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Important News, Belangrijke nieuws, Nouvelles importantes, Wichtige News, Fontos hírek, Importanti novitŕ, Pomembne novice, Importante Notícias, Viktiga nyheter



Ing. Salih CAVKIC
Editor in Chief
by ORBUS.BE
info@orbus.be
www.orbus.be


 
No more Paris nor Brussels!
Stop terrorism!
We want to live in peace with all our neighbors.
  regardless of their religion, color and origin.
Therefore, we condemn any kind of terrorism!

*****
Ne više Pariz ni Brisel!
Stop terorizam!
Mi želimo živjeti u miru sa svim našim komšijama,
bez obzira koje su vjere, boje kože i porijekla.
Zato mi osuđujemo svaku vrstu terorizma!


Belang van Limburg
De Morgen
De Standard
Het Laatste Nieuws
La Libre Belgique
Nieuwsblaad

VRT
VRTNieuws

N-TV.DE
Deutsche Welle
West-D. Zeitung




The man of the year 2009
Guy Verhofstadt
Mr. Guy Verhofstadt

The man of the year
L'homme de l'ane
De man van het jaar
2009


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

Een bewezen Democraat, beschermer en strijder voor rechtvaardigheid en mensenrechten in de Wereld.

Un prouvé démocrate, protecteur et combattant pour la justice et des droits de l'homme dans le Mond.

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

Dokazani demokrat,
 zaštitnik i borac za pravdu i ljudska prava u Svijetu.





Maasmechelen Village
Belgium



The man of the year 2012


Mr. Barak Hossein Obama

The man of the year
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar
2012


Guarantee
peace in the world

Garantie
vrede in de wereld

Garantie
la paix dans le monde

Garantie des Friedens in der Welt

Zabezpečenie
mieru vo svete

Garancija
mira u svijetu





Prof. dr. Murray Hunter
University Malaysia Perlis




Eva MAURINA
20 Years to Trade Economic Independence for Political Sovereignty - Eva MAURINA




Aleš Debeljak +
In Defense of Cross-Fertilization: Europe and Its Identity Contradictions - Aleš Debeljak

ALEŠ DEBELJAK - ABECEDA DJETINJSTVA

ALEŠ DEBEJAK - INTERVJU; PROSVJEDI, POEZIJA, DRŽAVA




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




Bakhtyar Aljaf
Director of Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia




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





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.





Eirini Patsea 
Eirini Patsea is a Guest Editor in Modern Diplomacy, and specialist in Cultural Diplomacy and Faith-based Mediation
.




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?





Dubravko Lovrenović+
Univ. prof. Dubravko Lovrenović is one of the leading European Medievalist specialized in the Balkans, pre-modern and modern political history.




Manal Saadi
Postgraduate researcher in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Geneva-based UMEF University




doc.dr.Jasna Cosabic
professor of IT law and EU law at Banja Luka College,
Bosnia and Herzegovina




Aleksandra Krstic
Studied in Belgrade (Political Science) and in Moscow (Plekhanov’s IBS). Currently, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kent University in Brussels (Intl. Relations). Specialist for the MENA-Balkans frozen and controlled conflicts.

Contact: alex-alex@gmail.com






Dr.Swaleha Sindhi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. Decorated educational practitioner Dr. Sindhi is a frequent columnist on related topics, too. She is the Vice President of Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES). Contact: swalehasindhi@gmail.com




Barçın Yinanç
 It is an Ankara-based journalist and notable author. She is engaged with the leading Turkish dailies and weeklies for nearly three decades as a columnist, intervieweer and editor. Her words are prolifically published and quoted in Turkish, French an English.




 By İLNUR ÇEVIK
Modified from the original: They killed 1 Saddam and created 1,000 others (Daily Sabah)




Aine O’Mahony
Aine O'Mahony has a bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently a master's student of Leiden University in the International Studies programme.Contact: aine-claire.nini@hotmail.fr




Elodie Pichon

  Elodie Pichon has a  bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently doing a MA in Geopolitics, territory and Security at King's College London. Contact : elodie.pichon@gmail.com




Qi Lin

Qi Lin, a MA candidate of the George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. Her research focus is on cross-Pacific security and Asian studies, particularly on the Sino-U.S. relations and on the foreign policy and politics of these two.





ALESSANDRO CIPRI
Born in Chile and raised in Rome, Alessandro Cipri has just finished his postgraduate studies at the department of War Studies of King's College London, graduating with distinction from the Master's Degree in "Intelligence and International Security". Having served in the Italian Army's "Alpini" mountain troops, he has a keen interest in national security, military strategy, insurgency theory, and terrorism studies. His Master's dissertation was on the impact of drug trafficking on the evolution of the Colombian FARC.




Ms. Lingbo ZHAO
is a candidate of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Department of Government and International Studies. Her research interest includes Sino-world, Asia and cross-Pacific.

Contact: harryzhaolin@gmail.com

 


Hannes Grassegger
Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized journal.

 

Mikael Krogerus

Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized journal.

 


Michal Kosinski

Scientific analysis

 


Elodie Pichon,
Ms. Elodie Pichon, Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics, Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK.





Djoeke Altena










INDEX 2017

INDEX 2016


English
Important News


Dutch - Nederlands
Belangrijke nieuws


French - Français
Nouvelles importantes


German - Deutsch
Wichtige News


Bosnian-Bosanski
Važne vijesti






 


MAY 2017

 


Zbigniew Brzezinski & the Battle on Post Communism Fascism

By, Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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Photo Credit: Twitter

 

After the fall of the Soviet Union what was left is a naked fascism for which communism was more pretext than guiding ideology. Post Soviet Russia may have had a flirting affair with democracy. However, soon the apparatus of the old Soviet state was regenerated in the service of Putin’s Russia. In the early 1990’s Putin was still in the shadows, but the model was already being forged by Slobodan Milosevic. He and allies sought to mobilize the military, political, cultural and economic resources of the “soft communism” of a multi-ethnic Yugoslavia into a mono-nationalist force to maintain absolute power in the service of a presumed “Greater Serbia.” It did not really matter that Milosevic may not have been even a true-believer in Serb nationalism. He was perhaps the first to employ populism in post WWII or certainly post-Communist Europe. Since, the same alchemy of false promises has been adopted by politicians that are loosely defined as populist to far-right, Donald Trump to Marine LePen to Vladimir Putin.


Communism as Pretext for Fascism:

“Zbig” Brzezinski invited me to lunch as the wars of former Yugoslavia were directed toward their most vulnerable victim, Bosnia & Herzegovina. As a trusted adviser to several Presidents and holding the most important diplomatic/security posts in the Carter Administration, Zbig had developed a media reputation as tough on Communism. He was a trusted Democrat who spoke as a Republican when it came to the “Evil Empire.” In 1992, one might have expected Zbig to take a “victory lap” with the fall of the Berlin Wall along with the Soviet Union but he already sensed the new challenge. The Soviet Union was not so much about communism; that was the veneer. It was the pretext for expansion, domination and autocracy. Liberal democracy was the enemy and true target. Milosevic was the test case for how communist apparatchiks would be reborn as fascist leaders seeking to reassert autocracy in the cause of nationalism. No doubt Zbig foresaw Putin, even if the specific name and face were still unrecognized. The more opportunistic already were scavenging within and beyond Soviet borders. Chaos provided cover for a new class of looters transitioning to oligarchs while the real power grab was underway at the Kremlin. A new generation of diplomats who might have been the voice for a progressive Russia instead became apologists for Milosevic’s expansionism. This is how I got to know then Russia UN Ambassador Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, then Special Envoy to the Negotiations on Bosnia & Herzegovina. They were capable diplomats but also were grasping onto nationalism as means of advancement in post Soviet Russia.

Zbig was born into a Poland that was being drawn and quartered by wicked deal between the Nazis and Soviets. There was little distinction between the two fascisms although the Soviet Empire survived several decades beyond the end of WW II, and thus able to better conceal its crimes. The first great human rights crime, preceding the death camps of the Holocaust in Poland, was the mass execution of thousands of captured Polish soldiers. The Soviets sought to blame this crime on the Nazis, until the dam of fabrications could no longer hold back the evidence. ( Read: “Is MH17 Putin’s Katyn Wood Massacre?”)


Sochi  2014 & Berlin 1936:

For most of us who had the opportunity to find our new home in the United States, we cherished the freedom and diversity of our adopted home. Whether Zbig or Jewish refugees before us, we were not escaping socialism but the despotic, fascist character of communism. Now the fascade of communism is gone but the manifestations of fascism remain, no where more on display than the Sochi Olympics. Constructed on brazen corruption and nationalism as athletics on steroids, it was to herald the return of the old Soviet in the body of a new Russian Empire. The Opening Ceremony did not honor athletes or sports as global force for peace but rather elevated a vision of a mono-ethnic country, heritage and identity that set aside the others in what is historically a Russia of diverse cultures and religions.  It was an exhibition of homogeneity reminiscent of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The invasion of Ukraine would follow within days.


Communism is not Socialism as Fascism Betrays Patriotism:

Zbig and I continued to interact for the years that the war in BiH continued. We both had an international perspective, but it was American exceptionalism that defined our belief in our adopted country. While some still see the US in terms of the free market, I see opportunity impossible without the freedoms of person and thought. Communism is not socialism just like fascism betrays patriotism.

The enlargement of the Euro-Atlantic family was a source of strength for Europe but also the US.  Some may rationalize Putin’s expansion abroad and autocracy at home as consequence of NATO expansion; however, today’s Kremlin fears the institutions of a free Europe even more. While I have not been in contact with Zbig in the last few years, a Trump White House faltering in its commitment to the shared values of the Euro-Atlantic family must have been a sad reminder. That Putin would be seen as ally or model by Donald Trump feels like a regression beyond imagination for those of us who have seen America as the beacon. Zbig passes at a time when the eclipse threatens darkness at home, but his contributions to freedom are both remembered and rejuvenate in Washington and Europe. His daughter Mika, a co-host on CNBC will be a fond reminder of the legacy.

In one of his last Tweets, @Zbig returned to a consistent reminder: “The President (Trump) should outline why America is important to the world but also why the world needs America.” In 1992 it was evident that the US was the indispensable factor to address the chaos that was being brutally exploited in the wake of the fall of communism. Unfortunately under “President Trump” the US is at the core of confusion about our direction as global power but also as a nation of diversity, shaping history in a progressive direction. In a subsequent Tweet (February 9, 2017) @Zbig asked: “Does America have a Foreign Policy Now?” In addressing one of America’s greatest challenges currently, @Zbig noted (March 17, 2017): “Faced with an increasingly belligerent North Korea, coordination with China should be our first choice, but it is not our only choice!”  In @Zbig’s last Tweet: “Sophisticated US leadership is the sine qua non of a stable world order. However, we lack the former while the latter is getting worse.”


