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Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
JohnTitor
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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby JohnTitor » 06 Mar 2017 21:47

^^ CHT?

Why can't india buy that atoll from the Maldives? Double the price - even triple. Can't we afford it? Is land not strategic?

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Prem » 07 Mar 2017 04:39

http://www.westmonster.com/eu-nukes/


The New York Times is reporting that Eurocrats are considering obtaining nuclear weapons as they feel they can no longer rely on protection from America. Support for the proposal seems to come largely from the Germans.The plan would see France and even Britain’s nuclear deterrents put under EU control. Roderich Kiesewetter, a German foreign policy spokesman told a German newspaper: “My idea is to build on the existing weapons in Great Britain and France,” however he did admit Brexit may put a spanner in the plan to include Britain. Very big of him.Kiesewetter’s plan would see the EU take control of France’s nukes, finance them with German money and force other European member states to store warheads in their countries.Angela Merkel has denied such a plan exists, but it is undeniably being discussed at the highest levels of government across Europe. Hungary and Poland voiced their support of such a plan shortly after Kiesewetter gave his interview.Most chilling of all is the fact that Kiesewetter said: “These are political weapons. Their use must be unpredictable”. Given how europhiles denied there were plans for an EU army, talk of them now obtaining a ‘political weapon’ should send shivers down every European’s spine

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Bheeshma » 07 Mar 2017 05:18

India should take up the island offer from Maldives and tell them in no uncertain terms that Saudi will not buy it.
Has India leased Assumption Island? Maybe we can do something similar.

Regarding the nukes under EU command? The Britshit will never agree to it. They have begged and borrowed from unkil so they can pretend they are relevant in today's world. :rotfl: Why would they give that to EU?

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Lilo » 08 Mar 2017 09:53

x-post
Falijee wrote:Mecca Modernized Into A Mall


In 1950, before it all began, 50,000 pilgrims perambulated round the Kaaba, the heart of the haj ritual. Last year, 7.5m did so. Within three years, the authorities are planning to double that huge number. “There’s no other solution,” says Anas Serafi, an architect and member of the board of Jabal Omar Development. “How else could we absorb millions of pilgrims?” Casualties are a regrettable by-product: in September 2015, the world’s largest mobile crane toppled on the Grand Mosque, killing 107 pilgrims. But two weeks later more than 2,000 pilgrims were killed in a stampede, highlighting the dangers of a lack of space.
.......
As Mecca’s custodian, King Salman bin Abdel Aziz sees both his prestige and his pocket benefit from the increasing traffic. Under the government’s transformation plan, revenue from pilgrimages will grow to compete with those from oil. Billions are being spent on railways, parking for 18,000 buses to transport pilgrims and hotels for them to stay in, heavy with gilded chandeliers.



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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 08 Mar 2017 10:41

^^ no wonder the saudis are eagerly building mosques all over the world.

Follow the money, as they say!

Ditto for just about every other religion, to be fair.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Atmavik » 08 Mar 2017 10:52

^^^ so back to the old business model.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 09 Mar 2017 11:39

arabians are moving in on our hood.

i wonder if its because we are moving in on theirs. i.e. iranian port

-----------------

Paradise lost: How the Maldives sold its land to Saudi Arabia and turned a blind eye to Isis

https://ca.yahoo.com/news/paradise-lost ... 01823.html

The kingdom is planning on buying an entire atoll of the island.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby A_Gupta » 10 Mar 2017 18:52

I think - I'm not sure - that India sees globalization in terms of trade, investment, defense. But some, now influential, in the west, see it as a cultural project.
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... ion-214889
When viewed this way, what is the Indian civilizational response to globalization?

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby GShankar » 10 Mar 2017 19:41

A_Gupta wrote:I think - I'm not sure - that India sees globalization in terms of trade, investment, defense. But some, now influential, in the west, see it as a cultural project.
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... ion-214889
When viewed this way, what is the Indian civilizational response to globalization?


www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_PhmmAyLFg

Specifically, this q&a snippet - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU0FPmEL6LE

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby SwamyG » 10 Mar 2017 19:49

JohnTitor wrote:^^ CHT?

Why can't india buy that atoll from the Maldives? Double the price - even triple. Can't we afford it? Is land not strategic?

In Chess they say, attack the squares, capture the squares, protect the squares....

Patel was strategic pulling in so many Kingdoms. Nehru, #$%## BRF being a family friendly forum :rotfl: I keep quiet. We left Nepal and SL go in the 40s. In the 50s we left Tibet go into China. In 1971, we did not claim any piece of land to liberating BD. We should have taken a few pounds of flesh - Chittagong and Rangpur districts.

Land is still veeeeeeeeeery important.

The Persian-Indian Continuum is part of India history. We should be like China, and claim those people and land. India should send out 200 million people outside of India - CAR, ME, Australia etc.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby JohnTitor » 11 Mar 2017 16:07

SwamyG wrote:Patel was strategic pulling in so many Kingdoms. Nehru, #$%## BRF being a family friendly forum :rotfl: I keep quiet. We left Nepal and SL go in the 40s. In the 50s we left Tibet go into China. In 1971, we did not claim any piece of land to liberating BD. We should have taken a few pounds of flesh - Chittagong and Rangpur districts.

Land is still veeeeeeeeeery important.


Ah yes .. I remember, this is the same man that said "nothing grows there" when chided by opponents why he gave back POK. The rebuke from Patel was excellent - "there no hair growing on your head, so we should get rid of it" .. though that didn't reverse the fact that we gave away land that was ours and jawans had died for.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Falijee » 15 Mar 2017 03:46

" East India Companies " (EIC) (A.K.A Multi - National Corp [MNC] ) Of Modern Times !

Houses Of Rhodes & Oppenheimers – EIC2MNC Series Part V

In the previous parts of this ongoing East India Company Series we examined the origin of these EICs, their motives and the motives of Multi National Corporations (MNCs). We also examined the commodities EICs dealt with and MNCs plan to deal with or are already dealing with along with the unique philosophical outlook that determined their ideology and methodology and gave them the opportunity to trade in goods like narcotics, which can destroy human civilization.
With this background we now study the EICs and MNCs operatives or controller families. East India Company’s trade was divided into many parts and a particular family owned each part. They were given full control over a nation under consideration. They developed local industrial/business house, through which they exploited the independent nations. So for people of any nation, it is the local industrial house that comes to light as the exploiter and not EICs. Even today these Houses control most of the MNCs we see and follow the same Ideology & Methodology as the EICs.
Controller Houses of East India Company and various Multinationals

Jardine & Matheson: Noble Opium Knights (covered in part 4)
House of Inchapes: Lords of Seas (covered in part 4)
House of Sassoon: Masters of India and China (covered in part 4)
House of Rockefeller: Princes of North America
Rhodes & Openheimers: African Elite-Monopolists of Gold and Diamonds
House of Rothschild: Uncrowned Kings of Europe
Rhodes & Openheimers: African Elite-Monopolists of Gold and Diamonds

“Why should we not form a Secret Society
with but one object, the furtherance of the British Empire
and the bringing of the whole world under British Rule,
for the recovery of the United States,
for making the Anglo Saxon race but one Empire?
What a dream, but yet it is probable, it is possible.”
– Cecil Rhodes wrote this in his “Confession of Faith” when he was 23.

