Tag Archives: Serbia

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)

This is also a Coup! The second one in Greece after 2015

US-NATO-EU provoke chaos in Greece and in Balkans

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Maybe it is the best agreement ever signed…Maybe by applying it, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, will enter an era of great friendship and enormous prosperity…

Maybe…The only small detail is that the majority of the deputies of the Greek Parliament do not believe that the Agreement is so good. Not only did the parties of the Opposition declare that they oppose the Agreement and won’t ratify it but even AN.EL., the junior partner of SYRIZA in the government says that it will vote NO when it is introduced in Parliament. The population does not believe it either. 70% of those asked in the polls, including 50% of the SYRIZA voters, answered they are against the Agreement.

The Opposition asked the Government to hold a vote in Parliament on the Agreement before Mr. Tsipras and Mr.Kotzias, the Foreign Minister, sign it. The Government refused the request and also refused the calls for a Referendum coming from many sides and personalities, including Mikis Theodorakis, the legendary symbol of the International Leftist movement.  But no, Tsipras and Kotzias presume to know better what is good for the people than the people themselves.

Given the official opposition of the parties commanding the majority of deputies of the Parliament, the clear opposition of the people and other circumstances which we will try to elucidate, the signing of the Agreement between Mr. Tsipras and the Prime Minister of FYROM, Mr. Zaev, was nothing less than a political, if not a legal -stricto senso- coup d’ etat against the Greek constitutional order and the principles of Popular and National Sovereignty, with the sole aim of opening the way for FYROM to join NATO and the EU -and this irrespective of the opinion one may hold of the Agreement itself. 

As we said, everybody can have an opinion about this Agreement (*). But there is a much larger and probably far more important question than how to solve the dispute between Greece and FYROM. And this question is: Who rules Greece and FYROM? Their citizens and elected Parliaments, or US, Germany, NATO and the EU?

Mr. Kotzias and Mr. Tsipras arguably may have had technically the right to sign this Agreement, but they did not have any legitimacy to do so, as the Greek political parties commanding a majority of deputies in the Greek Parliament have expressed their disagreement with it in the most official way.

A closer look at the Agreement will persuade anyone that instead of solving, it seals and perpetuates the existing differences between Greeks and Macedonian Slavs. The main aim of the Agreement is to open the way for FYROM to join NATO and then, the differences of the two nations will be used to provide the US with a permanent tool to use the one nation against the other. The Agreement was conceived to facilitate US-NATO advanced strategic planning for controlling the Balkans by encircling, containing and threatening Russia.

The Agreement has also the potential of destabilizing and provoking much greater instability, conflicts and chaos in the region, including in Greece itself. In addition to the problems outlined above concerning the Greek side there are also doubts whether Mr. Zaev himself, who came into power in 2016, as a result of a ‘color revolution’ greatly helped by US Secret Services, has also sufficient legitimization to sign this Agreement.

Only by a series of ‘legal’ coups d’ etat and flagrant violations of the most elementary democratic and parliamentarian rules and procedures, which we will expose in detail, Tsipras and Kotzias were able to sign this Agreement. Of course, such massive violations of democratic rules and legitimacy in a member of the EU do not constitute an obstacle for Federica Mogherini, the EU Representative on Foreign and Security Policy, the EU Commissioner on Enlargement Johannes Hahn, Rosemary DiCarlo, the Deputy General Secretary of the UN and Mathew Nimetz, the UN special Envoy, who were present and celebrated the signing of the Agreement by the lake Prespes, an agreement reflecting the will of the Empire, not the will of the two nations involved.

The Agreement is also strongly supported by US President Trump, the German Government, NATO and the EU. All of them wish to include FYROM in NATO as soon as possible in order for this organization to control the whole of the Balkans. FYROM is located at the very center of the peninsula, between Albania and Bulgaria and between Greece and Serbia. To control it means to control the whole peninsula. In FYROM the US has established many years ago enormous military installations and the country has become the center of CIA activities covering all the Balkans. (**)

The only reason Tsipras and Kotzias hastened to sign this Agreement, essentially flouting of the Greek Constitutional Order, with the help of a EU Commission ever eager to attack democratic principles in any member state, is their willingness to satisfy everything that NATO and the US demand of them, something which they also do in all spheres of Foreign and Defense Policy (***).

The signature of this Agreement, against the will of the Parliament and of the people, is the second such grave violation of the very foundations of Democracy in Greece and of the principles of Popular and National Sovereignty, since the flouting of the clear mandate of the 2015 Referendum. In fact this is the continuation of the previous coup of 2015 but without even the shadow of a justification. Back in 2015 Tsipras claimed that he couldn’t do anything else. Now there was no compelling reason to sign this Agreement in such haste other than to satisfy the American desiderata. By thus signing such an agreement, despite its entailing in all likelihood a severe drop in its popularity, this government proved that it is controlled directly by foreign powers in a way no Greek government was ever controlled since the military Dictatorship. The fact that the centers of Western Imperialism were able to control the leadership of the Greek Left, one of the most radical and strong in any European country after WWII is a tremendous triumph of the Empire, and this for many reasons. (****)

The main difference between now and 2015 is that the leading role is now played by the US and NATO. The European Union is relegated to a backstage supporting role, the opposite of what happened in 2015. In 2015 American diplomacy also played an important backstage role in the signing of the Greek capitulation and the Greek Vice-Premier, Mr Dragasakis even went on record to thank the US Administration for its vital contribution to the … surrender of his own government! The supposed “radical left” (SYRIZA) and supposed “radical right” (AN.EL.) were apparently unable to capitulate by themselves and needed outside help even for that!

We said that this new coup d’etat is the continuation of the previous one, because both are included in the project of destroying the Greek nation and Democracy, by turning the Greek state into a western protectorate in all fields, including foreign and defense policies. The Tsipras – Zaev Agreement marks the transition from the economic to the geopolitical colonization of Greece.

Read more at http://www.defenddemocracy.press/20910-2/

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