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A proven Democrat, protector and fighter for justice and human rights in the World.

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Eine bewährte Demokrat, Beschützer und Kämpfer für Gerechtigkeit und Menschenrechte in der Welt.

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Belmir Selimovic
Can we trust the government to do the right thing, are they really care about essential things such as environmental conditions and education in our life?




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The Future of Turkey after the Last Elections:
the Kurdish question and the economic outlook

Diego Del Priore

 

The last parliamentary elections in Turkey mark a political and an institutional turning point in the country's history. The importance of the vote derives from two main factors.

Firstly, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's Party of Justice and Development (AKP) has lost its parliamentary majority, although it remains the largest party in the Parliament with 258 seats and 40.9% of the votes. This is the first time that the party has been in this position since 2002, when the AKP swept to power and retained a majority in the Turkish Parliament. However, the AKP failed to achieve its objective of 350 seats, as the party leader and president of the Republic since August 2014, Recep Tayyp Erdogan, had hoped.

This 350 seats threshold would have allowed Erdogan to introduce a series of constitutional reforms leading to a reinforcement of the presidential system. However, Turkish voters would appear to have baulked at this prospect and have opted to maintain the existing balance of institutional power. The elections were an indirect referendum on Erdogan's constitutional intentions.

Indeed, the electoral campaign went ahead amidst a degree of tension given the issues at stake. Galip Dalay, a senior fellow with the Al Jazeera Center for Studies on Turkey and Kurdish affairs, points out that the main factor contributing to the heated atmosphere remained, above all, the future of the political system: "The whole struggle involves the central question of whether Turkey should have a parliamentary or a presidential system. Unfortunately, all other items on the agenda have taken a back seat with regard to this central electoral question".i

Secondly, the entry of the left-wing pro-Kurdish party, the People's Democratic Party (HDP), into the Grand National Assembly represents a development of marked significance. The HDP, led by Selahattin Demirtas, received 6.5 millions of votes (13%) and 80 seats in the Parliament. This political shift opens the door of Parliament to an overtly Kurdish party for the first time in Turkish history and constitutes a strengthening of Kurdish political influence.

As for the other major electoral figures, the Republican People's Party (CHP), gained 132 seats with 25% of votes and has worsened its 2011 result. By contrast, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) increased its share of the popular vote to 16.5% and 80 MPs. Institutionally, the new political landscape inevitably entails a period of instability and the country will undoubtedly be confronted with one of three options: a coalition government, a minority government or early elections.

With regard to the Kurdish question, the emergence of the HDP might provide a stimulus for renewed dialogue. In its electoral manifesto, among other measures, the party had pledged to back up self-rule with the introduction of regional assemblies. Since the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres – calling for autonomy for the Kurdish people; a call that remained unheeded –the Kurdish question remains unresolved. After decades of failed attempts at greater self-government, the official opening of negotiations with regard to Turkey's accession to the European Union represented a shift in perspective and, with it, the potential for greater recognition of Kurdish cultural identity.

The latest elections might possibly induce greater momentum towards a definitive settlement as this involves the continued pursuit of peace talks with the outlawed armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Only hours after the official announcement of the election results, Selahattin Demirtas, HDP leader and human rights lawyer, declared: “We, as the oppressed people of Turkey, who want justice, peace and freedom, have achieved a tremendous victory today. It’s the victory of workers, the unemployed, the villagers, the farmers. It is the victory of the left”.

The possibility of further progress over the Kurdish question is also, it would appear, intimately linked to a series of regional developments, with the Kurds being directly involved in the armed struggle with the Islamic State (IS). Kurdish resistance – alongside contacts with the United States with a view to combating IS – have contributed directly to the growing legitimacy and visibility of the Kurds, a factor that has not yet been recognized by the Turkish government.

At the same time, the fundamental question of Turkey's economic future continues to attract a great deal of attention. The main focus has been the question of how best to reboot the economy, on one hand, and the relations between the government and the central bank, on the other hand.

After a period of sustained growth, Turkey has emerged as something of a model in terms of economic policies and development strategies. In a recent report, The World Bank stated: "Turkey’s economic success has become a source of inspiration for a number of developing countries, particularly, but not only, in the Muslim world. The rise of Turkey’s economy is admired, all the more so because it seems to go hand in hand with democratic political institutions and an expanding voice for the poor and lower middle classes".ii

This being said, closer examination of the figures points to a less rosy picture. Economic growth has been slowing since 2008 and it is predicted that it will fall to 2 percent this year. Unemployment is at its highest level in five years and, with growth stagnating, the economy will undoubtedly remain something of a thorn in the side of the new government. Nevertheless Abbas Ameli-Renani – a strategist specialising in global emerging-markets at Amundi in London – remains relatively up beat. As he pointed out on the eve of the vote, “if the AKP fails to win a majority and is forced into a coalition with other parties, the markets’ reaction is unlikely to be negative for a sustained period. After 13 years of absolute majorities for the AKP, a weaker vote of confidence by the electorate may be exactly what is needed to refocus the party’s attention on the economic reform agenda that defined its earlier years in power.” iii

Above all since the election of Erdogan as President of the Republic in 2014, the question of the most appropriate economic strategies to pursue has tended to turn around the relations between the government and the Turkish Central Bank. In principle an independent entity, the central bank has come into conflict with the powers that be over high interest rates. Whilst the central bank is in favour of high interest rates, this policy has drawn some harsh criticism from Erdogan.

Despite the apparent deadlock and stagnation in Turkish affairs, the elections have been greeted with satisfaction by the European Union. Europe is the largest trading partner of Turkey, providing the greatest amount of foreign direct investment to Ankara. Against this background, the European Union has hailed the existing balance of power as "a clear sign of the strength of Turkish democracy. The fact that all the major political parties have obtained representation in the new parliament is particularly important".

Diego Del Priore is Research associate at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG)

First published by
www.moderndiplomacy.eu


i  Umut Uras, Turkey votes amid debate on presidential system, Al-Jazeera, 7 June 2015.
ii  Mustafa Kutlay, Turkish economy after the elections: In search of a new paradigm, Turkish Weekly, 30 June 2015.
iii  Onur Ant, Ali Berat Meric, Erdogan Rivals Frame Economy Debate as Turkey Heads to Polls, Bloomberg, 13 May 2015.


July 30, 2015



The Power of Geopolitical Discourse

By Diego Solis

 

Diego SolisGeopolitics, as a discursive practice, should be taken seriously. Unfortunately, sometimes we are so busy with our daily activities and work that we tend to ignore the fact that the media can, indeed, specialize and geopoliticize a conflict by ‘labeling’ and ‘identifying’, thus creating a sense of ‘pertinence’ amongst us, the ‘audience’; in other words, creating a binary world between ‘us’ and ‘them, the ‘other.’ This said, in order to understand the power of words and images in geopolitics, we must look back and understand how geopolitical knowledge was originally produced and thought of.

Although at first glance, while difficult to prove, the true origin of geopolitical theory may revolve around Darwinism and the rules of nature—I will not delineate the rules of nature according to Darwin but rather I will keep my argument in line with that of geopolitics and discourse. For instance, Friedrich Ratzel (a notable geographer, ethnographer and biologist), the creator of Lebensraum (the need of living space), theorized and compared the state to that of a living organism, in search of augmenting its space to support the carrying capacity of its species under its physical environment. By the same token, Rudolf Kjellen—who was actually the first political scientist to coin the term ‘geopolitics’—viewed the state in a similar manner as Ratzel: as an organic living being, with its own limbs and personality, drawing his metaphors from poetry and prose. Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904) and Rudolf Kjellen (1864-1922), who were the creators of the German geopolitical school of thought, had something in common: they grew up between the transition of a pre-industrial society (1750-1850) and the beginning of a new industrial society in continental Europe. Eventually, the story is widely known: their theories, alongside Mackinder’s, influenced the aggressive expansionist policies of the Nazis, pushed by Major General Karl Haushofer. (from Machtpolitik to Weltpolitik)

Likewise, another important player and influencer (Sir Halford Mackinder) was born in the 19th century, and meanwhile in 1904 published the most famous geopolitical theory of all, The Geographical Pivot of History; a theory that was taken particularly serious by the Nazi political and military elite and diffused via Haushofer’s understanding of the world. And a theory that, to this day, has been explained and argued in modern-day world affairs books, such as Robert D. Kaplan’s The Revenge of Geography and the likes. Without further expanding into academic theoretical grounds, we can conclude as so: Geopolitics had a common European heritage, pioneered by Mackinder, Ratzel and Kjellen, through their biological, geographical, and civilization interpretations of European power-relations of their time.

