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For second time U.S. State Department warns Americans of possible terrorist attacks in Azerbaijan

February 12, 2011 Comments off

The following article is reprinted with permission from PanARMENIAN.Net.
 

For second time U.S. State Department warns Americans of possible terrorist attacks in Azerbaijan
©  PanARMENIAN
February 12, 2011

(PanARMENIAN.Net) – For the second time in recent weeks, the U.S. State Department has issued a statement, warning Americans of a terrorist threat to Western targets in Azerbaijan and urging U.S. citizens to be vigilant.

In a security alert, the U.S. Embassy in Baku said there was a “potential for attacks in Azerbaijan, including against American interests.” It said the warning was “based on terrorist threat information.” It added that U.S. citizens in Azerbaijan “should remain vigilant, particularly in public places associated with the Western community.”

U.S. and U.K. have first warned their citizens of a terrorist threat in Azerbaijan in late January 2011.

[End.]

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Categories: AZR, UK, USA

Russia to boost Kuril defense to ward off war

February 11, 2011 Comments off

The following analysis is reprinted with permission from RIA Novosti, Moscow.
 

Russia to boost Kuril defense to ward off war
©  RIA Novosti
By Ilya Kramnik
February 11, 2011

Russia’s unresolved conflict with Japan over the Kuril Islands, which has been simmering since WWII, may reach a boiling point now that Russian authorities are set to go ahead with their plan to build up the disputed territory’s defense potential.

The plan, unveiled by President Dmitry Medvedev and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as part of a comprehensive development program for Russia’s Pacific Coast, envisages, among other things, the deployment of modern armaments to defend the country’s eastern borders against a hypothetical military attack.

Historical parallels

The Kuril dispute is, in a sense, similar to the one Britain had with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. This latter conflict ended in a brief war, preceded by years of diplomacy and numerous attempts to implement joint economic projects. Argentina’s government had used the Falkland issue all along as a tool for shifting public attention away from domestic problems and onto a struggle against an external enemy.

It would be wrong to draw any direct parallels between today’s Japan and the Argentina of the 1950-1980s. But in the rapidly changing world, the South Kuril Islands, referred to by the Japanese as the Northern Territories, may well be chosen one day as a soft target by Russia’s eastern neighbor, seeking to vent out aggression.

The archipelago’s attractiveness as a politicking tool will become more apparent to Tokyo if Moscow continues to drag its feet on the upgrading and expansion of the Russian Pacific Coast’s economic and military infrastructure. The defense capabilities of that area could be enhanced by sending in new warships and aircraft, building airfields and launching grounds, and, most importantly, by deploying competent personnel who could remain on the ground on a permanent basis rather than working under seasonal, back-to-back schemes.

Analyzing the developments that led to the Falkland war, one can say in retrospect that the Argentine government’s decision to launch a military operation was prompted by a dramatic weakening of Britain’s armed forces, notably the Royal Navy, in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. The British had by then written off most of their ageing big-sized warships without replacing them with new vessels, and this weakened the country’s aircraft carrier fleet. As a result, the Navy found itself without modern aircraft carriers, and had to make do with ships designed to carry aircraft with vertical takeoff only.

Russia’s defense arsenal in the Far East

Similarly, Russia’s defense arsenal is not at its strongest these days. In conventional armaments, Japan now enjoys numerical supremacy over the Russian Far Eastern forces, and it also boasts a higher percentage of modern hardware in the navy, the air force, and the army.

In the Kuril Islands, homeland defense relies on a single machine gun artillery division (incidentally, this is the only division remaining in the country’s ground forces, with all the others already reconfigured into brigades). But this unit can hardly provide efficient defense on its own, without any support from AF, ABM, and Navy forces.

Clearly, the deployment of additional service personnel in the Kuril Islands will not make the Russian Pacific Coast better protected against a potential military attack. It is a qualitative change that needs to be brought about.

It is vitally important to improve the archipelago’s infrastructure, which would enable the Air Force and the Navy to act more effectively in the Pacific area.

Russia’s ageing Pacific Fleet, where most of the ships currently in service will have to be scrapped in the next 15 years, needs urgent refitting. The fleet has already been pledged two French-made Mistral ships, but that is not enough. It also needs new corvettes and frigates to perform tasks ranging from escorting bigger vessels to combating submarines and providing support for paratroopers.

Another key priority is to enhance the Air Force presence off Russia’s Pacific Coast and to restore the permanent deployment of a combat jet fleet on the Sakhalin Island. This will make Russia better equipped for a prompt response.

The construction of a forward-based airfield in the Kuril Islands would let us have a squadron of jet fighters on standby. But there is no point in creating a permanent air base here, since such a base will be too vulnerable to potential enemy attacks.

The deployment of multifunctional and combat helicopters is one more possibility to consider.

Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you want peace, prepare for war)

All these plans to reinforce the Kuril Islands’ defense potential should be translated into reality so as to discourage the most radical of Japanese politicians from contemplating regaining the possession of the South Kuril Islands through the use of military force.

Luckily for Russia, there is no imminent threat. At the moment, Japan seems to be more concerned about the intra-Korean conflict, which puts its national security in jeopardy, as well as by the growing military might of its old arch rival, China.

A dramatic buildup of Russia’s defense capabilities in the Kuril Islands could make Japanese politicians put this long-running territorial dispute on the backburner and concentrate on more urgent challenges to its homeland security.

It should be kept in mind that no military arsenal, however strong, can provide adequate national defense unless there is a political will. Yet, even relatively modest armed forces can make a difference if political and military leaders are really determined to uphold the interests and the dignity of their country.

In 1982, the U.K. managed to recover the Falkland Islands from Argentine occupation. That British campaign proved a success thanks primarily to the tough line maintained by Margaret Thatcher and her government.

The Russian authorities are facing a different challenge today, one that is simpler and trickier at the same time. They need to demonstrate – without resorting to military force – their determination to uphold Russia’s interests and its territorial integrity. And doing so in such a way that no ill-wisher would want to put that resolve to test.

[End.]
__________

Ilya Kramnik is RIA Novosti’s military commentator. The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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Categories: ARG, JAP, RUS, UK

Facebook, a U.S. program to bring down Arab regimes

January 29, 2011 Comments off

[Blogmaster note:  The Arabic version of this article is longer and includes more information, however I am unable to create an automatic translation link because the URL contains Arabic characters. You can do this yourself by clicking on the Arabic logo below, highlight and copy the URL. Then click here, select “Arabic to English” and paste the URL in the box provided. Click translate. — Steve.]

The following article appeared in the English version of Algerian newspaper Ennahar.

Facebook, a U.S. program to bring down Arab regimes
©  Ennahar
By Ismail Fellah
January 29, 2011

When the Tunisian revolt broke, a few days ago, opinions were divided on the role played by social networking sites including Facebook in this revolution, in exorcising the fear of a regime that understands only the language of force.

The same scenario seems to repeat itself in Egypt and confirms that Facebook has become a formidable weapon that plays an important role in demonstrations against the regimes in many Arab countries.

Apart from the legitimacy of claims and protests in some Arab countries, what becomes certain is that there is an organized campaign, directed by forces that lie behind the curtains, and whose objective is the establishment of American-style democracy after failing to reach a democracy on the armor. [i.e. by using tanks, military force — Inteltrends.]

Let us just remember what happened two years ago, when the British intelligence services had operated in 2008, Facebook to recruit agents and informants in all regions of the world. The British Foreign Minister himself recognized that the services of his country have used Facebook to recruit.

[End.]

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Categories: ALG, UK, USA, WORLD

ANDREY ARESHEV: Carving Up Sudan

January 21, 2011 Comments off

The following analysis is reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation. (Bold font appears in original version.)

Carving Up Sudan
©  Andrey Areshev
Source:  Strategic Culture Foundation
January 21, 2011

A week-long referendum over what is becoming the biggest divorce between African nations in a decade ended in Sudan on January 1. The country’s conflict along ethnic and religious lines unfolded for ages. Sudan is split into two distinct parts by the so-far virtual border between the Arab-dominated North and the tribal South where much of the African population was – perhaps without genuine immersion into the new faith – led to convert to Christianity by Western missionaries. The division reflecting an array of ethnic, religious, and geographical traits recurred at various phases of the evolution of the largest African country. In the colonial epoch, Great Britain’s policy was built on isolating South Sudan from its Muslim central and northern parts, thus de facto programming further tensions. The struggle over the future nature of the border between Sudan’s South and North – the South could continue to exist in a semi-autonomous mode or move on to an independent status – provoked endless government crises the country (an Arab journalist wrote that Sudan’s South was a cemetery for its politicians) and, much worse than that, took hundreds of thousands of lives.

On the eve of the referendum, Khartoum attempted – even at the cost of tolerating the growth of separatism in South Kurdufan, Blue Nile, and Darfur – to partially break out of the international isolation by demonstrating goodwill. At the same time, Washington sought to take advantage of the situation to bleed Khartoum seen in the U.S. as Africa’s Islamist stronghold and the key obstacle in the way of the U.S. access to the region’s oil. In Sudan, the exploration of oil resources is left to France and China, and until recently Sudan sustained the atypical pattern of supplying energy to China, India, and Malaysia, but not to the U.S., the E.U., and Japan. Washington regards the resource-rich part of Africa to the south of the Sahara as a strategic region with enormous economic potential. The U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) was established in 2007 and functioned as an element of the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) but became fully independent in just a year.

What contours will the situation in Sudan have following the referendum? It should be taken into account that Sudan’s South lacks such factors normally propping up statehood identities as, for example, a language common to all of its population. The South is a conglomerate of some 600 markedly disunited tribes and small ethnic groups mostly speaking their own dialects. Several clashes between the otherwise close Nuer and Dinka groups over livestock and pastures were reported in 2009. The smaller Nuer group claims to be chronically underrepresented in the preeminently Dinka Southern government. No doubt, infighting in Sudan over the distribution of humanitarian aid and energy revenues will get a boost in the nearest future. The ruling coalition – the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – will disintegrate into the Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk and other ethnic factions. Considering the militant character of many of the tribes, South Sudan’s reversion to armed confrontation seems more than likely.

The official Juba will be habitually blaming the escalation on the North, but the net result on the horizon is a deep conflict between the sovereign parts of what used to be – at least nominally – a single country. Issues to spark hostilities will be readily available, ownership of Abyei’s impressive oil resources clearly being the biggest bone of contention. The ethnically mixed region where Dinka, the African group, holds key positions and the Arab Muslims are a minority will likely draw intense rivalry between Washington, Paris, and Beijing. It is worth noting that the area’s riches are not limited to oil, its other attractions counting deposits of iron, copper, chromium, zinc, wolfram, silver, gold, and even uranium…

Both Khartoum (which seems doomed to a surge of Muslim radicalism in the aftermath of the referendum) and Juba will have no difficulty finding allies eager to provide various forms of assistance including arms supplies. It is generally clear at the moment which players will intervene on the respective sides. Oddly enough, Beijing will surely try to gain footholds in both Khartoum and Juba, inevitably inducing a schism in South Sudan. Information surfaced that Juba is already struggling to get on the U.N. list of the neediest countries entitled to systematic humanitarian infusions, but the U.N. can as well be expected to forward the problem to the African Union, additionally contributing to the conflict.

In any case, a new epicenter of protracted conflict in Africa is in the making, and only the interests of Western and Chinese energy companies will – for a limited period of time – be freezing Sudan’s slide into total chaos as it happened in Rwanda and Somalia. Sharing his vision of the not-so-distant future, South Sudan’s leader Salva Kiir Mayardit bluntly opined that the crumbling of Sudan, formerly Africa’s largest country, would only initially lead to the independence of South Sudan, but then spin into the independence of East Sudan, Darfur, etc.

The key circumstance in the context is that the natural resources of South Sudan, however impressive, are landlocked, while the corresponding oil pipelines run across the North which also owns seaports and other pertinent infrastructures. Consequently, South and North Sudan will remain economically interdependent regardless of the independence of the former. Moreover, some 1-2 million southerners whose interests obviously failed to factor into the referendum’s outcome currently reside in the North and are tightly integrated into its economy and administrative machinery.

A number of analysts contemplated the preservation of the unity of Sudan balanced by a broader autonomy for its South. In fact, this was the underlying concept of the constitution Sudan adopted several years ago, but the divisive tendencies largely fanned by powerful external players – U.S. President B. Obama, for example, described the independence vote in Sudan as nothing less than historical in a recent NYT paper – eventually prevailed.

Strictly speaking, Russia has no vested interests in Sudan. Russian energy giants will hardly deem it feasible to compete over the energy resources of an African country – or, rather, of two African countries – where the U.S. and China are already locked in an intense rivalry (and which India might yet be eying). Burdened with persistent disputes with the West over Georgia and Transdnistria, Moscow explainably preferred to show some solidarity with the West in dealing with a region relatively unimportant to Russia, especially since the referendum’s bottom-line in Sudan was 100% predictable in the light of both the country’s entrenched South-North discord and the international community’s interference which evoked similarities with the Kosovo case.

The U.S. has for two decades been explicitly and implicitly supporting separatism in South Sudan, a region strategic from the standpoint of oil production and transit in Africa. The referendum to which the cornered Khartoumconsented fit neatly into the wider U.S. policy framework. Moscow’s support for the secession of South Sudan via an unconvincing referendum may yet prove counterproductive. A selective approach to precedents, the international acceptance of games around political metaphors, and the preponderance of pseudo-humanitarian rhetoric can some day enable the forces taking advantage of inter-ethnic discord to present Russia with additional problems in the North Caucasus.

[End.]

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Categories: Caucasus, RUS, SUD, UK, USA

SAM BARDEN: BP-Rosneft – a game of political chess

January 19, 2011 Comments off

The following column is reprinted with permission from RIA Novosti, Moscow.

Sam’s Exchange:  BP-Rosneft – a game of political chess
©  Sam Barden
Source:  RIA Novosti
January 19, 2011

The stealth announcement to the markets that the British and Russian Energy giants, BP and Rosneft, are officially getting into bed together by way of a share swap has much more to do with tectonic shifts in geopolitics than with oil. This is a game of political chess. While analysts and investors will pour over the numbers trying to decide if the stocks are a buy, sell or hold, or if their fund is overweight or underweight, for BP and/or Rosneft, the political ramifications of this deal are enormous. This deal has been blessed by both the Russian and British governments, and riled by U.S. lawmakers.

The special relationship between the United States and Britain is special no more. After the $20 billion plus shakedown of BP by the U.S. administration last year over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP and the British government were left in no uncertain terms as to where they stood when it came to dealing with the Americans. BP was left staring into the abyss, with the real possibility of the company going under or being bought out. It should be remembered that BP is one of the most financial of all the oil companies, which means it acts as a kind of bank to the oil industry. BP partners receive favorable credit terms for doing business with the oil giant and, in some cases, BP actually loans them the money itself. Therefore, the heightened pressure on BP’s share price put a strain on the company’s credit rating and if BP had failed last year, it would have caused a mini financial crisis in the oil industry, as the knock on effects of a BP failure would have been significant.

U.S. oil giant Exon Mobil was interested in helping solve the situation by buying BP. This of course did not happen. It should also be remembered that Exon also thought it was going to buy a majority stake in Yukos Sibneft from Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Some believe Khodorkovsky was jailed because he agreed to sell a majority of the merged Yukos Sibneft to Exon, without informing the Kremlin. The irony of course is that most of Yukos’s assets went to Rosneft, and now BP and Rosneft are partners.

The Rosneft-BP deal is a geopolitical paradigm shift. It is not necessarily about what BP and Rosneft can do together inside Russia, but what they can do together outside Russia. The BP-Rosneft partnership is about political and economic interdependence, and taking this new paradigm to regions that need it, like the Middle East and Africa. Russian oil companies are eager to spread their wings and integrate into the global oil market, especially Iraq, Iran (for gas), and of course North Africa. The BP-Rosneft deal marks the beginning of a multilateral trade ethos, rather than a unilateral one. Remember, China will like this deal, as a good portion of Rosneft production goes to China. Rosneft will gain access to BP’s technology, which it needs, and BP and the British will benefit from Russia’s political good will in the Middle East and Africa, especially Iran. As Russia is now the world’s biggest oil producer, and has the world’s largest reserves of gas, followed by Iran and Qatar, the Middle East and oil producing nations will integrate and co-operate more with Russia going forward, not less.

As a measure of how politically important and strategic this share swap deal is, BP has decided that the rewards far outweigh the risks. Those risks are not insubstantial. The most obvious is Yukos. Rosneft acquired most of Yukos’s assets, and there remains a risk that Yukos will pursue Rosneft in the future. Secondly, BP North America provides large quantities of hydrocarbons to the United States, and most notably to the U.S. military, and already some U.S. lawmakers are trying to play the old “cold war” card, calling BP “Bolshevik Petroleum” and invoking “national security”’ ideals against it. There is potential for BP to run into trouble with U.S. agencies and law makers. But, in case they missed it, they should remember that the cold war is over.

The United States will clearly have its nose out of joint over the BP-Rosneft share swap, not least because it is not involved. That is not to say, however, that they cannot get involved in the future. The likelihood that we see more partnerships of this nature in the energy sector is high, and the United States is not going to want to miss out again. The game has changed, and it seems to be much more about mutual interests than mutual exclusions. It seems that, despite all the risks of a BP-Rosneft deal, the benefits of political and economic interdependence will in the long run certainly pay dividends for producers and consumers alike.

[End.]
__________

Sam Barden is CEO of SBI Markets General Trading LLC, a Dubai-registered trading and advisory company. Barden, 39, has worked in the global financial markets for more than 17 years in Europe, Russia and the Middle East. He has advised and executed strategic transactions for both the government and private sector, in particular in energy and commodity markets, advising various energy producing nations on their strategic market developments and interaction. He holds a degree in economics and finance from Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

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Categories: RUS, UK, USA, WORLD

The Balkanization of Sudan: The Redrawing of the Middle East and North Africa

January 16, 2011 Comments off

The following commentary is reprinted with permission from Global Research.

The Balkanization of Sudan:  The Redrawing of the Middle East and North Africa
©  Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Source:  Global Research
January 16, 2011

Sudan is a diverse nation and a country that represents the plurality of Africa through various tribes, clans, ethnicities, and religious groups. Yet the unity of Sudan is in question, while there is talk of unifying nations and of one day creating a United States of Africa through the African Union.

The limelight is on the January 2011 referendum in South Sudan. The Obama Administration has formally announced that it supports the separation of South Sudan from the rest of Sudan.

The balkanization of Sudan is what is really at stake. For years the leaders and officials of South Sudan have been supported by America and the European Union.

The Politically-Motivated Demonization of Sudan

A major demonization campaign has been underway against Sudan and its government. True, the Sudanese government in Khartoum has had a bad track record in regards to human rights and state corruption, and nothing could justify this.

In regards to Sudan, selective or targeted condemnation has been at work. One should, nonetheless, ask why the Sudanese leadership has been targeted by the U.S. and E.U., while the human rights records of several U.S. sponsored client states including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the U.A.E., and Ethiopia are casually ignored.

Khartoum has been vilified as a autocratic oligarchy guilty of targeted genocide in both Darfour and South Sudan. This deliberate focus on the bloodshed and instability in Darfour and South Sudan is political and motivated by Khartoum’s ties to Chinese oil interests.

Sudan supplies China with a substantial amount of oil. The geo-political rivalry between China and the U.S. for control of African and global energy supplies is the real reason for the chastisement of Sudan and the strong support shown by the U.S., the E.U., and Israeli officials for the seccession of South Sudan.

It is in this context that Chinese interests have been attacked. This includes the October 2006 attack on the Greater Nile Petroleum Company in Defra, Kordofan by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) militia.

Distorting the Violence in Sudan

While there is a humanitarian crisis in Darfour and a surge in regional nationalism in South Sudan, the underlying causes of the conflict have been manipulated and distorted.

The underlying causes for the humanitarian crisis in Darfour and the regionalism in South Sudan are intimately related to economic and strategic interests. If anything, lawlessness and economic woes are the real issues, which have been fuelled by outside forces.

Either directly or through proxies in Africa, the U.S., the E.U., and Israel are the main architects behind the fighting and instability in both Darfour and South Sudan. These outside powers have assisted in the training, financing, and arming of the militias and forces opposed to the Sudanese government within Sudan. They lay the blame squarely on Khartoum’s shoulders for any violence while they themselves fuel conflict in order to move in and control the energy resources of Sudan. The division of Sudan into several states is part of this objective. Support of the JEM, the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), and other militias opposed to the Sudanese government by the U.S., the E.U., and Israel has been geared towards achieving the objective of dividing Sudan.

It is also no coincidence that for years the U.S., Britain, France, and the entire E.U. under the pretext of humanitarianism have been pushing for the deployment of foreign troops in Sudan. They have actively pushed for the deployment of NATO troops in Sudan under the cover of a U.N. peacekeeping mandate.

This is a re-enactment of the same procedures used by the U.S. and E.U. in other regions where countries have either formally or informally been divided and their economies restructured by foreign-installed proxy governments under the presence of foreign troops. This is what happened in the former Yugoslavia (through the creation of several new republics) and in Anglo-American occupied Iraq (through soft balkanization via a calculated form of federalism aimed at establishing a weak and de-centralized state). Foreign troops and a foreign presence have provided the cloud for state dismantlement and the foreign takeover of state infrastructure, resources, and economies.

The Question of Identity in Sudan

While the Sudanese state has been portrayed as being oppressive towards the people in South Sudan, it should be noted that both the referendum and the power sharing structure of the Sudanese government portray something else. The power sharing agreement in Khartoum between Omar Al-Basher, the president of Sudan, includes the SPLM. The leader of the SPLM, Salva Kiir Mayardit, is the First Vice-President of Sudan and the President of South Sudan.

The issue of ethnicity has also been brought to the forefront of the regional or ethno-regional nationalism that has been cultivated in South Sudan. The cleavage in Sudan between so-called Arab Sudanese and so-called African Sudanese has been presented to the outside world as the major force for the regional nationalism motivating calls for statehood in South Sudan. Over the years this self-differentiation has been diffused and socialized into the collective psyche of the people of South Sudan.

Yet, the difference between so-called Arab Sudanese and so-called African Sudanese are not that great. The Arab identity of so-called Sudanese Arabs is based primarily on their use of the Arabic language. Let us even assume that both Sudanese ethnic identities are totally separate. It is still widely known in Sudan that both groups are very mixed. The other difference between South Sudan and the rest of Sudan is that Islam predominates in the rest of Sudan and not in South Sudan. Both groups are still deeply tied to one another, except for a sense of self-identification, which they are well in their rights to have. Yet, it is these different identities that have been played upon by local leaders and outside powers.

Neglect of the local population of different regions by the elites of Sudan is what the root cause of anxiety or animosity between people in South Sudan and the Khartoum government are really based on and not differences between so-called Arab and so-called African Sudanese.

Regional favouritism has been at work in South Sudan.

The issue is also compounded by social class. The people of South Sudan believe that their economic status and standards of living will improve if they form a new republic. The government in Khartoum and non-Southerner Sudanese have been used as the scapegoats for the economic miseries of the people of South Sudan and their perceptions of relative poverty by the local leadership of South Sudan. In reality, the local officials of South Sudan will not improve the living standards of the people of South Sudan, but maintain a klepocratic status quo. [1]

The Long-Standing Project to Balkanize Sudan and its links to the Arab World

In reality, the balkanization project in Sudan has been going on since the end of British colonial rule in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Sudan and Egypt were one country during many different periods. Both Egypt and Sudan were also one country in practice until 1956.

Up until the independence of Sudan, there was a strong movement to keep Egypt and Sudan united as a single Arab state, which was struggling against British interests. London, however, fuelled Sudanese regionalism against Egypt in the same manner that regionalism has been at work in South Sudan against the rest of Sudan. The Egyptian government was depicted in the same way as present-day Khartoum. Egyptians were portrayed as exploiting the Sudanese just as how the non-Southern Sudanese have been portrayed as exploiting the South Sudanese.

After the British invasion of Egypt and Sudan, the British also managed to keep their troops stationed in Sudan. Even while working to divide Sudan from Egypt, the British worked to create internal differentations between South Sudan and the rest of Sudan. This was done through the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, from 1899 to 1956, which forced Egypt to share Sudan with Britain after the Mahdist Revolts. Eventually the Egyptian government would come to refuse to recognize the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium as legal. Cairo would continously ask the British to end their illegal military occupation of Sudan and to stop preventing the re-integration of Egypt and Sudan, but the British would refuse.

It would be under the presence of British troops that Sudan would declare itself independent. This is what lead to the emergence of Sudan as a separate Arab and African state from Egypt. Thus, the balkanization process started with the division of Sudan from Egypt.

The Yinon Plan at work in Sudan and the Middle East

The balkanization of Sudan is also tied to the Yinon Plan, which is a continuation of British stratagem. The strategic objective of the Yinon Plan is to ensure Israeli superority through the balkanization of the Middle Eastern and Arab states into smaller and weaker states. It is in this context that Israel has been deeply involved in Sudan.

Israeli strategists viewed Iraq as their biggest strategic challenge from an Arab state. This is why Iraq was outlined as the centre piece to the balkanization of the Middle East and the Arab World. The Atlantic in this context published an article in 2008 by Jeffrey Goldberg called “After Iraq: What Will the Middle East Look Like?” [2] In the Goldberg article a map of the Middle East was presented that closely followed the outline of the Yinon Plan and the map of a future Middle East presented by Lieutentant-Colonel (retired) Ralph Peters in the U.S military’s Armed Forces Journal in 2006.

It is also no coincidence that aside from a divided Iraq a divided Sudan was shown on the map. Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan were also presented as divided nations too. Of importance to East Africa in the map, illustrated by Holly Lindem for Goldberg’s article, Eriteria is occupied by Ethiopia, which is a U.S. and Israeli ally, and Somalia is divided into Somaliland, Puntland, and a smaller Somalia.

In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called for the division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one for Shiite Muslims and the other for Sunni Muslims. This has been achieved through the soft balkanization of federalism in Iraq, which has allowed the Kurdistan Regional Government to negotiate with foreign oil corporations on its own. The first step towards establishing this was a war between Iraq and Iran, which is discussed in the Yinon Plan.

In Lebanon, Israel has been working to exasparate sectarian tensions between the various Christian and Muslim factions as well as the Druze. The division of Lebanon into several states is also seen as a means of balkanizing Syria into several smaller sectarian Arab states. The objectives of the Yinon Plan is to divide Lebanon and Syria into several states on the basis of religious and sectarian identities for Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Christians, and the Druze.

In this regard, the Hariri Assasination and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) have been playing out to the favour of Israel in creating internal divisions within Lebanon and fuelling politically-motivated sectarianism. This is why Tel Aviv has been very vocal about the STL and very supportive of it. In a clear sign of the politized nature of the STL and its ties to geo-politics, the U.S. and Britain have also given the STL millions of dollars.

The Links between the Attacks on the Egyptian Copts and the South Sudan Referendum

From Iraq to Egypt, Christians in the Middle East have been under attack, while tensions between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims are being fuelled. The attack on a Coptic Church in Alexandria on January 1, 2011 or the subsequent Coptic protests and riots should not be looked at in isolation. [3] Nor should the subsequent fury of Coptic Christians expressed towards Muslims and the Egyptian government. These attacks on Christians are tied to the broader geo-political goals of the U.S., Britain, Israel, and NATO in the Middle East and Arab World.

The Yinon Plan stipulates that if Egypt were divided that Sudan and Libya would also be balkanized and weakened. In this context, there is a link between Sudan and Egypt. According to the Yinon Plan, the Copts or Christians of Egypt, which are a large minority in Egypt, are the key to the balkanization of the Arab states in North Africa. Thus, the Yinon Plan states that the creation of a Coptic state in Upper Egypt (South Egypt) and Christian-Muslim tensions within Egyptian are vital steps to balkanizing Sudan and North Africa.

The attacks on Christians in the Middle East are part of intelligence operations intended to divide the Middle East and North Africa. The timing of the mounting attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt and the build-up to the referendum in South Sudan are no coincidence. The events in Sudan and Egypt are linked to one another and are part of the project to balkanize the Arab World and the Middle East. They must also be studied in conjunction with the Yinon Plan and with the events in Lebanon and Iraq, as well as in relation to the efforts to create a Shiite-Sunni divide.

The Outside Connections of the SPLM, SSLA, and Militias in Darfour

As in the case of Sudan, outside interference or intervention has been used to justify the oppression of domestic opposition. Despite its corruption, Khartoum has been under siege for refusing to merely be a proxy.

Sudan is justified in suspecting foreign troops and accusing the U.S., Britain, and Israel of eroding the national solidarity of Sudan. For example, Israel has sent arms to the opposition groups and separatist movements in Sudan. This was done through Ethiopia for years until Eritrea became independent from Ethiopia, which made Ethiopia lose its Red Sea coast, and bad relations developed between the Ethiopians and Eritreans. Afterwards Israeli weapons entered South Sudan from Kenya. From South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which is the political arm of the SSLA, would transfer weapons to the militias in Darfur. The governments of Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as the the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), have also been working closely with the U.S., Britain, and Israel in East Africa.

The extent of Israeli influence with Sudanese opposition and separatist groups is significant. The SPLM has strong ties with Israel and its members and supporters regularly visit Israel. It is due to this that Khartoum capitulated and removed the Sudanese passport restriction on visiting Israel in late-2009 to satisfy the SPLM. [4] Salva Kiir Mayardit has also said that South Sudan will recognize Israel when it separates from Sudan.

The Sudan Tribune reported on March 5, 2008 that separatist groups in Darfur and Southern Sudan had offices in Israel:

[Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] supporters in Israel announced establishment of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement office in Israel, a press release said today.

“After consultation with the leadership of SPLM in Juba, the supporters of SPLM in Israel have decided to establish the office of SPLM in Israel.” Said [sic.] a statement received by email from Tel Aviv signed by the SLMP secretariat in Israel.

The statement said that SPLM office would promote the policies and the vision of the SPLM in the region. It further added that in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement the SPLM has the right to open in any country including Israel. It also indicated that there are around 400 SPLM supporters in Israel. Darfur rebel leader Abdel Wahid al-Nur said last week he opened an office in Tel Aviv. [5]

The Hijacking of the 2011 Referendum in South Sudan

What happened to the dreams of a united Africa or a united Arab World? Pan-Arabism, a movement to unit all Arabic-speaking peoples, has taken heavy losses as has African unity. The Arab World and Africa have consistenly been balkanized.

Secession and balkanization in East Africa and the Arab World are on the U.S., Israeli, and NATO drawing board.

The SSLA insurgency has been covertly supported by the U.S., Britain, and Israel since the 1980s. The formation of a new state in the Sudan is not intended to serve the interests of the people of South Sudan. It has been part of a broader geo-strategic agenda aimed at controlling North Africa and the Middle East.

The resulting process of “democratization” leading up to the January 2011 referendum serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil companies and the rivalry against China. This comes at the cost of the detriment of true national sovereignty in South Sudan.

NOTES

[1]  A kleptocracy is a government or/and state that works to protect, extend, deepen, continue, and entrench the wealth of the ruling class.
[2]  Jeffrey Goldberg, “After Iraq: What Will The Middle East Look Like?” The Atlantic, January/February 2008.
[3]  William Maclean, “Copts on global Christmas alert after Egypt bombing”, Reuters, January 5, 2011.
[4]  “Sudan removes Israel travel ban from new passport”, Sudan Tribune, October 3, 2009:
.
[5]  “Sudan’s SPLM reportedly opens an office in Israel – statement”, Sudan Tribune, March 5, 2008:

[End.]
__________

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

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Categories: CHN, EGY, ERI, ETH, EUR, IRN, IRQ, ISR, KEN, KUR, LEB, NATO, PAK, SOM, SUD, SYR, TURKEY, UGA, UK, UN, USA

STANISLAV MISHIN: France Shuts Down, U.K. Set To Burn: The Western Catastrophe

October 16, 2010 Comments off

The following column is reprinted with permission from Stanislav Mishin, a regular contributor to Russian newspaper Pravda.

France Shuts Down, U.K. Set To Burn: The Western Catastrophe
©  Stanislav Mishin
Source:  Mat Rodina
October 16, 2010

What we are witnessing with the mass disorders in France is what we tasted in Greece all spring and summer and what will rock the West in greater and greater ferocity.

For those who have not been paying attention, the shut downs, the walk outs and the break downs of Greece have spread now to France. The trigger? A broke, over extended government, already straddled with suffocating high taxation decided to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

Instantly, millions hit the streets, shutting down business and movement. Walkouts at the airports have shut down flights, while work stoppages at oil refineries and fuel depots threaten to paralyze not only the economy but also emergency services. Panic buying and hoarding has already begun. Basically, French society is in paralysis just like Greece was for most of this year.

One poll showed that 70% believe that this will build into the same massive protests of 1995 and over half the population support this. What none are thinking about is the cost of that protest or the fact that their demands of long and easy retirement are unrealistic, always were and unsustainable.

Al Jazeera’s reporter, Jacky Rowland, was quoted as stating “French workers have campaigned long and hard for their rights and benefits, and they won’t give them up without a fight,” she said. She is right, they will fight and enjoy themselves right up to the third world economic collapse, all else be damned.

In Spain workers shut down production, freezing the country’s economy and costing billions of Euros that that broken and bankrupt government also can not afford. Transportation and such were equally shut down.

Just like Greece before them, and Romania sporadically, and England about to follow.

The real show will, of course come in England. The new pseudo conservative government in England has announced that it will cut 40% of the budget, in order to reign in the 13% deficits. Of course this will translate into mass unemployment of the public sector and no alternatives in the private sector, as there are no plans to equally remove high taxes, high regulations and non-existent outsourcing barriers to China, that would actually encourage private business and industry to open plants and absorb the cast offs of the biggest employer in the U.K.: government.

The workers of course understand that, but instead of fighting and pushing the so-called conservatives to actually free the economy, not just cut spending, they are indeed fighting for the continuation of the ruin that they all face. The U.K. is a broke 2nd world economy, rapidly economically, morally and culturally sliding into a failed state.

The government unions, first why does any government allow gov. employee unions is insane to behold, have flatly stated, they will shut the country down and set it on fire. Well t-time is coming and coming rapidly: the Spring of British Discontent. Of course, the fact that without such actions, even these imperfect actions, by summer time next year, the U.K. economy will be in absolute free fall and these same bureaucrats and workers will not be getting paid anyways, is beyond their comprehension or cognizant abilities.

Similar strikes are further breaking out in Slovakia, again in Greece, and the capital of that frankenstinian state of the E.U. was equally rocked.

The communists are ecstatic, knowing that soft socialism always leads to this. Cradle to grave care is always expensive and steady growth in taxes, along with the strangling demands of the watermelons (green activist on the outside, red Marxist on the inside) have made sure that tax revenues shrink, not grow, as business flees. This of course leads to a crushing of the cushy expectations of the masses and the mass protests and revolutions.

The Marxists, as usual, are more than happy to aid these revolutions and sacrifice the lives of tens if not hundreds of thousands of their countrymen, to establish their Marxist utopias. That every single one of these Utopias has always failed and cost the lives of millions in the process, as well as whole lost decades in economic growth, is irrelevant to the true believers, who know that this one, this time, this even will be done correctly. Simply put, there is no reasoning with such true believers.

John Monks, general secretary of the European Trades Union Confederation, which organized the events, was quoted as stating: “This is the start of the fight, not the end.”

What all of these socialists fail to answer and the cushy and spoiled workers do not dare to ask is: how do we pay for this? This of course, plays right into the hands of the Marxists.

Equally, the elites in America are setting the situation up just as well and the people are playing into it. True, there are the Tea Party movements, who have no clear agenda except to cut spending and taxes, more so taxes. If these were actual fiscal conservatives, where were they during the “good ole” days when their government under the Fascist Republicans spent in the hundreds of billions on cheap credit? Only when the Communist Democrats aintied it up a notch did they “awake”. But what do they want? Cut spending? But on what? See, no one in that movement puts forth a real agenda, because if they did then problems would appear instantly.

For example: many want no more social spending, but have no problems with wars after wars, spending trillions on the invasion of sovereign nations, especially if their kids never have to serve. Others want cuts in taxes, as long as they continue to enjoy their own retirements and get cost of living upgrades, never mind that their pension system: Social Security, is already $40 billion in the whole.

Just like their confused European cousins, they claim: I have paid into the system, I deserve it. Well yes, but how?

Equally, most of these so-called conservatives are free trade enthusiasts, because most are not in manufacturing and make cash by importing and enjoy cheap Chinese junk, never bothering to think past the price to the actual cost.

More so, even then the Europeans, who at least practice some protectionism of their industry. The Americans face a conundrum: if they cut spending now, forty million workers and their families will be out on the street, with hundreds of thousands joining them weekly, plus massive layoffs of state employees, which is already underway. This is a formula for revolution. If they continue spending, which means printing debt, they equally face an economic collapse, another formula for revolution.

Of course, with their import debt growing to record levels every month, sooner or later, regardless of what they do, they will be cut off at worst or face exploding costs at best, and the further impoverishment of the people: equally a formula for revolution.

Either way, no matter what happens, the West, already sagging under the weight of its own “prosperity” and easy, Christless, immoral living, is facing catastrophe. Anarchy, autocracy, tyranny are what is on the horizon. The only hope: a return to Christian Monarchy and stable sensible economic policy, and the crushing and ousting of the Marxists and socialists, once and for all, seems a long shot at best.

[End.]

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Categories: FRA, GRE, SPAIN, Stanislav Mishin, UK, USA