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TitleAfter the Rain : how the West lost the East by Vaknin, Samuel, 1961-
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The Project Gutenberg Etext of After the Rain, by Sam Vaknin

#3 in our series by Sam Vaknin

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Title: After the Rain

Author: Sam Vaknin

Release Date: September, 2003 [Etext #4685
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on February 27, 2002]

Edition: 10

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

The Project Gutenberg Etext of After the Rain, by Sam Vaknin

The Project Gutenberg Etext of After the Rain, by Sam Vaknin 1

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The Project Gutenberg etext of After the Rain - How the West Lost the East

#3 in our series by Sam Vaknin 2

Page 73

The aims are different, as well. China wishes to force the USA to throw open the gates of the global
marketplace, currently zealously guarded by the only superpower. The IMF, the World Bank, the WTO are all
believed to be extensions of the American economic clout, put to the use of its geopolitical interests. Russia
forced its way into the G8 but China has much loftier ambitions. It is not in pursuit of membership in
gentlemen’s clubs – it aspires to real, raw power. It wants to carve the world between itself and the
West. In short, it wants to dominate and to export and it wants the West to help it do so. In return, it promises
regional and internal stability and access to its markets. To convince the West of the quality of its wares,
China demonstrates its capacity to destabilize in various corners of the world. It transfers weapons
technology, support international terrorism and rogue states and, in general, places formidable obstacles in the
path to Pax Americana, the New World Order.

The Americans regard this as a reasonable deal but they wish to reverse the cause and the effect. First, they
want to gain unhindered access to the potentially infinite Chinese market and to have the Chinese deliver the
regional and international stability they claim to be able to deliver. Only then are they willing to contemplate
the coveted prize of graduating to the co-ownership of the world financial and economic architecture.

China is fighting for legitimacy, recognition, access to markets, capital and technology and the ability to
reshape the world in its favour. The USA is fighting to check progress of the Chinese on all these fronts. Such
fundamental differences are bound to lead to conflict – as, indeed, they have.

In this sense, the bombing of the Chinese embassy has been an auspicious event because it allowed both
parties to break through, to unlock and a deadlock and to make progress towards a fuller integration of China
into the WTO, for instance. It also legitimised the airing of grievances against the style and conduct of the
USA in world affairs. In short, it was cathartic and useful.

The Demise of the Client States

The concept of the client states is so well entrenched in our historical consciousness that its demise has been
denied and repressed. There are no longer alliances between powerful political units (such as the USA) and
smaller, dependent, satellites. The kaleidoscopically shifting interests of the few remaining global powers
dictate geopolitical transigence and ideological transparency. These adaptive processes lead to a myriad of
alliances, forever changing to fit the needs and interests of the moment or to cater to future contingencies.
Thus, Russia ignores Yugoslavia’s pleas for help, China allows the USA, Japan and South Korea to conduct
direct negotiations with North Korea, America bullies Israel into a settlement with the Palestinians (who
support Iraq), the UK and the USA impose a peace plan on the IRA, Russia respects an embargo imposed on
both Iraq and Yugoslavia and so on. These are the roots of a truly global order. It is also the death knell for
rogue and "insane" states. Devoid of their patronage, these countries are gradually tamed by the awesome twin
forces of the global market and international capital and information flows. Iran moderates, Libya surrenders,
Yugoslavia succumbs, the only exception being Iraq.

This is NOT to say that warfare is a thing of the past. On the very contrary. In the absence of the
overwhelmingly restraining impulses and impositions of the superpowers – ethnic strife, border
skirmishes, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – all are likely to increase. But these are
already affairs of limited importance, confined to parts of the world of limited importance, and fought
amongst people of ever more limited importance. War marginalizes the warriors because it takes them out of
the circulation of capital, information and goods. Decoupled from these essential flows, warring parties wither
and shrivel.

The Convergence of Economic and Military Alliances

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Dr. Sam Vaknin 73

Page 74

The Kosovo crisis started as an exercise in self re-definition. NATO used it to successfully put its
cohesiveness to test. It acted sanely and its hypercomplex set of checks and balances and more checks scored
an impressive success. As a result, the limited aims and means of the campaign were maintained and NATO
was not dragged into either British belligerence or Italian and Greek defeatism. It was the second time in
recent history (the first being another multilateral military campaign in the Gulf in 1991) – that a
military move did not degenerate into full-scale insanity of carnage and bloodshed.

NATO emerged as a self-restrained, well-choreographed, well co-ordinated body of professionals who go
through motions and off the shelf plans with lifeless automatism. While somewhat aesthetically repulsive, this
image is a great deterrent. We fear cold-blooded, impartial machines of war more than we do any hot-blooded,
sword-wielding fanatic. NATO acted with the famous German industrial efficiency that gave warfare a bad
name. It was "surgically precise" and civilian casualties were alchemically converted into "collateral damage".
The well-practised Jamie Shea is an exceptionally chilling sight.

Thus, a policeman was born to police the emerging world of international commerce, true multinationals,
boundary-less flows of data and chaotic reactions to changes in local variables. This policeman is NATO and
it wields an awesome club. As it chooses which criminals to discipline, it transforms the nature of previously
unruly neighbourhoods. For this, at least, we should be grateful.

(Article published June 6, 1999 in "The New Presence")

Return

NATO's Next War

The real, protracted, war is about to start. NATO and the international peacekeeping force against an unholy
– and, until recently, improbable – alliance. Milosevic (or post-Milosevic Serbia) and the KLA
against the occupying forces. It is going to be ferocious. It is going to be bloody. And it is going to be a
Somali nightmare.

Why should the KLA and Serbia collaborate against NATO (I use NATO here as shorthand for "The
International Peacekeeping Force – KFOR")?

Serbia – because it wants to regain its lost sovereignty over at least the northern part of Kosovo.
Because it virulently hates, wholeheartedly detests, voluptuously despises NATO, the "Nazi aggressor" of
yester month. Serbia has no natural allies left, not even Russia, which prostituted its geopolitical favours for
substantial IMF funding. Its only remaining natural ally is the KLA.

The KLA stands to lose everything as a result of the latest bout of peacemaking. It is supposed to be
"decommissioned" IRA-style, disarmed ("demilitarised" in the diplomatic argot) and effectively disbanded.
The KLA's political clout rested on its ever-growing arsenal and body of volunteers. Yet volunteers have a
strange habit of going back whence they came once a conflict is over. And the weapons are to be surrendered.
Devoid of these two pillars of political might – Thaci may find himself unemployed, a former
self-declared Prime Minister of a shadow government in Albanian exile. Rugova has the coffers, filled to the
brim with tens of millions of US dollars and DM raised from the Albanian Diaspora worldwide. Money talks,
KLA walks. Bad for the KLA. Having tasted power, having met cher Albright on a regular basis, having
conversed with Tony Blair and Robertson and even Clinton via expensive high tech gadgets – Thaci is
not likely to compromise on a second rate appointment in a Rugova led administration.

And the bad news is that he doesn't have to. Bolstered by a short-sighted and panicky NATO, the KLA
post-bellum is not what it used to be ante-bellum. It is well equipped. It is well financed. Its ranks have

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Dr. Sam Vaknin 74

Page 146

Winner of numerous awards, among them the Israeli Education Ministry Prize (Literature) - 1997, The Rotary
Club Award for Social Studies - 1976, and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in
Israel - 1978.

Hundreds of professional articles in all fields of finances and the economy.

Numerous articles dealing with geopolitical and political economic issues.

Many appearances in the electronic media on subjects in philosophy and the sciences and concerning
economic matters.

Write to Me:

[email protected]

[email protected]

My Web Sites:

Economy / Politics:

http://samvak.tripod.com/guide.html

Psychology:

http://samvak.tripod.com/index.html

Philosophy:

http://samvak.tripod.com/culture.html

Poetry:

http://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html

Return

After the Rain

How the West

Lost the East

The Book

This is a series of articles written and published in 1996-2000 in Macedonia, in Russia, in Egypt and in the
Czech Republic.

How the West lost the East. The economics, the politics, the geopolitics, the conspiracies, the corruption, the
old and the new, the plough and the internet – it is all here, in colourful and provocative prose.

The Project Gutenberg etext of After the Rain - How the West Lost the East

Dr. Sam Vaknin 146

mailto:[email protected]
mailto:[email protected]
http://samvak.tripod.com/guide.html
http://samvak.tripod.com/index.html
http://samvak.tripod.com/culture.html
http://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html

Page 147

From "The Mind of Darkness":

"’The Balkans’ – I say – ’is the unconscious of the world’. People stop to digest this metaphor
and then they nod enthusiastically. It is here that the repressed memories of history, its traumas and fears and
images reside. It is here that the psychodynamics of humanity – the tectonic clash between Rome and

Byzantium, West and East, Judeo-Christianity and Islam – is still easily discernible. We are seated at a
New Year’s dining table, loaded with a roasted pig and exotic salads. I, the Jew, only half foreign to this

cradle of Slavonics. Four Serbs, five Macedonians. It is in the Balkans that all ethnic distinctions fail and it is
here that they prevail anachronistically and atavistically. Contradiction and change the only two fixtures of

this tormented region. The women of the Balkan - buried under provocative mask-like make up, retro
hairstyles and too narrow dresses. The men, clad in sepia colours, old fashioned suits and turn of the century
moustaches. In the background there is the crying game that is Balkanian music: liturgy and folk and elegy

combined. The smells are heavy with muskular perfumes. It is like time travel. It is like revisiting one’s
childhood."

The Author

Sam Vaknin was born in Israel in 1961. A financial consultant and columnist, he lived and published in 11
countries. An author of short stories, the winner of many literary awards, an amateur philosopher – he

is a controversial figure. This is his tenth book.

The Project Gutenberg etext of After the Rain - How the West Lost the East

Dr. Sam Vaknin 147

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