About the Author

Muhamed Sacirbey
Muhamed Sacirbey

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey currently lectures on Digital-Diplomacy. "Mo" has benefited from a diverse career in investment banking & diplomacy, but his passion has been the new avenues of communication. He was Bosnia & Herzegovina's first Ambassador to the United Nations, Agent to the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister & Signatory of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court. He also played American football opting for a scholarship to Tulane University in New Orleans after being admitted to Harvard, oh well!!



May 30, 2017



Post-secular Europe and post-Soviet Russia

Anis H. Bajrektarevic

 

 

What is Europe/EU today: the post-ideological or post-secular/re-feudalised world? Is the post-Soviet Russia, an after-ideology world? A parallel world or underworld? If history in Europe was ever on holiday, or seemed retired, it looks as re-employed now:

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?

Just 20 years ago, the distance between Moscow and NATO troops stationed in Central Europe (e.g., Berlin) was more than 1.600 km. Today, it is only 120 km from St. Petersburg. Is this a time to sleep or to worry? ‘Russia no longer represents anything that appeals to anyone other than ethnic Russians, and as a result, the geopolitical troubles it can cause will remain on Europe’s periphery, without touching the continent’s core’ – was the line of argumentation recently used by Richard N. Haass, President of the US Council of Foreign Relations. Is it really so?

Do we have any intellectually appealing call originating from Russia, nowadays? Russia is a legal, not an ideological, successor of the late Soviet Union. Seems many in Greece, Latin America and elsewhere in the world mingled the two. Does it still today represent a lonely champion of antifascism and (pan-)Slavism?

Is the Slavism, identity, secularism and antifascism, while abandoned in Eastern Europe, confused perhaps by the mixed signals from the austerity-tired Atlantic Europe and über-performing Central Europe?

For the EU, Ukraine is – though important – yet only an (administrative) item of the Neighborhood Policy, while for the US it represents a geopolitical pivot. However, for Russia, it is all this plus emotional attachment. Without Ukraine, to what extent is Russia then Christian and European?

Is the EU a subject or a hostage (like Ukraine) of the mega-geopolitical drama whose main and final stage is in the Asia-Pacific theater? What is the objective here – the ultimate score – a territorial gain; or an altered style of the game – e.g. a new emotional charge of confrontation added to the international relations?

What is a road map, an exit, a future perspective – relaxation or escalation? Hegemony, hegemoney, or a global (post-dollar) honeymoon?


New religionism: Powerful self-imposed deterrent

Without a socio-political cohesion via integralism, it is rather impossible to reverse the socio-economic decomposition of Russophone and Eastern Europe. Unity for  social cohesion does not necessarily mean a (rigid communist) unanimity. But, Europe’s East is still mixing the two.

Consequently, all three cohesive forces of Eastern Europe have disappeared: (i) atheistic elites (built up over decades irrespectively from their ethnic, religious, social and linguistic background); (ii) antifascism; and (iii) Slavism. How to reinvigorate overall societal passions and drives for the enhancement of nation without unifying ideological narrative? (Although of a power cohesion potential, the external sanctions are not sufficient surrogate-replacement for domestically introduced ideology.)

While the secularism of Atlantists increases the intellectual appeal of their indigenous ideology – that of neoliberalism, transcontinentally; the newly discovered neo-clericalism of Eastern and Russophone Europe plays, not an emancipating, but a powerful self-restraining role. At home, it only polarizes, fragments and undermines vital social consensus, and for abroad it serves as a powerful self-deterrent.

Simply, beyond its narrow ethno-religious frames or national borders such neo-religionism motivates none to nothing. In the 21st century, dominated by the socially mobilized, secularized and knowledge-based nations across the world, religionism of East (static and rigid like its retrograde MENA sibling) only further alienates, isolates and marginalizes that region. It easily ends up in ethno-chauvinistic overtones that are not only isolating its proprietor, but also antagonizing and provoking or even radically mobilizing its neighbors.

Globally, it means that while East remains entrenched in its ‘newly discovered’ religionism, only one ideology remains unchallenged and uncontested – that of Atlantist neoliberalism.

Logically, East neither controls its own narrative nor (interpretation of) history: Due to a massive penetration of Central Europe, East grossly relativized, trivialized and silenced its own past and present anti-fascism.

Additionally, this region does not effectively control its media space. Media there (of too-often dubious orientation and unspecified ownership) is distracting vital public debates: discouraging, disorienting and silencing any sense of national pride, influence over destiny direction and to it related calls for self-(re) assessment.

Today, Eastern Europe is not even sure, if its anti-fascism should be a question of choice or a matter of pure survival. Its mental de-territorialisation is corrosive and deep.


Pauperised masses – empowered lumpen proletariat

In a combination with above, the speed and dimensions of criminal redistribution of national wealth and cruel pauperisation of masses (euphemistically called ‘western style privatization’ of 1990s) deeply transformed the East, turning many into a re-feudalized society. By the end of Yeltsin dizzy rule, even the biggest critics of the Soviet era were horrified by the post-Soviet destruction of Eastern Europe.

In 2000, much quoted Alexander Solzhenitsyn screamed out loudly: "Will we continue looting and destroying Russia until nothing is left? … God forbid these ‘reforms’ should continue.” For that, he was of course, silenced and marginalized, and never quoted.

Indeed, as elsewhere in Eastern Europe, the severity, frequency and tempo of that social re-engineering via criminal redistribution of national wealth had no parallel historic example. Seems as if the region was left to choose between genocide (ex-YU) and its evil twin – social apartheid (elsewhere in the East)? Where were the famous dissidents from East? Why didn’t the academia of Eastern Europe debate about it?

And, while famous East intelligentsia remains mute, answers are streaming from the dominant narrative, that of West. Moreover, describing who these new elites of the East are, western authors are breaking another Eastern taboo – quoting Karl Marx.

Number of quotation of Karl Marx in e.g. the New York Times, FAM, Economist, Wall Street Journal or other western neoliberal opinion-makers per annum is higher than all cumulative quotations of Karl Marx in Eastern Europe for the past two decades.

Thinkers of the East expulsed Marx and Engels to (intellectual) Gulag indefinitely.

Hence, discussing the new emerging class on both sides of Atlantic, Daniel Henninger does not hesitate to consider them a retrograde force of ‘lumpen proletariat’, outcasts turned professional dissidents, a fake class of ‘social scam’.

Writing in the WSJ (Trumpen Proletariat, July 06 2016), to support his argument, he states: “Karl Marx, in a particularly dyspeptic moment, offered this description of what he dismissed as the lumpen proletariat: ‘Alongside decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious origin, alongside ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie, were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, pimps, brothel keepers, porters, literati, organ grinders, ragpickers, knife grinders, tinkers, beggars—in short, the whole indefinite, disintegrated mass, thrown hither and thither, which the French call la bohčme.’”

New elites of neo-feudalism?! European dream refeudalised …


About the author:
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic
Anis H. Bajrektarevic
anis@corpsdiplomatique.cd

Author is chairperson and professor in international law and global political studies, Vienna, Austria. He authored three books: FB – Geopolitics of Technology (published by the New York’s Addleton Academic Publishers); Geopolitics – Europe 100 years later (DB, Europe), and the just released Geopolitics – Energy – Technology by the German publisher LAP. No Asian century is his forthcoming book, scheduled for later this year.


May 30, 2017



The story of a Bosnian woman who lost her entire family to the terror of the 1990s: “I feel like a cut tree. I am neither alive nor dead … There is no justice and there will never be,”

Robert Leonard Rope

 

It is almost too sad to recount - the story of a Bosnian woman who lost her entire family to the terror of the 1990s: “I feel like a cut tree. I am neither alive nor dead … There is no justice and there will never be,” she said. cc Mar Montes Haris Subašić, Edin Kadic, Eldin Trebincevic, Ivo Skoric, Stanka Kristic...

'Alispahic says her grief for her son was even worse because she was unable to say a final farewell to him. Because the town of Srebrenica was surrounded and besieged by the Bosnian Serbs, she was unable to attend his funeral in Tuzla.

“It was only after the fall of Srebrenica in July [1995] that I reached Tuzla. Those who had relatives were met by them. I had no family members to meet me,” she says. “A friend of Admir’s was waiting for me. He and a few of Admir’s former comrades from the police drove me to Slana Banja. That was the first time I had seen my son’s grave. No words can describe the feeling,” she recalls.

A few months after Admir’s murder Alispahic lost her younger son, Azmir, to members of the “Scorpios” on July 17, 1995.

 

 

A recording of his murder broadcast was seen all over the world. His mother watched it on TV as well. Azmir had gone to the woods together with some soldiers just before the fall of Srebrenica, Alispahic said .She was by then in Tuzla. “I watched the news every day, hoping to hear something about my second son. One evening they broadcast a recording, depicting members of the ‘Scorpios’ taking a few young men with them. I recognised my Azmir among them. I began crying when they beat them, but when they began shooting at those young men and my son, I fainted,” she said through tears.

Alispahic lost her daughter after the war, She believes her daughter died of sorrow for her lost loved ones. Alispahic does not believe in justice. As she says, she returned to Srebrenica only to die there. “I feel like a cut tree. I am neither alive nor dead … There is no justice and there will never be,” she said.

Novak Djukic is the only person who has been sentenced for the murder of her son, Admir, and 70 other victims, and for injuring more than 150 persons at Kapija in Tuzla. The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina sentenced Djukic to 20 years in prison but he is now at liberty, having fled to Serbia in 2014.

 

 

It is almost too sad to recount - the story of a Bosnian woman who lost her entire family to the terror of the 1990s: “I feel like a cut tree. I am neither alive nor dead … There is no justice and there will never be,” she said. cc Mar Montes Haris Subašić Edin Kadic Eldin Trebincevic Ivo Skoric Stanka Kristic

'Alispahic says her grief for her son was even worse because she was unable to say a final farewell to him. Because the town of Srebrenica was surrounded and besieged by the Bosnian Serbs, she was unable to attend his funeral in Tuzla.
“It was only after the fall of Srebrenica in July [1995] that I reached Tuzla. Those who had relatives were met by them. I had no family members to meet me,” she says. “A friend of Admir’s was waiting for me. He and a few of Admir’s former comrades from the police drove me to Slana Banja. That was the first time I had seen my son’s grave. No words can describe the feeling,” she recalls.

