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‘Agents of Influence’ often Don’t Realize that They Are Agents

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Conversation of Kalina Androlova with Peter Vodenski, a diplomat, former ambassador of Bulgaria to Turkey, Moldova and Cyprus, Colonel of Bulgarian military intelligence.

'Agents of Influence' often Don't Realize that They Are Agents

Peter Vodenski

Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront

You have a great book called “Other than that, diplomacy is a serious craft.”The book begins with the story of your diplomatic activity in Ankara in the ’80s. You joke that at the time the CIA was courting you and that if you’ve been accepted to work with them, then now surely you would have a ministerial chair. Tell me, are foreign agents so obviously in the ministerial apparatus of Bulgaria at the moment? Is that how they “put” the ministers in our country? So we can say it openly.

This particular episode of the book is a kind of provocation to the reader. During my diplomatic mandate in Ankara (1984-1988) the first to propose work to me (a subtle attempt to recruit) was my British colleague at that time at a meeting at their embassy. He politely asked me directly whether I want to live in London and his whole appearance suggested what he was actually asking me. In the same direct and polite English way I refused. With the description of this event (and other of this kind) I wanted to get the reader to think that in our country people appreciate those worked for foreign intelligence services, but not those worked for Bulgaria. Examples – in Sofia we have the park “General Zaimov” – the name of a Soviet spy; boulevard “GM Dimitrov “- the name of a British spy; we have a monument of the Turkish terrorists who blew up the train wagon for mothers and children at the Bunovo station; we have a monument to American pilots who brutally bombed Sofia, etc. The provocation to the reader is that if I worked for one or more of these foreign services, then maybe there would be a street name “P. D. Vodenski” a park ” Colonel Vodenski” etc., but because I did not sell out, I am now reviled in society. The CIA at that time? We maintained mutually beneficial contacts with several CIA officers on a diplomatic cover at the US Embassy in Ankara, with a careful attitude on my part, so no one gets hurt. They, of course, aimed at obtaining as much information as possible and…. to process me with a view of future developments, but I tried to achieve my out goals and to pursue my tasks. Whether these contacts have been helpful? I describe in the book a few stories on this occasion. Now to your question about foreign agents in high positions in our society. Intelligence agents have a category called “agents of influence” that are used to convey this or that interest of recruitment. Broadly speaking, these are people who are considered to have the capacity to rise to a high positions in any area and relevant intelligence begins to examine them with a view to find ways of recruitment – normally we use any human weaknesses such as greed, lust for power, excessive attention to the “finer things” (promiscuous sex with persons of the opposite or their own gender), etc., or ideological motives. Based on this study we decide to implement which tasks can be relevant for the “object”. Then we start a targeted “processing”. No matter how paradoxical, often themselves the “agents of influence” does not even suspect that they are such. One of my former ambassadors in Ankara – a good professional at “both crafts”(diplomacy and intelligence) – said about Gorbachev that he is an agent of influence, recruited at the highest level (without himself being aware of it) based on his love for himself. Perhaps one day – I do not know how many years, probably by then I would not be alive – the world will understand this; British declassification periodically classified documents, but for such delicate secrets, the law provides for delay. They are not like us, who release documents of intelligence, including records of current overseas intelligence; but my emotions – in brackets. The Bulgarian ministers? The agent of influence can be “felt” according to his actions. If you see a “power factor” acting contrary to Bulgarian interests, moreover, contrary to common sense; if you see that the actions of this “factor” in society do not follow neither pragmatic nor order nor an ideology, it is obvious that we “have something there”.

As someone who speaks Turkish, who has worked in Ankara, who is an officer of the Bulgarian military intelligence, how do you treat the replacement of “Turkish yoke” with “Turkish presence” in Bulgarian history? And the mention that on March 3 we were freed by Russians, Romanians, Finns and so on. Why is there this fear to utter things by their real names? Is it scary to say that Russia has given us freedom, of course, in the context of their interests, but this does not change the fact. Who pressures us to change the rhetoric and thinking, the textbooks and history, Mr. Vodenski? Who?