In that sense, how was geopolitical thought diffused and brought into the Western hemisphere, specifically into the United States, the world latest superpower?

In 1890, Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, while stationed in Lima, Peru, published one of the most influential books in the American Naval military psyche: The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. It advocated why it was imperative for the American navy to reach total hegemony and control over the seas and oceans of the world. Another important American geographer and advisor to Woodrow Wilson was Isaiah Bowman, whose push for free trade policies vis-a-vis the creation of international institutions, would also become influential in the American neoliberalism and exceptionalism ethos. Nevertheless, although Bowman and Rear Admiral Mahan were important figures in the American geopolitical mindset, if there was any truly prominent figure in the realm of American foreign policy, it would be Yale’s Nicholas J. Spykman. His influence in shaping the American foreign policy attitude continues to maintain a foothold in the political and military establishments to this day. Amongst many of Spykman’s arguments, he claimed that geography was a leading influencer in international politics—i.e. country size and region location, climate, topography, resources, population, frontiers, and so forth—and that the exertion of power should be the true goal of the American foreign policy apparatus, whose best example is his Rimland concept of the Eurasian landmass; and needless to add, George Kennan’s The Sources of Soviet Conduct and the impact it had on US containment policy.

But under which geographical and political parameters and assumptions did Spykman, Mahan, Bowman, and Kennan view geopolitics? The answer is simple: from a European perception and understanding. All from the continent which, by a vivid expression of the MD Board Chairman prof. Bajrektarevic, “…exhorts its well-off status quo by notoriously exporting its transformative powers of free trade dogma and human rights stigma–a modified continuation of colonial legacy when the European conquerors, with fire and sword, spread commerce, Christianity and civilization overseas.”

Let’s connect the dots. Mahan’s ideas and analogies aroused from the British Royal Navy’s control of maritime commerce, which catapulted them to become one of the most powerful empires in the world; Bowman’s American exceptionalism—egalitarianism, republicanism, democracy, and individualism—ideals, can be traced in the form of Franco-British (e.g. Alexis de Tocqueville and Adam Smith) political and economic thinking; Spykman, whose origin was Dutch, based his Rimland theory out of Sir. Halford Mackinder’s, hence, we could say that, overall, he had a British influence on his geopolitical thinking; and Kennan, who prior to embarking on his Soviet adventure, was trained and educated in a pre-World War II setting, which at the time often involved the diffusion of the German geopolitical school of thought at the University of Berlin Oriental Institute, perhaps influencing the ideas of Kennan concerning the Soviet Union’s territorial expansionism. Henceforth, something is clear: modern-day geopolitical discourse, vision, and imagination was gradually diffused and transferred into the American foreign policy and military elite by European-clouted scholars. Nevertheless, the American geopolitical rationale would evolve rather drastically as opposed to their European counterparts because of their location and place in the world.

Let’s bring it back to the 21st century now. It was the year 2002, a year after one of the most devastating terrorist attacks on US soil. But also, it was the year when then-president George W. Bush, during his famous State of the Union Address, would label and identify the new “axis of evil” according to America’s world view; simply put, America’s new enemies—Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Was this speech a true act of geopolitical specialization and the creation of a more rigid and tougher, binary world, resembling to the US—vs—Soviet Union days? “What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that, far from ending there, our war against terror is only beginning,” George W. Bush said as he addressed the entire world. Indeed, we have noticed that during the last decade—and the beginning of this decade—the war against terror has been substantially expanded from Pakistan to the Sahel and from the Sahel to Somalia. Going back to the 2002 State of the Union address, we have observed the urge to specialize, label, and create a ‘sense of belonging’ amongst different civilizations in the world, which leads to the question: How often does the media specialize an ongoing conflict, more precisely by further polarizing and transforming the world into an are-you-with-us-or-against-us type of discourse? Is Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations more valid than ever before? How often are we indirectly influenced by popular culture, regardless of our nationalities (i.e. television series, books, images, media channels)? Moreover, what are the foundational geographical and political assumptions behind our elites? This the main reason why critical geopolitics is so important in today’s multipolar world.

Leading geographers and critical geopolitics scholars, John Agnew and Gerard Toal, in their superstar essay Practical Geopolitical Reasoning in American Foreign Policy, suggested that the definition of geopolitics should be ‘re-conceptualized’ as a “ discursive practice by which intellectuals of statecraft ‘spatialize’ in such a way as to represent it as a ‘world’ characterized by particular types of places, peoples, and dramas.” Also, according to Agnew and Toal’s understanding, “geopolitics is the specialization of international politics by core powers and hegemonic states.” As a result, when we think of the George W. Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ classification, the definition by Agnew and Toal seems more relevant than ever before.

Furthermore, what about the movies and television series we often see for entertainment purposes? For instance, if we take note of the evolution of Liam Neeson’s hit movie Taken, we can remark that he is always fighting an enemy from the Eastern hemisphere. During the first two films, the ex-CIA SAD (Special Activity Division) retired operations officer, Bryan Mills, was fighting the Tropoja-native, northern Albanian criminal organization in Paris, which is a ‘Western’ city. And, who ends up fighting some sort of rich Arab Sheikh—an enemy from the East, moreover, the Islamic world. Also, in the second movie, Bryan Mills, once again, ends up fighting the patriarch’s northern Albanian criminal organization, however, the landscape changes when he is fighting them in an Islamic city: Istanbul. Even if there are many ways to interpret this, in my personal view, I would interpret it as how the Albanian criminal organizations will be the new antagonist stereotype across mainstream Hollywood-made action movies, replacing the Italian criminal organization, and the brave and tough ‘Western’ action hero beating the ‘unknown’ enemies from the ‘East.’ It seems that in accordance to Hollywood’s geographic imagination, the Italian criminal organizations, have been replaced by tougher groups originating in the ‘East’—in this case, more precisely from the Balkans and of Islamic affiliation (at the beginning of Taken 2, we notice an Islamic burial, somewhere around the Albanian alps-type of setting).

As a last observation, what type of antagonist does Bryan Mills battle in his latest movie, Taken 3? Again, an enemy from the Eastern hemisphere: The Russians, though this time, battling a domestic enemy as well (for those that have not seen the movie, I shall stop here). Whatever our personal interpretations might be, we all can conclude with the following statement: The media plays a bigger role in geopolitics than we can imagine, purely by labeling, identifying, and creating the ‘other’.

How much influence does popular culture (e.g. books, televisions series, movies, newspapers, news channels) hold in our geographic imagination and the creation of the ‘other’? When we think of popular American televisions series, such as Homeland, House of Cards, or movies depicting ‘anti-Western’ dictators like The Last King of Scotland and The Interview, in addition to your typical war movies (e.g. Black Hawk Down, We Were Soldiers, American Sniper, Lone Survivor), to what extent can these movies and series further geopoliticize a group of people, moreover, an entire nation? For instance, in the case of Somalia, when we see movies like Captain Phillips, how much do we associate a whole country or diaspora as a group of either pirates or Al-Shaabab supporters? And as a last example, jumping to the other end of the spectrum, in the case of Venezuela’s media networks which are supportive of government repression like Noticias 24, Telesur and Venezolana de Television (VTV), by constantly creating stories about the big, bad and distrustful ‘American Empire’ who is, apparently, plotting a coup d’état against the Maduro regime. In reality, the pro-government Venezuelan media networks are failing to inform the population about the economic crisis and rampant insecurity common Venezuelans are experimenting in the streets of cities like Caracas, Maracaibo and Valencia, thereby just like Hollywood creates the ‘other,’ the same can be said about Venezuela and other authoritarian regimes. No matter what ideological principles a pro-Western or anti-Western government holds, each elite will abide by the same process: to label a group, to identify with a similar group, and to create an ‘us’ and ‘them’ discourse.

As a final remark, in order to geopoliticize through words and images, there must be a radically different entity (the ‘other’); put precisely, the creation of an ‘enemy’; an entity, that does not think the same way or hold the same values and ideals like ‘us.’ For the Romans, the ‘others’ were the barbarians; For the Persians, it was the Arabs; for the British medieval kingdoms, it was the Vikings; For the Chinese, it was the Xiognu nomadic tribes; for the Austro-Hungarian empire it was the Ottomans; for the European colonial empires it was the Native Amerindians and African tribes; for the Americans, it was the Soviets; and nowadays the new Mongolian hordes of the 21st century are non-state actors like ISIS and similar groups for the rest of the civilized world. The whole point of this article was to show, how in actuality, words and images can be powerful weapons to geopoliticize entire nations, whilst additionally grasping how the political and geographical assumptions, aroused from a European mindset; when, in turn, geopolitical thinking and reasoning was nothing other than the ‘vision’ that scholars like Mackinder, Kjellen and Haushofer had in mind for the securing vital strategic resources in accordance to their countries’ needs at the time. Consequently, we can firmly state that Western identity and geopolitical discourse have a European legacy.

In his last book, World Order, one of the most influential Europeans in the US, Henry Kissinger quotes an old excerpt of French Travel-writer, Marquis de Custine, who describes Czarist Russia as, “a monstrous compound of the petty refinements of Byzantium, and the ferocity of the desert horde, a struggle between the etiquette of the Lower Byzantine Empire, and the savage virtues of Asia, have produced the mighty state which Europe now beholds, and the influence of which she will probably feel hereafter, without being able to understand its operation.” Now, dear reader, it is up to you to be the judge of Marquis de Custine’s words. Or in popular geopolitical terms, as rapper Eminem would say, “My words are my weapons…”

Diego Solis
Global South Advocate, Founder and chair of Geopolitical Explorers Consulting Group,

July 30, 2015



YOGA DIPLOMACY

By Umesh MUKHI

 

Recently, we must have witnessed the hype in Press about the International Yoga Day celebrations led by India all over the world.

The event evoked mélange of reactions, while some highly appraised the initiative there were also some criticisms as well. Moreover analysts didn’t fall short to offer their own analysis by analyzing the ancient Indian scriptures and offering their analyzing in the context of present government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. What is the essence of Yoga? How is it related with Religion? Is it a way to exercise India’s soft power? How is Yoga entering the arena of Diplomacy and International Affairs? With an intention of offering a holistic view, I will lay down some perspectives from different angles to enlighten our reader’s attention.


What is Yoga?

The contemporary analysis of Yoga by journalists and certain teachers has been limited only to the postures. Of course as we see that the west has adopted the more physical form of yoga which has been a billion dollar business so far. The flagship film of Yoga Day clearly states that the object of Yoga is Samadhi, by traditional means one has to perfect the asanas to achieve a healthy body, mind and spirit, then he has to internalize the process by focusing more on meditation which will lead to the state of Yoga. Essentially, Yoga is Sanskrit word, it means the union and connection with the divinity thereby achieving self-realization. Thus at the out the outset it is the process of self-realization which is an outcome of Yoga. A Yogi is a person who practices Yoga, he has to obtain the state of Yoga, i.e. achieving the state of Nirvikilpa Samadhi, and it means that a Yogi enters into the dimension of thoughtless awareness which means connection of ones soul with the divinity. This state is more or less like an ecstatic experience of vibrations which a yogi feels after having attaining the state of Samadhi. Therefore practicing only physical posture may present us certain benefits but they won’t offer us the spiritual bliss and peace which is the ultimate aim of Yoga. This is where philosophy of Saint Kabir enlightens us, in his poetry he mentions "Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye, Dhai Akhshar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe So Pandit Hoye." Which means "Reading books hasn't made anyone wiser. But the One who has experienced even the first flush of love, knows more about Life than a learned man. This leads us to conclusion that one doesn’t becomes a Yogi by analyzing or mere practicing, one actually becomes a Yogi by achieving the state of Yoga.

Another confusion created by analysts is about whether Yoga is the part of Hinduism. It is true to some extent that the science of self-realization was first expounded in India in prehistoric era, but the emphasis of yoga on scriptures in no way leads to conclusion that yoga is a part of Hindu philosophy. Firstly Hinduism was never a formalized religion, Secondly, it acknowledges the incarnations of realized souls who descent on earth to alleviate the human lives. Thus every soul who walked on the earth to propagate the message of divinity is promoting Yoga in other words, all the prophets spoke about it, For example Jesus Christ did mention about connection with Holy Ghost and Supreme Father, Prophet Mohammad did emphasized that the Islam is surrender to Allah and that one has obtain divinity by completely surrendering to the formless and omnipresent god, similarly Buddha in his quest for liberation founded eight fold path for Nirvana. All of them are essentially speaking of the same connection in different times of history but the purpose is same, i.e. to uplift the consciousness of humans and to establish the process of self-realization within humans. Another beautiful example about unity of purpose in religions could be found in a classic titled Majma-Ul-Bahrain or The Mingling of the Two Oceans, written by King Dara Shikoh who was the eldest son and the heir-apparent of the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. In this explores the interconnection and similarities between Sufism and Vedanta traditions.

We may also turn our attention towards Sahaja Yoga which is unique from other branches of Yoga, Sahaja Yoga claims to be the Yoga promoting universal harmony by emphasizing about the role of sacred masters hailing from different religions. Most of the time it is assumed that Yoga Gurus are mostly male, but it is also interesting to note that this global movement was founded by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi who was the wife of late Dr. Sir C.P. Srivastava, International Maritime Organization Secretary-General Emeritus. In fact back in 1990 she conducted a Sahaja Yoga session at United Nations New York on the topic of Self Realization. Due to the diplomatic career of Sir C.P. Srivastava, Shri Mataji often spent her time out of India, travelling different countries, this further on acted as a catalyst for her to understand the western culture and thereby introducing them to Yoga which is simple and spontaneous.


Yoga and Diplomacy

The French case of promoting the French Culture and Language is a very interesting example of pursing diplomacy of preserving and promoting the heritage, art and culture. The role of France in creating International Organization La Francophonie in 1970 shows that it is assuming its authority in preserving the language, and through its means it would exercise its soft power in francophone countries. According to the organizations website, the member countries “also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. The French language and its humanist values represent the two cornerstones on which the International Organisation of La Francophonie is based.” In the same way, France is promoting French Language and culture through Alliance française. French Language, Wine and Cheese Tasting, Art, Culture and Education are one of the key activities promoted by Alliance française across the world.

Throughout the course, India managed to embrace the influx of different cultures but has still managed to retain the essence and the crux of divinity imbibed in its pluralistic traditions. At the times where British and French took pride in having colonies, India was still keeping its values and traditions alive. Being more than 5000 years old, Yoga as a science of self-realization has still managed to survive, neither India exercised its power to control it nor it promoted it. It played a vital role in creating state of art kings who would seek the guidance of yogis, moreover the fame of India and its philosophy spread across the world which dragged the attention of mystics, traders, monks and even philosophers and even colonizers. However India, since its independence hasn’t exercised cultural diplomacy as a part of its main stream diplomacy. The complexities within the Indian Culture and the diversity in makes it more complicated for India play a legitimate role on promoting its own heritage and culture. At the same time India takes pride of its rich past, from the science of Ayurveda to the secular values of Emperor Akbar and monuments like Taj Mahal, India cherishes it all, but it fails to endorse it. Moreover India is one of the largest contributor of UN Peace Forces as well. So Logically, India has all right to promote Yoga, just like France does for French Language, this is essentially important because of two primary reasons. Firstly, why didn’t previous governments undertook such step, were they ignorant or yoga was not on their agenda. Secondly, the west adopted yoga much faster than India did, that’s the reason why so many gurus settled out of India. The Yoga also flourished as a business where various forms of yoga were introduced which are completely opposite to the original philosophy. It is at this time, India had to reassume its position by sharing the true knowledge and true purpose of yoga which is to achieve peace and harmony.

