The American elections are of importance not only for US citizens but for the millions of people in most of the countries and states which are affected directly or indirectly by american politics, …
Source: American Elections in Paris
The American elections are of importance not only for US citizens but for the millions of people in most of the countries and states which are affected directly or indirectly by american politics, …
Source: American Elections in Paris
I started writing under the wish/need to note down some of my thoughts concerning the facts that we hear, see or live about the people who leave their countries (massively at this point) and become refugees or migrants or whatever-bs-their-namers-call-them-in-order-to-serve-their-own-interests.
Beyond the image, under the isothermic blanket or the tent, deeper than frostbite and hunger, which they meet during their trip, there are HUMANS.
Massiveness seems to distort, to water the understanding of people on what it means one’s forced separation, trip and finally wretched presence, thousands of miles away from home.
Perspective is lost and I admire those who act, react and offer by participating actively.
Thought produce thoughts and together with human concern and interest in global issues, apart from whys and hows about the course and willful struggle of refugees, I questioned certain countries’ reactions with (apparently but you never know) prominent, Austria.
Here, today, I want to confess that no matter now many years will pass (as it seems), there will always be something which will surprise me, which will find me unaware and will let me speechless, and which will draw all over my world a giant black question mark: Evil, malice, badness.
Theories and philosophies about human nature, kindness and culture, pale in front of malice. I don’t know if some good person has defined it once and forever.
In my understanding and senses it’s chilling because it lacks reason and I would never comprehend it even if I’d try.
It’s above me. It slips my mind.
Why would someone want to be bad? If he doesn’t want, he won’t; as simple as that.
Less strict persons say that bad souls are a by-product of some misery, lack, trauma, complex or imbecility (which seems probable although not for all cases).
So, the rest of us, normal good people, we are all happy all the time, full, come from ideal environments and upbringings and we are geniuses?
You, bad, may suffer from something else; do you have to become “dirty-soul”?
To return to the global drama which takes place before our eyes (and everywhere in the world but we don’t normally learn about it unless it becomes massive and Media “appropriate”).
Once it happened to you to become “dirty-soul”, is it necessary to also become a politician or a person with influence and/or authority and to use people as if they were rubbish?
Why you, sub-human, don’t try to do the same to others, more powerful than you (individuals or states)?
The conclusion is that some statements and declarations are beyond limits of politics and interests and enter the sphere of raw and overt evil, which might have no clear (or unclear) reason but it always has disastrous results – to a smaller or bigger extent.
At the same time and in parallel with the obvious, whatever takes place in a political level works destructively upon less resistant minds and more shaky moralities, because it acquits violence (covert or not) from human to human and allows its externalization which might were suppressed or masked because of social conventions.
Well, social conventions and contracts seem to have become toilet papers – the nearest to political correctness term available.
Woe for humanity if the same become sensitivity, empathy, compassion, understanding, kindness and finally logic.
It is useful to know though, that:
Exactly as unlike as it were for the about 5 millions of Syrians just a few years ago.
Report of UN for the Refugees (UNHCR) June 2015
It is understood that referendum of 5th July in Greece and the next, ongoing round of negotiations with European institutions, have gained the lion’s share of interest for two weeks now.
Although nothing solid has been achieved until this time, talks in Euro Group continue, a summit meeting of 19 countries of Eurozone is expected during the day (Sunday 12.7.2015) and the summit of 28 EU member-states is said to be cancelled.
That last (cancellation) can be interpreted as a sign that Grexit is not an option anymore.
Meanwhile, the German “idea” of a temporary Grexit (for five years) has been characterized ridiculous by several EU members.
At the same time, Finland’s minister of economy has come up with a decision from his country to negotiate nothing but an exit of Greece.
It is certain that there is no easy or painless solution for the Greek people (a relative article in The Conversation here) , 61, 3% of whom voted NO and showed that they are fed up with and determined to resist austerity, which Noam Chomsky considers a Class War.
On the other hand, it has become common knowledge that EU (which is quite different thing or notion from Europe) is rotting because of its political, structural, ideological and social problem caused by strict neo-liberal policies.
The decay offers way to “euro-skepticism” which, unfortunately, is supported by extreme right wing nationalists and racists.
If there is a “healthy” solution to EU’s problems it is certain that it cannot be induced and launched by misanthropes (an interesting article about the notion by TeleSur here) of any kind (like Christian-democrats of Germany or fascists in France, Greece, Denmark, Finland etc.)
Although that it is unfounded and kind of racist to attribute behavioral properties to entities such as nations, the same way that Greeks have been repeatedly accused of not working much (laziness), the “hard working” Germans have been historically proved as obsessed to impose their (sour) way of narrow-thinking, living, ruling or working to other states – either by wars or by financial ruling and deprivation.
On the other hand, other European leaders (when they manage to extricate from German “rules”), they support Greece on an ethical, diplomatic or political level.
This is the case of France, even if Francois Hollande is just trying to show his own and his country’s political importance within EU and to prove wrong whoever claims that he appears more as a Merkel’s follower than a strong politician.
European people from their part, have never stopped to support Greece both as a “cause” and as a reflection of their own future.
Sadly, the word solidarity has become the quinessence of hipocricy of EU institutions and a testament to that is the try of european officials to stop IMF’s report which says that Greek debt is not viable and that is should be reduced or restructured.
It is worth wondering if Greece would have recovered by now from a default five years ago.
It is certain though that they have not recovered, quite the opposite, with austerity measures, with huge loans to banks and not to the people or to development and with authoritarian policies of EU and IMF.
While Greek “thriller” is underway, the world is spinning and life goes on, hopefully, although this is not the case everywhere.
So, hopefully, we shall be back with a review of the week.
On Sunday 5th July, Greeks will vote in a referendum. They will have to vote Yes or No, as it is the case for any referendum.
The subject is the whole set of proposals made by “institutions” (i.e. EU, ECB and IMF, the lenders) to Greek government.
Here are some thoughts on the overall picture:
– The proposals-terms set by the institutions are the “product” of five month-long negotiations with Greek officials. During these negotiations the Greek government has changed several times their own proposals and counter-proposals. Nevertheless, they have insisted, at least, in refusing measures on cuts and reductions of pensions and on further deregulation of labor rights.
– Amendments on Greek proposals have led to an indirect acceptance of several measures of austerity which initially had been rejected.
– After each retract and reviewed proposals of Greek government, the lenders have either rejected them or have answered with tougher demands.
– Sy.Riz.A (Coalition of Radical Left), the main governmental party, is pro-European and advocates reforms inside EU for the benefit of the people, while it claims that EU has substantially deviated from its founding principles.
– Although named radical and consisting of moderate lefts (even social-democrats) as well as communists, Syriza stands for parliamentary (bourgeois) democracy with left principles.
– Greek government has been obliged by circumstances (pressure from lenders) to leave apart its elections program such as: Raise of minimum wage, more fair distribution of wealth as well as burdens, abolish of charges imposed on poor and middle class, tackle of humanitarian crisis, fight against corruption and tax avoidance, respect of labor rights etc.
– Internal opposition has repeatedly blamed government for not applying their program and for having lied to the people. Opposition implies that it is not possible to materialize such principles and promises because they oppose to lenders’ demands which promote development (as perceived with neo-liberal terms).
– Expanding requirements of lenders are in fact consistent and representative of neo-liberal EU and IMF’s principles.
– Lenders also press for privatizations of state property, which previous governments have partly executed in most cases under pressure and therefore without sufficient programming and with little or no profit.
– Lenders’ more recent demands (among others) include reduction of defense spending, at the same time when both EU and NATO manufacture additional “threat” from North (FYROM – article TWTP) apart from the “traditional” Eastern and in the middle of several west induced turbulence in the area of eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.
– Although reluctantly and in contradiction with party’s principles, Mr. Tsipras’ government has showed its willingness to reach an agreement and has accepted to continue privatizations, to keep contributions through taxes (even on law incomes) and to increase VAT rates.
– Greek citizens appear to support country’s staying inside EU and euro zone and a strong propaganda is exercised by the Media and by conservative circles to this direction.
– Greeks are also tired after five years of austerity, so-called negotiations which have always led to dead ends and more cruel measures in return of receiving loan installments.
– Greek people have suffered a lot (to the limits of exhaustion) and the vast majority of middle and poor class experiences a severe degradation of life quality.
– Any production process and consuming (apart from basic necessities) has stopped and the one remaining productive sector of tourism will be mutilated if increased VAT would be imposed. Even banks’ only service provided to consumers is accepting deposits and sending funds abroad when at the same time they receive expensive capital from ELA.
– Even faint attempts of the government to cooperate with other countries such as Russia (well, especially Russia), has met hostility from EU and West in general.
– At the same time, lack of real negotiations of previous governments together with punitive austerity policies and declarations from the part of the lenders has created a sense of humiliation.
– The main request of elections on 25th January which elected Syriza has been the discharge from the terms-measures of memoranda.
– Since then, all negotiations proved fruitless initially because Greece requested change of policies, suggested less recession and claimed sovereignty.
– In the meantime, almost any attempt of government to rule inside the country and the parliament has been rejected by the lenders. In fact, lenders blackmailed and argued that laws against their will would be considered as “unilateral actions” and would lead to failing of negotiations and funding refusal.
– They have also rejected or discouraged any negotiation concerning reduction of the non viable debt.
– From their part, lenders have exercised stronger pressure which a progressive government could not accept (as previous governments of liberal ideology did).
– After five months, after strong contradictions inside Syriza and from Greek people, after extended propaganda and cause of fear by the Media and following a repetitive undermining of negotiations by the lenders, Greek Prime Minister and the Greek government decided a referendum. Referendum will call Greeks to say Yes or No to certain proposals of lenders which concern reforms, debt viability and financing needs of the country.
– During parliamentary voting on referendum, Communist Party of Greece has submitted a proposal which suggests that the Greek citizens should vote Yes or No both to lenders’ and to government’s proposals and to releasing from EU. They say that government’s proposals are in fact a new memorandum and imply recession and measures against the people.
– Right wing, on the other side, claim that the question at stake consists decision on staying or exiting from EU and euro-zone, although government has made clear that the meaning is anything but that.
– If presidium of Parliament had accept the proposal of Communist Party, any ambiguity (manufactured by the Media and the conservative opposition) would be clarified and people would also decide on government’s measures.
– Mr. Tsipras’ government and party envision reforms inside EU and targets to empower movements and parties born by the wave of massive discontent in south-European countries due to inequalities and measures of austerity.
– While parliamentary and political processes are taking place inside Greece, while people face a major decision and while they are going to exercise an important democratic right, “institutions” continue to blackmail with indirect threats, with ambiguous statements and with deprivation of banks’ liquidity, causing reasonable fears to Greek people.
– It is useful to remind here that Greeks, unlike other nations, have never decided themselves about Greece’s participation in EU or euro-zone.
As a conclusion, if lenders had made half of Greek government’s retreats and compromises, a decent and mutually beneficial agreement could have been achieved.
Now, it’s up to the people to consider and decide on their future, with the expectation and the belief that by empowering their government new opportunities will emerge for their country.
Also published in Reader Supported News
Two distinctive facts took place the last days. One peaceful and democratic, such as elections in Denmark, on Thursday and a violent, such as the killing of nine people in a church of Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Regardless of the distance and their difference in nature, the two events have common characteristics and each of them underlines the existing problems of racism, xenophobia and anti-immigration in both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
In Denmark, the Danish People’s Party (DF or DPP), a traditionally populist, far-right party that focuses on immigration and social issues is now the second largest in the country and is going to back the coalition of the center-right bloc.
“Danish voters ousted Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt in an election on Thursday and handed power to an opposition centre-right alliance including huge gains for a eurosceptic, anti-immigrant party”, according to Reuters while teleSUR reports: “Anti-immigration and Euroscepticism triumphed in the Thursday elections, as far right and liberal parties were voted in to replace country’s first female prime minister. Denmark’s center-right bloc secured 90 seats in Parliament, out of a total 179, with liberal opposition leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen to take-on the position of prime minister. The backing from the far right party Danish Peoples’ Party (DF), which secured second place in elections Thursday, gives the coalition a majority”.
“The far-right Danish People’s party (DPP) triumphed in the European elections, winning Denmark’s biggest share of the vote as EU-sceptic parties from across the Nordic countries gained further ground in the European parliament”, notes The Guardian.
According to Reuters again: “The party has already managed to set the agenda on some issues without being in government – mainstream parties across the political aisle talked about curbing immigration, following its lead, and DF won an important concession from centre-right parties on its stance on the European Union. Just before the election, the centre-right parties agreed to support British Prime Minister David Cameron’s bid to reform the EU. DF also wants to go further and call an in-or-out referendum on EU membership for Denmark.”
In Europe and inside EU, anti-immigrant parties have gained ground.
“Finland’s anti-immigration Finns party – previously known as the True Finns – increased its number of MEPs to two, but its share of the vote (13%) didn’t match its success in the last national election when it won 19%.” (The Guardian)
In UK elections of early May, the anti-European Union UK Independence Party took 12.6 %, although David Cameron is conservative and eurosceptic enough to announce plans for banning free speech as a form of new counter-extremism laws to tackle terrorism. New laws were due to be introduced in parliament when it would re-open at the end of May, according to The Conversation.
Denmark and UK are the two countries “legally exempt from joining the euro zone unless their governments decide otherwise, either by parliamentary vote or referendum, while the Swedish people turned down euro adoption in a 2003 referendum and since then the country has intentionally avoided fulfilling the adoption requirements by not joining European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II), which is voluntary”. (Wikipedia)
Greece is not an exemption to this recent “rule” of raising racism. The ultra nationalist, fascist, neo-nazi and (therefore) anti-immigrant and xenophobic party “golden dawn” has 17 of 300 seats of the Parliament and 3 in the EP. (Wikipedia)
Neither is France, with their far-right National Front of Le Pen family, which has boosted its power at the municipal elections. I
n addition, “NF will spearhead a new far-right political bloc in the European Parliament, a long-delayed move that will boost the funding and influence of anti-immigrant and anti-European Union voices in the legislature. The new group, called “Europe of Nations and of Freedoms,” brings together 36 lawmakers from seven different countries. It will give a higher profile to parties that have been marginalized in Brussels, amid close cooperation among the three main party groups since European-wide elections in May 2014”, reports The Wall Street Journal.
On the other hand, in USA, the long history of racism seems to revive – if it ever ended.
Killings of African-American citizens by the police are proved to be more a social than an “inside” problem.
Last Wednesday, Dylann Roof, a young white man has shot nine people inside a church of the black community in Charleston. Roof confessed, he has been arrested and is charged with hate crimes and possession of guns.
“Roof’s crime cannot be divorced from the ideology of white supremacy which long animated his state nor from its potent symbol—the Confederate flag”, notes Ta-Nehisi Coates in the The Atlantic.
Although the Confederate flag is presented as a “heritage” symbol by its defenders, the not-so-hidden symbolism remains white supremacy. A symbol asks for action and action needs means.
Widespread possession of arms inside USA is fiercely defended by the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) which is tightly connected with conservatives.
Therefore, no gun control has been applied not even after several mass shootings in the past (Aurora, Newtown etc).
Instead, NRA addresses a message to Barack Obama and to Hilary Clinton (!) claiming that: “…the heroes, the ones who are willing to fight and die for his freedoms demands a commander-in-chief worthy of such sacrifice.” [… ]
Obviously, NRA “feels” that Obama and Hilary have or could do what is logic and necessary: Restrict guns or apply serious measures for gun control.
President Barack Obama however, has used “hard rhetoric” (american mutatis mutandis) on free gun market stating, according to The Atlantic: “We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.” Not even close but again that’s USA.
A crucial aspect of this new massacre is, again, racism.
Americans seem to have never learned that all the people, inside and outside their country have human rights. Centuries after the invasion in American continent, they (well, many and not all of them, hopefully) don’t accept that people of all races and religions who are american citizens are equal to “whites”. Decades of fights for equal opportunities and rights have not “touched” a portion of american population. Even worse, they have not changed their mindset which is reflected more often than never into their policies inside and outside their country.
The way the two above mentioned facts in Denmark and in USA are connected becomes obvious. When “official” violence which aims to suppress movements and fights is not enough or when policies (global, regional or national) have to be imposed without facing reactions and opposition, the “card” of discord, division, internal fights and hate is used.
While USA faces a raise of their “traditional” racism, Europe itself has a long history of exploitation of humans, whether they are residents of their colonies or newcomers into more powerful countries.
Xenophobia, intolerance and racism are used against people who refuge in European countries to save their lives (article TWTP) and are dictated by the intention of governing elites to deviate people’s minds from the real responsible for their problems.
Nations, races or groups of people are demonized and then victimized when an effort is made to cause fear against difference.
Palestinians are such a victim the last 60 years. Of course, their tyrant and exterminator uses fear to obscure the facts and to persuade ordinary people against them presenting them as “threat” and enemy. It is exactly the same as hate of extremists islamists of ISIS who are obsessed in killing anyone they think as enemy.
Western methods of tackling with them do not differ much and they perpetuate the circle of mistrust, fear, intolerance and finally hate.
As far as it concerns EU, a very obscure side of that (not so sudden) raise of anti-immigrant parties is that they are also “eurosceptics”. This combination hides the notion that EU is somehow “the opposite of racism” and serves equality and human rights. Under this aspect, EU is beatified before the eyes of discontented citizens who have lost quality of life, social security, jobs, homes and rights. They are kept “quiet” and happy because the “good Union” protects them from the bad eurosceptics who happen to be racists and officials do not mention the fact that both uprooted people and fascists are their creation.
No surprise that racism (together with all its instigators as well as manifestations) is spreading after a short period of impairment just in time to manipulate low paid and with no social security people (Greece is a representative example). Xenophobia, intolerance and racism serve the perpetually smoldering purpose of a world dominance of elites.
Also published in: Reader Supported News
Relative article from Consortiumnews.com: Facing America’s Great Evils
A few days earlier, on May 27, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called Jack Lew, US Treasury Secretary and asked him to mediate in favor of an agreement between Greece and the so-called institutions (EU, IMF, ECB) during G7 talks in Germany.
Mr Lew, according to Embassy of US in Athens: “Emphasized that the Treasury remains engaged with all parties involved – including Greece, its European partners, and the IMF – and continues to urge all parties to find common ground and reach an agreement quickly. Secretary Lew reiterated that failure to agree on a path forward would create immediate hardship for Greece and broad uncertainties for Europe and the global economy. Secretary Lew offered to remain in contact with the Prime Minister and other parties in Europe and the international financial institutions”.
According to Reuters, although Greece was not in the agenda its crisis has overshadowed G7 talks.
Here, it is necessary to quote: The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of the finance ministers and central bank governors of seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States meeting to discuss primarily economic issues. The European Union is also represented within the G7. The G7 are the seven wealthiest major developed nations by national net wealth, representing more than 64% of the net global wealth ($263 trillion) according to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report October 2014. The IMF’s Managing Director usually participates. (Wikipedia)
G7 used to be G8 but Russia, the 8th member, has been excluded since 2014 and the whole gathering has become a gathering under the wing of US. G7 is in fact a group of capitalist countries with similar economic and political systems.
Furthermore, the epitome of capitalism, IMF, also participates.
In 2001, 200,000 demonstrators from several countries, protested during G8 summit in Genoa, Italy and “accused the police of brutality and denying them their right to non-violent protest. They believe that G8 summits are non-legitimate attempts by eight of the world’s most powerful governments to set the rules for the planet at large”.
Leading or following?
It is therefore worth wondering:
Why a politician of leftish ideology and probably politics, as soon as he will be allowed to govern his country, Mr Alexis Tsipras, thinks that a gathering of eminently neo-liberal officials would act in favour of Greece and not to the benefit of a bunch of conservative “institutions”?
Even more when their ultimate objective is austerity, wage reductions and dominance of the markets?
Even if Prime Minister represents Greek public opinion according to polls, there is an inconsistency between on one side his election program, the communist ideas of his party and probably his own views and on the other side the negotiating moves he makes.
EU itself is a nest of neo-liberalism and all regulations, guidelines, directives and legislation do not leave space for any progressive government and administration.
Apart from the pressure of repayment of an unsustainable debt, the left Greek government will have to overcome the imposed by USA et al. conservative and restrictive guidelines (inside and outside the country) in order to apply progressive and left politics. Under present circumstances, it is understood that “conspiracy theories” about a deliberate destruction of Greece, seem to be confirmed.
Greece is not free anymore to import from, to export to, to connect and collaborate with, and to develop trade or other cooperation with any country without, at least EU’s, prior permission -with or without debt.
If a first visit in Moscow caused such a wave of reactions (TWTP article) it can be easily understood what would a broader collaboration with Russia or with Venezuela (for example) would ignite.
It is yet to see the impact of the Iranian foreign minister’s Javad Zarif visit in Athens on May 29th.
However, debt protects the “system” from “bold” exercise of sovereignty, something which is thought more possible by a left government.
Anything “left” causes abhorrence and fear to conservatives all around the world.
Europe has been the cradle of both dark ages but also of enlightenment.
EU, by following the imperialism dogma of USA and NATO has declined to a “follower” to say the least. If war is induced under the pretext of “union” (namely in Ukraine) it becomes obvious that it has deviated seriously.
It is ironic that Greek media present as “positive” any comment or statement of officials against Grexit or whatever similar.
It is common knowledge that no-one would like Greece to exit the euro zone – let alone EU and any capitalist group like G7.
Unless EU changes radically and be released from the chariot of USA, it will reproduce a modern yet conservative model which is incompatible with once progressive European traditions, ideas and cultures. Consequently, EU will become even more “toxic” for its member-states.
Failing to distance itself, will also lead to its full inferiority which, among others, dictates agreements like TTIP or “demonization” of any sovereign country which is not subordinated to USA.
Then and now
Greece is presented as the weakest link but in fact it has escaped the “adjustment and compliance stage” of uniformity inside neo-liberalism.
Corruption is common among many countries more or less but in Greece it was formed by the “triangle” of Government officials-Big businesses plus media-Banks.
On the other hand, this same triangle led Greek people skillfully and systematically to a consuming delirium -top feature of capitalism- only to find themselves trapped a few years after the country entered the euro zone, in fact without the prerequisites.
An answer to why corruption as well as uncontrolled debt has been allowed within the bosom of EU, is the present situation.
Debt and loans is only a means to further restrain a country and terms about privatizations of crucial assets and state property is not investing but just a sample of extended dependency of the country. “They want to buy Greece cheap”, as is mentioned in the article of Steve Weissman What Europe and the IMF Are Doing to Greece: A First-Hand Look.
Greece possesses the undoubted advantage of its geopolitical position and historically, so far, this card has not been played to its own benefit by the majority of Greek politicians.
Even the…urge to join euro zone (and European Community earlier) brought benefit only to certain circles and not to the people.
After all, the whole idea of united European countries is based upon the profit of the few and not of the many who are sentenced to lack of reaction due to either exhaustion or to consent which is, as well known, manufactured by media and by propaganda.
Mr. Tsipras’ government has the chance not only to restore some breakdowns of the past but also to start a new age of politics and of an authentic union.
If he fails, many of European people’s dreams, aspirations, fights and movements will undergo a severe setback.
This is the ultimate purpose of conservatism and capitalism but it is not in favour of people’s interests -nowhere in the world.
The destabilization in one more country is being attempted in Former Yugoslavian Republic Of Macedonia (FYROM) by the West, namely USA. This time, the sine qua non local “liaison” is the leader of the opposition party Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), Zoran Zaev.
According to international Media, this attempt is one more recognizable sign of the American and NATO imperialism and another brick in the wall of Cold War between USA and Russia (after Ukraine and Syria).
According to CIA’s World Factbook about FYROM: “A couple of major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish; minor transit point for South American cocaine destined for Europe; although not a financial center and most criminal activity is thought to be domestic, money laundering is a problem due to a mostly cash-based economy and weak enforcement. Since its independence in 1991, Macedonia has made progress in liberalizing its economy and improving its business environment, but has lagged the Balkan region in attracting foreign investment and corruption remains a significant problem”.
“Consolidation”, “need of reforms”, “democratization”, “freedoms”, “liberalization of economy” are the pretexts and eventually a change of government or of regime is attempted, and there are certain steps which follow and usually lead to destruction. These used methods seem so distinctive that they could barely miss the eye of even the most “innocent” observer although, according to an exhaustive analysis by Strategic Culture Foundation, this specific issue has a couple of hidden sides.
Apart from these, the pattern for toppling Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (of christian democratic VMRO-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity) and a government change attempt strictly follows some main features, factors and principles which remain unchanged.
Let’s examine some of the facts:
I. FYROM has been declared as “potential candidate” member of EU back in 2003 – 12 years after country’s declaration of independence in 1991 and two years after the insurgency of the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) militant group in 2001.
Furthermore, in 21 – 22 June 2002 “at the Seville Conference, the European Council expressed the willingness of the EU to take over from NATO in fYR Macedonia”.
It is worth noticing here the existing objection of Greece against the use of the name of the Greek region Macedonia. In EU the country’s official name is FYROM, which is though not used in numerous other occasions such as media, social media or by the USA et al.
Greece has vetoed FYROM’s NATO accession in 2008, and has been hindering the start of its EU accession talks.
The report of EU “Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament “Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2010-2011” about FYROM, notes:
“However, relations with Greece continued to be adversely affected by the unresolved name issue. The country is engaged in talks under the auspices of the UN on resolving it. Actions and statements which could negatively impact on good neighbourly relations should be avoided. The direct meetings at the highest political levels are positive steps, although this momentum has not yet led to concrete results. Maintaining good neighbourly relations, including a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution to the name issue, under the auspices of the UN, remains essential“.
The point here is (very) relevant to the economic crisis in Greece.
The meet of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with Russian president Vladimir Putin alarmed USA and the announcement of a possible cooperation for a gas pipeline, alarmed both USA and EU.
Greece has longed suffered under the fear of “threat from the East” (i.e. Turkey).
Although the relationships of the two have not and will not normalize as long and the Cyprus issue remains unsolved, it is possible that a destabilized FYROM could be used as an additional “threat from the North” and therefore, as a means of pressure on Greece for “compliance, conformity and obedience”.
II. Government is set under pressure by the “revelations” of scandals (Accusations for wiretapping by the government, Purchase of an expensive car by the Prime Minister). After the above said accusations two ministers and the head of the intelligence have resigned while government denies the allegations about tapping, reports BBC.
Alleged use of vicious methods and wealth owned by leaders have been used in almost every case of regimes or governments overthrows. They are a common instrument of propaganda in order to “touch” sensitivity of public opinion.
III. In case that politics and accusations do not succeed in toppling the government and in order to impose faction and destabilization, people are “motivated” through social media to protests which resemble to these which led to destabilization in Ukraine, in “Arab Spring” in North Africa but failed and turned into war in Syria.
Additional pressure is applied by internal discord between ethnic, political or other groups which is incited by the opposition (SDSM and Zaev). Specifically, SDSM appears to have orchestrated protests in Kumanovo in May 5 and 6.
The protests turned violent and resulted to the death of six policemen (eight according to other Media) after clashes with albanian ethic groups.
The groups are said to be “terrorists who crossed the border and entered the territory of the Republic of Macedonia on May 5th and 6th”. SDSM has planned a rally for May 17th.
“For this purpose, SDSM already mobilized the membership with focus on collecting abusers and people with multiple file of offenders and former prisoners with series of crimes”, comments local Kurir. Earlier, opposition leader “in an interview with the show ‘360 stepeni’ which is aired on Alsat television again revealed state secret and said that he knew of the terrorist group, but did not report to law enforcement authorities. Zaev admitted that the SDSM had evidence of movement of criminal structures, shared with the former leader Branko Crvenkovski, SDSM recognizing that there is parallel security service”, reports Kurir.
“The strategy here is to apply dual mechanisms of pressure that can engage in ‘friendly competition’ with one another in seeing which can overthrow the government first. The only reason that this concept is even considered and that the Color Revolution hasn’t totally fizzled out by this time is because it’s gained some support from dissatisfied youth groups who have been manipulated into joining the anti-government protests. With the Color Revolution kept alive by a collection of youth and their heavily publicized tweets and protests, and the Unconventional War dependent on terrorism, the regime change operations’ social foundations are extremely weak, yet they have the potential for massive expansion if the 17 May destabilization events can gather more adults and Albanians (either through enticement or provocation)”, notes Strategic Culture Foundation.
IV. Foreign diplomats, potiticians and governments, all of them US alliances, criticise the government. After the clashes, EU said it was “deeply concerned”, which is worrying for country’s candidacy to become EU member.
The opposition leader “refused to participate at the reconciliation meeting between the four largest parties, which was reportedly scheduled to take place on May 14th”, reports Novinite and continues: “According to media reports, Zaev would accept a meeting with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski only in the presence of international mediators and representatives of the international community. The opposition leader dismissed the possibility of Gruevski heading a broad coalition government. Zaev called for the establishment of an interim government, which should prepare Macedonia for the holding of free, fair and democratic elections. The SDSM leader ruled out the participation of the incumbent prime minister and other people involved in crimes in an interim cabinet”.
The intentions of Zaev become more and more obvious. He displays his contempt to Prime Minister and challenges his authority. At the same time he demands the presence of “mediators and representatives of international community” as if Gruevski weren’t the elected leader.
Thus, after constructing the background, he calls into question the sovereignty of the government and uses external sources to essentially support the toppling.
The country is thereby driven to extensive conflicts and doomed to destabilization or:
V. If needed, in the next stage the methods of propaganda, public discontent and protests are degenerated to violence with the use of militant groups supported and armed by the US as is the case of Ukraine and as has already happened in FYROM.
Meanwhile, after clashes with police, “Russia accused ‘Western organisers’ on Saturday (May 16) of trying to foment a ‘colour revolution’ in the troubled former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, where political tensions are building ahead of an opposition rally on Sunday” and “the EU and NATO have called for a transparent investigation into last week’s killings”, reports Reuters.
The reaction of Russia could be taken for granted and as mentioned above, one more front opens in order to further demonize the country of Putin and to further implicate EU in case that Angela Merkel’s visit to Moscow on May 10th, a day after Moscow’s vast military parade in honor of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, would be translated as sign of reconciliation.
Conservative government of Skopje will have to resist pressure and fraudulent practices and any change has to be peacefully conducted by people and not from Western interests.
The most important challenge though is to avoid internally and externally “submitted” violence and conflicts.
The voting of 1st April in Nigeria, gave nearly 54%, of the 60 millon registered voters, to Muhammadu Buhari (of All Progressives Congress-APC party) who is going to be the successor of the former president Jonathan Goodluck (of People’s Democratic Party-PDP).
The 72-year-old new president was a professional soldier and has a history of two coups, one in 1980s which overturned the elected president -to be overthrown himself later- and an older coup d’état in 1966 by which he ousted the military dictator Ajuiyi Ironsi.
In much troubled as much as rich country (with poor people) Nigeria, it is the first time that an opposition candidate wins an incumbent. A first is also the phone call from Jonathan Goodluck to Buhari after the results to congratulate him.
In Nigeria, where people vote according to ethnic criteria, the choice of his vice president Yemi Osinbajo gave to Buhari the votes of both clans (Buhari is member of Hausa ethnic group, while Osinbajo is of Yoruba. Goodluck is of Ijaw).
Even if 40% of the population does not belong to any of these three ethnic groups, they are the ones who have ruled Nigeria since the country won its independence in 1960.
The country has a heavy burden of problems with dominant the security problem caused by Boko Haram.
The new president announced in his first formal speech: “Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will. We should spare no effort … In tackling the insurgency, we have a tough and urgent job to do.”
During the election, Boko Haram killed more than a dozen voters in an attempt to disrupt the vote, which it referred to as “not Islamic”, reports teleSUR.
Nigeria has the largest population as well as economy of African countries. It is a distinct example of a rich country in which 48% of the population suffers from extreme poverty and the country itself from widespread corruption.
To these problems has been added the plague of Boko Haram.
On the occasion of Easter, APC called Nigerians “to come together irrespective of the fault lines separating them, for a national rebirth, in the spirit of Easter…”
The two dominant religions in Nigeria are Christianity -47% of the population- and Islam -51%.
Western nations’ bad foreign polices in the region have intensified the country’s polarization due to ethnic groups or religion.
The West’s exploitation of Nigeria’s natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas has deepen the economic gap between the population and, the profit hunting by the large oil companies have caused severe environmental problems.
A hard way is laid ahead for the new president of the tough-tested Nigeria.
Read also: Nigeria Beyond the Elections – teleSUR
“Nobody’s Ambition Is Worth The Blood Of Any Nigerian” – BuzzFeedNews
A historic and long awaited agreement has been reached, against all odds, especially of those fearing such a deal, and a couple of days after the expiration of the deadline of end of March.
On 2nd April, a framework agreement has been reached in Lausanne, Switzerland between Iran and the P5+1 (US, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany).
The framework agreement reached, calls for the removal of UN imposed sanctions against Iran while the issue of other sanctions will be discussed within bilateral formats, e.g. Iran – USA.
“I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final compromise deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer,” US president Barack Obama said on Thursday.
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said on Friday: “I, hereby, declare in a straightforward manner now that enrichment and all nuclear-related technologies are only aimed at Iran’s development and will not be used against any other countries and the world has acknowledged very well today that Iran is seeking peaceful purposes.”
Both president Rouhani and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that the sanctions will be lifted after a final deal will be reached. However, there seem to be a difference of interpret of the framework, as Iranian president said that all the UN and economic, financial and banking sanctions against Iran will be annuled the moment a final nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers goes into effect while John Kerry stressed that the removal of the sanctions will come in phases.
Drafting of the deal will start soon to prepare the Joint Plan of Action by the July 1 deadline.
Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, at a joint press conference with the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said :
“The European Union will terminate implementation of all nuclear related economic and financial sanctions. And the United States will cease the application of all nuclear related economic and financial sanctions simultaneously either IAEA verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments.”
Agreements on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue would be endorsed by a new UN Security Council resolution.
According to The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) parameters as published in the Fact Sheet released by State Department, Iran has agreed on various adjustments and reductions of its nuclear program and inspections of IAEA.
Opposition to the agreement
Not all the western officials consider that the agreement is a victory of sober diplomacy and beneficial for peace.
On the opposite side of the porgressive public opinion in the whole world where the deal is considered historic and decisive for the desired peace, balance and stability in the region of the larger Middle East area, there are the ultra-conservatives in US and their protégé Netanyahu.
They have already delivered rhetoric of subversion; they present the framework as a “triumph” of Iran against American allies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) and characterize “theater” the statement of president Obama.
A provocative statement was made on Tuesday by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter who said that even if a deal was reached, the US reserves the right to bomb Iran.
Senator McCain (R-Az), also expressed his “concerns”: “President Obama is hailing this framework as something that could enhance the prospects for peace in the Middle East. For those of us who have looked forward to bombing Iran for some time now, that would be a doomsday scenario.” (…)
No one mentions the recent release of Pentagon’s declassified reports of 1987 which admit that Israeli scientists were capable of producing a hydrogen bomb by that time. The declassification is named by israeli media “Obama’s revenge” for the speech of Netanyahu against Iran in Congress where he was invited by Republicans.
Although trust is difficult to be established after more than 35 years of mutual “demonisation”, Iran is expected to play an important role in the -always- troubled region of Middle East and its contribution (diplomatically and politically) will be valuable both for the West and for the neighbor countries.
US have multiple open fronts worldwide militarily, economically and politically (Russia, Venezuela, ISIS, Ukraine) and the period until the, hopefully, final deal will probably offer them a “breath”.
What is most important after this great step is the problem of the global nuclear energy as a whole and as a danger for humanity, especially in the face of the threat by ISIS and their branches in many countries.
Late at Thursday, according to media from all around the world, an agreement has been reached between Iran and the West.
Mother Jones – BREAKING: Iran Nuclear Deal Reached
Sputniknews – Breakthrough Deal Reached atIran Nuclear Talks in Lausanne
AFP: Iran Deal Reached in Switzerland
We’ll come back more analytic soon.
Together with welcoming you readers and, hopefully, permanent (free) subscribers of this effort-blog, I esteem that the first approach-article, should better be an overview rather than a specific event.
In this historical, in multiple levels and countries, period of the world, “things happen” with such a speed that makes it difficult for the people to follow and perceive the whole picture. Each region and each country confronts their current issues in politics or economy and, in disproportionate analogy, life and death, peace and war, living or surviving.
On another level, the “global routine” of politics and diplomacy goes on by handling, managing, manipulating or planning the next day or days.
In this frame, a number of war fronts remain open or are being created under the need (or the pretext) to stop other wars, restrain the spread of “universal enemies”, namely extremists, killers, haters but nevertheless, ex-allies and “by-products” of older political expediencies.
In a book I read a long time ago, Still Life with Woodpecker (1980), Tom Robins recounts (my translation from the Greek edition): “Once upon a time, Hawaii had problem with rats. Then, someone came up with a brilliant idea; Import mongooses from India. Mongooses would kill rats. It worked. Mongooses killed indeed rats. Mongooses killed chicken, piggies, birds, cats, dogs and toddlers. There were witnesses about mongooses which attacked motorbikes, electric lawn machines, cars of golf and others. Hawaii now has more mongooses than the rats it had in the past. Hawaii exchanged its problem of rats with a problem of mongooses. But Hawaii was determined not to allow something like this happen again”.
Sadly as much as alarmingly, USA (mainly and more than any country or coalition) does not seem to share the knowledge of Hawaiian lesson. American politics, policies, and as a consequence, their strategic alliances, insist in attempting to extinct rats with mongooses. In the present, alike with the near or distant past, they “plant” exterminators, oppositions and enemies of their enemies. As a result, the “crop” are threats and fear, fundamentalism and terrorism. Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Ukraine (for example) share this same denominator. Friends, shadowy friends, pawns and tools of a certain conjuncture and need, are possible threats of the day after tomorrow. Sad as much as non wise.
The story goes on (and on) all over the world and one of our aims is to present, to synthesize and to analyze the interrelation between the facts, their source and their consequences – hopefully.