A few months after Admir’s murder Alispahic lost her younger son, Azmir, to members of the “Scorpios” on July 17, 1995.
A recording of his murder broadcast was seen all over the world. His mother watched it on TV as well. Azmir had gone to the woods together with some soldiers just before the fall of Srebrenica, Alispahic said .She was by then in Tuzla. “I watched the news every day, hoping to hear something about my second son. One evening they broadcast a recording, depicting members of the ‘Scorpios’ taking a few young men with them. I recognised my Azmir among them. I began crying when they beat them, but when they began shooting at those young men and my son, I fainted,” she said through tears.

Alispahic lost her daughter after the war, She believes her daughter died of sorrow for her lost loved ones. Alispahic does not believe in justice. As she says, she returned to Srebrenica only to die there. “I feel like a cut tree. I am neither alive nor dead … There is no justice and there will never be,” she said.
Novak Djukic is the only person who has been sentenced for the murder of her son, Admir, and 70 other victims, and for injuring more than 150 persons at Kapija in Tuzla. The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina sentenced Djukic to 20 years in prison but he is now at liberty, having fled to Serbia in 2014.

About the author:

Robert Leonard Rope,
He studied at the University of Michigan,
He lives in: San Francisco, California: San Francisco, California, USA


May 25, 2017



'Schindler List' for Southeast Europe

Pakistanisation as the Final Solution for the Balkans?

Prof. Zlatko Hadžidedić

 

A few days ago Observer published a column under the title Putin-Proofing the Balkans: A How-To Guide, written by John Schindler. In this article the author advocates some new geopolitical redesigns of the Balkans which are actually far from being a novelty. As a matter of fact, these ideas represent a pale copy of the ideas recently published by Foreign Affairs in the article under the title Dysfunction in the Balkans, written by Timothy Less, a former British diplomat who served as the head of the British diplomatic office in Banja Luka, the capital of the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as the political secretary of the British Embassy in Macedonia. Less advocates a total redesign of the existing state boundaries in the Balkans: the imagined Greater Serbia should embrace the existing Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but also the entire internationally recognized Republic of Montenegro; the Greater Croatia should embrace a future Croatian entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina; the Greater Albania should embrace both Kosovo and the western part of Macedonia. All these territorial redesigns, says Less and Schindler agrees, would eventually bring about a lasting peace and stability in the region.

Of course, it is easy to claim that both Schindler and Less are now only freelancers whose articles have nothing to do with their former employers' policies. However, the problem is that certain circles within the foreign policy establishment in both Great Britain and the United States, in their numerous initiatives from 1990s onwards, have repeatedly advocated the very same ideas that can be found in these two articles, such as the creation of the imagined monoethnic greater states – Greater Serbia, Greater Croatia and Greater Albania – as an alleged path towards lasting stability in the Balkans, with Bosnia's and Macedonia's disappearance as a collateral damage. Of course, these ideas have always been spread below the surface of official policy, but they have never been abandoned, as the 'coincidence' of almost simultaneous appearance of Schindler's and Less's articles in the renowned mainstream magazines demonstrates.

Ostenstibly, the ideas advocated by Schindler and Less are rooted in the plausible presupposition that, as long as the existing nationalist greater-state projects remain unaccomplished, the nationalist resentment will always generate ever-increasing instability. However, the history has clearly demonstrated, both in the Balkans and other parts of the world, that such a presupposition is nothing but a simple fallacy. For, the very concept of completed ethnonational states is a concept that has always led towards perpetual instability wherever applied, because such ethnonational territories cannot be created without projection of extreme coercion and violence over particular 'inappropriate' populations, including the techniques which have become known as ethnic cleansing and genocide. The logic of 'solving national issues' through creation of ethnically cleansed greater states has always led towards permanent instability, never towards long-term stability. Let us only remember the consequences of the German ruling oligarchy's attempt to create such a state in the World War II. And let us only try to imagine what the world would be like if their geopolitical project was recognized and accepted in the name of 'stability', as now Schindler and Less propose in the case of some other geopolitical projects based on ethnic cleansing and genocide.

What is particularly interesting when it comes to 'solving national issues' in the Balkans is the flexibility (i.e. arbitrariness) of the proposed and realized 'solutions'. First, the winners in the World War I, among whom the British and American officials occupied the most prominent positions, advocated the creation of the common national state of the Southern Slavs at the Peace Conference in Versailles. Then, more than seventy years later, Lord Carrington, the longest serving member of the British foreign policy establishment, chaired another international conference in The Hague where he oversaw the partition of that very state in the name of 'solving national issues' between ethnonational states which constituted it. Together with the Portugese diplomat, Jose Cutileiro, Lord Carrington then also introduced the first, pre-war plan for ethnic partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Carrington-Cutileiro Plan), again in the name of 'solving national issues' between the ethnic groups living in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was eventually sealed, with some minor changes, at the international conference in Dayton. And now, here is yet another plan for fragmentation of the Balkan states, again in order to 'solve national issues'. What is needed in addition is yet another international conference to implement and verify such a plan, and thus turn the Balkans upside-down one more time. Therefore it comes as no surprise that such a conference on the Western Balkans has already been scheduled for 2018 in London.

Yet, how the proposed dismemberment of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, as well as the absorbtion of Montenegro into Greater Serbia, can be made politically acceptable to the population of the Balkans and the entire international community?

What is required to accomplish such a task is a scenario that would make an alternative to dismemberment and absorbtion of sovereign states even less acceptable. It is not difficult to imagine that only a war, or a threat of war, would be such an alternative. However, its feasibility is limited by the fact that no state in the Balkans has the capacities and resources – military, financial, or demographic – to wage a full-scale war, and their leaders are too aware of this to even try to actually launch it. In such a context, the available option is to create an atmosphere that would simulate an immediate threat of war, by constantly raising nationalist tensions between, and within, the states in the region. Of course, such tensions do exist since 1990, but it would be necessary to accumulate them in a long-term campaign so as to create an illusion of imminence of regional war.

Significantly, following the appearance of Less's article, and simultanously with Schindler's one, the tensions within Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia have begun to rise. This growth of tensions can hardly be disregarded as accidental, given the fact that the Balkan leaders can easily be played one against another whenever they receive signals, no matter whether fake or true, that a new geopolitical reshuffle of the region is being reconsidered by major global players. Since they are already well-accustomed to raising inter-state and intra-state tensions as a means of their own political survival, it is very likely that they will be able to accumulate such tensions to such a level as to gradually generate a mirage of imminent regional war. Also, a part of the same campaign is the systematic spread of rumours, already performed all over Europe, that a war in the Balkans is inevitable and will certainly take place during 2017.

In the simulated atmosphere of inevitable war, a radical geopolitical reconfiguration of the entire Balkans, including dismemberment of the existing states proclaimed as dysfunctional and their eventual absorbtion into the imagined greater states, may well become politically acceptable.  All that is needed is to juxtapose this 'peaceful' option and the fabricated projection of imminent war as the only available alternatives, and offer to implement the former at a particular international conference, such as the one scheduled for 2018 in London. What is required for implementation of the proposed geopolitical rearrangement of the Balkans is to spread the perception that the permanent rise of political conflicts in the region inevitably leads to a renewed armed conflict. In that context, all the proposed fallacies about usefulness of geopolitical redesigns in the Balkans may easily acquire a degree of legitimacy, so as to be finally implemented and verified at the 2018 London conference on the Western Balkans.

Of course, if that happens, it can only lead to further resentment and lasting instability in the region and Eastern Europe, and that can only lead to growing instability in the entire Europe. One can only wonder, is that a desired ultimate outcome for those who promote greater state projects in the Balkans as an alleged path towards its stability?


About the author:

Zlatko Hadžidedić is Assistant Professor at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He received his PhD from the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Political Science, his MPhil from the London School of Economics and Political Science and MA from the Central European University, Budapest. He served as political adviser to several Bosnian ministers and political leaders. His book Forced to be Free. The Paradoxes of Liberalism and Nationalism was published in 2012 by Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV).


May 08, 2017



Brazil in the short Strikes – the ultimate price of welfare

By Luísa Monteiro

 

April 28th will be a date to remember. Even though some of the great media claim that there were only demonstrations around the country, it is to assume that, by a consensus or not, what happened here was a strike. A general strike, the first in 20 years, one of the biggest in the History of the country, highly cited in the social media (figuring the trending topics in the whole world for hours), spread over the 26 states and the Federal District.  Barely any buses or trains in the city of Săo Paulo. Diverse unions like the teachers’ and the bankers’ and the two main popular fronts were not only present, but also organised the event.  

The reason for that? Not Mr. Temer’s government, specifically; not this time. But the new measures and reforms he has emphatically worked on since the end of last year, that happen to surprise and worry – to say the least – the average Brazilian worker.

The outraged atmosphere, however, comes way before today and takes a brief economic explanation to understand.

Old, but not gold

The last general strike happened in 1996, during Mr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s government, another neoliberalist. One of the points in common is the fight against turning the workers’ rights more flexible. At the time, Mr. Cardoso even claimed that ‘strikes don’t create jobs’, as the protesters also manifested against the high unemployment rates.

It is natural that a moment of economic instability creates some sort of friction amongst the workers and the government. The late conjunction of that with a huge political crisis under the stigma of corruption is perfectly combined with strict measures from Mr. Temer and creates a dangerous mixture.

One of the most controversial acts proposed by the new president concerns the pension reforms. The original project aimed to stablish a common age for retirement, being that valid for men, women, being them urban or rural workers – 65 years old, against the current 55 for women and 60 for men. Also, the minimum working time for retirements with a full pension (starting with 70% of its value and progressively evolving to 100%, according to the years of extra contribution) would be of 49 years, against the current 25 years for urban workers and 15 for the rural ones. Since it was not accepted nor tolerated, some changes were made to be voted again in the Parliament  – yet, the amount of people impacted by the reform will be enormous, and the time they need to work until they retire will increase. The country, Mr. Temer says, cannot afford for the current system and some austerity must be shown, even in such a delicate matter.

It is clear as Malthus could foresee that times of prosperity and abundance do not last forever, but one must make no mistake and believe that any reform should be accepted. Indeed, the Brazilian pension system works as a pyramid – the ones who start working pay for those who have already stopped. This pyramid, following the global tendency, is becoming inverted and finding solutions for that is more than an obligation. Mr. Cardoso, and also Mrs. Rousseff created some formulas for calculating the ideal age for retiring and, until now, workers were to choose which one would fit them best. The clash came with a proposition of a questionable redistribution – which might have come as a demand from the president’s supporters – that would ultimately harm the Brazilian workers’ rights.


Work, work, work

Those, however, were not the only plans of the PMDB, Mr. Temer’s party, government. On Wednesday (27), a late voting session at the Lower House showed an articulation of a worried president for the approval of a reform of working laws before the pickets that would happen the next day. This reform would change some important aspects for workers, like the possibility to work as third parts, maybe causing more instability; the prevalence of employer-employee agreements over the law, which may bring poorer working conditions, and the end of the obligation of yearly paying the union, being the latter clearly one of the reasons why the unionists were so heated.


The other side

The day after the general strike, Mr. Temer went to the television. He had already discreetly positioned himself by saying that the workers were in their right to protest, but that he would keep the discussion where it was due: the Congress.

But what he and most of the citizens could take from the acts on Friday was that 1) protesters and non-protesters, especially he low-income ones, were terrified with the idea of reforms that 2) they could not fully understand.

Therefore, on April 29th, the president appeared on a popular TV show, in which he was interviewed by a charismatic TV host, and had about half an hour to assure the mentioned workers that ‘the reforms would be totally positive, no one would lose their rights’. He also took time, through simple metaphors, to explain the contention measures and how some economic measures – like the now allowed withdrawals from inactive accounts from the Guarantee Fund for Length of Service and a R$5000.00 budget for renovating the houses of low-income families – would inject money in the country again and create jobs.

Mr. Temer, this time, tried a clever movement in hopes of becoming more popular and clearly rejected the populism present in the ‘late governments’. He even reaffirmed his position in a brief 2-minute video shared on the government’s official social media about the Workers Day, but the consequences of this effort will only be felt as time passes and his propositions are negotiated in the Legislative sphere.

On May 1st, many spots of entertainment, militancy and discussion were organised by the unions, where many celebrated and protested during the holiday. What was clear to see were the significant fewer voices from politicians and an official letter from those institutions, in which they claimed to be still fighting for the workers’ right and considering, if necessary, a new date for strikes.

“If history … was ever on holiday, or seemed retired, it looks as re-employed now.” - professor Anis Bajrektarevic – discussing state, rights and ideology - recently wrote in his luminary essay on Europe.

The next days will be decisive. The country lives a moment of increasing turmoil and, in times of Car Wash operation and increasing legit criticism against the people’s representatives, no change will be easy. Mr. Temer appears to be determined, but his government shows a history of rethinking policies and measures. Until now, one can only try to interpret the facts  - so far, unemployment rates rose to 13,7% and, even though inflation fell from 10,71% to 4,5%, so did his approval rating, which was 4% in April – and hope for, if not innovative, feasible solutions for the puzzle Brazil has become.


About the Author



Luísa Monteiro is a bachelor in Social Communication and is a senior editor at Modern Diplomacy. She is also taking a Master's degree in Communication and Politics at PUC Săo Paulo. Her researches are closely linked to the studies of internet as a democratic agora and her latest academic production correlates the (offline) social movements and their exposure on the net.


May 2, 2017



APRIL 2017

Pimp my s/ride

Ms. Elodie Pichon

 

Primary commodity exporter trying to escape the “Banana republic” position in the world economy

            The rent-based economy in Saudi Arabia has shown its limits since the drop of oil prices in 2014. Indeed, the country is potentially explosive: the current fiscal model is not sustainable, the geopolitical environment is increasingly hostile and the country has a rapidly growing population, of which 30% of 16-24 year olds find themselves unemployed. The economic choices in the years to come, and the success of the reforms announced by the government will be decisive for the survival of the regime.

            For too long, Saudi Arabia’s economy has relied solely on oil for its revenues. Until 2014, oil exploitation was responsible for 90% of Saudi Arabia’s public revenues, 80% of its exports revenues and 40% of its GDP. But from 2014 to 2015, oil revenues dropped by 50%, and represented only 73% of the total revenues compared to 87% the year before. In the meantime, the government didn’t reduce its expenses, because of its military interventions in Yemen and Syria, but also because of the outstanding individual premiums given by the government. Following the Arab Spring, the government has increased its social expenses in order to buy social peace.

            To tackle the economic difficulties, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has announced, on the 26th of April 2016, an ambitious set of reforms, titled «Vision 2030» which aimed at weaning the kingdom off oil by curbing public spending, diversifying the economy and attracting foreign investment. The government is conscious of the necessity to reform the economic system, but will it be able to do it without causing social turmoil? With a decline in social spending and a reduction in subsidies comes the risk of rising domestic turmoil, as highlighted by the Arab Spring in 2011. The risk is increased by the fact that half of the population is under 25, and 30% of young people are unemployed. This inactive youth is also among the most active in the world on the social media and might show their frustration through media outlets. Will the government be able to take the gamble of social change?

            Saudi Arabia has shown pragmatism when it promised a 4,6% cut in production on November 30th, 2016. This measure was necessary since its plan to modernise the economy and privatise Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, depends on oil prices. Paradoxically, Saudi Arabia needs higher oil prices to become less dependent on oil on the long term. Other measures taken by the government include slashing salaries, and cutting benefits for public sectors employees. It has also cut huge subsidies for fuel, water and electricity that encourage overconsumption. However, the sudden jump of water bills spurred national dissatisfaction and an outcry on social media. Indeed, the minister of water and electricity was fired after telling customers to dig their own wells if they were unhappy with prices. The government also abruptly cut construction projects forcing contractors to fire workers who didn’t hesitate to set fire on buses in protests demanding months of back pay. Despite these incidents, most austerity measures have been taken according to Capital Economics, a consultancy.

            However, investors are waiting for more meaningful changes, which imply conjectural reforms and a transformation of the social structures. In order to increase the presence of Saudi nationals in the labour market, the government implements a politics of Saudisation particularly in the private sector. For now, only 45% of jobs in Saudi Arabia are occupied by Saudis, and only 22% in the private sectors versus 67% in the public sector. Including them in the private sector is necessary to reduce unemployment but also to cut public spending, since salaries in the public sector constitute the most expensive expenses of the State. A “Saudisation” of the labour market is necessary, but needs a complete transformation of student’s trainings. For now, most of them study humanities and social sciences and focus primarily on the study of the Koran. But it doesn’t bring them the necessary skills to work in a commercial environment. The politics of Saudisation has vexed businesses who are forced to employ Saudi nationals, who often lack the skills that employers want. Consequently, to meet the government quotas, some companies simply pay locals to stay at home.

            Moreover, the increase of the population presents new challenges. Six million people are going to join the labour market from now until 2040. Thus, job creation in the private sector is necessary, to prevent a rise of unemployment and the subsequent risk of social tensions. For now, the private sector does not offer enough good opportunities for the estimated 300,000 young people entering the work force each year, especially women. If nothing is done, the situation will become even more critical because of the important rise of the population.

            “Vision 2030” shows that Saudi Arabia is conscious about the necessity to reform the country’s economy. Its cut in social spending, the plan to introduce a tax on expenses by 2018, and –more importantly- its plan to privatise the state oil company Saudi Aramco are very positive. However, too many measures, such as the plan to attract foreign investments, are still under study and lack details. The success of Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms is crucial to the West, who needs a stable Saudi Arabia in an already chaotic Middle East.

About the author :

Ms. Elodie Pichon, Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics, Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK.




April 28, 2017


 

Chapter

SPIRITUALITY AND THE ECONOMY OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Anis H. Bajrektarevic

ABSTRACT

We falsely believed, throughout the 20th century, that the nuclear holocaust will put an end to the entire human race. No! It will be a slow, nearly-unnoticed, gradual but steady construction of the global gas chamber.

Has the human race already passed the point of no return of its survival?

Frankly, we do not know. Very sincerely, we do not care!

The way we extract, produce, transport, distribute and consume, the way we keep all this running on a blind obedience to hydrocarbons, and finally the way how we do reflect, contemplate and study on all that, inevitably takes us right into the environmental holocaust.

Speaking in Paris on December 7, 2015 – only a morning after the landslide victory of the far right French political party, the UN Secretary General again reminded the world leaders that: “More than 1 billion people worldwide live without electricity. Nearly 3 billion people depend on smoky, dangerous traditional fuels for cooking and heating. Access to modern, reliable, affordable clean energy is equally important for ending extreme poverty and reducing inequality…The clock is ticking toward climate catastrophe.” Politely ignoring the domestic French politics, as much as the climate change hard-evidence, all international nihilists, professional optimists and other status quo conservators would call it ‘environmental alarmism’…or political alarmism – the same… What is really the state of our planet?

* * *

Galileo famously said: “The universe is a grand book written in the language of mathe-matics“. However, what we now know is that revealing the cosmic Esperanto is not the most fascinating part. This grand book of universe, we are reading and writing at the same time...

Back in 1990s, there was a legendary debate between two eminent scientists; Carl Sagan, astrophysicist and Ernst Mayr, evolutionary biologist. The issue was the question of all questions – is there any intelligent life out there? Sagan – closer to mathematics, and the counting of starts and worlds attached to it – argued that out of all the innumerable planets like ours, life must flourish at many of them. Quite a few of them, he claimed, must have developed advanced forms of living beings. Mayr – on the other hand – argued the opposite. His pessimism was coming from his profession, not from his character that was as vivid and optimistic as Sagan’s: What biology is for the natural sciences, that is what a history is for human sciences – a spacetime-lined story of the past with a predicament, or sometimes an inevitable consequences, for our future. As prof. Naom Chomski beautifully reminds us of this great episode, Ernst Mayr took our mother planet as an example to illustrate his claim.

All organisms share the same evolutionary mandate: to promulgate their own life. No wonder, as similar codes reside within all species – the intricate self-actualizing chemo-electrical tapestry, known as genes.1 However, the so-called ultimate biological success of species could be measure by their number, configuration and durability. Hence, by all three parameters, prof. Mayr stressed, the most adaptive systems are those conducting fast (non-cognitive) mutations caused/triggered by any environmental stress (e.g., varieties of bacteria, creatures stuck in a fixed ecological niches, like beetles or some sea biotas), and surviving even larger crisis including the cataclysmic events. But, as we go up the scale of what we assume as intelligence, the systems become less adaptive and scarcer by number, configuration and durability. Arriving to the top (as we classified a tip of the intelligence pyramid), from low mammals to higher primates, apes and Homo sapiens, the species tend to image a rarifying picture – by all three biological success parameters. By Mayr’s account, the average lifespan of upper-intelligence echelons is only around 100,000 years. Out of billions of spices that have inhabited (and quite some still inhabiting) our planet, we – along with other higher primates – are late arrival and temporal ‘accidents’. He attributes this to our intelligence, labeling it as a ‘lethal mutation’ – not a blessing but a curse. Mayr’s finding is intriguing: The higher the intelligence, the more likely to end up in self-destruction, past the transitioning on a curve of initial development. If so, that would mean that humans are unable to deploy their vast neuroplasticity, and that the mechanical solidarity of non-cognitive creatures gives far better results in preservation (even enhancement) of the environmental equilibrium.

