The Rape of Palestine, A Review

Very few phenomena are as misrepresented in Western mainstream discourse and as poorly understood by Westerners as the conflict between the Zionist entity of Israel and the Palestinian People. While this issue has grown into perhaps the great dividing line that separates the morally aware and responsible from the callous, the indifferent, and the wicked, a fog lies over the minds and hearts of too many Westerners, none more so than the residents of the faltering United States. Some are excusable in their ignorance for one reason or another. Others are less so. And yet others, a rather large group, willfully side with their own luciferian elite leadership and the ruling Anglo-Zionist ideologues and looters.

America’s political class never ceases to amaze and confound, releasing one idiotic, bloodthirsty statement after another about the subject in general, and, specifically, with their nearly-uniform reaction to the late genocide, the Gazacaust. Even Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., whom I otherwise respected for his book about US bioweapons programs, said Palestinians were the “most pampered people in the world.” In his world, “pampered” must be synonymous with “bombed” and “starved.” The Clown Prince of Gomorrah, Lindsey Graham, coldly said of Gaza, “Level the place.” Andy Ogles (ogles what, we wonder), said of the Gazans, “Kill them all.” False Witness and delusional moron Tim Walberg suggested repeating the war crimes of Nagasaki and Hiroshima against Gaza to “Get it over quick.” Joe “I am the AI” Biden mumbles one thing and then another, though he, a self-proclaimed Zionist, ever arms and supports the occupiers and their genocide. Carnival barker Donald Trump said, “Only a crazy or an idiot wouldn’t respond like Israel did to October 7.” Trump might be in an ideal position to know the inclinations of crazies and idiots. But neither he nor any of the others knows or cares to understand the totality of the situation, including the timeline of so many pitiful events.

The American selling point for this particular atrocity is that Israel was attacked by terrorists on October 7, 2023, and that it has every right to defend itself. Intelligent men, like China’s Ma Xinmin, know that occupation forces have no claim to self-defense when attacked by the people they oppress and that the oppressed have every right to resist their occupation and oppression. And regardless of lies, distortions, woeful American attention spans, and lack of education, this conflict was brewing well over a century before October 2023.

I recently read, reviewed, and fell in love with The Stone House by Dr. Yara Hawari, a narrative telling of Palestinian life, suffering, and triumph from the early Twentieth Century through 1968. Within Hawari’s combined stories and experiences, including those during and before the Nakba, the reader catches glimpses of repeated betrayals of Palestine. Through the eyes of her characters, members of her own family, she masterfully touches on the impact of a continuous sequence of terrible events. With a fascinating and inspiring human touch, she reveals the “what” of the shared Palestinian experience. Now, I have found a work that fills in many of the (early) gaps, providing the “hows” and “whys” behind the assorted deceptions and barbarities.

Dr. Blake Alcott has assembled an expansive two-volume collection of original documents that provide a roadmap that leads from the end of the Nineteenth Century until the formation of political nation-state Israel after World War Two. His work is profoundly important from a historical perspective and because the experiences of the mapped territory stretch on until the present. His title is apropos.

Dr. Alcott is an ecological economist, Palestinian activist, and upon-a-time carpenter residing and working in Switzerland. His excellent work and interests may be found on his website. After reading Hawari’s book, as if it was ordained, I discovered Alcott and his books via Jeremy Salt’s sterling review of The Rape of Palestine at the Palestinian Chronicle.

Of Alcott’s efforts, Salt wrote: “There are few works on Palestine of such scope. All the standard documents are here and analyzed anew but there are innumerable gems dug up by the author that the researcher will not have known about or has forgotten.” And the scope is vast. Salt referred to “the researcher” perhaps due to the nature of the material presented. It is not a work to be casually read. Well, in many ways it is, at intervals becoming a real page-turner. But there is a refined historicity and academic quality within the pages which, along with their Outlaws of the Marsh count, could be mildly off-putting to the cursory reader. None of this should bar anyone from obtaining and studying the copious history as assembled. Most fortunately, Alcott begins with a helpful section, “How to use this book.”

This book gives a chronology of the dialogue, such as it was, between Palestinians and their British ‘Mandatory’ rulers from the World War I years up until May 1948. It consists of 490 entries arranged by date. Nerds or insomniacs might read it straight through even though, taken in long doses, it induces not only tedium but also sadness and outrage. But most will use it as a reference book (The Rape of Palestine, Vol. 1, p. 14, Kindle edition).

Alcott’s cheerful humor aside (and appreciated), he is correct. Think of it as an encyclopedia wherein specific facts await inspection based on the reader’s particular need or fancy. The 490(!) entries are sequentially set forth in the table of contents of each volume. All of these records are important, though the more criticall among them are helpfully marked with an asterisk. Alcott also provides his methodology concerning the materials, his commentary, context, and appended matters. He is also correct, be forewarned, that there is sadness and shame residing within the documentation. However, for most readers, especially any guilt-deserving Westerners, I would hope the shock of the truth serves to change minds and, then, stir indignant protest.

And now, I will slowly walk through a brief summary of all 490 transcripts. Or not. I slept well last night and I appear to have misplaced my pocket protector. No. Instead, I will merely present a short sampling.

Even before the first official entry, Alcott provides a glimpse of a nascent Zionist movement that started no later than 1798, and continued into the Nineteenth Century, as recounted in 1919 by British anti-Zionist Jew Lucien Wolf: “… In 1840, when Mehemet Ali was driven out of Palestine and Syria by the Powers, the future of Palestine was open for discussion. … [U]ntil the time of Herzl all the most prominent protagonists of Zionism were Christians” (Id., 21).

The latter words in Wolf’s note might open a separate discussion regarding the links between Zionism and Christianity, especially certain of its Protestant elements, and American variants, along with other assorted strange fruits of the Enlightenment. However, Wolf also noted that the earnest modern Zionist movement had begun twenty years earlier in 1899. And in that year, where Alcott’s true count begins, Jerusalem’s mayor, Yusuf al-Khalidi, sent a letter to Rabbi Zadoc Kahn of France:

In theory, Zionism is an absolutely natural and just idea on how to solve the Jewish question. Yet it is impossible to overlook the actual reality, which must be taken into account. Palestine is an integral part of the Ottoman Empire and today it is inhabited by non-Jews… By what right do the Jews want it for themselves? …The only way to take it is by force using cannons and warships… Even if Herzl obtained the approval of the Sultan Abdülhamit II for the Zionist plan, he should not think that a day will come when Zionists will become masters of this country. It is therefore necessary, to ensure the safety of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire, that the Zionist Movement, in the geographic sense of the word, stops… Good Lord, the world is vast enough, there are still uninhabited countries where one could settle millions of poor Jews who may perhaps become happy there and one day constitute a nation… But in the name of God, let Palestine be left in peace (Id., 25; emphasis mine).

If one isn’t an American politician, a newly-arrived space alien, or a complete recluse, one knows that, the good intentions of God and man notwithstanding, since 1899, Palestine has had anything except peace.

An aside: One of the many lies told repeatedly about Palestine is that it does not exist, it never existed, or that it didn’t exist until recently. The same goes for Palestinians themselves, a lie told far and wide by such degenerates as Newt Gingrich and Bezalel Smotrich. As one may see from the foregoing quotes, such a ridiculous assertion would have come as a surprise to al-Khalidi and Wolf, along with the Ottomans, the Crusaders, maybe the Mongols even, certainly the Imperial Romans (what else was meant by “Syria Palaestina?”), and, of course, the people of the Middle East. Furthermore, as to Zionists of both the Jewish and Judeo-”Christian” Evangelical kinds, the land of Israel they constantly proclaim rightly exists in place of Palestine doesn’t even match the boundaries of the wholly unrelated Biblical territory of a similar name prescribed in Joshua—to say nothing of the fantastical, ever-shifting idea of Greater Israel. Then again, some of the Zionists frequently ignore inconvenient or, shall we say, “undeciphered” parts of the Hebrew Bible and the Evangelicals have evidently read very little if any of the New Testament. This note may point towards that other discussion, and I digress.

Perhaps the most famous, or infamous document in Alcott’s litany is the Balfour Declaration of 1917, a note from Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild (yes, of that family) concerning property and lives neither had any claim to.

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to and approved by the Cabinet: His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation (Id., 92).

There’s another pesky reference to a place and a people that allegedly didn’t exist. But regardless of the intentions and sympathies of Balfour and George V, the following century would see existing non-Jewish communities deprived of virtually all civil and religious rights, a people cornered, hounded, and hunted towards extinction. I will now skip forward three decades into that process and engage a smidgen of literary comparison.

By way of that comparison, and shifting gears, I’m going to try to demonstrate how useful Alcott’s book is in digging deeper into certain affairs. The following is just one example from a potential multitude. In Hawari’s story about her father Mahmoud, she writes briefly about the post-Ottoman British Mandate period. This span was supposedly temporary and transitional before control of Palestine was fully handed over to the Palestinians. Of course, all the while, London was scheming and blundering towards delivering Palestine from one form of colonization to another. Hawari follows up in subsequent sections via the eyes and experiences of her grandmother and great-grandmother. Regarding the establishment of Zionist occupation on May 14, 1948, she writes, “According to the mandate, the British were to hand over authority and assets to a governing local entity. But they didn’t. Their exit, while officially ending British rule in Palestine, was also an open invitation for the Zionists to take over the whole country” (“Dheeba’s Story,” in The Stone House, e-book ed., 27).

Many of Alcott’s entries deal directly with the policies and deceptions behind this British treachery in allowing, even facilitating Zionist usurpation despite all contrary promises to the Palestinians. That includes the final item, number 490. As Palestinians tried to actively resist their pending disposition, their efforts were blocked by the British military. Confronted with English interdiction against a last-ditch effort to save Qatamon, and so losing the town, Ibrahim Abu-Dayeh pleaded with Izzat Tannous for diplomatic assistance with His Majesty’s forces. Tannous sadly replied, “‘No, my dear Ibrahim,’ I said, quoting an Arab proverb, ‘When the judge is your enemy, it is useless to appeal’” (The Rape of Palestine, Vol. 2, 1, 144).

Here is an example of Alcott’s astute commentary, his words summarizing the feckless, biased British actions:

There was harmony between Britain’s withdrawal and yishuv military moves in Tiberias and Haifa as well. ‘Great’ Britain had set itself up as a judge over normal Palestinians in the country of their grandmothers and grandfathers, living their lives like you and me. HMG had always claimed to be neutral against ‘the two sides’ in carrying out its ‘dual obligation’. In fact, even the Balfour Declaration at the very beginning of Britain’s colonial rule was biased, and led logically to actions such as that just described in the last days of the Zionist Mandate: the more powerful “English”, self-styled arbiters, threatened 300 Palestinians with death should they, in self-defense, also use non-verbal weapons (Id., 1, 144-1, 145).

“Grandmothers and grandfathers, living their lives like you and me.” My suspicion upon reading Salt’s review was that Alcott would provide heavy factual backup for some of the emotional human stories Hawari related in stirring if necessarily concise form. He did and then some. I did not expect it, but was delighted to discover that he too possesses a keen ability to connect the reader’s mind and soul to even listless, heartless administrative functionary activities. There is a kind of brilliance in the book that slowly asserts itself via Alcott’s ability to both display an orderly chronology but to also link all the parts together in a nearly narrative fashion.

He displayed his talent with the second-to-last asterisked entry, number 486, and the final words concerning the failed Mandate in Parliament on March 10, 1948. Creech Jones, de facto handler of the Palestinian “problem”, made stunning admissions about the end of English occupation in Palestine, the Mandate, betrayals, and all.

The question of our attitude to the Mandate, which proved in practice both self-contradictory and unworkable, and of the reference of the Palestine question to the United Nations, has been debated in the House. … I do not believe, after our bitter and tragic experience, that the British public would tolerate any new commitments in Palestine (Id., 1119).

Alcott bridges and builds, adding, “The self-pity aside, Britain’s experience was indeed “tragic” in the literary sense that the seeds of devastation were present at the beginning – a sort of character flaw which made Britain dedicate itself to a ‘self-contradictory and unworkable’ experiment.” Id. He then goes on to show and dissect how Britain had always taken a side despite its supposed neutrality. And he shines a light on the fledgling United Nations’ fence-sitting, a position the body has essentially retained since 1948.

And since that year, as the British bowed out, other nations bowed in. While Britain and France would go on to provide some assistance to the Zionists, it was Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union who were the first to recognize newly appropriated political Israel. But no country has done more or worse in slavish, virtually religious service, support, and allegiance to Israel than the United States.

Alcott devotes Section XXV, in the Second Volume, to “U.S. Power,” with seventeen entries in all. Among them, the reader will discover Harry “S” Truman’s zeal for the Zionists’ expanded entry into Palestine. The man who acceded to dropping an atomic bomb on a Catholic Church in Japan had no problem doing something of a similar nature, if by other means, in the Levant. Given the total degeneration of America since then it is little wonder why some filth like Tim Walberg calls for treating Gaza like Nagasaki. As with the blood stains on Zionist hands, from the Stern Gang to King Bibi’s rampage against hospitals, schools, Mosques, Churches, and aid workers, so too does America drip with the blood of innocents slaughtered in perpetual conflict. The English, base progenitors of the insanely poor idea behind the Zionist occupation, stand as guilty as any. At the moment, the only British leader I can think of who acquits himself is George Galloway, and he still admits a deep shame concerning these deeply shameful matters. Many parties are guilty, for their actions and complicity. And still others bear eternal abashment, admitted or not, for their inaction and silence.

Not among the shamed are South Africa, Yemen, and a few other groups worldwide. One of the few groups is composed of anti-Zionist Jews, some of whom are now being arrested in “free” and “democratic” Western countries like Germany for standing up and speaking out for Palestinian justice. It’s hard evidence of a mad world when Germans attack Jews, for the false crime of possibly offending other Jews, doing so using anti-Nazi laws as their paper-thin justification. More to the point, indisputable proof of collective insanity and tolerance of sheer wickedness abounds. En route to doing something, anything to help, decent people want and need to make sense of the sad circumstances. And making sense of any complex system, circumstance, or problem requires a base of information.

That is what Blake Alcott had delivered. His extreme dedication, utter competence, and artful presentation will reveal to the reader an open window to history, policy, drama, tragedy, and the human condition. Let the light shine in, we need it. I heartily endorse and recommend The Rape Of Palestine for anyone, regardless of position or location, interested in the injustice visited upon the Palestinian People. Really, this battle is for universal actuality and human dignity. Buy the book, read it, and understand it, a commanding and fascinating compilation.

Perrin Lovett, a Christian American Russophile, is a novelist, essayist, and commentary writer. He writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds some of those degreed credentials people like. Versions of this review have appeared in Geopolitika and Recknonin’. Deo vindice!

Featured: Tantura explusion, June 1948; photograph by Benno Rothenberg.

The First Russian Gas Pipeline to Germany

Natural gas—the fuel of modern prosperity—is now the lynchpin of geopolitical tussles: Russia is the largest producer of natural gas, while Europe is an ever-hungry market for reliable energy. An ideal commercial relationship, one would think. But geopolitics has intervened and things have taken many drastic turns—because the geopolitics of energy means using natural gas as a tool to influence political outcomes.

This interesting documentary film gives us a glimpse of the early days of the Russian supply of natural gas, when the then Soviet Union and Germany signed the 20-year “gas for pipes” agreement in 1970, in Essen, where Germany would supply the steel pipes, while Russia supplied the gas. The deal worth a billion dollars at that time. Adversaries could still do business in those halcyon days.

This film then goes on to show the prosperity brought to, what was then, West Germany and East Germany, by this easy and reliable energy supply.

By the time construction was completed, in 1973, from the Russian side, the pipes ran to the Czech border, from where a German pipeline took the gas further into Germany proper. This initial effort was greatly expanded over the years, with the Brotherhood Pipeline (completed in 1984) and later the Yamal-Europe pipeline (completed in 1996).

In other words, Siberian natural gas fueled the prosperity of Europe, because by 1985, some 20,000 kms of pipeline economically linked Europe and Russia. From the very beginning, this so-called “dependence” of Europe on Russian gas was a sore point for the USA.

Despite the many sanctions, Siberian natural gas still makes its way into many parts of Europe, since it is difficult to deny the reality of geography and the huge pipeline infrastructure put in place to facilitate supply.

The Nordstream pipelines 1 and 2 were the latest expansions of what is shown in this film, back in 1970. (NS1 was “mysteriously” blown up on September 26, 2022 although Seymour Hersh has explained away the “mystery”). Nordstream 2 still functions, but given geopolitical commitments, Germany no longer wants Siberian natural gas—in October of 2022, Chancellor Scholz refused Russia’s offer to resume shipment via NS2.

This Echo film was made by the Darer Corporation, a newsreel production company located in New York City. It was owned and operated by Stanley P. Darer (1934-2013). Interestingly, many of the Echo films do not carry titles, and begin in the middle of things, in the Classical manner (in medias res).

A Documentary Film the CIA Tried to Ban

It was May 1965. Word got out that NBC was about to air a television documentary about the various covert activities of the CIA. What we now call “the Deep State” grew very, very nervous. Every effort was made to make sure the film did not air; even its sponsor, B.F. Goodrich pulled its cash. In the words of Frank Wisner, former head of the CIA’s Office of Policy Coordination: “unless checked or restrained in some manner their program will do very serious additional damage to the reputation and standing of the Agency [the CIA].”

But NBC stood its ground—The Science of Spying aired on May 4, 1965. It had a huge audience…

The film meticulously laid bare the CIA involvement in Iran, with the overthrow of the elected government of Iran (Operation Ajax, handled by Allen Dulles); the overthrowing of President Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala in 1954; the deep involvement of the CIA in Vietnam; the infamous Bay of Pigs and the attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro; and the various actions in the Congo, which culminated in the execution of President Patrice Lumumba in 1961.

The Science of Spying followed a straightforward method: it laid out the CIA actions in each of these regions, followed by their confirmation from Allen Dulles (who headed the CIA from 1953 to 1961) and Richard M. Bissell Jr. (the Agency’s Director of Plans and architect of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, as well as the U-2 Spy Plane disaster). However, both men insisted that covert CIA action was directed by the President of the United States.

In the words of Bassell: “There just come moments and, unfortunately, quite a lot of them, in world affairs, where power has to be exerted.”

As the leader of the Revolutionary Movement 13th November, in Guatemala, Marco Antonio Yon Sosa (born in 1929; shot and killed in 1970) observed: “Well, we have to study very carefully the word ‘terrorist.’ We attack [the American military] not because they are Americans, but because of what they are doing. We oppose United States policy in Guatemala because it is an interventionist policy: the Americans come here and put presidents in office and remove them.”

John Chancellor (1927-1996), who narrates the documentary, observes: “the dagger is replacing the cloak.”

Chancellor was a pioneering journalist and longtime anchor for NBC Nightly News Famously, it was he who first associated the blue and red colors to the two main US parties (Democratic and Republican).

After the film aired, the CIA had a meeting (May 19, 1965), where it was decided to carefully study The Science of Spying. Consequently, a transcript of the entire documentary film was produced.

The Science of Spying was made by Ted Yates (Frederick Langdon Yates, Jr.), the legendary and widely-respected documentary filmmaker, who just two years later would be killed in Jerusalem, on June 5, 1967, by an Israeli soldier who shot him in the head, where he was covering the Six-Day War.

In 1964, there appeared the now-famous book, The Invisible Government, written by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross. The book begins with these words: “There are two governments in the United States today. One is visible. The other is invisible…. The second, invisible government gathers intelligence, conducts espionage, and plans and executes secret operations all over the globe.”

The Science of Spying is a window that opens onto the invisible government of the United States of America.

Ten Years of the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union

May 29 is the EAEU Day, because it was on this date in 2014 in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, that the signing of the Treaty on the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan took place. On January 1, 2015, the three states were already officially in the new union, with Armenia joining the next day and Kyrgyzstan in August. Until now, all five powers are in the EAEU. In the year of the decade since the establishment of the organization, the Republic of Armenia, which is now experiencing social and political upheaval, is the chair.

If we look at the historical retrospective, the timing of the creation, or rather the transition from the EurAsEC and the Customs Union to a more closely integrated union, was quite difficult. Ukraine, which was considered a candidate for membership in the EAEU as early as 2013, experienced a coup d’état in February 2014. After the referendum in Crimea and its return to Russia, our country was hit by sanctions from the U.S. and Western countries.

The first sanctions were imposed on March 17, 2014, and new ones have been introduced all the time since then. Their volume has now reached a record high compared to other countries.

On May 2, 2014, in Odessa, neo-Nazis, supported by the authorities, massacred and set fire to the Trade Union House, resulting in numerous civilian casualties. This was a clear signal of the point of no return. On May 11, 2014, referenda were held in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on independence from Ukraine.

Undoubtedly, the United States was behind the process of Ukraine’s negative transformation. And the facts show that the coup was initiated precisely to prevent Ukraine from joining the EAEU. Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State back in 2012 tried to criticize Eurasian integration trends, calling them attempts to recreate the USSR. “We are trying to find an effective way to slow down or prevent this process,” Clinton said at the time.

On November 29, 2013, Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an agreement with the EU at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius. In December, he signed the Russian-Ukrainian action plan, which envisioned a reduction in natural gas prices and Russia’s purchase of Ukrainian Eurobonds. But this plan never materialized. Ukraine was already engulfed in protests, where American emissaries were adding fuel to the fire.

Nevertheless, the EAEU has been established and is functioning. The Union is open for accession to any state that shares its goals and principles, on terms agreed by the member states.

The EAEU applies the Single Customs Tariff, unified customs regulation and administration, free movement of goods between the territories of the member states without customs declaration and state control (transport, sanitary, veterinary and sanitary, quarantine phytosanitary) except in cases provided for by the Treaty.

Within the Union, a common foreign trade policy is implemented (conclusion of agreements with third countries is possible only on behalf of the EAEU and its member states), common technical regulation is implemented, common sanitary, veterinary-sanitary and quarantine phytosanitary measures are applied. In addition, the “five” countries pursue a coordinated macroeconomic, industrial, agro-industrial, transportation policy, and work on the formation of a common digital space. A common labor market also functions on the territories of the Union’s member states.

On May 14, 2018, the Republic of Moldova received the status of an observer state to the EAEU, and on December 11, 2020 – the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Cuba.

In addition, free trade zones are in place with Vietnam, Serbia and Singapore, and negotiations are underway with a number of other states. The most active negotiations are underway with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Russian and Iranian sides are optimistic about the results achieved.

In 2016, the decision of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, “On the beginning of negotiations with the Arab Republic of Egypt on the conclusion of a free trade zone agreement” was adopted. Six rounds of negotiations have been held so far.

On December 9, 2022, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council adopted a decision to start negotiations with the United Arab Emirates on the conclusion of a free trade agreement. Two rounds of negotiations have already taken place in 2023 (on this issue.

It may seem strange that Syria is absent from the list of Arab states that are interested in establishing some kind of special treatment with the EAEU. This is probably due to the continuing conflict in this country. Although in July 2015, during a ministerial meeting in Damascus, Syrian Prime Minister Wael Al-Halki said that negotiations were underway with Russia to join the Eurasian Economic Union and the free economic zone. He said, “We consider it a boon and a strengthening of relations. We intend to develop trade cooperation.” Since Russia and Syria are allies and, in addition, Syria is home to a large number of Armenians, this stimulates mutual interest in EAEU integration.

In September 2017, Jordan signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Eurasian Economic Union to promote and diversify trade between Jordan and the Eurasian Economic Union. And Morocco and the Eurasian Economic Union signed a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen economic relations and interaction in Rabat on September 28, 2017, indicating that EAEU countries view Morocco as a reliable partner and gateway to Africa and other regions with which the Kingdom has close relations.

On October 17, 2022 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Armen Arutyunyan, Director of the Agro-Industrial Policy Department of the Eurasian Economic Commission, and Maxim Protasov, Head of Roskachevo, met with Ahmed Saleh Ayad Al Hamshi, Deputy Minister of Environment, Water Resources and Agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The parties discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including the development of organic agriculture, ensuring food security, sustainable development of the agro-industrial complex in the context of climate change and others. They considered proposals to elaborate an international treaty between the EAEU and Saudi Arabia on the equivalence of organic agriculture systems to ensure free trade in organic products, to create a platform on the basis of the Commission to attract investments, to promote agricultural products and food produced in the EAEU on the markets of third countries.

In 2023, the interest of the EAEU and Saudi Arabia in expanding cooperation was confirmed. In general, Saudi Arabia is consistently ranked among the 15 largest consumers of EAEU agro-industrial products. According to data for 2019, in 2018, Saudi Arabia ranked 12th among all partner countries in terms of agricultural imports from the EAEU, with the best result (9th place) observed in 2012 and 2015.

The best result of the United Arab Emirates was 17th place (in 2017) among all partner countries to which the EAEU exports agricultural products, while Iraq had the 25th place (2015 and 2016). The remaining countries were among the top 100 buyers from the EAEU in 2018 (Oman 54th, Qatar 75th, Kuwait 93rd), with the exception of Bahrain (114th in 2018).

Insignificant volumes of agricultural products are imported from the Gulf countries. Thus, in 2018, the UAE ranked 75th among the countries – suppliers of agricultural products to the EAEU, Saudi Arabia – 121st, Oman – 162nd, Kuwait – 172nd, Bahrain – 176th. Iraq and Qatar did not supply agricultural products to the EAEU in 2018.

This indicates that these countries are more interested in receiving agro-industrial products from the EAEU, as they lack certain agricultural products due to the hot climate.

It should be noted that Arab economic and political analysts provide statistical data on the degree of progress achieved in the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union due to Russia’s contribution to the development of the region.

Undoubtedly, the main factor of other countries’ interest in interaction with the EAEU is the optimization of tariffs and mechanisms of trade and economic interaction through the creation of free trade zones and other special regimes.

Secondly, it is the same logistics, as Russia has now intensified a number of regional projects, such as the Northern Sea Route and the North-South international transportation corridor (it is worth recalling that in August 2023 the first train was sent from Russia via Iran to Saudi Arabia).

Third, these are joint investments and common projects. Since we are talking about a supranational association, through its structures it will be much easier to protect their capitals from undesirable political influence (which the U.S. and its satellites will try to do).

Fourth, there is the risk of increasing the toxicity of the dollar as a reserve currency. A number of foreign countries, possessing such assets, will want to diversify their investments, which can be done through new venture funds together with the EAEU or some innovative initiatives.

There is also an opinion that the purpose of participation in the EAEU may be different, so each country may receive different preferences depending on its participation and capabilities. It should be noted that the EAEU and China’s Belt and Road Initiative are still being linked, so this vector may also be of interest to other actors.

While it is tempting to wait and see what happens in the face of global political turbulence, it is clear that Russia retains a very strong position and that de-westernization has led to a transition to a new economic policy that is showing success. As the strongest member of the EAEU, Russia will seek to support its partners in the union, and this may be another good incentive for those who are still undecided about participation in the EAEU.

Of course, we need to look realistically at the processes taking place and adjust the agenda. Thus, based on the plans outlined earlier and the results achieved, we can analyze what needs to be done in the first place, what needs to be adjusted, and what makes sense to abandon altogether.

In December 2022, the Strategy for the Development of Eurasian Economic Integration until 2025 was signed in Minsk. If we compare theoretical calculations with practical solutions that have been implemented in a year and a half, we still need to work on the creation of joint financial and industrial groups and Eurasian transnational corporations. Especially for high-tech projects. Due to the sanctions on the Russian banking system, the launch of a common financial market is still far from being realized.

According to the Eurasian Economic Commission, the share of settlements in Russian rubles in the EAEU in 2023 rose to 81.3%. Over 10 years, this indicator has increased by 14%. The share of settlements in tenge also increased significantly – from 0.5% to 2.7%. At the same time, the share of settlements in U.S. dollars fell by 15% and now amounts to 11%. So the process of leaving the toxic currencies of dollar and euro continues.

The benefits of a common financial market should be felt by all citizens: so that “Mir” cards function throughout the EAEU and there are no problems with money transfers.

Access to public procurement is also an important topic that has not yet been resolved. Since there is still state protectionism in this area, which hampers mutual access of enterprises and companies of the EAEU countries to national public procurement systems and, consequently, to public procurement.

And some provisions, such as establishing a dialog with the EU and the European Commission, may need to be abandoned. The years of the SWO have shown what the current political elite in the EU represents. And the July 2014 elections to the European Parliament are unlikely to fundamentally change the situation. The same can be said about the OECD and the WTO, which are blatantly Western creatures. Conversely, deepening cooperation with ASEAN, the SCO, Mercosur, the African Union and other non-Western organizations should be stimulated and encouraged in every possible way.

Looking back, of course, it is important to correctly assess the mistakes made. It is no secret that the EAEU was modeled on the EU. However, a number of nuances were not taken into account. For example, ideology. Initially it was stated that the EAEU would pursue exclusively economic goals. But how can we talk about full-fledged integration if culture, identity, worldview, historical traditions and the same policy are not taken into account? Multi-vectorism can lead to the tearing of the country, as it happened in Ukraine.

Since all EAEU members were previously in a single space (the Russian Empire, then the USSR), there is a significant difference from the EU countries. In fact, we have reintegration, where all members retain their full sovereignty, and, in addition, according to the EAEU Charter, all decisions of the Supreme Body are taken by consensus. This is a big plus compared to the EU, where its members lose their sovereignty and everything is managed by European commissioners from Brussels.

It is, of course, about a new type of ideology for the EAEU, where we should avoid hackneyed political stamps and theories that have shown their failure. The development of such an adequate ideology, which would be actively demanded by all EAEU participants as a long-term and attractive strategy, is still necessary.

Leonid Savin is Editor-in-Chief of the Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitika.

The Sudan: The Forgotten Massacre and the Great Game on the Red Sea

While all the world’s attention is concentrated in various hotspots, starting from Ukraine to Gaza and the Middle East, there are other tragedies and power games (and inherent butcheries) that pass more or less unnoticed in the silence of the international media and the instrumental attention (or intentional dis-attention) of diplomatic chancelleries. One of these, tragic in terms of the number of victims and of great importance for the strategic consequences it could have, is the ongoing civil war in the Sudan and the power games that are gathering around it.

Before analyzing, it would be useful summarize the recent conflict, but as well all the turbulences which have stormed the country since it gained independence, in 1956, from a fictional Anglo-Egyptian condominium (fictional in the sense that the Egyptian share of this condominium was less than zero and all the power was in the hands of London; further, the present South Sudan was administered by the British colonial administration of Uganda [!]). Sadly, the history of independent Sudan was marked by an endless series of authoritarian governments, civil wars, 15 military coups, all characterized by excessive and senseless violence against civilians and minorities. As stated by several analysts, Sudan is a dual country, crisscrossed by several fractures: north against south, rural populations against urban ones, farmers against herders, Arabs against black Africans, Muslims against pagans/animist and Christians, pagans/animist against Christians and Muslims, tribe against tribe. All, in a country that has important energy (oil) and mineral resources (gold and uranium), and above all, an enviable strategic position, between Arab and the sub-Sahraian world, with coastal access to the Red Sea, one of the most sensitive transit area for trade in the world, between the Suez Canal and Bab-El-Mandeb straits (the relevance of this area is witness to the impact of a low key armed threat by the, allegedly, pro-Iranian local militia, the Houti, who with few weapons have bee able to disrupt the Asia-Europe maritime trade, while stretching the limited US, UK and EU/NATO naval resources).

All these elements have kept Sudan in a condition of semipermanent crisis, with heavy intrusions from external powers. The present civil war, for its violence and the geographical spread seems the worst one of all the previous ones (even excluding the bloodiest civil wars of the past, which led to the separation of the Sud Sudan in 2011 and run from 1955 to 1972 and from 1983 to 2005). The civil war of 2023 has its roots in the toppling of the civilian government which had led the country after the protests which ousted the long dictatorship (1989-2019) of the general-president Omar El Bashir, marked by a nationwide wave of protests.

Following the resignation of Omar El Bashir on April 11, 2019, and the establishment of a temporary government with transitional executive purposes, which appointed a civilian prime minister during the transition phase. Under the latter’s leadership, during 2020, female genital mutilation became illegal, the death penalty for homosexuality and apostasy was abolished and the ban on consuming alcohol was cancelled (although only for non-Muslims). The compulsory veil for women and public flogging were also removed. The two real powers of the country, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), under General Abdel Fattah El Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), under the “Janjaweed” leader (the institutionalized, but still wild, Islamist militia who spread terror in the Darfur region under the leadership of El Bashir) Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (a.k.a. ‘Hemedti’), watched with growing (and mutual) hostility the new situation.

In September 2021, a first coup attempt attributed to supporters of the former dictator El Bashir was foiled, following a series of demonstrations by various factions; on 25 October 2021 a new coup d’état by the SAF led to the dissolution of civilian government and to the establishment of a full military government and the sharing of power between SAF and RSF was a major issue. In April 2023, another coup attempt was carried out by RSF on April 15: after weeks of internal tensions, clashes between the two factions exploded with blind violence during Ramadan and has run tirelessly. Fighting has been concentrated around the capital city of Khartoum and the Darfur region with some hotspots elsewhere. The two sides appear as of now in a substantial parity and the two leaders, despite several attempts to establish at least humanitarian truce, are determined to shatter the other side and take full control of the country.

Peace prospects are dim. The most recognised effort to achieve peace can be seen in the Jeddah platform: multiple rounds of talks organised by the US and Saudi Arabia, which began shortly after the war broke out. However, the SAF and RSF have consistently failed to honour the commitments set out in the May 2023 declaration to ensure civilians are protected and international humanitarian law is respected. Nor have they honoured several agreements for ceasefire, for the facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance, or for confidence-building measures, such as vacating civilian houses occupied by RSF combatants.

Due to the growing instability, there have been many calls from the international community, and especially from the UN, US, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, to achieve peace as soon as possible but without results till now. This, while several countries and organizations (UN, GCC) evacuated their citizens from the country with massive air and maritime bridges when the war exploded.

The strategic position and potentialities of Sudan have put the country at the center of attention of external actors, old and new, and the renewed international scene has increased rivalries and actions. As example of the relevance of Sudan in the past, the country for years was under the pressure of the US and other Western states due to the hospitality and political space given to Omar El Tourabi, one of the most relevant thinkers of Islamist terrorism. The persistent turmoil of the country lit up the interests of the partners; for example, thanks to Saudi financial aid Sudan dispatched up to 40.000 SAF and RSF troops in the Riyadh-led coalition against the Houti in Yemen, Khartoum avoided an economic collapse.

The evolution of the international scene and the emerging of new actors is perfectly observable in the Sudan.

The UAE is, among the foreign players involved in the crisis, one of the ones which have invested most in the war. In fact, without its direct and all-around support, the RSF would not have been able to wage war to the same extent.

Upon the outbreak of war, it reportedly established logistical operations to send weapons to the RSF through its networks in Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda and the Haftar and Wagner militias. It has reportedly disguised armament and supplies as humanitarian aid. In addition, RSF business, finance, logistics and lobbying operations are carried out from the UAE. Injured fighters are reportedly airlifted to be treated in Abu Dhabi military hospitals and the leaders of RSF visit regularly African states on board of Emirati plane.

A UN report in January found the accusations of UAE military support to RSF credible. The UAE has denied this support, but many US lawmakers have publicly called it out. This while Western officials have been more cautious, tending to focus on the “negative roles” of external actors or partners that support the RSF, worried to lose the endless lucrative purchase contracts from the Emirates.

Meanwhile, famine, diseases and fighting are closing in on civilians. Furthermore, the international community has done little to stop it all, with only 12 percent of the $2.7bn aid sought for Sudan having been raised in the Paris-based conferences. The pattern of targeting civilians, torching villages, and committing mass murders and sexual violence has been witnessed in all the areas that came under the control of RSF, which is accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing (SAF as well).

The Sudan is key to the UAE’s strategy in Africa and the Middle East, aimed at achieving political and economic hegemony, sustaining a double face rivalry/friendship with Saudi Arabia (which support SAF) while curbing democratic aspirations. Since 2015, it has sourced fighters from both factions to join its conflict in Yemen. It is the primary importer of Sudan’s gold and has multibillion-dollar plans to develop ports along Sudan’s Red Sea coast.

In this framework, because is part of wider strategy of set up (and/or reset) a network of friendly states, it is useful analyze the moves of another new/old (or old/new) actor in the African policies, namely, Russia. The penetration of Moscow in countries like Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Central Africa Republic are well known, as well the concern for possible intrusions in Chad, Guinea, Senegal, São Tomé & Príncipe; all and each under the see and vigilance of diplomacies, armed forces, intelligence and scholars, especially from the Euroatlantic security architectures; all focused in to preview, contrast and block further steps. The concern is proper because there are more and more visible signs of the attempt of expansion of Russian influence in the area, which if it achieves its objectives, would set up a line of client states almost cutting in two the continent, from the Red Sea to the Guinea Gulf, with heavy consequences from many points of view, like influence on the maritime trade, exploitation and transport of hydrocarbons and other raw materials.

Given the relevance of the potential expansion of its area of influence, and in consideration of the fact the RSF, on which Russia appeared to initially bet, are not in condition to take control of the full country, Moscow has initiated a shift in its involvement in the Sudanese conflict, with the Kremlin now providing Al Burhan’s Islamist-aligned SAF its “uncapped” military support. In return, Moscow is hoping the Sudanese leader will honour a deal struck in 2020 to allow Russia to establish a naval base in Port Sudan, a move that would enable the Russian navy to threaten directly Western trade routes passing through the Red Sea (it should be remembered that the agreement saw the co-participation of “Hemedti”).

Russia had already initiated attempts before the hostilities erupted to establish a foothold in the Sudan, dispatching the “private military company,” the Wagner Group.

The legacy of Wagner in Sudan is not recent and some elements were sent already during the dictatorship of El Bashir in 2017, in order to protect gold, uranium and diamond mines.

Following the coup against Omar El Bashir on April 11, 2019, Russia continued to support the Sovereign Council that was established to govern the country, as it agreed to uphold Russia’s contracts and enlarged them to include the training of military personnel, and via a local subsidiary wing was involved in the operational and logistical support against the spread of COVID-19, while increasing the cooperation with RSF in April 2020.

Following the 2021 coup, Russian support for the military administration set up in the Sudan became more open and Wagner’s activities expanded after the beginning of the Russian military operation in the Ukraine in 2022 and, similarly to Mali, thus obtaining lucrative mining concessions and using western Sudan’s Darfur region as a staging point for operations in other neighbouring countries, the Central African Republic (where they provide the protection to President Faustin-Archange Touadéra), SE Libya and Western Chad.

Wagner mercenaries initially worked predominantly with the RSF, which benefited greatly from the support it received from Moscow; Wagner was reported to have supplied large quantities of weapons and equipment to the Sudan. In return, Russia was given access to the east African country’s gold richesses, enabling Moscow to circumvent Western sanctions to fund its war effort against Ukraine. However, the most recent sign of Moscow’s shift is the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s visit to the Sudan at the end of April, signalling the growing support for the SAF and the abandoning of support for RSF. Bogdanov, along with a special representative for the Middle East and Africa, met SAF leader General Al Burhan in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, a base for the army and government officials since the RSF took over large parts of the capital, Khartoum, early in the conflict. Bogdanov, an excellent Arabic speaker and in-depth expert of MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) region, said his visit could lead to increased cooperation and expressed support for “the existing legitimacy in the country represented by the Sovereign Council.” according to a statement from the body, which is headed by Al Burhan himself.

And Russia since April began deliveries of diesel to the Sudan earlier this month. There is now uncertainty around Russia’s ties with RSF, whose commander, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti,” visited Moscow on the eve of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine in 2022. The same year, Western diplomats in Khartoum said that Wagner was involved in illicit gold mining in the Sudan and was spreading disinformation. Wagner officially stated last year that it was no longer operating in the Sudan (now Wagner is embedded in the regular Russian Armed Forces).

While Europe’s influence in Africa may have waned in recent decades, a new breed of foreign interlopers is today vying to consolidate their hold over key African states, with civil war-ravaged Sudan emerging as among the primary targets for Moscow in primis, Bejing and Teheran in secundis. This with a paraphernalia of military and economic tools as BRICS and BRI (Belt and Road Initiative). For many years prior to the conflict, China had been one of Sudan’s most significant investment partners, with Beijing investing an estimated $6 billion in the country’s energy, agriculture and transport sectors since 2005.

China has also taken a close interest in Sudanese maritime assets such as Port Sudan, which it hopes will one day become a vital cog in its BRI. While China has tried to maintain a degree of neutrality in the Sudanese conflict, Russia’s deepening support for Al Burhan and the Islamist-aligned SAF has laid the foundations for the re-entry in the country of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Given the vital support Iran has provided to Russia for its war effort in Ukraine, it was perhaps inevitable that Russia’s involvement in the Sudan would ultimately pave the way for Iranian military hardware to be deployed on the Sudanese battlefield. According to recent media reports, the tide of the war is beginning to turn in favour of the SAF, after it began using Iranian-made drones earlier this year. The newly acquired UAVs have been used for reconnaissance and artillery spotting during recent SAF victories in Omdurman, across the Nile from the country’s capital, Khartoum. Iranian officials confirmed to media sources that the SAF have begun using the drones in its war against the RSF. The arrival of the Iranian drones in Sudan followed last year’s visit to Tehran by Ali Sadeq, the Sudan’s acting foreign minister, during which he met with senior Iranian security officials.

Iran has a long history of cooperation with Khartoum, with IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) regularly using Sudan as a base to ship weapons to terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah during Bashir’s dictatorship. Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda organisation was also based in Sudan for a time in the 1990s under the support of El Tourabi. The deployment of Iranian-built UAVs in Sudan, together with Russia’s deepening involvement in the Sudanese conflict, should certainly be a cause for concern for Western policymakers, given the country’s geographical significance in the Red Sea. If, as now seems likely, that after Russia, Iran, together with China, succeed in deepening their foothold in Sudan, as well as gaining access to key maritime bases such as Port Sudan, they will be in a strong position to challenge the West’s ability to protect key shipping routes in the Red Sea. Iran’s presence in the Sudan, would complete Tehran’s strategic encirclement of Tel Aviv and demolish another brick of the “Abraham Accord,” to which Khartoum, with the surprise of several observers adhered in June 2021 (as part of the agreement, the US removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism and gave it a US$1.2 billion loan to help the Sudanese government clear the country’s debts to the World Bank. Sudan agreed to pay US$335 million in compensation to US victims of terror, but denied any wrongdoing). The Western powers appear to be reacting slowly to keep this pivotal African state from falling under the influence of Russia, China and Iran, which seek to use the Sudan as a base from which to keep their pressure against the West and its key (few remaining) allies in the region.

The concern of Western diplomats for the open shift of the Sudan under influence of Russia with further expansion of Moscow activities is corroborated by the recente developments in the Sahel region. In April, Mauritania accused the Malian forces and its Russian elements of carrying out incursion on the border area. Since their independence (gained for both in 1960), the relations between the two countries are mainly friendly, but with similar security complexity along the border which covers 2,237 km. Mauritania has the largest number of male refugees in the Sahel region, with more than 91,263 males living in the camps of the frontal region in the South-East, according to the global food programme.

In the face of large-scale kidnappings, the Malians continue to be subject to the general violence of the Touareg separatists, Islamist militants, the regular forces and their Russian “advisors.” The new regime in Mali (as well for Burkina Faso) changed the relations with Mauritania and pushed Nouakchott to adhere to the new regional group of Sahel Alliance (which include for now Mali, Burkina Faso e Niger), which till now has been unsuccessful, and to abandon ECOWAS (Economic Community of Western Africa States). In mid-April Mauritania summoned the Malian ambassador to again protest against the repeated attacks. A meeting between the Mauritanian Minister of Defense and the head of the government of Mali Assimi Goïta followed and a large military manouver was carried out in order to improve the preparedness (very low) of the forces of Mauritania. At the beginning of May, the Ministers of Defense and the Ministers of the Interior of Mauritania are reunited with the inhabitants of larger villages on the foreign border. The two officials promised to strengthen the presence of the security forces in the region and to declare that the Malian authorities have previously assured that they have already adopted plans to prevent all further intrusions into the Mauritian territories.

A modern-day “Scramble for Africa” is taking place in war-torn Sudan. Back in the late 19th century, the original “Scramble for Africa” was the term coined to describe the efforts of European colonial powers such as Great Britain, France and Germany (with minor role and presence of Belgium, Portugal, Italy and Spain) to expand their influence throughout the African continent.

As mentioned above, the civil war between SAF and RSF has proved disastrous for the long-suffering Sudanese population, with the UN estimating that at least 15,000 people have been killed during the violence of the past year, although aid agencies believe the figure is significantly higher. In addition, more than 6.8 million people are internally displaced persons, 2 million fleeing the country have been forced from their homes as refugees, while 25 million are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, (almost half the population) with the Sudan achieving the unenviable record of having the largest population of displaced children in the world. The Western powers clearly work to keep this pivotal African state from falling into the hands of hostile autocratic regimes, such as Russia, China and Iran, which seek to use the Sudan as a base from which to maintain their assault on the West and its key allies in the region. As usua, in these cases, the US used sanctions to control the violence and promote a “friendly” state. Two commanders of the Sudan’s RSF force were recently sanctioned, vowing pressure to stop the unit from an offensive on the Darfur city El Fasher.

The region was engulef from 2003 to 2020 by a vicious war between local population and the Khartoum-backed militias “Janjaweed” and now is again a hotspot of the war between SAF and RSF. El Fahser is surrounded and besieged by the RSF; aid convoys have not been able to get in and SAF’s troops have had to drop supplies in via parachute. The city is a main hub for getting aid into the North Darfur region, which is already on the brink of famine. El-Fasher has three major camps for IDPs (Internally Displaced People) near it, housing half a million people; thirty percent children, in the camps are acutely malnourished. Nowhere in the area is safe. As the situation continues to darken and evidence emerges that the RSF and its allied Arab militias are once again targeting non-Arab groups. Over the last year of war in Sudan, the RSF has targeted non-Arab groups across Darfur.

It is strategically vital to the RSF because it sits on its supply routes—the UAE (and initially the Wagner Group) helped facilitate these through neighbouring Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic—and to the SAF it is the last city it holds in Darfur. The SAF’s forces there have been joined by rebel fighters from different factions of the SLM (Sudanese Liberation Movement, a rebel group active since 2002, founded as the Darfur Liberation Front by members of three indigenous ethnic groups in Darfur: Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit), and by thousands of men of private militia, led by former Janjaweed leaders and now deadly enemies of RSF. The SAF is also supported by armed elements of JEM (Justice and Equality Movement, an opposition group established in 2007 and allegedly with a strength of 35.000 troops, operating in Darfur and all Eastern Sudan states), while other smaller groups, have also been formed to fight the RSF, which is declared to be already allied with many Arab militias; and there are claims that some fighters from the rebel groups have deserted and joined them. The RSF and the Sudan’s armed forces are seen as both wanting to secure a battleground victory, and each side has received support from outside players.

Enrico Magnani, PhD, is a retired UN official and expert in military history and international politico-military affairs.

The Invading Friend: The United States of America

Debates about Americanism and anti-Americanism, Americanophilia and Americanophobia, are continually rekindled as major geopolitical events unfold. To be precise, it would be more accurate to speak of love and hatred of the United States of America rather than of America, because with 10 million km2 and 332 million inhabitants, the United States is only a minor part of a continent that covers no less than 42.5 million km2 for a population of over a billion “Americans.” But ideological prejudices, linguistic conventions and semantic misappropriations being what they are, it is not easy to overcome them. Just one example: For forty years I have been protesting, without any real success, against the dubious use by French historians and journalists of the term “nationalist” instead of “national” to describe one of the two sides in the Spanish Civil War. My Hispano-American friends will therefore forgive me, at least I hope they will, for using the terms “America” and “Americans” in the conventional, partial and arbitrary senses they are given in Europe, rather than exclusively the expressions “United States” and “United Statesmen” (which are themselves problematic, since they also refer to the country and inhabitants of Estados Unidos Mexicanos).

The problem addressed in this article is that of the image of “America” and its evolution since the creation of the United States in 1776. What has been and what is the meaning given by observers of international political life to the events in which the United States has been involved since its foundation? It is worth noting at the outset that this age-old debate, which is still being rekindled, never takes the form of a clear right-left opposition. Pro- and anti-Americans have been recruited and split across the political spectrum for over a century and a half.

Many analysts have pointed out that there is, on the one hand, a structural or essentialist Americanism and anti-Americanism and, on the other, a conjunctural or circumstantial Americanism and anti-Americanism, which are limited to the praise or criticism of a given point at a given time. Among essentialist authors, we usually cite the “pro-American” French journalist Jean François Revel (who denounced his European adversaries’ “complex,” resentment” and “anti-American obsession”), or the American neoconservative Robert Kagan (theorist of the “benevolent” Empire) and, conversely, among the anti-Americans, Benjamin Barber or Noam Chomsky (who have often been denounced in the USA as traitors or masochists dominated by “self-hatred”). [See, Jean-François Revel, L’Obsession antiaméricaine, 2002. See also, Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, 1988, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, 1997].

According to essentialist authors, there is an “essence,” i.e., a positive or negative permanence, independent of history. America and Americans, according to some, struggle to spread progress, freedom, democracy, human rights and happiness throughout the world, but, according to others, they are guilty of all the errors, injustices, crimes and suffering of humanity. America and Americans thus are, for some, the beneficent friend, the disinterested defender of the oppressed, the “camp of good,” to be defended and loved, and, for others, the atavistic enemy, the incarnation of the eternal “fascist” bastard, the irredeemable nation, to be hated and slaughtered. There is thus both an essentialist xenophilia and xenophobia, which sees the Other as an immutable “essence,” sometimes admirable, sometimes detestable. The contempt, hubris and arrogance of some is always counterbalanced by the bitterness, rancor and resentment of others.

The problem is that the definition of Americanophilia or Americanophobia is very rarely fixed in the same author, and essentialist and conjunctural arguments are usually inextricably intertwined. In reality, Americanophile and Americanophobic discourses are mostly linked to historical events. Opinions hostile or favorable to the United States vary according to the era and ideological presuppositions of the actors involved, and are highly dependent on historical moments.

What are the Objective Reasons for Admiring the United States?

There are, of course, objective reasons to admire the United States of America. Admirable is the scientific and technical level of this great nation. One would have to be devoid of reason and heart to ignore it. Who would dare to claim that American literature has not reached the highest summits? Hollywood cinema, often mediocre, is certainly not as shabby as the most chauvinistic Europeans claim. Qualitatively pitiful (nearly a thousand films are produced every year), it nonetheless boasts many masterpieces. In terms of quality, 1% of American production has always rivaled the best European cinema, and for almost forty years, with the exception of a few rare cases, it has far surpassed it. Another example: the history of facts and ideas and political science. The social science or “societal” rantings of turn-of-the-20th-century American academics, fanatical followers of the “woke” ideology, cannot overshadow the admirable work of authors as diverse as Christopher Lasch, Paul Gottfried, Robert Nisbet, John Lukacs and Paul Piconne, to name but a few. All of them equal, and sometimes surpass, those of the most illustrious intellectual figures in Europe at the turn of the 21st century.

Equally admirable is the commitment of the American people to the First Amendment of their Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Of course, one cannot ignore the ability of American jurists to reinterpret a constitutional text, sometimes in a direction absolutely contrary to the spirit of the Founding Fathers, in order to satisfy the interests of the political-economical-media oligarchy or to respond to its injunctions. Of course, we cannot be so naive as to believe that this loyalty to the Bill of Rights will endure forever without fail. But to this day, despite setbacks and repeated accusations of violations, the principle and its application stand firm. And that is no mean feat! Just compare the situation in the USA with that in France or Spain. A memorial law, which would impose the State’s official viewpoint on historical events, is still inconceivable in the United States.

All this, we must acknowledge, without being blind to the imperfections of a highly imperfect representative democracy regularly marked by elections marred by irregularities and even by soft coups d’état by the dominant oligarchy. The press in the United States is theoretically free, but in practice it is tightly controlled by the powerful and the wealthy; society is particularly unequal; the proclaimed freedom is compromised by anti-terrorism laws; the political oligarchy is partially corrupt; Mafia influences on the White House have been frequent [See, Jean-François Gayraud, La Mafia et la Maison Blanche, 2023]; untimely military interventions in the world are beyond count. All these criticisms are well known.

The Intensity of Anti-Americanism Goes Hand-in-Hand with the Intensity of Americanism

Anti-Americanism is not simply a matter of prejudice or detestation. The denunciation of the system’s dysfunctions, the distrust and fear of imperialism, are not the product of fantasy. Exceptionalism and expansionism were present from the very beginning of the American Republic. They were bound to provoke international concern, apprehension and hostility.

The foundation of any true foreign policy is the national interest. This is as true of the United States as it is of any other power. Theorizing about cosmopolitanism, globalization and multiculturalism, so fashionable among Western oligarchies, cannot mask this reality. As recent history has shown, there is no such thing as globalist “inevitability.” On the contrary, the overcoming of national interests, the phenomenon of convergence advocated and driven by Western pseudo-elites, is accompanied by new fragmentations, oppositions and reconfigurations of international relations. After all, transnational globalization is only exacerbating the desire for state sovereignty and independence, including on the “old continent.” De Gaulle rightly said that we must not make the mistake of confusing peoples, states, regimes and rulers. To ignore this is to fail to understand why virulent criticism of the United States is now the most widely shared view in the world.

Significantly, in the “Old World,” they are the defenders of the European-Atlanticist oligarchy (that of the “poodles” of Uncle Sam, Merkel, Scholz, Macron, Van der Leyen or Sánchez, all epigones of Monnet, Schuman, de Gasperi, Spaak, Hallstein, etc., themselves often accused of being nothing more than “agents of the CIA.” Walter Hallstein, first president of the European commission was, let us not forget, a former Nazi lawyer cleared by the Americans), who never wanted to see de Gaulle as anything other than an anti-American, champion of identity and national sovereignty. They never fail to blame the old General for having accepted the entry of communist ministers into his second government in 1945 when the PCF represented 26% of the electorate, but de Gaulle, critic of the “party regime,” resigned after just two months. The same people criticized the fact that de Gaulle, with Stalin’s support, had obtained a seat for France on the UN Security Council on the same footing as the victors of the Second World War. Invariably they also deplore the Phnom-Penh speech against military intervention in Vietnam (1966), the withdrawal from NATO’s integrated command to overcome bloc logic (1966) and, of course, the Montreal speech “Vive le Québec libre!” denouncing too much Anglo-Saxon influence (1967). Yet de Gaulle was not anti-American. In every serious crisis that could lead to a dreadful nuclear confrontation, the “Connétable” always honored France’s alliances against the USSR. This was the case, for example, in 1961, during the construction of the Berlin Wall (“wall of shame” for liberals and social democrats, and “wall of anti-fascist protection” for communists), or in 1962, during the Soviet missile affair in Cuba [See, Éric Branca, L’ami américain : Washington contre de Gaulle, 2017]. De Gaulle was never anti-American, even if his opponents, past and present, globalists and other Europeanists and Atlanticists, try to pass him off as a model of anti-Americanism. Clearly, for them, one cannot be a friend of America if one refuses to slavishly align oneself with the positions of the American government.

Paradoxically, it was in fact President François Mitterrand (a Socialist leader, elected President of the French Republic because of the votes of the Communists, even though in his youth he had been awarded the Francisque, the highest distinction of the Vichy regime), who had the harshest words to say about the United States. In the twilight of his last term of office, fully aware that American governments had been pursuing the definitive expulsion of France from Africa since the end of the Second World War (an expulsion completed under Emmanuel Macron with the unplanned help of Russia and China), Mitterrand confided these edifying words to journalist George-Marc Benhamou: “France does not know it, but we are at war with America. Yes, a permanent war, a vital war, an economic war, apparently a war without killings. Yes, the Americans are very tough; they are voracious. They want undivided power over the world. It is an unknown war, a permanent war, apparently without killings, and yet a war to the death” [George-Marc Benhamou, Le dernier Mitterrand, 1998. Mitterrand also said: “I am the last of the great presidents. After me, there will only be financiers and accountants.”]

[On the role of the CIA in the destruction of European states and the construction of an Atlanticist Europe, see Bruno Riondel, Cet étrange Monsieur Monnet, 2017. Former advisor to President Georges Pompidou, Marie-France Garaud, who was also a supporter of the young Jacques Chirac and an “éminence grise” of the Gaullist movement the Rassemblement pour la République (founded in 1976), said bluntly that Jean Monnet “was an American agent” (See broadcast “Ce soir ou jamais”, France 2, May 17, 2013). Disappointed by the reversals and betrayals of his protégé, Jacques Chirac, he said of him, with his usual frankness, “I thought Jacques Chirac was marble for statues, but he’s actually faience for bidets” (“Canard Enchainé,” December 2, 1985).

It is worth noting that, on the occasion of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the Fratelli d’Italia (G. Meloni), Vox (S. Abascal), Reconquête (M. Maréchal rather than E. Zemmour) and Rassemblement National (J. Bardella rather than M. Le Pen) parties all openly distanced themselves from the neutralist, pacifist and terciferist line, opting, unambiguously, for the Euro-Atlanticist line.]

In fact, the intensity of anti-Americanism goes hand-in-hand with that of Americanism. From Monroe to Biden, via Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, Bush, Obama and Trump, the speeches of American presidents are nourished by simple convictions: the people of the United States are “chosen and predestined;” “the destiny of the American nation is inseparable from Progress, Science, the Good of Mankind, Democracy and the Will of God.” American liberal democracy is the “best of regimes,” the “best form of modernity,” universally applicable. Articles of faith that in themselves legitimize America’s “world leadership” and planetary crusade, just as yesterday the most specious “humanist” arguments of Communist anti-capitalist propaganda camouflaged the USSR’s global expansion.
Yet these pro-American ideas and values are shared more or less consciously in Europe by virtually the entire political-economy-media oligarchy, all of whom are more or less Americanolatrous, collaborationist and servile. It cannot be repeated too often—for the latter, the history of the United States is synonymous with freedom, tolerance, prosperity, democracy and civilization. Consequently, the slightest reservation, the slightest criticism of the dysfunctions of the American system is interpreted by them as a sign of resentment, ingratitude, a spirit of decadence, or worse, an obsessive hatred of the free market and liberal democracy. In this way, the obsessive EU-NATOists condemn themselves to twisting reality to suit their ideology. As the Polish political scientist Ryszard Legutko has remarkably shown [see, Ryszard Legutko, The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies, 2018], paradoxically, these “European federalists” claim to be part of a “new” liberal democracy that shares some of the most characteristic and worrying features of fallen communism [cult of “progress,” certainty of the existence of the “meaning of history,” desire to transform society by fighting against opponents of “emancipation and equality” ostensibly condemned to “the dustbin of history,” inability to tolerate contrary opinion, declared intention to create a new demos and a new man, submission of popular suffrage to unelected oligarchic bodies, dislike, sometimes verging on hatred, of the Church, religion, the nation, the family, classical metaphysics and morality, etc.]

Alongside these Americanolaters, as well as the patent detractors, there are of course the analysts, historians and political scientists who strive to circumscribe the debate on a geostrategic level. They point out that, for two centuries, North American foreign policy has oscillated between two opposing interpretations of the Monroe Doctrine (1823). On the one hand, there are those who defend the concept of a great space, the American continent, delimited and forbidden to any foreign interference, and, on the other, those who claim its antithesis, the policy of security of communication routes and the right to intervene in any space crossed by these communications. On the one hand, the supranational ideology of Pan-Americanism; on the other, the policy of interference on every continent, an instrument for the penetration of American capitalism, particularly in the markets of Asia and Europe. There are striking analogies with the Russian attitude to the Ukraine crisis. But with one major difference: Putin does not want world domination—he simply does not want to be threatened by American bases on his borders.

Similarities have often been noted, not in theory but in practice, between French republican universalism and Anglo-Saxon or American communitarian universalism. But there is a fundamental difference between the two. French republican universalism, a kind of secular, anti-Catholic counter-religion, sought to federate all members of the national community around common political and cultural values, treating them all solely as citizens. In contrast, Anglo-Saxon communitarian universalism is based on the coexistence of heterogeneous religious, ethnic and cultural groups within the same society, with mutual tolerance encouraged. The United States has historically been constructed as a collection of minority communities and cultures, with a universally accepted “founding myth” of the dominant WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) culture. But the long process that began two and a half centuries ago finally culminated in the militant separatism of the Woke.

When it comes to Americanism and anti-Americanism, perspective is everything. For Spanish-American historians and geo-politologists, the classic distinction between the two interpretations of the Monroe Doctrine, so dear to European political scientists, is not really relevant. For them, the great principles laid down by US diplomacy [Monroe Doctrine (1823), Manifest Destiny ideology (1845), Theodore Roosevelt’s Big Stick policy (1901), Franklin Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy (1932), Truman’s National Security Theory (1947), Bush’s Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) process, etc.] all lead to a single goal, all lead to the same end, summed up in these words: “America for Americans… of the North.”

Why is Anti-Americanism So Widespread Around the World?
That said, honest controversy about ideas cannot do without a reminder of the chronology of a few historical facts. In 1620, Puritan settlers, passengers on the Mayflower, landed on the North American coast. All of them were fervent Calvinists who wanted to purge Christianity of the tares of Catholicism. They defined themselves as the “new people chosen by God” to found a “new Jerusalem.” In a way, it was Calvin who landed in America with them, becoming one of the Founding Fathers of the worldview of the future United States of America. Tocqueville explains that democracy in America was born of the Protestant Reformation; that it had its origins in the English Puritan revolution, and that to a large extent the Puritans shaped the entire destiny of the United States. More recently, Huntington also recognized that the culture of the founding colonists coexisted with many other cultures, but that these were always subordinate to the dominant culture: “This culture of the founding colonists has constituted the central and most enduring component of American identity.” The “founding myth” of the Puritan settlers remains relatively solid today, although it has been increasingly reinterpreted and challenged since the 1970s, to the great danger of the American Empire.

Let us not forget that it was this same Puritan people (or at least their representatives) who, meeting in assembly, decided on and carried out the purge and ethnic cleansing of the Amerindian nations between 1637 and 1898. As Argentinian historian Marcelo Gullo rightly writes, “in the religious training of the Puritan colonists, the Old Testament prevailed over the New Testament.” In their eyes, cruelty against an Indian was “a cruelty necessary for good to prevail and for the realization of the Kingdom of God.” From the outset, the Puritan settlers knew that Indians, “the incarnation of sin and the devil,” could not be part of their “New Jerusalem.” They knew they were not there to evangelize, but to build the new Kingdom of God. Gullo explains: “To build the ‘new Jerusalem,’ the Indians had to be exterminated. There was no place for the Devil’s children in God’s Country” [see, Marcelo Gullo, Nada por lo que pedir perdón, 2022].

Nor was there any possibility of ethnic mixing with the Indians, in whom the Protestant colonists saw only men of inferior status. And this is a major difference from the conquest and evangelization of Hispanic America. “The anti-Hispanic legend in its American version,” honestly admits French Protestant historian Pierre Chaunu, “plays… the salutary role of an abscess of fixation… The alleged massacre of the Indians in the 16th century [by the Spaniards] covers the objective massacre of frontier colonization in the 19th century [by North Americans]; non-Iberian America and Northern Europe free themselves of their crimes on the other America and the other Europe.” After the iniquitous treatment inflicted on the natives by the American colonists and their rulers (massacres, treaty violations and deportations), North American Indians only existed in homeopathic doses. On the other hand, south of the Rio Grande and all the way to Argentina, the presence of large numbers of Indians and mestizos testifies to the fact that the Hispanic Empire and Catholicism were infinitely less inhumane than what is presented in the anti-Spanish Black Legend, so prized by Protestant historians.

Before the native adversary had been totally decimated after 65 conflicts (1778-1890), the United States very soon began to expand beyond its borders. Their image in the world obviously suffered enormously due to their hyper-interventionist stance. In the 19th century, between 1800 and 1898, the list of their military interventions was already impressive: Tripoli, Florida, Mexico, Argentina, Nicaragua, Japan, China, Uruguay, Panama, Fiji, Angola, Colombia, Taiwan, Korea, Hawaii, Egypt, Samoa, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines. In 1846, they invaded the territories of Mexico. After occupying the country for two years, under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), they wrested from it the present-day states of California, Nevada, Utah, etc. (i.e. 15% of the territory of the United States and 119% of the present-day territory of Mexico). Texas had already been taken by force from Mexico in 1836, and officially attached to the United States in 1845.

But it was undoubtedly Cuba (1898), which was the first real testing ground for their expansionist methods. Some authors even see it as the baptismal act of anti-Americanism. The daily, Le Temps, forerunner of the newspaper, Le Monde, was not mistaken, calling the Cuban operation “high filibustering” (April 11, 1898). The Cuban affair is an archetypal example of provocation, violence, cynicism and hypocrisy camouflaged behind generous motives. A textbook case, it marks the beginning of U.S. imperialism, the first international intervention or aggression in a never-ending series.

In the Luso-Hispanic world alone, the number of U.S. interventions and assaults over the last two centuries amounts to almost 70 for the major ones (and almost 800 for the minor ones). [The bibliography on the subject is considerable. Just one example is the encyclopedic work by Argentinian historian Gregorio Selser, Cronología de las intervenciones extranjeras en América Latina, 4 volumes, Mexico, CAMENA, 2010.]

From its creation in 1776 to 2019, the United States has carried out nearly 400 military interventions, more than a quarter of which took place after the fall of the Berlin Wall [see, Sidita Kushi and Monica Toft, “Introducing the Military Intervention Project: A New Dataset on US Military Interventions, 1776–2019,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2022]. The end of the Cold War unleashed the global ambitions of US governments. Since 1990, interventions “in the name of democracy and the defense of human rights” have multiplied (Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Macedonia, Haiti, Bosnia, Sudan, Yugoslavia, East Timor, Afghanistan, Philippines, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, and so on). U.S. defense spending now totals over $800 billion a year, representing almost 47% of global military spending. By way of comparison, the defense budgets of the other powers, expressed in billions of dollars, are as follows: China 278, Russia 84 (110 in 2024), India 82, Saudi Arabia 71, UK 65, Germany 53, France 44, Italy 28, Spain 27. In addition, the United States has nearly 800 military bases worldwide, while the UK has 50, Russia around ten in neighboring countries, France 6 and China just one. In February 2024, in the midst of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, The New York Times revealed that since 2016 the CIA has financed 12 bases in Ukraine along the Russian border.

The war in Ukraine has been a terrible revelation of the incompetence and subservience of European leaders to interests that are not their own. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been sacrificed, not only to repel Russian aggression, but also to deny the European economy access to the abundant, cheap energy it needs in Russia, for the benefit of the American energy economy and its arms industries.

Few Western political, cultural or religious authorities have dared to make a frank appeal for moderation without fear of being branded traitors and Putinists by the media. Pope Francis sparked an outcry when he urged Ukrainians to “have the courage to raise the white flag and negotiate to end the war ‘before things get worse'” (“When you see that you are defeated, that things are not working, have the courage to negotiate” [Swiss television, RTS, March 9, 2024].

Arrogant, uneducated, deaf and blind, the leaders of the EU were unable to anticipate the refusal of China and India, or more broadly that of 162 states out of 195, to vote their unilateral sanctions against Russia. In two years of war, the United States and Great Britain have admirably achieved their objective: to prevent the creation of Eurasia by creating a wall of hatred between Europe and Russia. What is more, thanks to the American neocons and their European friends, the process of global de-Westernization has accelerated and now seems unstoppable. The already palpable decline of European vassal states may well be the prelude to the inevitable end of the hegemony of the “American empire.” Hats off to you! Bravo, artists!

The Collaborative Spirit of the European Oligarchy

It would be a mistake, however, to blame North America’s rulers alone for the attitude of a caste and the shortcomings of a model of society that the majority of the European oligarchy worships on a daily basis. Has not cultural identity been replaced in the hearts and minds of the “elites” of the “Old World” just as much as in those of the “elites” of the “New World” by the exaltation of GNP growth, the glorification of massive access to consumption, the desire to extend the Western way of life to the rest of the world, the mad hope that the development of the forces of production can be perpetuated everywhere indefinitely without triggering terrible catastrophes? Are not “human rights” and so-called “universal values” just as sacralized by the European ruling class? Do Europe’s vassalized and submissive “elites” or pseudo-elites not magnify the global democratic crusade on a daily basis, while at the same time scorning historical and cultural circumstances and data? Does not the narrative of Europe’s mainstream media also serve to camouflage the aspirations and material interests of the globalized caste under the guise of universal moral objectives?

To this day, the United States is the holder of global leadership. It is the superpower, the hyperpower or the Empire. In the current phase of multipolarization, of recomposition of the world’s political-economic-cultural poles, the North American thalassocratic Empire is gradually losing influence, but it nonetheless retains a hegemonic position. No emerging power is yet in a position to surpass it. The United States produces just under a quarter of the world’s wealth, but it can exploit fabulous shale gas deposits and, above all, has an overwhelming military force. Their decline is undoubtedly historically inevitable, but the fall can be slowed down for the long term.

The hubris of the American rulers, their imperial overextension and the excesses dictated by their pride, now constitute a formidable danger to the stability of the planet. Economic warfare, of which they have been a major perpetrator for decades, is a tangible planetary reality. The oil and gas war is just one of the most blatant aspects of this. To deny or ignore what is at stake—the control of the world’s energy and agri-food reserves, the domination of information, communications, civil and military intelligence—is the sign of blindness, incompetence or treason.

But intellectual honesty dictates that it must be said again and again that the American ruling class benefits from the active complicity and benevolent collaboration of the majority of the European political and economic caste. Nor should we forget to underline the role and effective action of multinational managers and major consultancies.

Let us be clear: the U.S. oligarchy, the “Deep State,” is not our only adversary. The adversary is the mortifying ideology of the globalist pseudo-elite, on both left and right; that of the leaders and apparatchiks of the main European parties in power; that of the neo-social democrats and neoliberals, so close to the Democrat and neoconservative apparatchiks on the other side of the Atlantic; that of the masters of global finance and their media affianced, jealous guardians of political correctness; that of the “organic intellectuals,” tirelessly contemptuous of sovereignty, identity and populism, which they always declare to be “demagogic.”

The cultural-political battle is not between Europe and North America, but between two cultural traditions that are tearing each other apart within modernity. One, a political minority, is that of civic humanism, the virtuous Republic and the defense of a multipolar world; the other, a majority, is that of individualist humanism, consumerist homogenization, the managerial state and global “governance,” under the dual banner of multiculturalism and neo-capitalist productivism.

Arnaud Imatz, a Basque-French political scientist and historian, holds a State Doctorate (DrE) in political science and is a correspondent-member of the Royal Academy of History (Spain), and a former international civil servant at OECDHe is a specialist in the Spanish Civil War, European populism, and the political struggles of the Right and the Left – all subjects on which he has written several books. He has also published numerous articles on the political thought of the founder and theoretician of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, as well as the Liberal philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, and the Catholic traditionalist, Juan Donoso Cortés. A version of this article appeared in La gaceta de la Iberosfera.

Featured: Over the Top, poster by Sidney H. Riesenberg and Ketterlinus of Philadelphia; printed in 1918.

The Russian Revolution

The experts repeatedly emphasize that Russia is isolated, which, if true, would not be the first time this has happened in its history. But, looking at reality closely, this Robinsonian Russian isolation is very peculiar because Russia’s ostracism is alleviated by China and North Korea; Iran and Syria; India, South Africa and Brazil; Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali; Serbia and Belarus; Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua; Libya, Yemen and Algeria; not to mention its less committed partners, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, fickle Turkey, Indonesia or Kazakhstan. And I am sure I am leaving out many others. The clever policy of Biden and his European puppets has succeeded in forming a bloc between Moscow and Beijing that has served as a pole of attraction for all the nations that want to free themselves from the Anglo-Saxon noose. It seems incredible that the liberal hierarchs have forgotten Kissinger’s intelligent policy of confronting the two decisive powers of the Eurasian Heartland, the abc of strategy and diplomacy. Does this not enter the manuals of gender, resistant, matriarchal and animalistic Geopolitics?

During my last stay in “isolated” Moscow, I had the good fortune to talk to people from all corners of the wide world, from Tanzania to El Salvador, passing through Indonesia. I was especially interested in the opinion of my African colleagues, protagonists of one of the most important geopolitical changes of the last decade: the disappearance of French influence in the Sahel, which occurred when Paris exhausted the patience of the military of those States, who realized that the Islamist threat from which Paris had come to protect them was financed by their alleged protector, who took advantage of the occasion to take the uranium of the area at a bargain price. The succession of African revolutions in recent years was not sought by the Kremlin; Russia came to the Sahel at the request of states that needed to protect themselves both from France and from the various Islamist organizations in cahoots with Paris and Qatar.

Central Africa, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and now Togo and Senegal, have “resized” France to its rightful position: a second-rate world power and a colony of the Anglo-Saxons, those faithful allies who did not lift a finger to help Macron, the architect of the French decline in the Sahel. The Russian flag in Africa is a sign of liberation from that of NATO which destroyed the Libyan state and has only brought instability to the region. Moreover, Russia and China treat African countries as partners and equals: they offer works and projects instead of credits and financial “aid.” If, for example, Beijing needs cobalt from an African country, it offers infrastructure, consumer goods or whatever it needs in exchange. All this, using as few dollars as possible, the main colonial instrument of our era. Hence the enormous sympathy of all the Africans I met, for Russia and China. They, who were colonized, know what is at stake. And they are very clear about it—Europe is now the colonial and colonized space.

A common feeling for many of us who have spent this time in Russia is that there was a certain parallelism between us and the revolutionaries from all over the world who came to Moscow to see how the Soviet revolution was evolving. Something new was brewing in Moscow and it had to be known. But now this revolution has no dogmas, no infallible methods, no Komintern, not even the slightest ideological cohesion, except for the profound repulsion we all felt for globalist liberalism. Without doctrine or propaganda, this profound historical movement is not even aware of its revolutionary character, possibly because it is a radical and definitive change that does not obey a political movement stuffed with ideology, but a reaction of the peoples and states worthy of the name against the global elites, against the appropriation of sovereignty by the large consortiums. It is the refusal of the most conscious part of the planet to become an aggregate of production and consumption units without God, family or homeland; the refusal to degrade nations into a horde that is brutalized and animalized by false rights while it loses social, economic and political power to plutocracies.

Something is moving in Russia that endangers almost three hundred years of Anglo-Saxon financial and colonial capitalist domination. A revolution is beginning in the world that neither Marx nor Lenin had imagined. A colossal struggle for world power between the global oligarchies and the sovereign states.

Sertorio lives, writes and thinks in Spain. this review comes through the kind courtesy of El Manifiesto.

The Melting Horn of Africa

The decomposition of the international community from its consolidated patterns is becoming a constant element of the current landscape and this makes it very difficult for actors and powers to analyze and manage situations, being them old, new and/or renewed presences, and builds instrumental alliances depending on the areas where interests and crises are concentrated.

An example of this situation where allies are competitors and competitors can be potential partners is the Horn of Africa, region which currently experiencing high levels of political violence and instability, from the conflicts in Sudan and Ethiopia to Islamist militant activity in Kenya, the al-Shabab insurgency in Somalia to end up with the brutal, and seems endless till now, civil war in Sudan.

This region is proving to be one of the most delicate hubs on the international scene and its dynamics transcend purely geographical terms, but extend their effects to surrounding areas, such as southern and eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Ocean up to the Mediterranean.

At the center of these dynamics there is a group of states and quasi-state realities, where there are ambitions, attempts to recompose internal cohesion and international image, jarring socio-economic situations, extreme meteorological and environmental phenomena, intrusions of new powers, international and regional organizations always undecided and velleitarian. All this creates a potential mix of instability, but, paradoxically, also of opportunities.

The Horn of Africa, which includes four states (at least those officially recognized), Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, is heavily marked by the legacy (at least in three out of four, excluding Djibouti, French, and British for Somaliland) of Italian colonization (colonialism of a poor nation, which has its own characteristics), a failed decolonization, the Cold War, the chaotic post-Cold War and the more chaotic new Cold War of the present days.

The post-World War II systematization scheme held until the 1970s, with the end of the Ethiopian empire, replaced by a pro-Soviet government, while the USSR already had a foot in Somalia since the coup d’état of the dictator Siad Barre in 1970.

In this context, Somalia, precisely because of its geographical location, multiple weaknesses, represents a central hub of regional, pan-regional and beyond, balances and fractures. What are these weaknesses? An institutional reality of a nominal federal structure, a façade to hide a clannish reality, in the process of further disintegration starting from Somaliland, a de facto independent state since 1991 and now Puntland, which looks towards the end of the ‘special autonomy’ of that territory, the ancient Migurtinia (it should be recalled that from this region started the uprising of ‘90 which overthrow the regime of general Siad Barre, in power since 1969).

The recent decision by the Federal Government of Somalia to suspend the provisional constitution, a foundation for unity and state-building, has raised concerns. This decision, made on 4 April of this year, is perceived as detrimental to the original concept of establishing a federal state (in 2012) as only possible wat to push Somalia out of the quagmire where the country is since 1991, the removal of Siad Barre, the explosion of the civil war between ‘warlords’ and the explosion of the armed Islamism. Further, Puntland has affirmed its commitment to engaging with neighboring countries, the international community, and Somalia’s partners.

The other major problem is that of security represented by the threat of Al Shabab and the inability of Mogadishu, precisely due to its mentioned clan reality, to form credible national military institutions, despite a prolonged commitment and, so far not up to various military training missions (UN, USA, EU, UK, UAE, Türkiye) and an African Union (AU) military mission, deployed since 2007 (fully financed by the EU), which suffered heavy losses and only managed to contain the pressure of the Al Shabab. This despite the presence of thousands of foreign military operators, contractors and US regular elements, mostly with members of the special forces, drones (for the US alone we are talking about 2,000 units between instructors, personnel of special forces and drones’ operators).

Now Somalia’s security situation faces a greater challenge, the announced withdrawal of the AU ‘green berets’, which began in 2023 and continued despite several obstacles posed by Mogadishu and planned to be completed in 2024. The Somali government is seriously worried for a security vacuum that could be truly fatal for the African nation.

The shape, size and mandate of a new force to secure Somalia — after the exit of the current African Union peacekeeping mission at the end of this year — remain unknown as it emerges that the Horn of Africa nation is yet to submit its plan before the UNSC (UN Security Council) for consideration and final endorsement.

In a communique issued at the beginning of April, AU said Somalia’s plan for a new force to replace ATMIS (African [Union] Transition Mission is Somalia, which replaced AMISOM, African [Union] Mission in Somalia, the initial deployment of AU-backed troops since 2007, but with limited successes in the stabilization of the country against Islamist terrorists of Al Shabab) will be submitted next month after the continental body undertakes a comprehensive study, and a initial political approval, of the threats and needs on the ground before seeking endorsement of the UNSC.

Mogadishu missed its initial timeline of end of March when it was expected to submit its proposal, due to consultations with the AU PSC (Peace and Security Council) on 26 March and 3 April to plan for the new force that will start operations on 1 January 2025, once ATMIS withdrawal will be completed. Mogadishu indicated only that the ideal force level would be around 10.000 troops.

The AU gave its support to Mogadishu call for a full assessment of the threats and current security needs, in a briefing by Somalia on its proposal for a post-ATMIS security arrangement, pursuant to the UNSC Resolution 2710 (2023).

The new force would be deployed and assume security responsibilities to support Somali security forces on 1 January 2025, a scenario that requires boots on the ground before end of this year to ensure seamless exit of ATMIS troops and immediate replacement.

The AU is keen to preserve the gains that its mission has registered in Somalia for 17 years battling the Al Shabab extremists and (allegedly) liberating more than 80% of Somali territory from the control of the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group, the already mentioned Al Shabab.

But as the mission gradually departs the Horn of Africa nation, with periodic drawdown of troops — with another 4.000 troops to leave at the end of June — experts say Somalia remains vulnerable as the country’s efforts for force generation was not synchronized with ATMIS numbers reduction.

Accordingly, the AU underlines the importance of preserving the gains registered since 2007. International partners that have supported the AU mission and the rebuilding of Somalia’s army to take full responsibility of its security, want a “lean mission focusing on supporting the Somali security forces” to complete the country’s transition without creating a new strain on donor budgets, under a serious fatigue.

But the AU also reiterates its deep concern over the ATMIS funding gap — even as the force’s tenure ends in under eight months — stressing the need for adequate, sustainable and predictable funding for the mission, the burden of which, international partners have borne since 2007.

The EU, for instance, which funds the mission (€2.7 billion for AMISOM/ATMIS till now), face competing funding priorities elsewhere, while the AU still looks the same source for “adequate, predictable and sustainable financing to the post-ATMIS force.

In the same period, were recorded an increased number of attacks of Al Shabab attacks against security forces and ATMIS bases, as well as security force operations against the militants.

Last month, particularly in Galmudug and Hirshabelle states, the Somali troops suffered significant setbacks, which led Al Shabab to regain control of several areas after security forces withdrew from several bases, and showing how fragile were the gains of AMISOM/ATMIS and the solidity of regular somali troops, where internal tensions over logistics failures, corruption, and power struggles were reported.

Despite these shortcomings and the low level of political empathy with the Somalian leadership, the international community cannot ignore the dire stability needs of Mogadishu and want to avert any vacuum between ATMIS and the follow force (in whatever format). In the last week of April EU had approved €116 million ($117 million) for stabilisation efforts in Somalia via its Political and Security Committee. The EU added that it would add $75 million to the resources already mobilised for ATMIS in previous years, covering July 2021 to December 2023, specifying that previous support to the peacekeepers under the EPF (European Peace Facility, an off-budget EU financing tool set up in March 2021, which aims towards the delivery of military aid to partner countries and funds the deployment of EU military missions abroad under the Common Foreign and Security Policy, ECFSP) amounted to €270 million ($271 million). The agreed funding for Somali National Army amounts to €42 million ($43 million) while, according to the EU, “Previous support to the SNA under the EPF amounts to €50 million ($51 million).” This came as the UK announced a contribution of $2.8 million in support of Somali security forces via the UNSOS (UN Support Office in Somalia).

Britain already provided $29.17 million of voluntary contributions in support of UNSOS since 2022 and provides financial support to the ATMIS, which in the while has fulfilled the first two phases of its drawdown of 5,000 troops, handing over 13 FOB (Forward Operating Bases) to Somalia security forces since the beginning of 2023. The next drawdown of peacekeepers is expected to be 4,000 before end of June 2024.

But for Mogadishu, security is also undermined by unresolved internal issues and, as mentioned, external intrusions. And the recent events in Somaliland are a perfect example of this.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, who survived the Tigray insurrection, and with revolts that risk taking on similar proportions in the Amhara region (the heart of the Ethiopian ethnic group and nation), has done research since his inauguration in 2018 of his country’s access to the sea an existential question. Last October 13th he described the situation in Ethiopia as a geographical prison from which it need be freed.

Landlocked since 1991 following Eritrean independence, Ethiopia is in vital need of a maritime opening, which involves either returning the port of Assab, at Asmara’s expense, or having access to it as a free port free from Eritrean customs. But given the difficult relations with Eritrea, Addis Ababa is looking elsewhere, such as facilities in the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland.

Addis Ababa announced an agreement with Hargeisa on 1 January, but without providing many details. It is useful to remember that in 1950 Eritrea, from 1941 under British military government, was federated to Ethiopia, through a vote of the UN General Assembly, as compensation for the Italian invasion and reward for the decisive pro-Western position of the late emperor Haile Selassie; Ethiopia was committed to keeping Eritrea a federated entity; in 1962, with a unilateral act, Addis Ababa formally annexed Eritrea, without any international protest.

The situation deteriorated when the pro-Soviet communist regime led by Menghistu Haile Mariam came to power in 1974 with a coup that deposed the emperor. The head of the Derg (the military junta) initiates a ferocious repression against the Eritrean independence movement, but also against the Somalis of the Ogaden, the populations of the Oromo and Tigray. The repression is so ruthless that the various resistance movements band together and lead to the fall of that bloody regime, despite the help of Soviet ‘advisers’ and Cuban troops.

In 1991, Ethiopia became a federal state and Eritrea became fully independent, but the bilateral relations, after a promising start, quickly became difficult and led to open war between 1998 and 2000. As evidence of the fluctuating relations between Addis Ababa and Asmara, on the occasion of the recent revolt in the state of Tigray, the intervention of the Eritrean forces saved Ethiopia from military collapse in the face of the Tigrayan offensive.

After this interval, bilateral relations returned to the bad and Aby Ahmed Ali realized that an outlet to the sea, moreover into a closed basin like the Red Sea and, as can be seen in this phase due to the strike of Yemenite Houtis militias against international maritime trade, was a weak option. Aby Ahmed turned his gaze and action elsewhere and the choice of Somaliland seemed obligatory and better than the port of Assab; firstly reduce the contacts with a ‘pariah’ state as Eritrea; secondly, it would give Ethiopia direct access to the Indian Ocean and international maritime trade routes.

Especially now that Ethiopia participation in the Russian-Chinese influenced BRICS group of states became effective on 1 January as well.

But this agreement impacts on a difficult geopolitical situation. Also, in this case it is useful to take a quick look at the past to better understand the present and ask questions about the future.

Somaliland is the former British Somalia and after the end of the trusteeship of Rome over the former Italian Somalia assigned by the United Nations (between 1950-1960 and started when Italy was not even part of the organization, joined only in 1955), it was united with Mogadishu, but always remaining a peripheral and little-considered reality. This situation promoted and preserved the existence of pro-independence groups.

When the regime of Mohammed Siad Barre, in power since 1969, collapsed in 1991, Somaliland took the opportunity and proclaimed itself independent and sought international recognition and attempted to assert the fact that, although for a very short period (less than one week), the former British colony was in fact independent before being united with Somalia.

So far, this project has had very little success despite Somaliland’s enviable strategic position. In fact, only Taiwan has established diplomatic contacts with Hargheisa; the very strong ties with the UAE, which has port and military installations in Somaliland to support its operations in Yemen, have not led to the expected diplomatic recognition. It must be said that Somaliland has nevertheless made good use of its independence, ensuring political stability, economic and social development, democratic openness, and respect for electoral and democratic rules and, above all, the absence of Al Shabab terrorists, who instead infest Somalia.

Somaliland has seized a window of opportunity by focusing on Ethiopia’s strategic interest in exchange for what it has stubbornly sought for more than thirty years: to unblock, even formally, its isolation.

But the agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland did not arise out of nowhere; already in 2018, Hargeisa, Addis Ababa and Dubai had signed an agreement for the development of the port of Berbera, the largest port of the small state (but this agreement was preceded by a bilateral one between the UAE and Somaliland, signed in 2017, which allowed the ‘little Sparta’ of the Arabic peninsula to open a military base on African soil).

In exchange for a coastal window in the port area of Berbera, on the coast of the Gulf of Aden and at the mouth of the Red Sea, Ethiopia would have committed to recognizing the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland. With the signing of a memorandum of understanding on 1 January 2024, Somaliland grants Ethiopia 20 km of its coastline for a period of 50 years (renewable).

The second most populous country on the African continent with 120 million inhabitants, Ethiopia has 90% of its foreign trade passing through the port of Djibouti with an annual cost of around 1.5 billion dollars in custom duties.

The need of a free harbour, cheaper than the cost of Eritrean customs have a strategic relevance for the Ethiopian economy and its stability. Aby Ahmed needs a sustained economic growth other than the skyline of Addis Ababa; the dissemination of the socioeconomic development is a way to pay and buy the social and tribal calm in order to compensate his program to dismantling the federal nature of Ethiopia and cutting the nails at the states resistances.

The details of the agreement, presented on 1 January in the Ethiopian capital by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, will have to be revealed later and it is still unclear precisely which part of the coast should come under Ethiopian control, but the cities of Zeilah and Zughaya, not far from Djibouti, have been mentioned by several sources. Addis Ababa plans to build a commercial port, a naval base, an industrial development zone and a road corridor.

This decision by Ethiopia leads to the effective revival of the national naval forces. In fact, the Ethiopian Navy, was reactivated in 2019, is making preparations to establish a naval facility in Somaliland. The Ethiopian navy, one of the most skilled naval forces on the continent, was disbanded in the early 1990s when Ethiopia lost its coastline to the separation of Eritrea. The restoration of the naval force was one of the first initiatives undertaken by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali when he assumed office in early 2018. Over the past five years, with the assistance of friendly nations (which were not disclosed), the Naval Force was formally re-established, with efforts concentrated on the organization of the structure and the training of officers and staff, and the first activities took place, such as the dispatch of relief teams for the Somali populations affected by catastrophic floods.

The Ethiopian Naval Force is currently training its personnel overseas and plans are underway to establish a naval training facility, academy and navy headquarters. For his part, Hargeisa is expected to acquire shares in two thriving Ethiopian companies, Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s most profitable airline, and telecommunications giant Ethio Telecom. But Somaliland hopes above all that the agreement with Ethiopia will open the way to other diplomatic relations, to be officially recognized as a sovereign state and to emerge from the galaxy of states ignored by the international community.

For its part, the Mogadishu government has denounced a flagrant violation of its sovereignty over a separatist territory not recognized by the international community and announced that Somalia will defend its territory by all means. He also recalled his ambassador to Ethiopia in response to what he considers a unilateral act that endangers regional stability; then expelled the Ethiopian ambassador and ordered to close the Ethiopian consulates in Somaliland and Puntland, which both openly ignored.

The Puntland State makes it clear that it will continue its engagements with neighboring countries, the International Community, and Somalia’s partners adding that the decision to close the Ethiopian Consulate in Garowe does not apply to Puntland. Further, Somaliland consider that the diplomatic representation of Ethiopia is now at the ambassadorial level, after the agreement of 1 January and also threatens the use of force and in the meantime Mogadishu appealed to the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a regional body that brings together Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda) which however took a Pilate-like position, awaiting further developments.

Meanwhile, Mogadishu is widening its diplomatic offensive (some analyst says that Somalia has only those) as much as it can, also appealing to the EAC (East African Community, recently joined) and the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) and similar initiatives are planned at the African Union, United Nations, International Court of Justice, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Arab League.

Mogadishu has never accepted the independence of Somaliland, however Somalia’s hopes of bringing Somaliland (and the ‘autonomous’ Puntland) back under its control, even if in a federal form, are very limited, due to its political weakness, institutional, economic and military.

In this perspective, the approach of the Somalian president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, recall a lot the ones of the Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed, who tried to empty the federal system of his country and replacing it with a more centralized system. The first answer to this strategy was the violent uprising of Tigrai, which risked to topple him, and the groving turmoil which across Oromo and Amhara states, which openly refuse the disbandment of their own state forces.

Under general point of view, when there are ongoing strong separatist trends, a federal system, instead of control those and bring it back in a harmonious and constructive balance, risk to exacerbate it and bring to a serious fragmentation and instability. In both Ethiopia and Somalia, the federal system clearly shows a poor approach which exasperated the already existing tensions. The problem is that, between the two, Somalia appears more fragile and with more limited options.

A military action by Mogadishu towards Somaliland, as well as being unlikely, would risk involving Ethiopia, which already has troops in Somalia in ATMIS (thousands of Ethiopian soldiers with the ‘green helmet’ garrisoning Bay, Bakool and Gedo regions and some areas of the Hiiraan and Galgaduud regions, even these areas are largely under the security responsibility of the Djibouti Armed Forces), but there are other thousands Ethiopian troops out of the AU framework and operate under the aegis of a previous bilateral agreement between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu, always focused to fight the Al Shabab.

One option in the hands of Mogadishu would be to ignite the rebellious forces of the Somali-speaking populations of the Ogaden, as well as accentuate the intolerance of the Dhulbahante clan, located between Somalia, Somaliland, Puntland and Ethiopia; but a harsh reaction from Addis Ababa would be foreseeable with the risk, however, of being fuel for the fire of other ongoing regional revolts which would risk breaking up East Africa and all the surrounding areas, which already have their own problems, starting from the ferocious civil war that is tearing Sudan apart, and the other civil war which, even now silenced, still affect South Sudan.

The agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland is looked favorably by Russia, which has already allowed Ethiopia and the UAE join the BRICS and sees its regional position being strengthened and threatening, even if indirectly, the jugular routes of maritime traffic towards Europe and the Mediterranean. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that Eritrea is a faithful ally of Moscow. As is clear at this stage, the agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland is part of a complex regional context. In Djibouti, although there are French, US, Japanese and Italian bases (other NATO and EU countries make extensive use of these bases), there is a Chinese military installation. As for it, the general context remains difficult, and there is the risk that other actors will enter, complicating the situation.

In fact, almost a month after the agreement between Addis Ababa and Hargeisa, Egypt also appeared on the scene; President-Marshal Al Sissi expressed a harsh judgment on the agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland, clearly expressing support for Mogadishu. Behind Egypt’s position is the unresolved issue of the construction of the GERD (Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Blue Nile River, which has been going on with ups and downs for 12 years. It could appear realistic that Egypt wants to use the triangular dispute to put pressure on Ethiopia and make it be less drastic and participatory in the management of the waters of the Blue Nile which Cairo absolutely needs for its economic development and social stability.

Furthermore, there is the situation in Yemen, divided and in the hands of de facto warring factions and one of them, the Houthis, in conflict in 2014 against everyone (or almost everyone) and avalanche effects are feared. Finally, after a too short pause, threats that were thought to be overcome, but which the very difficult economic and social situation in Somalia has caused to re-emerge, such as piracy. The IMB (International Maritime Bureau) of the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) recently advised shipping companies and operators to remain vigilant while transiting waters off Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. Since November several ships have been seized off the coast of Somalia, with some still held hostage, showing that Somali pirates have rebuilt their capability.

Somalia is trying in every way to strengthen its position and find partners who can help it get out of a humiliating situation. In early February, Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler and Somalia’s Defense Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur signed a framework agreement on defense and economic cooperation between two countries in Ankara. The agreement, which adds to the previous ones (2009, technical cooperation agreement; 2010 training cooperation agreement, scientific and technical cooperation; 2012, training and cooperation agreement; 2015 defense industry agreement) as well as starting a training program of the Somali navy, aims to improve Somalia’s security perception and at the same time supports Ankara’s ambitions to project maritime power beyond its shores. The agreement falls within a regional context weakened by the recent agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland to give Addis Ababa access to the open sea in exchange for the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

The two nations have released few details on the terms of the agreement. What is certainly known is that Turkey will support Somalia in training and equipping its small navy, thus expanding the impact of the training mission of the Turkish army that has been operating in Mogadishu since 2017. Mogadishu, despite all its problems, has launched in a massive diplomatic offensive to counter Addis Ababa’s initiative and to give legitimacy to its claims on a territory that Somalia considers secessionist and illegal. But there is more behind the naval agreement than just a simple deterrent for Ethiopia by Somalia. It is also about Turkey’s long-standing ambitions to project its power in the Red Sea region and pave the way for further defense deals in the region in the future and the culmination of more than a decade of Turkish involvement in Somalia.

This involvement focused on a broad project of nation-building, security sector reform, humanitarian assistance and socio-economic development at a time when Somalia was a nation forgotten by the international community. The agreement aims to secure mutual interests, positioning Ankara as a significant player in the strategic dynamics of the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa in times to come. This can also be seen as part of Ankara’s hard power projection capability and its advanced defense policy.

Through the agreement with Somalia, Ankara will further strengthen its defense ties with Mogadishu, which will bring benefits for the Turkish defense industry and Turkish commercial interests, while consolidating Turkey’s military presence in the strategic Horn Africa and the Red Sea. Ankara is already a regional power, active in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, in Libya, the Sahel, Central Asia, the Gulf, Syria and Iraq. It has the second largest armed forces in NATO and a very effective and active diplomatic corps that is based on a vast network of embassies, consulates and specialized institutions. The expansion of its naval presence in the Red Sea is the logical next step and it is not impossible to even imagine a future naval base in Somalia, to match ‘Turksom’ (the name of the Turkish training compound in Mogadishu).

As mentioned above, the agreement with Somalia, beyond the security needs of Mogadishu, is for Turkey a part of the broader national strategy to protect its supply chains and create strategic depth in the maritime sector and in this is the materialization of the 2021 ‘Mavi Vatan’ maritime strategy which is corroborated by recent orders for a second aircraft carrier (with a larger displacement and capacity than the ‘Anadolou’, currently in service and due to the expulsion of Ankara from the F-35 Lighting II programme, carrying only helicopters and drones) and four other frigates. ‘Mavi Vatan’ is a strategy that aims to re-establish Turkey as a maritime power with a reach well beyond the eastern Mediterranean and beyond its immediate coasts to develop a deep-sea Navy with a strategic reach and depth ranging beyond the Mediterranean, to the Red Sea, the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

However, reflecting the persistent ambiguity of Turkey, originated by the requirements of multiple alignment of Ankara, despite a verbal acknowledgment of the territorial integrity of Mogadishu, the hopes of Somalian president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, to see a Turkish navy squadron showing the flag in front of the waters of Somaliland and Puntland remain pure theory, despite a visit of Turkish Navy warship to Mogadishu on 24 April and the promise to assist the country to build up a navy (and apparently putting an end to a similar project launched by the Italian Minister of Defence).

After trying to block it in every way, Somalia had to accept the option of withdrawing the ‘green berets’ of ATMIS. Aware of the weakness of its armed forces, Mogadishu looks anxiously for every possible gap filler, and in case of a weak answer of AU for a post-ATMIS operation, may consider that Ankara in the perennial search of affirmation (or self-affirmation), it would be interested in support her security needs and maybe being the leading nation of another anti-Shabab coalition.

Turkey, in the eyes of some Somali leaders, could represent an alternate option in security provider in case that the ATMIS option will fail. Mogadishu is already thinking about and whose terms should be made known after the summer.

But the relations between Mogadishu and Ankara, as confirmed by the large number of agreements, include of course the economic dimension, or better say, the exploitation of natural resources (in this case hydrocarbons) by the stronger partner who leave royalties to the weak one.

Somalia says Turkey will begin drilling oil off the country’s massive coastline from next year, according to the Director General of the Somali Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mohamed Hashi Abdi ‘Arabey’, who confirmed the recent assertion by a Turkish official on a plan for deep-sea oil drilling operation from early 2025. They will begin seismic works and drilling at the coasts facing Barawe and Hobbio districts (Barawe is about 200 km south of Mogadishu while Hobbio is about 500 km to the northeast). In addition to the inclusion of Turkey in the Red Sea-Bab el Mandeb Strait chessboard, the renewed rivalry between Ethiopia and Somalia regarding the future Somaliland has awakened another significant problem.

In fact, both Ethiopia and Somaliland, in addition to agreeing on the issue of the portion of territory that should be leased to Addis Ababa, have also agreed on the management of commercial air traffic control, creating an unclear situation as various and sometimes contradictory, instructions to airlines, which found themselves forced to modify the routes of their aircrafts and reducing access to Somali airspace, bringing to the surface the jurisdictional and political problem of who (really) controls the airspace of Somalia and whether or not this includes Somaliland.

For many years, the unstable political situation in Somalia has had a serious impact on the country’s aviation sector. The previous national airline, Somali Airlines, also suffered due to civil war in the early 1990s. However, following improvements in some areas, last year the airspace over Somalia was reclassified to “Class A” (therefore normal) and saw the return of air traffic control services to the country after three decades. Also highlighting the progress made by the aviation sector, Somalia recently opened its first MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) center in over 30 years and therefore now has a facility to repair and inspect aircraft locally. The airspace over Somalia and the surrounding ocean is managed by the SCAA (Somali Civil Aviation Authority) from the Mogadishu Area Control Center, which claims to be able to exercise its jurisdiction also over Somaliland, which instead it refuses on the grounds that it has its own independent state.

This airspace, known as the Mogadishu FIR (Flight Information Region ) and its controlling authority are defined in the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) Air Navigation Plan for the Africa and Indian Ocean Region (AFI), which recognizes Somalia (including Somaliland) as the controlling state, and by extension, the Somali Civil Aviation Authority, and this position is also shared by the IATA (International Air Transport Association), the umbrella organization airlines around the world. Somaliland has control over its airports but the question of airspace remains effectively open.

Egal International Airport (HGA) is the state’s main airport and serves the capital Hargeisa. Following the signing of the Ethiopia-Somaliland MoU, Somali authorities began restricting flight activity in Somaliland to assert their authority over their airspace. As a result of the ongoing litigation, on January 17, the SCAA blocked an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft carrying Ethiopian diplomatic delegates from entering the airspace, saying it did not have permission to enter the country. According to media sources, the SCAA also blocked an air ambulance carrying a Somaliland citizen who “needed urgent help”, in violation of the rules that govern international civil aviation in such cases. However, Somali authorities have denied this latest claim.

In return, Somaliland claimed independence and jurisdiction over its territory and surrounding areas, issuing an international aviation warning and a statement on its X (formerly Twitter) page. Since both states claim the right to control traffic, there have been numerous reports of airlines receiving conflicting instructions while flying over the area from people posing as ‘air traffic controllers’ and risking collisions. It is not entirely clear whether this was also the result of the dispute between the controllers of Mogadishu and Hargeisa.

This was followed by a February 19 statement in which Mogadishu accused Somaliland of disrupting air routes used by aircraft over portions of the airspace of the northern regions of Somalia. The Somalian government added that if these offensive measures continue, Mogadishu will take strong measures to ensure the safety and security of Somali civil aviation. The dispute has also saw obscure events such as the murder of an civilian air traffic controller of the Hargheisa airport in Mogadishu and Somaliland’s protest over the arrest of six people from that territory by Somali police.

The fate of operations in Somali airspace is almost as delicate as that of maritime traffic between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The East African area is one of the busiest on the continent. The region is also home to some of Africa’s largest airlines, including Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways. Some of the major airlines connecting the African subcontinent south of Ethiopia with destinations in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent pass through Somali airspace.

The same applies to air connections between Western Europe and the islands of the Indian Ocean. As IATA has stated, no airline would fly in unsafe airspace and signaling the worsening situation, Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it will change some of its routes to avoid Somali airspace. For airlines still flying to the country, crews have been advised to pay attention to the environment and follow the instructions contained in the NOTAM issued by the Mogadishu authorities which advise them to contact the Mogadishu Area Control Center in particular in the area within a radius of 150 nautical miles from Hargeisa.

Despite several attempt to reorganize the state, like blocking illegal fishing in its territorial waters (that is a real challenge giving that the coast guard and maritime police have mere ‘brown waters’ capacities), Mogadishu and make public the improving financial situation, thanks to erasure of debt from countries like Russia, Somalia is banking on new opportunities coming out of recent debt relief to seek new credit lines and open up for trade.

Last year, Mogadishu was the only East African country that had zero debt after all the debts were forgiven by the World Bank and IMF (in blatant rivalry with the cancellation of debt decided by Moscow in occasion of the last Russia-Africa summit on last July, around 600 million of US$; but not only Moscow, cancel the Mogadishu debt, also London; in fact, without providing details on the amount, UK has cancelled 100% of its Somalia’s historic debts). It gave a fresh start and opens a huge market for East Africa. In December, Somalia reached an agreement to cancel $4.5 billion of debt with international lenders. That, the diplomat says, gave it new opportunity to attract investors as well as be eligible to borrow more from lenders.

So far, Mogadishu has been cautious of simply piling new debt and officials have said they will prioritise opening up and rebuilding state institutions instead. In the month of April, Somalia signed a financial agreement with the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development, a Rome-based UN specialized institution) which will see Mogadishu receive up to $31.22 million for support programmes related to food security in rural areas. The money is to be channelled under the Rural Livelihood Resilience Programme, aimed at improving food security and resilience in rural areas. The funding will the first direct investment by IFAD in Somalia since Mogadishu’s external debt pile was cleared. Despite the finance portfolio’s optimism, it expects that global problems affect the country both directly and indirectly.

In mid-March this year, representatives of the Paris Club met with representatives of Somalia government and reached consensus on a debt cancellation. The Club’s announcement indicated that debt cancellation came as a result of the Horn of Africa country reaching its Completion Point under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (Enhanced HIPC) Initiative approval by the Executive Boards of the IMF and the World Bank in December 2023.

The debt owed to Paris Club creditors was estimated to be $2 billion as of January 1, 2023, which means 99% of that is now forgiven by the creditors.

However, the regional perspectives are complex. The problems of Somalia seem endless and not limited to the relations with Ethiopia, Somaliland and the collapsing of the federal system. Also, Puntland, which for years remained in a kind of political limbo, not independence but within a special ‘autonomy’ (not octroyed by Mogadishu, but self-gained), showed the fragility of attraction and coercion capability of Mogadishu.

The (Federal, nominally) Government of Somalia’s military toothlessness is responsible for its impotence; instead of focusing on rectifying the former ahead of the foreseeable terrorist upsurge that’ll follow the withdrawal of foreign forces, Mogadishu saber-rattling against Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Puntland are a distraction. As above-mentioned, the Government of Somalia demanded that the autonomous State of Puntland close the Ethiopian consulate in the regional capital of Garowe as part of Mogadishu’s latest diplomatic move to protest January’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ethiopia and Somaliland. Mogadishu also expelled the Ethiopian ambassador and his diplomatic staff alongside demanding the closure of that country’s consulate in Somaliland’s capital of Hargeisa. While the refusal of Somaliland to comply with Mogadishu instructions are understandable giving the precedent situation, the reject of Puntland is more surprising and widely based on the evolution of the situation between Addis Ababa, Hargeisha and Mogadishu. Garowe see in that a momentum which will reinforce its, never hidden, hopes to complete the independence path.

Somalia is powerless to impose its declared writ over those two regions that it still claims as its own, with this latest development exposing just the impotency of Mogadishu. Neither of Ethiopia’s traditional rivals appear really interested in joining Somalia in his efforts for reconquering Somaliland, and even his country’s Turkish military ally, even promising, could be hesitant into to get involved. About that Ankara despite the symbolic visit of its ship to Mogadishu, it still has close ties with Ethiopia despite signing a maritime security deal with Somalia in late February.

As said, even if Ankara officially regards both Somaliland and Puntland as part of the Somalia, yet it hasn’t signaled that it’ll dispatch warships to their waters (nor has Mogadishu officially requested this either, also maybe to avoid another humiliation in getting this request pushed back). The impression is that the Mogadishu barks loudly but doesn’t bite, not because it doesn’t want to do the latter, but simply because has not an autonomy military capability and there are few countries interested in involvement on behalf of a partner without capability, regardless its strategic relevance. The country’s security is dependent on those foreign forces that assist it in trying to degrade Al Shabab military potential, but their substantial reduction by the end of the year will likely lead to an explosion in terrorism. Instead of preparing for that, the Somalian leadership would rather indulge in distractions and saber-rattling, while insisting in the dismantling the fragile federal architecture and preparing for the potential blow of another civil war between new ‘warlords’.

There is a concern that spewing ultra-nationalist rhetoric can bring the Al Shabab militias, which are proved to be very efficient and deadly, onto its side as an “ally of convenience” for waging hybrid war against Somaliland, Ethiopia, and soon possibly Puntland as well. If the terrorists can’t be co-opted through these means, for obvious reasons, the threat of Islamist remain and in long-medium perspective Somalia risks to be like the erstwhile Western-backed Islamic Republic of Afghanistan did in summer 2021 and with the possible emerging of another “emirate” (of terror). This is a nightmare scenario of epic proportions giving the importance of the Horn and the possibly impending fall of Mogadishu under the evil influence of Al Shabab could open a Pandora’s Box of security threats if then-erstwhile Somalia becomes an ungovernable terrorist sanctuary.

Enrico Magnani, PhD, is a retired UN official and expert in military history and international politico-military affairs.

Twenty-Five Years of Aggression against Yugoslavia: NATO Expansion and the Global Context

A quarter of a century ago, on March 24, 1999, a combined group of NATO countries launched a military campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which at that time consisted of Serbia and Montenegro.

Over the years, quite a lot has been written about the consequences of this aggression—about the clear violation of the principles of international law, since the UN did not sanction any military action against a sovereign state; about the numerous human rights violations during the bombing; about the commissioned information campaigns against the Serbs, which had nothing to do with reality; and about the impact of the war on the civilian population—from post-traumatic stress syndrome to the increase in cancer because of the use of munitions with depleted uranium cores.

However, several important points should be emphasized. This campaign was NATO’s first offensive operation. The military-political bloc, which was conceived ostensibly for defense against a possible attack from the Soviet Union (a figment of the crazy imagination of Western, primarily Anglo-American, politicians) became an instrument of military expansion. From conditionally defensive, it became offensive. First in Europe and then in other parts of the world, in particular against Libya in 2011. The military campaign against Yugoslavia probably gave NATO strategists confidence in the need for further expansion and homogenization of the whole of Europe under the umbrella of Brussels. The next expansion of the alliance came in a whole bundle. In March 2004, seven states were admitted at once: Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia. There is one interesting nuance here—all these countries signed the membership action plan in April 1999, that is, when the bombing of Serbia was in full swing. The connection between the aggression and the co-option of new members is obvious. It should be noted that actually on the eve of the aggression against Yugoslavia on March 12, 1999, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which received an invitation to join in July 1997, joined the alliance. Now NATO’s tentacles are creeping into the Caucasus, the Middle East and Central Asia, as the alliance has various agreements with a number of states in the regions mentioned.

Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic’s signing of an agreement to withdraw from the province of Kosovo and Metohija and hand it over to international forces did not mean total political defeat. He remained in power. Although already in May 1999, the Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia brought charges against Milosevic for war crimes in Kosovo. To get him, it was necessary to lift the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by heads of state.

External tools such as sanctions helped to put pressure and increase social tensions. Agencies at the same time worked on the ground and pumped money into the opposition. The puppet movement Otpor, acting as if on behalf of Serbian citizens, adopted Gene Sharp’s methodology of non-violent (conditionally) resistance and continued to implement its plan step by step.

The moment of the election campaign was chosen to bring people out on the streets.

In October 2000, because of mass protests, Slobodan Milosevic resigned, without waiting for the second round of presidential elections. In fact, the first color revolution, called the “bulldozer revolution,” was successfully implemented in Serbia. What is striking is that many of its thought leaders, such as Professor Cedomir Čupić, are still living quietly in Belgrade and actively criticizing the current authorities. While the younger ones, such as Srdja Popovic, immediately defected to the West and continue their attempts to stage coups d’état in other countries.

A monument, in Tašmajdan Park, Belgrade, to the children killed by NATO bombing. The child represented is Milica Rakić.

Let us now look at the global context of NATO’s war against Yugoslavia.

It should be taken into account that earlier in Yugoslavia a civil war was raging, and NATO countries, including the United States, were actively involved in Bosnia. This gave them an opportunity not only to practice ethnic conflict technologies, as well as new theories of warfare, such as network-centric warfare, but also to use both private military companies and mercenaries (in particular, mujahideen who had previously fought in Afghanistan were brought in as part of the “jihad”). This whole machine was directed against the Serbs, not only to gain operational superiority on the front, but also with far-reaching strategic objectives, which included demonization of the Serbs, creating the image of barbarians who pose a threat to the “civilized world.” And this demonization was successful and was already consolidated in 1999. But if the West then openly blamed the Serbs, it also meant the Russians, who tried to help their brotherly people to withstand the pressure of the West. It is no coincidence that Slobodan Milosevic warned that what the West had done to the Serbs, it would try to do to Russia in the future.

However, a scenario similar to the Yugoslav one had already been conceived for Russia. In the spring of 1999, terrorist organizations intensified their activities in Russia’s North Caucasus. In April, when NATO was bombing Yugoslavia, the self-proclaimed “emir of the Dagestan Jamaat” announced the creation of an “Islamic army of the Caucasus” to carry out jihad in southern Russia. Then began a whole wave of terrorist attacks organized by terrorists under the leadership of Shamil Basayev—seizure of settlements in Dagestan, bombings of houses in Moscow and Volgodonsk.

Therefore, when the question is raised whether Russia could have helped the Serbs more than it did, including the operation to block the Pristina airport, we must remember that the situation was quite difficult for us as well. The North Caucasus was in flames, emissaries of Western security services were working in the Volga region, and separatist projects were emerging in the regions.

It was an active phase of the unipolar moment, which the U.S. used to strengthen its hegemony all over the world, not shying away from any means, including terrorism. And its decline was still far away.

But were there positive outcomes of NATO’s military aggression against Yugoslavia? Let us try to summarize. First: the Yugoslav army seriously repulsed the enemy and as a result NATO had significant losses, which they did not expect initially. Various military tricks were used in different types of military forces and which may well now be adapted for the Special Military Operation (SMO), with appropriate adjustments. Second: the real face of NATO was seen by the whole world, which led to anti-war protests. In particular, Italy left the coalition because of this. Third, the dirty methods of information campaigns and the use of non-governmental organizations as a fifth column were documented and widely publicized. Finally, the international solidarity with the Serbs—Russian volunteers and humanitarian aid, the work of hackers from different countries against NATO, the circumvention of Western sanctions—is also an important experience of a complex nature, which will be useful for crushing the globalist military hydra of the North Atlantic Alliance.

Leonid Savin is Editor-in-Chief of the Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitika.

Featured: Milica Rakić, 3-years-old, killed on April 17, 1999, by a cluster munition during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

How Donald Trump brought Misery to the Palestinians

Robert Inlakesh is a well-known documentary filmmaker, journalist and Middle East expert, who knows Palestine well, especially the endless crimes Israel is committing there.

In 2020, he filmed, Steal of the Century, a two-part documentary, which chronicled the devasting effects of Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords, a supposed “peace deal,” aka, “the deal of the century,” in which Israel was given everything it needed to destroy more. The supposed author of the deal, Jared Kushner, simply put down everything that Benjamin Netanyahu dictated.

For various reasons, the documentary was banned from Youtube. Given the current, systematic genocide of the Palestinian people by Israel, we thought that it important to allow for this documentary to be seen in its entirety.

Please consider supporting the work of Robert Inlakesh.

Steal of the Century (2020), Part 1.

Steal of the Century (2020), Part 2.

And, here is a backup copy of Parts 1 and 2, just in case: