BERLIN WALL: EAST – WEST DIVIDE…

November 8 marked the 25th year following the fall of the Berlin Wall, which divided Eastern and Western Europe as a consequence of WWII. The Berlin Wall and other practical metaphors such as the Cold War, Iron Curtain and the juxtaposition of democracy vs. communism formulated the world view of the baby boom generations as they grew to maturity. Many of us baby booms have vivid memories of the imposed constraints that required us negotiate and navigate our political activity around the democratic and communist political paradigm that coloured the Cold War environment.

In the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and demise of the former Soviet Union, the Cold War was ended, the Iron Curtain was lifted and the much touted communism threat to the United States became a politically moot point. Many of us watched news report footage of the East Germans breaking down the wall and streaming to the west to begin new lives. I recall the popular refrain that America has won the Cold War and the world is no longer divided by a binary political paradigm. “America is the only super power in the world” became a political mantra in some quarters.

It is generally understood that WWII was the result of events that occurred in Vienna and Berlin, but at the end of the conflict many populations in the world were massively impacted by collateral damage, consequences and results of the war. The partition of East from West Germany was among the outcomes of WWII and the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Walls demise remains a profound experience to many. Interestingly enough little has changed in the geo-political dynamic and trajectory of the United States, apart from the emergence of China as a major economy and global role player.

The emergence of China as a macro role player on the global stage coupled with general acknowledgement that in the foreseeable future China will eclipse the United States as the world’s largest economy, virtually guarantees a continuation of the east vs. west paradigm throughout the 21st century. In addition, events unfolding in the Ukraine portends conflicts in the countries of Eastern Europe as Russia seems to be positioning to reclaim countries that comprised her former empire. Some suggest that Russia’s initiative in the Crimea and Ukraine is based in the fact that NATO, a formulation of the Cold War, is making political overtures to the Ukraine and other countries to join the NATO political orbit. If this suggestion is true, the Russian President Putin is likely affronted by it and will act accordingly going forward.

Apparently the current global scenarios that are unfolding would lead one to believe that the east vs. west adversarial paradigm will stay in place for the foreseeable future. But the east vs. west divide had a much ancient origin then the Berlin Wall and Cold War advent, and it can be traced to the beginning of Christianity in Europe. This ancient divide took the form of a religious schism that bifurcated Christianity in the east and west. Recorded in history as the east vs. west “schism,” it occurred in 325 AD as a result of the proceedings of the first ecumenical Counsel of Nicaea.

The Counsel of Nicaea was convened by Roman Emperor Constantine for the purpose of consolidating Christianity under the domination of Rome. The schism occurred when the emperor excommunicated bishops from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and branded them as heretical for adhering to their doctrine of monophysitism, which holds that the nature of Christ was singular and divine. The new Roman doctrine asserted that the nature of Christ was part human and part divide. Hence, the Ethiopian contingent of the faith was excommunicated from the first ecumenical council and all other subsequent ecumenical counsels.

There is great irony by the fact that the Roman Church was the most recent addition to world Christianity and had only just stopped persecuting Christians in 313 AD by way of the Treaty of Milan… The east vs. west paradigm is an ancient dynamic and will most likely remain as practical dichotomy will into the 21st century and perhaps the next century. However, it is noteworthy to observe that the current east vs. west dynamic is based in a secular and political scenario and its consequences. On the other hand the east vs. west schism that occurred in the 4th century animated the religious and spiritual realms…

G.J News 

Ace News Room 

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#cold-war, #east, #fall, #iron-curtain-2, #west, #wwii

‘ Once Obama Was Treated Like A Superstar on the Worlds Stage ‘

Following on sharply behind Vladimir Putin’s visit to China, and the signing today of that momentous gas agreement, is President Obama.

With all of his flag waving days a thing of the past and his influence at home fading, he is looking abroad to China. The next three days of this abroad trip, will test his ability to play a commanding global role during his final two years in office.

Once Obama was treated like a superstar on the world stage.

But the president will arrive in Beijing on Monday, under far different conditions, with his most powerful days behind him. No longer is America in the commanding lead for world trade, but they are holding onto the coat tails of China. 

This is much more of a cap in hand visit, than a state one, though the world is watching and he needs a miracle, to pull the next two years of his presidency into line. 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #east, #west

‘ East & West Disagree over Legitimacy of Donestsk & Luhansk Elections ‘

As hundreds of people flocked to the polls on Sunday the East and West were squaring up for a battle over the legitimacy of such elections and today EU leaders would discuss the election of heads. Though the peoples republics have their own ideas who should be elected.

' Donetsk citizens queuing outside one of the polling stations during the elections '

‘ Donetsk citizens queuing outside one of the polling stations during the elections ‘

Atlantic Council said that the Russian-backed, miniature, “people’s republics” declared in south-eastern Ukraine are preparing to elect parliaments and heads of state on Sunday, a step backed by Moscow the BBC reported.

 Elections in self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics

'Donetsk militia commander and prime minister of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ Alexander Zakharchenko, center, visits a coal mine October 29 as he campaigns to be elected head of state. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev) '

‘Donetsk militia commander and prime minister of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ Alexander Zakharchenko, center, visits a coal mine October 29 as he campaigns to be elected head of state. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev) ‘

On Sunday, the DPR and LPR held elections of the self-proclaimed republic’s heads and parliament members. In DPR its incumbent head Aleksandr Zakharchenko won the polls, and in the LPR – incumbent leader of the republic Igor Plotnitsky.

The self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk took to polling stations to vote for their leaders and MPs on Sunday.

Over 360 polling stations were open in Donetsk for three million potential voters. Meanwhile, 102 polling stations for approximately 1.5 million voters were open in Luhansk.

EU countries are ready to discuss the elections of heads and parliamentarians in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics this week, the EU foreign policy chief’s spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic, said on Monday Tass reported. 

This was following a previous comment by EU’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, earlier who called these elections illegitimate and said the EU will not recognize their results.   

Those elections promise to further undermine the already wobbly political deal that underpins the half-effective ceasefire in the war some have said, though Moscow says they will recognise the election results reported Tass.

Does that increase the risk of a new surge in fighting?

The ceasefire is part of the Minsk Protocol, a Sept. 5 agreement signed by Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE and representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.

The protocol is written as a roadmap for restoring Ukrainian control over the south-east. It provides for the removal of “illegal military formations,” the re-establishment of Ukraine’s control over its territory and its border—and (Ukraine’s concession) a special status, with extra local government powers, for the region the Atlantic Council reported. 

It also calls for “the holding of early local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian law” to establish that special status.

The ceasefire already is in trouble. Gun battles, mortar shelling and other combat continues on a daily basis, and killed more than 330 people in the truce’s first month, the UN human rights agency said in early October.

Western journalists have met Russian troops deployed in Lugansk, despite Moscow’s denial it has sent its forces in. Disparate Militias continue to rule the Russian-controlled zone (Donetsk’s prime minister and leading candidate to become head of state is the commander of one such militia, called Oplot.)

Either way the people voted in their hundreds and the outcome will affect both the Ukrainian people’s of Donestsk and Luhansk and will very likely open up another debate between East and West Governments.   

Ian Draper: Ace News Room  

#east, #elections, #leaders, #votes, #west