Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

France, Macron Ousted from Pacific Area

by Oui Sat Jul 29th, 2023 at 04:16:52 PM EST

Became clear with AUKUS ...You are either with US, or with the [......] ... to be specified "the enemy".

Macron Seeks Bigger French Say in Pacific as China's Clout Five Eyes and AUKUS new colonialism grows

* President slams 'new imperialisms' on South Pacific trip

Must listen to the Bull$hit spoken by Lloyd Austin ... US interests a few decades long ... Japanese Imperialism and expansion, Chinese Empire and cultures millennia long ... America participate for common good in trade, but stay out of sovereign states with military bloodhounds.

Macron admits France owes ’debt' to Polynesia over dirty nuclear tests | FT - July 28, 2021 |

Pacific islands were chosen because they were out of sight, says French president


Victims' groups and pro-independence politicians were unimpressed by Macron's words.

"There is no progress in this speech, just demagoguery," said Auguste Uebe-Carlson, a priest who heads 193 Association -- named after the number of tests carried out. "The state's lies continue," he told a local television, according to AFP.

The Big Lie China | Sept. 17, 2021 |

The second dossier Rutte wants to discuss in Downing Street 10 is sustainability and climate change, he says. 🤥

Highly unlikely! On both counts the Dutch are far behind and court orders the government to meet the criteria set forth by the European Commission in Brussels.

In my analysis these will not be on the table in talks with Johnson today. As FM Sigrid Kaag resigned yesterday, Rutte has free reign to cover foreign policy and speak of commitments in full secrecy.

The Dutch are quite familiar with trade in the Far East through their colonial past, governing the vast island continent of Indonesia. The Dutch managed to open trade with Imperial Japan ahead of its many European competitors. Rutte and the Dutch don't want to miss out on this market and opportunity offered by Aukus and join Global Britain where he can.

So many occasions to support Trump of the US, Boris Johnson of the UK ... Conservative PM Mark Rutte lets Dutch Navy join Global Britain in action advancing on disputed waters in the  South China Sea ... wtf.

Dutch Navy Joins Global Britain and US

From the diaries ...

HMS Defender MS Evertsen #WeAreNato sailing for Crimea | June 17, 2021 |

The @HNLMS_Evertsen crew is on a unique journey. Today they shared their experiences with @CDS_Defensie. The 12,000 kilometers between The Hague and the berth of Guam were bridged with video contact. The atmosphere on board is good, according to the crew.

The Quad in the Indo-Pacific: What to Know

The proxy war in Ukraine was just an intermezzo for Joe ... the big prize has always been to unravel Chinese economic power and threat to U.S. supremacy. MAGA to the extreme. The Afghan defeat and embarrassment had to be swiped left to delete from memory by starting a new conflict ... the easiest path was through a most corrupt Ukraine ... a conflict VP Biden himself caused by the coup d'état in Februari 2014. The dormant battle lines could easily set on fire by adding some more oxygen ... the Nazi nationalist forces were already in place on the Luhansk and Donetsk frontlines and Putin was already cornered by years of NATO aggression. The downsized OSCE SMM - US and UK members were withdrawn - was the signal for the Nationalist forces to start the attack. A needless war with no possible gain for either side ... a stalemate by digging a deeper hole ... blood spilled of tens of thousands of soldiers/fighters/mercenaries. War never made any sense and this conflict is a primary example.

Setting a war narrative based on lies, false hope, optimism and full control over messaging on social media, Western mainstream media and putting censorship in place. Of course the guests in studio for interviews were part of warmongers or veteran defense specialist part of NATO or the Pentagon. The end game of the Bucharest Summit of Spring 2008. Damn fools. #Breedlove burn 🔥 in hell.

Joe Biden, testing Xi Jinping, will bar Hong Kong's leader from economic summit | WaPo |

China hawks in Congress had pressed the administration to block Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee from joining a gathering of Asian leaders in San Francisco this fall

Chief Executive John Lee, along with 10 other Hong Kongand Chinese officials, was placed under sanctions by Washington in 2020 after implementing a national security law, imposed by Beijing, that enabled the targeting of pro-democracy leaders, tarnished the reputation of the courts and earned international condemnation as leaders sought to silence dissent.

State Department walks back Apec invitation for Hong Kong leader John Lee, says US `has not made any commitments' | Hong Kong Free Press - June 14, 2023 |

Breaking news:

China demands US invite Hong Kong leader to economic meeting, adding to strains over crackdown | AP News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 29th, 2023 at 07:05:03 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 29th, 2023 at 07:27:03 PM EST
A global proxy war: Ukraine is now the center of our Eurasian competition with Russia and China | The Hill - April 10, 2023 |

The fact that the primary publicly released text is in Chinese, rather than English or Russian, is therefore a clear choice. China is the senior partner in its relationship with Russia. But the China-Russia relationship is Beijing's most important diplomatic bilateral linkage. China's decision not to provide a public English translation indicates that it sees its relations with Russia as key to a new Eurasian order, one that will be founded on principles wholly different from the old Anglo-American Eurasian order -- and one requiring a new language.

The joint statement appears more muted than the February 2022 "No Limits" declaration. Indeed, it cites the no-limits statement without using that phrase. However, it is clearly written in line with the previous declaration, given that Moscow and Beijing commit to following its "principles and spirit."

This points to a disturbing reality, at least for many Americans and faux-realists who now play geopolitics: The China-Russia entente has far deeper roots than the Ukraine War. China and Russia concluded their partnership in perpetuity, before the war, the massive Washington-Brussels sanctions packages or the imprecisely termed "proxy war" between Russia and NATO began.

The conflict in Ukraine risks inflaming the Sino-American rivalry | The Economist - Feb. 29, 2023 |

"If China teams up with Russia there will be a world war, says Ukraine's president."

Who the fu*k is actor/president Zelensky ... in between a rock and a hard place ... no where to go.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 29th, 2023 at 08:33:48 PM EST
Ruble and Yuan
Ten days ago, 20-21 March, the presidents and delegations from China and the Russian Federation met in Moscow to agree. To what? one may yet wonder, given that G7 censors condemn the matter rather than disclose it. Which is a simple feat. For the Kremlin would apper to be the sole publisher of complete communiqués but for AfterShock.news duplication of documents....
by Cat on Sat Jul 29th, 2023 at 09:06:39 PM EST
Beating Europe down France Macron submarines contract AUKUS with UK and Australia. Preparing break with Germany, bull$hit Angela Merkel with critical Nord Stream 2 pipeline in June 2021, prepare for proxy war Ukraine, knowing Chancellor Merkel would be gone by year's end. Blowing up the critical two Gazprom gas pipelines definitely broke the camel's back. The new German government was quite compliant with Baerbock of the Greens Party leading the way. Shameful.

Why Brazil has not criticised Russia over Crimea | May 27, 2014 |

Emerging powers frequently stress the importance of sovereignty and the inviolability of international law. As a consequence, many Western observers expected that emerging powers such as Brazil would be quick to condemn Russia's annexation of Crimea. Yet Brazil remained neutral and abstained from the UN General Assembly resolution that criticised Russia. Together with the other BRICS countries, it opposed suggestions to exclude Russia from the G-20, thus markedly reducing the effectiveness of Western attempts to isolate President Putin.

Brazil's unwillingness to criticise Russia may have less to do with its opinion on Russia's annexation of Crimea per se and more to do with Brasília's scepticism of Western attempts to turn Russia into an international pariah. From Brasilia's perspective, pushing countries against the wall is rarely the most constructive approach. In addition, many in Brazil are wary of a global order that privileges the U.S. and allows it to flout many norms that apply to everyone else, arguing that these double standards are far more damaging to international order than any Russian policy.

Finally, Russia annexed Crimea at a time when anti-Americanism around the world still runs high as a consequence of the NSA spying scandals, making alignment with U.S. positions politically costly at home.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 30th, 2023 at 07:10:09 AM EST
Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on the Upcoming NATO and EU Summits in Lisbon, Portugal | Nov. 16, 2010 |

Those are capabilities that deal with ongoing operations in Afghanistan, but also capabilities to deal with 21st century threats, including beefing up our cyberdefenses and embracing the deployment of missile defenses to protect European territory and populations against the growing threat of ballistic missiles.
Indeed, this missile defense decision is going to be one of the key issues, key decisions that the heads of state and government face:  Will we defend in the 21st century against armed ballistic missiles coming towards NATO territory, or not?  And the alliance leaders will answer that question positively, we expect.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 30th, 2023 at 07:17:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After Bush/Cheney start of Missile defense systems in Europe  to thwart "terror" attack from pariah state the Islamic Republic of Iran ...

Missile Defenses in Eastern Europe: Who Threatens Whom? | Wilson Center - 2007 |

With predictable regularity, Russian officials charge that American missile defenses (10 radars and interceptors) in Poland and the Czech Republic threaten Russian security. They claim that since there is no threat of Iranian missiles (conventional or nuclear), there is no justification for building these systems.

Today, the major escalation worked out just fine ...

Proliferation of ballistic missiles poses an increasing threat to NATO populations, territory and forces | NATO - July 26, 2023 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 30th, 2023 at 07:19:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
War in Ukraine: NATO's trial by Russian fire | Le Monde - Feb. 24, 2023 |

The United States' massive commitment and NATO's revival have enabled the West to form a united front in support of Ukraine, even if they do not all share the same take on the stakes of the conflict.

The wind was blowing hard on the Royal Palace in Warsaw. Cheered on by the crowd, Joe Biden took to the stage with a brisk step and reached the podium protected by armored glass.

On February 21, the American president, who had just returned from a surprise visit to Kyiv, had come to thank the Poles for standing side by side with Ukraine. Through his presence and solemn speech, he also wanted to etch in history his country's determination to thwart Russia's imperialist ambitions in defiance of international law, the sovereignty of Ukraine and its territorial integrity. "This war was never a necessity. It is a tragedy," said Biden. Before arguing that Russian President Vladimir Putin "thought NATO would fracture and divide. Instead, NATO is stronger and more unified than ever before."

In 2024, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will celebrate its 75th anniversary. For this occasion, Biden announced in Warsaw that the United States would host the summit of an alliance that has been revitalized by the Ukrainian conflict and found its bearing in adversity. But 2024 will also be marked by the American presidential election, and its uncertain outcome leaves doubt about Washington's long-term renewed commitment to Europe's defense. The trauma of the Trump presidency, which threatened to withdraw from NATO, remains vivid among allies. The United States will stand by Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainians "for as long as it takes," Biden promised.

A convinced Atlanticist marked by the decades of the Cold War, Biden has put his political credibility and that of his country on the line by supporting Kyiv.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 30th, 2023 at 07:11:55 AM EST
Before the Minsk Agreement ...

Conference Call With Ivo Daalder and Michael McFaul on the Future of NATO | Sept. 5, 2014 |

Basically, that -- proposing that the pro-Russian separatists there would halt their offensive operations, that Ukrainian troops would have to move artillery back, stop airstrikes. There would be some sort of international monitoring mission and humanitarian aid corridors. There would be a prisoner exchange and somehow some kind of rebuilding or rebuilding effort for infrastructure.

What's your reaction to this proposal? I mean, what should we make of this?

DAALDER: Oh, I think this is part of the same offensive that Mr. Putin has been engaged in since late February of this year. I think these are terms of surrender, rather than terms for a potential deal. It's important to recognize that the three things that really must happen in order to get to a solution were not mentioned by Mr. Putin. First, the Russians need to stop all assistance to the separatist forces -- military, political, in terms of personnel and other ways -- that has fed and inflamed this conflict ever since it began. In fact, it's why it began in the first place.

Secondly, you can't get to a cease-fire or a negotiated solution unless the Russian military forces that are now operating inside Ukraine are withdrawn back into Russian territory. That, too, is not on the table in Mr. Putin's "plan," if I can put that in quotation marks.

And, thirdly, it is the territorial integrity of all of Ukraine that needs to be recognized. Mr. Putin has no role, positive or negative, in that sense, when it comes to the discussion between separatists and Kiev. His role has been purely negative, which is to make sure the separatists had the means to take and hold territory, and he has refused up to this point, and the plan does not pretend to even think about recognizing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

And until all of those three things happen -- the ending of support to the separatists, the withdrawal of Russian troops and equipment, and a recognition of the territorial integrity of Ukraine -- I don't think there's much to negotiate about.

And that's, really, I think what we're seeing is an attempt to take the high road, but in rhetoric more than fact. What he's doing is attempting to tempt Ukraine into new terms of surrender.

VOGT: You know, it's interesting you say sort of an effort to take the high road. Obviously, it contrasts very strongly to some remarks he reportedly made earlier this week about being able to take Kiev or be in Kiev in two weeks, if he wanted to.

You know, I wonder -- that might just be bluster, but it does raise the question of just how seriously should we worry about a more robust Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine or in the rest of Ukraine? Do you think -- I think when we last spoke maybe back in April, you had put the chances of somewhere close to 40 percent, I think, that there would be a really large incursion. Where would you rate those chances now?

DAALDER: I still think there is a very good chance that we will see further escalation. I thought since the beginning that this is not about what is happening inside -- to the people inside Ukraine. This is fundamentally about Russia wanting to exert its control over this part of the world. It wants to determine the destiny of Kiev.

The remarks that some have dismissed as kind of a joke by the president of Russia to the president of the European Commission that if he wanted he could get to Kiev in two weeks, that's not diplomatic language. It's not said without some intent behind it.

Now, I don't think that Mr. Putin is ready to invade Ukraine further tomorrow and take Kiev, but he's clearly putting that option on the table. And he is trying to find a way in which the West, the Europeans, the United States, and others, in order to foreclose that option on his part, are willing to settle for a deal, and I think the latest "plan," again in question marks, that was announced earlier today is part of the same cloth, that is designed to demonstrate that if there is continued conflict, the only people to be blamed are the Ukrainian government that is trying to establish control over its own territory, and certainly not Russia.

And as far as I'm concerned, that is -- that's an effort that ought to fail and must fail and that the European and American leaders getting together in Wales this week ought to make crystal clear will fail.

Major incidents in Ukraine in 2014

All the elements are already in place for miscalculation and the nightmare scenario for the West: a shooting war with Russia

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 30th, 2023 at 07:15:14 AM EST
The New Great Game between the U.S., Russia and China.

Stephen Blank accentuates the importance of the province of Xinjiang for the power of China in Central Asia. See my writing about Western powers on creating unrest in Xinjiang on human rights violations.

The Great Power Rivalry in Central Asia

I hate his opinions [Ivo Daalder] and the very early warmongering for NATO allies to make Russia a pariah state. He has a smoother presentation than an uncouth John Bolton, policy is quite similar as is the ultimate goal: supremacy.

Who and Why: The Concert of Democracies | Brookings Institute - Dec. 2006 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 30th, 2023 at 07:20:52 AM EST
Europe and Central Asia Economic Update "Weak Growth, High Inflation, and a Cost-of-Living Crisis"

Excluding Russia and Ukraine, growth in ECA is projected to fall to 2.4% in 2023 from 4.7% in 2022, reflecting the impact of tighter financial conditions, persistent inflation, and subdued external demand. Growth in 2023 may be weaker still if there is an escalation of the war in Ukraine, further increases in food and energy prices, an accelerated tightening of monetary policy globally or in the region, or a sudden reversal of capital flows into the region.

Inflation surged in 2022, with large increases in food and fuel prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, building on an already large increase in 2021 as economies reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflation remains stubbornly high in the region. Core inflation--excluding food and fuel prices--is projected to remain elevated, and efforts to reduce it will take longer than most market participants and policy makers expect.

Tighter financial conditions will continue to weigh on private investment in most economies, with sustained core inflation pressures raising the possibility of additional policy rate hikes by major central banks. The risk-off environment that characterized most of 2022 has resulted in volatile market movements, generating an increasing risk of financial turmoil that has continued into 2023. Following substantial outlays of government support to protect households and firms from two back-to-back crises, fiscal consolidation will be a priority to restore fiscal space and rebuild fiscal buffers in most of the region.

Over the medium to long term, structural constraints amid an incomplete market transition in many countries, weak productivity, problematic education outcomes, limited innovation, and a rapidly aging population need to be addressed to help expand the region's productive capacity. The recent energy crisis presents an opportunity for the region to accelerate green transition goals. By enacting policies to support a steady and sensible transition away from a high dependence on fossil fuels, ECA countries can facilitate a reduction in the region's high energy intensity and ameliorate environmental degradation.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jul 31st, 2023 at 05:06:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite an excellent read to expose the reality of American foreign policy and 50 years of failures ... the truth behind the Ugly American residing in the White House.

[All links added are mine - Oui]


The Realist Chessboard

'Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago,' Zbigniew Brzezinski notes in the opening lines of The Grand Chessboard, 'Eurasia has been the centre of world power'. Russia, Austro-Hungary, France, the Ottoman Empire, Britain and Germany all wanted to dominate this bizarre landscape ranging from the French shores of the Atlantic down to the Persian Gulf, and from the Chinese land mass to Central Asia, the Black Sea, the Turkish Straits and the Suez. Brzezinski observes that all of the powers claiming mastery over Eurasia in the past were part of its landscape, but now 'for the first time ever, a non Eurasian power has emerged, not only as the key arbiter of Eurasian power relations, but also as the world's paramount power'. America is indeed the sole world superpower after the fall of 'really existing socialism' and has taken a firm grip of a great part of the economic and political resources of the vast Eurasian continent.

