Tag Archive | Europe

West Finds New Pretext to Interfere and Extend the Syrian Conflict*

West Finds New Pretext to Interfere and Extend the Syrian Conflict*

The Syrian government army is launching simultaneous attacks in different directions, which are so successful that the attempts to slow it down won’t be long in coming, says Russian political analyst Evgeny Krutikov. He suggested that the West has found a new pretext for the extension of the conflict – the control over the borders with Syria.

From the beginning of summer, the Syrian government forces have been steadily maintaining their initiative on all ongoing military fronts, Evgeny Krutikov writes in his article for Russia’s online newspaper Vzglyad.

Russian aviation is being used to deliver selective strikes on the columns of jihadists, who are moving to the front lines from the rear, mostly from Raqqa.

The Syrian army is now able to move freely in the desert, which was earlier accessible only to the militants. Before, the Syrian Forces were able to move only along the highways, and it was very easy to cut off its supply routes.

These developments pose a threat to external political players, the political analyst says, who would try if not to stop the successful operations of the government forces, then at least will attempt to slow them down, “until further clarification.”

Krutikov then suggests how the U.S.-led coalition might be able to do it. For example, he says, the U.S. -coalition in Iraq voices its dissatisfaction that part of the Syrian-Iraqi border is now under control not of Damascus, but of its allied Shia units.

Baghdad sees it as Iran’s scheming, which is allegedly going to set up a military corridor from its territory through Iraq to Syria, thus seeking more favorable conditions at a new round of peace talks either in Astana, or Geneva.

“Those are the usual geopolitical fears of the Middle East. Similar claims are being laid by Ankara to the Kurdish units. Such bogus claims could have a serious influence on the western judgment of what is going on the ground in Syria and provoke its interference,” the political analyst says.

Hence it could use it as a formal pretext to return control over the borders with Syria, this time blaming not Assad, but Iran.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S.-led Coalition Destroys pro-Government Forces within Deconfliction Zone in Syria – Pentagon*

Syria Opens Its First Solar-Powered Hospital*

Syrian Army Encircles ISIS Last Stronghold in Aleppo*

America’s New Syrian Army*

Int’l Coalition’s Strike on Syrian Forces is Flagrant Violation of Syria’s Sovereignty*

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For Centuries European Aristocrats Proudly Claimed Foreign Ancestry*

For Centuries European Aristocrats Proudly Claimed Foreign Ancestry*

By Blake Smith

Aeneas and his Father Fleeing Troy by Simon Vouet c 1635. San Diego Museum of Art/Wikipedia

 

Modern nationalism valorises a people’s deep, primordial relationship with land. It also depends on enemies, outsiders and foreigners to help unite the members of the nation. These claims do not have to be historically accurate to be politically powerful. Far-right Hindu nationalists in India today, for example, claim that the Taj Mahal, a symbol of the Muslim sultans of the Mughal dynasty, was originally a Hindu temple. Defying historical fact, such claims portray Indian nationalist movements as guardians of native heritage while denying Indian Muslims any ties to the nation’s past glories.

For much of Western history, however, claiming foreign ancestry was the key to political legitimacy. From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, noble families across Europe insisted that they were not related to the populations they ruled. They traced their ancestry back to illustrious foreign powers, including figures of myth and legend. Among the most popular were the protagonists of the Trojan War. Europeans were familiar with the exploits of Greek heroes such as Ajax and Achilles as recorded in the Iliad. Roman emperors, Germanic warlords and crusading nobles, however, identified themselves not with the Greek victors of the war, but with the defeated Trojans. While European nationalists today see migrants of Middle Eastern wars as an existential threat to their homelands, Europe’s Roman and medieval elites boasted of their Trojan ancestors, refugees fleeing the ruins of their Asian home.

The most famous of these refugees was Aeneas, a legendary prince of Troy. Barely mentioned in the Iliad, he became a key figure of Roman myth in the first century BCE. Romans imagined that the Trojan prince had escaped his city as it was sacked by the Greeks. Aeneas resettled in Italy, conquered the local people and became the forefather of Romulus, founder of Rome. The Roman Republic was by then master of the Mediterranean world, and the story of Aeneas offered justification for its conquests. By conquering the Italian peninsula, it could be argued, Rome had finished Aeneas’ mission. By humbling the Greek city-states and Hellenistic kingdoms of the eastern Mediterranean, Rome had avenged Troy’s fall. The Romans were an intensely patriotic people, but rather than imagine themselves as sons of the Italian soil, they preferred to think that they were born to move, fight and reign across the world.

The legend of Aeneas was such a powerful ideological tool that the ambitious general and politician Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) and his adopted son Augustus (63-14 BCE) made it their own, creating a genealogy to prove their direct descent from Aeneas. The poet Virgil immortalised their claims in the Aeneid, an epic poem about Aeneas’ journey from Troy to Rome (written in 29-19 BCE). Caesar and Augustus transformed the Roman Republic into an empire ruled by a single dynasty. They smoothed the transition by conflating Rome’s Trojan heritage with their own family tree. Foreign origins served to differentiate the imperial household from the Roman masses, and to legitimise a cosmopolitan empire.

The imperial myth of Aeneas would outlive the empire. In the turbulent third, fourth and fifth centuries CE, groups of Germanic warriors wrested much of western Europe from Roman control. Besides seizing territory, Germanic elites also appropriated the symbols of Roman authority, including the myth of Trojan origins. The Merovingians, rulers of the Frankish tribes who had seized what is now France, stole a page from Virgil’s book in the seventh-century Chronicle of Fredegar. This text traced the history of the Franks back to Francio, a clone of Aeneas who supposedly settled on the Rhine. When the Carolingians, a rival Frankish dynasty, deposed the Merovingians, these newcomers sought to prove that they were even more Trojan than the kings they had overthrown. In chronicles and poems, the propagandists of the Carolingian court celebrated its rulers as descendants of Aeneas, asserting their connections to the most celebrated Trojan exile.

The other dynasties of western Europe forged their own stories of Trojan ancestry, eager not to let the Franks keep the symbolic heritage of Troy and Rome to themselves. After their conquest of England in 1066, the Normans, originally of Viking origin, invented the Trojan hero Brutus, who was said to have fled Troy at the same time that Francio and Aeneas were setting out for the Rhine and the Tiber. In Germany, rival dynasties seeking control of the Holy Roman Empire claimed that they, too, were the offspring of a Trojan refugee. Mythical genealogies offered a basis for elites across Europe to emphasise their superiority over common people. Heirs to Troy, and by extension to the Roman Empire, they had a right to rule inherited from the heroes of classical antiquity.

Like the Romans, medieval Europeans used their purported connections to Troy as a rationale for conquest. In 1204, relatives of the French royal family diverted what was supposed to be a crusade in Syria and Palestine towards a new target: Constantinople. The capital of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire, it was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe. The crusaders sacked it, slaughtering thousands of fellow Christians. To justify their actions, French leaders of the crusade claimed that they were taking their revenge against the Greeks for the fall of their ancient Trojan homeland. Instead of fighting Muslims in the Holy Land, they refought the Trojan War.

For nearly 1,500 years, ties to ancient Troy offered Europe’s leaders justification for autocratic rule at home and military adventures abroad. But, by the early modern era, Europe was beginning to forget its Trojan roots. The rise of the Ottoman Turks, who conquered Constantinople in 1453 and menaced Europe for the next 300 years, seems to have dampened European rulers’ enthusiasm for being identified with Asia Minor. Meanwhile, historians of Europe’s emerging nation-states debunked legends about Trojan immigrants settling Britain, Germany and France. They sought to learn more about the long-forgotten ancient peoples of the continent, like the pre-Roman Celts.

By the end of the 18th century, as the age of democratic revolutions began, European aristocrats would have reason to regret their conspicuous identification with foreigners. Leading figures of the French Revolution denounced the nobility as descendants of barbarian invaders, and identified the common people as the true heirs of the Celts. Today, the Celts or ‘Gaulois’ are still key figures in French national consciousness, inspiring the comic-book hero Asterix. Trojans – and aristocrats who claimed descent from them – are nowhere to be seen.