Indeed, our environmental, financial and politico-economic policies and practices are creating the global stress for us and all other species. Deep and structural, this must be a crisis of our cognitivity. Do we want to prove Mayr right with our global Jihad against a cognitive mind?


COGNITIVE DEFICIT CRISIS

From Copenhagen, Durban, Rio+20 to the Paris COP 21 and beyond, our conclusion remains the same: We need principles and accorded actions, as this is the only way to tackle the grave problems of this planet. We are lacking the elementary consensus in/on the Bretton Woods institutions, on the Tobin tax initiative, in the WTO Doha Development round, on nuclear non-proliferation (and NPT), on migrations, on the Middle East and ‘regime change mantra’, in the IPCC, on the post-Kyoto negotiations, and finally on the alarming state of environment. Ergo, on a global scale we fundamentally disagree on the realities of this planet and the ways we can address them.2

I am neither moralizing, idealizing nor agonizing. The world based on agreed principles and commonly willing actions is not a better place. It is the only way for the human race to survive.

Clearly, our crisis is real, but neither sudden nor recent. Simply, our much-celebrated globali-sation deprived from environmental concerns can only cage us into the ecological globalistan.


CLIMATE CHANGE A BRUTAL TERROR AGAINST NATURE

We place ourselves in a centre of materialistic world – this, of what we perceive as a universe of dead (and linear) matter. Therefore, what we euphemistically call (anthropogenic) Climate Change is actually a brutal war against (living) nature. It is a covert armed conflict, since we are predominantly using the so-called monetizing-potent ‘technologies’, instead of firearms in our hands. (For this purpose hereby, the army units are replaced by the demolition-man of other name; ‘transnational corporations’.) This armed regime-change insurgency is waged against most of what is beautiful and unique on Earth – on the planet that gave us time and space enough to survive as species and to evolve as cognitive life. Thus, the known sustainability matrix of 3 maximums (of good, of species, and of time) becomes the minimum species, minimum time with a maximum harm.

Intentionally or not, it is a synchronized attack: We are steadily and passionately polluting our public sphere with the diverting banalities manufactured by the so-call social networks, reality shows, ‘celebrities’ and the like – trivializing the contents of our lives. At the same time, we are massively contaminating our biosphere (waters, lands, air and near outer space) with non-degradable and/or toxic, solid or aerosol, particles radiation and noise – irreversibly harming our habitat. We pollute the time as well, turning it into cross-generation warfare’s battlefield: Our dangerous patterns might seal off the fate for untold number of generations and sorts of species to come.3 No wonder, our corrosive assertiveness has (time-space) parallels: acidifying of oceans and brutalization of our human interactions, as well as over-noising both of them, are just two sides of a same coin. What is the social sphere for society that is the biosphere for the very life on earth: the (space/time – content/form) frame we all live in.

Seems we pay our space (linear possessions) by our time (future). Therefore, our crisis cannot be environmental, as it was never a financial or security (war on terror) – our crisis must be a moral one. This is a cognitive deficit crisis, which we eagerly tend to spend in a limbo of denial!


ΠΆΝΤΑ ΡΕΙ (PANTA RHEI)

Nature does not change. Change (as a cosmic constant) is a nature itself. Still, even Heraclitus understood, this force is never eruptive or destructive (explosive, combusting and polarising), but eternally gradual and constructive (holistic, inclusive and implosive). Look up the skies that will be the exact way how entire universe works.4

We are drifting, dissolving and retreating on all levels and within each and every organic (marine and continental biota) or inorganic (soil, glaciers, water, polar caps, etc.) system. For the grave, burning (hydrocarbon) planetary problems, our human race needs an urgent and lasting consensus which presupposes bravery, virtue, vision and creativity. All this will not result from fear of coercion (social haircut, austerity, financial straitjacket), from a further militarization of our societies caused by the accelerated confrontations called ‘war on terror’, but from the universally shared willingness to accord our common planetary cause. Cognitive mind can do it all.

Let’s start our global war on terror – but this time – on the terror of a global environmental holocaust caused by our cognitive deficit crisis.
 


REFERENCES

Ki-moon, B. (2015), Remarks to the opening of the High-Level session of the COP21, December 7, 2015, UNIS (Office of the Spokesperson of the UN SG).
Chomsky, N. (2010), Human Intelligence and the Environment, University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill (Paper).
Sagan, C. (1980), Cosmos Random House, NY /Carl Sagan Productions Inc. (page: 109).
Dresner, S. (2002), The Principle of Sustainability, EarthScan London.
Smith, L.C. (2010), The World in 2050 – Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future, Dutton (by Penguin group).


1. Still, this recipe book for life – genes, are not performing in a strict chemical determinism. Self-actualization is a core of process. Even if applying a strict Darwinian stance, the evolution of species was not (solely) a selection through competition, but rather a well-calibrated interplay of both – cooperation and competition. Much like universe itself: (re-)creation and its maintenance.

2. Additionally, we fundamentally disagree on a role to be played by technology, even on a very definition of what should be considered as technology. Technology is not a state-of-art of science; technology is a state of mind! It is not a linear progression in mastering the natural science disciplines, but a cognitive, emphatic cluster–mastering of the critical insight.

3. In his highly intriguing but illuminating findings, Stephen Jay Gould reveals than in other mammalian species, the ‘murder’ rate is considerably higher than in human communities. If evidences of this historian of science and evolutionary biologist are accurate, that would mean that humans are genetically better off, but that are civilizationally wrong. No other but human species has ever represented a global threat on entire planetary life!!

4. (Anthropo-) biology is only the outer layer in our comprehensive scientific grasp. In its core, resides physics. And the backbone of physics is mathematics – this universal language of cosmos.

Anis H. Bajrektarevic 
Vienna, 25 APR 2017
anis@corpsdiplomatique.cd


About the author:

Anis H. Bajrektarevic
Author is chairperson and professor in international law and global political studies, Vienna, Austria. He authored three books: FB – Geopolitics of Technology (published by the New York’s Addleton Academic Publishers); Geopolitics – Europe 100 years later (DB, Europe), and the just released Geopolitics – Energy – Technology by the German publisher LAP. No Asian century is his forthcoming book, scheduled for later this year. 



April 26, 2017



Who Needs Dysfunction in the Balkans?

Zlatko Hadžidedić

 

Foreign Affairs, a respected American foreign policy magazine, published in December 2016 an article under the title Dysfunction in the Balkans, written by Timothy Less. In this article the author offers his advice to the new American Administration, suggesting it to abandon the policy of support to the territorial integrity of the states created in the process of dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Timothy Less advocates a total redesign of the existing state boundaries in the Balkans, on the basis of a dubious assumption that the multiethnic states in the Balkans (such as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia) are to be regarded as inherently dysfunctional, whereas the ethnically homogenous states (such as Serbia, Albania and Croatia) are to be regarded as far more successful. Also, the author advances the claim that the peoples in the Balkans, having lost any enthusiasm for the multiethnic status quo, predominantly strive to finally accomplish the imagined monoethnic greater state projects – so-called Greater Serbia, Greater Croatia and Greater Albania. According to Less's design, the imagined Greater Serbia should embrace the existing Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina (that is, 49% of the Bosnian territory), but also the entire internationally recognized Republic of Montenegro; the Greater Croatia should embrace a future Croatian entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina; the Greater Albania should embrace both Kosovo and the western part of Macedonia. All these territorial redesigns, claims Less, would eventually bring about a lasting peace and stability in the region.

Although Less pretends to act as a neutral observer who only promotes a rational, common-sense approach to the area portrayed as a source of irrationality, common sense first leads us to pose the question of his personal links to the Balkans whose geopolitical rearrangement he so zealously advocates. According to his official biographies, Timothy Less was the head of the British diplomatic office in Banja Luka, the capital of the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was also the political secretary of the British Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia. Thus he served as a diplomat precisely in those two states which are, according to his proposal, the most likely candidates for dismemberment. So the first question to ask is whether this diplomat, having served exactly in Banja Luka and Skopje, was directly involved in providing support to those very political forces, such as the Serbian and Albanian separatists, who are the most active participants in the projected dismemberment of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia and the realization of such greater state projects. Mr. Less now runs a consulting agency called Nova Europa, which claims on its home page that it is „helping investors and international organizations to understand the impact of politics on their interests in Central Europe, the Balkans and the Former Soviet Union“. So, let us take a look at what this agency offers as advice to potential clients interested in investing in Eastern Europe. Under the title „Political Risks in Eastern Europe“,Nova Europa
provides the following list of risks:

1. The Collapse of the European Union: There is a growing risk that the process of European integration will unravel, with far-reaching implications for economic and political stability in Eastern Europe; 2. The New Cold War: Russia and the West are engaged in a multi-dimensional conflict over the boundary between them which is destabilising regional politics and causing significant economic damage; 3. The Migrant Crisis: A wave of immigration from Africa and Asia into Eastern Europe poses a significant risk to civil order, governmental stability and the integrity of supply lines; 4. Economic Patriotism: There is a growing trend for governments to reassert national control over strategic sectors to enforce conformity with their political objectives; 5. State Capture and Corruption: Eastern Europe has a serious problem with corruption and the capture of the state by oligarchical elites, posing risks to the viability of investments and to political stability; 6. Civil Unrest: There is an elevated risk of strikes and demonstrations leading to institutional paralysis, a slowdown in economic activity, and breaches in supply lines; 7. Terrorism: There is an increased danger of terrorist attack, especially in the Balkans, linked to the rise and fall of Islamic State; 8. State Disintegration: There is a growing risk that multi-ethnic states in the Western Balkans will disintegrate, reigniting conflict in the region; 9. State Failure in Ukraine: Eastern Europe's largest country is under severe political and economic stress, with negative consequences for much of the region; 10. The Arrival of China: China is becoming a major direct investor in Eastern Europe, diluting the political influence of the EU and US in the region, and exposing the region (to) a variety of long-term economic risks.

