Sunday, January 18, 2015

Imperial Ambitions Of The EU, Israel Strikes Near Syrian Border

Once a state signs an Association Agreement with the European Union, the EU demands it obey its imperial dictates in politics, trade, social and cultural aspects, along with forcing it to align with its security policies. Such “integration” basically transforms the new associate state into an obedient vassal with no trace of independent national sovereignty. The most striking example of this imperial approach is the EU actions against Turkey in 2014.

Turkey, being a founding member of the Council of Europe, over the past 50 years has made a number of attempts to integrate itself into the EU, and has even become an associate member of the EU back in 1963. Although the country has officially applied for full membership in 1987, it hasn’t been provided with any definite answer. Therefore Turkish membership remains one of the most pressing matters in post-war Europe. An influential player in the region hasn’t been allowed in despite its healthy economy and the fact that Turkey is the second largest armed force in NATO. Over the last decade Turkey has repeatedly (and unsuccessfully) demanded a definite answer from the EU concerning its membership.

In response to this often disrespectful and dismissive attitude from Brussels, the Justice and Development Party has chosen to work in close collaboration with neighboring countries, especially with Russia, along with other BRICS countries, which may allow Turkey to become something more than just a regional power, which has long been a goal of many Turkish politicians.

 In December 2014 Russia’s President visited Turkey, which led to a number of contracts regarding bilateral trade and economic and energy cooperation, giving significant momentum to the development of Turkish-Russian relations for the foreseeable future along with indisputable economic benefits for both nations

However, such a step,since not approved by Brussels, has resulted in a number of outraged senior EU politicians visiting Ankara on short notice. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European Commissioner on Humanitarian Aid and Management of Crises Christ Stilianidi all went to Turkey to express their displeasure with its policies. Those officials received explicit orders from Washington and Brussels to prevent the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia, which stands to directly contradict the imperial interests of the EU

AsTurkey takes a principled and pragmatic position refusing to follow Western dictates, the West is launching attempts to initiate anti-government protests in the Turkish capital and a number of other large cities through the use of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social media. A total of 30 high-profile instigators were used to provoke riots in Turkey, including the editor-in-chief of the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman, Ekrem Dumanlı, The Head of Samanyolu Media Group, Hidayet Karaca along with a number of producers of Samanyolu TV-channel, the former head of the Istanbul Police Department for Combating Terrorism, Tufan Ergyuder together with a number of senior police officers of several Turkish provinces.

A very similar imperial approach was demonstrated this December by the EU regarding yet another associate member – Egypt. Egyptian authorities have decided to adopt a decision to close a political group that was affiliated with to the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) sponsored by Friedrich Naumann, the main objective of the closed group was “the strengthening of civil society by paying particular attention to the impact of the public debate.” With imperial hubris, German authorities ignored new Egyptian laws regarding NGOs, which would require Berlin to re-register the Friedrich Naumann fund in Egypt, therefore the German Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador to “provide explanations."

One should note that tension is growing amid German-Egyptian relations due to a number of political funds that “have overstayed their welcome” in Egypt. Two years ago the Konrad Adenauer fund was “persecuted” by Egyptian authorities, this time around it was close to the yet German party – Christian Democratic Union of Germany headed by the Chancellor Angela Merkel. Representatives of the fund had fled Egypt under the threat of impending arrest. However, one German representative of this German fund was successfully sentenced to five years in prison. It is possible that due to the top-down attitude of German officials this scandal may end in a similar fashion.

What can one do about it? The world is changing rapidly and the quote: “We are not slaves, slaves do not we!” – is becoming increasingly popular especially at times when Washington and Brussels try to hide their imperial ambitions behind democratic rhetoric.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, without necessarily taking sides with Russian President Vladimir Putin, told a German news magazine that NATO instigated the currentUkraine crisis because it had chosen to not adhere to the provisions of the Paris Charter of 1990, thus saying the dangling nuclear between the bloc and Russia is just a matter of time.

With both sides flaunting their respective nuclear arsenal, Gorbachev told German magazine Der Spiegel the world "will not survive the next few years" if either side lost its nerve in the current stand-off. "Moscow does not believe the West, and the West does not believe Moscow. The loss of confidence is catastrophic."

Although critical of his successor, the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner nonetheless believed Mr Putin was just reacting based on NATO's flamboyant aspirations to expand, fuelled by the United States' "dangerous winning mentality." He said US-led NATO's eastward expansion has destroyed the very essence of the European security order which was written in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. The bloc's expansion, he claimed, was a 180-degree turn away from the Paris Charter of 1990. He said the latter was made together with all European states to finally leave the Cold War in the past.

"We won't survive the coming years if someone loses their nerve in this overheated situation," Gorbachev said. "This is not something I'm saying thoughtlessly. I am extremely concerned."

Violence escalated in eastern Ukraine as Kiev’s troops launched a massive assault on militia-held areas Sunday morning. The army was ordered to start massive shelling of all rebel positions, a presidential aide said.
The order to launch the offensive was issued early approximately at 6:00 am, according to Yury Biryukov, an aide to President Petro Poroshenko.
“Today we will show HOW good we are at jabbing in the teeth,” he wrote on his Facebook page, a mode of conveying information favored by many Ukrainian officials.
In a later post he said: “They are now striking a dot. Uuu…” in a reference to Tochka-U (‘tochka’ means ‘dot’ in Russian), a tactical ballistic missile, one of the most powerful weapons Ukraine so far deployed against rebel forces.
Reports from the ground confirmed a sharp escalation of clashes across the front line, with particularly heavy artillery fire reported at Gorlovka.
“Locals in Donetsk said they haven’t heard such intensive shelling since summer,” Valentin Motuzenko, a military official in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told Interfax news agency.
“The Ukrainian military are using all kinds of weapons, Grad multiple rocket launchers, mortars…”Motuzenko said.
A source at the site told RT that a group of OSCE monitors have demanded that the Ukrainian military stop the shelling. The source added that there is a danger that the group may itself come under artillery fire.
The escalation comes after several days of violent clashes at the ruins of the Donetsk International Airport, a scene of constant fighting over the months of shaky ceasefire between Kiev’s troops and local militia forces.
The militia, who have accused the Ukrainian military of launching constant attacks on Donetsk from their positions at the airport, reported taking over the location this week. Kiev denied this report.
The Ukrainian Security and Defense Council confirmed the resumption of hostilities and that Kiev's objective was to recapture the airport.
Kiev launched it's retaliation days after President Poroshenko ordered a new wave of mobilization into the country’s armed forces. The government plans to hold at least three conscription campaigns over 2015 to sustain its military operations in the east.

An Israeli aircraft fired two missiles into the Syrian Golan Heights on Saturday, unconfirmed Lebanese reports say.
There are no immediate reports of casualties.
The IDF declines to comment on Lebanese media reports that an Israeli helicopter fired two missiles at ground targets in the Syrian Golan Heights near the town of Quneitra.
Al-Mayadeen, a Hezbollah news outlet, reports that two Israeli reconnaissance aircraft were patrolling the area at the time of the airstrike.
Earlier in the day, Lebanese state media reported that three Lebanese soldiers suffered respiratory problems after Israeli soldiers threw tear gas grenades over the border.

Hezbollah's television station, Al Manar, reported Sunday that an IAF helicopter fired rockets at Jabhat al-Nusra targets near the Golan border, in the early afternoon.

Jabhat al-Nusra is Al Qaeda's Syrian arm.

According to Al Manar, two rockets were fired at a target in Mazraat al-Amal near Quneitra.

No casualties have been reported as of yet.

According to the report, shortly before the IAF struck, two drones were seen circling above the area, apparently to collect intelligence.

Mazraat al-Amal is located in the Syrian Golan, near the border with Israel, and recent reports said that Jabhat al-Nusra forces were occupying it.

The IDF refused to confirm or deny the report of the strike and said that it “does not respond to reports in foreign media.”

Earlier in the day, it was reported that Israeli forces fired smoke grenades and tear gas toward Lebanese territory. 

Foreign intelligence agencies have intercepted discussions by Islamist militants about possible attacks on weekly marches organised by Germany's new anti-Islamic movement, a news weekly reported on Friday, without citing its sources.
Der Spiegel magazine said that foreign intelligence services had picked up the content of communications by some "known international jihadists", without giving specific details.
The intelligence, which was passed to German authorities, indicated they had discussed possible attacks on the rallies organised by the so-called group, "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident" (Pegida), the magazine said in a pre-released story to appear in this weekend's edition.
"We take these leads very seriously," Spiegel quoted an unnamed high-ranking security official as saying.
Pegida marches began in the eastern city of Dresden with several hundred supporters three months ago and have steadily grown, to number 25,000 on Monday, five days after the attacks in Paris by Islamists, in which 17 people were killed.

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