Africa, for 200 years starting from 1800s was the leading diamond producing continent and De Beers was and is the number one diamond procuring and supplying corporation. With unlimited resources from Rothschilds, De Beers slowly swallowed all small diamond mining companies using the same strategies as John d. Rockefeller used to gobble up oil companies. Various trusts and subsidiaries were formed to conceal the true identity of De Beers. In a similar fashion even Indian diamond mines are given to an Australian company which is a subsidiary of De Beers in collaboration with Reliance Corporation.A massive eviction of tribals is taking place in the State of Andhra Pradesh from the virgin forests of Nallamala range for the exclusive benefits of De Beers, a diamond mining corporation that wants the kimberlite or diamonds from the forest. But that is not the only thing De Beers is after. What De Beers is after is the buried wealth of Vijayanagara Empire to be hauled permanently into western fold. Read about it here The Hunt For The Treasure Of Vijayanagara Empire.
Cecil Rhodes funded political parties across nations, had the following of parliamentarians both in England and South Africa and finally became the Prime Minister of Cape Colony. His personal spending around 1890 was around million pounds sterling per month. Part of his vast fortune of billions of pounds that were exploited from South Africa was invested in creating Rhodes scholarship in Oxford university. Rhodes created and funded many other social science departments in Cambridge and Oxford. But the Rhodes scholarships were specifically designed to recruit individuals from all around the world to transform them into the respective national leaders by grooming them as anglophiles. Most of the Indian leaders and their sons were tutored in Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard.

One way of avoiding this "dependency trap" is to be self - sufficient and develop indigenous technology !

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Philip » 16 Mar 2017 13:45

Though this may deserve its own td,there are too many for a few countries. This is a constant possibility,some say probability,others ,inevitability.Stupid arrogant human beings refusing to "jaw,jaw" but seeking ":war,war". Will it all come to pass? Only history will tell.

With leaders like Erdogan,frothing at the mouth against theEuropeans,Trump wanting to age war against ISIS and ban Muslims from entering the US, similarly endorsed by sev. European far right parties,and the massive military modernisation and expansion of the Chinese war machine, with another tyrant in NoKo possessing N-weapons and LR BMs,plus the hordes of ungodly beardies in Porkistan,we could very easily slip into another global conflagration just as the European monarchies did in WW1.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 22296.html

World war 3 is coming...
quote]World war 3 is coming...
Although there has been no major combat between the great powers since the Second World War, there are three key fronts emerging that make the prospect of a third global conflict alarmingly conceivable

Youssef El-Gingihy
The Independent Online

Future conflict could take the form of another cold war or even a conventional hot war, as opposed to thermonuclear Rex
The prospect of a global conflict – World War III if you like – appears somewhat unthinkable. Since the Second World War, there has been no major war between the great powers. The original post-war European project was based around peace, social justice and harmony. The unravelling of this project, accompanied by rising nationalism, is likely to exacerbate the dangers of war on a continent with a fraught history of bloody conflict.

In the 20th century, both world wars were unanticipated. Christopher Clark’s much acclaimed The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 – published in timely fashion for the centenary of First World War – charted Europe’s unexpected descent into war. First World War had been preceded by a prelude of serenity – the long 19th century of relative peace and stability. The great powers of Edwardian Europe had been engaged in diplomacy and trade prior to the onslaught of carnage.

During the 1930s, the major powers were keen to avert another war hence the policy of appeasement, the initial reluctance of the US to become involved and the Nazi-Soviet pact. Neville Chamberlain’s ill-fated announcement of “peace for our time” should be viewed in this context. Throughout the Cold War, the concept of a third world war was inextricably associated with nuclear war and the MAD doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction.

Yet it is possible that future conflict between the great powers may take the form of another cold war or even a conventional (as opposed to thermonuclear) hot war. In the 21st century, there are three key fronts emerging as the loci for future wars. The first is the Europe-Russia front with a new cold war triggered by the Ukrainian conflict. The second is the Middle East cauldron centred around Isis and the Syrian war. The third is the Asia-Pacific front with a face-off between the United States and China.

Cold War II

Time magazine – the original Cold War mouthpiece of the American establishment – trumpeted the start of Cold War II in 2014. Western powers have characterised Vladimir Putin’s incursions into Georgia in 2008 and lately Ukraine as aggressive expansionism. Evidently the irony of the US casting aspersions around violation of national sovereignty, in light of the folly of the Iraq war, seems to have been lost. The realist perspective – as articulated by John Mearsheimer in the pages of US foreign policy bible Foreign Affairs – is that the Ukrainian crisis was preceded by two decades of NATO expansionism up to the borders of Russia. This was in contravention of promises made to respect these boundaries at the end of the Cold War.

Time trumpeted the start of the second cold war in 2014

In this view, events in Ukraine have merely been the endgame of this process. It is worth recalling that the United States did not respond amicably to Soviet interference in Cuba in the 1960s. Such arguments have been rendered somewhat academic as they are overtaken by events. Increasing deployments of troops by both Nato and Russia, dangerous confrontations and massive war games are being played out.

The European Leadership Network (ELN) think-tank produced a 2015 report entitled Preparing for the Worst: Are Russian and Nato Military Exercises Making War in Europe more Likely? The report analysed recent war games including a Russian exercise involving 80,000 military personnel and a set of Nato war games comprising 15,000 personnel.

It went on to say that, “Both exercises show that each side is training with the other side’s capabilities and most likely war plans in mind... Whilst spokespeople may maintain that these operations are targeted against hypothetical opponents, the nature and scale of them indicate otherwise. Russia is preparing for a conflict with Nato, and Nato is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia.”

Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan were able to improve US Russia relations but will the same be able to be said of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump? (Getty)

Recently, the US has stationed troops in Poland in the largest deployment of American troops in Europe since the end of the Cold War. As reported, these US troops will also, “fan out across other eastern European states, including Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania”. Russia alarmed the Baltic states by, “moving nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to its naval base at Kaliningrad in the autumn”.

According to the New York Times, an American missile shield is, “to be built in Poland mirroring one already in place in Romania”. Whether Trump’s attempted rapprochement with Russia defuses the situation remains to be seen. If the cold warriors in the Atlanticist defence establishment and hard-liners on the Russian side have their way, then tensions are only likely to be ratcheted up.

Middle East geopolitics

The intrepid German author Jürgen Todenhöfer took the concept of embedded journalism to a whole new level by holing up with Isis. He points out that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there were only a few hundred Islamist fighters in the Hindu Kush mountains. Fast forward through 16 years of the war on terror costing some $4,000bn (£3,300bn) and leaving 1.3 million dead, according to Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the number of terrorists is currently about 100,000. Even on its own terms, the war on terror has been an abysmal failure. How on earth did this happen? Retired US General Wesley Clark revealed that, in the wake of 9/11, the Pentagon drew up plans to attack 7 countries.

These plans have been adhered to with remarkable fidelity with Western involvement in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The pretext may have been terrorism but the intention was to guarantee economic and military supremacy in the region. Many critics argued that the Iraq war was fundamentally about the opening up of state assets to global capital. Naomi Klein reported that the reconstruction of Iraq was estimated to have been worth about $100bn to the US economy. In the process, Iraq was transformed from a secular dictatorship into a Jihadist safe haven. Donald Rumsfeld’s decision to disband Saddam Hussein’s Baathist army led to chaos and now makes up a significant component of Isis.

Intelligence predicted that the Iraq war would lead to the amplification of Islamist terrorism (Getty)

The deliberate stoking of tensions through a US sponsored sectarian Shia-led Iraqi government was notable. This ultimately led to the Sunni backlash and the spawning of al-Qaeda in Iraq. This is a hallmark of colonial-era tactics of divide and rule. In fact, British and American intelligence predicted that the Iraq war would lead to the amplification of Islamist terrorism.

Back in 2007, the veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh posited in an extended New Yorker essay, The Redirection, that US Middle East geopolitical strategy was directed against the regional superpower of Iran and its Shia sphere of influence extending through Syria and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hersh has since elaborated, in a series of controversial London Review of Books essays, that the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad would have severed this Shia sphere. Following the destruction of Iraq, this sphere remained the only obstacle to US full-spectrum dominance of the world’s largest oil fields.

The Syrian war has seen allies – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – arming and funding radical Jihadist groups, such as the al-Nusra front. Former Vice President Joe Biden – renowned for bloopers – frankly admitted as much to a Harvard audience. The Wikileaks disclosures of Hillary Clinton’s emails revealed that she too was aware of Saudi and Qatari governments arming Isis. In realpolitik, the ends apparently justify the means.

Hersh elaborates on how British and American intelligence have been enmeshed with the use of CIA front companies in an arms pipeline from Libya to Syria dubbed the “rat line”. It was under these conditions that the mutation into the Frankenstein monster that is Isis took place. In fact, a 2012 Defence Intelligence Agency memo had anticipated the rise of Isis and its establishment in Syria in order to “isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion”.

The terrorist attacks in Europe have demonstrated the difficulty in containing the spill-over from these policies. The Syrian war has seen the return of great-power politics with the involvement of Russia. This contamination has the potential for a wider conflict in which western countries could be drawn in. One possible trajectory is that a Sunni-Shia war along the Saudi-Iran axis looks increasingly likely. Yet this destabilisation of Iraq and Syria may well have been engineered deliberately.

According to Nafeez Ahmed, documents from the Rand Corporation and US private intelligence firm Stratfor confirm this picture. An incendiary report, authored by no less than former Bush Vice President Dick Cheney and former deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, envisioned ethno-sectarian partitioning of Iraq. All in all, this could represent a new Sykes-Picot (the post Ottoman empire settlement) or redrawing of the Middle East carving it up into smaller, weaker territories, which are more pliable.

Back in the 1990s, the political scientist Samuel Huntington made some dire predictions of a clash of civilisations. Even in the wake of 9/11, such apocalyptic theories appeared quaint; now they no longer seem absurd. Isis directives aim to create more violence and chaos with the obliteration of the “grey zone” of multicultural societies, in which non-Muslims and Muslims live side by side, forcing Muslims to join the “caliphate”. Ironically, US policy is doing Isis’s work for them and, in another bizarre twist, it seems that Isis is aiding US geopolitical strategy.

Asia Pacific

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War is an intelligent thriller written by PW Singer and August Cole, both of whom have national security expertise. Ghost Fleet imagines what a 21st century world war might look like pitting the US, China and Russia against each other complete with cyber-warfare, robotics and drones. But could this nightmarish fiction turn into dystopian reality?

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier conducts a drill in the South China Sea (Reuters)

During the Obama administration, the Pentagon pursued the pivot to Asia aiming to transfer 60 per cent of naval bases to Asia. The US also strengthened alliances with Japan and other Far East partners to “contain” China. Economically, the US pursued the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a massive trade agreement, which would have deliberately excluded China. Admittedly, a Trump executive order indicates imminent withdrawal from TPP. In recent years, tensions have been mounting between China and Japan.

Both sides are now equipped with vertical take-off aircraft. There have also been a series of stand-offs between the US and China in the South China Sea. The US is currently installing a missile defence system in South Korea prompting China to warn of a new atomic arms race in the region. A recent US taskforce report unsurprisingly concluded that America and China are on a dangerous collision course.

The Trump transition is likely to exacerbate US-China tensions. Trump has threatened a trade war with China. While his chief strategist Steve Bannon stated in March of last year that, “We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years…. There’s no doubt about that.” If there is a coherent philosophy of Trumpism then it is represented by the ideology of Bannon. Bannon subscribes to the Huntingtonian idea of a coming clash of civilisations between west and east with the Orient bracketing both China and Islam.

Bannon views China and Islam as expansionist threats. He has also stated that the Judaeo-Christian west is, “at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism” and that, “We’re clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.” China will eventually overtake the US in economic terms but US supreme military dominance is unchallenged. This is a dangerous discrepancy as it means that the US will use this military power to guarantee its economic prerogative – particularly as a massive national security apparatus now seems to dictate US foreign policy. As Obama has put it, the US is exceptional because it acts.

People watch a news report on North Korea’s first hydrogen bomb test (Getty)

This would be in keeping with the default operational mode of capitalism. One might even argue that capitalism often resolves systemic economic crises through war. After all, a war economy with militarisation, mobilisation, full employment and jingoism can be viewed as the ultimate solution to economic woes and social unrest. The transition of Western democracy to oligarchy and the descent into soft fascism is under way. Citizens will need to participate actively, rather than as passive consumers, to demand an end to this cycle of violence from governments and to defend the assault on democratic processes. We can only hope that British foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey’s refrain on the commencement of First World War – “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time” – will not be repeated in ours. But the omens are not good. As the late Eric Hobsbawm put it, the old century has not ended well.
[/quote]

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Suraj » 15 Apr 2017 22:37

Other non-me admins, please move this to an appropriate thread if not relavant.

There's a new series on Netflix that captivated my interest, and this thread seemed the best place to post about it. It's called Tokyo Trials . It's an NHK/Dutch TV production. It's about the International Military Tribune for the Far East, i.e. the trial of Japanese war criminals post WW2. The surprising hero of the tale is the Indian representative, Justice Radhabinod Pal, played very well by Irrfan Khan.

Lots of historical nuggets of great interest to India:
* The original judges panel was only US, USSR, Australia, NZ, Canada, UK, France, Netherlands and China. The Aussie (Webb) is selected as the head.
* Indian and Phillipine judges were added after outside pressure to add Asian representation. Dr.Pal and Dr.Jaranilla miss the first few sessions.
* The US was opposed to Indian involvement (presumably to placate UK). It's openly mentioned. It's raised as a question in conversation. It's explained that State Department had a change of mind.
* Neither Pal nor Jaranilla are part of the original closed doors agreement to present an unanimous choice even if the decision was only majority, with the plan being to write a dissent note after the judgement. This is proposed by Roling (Netherlands) and carried.
* When Pal arrives he's informed of the prior consensus plan, and immediately rejects the act of being made to tow a line he didn't get a vote in. The Brit ('Lard' Patrick) takes the lead in trying to shush him, telling him to go back to Calcutta if he doesn't like the plan. Pal coolly responds that the tribunal headed by MacArthur picks the judges and that no one in that room has any business telling anyone else to leave.
* Mei the Chinese judge is prototypically Chinese. He treads the thin line being trying to be objective and letting his sense of revenge lead. He's also a protocol nut, and insists on being seated next to the head of the panel, replacing the Brit, because his country suffered more.
* Jaranilla is about like Mei, but more emotional. Tries to blackmail Pal emotionally with talk about killings. Pal responds that they're there to make objective decisions and not hand out emotional justice.
* The Soviet is a general who needs an interpreter, and clearly is pushing to get two guys the Russians want dead - one of them the former Japanese ambassador to Moscow.
* The Brit, Kiwi, Canadian and later the American (the first American, a Massachusetts judge, is replaced with a General) are in collusion. Their primary objective is to a) ensure the trial sticks to assigned charter and b) avoid any questions that will impact the template of the earlier Nuremberg Trial of the Nazis.
* The French is seen as sympathetic to Japan because he supports colonialism, and views Japanese actions as colonialist ones with a greater good.
* The Dutchman (Roling) gets most screentime beside Pal, and his sympathies shift from majority opinion to Pal's side . He writes a memorandum note midway, explaining his change of heart. He's accused of being 'weak and swayed by others' (implicit reference to Pal), with the Anglo clique noticing him talking to Pal and mocking him behind his back.
* Roling initially questions why the accused were so chosen. He asks why the two Soviet choices were added in handwriting at the end of the list they're all given. Webb steps in and says they've been given a list and a charter, not the question of asking why, and the Brit firmly backs that too.
* Pal's presence is immediately contentious. The Brit chafes at the fact that Pal thinks independently, and will not respect the rules that have been set for him. Pal's central argument is questioning the charter itself, since he argues that 'crime of war aggression' does not exist as a crime, and that even the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact does not criminalize war but merely condemns it, because it specifically does not describe punishment of either countries nor individuals.
* The clique (Brit, NZ, Canadian) conspire to have the Aussie at the head pushed out. The reason for this is that Judge Webb the Aussie is too accommodating of dissent within closed discussions. They want swift action and also a more firm resolve not to carry discussion in a direction that will invalidate Nuremberg conclusions.
* This is done by simultaneously resigning, complaining of weak leadership. This results in their governments pressurizing Australia, who in turn recalls Judge Webb. The clique tries to put the Kiwi as the new leader (he was the original deputy), but MacArthur instead elevates the American general to the role of head.
* The clique responds by courting the American, knowing he's a general and doesn't know much law. They 'mentor' him and show him their chosen path, knowing that as a soldier he's trained to follow the lead once given.
* Pal continues to infuriate the clique, because he's the hurdle in the way to their desire for a Nuremberg friendly consensus. They worry that he'll switch over both Roling and Bernard (the Frenchman) to his side, even though Pal shows no interest in politicking at all, and essentially makes a reasoned argument that wins influence in others' minds.
* The judges initially raise the question of why the Emperor of Japan is not on trial. MacArthur shoots them down saying the Emperor is his way of imposing a new constitution and legitimizing it, and they're not to bring the Emperor up again.
* In the end, the politicking group get their way. They do this by subverting the authority of the president, and writing a judgement as the majority on their own, behind the president's back , and forcing him to agree as per the charter that they have the right .
* Pal writes his legendary dissenting opinion (which was banned from publication in both US and UK). His opinion is the sole one entirely in dissent with the opinion of the majority.
* Roling and Bernard also write dissenting opinions, but only partial dissent to the majority. Jaranilla writes a supplementary opinion in support of the majority, primarily in response to what he considers Pal's opinion 'in favor of the Japanese'.

The overall view of the whole thing is that those who carried the day were more concerned about avoiding making the conclusions of Nuremberg look invalid, and therefore refused any changes - even legitimately argued ones - to change the charter because it effectively amounted to criminalizing behavior after the fact, when clear 'war of aggression' was not a crime and was legitimate policy of everyone at the time, as both Pal and Roling argue.

In real life today, Pal is the most well known judge from IMTFE, probably the only one people remember. There is a memorial to him in Yasukuni Shrine. It's quite popular. I've been there.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 26 Apr 2017 23:26

http://carnegieendowment.org/2017/04/25 ... -pub-68754


By Ashley Tellis on US interests in Indo-Pacific

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Singha » 28 Apr 2017 16:02

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... ugees.html

Huge articles about syrian refugees in weimar.
Plenty of milk and honey in germany to satiate the ppl of dozens of failed islamic nations.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 30 Apr 2017 13:52

The flood of Syrians into western countries was orchestrated to create a pool of cheap, desperate labor to work menial jobs and to help boost collapsing population levels.

There is no way a million plus refs from Syria could have just moved across multiple borders otherwise.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Singha » 30 Apr 2017 16:25

https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/mobile.n ... k.amp.html

China is raping the worlds oceans as far as west africa. 2400 deep sea trawlers.

We must be prepared to sink any that come in our eez and chase them far far away

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chola » 30 Apr 2017 17:10

Singha wrote:https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/04/28/world/europe/weimar-germany-syrian-refugees.html

Huge articles about syrian refugees in weimar.
Plenty of milk and honey in germany to satiate the ppl of dozens of failed islamic nations.


End of Germany.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chola » 30 Apr 2017 17:11

Singha wrote:https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/30/world/asia/chinas-appetite-pushes-fisheries-to-the-brink.amp.html

China is raping the worlds oceans as far as west africa. 2400 deep sea trawlers.

We must be prepared to sink any that come in our eez and chase them far far away



End of sea life

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby sanjayc » 30 Apr 2017 17:18

Neshant wrote:The flood of Syrians into western countries was orchestrated to create a pool of cheap, desperate labor to work menial jobs and to help boost collapsing population levels.

There is no way a million plus refs from Syria could have just moved across multiple borders otherwise.


If they wanted cheap labour, they should have gone for White Christians from poor countries in Eastern Europe. Immigrating millions of rabid Arab Muslims is simply death wish.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 01 May 2017 02:45

White Christians from Europe poor or otherwise won't do menial jobs once they arrive in the west.

In other cases, they are not going to want Ukrainians for instance moving out of their country as that would enable a Russian take over.

Nor does Europe want African br0thas although how a flood of Muslims is any easier to explain to the public rather then a flood of br0thas is beyond me..

This exodus of Syrians from their country to europe and elsewhere (i.e Canada) was a planned event.

If they wanted them to stay put, the aid would have gone to them in Syria and migration would have been checked with border patrols.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 01 May 2017 02:56

chola wrote:
Singha wrote:https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/30/world/asia/chinas-appetite-pushes-fisheries-to-the-brink.amp.html

China is raping the worlds oceans as far as west africa. 2400 deep sea trawlers.

We must be prepared to sink any that come in our eez and chase them far far away



End of sea life



How long before their port at Gwadar starts raping the Indian ocean with trawling?

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 01 May 2017 03:35

That's because Latinos, Indians & Chinese won't stay in Germany or raise a family there.

They use it as a spring board to get to the US or UK. And they send lots of money back home.

They need a captive bunch of slaves to clean toilets & scrub floors for the long haul at barely livable wages... with no home country to return to.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Bhurishravas » 01 May 2017 04:00

Neshant wrote:That's because Latinos, Indians & Chinese won't stay in Germany or raise a family there.


And that is because UK/US is the only place of milk and honey.
Your assumption that it is a western ploy to get millions of angry middle-east muslims as refugees is laughable. And explanations even more so.

East Europeans would as happily do the menial jobs. In fact the case of Polish plumbers has been beaten to death in western Europe. Besides unemployment is at an all time high in spain and other sick economies like Greece and Italy. Why would west need Europeans from middle-east to fill up labour jobs.

Bhai, this is some real ingenious shit you have come up with. :D

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 01 May 2017 11:09

Plumber is not a menial job. Its a skilled trade.

Menial jobs are like cleaning toilets, sorting garbage, lifting heavy boxes and other jobs that slowly kill a person - all on slave wages.

Its all part of the plan to suppress wages by importing an underclass of people who once in the country are forced into a hand-to-mouth subsistence.

All the while, govt will be taxing them, central banking crooks will be inflating their meager wages away and banking crooks will be robbing them blind.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Bhurishravas » 01 May 2017 17:53

Haha. Amazing.
Europe has a garbage problem or cleaning toilet problem. And that is why they need millions of middle-east muslims.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby vish_mulay » 01 May 2017 20:01

Neshant wrote:Plumber is not a menial job. Its a skilled trade.

Menial jobs are like cleaning toilets, sorting garbage, lifting heavy boxes and other jobs that slowly kill a person - all on slave wages.

Its all part of the plan to suppress wages by importing an underclass of people who once in the country are forced into a hand-to-mouth subsistence.

All the while, govt will be taxing them, central banking crooks will be inflating their meager wages away and banking crooks will be robbing them blind.

Last week my plumber drove in a e350 and charged me 150aud/hr. got talking and his annual earnings after taxes is about twice my salary before taxes. Such is life!

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 02 May 2017 07:53

SriJoy wrote:Bhai, plenty of Punjabis are very happy to stay forever in Canada/UK and USA too.


I'm not talking about Canada/UK/USA. I'm talking about Germany specifically where the bulk of Syrians were led into.

Filipino, Indians, (you can cut Chinese off that list because they are reaching middle income status) all send their earnings back home. Latinos I don't know.

Population levels are falling and good, hardworking slaves at subsistence wages are needed to pay German pension, medical bills and wipe the saggy butts of old men.

Now if you have the appropriate butt wiping skills and willing to work a subsistence wage, you might just have a refugee status card waiting for you in Germany.
Last edited by Neshant on 02 May 2017 07:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 02 May 2017 08:01

85000 Indians are not wiping the butts of old German men in Germany, nor cleaning toilets at subsistence wages.

Do you think its some accident that millions of Syrian refugees flooded into western europe?

That perhaps the countries had no idea what was happening?

No way. This is a carefully orchestrated event to dump cheap, captive labor on western Europe to suppress wages.

This is deliberate.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 02 May 2017 08:16

German labor unions will not accept a bunch of filipinos, indians, africans or anyone else being imported in to suppress their wages.

But with refugees, they cannot object. If they do they are branded as racists or nazis.

This is the way of corporations & the govt sneaking in hundreds of thousands of cheap, captive, slave laborers to suppress wages.

Hope you understand now.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Singha » 02 May 2017 09:29

The part about having no stable home country to return does ring true. There is no remittance drain to host economy unlike asians.

But at same time germany is denying asylum to many north africans and afghans and deporting them using bribery deals to any govt willing to take back their own.

So overall it sounds like a plan to get cheap labour that backfired in part and dealing with the fallout now. The feral incidents of refugees going after female flesh all over like the cologne incident must have opened deep debate in german deep state. Perhaps the more educated and well behaved middle class syrians with family and single women refugees will be kept and rest eased out slowly..i would imagine the syrians are a lot better educated on avg than africans and afghans making landfall on the rhineland frontier. Ex jihadis will be booted out though.

In the usa the farmhand and food processing sector is rife with hispanics with dubious paperwork but they are law abiding and work very hard and dont economically challenge white interests. For optics some bcis raids will be there but mostly business interests will ensure they are left alone...a rise in input cost of food will weaken one of the pillars by which american underclass is kept under control..which is even the bottom 20% can afford food though not exactly the best of the crop..bread soup sugar redmeat corn bakedgoods milk coffee ...one can survive

One has to be pragmatic about these matters..businesses love to control costs to reward shareholders who via 401k and mutual funds are the usa middle class. A 1% pa roi hit due to weeding out all illegals is big $$ long term

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 03 May 2017 04:46

Ok guys back off . Its not about you both but the thread topic.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ricky_v » 14 May 2017 16:38

A longish read about the Eurasian game afoot and the implications for the players involved by Robert Kaplan; posting excerpts.
http://stories.cnas.org/the-return-of-marco-polos-world-and-the-u-s-military-response
It was the monumental devastation of two world wars that led European elites, beginning in the late 1940s, to reject the past altogether, with all of its inherent cultural and ethnic divisions. Only the abstract ideals of the Enlightenment were preserved, which in turn led to political engineering and economic experimentation, so that the specific moral response to the human suffering of 1914–18 and 1939–45 was the establishment of generous social-welfare states, which meant highly regulated economies.

eanwhile, Europe dissolves from without, as it is reunited with the destiny of Afro-Eurasia as a whole.
All this follows naturally from geography and history. For centuries in early- and middle-antiquity, Europe meant the entire Mediterranean Basin, or Mare Nostrum (“Our Sea”) as the Romans famously called it, which included North Africa until the Arab invasion of Late Antiquity. This underlying reality never actually went away: In the mid-20th century, the French geographer Fernand Braudel intimated that Europe’s real southern border was not Italy or Greece, but the Sahara Desert, where caravans of migrants now assemble for the journey north.2

Europe, at least in the way that we have known it, has begun to vanish. And with it, the West itself – at least as a sharply defined geopolitical force – also loses substantial definition. Of course, the West as a civilizational concept has been in crisis for quite some time. The very obvious fact that courses in Western civilization are increasingly rare and controversial on most college campuses in the United States indicates the effect of multiculturalism in a world of intensified cosmopolitan interactions. Noting how Rome only partially inherited the ideals of Greece, and how the Middle Ages virtually lost the ideals of Rome, the 19th-century liberal Russian intellectual Alexander Herzen observed that “Modern Western thought will pass into history and be incorporated in it, will have its influence and its place, just as our body will pass into the composition of grass, of sheep, of cutlets, and of men. We do not like that kind of immortality, but what is to be done about it?”3

Indeed, Western civilization is not being destroyed; rather, it is being diluted and dispersed. After all, how exactly does one define globalization? Beyond the breakdown of economic borders, it is the worldwide adoption of the American form of capitalism and management practices that, merging with the advance of human rights (another Western concept) has allowed for the most eclectic forms of cultural combinations, wearing down, in turn, the historical division between East and West. Having won the Long European War, the West, rather than go on to conquer the rest of the world, is now beginning to lose itself in what Reinhold Niebuhr called “a vast web of history.”

Take Saudi Arabia: a comparatively young and artificially drawn kingdom with no imperial legacy to draw upon, and with great regional differences between Najd and the Hejaz, whose water-starved population may double in a few decades, making it, in political terms, less and less coherent. Moreover, mainly because of the natural gas revolution in the United States, Saudi Arabia is no longer the global swing producer of hydrocarbons. Energy expert Daniel Yergin writes, “The new Saudi strategy is to use oil revenues to diversify the economy and build the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund as the investment engine for development.” The target, he writes, “is to increase non-oil government revenues at least sixfold by 2030.”14 Nevertheless, even if the Kingdom achieves all or part of this goal – and that is very doubtful – it is safe to say that Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical power has, at best, peaked.

The Russian invasion of Greater Georgia in 2008 was a pivot point in this process. Until then, Armenia was aligned with Russia, and Georgia was aligned with the United States and Europe. Also aligned with the West was energy-rich Azerbaijan, owing to its oil and natural gas pipelines that bypass Russia and run from Baku through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean. But the Muslim Azeris saw the American desertion in 2008 of Georgia – a Christian nation, no less, during its hour of need – and realized that Washington no longer could be trusted in a crisis, even if the Azeris themselves continued to detest the Russians. And yet, the Russians now sell arms to the Azeris, even while they take the Armenians for granted.

To the north of all this complexity and turmoil lies Russia, whose Eastern Orthodox imperium did not take part in the historical ages (the Renaissance and the Enlightenment) that made Europe what it is today, even as the medieval czars long before Napoleon and Hitler faced invasion from Swedes, Poles, and Teutonic Knights – and thus chose to ally with the Mongols. Vladimir Putin’s Eurasianism is deeply rooted in this past, and so “empire is the Russian state’s default option.”utin knows that the mid-17th century czarist imperial expansion south into the medieval heartland of Kievan Rus (Ukraine, that is) toward the Black Sea paid great dividends, for it marked the early disintegration of Russia’s ultimate enemy, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Thus, both Ukraine and Syria are inseparable from Putin’s challenge to the Baltic States and the Balkans. This reality rejuvenates the 1920s’ concept of the Intermarium, Latin for “between the seas” – the Baltic and Black seas, that is. The Intermarium constitutes the contested rimland from Estonia in the north to Romania and Bulgaria in the south, and to the Caucasus in the east that once framed the conflict zone between Germany and Russia and now frames the conflict zone between the United States and Russia

To wit, the political map may evolve over time: Pakistan can partially crumble into a rump-Greater Punjab with Baluchistan and Sind gaining more de facto independence, with vast implications for India. And it is the Indian subcontinent that I am talking about: Since parts of Afghanistan were incorporated into various Indian imperial dynasties, governments in New Delhi always have considered Afghanistan in conceptual terms as part of a Greater India, stretching from the Iranian Plateau in the west to the Burmese jungles in the east. Whereas China seeks to expand vertically south to the Indian Ocean, India seeks to expand horizontally along or close to the Indian Ocean, with an especial growing influence in the Persian Gulf

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby abhijatT » 14 May 2017 20:45

^ Thanks for the article. Great Read.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby panduranghari » 16 May 2017 13:26

Refugees are different from economic migrants.

For Germany specifically, refugees are predominantly from Syria. Economic migrants are from North Africa, Eastern Europe, Brits, French, Hispanics and also Nordics. All flock to Germany for better life as there are no jobs elsewhere. Language problem notwithstanding.

Amongst all the OECD countries, Germany has the worst demographics of all. Why do you think Merkel let so many Syrians in? They hoped all Syrians will be erudite and cultured like Assad's!

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 16 May 2017 22:50

ricky_v, Thanks for the long article.
Its very informative and the highlights you posted are worthy of discussion.



Not only Europe but even Middle East is dissolving as the forces of history assert themselves.



To wit, the political map may evolve over time: Pakistan can partially crumble into a rump-Greater Punjab with Baluchistan and Sind gaining more de facto independence, with vast implications for India. And it is the Indian subcontinent that I am talking about: Since parts of Afghanistan were incorporated into various Indian imperial dynasties, governments in New Delhi always have considered Afghanistan in conceptual terms as part of a Greater India, stretching from the Iranian Plateau in the west to the Burmese jungles in the east. Whereas China seeks to expand vertically south to the Indian Ocean, India seeks to expand horizontally along or close to the Indian Ocean, with an especial growing influence in the Persian Gulf



Braudel in his third volume (Perspective of the World) on Civilization and Capitalism series in the chapter on India (~ 50 pages long) says historically Indian influence swings like a pendulum from East to West based on the stability in India. The example f pendulum means its time related. He points that in the early centuries of the first millennium, Indian influence swung towards the East and established Hindu kingdoms there. The swing stopped around 450 AD (I think with Gupta zenith) and swung Westward. Again it stopped with rise of Islam which led to the double colonization.
So Kaplan is charting the Westwards wing as he thinks rise of China will channel India towards the West.

I submit history has a way of throwing surprises and for all we know the Eastward swing might still happen.

China is now morally and intellectually bankrupt and is on a material expansion.
Its now in its Baroque period of ostentatious spending.

Will eventually lead to post modern dystopia.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 25 May 2017 02:27

NPR today moring 24 May 2017 had a news time which is very important in my humble opinion.

Obama and Merkel to discuss civic engagement at Brandenburg Gate


First note Obama and Merkel!!! Two politicians to discuss democracy at a religious event?
Now read on.


Obama, Merkel To Discuss Civic Engagement At Brandenburg Gate

The bishop who will moderate a chat between former President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discusses its theme: "Being Involved in Democracy: Taking on Responsibility Locally and Globally."


RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Two American presidents will make headlines in Europe tomorrow. President Trump meets with European leaders in Brussels. And former President Barack Obama makes his first major foreign appearance since leaving office. He and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will lead a public conversation at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. It's part of a series of events marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. And it also marks a theme - civic engagement - that's emerging as one of President Obama's core concerns.

Heinrich Bedford-Strohm is Germany's top Protestant bishop. He invited President Obama to this event long before last year's election, and he will moderate tomorrow's discussion. I spoke with the bishop and asked him why he chose these two leaders, Merkel and Obama, to discuss the responsibilities of global citizenship.

HEINRICH BEDFORD-STROHM: The theme that we have chosen is the future of democracy, getting engaged in democracy. I think it's wonderful to have a leader who has had eight years in office speaking to another leader who is still in office about what are the guidelines? What are the basic orientations with which you go into politics? What are the ideals?

And how do you deal with your ideals when you're confronted with the dilemma situations in politics?
And my hope is that especially young people have an incentive to get involved themselves. I think that's what we need most - an involved, engaged civil society in dialogue with politics.

MARTIN: Explain the religious underpinnings of this. You wrote recently that anyone who is pious also has to be politically minded.

BEDFORD-STROHM: Yes. This does, of course, not mean that you do party politics, but what it means is that you can never leave politics out if you take Christian faith seriously because Christian faith is about love of God and love of neighbor, both connected.

And if you also know that a lot of the misery of the difficult situations people are in has to do with political structures, has to do with decisions that are made either globally or nationally on the political level, then you know that alleviating their problems needs getting engaged into politics as well. And I think the churches, the religious communities have a duty to get engaged
.

MARTIN: It's interesting also to note that there is another event similar to this one. It's called the Kirchentag. And this is an event that draws German protesters every year. It started out, as I understand it, after World War II as a way to confront and deal with the church's complacency during the Nazi regime.

BEDFORD-STROHM: Yes, exactly. Actually, the event with Barack Obama and Angela Merkel is part of the Kirchentag. It is designed to talk about faith, to worship, to get more spiritual strength but then also to discuss about the consequences for public life.

What you said is exactly true. It came from the experience that the churches in the time of National Socialism did not speak up enough when Jews were transported away, when political opponents, social democrats or other people were put into prison or into concentration camps. And there were some few people in the churches who spoke up, but most of the churches did not really speak up while a grave injustice was happening.

MARTIN: This year is special though because it's the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

BEDFORD-STROHM: Yes.

MARTIN: And the Reformation was about giving people more control over their relationship with God, doing away with the idea that there had to be a middle man in the form of a priest. Is there a connection do you think between the symbolism of the Reformation and the idea of an empowered global citizenry?


BEDFORD-STROHM: I think there is actually. And I'm very happy to say that this is not something anymore which separates us from the Catholic Church or from other denominations. I call it, as Martin Luther, Christian liberty, the freedom of a Christian person. And that means you know in your heart that you are cared for by God, that God will protect you, that God will go with you no matter what happens. And that is why you do not have to fear authorities.

You do not have to fear disadvantages when you speak up, for example. So civil courage, something that, for example, Martin Luther King Jr. stands for, comes from this Christian liberty. It means that you have a firm inner strength to speak up with courage and at the same time to be an advocate for the poor and advocate for those who are marginalized and advocate for peace and overcoming violence. That is what Martin Luther described when you started Reformation and began a big movement that is now the basis for an ecumenical future.

MARTIN: Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm. He is the leading Protestant bishop in Germany. Thank you so much for your time, Bishop.

BEDFORD-STROHM: Thank you, Rachel.





So secularism that is separation of Church and State which is the outcome of Westphalia state is dead and buried.
Will the nation-state survive in Europe?

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Muppalla » 25 May 2017 05:57

Excellent article with perfect symphony of Xianity, Secularism and Democracy

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Philip » 25 May 2017 12:29

The next European flashpoint after the UKR? The situ is somewhat similar,a large section of the population pro-Russian,wanting to maintain good relations with Russia,while NATO also covets its maritime coastline. Trouble is in the air.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... ato-member
Montenegro finds itself at heart of tensions with Russia as it joins Nato
Alliance that bombed country only 18 years ago welcomes it as 29th member in move that has left its citizens divided

Kotor on the Montenegrin coast. The country was the last stretch of the Mediterranean coastline between Gibraltar and Syria not controlled by Nato. Photograph: Stevo Vasiljevic/Reuters

Alec Luhn in Podgorica
Thursday 25 May 2017 06.00 BST Last modified on Thursday 25 May 2017 06.01 BST
The Democratic Front, an alliance of parties opposed to Montenegro’s membership of Nato, flies a giant Russian flag from the top balcony of its red-and-white headquarters in Podgorica.

It’s a striking choice given that two of the party’s leaders have been stripped of parliamentary immunity and charged with attempting to overthrow the government in an allegedly Russian-backed plot. But it also shows the deep divisions that continue as the Balkan country of 600,000 is welcomed as the alliance’s 29th member and attends its first summit on Thursday.

It was only 18 years ago that Nato aircraft were bombing targets in Montenegro – then part of a federal republic with Serbia – in a campaign that forced Slobodan Milošević’s troops out of Kosovo. The bombing remains a painful memory for many Montenegrins, and polls have shown the population evenly divided on Nato membership. Then there is the spectre of Russia, a historical ally and fellow Slavic country, accused by the government of an assassination attempt on the then prime minister Milo Đukanović.

“Bombing of a country in the heart of Europe at the end of the 20th century is not something the international community should be proud of,” Đukanović, whose designated successor, Duško Marković, was elected prime minister the day the coup attempt was announced, told the Guardian. “But the last thing that should happen to us in the Balkans is that … due to this episode we forget what the strategic course that we need to pursue is.”

Many hope Nato membership will end the tumultuous east-west struggle in Montenegrin politics, but the divisive trial of the accused plotters starts this week, and the country remains in political crisis.

The ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) barely gathered enough votes to ratify the Nato accession treaty, and the opposition has promised to call a referendum to reconsider membership if it comes to power. Its leaders have continued to travel to Moscow.

“Russia will continue pressuring and trying to influence the political process in Montenegro,” said the political analyst Zlatko Vujović. “They will have less impact than before because opposition forces are not so strong … but I think they will continue pressuring the opposition political parties.”

One of the key objections to Montenegro’s Nato membership, raised by the US senator Rand Paul among others, is that it can contribute a tiny military of only 2,000 soldiers in exchange for Nato protection. What it does have is the last stretch of Mediterranean coastline between Gibraltar and Syria not controlled by the alliance, a location also coveted by Russia. Moscow asked for but was denied permission to refuel and restock naval ships in Montenegro in 2013, but has denied seeking a permanent base there.


But Nato membership is also a move that has been rejected by much of the population, raising the possibility of continued political upheaval. A poll in December found that 39.5% of the population was for and 39.7% against. Added to 500 who died in the 1999 Nato bombing of Serbia and Montenegro are the historical ties to Russia. Russia was the first foreign country with which Montenegro established diplomatic ties in 1711, and is also majority Orthodox Christian.

“I like Russia, not the Americans. Russia is our people. We have the same culture and history,” said Zhanna Brajović, the owner of a small market in Podgorica.

Since Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch who was close to Vladimir Putin, bought the major state aluminum smelter KAP in 2005, Russian money has been pouring into Montenegro, especially to beachside real estate and development deals. Deripaska is now suing the government over the loss of KAP but remains an investor in the Porto Montenegro yacht marina project. Russia reportedly accounts for one-third of the foreign direct investment in Montenegro in 2015, dwarfing that from western Europe.

Đukanović argued that “Russian investors and tourists find that it is something in their best interest to go to a country which has a rule of law,” which is what Nato and EU reforms, being introduced as it approaches membership, are theoretically achieving.

The Russian government, on the other hand, promised “retaliatory actions” after Nato invited Montenegro. In April, it banned imports from Montenegro’s largest winemaker, and the Russian foreign ministry warned that tourists could “expect provocations and detentions” due to “anti-Russian hysteria”. Russians reportedly accounted for 7.3% of all tourist stays in March, down from 19.2% in March 2016.

The election on 16 October was essentially the last chance for voters to approve or reject Montenegro’s Nato accession. Some accuse the ruling party of unfairly rallying voters to its side by announcing the coup attempt on the day of the polls, even though the alleged plotters were arrested the day before.

“The whole city was in a state of emergency. You could hear the police sirens bringing these guys one by one before the prosecutor,” said Daliborka Uljarević of the Centre for Civic Education. “You feel nervous. It’s not a normal situation.”

In the following months, discussion of the alleged Russian plot has dominated politics and the media, she added.

According to an indictment prepared by the chief prosecutor Milivoje Katnić, a group of Serbian nationalists planned to seize the parliament and assassinate Đukanović, while others dressed as police officers were to open fire on crowds outside. The Democratic Front would be declared the country’s new rulers, stopping the Nato accession process, it said. A member of the group lost his nerve and tipped off law enforcement, who moved in to arrest them.

Two of the 14 charged are alleged Russian intelligence agents being tried in absentia. Serbia arrested the pair with police uniforms, encryption equipment and cash in October. But it sent them back to Russia after the head of the Russian security council visited Belgrade and reportedly apologised for what he described as a rogue operation not sanctioned by the Kremlin. (Belgrade and Moscow have denied this account.)

The main evidence against the indicted opposition leaders, Andrija Mandić and Milan Knežević, is their frequent trips to Russia, and they reportedly visited Moscow again this month. The two deny the existence of any such plot.

“It’s a fake state coup organised by Đukanović … to prevent probable victory of the opposition in the election,” Nebojša Medojević, another member of the Democratic Front, told the Guardian.

Another possibility is that pro-Kremlin radicals did indeed devise the plot. Suspicions fell on Leonid Reshetnikov, the outspokenly hawkish head of a Kremlin-backed thinktank, when Putin fired him a few days after the alleged coup attempt. Also, in a leaked email to an associate of the “Orthodox oligarch” Konstantin Malofeyev, a pro-Russian activist in eastern Europe purportedly discussed the failed Montenegro plot. Representatives of both Reshetnikov and Malofeyev denied any involvement to the Guardian.

In the aftermath of the alleged coup attempt and Montenegro joining Nato, Serbia is likely to become the “main Russian hope in the western Balkans”, according to Andrei Kortunov, director of the Russian International Affairs Council. In the same week that the US Senate approved Montenegro’s Nato membership, the Serbian prime minister, Aleksandar Vučić, and Putin signed the first Russia-Serbia arms deals since 2013.

While many analysts and pundits in Podgorica expect Russia to continue to foment unrest in Montenegro, the political crisis tied to the coup investigation is likely to pose a greater threat to the country’s stability. Vujović said the judicial system and other institutions answered only to the ruling party. “It’s not a black-and-white situation,” he said. “The lack of a real pro-European alternative is maybe a bigger problem.”


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