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PostWinds of War in the Balkans? (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 12/17/21 3:24 am)
Winds of war are blowing not only in Ukraine but also in the Balkans.
In Ukraine, they are blowing thanks to the self-defeating policies of the West since 2013, or even from 1991. Most recently, at present, we have seen the new Sakharov Prize and the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Germany, plus the Stream 2 problem that will push Russia even more into an alliance with China. This may be confirmed, openly or secretly, by the 15 December meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping.
Please no arguments about the inviolability of borders. We have seen many of these since WWII, some bloodless as in Czechoslovakia and the reunification of Germany, or full of blood as in the dissolution of Yugoslavia or the invention of Kosovo. The will of the people is stronger than a treaty, which according to Bismarck is only a piece of paper.
In the Balkans, the winds of war may reach hurricane force in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In November 1995 at Dayton (Ohio), the General Framework Agreement for Peace was signed by S. Milosovic (Serbia--practically the only one that was supposed to pay for the war crimes committed by all), F. Tudjman (Croatia), and A. Izetbegovic (Muslim Bosnians), following the strong military intervention of President Clinton and NATO (Operation Deliberate Force). Of the many unrealistic treaties throughout history, this one is one of the shakiest.
The "country" has an area of 51,209 square kilometers with a population of about 3,800,000, of which 51.01% are Bosnians, former Bogomils who converted to Islam during the Turkish occupation, 37.78% are Orthodox Serbs, and 14.43% Catholic Croats. Plus there is the Brcko District occupied by the so-called EU.
These three peoples have only one thing in common: they hate each other.
Bosnia-Herzegovina has three copresidents, one for each ethnic group, but the federal state is made by two entities the Croat-Bosniak Federal Republic and the Srpska Republic. Ruling over them is a diplomat from the so-called EU (useless). The various entities are divided by silly borders originated by the ethnic cleansing during the civil war of 1992-95. Ethnic cleansing is an old sport in the area. For instance during WWII the Serbs of Krajina wanted Italian citizenship to escape the persecution of the Croatian Ustashas.
Now the leader of the Republica Srpska (Milorad Dodik) is openly saying: "In the next six months we will see if Bosnia-Herzegovina can survive." In his speeches and actions it is clear that it cannot survive, as he is working to achieve independence (and union with Serbia). He has many supporters in Serbia (and its friend Russia). Likewise, the Croatian population seeks to unite with the Croatian republic.
Independence for these regions most probably means war.
Let us be honest: devising the "state" of Bosnia-Herzegovina could have come only from minds oppressed by a Midwestern blizzard.
On another matter, I appreciated the post of David A. Westbrook, 15 December, about terrorism. To understand the problem we need a geopolitical and historical point of view.
We cannot condemn the present-day terrorism if we do not also condemn the "resistance" of WWII so much praised in our mainstream history books. After all, the "resistance" in its great majority did not respect the International Conferences of Geneva and The Hague as well as present forms of terrorism do. Do not forget that it is almost accepted by all that my terrorist may be your freedom fighter and vice-versa.
JE comments: What Accords are today's terrorists respecting? Sorry to be so mainstream, Eugenio, but I cannot think of any. Regardless, the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is cause for great concern. No one does "Balkanization" with more nastiness than the Balkans themselves.
As for the Sakharov Prize, in October the European Parliament honored Alexei Navalny. This is a huge embarrassment for Putin, but does he really care? The Sakharov may indeed be the strongest political statement the EU ever makes. To have one of your citizens so recognized means you are in the Club of Repressive Nations. Click below for the rogues' gallery of countries over the years (Burma, Cuba, Sudan, Syria, N Korea...):
Winds of War? They Are Blowing Everywhere
(Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA
12/18/21 3:20 AM)
I agree with Eugenio Battaglia that the Winds of War are blowing worldwide! Never before in my seven+ decades of life have I felt the darkly unwelcome feeling of being surrounded by forthcoming disaster and despair. The stench of dead and decay is measurably beginning to permeate the earth--from the persecuted and dying Chinese Uighurs, to the disappearing Christian communities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria, or the long suffering and hopeless North Koreans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Albanians, Venezuelans, or the threatened Ukrainians, and so on.
The world seems to be on a self-destructive path aided by a widespread lack of reasonably competent, moral and humanitarian leadership. Idiotic and self-serving kleptocracies in the materialistic and secular "West" are facing comparable amoral atheistic kleptocracies in the "East." Power-seeking selfishness is the predominant demented drive and the end is becoming predictable. Widespread war by miscalculation is fast approaching us.
No wonder the most deranged examples of the cultural stereotype produced by these self-destructive societies (e. g. Bezos and Musk) seek to hide in island subterrains while hoping or planning to abandon the planet and colonize the moon and/or Mars!
The religious revival stirring under the surface of the world community might be our only hope of preventing or further delaying the race to Armageddon. Assuming, that is, that God's mercy will continue to keep up with his patience.
JE comments: Here's a question I've never seen posed: Does religious revivalism make war less, or more likely? Strong arguments could be made for either view. The Second Great Awakening in the US was followed shortly after by the Civil War. Causality, no, but definitely a coincidence. And Islamic revivalism and its Christian backlash seem to be making the world less secure.
No matter to whom you pray, let's all pray for peace. And less despair.
Methodism, Religious Revivalism, and the American Revolution
(David Duggan, USA
12/19/21 4:48 AM)
John E asked whether periods of religious revivalism make war less, or more likely. Here's one example. At least theoretically, the ideas of individual autonomy kindled by Methodism (John Wesley had a preaching mission to the colonies) gave a "Christian" basis to the Revolutionary War.
JE comments: Typically we think of the American Revolution as inspired (at least informed) by the Enlightenment, but the religious component merits further exploration. David, perhaps you can help us with the theological connection between Methodism and Enlightenment. I always understood Wesleyism as a rejection of "pure reason."
To further complicate this discussion, many of the Revolutionary thinkers (such as Jefferson) were Deists of a more secular bent.
- Methodism, Religious Revivalism, and the American Revolution (David Duggan, USA 12/19/21 4:48 AM)