After the latest bout of mass shootings, American outrage will be short-lived, its gun addiction – preserved.
Former prime minister Andrej Babis concedes defeat to Petr Pavel, who was set to win more than 58 percent of the vote.
Retired NATO general Petr Pavel beat a billionaire former prime minister in an election run-off on Saturday to become the fourth president of the Czech Republic, official results showed.
The airline said it was ceasing trading and cancelling all flights, which affects 75,000 passengers.
Clare Drakeford, the wife of Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford, has died suddenly.
Video Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation – 28/01/2023
A small radioactive capsule has been lost in Western Australia, described as a “bizarre, one-in-100-year event.” The capsule was part of a radiation gauge used in the mining industry. The gauge was packaged and transported from the Rio Tinto mine site on January 11 and arrived in a depot in the Perth suburb of Malaga on January 16. However, it wasn’t until January 25 that authorities were notified that the radioactive capsule was missing after it was unpacked for inspection. Authorities believe it fell through a hole where a bolt had been dislodged after a container collapsed inside the truck. The capsule is considered a health hazard and Western Australia’s Chief Health Officer, Andy Robertson, has warned the community not to handle the device if they come across it.
News Video Download: https://anonymfile.com/lL3rR/abcnewssa-28-1-23cw1.mp4
(Captured from Adelaide DVB-T Broadcast)
An international system of governing and separatist movements
The main argument for the western politicians upon Kosovo’s independence in 2008, as a “unique case” of the Kosovo situation, is the fact that according to the “Kumanovo Agreement” between Serbia and NATO signed on June 10th, 1999, and the UN Resolution 1244 (following this agreement), Kosovo was put under the UN protectorate with the imposed international system of governing and security. However, such an “argument” does not work in the case of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as the Ossetians and Abkhazians are governing their lands by themselves and much more successfully in comparison with “internationally” (i.e. the N.A.T.O.) protected Kosovo. It was quite visible in March 2004 when international organizations and military troops could not (i.e. did not want to) protect ethnic Serbs in Kosovo from violent attacks organized by the local Albanians when during three days (March 17−19th) 4,000 Serbs were exiled, more than 800 Serbian houses are set on fire followed by 35 destroyed or severely damaged Serbian Orthodox churches and cultural monuments.
The “2004 March Pogrom” revealed the real situation in the region of Kosovo – a region that had to be under effective protection by the international community. The position of the South Ossetians in independent Georgia from 1991 to August 2008 could be compared with the position of the Serbs in Kosovo after June 1999. Differently from the Kosovo case after June 1999, or even after February 2008, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Transnistria showed much more political-legal bases to be recognized as independent states as they showed real ability to govern themselves by only themselves but not by the international organizations as it is in the case of Kosovo. They also proved much more democracy and respect for human and minority rights in comparison with the Albanian-ruled Kosovo Republic which is, in fact, transformed into the Islamic State of Kosovo (Kosovo ISIL/DAESH).
The region of Nagorno-Karabakh is the most contested conflict area in Transcaucasia during the last three decades. It became a part of Azerbaijan with autonomous status in 1936 within the Soviet Union but not a part of the Armenian Socialist Republic established as such also in 1936 as one of 15 socialist republics of the U.S.S.R. During the whole time of the existence of the Soviet Union there were tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia over enclave (province) of Nagorno-Karabakh which was at the Soviet time populated by Islamic Azeri majority and the Christian Orthodox Armenian minority. However, the enclave was historical with the majority of the Armenian population but due to the Islamic terror the Christian Armenians became a minority on their land which happen the same with the Christian Orthodox Serbs in Kosovo in relation to the Muslim Albanians. For the Armenians, the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave was unjustifiably separated from Armenia by the Soviet authorities and included in Azerbaijan in order to keep good political relations with neighboring Turkey. The Serbs, similarly to the Armenians in regard to Nagorno-Karabakh, were complaining about the same practice with regard to Kosovo status from 1974 to 1989 when the “cradle of Serbia” was practically torn off from the rest of the motherland and granted actual independence from Serbia having much stronger relations with the neighboring Albania than with Serbia.
