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BREXIT: THE OUTCOME;
EEU: THE EURASIAN
IRAQ & SYRIA
BREXIT: WHAT NEXT?
Of course we give our take on the events of Brexit. Now that the decision
for the UK to leave the EU is ‘apparently’ taken, a note of caution reflects
the numerous attempts in such a close race (48% to 52%) to walk the decision
back, which we describe below. At its most dramatic, there are calls for
London’s newly elected mayor to seek a referendum to win ‘independence for
London’ which city overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU. That isn’t
going to happen. The days of city states are long gone, other than such as
Singapore. Yet the prospects for the historic United Kingdom are fraught,
with pro-remain Scotland refusing to accept being a part of the UK’s
anticipated withdrawal from the EU and Northern Ireland being wooed by the
EU member, The Irish Republic.
There is some ‘meat on the bone’ with various approaches towards reversing
the fateful decision, described here in ‘Brexit the Outcome,’ which aims to
give the current position in a wide-ranging, rapidly moving scenario.
The nation’s two largest political parties are currently in something of a
shambles with new leadership issues in both, dominating are news of the
We do allow ourselves some space for reflection. It is apparent that the
Brexiters had no plan beyond June 23d the referendum day. We ask what is it
exactly, that the British now want for themselves, after 43 successful and
rather prosperous years in the EU?
But we also return to the wider geopolitical scene with an article by Sara
Bielecki, examining the ‘the OTHER EU’, that is the Moscow-dominated EEU,
the EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION. Little is heard of this project, other than in
the context of Ukraine, reflecting that it is hardly a runaway success, but
we take a closer look and discuss what it’s done or failed to do so far.
Also something about its plans for expansion!
Finally, a longer than usual look at the current IRAQ-SYRIA situation, which
stories clearly are interlocked, but seldom treated as such by the world
media. It’s time for that to change, we maintain. This fast moving story
ignores historic frontiers, as ISIS has clearly demonstrated.
Clive Lindley - Publisher/Editor
BREXIT: THE OUTCOME
“Great Britain has lost an
empire and has not yet found a role”
US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, speaking at West Point on 1st January 1963.
Back in 1973 after various rebuffs, including being earlier vetoed twice, a UK
keen to join ‘Europe’ was admitted to membership of the European Community,
currently The European Union, it’s membership confirmed by UK citizens in a 1975
US Secretary of State Acheson’s prescient comment, followed an abortive last act
of empire in 1956 when together with France and Israel, the UK military invaded
the Suez canal zone. The United States had not been notified until the invasion
was in progress and collectively was not amused. Indeed, the then President,
General Dwight Eisenhower was said to be incensed and certainly made it clear
that the US (a former colony itself), had not fought the World War to enable the
shattered empires of it’s European allies to be rebuilt. This episode
definitively closed down Britain’s long imperial era, which took off three
centuries ago, after the Act of Union of England with Scotland of 1707, that
created the United Kingdom. [continues...]
EEU: THE EURASIAN
In 2010, the Kremlin initiated
and established the project for a Customs Union and a Common Economic Space
between itself, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. This quickly developed into a broader,
more ambitious project for a Eurasian Union, a free trade zone that would,
hopefully, extend to Russia’s former satellites, intending to allow the Eastern
sphere to act as a counterweight to the EU, encompassing a $2.7 trillion economy
and a population of 170 million people. When the plans were proposed, they
immediately conjured up images of the Cold War and Western observers decried the
plans as Soviet revanchism.
However, dreams of a Soviet Union redux began to unhinge, when Ukraine, presumed
by Putin to be an obvious signatory to the union, in fact veered towards the
Eastern Partnership led by the EU, despite considerable pressure from Moscow to
embrace the union of its former Soviet comrades. Indeed, it was these plans for
an EEU Association Agreement in 2012, that precipitated the unravelling of the
Russia - backed Yanukovych regime and the Euro-Maiden protests, when it became
evident that Yanukovych, pliant to Western offers of economy sustenance, and
domestic pressure to do so, was also attempting to maintain relations with the
SYRIA & IRAQ
Two different but equally absurd
wars resulting from the original sin: the 2003 US led war on Iraq.
The siege around Islamic State (or ISIS for brevity) in Fallujah has drawn media
attention back to Iraq. This after the world had seemingly forgotten that the
ISIS mess originated in Iraq in the first place, thanks in no small part to the
way Washington handled its war from 2003 onwards. The Iraqi Armed Forces, have
apparently woken up from the corrupted slumber into which they fell, as US
troops were withdrawing in the first years of the Obama administration. They
have now led a major offensive throughout the province of Anbar in June. They
have fallen short of entering ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq because of the
Caliphate’s use of ‘human shields’. [continues...]