This website contains subjects I covered in my seminars (done within the context of a company) with the yellow buttons on the bottom what I used as a foundation for my older seminars between 1997-2007.
Copyright by Eric Vandenbroeck
For your own comments about related subjects, you can contact me via: firstname.lastname@example.org
13 Aug. 2019: In the (far out) future our continents will merge into a single supercontinent Pangaea Ultima:
12 Aug. 2019: With check-in suspended Hong Kong airport, one of the world’s busiest international hubs, is at a standstill today, this while People’s Armed Police are seen assembling by the Hong Kong border in Shenzhen. Is this part of contingency planning for physical intervention or perhaps a curfew situation? A few minutes ago however the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged to exercise restraint so that could put a stop to the invasion of the People’s Armed Police. If on the other hand Beijing is not bluffing and does eventually intervene, it would do so cautiously.
9 Aug. 2019: For nine weeks now Hong Kong protesters have been dominating the battle for public space. Then yesterday 3,000 lawyers demonstrated in Hong Kong with three days of demonstrations to take place at the city's airport. Will China now crush the protests in Hong Kong?
7 Aug. 2019: Indian-administered Kashmir remains in a state of lockdown. And Pakistan has warned war could break out with India. What happened with Kashmir and why it matters.
6 Aug. 2019: Across the globe this year, white supremacists have left manifestos referencing to the grand replacement conspiracy theory to justify slaughtering religious and ethnic minorities. As white replacement theory propagates online (galvanized by anti-immigrant rhetoric from far-right populists the world over, from Trump to Hungary’s Viktor Orbán), so does the belief in an all-encompassing “white, European identity” in need of saving. The racist lie that is fueling the US terrorist attacks.
5 Aug. 2019: Yesterday CNN aired a program with the provocative title "Boris Johnson could be the last prime minister of the United Kingdom" Boris Johnson just broke a prime ministerial record - and not in a good way. Plus there are four scenarios in which crashing out of the EU can be prevented. But it will be a herculean task. Boris Johnson’s Majority Falls to One Seat, Heightening Chances of an Election.
15 April 2019: Fire engulfs Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris:
21 April 2019: With rumors rife with Russian interference today Ukraine will go back to the poll whereby a question is if Zelensky could prove a less convenient opponent for the Kremlin than Poroshenko is. Mark Galeotti in his recent book (published February 12, 2019) maintains that in the case of Ukraine Russia's approach is both rooted in military thinking and in the civilian national security establishment. Whereby apart from a look at the role of ethno-nationalism during the current elections, I will follow this up with the question: Major Case Study: Why is Ukraine so important to Russia.
22 April 2019: Ten days before the major attack in Sri Lanka police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued intel alert to top officers warning that Islamist group NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath founded in 2004 originally in Tamil Nadu, India) will carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches of Colombo and the Indian high commission. Taking place around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday masses were in progress the carnage has now been reported worldwide with the Eiffel Tower in Paris that went dark on Sunday night. A concern is that it might leed to more violence in Sri Lanka.
18 May 2019: Titled the biggest electoral show on earth India's general election is currently nearing its end with voters poised to decide whether to renew their faith in nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Polling hass been unfolding over seven phases around the country and is ending on May 19. All the votes from the country's 29 states and seven union territories will be counted on May 23. One of the issues I have researching during this period is how a powerful quasi-religious Hindu nationalist organization called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been providing a crucial backbone for Prime Minister Modi providing evidence where Modi really comes from. “I think it is probably a god-gifted ability.”
25 May 2019: When President Xi Jinping visited WHO headquarters for the first time in Geneva in 2017 he brought along a bronze statue showing acupuncture marks on the body. Whereby now it has been announced that details about traditional medicine will be included in the 11th version of the WHO's global compendium, known as the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems or ICD, this while it is stated that it is not an endorsement of the scientific validity of any Traditional Medicine practice or the efficacy of any Traditional Medicine intervention. Case Study: Why acupuncture is a placebo based on pre-scientific mysticism.
1 June 2019: Recently two Homeopathic Anthroposophic doctors in France were banned from practicing medicine due to the (unnecessary) death of two patients. In fact, this was not the first time similar happened and given I put the focus on Acupuncture last week even more influenced by the placebo effect is of course homeopathy. Case Study: The little known background of Homeopathy.
7 June 2019: On the 30th anniversary of the violent June 4 crackdown, New Century Press, published transcripts obtained from a party official who managed to make copies at the time and make clear how the lessons taken from Tiananmen continue to guide Chinese leadership today: Today's legacy of the Tiananmen crisis.
9 June 2019: We now seem to be in the early stages of a new arms race. China and the US are both seeking to dominate the weapons of the modern era – the hardware and software of information technology, which are becoming the keys to superiority in both military capacity and economic power. Global dominance in six years is the aim. The 21st Century Arms Race.
13 June 2019: At least 79 people were injured in yesterday's protest with two remaining in serious condition. Meanwhile this morning a small crowd of former protesters is back outside the Hong Kong government offices...to sort out recyclables and unused materials, and clean up the rubbish. Following is today's front page of Hong Kong's leading newspaper:
16 June 2019: Demonstrators in central Hong Kong today. There is a concern that if the extradition bill is not retracted (and when Hongkongers won’t bow to Beijing their leaders likely will) this will leed to acts of desperation.
19 June 2019: Just recently another book titled "Churchill's Secret War with Lenin"(2019) came out that focusses on the British intervention in Russia. There is however much more to the story than this recent book manages to convey. In fact, not just this latest one but most books about the subject fail to grasp the underlying issues something that based on recently unclassified documents only now can start to be told. Major case study: When Spies invaded Russia p.1.
21 June 2019: Weapons of Mass Disruption: A response focused on changing China’s behavior is woefully inadequate. U.S. primacy was born not by defensive protectionism but by building a great economic engine. Outlook for the world China, US, Europe, N.Korea,Venezuela, and the way forward with Iran.
25 June 2019: The secret mission of the three interventions against Russia was to establish a signals intelligence support group, which was meant not only to guarantee British access but also to serve as a relay for intelligence gathered within Russia and the surrounding areas to London, where it would serve as an informed and reliable basis for further action. Without such signals intelligence presence, the War Office was blind. When Spies invaded Russia p.2. Major case study: To mold irregular warfare into a method which honored the Imperial myth.
29 June 2019: While the intervention in North Russia was based primarily on commercial and military imperatives and secondarily on Imperial great power politics, not of little importance here was that on 1 March 1918, the Murmansk government informed Petrograd that they wanted to accept the Allied offer to assist in the defense of the city. The Soviets acting on a positive reply by Trotsky placed regional military authority into the hands of a council controlled by Allied officers. Defense of the port passed to the Allied forces with Russian cooperation. When Spies invaded Russia p.3. Major case study: The alleged protecting of supplies propaganda.
30 June 2019: Opened on 28 June 2019 an exhibition in Arras organized by the Palace of Versailles starts with the proclamation of the German Empire in the same Hall of Mirrors that witnessed the Signing of Peace of Versailles on 28 June 1919.Today most historians agree however that contrary to earlier legends it was the First World War itself, not the treaty that concluded it, that set loose the forces and ideologies that would convulse Europe and initiate another global conflict. And that for all of Versailles’ problems, it represented a clear end to a major war in a way that we rarely see today. The tribulations and consequences of the Treaty of Versailles.
3 July 2019: As we have seen in the previous parts of this investigation the initial interventions in Russia were not, until their very end, monitored by traditional military or political chains of command. Their planners were primarily intelligence-operations specialists whose objectives were to preserve and expand the Empire by reconstituting Russia "to withstand German economic penetration after the war."This is why, in the beginning, there were so few troops sent to either of the two areas: there was no need for them. Their purpose was to extend intelligence; that was a technological matter, which required a small supporting military group. But this was soon going to change. When Spies invaded Russia p.4. Major case study: How North Russia evolved into its military phase.
6 July 2019: This happens once in a while that we receive e-mails asking if we know of the latest whereabouts of the self-styled Prince Michael of Albany. This time it was because of two articles in June one in The Scotsman newspaper and another publication in Poland. About a Polish art historian who claims to be a blood relative of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
8 July 2019: On 4 July the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s report about preliminary investigations into the crime of enforced deportation of over 723,000 Rohingya's from Myanmar to Bangladesh was released. The case laid out makes for fascinating reading, but with the upcoming court battle now also the ideological battle will heat up. This includes solving the alleged Rohingya"ethnicity" question and the case of Jacques P. Leider who equated the famous German weekly Der Spiegel's reporting on the fleeing Rohingya as fabricated. The Rakhine/Rohingya Conundrum.
12 July 2019: When General Poole saw the need to get various goods (including Oil that came via the British controlled part of the Middle East) out of Russia it drove Poole and Captain Proctor (Intelligence Archangel) to suggest that a few troops be moved into Archangel-troops which could provide logistical security for the transport effort. It is uncertain whether they knew about MIO’s operational intentions for that area, or for the similar plans and problems in the south. Given the circumstances and priorities of immediate supply and subsequent commercial advantage, it was reasonable that what Poole suggested, what the Cabinet considered, and what Military Intelligence- operations-MIO provided, made up an acceptable strategic response. Thus hence the objectives of all the interested Imperial parties started to coalesce. When Spies invaded Russia p.5. Major case study: What must develop into a civil war.
14 July 2019: Two days ago marked three years since a tribunal found that China's claim of historic rights in the South China Sea was unlawful. Since however, China has more forcefully asserted its claims to more than 80% of the South China Sea, building runways and military facilities on territory claimed by other nations. In addition, China has utilized less conventional means to clear the sea of its maritime adversaries, a so-called maritime militia: Increased friction in the South China Sea and why.
19 July 2019: Ukraine will head to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament, this after Volodymyr Zelenskyi dissolved the parliament following his landslide victory against Petro Poroshenko in April, bringing elections forward by several months. Some 50 to 70 percent of the next parliament is expected to be entirely new faces, leaving Ukraine’s future almost entirely in the hands of political novices. Ukraine as a test case.
21 July 2019: Widely watched also in countries like Russia and the UK Netflix’s 'The Last Czars’ alternates acted scenes with talking head explanations from British and US academics and popular historians. At the beginning of each episode, Pierre Gilliard (former tutor to the five children of Emperor Nicholas II) visits today known as Anne Anderson thought to be Princess Anastasia in hospital. In the series, Gilliard is trying to identify if the woman claiming to be Anastasia is the real Princess. Not mentioned in the Netflix series is that there was a British attempt to move the Tsar and his children out of Russia that at this point might be worth mentioning. A German and British plot to take the last Tsar.
22 July 2019: Just reading a new book titled Nations, Identities and the First World War: Shifting Loyalties to the Fatherland published on 12 Jul 2018, I notice an interesting section about "The Flemish Lion".
24 July 2019: Last week US government employees and political pundits in Washington DC woke with a startling headline in THE HILL that reports about the US Government and the White House in seriousness reported that: the military 'stands ready' and feds warn ufo enthusiasts against storming area 51. The aria 51 attack plan and the invention of UFO's.
25 July 2019: Earlier a Russian naval move that seemed to be coordinated with China, near the contested Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, has raised a concern. But then even more surprising was the Russia-China joint air patrol that saw Japan and South Korea scramble jets. It also signals an ever-closer relationship between an assertive, but declining Russia, and a rising China, which looks set to overtake the US as a technological and economic power in the years ahead. But what seemed a brilliant way for Putin to turn his back on the West and magnify Russia’s influence is looking like a trap that his country will find hard to escape. Far from being an equal partner, Russia is evolving into a Chinese tributary. What does it all mean.
27 July 2019: As we have seen in the previous parts of this investigation the initial interventions where primarily intelligence-operations specialists whose objectives were to preserve and expand the Empire by reconstituting Russia "to withstand German economic penetration after the war." Whereby while in 1918 the many different White Russian and anti-Bolshevik factions remained divided and failed to agree on a strategy the involvement of the Czechs in Russia provided the Bolsheviks with serious opposition. This also allowed the emergence of two rival anti-Bolshevik authorities, Komuch (with its "People's Army") and the Provisional Siberian Government in Omsk, with a new mission: to unite the anti-Bolshevik forces of the east. When Spies invaded Russia p.6. Major case study: British spycraft in Bolshevist Russia.
