Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

The ‘War Party’ Wins the Midterm Elections, Accelerating the Transition to a Multipolar World Order

The outcome of the American midterm elections gives us an even more divided country, confirming that the United States is in the midst of a deep crisis within its establishment.

Published

on

3,159 Views

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via Strategic Culture:


The midterm elections represented a substantial draw for Democrats and Republicans, a defeat for the Trump administration and a clear victory for the “war party” in Washington. The House of Representatives ended up in the hands of the Democrats, who managed to overturn the results of 2016 by winning 26 seats and bringing their majority to 219, with the Republicans with 193 seats. The Republicans, despite the feared “blue wave”, have increased their representation in the Senate, with 51 senators against the 45 of the Democrats. In terms of governors, Republicans remain ahead, with 25 red states against 21 blue. After two years of fake investigations on Russiagate, continuous attacks by the US media (except for the few pro-Trump channels like Fox News), the blue Democratic wave seemed inevitable. Instead, we witnessed a minor repetition of the 2016 elections, with Trump managing to perform above expectations.

The House of Representatives performs functions mainly related to domestic politics, while the Senate is responsible for confirming important appointments such as those to the Supreme Court. The Democrats holding the majority in the House makes Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign an uphill battle. Trump will need to be able to present to his constituents from 2019 with a series of 2016 promises fulfilled. Getting one’s legislative agenda passed with the House in the hands of one’s opponents is difficult at the best of times. For Trump the task becomes almost impossible.

For this reason, we are faced with a scenario that delivers the country to the war party, that faction composed of Republicans and Democrats who respond to the interests of specific conglomerates of power and not to the citizens who elected them. The real winners of the midterms appear to be the intelligence agencies, Wall Street and the banks, the ratings agencies, the Fed, the mainstream media, think-tanks, policy-makers, and the military-industrial complex. Donald Trump has come to discover, in his first two years as president, how little autonomy he has in foreign policy, thanks to the warmongering of the US establishment.

The realist view of foreign policy on which Trump based his election campaign was swept away just a few days after his victory. Hoping to bribe the hawks in Washington, Trump surrounded himself with neoconservatives, who only ended up trying to box him into something that resembles the Washington Consensus, where every attempt at dialogue with opponents is seen as a surrender or sign of weakness.

Washington and its elites live trapped in a unipolar bubble, still convinced that the United States is the only world power left on the geopolitical chessboard. Even the Pentagon’s military planners have confirmed in two official documents (the Nuclear Posture Review and National Defence Review) how international relations have shifted into a multipolar reality where the United States will have to deal with peer competitors like Russia and China.

Washington’s neoliberal inner circle views international relations in a very unrealistic and ideologically spoiled manner. This was masterfully explained by Mearsheimer in his latest book, suitably entitled The Great Delusion, where he compares the three most important “isms” of nationalism, liberalism and realism. Those who make up the overwhelming majority of the foreign-policy establishment are convinced that the United States is a benign hegemon that has a moral duty to remake the world in its own image and likeness.

In the process, bombing a country, destroying its social fabric and killing hundreds of thousands of innocents is justified by this supposedly noble end. This is end-justifies-means mentality is behind the overwhelming majority of Washington’s foreign-policy actions. Of course only people who are victims of their own propaganda can really believe that they are acting in the greater good by bringing about so much chaos and destruction. On the contrary, the rest of the world has for decades observed with disgust and dismay the imperialism of a warmongering country committed to consuming the resources of others, vainly hoping, especially since 1990s, that the unipolar moment would be cut short through the counterbalancing effect of other powers. Ultimately, it is not only Russia and China that awaits a multipolar world, but all those countries that do not intend to submit to American diktats over how they conduct their own foreign or domestic policies.

The outcome of the midterm elections could speed up this process. With the House of Representatives in the hands of the Democrats, Trump will have to abandon his realist foreign policy even more so than he has done over the last two years. The accumulation of foreign-policy concessions is starting to become disturbing. Just think of the enmity towards Iran, fomented by Israel and Saudi Arabia, the main partners of the Trump administration. The same goes for China, with the antagonism fomented by Trump himself to justify the impoverishment of the US middle class who voted in force for him to change this situation. And of course there remains the endemic hatred of Russia, a sworn enemy of the Washington establishment.

Trump still seems to possess a bit of Mearsheimerian realism in foreign policy. But following his defeat in the House, if he wants to get anything passed, he will need to grant much more of a free hand in foreign policy to the neoliberals, who are chomping at the bit to revive the Bush and Obama foreign policy. Without any concessions from the House, all of Trump’s domestic promises to his constituents will be hobbled.

The permanent political civil war in the United States seems destined to intensify over the next two years, and the prospect of an even less independent administration in foreign policy will impel the rest of the world to rely less and less on Washington and begin to look elsewhere. Even European countries like France, Germany and Italy seem to have understood that an exclusive alliance with Washington is not beneficial and is in fact destined to fail as a result of of the chaos in US politics. In this context, the events of the past few days are particularly important and certainly worthy of elaboration in a future article. While many Eurasian countries like India, Japan, Turkey, Iran, Russia, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan try to overcome their differences by creating international cooperation frameworks, Washington pushes unnecessarily on the accelerator of disorder. A shining example of what Washington’s decline means can be clearly seen in Korea. Without the direct involvement of the United States, Seoul and Pyongyang seem to be heading towards peaceful reconciliation. Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un interact every day, and the progress made on the DMZ speaks for itself, such as with renewed railway connections. Such an example, reflecting the global model that tends towards resolving problems, represents the basis on which to build bilateral, direct and negotiated solutions between relevant parties.

Such examples are numerous and concern, for example, the disagreements between India and China, as well as the territorial disputes between Japan and China and Japan and Russia. The goal is always the same: to overcome obstacles that stand in the way of mutual gain. It is a way of approaching international relations that differs from the bipolar past, but above all from the unipolar one where the attention of all international actors has been focused on the interests of Washington above even one’s own.

The continuing division within the American political class will only accelerate the loss of America’s pre-eminence in the existing the world order. The United States finds itself in the middle of an evident decline, without even a united and compact political front as was the case during the days of Bush and Obama. But with Trump in office, the House in the hands of the Democrats, and the Senate in the hands of Republicans, we are facing a situation that is set to downsize Washington’s role in international affairs.

There is still an even crazier and more devastating scenario for America’s role in the world. Trump’s impeachment, which can be initiated by the House of Representatives, would significantly add to the chaos in the United States and risk bringing the country to the brink of socio-political collapse. While this scenario is very unlikely, it cannot be totally excluded, especially given the ideological folly of the Washington establishment.

A Pence presidency would best represent the interests of evangelical conservatives, who are closely linked to Israeli Zionism. For this reason, the impeachment of Trump could find allies in the Republican minority, not to mention the fact that such a move by the Democrats would open the way for the Republicans to win in 2020, stamping the Democrats as spoilers only able to oppose and unable to build anything. Such a possibility cannot be excluded, and with the victory of the war party in the midterms, a President Pence would represent the greatest effort of the American establishment to impose its will on the rest of the world on the basis of “American exceptionalism”.

Prolonging the unipolar dream seems to be the new goal of the war party, and the reconquest of the House is the first step in this endeavour. Trump can adapt or give battle, but observing how he immediately came to terms after his victory in 2016, it is no surprise that if he stays in charge and tries to win the 2020 election, he will cede foreign policy to the neocons, neoliberals, Zionists and Wahhabis.

Allies and enemies alike must prepare to withstand the shock waves emanating from the struggle between the elites in Washington, understanding that it is not possible to rely on Trump, let alone the war party, especially when the damage produced by both has negative effects on even allies. Europe, for example, suffers from the blowback of a Middle East and Africa sunk into chaos by the war party, and also suffers economically from the sanctions placed on Russia and Iran.

What is more, Trump’s economic warfare, using tariffs and sanctions, has only worsened the international financial economic arrangement, accelerating the complete de-dollarization of world economies.

The midterms were what Washington’s allies and enemies had been waiting for in order to understand the direction of US foreign policy in the next few years. The election results present allies and enemies with an even more divided and chaotic United States, suggesting that it is time for them to stop waiting for Washington. Given that Trump does not control his foreign policy, any attempt to engage in dialogue with him is pointless. The sooner allies and enemies realize this, and act accordingly, the better off they will be.

Washington and her elite seem too caught up in domestic dynamics to notice that their behaviour is only accelerating the transition to a multipolar world order

The next two years will settle the question over whether our present reality is already multipolar, or whether the unipolar order remains, with Washington the indispensable nation for friends and enemies alike.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
8 Comments

8
Leave a Reply

avatar
5 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
Pancho PericoManintheMoonShaun RameweGeorge HartwellRaymond Comeau Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“… he will need to grant much more of a free hand in foreign policy to the neoliberals, who are chomping at the bit to revive the Bush and Obama foreign policy”.

