Κυριακή 28 Απριλίου 2024

Is Albania’s Edi Rama the New Erdogan? (...declare Beleri a political prisoner.) - Είναι ο Έντι Ράμα της Αλβανίας ο νέος Ερντογάν; (.....να κηρύξουμε τον Μπελέρι ως πολιτικό κρατούμενο.) -A është Edi Rama i Shqipërisë Erdogani i ri? (...ta shpallim Belerin të burgosur politik.)

Συνάντηση Ερντογάν – Ράμα στην Αγκυρα: Υπέγραψαν συμφωνία «στρατιωτικού  πλαισίου» | Η ΚΑΘΗΜΕΡΙΝΗ




Michael Rubin

Is Albania’s Edi Rama the New Erdogan?

Almost a quarter century ago, Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Washington. Former Reagan-era defense official Richard Perle introduced him to the White House, affirming his bonafides as a democrat and reformer. When Erdogan subsequently won election, both White House and State Department officials endorsed him. President George W. Bush, for example, told Erdogan, “I appreciate so very much the example your country has set on how to be a Muslim country and at the same time a country which embraces democracy and rule of law and freedom.” Secretary of State Colin Powell, meanwhile, described Turkey as “a Muslim democracy living in peace with its friends and neighbors.” Such wishful thinking continued for years as American officials described the Erdogan for which they wished rather than the Erdogan who actually existed. While a generation of American diplomats praised Erdogan’s supposed democratic reforms, he reverted Turkey into one of Europe’s most vicious police states.

Diplomatic negligence had consequence. Turkey has the fifth largest decline in Freedom House rankings over the past decade, even greater than Hong Kong after Communist China shredded that territory’s guarantees. The murder rate of women has increased over 1,400 percent. Press freedoms are non-existent. Far from defending Western interests, Erdogan cozies up to Russia and Iran, and embraces terrorist leaders.

The question now is whether Washington and its European partners have learned any lesson.

Consider Albania. On September 11, 2013, Edi Rama took office as Albania’s 12th post-Cold War prime minister. When President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden subsequently met Rama, they praised his leadership, his efforts for Balkan security and stability, and his promotion of religious tolerance. Secretary of State John Kerry was effusive during a 2016 visit to Tirana.

President Obama and I and the American people are very grateful for the leadership that you are offering and for your team’s efforts to not just care about Albania and Albanian’s interests but to embrace a broad set of values which define all of us, he told Rama. In February 2020, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Rama’s supposed support for judicial reforms. As with Erdogan, however, questions about illegal donations into the American political system percolate.

There are signs, however, that Rama sees himself as a young Erdogan. Here, the case of Fredi Beleri should be a warning. On May 12, 2023, two days before Albania’s municipal elections, Albanian forces arrested Beleri, an ethnic Greek seeking the mayoralty of Himara, a town on the Albanian Riviera. Charges were dubious. Prosecutors from Rama’s apparatus accused Beleri of seeking to buy four votes for a total of around $320.  Voters saw the charges as a cynical attempt to sideline an opposition candidate and deprive Albania’s ethnic Greek community control over increasingly valuable real estate that Rama’s associates hoped to develop. Beleri won, but Rama refused to allow him into office.

The parallels to Turkey are stunning. First, Erdogan also fabricated allegations of financial impropriety to sideline political opponents and confiscate their properties. Second, he would use dubious judicial means to prevent ethnic minorities from taking the offices they won. For years, though, Erdogan suffered no diplomatic consequence for his actions; convinced in the truth of their own spin about how Erdogan was a reformist, US diplomats would even whitewash the abuse.  Just over a decade ago, for example, Obama lauded Erdogan in Sabah, ignoring that the Turkish leader had just confiscated the paper and transferred it to his son-in-law. Obama’s error was not his alone; he had relied on diplomats who drank Erdogan’s Kool-aid.

Like Erdogan, Rama is a tactician. He realizes that, so long as key diplomats and officials in Washington and Brussels view him as a reformer, as they once did Erodgan, they will allow Rama to use courts to target political opposition. That former Ambassador Yuri Kim ignored Rama’s abuse as she maneuvered for a follow-on posting in Ankara was icing on the cake.

Washington should not make the same mistake twice. More than Balkan security cooperation is at stake. Left unchecked, Erdoganism metastasizes and abuses and instability follow. It is time to judge Rama by his actions, not his spin, and declare Beleri a political prisoner.



Είναι ο Έντι Ράμα της Αλβανίας ο νέος Ερντογάν;

Πριν από σχεδόν ένα τέταρτο του αιώνα, ο Ρετζέπ Ταγίπ Ερντογάν επισκέφθηκε την Ουάσιγκτον. Ο πρώην αξιωματούχος της άμυνας της εποχής του Ρίγκαν, Ρίτσαρντ Περλ, τον σύστησε στον Λευκό Οίκο, επιβεβαιώνοντας ότι είναι δημοκράτης και μεταρρυθμιστής. Όταν ο Ερντογάν κέρδισε στη συνέχεια τις εκλογές, οι αξιωματούχοι του Λευκού Οίκου και του Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ τον ενέκριναν. Ο Πρόεδρος Τζορτζ Μπους, για παράδειγμα, είπε στον Ερντογάν: «Εκτιμώ πάρα πολύ το παράδειγμα που έχει δώσει η χώρα σας για το πώς πρέπει  να είναι μια μουσουλμανική χώρα και ταυτόχρονα μια χώρα που ασπάζεται τη δημοκρατία, το κράτος δικαίου και την ελευθερία». Ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών Κόλιν Πάουελ, εν τω μεταξύ, περιέγραψε την Τουρκία ως «μια μουσουλμανική δημοκρατία που ζει ειρηνικά με τους φίλους και τους γείτονές της». Τέτοιοι ευσεβείς πόθοι συνεχίστηκαν για χρόνια καθώς Αμερικανοί αξιωματούχοι περιέγραφαν τον Ερντογάν τον οποίο επιθυμούσαν και όχι τον Ερντογάν που υπήρχε στην πραγματικότητα. Ενώ μια γενιά Αμερικανών διπλωματών επαίνεσε τις υποτιθέμενες δημοκρατικές μεταρρυθμίσεις του Ερντογάν, αυτός επανέφερε την Τουρκία σε ένα από τα πιο μοχθηρά αστυνομικά κράτη της Ευρώπης.


Η διπλωματική αμέλεια είχε συνέπειες. Η Τουρκία έχει την πέμπτη μεγαλύτερη πτώση στην κατάταξη του Freedom House την τελευταία δεκαετία, ακόμη μεγαλύτερη από το Χονγκ Κονγκ, αφού η κομμουνιστική Κίνα κατέρριψε τις εγγυήσεις αυτής της περιοχής. Το ποσοστό δολοφονιών των γυναικών έχει αυξηθεί πάνω από 1.400 τοις εκατό. Οι ελευθερίες του Τύπου είναι ανύπαρκτες. Μακριά από την υπεράσπιση των δυτικών συμφερόντων, ο Ερντογάν συμφιλιώνεται με τη Ρωσία και το Ιράν και αγκαλιάζει τους ηγέτες των τρομοκρατών. Το ερώτημα τώρα είναι εάν η Ουάσιγκτον και οι Ευρωπαίοι εταίροι της έχουν πάρει κάποιο μάθημα.

Σκεφτείτε τώρα την Αλβανία.

 Στις 11 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013, ο Έντι Ράμα ανέλαβε τα καθήκοντά του ως ο 12ος πρωθυπουργός της Αλβανίας μετά τον Ψυχρό Πόλεμο. Όταν ο Πρόεδρος Μπαράκ Ομπάμα και ο αντιπρόεδρος Τζο Μπάιντεν συναντήθηκαν στη συνέχεια με τον Ράμα, επαίνεσαν την ηγεσία του, τις προσπάθειές του για ασφάλεια και σταθερότητα στα Βαλκάνια και την προώθηση της θρησκευτικής ανεκτικότητας. Ο Υπουργός Εξωτερικών Τζον Κέρι ήταν διστακτικός κατά τη διάρκεια επίσκεψης του 2016 στα Τίρανα.