In recent years, many scholars have highlighted the longstanding historical connections between Europe and Asia, or Europe and Islam, as a response to nationalist movements across Europe that see immigrants as a threat to local cultures. By challenging accounts of history that pit virtuous natives against dangerous outsiders, such historians promote more inclusive understandings of identity and more open immigration policies. But, from the long view of European history, nationalist myths about indigenous peoples are a recent invention, a response to elites’ emphasis on their foreign origins. Roman and medieval rulers’ cosmopolitan identities were no guarantee of tolerant or peaceful policies.

Scholars who try to resist the rising tide of nationalism in Europe and throughout the world by pointing to the rich connections between cultures of the past should be on guard against undue optimism; for centuries, identification with immigrants from Asia Minor was an ironic but effective tool of imperial power.

Source*

Related Topics:

Queen Elizabeth Warns Of ‘Holy War To End All Wars’ *

100+ Pro-life Leaders Meet in Rome to Discuss ‘crisis’ in Catholic Church*

What can be made of this Royal Conundrum?*

The Windsor-Bush Bloodline Traced Back to the Roman Caesars and Egyptian Pharaohs*

Global Power and the History of Trusts

12-Year Old Discovers Most Presidents Related to King John*

Media Fell for Nazi-Manufactured ‘White Genocide’ Scandal*

Native American Council offers Amnesty to 220 million Undocumented Whites*

Giving Up on Yourself to be White

 

Putin Exposes U.S. Presidents Are Not Ruling Washington*

Putin Exposes U.S. Presidents Are Not Ruling Washington*

 

From Alexandra Bruce

This week, Russia is hosting the St. Petersburg Economic Form, in which local leaders, like Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi are showing up to discuss their deal for a new nuclear energy plant, etc. and Putin took the opportunity to share his views about U.S. politics:

“I have already spoken to three U.S. Presidents. They come and go but [U.S.] politics stay the same. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well-dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones.
“These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration.
“Changing things is not easy, and I say this without any irony. It is not that someone does not want to, but because it is a hard thing to do.
“Take Obama, a forward-thinking man, a Liberal, a Democrat. Did he not pledge to shut down Guantánamo before his election? But did he do it? No, he did not. And may I ask why not? Did he I am sure he did, but it did not work out. He sincerely wanted to do it, but did not succeed, since it turned out to be very complicated.
“This is not the main issue, however, even though it is important, since it is hard to fathom that people have been walking there, in chains for decades without trial or investigation.
“Can you imagine France or Russia acting this way? This would have been a disaster. But it is possible in the United States and continues to this day.
“I referred to this example just to show that it is not as simple as it may seem.
“That said, I am cautiously optimistic, and I think that we can and should be able to reach agreements on key issues.”

Related Topics:

Iraqi Army Temporarily Bans Burqa, Niqab to Protect Civilians in Mosul*

Iraqi Army Temporarily Bans Burqa, Niqab to Protect Civilians in Mosul*

The Iraqi army has imposed a temporary ban on wearing Islamic veils, which cover the face, such as the burqa and niqab in newly liberated areas of Mosul, local media reports.

The new security measure has been implemented in order to improve security during the month of Ramadhan as coalition forces battle to retake the last neighbourhoods from militants.

Ramadhan is a holy month for Muslims during which they fast from sunrise to sunset. The month is dedicated to prayer and abstinence from worldly pleasures.

Unfortunately, this month did not stop terrorists from carrying out attacks on civilians.

Hence, the authorities in Mosul are taking all sorts of measures to protect people from jihadists.

A statement from the local police said that both the burqa and niqab would temporarily be banned so that Daesh militants could not disguise themselves as women in public places and carry out attacks.

The order came into effect on the first full day of Ramadhan. Using motorcycles, which have been used in the past to carry out terrorist attacks, has also been banned for the duration of the month.

The Iraqi operation to recapture Mosul, the key stronghold of Daesh in Iraq, began in October 2016 and resulted in the liberation of Mosul’s eastern part this January.

Fighting continues in the city’s west, with Iraqi forces closing in on the Old City.

