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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Armenia and Azerbaijan Are Still in Dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh?

Armenia and Azerbaijan Are Still in Dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh?

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent – THE SEOUL TIMES –  SOUTH KOREA

 

Nagorno-Karabakh occupation map

The collapse of the Soviet Union led to many tensions within the former Soviet Union and since then you have had many frozen conflicts. This certainly applies to the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. The outcome of this brutal civil war meant many deaths on both sides, however, Christian Armenians overcame their numerical weakness and managed to control this region. However, today, with increasing energy wealth, the nation of Azerbaijan may be thinking about starting a fresh war with Armenia in order to re-take Nagorno-Karabakh?

Before concentrating on this, it is important to look at the regional balance and possible dangers for Azerbaijan. Therefore, if we look at the region we see many frozen conflicts or current tensions in Abkhazia (Georgia), South Ossetia (Georgia), Chechnya (Russian Federation), Daghestan (Russian Federation), Ingushetia (Russian Federation), and the Kurdish issue in eastern Turkey. Some of these fault-lines are based on religion or ethnicity, or over the control of resources. However, with a heavy mix of ethnicity and two major faiths, Orthodox Christianity and Islam, then this region is a real melting pot.

Another dimension is the Russian Federation supporting Armenia while Turkey, a member of NATO, is pro-Azerbaijan. Also, the American angle is complex and sadly based on energy issues and self interests. After all, the Armenian lobby is very strong and potent within parts of America and the government is sympathetic. But geopolitics and realism still controls, therefore, the USA is using Azerbaijan in order to counter the influence of both the Russian Federation and Iran. This applies to energy routes which bypass both the Russian Federation and Iran.

Also, if we look back into history, then we must remember the 1915 Armenian Christian genocide (other minority Christian groups were killed, including the Assyrians) by Turkish nationalists. So past history haunts this region and this certainly applies to Nagorno-Karabakh. However, I must point out that Turkey refutes this genocide because this nation claims that most Christians died because of the war, famine, and other consequences of World War One.

If we now focus on modern times, then clearly it would appear that the economic gap between potential military spending is vastly different and this certainly favours Azerbaijan. The one main comfort at the moment for Armenia is the support they get from the Russian Federation and Iran. For Iran the situation is complex because most Azeri people are Shia Muslim, like Iran, however, Iran fears a greater Azerbaijan because of the sizeable Azeri community in northern Iran. So outwardly, Iran talks about Islamic unity, but covertly, they do not want to see Armenia weakened.

Before concluding, it is important to mention that in recent times the government of Turkey is now reaching out to Armenia. Also, Iran promised to mediate between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Therefore, rays of hope do remain and both sides need to talk openly and frankly because both communities suffered during the war. Also, the EU and Commonwealth of Independent States could also help with regards to this delicate issue.

However, increasing Azeri purchases of military equipment is alarming many Armenians. Also, you have many divisions within Armenia with regards to politics. Therefore, the current leaders of Azerbaijan may try to re-start this frozen conflict which erupts from time to time? If so, we could see a real clash of titans because the Russian Federation and Turkey have major self interests and NATO would be in a flux. So will the leaders of Azerbaijan or Armenia re-start a fresh war over Nagorno-Karabakh? Or can a deal be made over Nagorno-Karabakh based on genuine autonomy?

Lee Jay Walker Dip BA MA

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk

 

 

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KOSOVO and the crisis of ignoring international law and global opinions

Kosovo and the Crisis of Ignoring International Law and Global Opinions

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  –  THE SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

 
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Kosovars celebrate their independence in Pristina and show off their new flag. Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Kosovo obtained part independence when America and many European nations gave the go ahead for the creation of this new nation. However, it is clear that things are not plain sailing because many other nations did not support this elitist adventure, therefore, the wider international community was ignored. So today we have a situation where some nations support this new state (47 nations currently support this nation), however, the majority of nations in Africa, Asia, and South America, have not given their consent. Also, the Russian Federation, Spain, and some other European nations, refuse to accept this American led adventure. So what does the future hold for Kosovo and international law?

Firstly, the current status of limbo is a shock to America and many European nations because they believed that the majority of other nations would follow suit, however, at the moment this isn`t happening. Therefore, the influence of the Russian Federation, China, India, and other nations who are against the independence of Kosovo, is much deeper than America imagined. Also, many nations are aghast by the elitism of this new venture and of course many nations worry that the same may happen to them.

Another negative side effect is the fact that Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia have clear justifications to claim the same rights, with regards to the American model of bypassing international law and the United Nations. So if America can violate international law so easily, then America should expect other nations to follow suit. Therefore, many other would be nations in other parts of the world also claim to have the same natural rights. Of course the United States, the United Kingdom, and others, are claiming that Kosovo is unique, but this is not based on reality because you have too many conflicts all over the world. So a “can of worms” is the real cause and effect of this naive policy.

Nations which are against this American led venture have stated clearly that they are very unhappy with the blatant attitude of elitist Western nations. The Foreign Minister of Argentina, Jorge Taiana, stated “if we were to recognise Kosovo, which has declared its independence unilaterally, without an agreement with Serbia, we would set a dangerous precedent that would seriously threaten our chances of a political settlement in the case of the Falkland Islands.”

The newly elected President of Cyprus, Dimitris Christofias, was even more outspoken because he stated “The one thing that Kosovo and Cyprus have in common, as far as the situation in these regions is concerned, is that in both cases, the basic principles of international law and legality, as well as UN decisions, are constantly being violated.” A similar comment was made by Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Minister, because he made it clear that “the Government of Spain will not recognise the unilateral act proclaimed by the assembly of Kosovo [...] We will not recognise because we consider [...] this does not respect international law.”

Therefore, this issue is very important and complex and it is not about denying either the majority Kosovo Albanians independence or supporting minorities like the Serbians, Roma, and other minorities in Kosovo. It is about a deeper issue and this applies to international law. So if America and her supporters can justify Kosovo then what about creating new independent nations for the Abkhazians and South Ossetians in Georgia, Palestinians, Karen in Myanmar, Tamils in Sri Lanka, West Papuans in Indonesia, Basques in Spain, Balochis in Pakistan, and the list can go on and on; so do these ethnic groups deserve independence?

This is the problem because you can not seriously claim that Kosovo is special or unique. After all, you have countless conflicts in the world and many ethnic groups face terrible persecution. Therefore, many other ethnic groups are aghast by events and Yasser Abed Rabbo, a Palestinian politician, stated “Kosovo is not better than us. We deserve independence even before Kosovo, and we ask for the backing of the United States and the European Union for our independence. If things are not going in the direction of continuous and serious negotiations, then we should take the step and announce our independence unilaterally.”

Also, the international community, on a whole, is saying that this colonial attitude is really not warrented and of course major institutions, like the United Nations, have been violated and the same applies to international law. So we have a genuine dilemma over this issue and again if the United Nations and international law can be violated, then why have either? Sadly, nations like the United States believe that they are above the international community because they also bypassed international law when they attacked Iraq and bombed the former Yugoslavia.

You also have problems within Kosovo itself and major divisions still exist. This especially applies to northern Kosovo because the Serbian community is relatively sizeable throughout this region. Therefore, you still have major flashpoints and Serbians, the Roma, and other minorities, feel isolated or abandoned. Also, the international community must still guard and protect Serbians, the Roma, and other minorities, throughout the whole of Kosovo. This in itself is evidence that the institutions of Kosovo are weak.

Therefore, the longer this situation remains in limbo the worse it will get because we have already seen convulsions in Georgia based on the Kosovo model. Whereby nations can now clearly state that America, the United Kingdom, France, and others, violated international law, therefore, other nations can follow suit and support their own self interests. So what does the future hold for Kosovo, countless other conflicts throughout the world, the United Nations, and international law?

Lee Jay Walker Dip BA MA

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk

 

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IRAQ and destruction of Christianity since the invasion by America

Iraq and Destruction of Christianity since the Invasion by America

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  – THE SEOUL TIMES  – SOUTH KOREA

 

Iraq and Destruction of Christianity since invasion by America.

The American invasion was meant to install democracy and fresh hope. However, democracy is a long way away and secular law, which protected the rights of Christians, women, minorities, and others, during the reign of Saddam Hussein, was replaced by Islamic Sharia law. Therefore, the Christians of Iraq have not only been betrayed by the American led coalition but they have also seen their legal status diminish. So why did America pave the way for the destruction of Christianity in Iraq?

Before we focus on this neglected issue it is important to look back at Iraq prior to the invasion. Therefore, when we look back we notice that terrorism was not a problem in Iraq and Islamic radicalism was put down by the central government. More important, from a Christian perspective, it was clear that Christians had options within the old Iraq under Saddam Hussein because Christmas and Easter was openly celebrated and they mixed freely with their Muslim neighbours. Given this, the Christians of Iraq had a future and they felt that they belonged to the nation state.

Of course major problems existed for people who challenged the government of Saddam Hussein, however, for the majority of Christians they merely got on with their lives and inter-mixed freely with the majority Muslim population. Indeed, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, was Christian and his co-religionists had a vital role to play in society. Given this, Christian women could dress how they liked and Christians never feared radical Islam, terrorism, or being murdered by Muslim radicals. Of course political persecution applied to the whole of society if they challenged the regime, but this applied to people of all faiths and the Kurds and Shia who opposed the regime were dealt with brutally. Yet for the Christian community it was the American led invasion which would turn their world upside down.

Because shortly after the invasion radical Sunni Islam began to spread via wealthy Muslim nationals who opposed the American led invasion, organizations, and via international terrorist networks. These militants began to turn on both the Shia Muslim majority and the Christian minority. Within months many churches had been destroyed and Christians were killed alongside the more numerous attacks against the Shia community. Therefore, new Iraq, from its birth, was a nightmare and this nation would witness a huge exodus of Christians and Mandaeans from their homeland.

But why is it that the majority of Christians and Mandaeans fled Iraq under America and not Saddam Hussein? The answer put simply appears to be obvious. Because unlike the regime of Saddam Hussein which did not support the destruction of the Christian community, the Americans, and their allies, simply do not care enough about this issue. Therefore, Christians and minorities have been abandoned and now it is open season against them and other minorities.

Of course many American soldiers have tried to protect churches and minority communities, however, the leaders of the USA and United Kingdom are indifferent at best, or at worse, they simply do not care about their plight. Instead both nations focused on introducing Islamic Sharia law and no special zones were created to protect the Christian community and other neglected minorities, like the Mandaeans, Shabaks, Turkmens (who are Muslim), and Yazidis, . This policy led to alienation and Christians and other minorities became easy targets because they had no military forces to protect them.

Before my conclusion it is important to mention the other point of view. After all, it is vital to mention that many Sunni Muslim fighters believe that they are fighting to protect their rights and they feared losing power to the Shia majority. Also, many Sunni Muslims were caught up in a war they did not start and with each new death the spiral of violence increased. Therefore, the Shia, Kurds, and the Christian community, were deemed to be traitors in the mindset of many Sunni fighters.

Also, vast numbers of Sunni Muslims have been killed by coalition forces and by Shia Muslim militia groups. Shia Muslims have also persecuted minorities in places like Basra, however, these attacks are on a lesser scale when compared with Sunni attacks. Yet the Christians, Mandaeans, Shabaks, and Turkmens, are innocent at all levels because they don`t have any major militias to protect them and they have no power within the government of Iraq.

Therefore, the destruction of Christianity in Iraq is taking place because of misguided American policies and because the Christian community is not deemed to be important. So did more Christians leave Iraq under Saddam Hussein or under the American led coalition? And did Saddam Hussein introduce Islamic Sharia law or was it introduced under the American led coalition? Both times the negative answer belongs to the American led invasion because Christians and other minorities have fled their homeland because they feel abandoned and completely marginalized.

Lee Jay Walker Dip BA MA

lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

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Why China needs to modernize her armed forces

Why China Needs to Modernize Her Armed Forces

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent – SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

 

 

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in China
The nation of China continues to increase her military build up and sometimes you get negative press about this reality. However, from a neutral perspective or Chinese perspective, then this military build up is merely natural and no different from other major powers. After all, China shares a shared space with many nations and her geopolitical reality means that several strategic measures must be taken. Therefore, should major powers worry about China or is it merely mind games or scare mongering by certain nations?
If we look at the region of Northeast Asia then it is more than apparent that this region is very diverse and varied. This applies to geography, economics, politics, religion, ethnicity, and many other factors. Added to this diverse reality is the nuclear dimension and the fact that many major global military powers are based in this region. From this point of view it is abundantly clear that tensions will exist within the complex region of Northeast Asia.
The nuclear dimension alone is more than problematic because America, China, the Russian Federation, and North Korea, are all nuclear powers and of course Japan is a nuclear power de facto because of her protection by the USA and because of past policies, whereby they allowed America to use nuclear submarines within the waters of Japan. Also, on the horizon and within the geopolitics of China, you have India and Pakistan. Given this, the nuclear dimension is extremely complex and this factor increases the importance of Northeast Asia.

If we look at the geopolitics of China, then it is clear that they overlap in many parts of Asia. For example Central Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia, Eurasia, the Mekong delta, and South China Sea region. This vast area is very diverse and China faces multiple challenges with regards to expanding her influence and defending any weak area within her geopolitical space. Her main challenge may appear to be Taiwan but this issue is contained within a small geographic region; therefore, her relationship with America is of major concern.

If we look at trade investments between America and China, then just like China and Taiwan, we see enormous economic linkages and mutual ties and respect. However, in the field of hegemony then China worries about certain aspects of America`s foreign policy. After all, the USA have her military based in Japan and South Korea respectively, and they are developing Guam in order to increase their leverages. Also, the USA have bases in other parts of Asia and her relationship with Australia is another added dimension which helps America.

Therefore, China is concerned about this American reality and they also fear a possible nationalist Japan in the future and tensions with India also remain, because Chinese-Indian relations are still fragile despite all the smiles. So China is right to worry about vast areas of her geopolitical space and this nation also fears radical Islam in West China and Tibetan nationalism is also problematic. This reality is pushing China to move closer to the Russian Federation and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In recent times this can be seen via the growing importance of the Shanghai-6 political bloc and China`s recent military modernization was enhanced by military purchases bought from the Russian Federation.

Also, if we focus on military spending then it is clear that America spends around 90% more than China. This merely proves the point within the inner circle in China because it is clear that China is merely protecting her national interests and they are no different from any other regional power. Given this, China`s political and military leaders need to modernize her armed forces in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Therefore, surely China is right to increase her military budget given her geopolitical reality?

 

 

lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

 

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Zimbabwe now faces cholera epidemic alongside other ills, so can Mugabe survive?

Letters from Tokyo
Zimbabwe Now Faces Cholera Epidemic alongside Other Ills, So Can Mugabe Survive?

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  –  THE SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

 

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President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his wife, Grace

The situation in Zimbabwe is going from bad to worse and now you have a major cholera epidemic. Added to this is rampant poverty and hyper inflation, whereby it is hard to keep up with the ridiculous inflation rate. However, times may at last be changing in Africa because political leaders in Kenya are now openly calling for Robert Mugabe to resign. In the past regional powers, notably South Africa, either remained quiet about the economic destruction of Zimbabwe by the Mugabe regime, or at worse, they supported him. So can Kenya, and other nations, upset the applecart and rid Zimbabwe of Mugabe by supporting the opposition?

Before focusing directly on the Mugabe regime itself, it is important to focus on the cholera epidemic which is blighting Zimbabwe. Yes, of course the linkage is natural with regards to the leadership of Mugabe. For example the destruction of the economy, rampant poverty, chaotic health care system, lack of water sanitation, and so many other terrible woes.

Of course the Mugabe regime is in denial mode and claiming that everything is under control. Yet according to Dr. Eric Laroche, who is representing the World Health Organization (WHO) during the current crisis, it is clear that Mugabe is manipulating language. For Dr. Eric Laroche stated that “the epidemic is clearly on the increase.” Yet once more, Mugabe does not care about issues like this because he fully knows that Zimbabwe is in steep decline.

Therefore, the death rate will keep on rising and at the moment more than 15,000 cases of cholera have been reported and approximately 600 people have died. Also, when this problem is finally contained it will be because of the WHO and other institutions. After all, the current Mugabe regime can not contain the problem. Therefore, the outbreak of the cholera epidemic and the severity of this outbreak can be firmly blamed on the current regime.

The main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is clearly upset by the scale of the problem. Tsvangirai commented that the crisis could only be solved via “a legitimate government.” He further added that “It is up to that government to deal with the problems the country is facing, which are quite wide-ranging.”

Yet clearly the current leader, Mugabe, is sleeping well at night because the current crisis is part and parcel of Zimbabwe under his leadership. After all, growing poverty, destitution, a collapsing infrastructure, and hyper inflation, not to mention so many other important issues, is clearly a way of life under the Mugabe regime.

However, despite the obvious destruction of Zimbabwe by the current regime, it is clear that Mugabe and his loyalists see the world via a different mirror. For example, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, the Information Minister, went on the attack because he slated the international community for creating the current crisis.

He stated that “After squeezing and strangling the country with sanctions and contaminating it with cholera and anthrax, the West is seeking to use the window of opportunity provided by the disaster to justify military intervention.” He continued that “The cholera situation is under control” and that “We have enough chemicals to purify the water. We have got enough foreign currency to buy pipes” to mend sanitation lines, claimed Ndlovu.

So according to Ndlovu, and Mugabe diehards, they see a long list of conspiracies against the current regime in Zimbabwe. However, leaders in Kenya are now fed-up with such rhetoric and instead they desire to see change, and quickly. So now it is clear that international discontent is growing. However, does this mean that the Mugabe regime will collapse?

The answer may be no? Because the African Union (AU) stated clearly that tougher measures against Mugabe will not happen. The AU put it bluntly that “Only dialogue between the Zimbabwean parties, supported by the AU and other regional actors, can restore peace and stability to that country,” said Salva Rweyemamu, AU chairman and spokesman of Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete. He continued that “We have a serious humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. We have cholera. Do they think that we can eradicate cholera with guns?”

Also, China, a nation which invests in Zimbabwe is still moderate and like the AU, China hopes to see a political solution. Liu Jianchao, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, commented that “We sincerely hope that all concerned parties in Zimbabwe will truly focus on the interests of the country and its people and soon form a government of national unity,” Therefore, comments made by both the AU and China, means that Mugabe is not fully isolated.

Given this, only a major internal challenge within the ruling power structure can change anything quickly. Or of course the natural death of Robert Mugabe could alter the status quo. However, his loyalists would also have to be defeated? Yet it would seem that the international community is still divided, despite growing voices being raised. After all, it is still only voices being raised and not real action. Therefore, Mugabe will play the “victim” and Zimbabwe will continue to suffer from cholera, poverty, growing destitution, rampant inflation, unemployment, and a collapsing infrastructure.
Lee Jay Walker Dip BA MA
lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk
 
 

 

 

 

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SOMALIA – Islamic radicals support stoning women, terrorism, and killing converts to Christianity

SOMALIA – Islamic Radicals Support Stoning Women, Terrorism, and Killing Converts to Christianity

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent –  THE SEOUL TIMES

 

lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk
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Islamic radicals support stoning women, terrorism, and killing converts to Christianity.
Islamic radicals in Somalia desire to create an Islamic state based on Sharia Islamic law and the brutality of their thinking can be seen by recent events in Somalia. This most notably applies to stoning a young lady to death and beheading a Christian convert from Islam. So will major powers support a policy based on the stabilization of Somalia via economic, political, and military support? Or will the international community do little apart from empty words? If the international community does the latter, then Ethiopia and the African Union will be left to deal with the crisis by themselves despite having major capital concerns.
Before focusing on current events it is important to acknowledge that Ethiopia and the African Union (AU) support a stable Somalia, whereby a centralized government can stabilize this country from various militias and Islamic radical organizations. However, militant Islamists desire to follow a radical Sunni Islamic path which will lead to the implementation of Sharia Islamic law. This means that Islamists desire to kill converts to Christianity, stone women to death for adultery, openly flog people for listening to music, and turning Somalia “into year zero.”
Added to this, radical Islamic forces will allow global jihadists to cause mayhem in neighbouring countries, and much further afield. This should alarm regional nations in Africa and throughout the world because we all know the consequences of global terrorism. Therefore, it is essential from a humanitarian point of view to support Ethiopia and the African Union, alongside moderate forces in Somalia. If this does not happen, then the consequences will be tragic.
For liberals and apologists, they will have an excuse for this behaviour or they will deem it to be un-Islamic, however, the reality is simple, conversion from Islam is deemed to be punishable by death in accordance with Islamic Sharia Law. However, the majority of mainly Muslim nations do not apply Islamic Sharia Law to the letter. Therefore, converting from Islam in Indonesia, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, and other nations, is allowed, and non-Muslim minorities have greater freedom in these societies, rather than in nations like Saudi Arabia. So it is important to understand that this codified law is implemented differently and many mainly Muslim nations do not enforce such harsh laws, however, this does not mean that complete freedom exists for non-Muslim minorities.
However, in nations which are not centralized and where radical Islam exists, then the situation is even worse. This certainly applies to Afghanistan and Somalia because random justice is applied by Sunni Islamic radicals and by terrorists who desire to rule by fear. So in modern day Afghanistan and Somalia we can see a linkage because of the weakness of centralization in both nations, therefore, failed states are “breeding grounds” for both Sunni Islamic radicals and terrorists. The same applies to parts of Pakistan where Islamists have a strong power base, however, some centralized nations like Saudi Arabia also persecute non-Muslims via draconian laws.
Given this, global terrorists in both Afghanistan and Somalia desire to implement draconian laws. Also, internal conservative Sunni Islamic forces have little power to stop global jihadists from spreading their dangerous ideology. So even if elements within Afghanistan and Somalia do not support global terrorism or such a rigid system, they have no power to prevent global Islamists from spreading their hatred and terrorism. This notably applies to the Taliban, because the Taliban did not directly support September 11th, but they were unable to contain Al-Qaeda. So it is apparent that Somalia and Afghanistan are frontline states in stemming the tide of chaos and brutal justice, which is being enforced on people who reside under radical Islam in both nations.

If you doubt the harshness of radical Sunni Islam in Somalia, then maybe the next bit of information will wake you up? For example, Mansuur Mohammed, 25, converted from Islam to Christianity in 2005 in Somalia. This individual cared for all Somalians, irrespective if Christian or Muslim, or if you had no faith. Therefore, he worked for the World Food Program (WFP) and he tried his best to help the people of Somalia.

Yet to al Shabab, a radical Sunni Islamic organization in Somalia, he was deemed to be an infidel because he had left Islam. Therefore, on Septmeber 23rd, 2008, the al Shabab beheaded Mansuur Mohammed in the village of Manyafulka. Not only did they behead this kind and considerate young convert to Christianity, but they even filmed the beheading in order to threaten other Somalians. To make matters even worse, the beheading was slow and Mansuur Mohammed was tormented by Islamic Sunni radicals, who were glorifying the name of their prophet, until he passed out and died such a brutal death.

More recently, a young lady in Somalia was stoned to death for adultery. It was reported that Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow had been raped and then sentenced on the grounds of adultery. Therefore, around 50 men began throwing stones at her head after she had been buried in the ground, so that she could not escape and in order for her fear to be complete. At one point nurses were made to check if she was dead after the stoning began, but when it was confirmed that she was still alive, then radical Sunni Islamists began to throw more stones until she died in complete agony.

So if the world wants to stand by and let Ethiopia and the AU deal with this crisis, then shame on all major economic nations for not supporting the stability of Somalia. If we add to the equation both global terrorism and piracy, then it is apparent that from both a humane point of view and from a strategic viewpoint, that stability is required in Somalia. However, this can only happen providing moderate forces in Somalia work alongside the AU, Ethiopia, and other positive forces; however, this needs to be backed by economic, political, and military support, from the international community. Failure to act means that in the long-term you could have a radical Sunni Islamic regime which not only persecutes the people of Somalia, but which also threatens regional nations and which allows Islamists to plot more international terrorist attacks.

Therefore, the choice is stark, either the international community provides genuine political and economic support to positive forces within Somalia and regional nations which are helping. Or nations must accept a chaotic and brutal regime which stones women to death and kills all converts who leave Islam. So which way will the international community decide?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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USA – President Bush is trying to contain Russia via Georgia and Ukraine

USA — President Bush Is Trying to Contain Russia via Georgia and Ukraine

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  –  SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

Russian leader Vladimir Putin accused President Bush on Aug. 29, 2008 of orchestrating the war in Georgia in a plot to get Sen. John McCain elected to the White House.

US President George Bush will leave office in the near future, however, before this he appears to desire a more robust foreign policy aimed at alienating the Russian Federation. More alarming, the majority of people in the Czech Republic and the Ukraine are against his policies. Yet despite this both NATO expansion and the American missile defense system are being pushed and who is this aimed at? For most people the answer is obvious, it is aimed at the Russian Federation. So why does the current leader of America desire to create another negative front?

This question angers many people in the Russian Federation because instead of a collective organization or understanding based on geopolitics, we are merely seeing NATO expansion. It is clear, therefore, that America believes that Russia’s only collective space should apply to the Russian Federation. Outside this, then all former Soviet states apart from the Russian Federation are deemed to be possible future members of NATO.

Behind all the smiles and rhetoric of President Bush, it is clear that he, and policy advisers, are intent on encircling the Russian Federation. After all, look at both Georgia and the Ukraine; neither nation is stable. Also, the vast majority of people in the Ukraine do not want to join NATO but this does not matter. Instead we get the American mantra that NATO expansion and the missile defense system is aimed at Iran. However, it is abundantly clear that the real factor behind both these policies is the containment of the Russian Federation.

So let us look at Georgia and why allowing this nation to join NATO would be very dangerous. Firstly, Georgia is deemed important to America because of geopolitics and the West desires to use both Azerbaijan and Georgia in order to bypass the Russian Federation via energy links. By doing this, then both the Russian Federation and Iran will lose out. Secondly, Georgia is probably the most anti-Russian state in the region because of past history so America can garner support more easily in this nation.

However, and this is the crux, Georgia is far from being a stable democracy because of both internal politics and because of major internal ethnic divisions. If Georgia joins NATO then does this mean that NATO forces will crush Abkhazia and South Ossetia? Because both Abkhazia and South Ossetia desire independence from Georgia. So if Georgia is not even a unitary state now, then how can this nation join NATO? If I was either an Abkhazian or South Ossetian I would be worried.

Then if we focus on the Ukraine, then it is abundantly clear that this nation is always on the brink of political meltdown because tensions arise frequently. Also, in the east of this nation you have many ethnic Russians and they certainly do not desire NATO membership. More alarmingly, this nation could certainly be used to launch an offensive against the Russian Federation and this will of course lead to fresh tensions.

Therefore, NATO membership must be prevented and it is up to nations like Germany to stop this American “madness.” After all, you don’t have any justification for encircling the Russian Federation like this. So it would appear that America is bent on causing divisions in the Balkans, the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and in Eurasia.

So nations must stand up to this policy of divide and rule. Because this policy is clearly aimed at containing the Russian Federation and on no grounds can this be justifiable under current conditions. Therefore, it would appear that America wants to contain the entire world, from China to the Russian Federation, and towards any independent nation which happens to disagree with aspects of America’s foreign policy. Surely geopolitics is about understanding the self-interests of regional powers. However, America is now bent on global containment and this policy is not valid in the 21st century.
 

 

 

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