Conflict In The Caucasus

I have been watching the spiraling conditions around the Caucacus….especially between Armenia and Azerbaijan……I know most Americans have no idea what I am talking about or even where…..

History of the Caucasus - Wikipedia

This conflict has been simmering since the break-up of the USSR….as I have stated I have been watching the region for trouble and I have nbeen writing about it as well…..

https://lobotero.com/2016/05/16/regional-conflict-brewing-in-azerbaijan-armenia/

https://lobotero.com/2020/08/04/on-the-border/

As you see they have been sniping at each other for years….and that “minor” conflict is getting a bit more warm….

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out Sunday around the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian Defense Ministry said two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down.

Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan also said Armenian forces hit three Azerbaijani tanks. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan that has been out of Azerbaijan’s control since the end of a war in 1994. Both sides have heavy military presence along a demilitarized zone separating the region from the rest of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan’s defense ministry denied the claim that its helicopters and tanks had been hit. But President Ilham Aliyev said in a televised address to the nation that “there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment.”

https://apnews.com/article/archive-armenia-azerbaijan-19faa7ac72b4024b67a0c0d2ba6ae27d

Caucasian Union: Ever Closer Union of Six Caucasian Nations : imaginarymaps

I spend a lot of time looking at “open source” intel trying to tell what will transpire……India-Pakistan have walked back from the brink of war…..Greece and Turkey are trying to solve their problems as well….but will these two ever “bury the hatchet” that is not in one another’s head?

There is the Bishtek Protocol of 1992……28 years have passed since the time when Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan have signed the Bishkek Protocol on Ceasefire and have agreed to solve all existing problems only by the help of diplomacy and according to the generally accepted principles of international law. Since 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has take the initiative for resolution of the existing conflict and is acting through the OSCE Minsk Group. Each year the OSCE Minsk Group, which consists of the Russian Federation, USA and France, is the mediation group and is responsible for peacemaking process, organizes a lot formal and informal meetings of the heads of three conflicting parties, but so far they have not got any positive results. Anyway, conflicting parties highly appreciate all efforts of the international community and have stated for many times that are ready to negotiate and find joint solution to the conflict on the basis of the internationally accepted and recognized norms of the international law.

Apparently diplomacy is not working…..and with the current admin in DC I do not see a diplomatic solution.  So the world holds its breath that calmer heads will prevail.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law and are moving dangerously toward war this weekend after heavy fighting in the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. At least 16 Nagorno-Karabakh troops were killed in a morning Azeri attack.

Nagorno-Karabakh has been contested for decades. Legally it is viewed as part of Azerbaijan, while Armenia guarantees its independence. The two nations often come into conflict over the region, but haven’t fought a full-scale war for many years.

Nagorno-Karabakh reported they were hit in the morning with airstrikes and artillery attacks. Azerbaijan claimed those attacks were retaliation for Armenian shelling against their forces, which killed five civilians.

Azerbaijan has taken control of seven villages, but lost some of the territory later in the day. Russia is leading a diplomatic push to calm matters, while Turkey is threatening to join the fight.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/europe-central-asia/caucasus/nagorno-karabakh-conflict/259-preventing-bloody-harvest-armenia-azerbaijan-state-border

You know I wish someone would have thought about the dangers in this region before…..WAIT!…..https://lobotero.com/2013/06/13/looking-for-the-linchpin/

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Greco-Turkish Tensions

Looks like the Balkans are being heated up once again….this time it is age old enemies of Greece and Turkey…..

These nations have fought numerous times…..1821, 1897 and 1974……I have tried to keep my readers informed…..

https://lobotero.com/2018/12/28/greco-turkish-mindset/

https://lobotero.com/2019/12/16/greco-turkic-drama/

Why do these two nations tirelessly hate each other?

Recently it has been a war fought over the island nation of Cyprus…..this time Cyprus is still in the picture but they seem to be focusing on the control of some natural resources…..

U.S. and other Western leaders have long worried about what to do if an armed conflict ever erupted between two NATO members. Rapidly rising tensions between Greece and Turkey, primarily involving a maritime dispute over oil, natural gas, and other resources under the eastern Mediterranean, have brought that nightmare to the surface once again. Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, warned both governments in late August against further military escalation. “Fire is being played with and any small spark could lead to catastrophe,” he stressed.

The heart of the North Atlantic Treaty is Article 5, which proclaims that an attack on any member of the Alliance will be considered an attack on all. The underlying assumption is that there would then be a collective response to repel and punish the aggressor. Obviously, that approach would not work if two NATO signatories went to war against each other. Even determining which country was the aggressor and which the victim could be quite challenging.

https://www.cato.org/blog/old-nato-nightmare-returns-possible-war-between-greece-turkey

Greece is buying weapons from France in prep for a confrontation…

conservative Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a purchase of billions of euros in French weaponry and a large increase in the size of the Greek military. This massive increase in military spending, by a country which the European Union (EU) has devastated with billions of euros in draconian cuts to social spending over the last decade, marks a major escalation in Greece’s ongoing military standoff with Turkey.

Mitsotakis indicated that Greece will purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, four French naval frigates with naval helicopters, and a large supply of anti-tank weapons, torpedoes and missiles. It will also ask French firms to upgrade four Greek frigates that are already in service. Finally, Mitsotakis said that 15,000 more soldiers would be recruited to the Greek armed forces.

“The time has come to reinforce our armed forces. … This is an important program that will form a national shield,” Mitsotakis declared in a speech in Thessaloniki.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/14/gree-s14.html

Will be a test for NATO…..an attack on one is an attack on all…..and this time it will be two member nations fighting each other….who will the US support?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

On The Border

I could go off on a tangent about the Trump Wall but in this case it is a conflict in the making in the Caucuses of Central Europe…… between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

History of the Caucasus - Wikipedia

There has always been an animosity between the two……Armenia is a Christian country while Azerbaijan is Muslim…..read about the two countries here (if interested)……

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17398605

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17043424

Years ago I wrote about this region as a possible linch pin event that could start a major world incident that may lead to a war…..FYI my post on the subject and region……https://lobotero.com/2013/06/13/looking-for-the-linchpin/

The war of words between Armenia/Azerbaijan has almost always been a part of the region’s history……but there have been several border clashes between the two and they are still readying themselves for the possibilities….

The senior adviser to Azerbaijan’s president said the situation at the border with Armenia reminded him of World War I between France and Germany, with heavily armed soldiers facing each other in border trenches. Hajiyev warned that any spark could lead to a full-blown conflict. He accused Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of advancing a bellicose nationalist agenda despite claims when he was elected that he wanted to achieve peace with Azerbaijan.

Hajiyev said the threat by Azerbaijan to strike a civilian nuclear plant in Armenia had been made by a low-level military officer and did not reflect his country’s official stance. He went on to accuse Armenia of targeting civilian targets in his country.

He brushed aside claims that Turkey was the reason for the recent flare-up of tension and said that Baku was ready to address and resolve the long-standing conflict with Armenia. 

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20200722-interview-adviser-to-azerbaijan-s-president-we-are-expecting-provocation-from-armenia-at-any-moment

Things are getting more and more heated between the two nations…..

The mid-July 2020 escalation on Armenia and Azerbaijan’s densely populated state border, which killed over a dozen people and sent women and children fleeing, should sound as a warning. Villagers on both sides of the 230km, trench-lined border have long lived in fear of clashes and landmines. Three decades after the 1992-1994 war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, children go to schools behind ever-thicker cement walls, farmers shun fertile but mine-riddled fields and young people seek their future elsewhere. International mediation efforts have largely ignored the border regions, focused on untangling disagreements over Nagorno-Karabakh itself. But July’s violence shows how critical it is to pay attention to the safety of more than 150,000 civilians living there. Yerevan and Baku should keep channels open to find mutually beneficial ways to cooperate along the border. The shooting should not stop them from exploring collaboration on narrow initiatives to allow children to attend school, farmers to harvest crops, herders to put livestock to pasture, and water to flow to taps and fields.

For both sides, the potential cost in lives and property of violence is higher along the border than in other areas. Neither side has a clear military advantage in the border zone. Military positions and front-line trenches are so close in places that residents can shout to soldiers on the other side. The border is at the crossroads of the three post-Soviet states of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. As such, it is criss-crossed by key roads, railways and pipelines pumping natural resources from Russia to the region or from Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea to Europe. Both sides not only have an interest in avoiding disruptions to this infrastructure but also stand to benefit from repurposing and repairing sundered cross-border Soviet-era water supply networks

https://www.crisisgroup.org/europe-central-asia/caucasus/nagorno-karabakh-conflict/259-preventing-bloody-harvest-armenia-azerbaijan-state-border

I still believe that this region holds the key to a wider war……another region is the Pakistan/India/China in the Himalayas…..

