This article follows a heartfelt email message regarding the political developments in Catalonia, which I sent both the Saker and Ramin Mazaheri, the only “sakerista” I had the pleasure of meeting with in person. Needless to say I get both a pleasant “break” from the feeling of political solitude and a powerful intellectual “kick” out of reading both gentlemen, and hold dear the conversations I had with Ramin, whether at his favourite watering hole or at my favourite bistro, in Paris.
The Saker asked me if I was interested in expanding the email into an article.
Given, the quite remarkable, if not unique undertaking the Saker has achieved in building a virtual international (and multilingual) community of resistance to “Anglo-Zionism”, a very well-chosen expression to describe the systematic neo-colonial destruction of cultural diversities and the sovereignty of nations around the world, I felt honour-bound to accept.
“Feel free to digress… go on a tangent…” said the Saker. “Slushayu!” is my answer. Clearly, this article is more of a militant call to action for what should and could be than a piece of descriptive analysis or reporting.
As an introduction
I will try to make the case for Catalan independence from an anti-imperialist and pro-Russia mid to long term perspective. There is no contradiction between the two hyphenated words in the previous sentence. On the contrary, I believe that the sovereignty of nations and Russian strength go together hand in glove. Not just at this time in history and not only in the Eurasian context. It was the strength of Russia in its previous soviet incarnation that guaranteed the existence of the Non-Aligned-Movement. With the Russian counterweight out of the way, non-aligned countries were destined for destruction by the the last embodiment of imperialism, the “Anglo-Zionist”, and their indigenous quislings of various hues of political colour and creed. I also believe that the all-out assault against Russia, if successful will reduce not just Russia’s civilizational difference, but also the non-Anglo distinct cultures of the world to the diversity comparable to that of a Macdonald’s menu.
In my case for Catalonia’s drive to sovereignty, I will also try to avoid Spain-bashing. There’s already too much of that around. On the contrary I want to try a mission impossible: make the case for Catalonia from a pro-Spanish position to yield results on the longer run. In fact, if there is a Catalan question in Spain and not in France, it is because the respect for the Catalan regional autonomy in Spain has been greater than in France, and the acculturation process has been more subtle and deadly in France than in Spain.
Much like if the former soviet “stans” of Soviet Central Asia are republics and not Indian reservations, it is because the Russian expansion to the East in Asia has been more respectful of native populations than the Anglo-American expansion to the West in North America. It would seem, unfortunately, that more respect for minorities does not pay on the long run. Maybe had the ruskies been more Anglo-like, the “stans” of Central Asia would have pow-wows and call it a culture, run bingo-halls and call that an economy, with a straight face masquerading despair, I presume.
The “comrade” factor
My support for the drive to independence of Catalonia is also rooted in other reasons some of which often transcend the specifics of the Catalan situation. Some may at first glance seem disconnected, but they are not. Just like pieces of a puzzle that have to be put together patiently. Politics is not a mathematical formula, it does not entail necessarily a linear development.
To begin with I have to say that I live in the Basque Country and am affiliated to a pro-Russia group based in San Sebastian. These two details are not anodyne.
When we take to the streets of San Sebastian to celebrate Russia’s immortal contribution to civilization for the 9th of May Parade, or march in solidarity for the anti-Nazi resistance in Ukraine by demonstrating in favour of the Donbass, or organize cultural events such as the Maslenitza Spring Festival, I know exactly who it is among the Basques who stand with us when we need them. And it is Basques who support their pro-independence Catalan political brethren. To use a quote from Arnaldo Otegi, the most famous of their leaders, it is men and women who look to the Catalan process with “sana envidia” (healthy’ envy)!
I don’t turn my back on those who stand shoulder to shoulder with me when I need them.
There could be a case today to believe that the integrity of old nation states like Spain is the last bulwark of sovereignty against the colonial juggernaut I refer to as Anglo-balization. But I still support the independence drive of Catalonia, because they, the Catalans have always talked the talk of independence and I can’t blame them for trying to walk the walk now that they can. I can’t expect militants who have cared for a cause and passed the relay for generations to make an abrupt 180° turn because, the geopolitical situation has changed dramatically and for the worse.
A fine fight for a generation
When thinking about Catalonia and Spain, I would urge all who call themselves anti-imperialists to think and act trying to adapt the first rule of judo, as in “pull thy who pushes you” and “push thy who pulls you”. This would translate politically into using the energy released by Catalonia by pulling or pushing both the rest of Spain and the independence movement of Catalonia into a new political configuration of the Iberian peninsula, into some kind of multinational federal Third Republic which could do away with the vestiges of the Spanish “transition” to democracy (thus not a clear break from the Francoist past). A new Iberian political space that would ideally include also Portugal. This is clearly the horizon for a generation-long political battle, but the sheer idea of building anew could indeed give the nations of Europe hope for the emergence of new political structures, thus breaking the socially and politically castrating sense that “there are no alternatives” to the status quo.
Russia and Spain
Re-federation for the Iberian and the former soviet space
None other than Vladimir Putin himself has eloquently slammed the narrow minded nationalism that has created serious problems to Russian patriotism. Yeltsin’s Russia abandoned peripheral territories against the will of a fair share of the residents. Spain tends to do the opposite by retaining peripheral territories, against the will of large segments of the populations, called “peripheral” nationalities (Basques, Catalans, Galicians).
These are are polar-opposite attitudes, but also heads and tails of the same coin. For Russia, if a new political structure breaks in the Iberian peninsula or only appears as an hypothesis, it could provide food for thought for some kind of an idea of a precedent, to recuperate (if it is still interested) under a new political dispensation, some of the territories yanked away from her against the will of the people, at the time of the treasonous demise of the Soviet Union.
In other words, anything that can break the Anglo-balized colonial order of the “West”, in a strategically located country like Spain that controls the Western access to the Mediterranean, with shores and harbours both on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean proper, could encourage and also maybe just give a few clues (hopefully a precedent) as to how Russia could re-federate with at least parts of the Ukraine and maybe Belarus, if it wanted to.
Also Spain is the country in Western Europe, which more than any other should have empathy for Russia. Like Russia, Spain, historically, has had to bear the burden of Anglo mischief, starting with the vicious treasonous naval warfare, also known as piracy. It wasn’t the Japanese at Pearl Harbour that invented sneak naval attacks. It is England that made a mockery of the finest act of solidarity man has done to fellow man, ever since man started sailing, namely solidarity among seamen on the high seas. Then, once it could “rule the waves”, passed the strictest anti-piracy legislation, to make sure nobody could do to England what England did to Spain. It clearly wasn’t the US that invented “exceptionalism”.
I firmly believe that Russo-phobia is the direct descendent of the Black Legend, the first modern psychological propaganda war used by England (the root and cradle of the Anglo-sphere) against the competitor at the time, Catholic Spain. Change Catholic for Orthodox, and Spain for Russia and you get the gist. Read some of the slanderous language used to demean Spaniards at the time, compare that with the language used against Russians today, and you’ll find it strikingly, spitefully similar.
Then there is… Gibraltar. Here are two nations (UK and Spain) that share the same economic space, the EU, that are both part of the same military alliance, NATO, but one of them has a colony on the hallowed soil of the other. Is it a version of Gibraltar, that the Anglo-Zionists had in mind for Sevastopol, had Russia not reacted in time?
I certainly agree there are many “Maidan-esque” traits to the situation that has developed in Catalonia, and I am also certain that others have highlighted that Catalonia could be to Spain what the Ukraine is to Russia. Even if I find that the comparison is unfair both to to Russia and to Catalonia I can see the point for it at this specific time in history.
But then, “walk a mile in a man’s moccasins” as they say. Is it not about time that somebody in the so-called “West” got a taste of what the Russians had to swallow with the loss of the Ukraine (which contrary to Catalonia now, voted over 70% in favour of maintaining the federal links of the Soviet Union)?
Personally, I certainly would have preferred if it had been the Anglos or the Francos or even the Germans or the Italians to feel Russia’s pain. But, you can’t always get what you want, can you?
There certainly is something else, more eery that warrants questioning regarding the Catalan “crisis”. It is no secret that the Catalan leadership is pro-Zionist and consequently: could trying to breakup Spain be an asymmetric extension to the Western Mediterranean Basin of the Israeli (Yinon) Plan to weaken nation states of the Middle East? A Yinon Plan for the entire Mediterranean Basin? Is that also why, for example the Northern League of Italy is pro-Israel? Why is it that Israel is interested in developing ties with the region of Puglia, on the heel of the Italian boot? Why is the Israeli air-force interested in the airspace above the island of Sardinia, and not say, Sicily? Could that be because the distance from Sardinia to Tel-Aviv is approximately the same (evidently in opposite direction) as that from Israel to Iran?
You don’t need to be a seasoned athlete to figure out that if you are training for a marathon you don’t practice on the 100 meter dash, do you?
Now after Syriza’s pro-Zionist turn in Greece get a map of the Mediterranean and join the dots from east to west from Greece, to the heel of the Italian peninsula, to Sardinia, what’s next if not… Catalonia? Is there some strategic base-link on the Northern Mediterranean shores in the offing?
I am afraid we’ll have an answer to these questions only when it is too late. But, on the other hand, I believe that even if there is new Israeli mischief in the making along the Northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, it is really irrelevant to the Catalan situation. Unfortunately Israel already gets what it wants from Europeans of all latitudes and longitudes. It does not really need an independent Catalonia.
Of secessions and referenda,
I think the record in Europe is ruefully clear. All the secessions that have taken place in Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall (with the possible exception of the Czech and Slovak “divorce”) were geopolitical objectives carried out with the blessing and support of Anglo-Zionist interests, NATO, the EU and the IMF. Such is clearly the case for the destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, much like that of the Soviet Union. In both cases the ideological drive to the breakup was compounded by a (not so) subliminal and spiteful anti-Orthodox hatred.
As for the value of referenda for the rest of us, ask the French and the Dutch and the Irish if their sovereign decision was respected? On Maastricht maybe?
Scotland and Brexit? Like most things “Anglo” they are overrated. (As most things Russian are underrated).
I like Brexit. Think it’s good when the root country of the Anglo-sphere wants out of our non-Anglo faces and off our non-Anglo backs. We wont’ have to bleed to try to kick them out, like Indian Mutineers or Boer trekkers. I just don’t believe that there isn’t yet another “pirate trick” up their sleeve. But I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
As for Scotland. The Scottish nationalists wanted, for example to retain the British pound the EU, NATO and God forbid the British monarchy. What’s left of the bones of Mary Stuart “Queen of Scots” should be spinning around in her grave in angst and anger.
The hard facts on the ground in post-Cold War Europe show us that no popular democratic decision can fly if it breaks with the oligarchic order based on financial capitalism and the military control exercised by NATO.
Only if by magic Spain were to try to get out of NATO, to disengage from austerity policies, join the BRICS, dream on… only then the above mentioned powers that be, would help Catalonia secede. And in such case there would be serious political reasons to stand against the secession.
As things stand, Catalonia’s struggle for independence is a step in the right direction. It will certainly unmask the hypocrisy of “Western” European political elites and hopefully set the stage for a process that could lead eventually to new political structure in the Iberian peninsula. This probably won’t happen, but it should.
If -Inshallah-, the anti-imperialist minded forces in Spain engage with Catalonia there can be hope. It will be a long process, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be.
Both ends of the Eurasian land-mass give us clear cues to how long it takes to emancipate from previous expressions of imperialism. It took 90 years after the Indian Mutiny, for India to achieve its independence from Britain, and still they left the poisonous gift of partition and Pakistan behind. It took116 years for France to emancipate from English rule. The British and their local quislings killed approximately 10 million Indians during and in the wake of the Mutiny. In a previous incarnation they burnt at stake “Saint” Joan of Arc, for “witch-craft”.
Why should it take less for the nations of Europe to emancipate from the Anglo-Zionist “Empire” and the financial oligarchic structure it defends.
Visca Catalunya ! (Long live Catalonia)