History? It definitely should not be rewritten! To quote Orwell’s “1984” “… he who controls the past, influences the future …”. Some critics say that “1984” is written about the communist society. I disagree with this statement. If it were true, why attempt to rewrite history now? Does someone again want to build in “modern democratic Mother Bulgaria” some kind of communism? In fact “1984” was given to me to read in 1982, by my boss at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an Ambassador; He warned me to not trow it around so as to not have to explain what we read and what we understand from reading it. In rewriting our history, there’s a certain amount of comedy. For example, when we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Russo-Turkish War (1978), our relations with Turkey were excellent. Then there were instructions from the Party (with a capital “P”) to avoid the word “Turkish” (war) in order to not irritate our neighbors and spoil our friendship with them. All sorts of loops were made! A colleague said that in trying to avoid the word “Turkish” we will be saying the “Russian-opponent war”. Now again a “Party” creates a “mainstream” that does not want to mention the word “Russian”. I personally do not find a difference between the idiocy of 1978 and the current idiocy. To be “politically correct” in front of foreign diplomats – readers of your magazine, let me say it as an American: Enough is enough!. Besides the historical and political, for me personally this question is also emotional. Here, recently it was All Souls’ Day, a big day for Christians. My grandmother – God rest her! – said that on this day St. Michael released souls of the dead early in the morning and picks them up at noon. Therefore – one must not be late on All Souls, because if he’s late, it’s as if he did not honor the dead.” At the last All Souls I went on time to the grave of my father, and in it are also buried my grandmother Svilenka and Grandma Maria, and my grandfather Pesho Vodenski, a rebel. My grandfather was 23 years old when he participated in the Ilinden Uprising and left in the village (in Vodensko) a wife and child to go to fight against Ottoman rule. How do I tell at my grandfather’s grave that he was wrong to revolt? i That it was not slavery? In all the hullabaloo of past disputes whether it was slavery or not, someone had written that he didn’t to inculcate in their children a syndrome that they are descendants of slaves, so we had to change the name from “slavery” to “presence”. Well, my grandfather Pesho lived under slavery, but did not feel he was a slave, so he revolted! We have already decided the issue, lets educate our children to love freedom, not to change the terminology and cut off our children’s roots! I don’t blame today’s Turks in Turkey or Bulgaria (among both I have wonderful friends). History is history, today is today. Another aspect is about who participated in the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. When I was ambassador in Chisinau, in my speeches on March 3, I always stressed the importance of the participants in the war from the Moldavian side – we know that Chisinau is directly related to the war, there have found a refuge those who fled from the Turkish atrocities after the April uprising, there are Manifesto Emperor declaring war on the Ottoman Empire, where the then “Skakovoe field” volunteers have begun the march towards Bulgaria, etc. – All over the places associated with our history, there are monuments and plaques, places for flowers and so on. A Bulgarian official representative in Moldova, such as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, can not but note these facts, it is within diplomacy and in this case not only diplomacy, these places are dear to every Bulgarian and people in Moldova have merit in this respect. Although we all know that at that time these lands were within the Russian Empire. But listing Ukrainians, Finns, etc., and not mentioning Russia would be … I have no words! Speaking of celebrating the 100th anniversary of this war. Even then, Turkish officials did not like our national holiday, they made suggestions that it should not be called a “Turkish yoke” that we had to respect ourselves, that we were not slaves to the Turks. Then, I chuckled ironically at these exertions, now I see how they have evolved in modern times! Only a mere thirty years! Bulgarians are already “correcting” Ivan Vazov and the title of his novel “Under the Yoke”, and us who oppose such sacrilege, are blamed for all the deadly sins. I think the best would be to proceed as the French and Germans who have fought so many wars with each other, but now jointly mark the anniversaries of these battles. We shouldn’t change the terminology and get stuck in history, we can look forward. In Chisinau, I invited to the celebration on March 3 the ambassadors of today’s sovereign states whose compatriots have participated in the Russo-Turkish War – Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania (there were no ambassadors of Finland and Poland). The Ambassador of Turkey at that time was a nice guy and a very experienced diplomat (Myumin Bay) I shared in front of him these ideas, and dreamed that one day he might accept one of my invitation to celebrate at “Skakovoe field” this holiday – without bad thoughts and no bad feelings towards each other, we’re modern people, and he agreed but said that our societies must be mature about it. A wise Turk. Well, if we’re still unripe we will wait to mature.

I love a quote from a Turkish diplomat at the time, who said about Turkey’s relations with the USSR: “You can not sleep in the same bed with an elephant.” Very clever idea. We know how lying in a bed with an elephant ended for us, but now we’re in bed with another elephant (which was previously hostile) and we believe that he will not crush us … Do we understand today’s threat to the residual forms of sovereignty that we think we have? And is there a formula for one small country to protect itself against elephants?

