BERLIN/PRISTINA (Own report) – The EU is discussing redrawing borders in Southeast Europe. The Kosovo leadership could thus cede control over its Serbian-speaking North to Belgrade, in exchange for the Albanian-speaking Preševo valley of Southern Serbia. Obviously backed by France, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, is promoting this exchange, against Germany’s rejection. The plan, in fact, is redrawing borders in accordance with the ethnic criteria pursued by the German government in Southeast Europe, in particular during in the 1990s and early 2000s. After having been stationed in Kosovo for nearly 20 years, the Bundeswehr is preparing a major withdrawal. Its focus will now be on training and arming Kosovo’s armed forces, which have begun cooperating with NATO, while Kosovo’s population continues to languish in poverty, after nearly two decades of western occupation. It is the second poorest region in Europe. Only military cooperation with NATO is flourishing. Continue reading
Last weekend, around 10,000 people gathered in a field near the town of Bleiburg in southern Austria for what the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance calls the “largest regular neo-Nazi rally” in Europe. Hitler salutes, racist flags and slogans were common. Kids ran around with fascist slogans on their T-shirts. Featured guests gave speeches defending fascism.
Efraim Zuroff, the Eastern Europe director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the event “an affront to the memory of Holocaust victims.”
But the most surprising part of this event may be the identity of its organizer: the Croatian Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church.
What is the Catholic Church doing organizing a neo-Nazi rally? A look at history points to the answer. Continue reading
Yes, there is a civil war looming in the United States.
But it will look little like the orderly pattern of descent which spiraled into the conflict of 1861-65. It will appear more like the Yugoslavia break-up, or the Russian and Chinese civil wars of the 20th Century.
It will appear as an evolving chaos.
And the next US civil war, though it yet may be arrested to a degree by the formal hand of centralized gov-ernment, will destabilize many other nation-states, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Unprecedented quantities of weapons and ammunition worth in nearly $1.5 billion have been procured from Eastern Europe and sent to Syria to arm nearly every side in the ongoing civil war, a study has found. The weapons are transported through the Balkans and sold legally to countries bordering Syria, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Once there, they are secretly transported to Syria for use in the bloody five-year civil war, which has so far killed or displaced millions. The revelation resulted from a year-long investigative project by the Serbia-based Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) in the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in Bosnia. Continue reading
RUSSIA and Nato are set on a collision course after the tiny former Yugoslav state of Montenegro was invited to join the military alliance.
The 28-nation US-led group agreed to start the entry process at a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels this morning, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
The move will be seen as a warning to the Kremlin that its influence in the region is waning, despite a show of strength during last year’s annexation of Crimea and the subsequernt bombing campaign in Syria.
In retaliation, Russia has warned that Montenegro will be punished for the action.
The surprise restoration of relations between the United States and Cuba represents a major victory for the pope. Is it cause for celebration?
“How many divisions does the pope of Rome have?” That was Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s reply after British Prime Minister Winston Churchill advised him, in the aftermath of World War ii, to consider the Vatican’s perspective while laying out a plan for the future of Eastern Europe.
Stalin respected only brute force. The Vatican had none, so he dismissed it as irrelevant.
But today Stalin and the Soviet behemoth he led are long gone, while the papal system remains. And it was actually a pope—blending politics with religion—who sparked the revolution that eventually toppled the Berlin Wall, and brought down that Soviet system.