Donald Tusk’s speech in Kiev

Once upon a time in a socialist country a man comes to a car dealer to arrange a purchase of a vehicle. The list of customers is very long whereas automobiles are in low supply. It turns out that the customer will be able to have his car in ten years’ time. The dealer sets the date for it. There only remains one thing to decide – says the customer – whether it is going to be in the morning or afternoon. How can it matter – asks the bewildered dealer – after ten years? Ah, because on that particular day – answers the customer – I am having a plumber in my place.

When President Ronald Reagan wanted to learn something about a nation’s economic or political condition, he would have his intelligence staff gather jokes told among that country’s citizens. Such items of information were worth to him more than reams of printed detailed analyses. What would President Reagan say in the run-up to the presidential elections in Ukraine upon hearing that according to the many pollsters it is Volodymyr Zelensky – an actor, a comedian, to be precise – who is the leading contender for the post?

(It is not that an actor holding this position would be much of a novelty in Ukraine: we remember Vitali Klitschko, the boxer, who put forward his candidacy for president some time ago.)
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The future of the Middle East: The Astana Trio versus the Warsaw debacle

While on February 13/14 Warsaw, Poland, hosted the US-sponsored and US-supervised Middle East conference – well attended by the representatives of the Arab countries but only by second-trier EU diplomats – the Astana Trio – Russia, Turkey and Iran – held theirs in the resort city of Sochi (the venue of the 2016 Winter Olympics); while the Warsaw event for all purposes and intentions was held to drum up support for a joint action against Tehran, the rival Sochi meeting addressed the on-the-ground situation in war-torn Syria, the makeup of the country’s future government, the formation of the constitutional committee, the restoration of the basic infrastructure in terms of water and electricity supply systems and the voluntary return of the many refugees.

Warsaw and Sochi, two simultaneous games of chess with two sets of chess pawns, swearing allegiance to different sovereigns or to none at all. Turkey, though formally a NATO member, used the occasion to strengthen its ties with Russia rather than its military ally the United States. Israel, though no NATO member, used the occasion of the Warsaw gathering to form a crusade against Iran, eliciting NATO countries’ aid; the European Union members, though predominantly members of the Atlantic Treaty, distanced themselves from the Middle East conference with Germany, as is known, continuing to cooperate with Russia over natural gas supplies. Continue reading

Poland offers a venue for the Middle East security conference and ends up double-crossed by its partners

Poland is a member of the European Union and NATO; it also makes up the Visegrád or V4 political group that combines also Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary. On 13-14 February it hosted a U.S.-led Middle East security conference in a bid to strengthen its position on the international stage, play up to Americans and Israel and show its independence of Berlin and Paris. From Warsaw’s point of view the conference was everything but a success.

The European Union was having none of the warmongering against Iran – because such was the conference’s target – and only sent low-ranking delegations, not much of prestige that Poland was after. American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the public case for the restitution of Jewish property that was lost on Polish territory during the Second World War, Andrea Mitchel from CBS informed the American audience of the Jews rising in arms against the German and Polish regime(!) during the war and to add fuel to fire Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted a statement in which he said that the Poles were complicit in persecuting the Jews during the same hostilities.

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The strange case of the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act

On January 14, 2019 President Donald Trump signed into law the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017, which states among others that “it is in the national interest of the United States to combat anti-Semitism at home and abroad” (emphasis added), that “there is an urgent need to ensure the safety and security of European Jewish communities”, and that “the Department of State should continue to thoroughly document acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement that occur around the world” (emphasis added).

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Saudi Arabia and China are preparing for war

The fact that Saudis want to control Yemen and the Chinese are increasing their presence in Myanmar is a preparation for the conflicts that may soon flare up. It is about securing the flanks.

The war in Yemen is being waged more and more brutally by the Saudis. The weapons of the Saudi army supplied by the USA hit the civilian population more and more often. The central bank moved from Sanaa to Aden by order of the Saudis prints money in heaps, so that the population cannot afford food due to galloping inflation. Why genocide? It is not about ideology, or religious differences between Huthis (Shiites) and the rest of the people of Yemen (Sunnis). One of the reasons can be oil. The reserves of black gold discovered in the northern province of Yemen, Al-Jawf, are said to be larger than the Saudi reserves.A bargain for Saudis. But the most important thing for them at the moment is to prepare for the direct conflict with Iran. If war were to break out, Iran would block the oil transit bottleneck in the Strait of Ormuz. Saudi Arabia therefore needs to secure access to the 27 miles wide strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and thus its oil exports. The road is called Bab al-mandeb (Gate of Tears) in Arabic. If it is also blocked by enemies of the Saudis, there will certainly be many reasons for Riyadh to cry. Continue reading

Le Corbusier and Spinelli destroyed the old beautiful Europe and they still do

Why are many city parts so ugly? Why was the EU inspired by communists?

The history of European post-war urbanism with its fascination with Le Corbusier shows how often the designers of our living space were alienated. The same happened to the EU politicians: they adopted the ideas of the communists, literally and uncritically. Both – the architects and the designers of our European societies – wanted to a new brave beautiful world, but they destroyed the old beautiful world and they still do.

The father of prefabricated buildings and housing estates, the Swiss architect Le Corbusier, did not really mean it badly: his buildings should be square, practical and good. You don’t see this romanticism in today’s suburbs of Paris (the No-Go-Zones) or in most of the settlements of Central and Eastern European cities. The socialist urban planners were fascinated by Le Corbusier and designed entire cities according to his ideas. Around the beautiful old towns in Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania, monotonous, ugly settlements for the working class emerged, focal points for social problems. The inhabitants of the Parisian and other suburbs of Western Europe, the prefabricated housing estates, which were originally also inhabited by workers, are slowly being displaced by migrants, the unemployed and the socially unfit. They feel good there: in such an architectural structure they can distinguish themselves from the rest of society in their ghetto. There they can pay homage to their lifestyle, which is of no value to society. Continue reading