On the 21st June, a record was created where millions of people practiced Yoga, which was even a rare fact for Indian to cherish its own heritage. I am not sure except any victory in sports if an Indian can recall when was the last time the world followed India’s footsteps? When was the last time they saw a Head of State appealing UN to adopt a Yoga day and himself practicing Yoga? Those practicing Yoga on yoga day across the world didn’t come for showoff, they rather came because they saw hope, because they are seeking the peace within and because it’s worth trying. Although analysts may accuse government’s agenda and may find out loop holes in organization of mass event, they miss out the bigger picture of a massive country which has been at the epicenter of spirituality for the world and its role to lead the world by example. Of course Modi may find it inevitable to avoid criticisms, however some of his remarks do strike a chord with ancient wisdom. During his speech at UN General Assembly, he said that Yoga could help to tackle climate change and in recent International Conference of Yoga, he mentioned that Yoga could play a vital role in developing peaceful societies, responsible leaders so that we may leave planet in good conditions for future generation. This adds a new dimension of Spirituality in order to achieve Sustainability in every sector. Of course given the state of the world so far, we can make out that neither does industrialization nor investment helps us in tackling with emergent issues, if the mind of the person is not ready to absorb the change. It only through the process of sustainable transformation inside each one of us the society by its collective effort will be able to raise its own consciousness level, this in turn will bring mass change across the civilization. So far we have seen a glimpse of Modi’s vision, but how far it will lead to tangible results is still to be seen.


Future of Yoga

Besides the Yogacara,esoteric teachings of paticcasamuppada are considered a core of Buddhism. Applying the extensive philosophical interpretation to this teaching, it remarkably fits to the astrophysical theory of the so-called dependent origination, as it well supports basic laws of both quantum mechanics and evolutionary biology – a self-organizing system in an ever self-expanding dynamic, non-directional but dialectic, equilibrium” – reminds us on these pages prof. Anis Bajrektarevic about the huge (forgotten or disregarded) potentials.

Indeed, many companies across the world have recently integrated Yoga in their HR practice, whereas there are many who practice it on daily basis for spiritual or physical benefits. Certain amount of research is also indicating that it can help us to deal with stress and emotions, Thus it is clear that irrespective of criticisms, Yoga is all set to pave its path for growing popularity. More importantly, it can play a vital role in creating Sustainable Leaders, who have higher level of insights into the issues of the world and which in our definition have capacity to work at intergenerational level and to lay the foundations for next generation. At the Sustainable Leadership blog you can see from the interview of change makers on how they are transforming ideas into action. At the heart of the Sustainable Leadership, the spiritual consciousness plays a vital role in developing a mindset of the leader which allows him to connect the dots between international affairs, entrepreneurship, business and civil society. Through this mindset he is uniquely positioned to offer a novel perspective to deal with issues compared to traditional leaders working in disciplinary silos.

Finally, it needs to reiterate that Yoga is not a fashion, it’s an invaluable asset which is open to humanity, it is up to member states and people across the world to realize its worth and how it could contribute in health care, education, sustainable development issues. It should provoke an internal change which could bring in positive transformation, As Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi says "Divinity is not a fashion. It is the way of Life. It is the need of your being. You have to become that."


About the author:

Umesh MUKHI has a diverse profile with active interest in Business, International Relations and Youth affairs. He is the co-founder of an international initiative titled Sustainable Leadership Initiative; it aims at mapping new leadership models required for resolving challenges of 21st century. He was also awarded with the title of Honorary Cross Cultural Ambassador of UNESCO Club, Sorbonne University, and Paris for his inter-cultural contribution between India (spirituality and Indian culture) and World.

First published by www.moderndiplomacy.eu



July 22, 2015



Europe – Syriza-ize or Syria-nize


(Key-words: Greece, Germany, ECB, Austerity, Ukraine, crisis, Syriza, Syria, Podemos)


A freshly released IMF’s World Economic Outlook brings (yet again, for the sixth year in a row, and for the third time this year only) no comforting picture to anyone within the G-7, especially in the US and EU. Neither is comforting the latest pre-Davos summit released Oxfam study. It hints that 1% is fat and furious, as some 99% of us are too many on this planet. Will the passionately US-pushed cross-Atlantic Free Trade Area save the day? Or, would that Pact-push drag the things over the edge and mark an end of the unionistic Europe? Is the extended EU conflict with Russia actually a beginning of the Atlantic-Central Europe’s conflict over Russia, an internalization of mega geopolitical and geo-economic dilemma – who accommodates with whom, in and out of the Union? Finally, does more Ukrainian (and Eastern Europe) calamities pave the road for a new cross-continental grand accommodation, of either austerity-tired France or über- performing Germany with Russia, therefore the end of the EU? For whose sake Eastern Europe has been barred of all important debates such as that of Slavism, identity, social cohesion (eroded by the plunder called ‘privatization’), secularism and antifascism? Why do we suddenly wonder that all around Germany-led Central Europe, the neo-Nazism gains ground while only Russia insists on antifascism and (pan-)Slavism?

Read more on the next page:.........

Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic
Contact: anis@bajrektarevic.eu


Author is professor in international law and global political studies, based in Vienna, Austria. His previous book Geopolitics of Technology – Is There Life after Facebook? was published by the New York’s Addleton Academic Publishers. Just released is his newest book Geopolitics – Europe 100 years later.

July 9, 2015



The debt write-off behind Germany's 'economic miracle'
By Benjamin DODMAN

 

Six decades ago, an agreement to cancel half of postwar Germany's debt helped foster a prolonged period of prosperity in the war-torn continent. The new government in Athens says Greece – and Europe – now need a similar deal.
When discussing Greece’s whopping $310 billion debt, the country's new Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras likes to recall a time when Europe's great debt offender was not Greece, but Germany, today's paragon of fiscal responsibility. The leader of the radical-left Syriza party refers in particular to an international conference held in London in 1953, during which West Germany secured a write-off of more than 50% of debt, accumulated after two world wars. Back then, with memories of Nazi atrocities still fresh, many countries were reluctant to offer such generous debt relief. But the US persuaded its European allies, including Greece, to relinquish debt repayments and reparations in order to build a stable and prosperous Western Europe that could contain the threat from Soviet Russia.


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July 9, 2015



Europe Agonistes: A Divided Continent Plays Out a Greek Drama

Jamil Maidan Flores

 

Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic recently launched a book titled, “Europe of Sarajevo 100 Years Later: From WWI to www.” Only Prof. Anis, I think, can write a book of that title, just as he’s the only intellectual I know who argues passionately that Google is the Gulag of our time, the prison of the free mind.

His editor tells us that in the book, Prof. Anis makes the case that the history of Europe, perhaps of the world, since World War I has been a history of geopolitical imperative. And that, in the face of climate change, the crisis that grips all of us is not really ecological, as it never was financial, but moral.

Prof. Anis is chairperson for international law and global political studies at the University IMC-Krems, Austria. I’ve been reading some of his recent writings. A native Sarajevan who now lives in Vienna, he doesn’t see one seamless Europe but several.


There’s Atlantic Europe, a political powerhouse that boasts two nuclear states. There’s Central Europe, an economic powerhouse. Scandinavian Europe is a little of both. And Eastern Europe that’s none of either. And beyond Eastern Europe, is a Europe-stalking Russia.

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Published June 30, 2015 in the Web Magazine "ORBUS Belgium"


Bosnian Myths[1]

Dubravko Lovrenović

The continuing disasters in human history are largely conditioned by man’s excessive capacity and his urge to identify with the tribe, the nation, the church or a common goal, and to accept a certain credo uncritically and enthusiastically although the postulates of this credo are contrary to his ratio and his own interest, and may even endanger his existence (A. Koestler, “Janus”, Erasmus 9, Zagreb, 1994).