10 Nov. 2018: Tomorrow will mark the passing of 100 years since the end of World War I. In 1918, on “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” on a train (of which the above-pictured one with Macron and Merkle is a replica) in a forest near the French city of Compiègne the armistice was signed. I did do extensive research on the days that followed the armistice and will place that on a later date. My presentation of the following research, however, refers to some of the less known aspects of another centennial. The Kristallnacht of 9/10 November 1938: Hitler's Bolshevism and the myth of the Jewish Conspiracy.
12 Nov. 2018: World War I became known as the war to end all wars due to how deadly it was to those who went into combat. The advent of mustard gas and chlorine gas along with trench warfare, made the casualties rate much higher than previous conflicts. A complete timeline of what happened.
15 Nov. 2018: While the previous graphic about the First World War shows that most lives were lost on the battlefields throughout East and Western Europe, the role of the war in shaping and creating the state-system of the modern Middle East merits much more than an afterthought. The Ottoman Empire and the Allied Powers signed an armistice on October 30, 1918, which was supposed to end hostilities, even before the armistice in Europe was signed. But the wars in the Middle East didn’t stop with the armistice. Why World War I was pivotal to the creation of the modern Middle East.
17 Nov. 2018: In a 23 August interview with CNN famous Watergate reporter Dan Rader said that if you think the Michael Cohen guilty plea and Manafort's conviction was a shock then "stay tuned." The former news anchor said other things Mueller is working on will make yesterday "pale by comparison." All indications are that after a long period of silence during the close of the midterm campaign, Mueller is about to do something big, or a series of somethings. What Robert Mueller Knows.
19 Nov. 2018: Mueller's special counsel's office investigates issues relating to obstruction and collusion/conspiracy with the Russian interference during the election, what the following intends to do is look at some of the counterintelligence aspects involving Israeli, Saudi, and Emirati officials. How Israeli, Saudi, and Emirati officials influenced Trump to strike a bargain with Putin.
21 Nov. 2018: Air pollution reduces average life expectancy by 2 years:
28 Nov. 2018: Two days ago marked a decade since Pakistan-based terrorists killed over 160 people in India’s financial capital of Mumbai. The city remained under siege for days, and security forces disjointedly struggled to improvise a response. The 10th anniversary of an assault that raised fears of war with Pakistan and why in the end it was about Kashmir.
8 Dec. 2018: This was an explosive week for the Russia probe as the special counsel signals his interest in ending his investigation with sentencing memos involving Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort leaving only open the potential arrest of Oliver Stone. Includes update 20 April 2019: Why Robert Mueller is ending his report.
10 Dec. 2018: Belgium’s Africa Museum, once seen as Europe’s last unreconstructed museum of the colonial era has just reopened. One of the present day Congolese contributors Mpane says he initially had doubts about taking part, despite reassurances that proper context would be provided for the colonial statues. "But when I started to dig a bit deeper into it, I realized we're really talking about our history and we must try to make sense of it. If we don't take part in it, who is going to do it?" Belgium’s Africa Museum Had a Racist Image. Can It Change That?
12 Dec. 2018: Tree cover map of the world. This helps to answer a few geographic questions: Why do Australians live on the eastern seaboard, why do we divide Africa into "North" and "Sub-Saharan", why isn't Brazil's interior settled?
14. Dec. 2018: As someone who works with information a lot, I am aware that there are many tendencies in both the context and how we think that can lead us astray and distort our view of the world. But is there something we can do about it? I’ve started with points more related to how we think as individuals, moving through to more society-wide actions: Here are eight ways how we can form more accurate views of the world.
16. Dec. 2018: Arrived in Shanghai this morning:
20. Dec. 2018: Crossing into N. China today:
26. Dec. 2018: While there are many good things about China, and while there are also some concerns, the one issue that has remained under-researched is: China's ticking time-bomb. Updated 4 Jan. 2019
30 Dec. 2019: Encompassing 65 countries with a combined gross domestic product of US$23 trillion and a total population of 4.4 billion, the belt and road strategy was introduced as a way to advance China’s political interests abroad, but is it viable? Many projects also have drawn criticism for being overvalued or disconnected to the development needs of the host countries, thus China’s grand ambition furthermore may not necessarily be a road to riches for its partners. Thus has China's new Silk Belt and Road failed? Updated 15 Feb. 2019
3 Jan. 2019: A New Year’s Day editorial in China’s official military newspaper told its readers that “war preparations” should be a top priority for the year. The following day, President Xi Jinping offered a forceful reminder that Beijing considers Taiwan its most likely focus on conflict. Is China planning to take Taiwan by force?
12 Jan. 2019: In an investment, spree reminiscent of the golden years of 'big science' in post-war America, and venturing into relatively new fields some in the West now feel threatened by China’s advances in science. Unveiling China's big science.
27 Jan. 2019: Currently at the Sundance Festival for 9 days, yesterday I was able to see the full current version of the Cold Case Hammarskjöld production, whereby it is remarkable (tipped off at the time by the Hammarskjöld Foundation) how much the basic scenario still is like the one I commented on in August 2016 and as it appears to me only the filming of certain scenes were not done yet at the time. Why the mystery of Hammarskjöld murder might soon be solved.
5 Nov. 2018: Mapping the world’s urban population, on the left the year 2018 on the right 2050.
2 June 2018: Revisiting India's Harappan civilization including new answers as to where the Indo-European languages came from, enter:
5 June 2018: When history was first taking shape as a university discipline in the nineteenth century, elite young men were fed a diet of Greek and Roman history. Thus there was the misuse of antiquity and the Holy Roman Empire, Nationalism, and today Presentism. Towards a future of historical approach, enter:
Major Case Study 17 June 2018: Analyses of what is currently happening in the world, including economically, going forward the next few months: North and South Korea, China, Russia, the US, Iran, Mexico, India, Central and South America, Turkey, and so on.
