1. We just saw the Turkish Air Force shoot down a Russian plane. What change will that bring into the Syrian conflict, according to your opinion? What reaction do you expect of Russia in the short term, but in mid-term also? Do you think Turkey is getting very close to become one of the crucial victims of creating a multipolar world?
Many impactful consequences have already resulted from Turkey’s aggression, and it’s important to take a look at what they all are and what their effects may be. The most visible reactions that we’ve seen from Russia so far have dealt with the economic and military fields. Pertaining to the first, Russia has modified its former strategic partnership with Turkey to reflect the new reality of Ankara’s antagonism, which has taken the form of limiting Turkish business in Russia, prohibiting the hiring of any new Turkish workers in the country after the new year, prohibiting tour operators from selling Turkish trips, and apparently suspending the gas and nuclear energy megaprojects that were planned between the two. All told, this is expected to cost Turkey billions of dollars per year, and everyone should be reminded that President Putin himself enacted these economic restrictions, meaning that Russia will likely not reverse them anytime soon. The combined effect of such economic punishment on Turkey will predictably lead to a deterioration of living standards among certain sectors of the population, and with nearly half the county against Erdogan as it is already (as seen from the latest election), this might be enough to push the dissent over the edge and into the majority. Within the next year, this might even prompt yet another grassroots anti-government movement such as Gezi Park, albeit with a greater chance of success due to the changed domestic situation since last time (e.g. resumption of civil war in the southeast).
The other main action that Russia has taken has been to fortify its military position in Syria in order to ward off any repeat of this treachery. The delivery of S-400s to the battlespace goes a long way in deterring Turkish aggression, and Russia has thus in effect enacted its own ‘no-fly zone’ over Syria. Suffice to say, if Turkish jets violate Syrian airspace once more, they will definitely be shot down by the world’s most high-tech surface-to-air missiles. The defensive reassurances that this gives Russia and its pilots mean that they will be able to increase the effectiveness of their anti-terror operations, specifically in trying to close off the Turkish-Syrian border, without ever having to worry about such backstabbing again from their former Turkish ‘partners’. Also, Russia’s buildup in Syria shows that it is unquestionably there to stay and is more serious about its anti-terrorist campaign there than many in the mainstream media try to make it out to be.
Another thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is that the death of the two Russian servicemen (one shot to death as he was parachuting to safety, the other was killed by an American-supplied missile in the rescue operation) is that Russian blood has officially spilled for Syria. This only tightens the strategic partnership between the two allies and reinforces their already fraternal relations. There’s no doubt at this point that the naysayers that previously barked about “Russian abandoning Syria” have been proven completely wrong in every single way. After this, there is no way that Russia will take a single step back from its ally and it will never retreat in the face of state-sponsored terrorism, whether through air-to-air missiles fired by Turkey or suicide bombings carried by ISIL (Turkey’s real strategic partner).
It’s significant to also address the change in mainstream media discourse that’s taken place over the past week, since it’s now unmistakable that many outlets, particularly those in the US and UK in fact, are now reporting quite accurately on the Turkish establishment’s ties to terror. They were reluctant to do so before because their state handlers were pressuring them not to, but now the decision has been made to loosen their grip a bit and allow more freedom of reporting. Those who follow alternative media have already known for years that Turkey was behind most of the terrorism in Syria and was the most direct state sponsor of ISIL, but ever since the Russian government’s statements on the matter, the rest of the world has been forced to report on them whether they wanted to or not. Partly, this is also due to the US hanging Turkey out to dry, or put another way, setting them up to shoot down the Russian plane and then purposely leaving them alone to deal with Russia on their own. I wrote about this in previous article for Oriental Review, but to summarize, it seems as though the US wants to implicitly work with Russia in helping to weaken Turkey, as it has its own strategic reasons in wanting to do so (punishing Erdogan for his previous ‘rebellion’ in not invading Syria earlier [the opportunity is gone now], carving out what they hope will be a pro-Western Kurdistan, etc.).