Such an exhaustive list of potential catastrophies was obviously written by a typical doomsday prophet intent not on encouraging but dissuading any possible investing, building up an atmosphere of overall paranoia around the region and within it. An artificially created shortage of investments may well result in destabilization. In this respect, Less's post-diplomatic efforts clearly serve the purpose of orchestrated angst induction, targeting specifically the area of Eastern Europe and multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies within it, just as his diplomatic activity is likely to have served a similar purpose in the multi-ethnic societies of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.

Of course, it is easy to claim that Timothy Less is now only a freelancer whose activity has nothing to do with his former employers' policies. However, the problem is that certain radical circles within the British foreign policy establishment, in their numerous initiatives from 1990s onwards, have repeatedly advocated the very same ideas that can be found in his article, such as the creation of the imagined monoethnic greater states – Greater Serbia, Greater Croatia and Greater Albania – as an alleged path towards lasting stability in the Balkans, with Bosnia's and Macedonia's disappearance as a collateral damage. Also, history books are full of references that these circles, ever since the appearance of their fundamental geopolitical doctrine, The Geographical Pivot of History
by Halford Mackinder, perceive destabilization of the territorial belt between Germany and Russia as one of their primary geopolitical goals, which is exactly the territory (including the Balkans) whose destabilization Nova Europa seeks to induce. Therefore, it seems that Mr. Less has never interrupted his diplomatic career, having permanently served the very same radical diplomatic circles, either as an operative or as a spokesperson.

Just as the previous greater-state initiatives, his initiative relies on the assumption that the multiethnic states are the main impediments to stability in the Balkans. Such a claim is rooted in the presupposition that, as long as the existing nationalist greater-state projects remain unaccomplished, the nationalist resentment will always generate ever-increasing instability. However, the history has clearly demonstrated, both in the Balkans and other parts of the world, that such a presupposition is nothing but a simple fallacy. For, the very concept of completed ethnonational states is a concept that has always led towards perpetual instability wherever applied, because such ethnonational territories cannot be created without projection of extreme coercion and violence over particular 'inappropriate' populations, including the activities which have become known as ethnic cleansing. The logic of 'solving national issues' through creation of ethnically cleansed greater states has always led towards permanent instability, never towards long-term stability.

What is particularly interesting when it comes to 'solving national issues' in the Balkans is the flexibility (i.e. arbitrariness) of the proposed and realized 'solutions'. The winners in the World War I, among whom the aforementioned radical circles within the British foreign policy establishment played a major role, first advocated the creation of the common national state of the Southern Slavs (subsequently named Yugoslavia) at the Peace Conference in Versailles. Then, more than seventy years later, a prominent member of these circles, Lord Carrington, chaired another international conference in The Hague where he oversaw the partition of that very state in the name of 'solving national issues' between ethnonational states which constituted it (since all of them, with the exception of Bosnia-Herzegovina, had already been defined as ethnonational states within the multinational federation). Together with the Portuguese diplomat, Jose Cutileiro, Lord Carrington then also introduced the first, pre-war plan for ethnic partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Carrington-Cutileiro Plan), again in the name of 'solving national issues' between the ethnic groups living in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was eventually sealed, with some minor changes, at the international conference in Dayton. And now, here is yet another plan to make the Balkan states even more fragmented and powerless, again in order to 'solve national issues'. What is needed in addition is yet another international conference to implement and verify such a plan, and thus turn the Balkans upside-down one more time.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that such a conference on the Western Balkans, according to diplomatic sources in the region, has already been scheduled for 2018 in London. Given its timing and content, the geopolitical manifesto published in Foreign Affairs
looks like an announcement of the conference's agenda. Yet, how the proposed dismemberment of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, as well as the absorption of Montenegro into Greater Serbia, can be made politically acceptable to the population of the Balkans and the entire international community?

What is required to accomplish such a task is a scenario that would make an alternative to dismemberment and absorbtion of sovereign states even less acceptable. It is not difficult to imagine that only a war, or a threat of war, would be such an alternative. However, its feasibility is limited by the fact that no state in the Balkans has the capacities and resources – military, financial, or demographic – to wage a full-scale war, and their leaders are too aware of this to even try to actually launch it. The alternative is to create an atmosphere that would simulate an immediate threat of war, by constantly raising nationalist tensions between, and within, the states in the region. Of course, such tensions do exist since 1990, but it would be necessary to accumulate them in a long-term campaign so as to create an illusion of imminence of regional war. Significantly, simultaneously with the appearance of Less's article, the tensions – first between Serbia and Kosovo, then between Serbia and Croatia, then within Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia – have begun to rise. This growth of tensions can hardly be disregarded as accidental, given the fact that the Balkan leaders can easily be played one against another whenever they receive signals, no matter whether fake or true, that a new geopolitical reshuffle of the region is being reconsidered by major global players. Since they are already well-accustomed to raising inter-state and intra-state tensions as a means of their own political survival, it is very likely that they will be able to accumulate such tensions to such a level as to gradually generate a mirage of imminent regional war. A part of that campaign is also the systematic spread of rumours, all over Europe, that a war in the Balkans is inevitable and will certainly take place during 2017.

Under such circumstances, a radical geopolitical reconfiguration of the entire Balkans, including dismemberment of the existing states proclaimed as dysfunctional and their eventual absorbtion into the imagined greater states, may well become politically acceptable in all corners of the world. All that is needed is to juxtapose this 'peaceful' option and the fabricated projection of imminent war as the only available alternatives, and offer to implement the former at a particular conference, such as the one scheduled for 2018 in London. It does not matter that the option of real full-scale war is not available at all, due to the Balkan states' incapacity to actually wage it; what is required for implementation of the proposed geopolitical rearrangement of the Balkans is to spread the perception that the permanent rise of political conflicts in the region inevitably leads to a renewed armed conflict. In that context, all the fallacies proposed in the article Dysfunction in the Balkans
may easily acquire a degree of legitimacy, so as to be finally implemented and verified at the 2018 London conference on the Western Balkans. Of course, if that happens, it can only lead to further resentment and lasting instability in the region and Eastern Europe, and that can only lead to growing instability in the entire Europe. One can only wonder, is that a desired ultimate outcome for those who promote greater state projects in the Balkans as an alleged path towards its stability?

About the author:

Zlatko Hadžidedić is Assistant Professor at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He received his PhD from the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Political Science, his MPhil from the London School of Economics and Political Science and MA from the Central European University, Budapest. He served as political adviser to several Bosnian ministers and political leaders. His book Forced to be Free. The Paradoxes of Liberalism and Nationalism was published in 2012 by Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV).



April 26, 2017



FATAL SPIRALE OF SENSLESNESS

By: Tomislav Jakic

 

After a whole day of long awaited negotiations in Moscow, one thing is absolutely clear. Result is: zero. Surprise? Not at all, despite the fact that Donald Trump successfully cheated the whole world with his, for more than half a year repeated, mantra of the “new American foreign policy”, of abandoning imposing regimes and the American way of life. So, whoever expected any positive results from the meetings between ministers Lavrov and Tillerson and between President Putin and the guest form the US, proved to me, to say the least, naive.

Because, acting – only days before this meeting - in the manner of the “Lone Ranger”, characteristic to those who preceded him, the new American President made a personal U-turn and provoked another. Launching 59 cruise missiles Tomahawk to bombard a Syrian air force base, Trump – first of all – did what he for months was promising not to do. Not only once in the election campaign and especially in his inaugural address Donald Trump solemnly promised that the United States will no more impose regimes, that they will not take part in senseless wars (like the one in Syria), that they will stop acting as the world policeman. Moreover he “forgot” his messages to Barack Obama, years ago, that he cannot act militarily against Syria without Congressional consent and that such an action would be a “grave mistake”.

Let us go a step further. Trump even did not bother to “produce” an excuse for the attack. And let us be crystal clear. Nobody with a clear mind would “buy” the story that Assad’s forces launched a chemical attack against rebels, especially if one has in mind two key elements. First, Assad’s forces are gaining ground (so why would he risk such an attack, provoking a possible American reaction) and, second, the Syrian chemical weaponry, handed over some years ago at the Russian initiative, was destroyed by – the Americans. It is worth mentioning that staging false pretexts for military interventions abroad is a long-term tradition of the American foreign policy. We do not need to go back to Teddy Roosevelt and Panama. Let us just remember the fake accident in the Gulf of Tonkin, which marked the beginning of the Vietnam war and let us not forget the – equally fake – story about Sadam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, which marked the start for the invasion of Iraq. At that time the American policy at least tried to stage a more or less plausible story (a full month of political-propagandistic preparations before Iraq was attacked). Nothing of that sort was needed by Trump. Without any solid evidence, without findings of any investigators on the spot, he “knew” (and the leaders of many European counties repeated after him, like reciting a poem) that the only person responsible for the use of chemical weapons can  and is – Assad (after that there where attempts to construct, indirectly though, a Russian responsibility too). And Donald Trump attacked.

By doing so, he demonstrated two things. First, that he knows nothing about politics, because he completely forgot the Russian component of which he will be remembered one day after the attack on Syria by the Russian prime minister Medvedev who quite clearly stated that “the US are on the verge of war with Russia”. Alas, that he is a political amateur was a very well known fact, even to those who voted for him. But, he demonstrated something that the majority of his supporters did not expect – because all of them did not vote for Trump just to express their support for building the wall along the border with Mexico. He demonstrated that he is ready, without hesitating, to abandon the concept of the new American foreign policy, most probably the product of some of his staff members, maybe General Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign. So, this is Trump’s U-turn. The other U-turn he provoked was in the attitude of almost all who until yesterday could not stop  attacking him. And they, so called liberals, political analysts, columnists, mainstream media, neo-cons like Senator John McCain and all like him, they are now more than happy with Trump. Not only that they accept him, they even glorify him, which is – for example – reflected in the statement that “on the day he bombarded Syria, Trump became President”. In Europe old-style politicians and their media followers are delighted that the American foreign policy is finally returning where it should be, that nothing is going to change and that the US will not allow anybody else to become Number 1 in the world.