In the midst of the great debates about the future of NATO and the EU, Brzezinski, like many other Anglo-Saxon analysts, attempts to elaborate a comprehensive strategy for America, so as to make impossible the emergence of any other challenger capable of thwarting America's primacy in Eurasia. Quite rightly, he argues that 'Eurasia is the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played, and that strategy involves geo-strategy - the management of geo-political interests.'  In other words, if America lacks the proper strategy to streamline the development of key Eurasian actors according to her national interests, then Eurasia will be lost and America's primacy in world politics will wither away too.

Brzezinski's account is clear, comprehensive and instructive. The overall message of his book can even be perceived by a tout court reading of it. He makes everybody understand that globalisation via power projection is not an 'illicit' method by which the US may promote its national interests across the globe. What is more, these interests are best served by making realist geo-political use of the power innate in certain Cold War institutions, such as NATO and the IMF, as well as of the US paramount military might per se Brzezinski suggests not a contraction of American power after the eclipse of the USSR, but an expansion of it.

The second, more specific, message is a direct consequence of the first: there is no such thing as 'ethical foreign policy', or a power projection based on moral and 'human rights' values. [See the White House promotion of ill-conceived R2P principle to overthrow leaders and intervene militarily] 'In Paris in 1998 to promote the French edition of his book', Diana Johnstone acutely observed, 'he was asked about the apparent "paradox" that his book was steeped in Realpolitik whereas, in his days as National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter, Brzezinski had been the "defender of human rights".' But the man waved the 'paradox' aside. 'There is no paradox', he replied. 'I elaborated that doctrine in agreement with President Carter, as it was the best way to destabilise the Soviet Union. And it worked.'

We have come to the crux of the matter. The world we live in is still a realist/neo-realist world dominated by states, national
interests, geo-politics and power politics. The more 'globalised' and lopsided it becomes under the sway of the dominant power (i.e. the US) the more the possibilities for conflict, terrorist activities and ethnic and religious wars will be in the ascendant. The zones of conflict and conflicting regional micro-interests multiply, and with them the difficulties and contradictions of world-rule policies grow inexorably.

The collapse of the USSR opened up new peripheral corridors and regions for US hegemonic engagement, but this US engagement proved to be not entirely problem-free. After all, not everything that happens in the world and which affects US interests is predicted by US strategic and contingency planning. The US engagement policies are, at times, reactive rather than proactive. This is due in part to pressure exercised by domestic political factors, such as public opinion, ethnic lobbies, legislative institutions, state departments and other organised class and corporate interests. This overall set of vicissitudes of US policy for world domination is the overarching theme that runs through the pages of this book, a theme that Brzezinski and the majority of US policy-makers fail to address critically. How do we explore and infuse that theme in the present discussion and what is the key set of arguments developed here?

Low point in the Democratic campaign to preserve the White House for party appointed candidate HRC in 2016 ...

Morrell and Negroponte Endorse HRC for President | @BooMan by Oui | Aug 11, 2016 |

...the backlash called Trump I ... Post Trump, Joe Biden steps in where he left off in 2016 ☹

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 30th, 2023 at 08:59:06 AM EST
This looks interesting ...

just finished the 38 pages of their march 2006 issue...very good, imo.

unfortunately their registration to the forums and blog seems broken, anyone else have any luck?

here's a taste of donald sassoon's excellent piece:

    Social Europe and European Identity

    Thus the neo-liberal view is firmly at the centre of economic discourse. It is the central global narrative of our age.

    ... Not everyone is a paid up member of the global neo-liberal belief, there is some feeble resistance in London, Paris and Berlin, but no-one can ignore it. It sets the agenda forcing its opponents on the defensive. There are variants of this discourse.
    The parties of the Left are less enthusiastic about demolishing social Europe and deny that this may be inevitable. They seek to find a half-way - I hesitate to say 'a Third Way' since this expression is no longer heralded with the fanfare of yesterday - between outright resistance to the constraints of globalisation and a supine attitude towards it. The parties of the Right are aware that it is difficult to win elections by undertaking to wipe out the social gains of the last fifty years. Hence the relative convergence between left and right.

    Donald Sassoon [Emeritus] Professor of Comparative European History
    Queen Mary University of London


i think a convergence or fusion of the energies of ET, with its blend of jocular informality and hard-core political savvy, and Social Europe, with its writers and ideas would be amazing.

i encourage anyone to read these articles, they explained some of the issues i struggle to understand here at ET.

by melo on Tue May 30th, 2006

Additional reading ...

Social Europe, the Road not Taken: The Left and European Integration in the Long 1970s

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 30th, 2023 at 04:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]