By Nicholas A. Stavrou Ph.D

Special to The National Herald

The reception accorded to President George W. Bush in Tirana can , be characterized with one word: frenetic. By any measurement, it was almost as enthusiastic as the reception given by similar Albanian crowds in similar moments of opportunism to Benito Mussolini, Nikita Khrushchev, and Chou En­ Lai. Historically, policy has developed a unique spe­cialization of choosing patrons who I fulfill three criteria: they must be big enough, far enough, and strong offenders to the interests of Alba­nia’s neighbors.

President Bush’s venture into the Balkan tinderbox is nothing short of a blatant provocation aimed at two nations that stood side by side with the United States in two wars, Serbia and Greece. It is part and parcel of a neo-conservative agenda, formulated by the same gang that produced the Iraq war, fomented a new Russian-Eu­rope Cold war, and threatens to en­gulf the Middle East into a regional conflagration.

Recently we were warned by the Chief of the Atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, to be ware of “crazies who want to bomb Iran into the Stone Age.” The same “crazies” are also promoting a new division in Europe with Russia as its target

The only positive thing one can say about president George W. Bush at this stage of his presidency is that he has been an obedient chief executive and does what he is told by a clique of arrogant ideo­logues who can better be described as neo-fascists.

They function as his handlers, and some would say as his brains, who believe Europe must be divided once again, a third Muslim state must be created in Eu­rope, and the Balkans must serve as the wedge to expedite the East-­West rift and to, once again, re direct attention from the Middle East to Europe. The ultimate goal, of course, is the conversion of Russia into a first class enemy.

The new Cold War warriors view the Balkans as a “logical extension of the Middle East” that ought to be part of a new arrangement that would facilitate integration of Is­lamic and non-Islamic cultures. Russia, in their view, cannot be trusted with any role in their nefar­ious schemes to “modernize” Islam and redefine the Middle East as a “region that starts in the Persian Gulf and ends in Sarajevo.” Robert Kaplan, the first and original “archeologist” of Balkan ghosts, im­plored American policy-makers not to make a distinction between the Middle East and the Balkans for one practical reason: American governments, he argued, could not get concessions from Muslims in “one part of the Middle East by showing weakness in another” i.e. the Balkans. As far as he and other historical revisionist are concerned, “the region of Balkans is Middle East (see Kaplan’s “Ground Zero”, New republic, august 1993 pp: 15-16.

As many studies attest, at the end of the cold war, Washington policy makers with Paul Wolfowitz-Richard Perle as the ‘leading advocates” , promoted a model of U.S. power projection that would prevent the emergence of “complete centers of powers” anywhere in the world but above all in Europe. Wolfowitz’s famous position paper of post-Cold War US Strategy, conveniently leaked to the New York Times, set forth a plan for imperial control of the world that could only be applied with perpetual conflict on a global scale. Them as now, the perception prevailed that the fastest way to achieve dominance would be to keep the Balkans in turmoil, Europe busy trying to contain it, the Russians out of Europe, and the Europe’s decision makers paralyzed by the new additions to, both EU and NATO.

Toward this end the inventors of enemies, succeeded in flooding both the European Union and NATO with subservient Trojan Horses that made it possible for Donald Rumsfield to divide Europe between “old” and “New” and to warmly embrace former Nazi collaborators like Croats and Albanians, as worthy allies.

This scenario could have been operationalized only with the enabling docility of NATO and EU members, including Greece.

The process started in the Rome gathering of 1992 where NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” was invented and was solidified in Washington D.C. in 1999 when NATO’s original charter was thrown into the garbage can of history and the alliance was converted into a global police force.

It goes without saying that the region in dire need of robust police force is the Middle East; the fastest way to get such a force would be to make it an organic part of the Balkans, whose new min-states are eager to join any available alliance, use it to get even with the neighbors, and compensate their patrons with global policemen under the NATO umbrella. So it should not surprise anyone that Salli Berisha sends 175 Albanians to Afghanistan.

Bush’s trip to Albania, and the neighborhood of Greece, follows the Rumsfield- Wolfowitz-Perle blue print.

It aims at dumping a few more mini-states into EU and NATO and shore up Washington’s bloc in both organizations. As recent history shows, new additions are fiercely loyal to Washington, they all harbor anti-Russian sentiments that are eager to fan flames of a new Cold War.

Let us not forget, that the original vision Washington had for Russia was a state controlled by gangsters, like the Balkan mini-states, not by “nationalists”.

Dr. Nicholas A. Stavrou is professor of International Affairs (emeritus) at Howard University

Andy note: The excellent article is a must read for Serbian and Greek-Americans. For those of you who are too young or have not read military history, during WWII, the Greeks and Serbians, not only were loyal to the Allies, but were the most viable guerrilla forces in Europe. Meanwhile the Croatians and Albanians were members of the AXIS and supported the Nazis. Military Historians have affirmed Hitler kept 25 divisions in Yugoslavia and Greece to resist the Serbs and Greeks, troops sorely needed on the Western Front. I have often wondered how many American and Allied lives were saved in France and Germany because of the heroic Serb and Greek Guerrillas. Sadly we are now embracing the former Nazi satellites, Albania and Croatia, and demonized the Serbians. Is Greece next??