Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Will the EU-27 Survive the Biden Years?

by Oui Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 01:52:08 PM EST

Zelensky's U.S. visit: new tone in relations

Meanwhile ...

U.S., Germany strike a deal to allow completion of controversial Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline | CNBC - July 21, 2021 |

Nord Stream 2: Last piece of gas pipeline is in place | DW |

Construction on the controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline took a major step to completion. According to the company, the final piece of piping has been welded together. It will then be lowered into place in the Baltic Sea. It must then be connected and will then be expected to begin operating soon.


Russia's state-owned energy company Gazprom said once the project has been completed the pipeline will begin supplying Germany in October. The €10 billion ($12 billion) project is expected to double the carrying capacity to Germany.

The US is not happy with what it believes will be a more dependent relationship between Europe and Russia. Washington does not want Moscow using energy as a weapon, and has sought assurances from Berlin that it will act if that is seen to be the case.

Russia's Gazprom completes Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction | TRT World |

Energy giant Gazprom has announced that construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, set to double natural gas supplies from Russia to Germany by bypassing Ukraine, has been completed.

Following the announcement on Friday, Ukraine immediately reacted, saying it will fight the "political project."

"Chairman of the Management Committee Alexei Miller said that this morning at 8.45 Moscow time (05:45 GMT) construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was fully completed," Gazprom said in a statement on Friday.

"Ukraine will fight this political project, before and after it's completion and even after the gas is turned on," Sergiy Nykyforov, the spokesman of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, following the Moscow's announcement.

Not President Volodymyr Zelenskyy but his new spokesperson takes the headline on DC visit ...

Zelensky's spokesperson takes a selfie mocking Washington Monument

Nykyforov amusement at Washington Monument: violent reactions on social media in its aftermath | BBC News |

Reasons to Be Cheerful: The Biden-Zelensky Summit | CEPA |

After a years-long quest marked with entanglements into U.S. domestic politics, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky finally made it to the White House last week, becoming only the second European leader to be invited to Washington since President Biden took office in January.

The much-anticipated summit was preceded by clear signals of frustration and disappointment from Ukraine's leadership, and for good reasons. Earlier this year, Ukraine, despite facing an increased threat from Russia's mobilization of its forces in April, failed to secure critical U.S. backing for a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to join NATO, something the country has sought since the alliance's promise of future membership at its 2008 Bucharest summit. Furthermore, the Biden administration notably backtracked on sanctioning Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline -- which aims to harm Ukrainian influence and income -- while the U.S.-German compromise announced in July, designed to compensate Ukraine and mitigate the impact of the near-complete gas pipeline, fell far short not only of Ukrainian but also Central European expectations.

Yet while the Washington Summit showed disagreements remain, it would be misleading to judge the summit solely on these two issues. In fact, Zelensky's White House visit firmly indicates that Ukraine's relations with the U.S. have strengthened and are on course for a truly lasting partnership.

Ukraine is clearly a priority for U.S. foreign policy and is likely to stay in this category throughout the Biden Presidency. As noted above, Zelensky became only the second world leader to be invited to the White House after outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The country's priority position is not only indicated by the strong language of the Joint Statement of the two presidents but the United States' recognition of Ukraine as "central to the global struggle between democracy and autocracy."

Truthteller from the Pentagon inventing new military policy after the dissolution of the Soviet empire and a new mission for NATO beyond Article 5 and Afghanistan operation.

Rumsfeld's 'Old' And 'New' Europe Touches On Uneasy Divide | RFERL - Jan. 24. 2003 |

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld touched a nerve in Europe this week, dividing the continent into what he called "old Europe" and "new Europe." Reaction from France and Germany -- which Rumsfeld put squarely in the "old" category -- was swift and harsh. But the U.S. official's underlying point cannot be denied. On Iraq, divisions in Europe appear to run deep, with the main fault line falling between NATO's "older" European members and its new ones.

Galeotti: The West's Paranoia About Putin | The Guardian |

US diplomat Victoria Nuland faces questions over strategy | FT - July 31, 2014 |

Using the accidental downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as an endless propaganda tool over Ukraine.

Winners and Losers Nord Stream 2 Completion

After Angela Merkel's steady reign, will the pendulum in Europe swing back to centrum left?

After Angela Merkel: how one woman shaped a generation -- and Europe

For most of her life, Josepha Albrecht has known only one leader. She doesn't live in North Korea or in Russia under Vladimir Putin. She is a teenager living in prosperous, democratic Germany.

The 17-year-old student was a baby when Angela Merkel became Germany's first female chancellor in November 2005. And she grew up in the years when Merkel established herself as Europe's pre-eminent stateswoman, a rock of stability in a world convulsed by economic crises, political populism and the fracturing of old alliances.

"Just crazy," is how Albrecht, a climate activist from Barnim, describes Merkel's long reign. "In democratic terms it's pretty shocking." For Imanuel Röver, a 16-year-old from Neukölln in southern Berlin, Merkel has been a kind of background track his entire life. "As long as I can remember", he says, "she's always been there."

That is about to change.

It's time to isolate the Brexit conservatives in GB. NL and F ...

It's about time ...

Even if it's fake news or part of someone's party propaganda!

Meanwhile in Nordic Nations ... leading to the left.

Rutte stuck in the old coalition of before the March election and has categorically refused to have talks with the centrum left parties. Disgusting fellow.

Rutte Caretaker

Coalition fixer Remkes tells parties to focus on ’urgent problems’

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A possible advantage the EU might have, if it comes to it, is that reorganizations of the system of government have happened repeatedly, so there is experience both in "how do you manage a transition from system A to system B?" and "what might system B look like?"

The UK, and the US in particular, do not have such experience. It seems likely to me that the US might run into a very serious problem with both of those questions if the current system does not hold together. We are very strongly wedded to our 18th Century Enlightenment experiment--even though hardly anybody knows the background context. There is essentially zero history of 16th - 18th Century Europe taught in American schools. Most people don't even know there was an English Civil War.

by asdf on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 10:42:59 PM EST
Thirty Years' War archive: becoming luterans...
by Cat on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 10:43:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

$50bn submarine contract goes to Adelaide (and France)

Australia to get nuclear-powered submarines, will scrap $90b program to build French-designed subs

Green option: diesel powered replaced by nuclear designed subs.

by Oui on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 10:11:52 PM EST

Maybe the grieve over the lost submarines makes the French forget how to repair power cables.

by generic on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 08:16:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least, Biden remembers Macron's name (hopefully).

Joe Biden calls Scott Morrison 'that fella Down Under' during AUKUS nuclear submarine announcement

It's one of the most significant strategic and defence moves in decades, cementing Australia's alliance with the US and the UK for years to come.

But as Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined the UK's leader Boris Johnson and Joe Biden for a virtual announcement, the US President raised a few eyebrows in Australia.

"Thank you Boris," he said to the UK Prime Minister who had dialled in via video from London.

Then Mr Biden turned to the other screen showing Mr Morrison who had joined from Canberra.

'And I want to thank that, uh, fellow Down Under," he said.

by Bernard on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 08:47:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks more like the fault is wholly England owned 😖 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

The Sellindge converter station was built by GEC and the Les Mandarins converter station was built by CGE Alstom.

Fire blazing at IFA1 interconnector leaves GB grid facing even tighter market and higher prices

A fire at National Grid's IFA1 interconnector site in Sellindge is to see power prices once again spike in the UK as 1GW of capacity drops off the system. The event comes during a difficult time for the UK power market, which is already experiencing intense price pressures.

Grid ESO confirmed to Currents  that it currently has a sufficient buffer of spare capacity to operate the electricity system securely over this evening's peak demand period, EnAppSys warned that the loss of the 2GW IFA1 interconnector - which links the UK with France - will see the market become even tighter. IFA1 has been in operation since 1986, providing a subsea electricity link between the two nations.

While IFA1 was only at half capacity, it was due to return to full import at the weekend, and could see an extended outage as a result of the fire, according to EnAppSys.

EnAppSys' data shows that in the year to date overall average power prices have been over double the average price in 2019-2020, and in the last two weeks daily average prices have been eight times the average in 2019.

There is more ... which country is making all the profit?

Interconnexion France-Angleterre 2 (IFA2), electricity interconnector linking the UK and France in full flow | Jan. 25, 2021 |

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 12:15:15 PM EST
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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:32:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ElecLink: A merchant transmission investment optimising collective value

ElecLink is an electricity interconnector between France and Great Britain, going through the Channel Tunnel, which is expected to be commissioned in 2020. It will generate a capacity of 1,000 MW, increasing the current interconnection exchange capacity by +50% between France and Great Britain.

While almost all other European interconnectors are regulated, ElecLink is a merchant transmission investment, partially exempted from some regulatory requirements.

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 12:17:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Theresa May questions if Aukus pact could lead to war over Taiwan | The Guardian |

Boris Johnson has been challenged by his predecessor Theresa May as to whether the newly signed Aukus defence pact between the UK, US and Australia could lead to Britain being dragged into a war with China over Taiwan.

The intervention came during a Commons debate on the three-country agreement, under which the US and UK will share sensitive technology with Australia to allow it to develop its first nuclear-powered submarines.

The former British prime minister asked Johnson: "What are the implications of this pact for the stance that would be taken by the United Kingdom in its response should China attempt to invade Taiwan?"

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:33:28 PM EST
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by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 09:01:55 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 02:11:36 AM EST
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by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 09:17:44 AM EST
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France says Biden acted like Trump to sink Australia defence deal | Reuters |

Two weeks ago, the Australian defence and foreign ministers had reconfirmed the deal to France, and French President Emmanuel Macron lauded decades of future cooperation when hosting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in June.

"It's a stab in the back. We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken," Le Drian said.

Relations between Trump and Macron soured during Trump's presidency, and diplomats say there have been concerns in recent months that Biden is not being forthright with his European allies.

...
Washington's actions in Australia are likely to further strain Transatlantic ties. The European Union was due to roll out its Indo-Pacific strategy later on Thursday and Paris is preparing to take on the EU presidency.

"This is a clap of thunder and for many in Paris a Trafalgar moment," Bruno Tertrais, Deputy Director of the Paris-based think tank the Foundation of Strategic Research said on Twitter, referring to a French naval defeat in 1805 that was followed by British naval supremacy.

He said it would "complicate the transatlantic cooperation in and about the region. Beijing will benefit."

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:40:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Incoherent, like Biden.
by StillInTheWilderness on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 02:03:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Engaging the systems': The secret only a handful of people were trusted to keep | SMH |

Secretaries Pompeo and Esper Remarks on U.S.-Australia Relations | July 28. 2020 |

by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 06:02:25 AM EST
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by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 06:02:58 AM EST
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Relationship Biden vs Macron ... a Trump leftover.

The Empire never forgets!

by Oui on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 at 06:06:17 AM EST
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France deplores 'stab in the back' by Australia over submarines

Defence Minister Florence Parly called Australia's about-face "very bad news with regard to keeping one's word", while adding that France is "clear-eyed as to how the United States treats its allies".

"In terms of geopolitics and international relations, it's serious," she told RFI radio on Thursday.

Parly and Le Drian had already denounced a "regrettable" move by Canberra in a statement overnight, saying it underscored the need to bolster "a European strategic autonomy".

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:42:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Emmanuel Macron tells Scott Morrison  'we're by your side' on China

Emmanuel Macron has declared "we stand by your side" in Australia's ongoing stoush with China, declaring Canberra "central" to regional stability.

The French President made the comments as he welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Elysee Palace in Paris, where the pair discussed Beijing's increasingly assertive posture in the Indo-Pacific.

Transcript PM Morrison visit to OECD HQ Paris

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, how did your discussions go with President Macron around the submarine program and the cost of that?

PRIME MINISTER: It was a very positive discussion we had last night about a whole raft of issues and of course including the contract. We are coming up to important gates in that contract and there have been issues that we have had to address over particularly the last eight months and President Macron and I have a very, very open and very transparent, and very friendly relationship where we can speak candidly to each other about these issues.

Ahh ... there was a Plan B 🤥

JOURNALIST: Did you ask President Macron to take a greater hand in the subs contract and in your meeting with Naval Group, did that leave you with a sense that we do need a Plan B?

PRIME MINISTER: First of all I would say that President Macron has been taking a very active role. He and I have been discussing these issues for some time and he has an open invitation for he and I to raise issues that relate to this contract and we have, consistently. And I appreciate the direct role that he has played in ensuring that we've seen a much-improved position come forward from Naval over the last six months, but there is still a long way to go.