Look, I have participated as an expert in various management teams of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and discussed in various formats the various issues of Bulgarian foreign policy. Always – regardless of the political context and the ruling political party / coalition at the moment – I advocated the understanding that Bulgaria does not have the resources to influence global politics (we can not become an elephant!). Regionally, however, we could play our game and we have done well at the time of Todor Zhivkov and beyond. For example, with Minister Ivan Bashev Bulgaria managed to skillfully use the warming between the two military-political blocs to improve its relations with Greece and Turkey – NATO members. Then we managed to convince Moscow that a multilateral Balkan cooperation is in our advantage (then the USSR was not very eager about it), and we did what was in the interest of our security. After 1989, we implemented our idea of ​​such cooperation in the new conditions by creating the Cooperation Process in Southeastern Europe (SEECP), which became the authentic voice of the region – believe me, it was not easy. Another issue is whether today we use these opportunities fully and whether we managed to avert attempts by “big powers” to replace this format with another, in which decisions are dictated by them. On the other hand, the “elephants” not only have global interests, but also interests in our region, and when they want, they can enforce them. Our chance in such cases is not to take a position of “YES, sir!” but to monitor the process carefully, to understand in advance what will be asked of us and then we themselves can offer it to them, but in a version that interweaves our national interests; this is not enough – you need to find the right arguments to convince them that our proposal is the best possible for themselves. This is hard, but not impossible. Even in the current management team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there are colleagues who are making enormous efforts to achieve this. But there are politicians who listen and implement without questioning the instructions of foreign embassies in Sofia; I spoke with a colleague of the highest political office in the ministry, he told me: “Just by listening to the statements of a politician I know which diplomats from which embassy made suggestions to him in one direction or another”.

I would like your comments to the following excerpt from your book: “The deputy director told me – as if incidentally – that my name will be announced, because there is a law and if the service did not give my name, they will are in violation of the law, which has very strict penalties. Then I realized with a vengeance that the state betrayed me. I committed to the state not to reveal myself, not to tell anyone about my work; I had fulfilled strictly and conscientiously that commitment, but did the state fulfill its commitment? Was that before 1991 not the state of Bulgaria? Didn’t it exist for a 1300 years, and more? For which country had I worked? With every change of the regime and government there began anew the history of Bulgaria?”. You describe the paradox which faced all intelligence officers since 1989 very accurately. Why is there still no intelligent conversation about what happened in the public domain, what exactly is the fabric of your profession that allowed a huge mistake by interrupting the expert continuity in the intelligence services. Not to mention that it was a school, which was the best in the world. Because technical advantages are one, prepared intelligence – quite another.

Good question. I accepted to work for the Bulgarian military intelligence during a diplomatic mandate in Ankara, during the so-called. “Revival process”. At the time, Turkish authorities were monitoring us very closely and my colleagues from the military intelligence asked me to help, given that I’m to Turks a “pure diplomat.” What should have I done? Refuse under the pretext that after thirty years this activity will be declared shameful? Or to say that the terrible Turkish authorities are constantly monitoring me? So then my colleagues would call me a coward? Well, I accepted, I worked, I am proud that I worked for Bulgaria. Indescribable feeling, if I could turn back time, I would do the same. Intelligence is a profession that is practiced by all countries. It often goes hand in hand with diplomacy. If someone thinks that the embassies of major countries in Sofia do not engage in such activity, they are fooling themselves. Let me share a curious and amusing fact that I read in an American primer to train spies. In terms of intelligence described in the Holy Bible, the events in the Garden of Eden can be interpreted as follows: a foreign force under the code name “Satan” recruited an agent of influence under the name “Snake” and he was assigned to split the peace there – which the “Snake” achieved by corrupting Eve with an apple. Obviously this craft is at least as ancient as man. I was not even that kind of spy, I’ve worked for the Bulgarian military intelligence, and the main task before us was not to snoop on what is being said about the future of Comrade Zhivkov, but to see what is the thickness of the armor of Turkish tanks, so that if there was a possible need we could respond adequately to protect Bulgaria.” Why does society look at our profession in such a way? If one traces the “mainstream” he yields a negative impression; in meetings with different audiences when they invite me to present my book, I hear otherwise. There are already quite a few people in Bulgaria who have a real account of the need for this profession and the information that intelligence can gather and provide the political leadership in order it to take an informed decision. But there are paid “professional fighters against communism” whose entire life is “to fight against State Security” and make a buck out of it. We will feel the lack of intelligence when we actually need it, but it will be too late. Just like how our borders with neighboring countries must have fences but we destroyed them, and now we must give hundreds of millions to build something that resembles what we had. Years ago I was in in Western Europe on a course for senior executives on globalization with lectures on various issues, including modern day terrorism. At the end of the course to answer an inquiry, I wrote that e-Intelligence is obviously necessary, but it can not replace sources “in the field” – everyone looked at me like I discovered something unprecedented. Our western partners already “rediscovered” the need for resources “in the field” and we declassify our scouts and agents dossiers and put them on the Internet for public use and even rejoice in it. Pathetic story. The Bulgarian military intelligence was second to none; our German colleagues from the mid 90s stated it was among the top four in the world. What does this mean? Where the American, Russian, Israeli and German, before or after us? I do not know, this is the assessment of Germany, which some media quoted. And how is it now? I do not know. But I think, would anyone agree today to work and help our intelligence, if he knows that in 25-30 years, his name can be dragged publicly for such activities? How do today’s scouts manage to convince potential sources that such a thing will not happen? Would they be believed? Would you agree to cooperate if I suggest it? Any one of the magazine’s readers?

You say that society which accepts betrayal as something normal, has no “bright” future; moreover, such a society has an unpleasant present (it reveals the people who have worked for the security of the Bulgarian State). Why does Bulgarian society not realize that what is happening is really a betrayal? The media calls the reveal in question “democratization” reform, a break with communism. Is this ignorance? Or just servitude, “foreigners” requested it – we have done it. A nation with an inferiority complex?

When my name was published in the list, some of my colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stopped saying “hello” and, figuratively speaking, walked on the other side of the street. I did not know what’s in my file, I went to read it, and an employee in the reading room took me to a seat and went to get my file. After a while she came back and said that even I had no right to read it because it was very secret. I asked how the hell can it be so secret, if my name is announced publicly? I was a military intelligence officer in Turkey during the “revival process”, I did not spy on colleagues and I have intelligence on, figuratively speaking, if the US provided Turkey with rockets and where the “weak points” of Turkey are, because given the complicated relations, Bulgaria should be prepared for different eventualities.The clerk apologetically told me that they were not guilty, but simply obeyed the law. And I told her that during the Ottoman Empire was a law against fighting the Ottomans and priest Kratyo complied and gave Levski to the Turks. (I do not want to argue historically whether priest Krastyo or someone else betrayed Levski). The theme of betrayal is well developed in world literature, some of the traitors are globally known such as Judas – for whom incidentally there also appear denials. All traitors have their own justification Today “in the name of democracy and the fight against communism” they are willing to surrender their mother and father in the literal sense – count how many of today’s policy-makers in government, National Assembly, the media, think tanks, etc. are descendants of active fighters against fascism and capitalism, but these descendants apparently have betrayed the idealism (as far as they had it) of their fathers and mothers. And if you enter the territory of the traitors a little deeper you will inevitably reach the 30 pieces of silver Judas got. In the Bible, Judas hangs himself, we will see whether his followers today will have his conscience and destiny. And another thing: how does anti-communism transfer to Bulgarian intelligence? A third-class cop at some embassy said to some of our politicians to make this pogrom and he agreed to it? So he can become a second-rate cop? What reform is that, what is the real final output? To say it like an Englishman: We shoot ourselves in the leg – neither you yourself nor anyone else will benefit, only a waste of resources.

As someone who before, and now works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, how is the situation in this department? It turns out that this is a key ministry for placing ministers which is done very carefully. People choose, prepare, andof course, only then are placed at the helm. You can see that no matter from which party they are, they are identical, with the same set program schedule of speaking, behavior and so on. A well calculated choice because their capacity of thinking is not high, but they have a decent and educated mediocrity packed in a mannered yuppie exterior. A great profile. If you were very intelligent, they would not be able to control you (even in the dark). So here mediocrity is mandatory, but mediocrity framed in a facade of Brussels ‘competence’. This technique of our “allies” begins to become fatal for Bulgaria. Why is this ministry so important?

On the second floor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the Prime Minister works (ie. the “black marble”) there are the portraits of all the foreign ministers of Bulgaria from Liberation to date. I worked with the last 18, with some more closely, with some – not so much. All had different personality traits and all had something in common. I respect them, at least institutionally. Let’s stop here.

As a military intelligence officer how do you see the devastation of the army and the belief that friendly forces from NATO will protect us from all enemies of this world, especially from Russia, as the President Plevneliev stated? Does Greece relie on the help of Turkey for its defense, please tell me?

Broadly speaking, the Bulgarian army since 1989 has needed reform. Today’s ruling elite (or at least most of them) understand the concept of “reform” as budget cuts and numerical strength of an agency and the more cuts the better (according to them) the reform. This has nothing to do with reforming a given area – the correct way is to investigate carefully and expertly’s the condition and actual production of the field, to identify measures and a deadline for achieving the objective and identify resources / financial resources for this. Most of the so-called. reforms in the country do not meet this requirement, they are simply academic. But instead of looking for ways out of the situation you mentioned leaders use party-political slogans that are inconsistent with reality. Just one example – when somewhere in the middle of last year for a few months we felt that between the US and Russia there is “something” happening; when Kerry and Lavrov had already agreed on some modalities, a senior Bulgarian politician and statesman still spoke of a “hybrid warfare and the threat of Russia “. I have been a civil servant for decades, I have learned to respect the institutions and the people who sit in them but, excuse me, such statements are like buying a factory on September 8, 1944 or speaking to November 11, 1989 about the key role of Comrade Todor Zhivkov! And this is not a man of the street, but one located at a high position, a man who should “set the tone” of the rest! Complete inadequacy! Bulgaria, of course, has no resource to ensure security alone; that’s why it was necessary to become a member of NATO and the EU – let’s not forget that at the time the option was “Europe or the US,” and we chose Europe. But gradually as if we are departing from that selection. And we took things too far. Turkish Aviation defends our airspace and Turkish security forces protect our borders from “sympathetic” migrants. There is something wrong in such a “finished product”. About Turkey-Greece I will mention only one conversation on Twitter between Davutoglu and Tsipras, our Greek friend said regarding the downing of the Russian aircraft over Syria:”… If our officers were as weak nerved as their Turkish counterparts, then every day we would have to down several Turkish planes – violators of our air space,” to which in turn our Turkish friend replied:” Please, Alexis, let’s think about the positive development of our relations ” But seriously, about the problems between Turkey and Greece one can write a dissertation.

By observing international relations and the situation in the world, do you think the biggest threat to Europe (including Bulgaria) comes from Russia as more and more claim (not just the leaders of the Baltic republics and Plevneliev), but even higher representatives of NATO like Stoltenberg himself? Is NATO already a phantom instrument of collective legitimization of American interest in various parts of the world and nothing more? Currently, as we see in the “expansion” in the east, NATO attempts to erect a new “wall” between Russia and Europe. And this wall is in our lane, the Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria … Is this just about harmlessly pushing Russia out or a future line of conflict following the example of Ukraine?

The dynamics in the world are shifting and today the situation is completely different, our politicians should understand this and act appropriately. Russia was announced by the US as a threat when it began to rise to its feet and reached for what it believes it deserves. Such a development was predicted even twenty years ago by Western analysts and politicians who warned that Russia should not be pressured into a corner, because in international relations this is very dangerous. So even when the mentioned politicians said that NATO should not expand to the east, as to not endanger Russia militarily, the other side won. Today it appears that this was not for the best.Where does Bulgaria stand in all this? As was already mentioned, under Gorbachev we had two options: to Europe or the United States. My Russian friends later told me: “Why do you behave like this, brothers Bulgarians, why did you not come with us” I responded that Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was not a General Secretary to the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party but the Central Committee of the CPSU and he did not leave us a choice, so it is not fair to blame us, let them assume their responsibility. When I say all this, I speak of the need to conduct a pragmatic foreign policy, consistent and adequate to the realities, and as responsible as possible to the national interest. But to carry out such a policy requires effort, expertise, non-stop work. Sometimes I wonder why we were all fighting for democracy, since now we have essentially the same thing. By protecting foreign interests, we sometimes step unceremoniously on ours. Russia has its interests, Russia has its imperial instincts. Russia under Putin is not what it was under Yeltsin and Gorbachev, whether we like it or not. Russia is connected to us in many way, and there are things that divide us. We got our freedom due to Russia, which has given so much sacrifice of life, honor and we remember it today; the vast majority of us after the liberation were graduates of Russian schools – politicians and military and scientific figures. We fought together shoulder to shoulder with the Russians against common enemies, but we fought against each other. (General Ivan Kolev, who beat up the Cossacks in Dobruja, was born in the Russian Empire and is a graduate of Bolgrad, stated to the Bulgarian cavalry “God is my witness that I am grateful to Russia for setting us free. But what are now the Cossacks doing in our Dobroja. Beat them and chase them away as any enemy that prevents the unification of Bulgaria”.) All this must be taken into account and we should seek a pragmatic approach to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia. With our expertise in Russian affairs we could indeed help today’s allies of NATO and the EU as long we ask for it in a manner convincing for them. But its easier to repeat statements given by some foreign ambassador, instead of bothering to work hard, which would be of benefit to us and the corresponding country.

You have a vast experience in international relations and intelligence, what do you think is this insurmountable conflict between the US and Russia, which was understandable under communism, but is now exasperating to monitor attempts by the West to discredit Russia in all directions. There is literally a war of a new type. What is this conflict in its essence? Simple economic interest, territories, markets …? Or are there other components? Communism was defeated, why fight now?

When the West won and remained the sole leader, what would drive us to develop in the future? It turned out that the sole leader could not cope with their tasks. The USA tried to subdue the world to the interests of not even the Americans, but of transnational corporations. In the ideal of modern society the world had to become consumerist, accumulation of money, more, more. And even the mentioned money are becoming more of the virtual kind, behind them doesn’t even stand a manufactured product, the element of “longevity” was lost along the way, leaving only political slogans. These people are chasing profits and do not realize the cost of all this. Where will they carry all their wealth to? The beyond? There was a joke: Bulgarians asked what he would do if there is an apple, and he replied that he would eat it; two apples – will eat them; three apples – will force himself to eat them; a wagon of apples – he’s bite them all, because you can not eat so much. As if this anecdote is designed for today’s multinational corporations – with the difference that they do not even eat apples, but first create a subsidiary that buys them “green”;then placed securities of the said company, then mortgaged, then sell the mortgage etc …. Finally they say, “Here, we got good profit, three times more than input, but now give us apples cause we are hungry.” Maybe they rotted in the meantime? They created such evil for people. The Arab Spring – can anyone even count the victims to calculate the material losses, to describe the human suffering? Or what is happening in Ukraine – Experts have said that Russia has to sell energy to Europe, and Europe needs energy from Russia. The Turks have a saying: “When a fool throws a large stone into the well, 40 morons are wondering how to fish it out.” In general, US foreign policy takes turns, between “pragmatists” and “ideologues”. First realpolitik based on pragmatic existing resources, and the second – a policy based on ideology (anti-communism, fighting “bad – evil states”, fighting those who we do not obey the orders, etc.). But we hope that will now pass; many signs speak of the impending change. I will not go into the topic of the election campaigns of presidential candidates in the United States and its platforms – it’s worth a separate text. I will pay attention to something else which is very revealing: notice how many of our “all-knowers” and other “think tanks” in Bulgaria suddenly “turned their views” and while yesterday they liked liberalism in its various dimensions now they speak almost the opposite? Their weather sensors are very good and professionally oriented. I foresee in the near future some charges – this time I and those like me will be “guilty” for “the introduction of Bulgaria into NATO and the EU.” Where are we in all this? I will repeat again: My view is that we should be pragmatically aligned with Europe, whatever that means. And we should stop repeating uncritically foreign arguments, it makes even the “masters” wary of the uninteresting compradore.

How do you evaluate the technology for the instrumentalisation of Islam? For many years the radicalization of Islam is used to solve geopolitical problems (from Afghanistan, and before that in Israeli-Palestinian relations), but today this technology has gained a sinister, dangerous and fantastic proportions. Not only in the face of “Islamic state”. Wars are led under false flags (the flag of radical Islam). Could this be stopped when the puppeteers decide, or are things out of control? Tell me, what makes Europe so blind?

Puppeteers, as you call them, use all means for their interests, there are no limits. They even use religion. Which, besides being dangerous, is very disgusting. In the US, you can hear criticism that their country has given millions to establish and strengthen the Taliban in Afghanistan, and then had to give tens of millions to fight them. The same analysts say the United States have given hundreds of millions to strengthen the enemies of Assad in Syria, and then have to give billions to deal with the “Islamic state.” The jeanie is out of the bottle. And Europe? In my opinion, there are still interesting things ahead in Europe. But not under the current management. These are not leaders, they are”profiles”. Elected not for their qualities of leadership, but because they fit the profile – the profile is to know English (so they can understand it in foreign embassies in Brussels) to have completed a humanitarian specialty and continued in a foreign university, be confident, be able to speak without saying anything, be fashionably dressed, etc., and if they meet the profile – voila! But Europe will face changes and they will be challenged by developments, and rather than the current “profiles”, we need leaders.

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