Archive | August 28th, 2018

UN Chief Sides with Aggressors in Syria

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With rare exceptions, UN secretaries general serve US-led Western interests, supporting aggression by failing to denounce it, disgracing the office they hold, breaching UN Charter principles.

Since installed as UN secretary general by Washington in January 2017, former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres said nothing about US-led aggression in Syria or anywhere else.

He failed to denounce US-led terror-bombing, the rape and destruction of Raqqa, Syria and Mosul, Iraq – massacring countless thousands of defenseless civilians, turning both cities to rubble on the phony pretext of combating ISIS Washington created and supports.

He said nothing about US-led destruction of vital infrastructure in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

In response to US planned and orchestrated aggression in Yemen, Saudi/UAE terror-bombing doing its dirty work, he issued pathetic statements through his spokesman, calling for transparent investigations into incidents massacring countless numbers of Yemeni civilians – whitewashed every time initiated.

Last April, Saudi/UAE terror-bombing slaughtered over five dozen Yemeni civilians at a wedding party, scores more wounded, an atrocity at what was supposed to be a joyous occasion.

A survivor called what happened “something out of judgement day, corpses and heads scattered, engulfed by fire and ashes.”

Yemenis experienced many “judgment day(s)” since conflict began in March 2015, millions in the country enduring nightmarish conditions.

Following the wedding party atrocity, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres failed to denounce it – issuing a pathetic statement through his spokesman alone saying:

“The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law concerning the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure during armed conflicts.”

Instead of condemning Saudi-led US aggression in Yemen, he called the conflict a “stupid war.”

He criticized Syrian forces involved in combatting US-supported terrorists, their right to self-defense, affirmed under Security Council Resolution 2401 and other international law.

He’s been silent about flagrant US/NATO/Israeli/Saudi, UAE violations of SC Res. 2254, calling for ceasefire and diplomatic resolution to years of conflict – Obama’s war, continued endlessly by Trump.

On August 29, a Guterres statement through his spokesman opposed Syrian efforts to liberate Idlib province from US-supported terrorists, saying:

“The Secretary-General urgently appeals to the Government of Syria and all parties to exercise restraint and to prioritize the protection of civilians.”

“He calls on the Astana guarantors (Russia, Iran and Turkey) to step up efforts to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Idlib…”

He said nothing about US-supported terrorists controlling the province, holding hundreds, maybe thousands, of civilians hostage as human shields.

He ignored Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, saying al-Nusra and other terrorists in Idlib are “us(ing) this de-escalation zone to prepare attacks on the positions of the Syrian army and even for attempts to attack the Russian military base in Khmeimim using aerial drones.”

He was silent about an impending CW false flag wrongfully blamed on Damascus, used as a pretext for greater US, UK, French terror-bombing of Syrian sites.

He ignored Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muellem, saying al-Qaeda-linked White Helmets kidnapped 44 Idlib children, intending to use them as CW false flag props.

He failed to explain that Damascus eliminated its entire CW stockpile, never used these weapons any time during years of war, successfully liberating areas controlled by US-supported terrorists using conventional weapons alone.

Why would government forces use chemical or other banned weapons now, winning without them, giving Washington and its imperial partners reason to terror-bomb the country?

Guterres has been silent about what’s most important to explain.

On Thursday, Syrian UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari blasted his unacceptable bias, supporting aggressors in the country instead of denouncing them, saying:

“Here we are talking about our surprise with (Guterres’) statement aligning (his) position (with) those countries targeting my government and my country…and referring to the threats expressed by the delegates of the US, Britain and France.”

Jaafari accused these countries and their imperial partners with waging endless war on the Syrian Arab Republic, opposing restoration of peace and stability to the nation.

“The Syrian government (and) its allies (are) the only part(ies) implementing UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to combating terrorism. Nobody else is fighting ISIS (and other terrorists) in Syria but the Syrian army supported by our allies,” Jaafari stressed.

Former UK ambassador to Syria Peter Ford believes the US, Britain and France intend “fabricat(ing) (a CW) incident,” a pretext for escalating war instead of trying to resolve it.

“The intentions could hardly be made more plain, and almost every day (there’s) new evidence,” he said, suggesting what’s coming – hyped by US and other Western media.

They’re conditioning the public to accept escalated US-led naked aggression in Syria, pretending it’s in response to CW use by its forces, a Big Lie. When repeated enough it’s believed by most people.

“(W)e better brace ourselves,” said Ford. “We better stand by for a crisis much more serious than the Douma crisis unless we raise our voices loud enough.”

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Confrontation of Superpowers in Afghanistan: China Envisages Military Presence in Strategic Wakhan Corridor

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Masud Wadan reporting from Kabul.

To mark the legitimacy of US military in Afghanistan, Washington recently declined participating in a Russia-led peace talks on Afghanistan which had been scheduled for September 4 in Moscow. In a statement, the Russian embassy in Kabul expressed disappointment and described Washington’s refusal as based  on “unfounded reasons”.

The Afghan ministry of external affairs also toed the US line and refused to participate in the meeting citing that the talks are not led by Afghanistan. 

Not the first time, the US did turn down Russia’s invitation for Afghan peace talks on April 14 last year. The US doesn’t want Russia on board. However, there are no reasonable grounds to reject Russia’s engagement in Afghanistan’s dilemma. At that time, Pakistan was right to concern that the US’ involvement is a must because Washington is the “biggest stakeholder” there. 

Kabul questions Moscow-led talks for “not including it as a weighty party”, but it forgot to point criticism to the recent official talks between the US envoy and Taliban representative in Qatar’s Doha that went by without a scrap of Afghan role. 

When Moscow saw the distaste of the US and the US-led Afghan government, it announced on August 27 that it will postpone the event to a later date. Russia’s summit was then called off and the US thought it had won. 

Amidst fragile relations between regional powers, Moscow talks were to include Pakistan, China, Iran and India. The US has called the September 4 gathering as “broad” because it includes the arch-enemy Iran. 

Before the announcement of postponement, a Tajikistan’s Air Force fighter jet flew into Afghanistan’s airspace in northern Takhar province and bombed militants in an eyebrow-raising attack. The targets were reportedly the drug dealers. But for us, the point of concern is not the kind of targets; it is about why it happened at this moment. 

Although Russian officials were quick to apparently deny involvement in the attack, it might be our mistake to not see Moscow’s fury in the attack. It is clear that Tajikistan had been far from firing a single shot at us in the past 17 years of the US invasion. It could send a direct message to the US and Afghan allies for their concurrent ignoring of Russia’s power.  

It has to be admitted that Russia has grown inclined to Afghanistan. It has offered to arm the Afghan army with air power outmatching the status quo, but the government in Afghanistan has been nudged to show apathy. 

Russia steps forward as critic of the US-led unipolarization in the world and is moving into action to replace the unipolarity with a multipolar international system to undercut the US’s existential threat in the region.  

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday in Moscow:

“The US has tried to bring Afghanistan to peace on its own, and it didn’t work. The International Community now has to take care of this matter collectively”.

The Taliban leadership is a nonentity. It is a brainwashed force picking up arms for a loaf of bread under the fake motto of fighting the “infidel” West. All the spokesmen or representatives acting on behalf of Taliban are media fabrications. The term “Taliban” is now used as a pretext by involving various sides to secure their own place in Afghanistan and the region’s multidimensional interests.  

The armed conflict and military power is not always used for attack on foreign territories, just as is the case of Afghanistan. The war strategists believe that compellence, deterrence and coercion are important factors that bring the enemy to its knees (by grace of military strength and influence).

Afghanistan’s battleground is the one where intensity of violence affects decision making in the surrounding region. With this privilege in hand, the primary force – the US – draw on further advantages from the rival states. 

We can’t hold Russia’s existence as solely responsible for the unrest in the South Asian region, nor are China or Iran individual causes behind the fiasco in Afghanistan. With the world engaged in debates over the US’s rivalry with Russia or China, an immeasurable amount of Uranium and Rare Earth Elements and narcotics are being flown from southern Helmand province to outside. This is a multifaceted war. If the underground minerals ever come to an end, then policies would undergo major changes. 

US soldiers in Afghanistan’s poppy fields

It has to be asserted that Afghanistan’s prolonged war is largely built around the deterrence and compellence policies that materialize the objective of a hegemonic role over the world.

According to causal theory, nothing has caused the Afghan war to happen but rather the war, in essence, is a necessity that generates a shower of foreseen interests and consequential benefits. This hypothesis can be reinforced with a look to chaos in almost every corner of the world. When the options for instigation of war run out, they resort to doubling of tariffs on imports from China and Europe. 

The global disorder is a smooth pathway to global hegemony which is the ultimate goal of the US. In the face of an immense and complex imperial agenda, it would be a grave mistake to expect an end to Afghanistan’s conflict.

The Afghan war is a coercive process of armed battle between two fronts: Afghan army and Taliban insurgents. Both forces are designed carefully and driven into a quagmire where they can’t escape or at least find a room to question the legitimacy and rightfulness of the deadly conflict. 

To grease the wheels of war, the war theorists employ violent doctrines. The terrorist forces trained to fight the Afghan government and destroy infrastructures are made up of children kidnapped from the same territory – Afghanistan – and raised in sanctuaries under violent treatment. To inflict fatalities and damage upon the Afghan nation in full swing, the warmongers recruit heartless alien nationals mostly Arab, Chechens, Pakistanis and others. 

The US has no excuse to justify the Afghan war. Typically, the Kabul-based US embassy posted a condolence message on its facebook page about a recent suicide attack on teenagers taking college entry test that killed more than 50 students.  The post had just been inundated with offensive comments against the US’s war policies in Afghanistan. 

It is amazing to know that after Russia, now China is digging for a one-way solution to the threats from Afghanistan as they found the US uncooperative. In a recent strange move, Beijing has said to be fully funding a base in isolated Wakhan Corridor and may send hundreds of troops there. 

Wakhan Corridor

A side valley to the Wakhan Corridor.  over the Panshir valley

Once the camp is completed, the People’s Liberation Army is likely to send hundreds of military personnel to Afghanistan’s secluded Wakhan Corridor. Kabul has not commented on this so far and it is certain that the government would oppose the move because it conflicts with US interests.  The Afghan embassy in Beijing refutes the claim that China is building a training camp in  the Wakhan corridor (SCMP, Hong Kong,  August 28, screenshot above)

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UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

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Doomed Prospects for Achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030: Funds Squandered on Military-Industrial Complex Are Indispensable for Success

Criminal UN Security Council Authorized Military Actions and Sanctions are Gross Violation of Sustainable Development Goals and Obliterate all Hope For Attainment of SDGs

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On October 21, 2015 the United Nations General  Assembly adopted Resolution 70/1:  The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, declaring that “We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.”  These 17 Goals, if achieved, and, indeed they can and should be achieved, would create an ideal world, essentially a paradise on earth.  However, in the past three years, 20% of the time allotted for achievement of these goals, not only are prospects for the achievement of these goals grim, as acknowledged by both the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, but no one willingly admits that the dismal prospect for reaching these goals is the result of a failure of courage by the United Nations Establishment, which, in kowtowing to the “interests” and dictates of its most powerful Western capitalist states, the USA, the UK and their allies, is betraying its mandate, betraying the majority of its member states, and  betraying the majority of the peoples of the world. 

In view of the fact that within this same United Nations the Security Council has authorized the military actions that have obliterated Iraq, Libya, and between 1950-1953 totally annihilated the DPRK, it is reasonable to assert that for the United Nations to even speak of “Sustainable Development Goals” while the United Nations Security Council is notorious for “destroying the infrastructure necessary to support human life” in the countries devastated by the military actions and sanctions the UN has authorized, is the worst form of hypocrisy and duplicity. At best, this is a form of schizoid policy making.  One can only consider that the United Nations’ aggressive public promotion of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals” is a figleaf, covering up the horrific damage inflicted by the UN Security Council, one of the most dangerous organizations on the planet.  

The Security Council sanctions on Iraq were responsible for the deaths by starvation of 500,000 children in Iraq.  The resignation of Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, who characterized the sanction program as “genocide” exposes the deadly agenda masked by the very public promotion of the SDG’s as a fabrication of concern for human rights.

The Security Council sanctions inflicted on the DPRK since 2006 are an increasingly genocidal attempt to force regime change and collapse the socialistic system that has, since the birth of the DPRK,  been delivering those benefits promised by the SDG’s, and which the Security Council sanctions are eviscerating, in one of the most criminal actions in United Nations history.

One demonstration of the fact that the UN is not serious about reaching the “Sustainable Development Goals” by 2030 is the fact that, though there have been innumerable searches for ways to fund these SDG’s, at no point was there any serious consideration – or any consideration at all, given to transferring the exorbitant sums of money spent on the military, the trillions of dollars spent – or more accurately put, squandered – on development of nuclear weapons, and investing this money, instead, on human development, and fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals

Between July 16-18 the United Nations held the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and in her opening speech on July 16, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed acknowledged that: 

“For the first time in a decade, the number of people who are undernourished has increased – from 777 million people in 2015 to 815 million in 2016 – fundamentally undermining our commitment to leaving no one behind….Poverty is becoming increasingly urban, with most of the world’s extreme poor projected to live in urban settings by 2035;  250 million more people in Africa have no access to clean fuels for cooking compared to 2015!!  We are seeing alarming decline in biodiversity, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, extreme weather conditions and increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases….At the same time we have not yet managed to unlock and direct the scale of the resources needed, towards the financing of the sustainable development agenda.”

On July 18 Secretary-General Guterres’ concluding remarks declared: 

“Your discussions have made clear that we are lagging or even backtracking in other areas that are fundamental to our shared pledge to leave no one behind…Investment in critical sustainable infrastructure remains entirely inadequate…At the same time, we face mounting challenges.  Runaway climate change.  A growing number of conflicts and inequality.  An erosion of human rights.  An unprecedented global humanitarian crisis and persistent pockets of poverty and hunger.”

On cannot be surprised by the downward trajectory for attainment of the SDG’s by 2030, since the United Nations has not been willing to risk those actions that would have unlocked the funds necessary for attainment of the 17 SDG’s, and at the same time, the barbaric Security Council sanctions on the DPRK are criminally obstructing that nation’s attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, although, if the truth be told, that heroic nation has already attained many of the 17 SDG goals, despite the heinous sanctions inflicted to weaken their people and degrade their socialist infrastructure which has delivered so many humanitarian benefits to their people.   

The cowardice of the UN in failing to require that the resources squandered in bloated military budgets be instead redirected and productively devoted to humanitarian achievements is the more perplexing, now that even within the US government itself, Senator Ed Markey has introduced the SANE Act to drastically cut nuclear weapons programs and curtail nuclear modernization. 

“It is time we inserted some desperately-needed sanity into America’s budget priorities,” stated Senator Markey.  “We should fund education, not annihilation.” 

If the United Nations is serious about attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, they have a powerful source of support and alliance within the U.S. Senate itself.  Markey further stated: 

“If the United States wants other countries to reduce their nuclear arsenals and restrain their nuclear war plans, we must take the lead.  Instead of wasting billions of dollars on this dangerous new nuclear weapon that will do nothing to keep our nation safe, we should preserve America’s resources and pursue a global ban on nuclear cruise missiles.” 

One of the most truthful and moving addresses at the High-Level SDG Debate was delivered the afternoon of July 16, by Professor Jose Antonio Ocampo, Chairperson of the Committee for Development Policy.  The Report of the Committee states: 

“Extreme inequality persists within countries and cities as well as among countries….A generalized shift towards development that leaves no one behind requires the transformation of deeply rooted systems – economic and political systems, governance structures and business models – that are often based on unequal distributions of wealth and of decision-making power. ..It is also necessary to address the concentration of wealth, income and decision-making power at the top and break the link between economic and social exclusion and decision-making power.”

Professor Ocampo stated: 

“Too often, economic and political systems, governance structures and business models are based on extremely unequal distributions of wealth and decision-making power and this stands in the way of transformation to sustainable and resilient societies.  On the one hand segments of society that are excluded from the benefits of development are often also excluded from meaningful participation in decision-making, and are thus unlikely to see their interests safeguarded in policy and investment decisions.  On the other, the most influential groups can resist changes when they represent a threat or perceived threat to their interests.  Leaving no one behind requires breaking the link between economic and social exclusion and decision-making power.  This involves, among other measures, ensuring the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights and reorienting institutions so that policy is driven from the bottom up by the needs of those who are deprived and disadvantaged.  ….At the international level, the deep inequalities that persist among countries are not sustainable….With the important goal of fighting poverty, development cooperation policies should also contribute to guaranteeing minimum social standards for all people, reducing international inequality and providing international public goods.”

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Who is Pope Francis? Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Argentina’s “Dirty War”

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Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Argentina’s “Dirty War”

From the inception of his Vatican mandate in March 2013 until the recent sex scandal revelations in early 2018, Pope Francis has been portrayed by the Western media and the international community as a left leaning champion of “Liberation Theology” committed to World peace and global poverty alleviation.

Pope Francis is now accused of coverup, corruption and camouflage.

The former Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò  has intimated in an eleven page Testimony that Pope Francis  was involved (from the outset of his papacy in March 2013) in the coverup of sex abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Vigano says that Pope Francis should step down from the papacy.

In his  Testimony, Archbishop Vigano describes the prevailing situation within the Church. He acknowledged that:

Bishops and priests, abusing their authority, have committed horrendous crimes to the detriment of their faithful, minors, innocent victims, and young men eager to offer their lives to the Church, or by their silence have not prevented that such crimes continue to be perpetrated. … We must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truths we have kept hidden.”

Archbishop Vigano’s statements (which remain to be fully corroborated) directed against Pope Francis pertain to a pattern of alleged abuse (including pedophilia) committed within the Catholic Church to which Pope Francis had casually “turned a blind eye”.

But there is “More than Meets the Eye”.  Who Was Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he became Pope? 

Prior to his election by the papal conclave, the role of Jorge Maria Bergoglio in Argentina’s “Dirty War” was known and documented.  It was known to the US State Department. It must have been known to one or more of the 115 “Cardinal Electors” of the Papal Conclave which convened at the Sistine Chapel on March 12, 2013. Needless to say, both the Catholic Hierarchy and the international community turned a blind eye. And the media through “omission” has remained silent.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio not only supported the military dictatorship, he also played a direct and complicit role in the “Dirty War” (la guerra sucia”) in liaison with the military Junta headed by General Jorge Videla, leading to the arrest, imprisonment, torture and disappearance of progressive Catholic priests and laymen who were opposed to Argentina’s military rule.

“While the two priests Francisco Jalics y Orlando Yorio, kidnapped by the death squads in May 1976 were released five months later. after having been tortured, six other people associated within their parish kidnapped as part of the same operation were “disappeared” (desaparecidos).”

In a bitter irony, the two priests sent to the torture chamber were committed to the Theology of Liberation against which Bergoglio at the time was firmly opposed.

Lest we forget, shortly after his investiture in March 2013,  Pope Francis was described by the British media of having brought “Liberation Theology into the Vatican”, in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi.

That was a nonsensical statement (“fake news”): In 1976, Bergoglio’s intent (in liaison with the military junta) was to crush Liberation Theology.

In 2005, human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman filed a criminal suit against Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, accusing him of conspiring with the military junta in the 1976 kidnapping of two Jesuit priests.

Several years later, the survivors of the “Dirty War” openly accused Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of complicity in the kidnapping of  priests Francisco Jalics y Orlando Yorio as well six members of their parish (who were disappeared),  (El Mundo, 8 November 2010)

(Image Left: Jorge Mario Bergoglio and General Jorge Videla)

All this was known prior to his investiture. Why was it not revealed to the broader public? Catholics around the World are totally unaware of  “Who Was Pope Francis I”, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

The following article was first written in March 2013  following the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I by the Vatican conclave. Minor edits were added in May 2013.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, August 29, 2018 

“Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis I? Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Argentina’s “Dirty War”

by Michel Chossudovsky

March 14, 2013

The Vatican conclave has elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I

Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio? 

In 1973, he had been appointed “Provincial” of Argentina for the Society of Jesus.

In this capacity, Bergoglio was the highest ranking Jesuit in Argentina during the military dictatorship led by General Jorge Videla (1976-1983).

He later became bishop and archbishop of Buenos Aires. Pope John Paul II elevated him to the title of cardinal in 2001

When the military junta relinquished power in 1983, the duly elected president Raúl Alfonsín set up a Truth Commission pertaining to the crimes underlying the “Dirty War” (La Guerra Sucia).

The military junta had been supported covertly by Washington.

US. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger played a behind the scenes role in the 1976 military coup.

Kissinger’s top deputy on Latin America, William Rogers, told him two days after the coup that “we’ve got to expect a fair amount of repression, probably a good deal of blood, in Argentina before too long.” … (National Security Archive, March 23, 2006)

“Operation Condor”

Ironically, a major trial opened up in Buenos Aires on March 5, 2013 a week prior to Cardinal Bergoglio’s investiture as Pontiff. The ongoing trial in Buenos Aires is: “to consider the totality of crimes carried out under Operation Condor, a coordinated campaign by various US-backed Latin American dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s to hunt down, torture and murder tens of thousands of opponents of those regimes.”

For further details, see Operation Condor: Trial On Latin American Rendition And Assassination Program By Carlos Osorio and Peter Kornbluh, March 10, 2013

(Photo above: Henry Kissinger and General Jorge Videla (1970s)

The military junta led by General Jorge Videla (left) was responsible for countless assassinations, including priests and nuns who opposed military rule following the CIA sponsored March 24, 1976 coup which overthrew the government of Isabel Peron:

 “Videla was among the generals convicted of human rights crimes, including “disappearances”, torture, murders and kidnappings. In 1985, Videla was sentenced to life imprisonment at the military prison of Magdalena.”

Wall Street and the Neoliberal Economic Agenda

One of the key appointments of the military junta (on the instructions of Wall Street) was the Minister of Economy, Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, a member of Argentina’s business establishment and a close friend of David Rockefeller.

The neoliberal macro-economic policy package adopted under Martinez de Hoz was a “carbon copy” of that imposed in October 1973 in Chile by the Pinochet dictatorship under advice from the  “Chicago Boys”, following the September 11, 1973 coup d’Etat and the assassination of president Salvador Allende.

Wages were immediately frozen by decree. Real purchasing power collapsed by more than 30 percent in the 3 months following the March 24, 1976 military coup. (Author’s estimates, Cordoba, Argentina, July 1976). The Argentinean population was impoverished.

Under the helm of Minister of Economy Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, central bank monetary policy was largely determined by Wall Street and the IMF. The currency market was manipulated. The Peso was deliberately overvalued leading to an insurmountable external debt. The entire national economy was precipitated into bankruptcy.

(See Image right: From left to right: Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, David Rockefeller and General Jorge Videla)

Wall Street and the Catholic Church Hierarchy

Wall Street was firmly behind the military Junta which waged “The Dirty War” on its behalf. In turn, the Catholic Church hierarchy played a central role in sustaining the legitimacy of the military Junta.

The Order of Jesus –which represented the Conservative yet most influential faction within the Catholic Church, closely associated with Argentina’s economic elites– was firmly behind the military Junta, against so-called “Leftists” in the Peronista movement.

“The Dirty War”: Allegations directed Against Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Condemning the military dictatorship (including its human rights violations) was a taboo within the Catholic Church.  While the upper echelons of the Church were supportive of the military Junta, the grassroots of the Church was firmly opposed to the imposition of military rule.

In 2005, human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman filed a criminal suit against Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, accusing him of conspiring with the military junta in the 1976 kidnapping of two Jesuit priests.

Several years later, the survivors of the “Dirty War” openly accused Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of complicity in the kidnapping of  priests Francisco Jalics y Orlando Yorio as well six members of their parish, (El Mundo, 8 November 2010)

(Image Left: Jorge Mario Bergoglio and General Jorge Videla)

Bergoglio, who at the time was “Provincial” for the Society of Jesus, had ordered the two “Leftist” Jesuit priests and opponents of military rule  “to leave their pastoral work” (i.e. they were fired) following divisions within the Society of Jesus regarding the role of the Catholic Church and its relations to the military Junta.

While the two priests Francisco Jalics y Orlando Yorio, kidnapped by the death squads in May 1976 were released five months later. after having been tortured, six other people associated with their parish kidnapped as part of the same operation were “disappeared” (desaparecidos). These included four teachers associated with the parish and two of their husbands.

Upon his release, Priest Orlando Yorio “accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over [including six other people] to the death squads … Jalics refused to discuss the complaint after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.” (Associated Press, March 13, 2013, emphasis added),

“During the first trial of leaders of the military junta in 1985, Yorio declared, “I am sure that he himself gave over the list with our names to the Navy.” The two were taken to the notorious Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) torture center and held for over five months before being drugged and dumped in a town outside the city. (See Bill van Auken, “The Dirty War” Pope, World Socialist Website and Global Research, March 14, 2013

Among those “disappeared” by the death squads were Mónica Candelaria Mignone and María Marta Vázquez Ocampo, respectively daughter of the founder of of the CELS (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales) Emilio Mignone and daughter of the president of Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Martha Ocampo de Vázquez. (El Periodista Online, March 2013).

María Marta Vásquez, her husband César Lugones (see picture right) and Mónica Candelaria Mignone allegedly “handed over to the death squads” by Jesuit “Provincial” Jorge Mario Bergoglio are among the thousands of “desaparecidos” (disappeared) of Argentina’s “Dirty War”, which was supported covertly by Washington under “Operation Condor”. (See memorialmagro.com.ar)

In the course of the trial initiated in 2005:

“Bergoglio [Pope Francis I] twice invoked his right under Argentine law to refuse to appear in open court, and when he eventually did testify in 2010, his answers were evasive”: “At least two cases directly involved Bergoglio. One examined the torture of two of his Jesuit priests — Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics — who were kidnapped in 1976 from the slums where they advocated liberation theology. Yorio accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over to the death squads... by declining to tell the regime that he endorsed their work. Jalics refused to discuss it after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.” (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2005 emphasis added)

The Secret Memorandum

The military government acknowledged in a Secret Memo (see below) that Father Bergoglio had accused the two priests of having established contacts with the guerilleros, and for having disobeyed the orders of the Church hierarchy (Conflictos de obedecencia). It also stated that the Jesuit order had demanded the dissolution of  their group and that they had refused to abide by Bergoglio’s instructions.

The document acknowledges that the “arrest” of the two priests, who were taken to the torture and detention center at the Naval School of Mechanics, ESMA, was based on information transmitted by Father Bergoglio to the military authorities. (signed by Mr. Orcoyen)

(see below).

While a former member of  the priests group had joined the insurgency, there was no evidence of the priests having contacts with the guerrilla movement.

“Holy Communion for the Dictators” 

The accusations directed against Bergoglio regarding the two kidnapped Jesuit priests and six members of their parish are but the tip of the iceberg. While Bergoglio was an important figure in the Catholic Church,  he was certainly not alone in supporting the Military Junta.

According to lawyer Myriam Bregman:  “Bergoglio’s own statements proved church officials knew from early on that the junta was torturing and killing its citizens”, and yet publicly endorsed the dictators. “The dictatorship could not have operated this way without this key support,” (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2005 emphasis added)

(Image right: General Jorge Videla takes communion. Date and name of priest unconfirmed)

The entire Catholic hierarchy was behind the US sponsored military dictatorship.  It is worth recalling that on March 23, 1976, on the eve of the military coup:

Videla and other plotters received the blessing of the Archbishop of Paraná, Adolfo Tortolo, who also served as vicar of the armed forces. The day of the takeover itself, the military leaders had a lengthy meeting with the leaders of the bishop’s conference. As he emerged from that meeting, Archbishop Tortolo stated that although “the church has its own specific mission . . . there are circumstances in which it cannot refrain from participating even when it is a matter of problems related to the specific order of the state.” He urged Argentinians to “cooperate in a positive way” with the new government.” (The Humanist.org, January 2011, emphasis added)

In an interview conducted with El Sur, General Jorge Videla, who is now [passed away in May 2013] serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity confirmed that:

He kept the country’s Catholic hierarchy informed about his regime’s policy of “disappearing” political opponents, and that Catholic leaders offered advice on how to “manage” the policy. 

Jorge Videla said he had “many conversations” with Argentina’s primate, Cardinal Raúl Francisco Primatesta, about his regime’s dirty war against left-wing activists. He said there were also conversations with other leading bishops from Argentina’s episcopal conference as well as with the country’s papal nuncio at the time, Pio Laghi.

“They advised us about the manner in which to deal with the situation,” said Videla” (Tom Henningan, Former Argentinian dictator says he told Catholic Church of disappeared Irish Times, July 24, 2012, emphasis added)

It is worth noting that according to a 1976 statement by Archbishop Adolfo Tortolo, the military would always consult with a member of the Catholic hierarchy in the case of the “arrest” of a grassroots member of  the clergy. This statement was made specifically in relation to the two kidnapped Jesuit priests, whose pastoral activities were under the authority of Society of Jesus “provincial” Jorge Mario Bergoglio. (El Periodista Online, March 2013).

In endorsing the military Junta, the Catholic hierarchy was complicit in torture and mass killings, an estimated “22,000 dead and disappeared, from 1976 to  1978  … Thousands of additional victims were killed between 1978 and 1983 when the military was forced from power.” (National Security Archive, March 23, 2006).

The Role of the Vatican

The Vatican under Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II played a central  role in supporting the Argentinian military Junta.

Pio Laghi, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to Argentina admitted “turning a blind eye” to the torture and massacres.

Laghi had personal ties to members of the ruling military junta including  General Jorge Videla and Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera.

(See image left. Vatican’s Nuncio Pio Laghi and General Jorge Videla)

Admiral Emilio Massera in close liaison with his US handlers, was the mastermind of “La Guerra Sucia” (The Dirty War). Under the auspices of the military regime, he established:

“an interrogation and torture centre in the Naval School of Mechanics, ESMA [close to Buenos Aires], … It was a sophisticated, multi-purpose establishment, vital in the military plan to assassinate an estimated 30,000 “enemies of the state”. …  Many thousands of ESMA’s inmates, including, for instance, two French nuns, were routinely tortured mercilessly before being killed or dropped from aircraft into the River Plata.

Massera, the most forceful member of the triumvirate, did his best to maintain his links with Washington. He assisted in the development of Plan Cóndor, a collaborative scheme to co-ordinate the terrorism being practised by South American military régimes. (Hugh O’Shaughnessy, Admiral Emilio Massera: Naval officer who took part in the 1976 coup in Argentina and was later jailed for his part in the junta’s crimes, The Independent, November 10, 2010, emphasis added)

Reports confirm that the Vatican’s representative Pio Laghi and Admiral Emilio Massera were friends.

(right: Admiral Emilio Massera, architect of “The Dirty War” received by Pope Paul VI at the Vatican)

The Catholic Church: Chile versus Argentina

It is worth noting that  in the wake of the military coup in Chile on September 11,1973, the Cardinal of Santiago de Chile, Raul Silva Henriquez openly condemned the military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet. In marked contrast to Argentina, this stance of the Catholic hierarchy in Chile was instrumental in curbing the tide of political assassinations and human rights violations directed against supporters of Salvador Allende  and opponents of the military regime.

The man behind the interfaith Comité Pro-Paz was Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez. Shortly after the coup, Silva, … stepped into the role of “upstander,”a term the author and activist Samantha Power coined to distinguish people who stand up to injustice—often at great personal risk—from “bystanders.”

… Soon after the coup, Silva and other church leaders published a declaration condemning and expressing sorrow for the bloodshed. This was a fundamental turning point for many members of the Chilean clergy… The cardinal visited the National Stadium and, shocked by the scale of the government crackdown, instructed his aides to begin collecting information from the thousands flocking to the church for refuge.

Silva’s actions led to an open conflict with Pinochet, who did not hesitate to threaten the church and the Comité  Pro-Paz. (Taking a Stand Against Pinochet: The Catholic Church and the Disappeared pdf)

Had the Catholic hierarchy in Argentina  and Jorge Mario Bergoglio taken a similar stance to that of Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez, thousands of lives would have been saved.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was not, in the words of Samantha Power, a “bystander”. He was complicit in extensive crimes against humanity.

Neither is Pope Francis “a Man of the People” committed to “helping the poor” in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi, as portrayed in chorus by the Western media mantra. Quite the opposite: his endeavors under the military Junta, consistently targeted progressive members of the Catholic clergy as well as committed human rights activists involved in grassroots anti-poverty programs.

In supporting Argentina’s “Dirty War”, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has blatantly violated the very tenets of Christian morality which cherish  the value of human life.  Author’s message to Pope Francis: “Thou shalt not kill”

“Operation Condor” and the Catholic Church

The election of Cardinal Bergoglio by the Vatican conclave to serve as Pope Francis I will have immediate repercussions regarding the ongoing “Operation Condor” Trial in Buenos Aires.

The Church was involved in supporting the military Junta.  This is something which will emerge in the course of the trial proceedings.  No doubt, there will be attempts to obfuscate the role of the Catholic hierarchy and the newly appointed Pope Francis I,  who served as head of Argentina’s Jesuit order during the military dictatorship.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio:  “Washington’s Pope in the Vatican”? 

The election of Pope Francis I has broad geopolitical implications for the entire Latin American  region.

In the 1970s, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was supportive of a US sponsored military dictatorship.

The Catholic hierarchy in Argentina supported the military government. The Junta’s program of torture, assassinations and ‘disappearances” of thousands of political opponents was coordinated and supported by Washington under the CIA’s “Operation Condor”.

Wall Street’s interests were sustained through Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz’ office at the Ministry of Economy.

The Catholic Church in Latin America is politically influential. It also has a grip on public opinion. This is known and understood by the architects of US foreign policy as well as US intelligence.

In Latin America, where a number of governments are now challenging US hegemony, one would expect –given Bergoglio’s track record–  that the new Pontiff Francis I as leader of the Catholic Church, will play de facto, a discrete “undercover” political role on behalf of Washington.

With Jorge Bergoglio, Pope Francis I  in the Vatican –who faithfully served US interests in the heyday of General Jorge Videla and Admiral Emilio Massera–  the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Latin America can once again be effectively manipulated to undermine “progressive” (Leftist) governments, not only in Argentina (in relation to the government of Cristina Kirschner) but throughout the entire region, including Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.

The instatement of  “a pro-US pope” occurred a week following the death of  president Hugo Chavez.

“Regime Change” at the Vatican

The US State Department routinely pressures members of the United Nations Security Council with a view to influencing the vote pertaining to Security Council resolutions.

US covert operations and propaganda campaigns are routinely applied with a view to influencing national elections in different countries around the World.

Similarly, the CIA has a longstanding covert relationship with the Vatican.

Did the US government attempt to influence the outcome of the election of the new pontiff?

Firmly committed to serving US foreign policy interests in Latin America, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was Washington’s preferred candidate.

Were undercover pressures discretely exerted by Washington, within the Catholic Church, directly or indirectly, on the 115 cardinals who are members of the Vatican conclave?

Who is Pope Francis I, Interview of Michel Chossudovsky with Bonnie Faulkner, Guns and Butter, KPFA Pacifica

Global Research TV (GRTV) Interview with Michel Chossudovsky


Author’s Note

From the outset of the military regime in 1976, I was Visiting Professor at the Social Policy Institute of the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina. My major research focus at the time was to investigate the social impacts of the deadly macroeconomic reforms adopted by the military Junta. 

I was teaching at the University of Cordoba during the initial wave of assassinations which also targeted progressive grassroots members of the Catholic clergy.

The Northern industrial city of Cordoba was the center of the resistance movement. I witnessed how the Catholic hierarchy actively and routinely supported the military junta, creating an atmosphere of  intimidation and fear throughout the country. The general feeling at the time was that Argentinians had been betrayed by the upper echelons of the Catholic Church.

Three years earlier, at the time of Chile’s September 11, 1973 military coup, leading to the overthrow of the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende,  I was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Economics, Catholic University of Chile, Santiago de Chile.

In the immediate wake of the coup in Chile,  I witnessed how the Cardinal of Santiago, Raul Silva Henriquez –acting on behalf of the Catholic Church– courageously confronted the military dictatorship of general Augusto Pinochet.

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Resolving the “Serbian Question” – A 19th-Century Project

NOVANEWS
Part II

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Read Part I here.

Ethnolinguistic Serbdom

Serbia’s Prince Miloš’s schemes to solve the „Serbian Question“ were based exclusively on the historical (state) rights of the Serbs. However, during his reign, a new and cardinal dimension on an understanding of Serbian national identity and, therefore, the idea of the creation of the national state of the Serbs was introduced into Serbian political thought by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (1787–1864) who framed the concept of a linguistic Serbdom.

In his brief essay “Срби сви и свуда” (“Serbs All and Everywhere”),[1] V. S. Karadžić established the linguistic criteria for determining Serbian national self-identity and reformulation of the whole concept of nation and nationality.[2] Namely, up to 1836, the Serbs were self-identified mainly as the Balkan community of Orthodox Christianity that both used the Cyrillic alphabet and maintained a national legend of the Kosovo tragedy of the defeat of the Serbs by the Ottomans in 1389 and heroic legends about it.[3]  Nevertheless, this traditional and conservative confession-based approach to the national identity of the Serbs (and other South Slavs) did not satisfy the Serbian intelligentsia which was heavily influenced in the time of Karadžić by the 19th-century German (linguistic) definition of the self-national identity (i.e., all German-speaking populations belong to the German nation).[4]

The nation-state building process in South-Eastern Europe is based on the development of nationalism as the phenomenon of the last two centuries. Nationalism itself is “associated with the spread of national ideologies leading in due course to the creation of sovereign nation-states”.[5] A fact is that the early 19th-century nationalism in South-East Europe was directly inspired by Western European ideas of Enlightenment which were based on secularization, historicism, and the spoken language by the folk. With regard to the Serbs, the ideas of the Enlightenment were primarily accepted and advocated by the Austrian urban Serbian settlers and secular intelligentsia who were in constant ideological conflict with the Serbian Orthodox Church. Therefore, it is surprising but true, that the early 19th-century Serbian nationalism was in essence secularist in a form which resulted from the confluence of a rapid decline of the Ottoman central power in Istanbul and new ideas of Western European Enlightenment, particularly those of German Romanticism.

Ethnic map of Socialist Yugoslavia according to 1981 census.

Ethnic map of Socialist Yugoslavia according to 1981 census.

S. Karadžić was inspired to apply the German language-based approach to the issue of what constituted the Serbian identity.[6] At the time of a rising Croatian linguistic and political nationalism, framed by Austria’s sponsored “Illyrian Movement,” he declared the Štokavian dialect (claimed by the Croatian “Illyrians” as one of three dialects of the Croatian national language) as the cardinal indicator of Serbian national identity, and identified all the South Slavs who spoke this dialect as ethnolinguistic Serbs. In accordance with the German model of the time, he did not consider religious affiliation in creating his national identity model, although he recognized that the ethnolinguistic Serbs belonged to three different confessional denominations. Therefore, he considered all the Bosnians and the Herzegovinians to be ethnolinguistic Serbs for the very reason that all of them spoke the Štokavian, but he distinguished three (confessional) groups of the inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina, taking religion into consideration: the Serbs of the “Greek-creed” (the Eastern Orthodox), “Roman-creed” (the Roman Catholic) and “Turkish-creed” (the Islamic).[7] It should be noted that the former Serbo-Croatian language was officially divided by the Yugoslav linguists and philologists into three dialects according to the form of the interrogative pronoun what: Kajkavian (what = kaj), Čakavian (what = ča), and Štokavian (what = što).[8] At the time of V. S. Karadžić’s writing, the Kajkavian dialect was spoken in the northwestern parts of Croatia proper, the Čakavian in the northern coast area and the islands of the eastern Adriatic shore and the Štokavian within the area from the Austrian Military Border in the northwest to Mt. Shara in the southeast. The Štokavian dialect is (officially) divided into three sub-dialects according to the pronunciation of the original Slavic vowel represented by the letter jat.[9]

Disputes on the “Serbs All and Everywhere”

There is considerable controversy among the South Slavic philologists, linguists and historians regarding exactly how V. S. Karadžić treated the Štokavian-speaking Roman Catholic South Slavs (present-day Croats). This question became one of the most disputed topics with respect to V. S. Karadžić’s philological work and the apple of discord between the Serbian and Croatian researchers. Nevertheless, it is not precisely clear whether he evidently viewed them as Croats, or as Serbs. It appears, however, that V. S. Karadžić considered them in essence as the ethnolinguistic Serbs since they spoke the Štokavian dialect regardless of their own national (self)identity at that time. For him, all the Roman Catholic-creed Štokavians would eventually have to call themselves “Serbs”; and if they did not want to do so, they would end up without a national name. In other words, V. S. Karadžić was treating the Štokavian-speaking Roman Catholics in fact as Roman Catholic ethnolinguistic Serbs.[10] This conclusion was suggested also by the American historian from Dubrovnik Ivo Banac who notes that: “As early as 1814, for example, [Karadžić] held that one of the Štokavian subdialects was characteristic of ‘Roman Catholic Serbs’”[11] Nevertheless, many Croatian authors are of the opinion that V. S. Karadžić “tries to negate the existence of any significant number of Croats, distorting historic and linguistic factors to prove his arguments. At this time, the Croats, along with the Bulgarians, were seen as the biggest obstacle to Serbian dominance in the Balkans”.[12] However, for V. S. Karadžić a small number of the real ethnolinguistic Croats (the Čakavians) or of those who at that time clearly identified themselves as Croats (the Čakavians and the Kajkavians) was a reality. His point of view was moreover supported by the majority of the Slavic philologists at the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century[13] who did not see in V. S. Karadžić’s opinion any kind of policy of Serbian expansionism at the Balkans. However, contrary to the Croatian allegations regarding V. S. Karadžić’s “imperialistic ideology of Serbian territorial expansionism”, any claim that at that time a significant number of the South Slavic Roman Catholic Štokavians were, in fact, the ethnolinguistic Croats is in support of Croatian assimilation policy (Croatization) of the Roman Catholic Štokavians which was begun at the time of V. S. Karadžić by the Croatian “Illyrian Movement”. The movement in the name of a Yugoslav unity appropriated the Serbian literal language standardized by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (only for the Serbs) as a Croat literal language based exactly on the Štokavian dialect spoken at that time by no significant number of those who declared themselves as Croats but spoken by all of those who declared themselves as the Serbs and by those who had only a regional identity (Slavonian, Dalmatian, Dubrovnik, Bosnian…). Therefore, from the time of the Croatian “Illyrian Movement” to the present the Croats are, in fact, using the Serbian national language as their own literal one.[14] However, as a direct consequence of such Croatian linguistic policy, the Roman Catholic Štokavians of the time of V. S. Karadžić are today completely Croatized.

As a matter of fact, V. S. Karadžić was unable to fix precisely the southeastern ethnоlinguistic borders of the Serbian nation within the framework of his linguistic model of national identity, as he did not know how many Serbs (i.e., the Štokavian speakers) lived in Albania and Macedonia because of the lack of any relevant statistics and other documentation. For instance, in 1834, he was informed by some merchants about the existence of around 300 “Serbian” villages in Western Macedonia. However, he had serious doubts about the accuracy of this information when he heard that the people from these villages spoke the “Slavic language”, since this could have meant either the Bulgarian or Serbian.[15] He acknowledged, nevertheless, the existence of transitional zones between the Štokavian dialect and the Bulgarian language in Western Bulgaria (Torlak and Zagorje regions) but he excluded most of Macedonia and Albania from his Štokavian-speaking zone.[16] Finally, he was only able to conclude that the Štokavian dialect was definitely spoken in the area between the Timok River and Mt. Šara.

It is of crucial importance to emphasize that V. S. Karadžić’s ideas on South Slavic identities were not original but in fact based on the theory developed by the leading 19th-century Slavonic philologists Dositej Obradović, Pavel Josef Šafařik, Jan Kollár, Josef Dobrovský, Jernej Kopitar and Franc Miklošič, who claimed that the genuine Slovene dialect was the Kajkavian, the native Croatian dialect was the Čakavian (and to a certain extent the Kajkavian) and that the true Serbian dialect was the Štokavian.[17]In other words, a Croat claimed Karadžić’s ethnolinguistic “imperialism” prompted by the desire to create a Greater Serbia was nothing else than an internationally recognized reality of the South Slavic ethnolinguistic division by the leading Slavic philologists of the time and who were of different ethnonational backgrounds.

Nevertheless, Karadžić’s concept of a language-based Serbian nationhood had a significant impact on 19th and 20th-century scholars, both the Serbs and the others:

  1. It gave a strong impetus to the revision of the traditional picture of the Serbian ethnolinguistic territories in the Balkans.
  2. As a result of V. S. Karadžić’s theory, the claim that there was a large Serbian population in Western Bulgaria and most of Macedonia and Albania was finally abandoned.
  3. The literary and cultural legacy of Dubrovnik was asserted to be exclusively Serbian.[18]

Ethnolinguistic Statehood

A Romanticist-based idea of Serbian national statehood reached its final stage when Ilija Garašanin (1812–1874) drafted a plan for consolidation of all ethnolinguistic Serbian territories within a single national state. His unfinished Начертаније (Outline) became one of the most significant and influential works in the history of South Slavic political thought, greatly influencing the development of Serbia’s national program and foreign policy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Written in 1844 as a top-secret document submitted only to Serbia’s Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević I (1842–1858), it became, however, known in the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic circles in 1888, and a wider audience became familiar with the text in 1906 when a Belgrade-based journal published it.[19]

Different interpretations of I. Garašanin’s ultimate idea of statehood are primarily inspired by two cardinal problems in dealing with the reconstruction of the text of Outline:

  1. The original is not preserved, and the text can be reconstructed only from several copies.[20]
  2. Garašanin (the “Balkan Bismarck”)[21] did not succeed in completing the original text of Outlinethat was delivered to the Prince Aleksandar.
Ilija_Garašanin
Ilija Garašanin

Similar to the case of V. S. Karadžić’s linguistic model of Serbian national identity, to a large extent, Garašanin’s project of the creation of a united national state of the Serbs was also very much inspired by foreigners. More precisely, by three works written in 1843 and 1844 and translated into Serbian: Савети (The Advice) by the Polish Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski (1770–1861), a leader of the Polish émigrés in Paris; Фрагмент из српске историје (A Fragment from the History of Serbia) by the Englishman David Urkwart, and План (The Plan) by the Czech Francisco Zach. Nevertheless, these authors championed the idea of creating a united South Slavic state under the leadership of Serbia, intended as a barrier to Russian and Austrian political influence in the Balkans. This united South Slavic state was to be placed under French and British protection.[22] However, I. Garašanin did not accept the plan to unite Serbia with all South Slavic territories of the Austrian Empire (populated by Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) into a single, federal state as he advocated the creation of a single centralized national state only of the ethnolinguistic Serbs whose boundaries would embrace a complete Serbian national entity.[23]

There are three crucial reasons why I. Garašanin designed a united Serbian national state instead of a South Slavic one:

  1. He favored the idea of an ethnically uniform state, as advocated by the German Romanticists.[24]
  2. He believed that a multinational South Slavic state would easily disintegrate as a result of the frequent struggles between the different nations.
  3. He believed that only an ethnically uniform state organization could be inherently stable.[25]

Garašanin designed his plans in an expectation that both the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire, as multinational and imperialistic states, would be dismantled in the immediate future due to their internal instability. In his view, in the event of the Austrian and the Ottoman dismemberment the principal duty of Serbia had to be to place all ethnolinguistic Serbs, especially those who had been living in undisputable Serbian historical lands, into a single national state organization. The core of a united Serb national state was to be the Principality of Serbia, which had at that time the status of an autonomous tributary within the Ottoman Empire.

Garašanin designed two stages to rally all Serbs into a united national state. This timetable corresponds to I. Garašanin’s prediction that the Ottoman Empire would collapse first, followed by the Habsburg Monarchy:

  1. In the first stage, Serbia would annex all the Serbian ethnographic territories within the Ottoman Empire: i.e., Bosnia-Herzegovina, part of West Bulgaria, Montenegro, Sanjak (Raška), part of North Albania and, finally, Kosovo-Metochia.
  2. The lands of the Austrian Empire that were inhabited by the ethnolinguistic Serbs — the Military Border, Slavonia, Srem, Bačka, Banat, and Dalmatia — would be subject to the same action in the second phase of Serbian national unification.[26]

Disputes on the “Outline”

In South Slavic and international historiography, there is a two-camp dispute about the principles on which I. Garašanin based his idea of Serbian statehood:

  1. The first group claims that at the time I. Garašanin was writing the Outline the Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs, sought to create a Serbian national state solely on the principle of historical state rights. They argue that I. Garašanin took as a model the glorious Serbian medieval empire, which lasted from 1346 to 1371, and hence that he did not consider the territories settled by the Serbs in the Austrian Empire as they had not been included in the Serbian mediaeval empire, but focused only on those within the Ottoman Empire because they composed the Serbian mediaeval state. In their view, I. Garašanin always referred to the Serbian Empire of Stefan Dušan (1331–1355, proclaimed emperor in 1346), the borders of which reached the Drina River on the west, the Sava and Danube Rivers on the north, the Chalkidiki Peninsula on the east, and the Albanian seacoast and the Gulf of Corinth on the south. Therefore, the territories of the Austrian Military Border, Slavonia, Srem, Bačka, Banat, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which were not included in the medieval Serbian Empire, were not treated by him as the lands to which Serbia had historic (state) rights.[27]
  2. The second group argues that I. Garašanin advocated the creation of a national state on the basis of both Serbian ethnic and historical (state) rights. This view is based on the last chapter of the Outline, in which I. Garašanin urged the dissemination of Serbian nationalist propaganda in the territories settled by the Serbs in the Austrian Empire and West Bulgaria. Hence, according to this second group, I. Garašanin clearly regarded these territories as a part of a united Serbian national state by calling for the ethnic rights of the Serbs.[28]

Nevertheless, in order to settle this problem, I took into consideration primarily the whole text of the Outline. It is clear that I. Garašanin did not call for Macedonia to be included into the united national state of the Serbs. Instead of Macedonia, he favored the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In fact, to champion Serbia’s territorial expansion toward the southern portion of the Balkan Peninsula, I. Garašanin turned his eyes toward the western part of the Balkan Peninsula because his ultimate aim was to unite all Serbs but not to unite all South Slavs. It meant that the Principality of Serbia needed to be expanded to include the western Balkan territories, where the ethnolinguistic Serbs were settled, but not the southern ones, where the language-based Serbs either had already disappeared or were a minority.

Garašanin could not have supported the policy of the southward expansion of the medieval Serbian state (at the expense of the Byzantine Empire),[29] because he advocated the German Romanticist principle of establishing a single national state organization based on the common language as the crucial marker of national identity. If I. Garašanin’s project of a united Serbian national state organization is compared to V. S. Karadžić’s picture of the ethnographic dispersion of the Serbs, it is clear that both of them were speaking about exactly the same Balkan territories. Therefore, the fundamental principle behind I. Garašanin’s project of a united national state of all Serbs was, in fact, V. S. Karadžić’s linguistic model of Serbian national identity. Finally, as for V. S. Karadžić, a main political motif for I. Garašanin’s Outline was to prevent Croatian territorial claims and national expansion in the lands settled by the Roman Catholic and Muslim Štokavian speakers who at that time usually had the only regional identity or already felt as ethnic Serbs.

It should be stressed that I. Garašanin adopted V. S. Karadžić’s language-based concept of nation and hence identified the Serbs with the Štokavian-speaking South Slavic population. I. Garašanin excluded Macedonia from his concept of the language-based Serbian statehood because he had adopted V. S. Karadžić’s view that there were no Štokavian speakers in most parts of Macedonia and Albania. However, he had also adopted V. S. Karadžić’s claim that the entire population of Bosnia-Herzegovina belonged to the language-based Serbian nationality, and hence he included Bosnia-Herzegovina within the language-based Serbian national state organization. Moreover, he understood V. S. Karadžić’s transitional zones in West Bulgaria to be territories inhabited mostly by the Štokavian speakers. According to the same principle, the territories of the Austrian Military Border, Dalmatia, Slavonia, Bačka, Srem, and Banat would also be included in Garašanin’s language-based national state of the Serbs.

The idea that I. Garašanin supported only the historical rights of the Serbs in the creation of the Serbian united national state should be finally rejected by historians. The cases of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina provide the strongest evidence in support of this conclusion. The territory of Macedonia was a political center during Stefan Dušan’s Serbian Empire. The largest Macedonian city, Skopje, was selected as the capital of the Serbian Empire, and it was where king Stefan Dušan was crowned as the emperor and had his imperial court. Yet this historical Serbian land did not find its way into the state projected by I. Garašanin. In contrast, Bosnia-Herzegovina, a province that had never been part of the Serbian medieval state, was incorporated into I. Garašanin’s united national state of all Serbs.

With respect to the Roman Catholic Štokavian speakers, I. Garašanin also followed V. S. Karadžić’s model of the ethnolinguistic Serbdom and therefore incorporated into the Serbian language-based national state all West Balkan territories settled by the Štokavian-speaking Roman Catholics. However, I. Garašanin did not include into a future Serbian national state the territories inhabited by both Čakavian and Kajkavian speakers as they were not considered Serbs. This is the real reason why Slovenia, Istria, a majority of East Adriatic Islands and present-day North-West Croatia (i.e., territories around Zagreb) were not mentioned in the Outline as the parts of his state project.

Garašanin’s language-based statehood was designed as an empire under the Serbian ruling dynasty. For him, the geographical position of the country, the natural and military resources and, above all, a single ethnic origin and language shared by its citizens, guaranteed a long existence of the state.[30] He favored a centralized inner state organization similar to that of the Principality of Serbia, but he did not have in mind a federation or confederation[31] as his state was to be composed of only one ethnolinguistic nation – the Serbs.

Conclusions

The issue of national self-determination, the idea and goals of nationhood, and the methods and means for the attainment of such goals, were foremost in the thinking of 19th-century Serbian intellectuals and politicians. Vuk Stefanović Karadžić’s linguistic model of the Serbian national identification and Ilija Garašanin’s model of the Serbian national-state unification were the most important of all of the 19th-century Serb projects to solve the “Serb Question”. Both were essentially based on the ideological constructs intended to unite all Serbs (within the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire) and to create a single national state of the Serbs as the answer to the rising Croatian nationalism and territorial claims with respect to the Balkans formulated by Austria-sponsored “Illyrian Movement” which had as its ultimate national-political goal the establishment of a Greater Croatia in the Austrian Empire including all territories settled by the Štokavian speakers west of the Drina River.[32]

The language-based model of a unified Serbian national state after the Serbian liberation from the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire, combined to some extent with the principle of historical state rights, is the keystone of I. Garašаnins’s arguments.

Both, V. S. Karadžić’s new model of language-based Serbian nationhood, drafted in his article “Serbs All and Everywhere”, and I. Garašanin’s new model of language-based Serbian statehood, drafted in Outline, are of extraordinary importance in the history of the political thought of the South Slavs. However, the real meaning of both models is differently explained by Serbian and Croatian linguists, philologists and historians: i.e., a majority of the former understand these models as a good way to politically and culturally unify the Serbian nation, while, conversely the majority of the latter saw in these models the ideological foundations for Serbia’s territorial expansion and political domination in the Balkan Peninsula.

Shortly, the main conclusions are that V. S. Karadžić’s understanding of language in the conception of the Serbian linguistic nationalism was primarily of an ethnic nature and that I. Garašanin drafted a project of a united Serbian national state by implementing a linguistic model of Serbian national identification exactly as developed by V. S. Karadžić.Finally, in my opinion, both models were primarily designed as the instruments with which to counter Croatian nationalistic propaganda and territorial claims developed by the “Illyrian Movement” in the 1830s.

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This article was originally published on Oriental Review.

Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović is Founder & Editor of POLICRATICUS-Electronic Magazine On Global Politics (www.global-politics.eu). Contact: sotirovic@global-politics.eu. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Notes

[1]  From the essay’s title, one can understand that the author claimed that the Serbs were living everywhere in the world and that all world nations were of Serbian origin. However, V. S. Karadžić’s essay is only about all of those who were Serbs as defined by his new linguistic identity criteria regardless of where they were living and to which confessional denomination they adhered. This politically motivated “misunderstanding” usually originates on the Croat side as an example of the (Orthodox) Serb genocide ideology and policy against the (Roman Catholic) Croats. See, for instance: Ante Beljo et al., eds., Greater Serbia from Ideology to Aggression (Zagreb: Croatian Information Centre, 1992), 17−22. This typical Croat propaganda book was published during the time of the bloody destruction of Yugoslavia in order to show that “Serbia’s aggression” towards Croatia was rooted on the 19th and 20th century imperialistic ideology of Serb intellectuals.

[2] Вук Стефановић Караџић, „Срби сви и свуда“, Koвчежић за историју, језик и обичаје Срба сва три закона, (1, Беч, 1849), 1−27; Judah, The Serbs, 55, 61−62. On national identity see: David McCrone, Frank Bechhofer, Understanding National Identity(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

[3] On the myth and reality of the Kosovo Battle and Kosovo legend, see: Ратко Пековић (уредник), Косовска битка: Мит, легенда и стварност (Београд: Литера, 1987).

[4] For details on the German Romanticism, see: Oskar Walzel, German Romanticism(Literary Licensing, LLC, 2013).

[5] Mark Biondich, The Balkans: Revolution, War, and Political Violence Since 1878(New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 13.

[6] Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик, 22−25.

[7] Караџић, „Срби сви и свуда,“ (1849), 6−7. Similar opinion had, for instance, and a leading Balkan geographer and ethnographer of the time Jovan Cvijić at the beginning of the 20th century [Јован Цвијић, Oснове за географију и геологију Makeдоније и Старе Србије (Београд: СКА, 1906); Јован Цвијић, Метанастазичка кретања, њихови узроци и последице (Београд: СКА, 1922), 202−33].

[8] Dalibor Brozović, Pavle Ivić, Jezik srpskohrvatski/hrvatskosrpskihrvatski ili srpski(Zagreb: Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod „Miroslav Krleža“, 1988); Robert D. Greenberg, Language and Identity in the Balkans(Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 16−23.

[9] Vladimir Dedijer, History of Yugoslavia (New York: Mc Graw-Hill Book Co., 1975), 103; Barbara Jelavich, History of the Balkans: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 304−08.

[10] Вук Стефановић Караџић, Писменица сербского иезика, по говору простога народа (Беч: Штампарија Јована Шнирера, 1814), 105; Караџић, „Срби сви и свуда“, 6; Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик, 128.

[11] Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics(Ithaca−London: Cornell University Press, 1984), 80.

[12] Beljo et al, Greater Serbia from Ideology to Aggression, 17−18.

[13] On this issue, see more in: Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик.

[14] Лазо М. Костић, Крађа српског језика (Баден, 1964); Предраг Пипер, Увод у славистику 1 (Београд: Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства, 1998), 116−127; Петар Милосављевић, Српски филолошки програм(Београд: Требник, 2000), 9.

[15] Караџић, „Срби сви и свуда“, 1; Владимир Стојанчевић, “Једна неиспуњена жеља Вукова”, Ковчежић за историју Срба сва три закона (12, Београд), 74−77; Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик, 125.

[16] Вукова преписка, IV (Београд, 1909), 648.

[17] See more in: Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик.

[18] For instance: Ђорђе Николајевић, Српски споменици (Београд: Летопис Матице српске, 1840); Ђорђе Николајевић, „Епархија православна у Далмацији“, Српско-далматински магазин (15, Задар, 1850); Цвијић, Oснове за географију и геологију Makeдоније и Старе Србије, 43−44; Grégoire Gravier, Les frontiershistoriques de laSerbie (Paris: Armand Colin, 1919); Цвијић, Метанастазичка кретања, њихови узроци и последице, 202−233; Никола Радојчић, “Географско знање о Србији почетком XIX века”, Географско друштво (Београд, 1927); Лујо Бакотић, Срби у Далмацији од пада Млетачке Републике до уједињења(Београд: Геца Кон А. Д.: 1938), 64−81, 110−121.

[19] John R. Lampe, Yugoslavia as History. Twice There Was a Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 52.

[20] Радош Љушић, Књига о Начертанију: Национални и државни програм Кнежевине Србије (1844)(Београд: БИГЗ, 1993).

[21] Дејвид Мекензи, Илија Гарашанин: Државник и дипломата (Београд: Просвета, 1987), 15.

[22]  Ljiljana Aleksić, „Šta je dovelo do stvaranja ’Načertanija’“, Historijski pregled, (2, Zagreb, 1954), 68−71.

[23] “The Načertanije itself uses the language of romantic nationalism to propose a Serbian state…” Lampe, Yugoslavia as History, 52.

[24] Ibid.

[25] The history of all multiethnic Yugoslav states from 1918 to 1991 clearly proved the rightness of I. Garašanin’s point of view.

[26] As in the case of Karadžić’s model of ethnolinguistic identification of the Serbs, I. Garašanin’s project of creation of a united Serbian ethnonational state was inspired by Croatian imperialistic ideas of the Croatian ethnonational identity and creation of a united Greater Croatia within the borders of the Austrian Empire. Both V. S. Karadžić and I. Garašanin well understood that the “Illyrian Movement” was, in fact, the Austrian sponsored political movement for creation of a Greater Croatia in the Austrian Empire mostly at the expense of the Serbs. According to the Austrian/Croatian idea promulgated by the “Illyrian Movement”, all Roman Catholic South Slavs had to be named as the ethnolinguistic Croats and as such included into the Austrian Empire. The Croats hoped to create within the Austrian Empire a separate administrative province of a Greater Croatia with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

[27] For instance: Љушић, Књига о Начертанију, 94−100, 153; Dušan Bilandžić, Hrvatska moderna povjest(Zagreb: Golden marketing, 1999), 29−30.

[28] For example: Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia, 83−84: Damir Agičić, Tajna politika Srbije u XIX stoljeću (Zagreb: AGM−Zavod za hrvatsku povijest Filozofskog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu: 1994), 25−26.

[29] The Serbian Empire was definitely broken apart in 1371 by the Ottoman victory in the Battle of Marica (September) and by the death of the Emperor Stefan Uroš in the same year (December). See more in: Јованка Калић, Срби у позном Средњем веку(Београд: Службени лист СРЈ, 2001).

[30] Љушић, Књига о Начертанију, 76−87.

[31] Charles Jelavich, “Garashanins Natchertanie und das gross-serbische Problem”, Südostforschungen (XXVII, 1968), 131−147.

[32] For more details on this issue, see: Vladislav B. Sotirović, The Croatian National (“Illyrian”) Revival Movement and the Serbs: From 1830 to 1847 (Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2015).

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Statement on Impending US, UK and French Military Intervention in Syria

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We, members of the Global Network for Syria, are deeply alarmed by recent statements by Western governments and officials threatening the government of Syria with military intervention, and by media reports of actions taken by parties in Syria and by Western agencies in advance of such intervention.

In a joint statement issued on 21 August the governments of the US, the UK and France said that ‘we reaffirm our shared resolve to preventing [sic] the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and for [sic] holding them accountable for any such use… As we have demonstrated, we will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime’.

The three governments justify this threat with reference to ‘reports of a military offensive by the Syrian regime against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Idlib’.

On 22 August, Mr John Bolton, US National Security Adviser, was reported by Bloomberg to have said that the US was prepared to respond with greater force than it has used in Syria before.

These threats need to be seen in the context of the following reports and considerations.

Reports have appeared of activity by the White Helmets group, or militants posing as White Helmets, consistent with an intention to stage a ‘false flag’ chemical incident in order to provoke Western intervention. These activities have reportedly included the transfer of eight canisters of chlorine to a village near Jisr Al Shughur, an area under the control of Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham, an affiliate of the terrorist group Al Nusra. Some reports refer to the involvement of British individuals and the Olive security company. Other reports indicate a build-up of US naval forces in the Gulf and of land forces in areas of Iraq adjoining the Syrian border.

We therefore urge the US, UK and French governments to consider the following points before embarking on any military intervention:

  • In the cases of three of the previous incidents cited in the 21 August statement (Ltamenah, Khan Sheykhoun, Saraqib) OPCW inspectors were not able to secure from the militants who controlled these areas security guarantees to enable them to visit the sites, yet still based their findings on evidence provided by militants.
  • In the case of Douma, also cited, the interim report of OPCW inspectors dated 6 July based on a visit to the site concluded that no evidence was found of the use of chemical weapons and that evidence for the use of chlorine as a weapon was inconclusive.
  • Western governments themselves acknowledge that Idlib is controlled by radical Islamist extremists. The British government in its statement on 20 August justified its curtailment of aid programmes in Idlib on the grounds that conditions had become too difficult. Any action by the Syrian government would not be directed at harming civilians, but at removing these radical elements.
  • Any military intervention without a mandate from the United Nations would be illegal.
  • Any military intervention would risk confrontation with a nuclear armed comember of the Security Council, as well as with the Islamic Republic of Iran, with consequent ramifications for regional as well as global security.
  • There is no plan in place to contain chaos in the event of sudden government collapse in Syria, such as might occur in the contingency of command and control centres being targeted. Heavy military intervention could result in the recrudescence of terrorist groups, genocide against the Alawite, Christian, Druze, Ismaili, Shiite and Armenian communities, and a tsunami of refugees into neighbouring countries and Europe.

In the event of an incident involving the use of prohibited weapons – prior to taking any decision on military intervention – we urge the US, UK and French governments:

  • To provide detailed and substantive evidence to prove that any apparent incident could not have been staged by a party wishing to bring Western powers into the conflict on their side.
  • To conduct emergency consultations with their respective legislative institutions to request an urgent mission by the OPCW to the site of any apparent incident and give time for this mission to be carried out.
  • To call on the government of Turkey, which has military observation posts in Idlib, to facilitate, in the event of an incident, an urgent mission by the OPCW to the jihadi-controlled area, along with observers from Russia to ensure impartiality.

We further call on the tripartite powers to join Turkish and Russian efforts to head off confrontation between the Syrian government forces and the militants opposing them by separating the most radical organisations such as Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham and Hurras Ad Deen from the rest, eliminating them, and facilitating negotiations between the Syrian government and elements willing to negotiate.

You may download the statement here.

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US Envoy Haley: Palestinian Right of Return Should be ‘Off the Table’

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Featured image: US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said that the right of return of Palestinian refugees displaced since 1948 is an issue that should be taken “off the table”, according to the Times of Israel.

Commenting at an appearance at the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, a pro-Israel think tank based in Washington DC, Haley suggested on Tuesday that the Trump administration would consider an official rejection of the Palestinian demand that all refugees who were displaced as a result of the Nakba (Catastrophe) and their descendants, be allowed to return to their ancestral homeland following a peace deal with Israel.

“I absolutely think we have to look at right of return,” Haley told attendees, before agreeing that the issue should be taken off the negotiating table.

“I do agree with that, and I think we have to look at this in terms of what’s happening [with refugees] in Syria, what’s happening in Venezuela.”

Earlier this week, Israeli media sources reported that the Trump administration is allegedly planning to release information on the US government’s official position on the right of return in the coming days. They are expected to argue that only half a million Palestinians can be considered legitimate refugees, and will reject the UN designation that gives refugee status to the children of those expelled.

Haley also referenced US aid cuts to Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA which estimates that there are at least five million Palestinian refugees alive today, a figure Haley disputed.

“We will be a donor if [UNRWA] reforms what it does … if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering them,” she argued.

Yesterday, a report by Foreign Policy revealed that the Trump administration has decided to “end funding altogether” to UNRWA, a move expected to worsen the agency’s financial crisis. The report follows revelations earlier this month that US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner has been pushing for the refugee status of thousands of Palestinians to be removed in an effort to halt the majority of UNRWA’s operations.

“It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote in an email dated 11 January, just days before the US froze $65 million in funding to the UN branch. “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace.”

Israel has argued that UNRWA is seeking to destroy Israel through demographics by supporting Palestinian refugees in multiple locations, which together outnumber the Israeli population. Consequently any one-state solution would see a Palestinian majority in the Jewish state, a situation Tel Aviv wishes to avoid.

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have encouraged the US to slash Washington’s donations to UNRWA, despite international concern over the worsening of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

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Cuba, The US Economic Blockade: A Hostile Policy More Harmful Than a Hurricane

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The main obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy’s potential is not related to nature but to an immoral way of doing politics: the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba.

When a hurricane is identified as a threat to the island, all Cubans begin to worry. Despite measures adopted by our Civil Defense system to protect human life and material resources, it is well known that the powerful winds and rain show no mercy.

Every natural phenomenon that strikes leaves damage that must be repaired as soon as possible. Thus, some plans are put on hold to free resources for the recovery, and the state cannot move forward as fast as it would like.

Damages caused by Hurricane Irma, for example, were estimated at more than  13 billion pesos, mostly to housing, healthcare facilities, schools, agriculture, hotel infrastructure, as well as roads.

However, paradoxically, the main obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy’s potential is not related to nature, but to an immoral form of politics: the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba.

The numbers are clear. Over almost 60 years, the most unjust, harsh, unrelenting system of unilateral sanctions that has ever been imposed on any country has caused the country damages amounting to over 933.67 billion dollars. From April 2017 to March 2018 alone, the impact was 4,321,200,000 dollars.

The current U.S. administration, far from desisting in this hostile policy, has reinforced it, and implemented it rigorously.
The blockade puts a brake on the implementation of both the country’s National Economic and Social Development Plan and the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

It is the main obstacle to the development of economic, commercial and financial relations between Cuba and the United States and, due to its extraterritorial nature, with the rest of the world.

The U.S. government has taken a step back in bilateral relations with Cuba, following President Donald Trump’s signing of the “Presidential National Security Memorandum on the Strengthening of U.S. Policy towards Cuba,” on June 16, 2017, which endorsed among its objectives the tightening of the blockade.

In November of that same year, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and State issued new regulations and provisions to comply with the aforementioned Memorandum.

The measures adopted further restricted the right of U.S. citizens to travel to our country and imposed additional obstacles to the limited opportunities allowed U.S. companies in Cuba, by establishing a list of 179 Cuban entities with which U.S. institutions, corporations, and individuals are prohibited from conducting transactions.

The new sanctions against Cuba have caused a significant decrease in visits from the United States, and have generated greater obstacles to economic and commercial relations of Cuban companies with potential U.S. and third-country partners.

These measures not only affect the Cuban state economy, but also the country’s non-state sector.

The ongoing persecution of Cuban financial transactions and of banking and credit operations with Cuba on a global scale has intensified. This has caused serious damage to the country’s economy, in particular, to commercial activities of companies and national banks in their work with international banking institutions.

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Source

Cuban Report regarding resolution 72/4 of the United Nations General Assembly, entitled “Necessity to end the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”

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Trump Threatens WTO Exit

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PressTV Skype Interview with Peter Koenig

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US President, Donald Trump, has threatened to withdraw from the World Trade Organization.

Trump, in an interview with Bloomberg News, said he will pullout from the organization if it “does not shape up”. The US president warned that he could even take action against the WTO. Trump has complained that the US is being treated unfairly in global trade and has blamed the World Trade Organization for allowing it to happen.

Regarding tariffs, Trump said he will enact import duties on 200-billion dollars-worth of Chinese goods as early as next week. Following his remarks, Asian stock markets dropped and partially erased gains made in this week’s global rally. Trump has ignited a global trade war by slapping sharp tariffs on goods from the EU, Canada, Mexico, and China.

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PressTV: What is your take on this?

PK: Well, it looks like this latest threat to exit WTO goes into the same direction as his trade war with the EU and with China, and also with the new NAFTA Agreement – which so far was negotiated only with Mexico and does not include Canada; it eventually would have another name.

The new trade agreement with Mexico was negotiated like all trade agreements with the US, behind closed doors. Canada was invited to also join, but as far as I know, no decision has been taken yet. At the outset it looks like the new “draft” agreement with Mexico is worse than the original – with all the rights and benefits going to big US corporations.

In the case of Mexico, it is really only a “draft”; nothing has been accepted yet. It will be subject to Mexican approval once the new President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is sworn-in in December 2018.

What Trump is doing – or attempting to do – with tariffs and with sanctions – is dividing the world, breaking up alliances, i.e. trade alliances in the case of WTO. It’s the old rule: “Divide to Conquer” – and conquer in this case means that when alliances like WTO – in the creation of which – by the way – the US and the EU were instrumental – are broken up, the US will engage in bilateral agreements with individual nations – like in the case of the “new NAFTA” – negotiating with Mexico alone, dictating her terms to weaker nations. If Canada will be ready again for a NAFTA-like agreement, the process will be similar, with Washington in the driver’s seat.

What transpires from these negotiations, or tariff impositions – like China and the EU, or even the reneging of the Iran Nuclear Deal – is Make America Great Again, meaning really American Corporatism, not the people.

New bilateral trade deals will continue to allow bilateral outsourcing to cheap labor countries, for example between the US and Mexico – and the export of highly subsidized US goods. In the case of agriculture, NAFTA killed hundreds of thousands of small farming businesses in Mexico – which was one of the key reasons for the massive increase of illegal migration to the US.

This will hardly be different in a new agreement. That’s why nothing is done yet. The progressive new President, López Obrador, may not easily submit to a flagrant one-sided agreement.

The case of tariffs on China for 200 billion worth of merchandise – has a different purpose – namely to degrade the value of the Chinese currency, the Yuan, which is emerging rapidly as one of the world’s foremost reserve currencies, to the detriment of the US dollar. The Trump move is meant to discourage countries to adopt the Yuan among their reserve currencies. Some success was indeed registered by Trump’s announcement – the Asian markets dropped drastically wiping out much of the gains made during last week’s rally. This, however, will be short-lived, as investors realize the hot air behind the threat and that these tariffs will really make hardly a dent in China’s economy which is dominating the Asian market and doesn’t really depend on exports to the US.

If the US would indeed exit WTO – which is by no means sure, since Trump likes to play god, threatening, fearmongering – and then negotiate under conditions of intimidation and coercion – so, if the US would actually get out of WTO, they – the US – might set themselves up as sort of a competitor to WTO, negotiating individual bilateral deals with nations – especially weaker ones. They would no longer be under the oversight of WTO – and as with the International Court of Justice – to which the US does not belong – complaining would be meaningless.

But we are not there yet.

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Nazi Criminal Blockade of Gaza: Day 30 – Israeli Military Has Still Not Released 114 Boxes of Medical Supplies for Gaza

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Featured image: Some of the 114 boxes of urgently needed medical supplies being loaded onto the flotilla boat, Al Awda

It is 30 days since the Israeli military stopped the Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s ship Al Awda and took control of the medical supplies for Gaza… For one month the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has demanded the immediate release of the 114 boxes and thousands of people from around the world have called Israeli embassies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their countries demanding the release. 

Please sign the petition demanding that the Israeli military releases the boxes of medical supplies.

The medical supplies are desperately needed in Gaza as Israeli snipers continue to kill and wound hundreds of Palestinians each week. On Friday 24 August 2018, using excessive lethal force against the peaceful protesters in eastern Gaza Strip for the 22nd Friday in a row, Israeli forces wounded 89 civilians, including 17 children, 2 women and 3 paramedics, after hitting them with live bullets and tear gas canisters. Five of those wounded sustained serious wounds and dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.

According to the Palestine Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), 130 Palestinians have been killed, including 23 children, 3 journalists, 2 para medics and 1 woman.  Among those killed are three people with disabilities and a young girl.

6,729 people have been wounded by gunfire including 1,140 children, 203 women, 78 journalists and 103 paramedics. Among those wounded, 422 are in serious condition and 69 people have had lower or upper limbs amputated. Statistics of the injured only include those directly hit with bullets and tear gas canisters, but there are thousands of other people who have suffered tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition continues to demand the immediate release of the 114 boxes of medical supplies (sterile gauze and sutures) for the health services of Gaza that were carried on the Al Awda and Freedom boats of the 2018 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, hijacked by Israeli forces on July 29 and August 3. As Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Margot Wallström has stated, the cargo must be released, according to international law.

Please sign the petition demanding that the Israeli military releases the boxes of medical supplies.

As we reminded the Israeli Government in our August 9, 2018 statement, international law requires the delivery of medical supplies. Article 23 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva Convention IV, 1949) says that “Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores … intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary.”

Additionally, the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea (12 June 1994) says in paragraph 104: “The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of armed forces, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted. Further, the Manual on the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict (2006), says in point 2 in the commentary to Rule 2.3.10: “By extension, all objects indispensable to the survival of civilians should be protected, especially medications. The protection means that the enemy is not permitted to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless the aforementioned items.”Our Israeli attorney, Gaby Lasky has been in contact with Israeli Occupation authorities to arrange delivery of the humanitarian medical supplies, but to date none have arrived in Gaza.

Please sign the petition.

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Here is a sample letter that can be used to contact your Ministry of Foreign Affairs to demand that the State of Israel releases the boxes of medical supplies

On July 29, 2018 the Al Awda, a ship belonging to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition and subsequently a second vessel, the Freedom, were brutally attacked by Israel Occupation Forces in International waters, resulting in injuries to five peaceful participants as well as the unlawful and unwarranted confiscation of the boats, intended to be gifted to fishers in Gaza, the illegal detention of participants and crew, and confiscation of their cargo of desperately needed medical supplies.  These basic medical supplies were intended to be distributed to those on the front lines of Gaza’s humanitarian crisis.

International law requires the delivery of medical supplies. Article 23 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva Convention IV, 1949) says that “Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores … intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary.”

Additionally, the  San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea (12 June 1994) says in paragraph 104: “The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of armed forces, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements,
including search, under which such passage is permitted. Further, The Manual on the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict (2006), says in point 2 in the commentary to Rule 2.3.10: “By extension, all objects indispensable to the survival of civilians should be protected, especially medications. The protection means that the enemy is not
permitted to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless the aforementioned items.”

Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström has written that  “…. the behaviour of the Israeli authorities in relation to the Swedish flagged vessel Freedom and the persons on board lacks support in international law.” Furthermore she states that “The government has also demanded that the ship, its cargo and the persons that were on board should be released.”

To date none of the cargo has arrived in Gaza.  Full inventories of the medical supplies in each box have been provided previously to Israeli authorities and can be produced on request. We urge you to demand that the Israeli military immediately releases the 114 boxes of medical supplies and two fishing vessels to Gaza, as required by
international law.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Nazi Criminal Blockade of Gaza: Day 30 – Israeli Military Has Still Not Released 114 Boxes of Medical Supplies for Gaza


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