Of course we give our take on the events of Brexit. Now that the decision for the UK to leave the EU is ‘apparently’ taken, a note of caution reflects the numerous attempts in such a close race (48% to 52%) to walk the decision back, which we describe below. At its most dramatic, there are calls for London’s newly elected mayor to seek a referendum to win ‘independence for London’ which city overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU. That isn’t going to happen. The days of city states are long gone, other than such as Singapore. Yet the prospects for the historic United Kingdom are fraught, with pro-remain Scotland refusing to accept being a part of the UK’s anticipated withdrawal from the EU and Northern Ireland being wooed by the EU member, The Irish Republic.
There is some ‘meat on the bone’ with various approaches towards reversing the fateful decision, described here in ‘Brexit the Outcome,’ which aims to give the current position in a wide-ranging, rapidly moving scenario. The nation’s two largest political parties are currently in something of a shambles with new leadership issues in both, dominating are news of the political scene.
We do allow ourselves some space for reflection. It is apparent that the Brexiters had no plan beyond June 23d the referendum day. We ask what is it exactly, that the British now want for themselves, after 43 successful and rather prosperous years in the EU?
But we also return to the wider geopolitical scene with an article by Sara Bielecki, examining the ‘the OTHER EU’, that is the Moscow-dominated EEU, the EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION. Little is heard of this project, other than in the context of Ukraine, reflecting that it is hardly a runaway success, but we take a closer look and discuss what it’s done or failed to do so far.
Also something about its plans for expansion!
Finally, a longer than usual look at the current IRAQ-SYRIA situation, which stories clearly are interlocked, but seldom treated as such by the world media. It’s time for that to change, we maintain. This fast moving story ignores historic frontiers, as ISIS has clearly demonstrated.
Clive Lindley – Publisher/Editor
“Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role”
US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, speaking at West Point on 1stJanuary 1963.
Back in 1973 after various rebuffs, including being earlier vetoed twice, a UK keen to join ‘Europe’ was admitted to membership of the European Community, currently The European Union, it’s membership confirmed by UK citizens in a 1975 referendum.
US Secretary of State Acheson’s prescient comment, followed an abortive last act of empire in 1956 when together with France and Israel, the UK military invaded the Suez canal zone. The United States had not been notified until the invasion was in progress and collectively was not amused. Indeed, the then President, General Dwight Eisenhower was said to be incensed and certainly made it clear that the US (a former colony itself), had not fought the World War to enable the shattered empires of it’s European allies to be rebuilt. This episode definitively closed down Britain’s long imperial era, which took off three centuries ago, after the Act of Union of England with Scotland of 1707, that created the United Kingdom. [continues...]
In 2010, the Kremlin initiated and established the project for a Customs Union and a Common Economic Space between itself, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. This quickly developed into a broader, more ambitious project for a Eurasian Union, a free trade zone that would, hopefully, extend to Russia’s former satellites, intending to allow the Eastern sphere to act as a counterweight to the EU, encompassing a $2.7 trillion economy and a population of 170 million people. When the plans were proposed, they immediately conjured up images of the Cold War and Western observers decried the plans as Soviet revanchism.
However, dreams of a Soviet Union redux began to unhinge, when Ukraine, presumed by Putin to be an obvious signatory to the union, in fact veered towards the Eastern Partnership led by the EU, despite considerable pressure from Moscow to embrace the union of its former Soviet comrades. Indeed, it was these plans for an EEU Association Agreement in 2012, that precipitated the unravelling of the Russia – backed Yanukovych regime and the Euro-Maiden protests, when it became evident that Yanukovych, pliant to Western offers of economy sustenance, and domestic pressure to do so, was also attempting to maintain relations with the Kremlin. [continues...]
Two different but equally absurd wars resulting from the original sin: the 2003 US led war on Iraq.
The siege around Islamic State (or ISIS for brevity) in Fallujah has drawn media attention back to Iraq. This after the world had seemingly forgotten that the ISIS mess originated in Iraq in the first place, thanks in no small part to the way Washington handled its war from 2003 onwards. The Iraqi Armed Forces, have apparently woken up from the corrupted slumber into which they fell, as US troops were withdrawing in the first years of the Obama administration. They have now led a major offensive throughout the province of Anbar in June. They have fallen short of entering ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq because of the Caliphate’s use of ‘human shields’. [continues...]