Both U-turns show that the world is again entering the fatale spiral of senselessness, that was guaranteed by Hillary Clinton and that could have been interrupted, as many hoped, thanks to Trump and his collaborators. And there is another indication that supports this way of thinking, an indication for the continued policy of “inventing” enemies, so desperately needed both by the military – industrial complex and the deep state. A member of the US Congress, a Democrat (and they are traditionally more open if not closer to the left side of the political spectrum, than the Republicans) proposed the reactivation of the law against Nazi-propaganda from the Roosevelt days before WW2. If she had in mind the necessity to prevent the more and more present anti-Semitism, intolerance and racism – which is a characteristic not only of the US, but of the US too, it would be OK. But no, she proposed the reactivation of the law that should have prevented Nazi-propaganda in order to “defend” the US from Russian propaganda which is “undermining the very basis of democracy”. Only yesterday, did you forget, this propaganda was accused of making Trump the President of the US and Trump was called “Putin’s usefull idiot”. But who is interested in such details any more? Now, after the bombardment of Syria, after America emerged again as it always was? Nobody! The very fact that there is an initiative to apply to today’s Russia (formally democratic, although with clear authoritarian tendencies) an old law intended to prevent Nazi-propaganda, and Nazism is in its essence, in theory and practice, the very negation of democracy, proves that he West really desperately needs an enemy. If there is not a real one, than a fake enemy.

And for what purpose is such an enemy needed? With an enemy on the horizon it is much easier to unite the voting machine in one’s own country, as well as those in the allied countries, not to say: in the satellite countries. On the other hand, and this is even more important, with an enemy “in sight” one can create conditions if not for waging war, than for sure for preparing for war. And it is no secret that in such conditions good money can be made. The whole policy of “containing Russia”, waged for years by encircling Russia with NATO members, the whole propaganda campaign aimed at projecting Russia as tomorrow’s aggressor – according to prominent and in the past reliable media in the West – all of this is aimed at one goal: to make the public opinion prepared and ready to accept growing expenses for defense (or even substituting the professional armed forced with the mandatory serving in the army for every citizen). All of this is aimed at convincing citizens/voters that “our” media (and “our” politicians too) are telling the truth, while the Russians, both media and policy makers, are lying. And finally, all of this is aimed at making the public opinion understand why whistleblowers from the intelligence structures, people who at one point listen to their own conscience and tell openly what they are doing, should be treated – and punished accordingly – as “inner danger” for the national security.

Initiatives such as the one for applying the law meant to prevent Nazi-propaganda to what is described as Russian propaganda (although it is not seldom more accurate and objective than what is being served by the mainstream media in the West), as well as further escalation of the war in Syria lead only to one conclusion: seemingly senseless, but at the same time quite logical. In order to survive the liberal capitalism which is ruling the greatest part of the world, needs a new, great war. The fatale spiral of senselessness which we have entered is, without any doubt, leading us in that direction.


Tomislav Jakić

The author is a Croatian journalist (TV and press), who served for almost a decade as foreign policy advisor to the second President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan Mesic.



April 16, 2017


Neo-religionism of the post ideological Russia

(Refeudalisation of Europe – I Part)

 

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?

Just 20 years ago, the distance between Moscow and NATO troops stationed in Central Europe (e.g., Berlin) was more than 1.600 km. Today, it is only 120 km from St. Petersburg. Is this a time to sleep or to worry? ‘Russia no longer represents anything that appeals to anyone other than ethnic Russians, and as a result, the geopolitical troubles it can cause will remain on Europe’s periphery, without touching the continent’s core’ – was the line of argumentation recently used by Richard N. Haass, President of the US Council of Foreign Relations. Is it really so?

Is there any intellectually appealing call originating from Russia? Russia is a legal, not an ideological, successor of the late Soviet Union. Many in Greece, Latin America and elsewhere in the world mingled the two. Does it still today represent a lonely champion of antifascism and (pan-)Slavism?

Is the Slavism, identity, secularism and antifascism, while abandoned in Eastern Europe, confused perhaps by the mixed signals from the austerity-tired Atlantic Europe and über-performing Central Europe?

For the EU, Ukraine is (though important) an item of the Neighborhood Policy and for the US it is a geopolitical pivot. However, for Russia, it is all this plus emotional attachment. Without Ukraine, to what extent is Russia Christian and European?

Is the EU a subject or a hostage (like Ukraine) of the mega-geopolitical drama whose main and final stage is in the Asia-Pacific theater? What is the objective here – the ultimate score (territorial gain) or an altered style of the game (new emotional charge of confrontation added to the international relations)? What is a road map, an exit, a future perspective – relaxation or escalation? Hegemony, hegemoney, or a global (post-dollar) honeymoon?


New religionism: Powerful self-imposed deterrent

Without a socio-political cohesion via integralism, it is rather impossible to reverse the socio-economic decomposition of Russophone and Eastern Europe. Unity for cohesion does not mean a (rigid communist) unanimity. But, Europe’s East is still mixing the two. Consequently, all three cohesive forces of Eastern Europe have disappeared: (i) atheistic elites (irrespectively from their ethnic, religious, social and linguistic background); (ii) antifascism; and (iii) Slavism. How to reinvigorate overall societal passions and drives for the enhancement of nation without unifying ideological narrative?

While the secularism of Atlantists increases the intellectual appeal of their indigenous ideology – that of neoliberalism, transcontinentally; the newly discovered neo-clericalism of Eastern and Russophone Europe plays, not an emancipating, but a powerful self-restraining role. At home, it only polarizes, fragments and undermines vital social consensus, and for abroad it serves as a powerful self-deterrent.

Simply, beyond its narrow ethnic frames or national borders such neo-religionism motivates none to nothing. In the 21st century, dominated by the socially mobilized, secularized and knowledge-based nations across the world, religionism of East (static and rigid like its retrograde MENA sibling) only further alienates, isolates and marginalizes that region. It easily ends up in ethno-chauvinistic overtones that are not only isolating its proprietor, but also antagonizing or radically mobilizing its neighbors.

Globally, it means that while East remains entrenched in its ‘newly discovered’ religionism, only one ideology remains unchallenged and uncontested – that of Atlantist neoliberalism.     

Logically, East neither controls its own narrative nor (interpretation of) history: Due to a massive penetration of Central Europe, East grossly relativized, trivialized and silenced its own past and present anti-fascism. Additionally, this region does not effectively control its media space. Media there (of too-often dubious orientation and unspecified ownership) is distracting vital public debates: discouraging, disorienting and silencing any sense of national pride, influence over destiny direction and to it related calls for self-(re) assessment.

Today, Eastern Europe is not even sure, if its anti-fascism should be a question of choice or a matter of pure survival. Its mental de-territorialisation is corrosive and deep.


Pauperised masses – empowered lumpen proletariat

In a combination with above, the speed and dimensions of criminal redistribution of national wealth and cruel pauperisation of masses (euphemistically called ‘western style privatisation’ of 1990s) deeply transformed the East, turning many into a re-feudalized society. By the end of Yeltsin dizzy rule, even the biggest critics of the Soviet era were horrified by the post-Soviet destruction of Eastern Europe.

In 2000, much quoted Alexander Solzhenitsyn screamed out loudly: "Will we continue looting and destroying Russia until nothing is left? … God forbid these ‘reforms’ should continue.” For that, he was of course, silenced and marginalized, and never quoted.

Indeed, as elsewhere in Eastern Europe, the severity, frequency and tempo of that social re-engineering via criminal redistribution of national wealth had no parallel historic example. Seems as if the region was left to choose between genocide (ex-YU) and its evil twin – social apartheid (elsewhere in the East)? Where were the famous dissidents from East? Why didn’t the academia of Eastern Europe debate about it?

And, while famous East intelligentsia remains mute, answers are streaming from the dominant narrative, that of West. Moreover, describing who these new elites of the East are, western authors are breaking another Eastern taboo – quoting Karl Marx.

Number of quotation of Karl Marx in e.g. the New York Times, FAM, Economist, Wall Street Journal or other western neoliberal opinion-makers per annum is higher than all cumulative quotations of Karl Marx in Eastern Europe for the past two decades.

Thinkers of the East expulsed Marx and Engels to (intellectual) Gulag indefinitely.

Hence, discussing the new emerging class on both sides of Atlantic (also Useful Idiots of Euro-Med theatre – a power-base of the so-called Arab Spring), Daniel Henninger does not hesitate to consider them a retrograde force of ‘lumpen proletariat’, outcasts turned professional dissidents, a fake class of ‘social scam’.

Writing in the WSJ (Trumpen Proletariat, July 06 2016), to support his argument, he states: “Karl Marx, in a particularly dyspeptic moment, offered this description of what he dismissed as the lumpen proletariat: ‘Alongside decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious origin, alongside ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie, were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, pimps, brothel keepers, porters, literati, organ grinders, ragpickers, knife grinders, tinkers, beggars—in short, the whole indefinite, disintegrated mass, thrown hither and thither, which the French call la bohčme.’”

New elites of neo-feudalism?! European dream refeudalised …

Anis H. Bajrektarevic 

Vienna, 31 MAR 2017

anis@corpsdiplomatique.cd


prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic
 Author: Anis H. Bajrektarevic
Author is chairperson and professor in international law and global political studies, Vienna, Austria. He authored three books: FB – Geopolitics of Technology (published by the New York’s Addleton Academic Publishers); Geopolitics – Europe 100 years later (DB, Europe), and the just released Geopolitics – Energy – Technology by the German publisher LAP. No Asian century is his forthcoming book, scheduled for later this year. 



April 14, 2017


MARCH 2017

Saudi king’s “Clash of Civilizations, convergence with Indonesia's hypocrisy and opportunism

by Julia Suryakusuma

 

When my older sister who lives in Germany came to Indonesia recently, we gave her the royal treatment. Well, she’s family after all, and had not visited in 12 years.

So if a family member hadn’t visited in 47 years, the royal treatment would be quadrupled, right? Well, that’s how long it had been since a Saudi monarch had come to Indonesia. The last time was the visit of King Faisal in 1970, so when King Salman of Saudia Arabia came in February the reception was pretty over the top.

Family member? Yes, being Muslims, we are all members of the ummah (community of Muslims), which for some is even more meaningful than being connected by blood. Our qibla (direction Muslims face when praying) is toward Mecca, but more than that, lately Saudia Arabia is our qibla for many things we consider to be part of our Muslim identity. Arabic-style attire is one example, but more importantly is the adoption of a more rigid and literal interpretation of the Quran than the moderate Islam Nusantara (Islam of the archipelago) that Indonesia is famous for.

King Salman is one of the richest world leaders and, boy, did he ever show it! An entourage of 1,500 in eight wide-bodied jets, a few limousines and two gold-plated escalators — because of course, one isn’t enough, right? We lapped it all up and various Indonesian dignitaries and political leaders were falling over themselves to pay obeisance to the custodian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina that Muslims make pilgrimages to. Well, at least we got the extra haj quota we were hoping for.

So why did he come after all this time, and at the age of 80, when most octogenarians would be ensconced in rocking chairs, especially after a stroke he had recently? Is it simply “the ties of Islam?” In economic terms, the visit to Indonesia did not do much to boost the relationship, which has never been fast and furious in any case (see “Saudi King Salman’s visit to Indonesia: Bound by ties of Islam,” The Jakarta Post, March 18 2017).

For almost 40 years, Saudi Arabia has imposed a kind of cultural imperialism in Indonesia by pouring in money which essentially has been exporting their brand of Salafism, a strict and dogmatic version of Islam. Millions of dollars produced hundreds of mosques, schools, a free university, provided teachers, scholarships and much, much more. Will this now change? Whatever the case, the investments have already made an impact.

Despite the ostentatious display of wealth because of falling oil prices, Saudi Arabia is going through a recession. Hence the ambitious one-month tour, not just to Indonesia, but also to Malaysia, Brunei, Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan. Obviously, the trips to China and Japan have nothing to do with Islam, but are an attempt to look for partners and investors in the Asia-Pacific region to lessen Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil revenues.

Besides China overtaking the United States as a big net importer of crude oil in 2016, there are also geopolitical considerations. With the uncertainty that comes with the Donald Trump presidency, China can certainly be seen as a counterweight to the US for Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy.

What about terrorism? That was mentioned too in King Salman’s underwhelming two-minute speech at the House of Representatives — which sounded more like the speech of a Miss World contestant — to stand united against global challenges, in particular against the “clash of civilizations”, terrorism and to work together to achieve world peace.

Funny that. Is decimating Yemen a way to achieve world peace?  Saudi Arabia committed crimes in Yemen as evidenced by the destruction of infrastructure and the killing of thousands of innocent civilians, including children.

Addressing visiting members of the Supreme Revolutionary Council of Yemen, Ali Larijani, the Iranian parliamentary speaker, said, “The scope of destruction is unprecedented in history and this clearly shows that Saudi Arabia is a rogue state in the region.”

As for the clash of civilizations, it’s more like a clash of ignorance, which is the title of the essay that Edward Said wrote to debunk Samuel P. Huntington’s 1993 Foreign Affairs article entitled “The Clash of Civilizations.” The hypothesis is that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world.

Oh really? Is that why the US and the United Kingdom provide the arms used by Saudi Arabia to crush Yemen? Because, of course, Saudi Arabia is the US’ ally in the Middle East, maybe a bit less so after the US betrayed them by making deals with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main rival.

But even if King Salman repeatedly listened to Paul Simon’s “Fifty ways to leave your lover,” Saudi Arabia could not break up with the US because it still provides them with the best weaponry and spare parts too.

But, Saudi Arabia is not all it appears to be. It’s not by any means revolutionizing, but it is evolutionizing, as Ameera al Taweel said.

The 33-year-old drop-dead gorgeous US-educated princess, businesswoman, high-profile women’s advocate and humanitarian philanthropist is the ex-wife of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, 60. He’s one of the more progressive of the thousands of princes of the Saud family and one of richest men in the world, who is planning to give away his US$33 billion to charity when he dies.

And would you believe that there’s a vegan Saudi prince who wants to veganize the Middle East? Meet Khaled bin Alwaleed (son of Al-Waleed bin Talal), 38, handsome and a fervent environmentalist who believes that “Climate change and the unjustified consumption of energy are two of the most serious issues we face today at the macro-level.”

Hope he’s saying this to his gas-guzzling compatriots as  Saudia Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer, but also the world’s sixth-largest consumer.

Then there’s Ahmed Qassim al-Ghamdi, formerly an employee of the Saudia Arabia’s  religious police who had a life-altering experience when he turned to the Quran to study the stories of the prophet Muhammad and came up with the conclusion that being Islamic is about being more liberal. No need to close shops for prayers, to cover women up, or to ban women from driving. Unsurprisingly, death-threats dogged him after he made these statements.

Like Indonesia, Saudi Arabia has a demographic bonus: Sixty percent of the population is under 30. Like Ameera and Khaled, they are connected to a globalized world and they will rebel against the strictures of the Islam espoused by their forbearers.

Change in Saudi Arabia seems inevitable, as it is becoming more progressive, climate-conscious and is espousing “Western” notions of rights (which the US under Trump seems to be abandoning), while Islam in Indonesia is becoming more Arabized and conservative.

Ironic or what?


Julia Suryakusuma

(First published by the JP)


*The writer is a public-intellectual, social-critic, columnist, researcher,  author of “Julia’s Jihad” (2013) and several other books. She is based in Jakarta.


March 29, 2017


2017




PUBLICATIONS MAY, 2017:

 
Zbigniew Brzezinski & the Battle on Post Communism Fascism - By, Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

  Post-secular Europe and post-Soviet Russia - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

  The story of a Bosnian woman who lost her entire family to the terror of the 1990s:“I feel like a cut tree. I am neither alive nor dead … There is no justice and there will never be,” - Robert Leonard Rope

  'Schindler List' for Southeast Europe - Pakistanisation as the Final Solution for the Balkans? - Prof. Zlatko Hadžidedić

  Brazil in the short Strikes – the ultimate price of welfare - By Luísa Monteiro


PUBLICATIONS APRIL, 2017:

  Pimp my s/ride - Ms. Elodie Pichon


  SPIRITUALITY AND THE ECONOMY OF CLIMATE CHANGE - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

  Who Needs Dysfunction in the Balkans? - Zlatko Hadžidedić

FATAL SPIRALE OF SENSLESNESS - By: Tomislav Jakic

Neo-religionism of the post ideological Russia (Refeudalisation of Europe – I Part) - Anis Bajrektarevic


PUBLICATIONS MARCH, 2017:

 Saudi king’s “Clash of Civilizations, convergence with Indonesia's hypocrisy and opportunism - by Julia Suryakusuma

The World’s Last Colony: Morocco continues occupation of Western Sahara, in defiance of UN - Nizar Visram

Culture as a binding factor in our society, interview with Camilla Habsburg-Lothringen - By Djoeke Altena


  ALL BREAKING BEDS OF OUR MOST FAVOURED AGGRESSOR - By Elodie Pichon

 National Congress of The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (NCR B&H) - March 2, 2017

 Bosnian precariat, militaristic world images and media cynicism - Senadin Lavić



PUBLICATIONS FEBRUARY, 2017:

 SR15 Caspian Basin.pdf

 THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK - By: Tomislav Jakić

 Decriminalize Victims, please - Sooyoung Hu

 Big data and the Future of Democracy - by Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus

 The Malta Plan – a humane EU border and asylum policy is possible - Gerald Knaus


PUBLICATIONS JANUARY, 2017:

 
The Diplomatic Insight JAN 2017.pdf


 La-La-Land of Central Asia Kazakhstan and its “Astana Code of Conduct” - By Samantha Brletich

 Donald Trump, Nuclear Issue and Nuclear War -By:  Markus Wauran

 TRUMP’S TURN - By Tomislav Jakić

 Facing the Trump Presidency – Will the Monroe doctrine finally die? - Nicola Bilotta

 Human Misery monetized - By Aleksandra Krstic

 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election 2017: Who Will Be Eliminated? - By: Igor Dirgantara


 
Battling the Tiger: Combating corruption in the Sino-world - By Lingbo ZHAO

 
A European swamp – corruption and human rights - Gerald Knaus



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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
She 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
Săo 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.


Interview on HRT-Radio

Prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarević




Dr Filippo ROMEO,



Julia Suryakusuma is the outspoken Indonesian thinker, social-cause fighter and trendsetter. She is the author of Julia’s Jihad.

Contact: jsuryakusuma@gmail.com 




Gerald Knaus




Mads Jacobsen
Mads is an intern at PCRC. Mads Jacobsen is from Denmark and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in 'Development and International Relations' at Aalborg University...




Dzalila Osmanovic-Muharemagic
University of Bihac, Faculty of Education, Department of English Language and Literature - undergraduate
University of Banja Luka, Faculty of Philology, Department of English Language and Literature - graduate study




Rakesh Krishnan Simha

New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst. According to him, he writes on stuff the media distorts, misses or ignores.

Rakesh started his career in 1995 with New Delhi-based Business World magazine, and later worked in a string of positions at other leading media houses such as India Today, Hindustan Times, Business Standard and the Financial Express, where he was the news editor.

He is the Senior Advisory Board member of one of the fastest growing Europe’s foreign policy platforms: Modern Diplomacy.





Damiel Scalea
Daniele Scalea, geopolitical analyst, is Director-general of IsAG (Rome Institute of Geopolitics) and Ph.D. Candidate in Political studies at the Sapienza University, Rome. Author of three books, is frequent contributor and columnist to various Tv-channels and newspapers. E-mail: daniele.scalea@gmail.com




Alessio Stilo,
 
Research Associate at Institute of High Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG), Rome, Italy, and Ph.D. researcher at University of Padova, is IMN Country Representative in Italy.




Tomislav Jakić
Foreign Policy Advisor to former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić





Zlatko Hadžidedić

Graduate of the London School of Economics, prof. Zlatko Hadžidedić is a prominent thinker, prolific author of numerous books, and indispensable political figure of the former Yugoslav socio-political space in 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.




Mr. Nicola Bilotta
Nicola Bilotta has a BA and a MA in History from Universitŕ degli Studi di Milano and a MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics. He works as a Global Finance Research Assistant at The Banker (Financial Times) and collaborates as an external researcher at ISAG (Istituto di Alti Studi di Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliari) N_bilotta@lse.ac.uk




Markus Wauran

Date and Place of Birth: April 22, 1943 – Amurang, North Sulawesi, IndonesiaEducation: Bachelor in Public Administration.
Writer was a member of the House of Representatives of Indonesia (DPR/MPR-RI) period of 1987-1999, and Chairman of Committee X, cover Science and Technology, Environment and National Development Planning (1988-1997).
Currently as Obsever of Nuclear for peace
.




Sooyoung Hu

Attached to the US-based Berkeley University, Sooyoung Hu is a scholar at its Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies Department. Miss Hu focuses on international relations, international organizations and its instruments.




Senahid LAVIĆ





Nizar Visram
 Nizar Visram is a Ottawa-based free-lance writer from Zanzibar, Tanzania. Recently retired Senior lecturer on Development studies, he extensively publishes in over 50 countries on 4 continents. He can be reached at
nizar1941(at)gmail.com .