By Theodore Shoebat
Austria recently conducted a major training exercise on how to keep migrants out, deploying 600 police officers and 400 soldiers for the exercise. As we read in one report from RT:
Hundreds of Austrian soldiers and police were involved in a border protection exercise that simulated containing migrants amid fears neighboring Germany might begin to turn away new arrivals trying to cross their frontier.
Austrian authorities deployed 600 police, 400 soldiers and two Black Hawk helicopters on Tuesday in an exercise which simulated arrival of hundreds of migrants on the country’s border with Slovenia, local media reported.
“A state that in the worst case cannot protect its borders loses its credibility,” Interior Minister Herbert Kickl of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) told reporters, as cited by Reuters. “I am determined that events like those of 2015 must not occur again. And that is exactly the message we want to send from here.”
Migrants seeking to cross the border were portrayed by 200 police cadets. The crowd, that acted peacefully was split by security forces and fed through a system of fences and police barriers. Previous excercises, although smaller in scale, had ‘migrants’ acting violently and arrests.
The exercise was previously announced by Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache – also a member of FPO – who told Germany’s Bild newspaper the drills will mark establishment of a new border police force called ‘Puma’.
Doing this exercise on the border between Austria and Slovenia, we want to arm ourselves for all developments and send out a clear signal that there will no longer be a loss of control like the one that happened in 2015,” he reiterated.
“The reasons for this are the debate about intra-European border closures, triggered by Germany, as well as current developments on the refugee routes in the Balkans,” Strache said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is currently locked in a struggle with her hardline coalition partners that threaten to start rejecting incoming migrants who already filed for asylum in other EU states.
While a summit between EU leaders on Sunday made little progress on tackling the issue, Austria fears if Germany unilaterally closes its southern border, other EU nations might follow suit.
The exercise took place at Spielfeld, a border crossing furnished with a large crowd management system. The facility, set up in 2016, is said to be able to handle up to 11,000 people per day.
Neighboring Slovenia however said the drill ramped up the risk of another refugee influx. “The exercise is not needed. I see it even as a little provocative,” Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar was quoted as saying by national news agency STA, according to Reuters.
Indeed, the exercise does appear provocative, and looks to be more like muscle flexing than anything else. What triggered Austria’s intensification of its border police? It was the 2015 migrant crises which, I believe, was engineered so as to provide what elites in the EU wanted, and that is terrorist attacks. Remember the 2009 presentation given by Bernard Connolly, who was a member of the EU Commission:
By allowing terrorism and a migrant crises, European officials have found the excuse they need to turn to militarism. The fixation on migrants in Austria is part of a strategy by the Germans and Austrians to cement their hegemony in the Balkans.
The Austrians are talking about expanding their border patrol into the Balkan states, while at the same time they want Albania — Turkey’s biggest ally in the Balkans — to become an EU member state, which will only give more leverage to the Turks. Moreover — and surprisingly this has not been a major headline — the Austrians, Germans and Italians are discussing the formation of a German-Austrian-Italian axis to better ‘security’ in Europe, with Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz saying: “I talked about creating a European axis of the willing, calling not only Vienna, Berlin and Rome, but also the Netherlands and Denmark as possible allies.”
If anything, this is a sign of a Europe getting closer to militarism.
AUSTRIA AND ITS MUSLIMS
The nationalists of both the United States and Europe are praising the Austrian government as it announced that it will be closing down seven mosques because they are explicitly Salafist, or fundamentalist Sunnis who openly push for jihad. The Austrian government also may deport up to sixty Turkish-funded imams. This is being praised as ‘the fight against the jihad’ when the reality behind the curtains is a labyrinth of motivations that stem from desires of empire and hegemony. While the blue-pilled that think this praise worthy, there is more to it than what appears on the surface.
The closing of the mosques was announced after an investigation on them was conducted. This took place after photos showing Muslim children in a mosque in Austria doing a war reenactment of a battle from World War One spread around the internet and took headlines in Austrian media.
Supposedly, what happened was that Sebastian Kurtz commenced an investigation on a number of Muslim organizations “suspected of violating” the Islam Law of 2015. The Islam Law prohibits Muslim organizations from receiving funds outside of Austria, and the seven mosques that were closed down were receiving money from the Europe Turk-Islam Union (AITB) which has close ties with Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). According to Sebastian Kurz, the Islam Law was established to create an Austrian form of Islam, or an Islam of “European character”.
While people are praising the Austrian government as some sort of bulwark against political Islam, what everybody ignored was the Turkish Muslim advisor of Kurz.
An Islam of a “European character” is what the Turkish Muslim advisor of Kurz, Ednan Aslan, also aims for in his talks. For example, Aslan has said: “We want to reshape the face of Islam. It is important that Islam is given a new face in order to be able to remain viable.” Ednan Aslan, like the Young Turks in the first half of the twentieth century, wants a Europeanized Islam, saying:
“Currently, Islam is unfortunately a religion of isolation. A religion of migration. A religion of Turkey, of Saudi Arabia. But no religion of Europe, which advocates pluralism or prepares children accordingly for a plural society.”
And its not like Erdogan himself has not said things like this regarding an Islamic reformation. In March of 2018, Erdogan said in front of hundreds of Muslim women that fundamentalist Islamic scholars and clerics “have no place in our times. They don’t realize how Islam needs to be updated and is updated accordingly. You can’t apply the practices applied 15 centuries ago today. Islam changes and adapts to the conditions of different ages. This is the beauty of Islam. … I know some hodjas [clerics] will criticize me now. May Allah be pleased with what we say”.
The future preponderating nature of Islam is not going to be entirely like what you see today with Wahhabism, but rather it will be something that does not have the familiarity that current day jihadism has; it will be an ideology of the world, holding various beliefs — both modern and ancient –, something more akin to Sufism than Wahhabism.
The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as a response to Austria’s closure of the mosques, said: “These measures taken by the Austrian chancellor are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent”. And just recently Erdogan said at a late night event to mark the Islamic observance for Laylat al-Qadr on June 10:
“I’m making a call to the Austrian prime minister: You are young yet and you need experience. Your inexperienced behaviours like these can cost you heavily … I am also making this call to the whole West, particularly to Germany: Straighten out your man. Otherwise the situation may get out of hand.”
While this drama between Austria and Turkey (which, if anything, has acted as great fuel for Erdogan’s presidential campaign) did indeed take place, there was also cooperation between the Austrian government and imams from ATIB, the Turkish Austrian organization with close ties to Turkey. ATIB spokesman Yasar Ersoy said that its imams were indeed getting funds from Diyanet, the Turkish state religious authority, but stated that it was trying to change that. “We are currently working on having imams be paid from funds within the country,” he told ORF radio.
The event in question, in which children in a mosque in Vienna-Brigittenau were holding up flags, was done as a reenactment of a battle of the Ottoman Empire that took place in World War One, a conflict in which Austria was an ally to the Turks. The imam who okayed the war reenactment has been suspended, and his suspension was announced by Ibrahim Olgun, the President of the Islamic Religious Community (IGGÖ).
According to Olgun, the suspension of the imam was at the request of ATIB, or the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria, the very group which the imams who are supposedly going to be deported worked for, and which is very close to the Turkish government. Ibrahim Olgun condemned the event in the mosque, saying: “This incident is a scandal and is not compatible with the line of denominations. … The reputation of our places of worship has been damaged.” Olgun went on to say that the organizers of the decried event must expect “serious consequences”. Olgun himself was also a member of ATIB.
Olgun said that he already had a meeting with the Cultural Office of the Federal Chancellery of Austria. The Office of Cultural Affairs confirmed the meeting with IGGÖ President Olgun. According to the federal ministry of Gernot Blümel (ÖVP), the APA was said to have presented the “seriousness of the situation”. The IGGÖ was urged to be informed quickly and completely about the events in the ATIB mosque.
“We assume cooperation,” the ministry said once again. “If there has been a misconduct, there must be consequences on the part of the IGGÖ and the affected religious communities.” According to Der Standard, Gernot Blumel “confirmed on Tuesday that the examination had taken place in consultation with the IGGÖ. The IGGÖ had made aware of formal defects, said Blümel on the sidelines of the ÖGB Federal Congress.”
One of the places that was also closed down was a religious Arab club which had six prayer rooms. And what is interesting is that the vice-president of the Islamic Religious Community (IGGÖ), Esad Memic, while he criticized the expulsion of imams trained in Turkey, however said that he had no problem with the closure of the “Arab religious community” and its six prayer rooms, as we learn in a report from Der Standard, the reason being that the club was not part of the religious community, it was not a real mosque and private mosques are to be closed. So, Memic has no issue with the closing down of public mosques, just mosques that are associated with his Islamic entity.
But this is part of the war between Turkey (Sufi) and Saudi Arabia (Wahabi)
AUSTRIA AND THE BALKANS
Now you have people in the United States praising this act by Austria as some sort of sign that the Austrians are now trying to destroy “political Islam.” Many people on the internet are revering Austria as though its coming back to its Catholic roots and another ‘Battle of Vienna’ is well on the way. So, if Kurz and his ilk were all about fighting ‘the jihad’ then why, just late last month, was Kurz pushing for Albania — the biggest ally of Turkey in the Balkans — to be allowed into the European Union? Kurz said: “We certainly support all Western Balkan countries, including Albania, in their path toward the European Union … We would like to see reforms. There are several EU member countries who are critical on a few things, due to the situation inside these countries. But we support Albania and the countries of Western Balkans in their aspiration to become part of the EU”.
On May 30th of 2018, Sebastian Kurz and the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, held a meeting in which Rama agreed to make Albania a hosting ground for Europe’s Middle East and African immigrants. This was made in light of Kurz’s supposed plan on what to do with migrants who other EU countries do not want to take in. Kurz said regarding this plan that “we have long suggested to provide protection to immigrants outside the EU, in a place where they can be protected but unable to decide on their destination.” The project is so far being supported by Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. Rama’s close ties with Erdogan is no secret. In Rama’s last tenure as prime minister, he met more with Erdogan than with any other leader.
Rama’s offer to make Albania a holding station for migrants has been deemed by local Albanian media as a way to appease the Europeans into giving Albania EU membership. Rama stated that his reasons for this offer was to prevent another migrant crises like what took place in 2015, and to ensure border security for Europe. Rama affirmed that he wants “to ensure border safety on the one hand and a dignified treatment of human beings on the other in this cooperation. In this respect, I repeat what the Chancellor said, that I am sure we have all possibilities and the right plan to prevent a similar situation as in 2015, which was dramatic for us all.” Rama also told Kurz that Albania was going to do what was necessary to receive the support to fulfill the “legitimate expectations of Austria and Germany.” Which means, Albania (as it has done in the past), is serving its Turkish and Germanic overlords.
Just this Wednesday, the Austrian government confirmed that it will be taking steps towards a policy of sending migrants to “migrant camps” in a non-EU European country.
What makes this even more interesting is Kurz’s and the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s plan to send Austrian and German police officers to Albania to supposedly stop the migrants from entering further into Europe. As Deutsche Welle reports:
“Having met with Chancellor Angela Merkel last night, Kurz had a Wednesday appointment with Merkel’s increasingly uneasy Bavarian conservative ally in the interior ministry.
Kurz and Seehofer announced that part of the plan would be putting German and Austrian police into Albania to prevent a migration route into the Balkans.”
Austria and Germany wants to send its border patrol into the Balkans. And one cannot help but ask: Is this because of national security, or is this about a hidden motive of expansionism and empire? Expanding one’s border patrol in the name of national security looks like a cunning way of expanding a country’s borders, and thus a country’s hegemony.
Horst Seehofer is a high ranking member of, and the chairman for the Protestant political party, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, which is the sister party of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the party of Angela Merkel. Although there is a supposed clash of ideas over immigration between Merkel and Seehofer, the reality remains: within the center-right there is a very influential and powerful element that wants to see an expansion and amplification of Germanic hegemony in Europe. This deploying of German and Austrian border police into Albania is being seriously discussed with the agreement of the Albanian government itself, which indicates a European Islamo-Germanic collaboration (Albania is a majority Muslim country).
All of this is not so surprising once one finds out that Albania receives most of its Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), from Switzerland, Denmark and Austria (all Germanic countries). As we read in a report from Invest in Albania:
“Albania attracted more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) inflows to Albania during the first half of 2017 (H1) from western countries. Detailed data from the Bank of Albania (BoA) on FDIs according to their countries of origin confirmed that Switzerland was the first major investor during H1. Albania received an estimated Euro 87 million in FDI from Switzerland mostly during the first quarter of the year. Moreover, the Netherlands rank second with Euro 77 million and Austria ranks third in the list of countries with the largest share of FDI inflow into Albania.”
Why does Austria want to keep migrants in Albania, and why is Albania agreeing to comply with this? We do not know what is entirely being said behind the curtains, but nonetheless we can still look at the situation in light of what has taken place in the recent past and the shift in the political climate in Europe. Back in 2015 Europe had a migrant crises, and in the midst of all of this, there was a surge in terrorism and violence committed by Muslims, and although many of the terrorist attacks were not done by migrants (but by European citizens), there were still criminal acts committed by migrants that made headline news. What this did was act as the perfect justification for Germany and the EU to have discussions on integrating its military forces. What the migrant crises also did was intensely popularize and boost nationalism in Europe, a scenario that has been one of the objectives of the CIA going all the way back to the Gladio operation, of which we have deeply discussed and researched.
Now officials in Austria and Germany want to use the Balkans as a place to keep migrants. If the influx of migrants caused a spark of nationalism in Western Europe, then a flood of migrants in the Balkans could also cause a surge in nationalism, albeit it would be a Slavic nationalism. Its not just Albania where Austria wants the migrants to stay, but other Balkan states as well. As one reports informs us: “The Austrian government is ‘in talks with Western Balkan states’ to establish ‘a center for expelled illegal migrants,’ Vienna daily Presse is reporting.”
If nationalism in the Balkans increases to a dangerous level, something destructive could happen, and with the Austrians already planning on sending their border forces into the Balkans, Austria could respond under a pretext of ‘security,’ but for the purpose of spreading its hegemony and enacting expansionism. I am not saying that that is what’s going to happen emphatically, but it would not be surprising given Austria’s history of using a terrorist attack in the Balkans as justification to invade a country there. It was indeed such an event that acted as a catalyst to the First World War.
BACK TO WORLD WAR ONE
Austria at one point had tremendous influence and hegemony in the Balkans, which may explain why the Austrians to this day have an interest in that region.
In 1908, the Austria-Hungarian Empire administered the dual Balkan provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the Ottoman Empire ruling them only nominally. The reason for this was that in the 1870s there was a native rebellion by ethnic Serbs in Herzegovina against the Ottoman Empire (Herzegovina uprising of 1875–1877); and on top of this, Russia had a war with the Ottoman Empire which was devastating for the Turks. Russia, under the czars, saw itself as the successor of the Byzantine empire, and so wanted to take Constantinople back from the Turks. But Russia’s European neighbors wanted to keep Russia from expanding, and hence why they backed the Ottomans, the biggest enemy of the Russians.
This is similar to how NATO countries are today on the side of Turkey because they see it as the greatest bulwark against the Russians in the Middle East (hence why the CIA armed Turkey to the teeth during the Gladio operations). Czarist Russia, in order to advance their interests in the Balkans against the Ottomans, used Balkan nationalist movements to impede Ottoman affairs, and at the same time it would fight for its territorial claims in periodic wars with the Ottoman Empire.
In 1877, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, and interestingly, Austria affirmed its neutrality. Russian forces marched right through Ottoman territory in the Balkans, conquering massive amounts of territory, and eventually stormed through the Caucasus, entering eastern Anatolia.
The sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Abdulhamid II, took the banner of the prophet Muhammad (which had been in the hands of the Ottomans since they occupied Arab lands in the 16th century), and declared a jihad on the Russians. The Ottomans fought back tenaciously, bringing the Russian advance to a halt. But eventually, the Russians reached the outskirts of Istanbul in late January of 1878, bringing the Ottomans to a state of emergency. Abdulhamid suspended the constitution, dissolved parliament and even put some parliamentarians under house arrest, and took full control over the government. The Russians were right at the gates of Istanbul, and the sultan had no choice but to acquiesce to an armistice in January of 1878.
From June to July, the Turks had watched as their European territories were given away to the European powers in the Congress of Berlin in what is known as the Treaty of Berlin (see Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans). Through this deliberation, as the treaty states: “The provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be occupied and administered by Austria-Hungary.” So in 1878, Austria-Hungry began to administer over Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Ottomans technically were the rulers over that region. But, in 1908, when the Young Turks took over the Ottoman government, the Austrians took such instability to their advantage and annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Russia didn’t do anything to stop this since it was weakened by defeat in a war with Japan in 1905, and by a revolution also in 1905. Another reason why the Russians did not make an effort to stop the Austrians was that they believed that Austria could make a deal with the Ottoman Empire to allow Russia access to Constantinople and the Straits, which ended up being a lie. (See Fromkin, Europe’s Last Summer)
So the Austrians had an interest in controlling the Balkans, and they used political strife and issues of security as a pretext to control that region. Today, the Austrian government is using the migrant crises as a reason to expand its border patrol into the Balkans. In fact, in the agreement made in the Treaty of Berlin, it describes the reason for Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina as:
“in order to assure the maintenance of the new political state of affairs, as well as freedom and security of communications, Austria-Hungary reserves the right of keeping garrisons and having military and commercial roads in the whole of this part of the ancient vilayet of Bosnia. To this end the governments of Austria-Hungary and Turkey reserve to themselves to come to an understanding on the details.”
Notice the words: “maintenance,” “freedom and security”, this is similar to the jargon used today to justify making a police or military presence in another country. Erdogan and his government has been using the excuse of “fighting terrorism” and “security” in his expansion of the Turkish military into Syria and Iraq. All powerful countries play this game; they find a problem, make themselves into the solution for said problem, act like they care about the betterment of their people, and then intensify their power.
What happened in Bosnia just a few years after the Austrians took it over? Exactly what the Austrians and their German overlords wanted: an act of terrorism. Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb nationalist who was part of a nationalistic movement — Young Bosnia — shot and murdered Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The group that aided Young Bosnia behind the scenes was called Ujedinjence ili Smrt (Union or Death), later known as the Black Hand, which modeled itself after the Freemasons (see Fromkin, Europe’s Last Summer, ch. 19, pp. 123-124)
Not too long after the assassination of the Archduke occurred, the Austrians began to slaughter civilians who did not even have anything to do with the plot, even killing a priest. As the British journalist Rebecca West, who stayed in Yugoslavia and did a heavy investigation as to what took place there, recounted:
“When the news came in 1914 that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife had been assassinated by Serb patriots at Sarajevo, the Austrian authorities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina arrested all the peasants whom they knew to be anti-Austrian in sentiment and imprisoned some and hanged the rest. There was no attempt at finding out whether they had been connected with the assassins, as, in fact, none of them were. Down there on the grass between the barracks the Austrians took as contribution from Trebinye seventy Serbs, including three women, such women as we saw in the market-place. Someone I met in Sarajevo on my first visit to Yugoslavia had had a relative killed there, and had kept photographs of the slaughter which the Yugoslavian Government had found among the Austrian police records. They showed the essential injustice of hanging ; the hanged look grotesque, they are not allowed the dignity that belongs to the crucified, although they are enduring as harsh a destiny. The women looked particularly grotesque, with their full skirts; they looked like ikons, as Constantine had said Slav women should look when dancing. Most of them wore an expression of astonishment. I remember one priest who was being led through a double line of gibbets to his own; he looked not horrified but simply surprised.”
It was known that the political situation in Austria was to the full advantage of Germany, who wanted the assassination to happen as a way to pull Europe into a war. One London Times correspondent cabled to his editor that “German interest in the Austrian problem will be even more intense” than it had been before. The terrorist attack was exactly what the Austrians wanted; for it acted only as a pretext to justify their goal of destroying Serbia. Before the Archduke was even murdered, the Austrians wanted a war with the Serbs. In July 5, 1914, just weeks before the eruption of World War One, Austria’s veteran ambassador to Germany, Ladislau Szogyeni-Marich, gave a memorandum to Kaiser Wilhelm II, in which it called for the elimination of Serbia as “a factor of political power in the Balkans.” What makes this memorandum interesting is that it was written before the assassination of the Archduke, signifying that the Austrians had plans for the destruction of Serbia prior to the terrorist act. All that was needed was a catalyst to bring about the occasion for war, and they got it.
And the Germans and the Austrians kept their plot of war very secretly. From the morning of the killings of the Archduke and his wife on June 28 until the morning of July 24, there was no open expressions of aggression from either Germany or Austria. The masses thought that peace would continue, but only a few knew that war was on the horizon. Its just like today, when most people would laugh if you say that there will be another great conflict in Europe (which is quite foolish, given that it was just in the 1990s when the Balkans were in war, and in 2014 when Russia and Ukraine were in violent conflict).
The murder of the Archduke was capitalized upon by the Austrians to invade Serbia, and this pulled the whole of Europe into a war. So, if there will be an influx of Muslim migrants in the Balkans, and this increases nationalism, and this leads to some terrorist attack (either by jihadists or nationalists), could the Austrians then do what they did in the past and use it as a pretext for a military deployment into the Balkans for the cause of conquest? Well, given that the Austrians are now talking with Germany and Italy about a German-Austrian-Italian axis, and that the Austrians and the Germans are now discussing sending border officers into the Balkans, and given their history, it would not be a surprise that an imperialist agenda is what Austria and Germany have in mind.
TURKEY AND THE BALKANS
We read of how Austria recognized an independent Albania back in the early 20th century; we read of how Austria controlled Bosnia and invaded Serbia; we read of Germany arming Albanian Muslim nationalist in the Balkans in the 1990s, Austria supporting them, and Turkey backing them, in a war against Serbia; and then today, we read of how Austria is pushing for Albania to be included into the EU, and of how Austria wants to spread its border patrol into the Balkans. We cannot help but wonder, if there is a consistent pattern here?
Operation Gladio, as we have been saying many times, was about training neo-Nazis and having them commit terrorist attacks only to blame them on the Soviets, so as to spark anti-Soviet nationalism in Europe. In the 1990s, when the Soviet Union fell, NATO still wanted to conduct policies that would purge out any sort of Russian political leverage. Yugoslavia (which is now just the Balkan states we see today) was an ally to Russia, and thus was the target of destabilization by NATO. Even though the Gladio operation was supposedly disbanded in 1990, the same policy continued regardless of the fall of the Soviet Union. The United States government trained and armed Albanian nationalists who were part of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army), a paramilitary separatist force that wanted to establish an ethnic Albanian state of Kosovo, free from Serbian governance (See Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, ch. 4, p. 43) It wasn’t just the Americans who were backing the Albanians; the Germans were instrumental in arming and training the Albanian terrorists. Roger Fallgot, in his 1998 article published for the European, explains:
“German civil and military intelligence services have been involved in training and equipping the rebels with the aim of cementing German influence in the Balkan area. (…) The birth of the KLA in 1996 coincided with the appointment of Hansjoerg Geiger as the new head of the BND (German Secret Service). (…) The BND men were in charge of selecting recruits for the KLA command structure from the 500,000 Kosovars in Albania.”
There are two very important things to observe here. For one, the BND, or the German Secret Service; they were instrumental in Operation Gladio and worked with numerous nationalist groups in Europe (for example, the Bulgarian National Front). Secondly, notice the goal of the Germans in backing the KLA: “cementing German influence in the Balkan area.” Now it is quite apparent as to why the Austrians are working with the Germans in trying to get the Balkan states EU access: they want to bring that region under Germanic hegemony.
Lets not forget, Austria at one point in time had tremendous control over the Balkans. Turkey, like the Germans, also backed the Albanians in the Kosovo War of the 1990s. Hence why “Yugoslavia accused Turkey of helping Albanian armed groups in Kosovo” (Serif Demir, Turkey’s Foreign Policy and Security Perspectives in the 21st Century, p. 149) Turkey supported NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, and showed this support by sending eighteen F-16 aircraft to take part in the bombing. Turkey also sent a warship into the Adriatic Sea to enforce a blockade on Serbia, while at the same time allowing NATO forces to use its airbases in Balikesir and Bandamir for further attacks against Yugoslavia. (Ibid)
Turkey, like Germany, also wants to bring its hegemony into the Balkans. From here, lets turn our attention to a little bit of history of the Ottoman Empire, of Italy, Austria and Germany, right before the eruption of the First World War.
In the late 19th century, and in the early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire was in a most precarious state. The Turks had lost Algeria in 1830 and Tunisia in 1881, reducing Ottoman control over North Africa to just Libya. Italy, around this time, had just become a new country, completing unification in 1871, and it aspired to make a name for itself, and thus it pursued an empire in Africa. A note to take when it comes to world wars: Africa is always a place over which European nations spill blood. The king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, aimed at Libya for his expansionist enterprise. In 1911, Rome — with British and French neutrality — attacked Libya. The Italians used an Ottoman arms shipment to its soldiers in Libya as propaganda, portraying it as a threat to Italian citizens, to justify its aggression. Rome declared war on September 29th, and commenced its invasion of the Libyan coastal cities.
The Turks were outnumbered, having only 4,200 troops virtually without any naval support to guard them from an invading Italian army of 34,000 men. In the first weeks of October, 1911, the Italians took Tripoli (Western Libya) and Benghazi (Eastern Libya). Back in Constantinople, Turkish officials were in a heated debate over whether or not to continue fighting for Libya. The world was in an unstable condition and on the point of major conflict. Louis Rambert, who worked within the Ottoman Empire, observed at this time: “Little would be needed for plunging the whole of Europe into war.”
The grand vizier and his government were not so enthusiastic about fighting for Libya, and believed that the best solution was just to let it go into Italian hands. On the other side of the debate, the ultranationalist Young Turks could never accept capitulation. Major Enver went to Salonica to speak to to the Central Committee of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). In a five hour meeting, he convinced his colleagues to start a guerrilla war against the Italians in Libya.
What is interesting about this is who Enver was conspiring with behind the scenes. After he gave his speech, Enver outlined the plan to his childhood friend, the German naval attache, Hans Humann, writing: “We will gather our forces in the [Libyan] interior. Mounted bands of Arabs, citizens of the country commanded by young [Ottoman] officers, will stay close to the Italians and harass them night and day. Each [Italian] soldier or small detachment will be surprised and annihilated. When the enemy is too strong, the bands will withdraw into the open country and continue to harry the enemy at every occasion.” Humann would end up becoming one of the main representatives of the German Reich in the Ottoman Empire, which shows how tied the Germans and the Turks were, even before the outbreak of the First World War.
Dozens of Turkish officers traveled to Libya to join the fight against the Italians. They made their way through Egypt from where they would go to Libya. One of those officers was Mustafa Kemal, who is mostly known today as Ataturk. At the end of October, Enver plunged himself into the Libyan conflict, settling himself in the Libyan desert, dressed in Arab attire, and recruited members of the powerful Sufi brotherhood, the Sanussi. Enver described these Arab fighters as “fanatical Muslims who see death before the enemy as a gift from God”. Although Enver was a secularist himself — being a part of the Young Turks who believed in ideologies like Darwinism —, he nonetheless saw Islam as a powerful force by which to mobilize the masses for war.
Notwithstanding the advanced military technology that the Italians had, they were unable to significantly penetrate the enemy’s ranks in the costal plain of Libya. In one year, the Libyan fighters slaughtered 3,400 and injured over 4,000 Italian soldiers. The war was also draining the finances of Italy, whereas there was little burden on the Turks who were only spending 25,000 Turkish pounds ($4.40) a month to support the Ottoman siege of Derna. The Italians knew that victory was impossible at this point, and so needed to take Libya through another manner: attacking other Ottoman territories and causing political instability.
The Italians bombard Ottoman territory across the eastern Mediterranean as a way to pressure the Turks to accept a peace deal and give up Libya. They bombed the Lebanese port of Beirut in March of 1912; and Italian soldiers seized the Dodecanese (which is today part of Greece), and they sent torpedo ships into the Dardanelles, the strait that leads right into Istanbul.
The Italians also utilized another strategy to break the Turks down: get the Balkan regions to war against the Ottoman Empire. The Greeks, Serbs, Montenegrins and Bulgarians had formed an alliance against the Ottomans. These countries had been under Ottoman rule for centuries until the 19th century when intense independence movements, encouraged by European powers, sparked a revolt for independence. Greece gained its independence from the Turks in 1830, and Serbia gained international recognition as a suzerain state under Ottoman control in 1829 and then secured full independence in 1878.
Bulgaria and Montenegro both gained independence in September of 1908. These sovereign Balkan states were not fully satisfied with just independence and wanted to seize territory in Macedonia, Thrace and Albania, regions that were still under the Ottomans. Italy capitalized on this. The Italians also took advantage of the fact that the Italian crown had blood relations with the king of Montenegro, Nicholas I, and convinced the Montenegrins to declare war on the Ottoman Empire on October 8th of 1912. It did not take long for the other Balkan states of the alliance to join in this declaration of war.
Now the Turks were faced with the extremely difficult dilemma of fighting a war on two fronts, one in North Africa and another in the Balkans, a scenario they were not capable of dealing with. Just ten days after Montenegro declared war on the Ottoman Empire, the Turks relinquished Libya to Italy in a peace deal. The Turks had to leave the Sufi Sanussi fighters and withdraw from Libya to fight the Slavs in defense of the rest of their Balkan territory: Macedonia, Thrace and Albania. In October of 1912, Montenegro, Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria declared war on the Ottoman Empire, in a conflict known as the First Balkan War. The Slavic army of 715,000 men outmatched the Ottoman force of 320,000 soldiers.
The Greek navy was superior to what the Ottomans had for the battlefields of the seas. The Greeks took Crete and seized a number of islands on the Aegean sea (and till this day the Greeks and Turks are in dispute over islands in this maritime territory). The Greek forces would eventually occupy southern Albania, and the Serbs and Montenegrins marched into Macedonia and Albania from the north. Right here we can see, the Balkans has always been a place of horrific and violent contention, an aim of empires with a violent pursuit that lives on today. On October 23, the Serbs conquered Kosovo, a region that just in the 1990s the Serbs and Albanians (backed by the Turks, Germans and Americans) were fighting over, and till this day Turkey uses the Kosovo situation as political leverage to advance its influence in that region.
The Turks lost their European territory quite quickly, with Greeks overrunning Macedonia, Montenegrins taking a chunk of Albania, and the Bulgarians taking Edirne, which lies right in between Bulgaria and Anatolia. The surrendering of Edirne was traumatic for the Turks. When the central government of the Ottoman Empire (the Sublime Porte) appealed for an armistice with the Bulgarians, the ultranationalist Young Turks had a fanatical fit. At the time, Turkey had a Liberal prime minister, Kamil Pasha, who wanted to sue for peace to avoid any further territorial losses. The Young Turk Unionists, on the other hand, wanted to continue fighting for Edirne. The Young Turks began to criticize the strategy for the war. Kamil Pasha ordered a suppression on the CUP, shut down their newspapers and even arrested a number of leading Unionists.
Enver Pasha was fully convinced that the Porte was going to give up Erdine to Bulgaria. “If the cabinet surrenders Edirne without any effort,” wrote Enver, “I will quit the army, I will openly call for war and I do not know — or rather don’t wish to say — what I might do.” Enver decided to take the law into his own hands. On January 23rd, 1913, ten armed men, including Enver, charged into the cabinet meeting and opened fire. A gun battle ensued between Enver’s men and the grand vizier’s guards, with four men — including the minister of war, Nazim Pasha, killed. Enver then pressed his pistol right on Kamil Pasha’s head and demanded the resignation of the grand vizier. “It was all over in a quarter of an hour,” Enver would later recount.
But it did not matter in the end, because Bulgaria eventually took Edirne. The Ottomans lost their European territory of Macedonia, Thrace and Albania. It was truly disastrous for them. A peace was agreed upon between the Ottomans and the Balkan states in London on May 30th, 1913. In the Treaty of London, the Turks relinquished 60,000 square miles of territory and almost four million inhabitants, giving up all of its European territory with the exception of a small portion of Eastern Thrace, the hinterlands of Istanbul.
“The Bulgar, the Serb, the Greek — our subjects of five centuries, whom we have despised, have defeated us,” wrote Yusuf Akcura, a Young Turk intellectual. “This reality, which we could not conjure up even in our imaginations, will open our eyes … if we are not yet entirely dead.”
The grand vizier, Mahmud Sevket Pasha, was assassinated, and the Young Turks unleashed a reign of terror and slaughtered numerous members of the Liberal Party. The sultan of the Ottoman Empire invited Said Halim Pasha, a Young Turk Unionist and a member of the Egyptian royal family, to form the next government in June of 1913. Enver, Talat, and Cemal, all Young Turks, were all promoted to the rank of “pasha” and would form what is known as “the three pashas” or the triumvirate. What happened later is where Austria and its history with the Balkans comes in.
THE FUTURE GERMAN-AUSTRIAN AXIS
After the First Balkan War, Albania declared independence. Albania’s declaration of independence was recognized by the European powers. The Western countries that were especially interested in an independent Albania were Austria and Italy, who both supported the creation of an Albanian state in order to keep Serbia in check and prevent it from being a maritime power in the Adriatic Sea. The European powers then coerced the Serbs and Montenegrins to withdraw from all of the Albanian territory that they had taken during the First Balkan War. (See Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans) The end result of conflict in the Balkans was the Great War, or the First World War, in which Turkey made a pact with Germany and Austria to fight and vanquish the Entente.
Now that we have covered briefly some of the events that took place from 1911 to 1913 (right before the Great War), lets fast forward to our time, to the year 2008, when Kosovo, a region of primarily Muslim Albanians, declared independence from Serbia. Who backed the Albanians in their call for an independent Kosovo? Austria was one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo. And now, the Austrian government is pushing for Albania to gain access into the EU.
Konstantin Bekos, the regional manager at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, said early this year that “From the viewpoint of Austrian business, an accession of Serbia and Montenegro by 2025 is doable and desirable,” which means that they want to get the Balkan countries under the control of the EU, which is headed by Germany. Removing the diplomatic drapery from this, what this ultimately means is that they want to get the Balkan states under the control of the Germans, the most powerful nation in the EU.
Now, these discussions are expanding more radically, with major German, Austrian and Italian officials talking about creating an Austro-Germanic-Italian axis to ‘fight terrorism.’ If the crime seen in the migrant crises of 2015 led to these discussions on sending German and Austrian police officers to Albania, what effect will come about from keeping migrants in the Balkans? It would not be surprising that some terrorist attack would happen in Albania — or a terrorist would travel to another Balkan country and do a terrorist attack — and that this would then get Austria and Germany to start talking about further expanding their border control deeper into the Balkans.
The Interior Minister of Germany, Horst Seehofer, is now pushing for an “axis” between Germany, Austria and Italy on migration and security policies. In a news conference in Berlin with Sebastian Kutz, Seehofer said that he spoke with the Italian interior minister, “and it was his wish that Rome, Vienna and Berlin should work together at the interior minister level in the areas of security, fighting terrorism and the core issue of immigration. … I accepted that … And we will push ahead with it”. Kurz agreed and stated: “In our view, we need an axis of the willing in the fight against illegal migration.”
Matteo Salvini, the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and the federal secretary of the northern Italian nationalist party, Lega Norte, had a phone conversation with Seehofer and later announced in Corriere della Sera on Wednesday: “We are in the process of building up an Italian-German axis based on a fundamental motto: protecting the external borders, which means defending the Mediterranean and therefore Italy.” In an interview with Der Standard, Kurz said that he wants to include countries like Denmark and the Netherlands into the axis:
“I talked about creating a European axis of the willing, calling not only Vienna, Berlin and Rome, but also the Netherlands and Denmark as possible allies.”
So you have a German-Austrian-Italian axis in the making, and they want to use Albania and other Balkan states as a buffer for ‘national security’? All this triangle of regional superpowers getting together to form an “axis,” over what? Some terrorist attacks?
Salvini praised Kurz’ idea of sending EU border guards to North Africa in order to keep migrants from coming to Europe. This may, on the surface, sound reasonable. Countries have a right to protect their borders, and so they should not be discouraged from placing guards on their waters. But we must always ask, What is the motivation? Most of the time we believe that governments and organizations do things solely for the reasons they give. But if we never look to the motivation behind the pretext, then we will always fall for the pretext. Governments rarely if ever do things for merely the good of humanity. So, what is the motivation? What is the reason behind the curtains for Germany, Austria and Italy to form an “axis” against “terrorism”?
While Kurz and Salvini are being praised as ‘rebels’ against the elitist EU system, the reality is that what these politicians are pushing is in accordance to what the European Union actually wants. The populist and nationalist parties are simply repackaged in a simpler way, without the diplomatic face of the more prominent and established figures within the European Union. So while Kurz talks about boosting national security at the borders, the European Union is also working to intensify its border forces. As we read in one report from the Independent:
“The European Commission has unveiled plans to roughly triple its spending on border controls in response to the refugee crisis.
Spending in the 2021-27 budget period, which is currently the subject of intense negotiations between member states and the EU institutions, would increase to €34.9 billion, up from €13 billion in the current period.
The EU’s executive says the money would be used to create a new standing corps of 10,000 border guards for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and create a fund to integrate and improve member states’ border management.”
Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgium prime minister and a major figure within the European Union, has expressed his distrust for the United States in militarily protecting Europe from attacks and is now calling for a European defense force. Verhostadt, just days ago, wrote on Twitter:
“The inconvenient truth is that we are on our own now. If there is an attack on European soil, we cannot be sure Trump will save us. We must take our responsibility: We need a European pillar in NATO & a European defence community that is credible, efficient & cost-effective.”
The inconvenient truth is that we are on our own now. If there is an attack on European soil, we cannot be sure Trump will save us. We must take our responsibility: We need a European pillar in NATO & a European defence community that is credible, efficient & cost-effective.
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) June 13, 2018
Sebastian Kurz, in a recent interview with Der Standard, defended Verhostadt’s statements, affirming:
“I share the assessment one hundred percent. It was clear from the beginning of the Union that it would make sense to build a common security and defense policy. Then nothing happened for decades. Maybe the European Union needed Trump to take this step.”
In other words, you are seeing agreement between establishment EU officials and those considered to be more on the ‘fringe’ side of the political sphere. Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands, leader of the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the longest-serving liberal head of government in Europe, whose party heavily facilitates eugenist policies, is, like Merkel and Kurz, a proponent of a remaking of Europe that is more independent of the umbrella of the United States. In a recent debate in Strasbourg, over the future future of Europe, Rutte said:
“Some, like Frans Timmermans, hope that the old partnership with the US will come back but I don’t think it will, so the decision about our future is in our hands. …We must decide our future ourselves. The world is dominated by a ‘US first’ approach, of egoism against partnership, but the EU is a good model, advocating less of a nation approach and offering an alternative to the approach of Trump.”
Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the European Commission, is also exhorting for a Europe not dependent on America, saying that Europe must take its destiny “into its own hands”. Timmermans exclaimed his remonstrance against the United States, that it was not paying serious attention to Europe, and that this was a sign that Europe needs to follow the path of determinism:
“It is the first time since 1945 that an American president has not seen it as an American strategic interest to work hard to ensure a vibrant and unified Europe and a robust Transatlantic relationship … This means the EU needs to take its destiny more into its own hands,” he said, adding the EU unity “is built upon the Member States that voluntarily and democratically decided to link their destinies and shape their future together.”
Timmermans is echoing exactly what Merkel affirmed late last year, when she said that Germany and the EU could no longer fully rely on the United States, and that Europe needed to take its fate into its own hands:
“The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over… I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.”
Europe is rising to break through the international American umbrella, to make itself a significant force in the world. But will it be a force for good or evil? Given the histories of the big power players in Europe, it is obvious that a number of them will be for evil. Europeans are from the line of Japheth, and through the blessing of Noah, they were given an authority to be a guide for humanity:
“May God enlarge Japheth,
And may he dwell in the tents of Shem;
And may Canaan be his servant.” (Genesis 9:27)
Japheth entering the tent of Shem signifies Europe entering the temple of God, hence why Christendom’s center was in Europe. But, what happens when Japheth leaves the tent? Japheth turns into a savage, a barbarian who, instead of being a civilizational force, becomes a force for evil. So, since so much of Japheth has left the tent of God, what say we on the future of Europe?