20 June 2018: British Imperial Agents invade Russia P.1: July 16-17 will mark the centennial of the death of Nicholas II and his family. Placing this in its larger context of British intelligence and its intend to control Russia economically, here the lesser known aspects surrounding the events of 1918.
23 June 2018: British Imperial Agents invade Russia P.2: The British Banking scheme to control Russia's economy and the Allied intervention.
1 July 2018: Artificial intelligence: The question about current medical efficiency and that of digital authoritarianism versus liberal democracies.
18 July 2018: Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia: Because today I will be leaving for on a lecture and seminar tour in China, I will not be able to post much on this website for a while. But considering that a recent two-part article detailing a plan to save the Tsar and his family plus the British Banking scheme to control Russia's economy and the Allied intervention, has drawn such a large readership I will add a third part expanding on the previous two including: From Rasputin to little known aspects of Nicholas's II abdication and the situation in Russia.
2 Aug. 2018: Today arrived in Guangzhou China, (pictured below), tomorrow flight for transit in Beijing which will end my current visit to China. And in two days will post an article about Shantung the Versailles Treaty and the Manchurian episode (one of my topics here in China) which in a way broke the League of Nations.
4 Aug. 2018: As I pointed out on 20 Jan. 2017, the League of Nations ratified the Treaty of Versailles of which I detailed what exactly it entailed. Today, nearing the centennial of the Versailles Peace Conference, now some lesser known details. Shantung the Versailles Treaty and the Manchurian episode.
13 Aug. 2018: Having previously taken occasional note as this matter unfolded, following a meeting with a number of experts, I am now putting all the dots together. The Trump/Russia investigation what can be said today.
24 Dec. 2017: The last few days have been awash with a media avalanche about the fact that the Congress, a decade ago quietly set up a multimillion-dollar program to investigate what are popularly known as unidentified flying objects, UFOs. Why the initiative might rather be reeking of desperation.
27 Dec. 2017: Conflicting scholarship on the issue of the Rohingya in Myanmar, revisiting the Four Cuts Strategy, and China. What next with Myanmar and its Chinese influence. Plus update 2 February.
30 Dec. 2017: With the conflict in Syria slowing down the conflict in Yemen seems anything but over.
2 Jan. 2018: It would be somewhat ironic if Iran, in its most strategically advantageous position in the Middle East since 2010, when it was expected it would press its advantage in the region in the year ahead is forced to put its ambitions aside to deal with unrest at home. What to make of the Iran protests?
5 Jan. 2017: The upcoming talks in Seoul have brought up the question if a US limited strike strategy against N.Korea is now on or off the table, whereby the question few are asking is in reference to China. From bloody nose attack to nonmilitary options? Plus update 18 January.
9 Jan. 2017: While the end of Northern Song and the beginning of Southern Song Dynasty is considered a high point of Chinese innovation in science and technology, it is also where we will discover, lay the roots of Chinese Nationalism or the idea Han cosmopolitanism. The East Asian World Order.
14 Jan. 2017: The emergence of China's population as a monocultural and monoethnic people. The concept of Han Chinese.
18 Jan. 2018: A Chinese nuclear attack submarine surfaced near Japan northwest of the disputed Senkaku Islands and hoisted the Chinese flag this while it is also reported that China builds up a new presence near the Doklam disputed border with India.To better understand it is important to know about the post-1989 Chinese patriotism and belief that a strong China reclaiming its core interests in Asia should be compatible with a China engaging in the liberal international order at the global level. China's New Nationalism.
12 May 2018: Currently still working my way through the Pacific region this is (showing the more industrialized areas versus the others) what it looks like by night:
28 Dec. 2016: Other subjects I have covered in the recent past are Russia, Europe, Brexit, South Asia, the USA, South China Sea debacle, and so on. A look at other developments going forward in 2017.
Above a map of Syrian refugee flows.
20 Jan. 2017: On 10 January 1920, the League of Nations ratified the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending World War I with Germany. Much has been written about the treaty which concluded the First World War, its competing and sometimes conflicting goals. And as we shall see it also was the beginning of a long propaganda exercise to discredit the victors. P.1 Reparations and the famous Article 231.
1 Febr. 2017: Weimar politics and the reception of the Versailles Peace Treaty. The conspiracy theory that gave rise to Hitler:
6 Febr. 2017: Given its centennial this year no doubt we will see a lot of renewed discussions about the insurrection by Lenin and those that were willing to fight with him to overthrow the Provisional Government. But the most important event that followed no doubt where the complex situations that ensued when the Russian Empire fell apart. First, some unanswered questions about the event that brought the Civil War to the Russian heartland. Captives of the Russian Civil War P.1: Why and how the Czech Legion conquered the Siberian railway.
12 Febr. 2017: After the 1917 Bolshevist insurrection the Russian Empire also stood at Germany’s mercy. But it was signing the diktat peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk that largely determined the actual fighting in 1918. Captives of the Russian Civil War P.2: The Counterrevolution and the Anatomy of Allied Intervention.
20 Febr. 2017: One of the most serious threats to the Bolsheviks came from the would-be Russian government controlled, in Samara and Ufa provinces. And when the latter issued a formal invitation for the Allies to intervene militarily in Russia’s civil war. The United States and Japan promptly signed an agreement on proposed troop deployments to Siberia. Captives of the Russian Civil War P.3: The rise and fall of Komuch’s People’s Army.
28 Febr. 2017: Just as in February 1917, in Petrograd, nobody had got the revolution they wanted, by end 1918 nobody got the counter-revolution they wanted. Thus the emergence of Kolchak as supreme ruler. When the Allies started to pull back the Red Army stormed into Ufa pushing the Whites back to the Ural Mountains. However, Trotsky’s heightened focus on the eastern front did open up room for Denikin's Volunteer Army in the south. While by not pursuing Yudenich into Estonia, Trotsky had levered Britain into a policy of accommodation. Captives of the Russian Civil War P.4: From White resurgence to the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement.
12 March 2017: The increased risk of war in Korea. Will the U.S. accept a nuclear N.Korea or intervene P.1.
25 May 2017: Since early on 23 May, the media have been abuzz about the incendiary statements about Iran and Israel posted on Qatar’s state-run news agency (that authorities blamed on hackers) sparked a regional dispute Wednesday, with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia blocking Qatari media including Al-Jazeera. The series of disputes of which this is just the latest spat, as we shall see, go back some years. Except for this time around things are set to become much worse. Case Study: Qatar's master strategy or opportunism?
6 June 2017: Gulf plunged into diplomatic crisis as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the U.A.E. and Egypt broke diplomatic relations and cut all land sea and air contacts with Qatar requesting Qatari citizens to leave. Two longtime rivals battle by proxy and why this crisis will get worse.
11 July 2017: While the current US President's visit to Poland and Nationalists speech a few days ago was largely symbolic, Polish commentators didn't miss the fact that Trump mentioned the 1919/20 armed conflict led by General Pilsudski including the fact that it was due to President Wilson that Poland received its independence. The following investigation, however, will dispell the myth that instead of being negotiated with or arbitrated by the League of Nations the new Polish border, in reality, were being determined by brute force because the provisions of the Paris Peace Conference were unenforceable. Signed the same day as the main Treaty of Versailles was signed, this article will also make mention of the Polish Minority Treaty or "Little Treaty of Versailles" as it is known. Woodrow Wilson, Versailles, and the making of Eastern Europe.
26 July 2017: In context what is an almost forgotten war, China yesterday warned India it is willing to defend territory “at all costs,” and it should not harbor any “unrealistic illusions” over a border dispute that threatens to boil over into an open conflict. Will the Standoff Lead to a Second India-China War? With Update 29 Aug. 2017
9 Aug.2017: Military officials for the first time leaked information about a specific plan for a preemptive strike on North Korea. The USA "ready to fight tonight" claim.
12 Aug. 2017: Today I arrived per intercontinental flight in Vienna where I will do archival research at Vienna's Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. Above, to overcome jet lag (picture taken during) a walk near the Nikolaitor in Vienna. After my visit to China 10-15 Dec., I then will fly to London where I will do my final research for this year.
2 Oct. 2017: Following Christopher Clark's bestseller, The Sleepwalkers about the origins of WWI (where Clark revived the revisionist argument of the 1930's) a new discussion has ensued about who and what started the First World War of which the consequences are very much present today. A major topic, including in Clark's book which devotes a quarter of his book to Serbia which he depicts as the real cause. Having embarked on a detailed investigation, we now present a nine-part investigation with new answers that help us understand why so many historians got it wrong. The almost First World War P.1.
6 Oct. 2017: The almost First World War P.2.
10 Oct. 2017: The almost First World War P.3.
15 Oct. 2017: Leading up the First World War P.4.
20 Oct. 2017: Leading up to the First World War P.5.
24 Oct. 2017: How the First World War started P.6.
27 Oct. 2017: How the First World War started P.7.
30 Oct. 2017: How the First World War started P.8.
1 Nov. 2017: How the First World War started P.9.
2 Nov. 2017: Today marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, a 67-word letter from Britain's then foreign secretary Arthur Balfour that threw London's backing behind a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. And while many demands that the UK government apologize for it, overlooked is the fact that the statement would not have been made without prior approval from the other Allied powers including the Vatican and a jostling with the USA. A Somewhat Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration.
8 Nov. 2017: Over the weekend, Mohammad bin Salman purged his potential rivals to impose a centralized system that can confront what is perceived as the Iranian threat. Why Tehran Is Winning the War for Control of the Middle East.
15 Nov. 2017: The following came as part of a discussion with a former student when he asked me about the Bobrinskoy Orthodox Order of Saint John (OOSJ) and the alleged "The Sovereign Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta" thus opening up what for me is a new research topic. Self-styled Knights Of Today.
19 Nov. 2017: Where the previous part described the phenomenon of self-styled Knightly orders of St John or of Malta, most of these orders claim to be continuations of various alleged offshoots of what now appears to be a non-existing Russian Orthodox priory. Case Study: Malta and the Russian Usurpation.
27 Nov. 2017: In the following historical investigation it has become clear that the original SMOM Order indeed continued unabated and that the Order's continuing sovereign status was not forfeited through the loss of Malta. The appointment of a new Grand Master.
2 Dec. 2017: Contested as some of the following developments initially where they also contain some intrigue. The foundations of the National Associations of the Order in England and Germany.
7 Dec. 2017: Following an earlier remark about Festing at the end of the discussion here, there is in fact a historical precedent in the form of an even more severe dispute that more significantly gave rise to a vacancy in the Grand Mastership from 1951 to 1962(which Roger Peyrefitte's famous novel wrongfully attributed to a grain deal). Vatican's opposition to the Order of Malta.
9 Dec. 2017: While the UN security council is to meet in order to discuss the US decision to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, here an analysis of the Jerusalem problem and the two-state solution option. Jerusalem Unveiled.
Arrived today per intercontinental flight in Vienna where I will do research about the origins of the First World War. Above, to overcome jet lag (picture taken during) a walk near the Nikolaitor in Vienna. I hope to place the results of my investigation on this website in the course of October 2017.
23 Dec. 2016: While there is no clear resolution in sight when it comes to settling the Israeli and Palestinian dispute, including the governments that offer the Palestinian Authority political and financial support, are loath to risk their relationship with Israel by advocating the creation of a Palestinian state, another conference is about to take place. Paris Peace Conference redux 15 Jan.2017:
25 Dec. 2016: The Syrian civil war and the Middle East going forward.
20 Dec. 2016: From Versailles to the Making of the Modern Middle East P.8: British rule, Arab Spring-revolt, and the Syria crisis today.
14 Dec. 2016: Sykes-Picot granted Britain the right to administer Syria after it captured the Levant from the Ottomans in 1918.In 1919, London conceded at the Paris Peace Conference both Levantine entities to France that moved quickly and, aware of Hashemite progress, settled on creating Greater Lebanon.From Versailles to the Making of the Modern Middle East P.7: The unresolved sectarian issue in Lebanon today.
8 Dec. 2016: The profound effects of the British Empire’s actions in the Arab World during the First World War can be seen echoing through the history of the 20th century. From Versailles to the Making of the Modern Middle East P.6: The importance of oil, the ‘Arab question’, and the British.
In recent months a number of Arab States, like for example Amman, have celebrated the centennial of the 'Arab Revolt' 1916-2016.
20 Oct. 2016: Soon I will be posting a series of three research articles about the Balfour Declaration and several more about the Versailles Treaty and the Making of the Modern Middle East, whereby first here an introductory: During the First World War, British strategy for the Middle East was aimed at protecting India, which meant keeping India’s numerous Muslim subjects tranquil. Initially, this gained Whitehall’s support, as it feared foreign troops in the Muslim Holy Land would make the followers of Hussein, the Sharif of Mecca, Emir of the Hejaz and potential British ally, oppose him. From Versailles to the Making of the Modern Middle East P.1: The ‘Arab revolt’, Britain, and the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East.
24 Oct. 2016: Mark Sykes returned to England where, almost immediately, he was thrust into negotiations with M. Charles François Georges-Picot, French counselor in London and former French consul general in Beirut, to try to harmonize Anglo-French interests in ‘Turkey-in-Asia’. Picot on the other hand had ‘expressed complete incredulity as to the projected Arab kingdom, said that the Sheikh had no big Arab chiefs with him, that the Arabs were incapable of combining, and that the whole scheme was visionary.' From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East P.2: The Arab question and the ‘shocking document’ that shaped the Middle East.
26 Oct. 2016: The rebellion sparked by the Hussein-McMahon correspondence; the Sykes-Picot agreement; and memoranda such as the Balfour Declaration (to be dealt with in detail) all have shaped the Middle East into forms which would have been unrecognizable to the diplomats of the 19th century.From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East P.3: The Menace of Jihad and How to Deal with It.
29 Oct. 2016: French rivalry in the Hijaz; the British attempt to get the French government to recognize Britain’s predominance on the Arabian Peninsula; the conflict between King Hussein and Ibn Sa’ud, the Sultan of Najd; the British handling of the French desire to take part in the administration of Palestine; as well as the ways in which the British authorities, in London and on the spot, tried to manage French, Syrian, Zionist and Hashemite ambitions regarding Syria and Palestine.From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East P.4: The ‘Arab’ and the ‘Jewish’ question.
6 Nov. 2016: The British authorities in Cairo, Baghdad, and London steadily lost their grip on the continuing and deepening rivalry between Hussein and Ibn Sa’ud, in particular regarding the possession of the desert town of Khurma. British warnings of dire consequences if the protagonists did not hold back and settle their differences peacefully had little or no effect. All the while the British wanted to abolish the Sykes– Picot agreement. From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East P.5: The Syrian question.
16 Nov. 2016: This is the most important and longest part. Following, a gripping account of the swashbuckling during the Paris Peace Conference deliberations including the Arab/Syrian, the King-Crane Commission, impasses and some breakthrough at the end. From Versailles to the Making of the modern Middle East P.6: The Paris Peace Conference deliberations.
25 Nov. 2016: One of the most far-reaching outcomes of the First World War was the creation of Palestine, initially under Britain as the Mandatory, out of an ill-defined area of the southern Syrian boundary of the Ottoman Empire. Considering this, on 16 Nov. 2016, the British Parliament debated the Balfour Declaration and how its upcoming 2017 Centennial should be handled. Yet even professionals are often not familiar with the details surrounding the Balfour Declaration, thus here a detailed investigation. The true history of the Balfour Declaration and its implementations P.1.
28 Nov.2016: Showing the topic is of ongoing relevance, following the British Parliament last week, tomorrow a discussion about the Balfour Declaration is to take place in the House of Commons. My analysis, however, is wholly independent of pro or contra stance and instead focuses on discovering the historical details that have been left out in recent discussions. The true history of the Balfour Declaration and its implementations P.2.
2 Dec. 2016: Apart from the strategic consideration that they needed Palestine for the imperial defense of India, the decision by the War Cabinet to authorized foreign secretary Balfour to make a declaration of sympathy with Zionist aspirations in November 1917, one could ad, was also a curious blend of sentiment (the romantic notion of the Jews returning to their ancient lands after 1,800 years of exile) and anti- Antisemitism (world Jewry was a force that could vitally influence the outcome of the war) also led them to this decision. The true history of the Balfour Declaration and its implementations P.3.
29 November 2016 discussion about the Balfour Declaration at the British Houses of Parliament.
5 Dec. 2016: As we have seen, in the end, the idea was to use President Wilson’s recognition of the Balkan nations’ right to self-determination – namely, freedom from Ottoman rule – to overcome his opposition to the implementation of this same policy in the Middle East. By supporting Zionist aspirations in Palestine, the Lloyd George Government thus strove to compel Wilson to expand his policy regarding the 'small nations' from the European regions of the Ottoman Empire to its Asian territories. The true history of the Balfour Declaration and its implementations P.4.
6 June 2016: While a Brexit vote is very much possible, the leading voting reason is for Britain to quit the EU in order to curb immigration. But not only would there be the grave economic implications when the UK leaves, the Brexit campaign and the rise of Europe's populist right have also dented Turkish hopes of ever joining the EU. What will happen after Brexit:
17 June 2016: The Islamic State has lost grip on more than 10% of territory in six months, following is what is still there:
25 June 2016: "Whe're out", well sort of. The Implications and Germany's nightmare:
10 July 2016: In the wake of the more than a 100 people that were arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana today, one photo has stood out:
With a situation where five police officers were shot at in Dallas, the picture, of course, should not miss the complexity of the situation.
11 July 2016: The new British prime minister will lead a divided parliament and a divided country. The next steps of Theresa May.
12 July 2016: The Hague Tribunal Decides China has "no historic rights" in South China Sea: An international tribunal ruled that China’s claim to historic rights in most of the South China Sea has no legal basis, dealing a severe setback to Beijing that the U.S. fears could intensify Chinese efforts to establish its control by force. Continue…
13 July 2016: Boris is back, and could be a risky pick. Today’s cabinet appointments sends a clear signal however.
16 July 2016: The failed attempt by military factions to overthrow the elected government could be viewed as a victory for democracy. But it also reflects the increasing political polarization, repression of dissent, and fear for the country’s security that have emerged under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey’s new Sultanate.
20 July 2016: WikiLeaks releases 300 thousand internal emails from Erdoğan's AKP - through to July 7, 2016 plus 500,000 documents from in the wake of the failed coup. Crackdown in Turkey targeted over 58,000 people. Greek Air force confirms Erdogan was not chased by fighter jets during coup. Turkey's government fears second coup:
24 July 2016: Today British Intel published in the print edition of Focus Magazine shows Turkey knew in advance about coup plus Conclusion about what is really happening in Turkey.
1 Aug. 2016: Like Aleppo, Putin gave Chechen people of Grozny a chance to leave. Then destruction began. the Syrian Civil War is now in a critical stage. The make or break battle currently underway, rebels appear to be losing.
29 July 2016: Up to 1 million people could be forced to flee their homes in Iraq soon as fighting intensifies in a government offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said, plus 'growing evidence' Russia is using cluster bombs in Syria. And then today we have Aleppo. FM denounces "cynical game" of Syrian regime and rebuked Moscow.
6 Aug. 2016: Battle for Aleppo intensifies as rebels around 5 am this morning entered the Ramouseh Artillery Base, and a few hours later, the Islamic Front said the siege of east Aleppo has been broken. Who are the rebels and how will Assad and Russia respond.
11 Aug 2016: Russia announces war games after accusing Ukraine of terrorist plot: Concerns Russia could use the alleged plot in Crimea to justify more military incursions into the Ukraine.
14 Aug 2016: Rebels in Aleppo trying to advance after broken the siege of Aleppo, question is for how long.
22 Aug 2016: Investigating the dead of Hammarskjöld in the Congo. Mads Brügger "Cold Case Hammarskjöld" and the making of the Operation Celeste myth, plus not a myth: Head of UN, Ban Ki-moon, seeks to appoint investigator for fatal crash of Dag Hammarskjöld.
27 August 2016: It is not without historical irony that the centenary of the Great War was accompanied by civil war in Syria and Iraq, revolution in Egypt, and violent clashes between Jews and Arabs over the Palestinian question, as if to offer proof that many of the issues raised but not solved by the First World War and its immediate aftermath are still with us today. Investigating the never-ending Great War.
24 Aug 2016: As suggested by me earlier Turkish tanks and jets backed by planes from a U.S.-led coalition launched an offensive into Syria today. President Erdogan said the operation was targeting both Islamic State and the Kurdish PYD party. As I suggested on 25 May, the effect of the operation will be to preserve a corridor between Turkey and ISIS. Turkey told the Kurdish YPG that when they do not move back east across the Euphrates River within a week that Turkish troops will drive them back by force. International rivalry and the battle for Syria.
10 Sept. 2016: The Hajj, Muslim worshipers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca: What two million people are about to do here.
28 Sept. 2016: Did Aleppo's Grozny moment arrive? If there was ever any hope of salvaging the latest cease-fire in Syria, there isn't anymore.
24 June 2016: Yesterday we were on transit in N.Thailand where we visited among others “the White Temple” near Chiang Rai:
24 May 2015: In what appeared to be an act of defiance Greece's defense minister recently threatens to send migrants including jihadists to Western Europe. And while this would be problematic, my opinion is that Greece will turn around and agree to yield about austerity. Greece expected to strike a deal with the EU.
21 Aug. 2015: The Weather as influenced by El Nino going forward.
23 Sept. 2015: Why the Islamic State represents a new and more dangerous evolution in the development of violent extremism and demonstrate its deep roots in Islamic history (click on image):
Online tool reveals terrorist networks and behavior over time.
20 Nov. 2015: In the last few weeks, Islamic State has carried out massacres in Baghdad, Ankara, and south Beirut, and downed a Russian plane with 224 passengers. It has taunted survivors with threats of future attacks as if its deepest wish were to provoke violent retaliation. Paris and the end times of ISIS:
21 Nov. 2015: The Paris debacle has also put the “long united long divided” Belgium back in the limelight. Belgium powers have been highly decentralized to try to prevent the country from breaking apart. Why this complicates the reaction to the Paris attacks:
On the left smog in Delhi, India. On the right smog in Beijing, China.
26 Nov. 2015: In a few days world leaders will gather in Paris for a grand conference on climate change, the 21st such get-together since the United Nations began to grapple with the issue. A torrent of pronouncements and promises has already issued forth—from Pope Francis, Xi Jinping, Barack Obama and many others. Here is a blueprint as to how to approach the problems:
28 Nov. 2015: Russia's sanctions might increase: Why Turkey shot down the Russian Jet.
12 Dec. 2015: Three days ago I arrived in Myanmar P.1: I look at why despite the NLD's sweeping win, public doubts linger about the military's government role given its record of political intervention and lucrative network of businesses that could be impacted by future policy shifts. I also look at the background of the so called peace agreement and why the fighting in Myanmar continues. Discovering the background from where today’s Myanmar evolved.
17 Dec. 2015: Myanmar P.2: A lot of the current fighting is taking place in the area around Hpakant, not surprising one of the leading jade-producing zones. Plus concern NLD goes the way of AFPFL in the parliamentary era of the 1950s. To Myitkyina and Kachin State.
19 Dec. 2015: Myanmar P.3 ethnic cleansing in Sittwe: Among others the 969 movement (by some seen as influenced by the psywar department) and how intolerance threatens Myanmar’s nascent transition to a more open, democratic state. Two kinds of Monks.
On the left rural market, on the right walking through Shan State
23 Dec. 2015: Traveling through Myanmar P.4 Shan State: Even after having signed a ceasefire, the Burmese military continued to attack the Burma Army and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army-North areas. Ethnic rebels in the north of Burma, such as the Kachin Independence Army (KLA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), have accused the Burmese government of actively participating in the drug trade, whilst at the same time claiming to be cracking down on it. The Challenge of Unity in a Divided Country.
27 Dec. 2015: Traveling through Myanmar P.5: If the Kachin have suffered the most at the hands of the Burmans in recent years, it is the Karen who have fought them for the longest. Past the Golden Rock to Karen (Kayin) State.
30 Dec. 2015: Traveling through Myanmar P.6: Moulmein, Orwell, Kipling, the Mon, including revisiting the bizarre insurgency of two teenage boys. Mawlamyine and beyond.
24 Feb 2016: South China Sea: Risks of a clash caused by China’s paramilitary ships that could bring U.S. forces to bear in defense of U.S. allies.
10 April 2016: What is commonly known as the 'Russian Civil War' was, in fact, a whole series of overlapping and mutually reinforcing conflicts. The second First World War.
17 April 2016: After another incident just before in the Baltic Sea, currently the news is abuzz with reckless behavior by Russia vis a vis a US plane: We tell you why it happened.
6 May 2016: Aung San Suu Kyi Asks U.S. Not to Refer to ‘Rohingya’: Myanmar update.
16 May 2016: Does the Middle East Need New Borders?
18 May 2016: Although there are limits to these weapons' effectiveness, N. Korea would counter strike using its considerable artillery, rocket and missile arsenal. Continue…
25 May 2016: As the fighting intensifies in southern Turkey and northern Syria, various Kurdish factions are becoming significantly more important. How close is ISIS to defeat, and will Turkey invade Syria?
I attended the Honolulu Festival 7-8 March 2015 with underneath some of the photos I took:
1 Jan. 2015: The EU unable to solve its fundamental problem, unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form, why instability in the Arab world is to continue, the problem for China. The world going forward:
6 July 2013: With the approach of the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, attention will focus again on the ‘origin’ of the First World War. Following is the story of an unnecessary tragedy - one that can be understood only by retracing the steps taken by those who went down the road to war. Almost every day it seemed possible that the crisis could be settled as so many had been over the previous decade; almost every day there was a new suggestion that gave statesmen hope that war could be avoided without abandoning vital interests. With each passing day, we see how the personalities of leading figures such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Tsar Nicholas II, Sir Edward Grey, and Raymond Poincaré were central to the unfolding crisis, how their hopes and fears intersected as events unfolded, and how each new decision produced a response that complicated or escalated matters to the point where they became almost impossible to contain. A new investigation why the First World War broke out.
7 July 2013: Dissecting the events in Sean McMeekin's book; The Real Russian Origins of the First World War.
2 March 2014: Resurgence or is Russia Doomed? Continue:
9 March 2014: Had Israel lost its war of independence in 1948, its territory would have been divided among the invading Arab forces. And as a recent article argues the name Palestine would have vanished into the dustbin of history. After the war, the Arab states continued to manipulate the Palestinian national cause to their ends. The Palestinians' Real Enemies.
16 March 2014: Case Study: The ‘decline of the West’ and a look behind Putin’s new Eurasianism.
30 Nov. 2014: Venezuela’s international reserves declined $1.3 billion following declining oil price. The worsening situation will make 2015 a crucial year for Venezuela:
26 Nov. 2014: While al Qaeda might have longed to take control of a significant nation-state, it primarily remained a sparse, if widespread, terrorist organization. It held no significant territory permanently; it was a movement, not a place. But the Islamic State, as its name suggests, is different. It sees itself as the kernel from which a transnational Islamic state should grow, and it has established itself in Syria and Iraq as a geographical entity. The Future of the Islamic State:
14 Oct. 2012: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: The Intervention Force in Mali.
30 Nov. 2012: Background of the crises in Egypt: Consequences for the balance of power between the Brotherhood and the military.
27 Nov., 2012: Background of the crises in Egypt: Protesters Storm Muslim Brotherhood Offices.
5 Dec. 2012: The USS Eisenhower, an American aircraft carrier that holds eight fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 men, arrived at the Syrian coast today in the midst of a heavy storm, indicating US preparation for a potential ground intervention. Why Assad Won’t Use Chemical Weapons, yet why we should still be worried.
7 Dec. 2012: Background of the crises in Egypt: What next with Egypt and Syria to Jordan.
13 Dec. 2012: Will the European Crises soon be over?
20 Dec. 2012: Suitable for Christmas and New Year, the below are just a few of the more than 100 titles about ‘positive thinking’ published this month. Plus then there is ‘The Power of Negative Thinking’ by Bob Knight. The Secret of Positive Thinking, Self Help books and Happiness.
24 Dec. 2012: Of importance to China, the question of the next Dalai Lama is political, not spiritual. The future Dalai Lama:
28 Dec. 2012: Apart from ‘positive thinking’ no other new religious movement coming from the USA has received so much attention as Scientology. Here a complete expose including an update about the signposts for reincarnated Scientologists who come from outer space plus 'could Belgium Bring Down Scientology?' and a review of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & The Prison of Belief. Enter Scientology:
29 Dec. 2012: Myanmar army jets yesterday fired on positions near the Kachin Capital: China/US, 2013 projection for Myanmar/ Burma.
30 Dec. 2012: What next with Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia: The Arab World in Transition 2013.
31 Dec. 2012: Two of the subjects that will become of increased importance the next months are Europe and the Middle East once more, today: The fate of Europe in 2013.
17 Jan. 2013: Al Quaeda and the Algerian hostage crises plus: Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Morocco, Lybia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal.
18 Jan. 2013: French colonial policy redux or a new chance?: The Next Phase of the Mali Intervention.
20 Jan. 2013: Algerian hostage crises is over: When will Future Attacks take place.
22 Jan. 2013: Long-term conflict brewing in the Middle East: The Sunni-Shia struggle.
26 Aug. 2013: Obama’s Syria and What the Confrontation Will Look Like:
23 Nov. 2013: China creates air defense zone over Japan-controlled islands. As Japan and China increase air activity around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea, the United States is steadily increasing its active involvement to reassure Tokyo and send a warning to Beijing. But Beijing may seek an opportunity to challenge U.S. primacy in what China considers its territorial waters. Continue: