“Shields up – Red Alert!” The Wall’s in Europe are suddenly going back up
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“Shields up – Red Alert,” was the going-into-battle command of the star ship’s Enterprise’s captains: made immortally famous by the likes of Captain James. T. Kirk, of the original Star Trek series, and Captain Jean Luke Pickard, of Star Trek, the Next Generation.
Today, we are now witnessing a similar battle cry, emanating from the various countries of the EU and it is not looking good. Something has, somewhere, somehow, gone radically wrong with the original concept of the idea’s and treaties laid down, by the founding fathers of the European Union – before and since the tearing down of the infamous Berlin Wall.
Europe is under attack. And, it is not from Russia
The whole concept of the EU and its original mandates are now coming under threat of attack, but not from some despised, demonized and alienated monster, called Russia, but from the hundreds of thousands of Middle East refugees, trying to enter the EU.
First off, there was the wholly unexpected civil war in Ukraine – sparked off by a few power-greedy, hot-headed oligarchs, intent on toppling their nations elected leader, Viktor Yanokovich. The oustering, of which the EU and the US instigated; with the result, that one set of oligarchs was replaced by yet another and, for which, Russia was conveniently blamed. Blamed for inflaming an already intense situation, by allegedly planting snipers, in unmarked uniforms, around Maiden Square, during the public meeting in February 2014 and then having their hired guns, pick off people in the crowd.
Mr. Putin gets the blame – sanctions are initiated
The EU leaders and the US admin then immediately blamed Mr. Putin as culprit, for initiating that incident: with both Secretary of State, John Kerry and President Obama going on a withering verbal, undignified and wholly undiplomatic anti-Putin and demonizing Russia, propaganda campaign. However, the neither EU and the US could offer any definitive proof, whatsoever, about these snipers at Maiden, as being hired or directly employed by the Kremlin, or its agencies, to substantiate their allegations.
Sanctions are Never Effective
Suddenly, the word “Sanctions,” (because of the Russian bullying hype, which was being stoked up by Messrs. Poroshenko & Co, of the Russian army’s supposed military incursion in Donbass and the aggression and a full-scale Russian army’s “invasion” of Crimea), became the new in-word and the very easy-to-reach-for, admin tool, to be used against Russia. Despite the overwhelming proof that sanctions are not effective and do not work. Hurt, initially? Yes. Work effectively, as a long-term measure? No. Cuba had survived fifty-odd years of US-imposed sanctions, as has Iran.
The people and the countries, hit by sanctions learn how to adapt. That is the basic law of human survival. People learn how to adapt and re-adapt to their situations. Russia, which is the world’s biggest landmass and has the largest collections of fresh water and other natural minerals, on earth, has more than enough natural resources and the nationalistic will of its people, to withstand virtually anything the West can throw at it, in the way of sanctions.
It had already lived through seventy years of relative isolation, through the Cold War years. It could live, again, if need be, for many more years in relative isolation. The Russian’s know how to do it. They have had seventy years of practice at it. Today, however, Russia also has other partners to trade with – from South America and India and to the mightiest of them all…China.
However, the West, I suggest, actually needs Russia, far more than Russia needs the West, in many respects. Especially now with the sudden and dramatic rise of ISIS in the Middle East.
The sanctions war escalates
What was not expected, I suggest, that Russia then carefully and judiciously, as well as selectively hit back and the result is that now Europe’s farmers are suffering heavy losses, which will never, ever be replaced nor compensated adequately for, by the EU and US politicians, who have advocated such sanctions. Russia has other partners, waiting in the wings – notably from China and South America, ready and able to fill the trade gap, left by the EU’s sanctions. Russian dairy, meat, poultry, fish and vegetable producers are also now ramping up their own domestic production, to plug the gaps keep up with consumer demand.