Source*

Related Topics:

Rumi on Trusting Yourself*

After Years of Silence under U.S Backed ISis, Music is back in Mosul*

Gender Equity in Islam

Teacher Fired for Yanking Hijab off Student’s Head*

Austrian President calls on All Women to Wear Hijab in Solidarity with Muslims against Islamophobia*

How Enslaved Muslims in the Americas fasted in Ramadhan*

Freedom in Ramadhan*

Tarawih Prayed During the Time of the Prophet and His Successors*

If NATO Wants Peace and Stability it Should Stay Home*

If NATO Wants Peace and Stability it Should Stay Home*

By Ulson Gunnar

A curious op-ed appeared in The National Interest, penned by Hans Binnendijk and David Gompert, adjunct senior fellows at the RAND Corporation. Titled, “NATO’s Role in post-Caliphate Stability Operations,” it attempts to make a case for NATO involvement everywhere from Libya to Syria and Iraq in fostering stability in the wake of a yet-to-be defeated Islamic State.

The authors propose that NATO step in to fill what it calls an impending “vacuum left as the caliphate collapses,” heading off alternatives including “chaos or Iran, backed by Russia, filling the void, with great harm to U.S. and allied interests in either case.” The op-ed never explains why Iran, neighbouring Syria and Iraq, is less qualified to influence the region than the United States which exists literally oceans away and shares nothing in terms of history, culture, language or shared interests in stability and peace.

The op-ed would literally claim:

NATO is the only security organization with the skills and breadth to take on this task. The U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition of 68 partners is ill equipped to engage in this complex task. A more cohesive organization such as NATO should lead, but in ways that allow continued Arab participation. A creative version of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition could provide the answer.”

It was an interesting choice by the authors to showcase one of NATO’s most stupendous and continuing failures in Afghanistan with mention of the ISAF, a force that not only has failed to bring stability to the Central Asia nation in over a decade and a half of occupation, but has presided over the emergence of the Islamic State there where previously it had no presence.

The reality of what NATO is versus what The National Interest op-ed attempts to pass it off as, resembles more of a sales pitch for a shoddy product than a genuine attempt at geopolitical analysis or problem solving. But the truth goes deeper still.

NATO is a Global Wrecking Ball, It Cannot Create Stability 

The op-ed focuses primarily on proposing NATO roles for a post-Islamic State Libya, Iraq and Syria.

Libya is perhaps the most tragic of the three, with NATO having used direct military force in 2011 to topple the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in support of known extremists passed off at the time by both NATO spokespeople and the US-European media as “moderate rebels.”

The predictable fallout from this military campaign was the collapse of Libya as a relatively stable and unified nation-state into warring factions. The instability became fertile grounds for extremism, with many of the groups backed by NATO evolving into what is now the “Islamic State.”

The National Interest op-ed also makes mention of “Arab participation.” It should be remembered that the most extreme factions fighting in Libya were not only aided by direct NATO military intervention, but were armed and funded by Persian Gulf dictatorships as well, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

A similar pattern of sowing instability has unfolded in Syria, leading to, not averting the rise of the Islamic State.

And Iraq’s instability is a direct and lasting consequence of the US military invasion and occupation of 2003.

If nothing else, this exposes NATO and its members as a collective, global wrecking ball. Just as a wrecking ball cannot be used to construct a building on a vacant lot, NATO cannot be used to construct the conditions for stability across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Really Stopping the Islamic State Means Really Stopping Support for It

Ultimately, what the op-ed calls for is the permanent occupation of the three nations by NATO forces ranging from special forces in Libya to the formal occupation of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

Interestingly, the op-ed suggests that the NATO occupation force in Syria should not only be used to combat the Islamic State, but to also deter “Syrian military thrusts,” referring to the armed forces of the actual and only legitimate government in Syria.

This last point exposes fully what NATO is really interested in, and what this sales pitch is really advertising. NATO is not in MENA to defeat the Islamic State, it is merely using the Islamic State as a pretext to project Western hegemony across the region.

The closing paragraph states:

This NATO strategy cannot, and should not be expected to, settle the Syrian civil war, bring ethnic and sectarian harmony to Iraq, or create an effective Libyan state. What it could do is create conditions of stability in which lasting solutions at least have a chance. It can do so only if the U.S. is ready to call upon NATO to join it in filling the post-ISIS void and for the European allies to answer that call.

Certainly, NATO’s presence in Syria, Iraq or Libya will not bring any sort of stability. NATO has proven its absolute inability to achieve this in its 16 year occupation of Afghanistan. Claiming NATO occupation will “create conditions of stability in which lasting solutions at least have a chance” is merely NATO’s way of ensuring no matter how the chaos it itself has created across MENA, it will hold a stake in the outcome if for no other reason because it has literally taken and occupies territory within the post-war region.

U.S. Army Sgt.Mark Phiffer stands guard duty near a burning oil well in the Rumaylah Oi Fields in Southern Iraq

It is interesting that the Islamic State rose in the wake of US-led, NATO-backed violence stretching from North Africa to Central Asia and only began to suffer setbacks upon greater and more direct Russian and Iranian intervention.

The bombing of Islamic State and Jabhat Al Nusra logistical lines emanating from NATO-member Turkey’s borders by Russian warplanes, for example, inevitably led to huge gains by the Syrian Arab Army including the eventual liberation of Aleppo, the containment of Idlib and a significant retraction of Islamic State-held territory in eastern Syria.

The torrent of supplies feeding Islamic State and other fronts of extremist militancy flowing from Turkey is the admitted result of Persian Gulf sponsorship, which in turn, serves as an intermediary for US and NATO support for what the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency called in 2012 (.pdf) a “Salafist principality.”

The specific purpose of this “Salafist principality,” admittedly backed by Persian Gulf dictatorships, Turkey and what the US DIA refers to as “the West,” was to “isolate the Syrian regime.”  Clearly then, were NATO genuinely interested in defeating the Islamic State and undoing the damage it has done, it would begin by withdrawing it and its allies’ own support of the terrorist organization in the first place.

In short, if NATO truly wants to create stability across MENA, it merely needs to stop intentionally sowing instability.

Of course, a unilateral military bloc intentionally sowing chaos across an entire region of the planet is doing so for a very specific purpose. It is the same purpose all hegemons throughout human history have sought to divide and destroy regions they cannot outright conquer. A destroyed competitor may not be as favorable as a conquered, controlled and exploited competitor, but is certainly preferable to a free and independent competitor contributing to a greater multipolar world order. NATO, by embedding itself amid the chaos it itself has created, as it has proven in Afghanistan, only ensures further chaos.

Within this chaos, NATO can ensure if its own membership cannot derive benefit from the region, no one else will. A call like that featured in The National Interest for NATO to bring “stability” to the MENA region stands in stark contrast to the reality that everywhere NATO goes, chaos not only follows, it stays indefinitely until NATO leaves.

The best thing NATO can do for stability across MENA is to leave.

Source*

Related Topics:

No Force on Earth can Compete with NATO and U.S.’ Drug Trafficking Business in Afghanistan*

Blacklisted, Smeared and Silenced for Exposing NATO Destabilization of Syria*

SAA Seizes 2 Shipments of NATO Weapons to Al Qaeda Near Damascus*

Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Being Russian “Collaborator” for Questioning NATO Troop Build-Up on Border*

NATO Auditor Who Discovered U.S. Funds ISIS Found Murdered*

1,000s March for Peace, against NATO in Berlin*

NATO the Formless Entity of the Cabal and the U.S*

U.S., NATO Deploy Troops to Russia in WWIII Build-up*

World Leaders Agree to Merge NATO and E.U.*

Hacked emails Confirms NATO tried to Start War between U.S. and Russia*

NATO Violates Pledge to ‘Not Station Permanent Combat Troops’ in E. Europe*

The West Remains Silent as NATO Member Supports Terrorists in Syria*

Europeans Launch New Anti- NATO War Campaign*

NATO Just Attempted to Invade Moldova, but were Thwarted by People’s Resistance*

Israel Accepts Invitation to Hold Permanent Mission at NATO’s HQ*

NATO Amassing Hostile Forces on Russia Borders not Seen Since the Invasion in 1941*

U.S./NATO Atrocities Against Libya

At the World Economic Forum-Africa Germany Pitched a Dubious New G20 Corporate Strategy*

At the World Economic Forum-Africa Germany Pitched a Dubious New G20 Corporate Strategy*

By Patrick Bond

Last week’s World Economic Forum (WEF)-Africa conference in Durban hosted some of the world’s most controversial politicians: not just Jacob Zuma and his finance minister Malusi Gigaba plus regional dictators Robert Mugabe, Yoweri Museveni, King Mswati and Edgar Lungu, but also the most powerful man in Europe, the notoriously-corrupt neoliberal German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble.

At a public lecture last Thursday hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Schäuble undiplomatically threatened Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, in the midst of her election campaign: “The [Brexit] negotiations will become terribly difficult for the U.K. They will see it.”

The next day at the WEF-Africa summit, Schäuble sold his plan for reviving multinational corporate investment in Africa. It is a priority, he said, because “In Europe, we have come to understand that Africa represents one of the most important issues for the growth and stability of the global economy.”

Africa as an ‘issue’ for global economic ‘growth’ – managed by imperialist elites – dates to an earlier Berlin project: the infamous “Scramble for Africa” in 1884-85. The continent’s dysfunctional borders were drawn then, with nary an African in sight, in order to facilitate property rights for colonial extractive industries, all the better to ensure infrastructure investment. Roads, railways, bridges and ports needed to withdraw resources have been cemented into place ever since, and now require refurbishing and expansion.

In addition to imperialist aspirations, another explanation arises: Germany’s national election is in September. Schäuble’s boss Angela Merkel needs a rhetorical device to explain to voters how the million African refugees who entered Germany over the last dozen years can be kept at bay in future. Hence the ‘Compact’ with African elites.

Schäuble was speaking on behalf of a G20 bloc that will hold its annual meeting in Hamburg in two months’ time. Amongst the world’s largest economies plus multilateral financial institutions, South Africa – with only the 3rd largest African economy and sixth most populous society – represents a continent glaringly absent from view.

The ‘C20’ group of civil society critics (within which I find myself occasionally) has expressed concern not only about Schäuble’s top-down process, but about “higher costs for the citizens, worse service, secrecy, loss of democratic influence and financial risks for the public… … and the multinational corporations involved demand that their profits be repatriated in hard currency – even though the typical services contract entails local-currency expenditures and revenues – and that often raises African foreign debt levels, which are now at all-time highs again in many countries.”

In contrast to Berlin, Donald Trump’s Washington regime has proposed cutting the USAID budget dramatically and diverting$54 billion in state funding to the military. But while once preaching isolationism, Trump has already expanded hectic albeit low-profile “Africa Command” interventions from the Maghreb across the Sahel to the Horn, according to researcher Nick Turse who last week analysed newly-declassified Pentagon data.

On June 12-13, more Compact details will be shared with G20 finance ministers at a Berlin meeting reportedly to be co-chaired by Schäuble and Gigaba. In spite of the latter’s occasional leftist rhetoric and widespread praise for his WEF-Africa diplomacy, Gigaba’s record of white-elephant infrastructure promotion when he was State Enterprises minister suggests how prone Pretoria remains to offering massive public subsidies to construction and mining corporations. That tendency overlaps precisely with Schäuble’s aims.

In addition to South Africa, five countries have initially signed up to the Compact with Africa – Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Rwanda,Senegal and Tunisia – with many more anticipated to join, so as to maintain aid and political favour with the European Union.

Schäuble’s Compact was released in March in the German resort of Baden-Baden without substantive African input (in contrast to Tony Blair’s 2004-05 Commission for Africa which coopted a comprador elite including Finance Minister Trevor Manuel). Schäuble  not only sidelined the more generous ‘Marshall Plan’ strategy advanced by Merkel’s development ministry, he also insisted that African governments provide more public subsidies – and take on much more risk – for ‘Public Private Partnership’ infrastructure. This typically amount to profits, pilfering and – for consumers of commercialised infrastructure – pain.

In his new autobiography and a Guardian article last week, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis described Schäuble as a hypocritical financial dictator who privately confessed that his ongoing squeeze of the Syriza government and Greek people – on behalf of the Euro – should really have been rejected by Athens. The very day Schäuble spoke in Durban, he was also busy imposing more austerity on Greece and rejecting a previously promised bail-out.

Varoufakis regrets trusting Europe’s “Deep Establishment” in 2015, and indeed he should have known better. Fifteen years earlier Schäuble had been expelled as leader of the Conservative Party for accepting and then publicly denying a cash bribe – the equivalent of $60 000 – from arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber (whose generosity also wrecked the once-invincible Helmut Kohl’s reputation.) A comeback thanks to Angela Merkel’s generosity gave Schäuble first the German Home Affairs and then Finance portfolios.

