Monthly political analysis on nations in
economic or political transition



 July 2014

Iraq & Syria: The Arrogance of Hubris; Libya & the return of Dictatorship; Putin's enlarged Empire: The EurAsian Economic Community; Democracy's Front Line in Trouble.

The Arrogance of Hubris

There is much that is absurd about the way in which the western and other powers have hitherto engaged with the current middle-eastern civil wars. Even now they don’t seem to have learned the lessons of history - although seriously talking about co-operation with the Iranians has to be a start. This last is surrounded with caveats, presumably to mollify militant Republicans and the Israel lobby (probably much the same thing), but they won’t be mollified. Along with Turkey, Iran is THE regional power. It is their backyard – and they do ‘have a dog, more than one, in this fight’.

The blunt question really needs to be asked (because it isn’t being openly asked), what does the crisis in Iraq really have to do with – what business is it, of the USA? [...]

Libya and the return of Dictatorship

Libya appears to have been abandoned by the powers that helped to precipitate the collapse of the Qadhafi regime in 2011. In all of the nations involved in the ‘Arab Awakening,’ Libya alone attracted the intervention of western powers when the US, British and French, euphemistically referred to as NATO, acted as the rebel airforce. Having destroyed what remained of the Colonel’s Libyan airforce - their declared mission, they continued to the very end of the regime by halting the escape of the Colonel’s road convoy through an air attack, which resulted in his unsuccessfully running for his life, being seized, raped, otherwise abused and lynched by the maddened mob from whom he had sought to escape.

Since then chaos has ruled supreme, but if you can’t get democracy then stability will have to do. Now a US approved candidate for dictator waits in the wings. [...]

Putin's enlarged Empire: The EurAsian Economic Community

To understand in context ongoing events in Ukraine and Russia’s part in this, our report on the Eurasian Economic Community shows the critical importance to Russia that Ukraine had represented in their future plans, now seemingly dissolved into ‘what might have been’.

The EurAsEC project is a key part in Putin’s fundamental plan to restore whatever is possible of the former USSR in the context of a Greater Russian Empire. The Russian Federation, the largest nation on earth in terms of landmass, now consists of 90 federated republics and territories, each dependent on the big decisions being reserved for Moscow. The EurAsEC is aimed at those of the 15 former ‘all-union republics’ of the USSR that have not departed from Moscow’s sphere of influence, all of whom have since 1991 tasted life ‘on the outside’. Of the big targets the three Baltic's have joined the European Union. Uzbekistan a Central Asian giant, has not joined EurAsEC at this time, which must be frustrating for Moscow, but they clearly fear reintegration in any form. That can change of course with a change of leaders – the relevance being that the present unchallenged ruler of Uzbekistan is elderly and unwell – and there is no clear successor.

Resources-rich and enormous Kazakhstan, easily the prime target however is in. Belarus, Europe’s last dictatorship, already a deplorable undemocratic lame dog, dependent on Moscow, was a signatory. Kyrgyzstan will join and Tajikistan is on the edge. Our article speculates on other republics who may join and those who won’t. The EurAsEC comes into effect on Jan 1st 2015

With Ukraine out, their 40 million slav population will not be a part of this and since Russia is working for member states to move on further from this economic alliance, particularly in defence and foreign policy, this is an uphill task after the 23 years of independence they have all known from Moscow’s control.

Still it undoubtedly remains an achievement for Putin in his quest to restore greater global significance, even great power status to Russia.

Whatever else, geopolitically Russia’s stamp is firmly on Central Asia. No doubt future historians will give him credit for his single-minded rebuilding of what it was possible to rebuild of his vast nation, and what went before. [...]

Democracy's Front Line in Trouble

618 Journalists Killed with Complete Impunity since 1992 (The Committee to Protect Journalists)

The current state of Press Freedom is or should be a cause for alarm for all who care for Democracy. From time to time a story reaches the world about the persecution of journalists which causes outrage, as was the case with the three al Jazeera journo’s in Egypt sentenced to horrendous prison terms for just doing their job. Also this:- “After Morsi’s ouster by the military in July, the government suspended the new constitution and launched a systematic crackdown on Islamist media, shutting down television and print outlets and targeting and arresting both local and foreign journalists who attempted to cover pro-Morsi protests. Five journalists were killed at the hands of the military in July and August".

At times like this we do well to remember that journalists are in the very front rank of democracy. Without them how would we get our information other than official hand-outs, which automatically are suspect, given the self-evident special pleading.  [...]



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