Poland: when your biggest neighbour is your biggest nightmare

After the Crimean Status Referendum in 2014, Russia de facto annexed the former ukrainian region of Crimea. While the vast majority of countries declared the referendum invalid and the annexation illegitimate, the EU and the United States also targeted Russia with economic sanctions in order to push toward the withdrawal of Russia from the peninsula. Economic sanctions did not work and during this year, scholars, commentators and politicians from everywhere portrayed the crimean crisis as the first stage of a Russian project for the domination of eastern Europe.

Nonetheless, with the outbreak of the Syrian Crisis, the establishment of the IS and the new waves of violence in Israel, the Middle-East grabbed the spotlight. This is the reason why several important events that happened in the last months in Eastern Europe have been not fully conceptualized by journalists and commentators. My intention today is to summarize how Poland reacted to Russia’s aggressive behaviour from the economic, military and political perspective.
1-“Thirteen days before Poland’s general election, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz opened the nation’s first terminal to import liquefied natural gas and promised “full independence” from Russian gas supplies from next year” (BloombergBusiness, 12th Oct.).

2-“A former Polish military base in the town of Ciechanow may now be used to house American troops, Polish national daily Rzeczpospolita reports. The property share is aimed at strengthening military cooperation, the newspaper said, citing Polish officials.” (RT, 7th Aug.)

3-“Poland’s conservative [anti-EU] opposition won the parliamentary election with more than a third of the vote, according to provisional official results. The Law and Justice party made strong gains in all major cities and won all but two regions, securing 37.6% of the vote, with the ruling Civic Platform second on 24.1%.” (The guardian, 27th Ocotber).

The news reported demonstrate something. Poland is scared of Russia and not happy about the the EU. It seems fair to say that the Crimean Crisis, the evident ineffectiveness of the sanctions, added to the migration policies imposed over Poland by the EU, have lead to a mixture of anti-EU and anti-Russian feelings.slovenia-map-2-current

1- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-12/poland-opens-lng-terminal-pledges-to-end-russian-gas-dependence

2-https://www.rt.com/news/311881-us-military-base-poland/

3-http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/26/law-justice-party-small-majority-polish-eleciton

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We should learn what to learn from history

Most of you probably know why, in the last days, PM Netanyahu was strongly criticized. For those of you who don’t know what happened: at the 37th Zionist World Congress, Netanyahu claimed that the Holocaust perpetuated by Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler, was actually inspired by Haj Amin Al-Husseini.

Al-Husseini was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem from 1921 to 1937. He was well known for his antisemitic ideals and he’s currently considered a father of islamic fundamentalism. Not a nice guy, for sure. This fact given, some of you might be wondering why Netanyahu’s statement was widely discussed by media. Well, a very problematic aspect of Netanyahu’s statement is that historians don’t agree with him. Many scholars have indeed discussed the idealistic and historical connections between the Mufti and the Fuhrer. Yet, there are not evidence supporting the idea that Hitler was convinced by Al-Husseini to adopt the “final solution”.

Apart from that, Netanyahu’s speech deserves to be criticized for a more practical reason. In 2014, the 75% of the popolation of Israel was jewish and the 20% was arab. One every five citizens of Israel is Arab. In the last months, Israel has been characterized by the outbreak of a new wave of violence generated by religious and ethnic unresolved conflicts. Claiming that a palestinian inspired the murdering of 6.000.000 jews, could exacerbate the situation in a very delicate moment of the country.

If Netanyahu wishes to be considered the leader of multi-national state, rather than the leader of a religious group, he should apologize. We, people of the world, are sick and tired of unrealistic interpretations of history that fuel contemporary conflicts.

When a civil war becomes an instrument of propaganda

During the cold war, Space exploration mirrored the competition between Russia and the US. It was Russia Vs. US; Soviet Space Program Vs. NASA; Vostok Vs. Apollo and Jurij Gagarin Vs. Neil Armstrong. Each super-power wished to demonstrate its technological superiority and implicitly, lay the fundations of its ideological dominance. Propaganda.

Nowadays, Syria is the object of a new competition between Russia and the US. Both the countries claim to have rightful purposes and both the country justify their interventions with ethical arguments. Certainly, both the superpowers have their reasons to interfer and for the moment i will not tell you whose interference i consider more legitimate.The issue here is that, while the mankind benefitted technologically from space exploration, the conflict in Syria has terrible pragmatic consequences. The sad truth is that Russian military support to Bashar al-Assad and American strategic support to the rebels, are worsening the situation for a civilian population already exhausted. How can we think that a possible resolution for the civil conflict is making the parts involved more able to kill each other? Maybe, the instability of the country could only be challenged from the outside, but if the price for that has to be paid with human lives, no one in Syria will benefit from what is going on now. The biggest problem is that both the governments are using evidence from the conflict in Syria to influence their images outside their countries. Dropping bombs or tons of weapons, seem to be new instruments of propaganda.

Who will get to the moon first?

 

-What the Us did: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-airdrops-50-tonnes-of-weapons-to-new-syrian-rebel-coalition-a6692126.html

– What Russia did: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/evidence-mounts-russian-cluster-bomb-syria-151012081654030.html

Welcome!

Hi, i’m Emanuele and this is my blog. I’m an undergrad. student of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton and i have a true interest in issues of geopolitics and globalization. In the next future i will comment on the most important news regarding international politics, but i’ll also tell you about my dissertation and my academic progresses.

See you soon!