Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Two lessons learned

One of the great joys of mature years is realising that one never stops learning, that one can have been mistaken or ignorant or simply unaware of some nugget of wisdom and there is always a quiet satisfaction as some new level of understanding or appreciation dawns. Even when it confounds what one has always thought one thinks.

As Mladic finally goes on trial, I recall a long conversation over supper a couple of months ago with a couple of young Slovenians, just about as old as the last Balkans war. Part of a new generation no longer liable to military service, their education system has nonetheless left them with a detailed academic knowledge of the war, its causes and progress, and balanced enough to appreciate the role that Slovenia's early break from Tito's old alliance had in precipitating the later carnage. What they lacked, however, what they were distant from, was any visceral or emotional response. They were as far removed from a personal involvement as we who were born in the years after WWII were from the extermination camps and the casual reprisals executions in occupied lands. As we talked there was a wetness in my eyes as I recalled the shooting by a Serb sniper of a pair of young lovers trying to flee their doomed town, the grainy news images of their bodies on the 'Bridge of Sighs'. They didn't know it. As for the mass murder in Srebrenice, they shrugged. Dreadful. Such things could not happen any more. They gave me hope; they were without bitterness, and whatever nationalism they had was not apparent. It is those who either lived the hell itself or those such as me who watched the whole tragedy unfold nightly on the TV news who retained the greatest prejudice, the greatest satisfaction at Mladic facing justice. And this is healthy and good. 

The second seedpearl of wisdom followed my instinctive outrage at the news that members of DUTCHBAT, the Netherlands UN force charged with peacekeeping in Srebrenice, were to receive belated medals for their service. The MSM story is that the sexually ambivalent, stoned, long-haired Dutchies shamefully failed to protect the town, hid in their base and allowed the Serb massacres. Such at least was the testimony given by one US general to the Senate. Before I put finger to keyboard, providence directed me to the dialogue on ARRSE, the unofficial army messageboard, on this. The consensus view from the professionals can be summed up by one comment "The fall of Srebrenica had diddly squat to do with Dutch soldiers be they gay, straight or undecided. It had everything to do with the ineptitude and negligence of the worlds politicians."

So no polemic today. And again I'm just a little wiser than I was yesterday.

8 comments:

Edward Spalton said...

For an alternative view of the Srebrenica atrocities, very different from the accepted Western narrative of unique Serb guilt, Google "Major General Lewis Mackenzie Srebrenica" for a balanced view from the Canadian general who has no axe to grind. I heard a very similar account from James Bissett who was Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia at the time.

On www.freenations,freeuk.com I had a crack at analysing the Balkan situation under the title Kosovo - The Balkans Today, the West Tomorrow, It is in the list of titles which scrolls on the right hand side of the screen.

Former Yugoslavia is a place where you can see the rough edges of Western policy, enforced quickly and violently. Something similar is happening to us slowly by degrees in the process of devolution/regionalisation to dissolve the UK into indfensible statelets.

G. Tingey said...

Oh yeah Mr Spalton?
Got our tinfoil hat on have we?
And whose "Western" policy is this you speak of?
And who wants this outcome, and why, and how do they profit from it?

Put up, or SHUT UP.

Edward Spalton said...

Greg,

You may find my article in the freenations site (see above) of some interest.I take it that you haven't read it yet.
Western policy (a combination of EU/NATO etc) in the case of Yugoslavia was led by several decades of activity by the Bundesnachrichtendienst in support of all the separatist movements - Croat, Bosnian Muslim, Albanian - all the wartime pro-Nazi allies who provided volunteer recruits for local SS Divisions (and were made "honorary Aryans" as a result). The Vatican was also deeply involved in funding the post war clerico-fascist Croatian regime through the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta.

As far back as 1848 (before Germany became a single state) the delegates at the German revolutionary parliament in Frankfurt resolved that the Balkan area (then held by the old Austrian and Turkish empires) was part of Germany's "natural economic hinterland" and that no Slavic state of any size should be permitted to establish itself there. I only have those reports in German.

With regard to regionalisation here, it has been the policy of every would-be dominant European power to break up the UK. Royalist France, Republican France, Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany and now the EU. Whilst the English regions have disappeared from public view, their functions still carry on. The EU with its "Council of the Regions" insists that most of its discretionary grants are distributed at a regional level, bypassing central government. It was that arch Europhile authoritarian, John Selwyn Gummer, who instituted Regional Government Offices for this purpose and Labour added to it with the regional assemblies and development agencies and the devolved administrations in Wales & Scotland. Much of this government's programme of "localism" is a deceptive rehash of these policies. The treaties have not altered.

I haven't needed a tinfoil hat to research this in some depth. There is an article translated by my colleague Rodney Atkinson on the Free Nations' site under the title "Nazi Regions"
and I recommend the historical section on the German website
www.german-foreign-policy.com for background.

If you look in the resources section of www.freebritain.org.uk and find the CIB virtual film festival, one of the items is an ind depth interview of me by a very persistent young American journalist. The video is entitled "Germany, the EU, the Disunited Kingdom & the Democratic Deficit".

You may find answers to your query in the above but I do not understand the tinfoil hat reference. I use books, pen, paper and computer, combined with an ability to translate German.

Regards,


Edward

G. Tingey said...

My German gets me by from day to day in that country, but it isn't too good, actually.
Probably because my father spoke flawless German, after being there as part of CivMilGov 1945-8 (he was sent because he was an M.Sc-qualified chemist)
However, the present government of Germany depends heavily on the Länder, and they do tend to think in that mode.
And how is it, that in my (now annual) visits to that country I see no sign of these trends?
However, you are pointing to some multi-generations long semi-secret conspiracy - at which point my suspension of disbelief fails totally.

ANd why just the UK, specifically?
If you case had any merit outside fantasies, one would expect the same policy to be devoted to breaking uo the other large unitary states in Europe such as, erm ... France?
Show please?

[ "tinfoil Hat" - reference to generally paranoid fantasies.
Classic example is USA ultra-right nutters going on abour "Black UN helicopters" prior to a UN take-over of the USSA.
The tinfoil hat keeps strange dangerous radiations programmed to take over your brain at bay (!)
Um ]

PS I can see no reference-link to your mentioned "Freenations" site { ?? }

Edward Spalton said...

Greg,

If you go to the site
www.freenations.freeuk.com
you will find translations from the German website www.german-foreign-policy.com going back over several years, which will bear out the point adequately. You will find references to France (particularly Elsatz-Lothringen or Alsace Lorraine) The editor of that site, Horst Teubert (to my certain knowledge a most careful journalist) , also has two good papers in the "Voices from Europe" section of the site- one delivered to a substantial audience in the House of Commons.

Other EU countries are also being regionalised under pressure from the EU Framework Directive on minorities. It is part of a process called "perforated sovereignty". There are also EU "cross border regions" - even one called "Trans Manche" which has territory on both sides of the Channel! Considerable budgets and patronage are involved. It is a sort of shadowy parallel administration working to the EU agenda.

The term "European Economic Community" was first coined by the Nazis, starting in July 1940. They held a high level conference conference about the project in 1942 where (amongst other things "the regional principle" was advanced - nominally to improve local and cross border economies but with the real aim of breaking up and weakening states which did not have a single "Volk". I translated some of the papers but they are now out of print. I am presently discussing the possibility of a reprint with the publishers. Apart from topical references, nearly all of the content could have come out of Brussels in the last fifty years. Whilst Monnet & Schuman were not fascists, most of the second order promoters of what is now the EU had been involved with the Nazi version. Why else would they have kept the Nazi name for the post war project, except for reasons of "brand loyalty"?

There are also numerous "Stiftungen" - some privately funded, some partially or wholly financed by the German taxpayer, whether by the federal government or Laender, pressing this agenda. If you look at the article "The Boxer's Punch" on www.german-foreign-policy.com , you will see how the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is meddling in the affairs of the Ukraine under an EU cloak. As with all articles on this German site, sources are quoted,so you can go into further detail if you wish.

Regards


Edward

Edward Spalton said...

Greg,

I could have started more recently and a bit nearer to home. Here is what the Foreign Office was writing about regionalisation in 1971, looking ahead to the expected and intended effects of EU integration, then concealed from the people behind the Official Secrets Act
"The transfer of major executive responsibilities to the bureaucratic Commission in Brussels will exacerbate popular feelings of alienation from government. To counter this feeling, strengthened local and regional democratic processes within member states and effective Community economic and social policies will be essential....There would be a major responsibility on HM Government and on all political parties not to exacerbate public concern by attributing unpopular policies to the remote and unmanageable workings of the Community". (Ref CO 30/1048)..

By and large the EU acts through the agency of existing authorities within member states so what is happening is not always obvious and visible. However, you can see from the above (1) that regionalisation (and today's "localism")is designed to distract people from their powerlessness in relation to their real government in Brussels. (2) Whilst it will have democratic trappings they will be meaningless because regional/local bodies will administer "effective Community (i.e. EU) policies" (3) Governments and political parties will keep quiet about the real state of affairs.

And I didn't need a tinfoil hat to find out!

Best wishes,

Edward

G. Tingey said...

E S
Thanks for the web-link - I'll have a look or two.
I'm quite aware of the EU's indirect approach.
You may not realise it, but I have actually switched sides to anti-EU, to the point where I would vote "OUT" in a referendu,

It's the petty interference in things which are not the EU's concern, and the simultaneous preference for big industrial corporations' benefits, and stuff the individual(s) that gets up my nose.

But I refuse, point-blank to swallow the "it's all a big Nazi plot" bullshit.
It MAY be a big plot, but is more likely simply to be corporate and political GREED.
Now that I can well beleieve!

PS Your internal links still are not working on this site:
Here is what the Foreign Office was writing produces nothing, I'm afraid.

Edward Spalton said...

Greg,
The German state itself came together largely as a result of a "Common Market", the customs union (Zollverein) of 1843. The German political class has retained a remarkably similar political outlook since those days with regard to the organisation of a "large area economy" (Grossraumwirtschaft and/or Lebensraum) with Germany as Top Nation (to borrow a phrase from "1066 and All That").t
.
In 1848 the delegates of the German revolutionary parliament, meeting in St Paul's Church, Frankfurt, resolved that the Balkan area was part of Germany's natural economic hinterland and that no Slavic state of any consequence should be allowed to emerge in the area(which at the time was part of both the old Austrian and Turkish Empires).

Hence the inbuilt almost reflex hostility to Yugoslavia/Serbia, so successfully destroyed by the unprovoked EU/NATO attack of 1999.
German-speaking, Imperial Austria had the same idea, characterised by the propaganda slogan "Serbien muss sterbien" (deliberate misspelling of "sterben".

In their methodical way the Nazis did a great deal of codification of their ideas. Reichsminister Funk was minister for post war planning as well as for the Economy and president of the Reichsbank. Most of the plans set out in 1942 have come to pass. If you take away contemporary references from the documents, there is very little which could not (and has not) come out of Brussels in the last Fifty years. Incidentally, Funk's ideas on the single currency were much sounder than the present lot's - at any rate, on paper! He believed in no currency union without economic convergence.

The Nazis were not unique. Bethmann Hollweg, the Imperial Chancellor of 1914 didn't go as far as currency union but had a plan for institutionalised German economic domination of "Mitteleuropa" and permanent reduction of French power.
Today's German politicians speak of their "benevolent hegemony" over Central Europe.

So the ideas go back way before the Nazis and continued in modified form after them - but the Nazis did pick them up and run with them.

Many of the same people who were collaborators in the wartime Europaeische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft pop up in the post war version.