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.
September 17, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - Over recent months the situation in the Mediterranean has served as a dramatic reminder of what the leaders of Europe have tried hard to forget. The Syrian crisis has reached Europe. Although a lot of talk has been made over numbers and percentages of refugees that every country may or may not accept, let’s not forget that behind those numbers and the showy emotionalism of the politicians hides the ugly side of world politics.
The plans to overthrow the “annoying” regimes in the Middle East began at the time when the war hawks of Washington and their European allies prepared the first Iraqi war.
In a 2007 speech, US General Wesley Clark recounted a conversation he had back in 1991 with the then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. During that talk, the Secretary told the General that the Pentagon had already drawn plans in ...
In Arabic TV interview, Labour’s ex-London mayor blames Israel for IS attacks in Europe and mass expulsion of Jews from Arab world, again claims Hitler supported Zionism
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone on Wednesday called the creation of Israel “fundamentally wrong,” and “a great catastrophe.” The existence of the Jewish state in the Middle East, he said, could ultimately lead to nuclear war.
“The creation of the state of Israel was fundamentally wrong, because there had been a Palestinian community there for 2,000 years,” Livingstone told an Arabic language TV station based in London, in a clip posted and translated by the watchdog MEMRI group.
“The creation of the state of Israel was a great catastrophe,” he repeated. “We should have absorbed the post-World War II Jewish refugees in Britain and America. They could all have been resettled, whereas 70 years later, the situation is still very tense, and there is potential for ...
Tony Blair and his bloodstained paws
With most of the Balkans firmly under the grip of the Atlantic Empire, the empire now seem to be placing their dirty paws on the only place in the region that is left for them to further pillage, plunder and colonize: Serbia. War criminal Tony Blair is back in town, and so are some of the criminals that were directly involved in bombing Serbia in the 1990s. Once Blair arrives in town, fellow warmongering psychopaths can't be far behind.
In 2014 former CIA Director David Petraeus, now chairman of KKR Global Institute, subsidiary of Wall Street vulture capitalist firm KKR & Co., visited Serbia and met with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who welcomed him and his plans with open arms. The theme of their conversation was about 'attracting foreign investors' - neoliberal economic-speak for plundering Serbian companies, workers and resources. Petraeus emphasized that KKR Global Institute ...
Imagine – the European Union were to collapse tomorrow – or any day soon for that matter. Europeans would dance in the streets. The EU has become a sheer pothole of fear and terror: Economic sanctions – punishment, mounting militarization, the abolition of civil rights for most Europeans. A group of unelected technocrats, representing 28 countries, many of them unfit to serve in their own countries’ political system, but connected well enough to get a plum job in Brussels – are deciding the future of Europe. In small groups and often in secret chambers they decide the future of Europe.
Take the TTIP – under pressure from their masters in Washington, behind closed doors under utmost secrecy – and most likely against their own personal good – a small group of European Commission (EC) delegates without scruples, without any respect for their co-citizens, without consideration for their children, grand-children and their ...
A decade ago left-wing governments, defying Washington and global corporations, took power in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela, Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador. It seemed as if the tide in Latin America was turning. The interference by Washington and exploitation by international corporations might finally be defeated. Latin American governments, headed by charismatic leaders such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, won huge electoral victories. They instituted socialist reforms that benefited the poor and the working class. They refused to be puppets of the United States. They took control of their nations’ own resources and destinies. They mounted the first successful revolt againstneoliberalism and corporate domination. It was a revolt many in the United States hoped to emulate here.
But the movements and governments in Latin America have fallen prey to the dark forces of U.S. imperialism and ...
BELGRADE – NATO soldiers should in future have free transit through Serbia, use its military infrastructure and be “protected” with a special status while staying in the country, writes “Vecernje Novosti”.
This is only one of the obligations Serbia committed to with individual action plan (IPAP), whose entry into force was officially marked by the Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic.
IPAP, among other things, involves signing of the so-called SOFA agreement (which Serbia already has with the US) with NATO member states, which regulates border crossing and immunity level for the members of Alliance while they are passing through Serbia or are residing in the country, as well as access to military facilities.
Serbia also committed to open the regional training center “Jug” near Bujanovac for all the members of the Partnership for Peace and NATO, to gradually harmonize its regulation in the field of defense with the EU ...
“There was no battle and no resistance (and no Egyptians). The first conquerors killed from eighty to a hundred Arabs [including] women and children. The children were killed by smashing of their skulls with sticks. Is it possible to shout about Deir Yassin and be silent about something much worse?” For the first time ever, a letter quoting one of the Israeli soldiers who were part of the Al-Dawayima massacre in October 1948 is published in full.
On Friday, February 5th 2016, Haaretz published an article in Hebrew by Israeli historian Yair Auron, which covers one of the biggest massacres of 1948. The massacre is of Al Dawayima, west of Al-Khalil (which is often referred to as Hebron). In a 2004 interview with Haaretz, Israeli historian Benny Morris refers to this as a massacre of “hundreds”.
After the massacre, a letter was sent to the editor of the leftist affiliated newspaper Al-Hamishmar, but ...
The term "security" is a very multifaceted one. But today's geopolitical situation forces us to think about its military aspect above all.
Our attention is completely absorbed by news about wars, conflicts, military exercises and increasing defence capabilities. An average European reader has no chances to skip this kind of news while looking through news feeds of popular media.
Even planned further militarization of the European region and Russia pose the real threat today. A whole generation of European children is growing in the firm belief that the war is approaching. We destroy ourselves by our fears. We notice everything concerning military issues and neglect economic and social sides of our life. We live in a changed world and we are to blame for it.
Let's take Lithuania as an example. This small country with reach history and with immensely kind and open people last few weeks falls into the center of world ...
Let’s imagine for just a moment that a people was forcibly dispossessed of its homeland.
Let’s imagine that a portion of this people had rotted in refugee camps for some seven decades while others had lived under a brutal military occupation for almost five decades.
Let’s imagine that the people living under this military occupation were systematically tortured, abused, stolen from, and prevented from exercising their most basic and universally ratified human and political rights.
Let’s imagine that for nearly a decade, a part of this people was placed under an inhuman and illegal siege that brought about the complete collapse of their already desperate economy, and rendered their environment borderline unfit for human inhabitation.
Let’s imagine that, on top of the expulsion, military occupation, and inhuman and illegal siege, these people suffered periodic massacres, the most recent of which killed more than 2,200 people, including 550 children, and destroyed or rendered uninhabitable fully 18,000 homes.
Let’s imagine ...
The conditionality of the Soviet Union’s agreement to allow East Germany to be taken by West Germany and for the Cold War to end, was that NATO would not expand «one inch to the east». This was the agreement that was approved by the Russian President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, a great man and a subsequent hero to democrats around the world.
He agreed then to end the Soviet Union and abandon communism and thus to end the entire Cold War; he agreed to this because he had been promised that NATO would expand not «one inch to the east,» or «one inch eastward,» depending upon how the promise was translated and understood — but it has the same meaning, no matter how it was translated. He trusted American President George Herbert Walker Bush, whose friend and Secretary of State James Baker made this promise to Gorbachev. With this ...
A hegemonic power never says sorry.
Three recent episodes underscore this truism.
When US President Barack Obama offered a floral wreath at the cenotaph of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on 27 May 2016, some peace advocates in the United States, in Japan and in other parts of the world hoped against hope that he would say “sorry” for the Atom bomb that the then US President, Harry Truman, had ordered to be dropped over Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. The deadly bomb claimed 140,000 lives. Three days later a second Atom bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki killing another 80,000.
There is a view advanced by a number of scholars and activists that based upon documentary analysis Japan had already indicated to the US Military Command in the Pacific a couple of months before 6th August that it was prepared to surrender if there were some safeguards for the position ...
The words “possible criminal actions” by CIA employees are used in the report.
The terms unethical and immoral are mentioned. The criminality of those who ordered these actions at the highest levels of government, however, is not acknowledged.
The actions directed against alleged jihadists are categorized as ineffective in the process of revealing intelligence. This in itself is a red herring. The objective of torture was not to reveal intelligence.
What of course is not acknowledged is that the alleged terrorists who were tortured were framed by the CIA.
Known and documented the Al Qaeda network is a creation of US intelligence.
The jihadists are “intelligence assets”.
Torture serves to perpetuate the legend that the evil terrorists are real and that the lives of Americans are threatened.
Torture is presented as “collateral damage.” Torture is an integral part of war propaganda which consists in demonizing the alleged terrorists.
And the Senate committee report ultimately upholds the ...
Many articles in the US press have speculated at length in an attempt to define a new ideology called “Putinism.” The pieces serve as an attempt to fit Putin into an outdated Cold War narrative, as if some new ideology in the Russian Federation is playing the role that Marxism-Leninism once played in the Soviet Union, though the current Russian constitution forbids this.
The notable leaders of history are rarely ideologues. History judges people mainly by what they achieve, not what they write or say. As Chinese President Xi Jinping recently put it: “The worth of any plan is in its implementation.”
Putin has continued to play a specific role in the history of his country and the world. It is in his role as a leader of Russia that we can really define “Putinism.” However, when examining his achievements, Putin’s role and methods are not so different from those utilized by ...
Andrew Bacevich has written a series of books on the topic of U.S. imperialism and U.S. military power. His latest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East [the GME War] is the latest in this series and as with the previous works is clearly written and logically presented. It covers more narrowly than the previous works the military aspects of U.S. military endeavours in the Middle East (greater – as in including East Africa and Afghanistan et al). Generally he succeeds well and this work is a good ‘primer’ for anyone interested in a quick historical overview of U.S. military actions in the region.
However it is not one of his better works, and perhaps that is because of the narrowness of focus and the resulting tie ins that could have been made and that without do not provide a perspective of this war amongst all the other wars instigated ...
Author’s note and Update
The following article was first published in September 2014 at the outset of the air campaign “against the ISIS”. In recent developments Russia has officially joined the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). What are the implications?
Amply documented but rarely mentioned in news reports, the ISIS is a creation of US intelligence, recruited, trained and financed by the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.
What this means is that the ISIS terrorists are the foot soldiers of the Western alliance. While America claims to be targeting the ISIS, in reality it is protecting the ISIS. The air campaign is intent upon destroying Syria and Iraq rather than “going after the terrorists”.
But now Russia is involved in the campaign against the ISIS in coordination with the Syrian and Iraqi governments.
What does that mean? The official story is that Russia supports America’s resolve to fight the terrorists. It’s all for a good cause.
In reality, ...
A complex geopolitical situation in the region forces the Baltic States and their NATO allies to take unprecedented efforts to increase defence capabilities to counter potential aggressors. A new Lithuanian military strategy approved in March describes Russia actions along with terrorism as the main threats for the security of Lithuania, as reported by Delfi.
Unfortunately for pacifists, the Alliance and Russia today are arming and demonstrating their military power. They constantly compare their armed forces' strength and capabilities, conduct large-scale military exercises, respond to each other by deploying new contingents and military equipment closer and closer to the NATO-Russian border.
The Baltic States have become such a border.
Moscow has placed Iskander-M launchers in Kaliningrad. The Russian Iskander is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and has never been made available to any foreign army for operational use. The weapon affords Russia the ability to use its Baltic exclave to threaten US missile ...
The objectives of the US military presence in Africa are well documented: counter Chinese influence and control strategic locations and natural resources including oil reserves. This was confirmed more than 8 years ago by the US State Department:
In 2007, US State Department advisor Dr. J. Peter Pham commented on AFRICOM’s strategic objectives of “protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance, a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.” (Nile Bowie, CIA Covert Ops in Nigeria: Fertile Ground for US Sponsored Balkanization Global Research, 11 April 2012)
At the beginning of February, AFRICOM’s “head General David Rodriguez called for a large-scale US-led ‘counterinsurgency’ campaign against groups in West Africa during remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC:
Macedonia is about to experience Democracy American Style. The nation’s misfortune is simple. It occupies strategic territory of keen interest to the United States and Russia.
“Russia’s Stroitransgaz said on Thursday it will build a gas pipeline across Macedonia, which could eventually be used as part of a route to supply Europe with Russian gas via Turkey”. Reuters, Mar 12
In January, Russia fired Ukraine as its natural gas transit for Europe. The pipeline across Ukraine was ideally positioned for this function. However, Ukraine’s practice of failing to pay for the natural gas it used and the outright hostility of the Kiev junta toward Russia were simply too much. Russia gave notice that the spigot would be turned off permanently in 2019. (Image: WikiCommons)
As an alternative to the Ukraine pipeline, Russia struck a deal with Turkey to sell it all the natural gas it wanted. In addition, Turkey agreed to put a ...
How many times have we seen this before?
The President of the United States is on TV telling us horror stories. Some innocent people in some corner of the world are being crushed, he tells us. They face some monstrously evil oppressor, he says. While the United States doesn’t like war, what choice is there? Sacrifices must be made, cruise missiles must be unleashed, to protect the poor and innocent. The world is the set of an action movie, and the US is the tragic hero, forced to rescue the innocent.
This is the script we heard in former Yugoslavia. Bill Clinton claimed to be stoping “mass rapes” and “concentration camps.” After the smoke had cleared, and thousands had been killed, the truth came out. The United Nations admitted that no “genocide” had taken place. The talk of mass rapes and concentration camps had been hype.
While the alleged crimes used to justify ...
Only when we refute the monolithic interpretation of Zionist theory and practice can we approach an understanding of the contested relationship between anti-zionism and antisemitism.
Israel - BDS. Flickr/ Takver. Some rights reserved.The relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism is a vexed and controversial question. My starting point is to elucidate an understanding of the meaning of Zionism; a term and a political concept which is rarely defined and frequently misunderstood. This is hardly surprising given that today in the 21st century, Zionism/ist is construed as an insult by some and is often equated with apartheid and even worse, Nazism. My understanding of Zionism seeks neither to exonerate, praise nor condemn. Rather we must seek to comprehend the Zionist movement and concomitant ideology in its historical, material and constantly evolving context.
A form of nationalism
Put simply Zionism is a form of nationalism which developed under two sets of linked influences in the ...
The Dirty Role Of The West In Syria
Ken Livingstone: Creation of Israel was ‘a great catastrophe’
‘Soft Coup’ In Belgrade? Tony Blair Becomes Advisor To Serbian Government As Wall Street Plunders State Assets
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
In Latin America, The Empire Strikes Back
Serbia Gives Access To Military Facilities, Special Status To NATO Soldiers
‘Barbarism by an educated and cultured people’ — Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin
Who will secure Lithuania?
How America Double-Crossed Russia and Shamed West
Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cuba: A Hegemonic Power Never Says Sorry…
The Role of 9/11 in Justifying Torture and War: The Criminalization of the US State Apparatus. Senate Report on CIA Torture is a Whitewash
“Putinism” In American History: Lincoln, Roosevelt, And The Fight Against ISIS
America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A Military History
“Going After” the Islamic State. Guess Who is Behind the Caliphate Project?
Nuclear weapons in Lithuania: Defence against Russia or target for terrorists?
Is Boko Haram a CIA Covert Op to Divide and Conquer Africa?
Democracy American Style – Macedonia
Phantom Tanks and the Desperation of Kiev
Contestation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism