The "massacre" at Srebrenica was a HOAX. I have talked to several Serb soldiers there and they all told me the same thing - the muslimes were combatants launching attacks AGAINST the Serbs from what was supposed to be as safe haven. What the fuck would anyone do if mortars came raining down on their heads? Wait and get blown-up?! The EU and USA super-criminal dirt bags made up these stories to justify their war crimes attacks against the Serbs for economic and political control in the region. I have also read many stories from INDEPENDENT sources who claim the 8,000 number is totally bogus and the pictures of detainees in camps were actually Serbs being held captive by the muslimes or Cro's. Regardless, the only good muslim is a dead one and they all need to be exterminated like cockroaches or a deadly disease that they are.
Does anyone believe that Bush and now Obama have not done much, much worse than Mladic? These war criminals are responsible for the deaths of maybe a million people. How many of these were average citizens, sitting in their homes when bombs came through the roof? They fought wars that really had NOTHING to do with protecting America, especially being 15,000 miles from home. How about Blair, Notbright, and thousands of other western murderers?
Dushko Russians play chess well.The check mate will come soon enough. You better hope you can still get on board the south stream.
In many ways, I hope you are correct. There has been a lot of talk in the USA, much of it sort of underground, that all hell will break loose here within the next few years, which is what the world Oligarchs want. I have seen the dominos fall, one by one, but the general public is the most stupid mofo's in the universe and the fall of the USA is irreversible. However....its time that the Serbs and their friends get some balls and stand up to the the cosmic criminals in the USA and EU. The EU will never be a boon to the Serbs, because like the USA, Western Europe is doomed also. Last aboard, the first tossed overboard.
Mladic may have allowed himself to be discovered in return for a substantial financial reward for his family, sources from Belgrade say.
The circumstances surrounding arrest of the wartime commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, General Ratko Mladiæ, seem puzzling. On May 26 he was captured in the house of a close relative with the same surname in a village north of Belgrade. Prima facie this means either that Mladiæ was entirely left to his own devices and had to seek shelter with people certain to be under police surveillance, or else that the Serbian authorities had been conniving in his hiding. The former is unlikely in view of the effectiveness of Mladiæ’s concealment after he finally went underground in 2002. The latter is even less likely in view of President Boris Tadiæ’s constant desire to please his mentors in Brussels and Washington and get Serbia a step closer to the ever-elusive EU membership.
According to our reliable sources in Belgrade, Mladiæ would not have been discovered had he not decided to give himself up in return for a substantial financial reward for his family. He is a very sick man and unlikely to live much longer. In addition to a chronic kidney ailment and high blood pressure, he has suffered several minor strokes over the past decade. Two years ago he was treated—under an assumed name—for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at a clinic in Belgrade. Aware that his wife Bosiljka and son Darko had been living in penury since the authorities stopped paying his pension in 2005, Mladiæ decided to offer the government a deal. The final settlement is well below the $10m previously offered for Mladiæ’s capture, but sufficient to enable his wife and son to live in comfort for many years to come.
The price Mladiæ will have to pay is to endure, in the closing months of his life, a show trial at The Hague, where his guilt for genocide, crimes against humanity etc. is treated as a long-established fact. That he will not be granted even pro forma assumption of innocence was evident in the statement by the viceroy of Bosnia (“International High Representative”), Valentin Inzko of Austria, who described Mladiæ as a “war criminal” even though the trial is unlikely to start until some time next year.
Ratko Mladiæ is neither a monster nor a saint. He is a soldier, groomed in the Titoist tradition of the JNA (YPA) trans-national Yugoslavism, who rediscovered his Serb roots in late middle age. He was a skilled tactician but he was not a master strategist: he knew how to win battles, but ending the war was beyond him. His masterly conquest of the fortified Muslim positions on Mts. Igman and Bjelašnica in the summer of 1993 was a neat case of deep penetration by platoon-sized shock units in the center, immediately followed by panic-inducing flanking pincers.
Mladiæ’s freedom of action was partly curtailed by the latent tensions between the military and the political leadership of the Bosnian Serb republic. He and his staff were former YPA officers mistrusted by the ruling Serbian Democratic Party. On the other hand, Mladiæ’s view was that the Serbian Democratic Party establishment was both corrupt and inept. Dr. Karadžiæ retaliated by referring to the Army top brass as “commie bastards,” komunjare. The underlying animosity was based on the politicians’ claim that the officers had divided loyalties, since many of them (including Mladiæ) were still on the payroll of the Yugoslav Army, which at that time was controlled by Slobodan Miloševiæ.
