All posts tagged: historical perspectives

Force and Fraud

Niccolò Machiavelli Italian politician, Writer and Author, adviser to the Medicis
It seems now overwhelmingly apparent that the ‘West’ has entered a phase of terminal decline – a multifaceted and ongoing deterioration at multiple levels: cultural, political, ideological and economic. Such is the way with all civilizations, particularly those based upon empire. This is not a novel phenomenon; indeed, has become something of a cliché (1). But the process appears to exhibit a recurring historical leitmotif.

Celebrating the Birth of the NHS

Today is the 69th anniversary of “The Appointed Day”. On July 5th 1948, the Labour government under Prime Minister Clement Attlee, launched their revolutionary National Health Service. In the 69 years since the service, though regularly undermined and underfunded by Tory and New Labour governments, has saved millions of people’s lives, and provided vital support for injured, disabled and chronically ill people who – in any other era of human civilization – would have been forced to live in ruin or die in the gutter.

The Assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy: Questions, Hints and Allegations

by Edward Curtin If you were going to arrange a political assassination in an indoor crowded setting, would you plan to have one of your operatives (not the assassin) at the murder site be a strikingly curvaceous young woman in a conspicuous white dress with black polka-dots, and then have her flee the scene, yelling, “We’ve shot him, we’ve shot him,” so that multiple witnesses would see and hear her as she made her escape? Would you have the same woman earlier in the day pick up a salesman in the hotel where the assassination was planned, spend the day with him driving around and having dinner together, while repeatedly inviting (i.e. luring) him to join her later that night at a big public event where they will shoot their famous victim, whom she names? Would you have your operative tell this man that, although she wasn’t staying at the hotel, and although she had been in town only three days, having flown from NYC where she had arrived from overseas, that she knew the …

A Slaughterhouse of the Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945)

For the last several years, Serbia and Croatia are in the process of negotiations toward settling all historical disputes and questions as the part of E.U.’s conditions for Serbia in order to join the Eurobloc in the recent future. In other words, Brussels expects by both sides to achieve a “historical” deal according to which the past is going to be finally “settled”, i.e., forgotten and forgiven between two nations – the Serbs and the Croats. In the following text, we would like to contribute in this “historical” agreement by featuring one crucial episode in Croat-Serb relations: Magnum Crimen from the WWII.

(Quasi)Academic Foundations of a Racist “Greater Albania”

by Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic The topic to be addressed in this text is the basic misconception on the question of the Balkan Albanian ethnogenesis and national identity that was framed by extremely geo-politically coloured the German-based “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnic and cultural origin. This (quasi)theory, unfortunately, has very deep and negative regional political-security consequences during the last century. The implementation of the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis was accepted firstly by the Rilindja, (the renaissance) – the Albanian nationalistic and chauvinistic political movement in 1878–1913 for the sake to create the ethnically pure Greater Albania as a national state of all Balkan Albanians composed by self-interpreted all ethnographic and (quasi)historical “Albanian” territories at the expense of historical truth, justice as well as the Slavic and the Greek national interest. The “Ilyrian” (Quasi)Theory on the Albanian Balkan Origin The so-called “Illyrian” (quasi)theory of the ethnic origin of the Albanians (created by the German and the Austrian scholars) became purposely the most popular theory of the Albanian nation’s derivation among the majority of …

The West vs. Russia: Towards the end of a Pax Americana?

by Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic A peaceful dissolution of the USSR according to the agreement between Mikhail Gorbachow and Ronald Reagan in 1988 in Reykjavik brought a new dimension of a global geopolitics in which up to 2008 Russia, as a legal successor state of the USSR, was playing an inferior role in global politics when an American Neocon concept of Pax Americana became the fundamental framework in international relations. Therefore, for instance, Boris Yeltsin’s Russia capitulated in 1995 to the American design regarding a final outcome of the USA/EU policy of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia in November 1995 (the Dayton Agreeement) followed by even worse political capitulation in the case of Washington’s Kosovo policy that became ultimatelly implemented in June 1999 (the Kumanovo Agreement). Russia became in the 1990s totally geopolitically humiliated by the USA and its West European clients to such extent that we can call a period of Boris Yeltsin’s servile policy toward the West as a Dark Time of the history of Russian international relations when the main losers became the …

The Ukrainians as “Imagined Community” Nation

by Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic Ukraine is an East European territory which was originally a western part of the Russian Empire from the mid-17th century. Present-day it is an independent state and separate ethnolinguistic nation as a typical example of Benedict Anderson’s theory-model of the “imagined community” – a self-constructed idea of the artificial ethnic and linguistic-cultural identity. According to Anderson, “the nation” is an abstract and firstly subjective social construction that defies simple, objective definition yet have been for the last two centuries the crucial basis of conflict in world politics and international relations, through assertion of their expressed nationalism. However, nationalism is quite broad ideology which can be easily transformed into political movement. That became the case, for instance, exactly with the Ukrainian self-imagined ethnonational identity. Acting politically, in principle by all means, on behalf of its own nation usually encompass pretty much a large scale of political ideas and practices including and ethnic cleansing or/and genocide on particular other national groups that happened, for example, in the WWII Ukraine when the Poles, …

Hurrah for the Blackshirts!

by Bryan Hemming It Can’t Happen Here On the morning of April 9th 1940 mum’s cousin, Bjørg, got out of bed to celebrate her eleventh birthday. That wasn’t the only event to make the day so memorable. Later that morning the Germans invaded. There are times it becomes difficult to separate fiction from reality. In Sinclair Lewis’s semi-satirical novel It Can’t Happen Here, published in 1935, Senator Berzelius ‘Buzz’ Windrip campaigns for the U.S. presidency on a populist ticket, promising to restore the country to its former prosperity and greatness. But behind all the glitz he harbours a more sinister agenda. He plans to seize complete control of the government and impose a dictatorship supported by a paramilitary force trained to crush dissent with extreme violence. My Norwegian mother told me that German officers ordered the immediate evacuation of Oslo on the day of the invasion, saying Luftwaffe planes were on their way to bomb the city and everyone in it. Mass panic ensued as the entire population grabbed all they could carry only to …

British Troops Enter Syria and Libya to Ensure That War Outlives ISIS

by Dan Glazebrook, via CounterPunch The Normandy landings, launched 72 years ago this week, saw the opening of a second front against the Nazis in Europe by the US and the UK after years of procrastination. Despite the signing of a ‘mutual assistance’ agreement with Britain in 1941, and the Anglo-Soviet alliance in 1942, for years very little was done by the US or Britain to actually fight the Nazi menace. In a joint communique issued in 1942, they agreed to open a second front in Europe that same year, an agreement they broke and then postponed repeatedly, leaving the Soviets to fight the strongest industrial power in Western Europe alone for three years – at an eventual cost of 27 million lives. The US and Britain, it seemed, were following what International Relations theorist John Mearsheimer has termed a ‘bait and bleed’ policy, allowing Germany and the Soviet Union to “bleed each other white” whilst they themselves stood on the sidelines. “If we see Germany winning, we ought to help Russia,” declared US Senator …