JOURNALIST: Is it true that Naval Group has a September deadline to submit the design work for the next two years and if the Government is not happy in September would you, will you walk away from the contract.

PRIME MINISTER: The Scope Two works, the master schedule, total costs, these are all the next steps. Contracts have gates and that's the next gate.

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:47:04 PM EST
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by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 08:24:36 PM EST
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Strong ties with New Europe to confront Russian influence ...

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 08:26:39 PM EST
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So Sudden ...

We got along so well, where did it go wrong?

by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 09:20:34 AM EST
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Secretary Blinken's Meeting with French Foreign Minister Le Drian | G7 London - May 4, 2021 |

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian in London on the margins of the G7 Ministerial. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Le Drian discussed long-term security and the need for a democratic transition in Chad following the passing of President Déby. The Secretary and Foreign Minister also affirmed unwavering U.S. and French support for Ukraine's sovereignty and agreed to monitor closely Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Both leaders committed to supporting a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Cameroon and expressed concern over the lack of movement on reforms critical to Lebanese stability.

Oops ... forgot to mention China and security and stability in the Indo-Pacific and key US ally Palau.

    UNSC votes: Let's run through the "no" list, made of up of Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Togo.
by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 09:21:27 AM EST
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#France has canceled a diplomatic celebration with the #US, which was to be held in Washington, after a deal with the UK and #Australia excluded Paris

Meeting Challenges in the Indo-Pacific and China: French Strategic Perspectives

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 08:59:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Informative diary, but I'm struggling to relate the content to the title. Why do "the Biden years" constitute a threat to the EU?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 10:26:33 PM EST
Trump was an Idiot, however Biden is elderly and conservative. Has retained too many foreign policies initiated by the previous administration. Failed to reduce sanctions on Iran and renew the JCPOA ... added numerous economic and financial sanctions across a range of countries.

Promised a return to multilateralism and have a timely meeting with allies. None has come to fruition as soon in Withdrawal from Afghanistan. Many lives will be lost of good people and allies.

Biden has suffered a setback with the Covid-19 pandemic in the US and has an immense domestic agenda. He has failed to support vaccination across the globe as  was requested by the UN and WHO.

The President has abandoned the war on extremist Islam and supports the Abraham Business Accords in further support of settlement expansion by Israel and deaf on suffering of Palestinians.

The new enemy is China as he will try to isolate other nations from trade and commercial ties. As VP Biden was responsible for R2P Policy in the Obama administration and expansion of the Iraq War into Syria in an attempt to overthrow Bashar Assad. Obama initiated regime change in Libya creating chaos and further expansion of jihad across the Sahara, Nigeria, Mali and Niger.

The long Civil war in Syria caused devastation, 600k deaths and millions of displaced persons and refugee flight into Europe.

Furthermore, Biden was the architect of the Maidan revolt and overthrow in the Ukraine. Reset of more aggression against  Russia as in isolation of the early stages of the Cold War in the Soviet era.

by Oui on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 11:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All true, and worthy of a diary, but again, why is this a threat to the existence of the EU- other than a renewed threat of a refugee crisis?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:35:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe in the sense that if USA keeps pissing on EU, there may finally be room for discussion about the insanity if atlanticism. EU will tear itself apart when somebody presents the apostasy that any true security arrangement for Europe depends much more on relations to Russia than to USA.

Especially so since Biden seems to be oblivious to the reality of degenerating status of US as a superpower. If "Biden years" means more and more stick and less and less "allies", eventually even the European political elite, which is much more atlaticist than the population, will have to define European security in a new way.

At which point the multipolar, rules-based world order pushed by China and Russia may suddenly seem more alluring than fighting USA's wars and enforcing USA's sanctions.

by pelgus on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 11:50:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]

French soldiers kill Islamic State leader in Sahel, Macron says | France24 |

Career planning ... making promotion from Polisario Front via Al Qaeda to the more extremist Islamic State. This "leader" is one of so many as the scourge of terror has grown and spread across the globe after 9/11 and the horrible miscalculations of the US, UK and Western allies.

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 10:06:47 AM EST
The End of the Sahelian Anomaly: How the Global Conflict between the Islamic State and al-Qa`ida Finally Came to West Africa | July 2020 |

Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi | Wikipedia |

Al-Sahrawi was born in Laayoune, Western Sahara into a wealthy trading family that fled the city for refugee camps in Algeria. He joined the Polisario Front and received military training, but he demobilised amid promises of a United Nations referendum on the status of Western Sahara.

He studied social sciences at the Mentouri University of Constantine, from which he graduated in 1997. A year later he joined the Sahrawi Youth Union. In 2004, said to be suffering from health problems and depression, he turned to Islam after contact with students from the Ibn Abbas Institute in Nouakchott.

Around November 2010, he left Tindouf in Algeria for northern Mali and joined the Katiba Tarik ibn Zayd, a unit of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

In October 2011, he was part of the group that founded the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, alongside the Malian Ahmed al-Tilemsi and Sultan Ould Bady, as well as the Mauritanian Hamada Ould Mohamed Kheirou.

On 13 May 2015, Abu Walid declared his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and formed the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. Not all of Al-Mourabitoun accepted the move, with Mokhtar Belmokhtar denying that al-Murabitoun had pledged to Baghdadi, causing a split in the group. More than a year and a half later, the allegiance was publicly accepted by ISIS's Amaq News Agency.

Diaries written @BooMan ...

Terrorists of Benghazi Raid Killed in Algerian Hostage Massacre | Jan. 25, 2013 |

Chadian Forces Decapitate AQIM - Top Leaders Killed in Mountains | March 2, 2013 |

A Decade of US Special Ops in the Sahel-Maghreb | Feb. 7, 2013 |

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 10:08:38 AM EST
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by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:03:52 PM EST
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Maghreb ≠ Sahel

Maghreb is North of Sahara, and comprised mainly of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

Sahel is South of Sahara, spanning roughly from Mauritania to Sudan, via Niger, Mali and Chad.

by Bernard on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 07:26:15 PM EST
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Thx ... one needs to be accurate. Last time my diary covered half of Africa 😉

North Africa, Sahel and Maghreb - Chaos after Western (Military) Intervention | June 2015 |

Map Maghreb and Sahel

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 07:50:21 PM EST
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Algeria bans French military planes as diplomatic row deepens | The. Guardian |

by Oui on Sun Oct 3rd, 2021 at 03:19:17 PM EST
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by Oui on Mon Oct 4th, 2021 at 04:48:28 PM EST
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Netanyahu slaps Obama's face again during White House visit | EuroTrib - March 2010 |

    The first insult was Joe Biden's in Jerusalem last week; the second insult was directed at Obama himself, while Netanyahu was visiting the White House yesterday. And the timing was perfect.

    As Netanyahu was talking to Obama in the White House, an announcement was made in Israel informing that another East Jerusalem housing project had been approved.

US Joe Biden Partners with Israel in Gaza Carnage

Happened before during the Bush and Obama administration.

Shipping arms and munitions to replenish stocks used by Israel to crush the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Joe Biden Bestows Praise On Netanyahu and Himself

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 01:43:09 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 01:44:30 PM EST
Sheikh Jarrah's El-Kurd twins make TIME top 100 list | Al Jazeera |

Palestinian rights activists Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd, whose family faces forced displacement from their home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, have been named to TIME magazine's annual list of the 100 most-influential people in the world.

The twins, aged 23, earlier this year became the faces of a global campaign to halt Israeli efforts to forcibly displace Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah to make way for Jewish settlers.

Israeli forces detained and questioned the siblings for several hours over their activism in June.

"Through online posts and media appearances, sibling activists Mohammed and Muna El-Kurd provided the world with a window into living under occupation in East Jerusalem."

In a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, Mohammad El-Kurd said that although being named to the list was a "positive" development, symbolism is not enough to truly support the Palestinian cause.

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 01:45:37 PM EST
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Silwan Ethnic Cleansing - E Jerusalem | June 10, 2021 |

Given a Voice by the Nation magazine ...

by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 01:46:26 PM EST
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<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
by Oui on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 09:32:25 PM EST
What a crock of horse pa-tui.  

The US is no shape to fight a 21st Century war.  The US is still gearing up, i.e., F-22, to fight the Warsaw Pact flooding through the Fulda Gap.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 04:00:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The biggest irony being that Warsaw Pact was never planning to flood trough Fulda Gap.

Before going to completely defensive posture in 1979, the 1st Guards Tank Army positioned in Dresden was tasked, in case of NATO aggression, to break trough Kassel area and occupy Ruhr.

Only after other troops stopping the NATO forces pouring trough the "Eisenach Passage"...

by pelgus on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 09:55:15 AM EST
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It's a long-standing military tradition to prepare to fight the last war.
by rifek on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 04:22:46 PM EST
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by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 09:03:15 PM EST
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by Bernard on Sun Oct 3rd, 2021 at 12:55:36 PM EST
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Transparancy and honesty ... love it 💕 😂
by Oui on Sun Oct 3rd, 2021 at 02:29:50 PM EST
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Biden's apparent indifference to AUKUS deal's impact on France fueling fury, experts say | NBC News |

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 09:09:27 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 09:10:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Boris Johnson flies to New York to tighten transatlantic ties after strained summer

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 09:52:26 PM EST
Germany will continue deportations to Afghanistan, Finland announces suspension | InfoMigrants - July 13, 2021 |

German election: Chancellor candidates debate global security, foreign policy

by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 09:51:52 PM EST
Germany and the Netherlands halt deportations to Afghanistan | The Guardian - Aug. 11, 2021 |

Separately in The Hague, the Dutch state secretary for justice and security, Ankie Broekers-Knol, announced a "moratorium on [deportation] decisions and departures". The halt "will apply for six months and will apply to foreign nationals of Afghan nationality", she wrote in a letter to the Dutch parliament.

Wednesday's move by the Germans and Dutch marked a sharp U-turn from their previous position. Officials had said as late as Tuesday that both governments had joined their counterparts in Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Greece to write to the EU's executive arm saying they should be allowed to press on with expulsions of Afghan migrants if their asylum applications failed.

Afghanistan urged the EU in July to cease forced deportations for three months as security forces battle the Taliban offensive before the full US military pullout from Afghanistan on 31 August.

The hardline Islamists have in recent days made huge advances in the north, capturing territory including the provincial capital Kunduz, where German soldiers had been deployed for a decade until the end of June.

by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 09:52:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The investigation by the German authorities following a lethal airstrike in the context of NATO operations in Afghanistan did not breach the Convention | EHCR |

Kunduz massacre goes unpunished | WSWS - March 3, 2021 |

Hanan, who also appeared on behalf of his village, had filed the complaint alleging inadequate judicial investigation of the deaths of his two sons, who were eight and twelve years old when they were killed.

The two children, Abdul Bayan and Nesarullah, and more than a hundred other people (the exact number has not yet been firmly established), most of them civilians, were killed on 4 September 2009 when two US warplanes bombed a crowd that had gathered around two stalled tankers on a sandbank of the Kunduz River. The order for the attack had been given by Col. Georg Klein of the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces).

Taliban infiltrate once-peaceful Afghan north | BBC News - July 8, 2009 |

    The northern Afghan province of Kunduz is renowned for its mouth-watering melons, rice and almonds.

    Kunduzis are likely to remember their province as "the bread basket of Afghanistan" - it was the country's main source of cotton and fruit exports in more peaceful times.
    But those memories might be fading fast. A recent spate of attacks by the Taliban and al-Qaeda has altered the face of Kunduz beyond all recognition.

by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 09:54:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe, the End of the West and Global Power Shifts | Global Policy - 2017 |

Relative economic, political, and military power is undoubtedly shifting away from the West, most notably to Asia, but also to other world regions. Moreover, non-state actors and cross-border flows increasingly pose challenges to Western states' capacity for crisis management. Consequently, the liberal world order and its governance structures have come under pressure. Even more fundamental is the emerging challenge to the notion of the `West' as a group of countries led by the United States and unified around core values and principles.

The 2016 US election results raise serious doubts about the future US administration's resolve to abide by liberal democratic norms both internally and in their international relations. Whether deliberately or indirectly in the pursuit of other goals, the US may undermine the already weakened rules-based international system and thereby accelerate the decline of the West's material and ideological hegemony.

In light of these potential conflicts, European governments must take immediate action to prepare for a new global order. They must first strengthen their own countries and enhance the internal coherence of the Union. Second, they must improve the crisis management facilities and strategic capacities within their borders as well as within the euro area and the EU.

Economic weight

The United States and Europe have lost relative economic weight on a global scale because of the ascendance of a number of Asian countries. In 2016, Europe had a 16.8 per cent share of GDP (in PPP terms) and the US had 15.6 per cent, while Asia had 31.8 per cent. 20 years earlier, Europe had a share of 24.3 per cent while the US was at 20.2 per cent and Asia at 15.8 per cent (IMF, 2016).

U.S. Mission to the European Union

by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 11:02:24 PM EST
Strategic Rivalry between United States and China

The Sino-American rivalry also undermines multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organisation. While Washington has withdrawn from a number of multilateral institutions, Beijing is expanding its influence in contexts like the United Nations.

Europe needs to escape the bipolar logic that demands it choose between the American and Chinese economic/technological spheres. The European Union must develop a China policy for its drive towards sovereignty (stra­tegic autonomy). That requires a "supranational geopolitics".

Analysis - US-China rivalry: Is a new cold war really emerging?

by Oui on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 11:03:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

    In his first speech as Secretary of State in March, Anthony Blinken also addressed this topic: "... Our trade policies will need to answer very clearly how they will grow the American middle class..."

That fits very well to dupe one of the great NATO allies: France. Already the NATO countries are bound to buy armaments and high technology from the great leader in the US. Must double their effort in order to confront that regional power Russia ... the empire of evil. Buy influence, buy American goods. Europe needs to wise up and stop this sh*t ... focus should be to Save the Planet ... not joyriding in space wtf.

Biden is keeping Trump's America First policies alive

U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress | Jan. 19, 2021 |

by Oui on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 09:22:29 AM EST


What a Faux Pas! Rude Americans Arrive in France

by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 07:08:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden abides by expectations of US Congress as the former President set out a maverick foreign policy based on AmericaFirst! now normalized.

Fareed is a broken clock, once in a 12 hour period he's correct.

by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 07:12:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was clear even before Biden's election that the US foreign policy vis à vis Europe would remain essentially the same. Minus the insults (and Twitter).

Many fools in Europe thought that Biden's administration would mean that everything will be returning to "normal", but the new normal is "America First" and "pivot to Asia".

by Bernard on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 08:31:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Australia could initially lease submarines from UK or US but nuclear weapons remain off limits

by Oui on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 07:42:01 PM EST
America First, Biden-Style

Does US President Joe Biden want a dynamic America, open to the world, or Donald Trump's anxious America, suspicious and contemptuous of others? Until Biden offers a bold gesture to exorcise the spirit of Trump from US foreign policy, his hopes of restoring American global leadership are likely to be disappointed.

If America's allies were concerned by President Joe Biden's remarks on foreign policy in his address to Congress on April 28, they had every right to be. Although Biden's domestic economic agenda could not have been less Trumpian - higher taxes on the wealthy and a substantial expansion of the social safety net - the foreign policy he outlined was not all that different from his rococo predecessor's "America First" credo.

As Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, recently noted, "there is more foreign-policy continuity between Biden and Trump than first meets the eye ... Trumpism still looms large." So, Biden's speech was a strange brew: Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal mixed with powerful hints of Trumpian nationalism.

When Biden turned to foreign policy, his emphasis was on China and the United States, as if Europe did not exist, and the US could win this competition without the active participation of Europeans. To European ears, of course, that sounds a little bit too close to Trumpian contempt. The US could not have won the Cold War without its European allies, and it will not outcompete China without European cooperation. In her softly, softly way, German Chancellor Angela Merkel drove that message home just before Biden took office by pushing the European Union into fast-tracking the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment.

Biden has been following a form of "America First" policy even in response to the coronavirus pandemic. His refusal to send COVID-19 vaccines to important European countries in dire need and facing important elections has made his claim that "America is back" sound very doubtful in many European capitals.

Americans before allies: Biden's limited multilateralism | ECFR |

by Oui on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 07:42:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, I wrote as much in my comment above.
by Bernard on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 08:33:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me this whole AUKUS thing can be easily explained as internal political ploys by Johnson and Morrison, plus the US wanting to sell some submarines and increase its influence in Australia.

Whether NATO will continue is a more reasonable question. France mad, Poland mad, UK mad, several Balkan countries mad; will France and Germany be able to hold it together? Maybe they should boot out a few of the troublesome recent ex-Soviet bloc countries.

by asdf on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 02:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True for both meanings of mad. I guess I can see France re-leavening NATO? It's not like it does much for them. Germany's elite is pathological transatlantic and the Biden admin anyway decided that they couldn't afford to piss them off too much by sanctioning North-Stream. I don't see the Baltics or Poland leaving either.
by generic on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 05:23:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fun fact: France is a founding member of NATO. In fact the Headquarters for the integrated military command was initially located in Rocquencourt, near Versailles in the outskirts of Paris.

President De Gaulle decided to remove France from this integrated military command in 1966, while still remaining a full member of the Alliance, and the headquarters moved to Belgium where it still sits. France eventually rejoined the integrated command in 2009, a decision of then president Sarkozy. Macron could very well decide to pull off the central command of "brain dead" NATO again.

by Bernard on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 09:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Putting the 'Blue' Back in Blue Collar | US News |

Even as Republicans touted tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, it was the Democrats who became tagged with the moniker of the party of elites. It didn't help that former President Barack Obama talked about working-class Americans who "cling to guns and religion," or 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton referring to a "basket of deplorables" backing Donald Trump.

"Democrats were felt (by working class voters) to be condescending and pro-free trade and worried about the end of the world. People who are worried about the end of the month are incredibly offended" that Democrats were paying more attention to things like climate change than jobs, says Joan Williams, author of the book "White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America" and a law professor at the University of California, Hastings School of Law.

President Joe Biden is trying to win back that vote - or at least, enough of it to give the party a more stable majority.

Universal dilemma: a conservative agenda or lose key votes in your constituency. Green policy will be hardest on the lower class due to rising cost of energy bills. Past housing policy will come home to hunt to reach sustainability.

Red Wall Tory revolt over Boris's green drive: Northern MPs blast PM's climate plans  

by Oui on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 07:44:47 PM EST
The Biden Administration and the Future of Multilateralism | CFR - April 21, 2021 |

Biden has wisely framed the United States return to multilateralism as a foreign policy for the American middle class, linked to the concrete interests of US citizens. Whether such a course is sustainable remains to be seen. The Trump years unleashed powerful national and global forces that will test the domestic foundations of U.S. internationalism and other countries' appetite to follow America's lead.

Biden must also reconcile his multilateral ambitions with his administration's hard-line on China, a rare element of continuity with his predecessor's foreign policy. Washington must figure out how to compartmentalize its relations with Beijing, so that the two countries can cooperate in global forums where their interests align, notwithstanding their intense geopolitical rivalry and mutual strategic mistrust.

by Oui on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 07:45:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, incresing energy bills could be off-set for low incomes with targeted tax/benefits changes. Also the government can take some of the cost for transitioning homes to lower energy usage. But it takes a political will and a willingness to use taxes and expenditures as tools rather then as incomes and costs (which is extra hard in the eurozone).
by fjallstrom on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 10:46:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Been feeling unease for a few decades ... how much longer the suffering for the weak and vulnerable in humankind. A social face within the EU-27 should go beyond symbolism but based on sound principles of its founding: Four Freedoms.

United States of America Declared a Bandit State

by Oui on Tue Sep 21st, 2021 at 10:08:43 AM EST
Fight climate change and develop a sustainable energy policy for survival of all.

Biden's words at the UN never sounded more hollow ...

"The US ready for 'relentless diplomacy' instead of military might to solve global crises."

More Europeans - although, at 31%, still a minority - felt the EU was now in a conflict with China, with 35% saying that was not the case. A plurality (44%) said they thought the EU was in a new cold war with Russia.

The authors said Europeans may "finally be recognizing a common European foreign policy" when it comes to China and Russia, and seeing Brussels rather than their own national governments as "best placed to defend their interests and values".

But they noted that Brussels' hawkishness ran against the grain of opinion in Europe, and said a cold war framing was likely to repel more voters than it attracts. Policymakers would need to argue for a strong Atlantic alliance in a new way, they said.

"Unlike during the first cold war, [Europeans] do not see an immediate, existential threat to Europe's neighborhood or a sense of ideological cohesion within the free world," Leonard said. "Politicians cannot longer rely on tensions with Russia and China to convince the electorate of the value of a strong Atlantic alliance. Instead, they need to make the case from European interests."

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 03:17:04 PM EST
The Aukus military and technology partnership is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity

Aukus, the new military and technology partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States starting with nuclear submarines, is historic. It recognizes the cold war reality between America and China, with Australia aligning itself with the American side. It is drawing US military power into the region where China wants to expand its sphere of influence and reclaim Taiwan. It gives teeth to the so-called Quad, the security cooperation between the United States, Australia, Japan and India. It offers wavering countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines a new American beacon.

The US proves that it will not give up global leadership. After Afghanistan, that was sorely needed. Australia declares itself to be a base for the US in the Indo-Pacific, the main theater of the new cold war. In return, it must be able to count on American commitment for decades. You can bet that China will respond. It will take another 20 years before Australia has its submarines. Plenty of time to try or escalate. That starts with China's recent candidacy to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional free trade agreement that America turned its back on under Trump.

About the author Marc de Vos ...

New Dean of the Macquarie Law School

A highly-reputed scholar, Professor De Vos has an impressive record in cross-disciplinary, collaborative and impact-oriented research. His areas of expertise broadly cover the world of work, inclusiveness, and citizenship.

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 04:13:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure how to square "new cold war between US/EU and China" with "huge global trading partner for everything from fish to electronics to plastic household crap."
by asdf on Thu Sep 23rd, 2021 at 03:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 03:30:50 PM EST
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, September 20, 2021

Q    Okay, what does the President want to tell President Macron about the submarine deal?

MS. PSAKI:  Well, first, I think as had been noted in some reports, so let me just confirm this, I guess: The President will have a call -- it has yet -- is -- we're still working on the scheduling of it -- with President Macron in the coming days.  And what I expect the President will do on that call is reaffirm our commitment to working with one of our oldest and closest partners on a range of challenges that the global community is facing.  And he, of course, will discuss recent developments and our ongoing work together on a range of issues -- certainly our shared interest in the Indo-Pacific, but also a range of global challenges and issues.

I would also note that the President spoke, in his remarks last week -- acknowledged in his remarks, I should say -- he acknowledged that France has a substantial Indo-Pacific presence and is a key partner and ally in strengthening security and prosperity.

But most importantly, we continue to look forward to our close alliance with France -- one of our strongest partnerships -- as we work to address a range of issues in the world.

Q    And you have no plans to abandon the submarine deal, do you?

MS. PSAKI:  No, we do not.

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 03:43:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
President Joe Biden summoned the world's nations
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday there was a "crisis of trust" with the U.S. as a result of The Episode.

Biden wasn't so concerned. Asked by a reporter as he arrived at the U.N. on Tuesday how he planned to repair relations with the French, Biden responded with two words: "They're great."

by Cat on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 03:39:06 PM EST
by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 04:45:07 PM EST
by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 04:46:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO nudges Europe to make its transport networks war-ready | Defense News - Nov. 13, 2018 |

BERLIN - NATO leaders have their eyes on the European Union's draft budget as a means to boost spending on infrastructure projects that could serve key military functions besides their civilian uses.

The push comes as both organizations seek ways to increase defense cooperation without stepping on each other's toes. Defense officials have described joint activities in military mobility as a relatively safe space in a NATO-EU field fraught with political tension.

Ensuring that Europe's main transportation lines are suitable for transporting military gear in the event of a confrontation with Russia has been a key concern for defense leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. A patchwork of diverging policies and technical standards still complicates the rapid movement of tanks and other warfighting gear across borders.

Grand stressed that NATO is not seeking to influence European Union decision making. But, he said, simple advice on military logistics during construction planning could make the difference between tanks being able to traverse through a tunnel or be stuck in front of it.

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 06:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 06:09:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Secretary Blinken's Call with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Landsbergis | Aug. 22, 2021 |

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis today.  Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Landsbergis reaffirmed the strength and breadth of the U.S.-Lithuanian bilateral relationship.  Secretary Blinken underscored ironclad U.S. solidarity with our NATO Ally and EU partner Lithuania in the face of the People's Republic of China's coercive behavior.  Secretary Blinken and the Foreign Minister also discussed the Lukashenka regime's violent repression of civil society in Belarus.  The Secretary and Foreign Minister reaffirmed our unyielding support for the Belarusian pro-democracy movement and called on the Lukashenka regime to immediately cease its repression against Belarusians and its campaign of orchestrating irregular migrant flows across its borders.

China in diplomatic row with Lithuania over naming of Taiwan trade office

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 05:19:11 PM EST
How Taiwan beat the coronavirus | CNBC - July 15, 2020 |

US triples Covid-19 vaccines for Taiwan with 2.5 million doses | France24 - June 19, 2021 |

Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called "vaccine diplomacy", initially had promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as President Joe Biden's administration advances its pledge to send 80 million U.S.-made shots around the world.

China, which considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory, has repeatedly offered to send coronavirus vaccines to the island, which has been battling a spike in domestic infections. Taipei has expressed concern about the safety of Chinese shots.
The 2.5 million donated doses of the Moderna Inc vaccine will leave Memphis, Tennessee, on a flight belonging to Taiwan's China Airlines early on Saturday.

Vaccine donation from Lithuania touches down in Taiwan | Aug. 2, 2021 |

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 05:20:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO and the War on Terrorism: A Changing Alliance | Brookings Inst. - June 1, 2002 |

Less than 24 hours after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, America's allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization came together to invoke the alliance's Article 5 defense guarantee--this "attack on one" was to be considered an "attack on all." When it came time to implement that guarantee, however, in the form of the American-led military campaign in Afghanistan, NATO remained on the sidelines--by U.S. choice. The Americans decided not to ask for a NATO operation for both military and political reasons--only the United States had the right sort of equipment to project military forces halfway around the world, and Washington did not want political interference from 18 allies in the campaign.

....
NATO should continue to enlarge its membership, both to develop strong allies capable of contributing to common goals and to consolidate the integration of Central and Eastern Europe. Just how many new members should be accepted in Prague will depend in part on how successfully candidates sustain their political, economic, and military reforms until the summit, but at a minimum NATO should accept all candidates that have demonstrated that they are stable democracies committed to the values of other NATO members. The new relationship between Russia and the West stemming in part from the common battle against terrorism should help ensure that NATO expansion, even to the Baltic states, does not undermine relations with Russia.

NATO should build on recent progress in NATO-Russian cooperation that is evident in Russian President Vladimir Putin's apparently new attitude of acquiescence to NATO enlargement and the Spring 2002 agreement to set up a new NATO-Russia forum that would allow for extensive consultations and possible joint decisionmaking. Moscow has also agreed to get NATO's help in restructuring its armed forces, a move long resisted by Russia's conservative defense establishment, but an area where NATO has much to offer, as it has with other former Soviet bloc states. Russia and NATO could usefully cooperate on civil defense, special forces training, collaborative armaments programs, missile defense, peacekeeping, and NATO-Russia joint military exercises. In the wake of September 11, the prospect that Russia could feel that it is part of the West--rather than threatened by it--is an opportunity not to be missed.

Unfortunately the United States of America went rogue with war crimes, torture, illegal detention and rendition to favorite regimes in former Soviet states of Eastern Europe ... dubbed "New Europe" by the war criminals in the Bush administration. The superior military might was unstoppable as one of the grave failures unfolded in Afghanistan. America's War on Terror has changed the world forever.

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 07:38:09 PM EST
NATO enlargement and the options facing the Alliance in advance of the Second Prague Summit

In Prague in January 1994, just after attending his first NATO summit in Brussels, US President Bill Clinton declared that it was no longer a question of whether NATO would enlarge, but how and when. Back then, however, huge differences still existed within the US government and in NATO about the wisdom of bringing former Soviet-bloc countries into the Alliance, and most Western officials (as well as those in Moscow) believed that the idea of NATO enlargement had been shelved in favour of the Partnership for Peace.

....
In the United States, which was the main driver of the enlargement process between 1994 and 1997, the policy was made possible because a diverse group supported enlargement, albeit for very different reasons. The "Wilsonians", such as President Clinton and National Security Adviser Anthony Lake hoped that NATO enlargement would help encourage the adoption of market democracy and respect for human rights in Central and Eastern Europe, while the "hedgers", including then Senate Foreign Relations Chair Jesse Helms and prominent former officials Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, emphasised expanding the Alliance to protect against the possible resurgence of Russia in the region.

Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate Millennium Edition 1816-2000

Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, chairman and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, ranking minority member.

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 07:39:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Further reading ...

Fascist Propaganda: Symbolism of Frankenstein

Calling the kettle black ... say hallo to the new Cold War vs. the Communist Party of China. Someone needs to call ping-pong diplomacy of war criminal Henry Kissinger in the Nixon years a GRAVE ERROR!!

Henry Kissinger is of course the darling of Democrats on their foreign policy joined by Madeleine Albright, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

by Oui on Wed Sep 22nd, 2021 at 07:41:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

When the highlight of your first trip to the US as prime minister is an awkward minute-long conversation with the president about a shared interest in trains, it's probably fair to say that things haven't gone quite as well as hoped. Boris Johnson may feel himself to be the unassailable world king in the UK, but on the other side of the Atlantic he's pretty much a nobody.

...
The Americans could scarcely have made the prime minister feel less welcome if they'd tried. His lowest point had been the exchange of presents.

Come Wednesday morning, Johnson wasn't even pretending to put a positive spin on things. The previous day he had tried to hang on to the veneer that some kind of trade deal with the US was in the offing. Or failing that, a deal with the US, Mexico and Canada that Liz Truss had found knocking around somewhere on the floor ...

But come the morning newsround, Boris had admitted defeat. There was no deal to be done. He had it on good authority that the US wasn't interested in doing a trade deal right now. It was the wrong time of year for it.

Johnson ended the interviews with a few recycled "Donnez-moi un break" Franglais gags - when up against it, he always picks an unnecessary fight with the French - and an outright lie about not having discussed the Northern Ireland protocol with the president. Or perhaps he had dozed off during that part of his meeting that No 10 reported he had had with Biden. Either way, the end of the trip couldn't come soon enough.

by Oui on Thu Sep 23rd, 2021 at 11:19:47 AM EST

Boris Johnson's climate speech annotated: what he said and what he meant | The Guardian |

Johnson ends in typical fashion, invoking Kermit the Frog and Sophocles in almost the same breath. Political leaders around the world, and their advisers, are less used to such Johnsonian flights of fancy than the British public, so it is safe to say they will be looking harder at what the UK does than what the prime minister says.

The rhetoric may soar between Greek tragedy and the Muppets, but the decisions the government has taken - cutting overseas aid; continuing the expansion of oil and gas, and perhaps a new coalmine, in the UK; dropping references to the Paris temperature goals from the Australian trade deal; forming the Aukus defence pact with climate rogue Australia, and so offending ally France and the pivotal player at the Cop26 talks, China, in doing so - will do far more than any words of the prime minister at UNGA to set the diplomatic tone for Cop26.

by Oui on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 09:26:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 09:29:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Oui on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 09:33:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uttering mangled "franglais" expressions that don't really make sense in either language, is part of Johnson's trademark evasive maneuver. This, and French bashing, which Johnson is using each time he needs to divert attention to the fact that there is no glorious trade deal with the US in sight, UKAUS notwithstanding.

It doesn't matter that the French don't care, let alone notice: the clownish antics are purely for domestic consumption.

by Bernard on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 08:15:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US tabloid readers of the Anglo-saxon persuasion of American independence special relationships.
by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 09:16:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GEO-POLITICAL significance of Britain reneging its obligation to enforce the NI Protocol, an international treaty purportedly guaranteed by Joe and Nancy.
by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 09:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 03:08:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
😂 .. Macron closes deal for naval vessels with Greece ... favorite buyer after earlier fighter plane deal. #WeAreEU
by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 05:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those who have only seen the French government theatrics, stab in the back, betrayal, ambassadors recalled (except for UK - beneath our notice), etc... are letting their eyes off the ball. Macron, has, for once, kept his big mouth shut, and he's not getting mad: he's getting even.

Exhibit A, phone call with Indian PM, Narendra Modi, one day before Biden called Macron:

by Bernard on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 08:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This one from The Economist:

by Bernard on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 at 08:33:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden to press UK PM Johnson over Northern Ireland: Report | Times of India - June 7, 2021 |

What else was discussed on the G7 sidelines ... AUKUS 😡

by Oui on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 10:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 10:19:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by Oui on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 09:30:58 AM EST
by Oui on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 09:31:55 AM EST

Which State Is Behind Coup Attempt Jordan

by Oui on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 at 08:17:19 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 01:53:00 PM EST
by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 01:53:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 01:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit Aftermath: Dutch Union Boss Says EU Drivers Not Interested In Taking Short-Term UK Visa Offers
he head of a Dutch truckers union delivered a clear message Monday to the United Kingdom as it looks for foreign truckers to ease its driver shortage: no thanks.

"The EU workers we speak to will not go to the U.K. for a short-term visa to help the U.K. out of the [expletive] they created themselves," said Edwin Atema, the head of research and enforcement at the Netherlands-based FNV union, which represents drivers across the European Union.

In an interview on BBC Radio, Atema criticized the U.K. scheme as a "dead end" and that much more would be needed to rescue its trucking sector. Asked if the high pay that London is willing to offer to foreign drivers is an incentive, Atema maintained that it was not enough.

"Drivers need way more than a visa and a payslip," he said, noting that foreign drivers would be subject to what he said were poor working conditions in the U.K. under the visa scheme.

by Bernard on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 02:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeep as in GP or General Purpose from Healthcare to ferrying fuel to petrol stations ...

by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 02:00:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be great fun watching the troops run out of petrol.....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 03:57:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 09:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexiters in spaaaace !
by Bernard on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 09:08:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Petrol shortage now (or driver shortage), natural gas shortage this winter, electricity shortage due to fight with France, food shortage due to imminent taking back of control of customs regulations, Scotland to abscond with the submarines and wind turbines, NI to merge with RoI... All this--and more--long before 2030 gets here.

But yeah, space superpower!

by asdf on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 12:06:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 08:25:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany is not the United States ... unfortunately large energy conglomerates slowed down the transition to green energy ... as a result the people decided to elect the SPD and Green Party to end the stalemate under Merkel and the Grand Coalition.

A nuclear reactor at Kalkar was finished just before the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl, Ukraine--and never used. It's now an amusement park with a ride in what would have been the cooling tower. Fear of nuclear power spurred Germany's transition.

Freiburg and a study named Energiewende

Germany Could Be a Model for How We'll Get Power in the Future | National Geographic - 2015 |

Pesch was sitting in a mountaintop restaurant in the Black Forest outside Freiburg. In a snowy clearing just uphill stood two 320-foot-tall wind turbines funded by 521 citizen investors recruited by Pesch--but we weren't talking about the turbines yet. With an engineer named Dieter Seifried, we were talking about the nuclear reactor that never got built, near the village of Wyhl, 20 miles away on the Rhine River.

The state government had insisted that the reactor had to be built or the lights would go out in Freiburg. But beginning in 1975, local farmers and students occupied the site. In protests that lasted nearly a decade, they forced the government to abandon its plans. It was the first time a nuclear reactor had been stopped in Germany.

The lights didn't go out, and Freiburg became a solar city. Its branch of the Fraunhofer Institute is a world leader in solar research. Its Solar Settlement, designed by local architect Rolf Disch, who'd been active in the Wyhl protests, includes 50 houses that all produce more energy than they consume. "Wyhl was the starting point," Seifried said. In 1980 an institute that Seifried co-founded published a study called Energiewende--giving a name to a movement that hadn't even been born yet.

Nord Stream 1

A route survey in the Exclusive Economic Zones of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, and a feasibility study of the pipeline was conducted in 1998. Several routes were considered including routes with onshore segments through Finland and Sweden. On 24 April 2001, Gazprom, Fortum, Ruhrgas and Wintershall adopted a statement regarding a joint feasibility study for construction of the pipeline.

The Case Against Nord Stream 2

by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 07:53:21 PM EST
It is a very interesting situation.

  • Leftish media like the Guardian say that the UK's gas supply is in trouble.

  • Tory ministers say there is no problem.

  • The US continues its Cold War strategy by interfering with the Nord Stream 2 project which has zero influence on anything the US actually cares about.

  • EU countries that actually have an interest in their gas supply are bickering between themselves and with Russia.

It is going to be a miserable winter in England.
by asdf on Mon Oct 4th, 2021 at 06:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Democratic Spending Bills Retain Majority Support, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; But Democrats In Congress Lose Ground

by Oui on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 09:18:09 PM EST


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