at the time of the Austro-Hungarian war declaration to Serbia, Russia did not have any formal (treaty) obligations to Serbia to help her but regardless to this fact Russia proclaimed a military mobilization in order to protect Serbia from the aggressive Germanic Drang nach Osten policy at the Balkans. The Russian military mobilization became just a pretext to Germany to declare the (Great) war against Russia (on August 1st, 1914) and against France (on August 3rd, 1914) (Palmowski, 2004, 693).
The Russian peace-keeping contingent in Kosovo-Metohija of some 3,150 soldiers (out from total 45,000 international NATO’s troops in Kosovo-Metohija) was deployed in three sectors: in the US-led Multinational Brigade East, in the French-led Multinational Brigade North, and in the German-led Multinational Brigade South. In June 1999, when the NATO’s troops occupied Kosovo-Metohija, the NATO’s headquarters in Brussels decisively rejected the Russian demand that Russia should have her own sector of protection in Kosovo-Metohija. We also have not to forget that the Russian troops (came from Bosnia-Herzegovina) occupied the Prishtina airport in June 1999 before the NATO’s troops from the south reached the administrative centre of Kosovo-Metohija. That was at the moment a greatest victory of Russia over the West from the time of dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, very soon the same Russian troops left the Prishtina airport under the western pressure what shows at the best a real self-wanted position of (Gazprom) Russia in the NATO’s World Order after the end of the Cold War (1949−1989). Consequently, Moscow in 2001 left Afghanistan in full mercy of the US’ occupation – the land which was only three decades ago (in 1979) understood by Kremlin as exclusively its own sphere of dominance without any western interference.
Obviously, only limited and formal Russian participation in the so-called “peace-keeping forces” in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo-Metohija, that is in fact just international legalization of the NATO’s occupation of these lands, is accepted by the NATO’s headquarters as it gives the NATO a legitimacy of “human rights protection” in the Balkans. Following its orientation towards the “well-to-do Russian home”, combined with her new national security concept of protecting Russia’s state borders, but without crossing them in international relations (up to 2008 informal war with Georgia and especially the Russian direct military involvement in Syrian conflict in 2015), Russia was trying to achieve the optimum of such kind of politics – to play a role of a formally respectable power on the international scene which will take its part in the most significant strategic changes in the world done by the NATO’s and the US’ administrations followed by their crucial European client – the European Union (the EU) for the sake of keeping perfect economic relations with the West. However, the 2014 Ukrainian crisis clearly shows that for the West any kind of Russia’s defense of her own national interest around the globe, including and on the doorstep of her own home, is simply seen as a form of a new Russian imperialism (Mankoff, 2011; Herpen, 2014; Lucas, 2014).
Russia’s attitude towards the “Serb Republic” in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and the FYROM was up to 2014 regarded in the contexts of her attempts to put into practice her common westernization policy with the ultimate goal to integrate Russia into the western political scope and system. Having in mind this, it was quite predictable before the 2014 Ukrainian crisis that the Russian military forces could participate in the future in the NATO-led international peace keeping forces in the FYROM (MACFOR), Vojvodina (VOJDFOR) or Sanjak (SANDFOR) under the same conditions as it was in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo-Metohija.
For the matter of better clarification, Serbia’s northern region of Vojvodina, populated by the Serb majority and non-Serb minority (predominantly the Hungarian one) and her south-west region of Sanjak (in Serbian language Raška), populated by mixed Orthodox Serbian and Muslim Bosniak population (ethno-linguistic Serbs of Shtokavian language who became voluntary converted into Islam during the Ottoman rule) (Вуковић, 1911; Костић, 1955), are scheduled by the West (the USA, the NATO, the EU) as the next regions of separation at the Balkans where the western peace-keeping troops are going to be located if Russia would surrender to the West in the case of Ukraine. Thus, such Russian role in the Balkan affairs fits to the ideas of the main Russian proponents of the so-called “Atlantic’s School” (for instance, a former Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Kozyrev), which tends to play down the idea of Russia as the protector of the (Orthodox) Slavs in the South-East Europe.
However, on the other hand, the Russian “Westernizers” emphasize the crucial importance of co-operating with the West for the Russian economic and cultural development in the future. Subsequently, they explicitly reject a policy based on the ethnic, religious and cultural ties with the Balkan Orthodox Slavs, particularly with the Serbs. Absolutely the same situation is and with the Serbian “Westernizers” (the “Second Serbia”) who are rejecting any ties with Kosovo-Metohija for the sake of Serbia’s (i.e., remains of Serbia) “prosperity” in the (western) future. It was quite visible either during the process of dissolution (or better to say – destruction) of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s or after that up today.
The myths of a fundamental Slavic brotherhood and the pan-Slavic solidarity, based on common Slavic origin and language, and especially with the Orthodox South Slavs, based on shared culture and the same religion is by now put aside as an ancient history by Moscow. It was visible, at least, twice in relations to the Serbs: 1) when the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia proclaimed a state unity with Russia in 1999 during the NATO’s aggression, and 2) when Kosovo-Metohija’s Serbs (around 90,000) required Russia’s citizenship in 2011. However, Moscow in both cases simply was deaf, regardless on the fact that it would be a perfect opportunity and formal excuse for Russia to do really something for the Serbs and to stop a NATO’s military machinery at the Balkans.
Nevertheless, some of influential Russia’s political leaders and representatives are still ardent to the ideology of the Pan-Slavic common ethno-linguistic origin, cultural reciprocity, solidarity and brotherhood – at least formally. For instance, during a visit to Serbia in January 1994 Vladimir Zhirinovsky warned the West that any attack on Serbia or Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs would be considered by the Russians as an attack on Russia herself. However, when it happened in reality in 1995 and 1999 Russia did simply nothing to protect Krayina’s and Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs (in 1995) and Serbia (in 1999). It is interesting that on the same occasion he called for a union of all Slavic nations from “Knin to Vladivostok”. Zhirinovsky was at that time also the main advocator of a radical revision of the political map of Europe, especially in the South-East Europe. In the other words, in his conception of reshaping the political map of Europe, the new (Russian) order in the South-East Europe has to be based on the (by now utopian) “Slavic pyramid” as:
Bosnia-Herzegovina would be divided between a Greater Serbia and a Greater Croatia.
A Greater Bulgaria would be created with its capital in Sofia.
Greece would be given parts of European Turkey.
Hungary would get back Transylvania from Romania.
It is quite predictable that the idea of the Pan-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood will be put on agenda of the Russian national interest if the Russian “Patriots” and the “Pan-Slavic nationalists” gained political power in Russia (we do not consider Putin’s regime as a real patriotic one). In this case, the concept of reshaping the South-East Europe on the model of some kind of the “Slavic pyramid” will surely play a significant role in the Russian foreign policy.
Nevertheless, there would be a very little chance for the Roman Catholic Slavs to accept such political program as they are firstly the Roman Catholics and only than the Slavs as the Yugoslav experience shows. In the other words, Vatican will never agree that the Roman Catholics are going to be governed by the Orthodox Christians (Екмечић, 2010, 516). On the other hand, during the Great War of 1914−1918 a Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Dmitrievich Sazonov (1910−1916) was explicitly advising Serbia’s ambassador to Russia, dr. Miroslav Spalajković (1913−1919) that any state combination with the Roman Catholic Slovenes and Croats would be political disaster for Serbia as Slovenes and Croats will be all the time just Vatican’s separatist fifth column and trouble makers in any kind of Yugoslavia. In reality, as a matter of historical fact, both the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Josip Broz’s Titoslavia were destroyed with a great help of Vatican exactly by the Roman Catholic Croats (who were strongly supported by the Roman Catholic Slovenes in the case of destruction of Titoslavia in 1989−1991).
At the end we will express several basic conclusions in relations to the topic of contemporary Russian relations with the Balkans, or better to say, to the debate of the main issue of the present-day Russian foreign policy – between the West and herself:
The post-Soviet Russia was at least until 2014 Ukrainian crisis politically very deeply involved in the western system of international relations and cultural values that was basically giving to Moscow a status of the western client partner on the international scene of the NATO’s World Order.
A full victory of the Russian “Westernizers” up to 2014 allow them to further westernize Russia according to the pattern of the Emperor Peter the Great with the price of Russia’s inferiority and even servility in the international relations. For that reason, the West already succeeded (at least up to 2014) to encircle Russia with three rings of Russia’s enemies: the NATO at the West, the Muslim Central Asian states at the South and China at the South-East.
The West was buying Russia’s inferiority at the international scene by keeping perfect economic relations with Moscow that was allowing Russia, especially Russia’s tycoons, to become enormously reach. These harmonious West-Russia political-economic relations are going to be broken in the future only under two circumstances: I. If the Russian “Patriots” with take political power in Kremlin (after the military putsch or new revolution?), or II. If the West will introduce any kind of serious economic sanctions against Russia (i.e. to restrict importing Russian gas and oil or to limit business operations of the Russian oil and gas companies outside Russia).
Up to now, the South-East Europe is left to the western hands by Moscow and the region is already incorporated into the NATO’s World Order as a part of the western (the NATO & the EU) post-Cold War concept of the Central and East Europe as a buffer zone against Russia.
Russia in this region has only and exclusively economic-financial interest (the “Southern Stream”, investments, buying the real estate properties, selling her own products, etc.). The region was becoming more and more under the Russian direct financial control. As one of the best examples is Montenegro with 40% of the Russian investment out of total foreign one.
The only political and national losers at the Balkans, as the outcome of such West-Russia post-Soviet relations, are the Serbs who as a nation have been expelled from Croatia and lost their Republic of Serbian Krayina, lost 20% of their ethno-historical land in Bosnia-Herzegovina, lost Kosovo-Metohija and will lose Vojvodina and Sanjak in the near future if Russia will lose a current battle for Ukraine (or the Little Russia). In this case, the state territory of Serbia, according to the western designers from the very end of the Cold War era, would be reduced to the borders of the so-called Bismarck’s Serbia (or Bismarck’s paşalik) after the Congress of Berlin in 1878 up to the Balkan Wars of 1912−1913.
The essential historical disadvantage of Serbia and the Serbs as a nation was and still is that they did not have and do not have a common state borders with (the tsarist) Russia and Russians – the only European great power nation and state who never humiliated Serbia and the Serbs and the only nation and state in the world to whom the Serbs have to really thank for the preservation of their national identity and state independence.
Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović
Mykolas Romeris University
Institute of Political Sciences
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Владислав Б. Сотировић
БАЛКАНСКА ПОЛИТИКА РУСИЈЕ:
ОД ПОЛИТИКЕ СВЕСЛОВЕНСКЕ УЗАЈАМНОСТИ ЦАРСКЕ РУСИЈЕ ДО „РЕАЛ-ПОЛИТИКЕ“ РЕПУБЛИКЕ ГАЗПРОМ РУСИЈЕ
У овом чланку се истражује спољна политика Русије на Балкану након нестанка Совјетског Савеза у времену светског поретка који диктира НАТО пакт а у вези са идеалима панславизма, међусловенске солидарности, узајамности и братства. Посебан нагласак је стављен на следеће четири најбитније истраживачке теме: 1. Панславизам и Русија; 2. Однос између прозападних и проправославних снага на политичкој сцени Русије по питању руског националног интереса; 3. Различити приступи руској балканској политици у Русији; и 4. Руско-српски повесни односи и перспективе у будућности односа Русије и Срба. Методологија истраживања је заснована на коришћењу адекватних повесних источника и релевантне стручне литературе везане за тематику чланка. Главни резултати нашег истраживања показују да: 1. Историјски посматрано, само је (царска) Русија била заинтересована да заштити балканске Словене православне хришћанске оријентације од било које стране силе а у оквиру политике свесловенства и идеологије засноване на међусловенској узајамности и братству; 2. Балканске православне нације могу пре свега да захвале Русији на својим независним државама и очувању свог националног идентитета; 3. Русија након Хладног рата није ништа друго него тајкунизована Газпром Република која нема стварних намера, бар до украјинске кризе 2014. г., да нарушава тренутни светски поредак НАТО пакта – амерички мир; и 4. Срби и Србија су постали главне жртве овако идеалних партнерских односа на међународном плану након Хладног рата између Запада и Републике Газпром Русије.
Кључне речи: НАТО, светски поредак, Русија, Срби, Србија, спољна политика, Балкан, Југоисточна Европа, Јужни Словени, панславизам, међународни односи, глобална политика, амерички мир
 The Balkans is a peninsula in the South-East Europe that today includes Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Albania, Macedonia (the FYROM), Bulgaria and the European portion of Turkey. The South-East Europe is enlarged Balkans with Romania and Moldova.
 The Balkans was all the time a peninsula of a clash of civilizations. According to Samuel P. Huntington, a civilization is a cultural entity and he identified eight such civilizations. One of them was the Slavic-Orthodox. Civilizations differ in terms of history, language, culture, tradition but above all religion. Huntington argued that every civilization had and has a protector core state as, for instance, Russia historically was and today is a protector of the Slavic-Orthodox civilization (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 447).
 Great power was originally in the 18th century the term for a European state which could not be conquered by any other state or even by several of them. After the WWII this term is applied to a country that is regarded as among the most powerful in the global system and global politics (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 578).
 The British-Russian convention over Persia in 1907 divided the country into a northern section under the Russian influence, a neutral part in the middle, and a southern zone under the UK’s influence (Palmowski, 2004, 304).
 About the Pan-Slavism, see in (Kohn, 1960).
 About the Russian history, see in (Riasanovsky, 2006).
 About Russia’s foreign policy interests, see in (Tsygankov, 2013; Gvosdev, 2014).
 About Ukraine-Russian identity relations, see in (Plokhy, 2008; Plokhy, 2010).
 About the spiritual and geopolitical rivalry in the Balkans by the great European powers, see in (Поповић, 1940; Narochnitskaya, 1998). According to Lord Palmerston, the nations (states) have no permanent enemies and allies; they have only permanent interests (Cooper, Heine, Thakur, 2015, 72).
 For instance, about Russia’s influence in Serbia from the end of the 18th century to the mid-19th century, see in (Попов, 1870).
 The Cold War was the struggle and conflict between the USA and its allies, including supporters of the capitalism, engaged in ideological and political warfare against the USSR and its allies, advocates of the communism, an alternative and incompatible, economic and political system (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 102).
 About history of the Cold War, see in (Lewis, 2005; Zubok, 2007).
 World or global politics is political interactions between and among sovereign (independent) states as well as nonstate actors (ex., the NGOs).
 About the end of the USSR, see in (Plokhy, 2014).
 About different opinions on the nature of Yugoslavia, see in (Allcock, 2000; Sabrina, 2006).
 About the wars of Yugoslavia’s succession in the 1990s, see in (Trifunovska, 1994; Woodwards, 1995; Ullman, 1996; Oven, 1996; Marković, 1996; Guskova, 2003; Sotirović, 2013a).
 About Peter the Great and his reforms in Russia, see in (Hughes, 2000; Cracraft, 2003).
 About the idea of the Holy Russia as a Third Rome, see in (Johnson, 2004).
 About the US’ post-Cold War imperialism and global hegemony, see in (Kiernan, 2005; Baron, 2014).
 The Pax Americana is a key phenomenon of the post-Cold War era as an informal the US’ empire whose tenets lie in the global capitalist trading system which reached across the globe. After 1991 the USA became a single state in the world with a global hegemonic ambitions and capacities, at least up to 2014. “The core feature of the Pax Americana is a multilateral system of global governance” (Atlagić, 2015, 32). About the Pax Americana, see in (Dorrien, 2004; Clarke, 2008; Parchami, 2009; Roncallo, 2014). On the remaking of the World Order, see (Huntington, 2002; Kissinger, 2014). On the post-Cold War US-Russia’s relations up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, see in (Stent, 2014). In essence, the Pax Americana is nothing else then a synonym for a post-Cold War New World Order: “A term coined by George Bush Snr following the successful expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait in the first Gulf War…the idea that New World Order was short-hand for US policy preferences and further American imperialism” (Haynes, et al, 2013, 712).
 About the “Kosovo precedent” and the ethnopolitical conflicts in the Caucasus, see in (Weller, 2009; Tsurtsumia, 2010; Hehir, 2010; Francis, 2011; Souleimanov, 2013; Sotirović, 2013b).
 About Russia’s foreign policy, see in (Donaldson, 2014). About Russia and her closest neighbours, see in (Szajkowski, 1994; Hungtington, 2011, 151−155). About Russia and the Balkans after 1991, see in (Ekinci, 2013).
 About the Montenegrin ethnic origin and identity, see in (Glomazić, 1988; Lazarević, 2014). On the problem who are the Macedonians and the “Macedonian Question”, see in (Martis, 1984; Poulton, 2000; Pettifer, 2001; Damianopoulos, 2012).
 Russia strongly opposed an official western stereotyped standpoint on the fundamental causes of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia. According to this view, a personality of Serbia’s President Slobodan Milošević and his political idea to create a Greater Serbia was the main cause of the destruction of the country followed by the bloody war (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 442)
 About the “Kosovo Question”, see in (Grujić, 2014).
 About Boris Yeltsin and Russia in his time, see in (Colton, 2008; Curtis, 2014).
 About the NATO’s military intervention in 1999 against Serbia and Montenegro, see in (Gibbs, 2009; Phillips, 2012).
 About this issue, see more in (Headley, 2008).
 About the globalization of the NATO pact, see in (Kitchen, 2010; Nazemroaya, 2012).
 About discussion on the origins of the WWI, see in (Бјелајац, 2014). It has to be noticed on this place that the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Fedinand and his wife Sophia in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914 that triggered the Great War as an excuse for the Dual Monarchy to formally declare war to Serbia (Ћоровић, 1990b, 79) was organized and committed by the conspiratorial revolutionary underground organization from Bosnia-Herzegovina – the Young Bosnia (like Jung Deutschland Bund) with a great help of Serbia’s military officer Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis (later Colonel) who was a leader of another conspiratorial underground revolutionary organization from Serbia – the Black Hand (Казимировић, 2013). Serbia’s Government did everything to prevent the assassination but it in vain. However, the Austro-Hungarian state intelligence service new very well about the preparation of the assassination but purposely did nothing to prevent it. An essence of the issue was that the members of the Young Bosnia have been not from Serbia but from Austria-Hungary, fighting for a pan-Serbian political unification in a form of a united or Greater Serbia (Dieterich, 1925, 226) likewise Apis too who was originally an ethnic Vlach (not a Serb) from the Eastern Serbia. Both organizations new well that a price for the unification was a war against the Dual Monarchy in which Serbia had to pay a terrible price. Unfortunately, after the Great War Serbia was out of 25% of her pre-war population and 50% of the pre-war industrial infrastructure. Nevertheless, at the end of the war it was not created a Greater Serbia but rather a common state with the Roman Catholic Slovenes and Croats and Muslim Bosniaks who became at such a way abolished for their terrible war crime atrocities in the uniforms of the Dual Monarchy against Serbia’s civilians during the Great War and occupation of Serbia. Josip Broz Tito (1892−1980) was also one of those South Slavs fighting in the Western Serbia in 1914−1915 as a soldier of infamous the 42nd Devil Division which committed recorded war crimes against the Serbian civilians (for instance, recorded by a Swiss German Archibald Rudolf Reiss, 1875−1929). Similar war crimes and torture against the Orthodox Serb civilians were done in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war by the Austro-Hungarian authorities (Ћоровић, 1920). It is interesting that according to the American historian MacMillan, the Young Bosnia’s ideals were of the Pan-Slavonic nature. However, she equated the Young Bosnia with Al-Qaeda and Iran (MacMillan, 2006). Nevertheless, a majority of the Young Bosnia’s members or their ideological fathers were coming from the “vukojebinje” areas (“the land where wolves fuck”) as it was the case, for instance, with Vladimir Gaćinović (1890−1917) born in the village of Kačanj near Bileća in Herzegovina – a son of Serb Orthodox priest (Misha, 1999, 293−297).
 The Russian Emperor Nicolas II expressed to Serbia’s Prime Minister Nikola Pašić a final support to Serbia’s independence and real military-political protection in the case of Austro-Hungarian proclamation of the war to Serbia in the spring of 1914 (Драгнић, 1994, 118). An ultimate support to Serbia Russia expressed on July 24th, 1914 (a day after the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia) during the meeting between Sazonov and Spalajković in St. Petersburg (Поповић, 2007, 86−87).
 Nevertheless, Greece did not proclaim war to Bulgaria in 1915 when Bulgaria did it to Serbia due to the pro-German policy of the King Constantine I who was the brother-in-law of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II.
 About the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, 1979−1989, see in (Grau, 2002; Fremont-Barnes, 2012; Riedel, 2014). On the US’ military involvement in Afghanistan from 2001 onwards, see in (Gall, 2014).
 About this issue, see more in (Mendeloff, 2008; Kanet, 2010; Leichtova, 2014).
 About the Bosniaks, as a matter of comparison, see in (Donia & Fine, 1994; Pinson, 1996).
About the problems and challenges of the Balkan security and Russia in the 1990s, see in (Shoup, 1990; Гуськова, 1992−1993; Larrabee, 1994; Бодсон, 1996; Gow, 1997).
 A same kind of just declarative support to Serbia was expressed by a President of the Gazprom Republic of Russia – Vladimir Putin in Belgrade on October 14th, 2014.
 About the process of creation of the first Yugoslavia (the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) during the Great War, see in (Sotirović, 2012).
 About debates on the reasons for the dissolution of the Yugoslav federation in the 1990s, see in (Guskova, 2003, I, 51−59).
 About the post-Cold War western supremacy in the global politics and international relations, see in (Mayer, 2014; Pijl, 2014). About a typical example of the western (the US’) colony in the region, Kosovo-Metohija as a part of the Pax Americana, see in (Hofbauer, 2009). On the relations between the NATO and the European Union, see in (Simon, 2013). About the history of a greater concept of the East Europe between the Germans and the Russians, see in (Bideleux & Jeffries, 1999; Janos, 2000). It is realistically expected that Montenegro will become a full Member State of the NATO in 2016 or at least in 2017.
 At the Congress of Berlin (from June 13th to July 13th, 1878), Bismarck’s main political goal was to maintain a balance of power in Europe which would block creation of any anti-German bloc. His assessment was based on the realpolitik politics of hard practical interests. Serbia’s official representative to the Congress, Jovan Ristić, became “brought down to earth during the second week of the Congress” (Misha, 1999, 149).
Тhe world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.
America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms on indebted countries as well the manipulation of financial markets, the engineered collapse of national currencies, the privatization of State property, the imposition of economic sanctions, the triggering of inflation and black markets.
The economic dimensions of this military agenda must be clearly understood. War and Globalization are intimately related. These military and intelligence operations are implemented alongside a process of economic and political destabilization targeting specific countries in all major regions of World.
Neoliberalism is an integral part of this foreign policy agenda. It constitutes an all encompassing mechanism of economic destabilization. Since the 1997 Asian crisis, the IMF-World Bank structural adjustment program (SAP) has evolved towards a broader framework which consists in ultimately undermining national governments’ ability to formulate and implement national economic and social policies.
In turn, the demise of national sovereignty was also facilitated by the instatement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, evolving towards the global trading agreements (TTIP and TPP) which (if adopted) would essentially transfer state policy entirely into the hands of corporations. In recent years, neoliberalism has extend its grip from the so-called developing countries to the developed countries of both Eastern and Western Europe. Bankruptcy programs have been set in motion. Island, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, etc, have been the target of sweeping austerity measures coupled with the privatization of key sectors of the national economy.
The global economic crisis is intimately related to America’s hegemonic agenda. In the US and the EU, a spiralling defense budget backlashes on the civilian sectors of economic activity. “War is Good for Business”: the powerful financial groups which routinely manipulate stock markets, currency and commodity markets, are also promoting the continuation and escalation of the Middle East war. A worldwide process of impoverishment is an integral part of the New World Order agenda.
Beyond the Globalization of Poverty
Historically, impoverishment of large sectors of the World population has been engineered through the imposition of IMF-style macro-economic reforms. Yet, in the course of the last 15 years, a new destructive phase has been set in motion. The World has moved beyond the “globalization of poverty”: countries are transformed in open territories,
State institutions collapse, schools and hospitals are closed down, the legal system disintegrates, borders are redefined, broad sectors of economic activity including agriculture and manufacturing are precipitated into bankruptcy, all of which ultimately leads to a process of social collapse, exclusion and destruction of human life including the outbreak of famines, the displacement of entire populations (refugee crisis).
This “second stage” goes beyond the process of impoverishment instigated in the early 1980s by creditors and international financial institutions. In this regard, mass poverty resulting from macro-economic reform sets the stage of a process of outright destruction of human life.
In turn, under conditions of widespread unemployment, the costs of labor in developing countries has plummeted. The driving force of the global economy is luxury consumption and the weapons industry.
The New World Order
• Wall Street and the Western banking conglomerates including its offshore money laundering facilities, tax havens, hedge funds and secret accounts,
• the Military Industrial Complex regrouping major “defense contractors”, security and mercenary companies, intelligence outfits, on contract to the Pentagon;
• the Anglo-American Oil and Energy Giants,
• The Biotech Conglomerates, which increasingly control agriculture and the food chain;
• Big Pharma,
• The Communication Giants and Media conglomerates, which constitute the propaganda arm of the New World Order.
There is of course overlap, between Big Pharma and the Weapons industry, the oil conglomerates and Wall Street, etc.
These various corporate entities interact with government bodies, international financial institutions, US intelligence. The state structure has evolved towards what Peter Dale Scott calls the “Deep State”, integrated by covert intelligence bodies, think tanks, secret councils and consultative bodies, where important New World Order decisions are ultimately reached on behalf of powerful corporate interests.
In turn, intelligence operatives increasingly permeate the United Nations including its specialized agencies, nongovernmental organizations, trade unions, political parties.
What this means is that the executive and legislature constitute a smokescreen, a mechanism for providing political legitimacy to decisions taken by the corporate establishment behind closed doors.
The corporate media, which constitutes the propaganda arm of the New World Order, has a long history whereby intelligence ops oversee the news chain. In turn, the corporate media serves the useful purpose of obfuscating war crimes, of presenting a humanitarian narrative which upholds the legitimacy of politicians in high office.
Acts of war and economic destabilization are granted legitimacy. War is presented as a peace-keeping undertaking.
Both the global economy as well as the political fabric of Western capitalism have become criminalized. The judicial apparatus at a national level as well the various international human rights tribunals and criminal courts serve the useful function of upholding the legitimacy of US-NATO led wars and human rights violations.
Destabilizing Competing Poles of Capitalist Development
There are of course significant divisions and capitalist rivalry within the corporate establishment. In the post Cold War era, the US hegemonic project consists in destabilizing competing poles of capitalist development including China, Russia and Iran as well as countries such as India, Brazil and Argentina.
In recent developments, the US has also exerted pressure on the capitalist structures of the member states of the European Union. Washington exerts influence in the election of heads of State including Germany and France, which are increasingly aligned with Washington.
The monetary dimensions are crucial. The international financial system established under Bretton Woods prevails. The global financial apparatus is dollarized. The powers of money creation are used as a mechanism to appropriate real economy assets. Speculative financial trade has become an instrument of enrichment at the expense of the real economy. Excess corporate profits and multibillion dollar speculative earnings (deposited in tax free corporate charities) are also recycled towards the corporate control of politicians, civil society organizations, not to mention scientists and intellectuals. It’s called corruption, co-optation, fraud.
Latin America: The Transition towards a “Democratic Dictatorship”
In Latin America, the military dictatorships of the 1960s and 1970s have in large part been replaced by US proxy regimes, i.e. a democratic dictatorship has been installed which ensures continuity. At the same time the ruling elites in Latin America have remoulded. They have become increasingly integrated into the logic of global capitalism, requiring an acceptance of the US hegemonic project.
Macro-economic reform has been conducive to the impoverishment of the entire Latin america region.
In the course of the last 40 years, impoverishment has been triggered by hyperinflation, starting with the 1973 military coup in Chile and the devastating reforms of the 1980s and early 1990s.
The implementation of these deadly economic reforms including sweeping privatization, trade deregulation, etc. is coordinated in liaison with US intelligence ops, including the “Dirty war” and Operation Condor, the Contra insurrection in Nicaragua, etc.
The development of a new and privileged elite integrated into the structures of Western investment and consumerism has emerged. Regime change has been launched against a number of Latin American countries.
Any attempt to introduce reforms which departs from the neoliberal consensus is the object of “dirty tricks” including acts of infiltration, smear campaigns, political assassinations, interference in national elections and covert operations to foment social divisions. This process inevitably requires corruption and cooptation at the highest levels of government as well as within the corporate and financial establishment. In some countries of the region it hinges on the criminalization of the state, the legitimacy of money laundering and the protection of the drug trade.
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
The above text is an English summary of Prof. Michel Chossudovsky’s Presentation, National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, May 17, 2016. This presentation took place following the granting of a Doctor Honoris Causa in Humanities to Professor Chossudovsky by the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN)
After the Russian military victory over the Ottoman Empire in the 1877−1878 Russo-Ottoman War it was signed the San Stefano Treaty between these two states on March 3rd, 1878. According to the treaty, a Greater “San Stefano” Bulgaria, under the direct protection by Russia, had to be established within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. However, an idea of “San Stefano Bulgaria” directly affected three Balkan nations: the Serbs, Greeks and Albanians as some of their ethnic and historical territories had to become part of a Greater Bulgaria. The “San Stefano Bulgaria” was projected by the Russian authorities to cover territory from the Danube River to the Aegean Sea and from the present-day Albania to the Black Sea, including all of geographic-historical Macedonia, the present-day East Serbia and the present-day Southeast Albania. As a result, the Albanian nation living in the present-day Southeast Albania and the West Macedonia would become part of a Greater Bulgaria that would be governed by the Russian authorities.
It is characteristic of both the San Stefano Treaty and the Berlin Congress that they conceived parts of the Albanian-populated Balkan territories to be given to the other Balkan states according to the principle of ethnic and historical rights. The remained Albanian ethnic space would be within the borders of the Ottoman Empire but without any “special status”, i.e., autonomous rights and ethno-political privileges.
The Ottoman government itself was feeble to protect the Albanian populated territories consisted of more than 80% of the Muslim population, which showed high degree of political and ideological loyalty towards the Sultan and the Sublime Porte in Istanbul. Nevertheless, the decisions of the 1878 San Stefano Treaty resulted in the organization of the Albanian self-defence system by their (Muslim) political leadership, which considered an autonomous status of Albania, similarly to the status of Serbia, Moldavia and Wallachia, as only guarantee for a justifiable administration over the Albanians in the future.
The San Stefano Treaty accorded to the Slavic Bulgaria a portion of the following Albanian-settled lands: the district of Korçë and the Debar area. According to the same treaty, Montenegro was granted with several municipalities at the present-day North Albania and the areas of Bar and Ulcinj. The border between Ottoman Albania and Montenegro was fixed on the Bojana River and the Scodra Lake. Nevertheless, an official representative of the Principality of Montenegro, Radonjić, required in Adrianople (Edirne) the city of Scodra to be included into enlarged Montenegro.
However, what was exactly regarded at that time as Albania, and the Albanians as an ethnic identity, it was not clear to anybody in Europe. The main reason was the fact that the official Ottoman censuses became quite unreliable source to fix such problems because they were based rather on the religious identity than on strict ethno-national (i.e., ethno-linguistic) belonging. Practically, all Ottoman Islamic population, either they were the Albanians, Bosnians or Turks, were selected to one category – the Muslims. A national/ethnic differences were not marked in the Ottoman censuses at all. Nevertheless, regardless on the lack of the official statistics, it is possible to reconstruct the dispersion of the Albanian ethnicity at that time by using other historical sources. One of such sources is a report to the Austro-Hungarian authorities about the northern boundaries of the Albanian language written by the Austro-Hungarian consul F. Lippich in the mid-1877 during the Great Eastern Crisis and the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877−1878. According to this report, a northern linguistic border of the Albanians run from the city of Bar on the Montenegrin Adriatic littoral towards the Scodra Lake, then through two Montenegrin regions of Kolašin and Vasojevićs, after that towards the Ibar River and the city of Novi Pazar in Sanjak (Raška) up to the area of the South Morava River at the present-day Serbia. The Albanian linguistic borderland was fixed on the East and South-East to be around the Ochrid Lake, the cities of Bitola (Monastir) and Debar, and the upper Vardar River. However, in many of these areas the Albanian language was spoken together with the Slavonic languages as they are today the Serbian, Montenegrin and Macedonian.
Surely, the San Stefano Treaty provoked the Albanian nationalism and forged the Albanian national renaissance movement. A germ of the Albanian national movement was growing from the 1840’s to the time of the Great Eastern Crisis of 1875−1878 when the first requirements for the establishment of the Albanian-language schools and the preservation of national language were requested by the Albanian public workers in the Ottoman Empire (Naum Panajot Bredi, Engel Mashi, Josiph Kripsi, John Skiroj, Hieronim de Rada, Vincenzo Dorsa, etc). However, the Albanian national renaissance received a new impetus during the Balkan crisis of 1862 at the time of a new Montenegrin-Ottoman war when several members of the so-called “Scodra group” (Zef Ljubani, Pashko Vasa and others) propagated the uprising of the North Albanian tribes in the Mirditë region against the Montenegrin territorial pretensions on the Albanian-populated areas. They also opposed the Ottoman authorities as they relied on the support by the French Emperor Napoleon III (1852−1870). In the case of successful result of the rebellion the independent and united principality of Albania would be created at the Balkans. It would include all Albanian-populated territories in the Balkans. The main Albanian ideologist from that time was Zef Jubani, born in Scutari in 1818, who claimed that the Albanian population already became a nation at that time. His primary political goal was a creation of an autonomous united Albania within the Ottoman Empire. Others, like Thimi Mitko and Spiro Dineja, favoured Albania’s separation from the Ottoman Empire and creation of a dual Albanian-Greek confederation state similar to Austria-Hungary. During the Great Eastern Crisis of 1875−1878, the Albanian uprising in Mirditë in 1876−1877, led by the Albanian patriots from Scodra, had as its ultimate political goal a creation of an autonomous Albania in the Ottoman Empire. The leaders of the uprising visited Montenegrin court in order to obtain a financial support from the Montenegrin Prince Nikola I (1860−1910; King 1910−1918). Such support was promised to the leader of the Albanian delegation, Preng Dochi. What is important to stress is that the Montenegrin Prince stated on this occasion that Montenegro does not have any territorial aspirations towards the “Albanian” territories. At the same time, the Russian diplomat in Scodra, Ivan Jastrebov, pointed out that Europe faced the “Albanian Question”.
At the same time, the Albanian tribal chieftains from the South Albania and the North Epirus under the presidency of a prominent Muslim Albanian feudal lord Abdul-beg Frashëri convoked in 1877 a national meeting in the city of Jannina when they required from the Sublime Porte in Istanbul to recognize a separate Albanian nationality, and therefore to give them a right to form an autonomous Albanian province (vilayet) within the Ottoman Empire. They required, in addition, that all officials in such Albanian vilayet should be of the Albanian ethnic origin (but only the Muslims), the Albanian-language schools to be open and finally the Albanian-language courts to be created. The memorandum with such demands was sent to the Sublime Porte, but this supreme Ottoman governmental institution rejected to meet any of these Albanian national requirements.
A publishing of the San Stefano Treaty’s articles caused a great unrest and dissatisfaction among the Albanian people. From that time onward, a previous Albanian movement just for improvement of the social conditions of the Albanians living in the Ottoman Empire became, however, now transfigured into the Albanian national movement (but in essence it was rooted into the Islamic tradition and political dogmatism) requiring either the creation of politically autonomous province of Albania within the Ottoman Empire or a making of an independent Albanian national state (based on the Islamic tradition).
Especially the Northeast and East Albania experienced massive unrest and protests against the San Stefano Treaty that were addressed to the Great European Powers. Thus, in April 1878 the Albanians from the city of Debar sent a telegram to the British and Austro-Hungarian ambassadors to the Ottoman Empire, Layard, Zichy respectively, protesting against the annexation of the region of Debar by a newly projected San Stefano Bulgarian principality. It was emphasized in the telegram that the people from Debar are the Albanians but not Bulgarians. Furthermore, according to the protest memo, the district of Debar encompassed 220,000 Muslims and 10,000 Christians; all of them were the ethnic Albanians. Finally, it was required that the Great European Powers would not allow Bulgaria to annex the Debar region; instead, it should be left in the Ottoman Empire (as a “national” state of all Muslim Albanians).
Similarly to the Albanians from Debar, their compatriots from the city of Scodra and the Northwest Albania asked the Austro-Hungarian authority to foil inclusion of the Albanian territories into Montenegro (whose independence was recognized by the Berlin Congress in 1878). The Albanians from several districts in Kosovo-Metochia (Prizren, Đakovica, Peć) protested in a memorandum to Vienna against partition of their lands between Serbia and Montenegro. On May 8th, 1878 when “…today, we learned from the newspapers that the Ottoman government, unable to resist the pressure of Russia, has been obliged to accept our annexation by the Montenegrins…” a protest of Albanian population of Scodra, Podgorica, Spuž, Žabljak, Tivat, Ulcinj, Gruda, Kelmend, Hot and Kastrat was addressed to the ambassador of France in Istanbul against the annexation of the Albanian lands by the Principality of Montenegro. The Albanian people from the North Albania and Kosovo-Metochia, either the Muslims or the Roman Catholics, started to organize their own self-defence detachments (a territorial militia) and the local committees against incorporation of these territories into either Serbia or Montenegro. Another task of those numerous committees was to help to the Albanian refugees from the areas already taken by the Serbs and Montenegrins according to the San Stefano Treaty. Thus, for example, on June 26th, 1878 from Priština was issued a protest of 6,200 Albanian emigrants expelled from the districts of Niš, Leskovac, Prokuplje and Kuršumlija, addressed to the Berlin Congress against the mass murders and rapes committed by Serbia’s army and the Bulgarian military units.
However, such official protests by the Albanians were much more a way of a propaganda work but not the reality on the ground at least not to such extend as presented. The fact was that majority of the (Muslim) Albanian „refugees“ in fact voluntary left those lands ascribed by the Russian-Ottoman Treaty of San Stefano to a Greater Bulgaria for the reason that the Muslims can not, in principle, to leave under non-Muslim government – i.e., the government of the „infidels“.
Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
Mykolas Romeris University
Institute of Political Sciences
 Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, Vol. LXXXIII, Turkey, № 22, London, 1878, 10.
 “Article № 1” of the San Stefano Peace Treaty in Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, Vol. LXXXIII, Turkey, № 22, London, 1878, 9−10; Sumner B. H., Russia and the Balkans, 1870−1880, Oxford, 1937, 410−415.
 Haus-Hof-und Staatsarchiv, Politisches Archiv, XII/256, Türkei IV, Lippich F., “Denkschrift über Albanien”, Wien, June 20th, 1877, 8−9.
 According to M. Jevtić, the Albanians have not been formed as a nation in a modern European sense of the meaning of the term at that time or they are not a nation even today as the main framework of the Albanian national identity was and is primarily Islam – a religion which does not recognize existence of any ethno-linguistic identity among the Muslims who are considered to be one (confessional) “nation” [Јевтић М., Албанско питање и религија, Београд: Центар за проучавање религије и верску толеранцију, 2011; Јевтић М., „Исламска суштина албанског сецесионизма и културно наслеђе Срба“, Национални интерест, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2013, 238]. On the Islamic tradition and political doctrine, see in [Itzkowitz N., Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition, Chicago−London: The University of Chicago Press, 1980].
 Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, “Ceccaldi to Waddington, April 27th, 1878”, № 213, Turquie, Correspondance politique des consuls, Scutari, 1878−1879, Vol. XXI.
 On the strong confessional-political division and even religious wars between the Albanians later on in 1915, see in [Pollo S., Puto A., Histoire d’Albania des origines á nos jours, Roanne, 1974, 183−186; Јевтић М., Проблеми политикологије религије, Београд: Центар за проучавање религије и верску толеранцију, 2012, 159−161].
 An academic concept of a Great Power is defined as a state “deemed to rank amongst the most powerful in a hierarchical state-system. The criteria that define a great power are subject to dispute, but four are often identified. (1) Great powers are in the first rank of military powers, having the capacity to maintain their own security and, potentially, to influence other powers. (2) They are economically powerful states… (3.) They have global, and not merely regional, spheres of interests. (4) They adopt a ‘forward’ foreign policy and have actual, and not merely potential, impact on international affairs” [Heywood A., Global Politics, New York−London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 7].
 The numbers of people of the Debar district was drastically exaggerated. The ethnic Albanians have not been the only districts’ inhabitants.
 Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, “Layard to Salisbury, Therapia, May 4th, 1878, Vol. LXXXIII, Turkey, № 41, London, 1878, 60−61; Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, “Ceccaldi to Waddington, Scutari, May 4th, 1878”, № 214, Turquie, Correspondance politique des consuls, Scutari, 1878−1879, Vol. XXI.
 Novotny A., Österreich, die Türkei und das Balkan-problem im Jahre des Berliner Kongresses, Graz−Köln, 1957, 246.
 Ibid, 37, 247−253; Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, 1878, Vol. LXXXI, Turkey, № 45, London, 1878, 35−36.
 Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, French Embassy at the Sublime Porte, Turkey, Vol. 417, 51−54, Supplement to the Report № 96 (original in French); Pollo S., Pulaha S., (eds.), Pages of the Albanian National Renaissance, 1878−1912, Tirana, 1978, 12−13.
 Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, “Green to Salisbury, May 3rd, 1878”, Vol. LXXXIII, Turkey, № 40, London, 1878, 60; Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, “Ceccaldi to Waddington, Scutari, May 4th, 1878”, № 214, Turquie, Correspondance politique des consuls, Scutari, 1878−1879, Vol. XXI; Ibid, a copy of telegram signed by the Montenegrin Prince Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš, Cetinje, June 5th, 1878, as annexe № 1 to Dèpêche, June 9th, 1878, № 218.
 Politisches Archiv des Auswartigen Amtes, Bonn, Turkey 129, Vol. 2, The Acts of the Congress of Berlin, 2, 1878, document № 110 (telegram); Pollo S, Pulaha S., (eds.), The Albanian League of Prizren, 1878−1881. Documents, Vol. I, Tirana, 1878, 73−74.
This article was first published on October 19, 2014.
This week marks the three-year anniversary of the Western-backed assassination of Libya’s former president, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fall of one of Africa’s greatest nations.
In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafi had turned Libya into Africa’s wealthiest nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy on the continent. Less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.
After NATO’s intervention in 2011, Libya is now a failed state and its economy is in shambles. As the government’s control slips through their fingers and into to the militia fighters’ hands, oil production has all but stopped.
The militias variously local, tribal, regional, Islamist or criminal, that have plagued Libya since NATO’s intervention, have recently lined up into two warring factions. Libya now has two governments, both with their own Prime Minister, parliament and army.
On one side, in the West of the country, Islamist-allied militias took over control of the capital Tripoli and other cities and set up their own government, chasing away a parliament that was elected over the summer.
On the other side, in the East of the Country, the “legitimate” government dominated by anti-Islamist politicians, exiled 1,200 kilometers away in Tobruk, no longer governs anything.
The fall of Gaddafi’s administration has created all of the country’s worst-case scenarios: Western embassies have all left, the South of the country has become a haven for terrorists, and the Northern coast a center of migrant trafficking. Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all closed their borders with Libya. This all occurs amidst a backdrop of widespread rape, assassinations and torture that complete the picture of a state that is failed to the bone.
America is clearly fed up with the two inept governments in Libya and is now backing a third force: long-time CIA asset, General Khalifa Hifter, who aims to set himself up as Libya’s new dictator. Hifter, who broke with Gaddafi in the 1980s and lived for years in Langley, Virginia, close to the CIA’s headquarters, where he was trained by the CIA, has taken part in numerous American regime change efforts, including the aborted attempt to overthrow Gaddafi in 1996.
In 1991 the New York Times reported that Hifter may have been one of “600 Libyan soldiers trained by American intelligence officials in sabotage and other guerrilla skills…to fit in neatly into the Reagan Administration’s eagerness to topple Colonel Qaddafi”.
Hifter’s forces are currently vying with the Al Qaeda group Ansar al-Sharia for control of Libya’s second largest city, Benghazi. Ansar al-Sharia was armed by America during the NATO campaign against Colonel Gaddafi. In yet another example of the U.S. backing terrorists backfiring, Ansar al-Sharia has recently been blamed by America for the brutal assassination of U.S. Ambassador Stevens.
Hifter is currently receiving logistical and air support from the U.S. because his faction envision a mostly secular Libya open to Western financiers, speculators, and capital.
Perhaps, Gaddafi’s greatest crime, in the eyes of NATO, was his desire to put the interests of local labour above foreign capital and his quest for a strong and truly United States of Africa. In fact, in August 2011, President Obama confiscated $30 billion from Libya’s Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of the African IMF and African Central Bank.
In 2011, the West’s objective was clearly not to help the Libyan people, who already had the highest standard of living in Africa, but to oust Gaddafi, install a puppet regime, and gain control of Libya’s natural resources.
For over 40 years, Gaddafi promoted economic democracy and used the nationalized oil wealth to sustain progressive social welfare programs for all Libyans. Under Gaddafi’s rule, Libyans enjoyed not only free health-care and free education, but also free electricity and interest-free loans. Now thanks to NATO’s intervention the health-care sector is on the verge of collapse as thousands of Filipino health workers flee the country, institutions of higher education across the East of the country are shut down, and black outs are a common occurrence in once thriving Tripoli.
One group that has suffered immensely from NATO’s bombing campaign is the nation’s women. Unlike many other Arab nations, women in Gaddafi’s Libya had the right to education, hold jobs, divorce, hold property and have an income. The United Nations Human Rights Council praised Gaddafi for his promotion of women’s rights.
When the colonel seized power in 1969, few women went to university. Today, more than half of Libya’s university students are women. One of the first laws Gaddafi passed in 1970 was an equal pay for equal work law.
Nowadays, the new “democratic” Libyan regime is clamping down on women’s rights. The new ruling tribes are tied to traditions that are strongly patriarchal. Also, the chaotic nature of post-intervention Libyan politics has allowed free reign to extremist Islamic forces that see gender equality as a Western perversion.
Three years ago, NATO declared that the mission in Libya had been “one of the most successful in NATO history.” Truth is, Western interventions have produced nothing but colossal failures in Libya, Iraq, and Syria. Lest we forget, prior to western military involvement in these three nations, they were the most modern and secular states in the Middle East and North Africa with the highest regional women’s rights and standards of living.
A decade of failed military expeditions in the Middle East has left the American people in trillions of dollars of debt. However, one group has benefited immensely from the costly and deadly wars: America’s Military-Industrial-Complex.
Building new military bases means billions of dollars for America’s military elite. As Will Blum has pointed out, following the bombing of Iraq, the United States built new bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Following the bombing of Afghanistan, the United States is now building military bases in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Following the recent bombing of Libya, the United States has built new military bases in the Seychelles, Kenya, South Sudan, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Given that Libya sits atop the strategic intersection of the African, Middle Eastern and European worlds, Western control of the nation, has always been a remarkably effective way to project power into these three regions and beyond.
NATO’s military intervention may have been a resounding success for America’s military elite and oil companies but for the ordinary Libyan, the military campaign may indeed go down in history as one of the greatest failures of the 21st century.
About the author:
Garikai Chengu is a research scholar at Harvard University. Contact him on email@example.com
“In fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue….
Today, Christopher Columbus is celebrated as a mythical hero by some – complete with songs, poems, and fictional tales about his great adventure across the Atlantic to explore the majestic land that would eventually be known as the Americas. There are fifty four communities named after the explorer in the United States, including the District of Columbia. “Hail, Columbia” was the United States’ unofficial national anthem until 1931. A federal holiday, “Columbus Day,” is celebrated every second Monday in October.
Despite all of this, historians have begun to tear down the Columbus myth: That he discovered America. That he proved the world wasn’t flat. (That had been well-known for more than a millennium in Columbus’ time. In fact, scholars had a pretty good idea of what the circumference of the Earth was, which was part of the dissent against Columbus making his trip- Columbus thought Asia was bigger than it is and the world much smaller, leading one of the scholars commissioned by the monarchy to investigate the plausibility of Columbus’ journey succeeding to say, it was “impossible to any educated person”). That he came to America in the name of exploration. And, finally, that he came in peace.
Quite simply, most of these “facts” are unequivocally false or half-truths. Columbus sailed the ocean blue to look for wealth and, officially, in the name of Christianity. What he mostly did, though, was enslave and rape the natives he met, sold girls (as young as nine by his own account) into prostitution, and committed numerous acts so heinous that he was forcibly removed from power and sent back to Spain in chains. Christopher Columbus was brutal, even by the standards of his age, leading Bartolome de las Casa, who accompanied Columbus on one of his voyages, to write in his The History of the Indies, “Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel… My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write.”
In August 1492, Columbus departed Spain with three ships – the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Santa Clara (nicknamed “the Nina”). After two months on the high seas, land was spotted. Now, before they had left, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had promised to whoever spotted land first a reward of a silken jacket and an annuity of ten thousand maravedis. The lookout on the Pinta was Rodrigo de Triana and he was the first to spot land. He shouted to the rest of the crew down below, and the Pinta’s captain announced the discovery with cannon fire. When it came time to receive the reward though, Columbus claimed he actually saw a light in the distance several hours prior to Triana’s shout, “but it was so indistinct that I did not dare to affirm it was land.” The reward reportedly went to Columbus.
Upon landing on the island, which he would call San Salvador (present-day Bahamas), Columbus immediately went to work finding gold and enslaving the native populations. Specifically, Columbus, upon seeing the Arawaks (the peoples of the region) come out of the forests frightened of the men with swords, but bearing gifts, wrote in his journal,
They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They would make fine servants . . . with fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
As other European visitors would observe, the Arawaks were legendary for their hospitality and their desire to share. Again saying Columbus about the Arawaks, “are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone.”
Columbus quickly took advantage of this. Seeing that they wore gold studs in their ears, he rounded up of a number of Arawaks and had them lead him to where gold was. The journey took them to present day Cuba and Haiti (but Columbus thought it was Asia), where they found specks of gold in the river, but not the enormous “fields” Columbus was expecting. Nonetheless, he wrote back to Spain saying that, “There are many spices, and great mines of gold and other metals.” This report earned him financing for a second voyage, this time with 13 ships and twelve hundred men. While he never ended up filling up these ships with gold, he filled them with another “currency” and one that would have a horrendous effect on the world going forward – slaves.
In 1495, Columbus arrived back in the New World and immediately took 1500 Arawaks as prisoners. Of those 1500, he picked 500 to be shipped back to Spain as slaves (about two hundred died on the journey back), starting the transatlantic slave trade. The rest were forced to find what little gold existed in the region. According to noted historian Howard Zinn, anyone over 14 had to meet a gold quota. If they didn’t find enough gold, they would have their hands cut off.
Eventually, when it was realized there wasn’t much gold in the region, Columbus and his men just took the rest as slaves and put them to work on their newly established estates in the region. Many natives died and their numbers dwindled. In the 15th century, modern historians believe there were about 300,000 Arawaks. By 1515, there were only 50,000 left. By 1531, 600 and by 1650, there were no longer any full-blooded Arawaks left on the islands.
The way Columbus and his men treated the women and children of these populations was even worse. Columbus routinely used the raping of women as a “reward” for his lieutenants. For example, here’s an account from one of Columbus’ friends and compatriots, Michele de Cuneo, who accompanied Columbus on his second journey to the New World, on what Michele did to a native “Carb woman.” Michele wrote that,
While I was in the boat I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral [Columbus] gave to me, and with whom, having taken her into my cabin, she being naked according to their custom, I conceived desire to take pleasure. I wanted to put my desire into execution but she did not want it and treated me with her finger nails in such a manner that I wished I had never begun. But seeing that (to tell you the end of it all), I took a rope and thrashed her well, for which she raised such unheard of screams that you would not have believed your ears. Finally we came to an agreement in such manner that I can tell you that she seemed to have been brought up in a school of whores…
Going further, Columbus wrote in a letter from 1500,
A hundred castellanos are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.
As illustrated in a recently discovered 48 page report found in the Spanish archives written by Francisco De Bobadilla (charged with investigating Columbus’ rule at the behest of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, who were troubled by allegations of some of Columbus’ acts), a woman who verbally insulted Columbus’ family was stripped naked and made to ride around the colony on a mule. After the trip was done, her tongue was cut out by the order of Columbus’ brother, Bartolomé, who Columbus then congratulated for successfully defending the family’s honor. Needless to say, these and numerous other such acts ultimately resulted in De Bobadilla having Columbus removed from power and sent back to Spain in chains.
After Columbus came, and was forced out, the Spaniards continued his policy of enslavement and violence. In 1552, the Spanish historian and friar Bartolome de las Casas published multiple volumes under the title The History of Indies. In it, he described the collapse of the non-European population. Casas writes that when the men were captured and forced to work in mines looking for gold, rarely if ever returning home, it significantly impacted the birth rate. If a woman did give birth, she would be so overworked herself and malnourished, that she often could not produce enough milk for the baby. He even reported that some of the women “drowned their babies from sheer desperation.”
There are lot more examples, writings, and research that points to one fact – Christopher Columbus was a lamentable individual. Nobody’s perfect- if we restricted celebrated individuals to those who didn’t have any major flaws, we’d have few humans to celebrate- and it’s extremely important to view things in the context of the time individuals lived in. But even in his age, many of his acts were considered deplorable by his peers, which is in no small part why Columbus was arrested for his conduct in the New World. Combined with his truly historic and widespread impact being incidental to what he was actually trying to do (so a little hard to celebrate him for even that side of his life), maybe it is time that we let go of the myths we learned about Christopher Columbus in elementary school and stop celebrating Columbus, the man.
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- Not surprisingly, due to these many sexual encounters with the natives, STDs ran rampant in the region in Columbus’ time. Further, while it is still somewhat up for debate if Columbus and his crew brought syphilis to the New World or if they brought it from the New World to Europe (the latter generally being the favored theory), what isn’t argued is that Columbus inadvertently quickened and widen the spread of these dangerous diseases on both sides of the Atlantic. Syphilis became a huge problem, historians nicknaming it the “scourge of the Renaissance,” throughout the Americas and Europe. For more on this, see: Why Native Americans Didn’t Wipe Out Europeans With Diseases
By Matt Blitz
Source: Today I Found Out