Needless to say, Ratko Mladiæ is not guilty as charged. The heart of the indictment against him, “Srebrenica,” is a myth—a genocide-that-never was, a postmodernist exercise in pseudoreality. It is a matter of record that thousands of Muslim men were killed in the vicinity of that small town during the Bosnian war, and that most of them lost their lives during an attempted breakthrough after the pocket fell to the Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. At least a fifth reached safety of the Muslim-held town of Tuzla; a few hundred crossed to Serbia, across the Drina River to the east. An unknown were killed while fighting their way through; and many others—numbers remain disputed—were taken prisoner and executed by the Bosnian Serb soldiers. The numbers remain unknown and misrepresented. The War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague (ICTY) never came up with a conclusive breakdown of casualties. That a war crime did take place is undeniable, but the number of its victims remains forensically and demographically unproven. According to the former BBC reporter Jonathan Rooper, “from the outset the numbers were used and abused” for political purposes.” The most startling aspect of the 7-8,000 figure, he says, is that it has always been represented as synonymous with the number of people executed. This was never a possibility. (Check out my Srebrenica and the Power of Reason, April 15.)
Far from bringing the Srebrenica myth to some long-overdue critical scrutiny, Mladiæ’s transfer to The Hague will be used to reconfirm old prejudices and old myths. In reality, the crimes and violations of human rights between 1992 and 1995 were not the direct result of anyone’s nationalist project. These crimes, as Susan Woodward of Brookings notes, “were the results of the wars and their particular characteristics, not the causes.” Yet the effect of the legal intervention of the “international community” with its act of recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina was that a Yugoslav loyalty was made to look like a conspiratorial disloyalty to “Bosnia.” In 1943-4 Tito was able to force the Anglo-Americans to pretend that his struggle was not communist revolution. In 1992-5 Alija Izetbegoviæ forced the West to pretend that his jihad was the defense of “multi-ethnicity.” Both pretenses were absurd.
Ratko Mladiæ will be duly convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. He will not come out of jail alive. The verdict is already written, but it reflects a fundamental imbalance. It ignores the essence of the Bosnian war—the Serbs’ striving not to be forced into secession—while remaining mute about the culpability of the other two sides for a series of unconstitutional, illegitimate and illegal political decisions that caused the war. The judgment against Mladiæ at the U.S.-sponsored and largely U.S.-funded tribunal at The Hague will be built on this flawed foundation. It will be neither fair nor just. It will also give further credence to the myth of Muslim blameless victimhood, Serb viciousness, and Western indifference, and therefore weaken our resolve in the global struggle that used to be known as “war on terrorism,” and now no longer has a name, or a purpose, or a strategy.
The long-term agenda of the Tribunal’s architects is obvious when we read Geoffrey Robertson’s “Mistakes the Mladic trial needs to avoid” (The Independent, May 28, 2011): “The Mladic indictment … should be replaced by just one charge, the crime against humanity constituted by his command responsibility for ordering the worst war crime since the Japanese death marches of POWs at the end of the Second World War, namely the slaughter of more than 7,000 prisoners of war—the Muslim men and boys killed at Srebrenica.” It remains the Serbian government’s duty, Robertson says,
to clean out the Serb orthodox church, whose priests blessed the death squads at Srebrenica. Without their blessing, I believe that some soldiers would have disobeyed their orders to shoot defenceless, hog-tied, men and boys. It is widely known that the church has harboured Hague fugitives in its monasteries and has been deeply implicit with the murderous aspects of Serb nationalism… They should remember … the fact that the wheels of international justice grind slowly but they grind exceedingly small.
This is a statement worthy of a senior jurist in Moscow, cca 1937. It is unimaginable that Mr. Robinson would suggest a similar clean-up of the Prophet’s Religion of Peace and Tolerance, of course. His call is based on the construct of primary Serb culpability that is supposedly unique among the warring factions. In Robertson’s scenario The Hague is not a vehicle of judicial reconciliation but an instrument of quasi-legal retaliation.
The forthcoming verdict against Ratko Mladiæ, signed and sealed as it is, will be based on a lie and on an arbitrary apportioning of guilt by the self-appointed guardians of the “international community.” It paves the way for a new, even worse conflict a decade or two from now. It guarantees that the absurdity known as “Bosnia-Herzegovina” will become even less tenable than it is already.
President calls on EU "to keep its word" Source: Tanjug
BRUSSELS -- President Boris Tadiæ said in Brussels on Tuesday that Serbia had kept its word by arresting Ratko Mladiæ and that now the European Union should do the same.
Addressing a policy briefing entitled, "Serbia: en route to the EU", at the European Policy Center in Brussels on Tuesday, Tadiæ said "it was now time for everyone to be honest".
"The arrest of Ratko Mladiæ was Serbia's moral obligation, but also a condition for European integration, the country can be free to look the EU straight in the eyes and say that it did what it should. Can the EU now do the same?” he asked.
Tadiæ added that Serbia was ready to begin the pre-accession negotiations with the EU and that the EU should use the opportunity, which was now bigger than ever.
He said Serbia was ready and had the capacity to play a constructive and vital role in resolving all regional problems, including the Kosovo issue, and that only a solution supported by everyone could be sustainable.
Serbs and Albanians have to reconcile and that is possible, Tadiæ said, adding that Serbia is ready to try out all possibilities.
He said he was encouraged by the progress achieved in the Belgrade-Priština talks so far and noted that Serbia was seeking lasting solutions as opposed to some who only wanted to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible.
Previously, Tadiæ stated that Serbia would neither explicitly nor implicitly accept Kosovo's declaration of independence.
"This is the red line we will not cross under any conditions," Tadiæ said after his talks with European Council President Herman van Rompuy.
"Serbia, its administration, the government, and I as president will neither implicitly nor explicitly recognize Kosovo," Tadiæ said.
Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence in early 2008.
According to Tadiæ, there are countries "that would like to put Serbia in a situation where it would have to do something more to get the European Union (EU) membership candidacy status and the date of the beginning of the accession negotiations".
"That will not happen," he said.
"We will not do that and we will not cross the red line and I discussed the matter with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and van Rompuy," the Serbian president underlined.
He said that Belgrade's dialog with Priština, i.e., the Kosovo Albanian authorities, was part of the efforts to enter the EU without a new conflict to burden the community of European countries.
"We are fighting for our interests by using all legal means available, in a way that presents Serbia as a reliable partner and shows that it will do what it said it would," Tadiæ added.
The Serbian president said Belgrade was ready to resolve daily life problems of people in Kosovo through talks with Priština, pointing out that a solution could be found if both sides had "a flexible approach to the dialog".
Yes, the idiot Tadic hasn't a clue about the treachery of the evil Western Europeans and Americans. They do absolutely nothing out of kindness and are motivated only by greed and gluttony.
At best, after more and more concessions and complete capitulation, Serbia will be "treated" to some high interest rate loans to help them rebuild but they will be in danger of destruction by the weight of servitude to the West.
One only has to look at the financial and cultural condition of England, Portugal, Spain, Greece, France, etc. to see what lies in the future as a member of the EU.
Conjuring the Black Hat - The Lynching of Ratko Mladic.
Antiwar.com by Nebojsa Malic, June 04, 2011
In the afternoon hours of May 26, the president of Serbia called a surprise press conference to announce, in Boratesque English, the arrest of General Ratko Mladic, wartime commander of Bosnian Serb forces. Entirely by coincidence, or so President Tadic’s crack team of spin-masters would have everyone believe, this happened on the very day EU’s foreign policy commissar Catherine Ashton was visiting.
Tadic argued that the arrest "lifted the stain from Serbia and from Serbs" everywhere, and "ended a difficult period in our history." He expressed hope that the arrest would mollify the bureaucrats of Brussels to unfreeze his government’s bid to join the EU. True, he personally received praise from the Emperor himself and not a few media mavens. But the EU remained aloof, and soon produced more demands, while the mainstream media cared little about his spin on events – they gleefully proceeded to dredge up every bit of mud they’ve ever slung at Serbia and the Serbs, and add more.
The Five-Day Hatefest
The media feeding frenzy in the five days between Gen. Mladic’s arrest and his rendition on Monday resembled nothing so much as the similar outpouring of vitriol almost three years ago, during the arrest and rendition of former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic. It had been a rare moment, as Brendan O’Neill noted, when Islamic militant joined hands with liberal interventionists and hated their common villain.
Accounts of the alleged atrocities by the "Butcher of Bosnia" ranged from outlandish to flat-out made up. For example, George Jahn of the AP described this ghastly scene from Sarajevo:
"Burn their brains," he bellowed as his men targeted the nearly defenseless city from the hills above. At war’s end three years later, Sarajevo was a burned-out shell.
The actual quote was "Stretch their wits," and it was taken from radio transmissions allegedly intercepted by the Bosnian Muslims (it will be interesting to see if they can be authenticated at the trial). The "nearly defenseless" city harbored an entire army corps, with artillery. And the worst-bombed parts of Sarajevo in the end were the sections held by Mladic’s forces. But who needs pesky facts, when they get in the way of a good story?
Worse yet were the accounts of what happened in Srebrenica, a town in Eastern Bosnia captured from a brutal Muslim warlord in July 1995. Mladic personally oversaw the evacuation of civilians, while Muslim troops made a break from the town; the war crimes tribunal (ICTY) declared the deaths of those that didn’t survive the trek to be "genocide," stretching the definition to absurdity (PDF).