The frictions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh ultimately led to the open bloody war mostly within the enclave which started in 1989 when the central Soviet authorities already have been in the process of collapsing. The war led in 1993 to the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and some strategic territory of Azerbaijan. Consequently, Armenia became cut off from Azerbaijani oil supplies, and as naturally devoid of mineral resources or fertile soil Armenian economy collapsed in the mid-1990s. For instance, the Armenian GDP had fallen to 33% of its 1990 level followed by inflation of 4000%. Naturally, as politically supported by Moscow, the Armenian economy became mostly oriented toward Russia: for instance, 60% of Armenia’s export went to the Russian market. Up to today, Armenia was not been directly attacked by Turkey exactly for the reason that it is politically but also and militarily protected by Russia whose armed forces are located on the territory of Armenia nearby Turkey’s border.
There are several similarities but also great dissimilarities between conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh in Transcaucasia and Kosovo in the Balkans.
In both cases, the international community is dealing with an autonomy of a compact national minority that is making a majority on the land in question and already has its national independent state which is bordering this contested territory. Both Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians and Kosovo Albanians do not want to accept any other solution except separation and internationally recognized independence. Both conflicts are in fact continuations of old historic struggles between two different civilizations: the Muslim Turkish and the Christian Byzantine. In both conflicts, international organizations are included as mediators. Some of them are the same – France, the USA, and Russia as members of both Contact Groups for ex-Yugoslavia and Minsk Group under the OSCE umbrella for Azerbaijan. Both Serbia and Azerbaijan have been against the policy that their problem cases (Kosovo and Nagorno-Karabakh) would be proclaimed by some kind of the “international community” (the UN, the EU, the OSCE, etc.) as the “unique” cases as it would be (as the Kosovo Albanians already proved on February 18th, 2008) a green light to the Albanian and the Armenian separatists to secede their territories from Serbia and Azerbaijan without permission given by Belgrade and Baku.
However, there are significant differences between Kosovo and Nagorno-Karabakh cases. Kosovo is an internal conflict within Serbia (which is after June 1999 internationalized) but in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, we have to speak about external military aggression (by Armenia). In difference to Armenia in relation to Nagorno-Karabakh, Albania formally never accepted any legal action in which Kosovo was called an integral part of the state territory of Albania (with the historical exception during WWII when Kosovo, East Montenegro, and West Macedonia have been included in Mussolini’s sponsored and protected “Greater Albania”). A delegation from Albania did not take participation in the talks and negotiations upon the “final” status of Kosovo between Pristina and Belgrade in 2007, while Armenia has the official status of “interested side” in the conflict concerning Nagorno-Karabakh. However, the Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh such status still did not obtain. The official regular army of Albania never was involved in the Kosovo conflict (differently from a great number of volunteers from Albania), while Armenia’s army (i.e. from the state of Armenia) was directly involved in the military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh from the very beginning of the conflict, but officially part of the independent state of Azerbaijan. As a result, Armenia occupied 1/5 of Azerbaijani territory and the victims of ethnic cleansing are primarily the Azeri as more than one million of them are being displaced as a result of the hostilities.
Differently to the case of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in which the main victims became a former majority population (the Muslim Azeri), in the Kosovo case the principal victims of the war are the Christian Serbs as a minority population of the province. Nevertheless, differently from the Kosovo case, the weaker Azerbaijani side did not apply to NATO for military help, but a weaker Albanian side did it during the Kosovo conflict in 1998−1999 and only due to the N.A.T.O.’s military intervention on the Albanian side and direct military occupation of Kosovo after the war it was possible for the Albanians to commit almost a full scale of the ethnic cleansing of the province during the first five years after the war (up to the end of March 2004).
It can be concluded that the Albanian unilaterally proclaimed Kosovo independence in February 2008 is not at all a “unique” case in the world without direct consequences to similar separatist cases following the “domino effect” (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, South Sudan…). That is the real reason why, for instance, the government of Cyprus is not supporting “Kosovo Albanian rights to self-determination” as the next “unique” case can be easily the northern (Turkish) part of Cyprus which is by the way already recognized by the Republic of Turkey and under de facto Ankara’s protection. Or even better example: the Spanish government does not want to recognize Kosovo’s independence for the very “Catalan” reason as a domino effect of separatism can be easily spilled over to the Iberian Peninsula.
There are around 200 territorial-national separatist movements around the world for whom the case of Kosovo’s “precedent” is going to serve as the best moral and legal foundation for their own independence. Subsequently, the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized now by three non-UN member states according to Kosovo’s pattern: Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. Furthermore, in 2012 (four years after Kosovo’s independence proclamation), a member of Uruguay’s foreign relations committee stated that his country could recognize Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence and the Parliament of New South Wales (Australia) called upon the Australian government to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh. Two other Transcaucasian separatist republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia became like Nagorno-Karabakh recognized after Kosovo’s independence proclamation in 2008 by several states and quasi-states: Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Abkhazia and South Ossetia (each other).
In sum, Kosovo’s independence proclamation in February 2008 became, in fact, not “precedent” as the US and the EU’s administration declared: it became rather a boomerang example of “domino effect” in international relations. The case of Crimea in 2014 was in this respect quite clear: the Crimean popular self-determination rights to separate the peninsula from Ukraine and to become part of Russia were at least formally founded on the same rights used by Kosovo’s Albanians (as a majority in the province) to proclaim the state independence from Serbia.
End of the article.
Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
Research Fellow at Centre for Geostrategic Studies
© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2023
 On the Armenian approach to the conflict, see [Armenian Center for National and International Studies, Nagorno Karabagh: A White Paper, Yerevan: ACNIS, 2008].
 On the conflict on Nagorno-Karabakh, see [Moorad Mooradian, Daniel Druckman, “Hurting Stalemate or Mediation? The Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, 1990−95”, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 36, no. 6, 1999, 709−727].
Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator
Covert training camps in the Jordanian desert are currently the site of British and American trainers developing young Lebanese men, loyal to the Christian warlord, Samir Geagea, according to chief editor of Al Mariah magazine, Fadi Abu Deya. In an interview given to Al Jadeed TV, Abu Deya claimed Geagea is sending fighters to Jordan for military training which is supported by the US and UK. Gegea’s media office has denied this allegation and has threatened to file a lawsuit against Abu Deya. The militia is allegedly tasked with attacks on Hezbollah, the Lebanese resistance group.
However, from a reliable source inside Lebanon, Israel’s Mossad are training fighters loyal to Geagea in his headquarters at Meraab, Baalbek, and Dahr Al Ahmar.
In May 2008, Geagea told the Lebanese media Al Akbar that he had 7,000 to 10,000 fighters ready to face off with Hezbollah, and was asking for US support. Lebanon continues to be one step away from a new civil war along sectarian lines.
Geagea is supported by Saudi Arabia who demand Hezbollah to be demilitarized. The US shares this view with Saudi Arabia and Israel, who view the group as a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia is willing to help Lebanon with their financial recovery, but their condition is that Hezbollah must be weakened.
Geagea is one of the most powerful politicians in Lebanon, despite being sentenced to life in prison for murder in 1995. He killed his political opponents, and blew up a church full of worshippers, even though he is Christian to whip up sectarian hatred.
Recently, he came under scrutiny for a new militia called “God’s Soldiers” who are located in Ashrafiah, a neighborhood of Beirut. These are young Christian men who most often work as security guards and look like they are professional body builders or wrestlers. Defenders of the group claim they are simply a neighborhood watch group protecting property from robbery. However, Geagea has a past history of heading a group known as “Young Men” who were fighters during the civil war.
Hezbollah is not only a defense force, which has prevented a second Israeli invasion of south Lebanon, and a resistance force demanding the withdrawal of Israelis from the occupied Shebaa Farms, they are also a political party with a sizable elected membership in parliament in the free democratic elections held in May. Most Lebanese, regardless of their support of Hezbollah, agree that Hezbollah has been the only defense force capable of defending the southern border.
Lebanon is now referred to as a failed state. Once called the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East” for its private and secure banking services, and its winter ski resorts in the mountains, it began a financial collapse in 2019 which has seen the country hit rock-bottom currently. Wealthy Arabs from the Persian Gulf used to flock to Lebanon for their famous nightclubs and Casino. The tourists are gone from Lebanon amid the financial collapse which has seen Lebanese migrants leaving in small boats to find a better life in Europe.
Protesters began street violence in 2019 demanding the ruling political elite step down. These politicians included remnants of the war-lords of the 1975-1990 civil war, like Geagea.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, has been discovered to have run the bank for decades in a Ponzi scheme, which wiped out hard currency, and caused the banks to freeze accounts. Some Lebanese became so desperate to access their own money, they resorted to armed hold-ups to get their own funds released. In several cases, the funds were needed for emergency medical care as there are no public hospitals in Lebanon.
European countries began issuing arrest warrants for Salameh on charges of money laundering, corruption, and personal enrichment of public funds. He has remained free, and still holds his position in charge of all the public funds for Lebanon, while enjoying the protection of the US Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy C. Shea who has said removal of Salameh is a ‘red line’. European charges relate to billions of dollars that Salameh and his brother have deposited abroad. Recent rumors floated that the US was promoting Salameh to become the next president.
In 2016, Salameh hosted a conference at the US Embassy in Lebanon. The Financial Action Task Force was set up to stop money laundering to safeguard the integrity of the banking sector. Salameh was the fox in the henhouse.
The US-NATO attack on Syria began in 2011 for regime change. The US and their western allies, including Israel, wanted to break the political alliance between Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah. In 2012, the CIA began a covert training operation in the Jordanian desert, and in 2013 President Obama signed approval of the operation which trained young men to fight in Syria.
In 2013, former deputy CIA director Michael J. Morell said in a CBS interview that the most effective fighters on the battlefield in Syria are the Radical Islamic terrorists. “And because they’re so good at fighting the Syrians, some of the moderate members of the opposition joined forces with them,” he said.
The Syrian refugee camp Zatari in Jordan was the home base of the fighters, who would train with the CIA and slip over the border into Syria and later return to their families safe in the camp.
In 2017, President Trump shut down the $1 Billion CIA program in Jordan. From the beginning, many advisors had cautioned that the weapons the US was supplying to the ‘rebels’ would later fall into the hands of terrorists following Radical Islam, such as Al Qaeda, Jibhat al-Nusra and ISIS. Their warning became reality, after the ‘rebels’ became partners with the Radical Islamic terrorists who did not fight for freedom, or democracy, but for the goal of establishing a government in Damascus following the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Obama had promoted the MB in the US, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. The political platform of the MB is identical to Al Qaeda. The big difference is that ISIS carries black flags and the MB wear suits and ties. Eventually, the Obama-backed MB was defeated in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. In Libya, the MB control the Tripoli administration backed by the UN. The armed conflict in Syria finished by 2017 with the US supported Al Qaeda affiliate, Jibhta al-Nusra, only in control of an olive growing province, Idlib.
Jordan’s King Hussein was one of the first Arab leaders to call for the Syrian President to step down. Jordan is one the largest recipients of US foreign aid, which was a reward for their peace treaty with Israel. King Hussein supported the US-NATO attack on Syria and hosted the terrorist training camps in the desert as well as a huge Syrian refuges camp which was used to house and feed the wives and children of the terrorists being trained. But, the US-NATO attack on Syria failed. In September 2021, the border crossing between Syria and Jordan re-opened. On October 4, 2021 the King spoke with Assad by phone in the first phase of a reconciliation between Amman and Damascus, similar to the repair in relations between Syria and Bahrain and UAE. Turkey is now in the same process, and reports suggest Saudi Arabia may follow. Arab leaders realize that they must not blindly follow orders by Washington to start or support wars in the Middle East which end up in failure.
Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist
Aaron Mate:I did see that and he said something about how it’s like a threat to Europe or something like that.
Max Blumenthal: Yeah, that you threaten Europe and that you hate America for publishing this clip of George Friedman. I mean this is just what George Friedman of stratforce said which is so relevant right now.
“George Friedman: So the primordial interest of the United States over which for a century we fought wars as the first, second and Cold War it’s been the relationship between Germany and Russia. Because united they are the only force that could threaten us and to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Therefore it’s not an accident that General Hodges, who’s been appointed to be blamed for all of this, is talking about pre-positioning troops in Romania Bulgaria Poland and the baltics. This is the intermarium the Black Sea to the Baltic, that Pilsudski dreamed of, this is the solution for the United States. The issue to which we don’t have the answer is what will Germany do. So the real wild card in Europe is that as the United States builds this court the senator. Not in Ukraine but to the West and the Russians tried to figure out how to leverage Ukrainians out we don’t know the German position. Germany is in a very peculiar position, its former Chancellor Gerhart Schroeders on the board of gazprom. They have a very complex relationship with Russians. The Germans themselves don’t know what to do, they must export, the Russians can’t take up the export. On the other hand if they lose the free trade zone, they need to build something different. For the United States the primordial fear is German technology and German capital, Russian natural resources, russian man power as the only combination that have for centuries scared the hell out of the United states. So how does this play out? Well the U.S has already put its cards on the table. It is the line from the baltics of the Black Sea”
Aaron Mate: And he goes on to say and his next line is Russia’s cards on the table are that they need a Ukraine that is not pro-western that it’s at least neutral. So in his words the U.S wants to control what he calls quote the line from the Baltics to the Black Sea, okay? Russia by contrast their main goal is to keep Ukraine neutral. Because if Ukraine falls into the Western orbit then that seriously weakens them and also seriously threatens their prospects of having uh you know friendly ties with Germany. So he is openly declaring back in 2015. That real so much of this is about it’s not about Ukraine, it’s not about curbing Russian aggression it’s about severing any kind of relationship between Germany and Russia and again notice how he doesn’t talk about a military threat of Germany and Russia being united, he says what scares the hell out of the U.S is German technology and…
Max Blumenthal: German know-how and Russian Manpower.
Aaron Mate: and Russian Manpower natural resources. That’s what scares these people and that’s what this proxy war has helped advance in terms of sabotaging German Russia relations and just to make sure they blew up the Nordstrom 2 pipeline in case anybody got any second thoughts in Germany.
Max Blumenthal: Yeah, I think George Friedman didn’t really need Buffalo Trace or any whiskey to be so candid and that’s sort of why we appreciate him. I mean he speaks in a very candid manner about the Western Imperial understanding of geopolitics. He distils it very well in two minutes there and provides the perfect prism for viewing or understanding the Ukraine proxy war. And what he’s saying first of all can be understood through the concept of the great world island of Eurasia conceived by one of the Godfathers of Western Imperial geopolitics. The geographer Harold Mackinder who essentially argued, during the height of the British Empire, that whoever controls Eurasia with all of its resources and population controls the world. And so there needs to be an effort to fragment the Russian Empire and Germany and France and keep them kind of you know put them against one another. This was adapted into this big new Brzezinski’s grand chessboard. If you want to understand Mcinder in the context of the Cold War, then read the Grand Chessboard by Brzezinski. And what Friedman was talking about there specifically was a concept for maintaining Western control and specifically U.S Imperial control over Eurasia which is the intermarium. The intermarium is the region that exists between Russia and Russia’s fear of influence and Germany and that’s Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Baltic states. And Andrzej Duda the Polish leader sort of a centre-right right wing figure, he understands that very well he talks about the intermarium constantly and that’s why he’s so welcoming of NATO and volunteering Poland as a base for U.S power projection against Russia via Ukraine. Because the concept of the intermarium was conceived by Joseph Pilsudski who was a post-world war one polish nationalist General a big influence on Duda and you know his party mates. And they essentially wanted to prevent Germany and Russia from overrunning Poland and that meant welcoming forces like the U.S or the UK into their orbit. Neo-nazis like the as of Battalion are also very into the intermarium theory and they hold conferences in Poland and in Latvia. Where they bring together white nationalist theorists to talk about how they can use the intermarium as the base for their racial Reconquista. A reconquest of the European continent. In which all of the migrants and the impure forces of liberalism are ejected. So it’s all coming together through the Ukraine proxy war but what this is about is maintaining U.S control via NATO of the resources of Eurasia and preventing Russia and Germany from combining forces or at least being at peace and enjoying some kind of diplomacy and the destruction of the Nordstrom pipeline was such a key physical act of severing Germany from Russia to advance this long-term neocolonial political project that George Friedman spells out perfectly there.”
“in the past now the Germans have done a lot but Poland has become in some ways the leader of Europe and may end up with the biggest military in Europe I’m starting to wonder if Germany really ever will be a leader in Europe.” HAHAHHAHA
This is what I meant by “we didn’t have anything to lose” who would before said “Poland has become in some ways the leader of Europe”. Hahahhaha
“There is a second opportunity looming to meet numerous domestic problems in China and the other one is the potential disintegration of Russia. If those things occur then there really is no competitor to the United States on the world stage” They even say their plan out loud.