I will be watching!

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Clinton’s Serbia/Kosovo

In the 1990s I was never a supporter of Clinton’s war in the Balkans….

The communist years

The former Yugoslavia was a Socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and a bitter civil war. A federation of six republics, it brought together Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Slovenes and others under a comparatively relaxed communist regime. Tensions between these groups were successfully suppressed under the leadership of President Tito.

After Tito’s death in 1980, tensions re-emerged. Calls for more autonomy within Yugoslavia by nationalist groups led in 1991 to declarations of independence in Croatia and Slovenia. The Serb-dominated Yugoslav army lashed out, first in Slovenia and then in Croatia. Thousands were killed in the latter conflict which was paused in 1992 under a UN-monitored ceasefire.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17632399

It all began……

Milosevic in 1998 launched his fourth war in the former Yugoslavia, this time intending to address his “Albanian problem” by using his army to force out over 60 percent of the population of Kosovo. Given European and American inaction for years as people were killed in Bosnia earlier in the decade, Albanian Americans were fearful that history could be repeated in Kosovo. So, they organized themselves. They united different community factions, opened an office in Washington, D.C., and began engaging in one of the oldest of American traditions – petitioning their government to do something to stop the killing and rape in Kosovo.

https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/435462-lessons-from-the-1999-us-military-intervention-in-kosovo

Clinton put all the hopes of Kosovo in the hands of Hashim Thaci and now this person has been indicted for war crimes….

President Bill Clinton’s favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was charged with ten counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. It charged Thaci and nine other men with “war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.” Thaci and the other charged suspects were accused of being “criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” and the indictment involved “hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents.”

Kosovo Indictment Proves Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities

Another version to above article here…..https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/30/bill-clintons-serbian-war-atrocities-exposed-in-new-indictment/

This makes Clinton just as guilty in my book as Thaci…..I love the closing statement of the article…..

“Bill Clinton’s 1999 bombing of Serbia was as big a fraud as George W. Bush’s conning this nation into attacking Iraq. The fact that Clinton and other top U.S. government officials continued to glorify Hashim Thaci despite accusations of mass murder, torture, and body trafficking is another reminder of the venality of much of America’s political elite. Will Americans again be gullible the next time that Washington policymakers and their media allies concoct bullshit pretexts to blow the hell out of some hapless foreign land?”

That is a rhetorical question….for I already know the answer….and the media will make sure that it does occur again…..and again……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Greco-Turkish Mindset

We near the start of a new year and there is an old situation that is about to come to a head…..that would be the animosities between Greece and Turkey.

This “hatred” goes back to the days of Greek dominance of the region….think B.C.

It began back when the Greeks were a power and the Persians had the region of Anatolia (Turkey)….but that is a lesson for your World Civilization class….I would like to write about a more modern “hatred” that centered arounf the island of Cyprus……

This will help set the stage…..

The last “war” was in 1974 and the island was divided along Greek/Turkish lines…..1074 was a major conflict that the world  tried to find peace for the two sides….

Another quick reference to this conflict…..

The reason I brought the fact that Greece and Turkey have come to blows over their disagreements is because there is more news…..this time Cyprus is not the center of the “hatred”….but the island is always part of the disagreements….

This time Greece is pissed that Turkey has “invaded” their airspace without proper clearances….

Greece’s top military brass have fired off a set of unusually stern warnings to Turkey, threatening to crush its troops if they dare to land on any disputed islet in the Aegean Sea – but Ankara didn’t mince its words either.
Reacting to violations of Greek airspace by Turkish jets over the Aegean, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos warned that Ankara would pay a price.
“If they make the slightest move, we will crush them,” Kammenos threatened. Athens wants peace and harmony, he said, but it won’t “concede a single centimeter” of its land.
This may seem a small thing but nothing is too small when these two countries threaten each other…..
And Cyprus braces for the future.

Kosovo–Balkans Back In The News

The small Balkan nation of Kosovo is been making big news lately…..they want an standing army in case of emergency…..but what of Kosovo?

More information……

NATO is not so keen on an army for Kosovo…..but the US breaks with NATO on this issue…..

Just days after NATO issued a statement expressing opposition to Kosovo’s plan to create a national army, warning of the threat that could pose to regional stability, the United States has issued its own statement endorsing the idea.

US officials say they view the creation of a Kosovar military as a “positive step,” and proof of Kosovo’s status as an independent country. They also emphasized how much aid the US has invested in Kosovo.

Kosovo is not universally recognized as independent, however, and for decades NATO has provided for its security as a de facto state. Serbia has warned they may intervene if a Kosovo Army is created, as they would view it as a challenge to their own claims to the region.

NATO’s concerns center on regional stability, and they also warn that if such an army was created, they may no longer elect to keep NATO troops in Kosovo to provide direct security. US officials are downplaying the matter, saying it would take “many years” to create an army at any rate.

(antiwar.com)

But keeping with the greed of the M-IC the US has issued a statement and Kosovo has decided it will create a grand army of the republic (is that a Star Wars reference?)…….

…the Kosovar parliament voted in favor of the creation of a 5,000-man standing army. The plan has been deeply criticized by NATO, which has warned it will force them to reexamine their own military presence.

The plan has been discussed for a few weeks, with NATO opposing the idea. The US endorsed the plan, saying it was an “historic” move for Kosovo. Serbia, which still views Kosovo as part of its territory, has warned they may have to react militarily to the new army.

The issue, from the Serbian perspective, is that the Western-backed Kosovo government is Albanian-dominated, and prone to violent crackdowns on the region’s ethnic Serbian minority. The concern is that the military will just be used to escalate this, and to try to expel what’s left of the Serbs from northern Kosovo.

NATO forcibly separated Kosovo from Serbia, and has continued to back their independence. The split left a number of Serbs who opposed separation on the Kosovo side of the NATO-imposed border, and Kosovo has been trying to prevent them trading and traveling across the border.

(antiwar.com)

If I had to guess I would say that the M-IC is jerking off at the prospects of massive profits coming to them with the decision of Kosovo…..

Just A Thought!

Today In History!

One year ago today I went to the ER with 10 toes and woke up with only 6 remaining. And the long road to recovery began.

But since I am not all that important I will check history and see that the very First Balkan War began in 1912…..

The First Balkan War breaks out between the members of the Balkan League–Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro–and the Ottoman Empire.

…….another and far more serious war had broken out in the Balkan peninsula. It took the form of an attack on Turkey by the four contiguous Christian states, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro. The alliance of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro – Christians, former rayahs of the Ottoman empire, to the end of solving the remaining problems of the peninsula, had often been suggested, but the idea had regularly suffered shipwreck on the fierce competitive nationalism of the youthful states.

The feelings harbored toward each other by the Serbs and Bulgars were amply divulged by the war of 1885, while the desolating, unofficial conflict in Macedonia among Bulgars, Greeks, Serbs, and Albanians, left no doubt as to the jealousy rampant among these four groups. But what no statesmanship in or outside Balkania working over time had been able to accomplish, the mistaken zeal of the Young Turks brought about in a few months. Their purpose, reduced to its simplest terms, was a resuscitated Ottoman empire. But this, the patriotic hope of the Young Turks, was to the Christian communities only recently rescued from Turkish bondage, nothing less than a nightmare filling them with fear and horror.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/balkan-1.htm

Keeping with my tradition of trying to make it easier for those that have a hard time with the study of history I have included a short video explaining the event…..

This conflict should have signaled the possibility of a wider war in Europe….but the signals were ignored and in 1914 World War One erupted and the death and the destruction was immense.

Plus 80 years later, after break-up of the former country of Yugoslavia, another situation erupted and the world reacted and once again the death and destruction came to the region.

Death In Bulgaria

Closing Thought–11Oct18

My blog, In Saner Thought, has at least one loyal daily visitor from Bulgaria….I try to keep up with the news in the countries of my loyal visitors……..

A little info for those that may not know much about this country…..a country that not many Americans know much about these days……

The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People’s Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

Bulgarian television reporter Viktoria Marinova has become the third journalist to be murdered in the European Union in the last year and the fourth since the start of 2017.

The 30-year-old’s body was found dumped near the Danube River in the town of Ruse, northern Bulgaria, on Saturday. Police said she had been beaten, raped and strangled.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/10/08/bulgarias-viktoria-marinova-third-journalist-murdered-eu-last-year/1563296002/

A person has been arrested for the crime……

A suspect in the rape and killing of a Bulgarian television journalist whose work highlighted corruption in the East European country has been arrested in Germany, officials said Wednesday. Bulgaria’s prosecutor general, Sotir Tsatsarov, confirmed the arrest of Severin Krassimirov, a 21-year-old Bulgarian citizen, but gave no further details of his location, the AP reports. German authorities were not immediately available. “We are currently following a European arrest procedure. The German prosecutor has arrested the suspect, they will then assess how to proceed,” Tsatsarov said. He said evidence suggested it was “a spontaneous attack, not premeditated.”

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said investigators had found DNA evidence on the clothes and body of Viktoria Marinova, who was raped and strangled on Saturday in the northern town of Ruse. “There is physical evidence to link to the murder,” Marinov said Wednesday. He said Krasimirov, a resident of Ruse, had a criminal record for scrap metal theft. The minister said investigators had spoken to Marinova’s family and friends and “there is no apparent link to her work.” Marinova hosted a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving European Union funds—a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic

TO my followers in Bulgaria…If the any information that I am missing please let me know and I will update my readers.

The Western Balkans

These days the Balkans are not in the news as they once were….for back in the days of Pres, Clinton there were several wars raging in the region and of course the US was ass deep in the action.

These wars came about after the fall of Yugoslavia and it breaks into separate nations……but why all the hostilities?

 

If you are a bit too young to remember those days…I have a short video that may help……

And because of these “hatreds” war broke out all among the nations that use to be known as Yugoslavia….

Now that I have refreshed everyone’s memory I will continue with why I bring all this up….

Why has America overlooked the geopolitical opportunities made possible by forging a stronger relationship with the Western Balkans?

In part, America’s renewed interest reflects a wish that Balkans wars remain a thing of the past. Equally important, the United States hopes the Balkans’ future will be as a net contributor to peace and prosperity in the transatlantic community.

Complaints that the United States is disengaging from Europe and indifferent to the fate of the region are just plain wrong headed. On the other hand, Washington could do much more than wishful thinking to transform the Western Balkans from backwater to a bedrock of progress.

The United States should be leading to redefine “balkanization.” Instead of representing fragmentation and division, the region ought to stand as example of integration and affluence.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/how-build-better-balkans-27847

Our Dear Leader is the “Art of the Deal” president…..and because of his thrills of deals is harming the relations in the Balkans….

European officials are concerned the Trump administration’s hands-off approach to diplomacy could risk destabilizing a tinderbox region in Southeast Europe.

Europe’s major capitals — and until recently, Washington — have long opposed any proposal that toys with borders in the Western Balkans, fearing that such moves would disrupt the region’s delicate balance. But, under President Donald Trump, the US appears to have adopted a more ambivalent approach.

Europeans’ latest fears for the region center on Kosovo — which in 2008 unilaterally declared independence from Serbia — and the growing prospect of an agreement to redraw the border between the two countries.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/albertonardelli/serbia-kosovo-trump

I feel that all this “deal crap” shows the world that a business man may not be the best person to run a country….a company is not a country….maybe now the GOP will shut the Hell up about a successful businessman as a candidate.

Macedonia And Social Media

I have recently got some from Macedonia following IST (let me know who you are) it pleases me that I get people from all over to help me and my readers up to date on the events that I write about….after all I cannot be everywhere as much as I would like to……

I have been following the debate and the vote on the name thing that has been consuming the news from Macedonia…..https://lobotero.com/2018/06/13/macedonia-whats-in-a-name/

Now that I have the introduction and the lead in to this post….

It appears that American conservatives have been duped with fake news coming out of bots located in Macedonia…..

“This is the news of the millennium!” said the story on WorldPoliticus.com. Citing unnamed FBI sources, it claimed Hillary Clinton will be indicted in 2017 for crimes related to her email scandal.

“Your Prayers Have Been Answered,” declared the headline.

For Trump supporters, that certainly seemed to be the case. They helped the baseless story generate over 140,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.

Meanwhile, roughly 6,000 miles away in a small town in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a young man watched as money began trickling into his Google AdSense account.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/how-macedonia-became-a-global-hub-for-pro-trump-misinfo

What is most humorous is that as that locate and identify these fake news bots…others pop up and the conservative base has a tendency to believe what they read or hear without checking the info out for accuracy.

Further Reading:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/american-conservatives-fake-news-macedonia-paris-wade-libert