Although no two reports told exactly the same story – the only constants in reporting about Srebrenica are the "8,000" alleged dead, the phrase "men and boys," and the description along the lines of "Europe’s worst crime since the Nazis" – they all painted a vivid picture of Serbs raping, murdering and butchering innocent Muslim civilians as UN troops stood by and watched .None of that’s true.
Incongruously, AP reporters even managed to locate a boy who appeared in a famous photo with Mladic, who had ruffled his hair and given him chocolate. Izudin Alic now lives near Srebrenica, proof that the official story is utter nonsense.
The sort of hysterical hyperbole used to describe the events of the Bosnian War – the Egyptian judge who wrote Mladic’s original indictment in 1995 claimed that "children [were] killed before their mothers’ eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson" – does a colossal disservice to its actual victims. The horrors of war were quite ghastly enough on their own. Embellished to the point of snuff fiction, they morph into myth and fuel the flames of hatred. Perhaps this is why Bosnia is still mentally at war, 15 years after the guns fell silent.
Presumptions of Guilt
Six months ago, when a report by Swiss Senator Dick Marty accused the Albanian authorities in the self-proclaimed state of Kosovo of engaging in forcible harvesting and illicit trafficking of human organs, the media and officials in Washington and Brussels were very careful to maintain the presumption of innocence, and talked of need for hard evidence. That standard, however, does not apply in cases where they have already passed both verdict and sentence.
The other day, Geert Wilders, Dutch politician currently on trial for alleged "hate speech" against Islam, pointed out in his closing remarks that he was "being compared with the Hutu murderers in Rwanda and with Mladic." And in an essay complaining about the fuzzy definition of genocide employed by the ICTY, liberal luminary Ian Buruma first decided that Mladic looked guilty – "the kind of bull-necked, pale-eyed, snarling psychopath who would gladly pull out your fingernails just for fun" – and then expressed "no doubt that he is guilty of serious war crimes."
Why bother with a trial at all, then? Don’t you know there’s a depression on?
Who is Ratko Mladic?
In 1991, Ratko Mladic was a professional officer in the Yugoslav People’s Army. Born in 1943, he had never met his father, who was killed during WW2 by the Ustasha, Croatian Nazis conducting a genocidal campaign against the Serbs and Jews in what are today Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mladic went to military schools and was "groomed in the Titoist tradition of… trans-national Yugoslavism," wrote historian Srdja Trifkovic, a primary source in this instance. Per Trifkovic, Mladic "rediscovered his Serb roots in late middle age," when he was set in charge of the crumbling Yugoslav Army units in Dalmatia, and then in Bosnia.
Mladic arrived in Sarajevo following the "Dobrovoljacka massacre," in which Muslim militias ambushed the retreating Army convoy led by his predecessor, under the UN flag of truce. The ICTY never charged anyone in this case; the official on whose authority the militia acted was recently proclaimed a hero by the Bosnian Islamic community. Refusal of the Bosnian courts to even open the case underpinned the recent game of brinkmanship that culminated mid-May.
A skilled tactician, Mladic won many battles, but waged an unwinnable war. The Bosnian Serb strategy called for staking out a defensible territory, then negotiating with the Muslim regime in Sarajevo. That regime, however, absolutely refused to negotiate, fighting the war with CNN cameras rather than cannons in hope of intervention from the West.
In March 1992, Croatia tried to bypass the Vance Plan by invading Bosnia and encircling the Serb-inhabited west; Mladic and his troops thwarted this move, and maintained the lifeline "Corridor" till the end of the war. Serb politicians and officers, including Mladic, have said they were trying to prevent the repetition of WW2 events. This has been dismissed as propaganda – yet the fact that few Serbs remain in Croatia following Zagreb’s 1995 blitzkrieg speaks for itself.
Mladic and his civilian boss, Karadzic, were accused of war crimes by the ICTY in late 1995, as U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke endeavored to cut them out of the peace talks. There isn’t any doubt whatsoever that the decision to indict them was political.
That said, there are indeed serious questions concerning Sarajevo and Srebrenica, the true extent of the bombing, the executions of prisoners (which certainly happened) and whether Mladic sanctioned it or not. It is unlikely, however, that they will ever be answered in a show trial before the ICTY.
As most other Serb defendants in The Hague, Mladic is not charged with anything he actually did, but with being what he was – a senior military officer, and as such considered a part of the alleged "joint criminal enterprise" to establish an ethnically pure "Greater Serbia." The conspiracy is a myth; even under Milosevic, Serbia was more multi-ethnic than any other fragment of Yugoslavia (while Empire’s allies such as Croatia or "Kosovo" are notorious for ethnic purity). The ICTY’s own recent conviction of Croatian generals demolishes the conspiracy charge – which is why it will likely be overturned. Yet they persist in the conspiracy charge against the entire political, police and military leadership of the Serbs (from Krajina, Bosnia and Serbia itself), asserting in effect that the Serbs’ war aims were wholly illegitimate, while those of others were entirely valid.
Why? Because, as Mick Hume pointed out in 2008, the Empire needed Bosnia to give itself new meaning following the Cold War. To be a hero, the "white hat" of old Westerns, the Empire had to have a villain, the proverbial "black hat." It found one in the Serbs, a nation suddenly bereft of friends and beset by enemies looking for a powerful sponsor. And so, in the greatest propaganda coup of modern time, the victims of Nazi brutality were themselves declared Nazis reborn.
Before Bush II launched the Lost War of Terror, the Clintons "saved Bosnia" and "liberated Kosovo." Osama bin Laden had usurped the mantle of the chief "black hat" for almost a decade, but he was inconvenient, interfering with the forced perception of Islam as the "Religion of Peace" and plans for jihad as a tool of Washington’s strategic interests in Eurasia.
With Obama’s first term effectively the Clinton Restoration, the Balkans was once again trotted out as the great and noble rescue, invoked to justify military interventionism across the globe. It will become even more important now that Bin Laden is sleeping with the fishes. And even after 15 years, the wonks in Washington still cannot, or will not, see that the rescue was a sham, that the expected gratitude will never materialize, and that trying to use jihad as a weapon has already backfired once, and will do so again.
In order to maintain the delusion of Empire’s unchallenged dominion, for the bombs to continue to rain on Libya – and whoever else is next – Ratko Mladic and the Serbs need to be monsters in public perception, regardless of what they may or may not be in fact.
US breathes life into a new cold war By M K Bhadrakumar
There might have been a difference of opinion between the classical Greek dramatist Aeschylus and British romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley regarding the circumstances of the release of the Titan god Prometheus from captivity: whether it followed reconciliation with Jupiter, as the classicist thought, or a rebellion, as the romantic insisted. In either case, Prometheus was "unbound".
The exact circumstances of the endgame in Iraq and Afghanistan will remain a moot point, but the outcome is certain to be that the United States, which like Prometheus was chained to a mountain where he was daily punished by Jupiter's eagle and underwent immense suffering, is being "released" to normal life.
For Prometheus, it came as an existential moment and when Hercules came to unbind him, he was so relieved at the freedom "long desired/And long delayed" that he pledged to his love that they "will sit and talk of time and change/As the world ebbs and flows, ourselves unchanged".
The United States, too, is re-emerging "unchanged". There is a flurry of activity as if making up for lost time - "unilateralist" military intervention in Libya; deployment of a F-16 squadron in Poland; establishment of military bases in Romania; resuscitation of the George W Bush era plans for deployment of a US missile defense system in Central Europe; revival of the entente cordiale among "new Europeans"; threatened "humanitarian intervention" in Syria; renewed talk of military action against Iran; a push for a long-term military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan; revving up of the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) into Central Asia; violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan; the threat of "regime change" in Sri Lanka; and last weekend the announcement of the deployment of light combat ships in Singapore.
All this has happened within a 100-day period. It was almost inevitable that the Caspian great game would be revived, too. After the unexplained hibernation in the period since the exit of the Bush presidency in the beginning of 2009, Richard Morningstar, the US's special envoy for Eurasian energy, has returned to the arena.
If his testimony at the hearing conducted by the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week had one single message, it was that the US's Eurasian energy strategy remained "unchanged" in its core agenda, namely, to challenge Russia's potential to use its vast reserves as an energy exporter to re-emerge as a big power on the world stage.
Cold War rhetoric surfaces The geopolitical agenda of the US's Eurasian energy strategy was spelt out with characteristic bluntness at the same congressional hearing by noted Russia expert Ariel Cohen. There may be nothing strikingly new, arguably, in Cohen's thesis about Russia's "expansionist agenda" reflected in its energy policies, but nonetheless it merits reiteration by way of providing the backdrop to Morningstar's testimony. He was constrained by the norms of diplomatic practice to hold back on direct criticism of Russia, with which the Barack Obama administration is engaged in a "reset" at the moment:
The Kremlin views energy as a tool to pursue an assertive foreign policy. Europe's level of dependence on Russia for energy is unacceptably high. Russia's attempts to exclude the US from Central Asian and Caspian energy markets. Russia is using energy to "re-engage" India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Russia forces neighboring countries to direct their energy exports via its pipeline system. The absence of a "rule of law" blocks Western companies' entry into Russia's energy sector. Russia remains disinterested in developing energy ties with the US.
Cohen candidly spelt out the geopolitics. One, European demand for energy is projected to grow further and it could lead to greater dependence on energy from Russia, which has serious implications for Moscow's ties with Europe.
The point is, the US apprehends that Moscow will exploit the growing energy ties to stabilize its relationship with the countries of Western Europe, and that could weaken the spirit of Euro-Atlanticism and incrementally loosen the US's trans-Atlantic leadership.
Two, Germany has taken a strategic decision to abandon nuclear energy and to instead increase its energy imports from Russia. From the US viewpoint, steadily growing Russo-German ties have not only a historical resonance of great significance for European security but they could eventually weaken European unity and the underpinnings of NATO itself, which the US commands as its principal instrument for the pursuit of its global strategies.
Three, Russia is aspiring to graduate from the role of energy exporter to Europe to participation in the continent's energy distribution system and retail trade as well. Europe may eventually "face tough choices between the cost and stability of their energy supply, and siding with the US on key issues".
Conversely, Cohen anticipates, "As oil prices rise, it is safe to expect Russia's cockiness to return." What is this "cockiness" about? In geopolitical terms, it means a more assertive Russia in global politics. Cohen mentioned India more than once as a worrisome prospect for the US.
Chalk circles in South Asia In essence, countries like India, where the US hopes to become entrenched as a strategic partner, may choose to be autonomous or "non-aligned" if Russia succeeds in developing stronger energy ties with them. With regard to India, in particular, the implications are far-reaching since the US's Asia-Pacific strategy and its containment policy toward China would become seriously debilitated if New Delhi opted out.
Interestingly, Cohen brings in Syria in this context. He claimed that Russia was "seeking to re-engage in a centuries-old balance of power in the Middle East" and Syria - like India in the Asia-Pacific - is pivotal, which is the reason why Moscow is rebuilding naval bases in Tartus and Ladakiye and is "supplying modern weapons" to it - like it does with India.
Four, Russia is fostering the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an exclusive preserve to keep out the US, especially in the grouping's energy club. The SCO comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The US is getting frantic that the SCO is gearing up to admit India and Pakistan as full members and Afghanistan as an observer. So far, the US had banked on the reservations of Russia and China over the SCO membership claims of Pakistan and India respectively, but the rethink in Moscow and Beijing on this score has set alarm bells ringing in Washington.
Moscow is outflanking the US by rapidly building up ties with Pakistan. A crucial vector in this accelerating relationship is energy cooperation. Moscow has begun discussing with Pakistan the nuts and bolts of its participation in the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline project.
The countries are restoring their air links; they have held two summit-level meetings within a year; and begun closely coordinating their approach to the stabilization of Afghanistan (which is integral to the execution of TAPI). Incidentally, Russia's special representative on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov (the Kremlin's ace hand on Afghanistan) visited Islamabad last week for in-depth consultations.
The thrust of the Russian approach is to augment Pakistan's strategic autonomy so that it can withstand Washington's bullying. And Moscow estimates that Pakistan is keen to reciprocate. As a prominent South Asian scholar in Moscow, Andrey Volodin, wrote last week, "[Pakistan President] Asif Zardari's visit to Russia has shown that Pakistan is actively diversifying its foreign economic ties and foreign policy. This attitude is welcomed by Pakistan's main all-weather ally, China, which is pursuing a policy of 'soft reverse containment' of America in Asia, including Pakistan."
No more a Turkmen pipedream Thus, the Russian-Chinese initiative to induct Pakistan and India as full SCO members holds out the prospect of dealing a devastating blow to the US's strategy to get "embedded" in Asia. The underpinning of a regional energy grid tapping into Turkmenistan's energy reserves gives a profound character to the matrix.
The fact is that the US all along paid lip-service to the TAPI, but its real interest has been in the so-called Southern Corridor for transporting Turkmen energy to Western Europe so that Russian dominance of the European market would be whittled down.
Russia is killing two birds with one stone. By diverting Turkmen gas to the huge energy guzzlers of South Asia - India is potentially one of the world's two or three biggest consumers of energy in the coming decades - Moscow is on the one hand undercutting the US's Eurasian energy strategy to evacuate the gas to Europe, while at the same time retaining its pre-eminent footing on the European energy market from being challenged by the Turkmen gas. The big question mark on TAPI has been all along two-fold. First, there was doubt regarding Turkmenistan's energy reserves. However, the confirmation by British auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates last week that Turkmenistan is sitting on the world's second-largest gas field - South Yolatan - completely changes the scenario. (Afghan President Hamid Karzai made an air dash to Ashgabat as soon as he heard the news.) The vast South Yolatan field covers an area of about 3,500 square kilometers - bigger than the country of Luxembourg - and as a top executive of the British auditor put it, "The South Yolatan field is so big that it can sustain several developments in parallel."
In short, Turkmenistan has the proven capacity to meet the energy requirements of China, India and Pakistan for many decades to come, and would still be left with a surplus for exports to Russia. The prospect is shocking for US strategy if the so-called "SCO energy club", which is an idea that then-Russian president Vladimir Putin floated in 2005 a little ahead of time that is finally coming to fruition.
Thus, the robust Russian and Chinese diplomacy on Pakistan to encourage a paradigm shift in its Afghan policy; the growing US impatience over Pakistan's "recalcitrance"; the SCO's keenness to get involved in the stabilization of Afghanistan; the US's insistence that it must have direct dealings with the Taliban rather than through an "Afghan-led" peace process; Washington's push to establish a long-term military presence in Afghanistan; Russia's and China's hurry to get India and Pakistan on board as SCO members; the US's overtures to India with a partnership that US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates described last week in a speech in Singapore at a regional gathering of defense ministers (including from China, Russia and India) as the "indispensable pillar of stability in South Asia and beyond"; Gates' affirmation of US commitment to a "robust" and "enhanced" military presence in Asia, especially in the Malacca Straits - all these have a hugely important "energy dimension", too.
Cohen is a Russia expert, but he mentioned Central Asia more than once in this testimony and pointedly brought to the notice of US congressmen that Russia was attempting to "push the US out of Central Asia, and successfully limited US participation in new Caspian energy projects, excluding it from the SCO's energy club".
Containing the energy superpower Ambassador Morningstar in his congressional testimony kept up the diplomatic decorum and neatly sidestepped the geopolitics, sticking to a detailed presentation of the US's Eurasian energy strategy, which he projected as a mix of continuity from the George W Bush era but imbued with new realities. The principal vectors of the US strategy can be identified in the following terms:
The US's intention to be deeply involved in Europe's energy security is never in doubt since "Europe is our partner on any number of global issues from Afghanistan to Libya to the Middle East, from human rights to free trade. The US will work for Europe's "diverse energy mix" both in terms of its sources of supply and transportation routes as well as the type of energy - " diversity of suppliers, diversity of transportation routes and diversity of consumers, together with a focus on alternative technologies, and renewable and other clean energy technologies, and increased energy efficiency". (The US is entering the European market as a big exporter of shale gas, which competes with Russia's natural gas.) The US's aim is to encourage Europe to develop a "balanced and diverse energy strategy with multiple energy sources with multiple routes to market". (Read reduce the dependence on Russia which is supplying one-third of Europe's energy needs currently). The US will encourage and help Central Asian and Caspian countries to "find new routes to the market". (Read bypassing Russian territory and pipelines). The US will push for the energy sector to be privatized, and to this end, will "create the political framework" in the post-Soviet space within which "businesses and commercial projects can thrive". The Obama administration's commitment to the so-called Southern Corridor - to bring natural gas to Europe via Turkey from the Caspian and "potentially other sources beyond Europe's southeastern frontiers" - is no less than that of the previous US administrations of Bill Clinton and Bush. The US will actively promote the three separate European pipeline consortia - the Nabucco, ITGI and TPA groups - and is "confident that a commercially viable Southern Corridor will be realized. The investment decisions to make that possible should occur by the end of this year." Washington pays particular attention to promoting Turkmenistan as a major supplier of gas for Europe via the Southern Corridor. The US will pitch for the integration of the Baltic states into the European energy market so they do not remain vulnerable to Russian supplies and/or political pressure. The US will challenge Russia's efforts to get a monopoly hold over Ukraine's energy sector. Europe should develop a single market for energy so that the kind of bilateral relationships that are developing between Germany and Russia or Italy and Russia or France and Russia do not happen. Europe should have more focus on shale gas development, which can be a substitute for Russian gas. Europe should take initiatives for "unbundling the distribution and supply functions of energy firms" so that Russia's leviathan company Gazprom's efforts to penetrate downstream activities can be stalled.
It's the Eurasian heartland, stupid The US's Eurasian energy strategy almost entirely aims at “containing” Russia's pre-eminent role as Europe's energy supplier and its vast influence over the Central Asian and Caspian energy-producing countries. Cohen spoke of a future role for NATO as provider of security for the non-Russian pipelines, but unsurprisingly, Morningstar didn't visit the controversial idea, which was first mooted by the Bush administration. What is of utmost interest is that Morningstar didn't say a word about the feasibility of Turkmenistan or the Central Asian region providing energy for the South Asian region, although US diplomats traveling to Delhi unfailingly profess a keen interest in TAPI. What emerges is that the US's one hundred percent focus is on Europe's energy security - how supplies can be developed from the Caspian, Central Asian and Middle Eastern regions for Europe - and it pays lip-service to the TAPI.
Clearly, the SCO summit meeting scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan next week becomes an historic occasion for the geopolitics of energy. The US congressional hearing in Washington last week was well-timed. The US apprehends a paradigm shift in the Asian power dynamic. The odds are heavily stacked against the US insofar as Russia and China are recrafting their South Asia polices that aim at harmonizing their ties with Pakistan and India respectively within the umbrella of the SCO.
A leading Chinese scholar, Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University, stated at a recent seminar of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, a branch of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences: If we can establish relations with neighboring countries like what we are doing with members of the SCO, we will also succeed in moving fast. The establishment of SCO in the 1990s was widely recognized as one of China's most successful diplomatic moves. The purpose of establishing the SCO is to challenge the American strategic intention of extending its military breach to Central Asia.
It destroyed America's intention of making Central Asia its sphere of military influence. With the SCO, China's relations with countries in the region have been greatly improved. In order to establish SCO-style relations with surrounding countries, China must ... establish all-weather strategic partnerships with them. Or it will be impossible for China to have more and better friendly international relationships than America. Indeed, the Afghan endgame is inspiring the several tracks in the geopolitics of Eurasia and Central Asia and South Asia, some running tracks, some dormant, some visible, some others nor so visible, to begin to converge. But the focal point is Eurasia.
Indeed, Sir Halford John Mackinder (1861-1947), the great English geographer and scholar-diplomat, who is considered one of the founding fathers of the esoteric subjects of geopolitics and geostrategy, based his famous Heartland Theory on the basis that Eurasia remains the heartland of international politics. Curiously, when Prometheus had his liver eaten out daily by Jupiter's eagle - only to be regenerated at night - he was also chained to a rock in the Caucasus.
Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey. www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/MF07Ag01.html
"SURRENDER LIFE TO MOTHERLAND, SOUL TO GOD, AND HONOUR TO NOBODY!"
German MPs: Serbia must recognize Kosovo Published: June 22, 2011 at 1:59 PM
BELGRADE, Serbia, June 22 (UPI) -- Members of the German Parliament say Serbia must recognize the independence of Kosovo or they will block Serbia's accession to the European Union.
While a demand for Serbia to recognize the independence of its southern province "would not jeopardize the start of EU accession talks," the MPs said in a visit to the Serbian capital, "a factual recognition of Kosovo must be on the table, and if that fails to be the case, the German parliament will not support Serbia's EU membership."
Kosovo's ethnic Albanians unilaterally declared independence in early 2008, a proclamation Serbia considers illegal.
Five of the EU's 27 member-states have refused to recognize Kosovo's independence.
Peter Beyer, head of the German delegation visiting Belgrade, said that Serbia is a key country in the Western Balkans and that "good relations between neighbors in the region are crucial," Serbian broadcaster B92 reported Wednesday.
An interview with wars crimes suspect Ratko Mladic carried by RT two weeks ago seems to have been news not only to the public, but also to the one international body which is supposed to be most aware Balkan war-related matters - The Hague Tribunal. At least this is what RT judges from an inquiry about the interview and how it came into RT's possession, ordered by a criminal investigator of the Tribunal. RT will naturally co-operate with the investigation in the interests of justice, although the fact that such an important piece of evidence was missing from the Tribunal's materials is somewhat surprising, especially since the interview dates back to 1995 and was done by a Western TV channel. The interview with Mladic, a former general of the Yugoslav army and later the army of the Republika Srpska, was recorded shortly after the Srebrenica massacre, the mass killings of Bosnian Muslims which the Tribunal has defined as genocide. In it, Mladic voiced several serious allegations against the UN peacekeeping force.
TsarSamuil: Browser is up, but I was doing other things..
Oct 12, 2020 18:58:52 GMT -5
Slavatar: OK.. Regards.
Oct 13, 2020 8:39:57 GMT -5
славянин: зиг хайль
Oct 22, 2020 15:41:37 GMT -5
славянин: дойчен зальдатен
Oct 22, 2020 15:41:56 GMT -5
Milo I.: Deutscher Sauerbraten?
Oct 28, 2020 9:59:34 GMT -5
White Cossack: Who's the best state leader currently?
Dec 6, 2020 8:57:53 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Viktor Orban?
Dec 8, 2020 5:55:50 GMT -5
Gopnik: from leader's POV, i'd say Kim Jong Un as in north korea he is not forcing any pics of himself nor making a shit ton of songs praising him unlike his dad and grandfather, but instead he is attempting to get the nation out of the shithole it is in today.
Dec 13, 2020 17:16:43 GMT -5
Gopnik: but 1000000% not kim from a citizen's point of view, the Camps in North Korea are horrible.
Dec 13, 2020 17:18:52 GMT -5
White Cossack: You're both right, fellas.
Dec 18, 2020 11:17:53 GMT -5
eternal jew: indeed goys
Dec 18, 2020 12:13:55 GMT -5