“Revive”?? As far as I can see, it has never died – or even weakened in the slightest.

What part of Bush’s and Obama’s foreign policies has Trump changed materially? Indeed, as far as “abroad” is concerned, Bush Jr might still be in the White House – or Clinton, or Bush Sr.

As Mr Putin remarked, presidents come and presidents go but US foreign policy remains exactly the same.

Raymond Comeau
Guest
Raymond Comeau

Tom, things stay the same, because USA Presidents are forced to march to the dictates of Deep State!

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

A march they force themselves into willingly!!

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Zio-liar false-flagging war-criminal Swamp-Chump is just another ZOG-sicko relay baton carrier.

George Hartwell
Guest

Deep state is going to get their ass kicked as Trump consolidates power in mid-terms. Those who did not support Trump in the Senate are gone. Those elected support him because he threw his heart into the senate races and many owe their seats to his unwavering support. So the opening assumption – The midterm elections represented a substantial draw for Democrats and Republicans, a defeat for the Trump administration and a clear victory for the “war party” in Washington – is bullshit wrong.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Trust nothing about what happens with the fraudulent 2-party system in US’A-hole’. It’s all a deceitful and depraved political-meddling war-criminal pro-terrorist resource-thieving media-lying ZOG ruse.

ManintheMoon
Guest
ManintheMoon

In a way, the outcome of the shenanigans in Washington really does not matter for the rest of the world. It’s not that the war party won the mid terms, it’s that it has never even been threatened. Trump may have wanted better relations with Russia – and been thwarted – but he’s been gung ho for war with Iran and conflict with China since the start. So far as the military industrial complex is concerned, it does not much matter against whom they fight so long as it’s someone. What is new, is that the rest of the world… Read more »

Pancho Perico
Guest
Pancho Perico

Very thoughtful article. Unfortunately, it goes very close to the true causes of the growing malaise affecting America today.

Latest

US Blunders Have Made Russia The Global Trade Pivot

Even if Europe is somehow taken out of the trade equation, greater synergy between the RIC (Russia, India and China) nations may be enough to pull their nations through anticipated global volatilities ahead

The Duran

Published

on

Authored by Mathew Maavak via ActivistPost.com:


The year 2019 had barely begun before news emerged that six Russian sailors were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Benin. It was perhaps a foretaste of risks to come. As nations reel from deteriorating economic conditions, instances of piracy and other forms of supply chain disruptions are bound to increase.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), 107 cases of piracy were noted during the first half of 2018 vis-à-vis 87 throughout 2017.  The 2018 tally included 32 cases in Southeast Asian waters and 48 along African shores – representing 75% of the total. To put this figure into perspective, Asian behemoths India and China – despite their vast shorelines – recorded only 2 cases of piracy each during the study period. Russia had none. In terms of hostages taken, the IMB tally read 102 in H1 2018 vs 63 in H1 2017.

Piracy adds to shipping and retail costs worldwide as security, insurance and salaries are hiked to match associated risks in maritime transport. Merchant vessels will also take longer and costlier routes to avoid piracy hotspots.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report in 2016 sums up the perils ahead:

As over 90% of global trade is carried out by sea, the economic effects of maritime crime can be crippling. Maritime crime includes not only criminal activity directed at vessels or maritime structures, but also the use of the high seas to perpetrate transnational organized crimes such as smuggling of persons or illicit substances.  These forms of maritime crime can have devastating human consequences.

Indeed, cases of human trafficking, organ harvesting, and the smuggling of illicit substances and counterfeit goods are proliferating worldwide in tandem with rising systemic debt and suspect international agendas.

Australia offers a case in point. While it fantasizes over a Quad of allies in the Indo-Pacific – to “save Asians from China” – criminal elements from Hong Kong, Malaysia to squeaky-clean Singapore have been routinely trafficking drugs, tobacco and people right into Sydney harbour for years,  swelling the local organised crime economy to as much as $47.4 billion (Australian dollars presumably) between 2016 and 2017.

With criminal elements expected to thrive during a severe recession, they will likely enjoy a degree of prosecutorial shielding from state actors and local politicians. But this is not a Southeast Asian problem alone; any superpower wishing to disrupt Asia-Europe trade arteries – the main engine of global growth – will have targets of opportunity across oceans and lands.  The US-led war against Syria had not only cratered one potential trans-Eurasia energy and trade node, it served as a boon for child traffickingorgan harvesting and slavery as well. Yet, it is President Bashar al-Assad who is repeatedly labelled a “butcher” by the Anglo-American media.

Ultimately, industries in Asia and Europe will seek safer transit routes for their products. The inference here is inevitable: the greatest logistical undertaking in history – China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – will be highly dependent on Russian security umbrella, particularly in Central Asia. Russia also offers an alternative transit option via the Northern Sea Route, thereby avoiding any potential pan-Turkic ructions in Central Asia in the future.

Russo- and Sinophobia explained?

In retrospect, Washington’s reckless policies post-Sept 11 2001 seem aimed at disrupting growing synergies between Asia and Europe. This hypothesis helps explain the relentless US-led agitprops against Russia, China and Iran.

When the gilet jaunes (yellow vest) protests rocked France weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before some pundits blamed it on Russia. US President Donald J. Trump cheered on; just as “billionaire activist” George Soros celebrated the refugee invasion of Europe and the Arab Spring earlier.  If the yellow vest contagion spreads to the Western half of Europe, its economies will flounder. Cui bono? A Russia that can reap benefits from the two-way BRI or Arctic trade routes or a moribund United States that can no longer rule roost in an increasingly multipolar world?

Trump’s diplomatic downgrade of the European Union and his opposition to the Nord Stream 2gas pipeline matches this trade-disruption hypothesis, as do pressures applied on India and China to drop energy and trade ties with Iran.  Washington’s trade war with Beijing and recent charges against Huawei – arguably Asia’s most valuable company – seem to fit this grand strategy.

If China concedes to importing more US products, Europe will bear the consequences. Asians love European products ranging from German cars to Italian shoes and Europe remains the favourite vacation destination for its growing middle class. Eastern European products and institutions are also beginning to gain traction in Asia. However, these emerging economies will suffer if their leaders cave in to Washington’s bogeyman fetish.

Even if Europe is somehow taken out of the trade equation, greater synergy between the RIC (Russia, India and China) nations may be enough – at least theoretically – to pull their nations through anticipated global volatilities ahead.

In the meantime, as the US-led world crumbles, it looks like Russia is patiently biding its time to become the security guarantor and kingmaker of Asia-Europe trade.  A possible state of affairs wrought more by American inanity rather than Russian ingenuity…

Dr Mathew Maavak is a regular commentator on risk-related geostrategic issues.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Historic Eastern Christianity: An Uncertain Future

The survival of historic Eastern Christianity, particularly in Syria, is critical for several reasons.

Strategic Culture Foundation

Published

on

Authored by Elias Samo via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The survival of historic Eastern Christianity has never been as urgent as it is today. Christianity saw its beginning in Greater Syria which was subdivided by France and Britain after WWI into modern day Syria, Lebanon, Palestian/Israel and Jordan. The land that housed, nurtured and spread the teachings of Jesus Christ for over two millenniums, now threatens children of that faith. The survival of historic Eastern Christianity, particularly in Syria, is critical for several reasons:

  1. Greater Syria is the homeland of Jesus and Christianity. Abraham was from modern day Iraq, Moses from Egypt, and Muhammad from Mecca; Jesus was from Syria.
  1. Paul converted to Christianity and saw the light while walking through ‘The Street Called Straight’ in Damascus.
  1. Jesus’ followers were called Christians for the first time in Antioch, formerly part of Syria.
  1. One of the earliest churches, perhaps the earliest, is in Syria.

The potential demise of historic Eastern Christianity is reflected in the key question Christians ask: should we stay or emigrate? The urgent question – in the face of the ongoing regional turmoil – precipitated with the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and escalated since the Arab uprisings in 2011. Historic Eastern Christians’ fears were further magnified when Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Archbishop Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church, both of metropolitan Aleppo, were kidnapped on April, 22, 2013; with no traces of their whereabouts, dead or alive, since. For many years, I was deputy, friend, and advisor to the Archbishop Ibrahim, which provided me an opportunity to meet many Christians. I have, over time, noticed the change in their sentiment, with more considering emigration after the uprising and the kidnapping of the two Archbishops. Historic Eastern Christians survived the Ottoman Genocide in 1915 and thereafter; they multiplied and thrived in the Fertile Crescent despite some atrocities until the start of the misnamed “Arab Spring” in early 2011. Prior to the “Arab Spring”, historic Eastern Christians were victims of violence on several occasions. In the mid-1930s, the historic Assyrian community in Iraq suffered violent onslaughts and were driven to Syria. In the 1970s and 1980s, during the Lebanese Civil War, Christians were victims of sectarian violence. During the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, Christians were victims of widespread sectarian violence which led to mass migration. The “Arab Spring” began with great hope for the right of the people to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. However, it was swiftly hijacked by Islamists and Salafists and turned into an “Islamic Spring, an Arab Fall and a Christian Winter”; bringing along with it a new massacre of Christians. Presently, Eastern Christianity is at the mercy of clear and identifiable domestic, regional, and international, historic and contemporary conflicts in the Fertile Crescent, namely:

  1. Jihad vs. Ijtihad: A long standing conflict amongst Muslims between the sword vs. the pen.
  2. Sunni vs. Shiite: A conflict which began following the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
  3. Arabism vs. Islamism: The former has territorial limitations, the later has no territorial limitations.
  4. Syria vs. Israel: It is an essential component of the Palestinian problem, not the presumed Arab- Israeli conflict.
  5. West vs. East: A throwback to the Cold War, or its revival.
  6. Historic Persian, Ottoman and Arab Empires animosities: Each seeking regional hegemony.

One is reminded of the proverbial saying, “When the elephants fight, the grass suffers.” Certainly, Eastern Christianity is suffering and threatened with extinction.

Syria was a model of religious tolerance, common living and peaceful interaction amongst its religious, sectarian, cultural and ethnic components. Seven years of turmoil, in which various international and regional powers manipulated segments of Syrian society by supplying them with an abundance of weapons, money and sectarian ideologies, has heightened Eastern Christians’ fears. During the seven-year turmoil in Syria, the entire society has suffered; Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Yazidis, Kurds, Christians and others. Christians, being a weak and peaceful component of the society, have suffered immensely. Ma’aloula; a religious treasure for Christians globally, and the only city in the world where Aramaic – the language of Jesus Christ – is spoken, was attacked and besieged by ISIS. Numerous historic Churches were damaged, and many destroyed. Christians in Raqqa were forced by ISIS into one of three options: 1. Pay a penalty in pure gold – known as a ‘Jizya’ to keep their life and practice their faith – albeit in secret only; 2. Convert into Islam; or 3. Face immediate death. To top their pain, the kidnap of the two prominent Archbishops meant no Eastern Christian believer was safe.

Amidst all the doom and gloom, however, there remains hope. The survival of Christianity depends on the actions and reactions of three parties:

Eastern Christians: During the last hundred years, 1915-2015, since the Ottoman Genocide, Eastern Christians have been victims of a history of massacres, which meant that every Eastern Christian was a martyr, a potential martyr or a witness of martyrdom; if you fool me once, shame on you, if you fool me twice, shame on me. The ongoing regional turmoil has heightened their sense of insecurity. The answer to an age-old question Eastern Christians had on their mind: To flee Westwards or remain in their land, in the face of death, is increasingly becoming the former.

Eastern Muslims: There is a difference in perceptions between Eastern Christians and mainstream Muslims regarding the massacres committed against Christians. When certain violent groups or individuals kill Christians, while shouting a traditional Islamic profession: “No God but one God and Muhammad is God’s messenger”, it is reasonable for Christians to assume the killers are Muslims. However, for mainstream Muslims, the killers do not represent Islam; they are extremists, violating basic Islamic norms such as Muhammad’s sayings, “Whoever hurts a Thummy – Christian or Jew – has hurt me”, “no compulsion in religion” and other Islamic norms regarding just treatment of people of the Book; Christians and Jews. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Muslim elites to impress upon their fellow Muslims that:

a. The three monotheistic religions believe in one God and all ‘faithfuls’ are equal in citizenship, rights and duties.

b. Christians participated in the rise of Arab Islamic civilization. They were pioneers in the modern Arab renaissance and they joined their Muslim brethren in resisting the Crusades, the Ottomans and Western colonialism.

c. Christians are natives of the land and they provide cultural, religious, educational, and economic, diversity.

d. Christians are a positive link between the Muslims and the Christian West, particularly in view of the rise of Islamophobia. Massacres of Christians and their migration provide a pretext for the further precipitation of Islamophobia.

e. Civilization is measured by the way it treats its minorities.