Ο Πρόεδρος Ομπάμα και εγώ και ο αμερικανικός λαός είμαστε πολύ ευγνώμονες για την ηγεσία που προσφέρετε και για τις προσπάθειες της ομάδας σας να μην ενδιαφέρεται μόνο για τα συμφέροντα της Αλβανίας και των Αλβανών, αλλά να αγκαλιάσει ένα ευρύ σύνολο αξιών που μας χαρακτηρίζουν  όλους μας. είπε στον Ράμα τον Φεβρουάριο του 2020, ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών Μάικ Πομπέο επαίνεσε την υποτιθέμενη υποστήριξη του Ράμα στις δικαστικές μεταρρυθμίσεις. Όπως και με τον Ερντογάν, ωστόσο, εγείρονται  ερωτήματα για τις παράνομες δωρεές στο αμερικανικό πολιτικό σύστημα. Υπάρχουν ενδείξεις, ωστόσο, ότι ο Ράμα βλέπει τον εαυτό του ως νέο Ερντογάν. Εδώ, η περίπτωση του Φρέντι Μπελέρι πρέπει να είναι μια προειδοποίηση. Στις 12 Μαΐου 2023, δύο ημέρες πριν από τις δημοτικές εκλογές στην Αλβανία, οι αλβανικές αστυνομικές δυνάμεις συνέλαβαν τον Μπελέρι, έναν Έλληνα που ήταν υποψήφιος για τη δημαρχία της Χιμάρας, μια πόλη στην Αλβανική Ριβιέρα. Οι κατηγορίες ήταν αμφίβολες. Οι εισαγγελείς από το μηχανισμό του Ράμα κατηγόρησαν τον Μπελέρι ότι επιδίωκε να αγοράσει τέσσερις ψήφους για ένα σύνολο περίπου 320 δολαρίων. Οι ψηφοφόροι θεώρησαν τις κατηγορίες ως μια κυνική προσπάθεια να παραγκωνίσουν έναν υποψήφιο της αντιπολίτευσης και να στερήσουν τον έλεγχο της αλβανικής ελληνικής κοινότητας σε όλο και πιο πολύτιμη ακίνητη περιουσία που ήλπιζαν να αναπτύξουν οι συνεργάτες του Ράμα. Ο Μπελέρι κέρδισε, αλλά ο Ράμα αρνήθηκε να του επιτρέψει να αναλάβει τα καθήκοντά του.


Οι παραλληλισμοί με την Τουρκία είναι εκπληκτικοί. Πρώτον, ο Ερντογάν κατασκεύασε επίσης ισχυρισμούς για οικονομική καταχρηστικότητα για να παραγκωνίσει τους πολιτικούς αντιπάλους και να κατασχέσει τις περιουσίες τους.

Δεύτερον, θα χρησιμοποιούσε αμφίβολα δικαστικά μέσα για να εμποδίσει τις εθνικές μειονότητες να πάρουν τα αξιώματα που κέρδισαν. Για χρόνια, ωστόσο, ο Ερντογάν δεν υπέστη διπλωματικές συνέπειες για τις πράξεις του. Πεπεισμένοι στην αλήθεια της δικής τους πεποίθησης σχετικά με το πώς ο Ερντογάν ήταν μεταρρυθμιστής, οι αμερικανοί διπλωμάτες θα κάνουν ακόμη  και το μαύρο άσπρο για να ξεπλύνουν και την κατάχρηση. Μόλις πριν από μια δεκαετία, για παράδειγμα, ο Ομπάμα επαίνεσε τον Ερντογάν στη Sabah, αγνοώντας ότι ο Τούρκος ηγέτης μόλις είχε κατασχέσει το χαρτί και το είχε μεταφέρει στον γαμπρό του. Το λάθος του Ομπάμα δεν ήταν μόνο δικό του. είχε βασιστεί σε διπλωμάτες που έπιναν το Kool-aid του Ερντογάν.