The Bosnia and Herzegovina war (1992-1995) was preceded by a conflict which has been taking place on the “battlefield” of South Slavic historiography for longer than a century. The historiography war, along with the wider international circumstances, led to an armed conflict transforming this country into a Dayton assembly of ethnically homogenized entities and corridors – the region of a blurred and relative truth, instead of transforming it into a civil democratic country. The spirits should have been sharpened before knives. This historiographical “grinding wheel” for sharpening of nationalistic concepts has never stopped revolving, indicating that, according to Ina Merdjanova, “national ideology has remained the central part of the communism culture”, or negating a frequently repeated opinion that the frenzy for nationalistic movements and activities in Eastern Europe is a result of repressed national feelings prevailing during the communist regime.

Even a rough “reconnaissance” of Bosnian historiography – along with its positive achievements especially after World War II – reveals a mythomaniac consciousness and sub-consciousness of numerous authors. The main ailment of these pseudo-historiography projections reflects primarily in the fact that they almost exclusively dealt with the history of their ethnos, treading close upon the time rhythm of national integrations and homogenization. Thus, historiographic myths sprang from a mental base of a foreign-rules-burdened society without democratic traditions, still not close to the horizon of modernity and entrance to the civil society. This is the spring from which the torrent of hegemonistic and genocidal programs, xenophobia and atavism was unleashed. .
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June 1, 2015



Bosnia and Herzegovina:


The final phase of genocide?

Director IFIMES: Bakhtyar Aljaf

 

Recent events in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) have once again reminded how fragile peace and stability remain in this country. Although the European Union (EU) has announced it would pursue a more active policy on Bosnia and Herzegovina after the formation of new state government, other events may prevent the realisation of that promise. The Ukraine conflict, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, an alarming increase in the number of refugees from Africa and the fact that EU still has to devote much of its attention to Greece as one of its Member States – all these elements represent a real threat that the West Balkans will again be pushed down on the list of priorities of European politics.

The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina has culminated after latest actions taken by the Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska(MUP RS) to apprehend the members of marginalised Bosniak ethnic minority living in the territory of Republika Srpska (RS), an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those are the citizens who had been expelled from their homes during the 1992-1995 war in BH. This operation has been long prepared and represents the continuity of activities of RS authorities led by President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik. Almost 2000 attacks have been carried out and recorded against non-Serb returnees and their property in the territory of RS since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, without the offenders having been sanctioned.

Ljubljana, 15 May 2015

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May 15, 2015



 Media-clip: At the occasion of a book launch



Geopolitics - Europe of Sarajevo 100 years later by Anis Bajrektarević

 

For his previous book Geopolitics of Technology – Is There Life after Facebook, published by the New York’s Addleton, former Austrian Foreign Minister Peter Jankowitsch has said: “Insightful, compelling and original, this book is an exciting journey through the rocky field of geopolitics. It is also a big-thinking exploration of the least researched aspects of the discipline, which will leave no one indifferent. This book, written by an experienced lawyer and a former career diplomat, cleverly questions how we see the world, and acts as an eye opener.”

 Anis H. Bajrektarević, professor and chairperson for international law and global political studies, Uni- versity IMC-Krems, Austria. This native Sarajevan, besides this very title, authors the book FB – Geo- politics of Technology (Addleton, New York 2013), and the forthcoming No Asian century. He is both teaching and research professor on subjects such as the Geopolitics; International and EU Law; Sustainable Development (institutions and instruments). On the subject Geopolitical Affairs alone, professor has over 1,000 teaching hours at his university as well as in many countries on all meridians. His writings are frequently published in over 50 countries in all five continents, and translated in some 20 languages worldwide. He lives in Vienna, Austria.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B61JRDWKmSE (play from: 0.35.44)

https://vimeo.com/112013062 (play from: 0.57.00)

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BOSANSKA VERZIJA UDARITE OVDJE

May 11, 2015



Promocija knjige prof. dr. Anisa Bajraktarevića
13.05.2015. (utorak) u 19 sati u Umjetničkoj galeriji BiH, Zelenih beretki 8
,
Sarajevo, BiH
 



07.05.2015.



Berlin Congress of 1878 still in force in the Balkans

Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević



Aegean theatre of the Antique Greece was the place of astonishing revelations and intellectual excellence – a remarkable density and proximity, not surpassed up to our age. All we know about science, philosophy, sports, arts, culture and entertainment, stars and earth has been postulated, explored and examined then and there. Simply, it was a time and place of triumph of human consciousness, pure reasoning and sparkling thought.

 However, neither Euclid, Anaximander, Heraclites, Hippocrates (both of Chios, and of Cos), Socrates, Archimedes, Ptolemy, Democritus, Plato, Pythagoras, Diogenes, Aristotle, Empedocles, Conon, Eratosthenes nor any of dozens of other brilliant ancient Greek minds did ever refer by a word, by a single sentence to something which was their everyday life, something they saw literally on every corner along their entire lives.

 It was an immoral, unjust, notoriously brutal and oppressive slavery system that powered the Antique state. (Slaves have not been even attributed as humans, but rather as the ‘phonic tools/tools able to speak’.) This myopia, this absence of critical reference on the obvious and omnipresent is a historic message – highly disturbing, self-telling and quite a warning.

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April 26, 2015



Can we trust the government to do the right thing?

Belmir Selimovic

 

Can we trust the government to do the right thing, are they really care about essential things such as environmental conditions and education in our life?

First issue here is, should businesses naturally be doing good? In the case if they have more industry agency, answer would be yes. However, when it comes to this case, we can't trust the government because the drilling is taking place with minimal oversight from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Of course I would like to emphasize that fracking is process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. For example, Mr. Wasner lives in Milanville but he moved away for six weeks last year while an exploratory well was drilled nearby.

˝The noise, muddy water pouring from his taps, and chemicals that turned up in a neighbor's well drove him off.˝ The U.S Environmental Protection Agency did not do anything when it comes to this problem. But, President Barack Obama enthusiastically backs gas drilling and these days 90 percent of it is done by fracking. According to the dangersoffracking.com ˝Along with wind, solar, and nuclear power, natural gas is crucial to Obama's goal of producing 80 percent of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.˝ Thus, each gas well requires an average of 400 tanker trucks to carry water. ˝It takes 1-8 million gallons of water to complete each fracturing job.˝

Fracking has a serious impact on environmental, safety, and health hazards. Also, fracking has a positive side because it is creating thousands of jobs and reviving the economy in state such as Wyoming, Texas, and Louisiana. According to the businessweek.com ˝In Pennsylvania, where 2,516 wells have been drilled in the last three years, $ 389 million in tax revenue and 44,000 jobs came from gas drilling in 2009, according to a Penn State report.˝

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April 25, 2015



Is it time for the rise of local currencies?

Prof. dr. Murray Hunter
 

It's an almost long forgotten historical fact that most trade was undertaken by local based currencies right into the 20th Century. Australia had a number of colonial currencies before federation in 1901. The United States of America had a number of currencies issued by private banks before the Federal Reserve Bank was formed in 1913, and individual states of the European Union had their own national currencies before the mega-currency, the Euro was launched in 1999.

However given the trend to larger and "stronger" currencies, the hype of the Euro, the protection of the US Dollar as the major trading currency, a very quiet trend has been going the other way. In contrast, more than 2,000 local currencies in some form or the other have been launched in communities around the world.

The phenomenon of the local currency almost doesn't exist in contemporary economic literature. Therefore the purpose of this article is to have a look at local currencies, and try and answer the questions; Why do communities launch them? Do local currencies have any benefit to these communities?, and What is the real potential of these currencies?

A local currency, sometimes referred to as a community currency, is a means of exchange used by members of a community that have some common bonds. Any local currency is usually not backed by a national government, nor is officially a legal tender within the region it is circulated. A local currency is usually intended for trade within a limited geographical area.

Money is essentially an agreement to use something as a means of exchange. Any local currency can be denominated by the prevailing national currency, or measured in any commodity, or even labor units to provide create unit value, so people know how to use it as a medium of exchange. This redemption measure is usually a major factor giving users confidence in its present and future value.

A local currency is a potential tool of monetarism, where it helps to define an economic boundary which accepts it as a medium of exchange by certain groups within that location.

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April 14, 2015




Eastern EuropeThe World’s Last Underachiever

Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević

 

25 years ago, the Russian historical empire melted down. Although often underreported, this also marked the end of alternative society in Europe. Collapse of the II world, made the 3rd way (of Yugoslavia and further, beyond Europe – globally, of the Nonaligned Movement) obsolete.

That 9/11 was a moment when the end of history rested upon all of us, the day when the world became flat. The EU entered East, but only as a ‘stalking horse’ of NATO. No surprise that Eastern Europe –following the slaughter of its pivot, Yugoslavia – has soon after abandoned its identity quest, and capitulated. Its final civilizational defeat came along: the Eastern Europe’s peoples, primarily Slavs, have silently handed over their most important debates – that of Slavism, anti-fascism and of own identity – solely to the recuperating Russophone Europe.

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Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević

Vienna, 26 MAR 2015
Contact: anis@bajrektarevic.eu

Author is chairperson and professor in international law and global political studies, IMC Krems University of Austria. His previous book FB – Geopolitics of Technology was published by the New York’s Addleton Academic Publishers. His forthcoming book Geopolitics – Europe 100 years later is coming soon. 

All displayed maps per the author’s idea made by Anneliese Gattringer.

Vienna, March 26, 2015



Yemenisation or Confederalisation of Saudi Arabia?
By Brian Whitaker


Click on Picture

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March 27, 2015


Bosnia as Wunderkind – Corruption from Kosovo to Germany

Gerald Knaus

Ugly ducklings, fairy tales and Bosnia in 2015

ESI newsletter 3/2015 - If corruption is serious business, its assessment should be as well.
 

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March 19, 2015



Imperative of an EU-Russia strategic reset

Eirini Patsea

Russia vs. the European Union. It is relationship based and built upon a long history of protracted political conflict. Lately, with the crisis in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions imposed to Russia, the diplomatic relations between the two sides have reached a new historical low. But more importantly, the mistrust among the peoples residing in both sides has reached a new high. Unavoidably so. Since the Western and Russian media started to be viciously launching campaign-like news reports, there is nothing but confusion and loss of perspective by both the peoples and their representatives. The big question is whether this would be the case if the US politics were not involved in the game. Would still Russia and the EU have so many excuses to be driven apart; politically, culturally and ideologically?

After the warmhearted welcome by Peter Haider, UPF Austria President, Prof. Bajrektarevic made more than a challenging opening:

The lonely superpower (US) vs. the bear of the permafrost (Russia), with the world’s last cosmopolite (EU) in between. Is the ongoing calamity at the eastern flank of the EU a conflict, recalibration, imperialism in hurry, exaggerated anti-Russian xenophobia or last gasp of confrontational nostalgia?

Eirini Patsea is a Guest Editor in ModernDiplomacy, and specialist in Cultural Diplomacy and Faith-based Mediation.
First published by www.moderndiplomacy.eu


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March 3, 2015



All European shades of ISIL colour black: Neonazism of Europe and Fascism in the Arab World

By Allan Bogle  

How did Europe manage to drag Arabs to the wrong side of history – a confusion, pride, shame and denial – all which resurfaces again, 75 years after. How is this possible that the ‘never-again’ takes place today? Do we fake our surprise? How expensive is our European denial, and Monarchist Arabs claim of innocence?


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March 4, 2015



Greed is good…but only for cancer

Amna Whiston


Amna Whiston is a London-based writer specialising in moral philosophy. As a PhD candidate at Reading University, UK, her main research interests are in ethics, rationality, and moral psychology.



Don’t be bad with 1%, don’t accuse them for having it all and doing nothing to earn it. 99% firmly believes that a greed is good… Spoiling mood, but being good for your food, as it should?

 ** ** ** **

Amidst the many maladies of today’s global society, a tide of optimism brought by the latest cancer research news reflects a defiant response to one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. But although massive investments that involve venture capital companies and funds may be necessary for the pursuit of current and future large-scale scientific projects and ambitions, it is still sensible to ask the following questions: To what extent should capitalism be credited for rapid progress in cancer research and treatment? Moreover, can the profit motive, being an essential feature of capitalism, justify future investments in bioscience and related fields?

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14.02.2015



70 years after Auschwitz – deliberate attempts to rewrite history

MD Editorial Board

 

The last week’s Auschwitz ceremony marking 70 years since the notorious death camp’s liberation had a huge turnout. Three hundred survivors of the camp attended. Given the age of Holocaust survivors, the importance of passing their story on to new generations has never been greater. Comparing politicians to Hitler or countries to nazi Germany has become a commonplace insult. But the unspeakable horrors unleashed by history’s most vicious regime bear no comparison.

The Holocaust marked a systematic effort to exterminate entire ethnic groups — most prominently the Jews but also the Roma and Sinti — alongside the slaughter of homosexuals and the disabled. Millions of prisoners of war from the Soviet Union, Polish civilians and political and religious opponents of the nazis including communists, trade unionists, Freemasons and Jehovah’s Witnesses were also exterminated.

The world anti-fascist war which defeated the nazis resulted in efforts to ensure such atrocities would never happen again. But the collapse of the Soviet Union — which played by far the greatest part in defeating the fascist menace, as well as being the liberator of Auschwitz — has seen a deliberate attempt to rewrite history.

The European Parliament sponsors a Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, a pernicious attempt to equate communism with fascism. As Russian communist Il Melnikov said yesterday, virulently anti-Russian regimes in the Baltic states openly celebrate Waffen SS veterans.

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11.02.2015



Géométrie variable of a love triangle – India, Russia and the US

Written by the MD’s Board Member Rakesh Krishnan Simha

 

The Modi-Obama romance won’t last as India’s relationship with the US does not have the kind of strategic dimension and weight that marks New Delhi’s ties with Moscow.

**** ***** ******

Russia is a country with which India has had a strategic relationship for decades. America is a place where Indians migrate to for a better lifestyle. That is how Indians view the world’s two leading powers. It’s as simple as that. US President Barrack Obama’s recent visit to India will not change that reality, and those speculating about dramatic changes in India's foreign policy are either fools or amateurs – or both.

“Good relations with the US reflect aspiration, ties with Russia are hard reality,” says Bharat Karnad, professor of national security studies at the Centre for Policy Research. “No substantive shift in policy is on the anvil, certainly nothing at the expense of India's relations with Moscow, especially because, unlike the US, Russia has partnered, and continues to partner, India in strategically sensitive technology projects ranging from missiles, ship submersibles, ballistic, nuclear submarines to the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft,” he told Defense News.

Over the decades a clutch of US presidents has visited India. Likewise, Indian prime ministers have been to America. But the dynamics of the India-US relationship hasn’t changed much. And why would it? The US is the leader of the western world whose prosperity largely rests on the domination of the rest of the world. India, on the other hand, is a member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping that aims to end the American-led bloc’s dominance.

Modi’s operandi

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11.02.2015



Europe of the human face… with a little help from Greece

by Dimitra Karantzeni

 

Days after the last parliamentary elections, something is eventually moving in Greece. People are hesitant and restrained, do not want to get too excited. However, one can see that a humble smile, between hope and faith, is on faces of Greeks. For the first time in the post-dictatorship period, a leftist government took over the leadership of the country, insisting on its pre-election commitments to overthrow the corrupt political system and reverse the economic disaster.

During the pre-election campaign, voters were bombarded with terrifying messages concerning the day after Syriza’s victory, describing more or less a socio-economic chaos, with banks with no liquidity, a paralyzed public sector and markets out of stock. However, the overall propaganda of terror and intimidation of citizens by the predominant political Parties not only failed to limit the social impact of SYRIZA’s actions, but it also seems that the will of determination of the new government somehow managed to positively affect the rest of Europe.
The negotiation process is still ongoing but what Syriza has achieved so far is that its well prepared anti-austerity plan today gives the impression not of just a grand-standing utopic program but of a specific project built on realistic bases.

What is of high importance though is that this political change in Greece has stimulated a great wave of active support from various European leftist political parties, helping Syriza to immediately avoid the risk of diplomatic isolation. Furthermore, for different reasons of geopolitical importance both the US and Russia have a very positive attitude towards the new Greek government, strengthening its negotiating power against EU lenders. On the one hand, a closer cooperation between the two orthodox countries would benefit the development of Greek energy sector, even set Greece as a major strategic player in the international negotiations field about energy and at the same time provide Putin with a valuable European ally. Besides, Greek refusal to approve an EU statement aiming to expand sanctions against Moscow is a first good step in that direction. On the other hand, Washington couldn’t but respond to this diplomatic game by supporting the end of austerity, recalling US bad fiscal experiences and expressing its concerns about EU, which is currently lacking a tangible plan for growth in Europe.

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11.02.2015



The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East and the Balkans. IFIMES has analysed the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in view of the delayed process of setting up the government following the general election that took place on 12 October 2014. The most interesting sections from the analysis entitled “Bosnia and Herzegovina: German-British initiative overshadowed by party political games” are published below.

Bosnia and Herzegovina:
German-British initiative overshadowed by party political games

JOINT ACTION BY SNSD AND SBB

A delay in setting up the government in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the general election that took place on 12 October 2014 is mostly the result of obstructions caused by Milorad Dodik's Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) from Republika Srpska (RS) and Fahrudin Radončić's Union for a Better Future (SBB) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH). While SNSD is aguishly trying to enter the government at the state level, SBB – being excluded from the post-election coalition forming – is concocting plans to get hold of power, even using its Avaz daily newspaper to create a negative political atmosphere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, inciting riot among the citizens and preparing last year's February protests scenario. Clearly SNSD and SBB are making a joint action - their delegates carried out a joint attempt to overthrow the President of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina Šefik Džaferović (SDA). Moreover, analysts have related the activities of the outgoing Vice President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mirsad Kebe with attempted obstructions aimed at slowing down or preventing the formation of government by SDA-HDZ-DF-Alliance for Changes, thus promoting the formation of another parliamentary coalition composed of SNSD, SBB and even SDP.

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January 31, 2015



On history and humility: What students need to know ?

Rattana Lao
 

Rattana Lao holds a doctorate in Comparative and International Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and is currently teaching in Bangkok.

BANGKOK – Not so long ago, some Thai university students used Hitler image as the poster child for superhero and just recently, the Thai state used Nazi symbol in their propaganda for education. This short documentary intends to promote the 12 values of education. These values include respect seniority, desire for knowledge and understand democracy.

Democracy and Hitler?
To make things worse, the director of the film gave public interview seeing nothing wrong with it. Kulp Kaljaruek, the director, said to Khaosod, one of the Thai newspapers that “ I didn't think it would be an issue. As for Hitler's portrait, I have seen so many people using it on T-Shirts everywhere. It's even considered a fashion. It doesn't mean I agree with it, but I didn't expect it to be an issue at all." Seriously?  The Ambassador of Israel to Thailand, His Excellency Simon Roded, issued a public statement on the 10
th of December 2014. It read:
I was surprised that throughout the screening process this movie must have gone through to be approved for public broadcast, none of the smart, well educated people checking it had identified it as being problematic and offensive.”
In an interview with Thailand's renown historian, professor Thanet Aphornsuwan, the problem that has happened reflects an endemic problem in Thailand.



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January 24, 2015.



GLOBAL MARKETS OF MISERY

Marján Attila[1] – Szuhai Ilona[2]

Is our The global humanitarian system in transition? If so, what are the key issues bBefore the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit
"Today's needs are at unprecedented levels and without more support there simply is no way to respond to the humanitarian situations we're seeing in region after region and in conflict after conflict."

António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Abstract
The international community is preparing for the World Humanitarian Summit. The United Nations will host the event in Istanbul, in 2016. Before the meeting, regional consultations are held in several parts of the world. Expectations are high since the historical moment of changing the twenty-five-year-old humanitarian system is approaching. Growing conflicts demand growing funds for humanitarian action. The change in the trends of conflicts demands more effective humanitarian solutions. 2014 was a dramatic year in the number of people affected by conflict and of being forced to flee. Unprecedentedly, more than 100 million people became dependent on humanitarian aid for their survival. This rise is reflected in the inter-agency strategic response and regional response plans as global financial requirements to cover humanitarian needs rose to the highest amount ever requested in a single year. The study forecasts how the EU can continue the donor activities in the future.

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January 24, 2015.



Human rights violations inside EU
What is the Ostrich Protocol?

H.E. Dr. Walter Schwimmer
 

How the EU member states play ostrich when it comes to human rights violations inside EU?

H.E. Dr. Walter Schwimmer -
Vice Chair of the Modern Diplomacy Advisory Board, Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe - Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee of the World Public Forum – Dialogue of Civilizations


The Treaty on the European Union, in its current format also known as the Lisbon Treaty, as well as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights claim to establish an area of freedom, security and justice, founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and the respect for human rights[1]. That sounds perfect. After centuries of inhuman treatment of people very often by their own governments, culminating in the tyrannies of communism and Nazism in the 20th century, EU citizens should be able to feel safe from brutal attacks and illegal operations of a violent state, if not ....If they are not refugees from another EU member state and they do not try to look for protection because they were subject in their own state to political persecution, inhuman treatment or even torture.


The Geneva Convention about status of and asylum for refugees, persons subject to political persecution, is one of the great international achievements in the field of human rights. The European Union as a successful project of peace, freedom and justice promises in Art.18 of its Charter that "the right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention..[2]" But why is this guarantee denied when the asylum seeker comes from an EU country?


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January 19, 2015



FUTURE OF DAVOS IS IN KYRGYZSTAN

Francesco Brunello Zanitti

 

Francesco Brunello Zanitti, Southern Asia Research Program’s Director, and one of the Scientific Directors of the Italian Institute for Advanced Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (Istituto di Alti Studi in Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliarie – IsAG, Rome). Member of Editorial Committee of “Geopolitica” (IsAG’s journal) Rome.

Is the new Russian approach towards China and India, vector for a multipolar world order? Will the new Davos – gathering between vanity fair and summit of the mightiest – in future take place in Kyrgyzstan – Central Asian country surrounded by the most prosperous and promising powers?


The last months of 2014 were marked by a series of significant bilateral agreements and summits involving Russia, India and China. According to many international analysts, the research of better relations with the two Asian giants by Moscow represents another further step towards global transformation from an unipolar order ruled by United States to a multipolar one.

A key point in order to analyze the fundamental reasons of Moscow’s approach towards China and India is connected to difficulties emerged in the last year with European Union and United States. Complications in Russia-West relations are clearly exemplified by the Ukrainian imbroglio.

However, it’s also necessary to dwell on long-term strategic interests of the countries involved. Despite the current shaky situation of Eastern Europe and Middle East, generally speaking Beijing and New Delhi look at Russia as a reliable partner with whom it’s fundamental continue to dialogue, cooperate and trade. China-Russia dialogue is growing from mid-nineties, while Indian strategic relationship with Moscow is heir of the one established during Cold War with Soviet Union. Moreover, it should not to be underestimate the fact that Russia, India and China are already actively cooperating in other multilateral organizations, such as BRICS forum (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), and have the opportunity to develop new platforms for political, economic and military cooperation, for example within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The strategic triangle Russia-India-China (RIC), taken into account difficulties of relations especially considering Indo-Chinese bond characterized at the same time by cooperation and competition, could therefore be an interesting model of dialogue in the new multipolar world order.

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January 14, 2015



The Paris Killings: Who Are the Real Heroes of Press Freedom?

By Jamil Maidan Flores
 


By Jamil Maidan Flores

Placards are seen placed amongst other tributes to the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on the statues at the Place de la Republique in Paris on Saturday. (Reuters Photo/Youssef Boudlal)



In the wake of the terrorist assault last week on the offices of the French magazine “Charlie Hebdo,” in which 12 persons were killed, many people all over the world were moved to say, in an outpouring of anger at the perpetrators and sympathy for the victims, “I am Charlie.”

Apart from two police officers, who were slain as they responded to the attack, the victims were cartoonists and editors marked for death by Muslim extremists because of their slanderous depiction of the Prophet of Islam in past issues of the magazine.

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January 12, 2015



Denazification – urgently needed in Europe


Anis H. Bajrektarevic,

 

There is a claim constantly circulating the EU: ‘multiculturalism is dead in Europe’. Dead or maybe d(r)ead?... That much comes from a cluster of European nation-states that love to romanticize their appearance thought the solid Union, as if they themselves lived a long, cordial and credible history of multiculturalism. Hence, this claim is of course false. It is also cynical because it is purposely misleading. No wonder, as the conglomerate of nation-states/EU has silently handed over one of its most important debates – that of European anti-fascistic identity, or otherness – to the wing-parties, repeatedly followed by the selective and contra-productive foreign policy actions.

The Paris shooting, terrible beyond comprehension, will reload and overheat those debates. However, these debates are ill conceived, resting from the start on completely wrong and misleading premises. Assassins in the Parisian Satirical Magazine are Islamofascists. The fact that these individuals are allegedly of the Arab-Muslim origins does not make them less fascists, less European, nor does it abolish Europe from the main responsibility in this case.

Fascism and its evil twin, Nazism are 100% European ideologies. Neo-Nazism also originates from and lately unchecked blossoms, primarily in Europe. (Some would say, über-economy in the center of continent, surrounded from all sides by the recuperating neo-fascism.) The Old continent tried to amortize its deepening economic and demographic contraction by a constant interference on its peripheries, especially meddling on the Balkans, Black Sea/Caucasus and MENA (Middle East–North Africa). What is now an epilogue? A severe democratic recession. Whom to blame for this structural, lasting civilizational retreat that Europe suffers? Is it accurate or only convenient to blame a bench of useful idiots for returning home with the combating behavior?

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http://moderndiplomacy.eu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=481:den&Itemid=569

January 8, 2015



Paris Massacre and Islamic Terror

World Security Network reporting from Paris in France, January 7, 2015

Dear Friends of the World Security Network,

What should we do, after three heavily armed and professional gunmen killed twelve and wounded seven in the office of the French satire magazine Chalie Hebdo today as „revenge for the Prophet“?

I.
The silent majority of 1.6 billion Muslims must stand up against the tiny, but active and dangerous minority of the radicals of maybe five percent openly and defend the true, peaceful Islam, their Prophet and the Holy Qur’an.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi did so on New Year’s Day at the famous Al Azhar University in Cairo, demanding „a religious revolution in Islam“. „It is inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire Islamic World (umma) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest oft he world. Impossible!“

Without fear Jordans beautiful and wise Queen Rania told the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2014, November 18th:

Read more on the next page:

Dr Hubertus Hoffmann 
President and Founder
World Security Netw

January 7, 2015


PUBLICATIONS:


   The Power of Geopolitical Discourse - By Diego Solis

   YOGA DIPLOMACY - By Umesh MUKHI

   The debt write-off behind Germany's 'economic miracle' - By Benjamin DODMAN

   Europe – Syriza-ize or Syria-nize - Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic

   Europe Agonistes: A Divided Continent Plays Out a Greek Drama - Jamil Maidan Flores

   Bosnian Myths[1] - Dubravko Lovrenović

   Bosnia and Herzegovina: The final phase of genocide? - Director IFIMES: Bakhtyar Aljaf

   Geopolitics - Europe of Sarajevo 100 years later by Anis Bajrektarević

   Berlin Congress of 1878 still in force in the Balkans - Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic

   Can we trust the government to do the right thing? - Belmir Selimovic

   Is it time for the rise of local currencies? - Prof. dr. Murray Hunter

   Eastern Europe – The World’s Last Underachiever - Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević

   Yemenisation or Confederalisation of Saudi Arabia? - By Brian Whitaker

   Bosnia as Wunderkind – Corruption from Kosovo to Germany - Gerald Knaus

   Imperative of an EU-Russia strategic reset - Eirini Patsea

  All European shades of ISIL colour black: Neonazism of Europe and Fascism in the Arab World - By Allan Bogle

   Greed is good…but only for cancer - Amna Whiston

   70 years after Auschwitz – deliberate attempts to rewrite history - MD Editorial Board

   Géométrie variable of a love triangle – India, Russia and the US - Rakesh Krishnan Simha

  
Europe of the human face… with a little help from Greece - by Dimitra Karantzeni

   Bosnia and Herzegovina: German-British initiative overshadowed by party political games - Bakhtyar Aljaf

   On history and humility: What students need to know? - Rattana Lao

   GLOBAL MARKETS OF MISERY - Marján Attila – Szuhai Ilona

   Human rights violations inside EU - H.E. Dr. Walter Schwimmer

   FUTURE OF DAVOS IS IN KYRGYZSTAN - Francesco Brunello Zanitti

   The Paris Killings: Who Are the Real Heroes of Press Freedom? - By Jamil Maidan Flores

   Denazification – urgently needed in Europe - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

   Paris Massacre and Islamic Terror - Dr Hubertus Hoffmann

   COLOR REVOLUTIONS: TECHNIQUES IN BREAKING DOWN MODERN POLITICAL REGIMES - ANDREI MANOILO[1], OLEG KARPOVICH[2]

   Lima 2014: Climate Change – Humans Remain the Same - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

   THE ASIAN SQUARE DANCE – PART IV - By Michael Akerib

   NEW AGE DIPLOMACY - Samantha Brletich

   Nuclear Commerce – essentials - Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic and Petra Posega

   THE ASIAN SQUARE DANCE – THIRD PART - By Michael Akerib

   Vietnamese Australians’ Community: Realities and Prospect - By Prof. Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan
 


 






Koninkrijk Belgie - Monarchie Belgique










Maasmechelen Village


Maasmechelen Village




Adria




BALKAN AREA
BALKAN AREA




prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic

Editor - Geopolitics, History, International Relations (GHIR) Addleton Academic Publishers - New YorK

Senior Advisory board member, geopolitics of energy Canadian energy research institute - ceri, Ottawa/Calgary

Advisory Board Chairman Modern Diplomacy & the md Tomorrow's people platform originator

Head of mission and department head - strategic studies on Asia
Professor and Chairperson Intl. law & global pol. studies



Critical Similarities and Differences in SS of Asia and Europe - Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic



MENA Saga and Lady Gaga - (Same dilemma from the MENA) - Anis H. Bajrektarevic



Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Assos. Prof.[1] Nguyen Linh[2]
HE ONGOING PUBLIC DEBT CRISIS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: IMPACTS ON AND LESSONS FOR VIETNAM - Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Assos. Prof.[1] Nguyen Linh[2]



Carla BAUMER
Climate Change and Re Insurance: The Human Security Issue SC-SEA Prof. Anis Bajrektarevic & Carla Baumer



 
Igor Dirgantara
(Researcher and Lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Politics, University of Jayabaya)




Peny Sotiropoulou

Is the ‘crisis of secularism’ in Western Europe the result of multiculturalism?




Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella

A Modest “Australian” Proposal to Resolve our Geo-Political Problems

Were the Crusades Justified? A Revisiting - Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella




Alisa Fazleeva earned an MA in International Relations from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom in 2013. Her research interests include foreign policy decision-making, realism and constructivism, and social psychology and constructivism.



 
Corinna Metz is an independent researcher specialized in International Politics and Peace & Conflict Studies with a regional focus on the Balkans and the Middle East.




Patricia Galves Derolle
Founder of Internacionalista
São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil – New Age





Dimitra Karantzeni
The political character of Social Media: How do Greek Internet users perceive and use social networks?

 


Michael Akerib
Vice-Rector
SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY




  
Petra Posega
is a master`s degree student on the University for Criminal justice and Security in Ljubljana. She obtained her bachelor`s degree in Political Science- Defense studies.


Contact: posegap@live.com





Samantha Brletich, George Mason University School of Policy, Government, and Intl. Relations She focuses on Russia and Central Asia. Ms. Brletich is an employee of the US Department of Defense.


Prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarević