In December last year, NATO officially invited Montenegro to become the 29th member state of the most powerful military organisation of our times, if not, in fact, of all time. The country’s Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, assured the NATO secretary-general that “you can count on us at any time.” It is always nice to hear that someone has your back. But in Montenegro’s case, it means that they have our back with an entire active-duty military force of only two thousand personnel. It is not quite clear how the tiny nation of less than 700,000 people enhances U.S. security in the slightest. In fact, one might argue that adding Montenegro to NATO actually detracts from U.S. security.
That the invitation will have flattered the already over-inflated ego of the country’s Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, and his ruling clique, there is, of course, little doubt. Nevertheless, this was flattery to deceive, for as everybody knows, Montenegro’s voice in NATO will be like a whistle in a whirlwind.
With an ‘ideological war’ being waged in the small Balkan nation over the last several months, city streets across the country have been turned into a battlefield between the government and pro-democracy, anti-NATO demonstrators. Now it looks as though the government of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic will avoid risking a referendum on the issue.
Ironically, the Montenegrin government’s official Twitter account cited the prime minister as saying that Wednesday’s decision was a “historic day…the most important after the 2006 referendum,” (in which voters narrowly chose to secede from Montenegro’s union with Serbia).
Although Montenegro’s opposition, the Democratic Front coalition, formed in 2013, has repeatedly assailed the Đukanović clique for its corrupt, criminal, nepotistic clientelism, for its vote-rigging and for its abusively manipulative relationship with the media, none of which has shaken US support for Đukanović.
All the Balkan nations have the same tradition – they unite to face a common threat despite all the differences. The one who identifies the threat, who unites and protects the people, can surely count on their loyalty and support. Political strategists of the Milo Đukanović had no scruples in taking advantage of this virtue during the election campaigns of 2006, 2008, and 2012.
This year election wasn’t doomed to make an exception. The prime-minister and his team prepared two scenarios relying upon the police and special services as a repressive factor.
First of all, the first scenario envisaged a threat coming from the outside. It’s an open secret that nationalists still hatch a design to reconstruct “Greater Albania” with southern Montenegro in mind. Besides one shouldn’t forget about unrecognized Kosovo teeming with terrorists who have been granted a pardon by the West. Memories about the 90s full of tragedy and sorrow are still alive in memory of Montenegrins, that is why series cross-border collision were elaborated. A military conflict would have entitled the authorities to impose emergency rule and consequentially postpone the parliamentary elections sine die.
This scenario could have passed, although it had to be thoroughly prepared. However, there was a certain restriction that played a key role. Countries with border conflicts are not allowed to join NATO, so another way to raise an international scandal and start political intrigues was chosen.
It was an arrest of 20 Serbians accused of a coup attempt. They were charged with preparing acts of terrorism in Podgorica and even kidnapping of Milo Đukanović! It does’t matter that no evidence has been found to this very day. What is more, instead of looking for evidence the investigative bodies involved destroyed it. According to Milivoje Katnić, chief special prosecutor of Montenegro, “the weapons for the terrorist attacks were seized and destroyed within the territory of a foreign country”.
There is an amusing coincidence. Six of the detainees have been released despite the gravity of the charges. As many as 14 people are still under arrest, exactly the same number of people were arrested during the parliamentary elections back in 2006. The only difference is that they were Albanians then.
Some facts suggest that the “Serbian threat” was staged by Milo Đukanović himself. Provocateurs of a person called Pajo Božović recruited the “conspirators”. Đukanović personally ordered that 100 militants formed into four groups should be trained. For this very purpose Božović hired a number of provokers and built up financing via tried out scheme of “Prva Banka Crne Gore” (First Bank of Montenegro). The Bank issued the money to certain people who then paid the deceived Serbs. The records of telephone conversations of Božović (+3816540XXXX) also point to this fact. Why were Serbs chosen to fall victim of a provocation? Since the well-known referendum on Montenegro’s independence Serbs have been Milo Đukanović’s key enemy. It is primarily Serbs making a little fewer than half of Montenegro’s population who pose a real opposition to the NATO membership plan cherished by the prime-minister.
Furthermore, it was necessary to “appoint” a suitable conspiracy leader. Former commander of Serbian Gendarmerie Bratislav Dikić ideally suited for this role. On receiving a call from a former colleague, he moved on to Montenegro in order to put two and two togeteher what was going on and foil the provocation whatsoever. The phone call records (+3816414XXXX, +3826902XXXX) testify to the fact that the coup plotting and staging were Božović’s handwork, with influential persons of Montenegrin special services being involved.
The next was the corrupt media to join the battle by overblowing a scandal. Apart from it, the chief special prosecutor took active part in the crude provocation against Dikić by accusing Serbs of mounting a coup with no proof presented.
These mean steps taken by Đukanović made it possible to have the population frightened and impact the election results. The second scenario finally worked out. Innocent people were tossed into jail under trumped-up charges. They are undoubtedly being exerted pressure on in order to disclose the sort of evidence Milo Đukanović needs.
Since the EU, NATO, and Western countries accepted the election in Montenegro, it all looks like a large-scale crime against Montenegrins and people of Serbia.
Frankly, adding Montenegro to NATO is ridiculous. New York City would be a more useful NATO member. After all, according to Michael Bloomberg, the New York City Police Department “is the seventh largest army in the world.” With just under 35,000 officers, the NYPD is over seventeen times larger than the Montenegrin armed forces. In fact the NYPD budget, clocking in last year at $4.8 billion, amounts to just under half of Montenegro’s GDP. Adding New York City to NATO also has the additional benefit of not worsening tensions with Russia.
Facetiousness aside, NATO expansion is no laughing matter. It is nothing personal against Montenegro, but its addition to NATO is simply irresponsible. It will not contribute to U.S. security and will serve as another point of contention with Russia. The U.S. senate should exercise its veto power over Montenegro’s invitation into the alliance when it is introduced, and in the future should put the kibosh on any more attempts at NATO expansion that don’t contribute to U.S. security.
King Abdullah is being eulogized in the most unrealistic ways possible, from CNN designating him as a “reformer” to Chuck Hagel calling him “a powerful voice for tolerance, moderation and peace — in the Islamic world and across the globe.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin takes the cake, however, by proclaiming that “his smart policy contributed greatly to Middle East stability.” None of these characterizations are true in any way, as Abdullah’s main legacy isn’t one of reform, tolerance, and regional stability, but of destruction, hate, and regional instability. Every contemporary Mideast problem except for the Israel-Palestine issue can be directly ...
Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world!
That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).
No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing ...
During the final years of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the US reached a verbal agreement whereby Moscow would allow for the reunification of Germany in exchange for the US agreeing to never expand NATO further East. As history attests, the US shamelessly reneged on its guarantee the moment the Soviet Union collapsed and was powerless to effectively stop it, swallowing up almost the entirety of Eastern Europe (save for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine) and all the Baltic States by 2004. What’s less studied by observers is NATO’s “Drang Nach Suden” (Drive to the South), which represents one ...
GR Editor’s Note: This incisive article was written on April 30, 2003, by historian and political scientist Jacques Pauwels. A timely question: Why Does Hillary Want War… ? And why do people support her?
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Wars are a terrible waste of lives and resources, and for that reason most people are in principle opposed to wars. The American President, on the other hand, seems to love war. Why? Many commentators have sought the answer in psychological factors. Some opined that George W. Bush considered it his duty to finish the job started, but for some obscure reason ...
PRISTINA, Kosovo — It was the fall of 2000, just over a year after the end of the war in Kosovo, when two NATO military intelligence officers produced the first known report on local organized crime, painting the former political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Hashim Thaci, as having “established influence on local criminal organizations, which control [a] large part of Kosovo.”
The report, the existence of which has not been previously reported, was widely distributed among all NATO countries, according to former NATO sources interviewed by GlobalPost. And year after year as the nascent democracy of Kosovo struggled ...
History has repeatedly demonstrated the need to view with the greatest skepticism U.S. imperialism’s justifications for its endless wars and interventions.
Need we mention the 1964 U.S.-manufactured Tonkin Bay incident, wherein a virtually non-existent Vietnamese navy was accused of attacking a U.S. destroyer? That false flag pretext was employed to launch the Vietnam War, during which four million Vietnamese were slaughtered in a 10-year U.S. conflagration verging on genocide. Or the more recent Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” lie that resulted in the U.S. murder of 1.5 million Iraqis?
Even if the latest sarin gas accusations against Syrian President Bashar Assad should ...
The most useful parable about progressives is that offered by Bernard Sanders, self-styled “socialist-progressive-independent” rep from Vermont. Sanders owes his political career to rage against the Vietnam War among radicals, many of whom moved into the state in the early 1970s. They forthwith planned a long-term, carefully organized, assault on Vermont’s two-party structure. Sanders linked his political ambitions to this effort to organize a third force, the Progressive Alliance. He became mayor of Burlington and, later, congressman.
At a rapid clip the emphasis moved from party-building to Sanders-building. By 1994, it was apparent that the only movement B. Sanders was interested in ...
A Reuters news report under the names of presstitutes Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold shows how devoid the West is of honest, intelligent and responsible journalists and government officials. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-summit-idUKKCN0ZN2NN
First we will examine the dishonesty or incompetence of the reporters and then that of Western government officials.
Emmott and Siebold describe NATO as a “Western defense alliance.” Since the Clinton regime NATO has been an alliance for waging offensive war, a war crime under the Nuremberg rules established by the United States. Under the NATO banner a number of countries have been bombed, invaded, and had their governments overthrown by ...
Transcript of presentation by the author at the Conference of Independent Journalists’ Association for Peace, Vienna, Austria, May 2015.
This year the twentieth anniversary of the massacre in Srebrenica is being observed. On July 11 a huge spectacle will take place at the Srebrenica Memorial center specially constructed for that purpose. It will feature the presence of most of the rather insignificant individuals purporting to be political leaders in the region and the Western-dominated world. Their speeches, which never vary substantially, will be infused with the predictable platitudes.
I propose to deal with some aspects of the Srebrenica narrative from the standpoint ...
The recent arrest of 40 alleged Islamic radicals in Kosovo together with the arrest of one of the Kosovo Imams suspected of being an inspirer of jihad in the region brought serious questions about the radicalisation of Islam and terrorism in Kosovo, in the Balkans and in Europe. Even though the issue of Kosovo Albanian volunteers or mercenaries fighting alongside the anti-Bashar forces in Syria and supporting the radical leadership of the Islamic State (earlier the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has been present in the public debate in Kosovo for at least a year, the debate itself was ...
Exclusive: The U.S. government and the mainstream media rushed to judgment again, blaming the Syrian government for a new poison-gas attack and ignoring other possibilities, reports Robert Parry.
With the latest hasty judgment about Tuesday’s poison-gas deaths in a rebel-held area of northern Syria, the mainstream U.S. news media once more reveals itself to be a threat to responsible journalism and to the future of humanity. Again, we see the troubling pattern of verdict first, investigation later, even when that behavior can lead to a dangerous war escalation and many more deaths.
Before a careful evaluation of the evidence about Tuesday’s tragedy ...
The following text was written in the immediate wake of the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia and the invasion of Kosovo by NATO troops.
It is now well established that the war on Yugoslavia was waged on a fabricated humanitarian pretext and that extensive war crimes were committed by NATO and the US.
In retrospect, the war on Yugoslavia was a “dress rehearsal” for subsequent US-NATO sponsored humanitarian wars including Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Libya (2011), Syria (2011), Ukraine (2014).
Who are the war criminals? In a bitter irony, the so-called International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague ...
Did you know that Washington keeps 450 nuclear ICBMs on “hair-trigger alert”? Washington thinks that this makes us “safe.” The reasoning, if it can be called reason, is that by being able to launch in a few minutes, no one will try to attack the US with nuclear weapons. US missiles are able to get on their way before the enemy’s missiles can reach the US to destroy ours.
If this makes you feel safe, you need to read Eric Schlosser’s book, Command and Control.
The trouble with hair-triggers is that they make mistaken, accidental, and unauthorized launch more likely. Schlosser provides ...
Perhaps no country on Earth is more misunderstood by Americans than North Korea. Though the country's leaders are typically portrayed as buffoonish, even silly, in fact they are deadly serious in their cruelty and skill at retaining power. Though the country is seen as Soviet-style communist, in fact it is better understood as a holdover of Japanese fascism.
And there is another misconception, one that Americans might not want to hear but that is important for understanding the hermit kingdom: Yes, much of its anti-Americanism is cynically manufactured as a propaganda tool, and yes, it is often based on lies. But ...
In an email sent to his business partner and Democratic fundraiser Jeffrey Leeds, former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote of Hillary Clinton, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”
Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s first term was an unmitigated disaster for many nations around the world. Neither the Donald Trump campaign nor the corporate media have adequately described how a number of countries around the world suffered horribly from Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.
Millions of people were adversely harmed by Clinton’s misguided policies and her “play-to-pay” operations involving favors in return for donations ...
Over the past 50 years the US and European powers have engaged in countless imperial wars throughout the world. The drive for world supremacy has been clothed in the rhetoric of “world leadership”, the consequences have been devastating for the peoples targeted. The biggest, longest and most numerous wars have been carried out by the United States. Presidents from both parties direct and preside over this quest for world power. The ideology which informs imperialism varies from “anti-communism”in the past to “anti-terrorism”today.
Washington’s drive for world domination has used and combined many forms of warfare, including military invasions and occupations; proxy ...
The goal of this article is to investigate and describe the text of one very significant, but so far forgotten, document and historical source upon the question on Serbian liberation from the Ottoman sway and national unification. The document was written in 1804 during the first months of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman oppression [about the uprising see in Petrovich 1976; Vucinich 1982; Temperley 1969; Ђорђевић 1956].
The Serbian nation was divided at the dawn of the 19th century by the borders of Ottoman pashaliks and by the state frontiers that separated the lands under Ottoman from those under ...
SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is elating after his right-wing Likud Party secured a firm victory in the Israeli elections on March 17. It was a very close race against the Zionist Union Party, led by Isaac Herzog. Our next guest, Shir Hever, in an interview he did with us last month, predicted that Prime Minister Netanyahu would win in spite of many strikes against him at the time. So, defying election polls leading up to the election, Prime Minister Netanyahu has ...