A year ago, at a closed-doors meeting between the USA and EU officials and the leaders of the four major parties of FYROM in Strasbourg, a route map for the resolution of the protracted political crisis was agreed on (or rather imposed). The roots of this political crisis are to be found outside FYROM: it is actually more a confrontation by proxy between “the West”, which supports the opposition, and Russia, which is trying to maintain its influence in the region. In conjunction with the public discontent at government policies and the escalating corruption, the negotiations have contributed to sharpening the crisis, which has become acute.
The route map imposed on the closed-doors meeting between US representatives and the EU and local political leaders was supposed to lead to elections in April 2016. But the elections were postponed to 5th June 2016, in order to be “better prepared”. As it turned out, the elections were not held on 5th June either. They were postponed once again, thanks to intervention by the same people who had insisted in the first place on their being held: the representatives of the USA and EU representatives. Given that the process did not develop in the way intended, the “Westerners” instructed their local gatekeeper parties not to participate. The result was that that only one group of parties met the deadline for registration: the coalition supporting the current government.
Both sides warnings
Directly after this, the declarations and warnings started:
“The government that will emerge from these elections will not be trustworthy. Such a government will not be a reliable partner for discussions with the international community and there will be a setback to the accession negotiations”.
This was the threat issued by M. Kostantich, the EU spokesman. Matthew Nimetz, the UN representative, also said that “it is urgent to form a really democratically elected government, and after that we can resume negotiations on the country’s name …”
The answer from the other side intervening in the region came immediately: “The internal political crisis must be solved without interference from the outside” declared Oleg Shcherbak, Russian Ambassador in Skopje , at the inauguration ceremony of the new Russian Consulate in Ohrid. At the same time, the opening of a new Russian military base in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia – Herzegovina was announced, its declared mission being “confrontation with the spread of jihadism in the Balkans”. Given the on-going demonstrations from the opposition, with the photograph of its leader Zoran Zaev throwing tomatoes at governmental offices being beamed all over the world, the Albanian DUI party (ally of the government and one of the two main parties representing the strong Albanian minority) submitted a proposal for the elections to be postponed once again. It was supported by 96 MPs.
Even the date of the elections is decided outside FYROM
As a condition for the “Westerners” giving the go-ahead for a new date to be set, the US spokesperson Brian Hoyt demanded submission and immediate ratification of new bill that would enable the country’s president Gjorge Ivanov to repeal the pardon he had issued for the 55 former governmental officers charged with wiretapping and corruption, to be submitted and voted on the same day. The demand was also supported by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and his German representative in the EU Johannes Hahn, having been imposed, as usual, in a closed-doors meeting of the four parties. The mandate was implemented immediately: President Ivanov has already revoked the pardon to 22 officials, among them former ministers, heads of security and intelligence, general secretaries of government, presidents of Parliament etc.
But the opposition claims that this is not enough. It requests withdrawal of pardon for all 55 of those under indictment. The prime target is Nikola Gruevski, leader of the ruling party and for a decade Prime Minister of FYROM. Meanwhile, the “color revolution” continues. The protests have spread to other cities as well, with dominant slogans “Resign” and “Nikola to prison”. Gruevski himself announced that he has resigned and is not interested in claiming the premiership again. According to reports he is in the process of transferring his bank accounts abroad and attempting to strike a deal that would enable him to flee to Russia, together with the former interior minister, former head of the secret service and four businessmen.
The president of FYROM Ivanov has resigned himself to signing overnight whatever is dictated to him by imperial powers (even if it contradicts what he had signed the day before), at the same time salvaging his national pride with barbed comments against Greece: “The Greeks believe that we will conquer their country with the two helicopters we own.” Moreover, in order to show that FYROM has no intention of doing anything without receiving prior permission from the foreign powers, he is even willing to make himself the butt of his own humour: “NATO has obliged us to change our military action plan seventeen times. After so many changes we are virtuosos: we have been trained in every possible strategy! ”
The incredible (and dangerous) servility of local politicians
The conflict is growing and none of the key players in the geopolitical regroupment that is under way in the region seem inclined to lose their access to any vital sphere of influence. The whole of the Balkans, not just hybrid states or provinces like Kossovo, is evolving into a twofold protectorate. Both governments and oppositions are afflicted by incorrigible servility, clearly eager to link their fate to one of the major foreign players. At every opportunity they affirm their willingness to sell out everything, including the few lingering traces of national sovereignty.
In the NATO Parliamentary Assembly the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama declared the immediate necessity for integration of FYROM and Kosovo into NATO, in order to put a check on Russian geopolitical designs in the Balkans. Since May 19 Montenegro has been a signatory to the NATO accession protocol and will participate in all proceedings with observer status. Following ratification of the protocol by the member states of the alliance it is programmed to become the 29th member.
At the same time that all the above was taking place the SEECP (South East European Co-operation Process) was proceeding in parallel. Started in Belgrade in 1996 as an initiative of Greece and Bulgaria, the SEECP’s main goal was, and remains, full European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the whole region. This is taken for granted and not questioned, even in jest by, for example, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, to judge from his statements.
The scene in FYROM and all across the Balkans is clearly reminiscent of older colonial times, when imperialist intervention in what were later called third-world countries was overt in character. But nowadays these interventions are even more dangerous, given the geopolitical conflict among the great powers in the region and the direct link between what is happening in the Balkans and the war in Syria, the chaos in Libya and the wider instability that exists in the environs of Russia and in the wider Middle East.
By George Tzaferis
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 ...
What has happened is that NATO provides cover for these transgressions of the United States government’s policy. In other words, it absolutely legitimizes what effectively is NATO aggression. Moreover, what one needs to bear in mind and what one needs to be mindful about is the fact that in Western Europe you no longer have rulers with the independence of Charles de Gaulle.
It seems that Washington, and we can use Washington, America and NATO interchangeably because NATO is dominated by the United States. It is a command structure, which ultimately is based on American military power and American military precedence. ...
There was an interesting announcement recently that went almost entirely unnoticed in the Canadian media.
On June 17, Peter Szijjarto, foreign minister of Hungary’s centre-right government, made the startling declaration that his national security forces will erect a four-metre wall along the entire 175 kilometres of shared border with Serbia.
Szijjarto’s rationale for resorting to such a drastic measure results from a months-long flood of asylum seekers pouring into southern Hungary. While tens of thousands of these desperate illegal immigrants have been caught, detained and returned into Serbia, the vast majority have used the processing time for their asylum applications to simply ...
GR Editor’s Note: This incisive article was written on April 30, 2003, by historian and political scientist Jacques Pauwels. A timely question: Why Does Hillary Want War… ? And why do people support her?
* * *
Wars are a terrible waste of lives and resources, and for that reason most people are in principle opposed to wars. The American President, on the other hand, seems to love war. Why? Many commentators have sought the answer in psychological factors. Some opined that George W. Bush considered it his duty to finish the job started, but for some obscure reason ...
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old Mexican national, was shot to death by police in Pasco, Washington last Tuesday as he was backing away from officers with his hands up. A video of the shooting clearly corroborates claims by Zambrano-Montes’s family that he was killed “execution style.”
Police claimed that Zambrano-Montes, who had lived in the city for ten years and worked as an orchard picker, may have been “armed with a rock” before he was shot multiple times. Protests erupted over the weekend, with more than a thousand demonstrating in Washington state on Saturday against the killing.
The United States has invaded, bombed ...
It is now September 2016, just two months before the Presidential elections, and both political camps have already managed to disgust a great number of the US voters, by offering almost no comprehensive political or economic program, by offering… close to nothing!
While Donald Trump is lashing out at the ‘enemy within’, during his dark moments that are increasingly resembling an advanced stage of delirium tremens (complete with a mad chase after white mice and promises to cleanse society from some imaginary and filthy rapists and social benefits guzzlers, that are constantly pouring from the south), Ms. Clinton is saddling her ...
Why has Barack Obama airdropped 50 tons of ammunition into areas that “moderate rebels” in Syria supposedly control? This is essentially the equivalent of poking the Russians directly in the eyes. Much of this ammunition will end up in the hands of those that the Russians are attempting to bomb into oblivion, and so to Russia it appears that we are attempting to make their job much harder. And of course the truth is that there aren’t really any “moderate rebels” in Syria at all. Nearly all of the groups that are fighting are made up primarily of radical jihadists ...
I graduated from the exact same PHD Program at Harvard that produced Kissinger and Brzezinski before me. They gave me Kissinger’s old office at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. I also went through the exact same Soviet/Russian Studies Program at Harvard that produced Brzezinski before me, and passed my PHD Oral/General Examinations in Soviet Politics and Russian History under Adam Ulam and Ned Keenan, respectively. R.I.P. Obama was behind me at Harvard Law School.
Brzezinski has been Obama’s mentor and foreign policy guru since Obama’s student days at Columbia. Zbig ran Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign on foreign affairs and defense, and ...
General Ratko Mladic’s arrest and his extradition to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia satisfied the prerequisites for Serbia’s membership in the European Union. As expected, the western media have tagged the defendant as the “Butcher of Bosnia” and piled on as many charges against him as possible, thereby masking NATO’s role in Yugoslavia. But there can be no reconciliation without truth, which, as Slobodan Despot observes, is far more complex than the Manichean account given.
Ratko Mladić did not serve his country well by hiding from justice for all these years, but his late capture may allow a ...
As defections continue from the Rome Statute the Netherlands-based group says Washington may have engaged in torture
A recent article published in the New York Times appears to suggest that the United States will be investigated by the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing torture against captives in Afghanistan.
Surprisingly enough the ICC has almost exclusively focused its attention on alleged war crimes and acts of genocide taking place in Africa. Many of the cases have in effect served the interests of U.S. imperialism where governments which are targets for destabilization and regime-change are indicted by the prosecutorial institution in order ...
President Obama’s final foreign policy speech at MacDill air force base in Tampa, betrayed its purpose through the venue. The Tampa, Florida, base is home to Special Operations Command and Central Command — Special Operations playing an ever increasing role in counter terrorism.
The gist of the speech seemed to assert that the US is and should stay true to its values when fighting terrorism. An assertion when at the same time Congressman Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, has written a letter to Secretary John Kerry warning him the US could be charged with war crimes in aiding Saudi Arabia’s bombing ...
The United States the use of force against the sovereign state of Syria is a prima facie violation of international law. It is an act of aggression against the UN Member State in violation of the Charter of the United Nations. It therefore gives Syria the right to react in self-defense or a legal justification for the use of force and it gives any other United Nations Member State the right to act in collective self-defense and to support Syrian action against the US This is the basic understanding of the international legal consequences of the United States use of ...
The Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case about the allocation of voting districts will have consequences far beyond the millions of U.S. taxpayers its ruling may deprive of representation. A decision that only counts voters, rather than all persons, will undermine the very foundation of the Republic.
The American Revolution was fought over “taxation without representation,” and those who wrote the Constitution carefully apportioned taxation and representation among the states “according to their respective Numbers . . . of free Persons . . . and . . . three-fifths of all other Persons.” The authors clearly equated We, the People with ...
Grenada is an independent state, a member of the U.N., located in the southern portion of the Caribbean Sea very close to the mainland of the South America (Venezuela). The state is composed by southernmost of the Windward Islands combined with several small islands which belong to the Grenadines Archipelago, populated by almost 110,000 people of whom 82% are the blacks (2012 estimations). The state of Grenada is physically mostly forested mountains’ area (of volcanic origin) with some crater lakes and springs. In the valleys are bananas, spices and sugar cane grown. The country is out of any natural wealth ...
There are more questions than answers to the Crimean ‘question’.
After more than two decades belonging to an independent Ukraine, the Crimean peninsula has become part of Russia, which has thereby gained an extra 27,000 km2 of territory and over two million new citizens. Ukraine and the West see this unprecedented event as annexation and a sign of the Kremlin’s neo-imperial ambitions. To countries not directly involved in the Ukrainian crisis, it is a dangerous violation of the Eurasian status quo that could cause widespread destabilisation in the area, while in Moscow’s eyes it is ‘the return of Crimea and Sevastopol ...
1917 was not a good year for any of the belligerent countries, but for the members of the Entente – France, Britain, and Russia – it was nothing less than catastrophic. The main reasons for that were the mutinies in the French army, which made the situation on the western front extremely precarious, as well as the revolution in Russia, which raised the spectre of Russia exiting the war, leaving Britain and France bereft of the ally that forced Germany to fight on two fronts. Add to this the fact that civilians as well as soldiers in France and Britain ...
In just one week the United States government will commemorate its 16th anniversary in the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan.
This war did not really begin in 2001 resulting from the attacks on September 11 where planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon headquartered right outside of Washington, D.C.
U.S. involvement in the destabilization of Afghanistan goes back to the late 1970s when the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDP) led a socialist-oriented administration which advanced the cause of working people and farmers as well as providing fundamental civil rights to women. ...
“In the event of a nuclear war, there will be no chances, there will be no survivors – all will be obliterated… nuclear devastation is not science fiction – it is a matter of fact. The world now stands on the brink of the final abyss. Let us all resolve to take all possible practical steps to ensure that we do not, through our own folly, go over the edge.” Former First Sea Lord, Lord Louis Mountbatten (1900-1979) Strasbourg, 11 May 1979.”
As US threats ratchet up towards North Korea, the latest hinging on the accusation that the country attempted a ...
Right now the US mainstream media is obsessing over Donald’s alleged womanizing and female groping soap opera as the Clinton’s/MSM’s pruriently entertaining smokescreen, neatly designed to cover up Hillary/Bill’s serial raping and her criminal lead role as enabler/strong armed intimidator of past victims.
Meanwhile, barely noticed in a virtual media blackout in the West are at least a half dozen high alert, significant international developments this last weekend that all strongly indicate the extreme danger of a nuclear war breaking out at any time against Russia and its Eastern alliance. Again, do not pay attention to the US deceivers behind their Oz-like ...
Dechani monastery in Metochia - one of the most important shrines of Serbian Orthodox Church (14th century)
The region of Kosovo & Metohija was a political center of mediaeval Serbia and makes the very essence of Serbian spiritual and cultural identity and statehood since the Middle Ages up today. The biggest and the most important number of Serbian Orthodox mediaeval monasteries and churches (for instance, Gračanica, Pećka Patrijaršija, Bogorodica Ljeviška and Visoki Dečani) are built exactly in Kosovo & Metohija and the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox Church – Patriarchate established in 1346 was located (till 1766) in the city of ...
NATO — Private Club оf War Criminals
Ukraine could Learn from Kosovo’s Troubles
The Human Rights Disaster in America
Ms. Clinton, Stop Russian ‘Bear Hunting’!
Is Barack Obama Actually Trying To Start World War III?
The Anti-Russian Warmongering
General Ratko Mladić and the Pandora’s Box of the Bosnian War (1992-1995)
Africa, Russia, United States Imperialism and the Bankruptcy of the International Criminal Court
Is the U.S Fighting Terrorism or Manufacturing It?
Why the United States’ Use of Force Against Syria Violates International Law
Voting Discrimination in America
When the Cowboy-Actor Star Brings Democracy: The 1983 Grenada Case
One Hundred Years Ago, in the Spring of 1917: Why Did America Go to War in 1917?
United States Imperialism Continues War in Afghanistan and the Destabilization of Africa
“Making America Great Again” by Reducing the World to Ashes?
War between US and Russia Could Be Sooner than Later: “The Danger of a Nuclear War”
A Short History of Kosovo & Metochia (not approved by Noel Malcolm!)