This brings me to the last point of your question, about whether or not Turkey will be a victim in the process of creating a multipolar world. The way I look at it is that there doesn’t have to be any ‘victims’, but that some countries, due to their unipolar leaderships, will suffer various degrees of change due to their failed policies. Turkey, under the leadership of Muslim Brotherhood-supporting Erdogan, will be one of them, and this will manifest itself in one or more of a few ways. Firstly, it’s possible that the renewed civil war will lead to an autonomous, federative, or independent Kurdistan after some time. Secondly, the current pressures being exerted on the Turkish military are unprecedented (civil war in the southeast, securing the heartland from terrorists, cross-border strikes on Iraqi Kurdistan, remaining on standby along the Syrian border, and now these unnecessary provocations and resultant balancing against Russia), and they may turn on Erdogan in the future because he’s stretched them too thin and inhibited their ability to secure the country’s territorial integrity in the context of the civil war that’s now raging. Next, we could also see a forthcoming anti-government people’s movement sprout up, which might predictably clash with the Islamist AKP and ultra-nationalist MHP grassroots supporters (the latter of which control the Grey Wolves terrorist gang), and this could add another element of civil war to the country. There are more possible scenarios but these are the most likely at the moment, and they’re all attributable to Erdogan’s failed policies in one way or another.
2. As President Putin said, Turkey aligned itself along with the terrorists; France is their victim; Germany is distancing from US. Do you think that taking down of Russian plane could create a layering inside NATO?
To an extent, yes, but not in the way that I think you’re implying. NATO states are generally distancing themselves from Turkey, and this has to do with the US’ decision to play both sides of the fence – publicly support the country in front of the global press, but then strategically leak contradictory statements to the press (Reuters reported an ‘unnamed’ official asserting that the plane was shot down over Syrian, not Turkish, airspace). The US aside, the other NATO states see what game Turkey is trying to play, which is that it’s trying to lead the entirety of NATO into a tense anti-Russian confrontation. Turkey was put up to this by the US, as I said, which planned in advance to fall back and leave Turkey on its own in this crisis, all for strategic purposes.
To comment on the countries that you mentioned, France is very suspicious of Turkey, and it’s no secret that they’ve been against it joining the EU for some time already. But Germany is an entirely different matter in this case. Merkel is intimidated by the hundreds of thousands of “refugees” that Turkey unleashed on Europe in the past year, and she’s done everything she can to kiss the Sultan’s shoes in getting him to stop. In fact, both Western European countries, Germany and France, just agreed to give Turkey 3 billion Euros in blackmail payments to stop the “refugee” flows, and as an added bonus, they want to restart Turkey’s stalled admissions process into the EU. In this case, it’s Germany taking the lead and France coming along for the ride, but the opposite dynamic is true when it comes to the anti-ISIL campaign – France is leading and Germany is following. What’s becoming more evident by the week is that the differences between France and Germany are intensifying on key topics, and that with time, these trajectories, if left ‘uncorrected’, can lead to two very divergent foreign policy tracks. However, it’s possible that the US could use this as a ‘good cop, bad cop’ tactic in rallying an increasingly divided Europe behind one of two separate poles of power, each equally loyal to Washington in this vision.
So to conclude with this question, I think there are other processes underway separate and independent from certain NATO countries’ reactions to Turkey’s anti-Russian aggression, but that this event does highlight those differences a lot more than if it hadn’t happened. Also, I’ve written before about the “Intermarum”, which is a sub-regional organization of semi-independent NATO-centric military blocs, and this decentralization course is preplanned and strategically implemented. What’s happening between Germany and France is something a bit similar in these regards.
3. Terrorist attack in Beirut caused 40 casualties. In Paris 130 people were killed. In the Russian jet over Egypt, almost twice as much as that. Throughout the whole world, especially Europe, there is a fear of terrorism. Do you think that the American “deep state” has influence on these attacks? What are the factors that decide which country will be targeted? In how great of a danger is the Central Balkans, and what measures can be taken to prevent these attacks?
The way I see it is thus – the deep state (the military, intelligence, and diplomatic apparatuses) created the conditions for terrorism in Syria, the “refugee” crisis, and so on and so forth, and some elements may have been aware that terrorists were planning an attack in Paris but didn’t stop them (for many reasons, be it ineptitude, a cynical interest in having them take place, wanting to wait until the ‘last minute’ to collect as much evidence and uncover as many accomplices as possible [a common FBI tactic], etc.).
It’s hard to discern intent and who’s ultimately culpable for each and every attack, but it’s easier to recognize that there was indeed some deep state oversight when it came to Paris. It doesn’t mean that they planned the attack, but it’s already been proven that some of the suspects were on terrorist watch lists, they just weren’t properly dealt with and monitored like they should have been.
This professional neglect (if one is to be optimistic and not suggest anything more nefarious) is in and of itself criminal, and it suggests that the deep state might not even have full control over all of its assets anymore, many of which have gone rogue (as evidenced on the grandest scale by ISIL). When speaking about the recent explosion of worldwide terrorism in general, this has succeeded in creating chaos everywhere it strikes, and whether out of sheer luck or strategic ‘skill’, the US has been able to transform each of these tragedies into some type of advantage to further its interests.
To move along and talk about the targeting aspect of your question, it’s really hard to tell which countries and particular targets will fall victim to terrorism. In Paris, specific locations were chosen for the purpose of maximizing the fear that would be instilled in the local population and worldwide audience, but in the future, one can’t tell where they’ll strike next. The targets typically only make sense in hindsight and after the fact (e.g. who would have thought they’d target an Asian restaurant or death metal concert?). It’s possible to speculate, of course, but what makes sense to us is not always the same as what makes sense to a jihadist.
Looking at the Central Balkans, there’s a very real risk of terrorist attacks, and this is due to homegrown threats (influenced by Turkish and Gulf preachers and money), returning jihadists (particularly in Bosnia), and new infiltrators entering the area under the cover of being “refugees”. The tangible manifestation of these attacks could be Western planned provocations between the Croat-Muslim entity of Bosnia and Republika Srpska and the contracting of terrorists on the side of the Color Revolutionaries in Macedonia (the Albanian terrorists in Kumanovo were about to attack in tactical support of them before they were busted in May). Speaking of Macedonia, it’s fitting to mention the border riots that are taking place between the economic “refugees” and the state security services. These ‘new neighbors’ are already showing their propensity for extreme violence if they don’t get what they want right away, and one can only imagine how destructive this could be if they initiated such destabilizations while inside the host countries, potentially armed by terrorist provocateurs like a revived KLA.
So what’s needed is a very strict policy of limiting “refugee” entry and siphoning out the real “refugees” from the economic piggybackers and terrorist infiltrators (there’s no surefire way to do this with 100% accuracy, but enhanced security and screening measures are necessary in any case). Once the flow has been halted and a more manageable number of people are crossing the border, they need to be shuffled out of the country as soon as possible. Expedited processing should be in place for ‘war zone refugees’ (the only ones that should be allowed to enter from now on, with ‘economic refugees’ explicitly barred) and they must be accompanied by a police or military presence at all times. If a “refugee” wants to settle down in Macedonia, Serbia, or anywhere else in the traditional transit states, they’d of course be afforded a different processing regime to separate them from those that just want to get to Germany and Sweden (likely for the welfare benefits), but the majority of “refugees” that are ‘just passing through’ need to be monitored to make sure that’s exactly what they’re doing – passing through, not illegally setting up base for operations and/or contacting local extremist elements. The specifics of the strategy will have to be defined in detail – what I’ve proposed is just the overall idea – but this is the path that must be undertaken, and it deals with more security and tighter “refugee” entry requirements.
The Republic of Macedonia has been spearheading the way in Balkan security by erecting their border fence with Greece. This is a very welcome first step and it does more than anything else before it to cut down on illegal entry and help to create the foundation for a more secure processing regime. The ‘downstream’ Balkan states need to understand that their front line of defense is along the Macedonian-Greek border, and that Athens no longer has any control over its borders and frankly doesn’t care what the “refugees” inside the country do or where they go. The ‘sick man of Europe’ is Greece when it comes to the “refugee” crisis, and this is an enormous terrorist risk. The sooner the Balkans recognize this, the sooner they can defend themselves, and the first step in doing so is to give their full support to Skopje for bravely standing up to the rest of Europe and unilaterally taking measures to protect their own, and tangentially, the rest of the continent’s security.
4. As it seems that the US is facing more and more problems in Middle East, Vice President Biden held a summit today with the presidents of so-called Western Balkans countries. American direct involvement in the Balkans seems more obvious after many years, where it seems that the some kind of association of countries is being made (The “Yugosphere” as Tim Judah calls it), which would be led by Croatia, as energetic (project of building LNG terminal on the Croatian island of Krk), its military and political leader. How possible is that project and what would it mean for Serbia?
That’s exactly what’s happening, and it’s that the US is using Croatia as its Lead From Behind proxy in controlling the Western Balkans. I wrote a bit about this over the summer when Victoria Nuland (of EuroMaidan notoriety) visited the region and held talks with its leaders. I generally concluded that the US’ plans can be summarized as politically subordinating each of the regional states, creating Yugo-slave-ia (a semi-reintegrated pro-Western shell of the former Yugoslavia), and purging all of the resistant regional forces to Washington’s plans. She was basically laying out the action plan for furthering her boss’ strategic announcement of intent, as John Kerry proclaimed in February 2015 that “Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, and other countries” are on the “line of fire” between the US and Russia. What he was really saying is that each of those entities (with the author seeing Kosovo as an American-occupied Province of Serbia and in no way as an independent country) will be destabilized in the future in order to be controlled more rigidly, using Russia as a scapegoat for justifying the US’ forthcoming plans.
To return back to addressing Biden, it’s significant to note that his visit took place under the auspices of the Brdo-Brojuni Process and was hosted by Croatian President Grabar-Kitarovic. The whole purpose of the gathering was for the formal pro-Western Balkan elite to pressure their non-integrated counterparts into taking moves to speed up their ascension. It’s basically pro-Western grandstanding disguised as a discussion/diplomatic club.
Part of the way in which the US and its regional allies want to defeat the Balkan spirit is to forget that the Balkans even exists. According to the Croatian President, the word “Western Balkans” should be replaced with the euphemism of “South East Europe”. The whole purpose here is to kill the Balkan identity and make their new identity relative to Brussels and Germany (the Balkans are southeast of both). Croatia can be “Southeastern Europe” if it wants, but Republika Srpska, Serbia, Macedonia, and even Montenegro can and always will be Balkan if their people choose to identify as such. Using Grabar-Kitarovic’s ‘logic’, does that make the Croatian-Muslim part of Bosnia “Southeastern Croatia”? And one more thing about this identity revisionism is that it’s very disturbing to me that the joint declaration of the meeting didn’t once include the word “Balkans” but instead used the suggested euphemism of “South East Europe”. I don’t think the Serbian and Macedonian leaders realized this (and I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt in any case), but they should hopefully be made aware in hindsight that they had unwittingly fallen into the Croatian President’s identity-euphemism trap, and that their Balkan citizens might not be pleased with being called “South East Europeans”.
Anyhow, to return to the idea of Croatia being the central point of the US’ Balkan policy, that’s definitely true, but Albania is still of equal importance. It’s no coincidence that both states joined NATO together in 2009, since the intent was always to have both of them coordinate via American strategic supervision in enacting a two-prong asymmetrical offensive against the non-occupied Central Balkan states. Concerning Croatia’s LNG dreams, such a project is prohibitively expensive, but then again, Croatian nationalism has historically shown itself to be unrestrained to any costs whatsoever in its pursuit of regional dominance, so it’ll likely pay the exorbitant and unnecessary amount to do this simply out of spite for Serbia and to gain ‘regional prestige’, no matter how much this further indebts the state to its Western occupiers.
What’s being left out of the conversation, however, is the potential for Croatia and Hungary to team up and restore their imperial-era influence over the Balkans. I spoke about this before when I described the Intermarum bloc of “St. Steven’s Space” for Oriental Review. To put it into a current context, Viktor Orban is a wily fox. He displays the regional zeitgeist when it comes to social issues and this has earned him much respect, but he serves Western institutional interests by encouraging Macedonia to move into NATO. The reason for this socio-political disconnect is that Orban is scared of a Color Revolution being launched against him, such as the scare he received when thousands marched against him last year (organized by NGOs) to protest a controversial internet tax, and McCain’s smearing of him as a “neo-fascist dictator” sent the signal that he’d remain on Washington’s regime change ‘hit list’ if he didn’t begin supporting their strategic goals in the region. Part of his social commentary against multiculturalism and the like is probably sincere, but one must always keep in mind that he’s doing it so loudly with the intent of gaining regional respect and trust in order to continue pushing NATO membership on the Balkans and please the US enough that it will delay or outright abandon its Color Revolution scheme against him.
Eventually, with time, Hungary-Croatia may try to destabilize Vojvodina under the pretext of protecting ethnic Hungarians there but in reality in order to fulfill the US’ goals of sabotaging the Balkan Silk Road project to connect the region via a north-south Chinese-financed high-speed rail network. It’s ironic that Hungary is a part of this project too, actually it’s one of the main nodes, but the US acutely understands this and would thus like to take measures in co-opting it or some of its internal actors in order to stop the multipolar megaproject. It may not be that the current government goes as far as kowtowing to Washington in doing so (after all, it agreed to the project in the first place and stands to gain handsomely from its completion), but ultra-nationalist forces inside the country such as Jobbik might ‘independently’ take steps to stir up tension with Serbia.
For example, take the opening of the new Jobbik office in the northern Vojvodina city of Senta. By itself, this might not be seen by some people as a problem, but if looked at through the prism of a rising nationalist opposition party creating transnational branches as a pretext for revising the Treaty of Trianon (the post-WWI agreement that divided Imperial Hungary), then it becomes a lot more disturbing. Factor in that rising right-wing sentiment has been a natural consequence of the “refugee” crisis, and Orban might one day feel inclined to behave more nationalistically in pandering to this growing voter bloc in order to preempt the rise of Gabor Vona. Therefore, in the future, both countries, Hungary and Serbia, might find themselves in a very tough strategic position. Neither would want any tensions because there’s so much geopolitical and geo-economic benefit to be had in peaceful cooperation along the Balkan Silk Road, but far-right Hungarian extreme nationalists could try to provoke disturbances between them in order to disrupt this project and cause a deterioration of bilateral relations that would play to the US’ grand strategic benefit against China.
5. You mentioned in your analysis that you divide the Balkans into two spheres in a geostrategic sense: the Western Balkans, the occupied one, which contains Croatia, the Muslim-Croat entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the occupied province of Kosovo, and the Central Balkans which, according to your opinion, consists of Serbia, Republic of Srpska, Macedonia and Montenegro. However, many people in Serbia wouldn’t agree with you: Montenegro is en route to NATO and Serbia is under strong Western influence for 15 years. What facts do you base this typology of the Balkans on?
This designation is based on concrete geopolitical factors – as you rightly described, the Western Balkans are under direct NATO and/or EU occupation while the Central Balkans have yet to formally fall under their suzerainty. It was equally correct for you to list the pro-Western intentions of some of the Central Balkans’ leaders. The difference, however, is that the Western Balkans rushed to the West with their hands out, doing so in order to specifically spite Serbia, while the Serbs and other Central Balkan people have been much more hesitant in joining themselves to a civilizational sphere that they don’t fully or organically feel a part of.
Allow me to explain. Serbs are a very proud people, and there is genuine grassroots suspicion of the EU nowadays, although some of the elites are in support of Brussels (both the EU and NATO) and are working very hard to mislead the people. Montenegro is in a similar situation – they are so much against NATO that they’re actively protesting against the government as a strong sign of dissent against its unilateral policy of joining the bloc. This proves that the decision isn’t popular with the people but is being imposed on them by their elites. Taken side-by-side, the Serbian and Montenegrin people have a lot in common in this regard, made even more pronounced by their close and interrelated history.
However, there are quite a few self-hating Serbs, just like there are self-hating Russians, who support Western hegemony over their country, ‘justifying’ it by saying that the carrot of economic benefits (disproportionately received by the elite) override any patriotic resistance to this policy. Most visibly, this sentiment is seen in national elites, but these individuals have perversely disproportionate influence and power in the state and are thus misperceived as representing more people than they actually do.
In a way, the pro-Western elite in the Central Balkans are structurally similar to the homosexual lobby in the US. American homosexuals are represented in almost every TV show, movie, and mass media outlet to one extent or another, and they figure prominent in popular culture, just like their pro-Western counterparts in the Central Balkans, and this creates the impression that they are ubiquitous and a sizeable social movement. Well, that’s not true at all and it’s a purposeful deception, albeit one that’s worked quite successful in tricking most people. A May 2015 poll by Gallup revealed that the average American thought that 23% of their country was gay, despite a 2014 study carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (a US government entity) that found that the real number was less than 3%. A similarly overwhelming (but perhaps not quite as acute) disconnect between perception and reality is likely also in play between the pro-Western Balkan supporters and the rest of the general population, especially since the former are overrepresented in the same social mediums that have over-propagated the homosexual lobby in the US.
In talking about Repulika Srpska, the situation is different. President Dodik is a very patriotic Serb and he’s not afraid to say what most Serbs think and want. This is because he’s not a typical Eurocrat-technocrat politician, and this accordingly makes him a strong spokesman for Central Balkan interests. In Macedonia, the situation is a bit more complicated. The government’s ‘official’ line is that it’s pursuing Euro-Atlantic integration, but this process has fortuitously been stonewalled by Greece over Athens’ refusal to recognize the country by its constitutional and natural name. With time, the pro-Western enthusiasm that some of the people may have had was tempered, and the country is now showing economic growth unseen anywhere in the EU at the moment, confirming that it doesn’t need the EU to succeed. More recently, the people saw how the West turned on them during the May 2015 Color Revolution attempt and lambasted the country for its handling of the “refugee” crisis.
They know that the Western elite are really not their friends, and the previous ‘carrot’ that was dangled out in trying to trick them to join, economic benefits, no longer holds any appeal since the country is succeeding on its own without Brussel’s wealth-redistribution (which in any case would likely be transferred to pay for Greece and its early pensioners). After the early elections in April, I expect Prime Minister Gruevski to be much more independent and pragmatic in intensifying relations with the multipolar world, and it’s partly for this reason why the West is so intent on overthrowing him. He’s a ‘Reverse Orban’, in that while Orban says what the multipolar world wants to hear but acts in accordance to unipolar interests (pushing NATO membership on Macedonia, for example), Gruevski says what the unipolar world wants to hear but acts in accordance with multipolar interests (Balkan Stream and the Balkan Silk Road).
Considering all of what I’ve mentioned, and as is visibly seen by the fact that none of the Central Balkan states are in the EU or NATO, it’s definitely justified to group this strategic collection of countries together under a unified label that differentiates them from their Western-serving counterparts elsewhere in the peninsula and highlights the fact that they are still independent (both formally and in terms of the will of the majority of their respective populations).
6. In what perspective do you see the relations of Serbia and Russia today? Do you share my opinion that the strength of Russia is the only hope for Serbia for not being geopolitically destroyed by NATO countries and wiped out from the list of independent states?
Yes, but it’s not only an opinion, but a geopolitical fact. When Russia is weak, so too is Serbia, but when one is strong, the other is as well. This strategic symbiosis is more at play nowadays than ever, and a strong and stable Russia preserves the independence of Serbia by offering it a balance to the West. Of course, this is entirely conditional on whether or not the Serbian governing elite want to utilize this option, but they’d do well in contemplating its advantages. Both countries share a multitude of civilizational (ethnic, religious, historical, cultural/traditional, linguistic, etc.) similarities, so their cooperation is actually quite natural, and it would be unnatural for them to be anything other than very close partners.
Russia and Serbia also have more hard and concrete interests in the other that transcend the social-humanitarian sphere. Moscow sees Belgrade as a ‘behind-the-lines’ ally that can give it a strategic depth in the central part of the Balkan peninsula (the backdoor to Europe), while Belgrade sees Moscow as a balancing partner in providing it with full-spectrum support to preempt total Western domination. Without Russia, Serbia would be further dismembered and formally occupied (the fulfilment of the longstanding Austrian-Hungarian plan from before World War I), while Russia loses out on an historical friend and geopolitical foothold in the Balkans if it doesn’t have Serbia by its side.
Increasingly, however, China is also becoming a very strategic partner of Serbia as well, and this complements the contours of the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and bolsters the prospects for multipolarity in the Balkans. It also gives Serbia countless economic opportunities that could be realized upon the construction of the Balkan Silk Road high-speed rail system between Budapest and Athens via Belgrade and Skopje.
7. We see that the American arming of Croatia has begun, even with ballistic missiles, and that fact creates a feeling of vulnerability in Serbia. However, it seems that Serbia is, under Western pressure, wavering whether to take Russian anti-aircraft systems. As a scenario, is it realistic to see a war erupt between these Balkans countries and how far could that go?
A conventional war seems to be unlikely at this point, but this is definitely the beginning of a new Cold War between the Balkan rivals, and on a grander scale, between the unipolar and multipolar blocs. If Serbia wavers on purchasing the Russian armaments, this will simply put Croatia in a military-strategic position to intimidate it on behalf of the US and force it into a situation of blackmail to do everything that is dictated to it. The Russian defensive systems will help balance Croatia (acting on behalf of the US) and allow Serbia to preserve peace, self-respect, and independence.
The only realistic scenario at the moment for a conventional war is in Bosnia, and disturbingly, the risks are very real that something could happen there soon. Sarajevo, pressed on by the US, seems hellishly obsessed with forcibly revising the Dayton Agreement, using the visibly innocuous ‘Court and Prosecutor’s Office’ as a pretext for eventually rolling back Republika Srpska’s entire autonomy. Banja Luka’s planned referendum is being repainted by the West as an aggressive and unilateral act, purposefully forgetting that the only aggression and unilateral action is on the part of Sarajevo, not Republika Srpska.
If a conflict erupts either on these grounds or provoked due to some strategically directed terrorist attack(s) (which is entirely possible), then it’s presumable that Croatia could militantly intervene in some form or another to support the Croat-Muslim entity. This would naturally prompt Serbia to do something similar as regards Republika Srpska, and while both sides may not come to direct blows, they’d be fighting a hot proxy war on Bosnian territory. Given this scenario, Croatia would want to be able to have the option to inflict destruction on Serbia proper in order to prevent it from intervening in support of Republika Srpska, which is why it wants the American missiles in the first place. Understanding this, it becomes a matter of the highest national security importance for Serbia to purchase the Russian anti-missile defensive systems in order to partially nullify Croatia’s power projection over Serbian territory. By equalizing the odds, it makes it less likely that Croatia would even think about directly attacking Serbia, no matter how bad its proxy may be getting beaten back in Bosnia if a new war occurs.
8. As the disagreements between East and West are getting bigger, it looks like the Belgrade balancing between two sides is coming to the end. Serbia has serious economic ties with EU and relies heavily on exports into the countries of EU. If Serbia would join Russia and its allies, would the countries of the “free” world be able to compensate the potential economic losses of Serbia, and if they would then how would that be possible, since Serbia is becoming an isolated island, being circled by NATO states?
It’s very difficult for any country to abruptly reverse its given economic trajectory, and Serbia in this scenario would be no different. The country finds itself in the present situation of Western-dominated trade partially due to the voluntary actions of its elite and also due to a degree of forced intimidation after the 2000 Color Revolution (both of which go hand in hand, actually). Anyhow, it’s important for any country, Serbia included, to trade with its neighbors, as doing otherwise is unnatural and only the result of political conditions. What’s needed, however, are equitable relations and terms between both partners, and the EU does not provide this to its members. Croatia is the most recent example of this, but Romania and Bulgaria also attest to the EU’s desire to subjugate the Balkans using its economic-institutional means.
If Serbia can hold out just a little bit longer, then the Balkan Silk Road will connect it to the global economy and no longer make it dependent on regional Balkan or continental EU trade. China will give Serbia the ability to trade with the rest of the globe, thus opening up near-limitless potential, provided that it’s properly harnessed and the benefits are equitably distributed to society. Serbia mustn’t give up, because doing so would then allow the EU to control its external trade and prevent it from ever undertaking any independent economic deals outside of the scope that’s necessary for Serbia’s future development. If TTIP is passed, then this would give the US the ultimate control in deciding the EU’s trade policy, and consequently, would place Serbia’s economy under Washington’s direct control.
In any case, the EU is unlikely to economically blockade the Serbian economy, and this is due to very self-serving economic measures. Germany basically wants to create connective infrastructure through the country in order to link its economy directly with its Turkish counterpart, and the most efficient way in doing this is via Serbian territory. Of course, in pursuit of this objective, they may play some short-term economic games in order to bring this about (especially if Serbia proudly refuses such a proposal if the terms are not to its liking), so a semi-blockade can’t be precluded, of course. Also, NATO encirclement is certainly problematic and could be used to intensify any economic war against Serbia. But, it must be reminded, the Balkan Silk Road would greatly relieve the external Western pressures on the Serbian economy by freeing it up from its present dependencies and allowing it to have the freedom of trade that it hasn’t experienced since the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
9. In spite of the Serbian government fulfilling the Western wish list, it refused to deter its relations with Russia, and the Western efforts of destabilizing the country are more than obvious. In what way could one country, pinned down by Western agents in the media and state institutions, resist unwanted outcomes and Colored revolutions? What would be your advice to the Serbian leadership?
The best way for a country to be protected from outside asymmetrical threats such as Color Revolutions is for the patriotic citizenry to mobile in defeating them. A reawakening of national consciousness after the 2000s’ EU-induced slumber and forcibly imposed “self-guilt” from the NATO War on Yugoslavia is long overdue, and it seems as though Serbs are finally recognizing the necessity of a patriotic defense in safeguarding their state. There are direct Western agents and agents of Western influence (whether wittingly or unwittingly, paid or unpaid, etc.) embedded all throughout the Balkan countries due to the meanderings of NGOs and the Western elite-grooming (and -buying) process, but these elite depend on public apathy and/or unawareness in order to continue a genuinely unpopular, radical, and pro-Western course. Peaceful but visible and popularized demonstrations and actions in support of sovereign Serbian statehood (not a Western-controlled vassal state) could be an effect means of displaying dissatisfaction with certain pro-Western elites and policies.
As for Color Revolutions, they strive on an uneducated and manipulated population, so a multitude of independent information outlets is necessary in order to counter them. This is difficult to do in Serbia because so much of the media is under the direct or indirect control of pro-Western individuals (or outright owned and/or managed by Western-based interests), so it means that patriotic individuals need to capitalize off of the resources they already do have in order to maximize them to their fullest potential and disseminate them as widely as possible. I need to underscore the main rule of democratic security (also known as counter-Color Revolution tactics), and it’s that Color Revolutions are defeated by patriots, with the May 2015 events in Macedonia being the clearest confirmation of this theory. Therefore, Serbian patriots need to increase the awareness of the population about how Color Revolutions are really externally provoked and directed regime change operations predicated on placing their targeted states into indefinite vassal status. The people must be made to understand the power of active and peaceful patriotic resistance, and Macedonia is the perfect example for how this can be done.
Finally, it’s very important that Serbs organize their democratic security techniques as soon as possible, since there is no doubt that their country will be targeted in the near future because of its ties to Russia and the central location that it provides along the Balkan Silk Road (with the Budapest-Belgrade portion to be completed by 2017). There will absolutely be some form of destabilization in the future, probably with the active support of a “refugee” component (either willingly or manipulated into doing so), and Serbs need to be ready for all possible scenarios. The key is in remembering that patriotic resistance needs to be peaceful and mustn’t be drawn into any staged provocations to discredit it or unintentionally exacerbate the domestic turmoil that the state is going through at that moment. Level-headed decisions and a clear, properly articulated vision are needed in order to give the patriotic movement mass appeal and increase the odds of its success, with organizers drawing on the recent experiences in Macedonia and Montenegro in order to perfect the model that would work best for Serbia’s particular scenario.
I’d like to thank everybody for their time and patience in reading my interview, and I’m especially thankful to Novi Standard for this amazing opportunity to directly write for the audience. I hope that you all find my answers to be thought-provoking and constructive, and that my words can ultimately be of use in helping Serbia in one way or another. Thank you all once more, and God bless!