Europe of Sarajevo 100 Years Later: Was History Ever on Holiday? Part II

Part I: http://www.4thmedia.org/2014/06/europe-of-sarajevo-100-years-later-was-history-ever-on-holiday-part-i/

Europe of Genocide and of Unification – Happy EU to You!

The collapse of the Soviet Union marked a loss of the historical empire for Russia, but also a loss of geopolitical importance of nonaligned, world-wide respected Yugoslavia,[1] which shortly after burned itself in series of brutal genocidal, civil war-like ethnical cleansings. The idea of different nations living together and communicating in different languages in a (con-)federal structure was (though imperfect) a reality in Yugoslavia, but also a declared dream of the Maastricht Europe.

Moreover, this country was the only truly emancipated and indepen-dent political entity of Eastern Europe and one of the very few in a whole of the Old Continent. Despite the post-Cold War, often pre-paid, rhetorics that Eastern Europe rebelled against the Soviet domination in order to associate itself with the West, the reality was very different. Nagy’s Hungary of 1956, Dubček’sCzechoslovakia of 1968 and (pre-)Jeruzelski Poland of 1981 dreamt and fought to join a liberal Yugoslavia, and its internationally declared 3rd way!

By 1989-90, this country still represented a hope of full emancipation and real freedom for many in the East. How did the newly created EU (Atlantic-Central Europe axis) react? At least tolerating (if not eager to support), or actively eliminating the third way of Yugoslavia? It responded to the Soviet collapse in the best fashion of a classic, historical nation-state, with the cold calculi of geopolitical consideration deprived of any ideological constrains.

It easily abandoned altruism of its own idea by withdrawing its support to the reformist government of Yugoslavia and basically sealed-off its faith. Intentionally or not, indecisive and contradictory political messages of the Maastricht-time EU – from the explicate encouragement of separatism, and then back to the full reconfirmation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Yugoslavia – were bringing this multinational Slavic state into schizophrenic situation.

Consequently, these Europe’s mixed political messages –most observes would agree– directly accelerated inner confrontations of the Yugoslav peoples. Soon after, Atlantic-Central Europe axis contained the western Balkans, letting the slaughter-house to last essentially unchecked for years.[2]At the same time, it busily mobilized all resources needed to extend its own strategic depth eastwards (later formalized by the so-called enlargements of 1995, of 2004, of 2007 and finally of 2013). This is the only answer how can genocide and the EU enlargement go hand in hand at the same time on such a small continent.

As said, the latest loss of Russophone Europe in its geopolitical and ideological confrontation with the West meant colossal changes in Eastern Europe. We may take a look into geopolitical surrounding of at the-time largest eastern European state, Poland, as an illustration of how dramatic was it.[3] All three land neighbors of Poland; Eastern Germany (as the only country to join the EU without any accession procedure, but by pure act of Anschluss), Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union have disappeared overnight.

At present, Polish border countries are a two-decade-old novelty on the European political map. Further on, if we wish to compare the number of dissolutions of states worldwide over the last 50 years, the Old continent suffered as many as all other continents combined: American continent – none, Asia – one (Indonesia/  East Timor), Africa – two (Sudan/South Sudan and Ethiopia/Eritrea), and Europe – three.

Interestingly, each and every dissolution in Europe was primarily related to Slavs (Slavic peo-ples) living in multiethnic and multi-linguistic (not in the Atlantic Europe’s conscripted pure single-nation) state. Further on, all three – meaning, every second dissolution in the world – were situated exclusively and only in Eastern Europe. That region has witnessed a total dissolution of Czechoslovakia (western Slavs) and Yugoslavia (southern Slavs, in 3 waves), while one state disappeared from Eastern Europe (DDR) as to strengthen and enlarge the front of Central Europe (Western Germany). Finally, countless centripetal turbulences severely affected Eastern Europe following the dissolution of the SU (eastern Slavs) on its frontiers.

Irredentism in the UK, Spain, Belgium, France and Italy, or Denmark (over Faroe Islands and Greenland) is far elder, stronger and deeper. However, the dissolutions in Eastern Europe took place irreversibly and overnight, while Atlantic Europe still remained intact, with Central Europe even enlarging territorially and expanding economically.

As early as in XVI century, the Easter European thought – in the person of famous Sarajevan, Bosnian Machiavelli, Kafija Pruščak – is spelling a universal and far reaching wisdom that progress is both the focus of a vision and attainable reality for all.[4] If this futuristic assertion is still accurate, than the progress itself is unthinkable without social cohesion.

That would, consequently, necessitate shared interest which only comes with thorough debates affecting all segments of society (or at least its major interest groups). Is today’s Eastern Europe a clas-sic case of indirect rule? Is it a deep imperial periphery of nominally independent native rulers, while in reality the true power holder resides outside, although is domestically suppor-ted by a dense web of NGOs, multinational corporations and locally handpicked ‘elites’?

Accidentally or not, for the last 25 years, our reporting on Eastern Europe was rather a matter of faith than a reflection of the empirical reality. This ‘rhetoric’ was dominated by fragmented intellectual trends that are more cultural (e.g. poetry, paintings, film, etc.) than coherently economic and geo-political in focus as they should be.

How one defines a challenge largely determines the response – effectively points out Brzezinski. Hence, the arts will always elaborate on emotions, science will search for and examine the facts. If the front of Atlantic-Central Europe lately suffered (an economic) problem which has been diagnosed as a distributional and compositional, than who and when is holistically and scientifically to examine the Eastern-Rusophone Europe and its burning geo-economic (distributional, compositional), socio-political/ideological (space-time in history) and geopolitical (logical and areal) problem?

There is a lot of (pre-paid and post-paid) attention-diverting and velvet-silencing, but besides this cacophonic noise where is a serious research on that? If the equality of outcome (income) was a communist egalitarian dogma, is the belief in equality of opportunity a tangible reality offered to Eastern Europe or just a deceiving utopia sold to the conquered, plundered, ridiculed and cannibalized countries in transition?

By contrasting and comparing available HDI data (UN DP’s Human Development Index) and all relevant WB, OECD, UNCTAD, ILO and WHO socio-economic and health indexes including the demographic trends of last two decades, we can easily spot a considerable economic and socio-human growth in Asia, in Latin America and moderate growth elsewhere. The only trend of negative growth (including the suicide and functional illiteracy figures) comparable by its duration and severity to this of Eastern Europe, is situated only in (the central-west, central to Horn/central-east portions of) sub-Saharan Africa. Euphemisms such as countries in transition or new Europe cannot hide a disconsolate fact that Eastern Europe has been treated for 25 years as defeated belligerent, as spoils of war which the West won in its war against communist Russia.[5]

It concludes that (self-)fragmented, de-industrialized, rapidly aged and depopulated, (and de-Slavicized) EasternEurope is probably the least influential region of the world – one of the very few underachievers. Obediently submissive and therefore, rigid in dynamic environment of the promising 21st century, Eastern Europeans are among last remaining passive downloaders and slow-receivers on the otherwise blossoming stage of the world’s creativity, politics and economy.[6]

East does not exercise its political sovereignty (gone with the EU), its military sovereignty (gone with the NATO), its economic and monetary sovereignty (gone with the massive domestic de-industrialization ‘preached’ by the IMF, EBRD, EIB and eventually ECB),[7]and its financial sovereignty (gone by full penetration of German, Austrian and Swedish banks).[8]

Most of the Eastern European states do not control a single commercial bank on their territory.[9]Additionally, this region does not effectively control its media space – media there (of too-often dubious orientation and ownership) is discouraging, disorienting and silencing any sense of national pride, influence over destiny direction and to it related calls for self-(re) assessment. East is sharply aged and depopulated –the worst of its kind ever – which in return will make any future prospect of a full and decisive generational interval simply impossible.[10]

Honduras-ization of Eastern Europe is full and complete.[11]If the post-WWII Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe was overt and brutal, this one is tacit but subversive and deeply corrosive.[12]

Interestingly, the physical conquest, usually referred to as the EU enlargement, was primarily the US-led NATO one, and only then the EU enterprise. Simply, no eastern European country entered the EU before joining the NATO at first. It should not be forgotten that the NATO was and remains to be an instrument (institutionalized political justifier) of the US physical, military presence in Europe. Or, as Lord Ismay vocally defined it in1949: ‘to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’.

The fact that the US remained in Western Germany, and that the Soviet Army pulled out from Eastern Germany did not mean ‘democratization’ or ‘transition’. It was a direct military defeat of the Gorbachev Russia in the duel over the core sectors of Central and Eastern Europe. As direct spoils of war, DDR disappeared from the political map of Europe being absorbed by Western Germany, while the American Army still resides in unified Germany. In fact, more than half of the US 75 major overseas military bases are situated in Europe. Up to this day, Germany hosts 25 of them.

Admittedly, by the early 1990s, the ‘security hole’– Eastern Europe, has been approached in multifold fashion: Besides the (pre-Maastricht EC and post-Maastricht) EU and NATO, there was the Council of Europe, the CSCE (after the 1993 Budapest summit, OSCE), the EBRD and EIB. All of them were sending the political, economic, human dimension, commercial signals, assistance and expertise.[13]These moves were making both sides very nervous; Russia becoming assertive (on its former peripheries) and Eastern Europe defiantly dismissive.[14]Until this very day, each of them is portraying the NATO enterprise as the central security consideration: One as a must-go, and another as a no-go.[15]

No wonder that the absolute pivot of Eastern Europe – Ukraine, is a grand hostage of that very dilemma: Between the eastern pan-Slavic hegemony and western ‘imperialism of free market’.[16]For Ukraine, Russia is a geographic, socio-historic, cultural and linguistic reality. These days, this reality is far less reflected upon than the seducing, but distant Euro-Atlantic club. Ukraine for Russia is more than a lame western-flank’ geopolitical pivot. For Moscow, Kiev is an emotional place – an indispensable bond of historio-civilizational attachment – something that makes and sustains Russia both Christian and European.

Putin clearly redlined it: Sudden annexation of Crimea was an unpleasant and humiliating surprise that will bring a lot of foreign policy hangover for both the NATO and EU. Thus drifting chopped off and away, Ukraine itself is a prisoner of this domesticated security drama. This false dilemma so tragically imploded within this blue state, of a 50:50 polarized population, over the question where the country belongs – in space, time and side of history. Conclusively, Eastern Europe is further twisting, while gradually combusted between Ukrainization and Pakistanization.[17]

Least to the East and Nest of the West

The EU has secured itself on the southeastern flank, too. But, why does it matter? This flank of Europe also known as the Balkans is situated in one of the most fascinating locations of the world. It is a cradle of the eldest European civilization– thus, it is more than symbolically important. This antique theater is a place of the strong historio-civilizational attachment, the credibility and authenticity bond of Europeanness. Less esoteric but equally important is the fact that the Balkans actually represents, along with the MENA-Caucasus, the only existing land corridor that connects any three world’s continents.

Therefore, it is an absolute imperative for the external/peripheral powers to dominate such a pivotal geo-economic and geopolitical theater by simply keeping its center soft. That means that the core geographic sector has to be fragmented, isolated and antagonized (e.g. by pre-empting, preventing or hindering the emancipation that might come through any indigenous socio-political modernization and economic diversification). This is the very same imperative that has remained a dominant rational of inner European and Asian machtpolitik for centuries.

In the course of last few centuries, the Balkans was either influenced or controlled by Russia on the east (also by the Ottomans), Turkey on the south and center, Austria on the north and northwest, with the pockets of Anglo-French influence, too (Greece, Serbia, Albania). This reads that ever since the late 17th century (precisely, from 1686 when Russia joined the Holy League, and past the subsequent 1699 Treaty of Karlovci), the peripheries kept center of the Balkans soft, as their own playground. The only (pre-modern and modern) period when the center was strong enough to prevail, marks the time of the Balkans’ Bismarck: Tito of Yugoslavia.

Presently, the Eastern Balkans (Romania and Bulgaria) is cutoff from any Russian influence by being hastily admitted to the Union (2007). Turkey is contained by Greece (1980) and Cyprus (2004), and is waiting on the EU doorstep for decades without any clear prospect to join.[18] All that, as if it follows the old rational of the 1814 Vienna Congress as well as the Bismarck’s dictatum to Andrássy at the 1878 Congress of Berlin. Reinvigorating these geo-economic and strategic imperatives, Austria does not hesitate to add and shed emotional charge: it is nearly neuralgic on the Turkish EU accession, Russian presence or inner Slavic strength.