Όπως ο Ερντογάν, ο Ράμα ακολουθεί τακτική.

Συνειδητοποιεί ότι, όσο βασικοί διπλωμάτες και αξιωματούχοι στην Ουάσιγκτον και τις Βρυξέλλες τον βλέπουν ως μεταρρυθμιστή, όπως έκαναν κάποτε για τον Έρντογκαν, θα επιτρέψουν στον Ράμα να χρησιμοποιήσει δικαστήρια για να στοχεύσει την αντιπολίτευση.

 Το κερασάκι στην τούρτα ήταν ότι ο πρώην πρέσβης Γιούρι Κιμ αγνόησε την κατάχρηση εξουσίας του Ράμα καθώς έκανε ελιγμούς για μια επόμενη μετάθεση στην Άγκυρα.

Η Ουάσιγκτον δεν πρέπει να κάνει το ίδιο λάθος δύο φορές. Διακυβεύεται κάτι περισσότερο από τη συνεργασία για την ασφάλεια των Βαλκανίων. Ανεξέλεγκτος, ο Ερντογανισμός κάνει μεταστάσεις και ακολουθούν καταχρήσεις και αστάθεια. Είναι καιρός να κρίνουμε τον Ράμα από τις πράξεις του και όχι από την προαίρεση  του και να κηρύξουμε  τον Μπελέρι ως πολιτικό κρατούμενο.

Μετάφραση, Επιμέλεια. Πελασγός Κορυτσάς


A është Edi Rama i Shqipërisë Erdogani i ri?

Pothuajse një çerek shekulli më parë, Rexhep Tajip Erdogan vizitoi Uashingtonin. Ish-zyrtari i mbrojtjes i periudhës së Reganit, Richard Perle, e prezantoi atë në Shtëpinë e Bardhë, duke  e prezantuar me bindje si një demokrat dhe reformator. Kur Erdogan fitoi zgjedhjet më pas, zyrtarët e Shtëpisë së Bardhë dhe të Departamentit të Shtetit e mbështetën atë.

Presidenti Xhorxh W. Bush, për shembull, i tha Erdoganit: "Unë e vlerësoj shumë shembullin që ka dhënë vendi juaj se si të jesh një vend mysliman dhe në të njëjtën kohë një vend që përqafon demokracinë, sundimin e ligjit dhe lirinë."

Ndërkohë, Sekretari i Shtetit Colin Powell e përshkroi Turqinë si "një demokraci myslimane që jeton në paqe me miqtë dhe fqinjët e saj". Një mendim i tillë, dëshiror, vazhdoi për vite me radhë, ndërsa zyrtarët amerikanë përshkruan Erdoganin ashtu si  ata e  dëshironin dhe jo Erdoganin që ishte në të vërtetë. Ndërsa një brez diplomatësh amerikanë vlerësuan reformat e supozuara demokratike të Erdoganit, ai e ktheu Turqinë në një nga shtetet policore më të egra të Evropës.

Neglizhenca diplomatike pati pasoja.

Turqia ka rënien e pestë më të madhe në renditjen e Freedom House gjatë dekadës së fundit, madje më e madhe se Hong Kongu pasi Kina komuniste copëtoi garancitë e këtij vendi.


Shkalla e vrasjeve të grave është rritur mbi 1400 për qind. Liritë e shtypit nuk ekzistojnë. Larg mbrojtjes së interesave perëndimore, Erdogan i afrohet Rusisë dhe Iranit dhe përqafon liderët terroristë. Pyetja tani është nëse Uashingtoni dhe partnerët e tij evropianë kanë nxjerrë ndonjë mësim.

Merrni tani në konsideratë Shqipërinë.

Më 11 shtator 2013, Edi Rama mori detyrën si kryeministri i 12-të i Shqipërisë pas Luftës së Ftohtë. Kur Presidenti Barack Obama dhe Zëvendës Presidenti Joe Biden takuan më pas Ramën, ata vlerësuan udhëheqjen e tij, përpjekjet e tij për sigurinë dhe stabilitetin në Ballkan dhe promovimin e tolerancës fetare. Sekretari i Shtetit, John Kerry, ishte i paqartë gjatë një vizite në Tiranë në vitin 2016. Presidenti Obama, unë dhe populli amerikan jemi shumë mirënjohës për lidershipin që po ofroni dhe për përpjekjet e ekipit tuaj që jo vetëm të kujdeset për Shqipërinë dhe interesat e Shqiptarëve, por për të përqafuar një grup të gjerë vlerash që na përcaktojnë të gjithëve - i tha ai Ramës.

Në shkurt 2020, Sekretari i Shtetit Mike Pompeo vlerësoi mbështetjen e supozuar të Ramës për reformat në drejtësi.

Ashtu si me Erdoganin, megjithatë, ngrihen pyetje rreth donacioneve të paligjshme që depërtojnë në sistemin politik amerikan.

Megjithatë, ka shenja që Rama e sheh veten si një Erdogan të ri. Këtu duhet të përbëjë një paralajmërim rasti i Fredi Belerit. Më 12 maj 2023, dy ditë përpara zgjedhjeve bashkiake në Shqipëri, forcat  e sigurisë shqiptare arrestuan Belerin, një minoritar grek që kërkonte kryebashkinë e Himarës, një qytet në rivierën shqiptare. Akuzat ishin të dyshimta. Prokurorët nga aparati i drejtësisë së Ramës akuzuan Belerin se kërkoi të blinte katër vota për një total prej rreth 320 dollarësh. Votuesit i panë akuzat si një përpjekje cinike për të mënjanuar një kandidat të opozitës dhe për t'i hequr komunitetit etnik grek të Shqipërisë kontrollin mbi pronat e paluajtshme gjithnjë e më të vlefshme që bashkëpunëtorët e Ramës shpresonin t’i zhvillonin.


Beleri fitoi, por Rama nuk pranoi ta lejonte atë në detyrë.

Paralelet me Turqinë janë mahnitëse.

Së pari, Erdogan fabrikoi gjithashtu akuza për parregullsi financiare për të mënjanuar kundërshtarët politikë dhe për të konfiskuar pronat e tyre.

Së dyti, ai do të përdorte mjete të dyshimta gjyqësore për të penguar pakicat etnike që të merrnin postet që fituan.

Për vite, megjithatë, Erdogan nuk pësoi asnjë pasojë diplomatike për veprimet e tij; Të bindur në të vërtetën e qëndrimit të tyre rreth asaj se si Erdogan ishte një reformist, diplomatët amerikanë madje do të bënin të bardhën të zezë që të zhduknin abuzimin e tij. Pak më shumë se një dekadë më parë, për shembull, Obama lavdëroi Erdoganin në Sabah, duke injoruar se lideri turk sapo kishte konfiskuar letrën dhe ia kishte transferuar dhëndrit të tij. Gabimi i Obamës nuk ishte vetëm i tij; ai ishte mbështetur te diplomatët që pinin Kool-aid-in e Erdoganit.

Ashtu si Erdogani, Rama është taktik.

Ai e kupton se, për sa kohë diplomatët dhe zyrtarët kryesorë në Uashington dhe Bruksel e shohin atë si një reformator, siç bënin dikur Erodganin, ata do ta lejojnë Ramën të përdorë gjykatat për të goditur opozitën politike. Qershia në tortë ishte që ish-ambasadorja Yuri Kim e injoroi abuzimin e Ramës teksa ajo manovronte për një transferim në Ankara.

Uashingtoni nuk duhet të bëjë të njëjtin gabim dy herë.

Më shumë se bashkëpunimi i sigurisë në Ballkan është në rrezik.

I lënë i pakontrolluar, erdoganizmi jep metastaza dhe pason abuzimet dhe destabiliteti. Është koha të gjykojmë Ramën nga veprimet e tij, jo nga tendenca e rrotullimi, dhe ta shpallim Belerin të burgosur politik.

Përktheu: Pelasgos Koritsas



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