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Sunday, July 21, 2024 - 03:06 PM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Ominous Events in Slovakia, Georgia, and Serbia

Robert Fico mug
Robert Fico, Assassin-wounded Prime Minister of Slovakia.

On Wednesday, May 15,  Robert Fico, the populist Prime Minister of Slovakia, was shot twice in the abdomen in an attempted assassination just after 2:00 PM local time after a government meeting in the town of Handiova (population 16,000). He was immediately hospitalized and required nearly four hours of surgery, but is currently reported to be in stable but still serious condition.  In 2023, Fico was elected to his fourth term as Prime Minister as head of the Smer (Social Democrat) Party after Parliamentary elections.  Slovakia is a member of NATO and the European Union, but Fico has advocated a “Euroskeptic” platform for ending military aid to Ukraine and establishing friendlier relations with the Russian Federation. He has publicly criticized NATO and US policies on the Ukraine War. He is in general concert with Slovakian public opinion. In April, Fico had also been critical of the “progressive” media, related to the liberal Progressive Party and had accused them of stirring up aggressive political behavior and a degree of hostility to the present government that could lead to murder of government officials.

The population of Slovakia (officially the Slovak Republic)  is about 5.5 million. It broke away from Czechoslovakia in 1993. It was part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire until 1918. It borders Poland to the north, the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Hungary to the south, and Ukraine to the east. The capital and largest city is Bratislava with a population of 450,000. Slovakia’s estimated GDP-PPP for 2024 is $239 billion, 70th largest in the world.  PPP stands for price adjusted parity, a much more accurate evaluation than nominal GDP. Per capita GDP-PPP is $44,000, 43rd in the world. Its population is nearly 100 percent European. About 84 percent are native Slovaks and about 8 percent are Hungarian. Sixty-nine percent identify as Christians, and most of these, about 60 percent of the total population are Catholic. Most Slovaks tend toward social conservatism and strong family values. In its social conservatism, Slovakia bears a closer resemblance to Hungary and Poland than its other neighbors.  Fico is frequently compared to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

 In the early afternoon of May 15, after a government meeting at the Cultural House in Handiova , Fico was addressing the crowd in the square and shaking hands. A man   approached him with a handgun and fired five shots at him. According to Greek conservative foreign policy analyst,  Alex Christoforou,  two of the shots struck Fico in the abdomen.  The suspect assassin, 71-year-old Juraj Cintula, was immediately detained on the scene by the police.  According to media reports, Cintula was angry over Fico’s policies. Christoforou was more specific. Cintula strongly objected to Fico’s halting of military aid to Ukraine. Also according to Christoforou, Cintula’s wife holds the same position and has some connection to Ukraine.

Christoforou was astonished that much of the Western media, and especially the BBC, CNN, and Murdock’s Australian Sky News were unsympathetic to Fico and concentrated their coverage of the unfortunate event on criticizing him as an authoritarian dictator, Russian sympathizer and stooge. They seem to imply that his brand of populist politics invited violence. Christoforou considers all of this criticism poorly informed partisan nonsense.

Christoforou is associated with Greek-British international lawyer Alexander Mercouris. Together they comprise the Duran social-media daily video broadcasting team, which has earned high respect for level-headed objective analysis and reporting, especially on Ukraine.  The implications of the attempted assassination of Slovakia’s Fico (pronounced “feetso”)  has spilled over into Georgia with an EU commissioner threatening recently  elected Georgia Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze with dire consequences, if he and the Georgia Parliament do not comply with EU demands to scrap legislation reducing foreign influence in Georgia  

Irakli Kobakhidze
Irakli Kobakhidze, Courageous new Prime Minister of Georgia.

On February 1, 2024, the Parliament of the nation of Georgia elected Irakli Kobakhidze, 45, as their Prime Minister. Kobakhidze had been an influential member of Parliament and Chairman of the Georgia Dream Party. He was formerly a professor of Constitutional Government at Tbilisi State University. From 2016-2019, Kobakhidze was Chairman of the Parliament and instrumental in writing a new Parliamentary Constitution for Georgia. This constitution provided for more proportional representation in Parliament, reduced the powers of the President, abolished direct election of the President, and made a representative Parliament the strongest basis of Georgia government but also strengthened the rights of opposition parties.

Kobakhidze has continued the 2023 effort to reduce foreign influence in Georgia politics. As of 2024, there are 25,000 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in Georgia that primarily operate to influence Georgia government. More than 90 percent are funded by foreign sources. These include many typically liberal-left influences like George Soros’s many branches of the Open Society Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy as well as those related to the US State Department and CIA, British MI6, and foreign influences whose purposes are exploitive rather than helpful to Georgia.  

Understandably, the Georgia Parliament easily passed the first reading of a Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence in March 2023 that would require any NGO that was more than 20 percent funded by foreign sources to register as “agents of foreign influence.” Hypocritically, the European Union, the US, and other Western nations funding NGOs to influence Georgia government have spoken out against the bill, holding that it will stifle democracy and freedom of the press in Georgia and comparing it to the Russian Foreign Agent Law.  Proponents of the bill deny this farfetched distortion of the bill and argue that it will ensure transparency of foreign funding and protect Georgia's sovereignty from malign foreign influence. Kobakhidze has pointed out that the Georgia Transparency Law was modeled after the US Foreign Agent Registration Act and is actually more moderate than it.  [In my opinion US politics has been thoroughly corrupted by foreign funding sources in recent years, and the US badly needs election reforms and strengthened foreign agent registration laws to ensure fair elections, national security, and the common good of Americans.] The Georgia Parliament finally passed the bill on May 14, 2024, 84 to 30. More than 50,000 protestors (undoubtedly paid by the NGOs) filled the streets of Tbilisi with aggressive and sometimes violent agitation. Some NGOs are openly calling for the overthrow of the Georgian government. The US State Department threatened sanctions and other diplomatic actions against Georgia if the Transparency Law was not repealed.

On May 18, the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, put a veto on the Transparency Bill. However, this can be over-ridden by a simple majority in the Georgia Parliament, which is expected soon.  Zourabichvili was born in France to Georgian parents and spent most of her career as a French diplomat. However, she was nominated and appointed Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs by Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili in 2004 and became President of Georgia in 2018.

Georgia is a nation of 3.7 million people situated in the Caucus between western Asia and Europe. It is bound by the Black Sea on the west, Russia on its north, Armenia on its south, Turkey on its southwest, and Azerbaijan on its southeast. It is 87 percent Georgian and 87 percent Christian, all of which but 4 percent are Georgian Orthodox. GDP-PPP is $82 billion, per capita $22,000 per year.

Georgia was part of the Soviet Union until its breakup in 1991. However, it continued to be governed  by pro-Russian leaders until the “Rose Revolution,”  when President Eduard Shevardnadze, who was accused of economic mismanagement,  resigned during massive protests led by  Minister of Justice Mikhail Saakashvili.  This was accompanied by a disputed Parliamentary election in November 2003.  President Saakashvili, as noted above, appointed current Georgia President Salome Zourabichvili his Foreign Minister in 2004.  The Rose Revolution is considered the first of the CIA’s successful Color Revolutions. The Orange Revolution in Ukraine followed in 2004-2005 and the Maidan Revolution and coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014.  

In 1991, two small Georgia provinces, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, seceded from Georgia and declared themselves self-governing independent republics. There was, however, a large Georgian minority in these provinces that had begun to grow by 2008. In early 2008, George W. Bush had pushed through NATO a proposal for the eventual membership of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO. This set up a conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia and Abkhazia with Russia backing the two self-declared independent republics. After a 16-day August 2008 war, Georgia had lost the two provinces, who allied with the Russian Federation. About 192,000 Georgians were displaced. Saakashvili was still president of Georgia during this war.

Kobakhidze, who initially sympathized with Ukraine, recently claimed that the West is trying to push Georgia into Ukraine’s conflict with Russia and open a "second front" of war on Georgian territory.  His most recent remarks reflect strong resentment against Ukraine, the European Union, and the United States in regards to both the Ukraine War and aggressive bullying in  opposition to Georgia’s Transparency Law.  In February 2024, the State Security Service of Georgia discovered Ukrainian explosives on Georgian territory.  Kobakhidze repeated his claims that Georgia is being dragged into war: "This once again confirms what, in principle, the high-ranking officials of the Ukrainian government openly said that they wanted and probably still want: a second front in our country."

More ominously, on May 23, Georgia Prime Minister Kobakhidze was warned on a phone call from European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi of the consequences of Georgia passing its Transparency Law. According to Kobakhidze:

“In my conversation, the European Commissioner listed a number of measures Western politicians can take after [Georgia passes] the transparency law and, while listing these measures, [the Commissioner] said ‘look what happened to Fico, you should be very careful.'”

Ironically, Várhelyi is a lawyer and diplomat from Hungary—evidently not of the same cast as Viktor Orban.  Várhelyi claimed that his words were “taken out of context.”

According to Politico, Várhelyi reiterated the European Union’s call for the foreign agent bill to be dropped, and said he had been trying to warn Kobakhidze “not to enflame further the already fragile situation by adopting this law which could lead to further polarization and to possible uncontrolled situations on the streets of Tbilisi.”

 Várhelyi’s denial of the Fico threat actually implies that foreign interference, financing, and bullying is behind an organized attempt to create chaos on the streets of Tbilisi. It is beginning to look and feel like the CIA and US State Department backed 2014 Maidan Revolution in Ukraine that was the real beginning of the current Ukraine War that has now nearly destroyed Ukraine and resulted in the deaths of more than 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers. Hence the term “fighting to the last Ukrainian” is becoming a proverb for heartless exploitation of allies to promote questionable US foreign policy objectives.

On May 23, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced a visa restriction policy targeting individuals involved in "undermining democracy in Georgia" and initiated a comprehensive review of all US-Georgia cooperation.  

On May 17, a man was arrested in Serbia for threatening to assassinate Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. In his social media threat to Vucic, the man had referred to the assassination attempt on Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico on May 15. The European Union, through Germany, has been putting pressure on Serbia not to further memorialize the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999, which killed over 500 civilians including 89 children. They are also trying to drive a wedge between Serbia and its traditional Slavic and Orthodox ties to Russia.

The Biden Administration continues to execute morally dubious and aggressive bullying-style foreign policy measures that bring a high risk of catastrophic expanded war. Recently, Victoria Nuland, who had headed “Project Ukraine” from its beginning in 2013, emerged from her recent retirement from the State Department to make numerous public statements urging more aggressive action against Russia that would certainly and  dramatically elevate the possibility of catastrophic confrontation with Russia to even more dangerous levels.

We are being governed by a ship of fools and are dragging our Western allies into incredibly senseless pain and high probabilities of destruction.

 

Mike ScruggsMike Scruggs is the author of two books: The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths; and Lessons from the Vietnam War: Truths the Media Never Told You, and over 600 articles on military history, national security, intelligent design, genealogical genetics, immigration, current political affairs, Islam, and the Middle East.

He holds a BS degree from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Stanford University. A former USAF intelligence officer and Air Commando, he is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal. He is a retired First Vice President for a major national financial services firm and former Chairman of the Board of a classical Christian school.

Click the website below to order books. http://www.universalmediainc.org/books.htm.