Saturday, August 23, 2014

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Obama.....

These weeks we are witnessing an example of America commanding its allies or rather vassals. These countries have agreed to aid the Kurdish troops with weapons and other means to fight the Islamic State terrorists. 

Of course the unbelievable primitivity and brutality of the terror-organization is a part of the reason for the European willingness to aid. But also in countries where this reaction was less expectable, we have seen a remarkable willingness to help. A clear sign of American power. That even Germany despite US spying has broken its old principle of not delivering weapons to areas at war is really amazing! 

For a diagnosis of European independence this of course is a bad sign. But for the fight against the barbarians and for the defense of thousands of innocents it is good news indeed! And not least: it creates precedence for wise and decisive use of dominance by intelligently led big powers in the future. One of the big powers acts to support a good cause. And it orders its subordinates to act to support the good cause.


Another crucial brick in the solution of the problems in the Middle East will be to force Israel into reason. Like Iraq so is also Israel dependent on US support, and therefore it can be pressed. 

And of course I am NOT in any way comparing Israel with IS!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Once more: Be careful!

After the downing of the Malaysian plane over Eastern Ukraine, the cold war thinking in East and West has intensified even more. Events are distorted and used to stir up tensions.

Like in my comment to my previous post to take just one example. Another example: Politicians and papers in the West demand that Putin should be treated as a criminal like Gaddafi after the Lockerbie bombing. 

You almost get the impression that the passengers were murdered deliberately, and that Putin personally pulled the trigger. And after the crash the bodies were desecrated and their belongings stolen.

After the Russian annexation of Crimea, tensions could gradually have faded. But Western and Russian one-sided interferences in Ukraine have maintained the East-West confrontation. Especially the Russian support for the separatists has been harmful. And after the plane tragedy the resentments in the West have deteriorated considerably.

Black and white thinking now flourish even more. The West and the Ukrainian government are seen as responsible freedom-lovers, while Russia and its allies are perceived as irresponsible evil barbarians suppressing democracy. Of course Russia has its own opposite black and white thinking where the Ukrainian government is a group of fascists, whom the West supports. Right now after the shooting down of the plane, the extreme Western reactions are the most worrying. They will of course be reciprocated from East.

Why this resurgence of cold war thinking in a presumably intelligent civilization? As said modernities like our present typically are finished with an end fight for supremacy. In spite of this after the end of the Soviet Union we have seen a period of peace, understanding and cooperation. It looked as if intelligence had finally taken over. Maybe this was just too good to be true. It is as if the hawks have just been waiting for an excuse to start the confrontations again. It is certainly not so that the separatists in Ukraine or the Kiev government are the only responsible for the worsening global tensions. They and their supporters have contributed, but importantly, they have furnished welcome excuses for others to "start the fire" of the cold war again. This of course still means that all provocations, not least from amateurs and desperadoes, should be avoided. We should not furnish such excuses.

But it can be feared that our civilization will not be the first to avoid confrontation in the competition in the end of modernity. The earlier mentioned decline of politics is a part of the explanation for this. This political decline often means that the sense of responsibility and the willingness to base decisions on more than a few facts or the interests of a single group are lost. And that medium and long term consequences are not considered. Such political thinking is a major danger in global politics. Unless we are very careful!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ukraine is not a playground!

Ukraine is not a playground!

The shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over Eastern Ukraine should be a wake-up call for the EU, the US and not least Russia.

At stake is not only the well-being of the Ukrainian people, but also of the world, with the risk of negative consequences for cooperation  and economic development.

The EU and the US should stop accepting everything the central government in Kiev does. Attacking cities with hundreds of thousands of civilians is unacceptable. It is wrong to see and treat the amateurs in Kiev as responsible politicians.

Russia should stop supporting crazy people n the East. If it can be confirmed that the Malaysian plane was shot down by people connected to the insurrection against the Kiev government, then this just further underlines what already seemed and now even more seems clear, not least in view of their behavior on the crash scene: that parts - though not all - of the pro-Russian fighters are unorganized, uncivilized bandits. Thus it is a pattern like the ones already seen in similar situations after the breaking up of the USSR, like in Transdnjestr (even though the situation here has improved since).

But Ukraine is not Moldova. Donetsk is not Tiraspol. A country of this size and this population can not be treated like a banana republic. Uncontrollable unpredictable bandits are the wrong people for giving the Russian-oriented part of the population freedom and influence. Instead they have damaged the perception of both the separatists and Russia in the public opinion.

In cooperation with the amateurs in Kiev they create division, violence and suffering. And they affect the relations between East and West negatively. 

As stated earlier I have a lot of understanding for the Russian points of view of the turning west of Ukraine and for the worries of the people in Eastern Ukraine. That a Western oriented part of a large heterogenous country tries to turn the whole country in a direction not wanted by half the population is unquestionably wrong. Besides Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine. But it would be wiser for Russia and better for both its influence and the cause of the Russian-speakers to give moral and economic support for POLITICAL opponents of Kiev like the Party of Regions. Time, economy and culture would work for such forces.

And it can be in nobody's interest to let the future for the relations between the great powers be decided by unpredictable desperadoes. The destiny of the world for decades could be affected. On a more general level: the last phase of many modernities have been very violent or at least filled with harmful conflicts. We should do everything to prevent this from happening in our case. God does not play dice with the World. Neither should the big powers of today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Israel and Palestine

I feel an obligation to comment on the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. Never ending attacks and revenge attacks popping up again and again. The pattern is so repetitive that it would be boring if it did not involve so much suffering.

But there is not much to add to what I already have written in "The Middle East, Rome and the United States". It is a fight between the all dominant Western civilization and the Oriental civilization fighting for survival. Israel is viewed by many in the Middle East as a Western occupation force, a spearhead for a foreign civilization on holy Oriental or Moslem ground.

Just two short banal points:

1) Compassion and forgiveness instead of retribution and revenge do not only concern Christians.
Psalm 145 speaks thus about the Lord:
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

Allah is always referred to as:
Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

2) Like the situations in Iraq and Ukraine, the conflict between Palestine and Israel shows why democracy and total independence must bee reduced through increased control from above and abroad. The policies in Israel, Gaza, Iraq and Ukraine are intolerable. The conflicting parties are intransigeant and bringing about instability, violence and suffering in the regions. And also spreading terrorism all over the world.

Poroshenko, al-Maliki, Netanyahu and even Lieberman and Hamas were all chosen democratically. But their acts are too harmful to be tolerated without limits set from stronger foreign powers. Such limits should be set, and they will be set by the worlds dominant powers out of responsibility or just loss of patience. This concerns both dictatorial and democratic countries.

Since 1789 there have been numerous wars. What is new is that the world has become too civilized, also outside Europe, to accept too much cruelty. New is also that many conflicts spill over and hit globally in the form of terrorism.

The uniting of "the world" under one country (or two) is the natural end of the modernity in every civilization. It can be of the reasons above or the hunger for power or both.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

USA and Germany

We have two new cases of the US spying one of its closest allies, Germany, whose loyalty is only limited by pacifist considerations which are understandable after WW2.

This together with the whole extent of the spying by the NSA  should be a wakening up call for the old continent. For years it has not seen that the world and its big players are not ruled only by reason, good will and humanity. And it has not been willing to see that this concerns not only former enemies like Russia with its actions in Ukraine, but also the friends in Washington.

It is not true as many believe in the USA, that Europe and Germany would spy on the Americans like these do on us, if the Europeans had the same means at their disposal. As described in " The European Sung Dynasty" Europe has a naive view of at least the Northern rich world as ruled by good will and reason. You can laugh at this, but it is not exclusively ridiculous. It is driven by decency. After horrible wars Europe has realized what the ideal for relations between nations should be in a perfect world. The problem is just that the world is not perfect. In the EU the ideal is being approached more and more. But outside forces act out of hunger for power.

Europe and especially Germany are decent. What is naive is only that they expect their close ally to be the same. This explains the level of disappointment in the German government. From Germany there certainly is no attempt to stir up transatlantic tensions, just disappointment. Of course German security agencies have activities which go beyond what the public knows. But spying the Americans at the level these do in Europe is out if the question. It would be viewed as indecent. We do not give the Nobel Peace Price to Obama and then start to tap his phone!

That the Americans do such things should be no surprise in the present competition for world hegemony. Furthermore it underlines the US contempt for Europe and belief in its own right to rule. That we do not act likewise, is not a question of lack of capability, but decency.

It would also be recommendable for the Americans to take the public opinion in Europe into consideration. If public opinion is not the only factor, it is still very important for those who want to win the world. If new cases of US disrespect continue to come into the awareness of the public in Europe, not even strong American presence in the media and the internet can make it be forgotten.

Friday, June 13, 2014

what is ISIS?

What is ISIS?

The group ISIS has suddenly become prominent in our awareness after the rapid advances in Iraq. What does this signify? What is ISIS? At least three answers arise when we look at it from the Viewpoint of civilizations with distinct characters developing in parallel but displaced in time, see my blog "Comparative history"

1) Like corresponding groups they are bands of terrorists and fanatics with no respect fur even innocent human life.

2) At the same time they are defenders of the Oriental civilization. As I have written in "The Middle East, Rome and the United States" and elsewhere the only surviving of the old civilizations or high cultures is the Oriental-Arab. The others have become part of the all dominant Western civilization. As the Boxers in China a century ago fought Western dominance, so do many groups in the Middle East today. Organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS are extreme versions of this phenomenon.

3) But paradoxically at the same time they are also heralds of Western type nations. As I have written earlier the originally intermingled Oriental nations are being transformed into Western type territorial nations, see "Ethnic cleansing in the Arab world". ISIS is a part of this trend. They want to create a Sunni nation in the Fertile Crescent. A nation with no room for other nations, be it Shia, Kurdish or Cristian. All these nations used to live between each other in small to very small enclaves in the countryside and in the cities. But this type of patchwork coexistence is no longer tolerated. The Westernized nations now want coherent ethnically clean territorial nations. That ISIS wants this is a sign that they are partly Westernized. ISIS is talking about making Karbala a battlefield. This clearly is an ominous sounding expression of a plan to clean this holy Shiite city through blood.

We can not have an extreme terrorist movement control large parts of Iraq (and Syria) as this would promote terrorism all over the region and the globe. That the Americans alone for this reason will have to intervene directly or indirectly is obvious. 

But something else is even more important. Groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS hitherto have been too extreme to gather much popular support. This could be changing. As said above ISIS is a part of the Westernization of the Oriental nations. Of course they are not alone in representing this trend. Other Sunnis and other groups in the Middle East have the same wish.

Because of the policies of the governments in Bagdad with their favoring of the Shiites and neglecting and suppressing the Sunnies, this last group now has an even stronger wish for their own coherent and independent territory. The same goes for the Sunnis in Syria oppressed by the Alawites.

But it would be a real disaster if ISIS become the main channel through which the Sunnis in Iraq and Syria try to achieve their territorial nation. Unfortunately a such development has become more likely exactly because of the al-Maliki governments policies. Already now we see all kinds of Sunnis fighting alongside with ISIS, even people from the Baath party. All these people could of course be thought with time to moderate the ISIS policies. But they could themselves become radicalized at the same time.

Of course the Shiites will act reciprocally. If not the government, then the militias. The country would become divided through wars and more ethnic cleansings. Perhaps with Iranian intervention.

Some kind of military action from the outside is needed to stop the fanatics. But at the same time the governments in Bagdad must be forced to make far more balanced policies uniting all Iraqis.

In conclusion heterogenous Middle Eastern countries which become unstable, cannot be left on their own. For the time being this concerns Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. At their present phase of history marked by the fight for survival of the Oriental civilization and the trend toward territorial nations with ethnic cleansings the destabilizing will cause that these trends easily become channelled through terrorist organizations. The anti-Western fight and the wish for nations are radicalized by and is also strengthening terrorism. Terrorism which spills over to hit globally. As this is intolerable so is even more the suffering for the people in the countries. Civil wars often result. And civil wars fought by terrorists are even worse than "normal" civil wars.

We have an obligation to intervene militarilly and politically before things spiral out of control. And this even more if intervention from the West like in Iraq is behind the destabilization. The intervention should not stop when the war is over or even a few years after this. An Iraqization or Afghanistanization  is not possible in the short or even medium term.

Unfortunately Western and especially US intervention and control risk triggering even more anti-Western sentiments. This underlines the need for very discrete and also extremely wise long term guidance from the outside. A policy not led by short term wishes to please voters at home and not changed by the changes of government in the USA. And certainly no more unlawful and destabilizing American invasions.

The great powers, the USA, China and Russia should forget the cold war rhetorics over the Ukraine and the Asian seas and cooperate and force through viable solutions for the Middle East. The best would be through a strengthened UN. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Four models for Ukraine

Four models for Ukraine

It is getting increasingly annoying to watch the Ukrainian crisis. Its handling from the outside has from the start been marked by amateurism. And this continues today from all sides. Nobody seems to know what to do. Even though they do support different sides, it is not true that Obama, Merkel or Putin are plotting in deliberate ways to take over or invade Ukraine. All have talked themselves into positions difficult to escape and promised sanctions and actions which they dare not implement. All are in reality bewildered.

At least the following 4 models are logical:

1) Whole state Western dominance
Not viable. This is the present situation. It has been brought about partly by the one-sidedness of the EU. That it does not work is obvious: unrest, violence and separatism as seen in the votes n Eastern Ukraine. There is no doubt that Russia has contributed actively to the unrest. But it would be an error to think that without this factor everything would be fine, and the model would work. Too many Russian speakers would still resist. Even if some parts in the East split of, there will still be too many Russian-oriented people left in the country to be dominated. Continued unrest would follow.

2) Whole state Eastern dominance
As originally favored by Russia. It clearly did not work either. This is impossible now aswell. It would be the reverse of the present situation with the same result. The leaving of Crimea which has reduced the proportion of Russian speakers will also make this model less possible. The more areas separatists or Russia take away, the more Western dominated the rest of Ukraine will be.

So none of the above whole state solutions are viable. The two parts of the population are like two peoples. As said in earlier posts they come from different cultures or even civilizations. In a country with two distinct worlds one world can not just be subdued or assimilated.

What about the splitting of Ukraine into an Eastern and a Western state?

3) Two states
This may sound ideal as the two halves seem so incompatible. But where to put the border? The populations live so intermingled that there is no national border. This means that ethnic cleansings would be necessary. I will return to this below.

4) Balanced whole state
The aggreement from just before the pro-Western forces took over in Kiev, was of course the beginning of a such plan. The balanced state solution would have been difficult to implement, but it would have been the ideal if we had wanted to avoid the conflict and violence seen since then. A new version of this path is also the only way out of the present chaos. But this solution has not become easier under todays circumstances. The window for this solution is closing. Hatred is rising on both sides as we saw in Odessa. Both sides and their external supporters must deescalate militarily, verbally and symbolically.

Some examples of factors aggravating the antagonism:

- Julia Timosjenkos comments about killing Russian speakers were certainly not helpful and they were in an awful way carried out in the burning alive of separatists in Odessa.

- The Ukrainian goverments use of symbols from the Nazi-collaboration can only add to the fears in the East.

- Still calling this goverment fascists is absurd.

- And only seeing the Eastern separatists as terrorists is also absurd.

- The rebels shooting a city mayor in the back, torturing people and taking hostages can only increase hatred.

- The Kiev goverments use of paramilitaries and perhaps even American mercenaries works the same way.

- Russia should make no further incitements of unrest in Eastern Ukraine.

- Ukraine must stop or be forced to stop all military attacks in the East. These attacks can only aggravate the situation further.

- Both Russian and Western politicians and media ought to stop the cold war rhetoric which incites populations to black and white thinking as we saw in the embarrassing shouts against the innocent Russian girls singing in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Such factors make the balanced solution more and more difficult and should be stopped immediately. The actions carried out by Kiev also show that the planned presidential elections can NOT be regarded as a step toward the balanced whole state. Instead like the actions of the opponents they increase the antagonism. The solution with one whole balanced state must be worked out at once and quickly implemented.

If we do not act along these lines only the two states solution is left. If we let things reach this point, the World must aid with the separation to avoid variants of the uncontrolled post-Yugoslavian scenario. The present separatism in the East is the first step in an uncontrolled process. But also with an aided controlled separation scores of people may have to be moved. And the economic consequences would be enormous. Allready now the price in Dollars, Euro and Rubels for saving Ukraine is immense.

The cultural differences of course also work against the balanced whole state solution. Seeing a bearded woman winning the Eurovision Song Contest will not convince the people in Eastern Ukraine that they should join Western Europe! But the costs in human and economic terms resulting from a splitting up of Ukraine are too big. And right now the balanced whole state solution is still possible. Many Russian speakers still prefer a united Ukraine. That a united state should have large autonomy for the regions is obvious. This so much more because the country will contain people from two distinct cultures or we may say civilizations: The West and Russia.

I am convinced that the balanced whole state solution is the best for Ukraine. But it is also the best way to prevent the World from coming closer to a renewed Cold War with all its negative global consequences.

The people in Western and Eastern Ukraine can no longer be expected to reach reason on their own. A concerted action by the USA, the EU and Russia must FORCE them. The inner-Ukrainian talks planned by the OSCE are a step in the right direction. But the parties in Ukraine should not have the right to decide who of the opposite side are participating. All parties must participate.

To be more precise:
The elections planned this month are too early. The new inner-Ukrainian talks need much longer time than 10 days to reach a point where all parts of the country are ready and willing to participate in elections.

And as said. If everybody takes part in the talks, an agreement without pressure from the outside is unlikely.

The Ukrainian government denies the separatists access to the talks in Kiev. As could be expected.

Angela Merkel supports that the separatists can only participate if they renounce violence. It should be obvious that reconciliation talks without both parts can lead nowhere! And what is the difference between the separatists using weapons and the government using paramilitary groups?

Germany thus demonstrates a continuation of the naive one-sided EU-support for the pro-Western forces up to the revolution. This is a clear choice of the
Whole state Western dominance solution.

If this is the general attitude of the Western powers, and/or Russia continues its own opposite one-sidedness, civil war and ethnic cleansing are pre-programmed; we are on the way to the
Two states solution.

A fifth proposal letting Russia absorb the Eastern parts can be dismissed. It is not possible internationally. And Russia does not have the strength to stand against the int'l pressure if it wanted to ignore the World.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Prospects and time for compromise!

How can a new Cold War make such a big difference for the American prospects as said in the last post? Two reasons:

1) The mentioned possible Sino-Russian alliance, a true Eurasian union.

2) A new Cold War would imply or reintroduce a clear demarcation line between the blocks. Without this line, as was the case till now, the American influence has just ever increased unnoticed through IT dominance, the media in general and immense cultural radiation. Given a clear political borderline, this gradual infiltration will not go on unnoticed. This influx could therefore actively be limited in the part of the world dominated by the competing powers. Even though this limitation is difficult in an already globalized world, it may succeed to a certain extent, and at least there will be a more conscious awareness about the influx. Alternatives in IT and culture will be put up, in the cultural sphere perhaps inspired by Orthodox Christianity and Confucianism?

In conclusion the end fight will be much more confrontational and carried out in the open (but probably not in a directly military way) instead of being a gradual proces of infiltration.

BUT the scenario described in this comment as a possible result of the Crimea crisis, is an extreme one. In the globalized and interdependent world it is more likely that we will end somewhere between the present condition and the described extreme scenario.

Also no matter the possible gains in territory and global power for Russia, the price for the whole of the world including Russia in terms of economy and imternational cooperation is too high. Putin should refrain from officially annexing Crimea and indeed from going further. It would be completely irresponsible. It is time for compromises.

There is probably also a limit for Chinese support. After thousands of years with frequent insurrections, the very historically minded Chinese will not risk damaging the economic prospects through a new Cold War for fear of social unrest.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Be careful!!

Update on the Crimea analysis

Right now it would seem as if the hawks in America have taken command of the public, political and government opinion towards Russia.

This opinion is guided by a typical American combination of lack of updated knowledge of the world outside with the will to power and domination. People think as if the Cold War still was a fact. As if the USSR had not lost and Russia had not been humiliated by loosing large territories inhabited by Russian speakers.

A comparison between Russia and Putin with the USSR and its Communist leaders is out of proportion. And comparing Putin with Hitlerr is simply grotesque! Nazi Germany was acting aggressively as part of an unlimited expansion. Russia is acting defensively in reaction to the West in a political and cultural sense threatening to take over a directly neighboring country housing an important naval base. The situations would be more comparable if a weak and defensive Germany had occupied Heligoland, because the UK had aided the Frisian islands to independence after WW1 -Germany keeping its naval base on Heligoland - and then supported an anti-German revolution here. And certainly Putin is not a Nazi or even a Stalinist or a Communist!

Of Course the Americans are cheered by West European idealists and East European countries wanting revenge for Soviet dominance.

No matter what possible economic and energy delivery considerations lie behind, the cautious among the European attitudes is now to be applauded. 

If it is really the case that the official American policy and actions are now ruled by the right wing, then this could risk being a crucial turning point, perhaps the most important international development since the fall of the USSR, a turn to the far worse what concerns world relations.

It could herald the beginning of an era of high international tensions and conflict setting us decades back. Russia and China could become allied more closely in response to exaggerated Western or rather American pressure and arrogant belief in its right to rule the rest of the world. A new Cold War between the West and an alliance of Russia and China could follow. A fight between military and economic giants through proxy- and internet wars.

I have earlier stated that the USA is about to win the end fight in the Western civilization. But opposed to Russia and China in a united front, this is by no means obvious!


Also for the here and now the consequences could be difficult to contain with the economic interdependencies in the globalized world. No one can afford sanctions and the resulting trade wars.

And what about the ISS?!

Everybody, also Putin should caution before we get so far. A de facto completely independent Crimea nominally staying within the Ukraine may be the best solution.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Of course the EU and the USA should critisize Russia for its actions in Crimea. But except for some fools in Europe and some hawks in America this criticism should be ritual only. Fortunately sudden economic considerations with respect to trade with Russia force the fools to react cautiously! The major problem may be US republicans who still live in the Cold War. They react like the Europeans in strong condemnation of Putin, but do it because of power interests and not the idealism of the Europeans.

The fact is that the difference between the former Yugoslavia and the Ukraine is minimal. In both cases the same magnitude of heterogeneity. Both had or have the same internal political distance between pro-Western and anti-Western political forces. Like Yugoslavia the Ukraine has a similar mixture of ethnicities and religions: Catholics, quasi-Catholics, Ukrainian Orthodox,Russian Orthodox and Moslems. And what may be most important: In both countries there was or is a division line between two different cultures or civilizations. In Yugoslavia Oriental vs Western, in the Ukraine Russian vs Western.

In Yugoslavia NATO did not hessitate to assist the division along such lines. Of course the Ukrainians have not commited the same genocide and ethnic cleansing as the Serbs, but still the divisions in this country are strong enough to allow a splitting up.

The Western powers should let Russia aid Crimea to independence from the Ukraine. This peninsula has always been Russian and was only by accident given to the Ukraine in Soviet times. It has the only major Russian naval base to the South. What would the Americans do if a left-wing Ecotopia in the west broke away with all American naval bases along the Pacific coast?

Russia has already been pressed too much with the breakup of the USSR loosing large areas inhabited by Russians.

The West would be well advised not to press Russia further. Let it get Crimea. Pressed more there is a danger of a real new Cold War. A Russia with its back against the wall could become very strong in a desperate defensive resistance.

And Russia would be well advised to be satisfied with Crimea. Taking more would give uncontrollable international tensions and also reduce the proportion of Russian-speakers in the Ukraine and thus reduce the chance of Russia later getting more control over the rest of the Ukraine as the mood here changes for economic and cultural reasons.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fuck the EU!

Fuck the EU!

This eloquent sentence spoken by an American diplomat gives rise to a few comments.

After WW 1 the American president Wilson was mocked by the European winning powers for his naive idealism. 
Nevertheless policies like this were applied in the Balkans creating unnatural  countries of a Western type, which did not correspond to the nations on the ground. The later consequences were clear, not least in the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Today the roles are reverted. Now the Americans mock the Europeans for their naive idealism. This idealism has from the start guided the actions of the EU towards the Ukraine: one-sided support for the pro-Western people in the western part of the former Soviet republic. No doubt this has aggravated the situation by giving the opponents of the pro-Russian president Yanukovych the impression that they represented a large majority and strengthening their resolve and resistance. Thereby the confrontation was prolonged and worsened.

Right now the EU policy would seem to have succeeded. The president has fallen. The parlament in Kiev is dominated by the opposition. Western style democratic reforms are being decided.

But this success is only apparent. It is a result of the weakness and incompetence of the president. Oscillating between giving in and using excessive violence. Half of the country is still Russian oriented and opposed to the EU. The people here just had the bad luck of being represented by an incompetent leader. The victory of the pro-Western forces will not last. Both because of their lack of support in the East and because the economy in the Ukraine is so bad.

The European success is a pyrrhic victory. Keeping the pro-Western parties on top will demand enormous economic aid, because much of the drive for reform stems from a desire for better life circumstances. The EU cannot afford this and certainly not give it quickly enough to make a difference for the people in the country. Therefore the East will stay opposed and Russian-oriented. The deep divisions will continue. So the EU "success" will do more damage than good. Instead of supporting the opposition it would have been better to try to unite the parties.

Therefore we can still say: 
Fuck the EU!

Besides ignoring the internal forces in the Eastern Ukraine, it is also hopelessly naive to ignore Russia. Russia has legitimate interests and it has a large influence in the Ukraine. It can and certainly will effectively sabotage a solution where the pro-EU people dominate in Kiev.

The Ukraine is and will stay the major battlefield for the conflict between East and West. And if 

1) the economic advantage of joining the West is not forthcoming,

2) democracy in the western culture is declining, thus loosing its attraction, before it develops in the Ukraine, where already now also opposition politicians are often corrupt (see the posts "The Decline of Politics" + Int'l aspects ..."), and

3) in the longer run it is correct that Russia is the seat of a new emerging high culture on the rise, a culture or civilization which has other values than Western democracy and which also covers the Ukraine,

then it is by no means evident that the pro-Western side in the Ukraine will continue to receive the support of the population.

Just like the Americans are annoyed over the EU, the Romans were irritated over the Hellenist powerless countries who with their clumsy policies towards for example Maccabeans and Parthians caused large areas to be lost to the east. And who created chaos which forced the Romans to intervene.

More generally we saw Roman contempt for the weak and ineffective Greeks and Hellenists, a contempt turning to ruthlessness and direct control. Much of this repeats itself today in the relations between the Americans and the Europeans.

The Romans would have said:
Fuck the Hellenists!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The European Sung Dynasty

In Europe  the governing circles seem to have a naive view and handling of the things important for the relations to the outside world.

Even though being part of and embracing the globalized world in the economic sphere, the Europeans seem to be unaware of or close their eyes to the question of power and dominance in the world.

China in the Sung Dynasty (960 - 1279)  was also 'globalized in an economic and even demographic way. It had vast trade with most of East and South East Asia and the whole Moslem world. And many immigrants came from these parts of the world. At the same time policies were extremely humane, open, benevolent, peaceful and wise in internal matters. In fact this modernity was one of the most humane and peaceful in world history. Cultural activity like artful painting was a main interest. In political affairs there were non-violent open political discussions between the two leading parties the Conservatives and the Reformists. At the same time the Sung politicians were sadly unaware of the threat from the real powers in the vicinity. In 1126 Tungusic peoples took the northern territories, and in 1279 the Mongolians took the rest of China.

Even though the situation then and now differ both in the context and the prospect (the Americans are not barbarian Mongolians, and Sung was more centralized than is the EU), the situations are comparable. The Europeans behave much the same way as the Chinese in the Sung time: internally humane and wise, externally naive and weak. Their countries may therefore face a similar destiny: Being swallowed by stronger powers.

In the last post "The USA or multiple powers?" I have already pointed to the rising American dominance. This seems not to be resisted or even noticed by the Europeans, who just let it happen without realizing the consequences for the European position and influence in the world. This lack of understanding of events and lack of counteraction is naive and will in the end cause loss of the rest of independence. In other cases European policies are more directly self-destructive. Here just a couple of specific examples of this:

In the field of fossil fuels energy supplies are these years being revolutionized by shale gas and oil. This development is making the USA a giant producer of gas and oil. And Europe? Here this technology is being blocked by environmental concerns. It is clear that a such policy will be of great relative disadvantage to Europe, even though it may be of advantage to the environment.

In a similar manner concerns for global warming are disturbing Europe's economic recovery and growth, while the USA and China don't really care. The environment and warming is of crucial importance, and for these reasons the whole world ought to do like the EU to save us all in the long run. This would be the morally right thing to do. But from the viewpoint of the here and now balance of power and relative economic strength the European policy is harmful to the Old Continent.

Denmark's policy towards Greenland is another example. This European country is willing to give Greenland total control over its territory and let it gain independence. It would be just 50.000 people with an immature political system having control over vast resources in over 2 million square kilometers and perhaps even the North Pole?! This area would be impossible to surveil and defend without foreign armed forces and perhaps mercenaries. In order to profit from the resources under the surface, the local politicians will not be able to resist the temptation to give rights to exploitation of every possible mineral, oil etc. to the Chinese, Russians and indeed the Americans. The ressources cannot be accessed without large numbers of foreign workers. No doubt Greenland will be an American colony filled with a large majority of American and Chinese miners and other personnel and guarded by American troops. Europe will lose resources and the Arctic will be filled with pollution!

The world would be a far better place if all major powers on the int'l scene had the same consideration as European countries for the environment and the same respect for small nations. But the world does not work this way. It does not respect idealistic and moral or even environmentally correct policies. They are perceived as weakness. The big countries are not good and benevolent. They will seize every chance to make gains in ressources, trade and power.  Europe will be overwhelmed by stronger countries. Like the Sung Dynasty was overwhelmed by the Mongolians from the North, while they thought they could enjoy eternal arts, peace and reason.

Despite some recent anger over the NSA nobody in Europe seems to relize what is happening before their eyes. And if some politicians do, they don't seem to have the will, energy or guts to resist.

Europe could no doubt be strengthened significantly, if the EU was centralized and run like Germany, but with due consideration given to the weak economies in Southern Europe. The old continent would benefit from this economically. It is also a precondition for greater European political strength. But it is not enough. As long as the very sympathetic, civilized idealism is combined with ignorance of power or just lethargy, the non-economic weakness will stay the same.

Under the globalized and open Chinese Sung Dynasty and even more under the following yet more global (caesarian) Mongol dynasty (1279), China was flooded by foreigners like Marco Polo and many others from all around Eurasia. This gave rising opposition from the Chinese population, which culminated in the national Ming Dynasty (1368), which in its narrow isolationism stagnated completely. Now the anti-global attitudes of the population had become official policy.

The reactions from the European populations can be compared with the reactions in the Chinese population before Ming. Contrary to the leading strata parts of the populations of European countries are reacting with resentment or directly aggressively to globalization and the intrusions from the outside world like Moslem immigrants and even the EU. As these parts of the populations are also voters, right wing populists gain representations in the parliaments. Also some "normal" politicians take such anti-immigrant or anti-EU views, see "The Decline of Politics".

The old Chinese parallels show that isolationism may not be the best reaction to global influence. Being conquered from abroad may indeed be perceived as bad, but just closing all physical and mental doors can contribute to stagnation.

So we have two equally dangerous tendencies in European politics:
1) Naive ignorance of the importance of external forces hungry for power.
2) Closing the doors for everything from abroad.

On the other hand, what is good about European policies are exactly the moral, benevolent, humane and environmentally right decisions. The ideal would be if such policies were combined with power to force them through! Appeals and good examples are not enough to transform the world into a better place. Goodness must be enforced by force.

If you are only strong, you are bad.
If you are only good, you will die.
You must be good AND strong.
Only this way can goodness prevail.

Fortunately the Americans and the other real powers today are not only strong and bad. Obama shows that you can both be strong and have a certain measure of good and humane ideals. Of course this should not be a monopoly for Democrats!

If the Europeans or the UN do not have the strength to bring pax for the world, somebody else must, be it the Americans or the Chinese.