(It was not by chance that nearly all of the main European military campains outside of the Russian front conducted by the Nazi occupator during the WWII – from Kozara to Drvar – were taking place exclusivelly in Bosnia. Simply, who controls Bosnia, controls pretty much the rest of the Balkans, and from there the access to Black Sea, Caucasus–Caspian as well as to the Afroasian proper, too.

It was also not accidental that Austrian arogant imperial occupation of Bosnian and its subsequent brutal annexation was one of the key diplomatic problems from the Berlin Congress until the WWI outbreak. This careless Austro-Habsburg colonial expropriation of Bosnia has only accelerated, escalated and magified the forthcoming WWI slaughterhouse, in which southern Slavs were forced or decived to kill each others. Southern Slavs will readly butcher themselves – as useful idiots – for the benefit of Central Europe soon again, in 1940s and 1990s.)

In an attempt to control the core sectors of the Balkans, Austria jealously keeps the highest post in the Office of High Representative for Bosnia in its hands.[19]At the same time, it is the main protégé of Croatia’s bid for the EU membership (2013). De-industrialized, over-indebted and increasingly de-Slavicized, Croatia – for that matter of course, further fortifies the Austro-influence deeper in the Balkan proper.

The rest of the Western Balkans is still finishing the dissolution of Yugoslavia, by forming the ever smaller, incapacitated mini nation-states. (The prevailing political culture of the Western Balkans is provincial, anti-intellectual, xenophobic and irresponsible anti-politics). Less than a decade after President Tito’s death, the tectonic changes in the Eastern bloc have caused the dramatic change of geopolitical position of Yugoslavia and the NAM.

The external players and local élites, whom they chose to boost and cooperate with, had silently agreed that for the amortization of revived Anglo-French, Germanophone, Russian and Turkish (traditional), and the US (non-traditional) projections on the region, the Southern Slavs should (de-industrialize, agonize, de-Slavicize, and) live in far more than two states.

In the absence of compromise among the major external geopolitical projectors, the region still undergoes the fragmentational erosion, being kept (like once upon a time Germany) as a soft center for strong peripheral pressures.[20]Bosnia is the best example of such an external intrusion, and of the powers that purposely set a dysfunctional government.

No wonder, the only surviving state of the multiethnic constituency anywhere from Adriatic to Pacific, Bosnia suffers enormous external pressures.[21]Although assertive, none of the Four + the US wants to prevail in this core sector of the Balkans (and solely take a burden), but wishes to keep its presence strong enough as to observe and deter others.[22]

Nevertheless, ever since the Antique Roman times, the Southern Slavs territories (even all of the Balkans) have always existed within the larger multinational entities (be it Byzantium, Hungary, the Ottomans, the Habsburg Empire or Yugoslavia) – hardly ever in more than two states. Accommodation to a life in the numerous nano nation-state-alikes is a historical novelty, therefore it could be only a transitory stage for the Western Balkans.[23] The lasting solution may appear with the return to a historical legacy –life in a larger, multinational entity.

 

Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević, Chair Intl. Law and Global Pol. Studies (and Editor of the Addleton’s GHIR Journal), is one of the frequent contributors for The 4th Media.

Vienna, 13. JUN 2014         

anis@corpsdiplomatique.cd  

 

[Notes]

[1] Yugoslavia was by many facets a unique European country: No history of aggression towards its neighbors, with the high toleration of otherness. Yugoslav peoples were one of the rare Europeans who resolutely stood up against fascism, fighting it in a full-scale combat and finally paying it with 12% of its population in the 4-years war. (Relative to the 1939 size of state territory and incumbent population within, the top WWII fatalities were suffered by Poland – 18%, the Soviet Union – 15%, Yugoslavia 12%, III Reich/Germany – 10%. For the sake of comparison, the Atlantic rim suffered as follows: France – 1,3%, UK –0,9%, the US – 0,3%.) Yugoslavs also firmly opposed Stalinism right after the WWII. Bismarck of southern Slavs – Tito doctrinated the so-called active peaceful coexistence after the 1955 Bandung south-south conference, and assembled the non-Aligned movement (NAM) in its founding, Belgrade conference of 1961. Steadily for decades, the NAM and Yugoslavia have been directly tranquilizing the mega confrontation of two superpowers and satellites grouped around them (and balancing their irresponsible calamities all over the globe). In Europe, the continent of the sharpest ideological divide, with practically two halves militarily confronting each other all over the core sectors of the continent, and with its southern flank of Portugal, Spain and Greece (and Turkey sporadically) run by the military Juntas, Yugoslavia was remarkably mild island of stability, moderation and wisdom. Domestically, Yugoslavia had a unique constitutional setup of a strictly decentralized federation. Although being a formal democracy in its political life, many aspects of its social and economic practices as well as largely enjoyed personal freedoms and liberties featured the real democracy. The concept of self-management (along with the Self-managing Interest Community model) in economic, social, linguistic and cultural affairs gained a lot of external attention and admiration in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Still, there was neither enough sympathies nor mercy in the towards-EU-heading Europe, to save either the Yugoslav people from an immense suffering or the symbol that this country represented domestically and internationally.

[2]The brief but bloody 1989 televised episode of a witch-hunt, followed by the hasty extrajudicial and savage killing of Romanian president and his wife Ceausescu, shocked the world – but not for long. The first ever fully televised war with its highly disturbing pictures of genocidal Armageddon came by early 1990s. It remained on TV sets for years all over Europe, especially to its East. Although the Atlantic-Central Europe axis kept repeating we do not know who is shooting whom in this powder keg and it is too early to judge, this –seemingly indecisive, wait-and-see, attitude– was in fact an undeniably clear message to everyone in Eastern Europe: No III way will be permitted. East was simply expected to bandwagon – to passively comply, not to actively engage itself.

[3]Ethnically, linguistically and religiously one of the most homogenous countries of Europe, Poland in its post-communist concepts reinvigorates the faith (as being, past the days of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, massively de-Slavicized). No wonder as the Polish-born Karol Józef Wojtyła served the Roman Curia as Pontifex Maximus from 1978, to be replaced by the German-born Joseph Ratzinger in 2005. Prizing Roman-Catholicism over ethnicity, even harshly denouncing any Slavic sentiment as a dangerous roter russischer Panslawismus, ‘fortress’ Poland effectively isolates itself on a long-run as none of its neighbors is Catholic. To the contrary, the four fifths of its land-borders are shared with other Slavic states. To externally mobilize, the elites (in any Eastern European state) would need an appealing intellectual case – not a mare ethno-religious chauvinism.

[4] Taken from Kafija Pruščak, H. (1596), Universal theory of the global governing wisdoms (Usul Al-hikam fi nizami-el-alem, org. Temelji mudrosti o uređenju svijeta).At the time, he was nicknamed in Western Europe as the Oriental Machiavelli.

[5] A sharp drop in LE (life expectancy) in Russia, from age 72 to 59, is something faced only by nations at war. The evidence that Russia has suffered such a steep decline, unreversed ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, is unprecedented in a peace-time history of any industrialized nation. Although not so alarming like in the post-Soviet Russia, the rest of post-Soviet republics and Eastern Europe closely follow the same LA pattern – not to mention devastating birth rates, brain drain and other demographic data. E.g. the projected LA of the today’s born Berliner is around 100 years, while of Muscovite is only 67 years. Simply, the East is unable to (re-)produce its own life (or, once conceived, to keep the best of it at home).

[6] With some exceptions of Visegrád countries (such as Poland or Czech Republic, and lately Hungary) sporadically opposing a constant bandwagoning (but even that only in the domain of narrow EU fiscal or economic matters), Eastern Europe of today is unable to conceive and effectively promulgate a self-emancipating, balanced and multivector foreign policy. Fergusson goes as far as to claim for Eastern Europeans that: “they looked at Brussels (of NATO) the way former British colonies obeyed everything said and done in London.”

[7]“The entry criteria for Eastern European states was particularly costly: the so-called small and open economies, de-indust-rialized and over-indebted didn’t have any chance to be equal partners. For most of them, FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) is the only economic solution, which turned them into colonies…” – admitted even the Nobel laureate, economist Stiglitz in his The Price of Inequality. Moreover, the overly strong and rigid exchange rate of the domestic currencies in Eastern Europe is only good for foreign landers. It awards importers while disadvantages domestic manufacturing base and home exporters. This outdated anti-growth economic policy has been universally abandoned long ago, even by the LDC (the UN-listed Least developed countries). No wonder that the GDP in the most of Eastern European states is below its pre-1990s levels.

[8]According to findings of the Budapest Institute of Economics (Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary), for the past two decades, the volume of Austrian banking sector has increased 370%. How is this spectacular percentage achievable for the country of a flat domestic economic and negative demographic growth? This covert occupation of south-eastern Europe by the foreign financial sector did not create new jobs or re-create any industrial base there. As the Budapest Institute concluded aftermath, it was only meant to dry-out the remaining liquid assets (and private savings) from the rapidly pauperized, defeated belligerent. In 1914, Austria controlled banks as well; in Croatia, Bosnia, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, southern Poland and western Ukraine. However, at that time, it also had a strict governing obligation as all of them were a part of the Monarchy. By having recognized the formal sovereignty to each of these entities, Austria today (like Sweden towards the three Baltic States in the northeast flank of Europe, and Germany in the central sector of Eastern Europe) has no governing obligations whatsoever. It can easily externally socialize (externalize) all its costs including banking risks, and individualize all profits (internalize), yielding it only for itself. Hence, the EU accession criteria, combined with a nominal independence of Eastern European entities (pacified by the pre-paid media and guided by the post-paid ‘elites’), means that the economic and other assets are syphoned out, but the countries have to take a burden of the state maintenance solely on themselves.

[9] Current labor relations in the most of Eastern Europe (Rusophone Europe, too) resembles pictures of the 18th rather than of the 21st century’s conditions, especially in the private sector of employment. It is all with a weak or even totally absent trade unionism, dismal labor rights and poor protection of other essential social rights. “We have stringent labor conditions to the unbearable maximum, so that the few self-styled ‘top managers’ can play golf more frequently and for a longer time…how can you possibly build any social cohesion when disproportionately many suffer for the dubious benefit of the asocial, predatory few…” – confessed to me the Ambassador of one of the largest Eastern European countries who served as a mayor of his country’s capital, before his ambassadorship in Vienna.

[10]Some ten years ago, for the special OSCE forum for demographics, I warned: “…lasting political, social and economic changes including very important technological breakthroughs – throughout our history – primarily occurred at generational intervals. This was an engine of our evolution…Presently, with demographically collapsing East European societies (natality rates, generational and brain drain), the young cohort will never constitute more than a tiny minority – in the sea of aged, backward-looking, psychologically defeatistic and biologically incapable, conservative status quo keepers. Hence, neither the generational change that brings fresh socio-political ideas, nor technological breakthrough –which usually comes along – will successfully ever take place in future of such demographics.” (For a detailed demographic outlook and tentative recommendations/ conclusions, see: Bajrektarevic, A. (2005), Our Common Futures: EURO-MED Human Capital beyond 2020, Crans Montana Forum, Monaco, 2005, as well as Bajrektarevic, A. (2005), Green/Policy Paper Submitted to the closing plenary of the Ministerial (Chairmanship summarizing the recommendations and conclusions of the OSCE Ministerial Summit Prague 2005),  OSCE Documents EEA 2005.)

[11]Eastern Europe is Hondurized – this term refers to an operationalization of Monroe Doctrine in Central America, by which Washington allows its strategic neighborhood to choose their own domestic political and economic systems to an acceptable degree, while the US maintains its final (hemispheric) say over their external orientation. The so-called Brezhnev doctrine (of irreversibility of communist gains) postulated the Soviet (Suslov-Stalin) equivalent to Honduras-ization – Finlandization.

[12]Eastern Europe, the (under-)world of dramatic aging which, is additionally demographically knocked down by the massive generational and brain drain. Passed the dismantling of the communist order, these emerging economies, countries in transition of the new Europe contain reactionary forces (often glorifying the wrong side of history), predatory ‘elites’ and masses of disillusioned (in a life without respect and dignity, humiliated and ridiculed in the triviality of their lasting decline). Even if the new jobs are created or old kept, they are in fact smoke screens: Mostly a (foreign-loans financed) state-sponsored poverty programs where armies of the underemployed and misemployed cry out miserable wages in dead-end jobs. Former Slovakian cabinet minister laments in private: “Our ‘liberated East’ lives on foreign loans, or in the best case as the industrial suburbia of West Europe, having these few ‘generously’ franchised factories like Renault, VW or Hugo Boss. Actually, these are just automotive assembly lines and tailor shops – something formally done only in the III World countries. Apart from the Russian Energia-Soyuz (space-program related) delivery system, what else do we have domestically created anywhere from Bratislava to Pacific? Is there any indigenous high-end technical product of past decades known? … Our EU accession deals are worse than all Capitulation agreements combined that the Ottomans and Imperial China have ever signed in their history.”

[13] Through the EBRD–EIB conditionalities and EU accession criteria, Eastern Europe was dictated to practically dismantle its essential industrial and service base. This dictatum upon defeated belligerent – euphemistically called countries in transition or new Europe – was followed by loans and assets received from the EU Accession and Structural funds. It was ‘sold’ to the East as award and as such presented to the deceived population. (However, it was rather to tranquilize the population at large and to pacify their local scenes, not at all aimed to modernize, re-industrialize or diversify economy, or to make production and service sector more efficient or competitive. Consequently, it was merely to subsidize the deteriorating purchasing power of the East – to make the peoples there accustomed to and encouraged for the foreign goods and services.) Thus, the funds were predominantly consumed for the western commodities. Ergo, Atlantic and Central Europe extended themselves geographically, while economically they skillfully managed to subsidize their own industrial base. To this very end, Eastern Europe’s elites readily took loans, while –in return– laying down sovereignty in issuing the guaranties. By doing so, they indebted their own states beyond bearing, and hence, they finally eliminated their own countries as any current or future economic competitor or politico-military challenger.

[14]Since the end of WWII, there was no other external military interventions but to the Europe’s East. To be accurate, in its long history (earlier and nearly double longer than of the Warsaw pact), the only two interventions of NATO ever conducted in Europe were both taking place solely on Eastern European soil. While the two Russian (covert) interventions aimed at its strategic neighborhood (former Soviet republics, heavily inhabited by ethnic Russian; Abkhazia-South Ossetia and Crimea-East Ukraine) and were (unsuccessfully) justified as the encirclement preemption, the US-led NATO intervened overtly. In both NATO cases (Bosnia and Serbia-Kosovo), it was well beyond any membership territory, and short of any UN-endorsed mandate, meaning without a real international legitimacy. “Humanitarian intervention in Kosovo was never exactly what it appeared… It was a use of imperial power to support a self-determination claim by a national minority”– wrote Michael Ignatieff about the 1990s Balkans events, as fresh and accurate as if reporting was from Sevastopol in spring 2014.

[15]It is anticipated that Iran (and Syria) on the Russian southwest flank serve as a pivotal security buffer. Indeed, Teheran is in constant need of a diplomatic cover from Moscow – as it internationally seeks, at least, a turn-key technology legalization for itself. In return, Iran refrains from its own Islamic projection on and it shields the Caucasus and Central Asia – considered by Russians as their strategic backyard – from the assertive Wahhabism. On the other hand, boldness of Iran endorses a perfect pretext for a reinforced missile shield. This – interestingly enough – rather encircles Russia then it deters Iran, as the recent architecting of the Missile shield predominantly to Eastern Europe (from the Baltics, Poland, Czech Republic and Romania) has showed. There are exceptionally few reinforced Patriot missile batteries (of adequate quantities and configurations) stationed e.g. in Turkey– the only NATO member of a close proximity, capable to engage Syria or Iran. Hence, while such a missile hype does not deter Iran (does not democratize Turkey, does not bring stability to Iraq, nor the regime change in Syria), it still achieves a lot. It seriously compromises the 1990 CFE Treaty, since the US unilaterally withdrew from the 30-years-in-place ABM treaty in 2002, and poses a challenge to the OSCE guarded politico-military/CSBM cooperation among the Organization’s 56 member states.

[16]This is further burdened by the imperialism in a hurry – an inflammable mix of the Lithuanian-Polish past traumas and German ‘manifest destiny’ of being historically yet again ill-fated; impatient for quick results – simply, unable to capitalize on its previous successes. One of my German students recently very vividly ironized: “The irony of unintended consequence is that the intense relationship between Über-mutti (Chancellor Merkel) and boxman at large Klitschko is interpreted by Moscow as asexual, but not as apolitical.”To say, overly cosmopolitan interest for a faith of foreigners living in Germany for someone who infamously said: “multiculturalism is dead in Europe…” (Sarkozy, Cameron and Merkel openly and repeatedly viewed and diagnosed ‘death of multiculturalism’, as if the cluster of Atlantic-Central Europe’s national-states lived a long, cordial and credible history of multiculturalism on its soil.

[17]Ukrainization could be attributed to eastern and western Slavs– who are fighting distinctions without significant difference. Pakistanization itself should describe the southern Slavs’ scenery: In lieu of truth and reconciliation, guilt is offered as a control mechanism, following the period of an unchecked escalation, ranging from a hysteria-of-a-small-difference to a crime-of-otherness purge.

[18]Why is the biggest and richest city of Europe (still) outside the Union? Does it illustrate a Huntingtonian fact that the EU is not as multi-religious multilateral system as its younger (twin) brother – ASEAN, but only a nest for the western Christian Ummah? True, but not completely. The last spot of Europe with both economic and demographic growth is Turkey. Just one more European country also has a steady economic growth – Russia. Another commonality for them is that both are outside the system which portrays itself as a truly Europo-cosmopolitan and pan-European. There was another time when Europe claimed to have a comprehensive multilateral setting, while keeping two pivotal powers outside the system– interwar period. No wonder that the League of Nations did not prevent but, on contrary, only accelerated the pre-WWII events with its ‘system error’, (in)action and lack of outreach.

[19] Colloquially known as the Colonial Office, OHR (Office of the High Representative) is the (US military base induced, the 19th century Congress look alike) ‘internationally’ set body with the supreme (legislative) prerogatives and highest executive (political) powers in the country. Disproportionate to its powers is the very slim achievement of the OHR. This non-UN-, non-OSCE-, and non-EU mandated office is increasingly criticized for its shadowy influence and opaque decision-making. Many high ranking Bosnians will quite openly admit that the top OHR officers are rather promulgating their respective national commercial interests in Bosnia than working on the very OHR mandate to stabilize the country. Whatever is the true, the results are really worrying. Since its inauguration in 1995, the post of the chief OHR executive – High Representative (nicknamed as Colonial Governor), is dominated by Atlantic-Central Europe – 6 out of 7 individuals. With the tasks considerably smaller but of the earningsclose to those of the UN Secretary General, monthly income of the High Commissioner is €24,500 plus additional benefits (unpublicized), and is of course free of taxation in any country. Austria managed – like no other state – to get the top OHR post twice, and to stay in that office for already 9 out of 19 years. Domestically, this Alpine Republic is regularly criticized for its dismal score on protection of minorities, especially the south Slavic minorities such as Croats and Slovenes. Austrian regional authorities even ignored the strict orders of its own Constitutional Court to install the bilingual Slavic-German signs. Moreover, one of the powerful regional Governors even entered into a defying, humiliating and elsewhere unthinkable public debate with the Austrian Constitutional Court President. Amazingly enough, this is the country whose former President Kurt Waldheim was present at the worst atrocities against civilians in northwest Bosnia (Kozara and Neretva, notorious Operation Schwarz I and Schwarz II) during the WWII as the Military Intelligence Army Officer of Hitler’s Reich. (For the successful genocidal Slavic-race cleansing of sick and wounded, pregnant or women with minor children, and elderly by the German forces in Kozara in summer 1942, future Austrian president –member of the Nazi party since 1939 – was outstandingly decorated with the Silver Medal of the Crown.) Moreover, this was the first and only country ever under the EU sanctions (for inviting its far-right political party to the coalition government in 2000). Austria was strongly condemned and sharply politically isolated by all EU members, but not in devastated and terrified Bosnia, where it continued to keep the post of the High Representative all throughout that period.

[20]How deep is the rabbit hole… Republic of Macedonia is a good demonstration case for it. No other European country was forced to abandon its own constitutional name, and seek the international recognition under the strange name of a saturated country that does not exist anymore for over 20 years – Former Yugoslav Federal Republic of Macedonia.

[21]In his well-publicized Sarajevo speech, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu returned the usual EU rhetorics back to the European front-yard: “…I have to say that my country is disappointed that an important religio

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