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Political Persecutions in Eastern Europe to prepare War with Russia (and a note on Hungary, Trump and the refugees)

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

We have witnessed during the last two years the multiplication of cases of political repressions in various Eastern European countries, like Poland, where Mateusz Piscorski, leader of the party Smena is detained illegally already for two years, without any accusations formulated against him! But this is not the only authoritarian action of the Polish authorities, which, by the way have been condemned by UN Human Rights Committee and by the Polish Ombudsman (Rzecznik praw obywatelskich) for their actions. Among them the process against the Polish Communist party, the harassment against the trotskyte group “Power to the Councils”, a pro-Palestinian conference and scientific conferences about Karl Marx! To all that you may add the massive expulsion to the streets of impoverished tenants due to the re-privatization process. Continue reading Political Persecutions in Eastern Europe to prepare War with Russia (and a note on Hungary, Trump and the refugees)

Greek protests about Macedonia are complicating US-NATO plans for war with Russia

For the BBC (16.00 London time) a revolt in Greece directly threatening the expansion of NATO was not among top stories. It preferred to speak at length about a train crash in the USA and what is going on in Maldives.

But it is clear that today’s monster meeting in Athens is seriously complicating the NATO and EU’s project of incorporating more countries of the Balkan region into Euro-Atlantic structures, thus expelling any remaining Russian influence and solidifying the control of the peninsula by Washington and its generals.

Hundreds of thousands of people (significantly more than 500.000 according to reliable specialists) gathered in the center of Athens to ask their government not to concede to the use of the word Macedonia or its derivatives by the Former Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in one of the biggest demonstrations organized in Athens, comparable to the last great anti-austerity meeting of 2012. Such numbers represent something more than 5% of the whole population of the country.

An agreement between Greece and FYROM about the name of the latter is a precondition for admission of FYROM into NATO and EU.

The central speaker of the meeting was the Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, a world known symbol of resistance, who asked for a referendum to be held if the government wants to conclude an agreement. Theodorakis was firm that FYROM must be prevented from joining NATO or the EU if it insisted on keeping the word Macedonia in the name of the country. Professor Kasimatis, one of the top Greek specialists on Constitutional Law spoke also to the crowd, explaining the link between foreign policy concessions, the colonial terms incorporated in the Agreements with Creditors (EU, IMF, ECB) and the betrayal of the 2015 referendum.

The meeting was greeted also by representatives of the hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church. The Archbishop had originally discouraged people from participating in public meetings for Macedonia, before the Salonica meeting, but he was obliged to change his position under the pressure of its success and of the public opinion.

As for the Greek government and, in particular, Nikos Kotzias, the Greek Foreign Minister, they seem completely detached from reality, if their reactions to today’s demonstrations are anything to go by. Or, alternatively, Kotzias is getting with him the whole government, into his line. Anyway, demonstrating a public ignorance worthy of Marie Antoinette, they dismissed the demonstration as not much of a success! The Greek government is under heavy pressure from the US administration, to whom they have probably made commitments they are finding difficult to fulfill without committing political suicide. Tsipras understands that more than Kotzias, but he does not seem to be able to react to the line of his own Foreign Monster.

The fact is that if they stick to their present position, they will clash frontally with Greek public opinion and provoke a very dangerous crisis in the country. It is not just that 70% of the population is against their policy, it is also that this opposition is very firm and considers the government’s policy a national betrayal. The demonstration today was peaceful today but the demonstrators appear willing to do everything to stop the parliament from ratifying any agreement Athens and Skopje sign.

D.K

Greeks are revolting again

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos *
04/02/2018

In the beginning, nobody paid much attention. Two activists, ex-members of the Movement of Independent Citizens, which was created back in 2011 following an appeal by Mikis Theodorakis, took the initiative to call for a protest meeting in Salonica. The aim was to protest the intention of the Greek government to conclude, under pressure from Washington, an agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), better known internationally as  the “Republic of Macedonia”, terminating the dispute with the latter over its name that has been ongoing since the breakup of Yugoslavia.

After the capitulation, the defeat and the humiliation of 2015, Greeks have seemed unable to mobilize about anything. They were licking their wounds. They were looking more or less passively at the continuing destruction of their country and at its neocolonial plundering, by Germany and other EU countries, under the general direction of the IMF and with the green light of the USA. They had neither the courage nor the will to think through their problems. They did not have leaders or ideas or political subjects to lead a new revolt against the colonialist Troika. Many believed Tsipras and SYRIZA’s dire warnings about the cost and the uncertain outcome of any revolt against the creditors. They tried to forget and survive. This assassination of Hope has inflicted an unprecedented national depression on nearly all the people of the country of Apollo, the God of Sun.

So no one expected any more than five or ten thousand people at the Salonica meeting. But something seemed to emerge from the very depth of the national, collective subconscious. It was the same thing that had happened three days before the referendum of July 5th,, 2015 and conditioned its result.

There were not five or ten thousand in Salonica, they were probably around five hundred thousand, nobody knows exactly. It was not a simple demonstration, it was a revolt, even if peaceful, for the time being. And today, everybody waits a much larger crowd in and around the Constitution Square in the center of Athens, named after the 1843 Revolution which obliged the first King of the Country, the Bavarian Otto, imposed on Greece by the Holy Alliance, to accept constitutional rule.

A demonstration about Macedonia but a cry about Greece

It will be a demonstration about Macedonia, against what many Greeks understand as one more usurpation of their history, their national symbols and their cultural heritage. But behind it, one clearly discerns the desperate cry of a historic European nation that has been insulted and offended, destroyed and plundered, by its own supposed Allies and Partners and by the Union it has adhered to. A nation which has contributed as very few to the defeat of Nazism, only to see now “democratic Germany” destroying it, with help from Brussels bureaucracy, the US and Goldman Sachs.

What Greeks will say to their government today will be essentially: Stop conceding the country to foreign powers. Give us back our country.

For ten years Greeks have witnessed their “allies and partners” destroying their country, pretending they are helping it.

They took and they are taking everything, the banks, the airports, the ports, the railways, the communications and the energy infrastructure. They confiscate even homes of ordinary people. Parents cannot bequeath their homes to their children because of confiscatory taxation, necessary for paying a “highly unsustainable debt” (according to the IMF). They have cut pensions 24 times. They have imposed on a member of the EU neocolonial terms not imposed to any Third World country. Greek mothers used to be the most overprotective of their sons, in all Europe: they wanted their children to live next door all their lives if possible. (Probably, because of what they had suffered under Ottoman occupation, when the Turks were rounding up male children of Christians). Now their dream is to see their children migrating to Australia, Africa or the Emirates to find a job. Greek hospitals are crumbling under German-EU draconian cuts to their expenses, but at the same time Greek doctors, for the education of whom Greeks have paid, are stuffing German or British hospitals.  72% of young people in Greece say to the polls they want to leave the country, if they will find a job somewhere.

As a result of a program that is supposed to help Greece, the country lost 27% of its GDP, something comparable to what happened to US during the Great Depression, or to the Weimar Republic before the rise of Hitler. It is a bigger percentage than the material losses of Germany or France during the First World War. This is not a program of neoliberal “reforms”, it is a program designed to destroy a European nation and its democracy and to transform its state into an instrument of International Finance, with the long term prospect of creating a “Greece (and Cyprus) without Greeks”.

No one can understand reality by taking for real what he believes its actors want or do not want to do. Attention must be paid to what is happening, to what the actors are doing, not what they are pretending to do or any the intentions that can be attributed to them.

Under the cruel light of the available statistics, not beginning from any prefabricated theory or ideological or political or national preference, the program they imposed on Greece is clearly a program of destruction of a nation. If it was a mistake, they would long ago have found a way to correct it. Since they have not, it is because the “Greek experiment” is an important experiment in the advent of a new European totalitarian order. European governments and EU bureaucrats may or may not be conscious of that. But somebody has enough influence on them to impose it.

If somebody has some other serious explanation or theory about what has happened or is happening to Greece, explaining better than the above description what is going on, let him advance it. By the way, I believe the Empire of Finance was right in choosing Greece as its main target for a variety of reasons. I find very symmetrical and quite justified to organize such a crime against the country in the language of which humans, for the first time in history, wrote the word freedom (Eleftheria), in the 8th century B.C. in Homer’ s Iliad).

German newspapers were right in their comments about modern and also ancient Greece in 2009-10. Greeks have always been anarchists. Not only did they write the word Freedom in their language, they have dared to discover Logos, a word which means analogy, reason, motivation, cause, purpose, logic, all at once, and to oppose it to the divine order. In Athens they decided to write off the Debts of the poor people and then, based on that experience, they dared to spell, first in History, the word Democracy.

This is one of the reasons I strongly believe the choice of Greece as the first target of the Financial Totalitarianism was correct. Symbols are always important. They help shape thinking and emotions.

In 2015, the Troika was able to deal a devastating moral and psychological blow to the Greek people by transforming its supposed Left into its instrument. The blow was even more important as partisans of the Greek Left had shed oceans of blood to defend their country, its democracy and the social rights of its people. That was why it was a blow to the sense of dignity of the Greek nation. No nation, especially no nation living in this geographical location, in the intersection of the Slavic, the Middle Eastern and the Western European worlds, no nation bearing the tradition of such a History, can exist without its dignity.

This is why the capacity of the Greek people to project any kind of social resistance was near to zero, after 2015.

But this unequal duel between the Empire and the Greek “national DNA” was not over in 2015. Neither side was satisfied. The empire was not satisfied by simply transforming Greece into a “debt colony”. It wanted more, it wanted the geopolitical and cultural “capital” of the country (and of Cyprus), which is also the main remaining arms of the Greek people, if it will wish one day to reclaim the control of its state. It wants to get from the Greeks their legitimate rights to exercise sovereingty over its country, and in particular in the Aegean, in Cyprus, in Crete, in Northern Greece. Because Greece and Cyprus control the access of Russia to the Warm Seas, they are located between the Middle East and Western Europe.

The Empire deems necessary to control Greece (and Cyrpus) in the strictest possible way, because since 1200 their control is absolutely essential to launch the Crusades against the East, the Islamic or the Russian one.

On the other side, the national feeling and pride of the Greek nation was not dead, in spite of the terrible 2015 defeat. This is pushing now to a new revolt, but, unfortunately, it is a revolt without any leadership, any clear political and social aims or ideas. The Empire was able to “decapitate” the Greek nation, as it has largely achieved with nearly all European nations and to control all its politics and potential representatives.

Greeks will cry today for Macedonia because, as they understand it, somebody wants to take from them their symbols and their cultural heritage, to usurp their History. They will also demonstrate today because they believe all the main political parties of their country are sold to foreign powers and these foreign powers are destroying their country. And they will do it because they have not, for the time being, any tool to challenge, for a second time, the economic and political Imperialism of Germany and the EU.

But behind their slogans about Macedonia, they will cry essentially “give us back our country”. And nobody can now really predict where all this will lead. As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, the father of Dialectics, put it, two and a half thousand years before Ilia Priygozin and his Chaos theories, “Time is a child playing dice. To the child belongs the Kingdom”

The dispute over Macedonia

Since the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Greece has refused to recognize any “Republic of Macedonia” on the grounds that such a name may reflect territorial claims on Greece. Most geographers and historians worldwide define Macedonia as a wider multinational region, following the administrative delineation of the Ottoman Empire, where Macedonia once belonged. More than half of Macedonia, as defined above, belongs today to Greece, about a third is FYROM, most of the remaining is the Bulgarian Pirin Macedonia and a tiny part, about 1%, belongs to Albania.  Because of Greek opposition to the recognition of this new state, produced out of the destruction of Yugoslavia, as “Republic of Macedonia”, it was admitted in the UN as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, until Athens and Skopje agree to a name commonly accepted by both sides.

But Greeks do not define Macedonia in such a way. They identify it with ancient Macedonia which is now Greek Macedonia. And this is an important part of the Greek national ideology.  This is one reason they cannot easily accept a Republic of Macedonia suddenly appearing in their northern frontiers. When Greeks say Macedonia is Greek, which may seem offending to foreigners, they mean Greek Macedonia is Greek. The nature of today’s Greek nationalism is essentially defensive.

The bloody destruction of Yugoslavia, by Western forces using nationalisms (in the name of combating them!) has created a legitimate fear among Greeks that their country may come next, in the context of the “new world order”. Some of President Clinton declarations about Balkans could also be interpreted as an indirect threat.

Those fears are also fuelled by FYROM’s official ideology, which presents all of Macedonia as one country with one legitimate, so to say, nation, the Macedonians. It represents a late mutation of the Komintern slogan of a “United and Independent Macedonia”, “United and Independent Thrace”, which crated a lot of huge problems, at its time, to the Greek communist movement. By the way the use of the word Macedonians to describe the dominant nationality in FYROM (our personal opinion is that the name Macedonian Slavs would be more clear), creates also serious problems, because it is implying that Greek, or Bulgarian, or Albanian Macedonians are not genuine Macedonians. But Macedonia in the wider sense was always a multinational region and it was for that reason French have named their famous salad Macedonian. They did it because it is made of many nationalities, exactly as Macedonia was inhabited by many nationalities.

The first leader of FYROM, Kiro Gligorov, was a serious guy, member of the Yugoslav League of Communists. But later, forces controlled directly by US, the CIA and various “globalisation” think tanks have gradually taken complete control of the state and its political elite. It is widely believed that CIA has played a huge role in bringing the new government in Skopje, in order to use it to “close” this question hindering NATO expansion and undermine any relation between FYROM and Russia.

These forces have begun to construct a completely fake national ideology and history, pretending Macedonian Slavs are heirs of Alexander the Great and his Kingdom. The whole thing is ridiculous, as the first Slavs have come to the Balkans one thousand years after the death of Alexander.

That way they try to refuse to the Greeks the use of their national cultural heritage, a part of which is Alexander’s saga, a heritage which is a strong ideological component of the Greek nation-state, the state chosen as the No1 target of the Empire of Finance in Europe. Indirectly, all that could lead into undermining the cohesion of Greece itself. This is happening also in many other regions of Europe, where nation-states are pressed from above (Globalisation and EU) and from below (“Europe of Regions”). We cannot consider the destruction of the nation-states progressive in any way, because it practically means the destruction of the sole level where there is still some degree of democratic control and social protection. The debate about a European federation is in reality misleading, as long as in reality we are not speaking of any kind of federation but of uniting European under the power of the Finance and of NATO.

This kind of ridiculous ideological “ethnomechanics”, applied in FYROM has another consequence also, it is entrapping Slav Macedonians into defending a completely fake and ridiculous national ideology, thus making them more than ever dependent upon the empire.

It is true that FYROM is too tiny to threaten Greece, but not if it would act as a strategic ally of Turkey or any other power threatening Greece.

But the main wars now are not military, they are economic, political and ideological. The empire needs to destroy historical nations and their states, because they represent objectively a source of potential challenge to itself.

Many British or American intellectuals do not grasp well the fundamental importance of the notion of the nation, an importance which Lenin understood very well and this was one of the secrets of the success of the October and subsequent Communist revolutions. Maybe they don’t grasp it because they come from nations which they believe or believed that all the world belongs to them. They don’t think in terms of Nations, they think in terms of Empires.

By adopting the ideology of Globalization, that is of the World Dictatorship of the Finance, important sections of the Left legitimize imperialism and they inherit all its contradictions regarding nations and nationalisms. Because you cannot dismiss Nations and Nationalisms in general, criticize Serbs, Greeks or Russians for “nationalism”, and then use Croatian, Albanian or Ukrainian nationalisms. You cannot accuse Serbs as nationalists and then use other nationalism to destroy a multinational structure like Yugoslavia.

Greek political parties were caught between their desire to satisfy Western powers, on whom they remain dependent and their own public. As a result, the official position of the country has oscillated from “no Macedonia, no derivatives” (1992) to “composite name with geographical connotation for all uses” (2008). But no Greek nowadays believes his parties are going to defend any position if subjected to western pressure. This is one of the reasons they felt they had to demonstrate.

In 2008 they were believing their government was defending Greek national interests. Only 5.000 people participated in a demonstration similar to those taking place today about Macedonia.

US and NATO come into the equation

This dispute has been ongoing for 25 years now, without creating any particular problem for bilateral relations between the two countries. Nobody really cared very much about solving this problem, except one player, the United States of America. A peace loving power, USA is not confining itself to its peace building activities in the Middle East, the Korean peninsula or Latin America. It is also very interested in promoting prosperity in South Eastern Europe!

FYROM is situated in the center of Balkans, between Greece and Serbia, Bulgaria and Albania. Who controls FYROM, controls the Balkans. Who controls the Balkans can wage war against Russia. It is as simple as that.

Hitler was of the same opinion. This is why he devoted precious time and he lost his best elite paratroopers divisions in 1941 to smash the formidable resistance of the Greeks to the Fascist Axis before attacking Soviet Russia, probably losing the war because of the prior expenditure of effort in his Serbian and Greek campaigns. Germans do not seem to have forgiven Serbs and Greeks for that.

This is the main, strategic reason US administration asked from the SYRIZA-An.Ell. government in Athens to conclude an agreement over the name quickly so that FYROM can become a member of NATO (and in the future of the EU). Berlin and Brussels are also pressing Athens in the same direction.

The Athens government has some very dangerous traits. It does not understand Greek national feelings, it doesn’t have much understanding of foreign, military and international policy or, for that matter, of Greek History. They only want to satisfy the US, Germany, NATO, Israel etc., without even understanding the consequences for themselves and the country. Tsipras is a kind of Gorbachev in Athens, who makes any concession possible, without really realizing what he is doing. Of course this is not valid for all his government. Some of its members, like the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Kotzias, realize too well what they are doing.

Plan A of the Empire is clear: Solve the dispute between Greece and FYROM, dealing one more blow to the strength of the Greek national feeling, a historically un-parallel anti-imperialist force in the Balkans, along with Serb national feeling. Include FYROM in NATO, encircle and discipline Serbia, forcing it to accept the loss of Kosovo, extirpate the last remains of Russian influence in the Balkans and conclude the transformation of the region from the Mediterranean and the Adriatic to the frontier of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics into a zone of strictly controlled protectorates, ready to go to war against the Russia.

By the way, Balkans is also an alternative possible route of attack against Iran, through Greece, Bulgaria, Black Sea and Transcaucasia.

A secondary aim is the inclusion of this region, or large parts of it in the EU, which will help finish any last potential of a united, independent, democratic Europe, leaving two main alternatives for the EU: to complete its transformation into a totalitarian imperial structure, under the control of international Finance and NATO, or to provoke its destruction in a catastrophic way.

But what if the Plan A fails? Empires have always fall back plans. Besides, it is more than obvious that this one is divided between its “Bolshevics” (Huntington, Netanyahu, Trump, Le Pen…) and its “Menshevics” (Fukuyama, Obama, Merkel, Macron, Soros…). The failures of the latter and the general dissatisfaction they provoke, lay the grounds for the others to try making their reckless Chaos strategies dominant western strategies.

One particular characteristic of the “Bolshevic” imperial faction is that it is using the methods of Entryism to put Neocons in all important positions of the western establishment. Another one is that they don’t present clearly their own program as such, they try to use the forces of dissent unleashed by the crisis of the mainstream western strategy, in order to radicalise it.They are producing fake revolts, color revolutions of different kinds, or they prove able to manipulate genuine ones. SYRIZA in Greece, Trump in the USA, Kurds in the Middle East are some of the examples one could cite. Last year, the Masters were debating in Davos about “post-Truth” and “post-Democracy”. The introduction of such terms is reflecting the extent of use of deception methods in contemporary politics.

We cannot explore analytically here what can be at stake in the Balkans if the plan A fails. This is why we limit ourselves to some ideas circulating around, from time to time, like dismemberment of FYROM between Albania and Bulgaria, or trying to create “fake” and pro-imperialist in the last analysis nationalisms in Serbia and Greece, or the open destruction of democratic rule in Greece. In the long run, in case of a crisis of the EU leading to its destruction, one of the ideas and scenarios circulating is to incorporate all Southern Europe and Northern Africa into a kind of Meditarranean Union under the aegis of France and Israel.

The only Plan which we cruelly lack is a Plan of cooperation of the Balkan nations and, beyond them, of Moldova and even Ukraine probably, if it gets rid from its present day dictatorship. All this region is now in ruins, as a result of Western military, political and economic inteventions, the object of a clear neo-colonialist policy. Such a Plan for South Eastern Europe could also be part of a Plan for a new, democratic, united, social and independent Europe, which we also cruelly lack.

Published at http://www.defenddemocracy.press/greek-protests-about-macedonia-are-complicating-us-nato-plans-for-war-with-russia/

Le phénomène Trump, la course vers la guerre et la crise de l’ UE

Le phénomène Trump, la course vers la guerre et la crise de l’ UE

Dimitri Konstantakopoulos,

Conférence Internationale sur le capitalisme financier et ses alternatives, Chisinau, 15-16 décembre 2017

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A more dangerous world is probably coming after the US election!

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

The level of irrationality, confusion and negative energy is the most astonishing signal emanating out of the US presidential election.  It is a strong indication that, whatever the result, we should be prepared for an escalation in the already serious tensions dominating our world.

It is probably the first time, since the crisis of Weimar Germany, that such phenomena have appeared in the centre of the world, in its strongest country.

80% of the population of the USA do not trust and do not appreciate either of the two candidates. The strongest argument for voting Trump is not so much what he says as opposition to Clinton being elected. And the main argument for voting Clinton is not to have Trump elected!

The other day, as I was struggling to finish this article, I sent mails to some good friends in the USA, very critical, experienced and serious observers, telling them that I am a little confused by what I am reading about their elections and asking them for their opinion on the foreign policy Trump will really follow if elected.

From the answers I received, I realized that they too are not at all sure about what is at stake here and what the future course of the United States will be. One of them, a well-known economist with quite radical ideas, answered in this way: “YOU’RE confused? Ha ha ha. Nobody has a clue! Trump is such a narcissist that he may easily be manipulated. His intuitive policy is to pull BACK from war. At least a blind choice is better than Hillary’s push for war, definitely. But who knows?” Really, who knows?

Another one, also a leftist and a seasoned student of international realities, who had written an angry article last summer, protesting, in very strong terms about the kinds of attacks the US mainstream media have launched against the Republican nominee, was more sober than in his article: “Νothing is worse than Clinton. Trump will rely on the Republicans in Congress for foreign policy, which makes him very dangerous. If he breaks with the party elites he will mend ties with Russia and Syria, but it is a big if. If he sticks to a protectionist trade policy he will face problems with China and the West coast. Nothing positive will result from these elections”.

The simile of a political life

In his Republic Plato describes a cave inside which a group of prisoners is able to see only the shadows of beings and of their movements. But nowadays, to follow world politics, including US elections, one sometimes has the impression of looking merely at the shadows of the shadows! The real game is very far away from the scene of the drama between Clinton and Trump, and we are kept in the dark concerning the real object of the competition. Are different strategic lines really behind it, and if so which ones? At one level they seem to exist. At another, some conspiracy theorists would argue that, at a deeper strategic level, all this is about the same “establishment of the establishment” proposing different products to different sections of its clientele. Who knows? as my friend put it.

During the previous eight years the strategic image was quite clear, at least for those who wanted to see it. On the one hand we had President Obama and people like Brzezinski. Obama was elected on the basis of opposition to imperial overextension and a crazy program of wars in the Middle East which many people inside the US and international establishment, large sections of public opinion, the US Armed Forces, etc. believed to be extremist, dangerous and not corresponding to any US interest.

On the other hand we had Clinton and the neocons (strongly supported by Netanyahu, who was also opposed by forces inside his own establishment). This camp pushed for escalation in the Middle East (and Ukraine), in order to complete the program announced long ago by the most extremist forces of the international establishment, around the project for a “new American century”. Obama resisted these plans, albeit in a not always consistent and often unspoken way. He was reluctant to stop the wars in Libya and probably did not understand, until it was too late, what was at stake in Ukraine. His political alternative to the “extremely extremist”, but nevertheless more coherent, project of the forces behind neocons, such as “political Islam” or Erdogan, proved to be very weak. And you cannot have a very serious policy when Clinton and Nuland are following other  agendas than the President, nobody in the Administration is really sure what the CIA is doing, and senior military people rely on  Seymour Hersh to put a brake on extremism!

Brzezinski has also very strongly and consistently resisted extremist policies in the Middle East, but he was blind to the dangers of escalation in Ukraine. The forces behind neocons used his deep, near pathological hostility to Russia to undermine his opposition to their plans.

Obama is rightly criticized for Afghanistan, Libya and other things, but we should remember that the President of the United States opposed the extremists, and he could not do it otherwise, in the general context of pursuit of American imperial politics. History will credit him (and Russian intervention) for stopping military intervention in Syria and sealing a nuclear agreement with Iran. Under his presidency, international neocons had to use mainly the services of Sarkozy in Paris and Cameron in London to launch the war which destroyed  Libya. Clinton was helpful in this connection.

The fact that the President of the United States was unable to close Guantanamo for instance, something he obviously wished to do, says a lot about the kind of forces that all but hijacked US state after the collapse of the USSR. And about their strength: a veritable state within the state.

Deception, virtual realities and conspiracies

Bear in mind that we have been living internationally, especially since the supposed end of the Cold War, in a historic era of deception and virtual realities. And it could not be otherwise. The infinitesimal minorities of power, money and knowledge ruling our world cannot announce their program and the future they are preparing for us. If they did, they would provoke a revolution. They are also unable at this time to launch head-on confrontation with societies and nations. Conspiracies have existed throughout history, but now they are tending to become the norm. There is no more effective weapon than the kind of smart (and evil) power that enables you influence your own opponent and lead him into choices that will seal his defeat. Classic political, social and geopolitical analysis is still the key to understanding social and international phenomena, but it must be supplemented by a deep and not always straightforward understanding of the real strategies in play.

Look how many incredible things have happened in a period of  30 years and are continuing to happen. The leader of the Soviet Union and “world communism” himself destroyed his own country and system, in a way the most powerful foreign army could not dream of. In Iraq Sunnis who so bravely resisted the US invasion were provided with a Wahhabi ISIS leadership arranged by the CIA and other allied services laboratories. In Greece the (verbally) most radical of the European “radical Left” parties is now following a policy most neoliberals would regard as extremist. And in the USA we are following a presidential campaign which is merely the distorted reflection, the tip of the iceberg, of huge battles going on behind the scenes, among the main centres of Imperial Power such as  Wall Street, the CIA, the army, the lobbies, etc.

Not many sensible people would disagree with some of the ideas put forward by Trump on foreign policy, especially in relation to US-Russia relations and Syria, in his latest interview with Reuters. But does he mean them? Can we believe that he will do what he says? Is he speaking the truth or he is just performing a manoeuvre that Professor James Petras predicted as early as June , when he wrote that “Trump’s electoral victory will hinge on his capacity to cover-up his neo-liberal turn and focus voters’ attention on Clinton’s militaristic, Wall Street, conspiratorial and anti-working class politics” (http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=2086)

Trump has said too many contradictory things on various subjects, from Cuba to Korea and from Islam to Ukraine (which he visited after Maidan) for it to be easy for the uninitiated to know what star he will really follow if elected. He is a very intelligent man and everything he says can be read two ways. (For instance, he said he will not automatically defend the Baltics, which is music to Russian ears, but he explained that US allies have to do more for NATO defenses if they are to count on the US. The probability of Russia invading Baltics is near zero. The second part of the equation, the increase in military spending by NATO allies is what really remains from such declarations).

Generals do not win the same battles a second time: in order to win one must change tactics, always bearing in mind that war remains to a great extent a continuation of politics by other means. Clinton appears much more than Trump the war candidate. But let us remember that Clinton will be, politically,  a very weak president, if elected. Trump will be much stronger if elected “against the Establishment”.  His rise embodies the anger of the  popular and middle strata in the USA. The million dollar question is: in which direction will he channel their anger?

Globalization and Nationalism

After all, globalization is not only, or not as much, about subjugating and destroying nations, as nationalists claim. It is doing that, and nationalists are right to protest and oppose it. But, behind its amorphous surface and ideology there also lies the domination of some nations by others and, also, the domination of the strategically coherent wing of finance over everybody. As the decade of the 30s should have taught us, domination can be effected not only by crushing nations but also by exploiting their nationalism. Some smart unorthodox generals of globalization, such as the member of the steering committee of Bildeberg Peter Thiel, are drawing up their own plans on how to use Trump and the deep protest of the American demos to the service of the forces they provoked it, the classic example how such a turn around can be achieved, remaining again German history of the 20th century (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/21/peter-thiel-republican-convention-speech)

People in the USA, but also around the globe, are so fed up with the policies of the Western establishment, especially the US and the banking establishment and, also, so discouraged at their own capacity to stop these policies, that they are ready to believe blindly and follow uncritically any politician, of the Left or of the Right, promising a radical change, taking at face value whatever they say. As the tragic European experience of the 20th Century amply proves, this can be the road to disaster.

Isolationism, Interventionism, Militarism

Many people believe for instance that the election of Mr. Trump will lead to a sort of withdrawal of America from world affairs. This would be a very positive evolution, given the role America is playing in the world. But if Trump really wants to get America back, then why he is proposing an increase in military spending and why is he saying that America must be militarily stronger than any other power? What is the meaning of his slogan “America First”? Who will be the second, the third, the fourth, or the 100th in this hierarchy? By what means and through what policies, other than intervention, he will be able to deliver this result?

In fact, no one should give much credit to what US politicians say about the role of USA in the world. It is much wiser to see what they do.

President Wilson, for instance, proclaimed in 1917 that Americans would never become involved in the European slaughter. Two months later the United States intervened military in the First World War, sealing the defeat of Germany and initiating their own domination of Europe for a century! (*)

Ask any political scientist worldwide about the US Democrats and Republicans. You will invariably get the answer that Democrats are the interventionists, Republicans the isolationists. But how is it then to be explained that it was the Republican George Bush Jr. that invaded Iraq, inaugurating a “strategy of chaos” and jeopardizing peace around the globe?

Are political scientists stupid? Of course not. They simply don’t want to face the constant reality of US imperial policy since the Monroe doctrine was proclaimed in 1902. They don’t have any desire to uncover the deep roots of this phenomenon in the economic structure of the USA, the role of its multinationals, etc. This is why they prefer to focus on important but still secondary factors such as the personalities of presidents or the ideology of the two parties. The same is true of many politicians around the globe, who prefer not to look straight into the eyes of the monster and, instead, try to accommodate its existence, one way or another.

The phenomenon of US imperialism is not the result of the particular character of one president or another. It is deeply rooted in the economic structure of the USA and in the relationship they build with the outside world.

The USA was built as an empire during the 20th century. Only a very deep social, economic and cultural transformation could change the character and the role of this country.

If one wants to make predictions about future US policies, it is better to look at the military programs of the United States than to study various declarations and ideologies. US militarism emerged in a big way in 1914, first as a means of supplying Europeans with what they needed to kill each other and, after 1917, Americans with what they needed to dominate the world. It has been developing unabated since that time, even after the post-World War II enemy, the Soviet superpower, decided to commit suicide! The United States spend on weapons as much as all other countries together. They have troops and bases in more than 50 countries around the globe. They have renounced to the ABM treaty, which was the cornerstone of the arms control system during the Cold War. (And it was the Americans who insisted on, and finally secured, the agreement of the Soviets for this treaty).

Both Clinton and Trump are in favour of increasing military spending: (http://www.defenddemocracy.press/no-matter-wins-election-military-spending-stay/).  Only Sanders, during his  campaign, proposed to lower military spending , in order to provide more money for social needs. Doing this, he confirmed that only a strong popular movement and the existence of strong outside opposition to imperialistic plans (from Europe, Russia or China, or a combination of these) can really contain US imperialism and militarism. (The same is true of Keynesian politics, proposed by some western economists. Such politics would not have become the capitalist orthodoxy of their time if there had not been strong workers movement and if the USSR had  not existed at the time. Nobody would have forgiven Germany’s debt after the War, nor would there have been any thought of the  Marshall Plan if there had not been very strong Communist parties in Western Europe after the War and a very powerful Red Army in Berlin).

Only the emergence of a big popular peace movement such as the one existing in the West in the past can stop the descent to war that is rooted in the very structure of the prevailing economic and social system. And such a movement can have a chance only if combined with efforts to defend the achievements of Western societies after 1945 and to create a better order than the existing one.

More and more forces around the globe are emerging to resist the terrible aspects: social, ecological, military-geopolitical, of an emerging “totalitarian Empire of globalization”. But they still lack an alternative vision.

(*) Another classic example of “isolationist” talk preparing an interventionist policy is Yugoslavia. In 1990, as the USSR was collapsing, nobody seemed to need the USA in the Balkans. All the peninsula was looking to Europe for its future and, at the same time, it had strong economic, cultural and military ties with Russia. When Germany, Austria and the Vatican encouraged the war in Yugoslavia, Washington kept a distance, letting the Germans do the dirty job with the Serbs and provoke a lot of dissatisfaction with their own partners, especially the French, British, Greeks. From time to time US politicians were even saying that they would leave the Balkans, that they were not interested in Europe. Of course they had no intention of leaving, otherwise they would not at the same time have built one of their greatest military bases abroad in FYROM. Every time the Americans said they were leaving a kind of panic came over  European capitals. Berlin had inaugurated the destruction of Yugoslavia, but it could not finish the job. The war in Yugolsavia was meant in Berlin as a way of reaffirming the new international role of a reunited Germany. In the end Europeans were begging Americans to come back.

When Germany was sufficiently exposed and Europe had failed miserably, the Americans stepped in with NATO airplanes and Holbrook diplomacy to finish the job in two phases (the Dayton agreement and the Kosovo War). They sealed the defeat of Serbia, the exclusion of Russia (which failed to protect its Serbian brothers) and the end of any ambition of an autonomous European foreign and defense policy for the foreseeable future. Nobody needed them in 1990, but in 2000 they were again fully dominating the strategic landscape in the Balkans,  a region of capital importance for any future war with Russia and also a possible energy transit road  (by the way, what happened inYugoslavia has many similarities with the debt war against Greece and the Germany/IMF role).

First published in www.defenddemocracy.press

 

 

LEILA KHALED ON ISIS AND ISLAMISM, SYRIA AND THE PALESTINIANS

An Interview of Leila Khaled to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency

 

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

 

ISIS is a criminal organization which was created, and is used, by the USA. As for Syria, it

was not only the intervention of Russia, which in any case came after a number of years of

war. It was also the ability of the Assad government to defend itself, in particular by

securing the economic viability and nutritional sufficiency of Syria but also by forging an

army capable of defending its country. This is emphasized by Leila Khaled, leading cadre

of People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in an interview granted to the Athens

Press Agency.

 

The People’s Front (PFLP) is, after Fatah, the second most powerful grouping in the

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It has its headquarters in Damascus and is the

most important organization of the Palestinian Left, with more combative positions than

those of Fatah. We took advantage of Leila Khaled’s recent visit to Athens, where she

participated in the festival “Resistance”, organized by the newspaper “Dromos tis Aristeras” (Left Road) to obtain for the Athens Press Agency, from first hand, the judgements of one of the centres of the Palestinian movement, on the dramatic developments that are now unfolding in all of the Middle East.

 

A terrorist for the Israelis, Khaled was a symbol throughout the world for the Palestinian

armed struggle, following her participation in one of the four simultaneous hijackings of

September 1970, inspiring songs, films and works of art internationally. These hijackings

were part of the Palestinian “response” to the ignominious defeat they suffered with the

occupation of their territories by Israel in 1967 and their massacre by Jordan in the “Black

September” of 1970.

 

Because the PFLP was a Marxist organization with an internationalist ideology it was feted

by the circles both of the European “anti-imperialist” Left (such as, for example, the

International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency [TMRI], an international organization headed

by the Greek Michaelis Raptis (Pablo) ) and by the “Third Worldist” groupings such as the

Sandinistas of Nicaragua. These forces also contributed practically to the international

(outside the Arab world) armed actions of the PFLP. Conversely, their cadres were trained

in Palestinian refugee camps. They included Greek opponents of the military dictatorship

and Cypriot socialists, who wished to prepare for similar forms of action for the liberation of

their island from Turkish occupation.

 

“I’m not interested in what they say about me. I know who I am and I know my people,”

Khaled replies when reminded of the accusations of terrorism that are levelled against her.

As for the repeated defeats suffered by the Palestinian and Arab national movement

(reflected, in her view, in the rise of Islamism among the Arab masses) they do not

represent a “definitive defeat” of the Palestinians. “We have internalized a culture of

resistance” she says, adding that “the Arab national question is not a matter of a single

generation” and emphasizing that the struggles and the experiences build upon each other

until the day that they yield the desired result.”

For Leila Khaled developments in the Middle East are the outcome of implementation of a

plan aimed at destroying the strongest armies of the Arabs (the Iraqi, the Libyan and the

Syrian) but also their countries, the site of great ancient civilizations. As for the differences

between neo-conservatives and the tendency of Brzezinski or Obama with Netanyahu,

 

she believes them to be tactical, with no bearing on major strategic objectives. Khaled

believes that the plan for federalization of Syria is part of a scheme for “fragmentation” of

the states of the Middle East. She says that the Kurds “are being used” and she maintains

that Israel is evolving towards a variety of fascism.

 

This is the complete text of the discussion we had with Leila Khaled:

 

D.K. Summarizing many decades of Palestinian struggle, it would be easy to conclude that

the Palestinian movement has been defeated. It waged a heroic struggle, but it did not

achieve its aims. What would you say in response to such a remark?

 

L.K. I don’t see it that way. The struggles of the peoples are not measured in terms of a

handful of years. They are cumulative and this aggregation leads, as Marxists say, to

qualitative change. The Arab movement needs more than one generation. We succeeded

in assimilating a culture of resistance, the conviction that we cannot continue living as we

live now, under occupation, that we cannot permit the continuation of this occupation. It is

for this reason that we are obliged to continue, with all the trials and tribulations, all the

pain, all the sacrifices. And despite all this we remain devoted to the dreams of our people,

to the goal of restoration and return to our homeland, liberated from the Zionists.

 

D.K. In the course of the past decades we have seen, within the Palestinian movement,

but also more generally in the Arab world, a turn from the predominance of nationalism to

the predominance of Islamism. Probably this was something preferred by Israel, so as to

secure the support of the West, something that was harder to achieve for as long as it was

confronted by national liberation movements and secular regimes. How do you interpret

Read also:
‘Most-read’ article at Washington Post calls Israel ‘savage, unrepairable society’

this turn?

 

L.K. Our region in any case has the culture of Islam, and I don’t mean just the religious

phenomenon but the culture in a broader sense, for the last 1,400 years. Even the

Christians of the region have been imbued with that culture. Dr. Habash, the founder and

historical leader of the PFLP, was born a Christian but he too believed that the Christians

as well have the culture of Islam because that, for 1,400 years, has been the culture of all

of Arabia. In Palestine there were Islamist movements but they dissolved when we were

faced by the Zionist invasion and everyone united to confront it. In Egypt the British had

founded the Muslim Brotherhood when they colonized the country. They were active in

Egypt but they were not leaders of the people and of the masses, though they maintained

sections in various parts of the Arab world. In 1952, when Nasser, with his comrades and

the army made their revolution in Egypt, they suppressed the Brotherhood because they

regarded them as an internal threat. But this changed with the war of 1967, when all of

Palestine, the Golan Heights and Sinai was occupied by Israel and in 1973 Israel’s

agreement with Egypt was signed, removing it from the conflict. Egypt is the dominant

power in the Arab world. As for the reactionary Arab regimes, they said they were with the

Palestinians, but they stabbed us in the back, despite financing the Palestinian resistance

and the PLO.

 

When the Palestinian armed resistance made its appearance after 1967 it was hit by

Jordan, in Lebanon and by Israel of course. The Palestinian revolution was hit by the Israelis and in 1982 it was forced to leave Lebanon. And before that it had taken a beating from Jordan, under the direction of Henry Kissinger and the US administration, who planned and

directed the whole process, following a strategy of splitting the Arabs and the Palestinians,

the better to deal with them. Kissinger’s first move was at Camp David (1973), to detach

 

Egypt from the conflict. There was popular resistance to the agreement in Egypt, because

the Egyptian people supported the Palestinians and the Egyptians, who had gone to war

three times against Israel, perceived it as an enemy. This gave the Islamists the

opportunity to resurface, giving expression to this opposition.

 

D.K. By the way some people believe that even today Israel has quite an influence with the Egyptian army.

 

L.K. That’s true to some extent, but it is not so effective today. To return to the Islamists,

Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, was founded in 1988,

to participate in the Palestinian popular insurrection, the Intifada. They were supported by

various countries and the international Muslim Brotherhood. But they didn’t join the united

Palestinian national resistance. They preferred to remain on their own. And of course the

Iranian revolution against the Shah played its part.

 

Look now at what happened. In 1982 we sustained a defeat. The PLO leadership was out

of the country. In 1990 the Soviet Union and the socialist countries collapsed. We lost the

support that we had had. The Arab national cause was defeated. So it was very easy for

the Islamist groups to rise up again.

 

D.K. So what is involved reflects the defeat of the Arab national cause.

 

L.K. Exactly. Seeing in our societies that everything was collapsing around them, they

went back to Islam. And they believed in the Islamists also because Hamas and El Jihad

were in fact putting up a resistance, apart from the split they were provoking.

 

D.K. Many people say that the Arabs themselves are at fault for what is happening to

them. They never unite, etc. etc.

 

L.K. That is true. It is not just our enemies. It is we ourselves. How we act against our

enemies and against our peoples. At the official level, the Arab regimes are not

democratic. They don’t do what they should do for their people. They don’t have democracy,

sustainable development. Their economies are linked to the imperialist centre. .

 

D.K. The Soviet Union played a role in the creation of the state of Israel, but later they

helped the Arabs. What was the effect of all this on the Arab Left?

 

L.K. The Soviets developed a good relationship with Egypt in Nasser’s time, with Syria

and with Iraq. They supported South Yemen in its struggle with the British. But

unfortunately all this collapsed with perestroika, glasnost, Gorbachev and Yeltsin. This

represented a great loss, at first, for theor people t5hemselves.

 

D.K. How do you see the role of Russia in the Middle East today?

 

L.K. First and foremost they want to defend their allies. They want a foothold in the region,

in accordance with their interests. Now they don’t base themselves on principles. They

base themselves on vested interests. And it is in their interest to defend their own country

in the Middle East. In reality they are defending themselves. This is why they intervened to

defend the Assad regime from ISIS and from foreign interventions. Because the Americans

are in Iraq but also in Syria, surreptitiously, employing other means.

Read also:
Kurdish Forces Bolster Assad in Aleppo

 

D.K. Do you judge the Russian intervention as positive or negative?

 

L.K. To some extent it has thwarted attempts to bring down the regime.

 

 

D.K. Recently we have seen very serious and quite unaccustomed differentiations within

the Israeli establishment, such as the declarations of the former Defense Minister and

senior officers of Mossad, against Netanyahu, using very harsh language. How do you

interpret this?

 

L.K. Israel is moving more and more towards extremism and is being transformed into an

apartheid state (of racial discrimination). But this is just one aspect of it. Another is that the

society is on the road towards fascism. All the polls indicate that this government is a

government of colonists and extremists. And a senior military man came out recently and

said it, that he was concerned about the course that both society and the army were on

and that we are seeing in society and in the army features comparable to what was seen

in the thirties in Germany. And he was denounced very vigorously by the government. But

he was telling the truth. Because more and more parties are appearing that, even in their

own name, regard Israel as a Jewish state. But when you say a Jewish state you are

saying apartheid, because 20% of the population of Israel are Palestinians.

 

D.K. Such a historic turn, if in fact confirmed, would be very impressive. Given the great

role played, at least by poor Jews, by their workers and intellectuals, a century ago, in the international socialist movement. But also the history of their persecution, particularly by the European far right. It seems as this people goes through a monumental “paradigm change”.

 

L.K. Look, they have placed the Holocaust as the founding stone for their demand to

have a country of their own in Palestine and now they are carrying out the Holocaust of the

Palestinians. But the Palestinians had no involvement in what happened in Europe with

the two world wars. We were under a mandate. We were under a colonial regime also.

 

D.K. In human psychology it is said that human beings behave as they are behaved to. I

wonder if the same applies with nations. One day, going to Ramallah with George

Papandreou where we were to meet Arafat, I saw written on a brick, next to the

checkpoint, the word “Achtung” (“attention” in German). Not even one German a year goes

through there. I thought I was entering symbolicall the Warsaw ghetto.

 

L.K. Fascists are in action there, against the Palestinians. .

 

D.K. Speaking of fascism, I have been impressed by the approach of many organizations

of the European far right to circles in Israel. Given the history of it and their ideology up to

now, it was the last thing anyone would expect.

 

L.K. It took us twenty years to educate our people that Judaism as a religion is one thing

and Zionism another. When we were kids and our mother wanted to punish us or frighten

us she would say: “I will tell the Jews.” Always the Jews were our enemy. But we changed

that. Our people does not equate the Jews with the Zionists. They understand that a Jew

is a human being. But of course with the Jews and Israel strange things happen. For example American presidential candidates usually highlight on their programs the security of Israel, not the security of the USA!

 

  1. What do you think of Trump?

 

  1. He is crazy (she laughs). But I will say this. At the beginning of his campaign he said “I

will solve the conflict with the Palestinians peacefully.” They all say that. Bush said it and

Obama said it. But they don’t do anything. There is a Lobby and they can’t get round it.

Later Trump laid emphasis on the security of Israel. I have the impression that if they elect

him it will be a disaster for the USA. He wants to have files on Muslims and stop

Muslim immigration, even though they need migrants for economic reasons. But of course

in the USA isn’t only the President that makes policy. It is a country with institutions. The

war industry and AIPAC (the most important pro-Israeli lobby in the USA) also have their

influence over the President. After Bush and the war in Iraq the USA’s image throughout

the world was ruined. So they brought Obama, the first black President in the history of the

US, an exceptional public speaker and went about examining the question that their own

media was continually presenting to them: “Why does everyone hate us?”

 

D.K. You present Obama as a simple changing of the guard. But he disagreed with

Netanyahu and stopped the plan for war with Iran. That is not insignificant.

 

L.K.. Between Israel and the USA there is a powerful bond of support from the latter to the

former: economic and military. Netanyahu wants more economic assistance and is

continually pushing for new wars. The Americans studied the case for making war in Iraq.

They went to war whose only result was to destroy Iraq. They destroyed that country and

left it in a state of civil war. They did this because they thought that this state was a threat

Read also:
Greek Summer Crisis: Geopolitical Winners and Losers

to Israel. After that came Syria, in the context of the American plan for the new greater

Middle East, with Israel as the strongest power in the region.

 

D.K. Still, there were potent differentiations inside the American establishment. What you

describe was primarily the plan of the neocons.

 

L.K. These are tactical differences, not major disagreements. The American-Zionist plan

was for destruction of the three biggest Arab armies: the Iraqi, the Syrian and the Egyptian.

All three of these countries are also countries of great civilizational significance. Look what

they did in Baghdad when they occupied  it: the looting and the destruction of the museum.

Now they’re doing the same thing again, but using ISIS.

 

D.K. You think that the Americans founded ISIS?

 

L.K. Yes. They founded it in Iraq and they are using it. Even though they say that they are

fighting terrorism. There have been many appeals for a conference to define terrorism. But

they have never done this. Because they want to use the term “terrorism” as it suits them.

 

D.K. You are a terrorist for them, though I admit you don’t look very much like one.

 

L.K. I’m not interested in what they say. I know who I am and I know my people and that’s

enough as far as I’m concerned.

 

D.K. On a Russian site, Sputnik, I recently read an article saying that Russia could

replace the USA as Israel’s strategic ally. Could something like that happen?

 

L.K. No, it’s not possible. Their interests are different.

 

D.K. Look now, they’ve destroyed Iraq and Libya and in part Syria also. Those three

states were based on a specific balance between the national components in them, which

in part reflected the colonialist strategy. Do you think that it is possible for there to be a

 

return to the previous status quo, e.g. in Syria. Or a federation, for example?

 

L.K. The aim was for them to destroy Syria.

 

D.K. The Russian intervention prevented that.

 

L.K. Not only. The regime itself resisted. The army defended the regime and the country,

against the criminals from all over the world that they brought to Syria under the flags of

ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al-Nusra.. ..

 

D.K. But at the beginning of the troubles there was social discontent with the Assad

regime…

 

L.K. Of course, but it’s not the only country where there is unrest. Look, Syria was able to

resist because it was not in debt and was economically viable. Assad took the appropriate

measures. From the time that the Americans imposed sanctions on him, Assad took the

appropriate measures for farming and stockbreeding, before the war. Syria has enough

bread to feed the population. It doesn’t need to import it. It has secured its supply of meat,

for four years. It’s true that there is no democracy, just as there wasn’t in the USSR either.

This is one of its great failures. So to some extent the regime was able to stand up to the

pressure and didn’t collapse like Libya. The Russians came later, at the end.

With Syria, if you criticize the foreign intervention, they tell you that you are with the

regime. If you criticize the regime, they say you are part of the conspiracy against it. We,

the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, made our position clear from the outset.

We are not part of this crisis. We are refugees in Syria. The people of Syria has the right to

make decisions for its country. We support the popular demands for democracy and

freedom. It is the people of Syria who have the right to change its regime. It isn’t our task.

We have our hands full with Israel.

 

Neither the opposition nor the regime were happy with that stance and they openly

disapproved of it. But we didn’t leave Syria. We are going to stay here because we have

nowhere else to go. And they give us due respect as Palestinians in Syria. 600,000

Palestinians live in Syria, though many have left because of the crisis.

 

D.K. How do you see the role of the Kurds today?

 

L.K. They are using them now. Barzani is with the Israelis and the same applies for the

Kurds of Iraq. Israeli companies are now operating in Iraqi Kurdistan.

 

D.K. What about the Kurds in Turkey and Syria?

 

L.K. They have the right to autonomy in Turkey and in Syria. .

D.K. Autonomy or a state?

 

L.K. Look, the Kurds live in four countries: Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. If they want to

secede I don’t think it will work. These countries are not allies. But when it comes to the

Kurdish issue, all four of them ally with each other!

 

D.K. The plan for a federation in Syria?

 

L.K. I disagree with it. This plan is part of a project for fragmenting Syria into small states.

Turkey: Is a military coup possible?

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Some hours before the Brussels terror attacks, on the other side of the Atlantic, a rather astonishing article was posted on the website of the ultra-hawkish and pro-Israeli American Enterprise Institute. It was written by a known neocon activist with strong ties (at least in the past, but probably also now) with Turkish Kemalists, Michael Rubin. Τhe article was entitled “Could there be a coup in Turkey?” In it, Turkish military are all but strongly advised to overthrow President Erdogan. The author assures them that they have nothing to fear from USA, NATO or Europe if they do it. He is also “describing”, for Erdogan and his closest advisors, a fate not so different than the fate of the overthrown Egyptian President Morsi.

This publication is not an isolated incident. On March 10th, two former US ambassadors in Turkey did not go as far as to suggest a coup against Erdogan, still they called him to “reform or resign”, as goes the title of their article published in the Washington Post. One of the writers, Mr. Edelman, belongs to the core of neoconservatism. He is believed to have contributed greatly, from the sidelines, to the emergence of Erdogan, when influential people in the USA were looking around for a more “accomodating” and “friendly” person to replace as head of the Islamists the ousted by the army PM Erbakan, too “original” and too “authentic”. As for the other co-author of the piece in Washington Post, Mr. Abravomitz, he avoided being identified too much with Neoconservatives, still his soul seems not to be very far from their positions.

 

Read the full article here:
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/turkey-military-coup-possible/

Greek Summer Crisis: Geopolitical Winners and Losers – (Death of hope, triumph of the Empire)

“It’s barbarism. I see it coming masqueraded under lawless alliances and predetermined enslavements. It may not be about Hitler’s furnaces, but about the methodical and quasi-scientific subjugation of Man. His absolute humiliation. His disgrace”
Odysseas Elytis, Greek poet, in a press conference on the occasion of receiving the Nobel Prize (1979)

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

There is only one thing I don’t quite understand. How could Tsipras manage to sleep at nights, when almost all Greeks present a psychosomatic symptom of some sort?

A spectre of death hovers over Greece. It is in fact the death of the hope. The realization that you have been fooled, that your every single right has been violated and that in some perverted way you have been asked to be part of your own rape. The shock from the sudden capitulation and destruction of the two political subjects upon which the nation placed its hopes, rendered people completely powerless; it castrated them in a sense, depriving them of any strength, of the will even to react or do anything. They did not kill the Greeks, but they killed their hope. For the time being, at least.

By the way, Death is, in reality, the religion of this new “Empire of Finance”, the regime emerging from the process of “globalization”, reflecting the transition from neoliberal to “destructive” capitalism. It’s a different form of capitalism; one that does not merely use “creative destruction” in order to promote “development and progress”, but makes destruction its single and endless pursuit. As every other new socio-economic system, it too comes together with its distinct “ideology” and “religion”.

By the term “Empire of Finance” we mean that part of global financial capital which has the resources and the strategy to attempt imposing a global dictatorship, in alliance with the US military-industrial complex. Its ideological and political manifestation is structured around “neoliberal” and “neoconservative” political projects; its backbone is formed by a few big global banks and other financial institutions, its main tool is the tight grip it holds over media, European institutions and political elites and the US military-industrial complex, its strategic ally and complement. They are the “Leninists of the markets” (and of military interventions), who, mimicking the Athenian Alcibiades’ strategy, use in a systematic way shocks, coups and chaos to promote their agenda.

The outcome of the Greek summer crisis constitutes a triumph of this Empire.
The Big Losers

The Greek people. Greeks have witnessed their victorious “No”, the strong social front against financial dictatorship “decapitated”! Now this cut head remains alive and is used against them! A new, even harsher memorandum was imposed on an already devastated Greece. A regime of acute political anomaly and direct international “supervision” was installed.
Some positive elements still remain. First, the legacy of the 62 % NO referendum result, as a proof that, regardless of what will happen in the future, the Greek people is still alive and kicking, in the middle of a dark European and international night.

The Greek issue was internationalized. From now on the creditors will have to pay a price for what they are doing to Greece

No matter what the result of the formally legal but not legitimate elections called for the 20th of September, everybody understands that European governments, the EU and the IMF, have imposed a dictatorship in Greece.

2. Germany has suffered its biggest international political defeat since 1945. It lost every possibility to lead Europe for many years to come. Many Europeans see now Germany as a malign power, trying to achieve now, through other means, what it didn’t achieve in the past. Berlin will pay a high political price for advancing the interests of international financial capital in Europe. Goldman Sachs has undertaken the role of a European supra –government (ECB), while the Germans pay the hefty political bill that comes with it.

The idea of European integration also suffered a serious blow; particularly the idea of a prosperous, democratic, social and independent Europe.

.
It was also a serious defeat for France. It proves again that this state has been “kidnapped”, it became a mere tool of Washington, of the Finance and of the most extreme neoconservatives; just a shadow of the country once ruled by General De Gaulle. As in other European countries, there is no point anymore in asking who wins elections – the Left or the Right; it would be more appropriate to ask whether it’s the Rothschilds or the Rockefellers who win.

3. European Left has been proven unable or unwilling to lead the peaceful revolt of a European nation which was trying to save itself. The leadership of one of its parties betrayed. It became obvious that the European Left has no plan, no strategy beyond a list of well-wishes for an abstract notion of democracy. It lacks a strategy to realise its political aims, nor sufficient will to sustain to the end, if needed, the fight against financial totalitarianism.

These developments constitute also an indirect, but clear strategic loss for Russia (and to some extent for China and the rest of the BRICS members). The weakening – almost abolition – of Greek national sovereignty (and, by multiple default, of Cypriot) constitutes a major change in the regional geopolitical equilibrium in the Eastern Mediterranean area. It contributes significantly to the creation of a new Mediterranean link in a chain “encircling” Russia, in order to contain it (and increasing the possibility even of war against it). Of course it remains alive the huge “revolt potential” of Greek people in this region, but this “potential” has not now any political expression and leadership.
The big winners

1. Money, Finance, which, over and over again keeps winning at every big turn in the development of the crisis, using the crisis itself for realizing regime change. Not only it was able to avoid paying the cost for a crisis it has caused, it continues to destroy Greece, using its destruction and non-sustainable debt as tools for achieving its political pursuits. By destroying Greece it was able to keep the apparence of European economic and political stability. It seeks now to render bourgeois democracy empty of any real meaning (your vote doesn’t count), to demolish entirely any notion of social state, to destroy European nations as distinct political and cultural entities; trying to promote the domination of an amorphous “Homo Economicus”

2. The US managed to “detonate” the SYRIZA “bomb”, through the influence they exercised on the party’s leadership; a bomb, which would potentially threaten to question seriously European neoliberal order (and the anti-Russian unity of the EU). (**)

They managed to prevent Athens shift towards Moscow and they were able to transform the leadership of a political force, highly critical of US and Israel, into their best friend!

This way they were also able to finally use the betrayed Greek revolt to curtail both German hegemonic aspirations and the most basic requirements for European independence.

It was at the end Washington which imposed the final agreement on a reluctant Germany and a petrified Greece, using its influence on Paris, Rome, the Commission and the IMF. At the most critical moment in the course of the European crisis, Washington proved that it is making, after all, the law in Europe! Besides, the outcome of the Greek crisis represents a huge step towards ousting any European, independent geopolitical influence from the Eastern Mediterranean region and the Balkans.

In 2002-03 many Europeans accused USA for the wars in the Middle East and for attempting to split the EU, by supporting “New Europe” against Paris and Berlin. It now appears as a good force in the eyes of almost half of Europeans, especially in the eyes of Merkel’s victims.

3. European extreme, “radical” Right. After the near collapse of SYRIZA as a leftist party and a national democratic force, the far and radical Right appears as the main recipient of the feelings of resentment in European societies, especially in the richer Northern European countries.
It is true that the “angered”, who turn in the direction of the far right solutions, are probably in similar or even greater risk of suffering finally disappointments and defeats, similar to those suffered by Greek people with SYRIZA. But they don’t know it yet!

It is important, in this context, to remember that the Greek bankruptcy and havoc cannot be blamed alone on the leadership of the Greek Left. They should also be blamed on the “radical”, supposedly “nationalist”, “sovereignist” Right, which participated in the Greek government.

The “Empire” will try to use the “radical right” for its European “plan B”. If the attempt to impose the new European order with “liberal” packaging fails, or if things move towards an EU-dissolution crisis, then they will try probably to use extreme ‘radical’ Right in order to justify an authoritarian shift, to accommodate the feelings of social exasperation, to direct them in an anti-Islam direction, but without harming the most essential interests of European capital and the US, by the same mechanism which worked so efficiently in the intra-war years.

Every European nation will have to defend itself against the monstrous “market forces” and the huge geopolitical threats, should it want to continue to exist. But the way it will do that will determine the future of the continent. And none of them can succeed at the end, by relying solely on its own, distinct “nationalism”.

4. Israel has also managed to expand, in a spectacular way, its influence over the region and politics of Greece, a country traditionally the more sympathetic in Europe to the Palestinian cause and the Arab world. Under the Tsipras-Kammenos administration, the Greek government has signed the most advanced agreement of military co-operation with Tel-Aviv; a type of agreement that no other country in the world, except the U.S., has ever signed with Israel. The Greek armed forces have now extremely close ties with Israelis.

Strategically speaking, in the event of the dissolution of the European project, one of the Plans B of the American and Israelis could be the formation, under their auspices, of an integrated Mediterranean Union with an anti-Russian orientation.
Conclusion
A first conclusion we can draw, which is of critical, global importance and significance, is that it is impossible to deal with this “Empire”, in financial or in geopolitical terms, with half measures.

But in Greece, Europe, Russia, China and everywhere, on the “radical Left” and on the “radical Right”, powerful forces survive which seek to appease and reach a compromise with the “Empire”; at the same time, societies and nations remain passive and confused – mainly due to the media’s massive brainwashing- hoping that they will manage to retain their gains without suffering the risk of any “clash”, “conflict” or “battle”. Unfortunately, when our societies are awakened to the need to act, it is usually too late.

The combination of the above factors – together with the fact that the “Empire” has a clear strategy, in contrast to its opponents who have neither strategy nor a convincing vision has allowed it to triumph so far. The key to its triumph is more this strategy, less its considerable material power or the (non) appeal of its “plan” for the future of the world – a plan so revolting that it must remain as constantly hidden as the existence and structure of the Empire itself.
Only the development of national and international subjects with an iron will to confront the challenges this economic and geopolitical Empire is putting, disposing of a serious programme for the defence of humanity’s elementary achievements and of world peace, offering convincing and reliable alternatives and developing a new alternative vision, operating under serious leadership and in the context of a high degree of popular mobilization and very active popular participation may have a chance to resist and defeat the obvious, for whom wants to see them, totalitarian threats to our societies.

Athens, August 2015

(*) Translated from Greek by Maria Komninou

This article was published in Greek, in the newspaper “Paron” newspaper (editions of 14.9.2015 and 21.9.2015) under the title “Death of Hope, Triumph of the Empire (A first international assessment of the Greek / European crisis)”.

(**) This article was already published when the conservative Athens daily Kathimerini (27.9.2015) published an article based on a telegram of the Greek ambassador in Washington. From the report it became clear the degree to which the Athens government was all the way under the direct “guidance” of US administration in its negotiating, communication and international policy.

Turkey, Russia and the middle-eastern puzzle

Russian intervention in Syria has had huge strategic consequences. Without this intervention, the Assad regime would have already gone or at least it would be extremely weakened. If Russia had not intervened, a western intervention in Syria (which was stopped in the last moment two years ago), would be the most probable consequence of the terror attacks in Paris.

If followed, such a course would have excluded any Russian influence in the region of Eastern Mediterranean and any Iranian influence in Syria. Western control over Syria would follow and also the isolation or annihilation of Hezbollah in Lebanon. We should remind, at this point, that the control of Syria and Lebanon by forces not threatening Israel, is considered a critical precondition of a war against Iran. Such a war was very much on the agenda during a whole decade. It seems that it is not any more, after the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. But there is no doubt that there are extremist circles, wishing the realization of such a “project”.

By intervening in Syria, Russia “saved” Assad (and Hezbollah indirectly), it has increased its influence on a very big “Shiite” zone from Mediterranean to Pakistan (!), nullifying the goal of the complete annihilation of any Russian presence in the Middle East.

The “reaction”, whoever organized it, was not late to come. It took the form of downing of the Russian jet, while the head of US Air Force was in Ankara. This incident destroyed the Russian-Turkish relations, of a strategic character, it created enormous problems for Erdogan and it opened the way for Kurdish advances in Northern Syria, finally pushing Ankara to an “alliance” with Netanyahu.

It was just a miscalculation by Turkey? Or Ankara had received, and by whom, assurances and encouragements? What had in mind Mr. Putin, when he remarked that even when one agrees with the present Turkish leadership, they answer by a stab in the back? Did Ankara received encouragements and assurances before proceeding to the downing of the jet, and if yes by whom?

There is not an obvious answer to such questions. Those questions become even more serious if one takes into account what Mr. Perinçek, the head of the small “Patriotic Party” in Turkey has declared during a press conference on the 4th of January. Mr. Perinçek is a rather controversial figure, still he entertains close relations with Kemalist forces in Turkey and various capitals abroad. According to him, the Russian leadership had accepted Turkish control of the western part of the “Kurdish corridor”, in northern Syria. All this planning was canceled after the downing. Such a scenario is, of course, very difficult to confirm or deny. But it has to be considered seriously, by anybody trying to decipher the Syrian puzzle, which is not but the most important part of a gigantic antagonism for control of the Middle East.

25 YEARS LATER: RUSSIA COMES BACK (UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES OF CHAOS)

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

A dramatic worsening of the conflict in the Middle East, in the immediate future, with unpredictable international consequences, should be considered one of the most likely scenarios, according to several international observers, although of course we should always avoid certainties in such situations.

If it is confirmed that the fall of the Russian aircraft over Sinai was caused by a terrorist operation, Moscow’s reaction is likely to be extremely tough.
For Kremlin it is vital to show that no one can hit Russia without suffering devastating retaliation.

The finding in Washington dead of a man who played a key role in the Russian communication effort internationally and was close to the Russian President himself, may be a coincidence, but it nonetheless makes heavier an already tense international climate. An atmosphere also burdened by the dispatch of American F-15 planes equipped with nuclear weapons to the Turkish base of Incirlik. Supposedly, everybody goes there to bomb Islamists. Bbut these airplanes are better for dogfights, rather than bombing.

President Obama also approved the dispatch of fifty men of the special forces to Syria. They are few, but the war in Vietnam began with few men too. At least, the presence of US troops on Syrian soil demonstrates Washington’s determination not to allow the Assad government, under Russian protection, imposing its control over the entire Syrian territory. Meanwhile some Israeli analysts bring again to the surface the scenarios for a split of Syria into three parts.

In turn, the Russians announced (something which can be seen as a warning) that they have already transferred to Syria some of their best anti-aircraft systems. As a minimum, their installation prohibits de facto the hitherto existing possibility of free action of American and Israeli aviation over Syria, if it is not “blinding” NATO air-control systems. The firing of missiles from Caspian, which Russian they claim that they are better than American Cruz missiles, also sent a “signal”, that any attempt of a Russian “exclusion” from the eastern Mediterranean, exploiting geographical factors, is of a limited use. Russian proved also again their military-technological capacities.

Behind the ‘Islamic State’

The issue has broader dimensions, because a series of publications and revelations from officials refer to the close links and support of “Islamic State” from Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. For the Russians, diplomatic sources say, there is no serious doubt about relations between IS and western services, as for the real attitude and role of Israel raises at least some serious questions, say the same sources.
Polyvolo & soldier in Syrian mountains 1a LLLL Photo TASS

Obviously, it is hardly credible that a single “chieftain” of the “Islamic State” took the decision to attack a Russian plane with over 200 passengers on board and told no one. The question is who knew what, who possibly made the decision, or rather who permitted such an operation to take place. On the response to be given by the Kremlin and Washington on this question, too much will depend on international relations in the near future.

Erdogan loses his temper and the West its mind

The President of Turkey, Tayip Erdogan, made the (unprecedented in the diplomatic annals) statement that he can’t condemn the shooting down of Russian aircraft, if it was a shooting down, since the Russians bomb Muslims in Syria too.

The Erdogan statement reveals a great loss of composure and complete, arrogant misconception of reality and correlation of forces. At the very least, it will burden significantly the Russian-Turkish relations. It is also very typical for the large lack of understanding of Russia, and the underlying strength of Russian national feeling, that characterises now most Western politicians. These politicians were formed in the period immediately after the sudden collapse of the USSR, the causes of which misinterpreted in the West as a sole product of weakness.

In fact, the deep crisis or any “weakness” that the USSR was facing, was unable by itself to lead to the overthrow of the regime, because otherwise the Cuban regime would not survive even a few months. Behind the “collapse-suicide” of the USSR there was an element of ‘accession’ of the Soviet elite, but also of a significant part of soviet public opinion in the world of “Western capitalistic values”. But what followed was that the Russian economy, state and society were destroyed in the 1990’s following, as closely as possible, the recipes of the IMF. NATO tends to come as near as possible to Moscow itself and the Russian border is today about where it was in the time of Ivan the Terrible. It makes sense that, some people in Russia, drew after all some conclusions from such an experience. This is not strange, what is really strange is rather that it took them so much time to draw those conclusions!

American-Russian “codes”

The current international situation and the lack of understanding of Russia by the West poses risks of a very big international crisis between the two nuclear superpowers, because in these days there are no codes and understanding, as they were developed after the conference of Yalta and after the crisis of the missiles in Cuba. There are also, in contrast to what was happening throughout the Cold War period, very limited forces in both western establishment and western societies, which could somehow offset the existence of strong currents, such as “Neo-conservatives”, who seem willing to take to “war” against Russia and China, to the very end, risking even the Apocalypse!

Obama and neoconservatives

Only President Obama (who was elected as a reaction to the extremist neoconservative Iraq policy) seems to have perhaps realized where the hawks lead him. These hawks that are everywhere in the American establishment itself, also inside the government and they are probably stronger than the American President himself (exemplified by the Deputy Secretary Nuland who was handing out sandwiches to the demonstrators in Maidan Square in Kiev and was proposing to “fuck the EU”). The President sometimes looks like he is making a kind of “guerrilla” war inside the “deep” American state. Not without significance since it managed, at least so far, to prevent military intervention in Syria and war against Iran.

It is not the first time this happens. From the minutes of the meeting on the crisis of missiles in Cuba, we know that the world war was averted only because there was President Kennedy and his brother. Both were distinguished for their self-confidence, their independence of opinion and their faith in America. Both were assassinated at a later stage.

Many people in the West are hoping that the fall of the Russian aircraft, attributed to a terrorist operation, will lead to a “revolt” of Russian public opinion against Putin’s policy in the Middle East. It is not at all certain. What is instead certain is that if the fall is due to terrorism, it will confirm the assessment of the Kremlin that Russia faces a dangerous encirclement by forces seeking, in the long term, either to subjugate it or to crush it. And it will lead to a hardening, no to a softening of the Russian policy.

The return of Russia (or how chaos became a boomerang)

The wars in Georgia and Ukraine were actually forced defensive moves of the Kremlin in the zone of its most vital interests, the former USSR.
Russian intervention in Syria raises in practice a serious obstacle to any intentions of a continuation of the Middle East wars with an attack against Iran. With this intervention, the Kremlin crossed its own Rubicon. By the very logic of things, and not by the deepest desire of the Russian elite, it is now pushed to take upon itself a part of the global role played by the USSR.

The strategy of chaos had thus a very unexpected result, as Moscow “saw light and entered” in a huge Shiite strategic area of global importance, that extends from the Mediterranean coast opposite Cyprus to the border of Pakistan, including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran!

And unlike even the leaderships of Stalin or Brezhnev, the inherent conservatism of whom made in fact quite predictable their behavior, despite their “revolutionary” rhetoric and ideology, we are dealing here with a new, under formation Russian leadership and Russian society, open to evolution in different directions. (A writer said about Cromwell’s soldiers, “if they knew where they would arrive, they would not make a single step!”).
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos has worked as an assistant on East-West relations and arms control in the office of Greek PM Andreas Papandreou from 1985 to 1988. From 1989 to 1999 he has been the director of the Athens News Agency office in Moscow

This article was published by ANA-MPA, on November 9th, 2015

Translated from Greek into English by George Moustakis