Likewise, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde is a close Schäuble collaborator and endorser of the Compact with Africa. Less than six months ago, she too was convicted in French courts for a €403 million payout to a major conservative party contributor, Adidas owner Bernard Tapie, when she was finance minister. Her comeback was far faster than Schäuble’s: she continues in her present job, even gaining a re-endorsement on the day of her Paris conviction by IMF directors including those representing the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa bloc.

Meanwhile African infrastructure has failed to attract anywhere near the investment in the manner envisaged in the African Development Bank 2010 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa and the wildly overoptimistic 2012 Southern Africa Development Community regional master plan.

But this not only a function of weak local systems – including widespread corruption in Africa’s construction sector – but another factor for which Schäuble, Lagarde and other elite financial managers are partly responsible: an utterly unreformed, chaotic world economic system.  Africa faced commodity price hikes of 380% from 2002-11 and then crashes by more than 50% in 2014-15, to unprofitable levels. And no Compact with Africa aiming to incentivise multinational corporate investment merely with state supply-side subsidies can reverse those inherent crisis conditions within global capitalism.
Source*

Related Topics:

Declaration of the South African Federation of Trade Unions*

World Bank Funds some of Africa’s most Notorious Land Grabs*

Leaked Trump Presidential Memo Would Free U.S. Companies to Buy Conflict Minerals from Central African Warlords*

Apartheid 2017 Still Kicking in S. Africa *

Should a Country Like France Be Indicting African Leaders?

Netanyahu Boasts of Israel’s War on Africans*

BP, Trafigura and Vitol Export Dirty Oil to Africa to Kill People*

French Draft Resolution on Syria Reflects its Longing for its Colonial History in Africa*

U.S. Military is Building a $100mn Drone Base in Africa*

French Terrorists Dispatched to Sub-Saharan Africa*

E.U. Bullies its Way through an Reciprocal Trade Access in Africa*

Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds and the Silence of Western Media*

ICA Finally Admits World Map is a Propaganda Tool for Power, Western Cartographers Deliberately Shrunk Africa*

Rothschild Billion Dollar Money Laundering Plot in Africa*

“U.S. Destroyed Libya to re-colonize Africa”*

Offshore Firm Helped Billionaires Plunder Africa*

New Colonial Carve-up of Africa? British firms vying for £1trn Natural Resources*

The Case for Reparations to Africa: Britain Apology is Cheap*

Embedding Transnational Agribusiness and GMO’s into African Agriculture*

Saudi Arabia Switching to BRICS in Response to U.S. Congress 9/11 Blackmail*

Saudi Arabia Switching to BRICS in Response to U.S. Congress 9/11 Blackmail*

After realizing that the U.S. Congress’s move to allow the filing of charges against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its supposed role in the “terrorist” attack on New York in 2001 could be Washington DC’s way of putting the House of Saud on notice — that it, too, is not exempt from its two-faced foreign policy, and could be a future target for a regime change once it ceases to be a willing subject to systematic extortion, like what’s being done with Japan for decades right after the Second World War, the House of Saud continues to engage Russia for a possible common ground.

Russia is responding positively to the Saudi initiative, and already the two are defying the pressure from the latter’s long-time “ally.”

Russia Calling the Shots on ‘American Playground’ in Middle East

Sputnik / Evgeniya Novozhenova

Russia continues to develop relations with Saudi Arabia, Washington’s longstanding ally in the Middle East. In addition to the ongoing cooperation in the energy sphere, the two countries are expected to launch lucrative investment projects and probably start working together in the defense sector.

Russia continues to compete with Washington on the U.S.’ traditional “playground” in the Middle East.

On April 6, the Russian Foreign Ministry made an important statement on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state and West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Commenting on the issue, Israeli political analyst Avigdor Eskin told Sputnik that Russia has surpassed the U.S. by recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The current statement regarding the recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel reflects a warm and friendly atmosphere [between Russia and Israel]. This is highly appreciated,” the Israeli political analyst underscored.

“Russia is much closer to the region and has a deeper understanding of the situation. If Trump remains ‘under siege’ and doesn’t prevail for the rest of his term, we might expect a stronger Russian influence,” Eskin predicted.

But that is not all.

On Monday a Russian parliamentary delegation, headed by Federation Council Chair Valentina Matvienko, concluded its visit to Saudi Arabia, Washington’s other key ally in the Middle East.

Assessing the results of the summit, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that contacts between Moscow and Riyadh are expanding at various levels.

“Indeed, there is a deepening of mutual understanding between our countries; contacts are taking place at all levels,” he said during a meeting with the head of The King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Relief.

As expected, the cooperation in the oil and gas spheres had become the centerpiece of the negotiations between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Moscow and Riyadh continue to take steps to reduce oil production to balance the market.

The countries have fully complied with all their obligations under the agreement between OPEC and other oil-producing countries.

“Russia and Saudi Arabia acted as guarantors of the implementation of this agreement, and I am sure that this cooperation will continue, because no one is interested in a chaotic development of events [in the oil market],” Matvienko said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

Interestingly enough, following the oil price slump, there was speculation that Washington had persuaded Riyadh to dump prices to spite Russia. However, Moscow and Riyadh are currently successfully working together to establish an equitable pricing strategy in the energy market.

Furthermore, although Riyadh remains close to the U.S., the Kingdom didn’t support anti-Russian sanctions imposed by other Washington’s allies, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

In addition, the Russians and their Saudi counterparts discussed the prospect of cooperating in the defense sector. While the details of the talks have yet to be disclosed, it is known that in late 2016, Saudi Arabia showed interest in potentially purchasing Russian S-400 Triumf air defense systems.

“This has been stated by Saudi Arabian representatives themselves when they visited multiple exhibitions, presentations and shows where Russia showcased these systems, such as the exhibition in Abu Dhabi [the International Defense Exhibition and Conference, IDEX]and events organized in Russia, so there is nothing new here, there is an interest,” Russian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Oleg Ozerov told Sputnik in early November 2016.

In February 2017 Industry and Trade Minister of Russia Denis Manturov confirmed that Russia and Saudi Arabia were discussing Riyad’s prospects for acquiring Russian military aircraft and “land weapons.”

It is no secret that Washington has long been Riyadh’s key arms provider and the country boasts an annual defense budget second to only that of the United States and China. Recent developments show that Russia is beginning to compete with the U.S. for the Kingdom’s lucrative military contracts.

Meanwhile, Matvienko revealed that the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund will launch joint projects worth $3 billion before the end of this year.

“The Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund are cooperating successfully. Thanks to them, projects worth some $600 million have been implemented. Before the end of the year, projects worth $3 billion should be launched,” she said.

However, there are also bumps in the road regarding Russo-Saudi relations: Riyadh and Moscow have completely different approaches toward Syria and Iran. On the other hand, the two countries have similar views regarding the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“Moscow and Riyadh have similar positions on the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Federation Ilyas Umakhanov told RIA Novosti.

“As for Syria, we have very serious differences regarding the fate of [Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad, but Russia and Saudi Arabia agree that there can be no military solution to this crisis,” he said.

According to Matvienko, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud may visit Russia by the end of 2017.

What this illustrates is that Russia has departed from its age old policy of not taking any proactive role in global affairs, now that more and more countries have grown weary and tired of the incessant warmongering from the Western side,

… and are looking for a more positive leadership that they can only find from Vladimir Putin.

Likewise, Saudi’s growing engagement with East Asia and Russia will only result to a stronger cooperation with the BRICS Alliance and ASEAN countries, and will further alienate the kingdom from the West.

They don’t want to be used as a tool again for Western terror aggression anywhere in the world.

Just a week ago, the current chairman of the ASEAN, Rodrigo went to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for an official state visit.

The  Philippine president is known for his censor-free anti-CIA sentiments in front of foreign leaders. This occasion is no exception.

Duterte’s tour to the Middle East also included visits to Bahrain and Qatar.

The geopolitical realignment continues with the recent port call to Manila by the Russian navy.

This is just a prelude to Duterte’s state visit to Russia soon.

As for Saudi Arabia, 800 U.S. families are already filing a lawsuit against it relating to the controlled demolition directed by Dick Cheney. But the former has already made its decision to leave the deplorables on their own.

Since, this realignment is a very long process, and the deplorables are still holding great positions of power, it is only wise to expect some bumps along the way.

Source*

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