EU farmers protest
The good news is, however, us (EU) consumers now have much cheaper fruit, dairy, Scottish smoked salmon, poultry and meat products in the UK’s supermarkets, as a result. Good for the EU consumer? Yes. Bad for the EU’s producers? Also, yes. The EU’s farmers are facing mass bankruptcies and are going on the march, with loud demonstrations against their EU leaders, in many towns and cities, across Europe.
The Greek financial crisis puts the Euro into a tailspin
Secondly, the Greek Euro crisis suddenly blew up, yet once again, earlier this year big time; with the real threat of Greece defaulting on its labyrinth of loans, to the EU and the IMF. The Greeks have been forced into accepting wholly inappropriate austerity measures, by the authorities, in Brussels, or literally go bankrupt and exit the Eurozone.
As a result, the whole concept of the Euro project has now come under the spotlight…more for its failings and numerous loopholes: allowing in countries such as Greece into the Eurozone; when clearly it should not have been admitted into the club in the first place. In accordance with the rules of entry and participation in the Euro project – laid down by the EU’s founding fathers. Greece always had been treading on dodgy ground financially.
Again, Mr. Putin’s name became somewhat unwillingly dragged down and demonized in that crisis – all because the Greek Prime Minister decided it would be very neighbourly to go and say “Hello,” to Mr. Putin, upon becoming the New Greek leader of his country.
The West reacted with angst, shock and expostulated horror that here was an EU leader – seemingly going against the grain and the express wishes of the EU and US, when he decided to fly to Russia to go and say a neighborly “Hi” – presenting his credentials as the New Greek PM to Mr. Putin.
Was Mr. Putin, the EU, NATO and the US wondered, trying to exploit a financially crippled Greek nation and drive a wedge between Greece and its loan shark masters? I.e. the EU, the Troika and, indirectly, the US, with a Trojan horse-type present to the Greek nation and thus turn Greece away from its EU and NATO/US partners?
The refugee crisis
The outcome of the Western powers modern day equivalent, I suggest, of the Christian Crusades, in the Middle East has now come back to haunt the EU (and the rest of the world) with a very loud slap in the face.
Operation Shock and Awe, which was headed up by G. Bush Jnr and the UK’s Tony Blair; kicking off their “boots on the ground” invasion into Iraq and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan. Then coupled with the NATO’s bombing of Libya, has left all of these countries devoid of a stable government, with all the Arabic clans fighting amongst each other for their country’s spoils, with ordinary civilians paying the price, of death and destruction and desolation.
Added into the refugee mix, there is also the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, where Israel has reduced the West Bank to nothing more than a pile of uninhabitable rubble.
All of this has also given rise to ISIS; filling in the power vacuums and gaining a massive foothold in the all the Middle East regions. They are also very self-sufficient financially, now and as a result. To the Victor goes the spoils,” after all. That includes the priceless, captured works of art – being sold on the black market, to control over the oil refineries. They have developed into a financially solvent and a very sleek financial machine.
The result of, all of these years of Middle Eastern wars, has now, finally unleashed a pent-up human tsunami of refugees, who are not merely fleeing the constant wars raging in the Middle East in their thousands, but in their millions. And, they are heading right for the EU’s borders – from just across the water, from the North African coast and from Syria into Turkey and then journeying further into Europe.
There is also the additional problem of other countries, on the African continent, of people fleeing from unprecedented droughts and access to clean, drinking water, plus other civil wars being raged in many African countries.
To coin a phrase, “The shit has now finally hit the fan,” and Europe is now about to face a crisis, the likes of which will make the crisis in Ukraine seen like a tea party. Ukraine is not front-page news in the European press right now. Despite the fact that nearly 10,000 people have died in Eastern Ukraine and there is a new government, which is now introducing draconian laws, which fly in the face of everything the EU, is supposed to stand for.
Suddenly the borders are going back up, among the EU member states, old wounds, between countries, are being reopened, with recriminations and bickering between the countries leaders of the EU, about what to do and who should do what, when and how, with massive and endless wave of people on the EU’s lands.
Ukraine is no longer front-page news in the European press
Ukraine is not even the main news in the European press now. Despite the fact that nearly 10,000 people died in eastern Ukraine, and there is a new government that is now introducing draconian laws that ignore all EU laws, is supposed to stand for.
Moreover, it comes from a country that President Poroshenko wants to strive to be "European", while at the same time, the signing of such draconian laws that not even the Spanish Inquisition could come up with.
There is now a “Red Alert,” and the shields are going back up. Could the EU, in its current format, be on the verge of a gradual disintegration and self-inflicted, destruction course? However, this latest scenario plays out. The process is going to be a long and painful one and this is only the beginning.
The result is that we now have an EU facing not only the crisis in Ukraine and its cowering in fear of a “Russian invasion;” with NATO going on a full, military offensive right up to Russia’s borders and breaking every promise it ever made to Russia, in the past, by saying that would not ever happen.
We now have a Greece, which is in political and financial turmoil, and a Euro project, which is still not out of the woods yet, not by a long chalk. In reality…both Greece’s and Ukraine’s debts have merely been kicked further down the road. And, who can blame Russia, for not wanting their three billion dollars back from Ukraine, on time – as per agreement; after all the sand that Ukraine’s been kicking in their faces?
And, the ultimate result of this heart-breaking refugee crisis, is that the very foundation on which the principles of the EU were established are now imploding in on themselves, because not one member state can reach agreement on how to react to this latest development, facing Europe.
The concept of freedom of unfettered movement between Schengen member states and the principles of granting political refugees, refugee status is now in tatters.
Why the world needs Russia
With the ending of the Cold War, there was a wave of euphoria descending over Europe and Russia was quick to embrace the changes, from a centralized economic, control system – to that of the free market economy. Businesses were springing up like mushrooms, as were nightclubs and casinos and the Internet was still yet to be born, during those heady days of the mid-nineties.
During the Cold War years the two adversaries of East V’s West had, more or less, got along, while, at the same time, keeping their distances and respecting each other – save for the odd, serious incident. I.e. the Cuban crisis, for example.
The world was, indeed, bi-polar. However, the landscape then was radically different from what it is today and in no small part…thanks to the Internet. Thanks to the Internet, the world suddenly became inter-connected.
This (Internet) inter-connection is now so intricately, inter-woven, into the fabric of all societies and cultures: from the way that the international Forex markets work, to social media platforms, to the global brands, operating in countries: including Russia, which only twenty-five years ago, was all but impossible.
We are also now inter-connected; to the way that intelligence is collected and shared. The Edward Snowden revelations and WikiLeaks – their leaking of diplomatic cables have more than adequately proved this fact.
The world is so inter-connected now that what has an effect on the Chinese or the New York stock exchange, for example, has an immediate ripple-out effect on stock exchanges across the world – including in Moscow.
However, why do Russia and the West need each other more than ever now?
There is a new enemy knocking on doors and it is not knocking too politely either on these doors. That new and (and common) enemy is the rise of ISIS and US Secretary of State, John Kerry has come to realise he needs to be speaking to Mr. Putin, and not any longer be so vocal in chastising him.
He needs to form a common and united approach to dealing with ISIS and he needs Russia to be on board, for the simple reason: Russia always did have a far superior intelligence-gathering network in the Middle East, than the US ever did. Moreover, one of the finest world-renowned experts on the Middle East, was Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov (29 October 1929 – 26 June 2015), who was a Russian politician and diplomat, who served as Prime Minister of Russia from 1998 to 1999.
Of note, John Kerry has toned seemingly down these verbal tirades against Russia, of late; concerning Ukraine – Syria has now become the focus of attention (and the headline news) between Messrs. John Kerry and Sergey Lavorov. Ukraine is no longer the front-page news it was a year or so ago, in the Western media.
As to how this scenario concludes, is anyone’s guess right now? As they say in Russia, “Time will tell.”
Blog: Victor Romain's Blog