Tag Archives: Yugoslavia

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/

De Córdoba à Paris: Hugo Moreno. le “Dragon” (1943-2017)

C’est dans l’année qui se termine, que notre bon ami Hugo Moreno est parti. Il était un grand homme et autant, un combattant pour le socialisme. Un socialisme que lui-même et le courant politique auquel il appartenait le définissait comme «le régime de l’autogestion sociale généralisée».

Homme très chaleureux, Hugo se distinguait par son souci sincère et profond, son empathie pour les gens. Il incarnait dans sa conduite personnelle les valeurs dont il se réclamait intellectuellement et politiquement. Ce qui n’était pas toujours le cas pour beaucoup de cadres politiques des organisations de gauche, si souvent dominés par leur amour du pouvoir, petit ou grand…

Amoureux de la vie, comme tout le continent, l’Amérique Latine, dont il était issu, Hugo avait un comportement à l’opposé de la politesse “formellement correcte” (comme on dit politiquement correcte), mais froide comme le soleil d’hiver, qui distingue souvent beaucoup des Européens. Et surtout, Hugo était caractérisé par un sens très puissant de dignité humaine, plutôt rare, surtout à notre époque.

Forme dans les années 1960 en Argentine révolutionnaire, Hugo a incarné l’un des meilleurs exemples de sa génération, un combattant internationaliste pour le socialisme, très cultivé et à l’esprit critique. Il n’a pas abandonné ses idées pour passer à l’autre bord, au contraire, il a poursuivi son voyage jusqu’à la fin, même si, comme toute sa génération, il a connu tant de déceptions amères ainsi répétées alors en cascade.

Ayant d’abord participé aux Monteneros dans les années 1960, il a été rapidement en désaccord et en rupture avec eux. Torturé de manière atroce au Brésil et en Argentine, il s’est vu forcé à prendre la route vers Europe, d’abord au Portugal, puis en France, où il a fini par devenir Professeur à l’Université de Paris VIII. Mais la politique ne l’a jamais perdu de vue, elle a toujours demeuré  au fond de son être.

Il a connu et rencontré Michael Raptis (Pablo), l’ancien secrétaire grec de la Quatrième Internationale, au Chili de Salvador Allende en 1973 et il avait rejoint le mouvement que Pablo avait créé, la Tendance Marxiste Révolutionnaire Internationale (TMRI) dont Hugo  est devenu un des dirigeants.

Peut-être le caractère d’ Hugo n’était pas si étranger à ses choix politiques. Le charismatique Pablo était une légende pour le rôle qu’il a joué dans la révolution algérienne, et c’est probablement par ce rôle, que le trotskisme français ait pu sortir de l’obscurité et le déclin de la première période de l’après-guerre. « Au commencement c’était la Praxis », fut l’axe de la philosophie politique du révolutionnaire grec qui a conduit ses amis et camarades a la lutte pratique aux cotes surtout des révolutionnaires du tiers monde.

La TMRI, a laquelle Hugo a adhéré représentait du reste un courant de marxistes révolutionnaires très critiques, qui essayaient de traiter le marxisme comme une « science expérimentale » de la société, pour ainsi laisser la réalité compléter, corriger, ou revoir les doctrines héritées et qui ne cessent d’être finalement déterminées par l’espace , le temps et les besoins qui les ont fait naître. Pablo lui même, originaire d’un pays qui se trouve a la jonction du monde de l’Industrie, de l’impérialisme et de la lutte des classes d’une part, et du monde des colonies et de la lutte des nations d’ autre part, il a toujours essayé d’orienter les trotskystes vers la révolution anticoloniale, tandis qu’il était autant intéressé par l’autogestion. Approche théorique, essayant de répondre à l’impasse profonde des régimes staliniens bureaucratiques, mais aussi approche pratique, développe à partir de l’implication des trotskystes dans l’expérimentation de la Yougoslavie de Tito à ses débuts et dans la Révolution Algérienne.

La chaleur joueuse de ton regard Hugo… elle nous manquera.

Dimitri Konstantakopoulos

Ensuite, nous publions deux articles d’amis et de camarades d’Hugo Moreno qui l’ont si bien connu, Guillermo Almeyra et Patrick Silberstein

Lire aussi

Le désastre argentin

Hugo Moreno (1943-2017) | by Carlos Abel Suárez

Working class protest, popular revolt and urban insurrection in Argentina: the 1969 Cordobazo – James P. Brennan

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