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How Superpowers calculate their self-interest

08 April, 15:28
How Superpowers calculate their self-interest

By Sasha Uzunov

At the height of the "Yugoslav wars" both the US & Russia made cynical choices over who to support:

In 1995- An official of US State Department (akin to a Foreign Ministry) declared: " a long term calculation that ultimately, two local powers will dominate this part of the world--one in Zagreb, one in Belgrade; one tied to Washington, the other locked into a Slavic bloc extending to Moscow."

 

Cited in "The Clash of Civilisations and the remaking of world order", Prof. Samuel P. Huntington, 1998, page 283.

Huntington in his book got right the "fault lines" running through the Ukraine.

You notice that say Pristina, Sofia, Tirana, Skopje & Athens don't get a mention... that's pretty obvious... These capital cities already fall under the category of either Washington or Moscow. But if you're Greece you can be with Washington but support the Serbs (Moscow) by breaking the 1990s UN sanctions against Serbia & permitting "Greek volunteers" to fight against Bosnians & Croats.

Or if you're Bulgaria you can support the Germans in two lost world wars, commit genocide against Macedonia's Jews, then cynically become a Soviet ally in 1944 and then cynically become an ally of the West & be offered EU membership.

Or if youre Albanian Kosovo you cynically claim your rights are being threatened in 1999 and receive US & NATO help but in 2001 you invade a friendly neighbouring state, Macedonia, which helped you in 1999.

Or if you're Serbia you can play the victim card in 1999 even though you started the Yugoslav wars in 1991; and one minute the United Arab Emirates was "bad" for funding Muslim groups in Bosnia & Kosovo but now cynically the UAE is "good" because it's offered Serbia a Billion euro/dollar loan.. you get the picture.

That's how, generally speaking Balkan nations play the game... it's a concept that seems to be difficult for many in Macedonia's ruling class to comprehend as they fall for the Serbian victim card or the Bulgarian historical thesis repackaged as Todorovskism.

The opening that exists is for perhaps Macedonia to play the Beijing card off against Washington & Moscow & squeeze out better terms.. But in 1998 the over-qualified Professor Doctor Vasil Tupurkovski got his Sino-super powers confused by supporting Taiwan instead of the People's Republic of China.

But that's what happens when you have a ruling class that can't think for itself or has the obsession like a young child with new toys to jump on the latest political fads or words without thinking about the long term consequences.

At the end of the day, Washington, Moscow & Beijing take a cold hard look at what countries have to offer them. One aspect is the culture. It's no coincidence that Zagreb & Belgrade appear on the Balkan radar and it has to do with an independent minded culture.

You can now understand why Croats say the exotically native zracna luka instead of aerodrome for airport... It might seem trivial this word but it's clearly understood in the internaltional halls of powers.

But if you're sitting in a Skopje cafe and in trying to be cool you mouth "u Skopje" every five seconds or you embrace Todorovskism that tells Washington & Moscow everything it needs to know about Macedonia's ruling elite..it's a push over.

source: Шило

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