The Christian West: The Crusades, Western colonialism, creation and continued support of Israel, support of authoritarian Arab political systems, military interventions, regime change, and the destabilization of Arab states made Muslims view Eastern Christians ‘guilty by association’. The Christian West helped Jews come to Palestine to establish Israel. Shouldn’t the same Christian West also help Eastern Christians remain in their homeland, rather than facilitate their emigration? Western Christians, particularly Christian Zionists, believe that the existence of Israel is necessary for the return of Jesus to his homeland. However, it would be a great disappointment for Jesus to return to his homeland, Syria and not find any of his followers.

Prior to 2011, Eastern Christian religious leaders were encouraging Syrian Christians in the diaspora to return to Syria, their homeland, where life was safe and secure with great potential. Now, the same leaders are desperately trying to slow down Christian emigration. Eastern Christians’ loud cries for help to remain are blowing in the wind.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Protests erupt in Athens, as ‘North Macedonia’ vote fast approaches (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 62.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

NATO and the EU are full of joy with the Prespes agreement, which is sure to pass the Greek Parliament and fast rack the newly minted Republic of North Macedonia into NATO and the EU.

Meanwhile in Athens and Skopje, anger is reaching dangerous levels, as each side debates the pros and cons of the deal inked by Tsipras and Zaev.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at yesterday’s protests in Athens, Greece, where things got very ugly as radical left Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras used tear gas and a heavy police hand to put down protests, that reached upwards of 60,000 people in the Syntagma downtown square.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via Ekathimerini

As Greece gets ready for a political showdown this week over the Prespes agreement, we are witnessing a relentless, often cynical, maneuvering between parties, their leaders and even individual deputies.

What is at stake is not only the ratification of the deal between Athens and Skopje, but also the potential redrawing of the domestic political map.

Greek society and the country’s political world are deeply divided. The public is clearly against the deal, with up to 70% opposed to it.

The tens of thousands that demonstrated in Sunday’s rally in Athens, showed once more that sentiments run high.

The violence, which the Prime Minister blamed on extremists, while the opposition leader criticized the extended use of tear gas and called for an investigation to find out who was responsible, is indicative of the slippery slope the country is facing in the months leading to the national elections.

Despite the voices of reason calling for a minimum of cooperation and looking for common ground, Alexis Tsipras and Kyriakos Mitsotakis are in an all out war.

The leftist Prime Minister is attempting to use the Prespes agreement to create a broad “progressive” coalition that extends well beyond SYRIZA, while the conservative opposition leader, who is leading in the polls, is trying to keep his party united (on the name issue there are differing approaches) and win the next elections with an absolute majority.

With respect to the Prespes deal itself, the rare confluence of shrewd political considerations with deeply held feelings about one’s history, makes for an explosive mix and ensures a heated debate in parliament.

As for the raw numbers, despite the public opposition, the passage of the Prespes agreement in the 300 member Greek Parliament should be considered a done deal. In the most plausible senario 153 deputies will support the deal in the vote expected later in the week.

The governing SYRIZA has 145 deputies, and one should add to those the positive votes of Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura, centrist To Potami deputies Stavros Theodorakis, Spyros Lykoudis and Giorgos Mavrotas, former To Potami MP Spiros Danellis, and ANEL MP Thanasis Papachristopoulos.

This leads to a majority of 151. Last night one more positive vote was announced, that of Thanasis Theocharopoulos, leader of Democratic Left which untill now was part of the Movement for Change coalition, from which he was ejected as a result of his decision to support the deal.

Finally, Citizens Security Deputy Minister Katerina Papacosta, a former member of New Democracy, is expected to also vote for the agreement, but has not officially said so. Thus, for all practical purposes, the Prespes agreement is expected to pass, with 152 or 153 votes.

Former Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is not a member of parliament and who has worked tiressly on the issue, both as foreign minister and PM, has gone public in support of the deal.

Despite the discomfort this move created in the leadership of the Movement for Change, doing otherwise would have made him look inconsistent. As he is not voting, the damage is seen as limited, although the symbolism does not help the Movement for Change approach.

To the extent that Greece’s transatlantic partners and allies want to see the agreement implemented, they should feel relief. Of course, nothing is done until the “fat lady sings”, but one can clearly hear her whispering the notes in the corridors of the Greek Parliament.

Still, for the astute observer of Greek politics and the foreign officials and analysts who value the crucial role of Greece as an anchor of stability in the Balkans – being by far the strongest country in this region, both militarily and economically, despite the crisis of the last eight years – the deep divisions the issue has created in the society and the political world, are a cause for concern and could spell trouble in the future.

Dealing with such a volatile landscape calls for delicate moves by all.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending